A Sunday Morning Walk with two new applicants for space in the equipment drawer; the Nikon D610 and the Nikon 24-85mm G 3.5-4.5.

The Nikon D610 ( which, incidentally, nudges out the new D750 at DXO by a full point! ) and the 24-85mm G VR lens are a good combo. The lens is sharp and the camera is well endowed with dynamic range and low noise. But, of course, there are little things to complain about. The 24-85 has lots of distortion at the wide end which is not fully corrected in Lightroom conversions from raw. The camera is pretty much as nice as a camera can be while suffering the lack of an EVF. What a perfect world it would be if Nikon and Canon were able to take their flagship cameras tomorrow and outfit them with really, really nice EVFs without changing any of their other performance attributes. 

I am certain that it's just a matter of time and the integration of really fast processors. That being said I am happy with the performance of both. On Tues. I've booked some fun, personal portrait sessions and I'll put the 105mm f2.5 ais to the test. I've also soothed the color performance of the Fotodiox 508AS LED panel and I'll have samples to show from that light source (which I really like from a strictly operation point of view). 

Back to the lens. While I'm very satisfied with the performance of the camera body I'm a bit less so with the performance of the lens. In addition to the barrel distortion at the 24mm end and the pincushion distortion at the long end the images at certain focal lengths don't look quite as sharp as I've seen with some of the better lenses. Almost everything I shot today was shot at f5.6 but I'd hate to think that I have to stop the lens down to f8.0 to get critical sharpness. 

I was a little concerned that it might be focusing errors caused by the camera/lens combo so I came back to the studio and did my AF tune tests. The camera and lens are right on the money at the default settings so I'm chalking it up to lens performance. I am, of course, overstating this because it's the holidays and I'm a little bored. The reality is that tossing a bit more sharpening at the lens cleans stuff up nicely. I guess I am used to the D7100 which doesn't have an anti-aliasing filter and is demonically sharp with good lenses. 

Another possibility is that I've been shooting with m4:3 and APS-C cameras and lenses for so much work this year that what I may be seeing is the everyday flaw in every full frame camera---too little depth of field. I'll sort it out soon. In the meantime I'm getting back to work setting up lighting for Tues. 

I also have a blog note. I am hard at work on the sequel (prequel?) to The Lisbon Portfolio. If I miss a day or two of blog-work I hope you'll understand. Below are additional images from today's walk. 

I hope you are using the holiday break (if it exists in your country...) to undertake exciting personal projects that make you nervous and anxious and ultimately happy. A couple more days left in the year to make sure you didn't totally blow off your art side.

Give in to the force and feel the power of your fictional side....


Gary said...

Regarding the sharpness of the 24-85, I find mine to be sharp at 5.6-8 depending on the focal length. And do remember to turn off the VR if you're testing on a tripod! :-)

Craig Yuill said...

You are creating nice high-quality images from that D610. I hope you are having fun with it too.

Anonymous said...

I know you are really hot on electronic finders. Some of us can't use them because the flicker/refresh rate triggers vertigo and dizziness. Add in one more thing to fail when things go wrong.

Dave said...

I know you will be able to take full advantage of the Nikon FF sensor. For my part I think I'm done with Nikon since I started shooting video with the RX10. The D7000 will probably give way to an A6000. I can't afford feeding two different mounts. Its an oddity since my sole photographic purpose in life for 6 years has been to "move up" to full frame magic.

If Nikon would offer a better video codec and focus peaking in liveview I'd probably hang around. But darn that little RX10 turns out to be perhaps the most fun I've had with a camera since getting my first DSLR, the venerable D70. I originally bought the D90 for video as much as that dandy little sensor, but could never really sync with how that operated for me.

I think you are spot on with the 105mm lens being a special piece of glass. Ditto for the little 55mm micro. Oh well looks like the big auction site will be seeing a lot of activity from me in the next two weeks as I unload the camera body and that wonderful (but monolithic 80-200mm). Time to move on.

Ron Nabity said...

Looking forward to your next novel - I finally wrote a review on Amazon for Lisbon Portfolio.

Mike Mundy said...

Would be interesting to contrast the D610 walking-around experience with the EM5 walking-around experience.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the work on the blog. I always enjoy reading and learning from your work. I'm halfway through your novel and enjoying that as well.

ajcarr said...


You own DxO Optics Pro. Open a D610 file, download the appropriate lens module, and Bingo! distortion, CA, vignetting, and even (to some extent) corner softness, are taken care of.