A photo trip with the Nikon D800E

Last weekend, I went for a photo/video trip. My main project was shooting video footage, but at the same time I was able to find some good subjects for stills.

The Nikon D800E has officially become my main camera for these trips, since I can shoot both great video and photos with this camera. Packing a full set of lenses and accessories makes my camera bag really heavy and this is something I don’t like, but since I am mostly shooting near my car, I can live with it. For hikes, I will use a smaller bag with just a zoom or a couple of prime lenses.

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All the images on this post were taken at the cities of Florina, Kastoria and on the route between the two cities.

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On a trip like this, my setup includes the following: Nikon D800E, 14-24mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4, 135mm f/2, 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6. I also pack the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 lens. I carry one flash, the SB-900, three batteries, a Manfrotto 055 tripod with 410 head for stills and a light a Manfrotto tripod with RC128 head for video. Accessories also include a cable realease, a bag to cover the camera in case of rain, and a full set of filters.

If I am going to walk long distances, I will either take only the 24-70mm or the 24mm, 50mm and 135mm primes.

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One of my favorite filters is the B+W 110ND. It is a 10 stops filters while allows long exposures during daylight. A polarizer is a must, and of course I use a lot my set of graduated nd filters. The D800E has a great dynamic range, nevertheless there are many situations where these filters are necessary in order to properly capture a scenery. I rarely use HDR or blend, I prefer to have the image properly exposed while on the field, since I don’t need to spend much time in post processing.

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Until lately, I didn’t use much the Live View on my Nikon, but since I bought a LCD Viewfinder for video, there are many situations where it comes in handy. In bright sunlight, the loupe helps me frame and focus better and it also allows me to see a better preview of the image.

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Birds is not one of my favorite subjects, but since they fly nearby, I will very now and then try to take some photos. For these shots, I use the 28-300mm lens. It’s not a bright lens, and it sure cannot focus fast enough, but for those few images, it gets the job done.

I never was a telephoto guy, and I don’t shoot action, so the 70-200mm f/2.8 was never considered as a lens I needed. Its a very expensive lens, and I could not justify the cost for the subjects I shoot, so I went for the 28-300, which can make a decent all around lens when the light is good. My next lens will sure be the 85mm f/1.8, mostly for video use. I know the f/1.4 version is a stellar lens (I have tried it), but the price difference is huge, so I will go for the f/1.8.

The D800E will produce huge size RAW files, and my five years old MacBook Pro can really struggle sometimes with a large workflow. But since I am editing video these days, which really can kneel any computer, editing stills seems quite fast !

I am soon taking another photo trip in some new locations I have spotted, and I will use the same equipment. I feel kinda strange that I don’t carry my film cameras, as I used to do for many years, but the D800E setup serves well both my needs for stills and video. Adding to the combo, my large format or panoramic camera, would be overkill. And having many cameras with me, it only frustrates me more, trying to decide which one I have to use.

Also, there are certain purchases I will have to do for my video needs, so eventually some of my film gear will have to be sold, in order to fund those purchases. A change of times, I suppose.

Anyway, enjoy the rest of the images.

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(c)2014 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

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