A Sunday Morning Walk with two new applicants for space in the equipment drawer; the Nikon D610 and the Nikon 24-85mm G 3.5-4.5.

The Nikon D610 ( which, incidentally, nudges out the new D750 at DXO by a full point! ) and the 24-85mm G VR lens are a good combo. The lens is sharp and the camera is well endowed with dynamic range and low noise. But, of course, there are little things to complain about. The 24-85 has lots of distortion at the wide end which is not fully corrected in Lightroom conversions from raw. The camera is pretty much as nice as a camera can be while suffering the lack of an EVF. What a perfect world it would be if Nikon and Canon were able to take their flagship cameras tomorrow and outfit them with really, really nice EVFs without changing any of their other performance attributes. 

I am certain that it's just a matter of time and the integration of really fast processors. That being said I am happy with the performance of both. On Tues. I've booked some fun, personal portrait sessions and I'll put the 105mm f2.5 ais to the test. I've also soothed the color performance of the Fotodiox 508AS LED panel and I'll have samples to show from that light source (which I really like from a strictly operation point of view). 

Back to the lens. While I'm very satisfied with the performance of the camera body I'm a bit less so with the performance of the lens. In addition to the barrel distortion at the 24mm end and the pincushion distortion at the long end the images at certain focal lengths don't look quite as sharp as I've seen with some of the better lenses. Almost everything I shot today was shot at f5.6 but I'd hate to think that I have to stop the lens down to f8.0 to get critical sharpness. 

I was a little concerned that it might be focusing errors caused by the camera/lens combo so I came back to the studio and did my AF tune tests. The camera and lens are right on the money at the default settings so I'm chalking it up to lens performance. I am, of course, overstating this because it's the holidays and I'm a little bored. The reality is that tossing a bit more sharpening at the lens cleans stuff up nicely. I guess I am used to the D7100 which doesn't have an anti-aliasing filter and is demonically sharp with good lenses. 

Another possibility is that I've been shooting with m4:3 and APS-C cameras and lenses for so much work this year that what I may be seeing is the everyday flaw in every full frame camera---too little depth of field. I'll sort it out soon. In the meantime I'm getting back to work setting up lighting for Tues. 

I also have a blog note. I am hard at work on the sequel (prequel?) to The Lisbon Portfolio. If I miss a day or two of blog-work I hope you'll understand. Below are additional images from today's walk. 

I hope you are using the holiday break (if it exists in your country...) to undertake exciting personal projects that make you nervous and anxious and ultimately happy. A couple more days left in the year to make sure you didn't totally blow off your art side.

Give in to the force and feel the power of your fictional side....