orange and blue

Camera - Nikon D700
  • Aperture: f/4
  • Focal Length: 36mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Shutter: 1/30 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D700

Double whammy – two posts in two days!

I’ve just got a D700 – upgraded to, I should say, as the D200 and a couple of lenses and accessories will be up for sale shortly to fund it. I finally came to the decision while on the set of the film I’m photographing at the moment. We were in a fairly dim conference room, artificial light, some moments of fast movement, and I was struggling a bit. The actress was in a dark corner and it was getting very noisy, and when she got up and started getting thrown over the shoulder of a burly security guard it really got messy with motion blur.

Films tend to be underlit in terms of what a unit stills camera would call good light, where ‘good’ equals ‘giving me a fast enough shutter at a reasonable ISO to freeze movement’. Until now I’ve just had to bite my lip and hit 1600 on my D200. The resultant noise is made worse all over the shadows by underexposing the highlights like I try to do on a movie set. I find digital blown highlights look really… digital, which looks naff when it’s supposed to be representing a movie shot on 35mm film. We’ve all done it, right?

Anyway, the D700 is simply incredible at low light, high ISO stuff, even when underexposing. I mean, I’d heard it was good, and I’d seen the test shots, but it was only when photographing a scene I’m very familiar with from high ISO D200 shots that I really felt the difference. Even at 1600, the thought of which generally gives me shudders, it’s producing simply gorgeous clean shots. I know of considerably more experienced unit stills guys than me using it at 3200 and getting great stuff.

And the colours, the Picture Controls, the Active D-Light, that dedicated Info control for the LCD screen… It’s absolutely fantastic, a significant step up from the D200, which has served me extremely well for the last three years but I don’t really see how technology can progess in the next 5 years before I even need to start thinking about an upgrade now. Lenses, on the other hand! I’m waiting on the 17-300mm f/2.8 VR that’s no longer than a 70-200. 🙂

I got this shot at Green Park station, I think. I was on the way home from a Long Day working and was having trouble finding a station that had the District Line running through it. London at the weekends, a travel conundrum recently. I applied a cross-processing curve layer and set it to Soft Light, then a B&W layer also set to Soft Light, with the blues and yellows pushed, and the reds pulled back.

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