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The NIKON Thread (Talk About Nikon Stuff here)

post #1 of 5666
Thread Starter 
Share your thoughts, questions, etc, about Nikon (or other related SLR products, but no brand war please) here.
Or if you wanna share your pictures from your brand new camera or lens, or if you wanna see any particular kind of sample pictures from any lenses.

Okay, ready, start talking !

Oh yeah, I wanna ask a question. Some people have recommended me to take off the Nikon L37c filter from the lens (got it along with the lens). To be honest the only reason why I keep it there is probably because I don't want any dust/finger prints on the lens, and the filter itself is quite expensive, sort of a waste for not using it.
According to them it will affect image quality (plus my filter has some tiny scratches which I think came from wiping the lens when there were still some dust particles). But then again, I haven't seen the real comparison, side by side pictures of a shot taken with and without lens that is showing the difference. Also I assume this L37c is a pretty good filter, won't degrade image quality?

So should I take it off?
post #2 of 5666
Quote:
plus my filter has some tiny scratches which I think came from wiping the lens when there were still some dust particles
That's one good reason for using a filter .... better it gets scratched than your front lens element. Scratches from cleaning usually occcur if the lens is wiped while dry or something other than a proper lens cleaning tissue is used.

I suggest you set your camera up on a tripod and do some A-B test shots of various scenes with and without the filter on. Then compare them and see if you can notice a difference. I keep filters on all my lenses. Sometimes when shooting I'll leave them on and sometimes remove them, depending on how critical the shot is.
post #3 of 5666
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbriant View Post
I suggest you set your camera up on a tripod and do some A-B test shots of various scenes with and without the filter on. Then compare them and see if you can notice a difference. I keep filters on all my lenses. Sometimes when shooting I'll leave them on and sometimes remove them, depending on how critical the shot is.
See, this is when the problem starts - I'm very lazy when it comes to doing some A/B controlled tests, hehe..
Maybe I will do it when I'm not in such a lazy mode.

I keep hearing about people saying how a lens filter will "slightly" degrade image quality/sharpness, but never seen anyone actually post some sample images proof.

But have you by any chance done the test yet? Or someone else not as lazy as me willing to do the test?
post #4 of 5666
Thread Starter 
I found this link of the process of making a lens. It's pretty cool video, if you haven't watched it, go for it, it's worth watching. It makes you feel like buying a lens with chunky glasses. It's from Canon factory, but I guess it's good to have some sort of idea how lenses are made.

I read a book about Nikon history, and saw some pictures of how they actually manufacture lenses in the old times. Pretty fascinating, there were a bunch of Japanese Nikon workers sitting and doing the processing by hand (this was before everything started to get automated in modern plant).
post #5 of 5666
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj_mocok View Post
Oh yeah, I wanna ask a question. Some people have recommended me to take off the Nikon L37c filter from the lens
Is it for the 85 f/1.4? If so, the effect will be far less, than say on the 35 I am getting. You may as well keep it until you can find a better on on ebay; it may actually improve the pleasing softness of the portraiture! You really do not need Nikon filters except for the wider angle lenses, where Nikon is able to list the recommended narrow ring style for elimination of vignetting.

Yep, this is good to have a Nikon thread here; sometimes Nikonians is just too active and people just seem to want the highlights. A few random things:

***
I've been reducing the load I carry around, and I came across www.signalandpower.com who carry a useful right angle plug adapter so you can leave the extension cord at home and plug the Nikon battery charger directly into the wall:


***
I got a SB-400 as a really nice Christmas gift from my brother-in-law. Now, I'm using it all the time and plan on getting a SC-29 which will still allow my SB-800's AF assist to work off camera

SB-400


SC-29



***
With the re-introduction of Fuji Velvia 50, I am planning on dusting off the F3 and doing both film and digital when I take my long trip to NZ in June. I've kept only one DX lens, the 10.5 mm and am pretty much done with the lens purchases, except for maybe another copy of the 35 f/1.4 if the one coming is not good, and except for maybe one of the older 55 f/2.8 Micro-Nikkors if I can find an affordable one in like new condition.

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I really like the Kirk right angle bracket for the D200, that I got from Nikonians awhile back, it really helps with the product photography, since I am using a carbon fiber tripod and this seems to get off-balance easily.

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I now pretty much use the 10.5DX for all of the trade show photography work; I find it amazing that the other photographers there have not caught onto this. It makes for great shots, especially when there are a great deal of people in the booth and it is just so compact.

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After trying Capture NX, I am taking it off my PC; it is sooooo much slower that Photoshop CS and really takes so much getting used to. I'll just stick to the RAW plug-in.

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Is film dead? Nope! I am thinking that processing locations will reduce their costs to keep it still fairly attractive for those with legacy cameras. So keep that brick of Velvia in the fridge and don't sell the F3. If you don't have one of these "flagship" Nikons, I recommend scooping one of the mint ones available on ebay:
here
and
here

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Nowing that they have approached the limit of affordable lens/DX Imager capabililty, the new "pro" standard will most likely be the D3. I feel really bad for all the D2x and D2xs users that shelled out $4K plus; I hope they got their use out of it. I can't even bring myself to sell the D2h; the loss (price drop) was just incredible. The D3 will essentially relieve the user from having to have such an exacting, tiny, dense DX imager that could be quite susceptible to motion, lens issues, etc. I have found the D200 to be more forgiving in that way, but then again, I was fortunate to get a couple of really great lenses.
post #6 of 5666
Thanks for the link. That was very useful. Its funny cause I work at a plant and if I show up on the production lines I might get a sample from the line for my office. I wish I could do that in that plant. I would wait next to the 85mm L line and natch one.
post #7 of 5666
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesurf View Post
Is it for the 85 f/1.4? If so, the effect will be far less, than say on the 35 I am getting. You may as well keep it until you can find a better on on ebay; it may actually improve the pleasing softness of the portraiture! You really do not need Nikon filters except for the wider angle lenses, where Nikon is able to list the recommended narrow ring style for elimination of vignetting.
I am thinking to take it off (maybe after I bought a screw in rubber lens hood for the lens) and see how it goes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesurf View Post

With the re-introduction of Fuji Velvia 50, I am planning on dusting off the F3 and doing both film and digital when I take my long trip to NZ in June. I've kept only one DX lens, the 10.5 mm and am pretty much done with the lens purchases, except for maybe another copy of the 35 f/1.4 if the one coming is not good, and except for maybe one of the older 55 f/2.8 Micro-Nikkors if I can find an affordable one in like new condition.
So what are you gonna bring to NZ? As far as I know usually NZ trip involves a lot of hiking, you probably better off with lighter gear I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesurf View Post
Nowing that they have approached the limit of affordable lens/DX Imager capabililty, the new "pro" standard will most likely be the D3. I feel really bad for all the D2x and D2xs users that shelled out $4K plus; I hope they got their use out of it. I can't even bring myself to sell the D2h; the loss (price drop) was just incredible. The D3 will essentially relieve the user from having to have such an exacting, tiny, dense DX imager that could be quite susceptible to motion, lens issues, etc. I have found the D200 to be more forgiving in that way, but then again, I was fortunate to get a couple of really great lenses.
When is the PMA by the way? I'm curious to see if that guy who said that the new body will be out then was right or not.
post #8 of 5666
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj_mocok View Post
So what are you gonna bring to NZ? As far as I know usually NZ trip involves a lot of hiking, you probably better off with lighter gear I think.

When is the PMA by the way? I'm curious to see if that guy who said that the new body will be out then was right or not.
Most likely F3HP + 20mm f/2.8 and D200 + 17~35 f/2.8 + 10.5 f/2.8 + SB-800 + 2-4GB, 1-8GB Cards + five rolls Velvia + 3 EN-EL3 Batteries + iPod 5G + Shure e4s. Gotta make sure I got the trip covered - that's why film+digital!

Here's the PMA link, March 8~11 2007 Las Vegas.
post #9 of 5666
I like the idea of a filter as a "first level defense" against exposing the lens to wiping, smudges or impact. I'll gladly take the supposed degradation in quality for that reason. You have to know yourself and what you are comfortable with.

If you have a quality filter (multicoated on both sides, made of quality glass), you'll only be loosing, say, 0.5% light transmission, which I can definitely live with.

For my use I'd never miss the difference, as my most critical application I have is making 8x12 prints and hanging them, or using a shot as wallpaper.

It's certainly different if you have a uber buck lens. I think my D70 body is the weakest link anyway, not my filter or my lenses. I'll plan to pick up a D80 body sometime in the next year or two, when the price gets to where the D70 is.
post #10 of 5666
For those of you that shoot digital, since the Nikon wb setting for incandescent light is pretty bad, what do you guys do about it? I adjust wb manually through Photoshop but it would be a lot less hassle if there was a trick to do it through the camera. I had this problem on both the D70 and the D50 and it's plagued on the D40 as well, is it like this on the higher end D80/D200 as well?
post #11 of 5666
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyline889 View Post
For those of you that shoot digital, since the Nikon wb setting for incandescent light is pretty bad, what do you guys do about it? I adjust wb manually through Photoshop but it would be a lot less hassle if there was a trick to do it through the camera. I had this problem on both the D70 and the D50 and it's plagued on the D40 as well, is it like this on the higher end D80/D200 as well?
When I'm shooting flash (iTTL), I am usually keeping it on WB-Auto. Any other lighting situation where I don't know the actual color temp of lighting, I "bracket" between all settings (flourescent, incandescent, etc.) with a test shot and then use that. You will be very surprised by what you get! I am generally making other adjustments in Photoshop like Brightness, Saturation, Unsharp mask and noise reduction.
post #12 of 5666
I always shoot in RAW, but when I'm taking a shot in incandescent light, I manually set the white balance to Tungsten. Generally, I find it to be decent with reguard to the look of a shot. I can always tweak it later from a WhiBal test shot anyway.

I don't use UV filters. I've seen threads on fredmiranda where some guy was complaining about his new $1600 70-200VR lens giving awful images. After three pages of tests and comments, somebody asked if he was using any sort of filter on the lens. Took the $20 filter off, and suddenly the lens was perfect. I refuse to pay such large amounts of money for a lens, only to put a $20 piece of glass in front of it. I used to be high-quality filters for all my lenses, but realized life is short and things break, but I'd rather have a better image than whine about cleaning my glass once a month. I do like to use a filter whenever I'm on the beach shooting though, salty wind can get really nasty.

Your other thread inspired me to break out my own 35mm f/1.4 AIS lens the other night. I threw it on the mount and hopefully will get to use it within the next week or two. I really never gave it much of a chance, but now that I have full metering use with it (yay D2x!) I will give it a shot. I love that it's even closer to the ~50mm FOV too. I looked up my serial number on that webpage and found out that I have the f/16 9-blade version. I also dug up an old e-mail from the ebay auction, and found that I paid $355 for it when I got it. I knew that $460 seemed a little pricey to me...

Hope your lens gets there safe and soon!
post #13 of 5666
Thread Starter 
I wouldn't use $20 one either, but the Nikon one is quite good filter I think.
You paid a very good price for your AIS, but I still think $460 is still a good price, considering the rarity of the lens especially in mint condition.

By the way, do you happen to have the link to that comparison (filter/no filter) images? I'm curious to see how much degradation it makes.
post #14 of 5666

This is great...does signalandpower sell it directly?
post #15 of 5666
I just wish Nikon would have produced an f90x with built-in exposure bracketing and maybe a built-in flash, but alas, they've stopped producing film SLR's altogether.
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