Nikon D200 launch, pix request

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by David Kilpatrick, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. I have put a small ramble about the UK Nikon D200 launch (Marrakesh,
    Tuesday) on the f2photo.co.uk forums Nikon user section.

    In short, the camera is impressive but we were not able to tell how
    impressive; no pictures permitted to be taken, no files provided, no
    images projected, no repro quality material supplied on CD given out
    (just a copy of the three brief Powerpoint presentations). Nikon staff
    apologetic and obviously working under a constraint from Japan which
    they did not expect; the purpose of taking the UK photo press and
    dealers to Marrakesh was presumably to ensure some really good light and
    subject matter, better test file images than dull November in Britain.

    There is a new super-VR (4X claimed instead of 3X) 18-200mm DX lens
    which seems pretty neat, and a modular multi head SB200 flash system
    with commander (also commands SB800s) which is a killer product. You can
    mount up to eight of these small GN10 'radio slave' modules on a ring
    and they weigh so little an AF lens filter rim can support them. The
    result is a kind of big ringflash with full i-TTL and individual tube
    power control. Or you can use one flash, or two, three, four etc on the
    lens front ring, and control the position (just slide it round) and
    power of each one from the shoe-mounted controller. No cables to the
    flash heads, no restrictions on movement.

    Apart from fashion with a full (probably £1500!) 8-flash rig, there are
    uses for macro, medical, forensic (several police dept photo heads were
    invited to this launch for very good reasons - Nikon is very much the
    standard system for UK police). Inventive users will be able to get
    these tiny heads into products, mount them on bars for strip lights,
    create mini still life sets for table top scoop work.

    Talking to some of the pro photographers and others, the SB800 system is
    something I need to cover in f2 magazine, in the context of 'channel
    immunity' of remote flashes to punter flash-firing at weddings or other
    professionals at photocalls. Anyone out there doing exciting work with
    multiple SB800s, possible article/picture set use in f2 magazine, email
    me with thumbnails.

    And of course, I am anxious to obtain top quality full size RAW D200
    sample image/s before December 1st. We did this for the Canon EOS 5D and
    were able to run double-page spread and full size to 300dpi repros with
    pull-out enlarged details in two of our magazines, thanks to Stuart Dee
    in Vancouver (excellent 5D user review, in full, for our Master Photo
    Digital title) and Jack Cox on the Costa del Sol (couple of good,
    detailed, sunny full framers sent as raw and JPEG to enable some
    assessment at my end in the absence of a physical camera). I am sure
    somewhere in the world, a D200 is being used and escaping Nikon's
    interdict that no files from the 'pre production' samples are to fall
    into the hands of evil photopress operatives like me...

    David Kilpatrick
    f2photo.co.uk
     
    David Kilpatrick, Nov 4, 2005
    #1
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  2. On the forum you wrote:
    "Nikon, getting back to my slightly critical vein, didn't provide
    "any UV filters with their incredibly expensive range of lenses
    "(mostly the very top end pro stuff) and table full of D2X bodies
    "- or any polarizers, which in the Atlas mountain sunshine are almost
    "an essential. This was their loss, as most of the lenses got a
    "liberal coating of the red earth dust. It did not feel right to me
    "to be using such valuable kit in a way which I would not do if I
    "owned it myself; the first thing I would do would be to fit a UV
    "filter. Nikon are not alone in omitting this. I have used countless
    "of loan lenses, and remember when Canon did off-road driving through
    "mud and water splashes as a press event, and made the same omission
    "- no UV filters... you simply never get them supplied with test-review
    "loan samples.

    Well, I don't how it works with modern lenses, but my most expensive lens,
    a 300/2.8, doesn't take any filters to protect the lens. My 16 fisheye,
    and my 500 mirror also don't have front mounted filters.

    (Hmm, how do you put a polarizer on a 300/2.8 or a 200/2? A front mounted
    circular polarizer sounds like a very expensive option.)
     
    Philip Homburg, Nov 4, 2005
    #2
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  3. True enough, some of the very large lenses would be impractical to fit
    with a filter, and some w/as even not fisheye for digital DX/etc formats
    have bulging front glass and won't accept a filter. Many of the lenses
    (most) were not in that class, and could have had filters; I didn't
    check but I assume many of the large apo teles have a plain glass/UV
    front element protection built in, and inexpensively replaceable. Old
    300mm f2.8s very often didn't have anything at all, and some had very
    soft glass. New 300mm f2.8s do, I think, come with a filter-type front
    glass.

    I had to test a 10-20mm Sigma wide which I brought along myself, which
    does take 77mm filters (and I have no 77mm filter to spare). I didn't
    use this lens at all in off-road conditions, only round the hotel and
    Marrakesh town.

    One of my own reasons for buying an 11-18mm Tamron is that it will
    accept filters - again, 77mm - and I'm making minimal and careful use of
    it until I can find a good, multicoated 77mm slimline w/a filter I can
    afford. A polarizer would be great with this as well, and again, far
    from low cost.

    All the kit which companies like Nikon use on these press trips is
    subsequently sold, after full servicing and cleaning, to dealers as
    B-Stock and should appear at low prices as ex-demo or B-stock labelled.
    So look out for some Nikon kit appearing on the UK market after their
    exhibitions and stuff are all over, probably early next year.

    David
     
    David Kilpatrick, Nov 4, 2005
    #3
  4. I don't know about cheap consumer zooms, but I expect professional Nikkors
    to work without protective items.

    Some of my Nikon lenses and cameras have show a lot of wear but work fine.

    If such a B-stock item has minor scratches on the barrel and no scratches
    on front or rear glass elements then there is no reason to assume that it
    is not going to work.
     
    Philip Homburg, Nov 4, 2005
    #4
  5. The lenses will, I am sure, work without 'protective items' but glass is
    glass. A filter or protective glass is really a pretty low cost
    insurance against thousands in repair bills. I'm fairly surprised you
    would class a UV/glass cover as something undesirable or not really needed.

    It will require very careful cleaning for all the items we used on the
    Atlas mountains trek. The cameras were thick with red sandstone dust,
    and that included the front of the 18-70mm I was using. Blowing didn't
    remove all of it; I had a cloth, but wiping this stuff off would be
    instant destruction for the lens - like sandpapering the front glass. I
    had to put up with the thin layer clinging on after blowing off loose
    dust, and just avoid any into the light shots. That, or ruin a new Nikon
    lens.

    We gave some Berber kids cans of coke and stuff, they were all bright
    enough to know that opening these straight out of the jeep coolbox
    results in a fountain of wasted pop, so they hung on to them, waiting
    for the effects of the journey to die down. One little girl dropped her
    can and it burst spraying Seven-up. That's the time when you really want
    a £100 filter on the front of your £5000 big glass, not an interesting
    mix of sugar, water and road dirt.

    I don't think Nikon would sell an optically damaged lens as B-stock.

    David
     
    David Kilpatrick, Nov 4, 2005
    #5
  6. UV filters do have to potential to degrade the image quality. I recently
    scanned some night shots that are particularly bad. Because the filter is
    completely parallel to the film/sensor plane, it has the potential to
    do all kinds of damage to the image.
    I am quite sure that I would use UV filters in those circumstances.
    However, it was Nikon's decision to supply lenses with filters, so they will
    probably deal with unavoidable damage.

    Maybe it was just a test to see how strong their current coatings are.
    My guess is that it not the sugar, water, dirt mixture that does the damage,
    but the way you clean it.

    Anyhow, a small number of damaged lenses may not be a big deal compared to
    flying in lots of journalists.

    (If the big lenses have protected filters before the first ED element then
    servicing the lens doesn't have to be very expensive either).
     
    Philip Homburg, Nov 4, 2005
    #6
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