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Web Gallery of cut paper artist and night photographer Matt Hill. 


Blog - thoughts, travels, insights and meanderings

Blog of night, travel and fine art photographer + cut paper artist Matt Hill | Queens, NY. Join the fun!

Testing out the Nikon Df for Night Photography

Matt Hill

ISO 400 / 57 Sec at f/3.5
AF FIsheye-Nikkor 16mm f/2,8D 

I had the delightful opportunity to go out shooting with good friend and Nikon NPS rep Joseph Carey over the XMas break. He brought along the drool-worthy Nikon Df and a sweet selection of Nikon glass I have not had the opportunity to shoot yet What a fun opportunity.

Joe brought us to an abandoned location he has shot previously and we went to town as dusk settled in...

First thing I did was to run an exposure test from ISO 6400 down to the native ISO 100. I didn't go all the way up because I was interested in the 6-stop High Exposure Test and discovering if there were noticeable quality differences on the way down to ISO 100.

Looking closely at the scene I chose, can easily say that this camera body surpasses my D700 in reducing noise in higher ISOs. It should - it has the D4 sensor in it! But keep in mind the temperature was around 36 degrees Fahrenheit – ideal for full-frame sensors doing longer exposures. (The higher the ambient temperature, the harder time a sensor has keeping hot pixels out of the RAW file.) 

All below shot with the AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G manually range focused because I forgot my high-powered flashlight (smacks self in head). Click for fullscreen to see the ISO, time and F/stop. NOTE: This uses a manual cable release, so the timing was not to-the-second perfect. But I was darn close!

And here is how the spread of exposure tests looks after I apply my special sauce in Silver Efex Pro.

Here is a little gallery of all the images. I did a small tweak to exposure, shadow tones and clarity to match my tastes. Click for fullscreen!

At first blush, it's very hard to see problems with the files at higher ISO settings than I am used to using on my D700. Makes sense, of course since it's a much newer sensor system, but it does make me seriously consider it as the successor for my D700.

I did very much enjoy the manual controls, which after some acclimation time were easy to use with thinnish gloves on. And the body is surprisingly lightweight. Felt more like a D7000 than a D700.

I'm looking forward to shooting with it again in different situations and when I have more time to put it through other tests of extreme exposure situations (grin). As Gabe would say, carpe noctem!

Thanks to JC for the fun evening out and the opportunity to shoot a new body and lenses.

Thanks for reading! Check me out on Twitter @MattHill and Facebook