Saturday, September 8, 2012

My First D800 Shots

Hello everyone,
I haven't posted in a long time due to a more and more busy schedule at work and little free time available for photography.
I sold all of my Pentax gear to fund a D800 with a bunch of lenses.  The reason was two fold. First I was quite unhappy with my K5's autofocus performance.  It was very unreliable and I was tired of Pentax crappy QC and expensive lenses (for what you get).  Second, I've always wanted to have greater depth of field control.  Fullframe was the answer to this, so I shot two birds with one (expensive) stone.
So here it is.  These are among the first shots I took with my newly acquired D800. I will write a post describing the switch in more details later, but for now I can already say the D800 is a very impressive camera!
The Nikkor 50mm 1.8G has very impressive IQ given it costs 180chf and it delivers sharp images already straight from the max aperture! The amount of details captured by the sensor is truly amazing although to take advantage of it one has to use a good technique and good glass of course.  The AF is out of this world, especially after having been used to the poor reliability of Pentax AF.  I can fully use my 50mm wide-open and trust the AF.  Quite a game changer.
All shots below were taken with either a Nikkor 50mm 1.8G or a Nikkor AF 20mm 2.8.
Sunflower field with impressive sun beams:

Geneva's old town:

Close-up on a sunflower in order to test the 50mm bokeh (very good in my opinion):

La Vie en Rose - 50mm @ f/1.8:

Dramatic looking sun beams:

The next series are all shot at 6400 ISO. It was mostly to test the high ISO IQ of the D800. I'm really impressed. At the pixel level it's very similar to the Pentax K5 I used to have, but after downsizing it's quite a different ball game.

Geneva's fountain - 50mm @ 6400 iso:

My wife is always a good sport - 50mm @ f/1.8 and 6400 iso:

Bokeh test on the paddle boats (it was very dark) - 50mm @ f/1.8 and 6400 iso:

That's it for now! I hope you enjoyed these few shots until my next post - hopefully before 2013 ;)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Frozen Geneva

Back in mid February, like pretty much all over Europe, Geneva had been totally frozen, displaying an incredible sight.
Despite missing the first weekend when everything was even more frozen and spectacular, I had the light on my side: the sun decided to peek in just at the right moment :)

All captures shot with my K5 and DA 12-24 f/4 (an amazing lens!)


Peeking Out


Beauty and the Beast

My wife wanted a portrait with our bunny. Good thing she's a good sport (cannot say the same about our bunny which wasn't very cooperative!).
I used my old, but very sharp and trusty SMC F-50 f/1.7.

Egypt Wonders

Early March, I spent two weeks of vacation in El Gouna, Egypt with a very good friend of mine. The purpose of our visit was mostly for kite-surfing, but I took a few photographs when the wind condition was not that great (or when it was too windy for our somewhat large kites, doh!).
I have always found Egyptian architecture very beautiful and fascinating, with very smooth curves and amazing details as shown in some shots below.  Enjoy :)

500mm test shots

Somewhat recently, I acquired a Sigma 50-500 also simply called the "Bigma".  With a 10x zoom ratio, it's quite a unique lens as it offers an unmatched zoom range among all manufacturers.  One would expect such a zoom to offer pretty poor image quality.  However, I found it to be much much better than I had expected.  Actually, I find its IQ to be very descent even wide-open (f/6.3) at 500mm!  Quite an impressive performance considered the range.
Check out the samples below.  Except for the last one, they were all shot wide-open at 500mm on a Pentax K5.

Moon - heavily crop, around 70-80%

Local chit-chat

The obligatory flowers

Lovey dovey

Checking out the bokeh at 500mm

What were they looking at?

Beach @ Moods

Very descent bokeh

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Vespa Time!

Recently my wife bought a 125cc Vespa to replace her old underpowered 50cc scooter.  What's nicer than enjoying a Vespa ride in early spring when  cherry blossoms are blooming all around?

All dressed up and ready to ride!

Vroom vroom!

Vintage pose

She's like the wind

Closer inspection

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sea Wonders

Last December I went to Atlanta to visit very good friends. It was a very short trip, but we took the opportunity to check out the aquarium which is supposed to have one of the largest (if not the largest) tank in the United States.  A very impressive sight indeed!
Here are a few shots I took with my K5 and Sigma 17-70, mostly at f/2.8.

Are you looking at me?

This was the huge tank which featured
four whale sharks and many manta rays!

A jellyfish featuring very long tentacles

Another jellyfish with very
beautiful and intricate patterns