Monday, April 18, 2011

A Weekend with D700

Admit it. You want one of the newer full-frame DSLRs, or you bought one.  It's inevitable that projection plane imaging onto electronically-read surfaces will continue to challenge chemically processed projection plane imaging, for the next decade, at least.  Eventually, surface array imaging and life experience recorders will merge (with their own controversies and social impacts) and put the SX-70 and a DSLR into the same slot with Daguerre's camera, where they probably belong.

"Daddy, why can't I see the picture now?"

Apocryphal or not, the truth of this story continues to be played out as better imaging and display technologies are brought into being. Photography has a fairly short history of only a couple hundred years, so extending out a millennium or so, we can expect that quaint ideas like film, megapixels, and even eye-like lenses to eventually be overtaken by things far more powerful.

Meanwhile, artists, technophiles and others charged with the paying duties of recording weddings, products and news will turn to whatever is the surest, fastest and most reliable, within the confines of quality set by predecessors. Check out any 25 year old Popular Photography magazine and you can see how poor some things we thought were OK seem today.

In that perspective, I offer you this image of the pretzel-lensed Nikon D700 with its 12 quaint megapixels, a paradigm of 2011 photography, with a nod to the past in the form of the much overused and cliche tilt-shift lens attached thereto. Photoshop does a perfectly good job of perspective correction or selective blurring, so who needs this Hartblei 45mm Superrotator noodle? Who indeed? Perhaps this tool for artistic expression, loaded with all its chimerical, almost steampunk componentry, (sans leather and goggles, but you can add them) will be obsolete sooner than we expect. Or maybe it will evolve into something even better, bypassing hilarious NEF raw files, JPEGS and allowing us to see in some new way, maybe even in the mind's eye.

This is a rental from EP Levine, a good place to go and check out equipment in Waltham, MA. Their staff, selection and rentals, and this D700, are excellent.


Anonymous said...

I didn't think NEF was so hilarious.

Bob Crowley said...

The IMAGE of this D700 was shot with a little Fuji JV100. The image quality of the JV100 in a close up shot of the Nikon D700 is better than the D700 does by a good margin. For $100 you can buy a DIGI that is perfectly good enough for products shots and other internet images. Click on the image and zoom in. The D700 24mm f1.4 lens was a disappointment. The near field bokeh is wormy and the overall look was not anywhere as nice as any f2 lens on a cheap 35mm camera. I look forward to the next D700 iteration since I really do want a full frame DSLR and liked the extreme low light performance of this one, which is truly amazing, and excellent. But not for $4000 lens and camera together.

I was really ready to admit that digis had reached film, but such is not the case here, not even close. Back to the JV100, which does movies too, and fairly good ones. Two of the JV100s fit into one SX70 film box.

Anonymous said...

This is insane! The exif data says this is less than a 200 KB file???!!! Does this disprove megapixels forever?