About Me

Wells, BC, Canada
Richard is a working photographer and writer in B.C. His camera focuses on natural history. archeology, travel, and documentary photography. His photography blog may be found at: http://richardtwright.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Nikon D800 arrives! First shots.

Some days are diamonds
Some days are stone ..
John Denver

Yesterday was a diamond.
After three months of lusting and a week in transit, I have a Nikon D800 of my own, in my hands. The camera has been so hard to find that my son and I have literally been searching the world. One of his contacts in Hong Kong, where he lives, was delivered one and within hours, thanks to him and my daughter-in-law, it was purchased and winging its way to Canada.


After a delay in customs the camera was released from bondage, on payment of the
HST ransom and sent on it's way. (Labels have been obscured for privacy.) 

 As past readers of this blog know Rich managed to find and purchase a D800 about a month ago in Hong Kong while I was there. I had the use of it for a few days and managed to post a few blogs about the camera.  Leaving it behind was hard - but not as hard as leaving my family there.
So, yes Virginia, it was purchased in Hong Kong and Nikon Canada may not like that. (If you do not purchase in Canada you are not eligible for entry into NPS - Nikon's professional service group.) But, as I mentioned in great detail a few blogs ago, that does not make it grey market, though it does complicate warrantees, due to Nikon's awkward corporate structure and equipment support.
The question is, how much longer would I wait here in Canada?  In three months I had gone from number 17 to number eight on my dealer's long list of pre-orders.  When at Nikon Canada in Richmond recently to pick up a repair, a friend asked what they could tell her about delivery of the D800. The repair clerk said she understood that the D800s were being delivered or sold to NPS members first.
When the call came from our favorite Hong Kong camera store, Chung Pui Photo Supplies, we jumped at it.  A few days later they offered Rich a D800E and he bought it. He must now be a rare photographer - how many have a D800 and D800E?  According to the clerk Nikon are only producing one E for every ten D800.  Rich is testing it now on a trip to China and we will report back on this blog.
For the second time I get to unbox a Nikon D800.

My D800 did not arrive here without a few problems. It did not take long to fly from Hong Kong to the US and then to reach DHL brokerage in Richmond.  Unfortunately someone at Canada customs or the brokerage misread the value and wanted HST on $28,356 dollars. Some camera. I explained that the invoice was in Hong Kong dollars. So then they wanted to charge me tax on $5,500. I suggested they re-check their exchange rates. DHL made several calls to my cell phone, but, we do not have cell service here in the mountains.  Fortunately someone then tried me at home. Then it was on the road again. My partner Amy picked up the camera from the DHL depot (an hour away) as she came through town at 9:57 p.m. They close at 10 p.m. When she got here after a long day she was sure I was more excited to see the camera than her. Which of course was not true. Though I did keep it nearby. Still, not bad - 1 week from Hong Kong to Quesnel, B.C. with a May Day holiday in China and a customs delay here in Canada.

Having exposed several hundred shots with a D800 in Hong Kong it is not unfamiliar to me. In addition my son has been reporting on his use of it and the options he as set on his camera. Life is busy here right now but I did manage to stick on my 200-400 f4 on the way to town the other evening, and managed to get my first 28 shots on the D800, of a black bear. I set nothing other than basic menu items - set it on P - and fired away.  I am, to say the least, impressed with the first few shots. Exposure is within 1/3 of what I wanted and for hand held with a 400mm, resting, at 1/50, the images are as sharp as I could expect. However, I am anxious to set up my new LaCie RAID drive as the file size of these shots is 42 MB. You have to love were you live when your first test subject is a black bear.




Black bear near Wells, B.C. Nikon D800, Nikkor 200-400mm f4, ISO 100, f4, 1/50th.
No alterations other than a 50% crop of the bottom photo. Richard Wright photos.
Lots of blog material yet to cover, so stayed tuned for updates on the D800 and the D800E.

Website: http://richardtwright.photoshelter.com
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