Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nikon Center, Times Square

Once upon a time, a camera enthusiast was wondering around in Kuala Lumpur city not knowing what to do. Street shots were okay, but he needed something more.. inspiring. Hence he remembered that one of his friends in Melbourne told him about the Nikon Center in Berjaya Times Square, and off he went.

Well obviously, it wouldn't take you long to guess who was that poor soul. The center which is "at the heart of the image" is obviously intending to spread Nikon propaganda to the rest of Kuala Lumpur (and Malaysia as a whole), and there were heaps of people flocking to that venue. It has a pleasant double storey atrium and lots of camera displays to satisfy enthusiasts and pixel peepers alike.

I walked over to the booth and kindly asked for a D700 and a Nikon 24-70/2.8. The 24-70 is a fantastic piece of equipment when attached to the semi pro D700 body, and at ISO 4000 offers an equivalent of ISO 400 on my Olympus E-3 in terms of noise.

At its widest (24mm), barrel distortion is very well controlled, hence the 24-70 offers great flexibility for a professional assignments.

It doesn't fare very well in the macro category (with a max. magnification of 1:3.7), but its good enough for most general uses.

The amount of detail that this lens resolves is pretty amazing even at its longest focal length.

I also tried out a Nikon 70-200/2.8 VR 2 lens and its supposedly legendary 4 stop Vibration Reduction capabilities. And it works! This image was taken at 200mm at 1/15 sec. Ok, its not tack sharp, but pretty impressive for a kit that doesn't require a monopod for handheld, low light shots.

The D700's metering system by default is half a stop darker than I'd prefer it to be, but the NEF files are very responsive to any post processing. I still prefer Olympus skin tones though ;)

With a large aperture lens on a full frame sensor, it is very easy to have shallow depth of field, especially at longer focal lengths. Very useful for a tight head shot or a 'semi-macro' shot.

Utilising such a high ISO with a shallow DOF, high shutter speeds are  possible (eg. 1/320 sec for this example), hence minimising the risk of image blur.

One of Joe Mc Nally's favorite lenses - the 14-24. It offers stunning sharpness at all focal lengths from f2.8 to f8.

The visible barrel distortion is easily correctable utilising today's post processing software.

I also had the opportunity to try out Nikon's newest flagship: the D3s. Offering superior high ISO capabilities in a solid weathersealed body, it's a magic piece of equipment (especially when paired with a 400/2.8).

It has stunning detail at ISO 6400. Every single hair detail is easily discernible.

At such long focal lengths, the available depth of field is really shallow wide open - its only a few mm across.

The Nikon center has truly been an eye opener, although I would prefer the availability of some [pretty] models and CLS equipment to the general public :)



@lv1nX said...

holy crap on the 400/2.8 . That is huge:O

p.f. said...

Impressive, both to the Nikon marketing and the IQ, but I still easily prefer those photos taken by your Olympus gears. Could it be your post processing approach that makes the different? ;)

brandon said...

thanks jong,

off the shelf, olympus still has the best colours straight out of camera, but the Nikon NEF files still need a bit of colour tweaking to get the best results. cheers.


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