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    Technical Guide

    Technical Guide

  • 7/31/2019 D800 Technical Guide En




    This Technical Guide details the principal techniques used

    to create two o the more technically advanced photographs

    in the D800/D800E catalog. Enjoy this opportunity to admire

    the skills o proessional photographers who have masteredthe D800/D800E.

    While its high pixel count o 36 megapixels gives the D800/

    D800E resolution unrivalled by previous digital SLR cameras,

    a side efect is that bokeh and blur are made that much more

    obvious. Realizing the ull potential o a camera with over

    30 million pixels involves a thorough appreciation o bokeh

    and blur, careul selection o settings and o tools (such as

    lenses and tripods), and working with the best possible sub-jects.

    Table of Contents

    Introduction ii

    Shooting Techniques 1

    Static Subjects ...........................................................................1

    Lesson 1: Use a Tripod .................................................................. 2

    Lesson 2: Use Live View ............................................................... 3

    Lesson 3: Dont Stop Aperture Down Too Far ...................... 5

    Same Shot, No Live View ............................................................. 6

    Portrait Subjects........................................................................7

    Lesson 1: Choose the Right Focus Settings .......................... 8

    Lesson 2: Choose the Right Exposure Settings ................... 9

    Learning rom Failure: Same Shot, Diferent Focus .........10

    Quick Tips 11

    1. High ISO Sensitivity ........................... .............................. .. 11

    2. Auto ISO Sensitivity Control ........................... ................. 12

    3. Improving Optical Performance .......................... ........... 13

    4. Backlit Portraits .......................... ............................. ........... 14

    The D800E 15

    1. High Resolution Images with the D800E....................... 15

    2. Adjusting Aperture for Visually Complex Subjects ..... 16

    3. Color Artifacts and Moir ........................... ...................... 17

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    Shooting Techniques

    Static SubjectsKeeping Blur to a Minimum

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    Shooting Techniques Static Subjects

    At the high resolutions ofered by the D800/D800E, even the

    slightest camera motion can result in blur. The technique re-

    vealed in this section minimizes blur through a combination

    o live view photography and a tripod.

    Technical Data

    Lens: AF-S NIKKOR 424 mm /2.8G ED Exposure mode:Manual Shutter speed: s Aperture: /8 White balance:

    Choose color temp. ( K) ISO sensitivity: Picture con-

    trol: Standard

    Note: This photo was shot in 4-bit NEF (RAW) and processed

    using Capture NX 2.

    Photo Benjamin Anthony Monn

    Lesson 1: Use a Tripod

    Use a tripod to reduce blur when

    photographing static subjects. It

    should be as sturdy as possible;

    avoid extending the legs or center

    column arther than necessary. A

    large head helps keep the camera


    Tripod Mode

    Some lenses such as the AF-S

    NIKKOR 24 mm /4G ED

    VR II ofer vibration reduction

    with a TRIPOD option that is par-

    ticularly efective in reducing blurat shutter speeds o 15 s and is

    generally recommended when

    the camera is mounted on a tri-

    pod. NORMAL is however preerred

    i the tripod head is not xed or

    you are using a monopod.

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    Shooting Techniques Static Subjects

    Why Use Live View?

    1. The mirror is raised prior to shooting, reducing blur.

    At the high resolutions ofered by the D800/D800E, even the

    slap o the mirror can sometimes be enough to blur photo-

    graphs. In live view, the mirror is raised well beore the shutter

    is released, helping keep blur to a minimum.

    Lesson 2: Use Live View

    Live view can be used to improve ocus and prevent blur.

    Live View Photography

    Rotate the live view selector toC and pressa to raise the

    mirror and display the view through the lens in the monitor.

    Live view selector a button

    Reducing Blur During Viewfnder Photography

    I you have trouble seeing the display in the monitor out-

    doors or in bright ambient light you can use mirror-up

    mode to reduce blur while raming photographs in the

    viewnder. Press the release mode dial lock release and ro-

    tate the release mode dial to MUP.

    Ater ocusing press the shutter-release button all the way

    down once to raise the mirror and again to release the shut-ter. An optional remote cord can be used to prevent the

    camera moving when you press the shutter-release button

    or you can select an option other than Ofor Custom Set-

    ting d4 (Exposure delay mode) to delay shutter release un-

    til about 3 s ater the button is pressed. Use o a tripod is


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    Shooting Techniques Static Subjects

    Why Use Live View?

    2. You can focus anywhere in the frame.

    In live view, you can use the multi selector to

    position the ocus point anywhere in the rame,

    regardless o the options selected or AF/MF and


    The ability to position the ocus point anywhere in the moni-

    tors angle o view greatly increases the range o locations on

    which the camera can ocus.

    In autoocus mode, you can ocus on the subject in the select-

    ed ocus point by pressing the shutter-release button halway

    or pressing theBbutton. In manual ocus mode, ocus can

    be adjusted by rotating the lens ocus ring.

    Why Use Live View?

    3. You can zoom in for precise focus.

    Press theX button to magniy the

    view in the monitor by up to 23

    or precise ocus during live view.

    You will nd this particularly e-ective with manual ocus.

    X button

    A navigation window will appear

    in a gray rame at the bottom o

    the display. Use the multi selector

    to scroll to areas o the rame notvisible in the monitor.

    Navigation window

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    Shooting Techniques Static Subjects

    Lesson 3: Dont Stop Aperture Down Too Far

    Stopping down aperture in manual (h) and aperture-priority

    auto (g) exposure modes increases depth o eld, bringing

    both background and oreground into ocus. Stop aperture

    down too ar, however, and difraction will cause the image to

    actually lose denition. Optimal aperturethe aperture that

    produces the greatest depth o eld with no loss o sharp-

    nessvaries rom lens to lens. In the case o the AF-S NIKKOR

    1424 mm /2.8G ED lens used in this example, an aperture /8

    will produce the sharpest image.


    Amount o detail visible in

    window leads and rieze is

    less than at /


    Suggested Settings

    White balance > Choose color temp.:

    White balance can be adjusted in

    steps as small as K. To adjust

    white balance on the amber (A)

    blue (B) axis hold theU buttonand press 4 or 2 to highlight a

    digit and1 or3 to change.

    Framing guide: Using the R but-

    ton you can display a raming

    guide that helps compose pho-

    tographs during live view.

    Virtual horizon: Alternatively the

    R button can be used to display

    pitch and roll indicators to help

    you keep the camera level during

    live view.

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    Shooting Techniques Static Subjects

    Same Shot, No Live View

    Live view photography was not used in creating the second

    example below; consequently, the mirror was not raised until

    the photo was taken and the results are blurred.

    With live


    Without live


    Edges o books

    and other details

    are blurred

    Camera Control Pro 2

    Optional Camera Control Pro 2 sotware can be used to

    access most camera unctions rom a computer. To use

    Camera Control Pro 2 start the computer and connect the

    camera using the supplied USB cable as shown below.

    Camera Control Pro 2 supportslive view; when used to zoom in

    on the view through the lens in

    the monitor it shows more de-

    tail than can be displayed in the

    camera monitor.

    Photographs are saved directly to

    the computer where they can be

    inspected and retouched usingoptional Capture NX 2 sotware.

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    Shooting Techniques

    Portrait SubjectsFocusing on a Selected Point

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    Shooting Techniques Portrait Subjects

    Use this method or sharp ocus on selected points when

    raming portraits in the viewnder.

    Technical Data

    Lens: AF-S NIKKOR 7-2 mm /2.8G ED VR II Exposure mode:

    Manual Shutter speed: 00 s Aperture: /4. White balance:

    Auto 2 ISO sensitivity: 64 Picture control: Portrait

    Note: This photo was shot in 4-bit NEF (RAW) and processed

    using Capture NX 2.

    Photo Clif Mautner

    Lesson 1: Choose the Right Focus Settings

    Portrait subjects are mobile and more easily photographed

    without a tripod, but generally remain in one spot long

    enough or single-point, single-servo autoocus. This photo

    shoot shows that a portrait photographer must be able to

    reliably ocus on a selected point; hence the choice o single-

    point AF, which unlike auto-area and dynamic-area AF, en-

    sures that the camera always ocuses on a point selected by

    the photographer.

    To choose an autoocus mode,

    press the AF-mode button

    and rotate the main command


    AF-mode button

    To choose an AF-area mode,

    press the AF-mode button and

    rotate the sub-command dial.

    AF-mode button

    Vibration Reduction (VR)

    We recommend using VR lenseswith the vibration reduction

    switch in the ON position. Vi-

    bration reduction takes efect

    when the shutter-release but-

    ton is pressed halway reducing

    the efects o camera shake on

    the image in the viewnder and

    making it easier to rame pictures

    and ocus.

    I the lens has a vibration mode switch choose NORMAL or

    hand-held photography or when using a monopod. Vibration

    reduction should generally be turned of when the camera

    is on a tripod (exceptions can be made or the AF-S NIKKOR

    2 mm /2G ED VR II and other lenses with a TRIPOD option).


    Even slight changes to composition may result in the cam-

    era ocusing on something other than your intended target.

    Choose the ocus point ater composing the photograph.

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    Shooting Techniques Portrait Subjects

    Lesson 2: Choose the Right Exposure Settings


    Choose a wide aperture for a softer feel.

    Set aperture to /4 or so to capture acial contours.

    Enough depth o feld or the lips and the corners o the

    eyes, but ocus gets soter rom the earrings back.

    Shutter Speed

    Choose a speed a bit faster than the limit for camera blur.

    The superior resolution o the D800/D800E makes small

    amounts o ocus blur more obvious. Select a shutter speed

    slightly aster than you would choose when photographing

    the same subject with other cameras.

    A ast shutter speed has captured details o thelace veil and brought out individual eyelashes.

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    Shooting Techniques Portrait Subjects

    Light Level and ISO Sensitivity

    Adjust lighting and ISO sensitivity appropriately.

    Ater choosing both shutter speed and aperture manually,

    you may need adjust lighting or ISO sensitivity.

    These photos use sot, nat-

    ural light instead o ash

    or studio lighting. Out-door lighting can be fne-

    tuned by repositioning the

    model or photographer

    (above), indoor lighting by

    raising or lowering blinds


    Learning rom Failure: Same Shot, Dierent Focus

    With the D800/D800E, you will notice that photos seem to have

    less depth o eld than pictures shot with other cameras under

    the same conditions, and that ocus consequently requires more

    attention. As can be seen rom the examples below, changing

    the ocus point even slightly can blur important details.



    Earring is in ocus,

    iris and eyelashes

    are blurred

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    Quick Tips

    1. High ISO Sensitivity

    The ollowing sections introduce useul techniques and

    camera options applicable to a variety o situations.

    The D800/D800E keeps noise to a minimum or high-resolu-tion results at even the highest ISO sensitivities.

    The High ISO NR option in the

    shooting menu reduces the ran-

    domly-spaced bright pixels, og,

    and lines characteristic o high-

    sensitivity noise, but may leave

    edges less sharp. You may nd

    that settings oOfor Low ofer agood balance between sharpness and noise even at high ISO

    sensitivities. I you shoot in NEF (RAW) ormat, you can change

    the setting later in Capture NX 2 (available separately).

    Select the Noise Reduction tool

    in the Capture NX 2 Develop sec-

    tion (NEF/RAW images) or Adjust

    menu (JPEG and TIFF images) and

    adjust Intensity and Sharpness toachieve the desired result.



    Detail views o a single subject

    shot at dierentHigh ISO NR

    settings. Higher values reduce

    the noise visible in the sky but

    also reduce edge sharpness in

    the main subject.



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    Auto ISO sensitivity control au-

    tomatically adjusts ISO sensitiv-

    ity i optimal exposure can not be

    achieved at the value selected bythe photographer. I Auto is se-

    lected or Minimum shutter speed, the camera will also ad-

    just the threshold or auto ISO sensitivity control according

    to the ocal length o the lens (CPU lenses only), a eature you

    will nd particularly convenient when using zoom lenses (see

    sample photos at right).

    To enable auto ISO sensitivity control, select On or ISO

    sensitivity settings > Auto ISO sensitivity control in theshooting menu.



    Choose the maximum value available or auto ISO sen-

    sitivity control (2Hi 2). The minimum is ISO .




    In exposure modes e and g sensitivity will only be

    adjusted i shutter speed would otherwise be slower

    than this value ( ,000 s or

    Auto). Highlight Auto and

    press2 to choose whetherthe camera gives priority

    to shutter speed (Slower)

    or ISO sensitivity (Faster)

    when Auto is selected.

    Quick Tips

    2. Auto ISO Sensitivity Control

    Focal length: 24 mm

    Shutter speed: 5 s

    ISO sensitivity: 9

    Focal length: mm

    Shutter speed: 150 s

    ISO sensitivity: 2

    Focal length: 7 mm

    Shutter speed: 180 s

    ISO sensitivity: 4

    Focal length: mm

    Shutter speed: 100 s

    ISO sensitivity: 64


    Auto ISO sensitivity control can be

    turned on or of by pressing the

    S button and rotating the sub-

    command dial.

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    Quick Tips

    3. Improving Optical Perormance

    Stopping aperture down increases depth o eld, making the

    oreground and background sharper. Stop aperture down

    too ar, however, and difraction will actually cause the image

    to lose denition. The efects o difraction are partly inu-enced by the size o the pixels in the camera image sensor,

    but with the D800/D800Es high resolution the efects gen-

    erally become noticeable around /11. When you need more

    depth o eld, dont just immediately stop the lens all the way

    down; instead, look or the aperture that ofers the best bal-

    ance between sharpness and depth o eld. In the examples

    on this page, you can see the grid lose denition as aperture

    is stopped down past /11.

    / /

    /6 /22

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    Quick Tips

    4. Backlit Portraits

    With its 91K (about 91,000) pixel RGB sensor, the D800/D800Eofers improved ace detection. Used with the viewnder in

    modes other than h, it can balance exposure between portrait

    subjects and the background even when the subject is backlit.


    Using ace detec-

    tion, the camerameters the

    subjects ace or

    optimal exposure

    Earlier cameras:

    The subject is

    underexposed; ex-

    posure compen-

    sation required

    Flash Photography

    The D8/D8E also automatically optimizes ash output

    or portrait subjects.


    Flash output

    is adjusted

    according to

    the brightness

    o the subjects

    ace, producing

    optimal results

    even with brightbackgrounds

    Earlier cameras:

    Flash output

    is adjusted

    according to

    the brightness

    o the back-ground, and the

    portrait subjects

    are underex-


    h D

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    The D800E

    1. High Resolution Images with the D800E

    The D800E is a good choice when you need high-resolution

    photos o visually complex subjects.

    Case 1: A Subject in Traditional Dress

    Preserve ne patterns in your subjects hair and clothing.

    Case 2: A Japanese Garden

    Capture tiles and other ne details in high resolution.

    Case 3: LeavesCapture individual leaves in crisp detail.

    Improving Resolution

    Resolution can be improved by disabling high ISO noise re-

    duction (page ) particularly at low ISO sensitivities.


    When recording movies the D8E ofers similar resolution

    to the D8. Choose the camera that best suits your style.

    Th D800E

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    The D800E

    2. Adjusting Aperture or Visually Complex Subjects

    With cameras like the D800E, which are suited to visually

    complex subjects, it is important to get as much sharpness

    rom the lens as possible. Contrast at the periphery o the im-

    age can generally be increased by choosing an aperture twoor three stops rom the maximum, although results will vary

    rom lens to lens. Below are some o the lenses you can use

    or enhanced sharpness:

    AF-S NIKKOR 1424 mm /2.8G ED

    AF-S NIKKOR 2470 mm /2.8G ED

    AF-S NIKKOR 70200 mm /2.8G ED VR II

    AF-S NIKKOR 1635 mm /4G ED VR

    AF-S NIKKOR 24120 mm /4G ED VR

    AF-S NIKKOR 200400 mm /4G ED VR IIAF-S NIKKOR 24 mm /1.4G ED

    AF-S NIKKOR 35 mm /1.4G

    AF-S NIKKOR 85 mm /1.4G

    AF-S NIKKOR 200 mm /2G ED VR II

    AF-S NIKKOR 300 mm /2.8G ED VR II

    AF-S NIKKOR 400 mm /2.8G ED VR

    AF-S NIKKOR 500 mm /4G ED VR

    AF-S NIKKOR 600 mm /4G ED VR

    AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60 mm /2.8G ED

    AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105 mm /2.8G IF-ED

    The D800E ofers better resolution at apertures where di-

    raction (page 13) is not an issue. The efects o aperture may

    thereore be more noticeable than with the D800, and care

    may be required to avoid loss o denition due to difraction.

    / /22

    Note: These pictures were taken with the D8.

    Th D800E

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    The D800E

    3. Color Artiacts and Moir

    Color artiacts and moir are less requent at the high resolu-

    tions supported by the D800/D800E, but when they do occur,

    they tend to be more noticeable in photos taken with D800E.

    Artiacts and moir are not visible in the camera monitor butcan be viewed by copying photos to a computer and viewing

    them at 100% zoom.

    The photo on the let was taken with the DE, that on the

    right with the D. Color artiacts are visible in the sash.

    Moir can be reduced using

    Capture NX 2. For NEF (RAW) im-

    ages, zoom in to 100% and select

    Color Moir Reduction.

    O High

    Using Diraction to Combat Color Artiacts and Moir

    Although stopping aperture

    down makes the efects o

    difraction (page 36) morevisible it may also help to re-

    duce color artiacts and moir.

    Adjust aperture according to

    whether your priority is sharp-

    ness or suppressing moir.

    f/5.6 /

    f/11 f/16

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