More Results E v nonE

We left off with me being pretty satisfied that the D800E is a little sharper than the D800. Little is subjective. I think the larger the print, and I mean really really large, the benefits of the E become more apparent and useful. If your a pro shooter and your images are on billboards the E is the only way to go! Or if you like to crop the * out of your images…

Let’s move on to my next big question: How often will moire’ crop up in my typical shoot? As you know I’m a wildlife photographer and for me wildlife includes everything in nature, but mostly things that go bump in the night (and day). I love to shoot landscapes, abstracts, and macro, too, and I love to make huge prints. So will the E or the nonE be the best choice for what I do?

These tests and images were done with the E unless otherwise stated.
Initially I was having a hard time finding the usual suspects, eh, subjects. Birds are a little scarce in the high Sierras right now and the ones that are flittering around are not very cooperative. As I was doing my sharpness test a robin appeared not too far away but in the shade. Okay, I shoot in the shade, let’s have a go at it. Here’s the original shot:

A little dark but I took a look at it in LR4 anyway. I zoomed in and thought I saw moire’ in the gray feathers! So I tweaked a little and I did, I did see moire’. To make it obvious I increased the vibrance so you can see it too:
Exposure  +.45 and opened shadows a touch.
On the following image I increased Vibrance a lot so you can more easily see the moire’
Okay, now I’m a little nervous. I didn’t expect this. I have been reading a lot on the web how moire’ usually only occurs if there are grid type lines like you’d see in machine woven cloth or window screens. Feathers have been a controversy. Will moire’ show up in feathers? How often? How intense?
Okay Jim, slow down, this is only one bird, and it’s a robin. Nothing against robins mind you, they’re just not in my viewfinder that often. I like large birds like geese, ducks, swans, egrets, herons, and birds of prey like Eagles! of course, Eagles! What’s going to happen with Eagles? I don’t know. But I do know what happens with this goose:

Whew! Not much, this goose looks good. No sign of moire’. I made a few images but not enough and with not enough variety of birds to be conclusive, I will keep shooting. I’m also thinking that the shade may have something to do with it. Is moire’ more evident in shadow areas? Will bright sun reduce the chance of moire’ in bird feathers? Will I have to shoot all my birds in bright sun? or will I opt for the D800? Stay tuned…

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Stephen Schafer

    Jim, I know it’s a lot to ask, but my D800E files look marginal coming out of lightroom. But When I downloaded the trial of NX2 and updated to 2.3.1 for the D800 all of a sudden the images were very good. Side by side my LR4 images don’t have the snap and the CA is bad. (of course I shoot wide angle). I’d be interested to know if your images improve with the Nikon Software even though it’s a serious workflow pain.

    Stephen Schafer,

  2. Jim Stamates

    Steve, you got me going. I had the NX2 downloaded and ready to try out but was putting it off. It blew me away. Had to do some side by side comps and adjusted LR to try to match. But out of the can NX2 images are much much better. Skin tones better, too. It appears that LR4 most of the E pics are dark. When I open in NX2 they are lighter, brighter.

    I’m puzzled. I don’t want to switch. NX2 also takes longer to process changes on my Mac. I need to upgrade that, too. Will it ever end?

  3. Stephen Schafer

    I just took 23 images and found no moiré but a ton of CA. I was able to go into the LR Lens Calibration profile for my lens (20mm 2.8 AF-D) and then the CA went away and the distortion was corrected and the images looked more like the CNX2 files. And they were readable in LR. So I’m in the same boat as you , CNX2 seems to be a nice tool, but I want to use LR4. I wrote a blog about it tonight, and have my feelers out on forums, some good ideas but no great workaround yet.

    -Stephen Schafer,

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