D3s & 70-200VR II – Just not what I expected!
We spent the day with a most delightful group of shooters at our Adorama workshop. We started on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bay Bridge and ended up in DUMBO. I took advantage of the time to shoot with the D3s & 70-200VR II. To be honest with you, I really thought the D3s was no more than a D3 with video. I couldn’t have been more wrong. And the 70-200VR II, McNally had already told me it was saweet, but not that it was a vast improvement over the older model. Cutting to the chase, I’m blown away by both!
I was totally captivated by DUMBO and all it offers the camera. What you see here is a finished D3s / 70-200VR II photo. What you can’t tell even when you zoom in on the image, it was shot at ISO 1600 (and shot in the shade)! The image you’re zooming in on is the NEF file saved as a TIFF with nothing more then the camera settings and then changed to 8bit and run through Zoomify which creates a big ass Jpeg. The results are amazing!
Shooting the same building (Empire-Fultron Ferry State Park ) but now on the waterfront side, I just loved all the patina that life has painted on it. Again shot with the D3s & 70-200VR II, this one though is at ISO 200, click here to zoom in and see the detail in this image. What you see above is the finished image, the Zoomify is again is the NEF file saved as a TIFF with nothing more then the camera settings and then changed to 8bit and run through Zoomify which creates a big ass Jpeg. I’m loving the results.
I really couldn’t get enough of this old warehouse. No one in the group could. If the wind hadn’t come up and literally blown us away (thx Ida), we would have stayed longer but we heard the call of the wild lunch so off to Bubby’s we went. This is another ISO 200 image, the finished is above and the original you can zoom in on here.
The wind was so bad, the clouds so dark, that a usable shutter speed at f/11 wasn’t possible at ISO 200. I probably chimped more today than I have in the last year total as I kept checking my results. Seeing what I was getting at ISO 1600, I went up to ISO 1600 so I could shoot at f/11 (I had no tripod, everything is hand held here). Check out these results!
With the results I was seeing above, I called Mike, my bud at Nikon and asked point blank, “Is the sensor in the D3s brand new or just tweaked?” He said, “Brand new!” I asked if that was public knowledge and he said yes to which I replied, “Great job on the soft release!” The results from the D3s are gorgeous! This shot of the footings from Manhattan Bridge I just love, you can count the rivets!
One of our great participants was Debbie. This is the image that convinced me that the 70-200VR II is a spectacular lens. In the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge, Debbie had her hood up and with the soft light, I just had to make her portrait. She was a really good sport about being in front of my lens. I think my baseball cap blowing off and going off into the traffic is what put the final sparkle in her eye. I would love to Zoomify this image so you too can see the quality, but I like Debbie too much to do that do her.
I really wasn’t expecting to see what I’m seeing in the results from the D3s. I have NO hesitation in recommending shooting at ISO 1600! Will I do it, I’m not that kinda shooter, did it today just to learn what the camera can do. In my mind, ISO 1600 is like ISO 400 or less on the D3. ISO 6400 on the D3s is like 1600 on the D3. Since I didn’t expect these kind of results, I didn’t have a D3 along to shoot side by side images. By the time I could do that in December, I’m sure others will post such comparisons. Now it’s totally up to YOU to make the call about this quality, I’m just putting out what I’m finding. Many have been writing in the last 24hrs if the D3s is worth the upgrade. I can unequivocally recommend upgrading!
I want to thank Adorama for hosting our event last night and today’s great workshop! Want to thank all the folks who came last night making it so much fun and those who walked with us today. Both were very special. I also want to thank my friends at Nikon, Mel, Bill and Scott and my teachers Steve & Lindsay who fed my need for new gear and information with a smile. Thanks all!