Monday, January 26, 2009

what to think of this

Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
I took it very deliberately. Did a fine job processing it if I say so myself. Stuck in on flickr and it hardly attracts any attention. Is it boring or soothing? I'm not sure yet.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

went for a walk in the forest

for a walk in the forest
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
This morning and suddenly I noticed this. Took a quick snapshot and this is what I got. A second or two later the situations had totally changed.

I did push the contrast a bit.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

About yesterday's post....

Turns out it's a rather controversial post. OK, first of all, I did not take these shots. Secondly, it's unscientific, it's just two frames taken a few minutes after eachother. There's a difference in lighting and it's tricky light to begin with. Now that doesn't bother me, I know the average dutch livingroom is tricky to shoot.

I've also had a number of reactions in this thread on dpreview. A substantial number of those were predictable. But there were also a number of constructive reactions. Seems that the guy who shot these two frames may have made an error or two when shooting.

What it all comes down to... D300 is an awesome camera but it's not perfect and it's weaknesses are different enough from the D50 that it will take me quite some time to adjust.

I'm planning to get together with at least one D300 owner and do some more testing. I want to see if we can do some more comparative shots and I want to see if someone with a load of D50 experience can make that D300 shine in the first 50 shots.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Comparing the Nikon D50 and D300 in an unscientific way

I've bought a Nikon D50 in the summer of 2006. Excellent camera back then, I've shot about 24000 pictures with it, had loads of fun and have learned an awful lot more about photography. But, just like anyone who reads the major photo sites, I now and then had the urge to replace that simple D50 by something better. The first camera that really appealed to me was the Nikon D300. It feels great when you pick it up and has features that are really tempting. Things like 51 AF points, AF tracking, metering with Ai lenses, CLS commander and a dedicated button for metering to name a few.

An acquaintance who owns both the Nikon D50 and D300 was kind enough to shoot the same image with his 17-50 2.8 on both cameras. Shots were is01600, A-mode, f8, 1/5 on the D300, 1/2 on the D50. Light came from two compact fluorescent lamps and the window.

All pictures are stored on Flickr with full exif. Click on any to see the full sized version.

Here's the original, just converted to jpg:

D50 iso1600


D300 iso1600

Hmm... Immediately you notice the difference in dynamic range but also a weird color cast on the D300.
Let's get both in Capture Nx, I'm running 2.0.

First an Auto Whitebalance:


D50 iso1600_awb


D300 iso1600_awb

Let's see what happens if we brighten the images a bit. I'm applying +1 EV to both.


D50 iso1600_awb_1ev


D300 iso1600_awb_1ev

There is still a lot more detail visible trough the window on the D300 shot. In the D50 it's mostly blown.

OK, on with the D300 shot. Picture Control wasn't set to neutral yet, now it is.

D300 iso1600_awb_1ev_picctrl_neutral

And now let's disable active d-lighting:

D300 iso1600_awb_1ev_picctrl_neutral_active_dlight_off

Finally, for the pixel peepers a crop. To be honest, I didn't expect this level of noise.


D50 iso1600_awb_1ev_crop


D300 iso1600_awb_1ev_picctrl_neutral_active_dlight_off_crop

I don't know, perhaps the test setup was wrong. I do like what I can do with the D300's raw files. There's loads of room there and at +1EV the D300 clearly retains a lot of dynamic range. That color cast I can't seem to get rid of bothers me. There's, obviously more room to crop and a load of dynamic range to play with. Looking at there's lots of people out there shooting beautiful pictures with this impressive camera.

But why this color cast???

If anyone has any ideas, I'd apprieciate some feedback. I still find the D300 a desireable camera but, based on this, I am a bit disappointed in the image quality.

In case anyone wants to play with them, here are the NEF files:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

abstract attempt

Or seeing what the Fred Miranda B&W plugin does to an image. I'm sure it's not to everyone's taste. I'm not sure if I will still like it next week but I've tried.

I do like that you can barely see the trees on the horizon. I couldn't when I took the shot but they did appear when I processed the RAW.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
For the first time in 13 years enough ice to skate on!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Gotta love ebay!

Well, sometimes at least. I was looking for some Pratchett books. My collection of hardbacks was 3 issues behind. In a dutch bookshop a single book can easily set you back 30 euros. Even at you're lucky to pay 20 euro for one. Via ebay and thanks to the current pound-euro rate I got Thud, making money and wintersmith for only 33 euros including delivery. And all of them with Paul Kidby's excellent artwork.