New 800! Set-up and testing advice/Thx

Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
58
Location
united states
D- 800 questions: Unit arrives Tommorrow!

Finally! I bit the bullet thanks in part to wonderful assistance & sage advice from D-800 & 800E online owners and my first FX body should arrive in the morning! I'm grateful to apparently by accident get in on the last day of B& H's 6% rewards because now it's only 2. I'm hoping that this inquiry will not only continue to guide me along but also to serve future purchasers who will or are currently going through similar decisions & learning essential facts.

Mission: To set-up and prep the unit properly so it can be quickly determined if there are any issues lurking inside. I don't want to miss anything crucial.

Upon arrival I will:

Promptly take a shot & check the shutter count and otherwise make sure it's a new unit & install the latest firmware. Beyond that, please I'll need all of the advice & direction you're willing to offer.

a) Straight out of the box what stock/factory settings need to be tweaked or improved?

What did you do? Can one save customized settings?

b) Not a techno geek by any means. Without photos and charts how do I "tune" ( is that the right word?) my 2 FX (24-120 f4 and 70-300VR) lenses to the AF system? Coming from a D-90 background, the concept of left, center and right AF points is almost totally foreign to me.

What values/results are deemed acceptable for both b) and c)?

c) How does one easily determine if one has the infamous left focus issue or not?

What are the steps/procedure that a FX newbie can digest? Forgive me if my terms are not 100% accurate. I'm not eager to spend another $75-150 on specialized focus/tuning software which may or may not be reliable, accurate or provide a definitive answer.

d) I bought an extra battery however I'll need to get another card. Can't justify the $100 & up kind, however there must be a 32-64 gig SD card range for say 50 bucks that would be a reasonable compromise. Since it's for casual/travel use, speed isn't that crucial. My computer doesn't have USB 3.0capability.

e) Any recommendations for a reasonably priced bag ( carry, not a backpack) that would:

1) Carry 2 extra lens in addition to ones mounted on the D-90 and D800 or:
2) Would comfortably accommodate the D-800 and it's two lens (1 mounted) by itself?

f) Any of you use a monopod in lieu of a tripod? Make & model appreciated. all suggestions welcome. Collapsable? Double as a hiking/walking stick?

g) Same for a tripod: Strong, durable, fairly with a head that will lock in the DSLR & keep the frame absolutely still.

Please help ensure that I know if my unit is issue free.

Thanks for you help.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
257
Location
California
Congrats on your new purchase! What an exciting time.

I recently bought a D800E from B&H when they were having one of their sales $200 off sale.

Camera came new as advertised. I don't think you have to worry about B&H sending a used unit, but it can't hurt to check I guess.

I didn't need to fine tune my nikkor lenses.

I'm about to buy a Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead. I, too, take pictures when hiking, so I want something that is going to last and is well engineered. So maybe in the next week or two I'll pull the trigger on that.

I think monopod vs. tripod depends on what type of shooting you do.

I use a Domke J-5XC bag...carried two extra prime lenses in addition to my dslr w/ zoom lens.

May go with a Billingham at some point, but I like the Domke's subtle appearance.

I bought a 128gb Sandisk SD card at the time of purchase and a 1 tb external hardrive to store pictures. Are you going to have to upgrade your computer like I am? I'm sure if you have a few 32 gb cards, that will be okay. You can't have enough of them, imo. Same goes for batteries.

I'd set your camera to shoot NEF (raw) and JPEG Fine or just RAW if you're going to do some sort of post production. I'm in the process of upgrading to a desktop with a whole bunch of hot-rodded out parts. Also jumping into Lightroom4.

Make sure you update the firmware. Go here for directions and the actual update:
http://support.nikonusa.com/app/answ...chor-DSLR-3800

Thanks, IsamuM showing me how to update my firmware! ;)

Most of all, don't skimp or settle for less than you want. The camera is worth every investment whether it be a lens or a tripod.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Mar 21, 2009
Messages
1,024
Location
Somewhere In Time
My advice would be to invest in Sandisk Extreme Pro cards, Believe me, it IS worth it.
Congrats!
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Messages
4,001
Location
UK
...
b) Not a techno geek by any means. Without photos and charts how do I "tune" ( is that the right word?) my 2 FX (24-120 f4 and 70-300VR) lenses to the AF system? Coming from a D-90 background, the concept of left, center and right AF points is almost totally foreign to me.

What values/results are deemed acceptable for both b) and c)?

c) How does one easily determine if one has the infamous left focus issue or not?
Best suggestion I can offer is to first just enjoy your new camera. Just go out and take shots and learn and enjoy it (did I repeat myself :smile:).

Perhaps consider investing in a book specifically for your camera
http://www.bythom.com/nikond800guide.htm
http://www.amazon.com/David-Buschs-Digital-Photography-Guides/dp/1285084519. Either or even both :smile:.

I can understand concerns i.e. is my camera performing as it should, in light of reported issues by some users. Only after familiarising yourself with the camera should you really consider what testing/tweaking is needed in light of your experiences.
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Messages
3,090
Location
Atlanta GA
I agree with above post. Get outside and shoot photos. I got my D800 about 2 weeks ago and the first thing I did was get outside and shoot some pictures. I still havent done and AF test and Im not going to unless the photos Im getting are not what I want. I did buy a Sandisk Extreme Pro card. I also went into the settings and set the release lock so I cant take photos if there is no card in the camera. After a couple of days I set my shooting banks up and added a couple of items to "my menu." Have fun and get outside with it. You will love it. I cant wait to get another day off work with mine. Come on Saturday!
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
155
Location
Norway
I have had my D800 since February coming from a D90 and D700. I recently bought the iBook from Thom which opened up my eyes to new functions I would never have thought of myself. If you want to learn to handle your camera don't hesitate to buy it, it is absolutely worth the sales price. I keep it on my iPad for convenience.
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2011
Messages
919
Location
Northern California
My advice would be to invest in Sandisk Extreme Pro cards, Believe me, it IS worth it.
Congrats!

+1 to that - if you had ever lost an entire shoot because a card failed, you would know why we say that, not to mention the shots lost while the camera writes the rather large image file to the card! I have 32 gig CF cards that I read from and a 64 gig SD that is configured as back-up - just in case.

Besides, why would you spend so much money on a body then cheap out on the memory?
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2013
Messages
195
Location
Arizona
D- 800 questions: Unit arrives Tommorrow!

Finally! I bit the bullet thanks in part to wonderful assistance & sage advice from D-800 & 800E online owners and my first FX body should arrive in the morning! I'm grateful to apparently by accident get in on the last day of B& H's 6% rewards because now it's only 2. I'm hoping that this inquiry will not only continue to guide me along but also to serve future purchasers who will or are currently going through similar decisions & learning essential facts.

Mission: To set-up and prep the unit properly so it can be quickly determined if there are any issues lurking inside. I don't want to miss anything crucial.

Upon arrival I will:

Promptly take a shot & check the shutter count and otherwise make sure it's a new unit & install the latest firmware. Beyond that, please I'll need all of the advice & direction you're willing to offer.

a) Straight out of the box what stock/factory settings need to be tweaked or improved?

What did you do? Can one save customized settings?

b) Not a techno geek by any means. Without photos and charts how do I "tune" ( is that the right word?) my 2 FX (24-120 f4 and 70-300VR) lenses to the AF system? Coming from a D-90 background, the concept of left, center and right AF points is almost totally foreign to me.

What values/results are deemed acceptable for both b) and c)?

c) How does one easily determine if one has the infamous left focus issue or not?

What are the steps/procedure that a FX newbie can digest? Forgive me if my terms are not 100% accurate. I'm not eager to spend another $75-150 on specialized focus/tuning software which may or may not be reliable, accurate or provide a definitive answer.

d) I bought an extra battery however I'll need to get another card. Can't justify the $100 & up kind, however there must be a 32-64 gig SD card range for say 50 bucks that would be a reasonable compromise. Since it's for casual/travel use, speed isn't that crucial. My computer doesn't have USB 3.0capability.

e) Any recommendations for a reasonably priced bag ( carry, not a backpack) that would:

1) Carry 2 extra lens in addition to ones mounted on the D-90 and D800 or:
2) Would comfortably accommodate the D-800 and it's two lens (1 mounted) by itself?

f) Any of you use a monopod in lieu of a tripod? Make & model appreciated. all suggestions welcome. Collapsable? Double as a hiking/walking stick?

g) Same for a tripod: Strong, durable, fairly with a head that will lock in the DSLR & keep the frame absolutely still.

Please help ensure that I know if my unit is issue free.

Thanks for you help.

a) depends on your shooting preferences. there is no right answer. just read the entire manual and see if any feature peeks your eye that is not the default.

b) it can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. search the forums/internet for articles on it. I just use a printed chart set on a table.

c) search the forums. there is a million posts regarding how to do this. easy summary: slap a 1.4 lens, focus using single left side af then compare with right side af point.

g) look at induro tripods.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
58
Location
united states
+1 to that - if you had ever lost an entire shoot because a card failed, you would know why we say that, not to mention the shots lost while the camera writes the rather large image file to the card! I have 32 gig CF cards that I read from and a 64 gig SD that is configured as back-up - just in case.

Besides, why would you spend so much money on a body then cheap out on the memory?
I already spent quite enough & was trying to limit future expenditures.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
58
Location
united states
FutureFocus: When did you place your order with B&H? I ordered mine Sunday morning and the current status is "Pending". I order from them all the time, and typically everything arrives two days later. I was hoping it was going to be delivered today, bummed out.
Hi,

I'm just catching up on this thread, Sorry for the delay.

I ordered on Friday Morning April 12th.
Shipped on April 15th.
Received on April 16th in the afternoon.

I live only 2 states from New York so it got to me quickly.

I hope your experience will be excellent.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
58
Location
united states
I have had my D800 since February coming from a D90 and D700. I recently bought the iBook from Thom which opened up my eyes to new functions I would never have thought of myself. If you want to learn to handle your camera don't hesitate to buy it, it is absolutely worth the sales price. I keep it on my iPad for convenience.
I do not have any current device that Apple makes.

Anything I have is ancient.

Thom seems to be a very popular referral as a go to guy for answers.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
58
Location
united states
I agree with above post. Get outside and shoot photos. I got my D800 about 2 weeks ago and the first thing I did was get outside and shoot some pictures. I still havent done and AF test and Im not going to unless the photos Im getting are not what I want. I did buy a Sandisk Extreme Pro card. I also went into the settings and set the release lock so I cant take photos if there is no card in the camera. After a couple of days I set my shooting banks up and added a couple of items to "my menu." Have fun and get outside with it. You will love it. I cant wait to get another day off work with mine. Come on Saturday!
Rich,

Good for you!

If I may ask did you at least fine tune your lenses?

I'm looking for someone to guide me there.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
58
Location
united states
Best suggestion I can offer is to first just enjoy your new camera. Just go out and take shots and learn and enjoy it (did I repeat myself :smile:).

Perhaps consider investing in a book specifically for your camera
http://www.bythom.com/nikond800guide.htm
http://www.amazon.com/David-Buschs-Digital-Photography-Guides/dp/1285084519. Either or even both :smile:.

I can understand concerns i.e. is my camera performing as it should, in light of reported issues by some users. Only after familiarising yourself with the camera should you really consider what testing/tweaking is needed in light of your experiences.
Tony,

By coincidence an interesting choice of books.

Bought Busch's book for the D-90 many moons ago.

Yikes, the D-800 edition is over 650 pages which is a testament to the complexity & sophistication of this beast.

Thanks as I bookmarked your link and certainly will give your recommendation every consideration.

Thom's is 200 pages more however it's only available as a e-download.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
58
Location
united states
Thanks for your reccommendations.

Lightroom is easy to use and powerful. IMHO it's a good investment.

One of the reasons why I chose the 800 is due to its wide dynamic range and deep reach/cropping ability.

My eyes are not that great so I will be able to recover more shadow detail and fix blown highlights.
 
Joined
May 28, 2012
Messages
115
Location
SE Michigan, USA
Best suggestion I can offer is to first just enjoy your new camera. Just go out and take shots and learn and enjoy it (did I repeat myself :smile:).

You did not repeated it correctly.. Here ya go (to OP) ... Enjoy Your New Camera ;)

If there are problems, you will notice it in your regular use. Don't go hunting for problems.

Enjoy your new camera ;)

Oops, did I repeat... nah :)
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Messages
3,090
Location
Atlanta GA
Rich,

Good for you!

If I may ask did you at least fine tune your lenses?

I'm looking for someone to guide me there.

No I did not. I've never fine tuned a lens on either my D300 or D800. I see no reason to unless I start taking photos that are out of focus.
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Messages
514
Location
Willow Grove, PA
Just to touch on a few points...

1.) You don't need an extreme pro memory card unless you are shooting at a high frame rate or just want to download your pics from card to computer as fast as possible. The 32GB 60Mb/s is plenty fast. Just make sure you get it from Sandisk or Lexar.

2.) Don't really need redundant memory cards unless your shooting for money or shoot exclusively RAW. Jpeg files are not that hard to recover from a memory card in the event that if fails. RAW are harder to extrapolate. I had a friend you had difficulty with his. I'm not even sure you can retrieve them, but don't take my word for it.

3.) Tamrac Slingpaks are great. Come in various sizes and are easy to access your stuff on the go.

4.) Some custom image settings you save to the NEF files are ONLY applicable if you use Capture NX pro (i.e. Active D-lighting).

5.) Custom settings can be saved via custom shooting banks. That's standard fare for pro bodies. That's handy if you have two extremes... portraits vs sports for example.

6.) Really spend the money on a good tripod. More expensive tripods are not only durable, but very light and having a light tripod can mean the difference in bringing it to places or not. Get a good ball head too. I have two Gitzo's. One with a Markins Q3 traveler and another with RRS BH-55.
 

Latest threads

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom