I’ve got legendary holidays to look forward to this and next year, so I got myself a full-frame Nikon DSLR to document them with, a D800. But results first:
This is what you get such a camera body for, to print big. So let’s go down the processing chain. The lenses to do justice to the D800’s 36 MPixel sensor I already had.
Chief among them being the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2,8G ED VR II. I can’t get enough of this lens. Use it with care and it will reward you with spectacular images.
The D800 is a body in the image of all the other Nikon DSLRs I’ve had and even shares some characteristics with my F6. I like having a dedicated button for every purpose, almost all of them configurable in the menus.
But we’re not here to fondle and fiddle with the camera, let’s see some more results from the first days of using it:
That last one was the first one to get printed. And here comes the drawback of such a workflow. It’s obvious, really. If you want to represent this kind of detail so that it appeals, you need to print big. You can pixel-peep on your D800 files all day long, but that’s just measurebating. I photograph to show my pictures, perhaps at Arles, again. A2 (420 x 594 mm or 16.5 x 23.4 inches) is a paper size I can still put in a portfolio and it is also impressive matted into a 60 x 80 cm Halbe frame. That’s a whopper, but bigger is bigger. To print this with, I got an Epson Stylus Photo 3880.
I couldn’t foresee how reliable printing was with this printer using Hahnemühle Photo Rag media.
Of course, you have to do your homework and calibrate your monitor and soft-proof with ICC profiles that Hahnemühle provides for their papers in this printer. Much to my surprise, that was all it took to produce the work print in the lead photo. I’m 90% satisfied with that.
So, even if the D800 gets replaced at this autumn’s Photokina (do we really want/need more pixels?), I have a workflow to hone and pictures to make. The instruments we can get today for these purposes are great.