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|New Sequences - See Replies| Back to the future; D1H on the way; what to anticipate?

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by Harry Lavo, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. I took the plunge and bought a used D1H from Chris to serve as a seond body (or perhaps the prime body) for my sports shooting. The D50 just isn't responsive enough with my AF D lenses (other than the 80-200), and football (as well as baseball, soccer, and lacrosse) really requires both a short and a long-lensed camera to cover well.

    The way I see it, while a 2.7mp resolution is pretty marginal, the camera will give me:

    * 5 fps instead of 3 to help me catch more frames in a sequence.
    * More torque to drive the AF-D lenses, especially with teleextenders and the 85 1.8 (which is not particularly fast). More keepers in a sequence.
    * 3D color metering, which should provide more accurate exposure and color
    * 3 cross-field focus points (out of five) versus just one out of five on the D50, thus improving the dynamic tracking of the autofocus.
    * nearly noise-free high iso up to 1600, more iso flexibility, and a usable (with noise reduction) 3200.
    * a shutter speed up to 1/16,000, so I no longer run out of ss/ap cominations in bright weather
    * four switchable custom settings, which I plan to use for daytime sports - bright, daytime sports - cloudy, nightime under the lights sports, and indoor gymnasium sports.
    * a hands-on feel for how important these pro features are when it comes time to decide between the D2 and D3 offerings.

    What I will give up for sure are distance (think outfield) shots with more than a 50% crop.

    I am prepared for the battery hassle, although replacements can now be bought for about $30 each (and the camera is coming with three).

    I really don't plan to need a flash with this camera (any macro work would be done with the D50) but if I decide otherwise the units SB-28 and SB-80 flashes can be had easily on eBay for $40-80. Even though they are not state-of-the-art, they are plenty versatile if I need such.

    So what are the drawbacks and hidden "gotchas" with this camera.

    Chris says high iso performance is good, so the variability reported on this hopefully will not be a problem. I know at least one disappointment reported here. Anybody know how Nikon responds to this if it is a problem? It is a USA camera.

    It burns through NMH batteries. That I expect and will always have two spares plus the one in the camera. How quickly do they deteriorate to ultimate replacement?

    It is supposedly a bear to try to keep the filter clean. First hand antidotes, anyone? How often/how hard to get professionally cleaned?

    I always swore I would never buy a used digital anything, given how fast the technology obsoletes. But given my needs and limited budget this looke like it had far more pluses than minuses. At a cost about 1/5 that of a new D2Hs. Besides, 2.7mp isn't that much less resolution that the D2H's 4.1, is it?:smile:

    Any other gotchas my research has overlooked? When it arrives will I be happy, or can I anticipate problems/a high learning curve?

    Any and all comments, positive or negative, welcome.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2007
  2. Harry, I think you'll be pleased as you've just maximized the "Bang for the Buck" factor. I do believe the high ISO performance has been a bit exaggerated though...in my experience anyway. 1600 is pretty good but not noise free. I see you have a D50..it'll better the D1H at 1600. My D50 certainly did. You'll need to add saturation in NX or Capture as the files are a bit dull OOC and that's about all. No real surprises. My only advice...don't sell the D1H like I did, you'll only regret your decision. My path was D1H (like the files) sold >>D2Hs (disappointed) sold>>D2H (flakey) sold>> regrets over the D1H.
  3. Thanks, Grant...good to know.
  4. Buy more batteries

    My experience with the D1H was it was a real battery hog. I would get 30-50 exp per new battery. After a year of use, 3 to 5 exposures was typical. The batteries were short-lived and the D1H really went through them. Just couldn't be used for any assignment requiring constant, high power use, such as weddings.

    LCD seems so small compared to my D200! High ISO was pretty dismal; not as bad as a D200, though, but at 1/4 the MP should be a lot better than it is. Custom WB is very cumbersome to use. Built like a tank, however, but no waterproofing to speak of.
  5. Okay, thanks Carl. I was trying to decide whether to order extra batteries or wait until I had experience...I think you just helped me decide. :smile:

    ps. I keep hearing different thinks about the ISO noise. Read on a long and seemingly knowledgeable post elsewhere that the D1H's divided into two about equal groups....those with excellent noise at high iso and those with poor noise at high iso. Do you know anything about this?
  6. lisantica


    Jul 4, 2006
    So. Calif.
    Congratulations on your new-to-you D1H that's on its way.
    Sounds as though you did your homework on the strengths and weaknesses of the D1H. Overall, I find the strengths outweigh its weaknesses which is why I always encourage D1H sales to anyone who is considering an older professional- style DSLR.
    Some folks have said the photos come out "film-like". I never used 35mm film, so I really don't know about that except I like the files A LOT! It's the one camera that is forgiving of my mediocre skills.
    Again congrats, and please write back into your thread when you get it to let us know how much you like it.
    Grant gave you some good advice on not selling it.
    Even though technology keeps advancing forward, the D1H is a very capable and well engineered camera that packs a powerful 2.7mp punch.
    Sorry to have rambled, but I'm a big D1H fan! :biggrin:

  7. Thanks, Lisa. Your enthusiasm is encouraging.
  8. 30-50 exp? Don't believe it to be honest. I'm getting 300+ exposures with a full battery (cheap uniross 2000 mAh not higher capacity after market batteries) and I do lots of chimping.

  9. I just got done reading an article from 2001 on Moose Peterson's website, sent to me courtesy of Chris. He had lots of hands on experience with the D1, D1X, as well as the D1H. He also claims 300 shots *assuming* one first did the three deep resets specified for the batteries.

    Perhaps an artificially short memory life from not doing the resets is the problem. I know I'd feel a heck of a lot better if somebody had a Lithium replacement because of this..
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2007
  10. Harry, you can build your own lithiums if you are handy with a soldering iron - I also get about 250-300 on a new model off-brand, but also did the "three-times" refreashing/charging deal described by Moose....
    now, everyone is mis-leading you on the quality of the images this camera produces, as well as the fun and joy if gives in daily use - the ONLY solution is, mail it to me instantly and I will save you from all the disappointment and grief - instantly - send it now - I'm trying to save you -

    okay, you didn't fall for it - well, the truth is, it is my favorite camera ( but I only have about 40 so don't listen to me ) , gives fantastic images, makes great 11X14 prints, and I crop often, no problem....it truly has a personality in prints and a really great color rendition; love it....fantastic focussing, great meter, wonderful color, smooth images, an CHEAP batteries, thumbs up....
  11. Hey, Ditto, I cut my eyeteeth soldering together Eico kits back in the fifties. But I haven't a clue as to how to make my own lithiums. Did you write the book?

  12. nope, just read it.....I'm not very good at copying address onto messages, but I'll go over and get it and send it to you - it didn't sound hard at all, and he gives pix.....hold on, I'll send it to your P.M.
    (PS , I love the D1H)
  13. D1H Arrived; first use a wowser!

    The package from Chris arrived yesterday less than an hour before I was to leave for an important ballgame for my beloved Holyoke Giants. I had boned up as best I could on the online manual and a piece Chris referred me to by Moose Petersen, so I did a quick setup and decided to take it along and shoot two bodies for the first time.

    All I can say is wow! The speed increase over the D50 is noticeable...at one point I shot a nine shot sequence of just one pitch delivery. What I wasn't totally prepared for was the high-iso performance...although I had hoped for it. The game turned out to be a no-hitter, so tension continued right until the end despite the Giants having a comfortable 5 run margin. Shooting at 8:00-9:30pm with the D50 was a real trial; with the D1H on Hi-1 (iso3200) I could easily maintain a 1/500ss using my trusty 80-200 ED. Here is just one picture of that ilk. More are in a post over on the sports forum:

    NIKON D1H    ---    200mm    f/2.8    1/500s   

    1/500s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso3200

    Another thing that impressed me is the color...these are straight jpegs done at stock-default settings. No oomph added, no sharpening, nothing. The above picture was about a 70% crop (70% of the original frame size). While the photo *looks* a bit dark it actually reflects very accurately the colors on the field under the somewhat marginal lighting.

    The supplied aftermarket battery that Chris had in the camera held up well and didn't quit prematurely...didn't even decrease to the halfway mark with over 200 clicks (although I did turn off the monitor and decrease monitor brightness, which may have helped).

    So all in all, I see my list of positives in my original post growing, and the list of negatives if anything receding. The only aspect that bothers me is that Nikon's driver for their (admittedly early) implementation of Firewire 2 only seems to work with Nikon Capture and not with Adobe. And I refuse to buy Capture. So a $20 media reader was pressed into service, and while I don't like to dump from cards (it invites pin distruction) I will in this case unless I can find a driver update that fixes the problem.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2007
  14. good for you, Harry, great shots - glad you like it
  15. Excuse me for babbling on, but I still can't get over the high iso performance of this lens. Here are two more shots from tonights ballgame at iso3200 that if taken with my D50 at 1600 would be hard to live with:

    NIKON D1H    ---    92mm    f/2.8    1/500s   

    1/500s f/2.8 at 92.0mm iso3200

    NIKON D1H    ---    200mm    f/2.8    1/250s   

    1/250s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso3200

    These black backgrounds should show up the worst noise, at least they would in the D50 (if you have an exif reader you can see the times shot...pitch dark outside the lighted field at 9:30-10pm). And yet the pictures are not distracting in the least...at least to me.

    Do any of the rest of you share my enthusiasm for this? Or am I simply a loony who has found the right camera to shoot night baseball games?
  16. Haibane


    Aug 14, 2006
    Smyrna, Georgia
    Harry I might be willing to say you possibly are getting better noise than some of my 3200/1600 d2h sports shots
  17. I have picked up a rumour from reading some user reviews at B&H and Adorama that the D1H's tended to break into two groups....those that had mediocre high iso and those that were superb...don't know whether or not this is true, but apparently there were enough high-iso champs out there to give it the reputation "king of the high-iso". The reason is bigger (but fewer) receptors less prone to low-light noise in their light-gathering, as I understand it. All I can say is that for me, shooting two months of night baseball games (with Friday night football to come) it is a god-send.

    Thanks for your observation....I'm not sure I would trade a D2H for one (if I had one) but apparently the D1H fits this narrow niche very well.
  18. Zachs


    Feb 25, 2006
    I can guarantee he is. NO doubt about it. I'll prove it to ya in a heart beat :) 
    The D2H is by far the worst noise machine in the Nikon lineup. It does great with Noise Ninja, but past 800, its crap.

    The D1H handles it so much better it boggles my mind. Now if you give me a D2Hs, I'll keep my mouth shut :) 
  19. Harry, I did just that; sold my D2h and got a D1h, and am happier than a pig in .......well, you know
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