In the old days, I hoped I would have a Leica, but what I had was a Cannon rangefinder with a 35mm lens from my father. I should not complain since some of the greatest photographs were made with this type of camera. Now, come 2012 in the digital age, one would hope to have a Leica M9, but a real dream combination for the old timer is Nikon D800e, the highest resolution DSLR, with the new version of Nikon legendary 35mm f1.4 lens.
After several weeks of gloomy weather over Taipei, we finally had a beautiful day with the temperature in the 20s'. I took the camera and had a short walking trip to the old Shell Fuel Depot at Danshui harbor. The Fuel Depot was built by Shell in the late 19th century and recently completely renovated. After carrying D4 with 16-35mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm, D800e with a simple 35mm lens is a revelation. A lot of composition and the use depth-of-field have to be re-practiced. It was just a different shooting experience, but I am still way behind those old masters that running around the battle field or Paris street with a simple Leica.
Technically, everyone will ask how the pictures from D800e compare to the ones from D4. They have slightly different feel. The sensor of D4 was made by Nikon and D800e was made by SONY. The image from D4 actually requires less sharpening than D800e, which is a surprise. One would expect the opposite as D800e does not have the anti-alias filter. As the RAW image straight from the camera and viewed in NX2, I do not get any feeling that the D800e image is sharper.
D4 is doubled the price of D800e, somehow it shows, both in how I feel the camera and how I fell the image. D800e is great and the image can be as good as D4, and of cause when you really blow the image up (100%), the image of D800e can really be very big. Photography is an art of discipline. A fixed-focus 35mm lens demand a different type of discipline from me and this lens can be very versatile. I can see myself in certain days and situation carry the D4 with 70-200mm and D800e with 24-70mm and in other days carry a single D800e with the 35mm f1.4 and a 105mm VR Micro lenses in my coat pocket. The photographs I made with these two different set of equipment will be very different in style.