Nikon D850 - Nature Photography, hunting the Robberfly
Sharing my first reactions on using the new Nikon D850 for macro photography on one of my favourite macro subjects, the ROBBERFLY. My regular Nikon DSLR used for macro work would normally be the Nikon D500 as I like the additional magnification provided by the 1.5x (DX) crop
sensor, so would the new D850 provide me with macro images that I expect as this is now a full
frame DSLR ?
1. Nikon D850
2. Nikkor 60mm f2.8 micro lens
3. Nikon SB700 flash with customised diffuser
4. All images captured hand-held
5. JPEG FINE file format used
6. Nikon D850 set to DX Image area mode
7. All images were captured in the wild, subject was not manipulated in anyway.
To get more than life size magnification of the Robberfly , I actually set the Image area of the
D850 in DX mode which would give me a resulting 20 megapixels (MP) image as less area of the CMOS sensor would be used and I also had to ensure that I was focusing on the subject at minimum focusing distance to get maximum macro magnification.
My D850 was setup to shoot in MANUAL Mode. The SB700 flash was also set to fire at 1/4 of full
power. Autofocus was set to AF-S & AF Area mode set to Single
Initial Reaction & Findings
1. D850 AF with the Nikkor 60mm micro f2.8 lens combo was quiet and fast.
Minimal hunting even though contrast can be low at times and subject was small at 0.5 inches
length. In the rare occasion when focus was lost, manual override re-focusing capability
(M/A) in the 60mm allowed very fast focus re-acquisition of the subject.
2. Subject details captured were excellent between apertures of f20 to f25
3. Highlights and shadow details recovery were again excellent
4. The D850/60mm micro f2.8 lens with SB700 mounted was not too heavy and allowed for
single handed use.
Overall, I found that the incorporation of the 45.7MP Full Frame sensor was extremely useful as it allowed the D850's DX mode to be used for macro effectively while still retaining at least 20MP image resolution. Finally I can get more magnification when using a full frame DSLR and still
benefit from the better dynamic range.
In the DX mode (20MP resolution), real world details and tonal range were excellent. With the 20MP JPEG FINE file, I could actually crop more during post processing to magnify the subject
further with almost no loss in details if I wanted to.
I am extremely happy with this first macro experience using the new Nikon D850.