Sunday, February 24, 2019

Hike on a windy day, 1-1-19

This was the first hike with the Nikon full frame D800e camera as well as the Nikon 180mm f/2.8 lens.  Why did I get a Nikon full-frame camera when I am happy with my Pentax full frame K1ii?   I suppose curiosity would head the list.  I am still enough of an engineer to be curious about comparative technology – at least in regard to photography.  Second on the list would be that I got the 800e with an extremely low shutter count at a very good price.  According to my calculations based on the tests I read about in reviews, the image quality of the 800e is very nearly as good as the present top-in-class D850.  It also has better image quality than any Canon camera as near as I can tell.  Canon of course has a lot more features and the best one, the IDX, can do a lot of things the D800e can’t do, but I am most concerned about image quality and both my Pentax K1ii and this D800e are right up there near the top in all the tests of image quality that I’ve read. 

Jessica was the most excited by the wind and just being there today.  She even did for the first time something Duffy has done on many occasions: come up to me with a happy look and brush against me in a way I interpret as saying “thanks for this.”  Duffy did it as well.  Ben has never done it.  He is instead always on guard (or, more likely, looking for rabbits).

In shot 20 I took my first BIF (Bird in Flight) shot, and I can’t be completely sure since crows are jet black, but the D800e may be better at this than any camera I’ve tried at this thus far.  The Nikon D500 which I have yet to spend much time with is supposed to be even better.  We’ll see. 

Shot 23 of Duffy climbing up the chicken-wire covered levee is my favorite in the cuteness category.

Shot 43 and maybe a couple of others of the mountains to test clarity at infinity came out extremely well. 

Brush hasn’t had much of a chance to get started after our heat spells; so you can’t always see bent-over brush as a sign that the wind is blowing hard.  In shot 50 for example Duffy and Ben are showing the effects of the wind but the brush not so much.

In shot 54, Ben started a rabbit and began to give chase (by jumping up into the air???).  I simply pointed and shot this one and Ben is a bit of a blur.  Also I didn’t have the camera set for this sort of action.  I didn’t upload all of the other blurred shots of the chase.  Shot 58 shows Ben standing still wondering where the rabbit went.  

Beginning with shot 59 I took several shots of Jessica coming toward me to see if I could do some decent tracking if I anticipated the action, and these shots came out mostly okay.  She of course isn’t as fast as a rabbit.  Also, I had the camera set at AF-S (meaning autofocus for still shots).  I would have set it for AF-C (autofocus for continuous shooting) if I anticipated an action sequence.  In AF-C I could just hold the shutter down and presumably (and if I was lucky) get the whole chase.

Shot 104 shows Duffy in the riverbed with some of the weeds bent over by the wind.  Shot 115 shows Ben signaling a left turn thanks to the wind.  And then the last one, shot 116 shows Ben’s ears pinned back by the wind.

As for me, the wind blew my wide-brimmed hat off a couple of times and for the early part of the hike I held it on with my left hand while operating the camera with my right.  Eventually, I took my hat off and stuffed it under my windbreaker.

This was a very good New Year’s day for all of us, although Ben may have been a bit ambivalent about it at times.  I gave them all some roast chicken when we got home and then they all lay down to nap.  Ben apparently went instantly into deep sleep, for when I took his collar off a few minutes later he was startled and leaped up, something he has never done before.   

The camera and lens did pretty well, something that hasn’t been true of all my first-outings with a camera.  The dogs and I had an excellent time, and I didn’t lose my hat.  What could be better than that?  

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