Thursday, October 30, 2008

Totting My Nikon D700 Around

Okay, reporting time on my newly acquired Nikon D700. A Nikon full frame DSLR which costed me almost an arm and a leg; together with an accompanying Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 Nanocoat zoom lens. Nanocoat... uh... whatever.

Anyway, I was testing out the high ISO noise level of the D700, and I am pleased to announce that boy it was great! Simply put it this way, if my acceptance level in terms of noisy images from the previous D300 could be up to that of ISO1600... this baby can make me wet even at ISO6400! Yerp! I can accept the noise level from D700 which is shot at ISO6400. Which means, shooting at ISO1600 is no longer a threat to me now. This is simply superb.

I took the DSLR down for dinner a couple of days ago, and subsequently went to a snooker center to play a game of pool with a friend. The ambience was rather dark and these nasty fluorescent lights which is made to illuminate the pool table doesnt help much either. I cranked up the ISO to 1600 and shoot with the 24-70mm f2.8 attached. So, here are some photos which was obtained and post produced with Photoshop CS2.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Big Leap

I've been meddling around with Nikon DX format DSLR for quite some time now. The very first Nikon which made it possible for me to switch sides from Canon's EOS series is the Nikon D300. It has been my workhorse for wedding photoshoots all these while and I must say that the migration from Canon EOS was a choice which I have yet to regret. The D3, which is Nikon's flagship pro series DSLR was introduced as Nikon's FX format system. It was introduced together with the D300 and both took the photography world by storm, by being able to produce significantly low noise at high ISO. This was made possible probably by the usage of new CMOS sensors plus some other funky tech stuff Nikon threw into them.

Now the famed performance of the D3's FX image was also packaged into a smaller form factor - Nikon D700. It houses the same CMOS sensor as the D3 and is powered by Nikon's EXSPEED processor, which gives it the power to perform supremely very well under low light condition. I've seen images from D700 which was shot at ISO6400, and I must say that the cleanliness of the noise generated simply just wowed me.

Given this choice (or more like given me no choice) to upgrade, the D700 comes at a pricetag of RM8,500. Best thing is, the whole DX range of lens which I already have must also be changed in order to fit the FX format of the D700. Basically, I have only 2 DX format lenses; one is the Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8 and the other is the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8. This upgrade comes at a time where I feel the requirement for low noise, high ISO images are something which I really crave for.

23rd Oct 2008 - KC kept on SMS me asking me the same question over and over again : "Jay, ON or not? D700 and also 24-70mm f2.8N?". Else it would be, "Only JOne has stock of the lens."

I took the big leap. Sold off my Nikon D300, Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8DX, TOKINA 11-16mm f2.8, and also a SB600 to fund for this FX leap of faith. Total cash gained from this was RM10,500. Not bad considering I made a loss from depreciation of approximately RM2,000. This amount was long recovered from ROI. How much did I need to cash out for the FX jump? Well, the D700 body costed me RM8,500 and the Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8N came at a price tag of RM5,200. I am surprised on how Malaysia could be pricing this lens at such lower price. Scouted on China and HK units and they all came around RM6.5k easily.

So after a quick chat with KC over the phone, and a SMS of "ok KC. ON. Buy it"... it was finally done. Total was RM13,700; and I decided to buy another SB800. All in all, the whole package was RM14,800. Total damage done to myself : RM4,300. Not bad considering a FX body now. :)

I will post up some first hand reviews later.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Photoshoot : Li Yu @ Longbridge Cafe

Tan and I manage to get together and organized a photoshoot a week or two ago. It was rather pretty much a last minute thing. We got hold of a local friend who wanted to have her own photos taken in a unique way. So, I had a quick solo brainstorm and came up with the location of a cafe setting as background.

Longbridge Cafe is a restaurant located just beneath my apartment. Its got these small VIP rooms which can be booked based on minimum spending. It costed us RMB800 for the largest room, and we can use it for the whole day (since we are kinda close with LB's boss, Tony due to our constant presence eating in there). So, its kinda like a pre-paid credit of RMB800 worth of food. Yeah, thats a lot of FOOD.

So after tucking into a couple sticks of BBQ lamb meat, some ice cream and so on so forth, I quickly setup the flashguns and also reflectors. The lights in the VIP room was dead yellow/orange due to the tungsten bulbs coming out from the chandaliers. So I had to gel my flashes. Anyway, here are some photos of Li Yu after a whole day of shooting :)