Pages Menu
Categories Menu

on Jun 22, 2012 in Aviation, Camera Tech

The D800 & Mass

So there I was with the 600VR set up at the end of the T Hangars at PRS shooting away. I started off with the D4 and all was well. Then I switched to the D800 and the struggles set in. I kept looking a the LCD and I wasn’t capturing sharp images. I would get one here, one there but I wasn’t getting whole series and it was driving me nut so I looked at what was going on. Everything was normal, 600 on Wimberley on the Gitzo, the only thing that was different was the D800. Becoming really conscious of it all, I realized my pan wasn’t as smooth. It seemed to be “hesitant” at times before continuing. It was driving me nuts so I really bared down on my technique but results didn’t get any better.

I knew the problem was me, but what was it? I switched by to the D4 and instantly my keeper rate went flying back up to normal. I switched back to the D800 and it instantly dropped again. What the hell was it. Then in the process of going back and forth with bodies on the 600, it dawned on me. Mass! The mass on the end of the 600 that I was swinging was less with the D800. The problem was simple physics and muscle memory! The problem wasn’t the camera, the lens the rig or technique, it was me! Us humans get so set in our ways that at times, it gets in our way. Being a creature of habit, I decided to add some mass to the D800 and test. I rented a MB-D12 from and bang, the mass was back and muscle memory was happy again. I’ve heard from a number of D800 owners stating they’ve not been getting the image quality out of the camera that they think they should be getting and wondering what’s wrong with their camera because God forbid, they could be the problem. As I learned, if you get just one sharp image, the odds are, you’re the problem and not the gear. Such was the case for me so now that I have the mass, all is happy again! BTW…the D800 with the MB-D12 feels soooo much better in my hands!

Photos captured with D800 / 600VR