Advances in NEF processing

When I got the 85mm f/1.8G in 2013, I was disappointed that there was a lot of chromatic aberration. This was one of the first shots that I processed from the lens, and the results were less than desirable. I contacted Nikon about it, and they suggested sending the lens in for repair. That didn't happen as I was too lazy to ship it out. 

I recently tried a copy of CS6, and now the results look fine. I've even turned off the lens correction, but it still looks a lot better than what I got from CS6.

Capture NX-D does the same job if you enable axial color aberration. I don't use NX-D much, but it's good to know that it can handle this issue.

Now I'm happy with the lens.

DX on FX

I'm still waiting for my 35mm f/1.8G FX lens (yes Nikon, have a sale without adequate stock, that's a great idea). In the meanwhile, I decided to give the 35mm DX a try on the D3. I have used this combination some time ago, but more as a test. This time around it will be out in the field taking actual photos.

The results aren't that bad. Yes, there's a lot of light falloff in the corners, and visible barrel distortion. ACR does a good job correcting those problems, at the usual expense of cropped images. I can live with the results, as long as I don't apply an overly critical eye.
If you don't fix these issues, you're left with an image that can resemble one of those old-time photos with vignetted corners and the subject right in the center of the photo. I can see using this effect on some images, but not so much for casual shooting. It is something to add to the bag of tricks.

So while I'm still waiting for my lens, here are some shots from last weekend's Chinese New Year parade with the DX lens.

More images can be found here.

Quick take on the D5200

I took the D5200 out for a try, and I must say that I enjoyed the camera more than I did the D3200. The camera is more responsive, and the articulated screen was helpful when I wanted to be a little discreet. Having all that resolution is nice, and turned out useful when I had to crop one photo by quite a bit (it's the first photo posted below). The 35mm DX and 50mm f/1.8G did a good job, though I prefer the images from the 50mm.

A top shutter speed of 1/4000 makes shooting at f/1.8 in bright daylight difficult (polarizer to the rescue). Not having a 100% viewfinder leads to surprises, but all that resolution makes it a non-issue. I'd have to shell out a pretty penny to get my FX-equivalent 35mm lens, which isn't in the cards right now.

I've been using Nikon DSLR's for over 14 years, starting with the D1. Out of that lineup, I've loved the colors from the D2H the most (the drawbacks are another story). Most of the other Nikon bodies have a recognizable quality that, for lack of a better description, I call the Sony-ness of their sensors. I've seen this on the D100, D200, D3200, and now the D5200.

Not that it's a bad thing, but it is something that stands out when I process images from these cameras. They don't quite have that pop that I see from the D2H and D3. The V1 doesn't have that pop either, but it also doesn't have that Sony-ness.

On a side note, putting a camera that smells of cigarette smoke in a plastic bag with some activated charcoal does the trick to remove the odor.

Overall I give the D5200 a thumbs up. Makes me want to hang on to it (too bad the D3200 has gone to a new home). Hmmm, can I find another cheap one out there?