This is my second shooting session with the Nikon D800E and the Nikon 28-300 f/3.5-5.6 lens. An all around lens, that provides a very large focal length range, so that you don’t have to change lenses often.
The 28-300 is a very versatile and convenient lens, since you can practically do everything with it. For low light, you can always pack a 50mm f/1.4 just in case which is a very small and light lens, but for most cases, this lens will do (the D800E can be easily shot at 6400 especially if you downsize the image).
I have driven through the same route a few days ago, carrying the 24-70 lens, so the extra 70-300 range, gave me the chance to shoot the same sceneries in a different way. I don’t like carrying too many lenses with me, I prefer to visit the same location at a future time with a different lens, so that I can get new angles and compositions.
In the 28-70 range, this lens of course cannot be compared with the 24-70 f/2.8, but it does a very good job for 10x zoom. As expected, I have found its edges to be weak. For no specific reason, I have always found myself to shoot zooms at their short and long edges, so with a lens like this, I actually shoot at their weakest points.
The D800E with the 28-300 is really a huge and heavy camera setup. It’s really difficult for me to carry and shoot this combo for long periods of time, but there are times when you just want to be able to capture almost anything without swapping lenses. I am going to make some large prints when I return from my vacations so that I can better judge the IQ of this setup.
One strange thing about me shooting with this modern DSLR, is that most of my exposures are not very accurate (or at least as accurate as I wanted them to be). I get much better exposed images with my Leica M (film & digital) or my Plaubel Makina 67. The only reason I can thing of is that I am used to shoot rangefinders cameras and I am more accustomed to their meter (which is more like a center weighted or even spot meter, depending on the lens you use). The Live View function which actually shows you in real time the changes in exposure, according to your settings could be a good solution, but I really don’t use it much even when I am on a tripod. I much prefer the Sony NEX implementation of a live view screen (and of course the Live View electronic viewfinder), than Nikon’s Live View implementation on the D800E.
The D800E has a superb sensor with great dynamic range, but when converting to black and white, I have found the b&w look to be inferior to what I get from the Leica M8. Maybe its the CCD sensor of the M8 which even at base ISO is not crystal clear, but my Nikon conversions look too clear and plastic. They lack the “imperfections” that the M8 has when renders an image, which create a very certain look that the Nikon lacks. I suppose that could be just a matter of personal taste, but after all, when you take images, you want them to appeal to you first, and then anyone else.
The D800E/28-300 combo, is a very practical setup, and each time I go out with it, its kinda difficult for me to resist the ease of a single lens kit and go back to more exotic lenses like the 24-70 or my Nikon primes (the except here is the really fantastic 135 f/2 DC which has become my favorite Nikon lens, despite the very limiting and specialized focal length).
But, when I really want to get the 100% of the 36mp sensor, I have to mount a really good lens, so for “serious” photo trips, I would not rely solely on the 28-300. As a travel lens, its really great.
Enjoy the rest of the images (note: all images were shot with a polarizer filter)
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