The Nikon D800E is a camera I own for very specific purposes. Mainly a landscape, special events and studio camera. I don’t use DSLRs when I am going out for walks or traveling, and the main reason is the size and weight. I prefer a rangefinder for these situations or my wonderful Fuji X100.
During a visit to a nearby city, I decided to take with me the D800E with the 50mm f/1.4 lens. The size and weight with a small prime like the 50mm reduces dramatically, so I though I’d give it a chance !
First of all, no one can argue that the D800E is a state of the art piece of photographic equipment. Superb image quality and plenty of megapixels. The 50mm image can easily be cropped to a 75mm or even 100mm equivalent and still have megapixels left to print. The dynamic range is also stellar. I thought with the small prime attached, I could use it as my a Leica or X100. But soon, it was evident that for my personal taste, it remains a large camera (and one that attracts attention).
The sound of the mirror during a silent surrounding made the people for the image above to turn their heads and look at me. No big deal, but I was really amazed by the loud shutter noise (I hadn’t used the D800E for a long time in a silent environment).
Also, the camera really felt large in my hands. I have to admit this this a personal feeling, since I meet everyday people in the streets with DSLRs and large zooms and they seem to be very comfortable. But everyone has his/her preferences and I am sure that for me, walking around with a DSLR is not something that makes me comfortable. I strongly believe that a camera should “inspire” you and make you go out and take images. Rangefinders do that for me. Even the Plaubel Makina 67 which is considered to be a large camera makes it for me. And with the Makina I often had the chance to start conversations with various people who were curious about it, and thats something I really enjoy.
So, the D800E returns back to the purposes it was bought for, and for my future walks I will enjoy using my rangefinders (and of course the unique Fuji X100!)
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