First Image Nikon D850

The Mushroom's Edge

I got in on one of the early shipments of the Nikon D850 DSLR. I had bought the D800 soon after release, but skipped the D810 upgrade as there was no real change in the sensor. I really liked the D800 image quality and it’s remarkable micro contrast. Over the last few years I’ve shot much more with the Leica system, both film and digital with the Nikon sitting on the shelf. However a few months ago I sent my 24-120 mm f4.0 to Nikon for repair and it came back producing really nice images.

So I brought the D800 on a summer trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Out in wilderness and scenic areas, I find I don’t mind the size and weight of a DSLR with large zoom. The 24 -120 mm range covers my most used focal lengths and on a tripod, the image quality is the best I’ve every seen out of my cameras. It’s a different approach than the Leica because the equipment is so much larger and pro looking. I feel comfortable walking the streets of a city carrying a rangefinder, while a full frame DSLR is very conspicuous piece of equipment and so relegated to times and places where capturing photos is socially acceptable.

While the new sensor is my main reason for upgrading the Nikon system, there are a few new technologies in the camera, like focus shift, that are of interest. The speed, fancy tracking autofocus are all outside of my use case. And with a day or two of shooting, I’m seeing another step up in quality through the 24-120mm lens.

Now to explore how it sees the world.

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