Monday, September 27, 2010

D300s and 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II

I spent the weekend out in the middle of nowhere, Arizona. I brought along my brand new D300s body and, more importantly, my new AFS 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II ED.

I had an absolute freaking blast with both new pieces of equipment. Here are a few photos I got and my opinions of the new gear.

The AWB on my D300 has always been excellent. The D300s does a pretty good job, but I did find myself overriding it more often than I am used to.

The focus on the new lens is amazing. I'm used to using a 1993-1997 version of the 80-20mm f/2.8. That lens is fairly slow to focus and nowhere near as accurate. The new lens blows it out of the water.

I very much enjoy the "virtual horizon" feature of the D300s - though I don't think I'll use it much

Colors are great straight out of camera - very little tweaking required, though I did make more contrast adjustments than I used to. I'll probably bump up the contrast in-camera with Picture Control.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't discuss the video capabilities of the D300s. It shoots video at 24fps at 720p. Not quite HD, but good enough to get the point across. Video is a great way for me to show the difference between shooting with VR and without, since Vibration Reduction lends itself extremely well to shooting video.

Big difference. I shot both handheld at 70mm. I know - I suck at keeping it steady either way. The VR helps a lot!

I was pretty excited to be able to get screen-grabs from video, so while we were out shooting, I took a couple videos. Below is the "JPEG from frame" courtesy of Aperture. That's a block of fat from the meat we cooked the night before. Not too shabby. Weapon is a .223 rifle.

The bullet is LONG gone by the time this frame was taken, but the after-effects linger quite nicely.

I don't think I'll be getting big into video, but it's nice to know what it can and can't do.

Overall, I'm extremely happy with my new gear! I have a couple more frames to show off, but they'll get their own post soon. Here are a few more random photos from the weekend.

The high ISO performance + VR rocks!

Have a great Monday! I know I am!