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My Conclusions About The Nikon P900
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Jul 1, 2015 09:50:49   #
rdgreenwood
 
At the risk of bursting some bubbles, I want to add a post that sums up my final conclusions on the Nikon P900. Last week I went to Florida and left my Nikon D800E and Canon G-12 at home, committed to giving the P900 a thorough trial. I shot birds, landscapes, interiors, and people. Here is what I decided.

I hear what everyone is saying about the zoom capability of the P900, but what good is it as a practical matter? At full zoom 2000mm is nearly impossible to hand hold; hell, even 500mm is dicey when it's hand held.

Okay, so you use a tripod. At 2000mm tracking a large bird is extremely difficult if you're on a tripod. I know that some heads are easier to use than others, but when the smallest movement equates to the loss of target and focus it's no mean task to collect it all and recover the shot.

I hate to say it, but unless your photographic goal is to create videos of things that are far away and to feed off the "oooos" and "aahs" of others, put your $600 back in your pocket and count it as a down payment on a mirrorless camera. As a bridge camera the P900 can't keep up with my Canon G-12.

The P900 is a bold step on Nikon's part, but shooting soft images from 24 to 2000mm, frustrating the user as he desperately struggles to keep a subject in the frame as every small movement--ISO adjustment, focal length tweak, a small bit of side conversation--and the occasional lock-up make it a weak package.

So that's my take on the P900. It's over-hyped, and purchasing one was the worst photographic expenditure I've made since I bought a 43-86mm lens in 1968.

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Jul 1, 2015 09:52:39   #
jerryc41 (a regular here)
 
rdgreenwood wrote:
So that's my take on the P900. It's over-hyped, and purchasing one was the worst photographic expenditure I've made since I bought a 43-86mm lens in 1968.

Sorry to hear that. So, are you offering it in the Classified section?

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Jul 1, 2015 10:02:38   #
rdgreenwood
 
That's a tough question. If I were to sell it, I'd want to get around $500 for it, but then there's the fact that it locked up on me twice--I had to pop the battery to get the camera to unfreeze--and I'm a little uncomfortable selling something I've just panned.

Having said all that, if someone still wanted to have a go at it, I guess I would sell it.

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Jul 1, 2015 10:06:29   #
wingclui44
 
rdgreenwood wrote:
At the risk of bursting some bubbles, I want to add a post that sums up my final conclusions on the Nikon P900. Last week I went to Florida and left my Nikon D800E and Canon G-12 at home, committed to giving the P900 a thorough trial. I shot birds, landscapes, interiors, and people. Here is what I decided.

I hear what everyone is saying about the zoom capability of the P900, but what good is it as a practical matter? At full zoom 2000mm is nearly impossible to hand hold; hell, even 500mm is dicey when it's hand held.

Okay, so you use a tripod. At 2000mm tracking a large bird is extremely difficult if you're on a tripod. I know that some heads are easier to use than others, but when the smallest movement equates to the loss of target and focus it's no mean task to collect it all and recover the shot.

I hate to say it, but unless your photographic goal is to create videos of things that are far away and to feed off the "oooos" and "aahs" of others, put your $600 back in your pocket and count it as a down payment on a mirrorless camera. As a bridge camera the P900 can't keep up with my Canon G-12.

The P900 is a bold step on Nikon's part, but shooting soft images from 24 to 2000mm, frustrating the user as he desperately struggles to keep a subject in the frame as every small movement--ISO adjustment, focal length tweak, a small bit of side conversation--and the occasional lock-up make it a weak package.

So that's my take on the P900. It's over-hyped, and purchasing one was the worst photographic expenditure I've made since I bought a 43-86mm lens in 1968.
At the risk of bursting some bubbles, I want to ad... (show quote)


Good point! Soft image is what you get from a small size sensor and tons of glasses for the light to go through.
By the way, I had this 43-86mm Nikkor bought with my Nikon Ftn and the Nikkotmat Ftn in 1971, I do like it's softness for portrait. I now use it on my Df. Remember that this zoom was the first Nikon zoom with constant aperture a f3.5.

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Jul 1, 2015 10:13:24   #
rdgreenwood
 
wingclui44 wrote:
Good point! Soft image is what you get from a small size sensor and tons of glasses for the light to go through.
By the way, I had this 43-86mm Nikkor bought with my Nikon Ftn and the Nikkotmat Ftn in 1971, I do like it's softness for portrait. I now use it on my Df. Remember that this zoom was the first Nikon zoom with constant aperture a f3.5.
Yep, "softness" is a definite characteristic of the 43-86. But I was hoping for a sharp zoom! I sold it in 1976, warning the buyer that it was soft at all focal lengths. My next zoom was a 24-120 that I used on my 8008s and loved.

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Jul 1, 2015 10:20:00   #
jeep_daddy (a regular here)
 
For my friend Bette's sake, I hope you are wrong. She currently has the P600 and loves it. She figures that if the P600 with a 60x zoom is good, that the P900 with 83x zoom is better. To be perfectly honest with you, she's got some fantastic images with her P600 that you'd think came from a Pro DSLR and a 600mm prime lens (or larger).
rdgreenwood wrote:
At the risk of bursting some bubbles, I want to add a post that sums up my final conclusions on the Nikon P900. Last week I went to Florida and left my Nikon D800E and Canon G-12 at home, committed to giving the P900 a thorough trial. I shot birds, landscapes, interiors, and people. Here is what I decided.

I hear what everyone is saying about the zoom capability of the P900, but what good is it as a practical matter? At full zoom 2000mm is nearly impossible to hand hold; hell, even 500mm is dicey when it's hand held.

Okay, so you use a tripod. At 2000mm tracking a large bird is extremely difficult if you're on a tripod. I know that some heads are easier to use than others, but when the smallest movement equates to the loss of target and focus it's no mean task to collect it all and recover the shot.

I hate to say it, but unless your photographic goal is to create videos of things that are far away and to feed off the "oooos" and "aahs" of others, put your $600 back in your pocket and count it as a down payment on a mirrorless camera. As a bridge camera the P900 can't keep up with my Canon G-12.

The P900 is a bold step on Nikon's part, but shooting soft images from 24 to 2000mm, frustrating the user as he desperately struggles to keep a subject in the frame as every small movement--ISO adjustment, focal length tweak, a small bit of side conversation--and the occasional lock-up make it a weak package.

So that's my take on the P900. It's over-hyped, and purchasing one was the worst photographic expenditure I've made since I bought a 43-86mm lens in 1968.
At the risk of bursting some bubbles, I want to ad... (show quote)

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Jul 1, 2015 10:30:37   #
Tom Kelley
 
rdgreenwood wrote:
At the risk of bursting some bubbles, I want to add a post that sums up my final conclusions on the Nikon P900. Last week I went to Florida and left my Nikon D800E and Canon G-12 at home, committed to giving the P900 a thorough trial. I shot birds, landscapes, interiors, and people. Here is what I decided.

I hear what everyone is saying about the zoom capability of the P900, but what good is it as a practical matter? At full zoom 2000mm is nearly impossible to hand hold; hell, even 500mm is dicey when it's hand held.

Okay, so you use a tripod. At 2000mm tracking a large bird is extremely difficult if you're on a tripod. I know that some heads are easier to use than others, but when the smallest movement equates to the loss of target and focus it's no mean task to collect it all and recover the shot.

I hate to say it, but unless your photographic goal is to create videos of things that are far away and to feed off the "oooos" and "aahs" of others, put your $600 back in your pocket and count it as a down payment on a mirrorless camera. As a bridge camera the P900 can't keep up with my Canon G-12.

The P900 is a bold step on Nikon's part, but shooting soft images from 24 to 2000mm, frustrating the user as he desperately struggles to keep a subject in the frame as every small movement--ISO adjustment, focal length tweak, a small bit of side conversation--and the occasional lock-up make it a weak package.

So that's my take on the P900. It's over-hyped, and purchasing one was the worst photographic expenditure I've made since I bought a 43-86mm lens in 1968.
At the risk of bursting some bubbles, I want to ad... (show quote)


I own the Canon SX50, and even at 1200 it's tough hand held. I actually use mine for closer shots like up to around 200mm and of course the wide angle shots. I paid $200.00 for it refurbished from Canon and love it for what i use it for. I'm sure there are those who can master it much better than i can for all it will do. I have the Sigma 150-600 for my longer shots. It's my opinion that these cameras, Nikon, Canon and the others are all good, but for the better quality long shots you need to use your interchangeable lens camera.

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Jul 1, 2015 10:31:56   #
jerryc41 (a regular here)
 
rdgreenwood wrote:
...and I'm a little uncomfortable selling something I've just panned.

If someone doesn't want it, he won't buy it.

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Jul 1, 2015 10:40:22   #
MT Shooter
 
rdgreenwood wrote:
At the risk of bursting some bubbles, I want to add a post that sums up my final conclusions on the Nikon P900. Last week I went to Florida and left my Nikon D800E and Canon G-12 at home, committed to giving the P900 a thorough trial. I shot birds, landscapes, interiors, and people. Here is what I decided.

I hear what everyone is saying about the zoom capability of the P900, but what good is it as a practical matter? At full zoom 2000mm is nearly impossible to hand hold; hell, even 500mm is dicey when it's hand held.

Okay, so you use a tripod. At 2000mm tracking a large bird is extremely difficult if you're on a tripod. I know that some heads are easier to use than others, but when the smallest movement equates to the loss of target and focus it's no mean task to collect it all and recover the shot.

I hate to say it, but unless your photographic goal is to create videos of things that are far away and to feed off the "oooos" and "aahs" of others, put your $600 back in your pocket and count it as a down payment on a mirrorless camera. As a bridge camera the P900 can't keep up with my Canon G-12.

The P900 is a bold step on Nikon's part, but shooting soft images from 24 to 2000mm, frustrating the user as he desperately struggles to keep a subject in the frame as every small movement--ISO adjustment, focal length tweak, a small bit of side conversation--and the occasional lock-up make it a weak package.

So that's my take on the P900. It's over-hyped, and purchasing one was the worst photographic expenditure I've made since I bought a 43-86mm lens in 1968.
At the risk of bursting some bubbles, I want to ad... (show quote)


I have sold several of these P900's, and played with my demo before selling it, and the one consistent comment I have gotten back as feedback was how amazingly sharp the images were, at all focal lengths.
Handheld at 2000mm? Difficult at BEST! If you are having soft images I would send it in to Nikon to be checked and serviced under warranty, anyone you sell this camera to would never be able to get warranty work on it if needed because camera warranties are never transferrable.

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Jul 1, 2015 10:47:50   #
wingclui44
 
rdgreenwood wrote:
Yep, "softness" is a definite characteristic of the 43-86. But I was hoping for a sharp zoom! I sold it in 1976, warning the buyer that it was soft at all focal lengths. My next zoom was a 24-120 that I used on my 8008s and loved.


After several years later, I bought the Tokina AT-X 28-85mm f3.5-f4.5 AI, very good zoom with close up ability, and still using it now.

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Jul 1, 2015 11:05:46   #
rdgreenwood
 
jerryc41 wrote:
If someone doesn't want it, he won't buy it.
I guess you're right. I thought about it and decided a few shots might be appropriate. People can judge for themselves.
This was shot inside, hand-held
This was shot inside, hand-held...
(Download)
I tone-mapped this image
I tone-mapped this image...
This was also tone-mapped
This was also tone-mapped...

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Jul 1, 2015 11:15:32   #
Ched49 (a regular here)
 
With these mega zoom bridge cameras you can't expect to get detailed photo's at long end but all things considered...they do produce good looking photo's.

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Jul 1, 2015 11:45:59   #
JPL
 
rdgreenwood wrote:
Yep, "softness" is a definite characteristic of the 43-86. But I was hoping for a sharp zoom! I sold it in 1976, warning the buyer that it was soft at all focal lengths. My next zoom was a 24-120 that I used on my 8008s and loved.


Actually they made 2 versions of the 43-86 lens. It started out so bad that it was soon improved a bit in the second version.

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Jul 1, 2015 12:07:03   #
wingclui44
 
JPL wrote:
Actually they made 2 versions of the 43-86 lens. It started out so bad that it was soon improved a bit in the second version.


Actually, they made three more version of this lens, one in 1974, following in 1976 and an AI version in 1977. You still can find this lens in Adorama and B&H for very little money.

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Jul 1, 2015 12:37:17   #
rdgreenwood
 
JPL wrote:
Actually they made 2 versions of the 43-86 lens. It started out so bad that it was soon improved a bit in the second version.
Hmmm... Seems like I have a track record as a misguided early adoptor. I bought the first generation of the lens.

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