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info for Nikon shooters
Old 10-08-2005, 02:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Let me just say this has nothing to do with my Canon conversion (if that's what it turns out to be), nor is it a result of any guilt feelings, but I did come across something of interest to Nikon shooters recently. First I want to remind folks that Nikon makes some excellent equipment, and their lenses are second to none. They're not going anywhere any time soon, but they may or may not be making the equipment WE want for our type of work. For whatever its worth, when I was at the Photo Expo in San Diego, Jay Meisel, a longtime Nikon shooter, was still shooting Nikon, in this case, the D2X. I can't believe that he would shoot it only because he got it for free. I'm sure if he liked Canon that much better, Canon would LOVE to be able to say that Jay Maisel had switched brands, and would take out ads all over the place to that effect, and give him whatever he wanted. (Think they'll do that for me? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]). They just chose to put their eggs in the APS chip basket and I hear that they have no plans to produce a full-size sensor, period.

OK, so in the course of researching what turned out to be a recognized but misunderstood issue with the D2X auto-focus, I came across an interesting Nikon user-group site called "Nikonians" (of all things). Seems to have a lot of answers about a lot things, plus some terrific images in their Gallery section. One article in particular caught my attention, as it goes into some great detail explain all the various AF modes the camera has, while acknowledging all the confusion about the aforementioned "problem". Now that I've read it, I understand a lot more about what it does (it can be very confusing to read in the manual). Yes, I read it after I bought the 5D, and no, I don't intend to give up the 5D based on this, but if I wanted to keep the Nikon, I would feel completely comfortable with this camera. And BTW, it does have a better ergonamic feel than the 5D. Anyway, here's the article about the AF modes, and from there you can navigate the site. http://tinyurl.com/azon3

Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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Re: info for Nikon shooters
Old 10-08-2005, 09:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Andy

Just a comment on the full sized vs APS sensors. I agree that Nikon last year officially stated that they weren't going full-sized when the brought out the new 12-20 lens just for digital.

I ask myself "Why?" I was thinking that it might be a power issue. The power consumption on a CCD sensor is much higher than a CMOS sensor. I wonder if that is an issue with sticking a full sized CCD sensor in a Nikon?

Bob

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we\'ll never know
Old 10-08-2005, 09:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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people will speculate on these questions forever. I konw a few folks at Nikon and they just won't give a straight answer to any of these q's.

But the bottom line is that the camera is just the tool and nobody can really say they got a specific image because they had this camera over that camera.

BTW, Andy, great catch on the Nikon Focusing issues link, I learned some stuff I never had a clue about. Thanks for the link.
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Re: info for Nikon shooters
Old 10-08-2005, 10:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
Andy

Just a comment on the full sized vs APS sensors. I agree that Nikon last year officially stated that they weren't going full-sized when the brought out the new 12-20 lens just for digital.

I ask myself "Why?" I was thinking that it might be a power issue. The power consumption on a CCD sensor is much higher than a CMOS sensor. I wonder if that is an issue with sticking a full sized CCD sensor in a Nikon?

Bob



[/ QUOTE ]

The D2X uses a Sony CMOS sensor.
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Re: info for Nikon shooters
Old 10-08-2005, 01:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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www.Nikonians.org is a great site with great people. I love asking my "dumb" questions there. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
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Re: info for Nikon shooters
Old 10-08-2005, 02:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks Andy for the info and the link. I shoot Fuji S2pro but as you know this is based on the Nikon body so a lot of the function are the same. The last part of the artical gives a great break down of how to use the various functions in real life. Again thanks for sharing.

Hope you enjoy your Canon's.

Chuck
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Re: info for Nikon shooters
Old 10-08-2005, 03:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That's another problem - Nikon buys it's sensors from Sony and others. Therefore, they don't have control of the R&D.
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Yawn...
Old 10-08-2005, 10:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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So,...AF lock is new eh? Wow..this AF tracking is new too eh? Wow..

That is a decent site to read through....until you see that Canon has been doing this stuff for many years..

Since I switched to Canon in 1996, I have had all my Canon camera bodies, with the exception of the 620 body,...(because it couldn't)..set up so that I could auto focus independently of the shutter button,...which is a LOT better than "focus and recompose".. The shutter release button releases the shutter, and controls the auto exposure locking function.. and with the high speed cameras, the AI servo auto focus mode has a slower frame rate while actively tracking a moving target..well,...if it is not tracking/follow focusing that target, even on AI servo mode, can fire off the frame rate at the same speed as the frame rate on "One Shot" mode..which basically means that it is focused on a still standing target.

Say like in baseball,...I anticipate the guy on first stealing second base.. I see the guy running there...since there is noting interesting about a picture of a guy running between bases, I will shift my attention to 2nd base,...and pre focus on the base it's self, and then wait for the action to develope, and then fire when ready, rather than trying to focus and compose because I have to have the af point on top of the point of action, and with bodies sliding, and dirt flying,..things can get confuseing out there.. I've had many many more "keepers" since I began using this method..

In addition to this,...on all Canon L lenses, and several non L lenses,...they feature "full time manual focusing" capability..and what that means is that no matter what focus mode you are using, you can still turn the manual focus ring, and be able to over-ride the camera's "brain"..this is especially helpful when shooting action where you have to track/follow focus on a specific target that has other things standing or running between you and that specific subject.......and since it is your goal to keep a close watch on that subject,...you have to think ahead of the camera's "brain",...because the camera may switch the AF tracking to one of those individuals running between you and that subject, and you have to (with skill)..follow through with manual focus..until you get the shots you need........example,...a wide reciever running across the field for a catch,...tight-ends are especially dificult because they are running around the line..and running backs,...the hand offs,...and the running through the line can be hecktic if you rely on only the camera's ability to think for you..

Another thing,...the super telephoto lenses have this,...and I really wish the 70-200L had this too.. "Auto focus Preset". The lens has this switch on the side on it.....say you are shooting on the side line of a soccer field..and you aren't moving around at the moment.. and you think that there may be an attempt at the goal box,....well,...the AF preset makes my life a whole lot easier...because all I have to do is get an accurate focus of the goal box,..or slightly in front of it,...and then pull that switch in to me, which marks that point of focus,...and then I can continue to focus all over the rest of the field, clicking off frames of this guy, and that guy,...and then I see someone in a scoreing position,...all I have to do is turn this gear like looking ring on the lens barrell, and it automatically goes right back to that specific setting, and all I have to do is wait for the action to develope,...rather than holding down the AF & shutter release button, and hoping that the path to the point of where I want to focus is clear so I can take a picture... usually by then, the action has already happened, and I've missed the shot...so,...Canon AF kicks ass!

BTW,.....they forgot to go into detail as to why so many professional sports shooters who use Nikon are having trouble with back-focus.. I happen to know a few.. Oh, and they are looking into switching to Canon as well now..



http://www.pbase.com/greco/sports

JP
 
 
Re: Yawn...
Old 10-09-2005, 11:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]


Since I switched to Canon in 1996, I have had all my Canon camera bodies, with the exception of the 620 body,...(because it couldn't)..set up so that I could auto focus independently of the shutter button,...which is a LOT better than "focus and recompose"..



Hello John Paul,

First off let me say that I think your work is incredible and truly first rate. I read the response you put up to Andy Pearlman's posting on the issues with the Nikon D2X and I think you may have inadvertantly overlooked one point. You talk about "focus and recompose". Most mid to upper level DSLR's for the past several years have given the photographer the choice of which focusing point to select as the primary point for the camera to utilize.

For me, and I do a lot of portrait work, the face of my models is the most important area but when I am shooting vertically if I use the center point I either wind up focusing on the models stomach or I have to focus on the eyes and "focus and recompose". The can be easily remedied by changing the primary focusing point to the upper point by use of the focusing toggle.

I haven't done a lot of sports in a long time but I think the same would apply in your industry. If you are photographing a baseball game and the second baseman is some 'big name' star and you have a runner trying to steal second you could select a focusing poing that is more to the left in the viewfinder to make sure that you get that 'big name' in sharp focus but still be able to catch all of the action of the runner stealing second.

I don't believe in making anything harder for myself than it absolutely has to be and if the toold I use can help to make my life easier so much the better.

Keep up the great work.
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Re: Yawn...
Old 10-09-2005, 12:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]


Since I switched to Canon in 1996, I have had all my Canon camera bodies, with the exception of the 620 body,...(because it couldn't)..set up so that I could auto focus independently of the shutter button,...which is a LOT better than "focus and recompose"..

[/ QUOTE ]


[ QUOTE ]

Hello John Paul,

First off let me say that I think your work is incredible and truly first rate. I read the response you put up to Andy Pearlman's posting on the issues with the Nikon D2X and I think you may have inadvertantly overlooked one point. You talk about "focus and recompose". Most mid to upper level DSLR's for the past several years have given the photographer the choice of which focusing point to select as the primary point for the camera to utilize.

For me, and I do a lot of portrait work, the face of my models is the most important area but when I am shooting vertically if I use the center point I either wind up focusing on the models stomach or I have to focus on the eyes and "focus and recompose". The can be easily remedied by changing the primary focusing point to the upper point by use of the focusing toggle.

I haven't done a lot of sports in a long time but I think the same would apply in your industry. If you are photographing a baseball game and the second baseman is some 'big name' star and you have a runner trying to steal second you could select a focusing poing that is more to the left in the viewfinder to make sure that you get that 'big name' in sharp focus but still be able to catch all of the action of the runner stealing second.

I don't believe in making anything harder for myself than it absolutely has to be and if the toold I use can help to make my life easier so much the better.

Keep up the great work.

[/ QUOTE ]

Actually, your way is more dificult for shooting sports..because you still have to rely on what that focusing point is selected on when the action is happening..

Yes, every SLR I have used since the Minolta 9xi body has selectable AF points.. The picture of the bike racer I took in 1997 that I showed you the other day,...I took that with the 1n film body,...I was actually selecting the AF point while I was focusing on him for nearly a full roll of film.. that shot was taken near the end of the roll, and with the furthest left AF sensor.. That was done with a custom function that allowed me to select any of the 5 points with the large thumb wheel on the back, in conjunction with the * back button which activates the AF of the selected AF point. I can do something similar today with the joystick like switch on the 20D,...but it's not quite the same..especially when shooting vertically..

What I prefer doing is having absolute control over the camera's brain, which is even stated by a motor sports photographer they quoted in the artical that Andy provided.. In the example you provided, the camera may want to focus on the guy's arm,...or on the not so famous guy while the action is happening..which doesn't wait for you to get your focusing point right....it happens, and then it's all over.. I prefer to nail it before it happens, and shoot all the way through..

JP
 
 
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