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  1. #1
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Last Hurrah Spring Ski Tour (Nikon D4)

    We picked up Jenni's new splitboard on Saturday then spent a good part of the day Sunday trying to get everything together so we could get out for a test run in the backcountry. We were blessed with a bunch of fresh snow over the past few days and kept hearing condition were great - especially since the Utah backcountry has been especially avalanche-prone this winter. In spite of me "being done with winter" for a month, we got it together for a late afternoon tour. And boy am I glad we did! It was one of the best days out I had this year. In fact, it was the only real ski tour I did, since I was too nervous about the avalanche conditions to really get out there this winter. The bad thing is, now I've got the bug again - and I'm headed for California to cover a bike event in a couple of days

    All photos were taken with the Nikon D4 pro DSLR and Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm VR zoom lens. This was my first serious action / outdoor outing with this combo and I have to say - it's excellent. The D4 low light performance is excellent, which means I can use a polarizer more of the time, keep the shutter speed up, and get good action photos in the shadows. Plus, the 28-300mm zoom means I don't have to change lenses to have a great range. It's also relatively small and light compared to what I'd usually carry with a full-frame DSLR like the D4.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Last Hurrah Spring Ski Tour (Nikon D4)-_dsc1059.jpg   Last Hurrah Spring Ski Tour (Nikon D4)-_dsc1094.jpg   Last Hurrah Spring Ski Tour (Nikon D4)-_dsc1118.jpg   Last Hurrah Spring Ski Tour (Nikon D4)-_dsc1155.jpg   Last Hurrah Spring Ski Tour (Nikon D4)-_dsc1169.jpg  

    Photo-John


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  2. #2
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Last Hurrah Spring Ski Tour (Nikon D4)

    Looks like that D4 picks up a lot of light range. Nothing blown out and nothing too dark.
    Keep Shooting!

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  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Re: Last Hurrah Spring Ski Tour (Nikon D4)

    Nice! We got snow too. I got so cold on my bike ride on Saturday I wasn't sure if the feeling would ever return to my toes! (it did)
    I had also announced I was done, but the photos from my buddies who went out yesterday might change my mind if it can hold up until I have time to get back out!

    And 18-300! Wow, that is some range! Based on how the photos look that sounds like a winner to me.

  4. #4
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Last Hurrah Spring Ski Tour (Nikon D4)

    Quote Originally Posted by mattb View Post
    And 18-300! Wow, that is some range! Based on how the photos look that sounds like a winner to me.
    Maybe that's a typo, but it's 28-300, not 18-300. It's like an 18-200mm on an APS-C sensor camera. And yeah, it's a great range. Canon has one too, but it's a monster. The Nikon is a pretty decent size for carrying on the skintrack. The auto focus is good, too. I shot the action photos with continuous auto focus. Of course, that's more the camera body than the lens. But some lenses can't hack it.
    Photo-John


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  5. #5
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Last Hurrah Spring Ski Tour (Nikon D4)

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog View Post
    Looks like that D4 picks up a lot of light range. Nothing blown out and nothing too dark.
    Well, Frog - I did work a bit of post-processing magic on these. But the camera captured good files to begin with
    Photo-John


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  6. #6
    Nikonowhore zerodog's Avatar
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    Re: Last Hurrah Spring Ski Tour (Nikon D4)

    Lookin really good on all counts. You guys found some snow! And that 28-300 looks like it treated you well.

  7. #7
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Last Hurrah Spring Ski Tour (Nikon D4)

    Quote Originally Posted by zerodog View Post
    Lookin really good on all counts. You guys found some snow! And that 28-300 looks like it treated you well.
    Yup - up high the snow was great! Coming down the icy, chundery cat track was pretty heinous but totally worth the turns at the top. And the 28-300mm was perfect. The distortion I've been seeing with architectural images isn't an issue out in the mountains and the auto focus worked great. It's a great lens. And Lightroom can automatically correct the distortion if there are buildings in a photo. So, other than a relatively slow variable aperture, there's no reason not to love it.
    Photo-John


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  8. #8
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    Re: Last Hurrah Spring Ski Tour (Nikon D4)

    Seems like it was a good weekend for everyone... Nice looking combo of pow and sun...

    As for the photos, that combo is looking good in the right hands. I need to find a similar lens in the Minolta/Sony A-Mount.... I'm a bit limited in full frame for a single lens solution that is convenient to tour with. Currently use 25 year old Minolta 28-135mm f4-4.5 geared lens... Love the colors and sharpness, but it ways just under 2 pounds and the old gears aren't great for action shots...

    Anyway, back to your photos... Always good, tight cropping... Love'em... I still tend to go too wide when out on a tour as I can never get enough of the scenery... At least I know my problem, next step is to be willing to correct it.. ;)

    How does Jenni like the Chimera? I have a friend in the market for a splitty now after getting him hooked this last weekend. The build quality seem good? I've been able to check out most of the other splits first hand, but not a Chimera.. I like the idea of the partial inside edge as well. Save a little weight on something that rarely comes into play... Just curious how the non-metal edge will hold up in a the long run...

  9. #9
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Last Hurrah Spring Ski Tour (Nikon D4)

    What body are you shooting with? If it's the A900, I don't really have any advice. If it's an APS-C sensor Sony, then they do have an 18-200mm and that's what I'd use. That's my most-used lens with my 7D - especially for backcountry ski and bike stuff. The Nikkor 28-300mm is really nice. The IQ is good and the size and weight are great for a full-frame lens with such a huge range.

    Cropping - I usually end up cropping a ton with my ski photos. But yeah, I do get them pretty tight. I like some scenery too and have to fight the urge to leave too much in.

    That was Jenni's first outing on that board and it's very different from her other one. I think it's gonna take some getting used to. As for the build quality of the Chimera - they're handmade here in Salt Lake by guys who live to tour. Alister (the owner / builder) was out on Wolverine Cirque with his this weekend and they were up in Alaska earlier this winter. I think they're building them to last. But we'll have to see how this one holds up to know for sure.
    Photo-John


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  10. #10
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    Re: Last Hurrah Spring Ski Tour (Nikon D4)

    I'm using the a900, and yes, that is the challenge when finding new FF lenses. It seems the only full frame lens options right now in a similar range to the Nikor are older Tamron and Sigma designs, and well, they just aren't that impressive right now.. Not very fast in light or focus...

    As for the cropping, yes, I have room to do that, and I will once I get some time with the photos at home. The a900 is definitely good for that. But, I should do more cropping in my composition, just a hard habit to break.

    And yes, the guys behind Chimera are definitely legit, so I'll look forward to hearing more on the long-term reviews.... I currently own Prior splits (out of B.C.) and one old Voile split... Honestly haven't had any issue with durability with those either, but... I need to find the perfect split for my wife if she is ever going to make the transition... So, I need a good mix of light and all around function, but in a larger than womans size... She's an athletic 5'11 that normally rides a softer mens 163cm board...

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