Nikon D800 quick update: Diffraction and studio work

One of the most frequent questions I’ve heard about the Nikon D800 is “where are the new diffraction limits?”

I spent the last two days using the camera for a studio product shoot – watches, of course – and now feel qualified to answer that question. Yes, my camera does have a misaligned AF module, but since you manual focus and stop down, it isn’t much of an issue for this kind of work. Low light wide-angle photojournalism, yes. But I digress.

Bottom line: with the 60/2.8 AFS Micro (which I think is the best of the macro lenses Nikon currently makes), everything is good up to f16, there are hints of it by f22, clear diffraction at f25, and I wouldn’t go past f29 even in emergencies – you’re probably back down to maybe 18MP of real resolution.

This is obviously a serious problem for the kind of photography I do. The solution? I just ordered the PC-E 85/2.8 Micro. MT

Addendum: I don’t know how many people this is going to matter to, but I notice the refresh rate of the built-in flash is slower – it matters to me because I’m an iTTL-CLS kinda guy, especially for my product and food photography work. What’s worse is that with the D700, if the camera wasn’t going to let the flash fire, you could cycle the power once and have a shot straight away. But with the D800, you’ve just got to wait, and wait, and wait for the capacitor to cool down and recycle. Cycling the power makes absolutely no difference whatsoever.

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