Nikon announces the D800

After many months of the usual bullshit Internet speculation-fests, Nikon finally let the D800 out of the bag. As Nikon Rumors has been predicting for a long time, it’s 36 megapixels (“At its core is superior image quality equal to that achieved with medium-format digital cameras,” reads the press release). It has high-def “broadcast quality” video and more bells and whistles than the Doo Dah parade. All told, it’s a hell of a nice camera for a fairly reasonable price ($2900, only $200 more than the D700 was when it was released in 2008). But will the D700 crowd welcome it with open arms?
The Nikon D800

I used to own a D700, but liquified it so I could afford the D800, even though I didn’t know yet what the D800 would be. What it turned out to be is a bit of a new direction. The massive image size and slower frame rate (four frames per second in FX mode) means it’s better suited to subjects that don’t move around much (nature, landscape, studio). It’s not ideal for me, as I plan to shoot rock climbing with it, among other sporty things. Then again, when you really think about it, how fast are those climbers going, anyway? Not that fast… Unless they’re falling. I have noticed some grumbling in the forums that this camera just won’t do what the D700 as far as fast shooting in low light, which is great for shooting action and photo journalism. But on the other hand, it does a lot that the D700 couldn’t do at all.

Continue reading Nikon announces the D800

Your head must feel very heavy

Zen Teacher: “There is a big stone. Do you consider it to be inside or outside your mind?”

Monk: “From the Buddhist viewpoint everything is an objectification of mind, so I would say that the stone is inside my mind.”

Zen Teacher: “Your head must feel very heavy if you are carrying around a stone like that in your mind.”

(Full story here.)

The title of this blog was taken from a Zen story published in the book Zen Flesh Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings, compiled by Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki. Like most of the stories in the book, this one is less than a page from title to closing punctuation. Even so, the story can be condensed into the paraphrase, above, without losing too much meaning.

The Monk’s response is blandly intellectual. Meanwhile, the Zen teacher’s reply is, in the great tradition of Zen teaching, glib to the point of absurdity. The Zen teacher would have known the student’s mind would flow in the direction it did, and his snarky reply was intended to shock the student into awareness. The student’s words were merely symbols in an if/then equation. If everything is and objectification of mind, then that stone is in my mind. But the there’s more to existence than cold ratiocination, and the teacher uses words to point the student (and the reader, of course) towards a deeper understanding. Words won’t get you to enlightenment, but they can illuminate the path.

As a guy with a particularly ponderous stone in my head, I hope to use words as a lantern to brighten my own path and maybe yours, too, dear reader. Just a moment ago, I wrote a long list of topics you should expect to see on this blog, but I deleted it, fearing I’d only disappoint those who’d hold me to it, not to mention limit myself before I’ve even started. Like my life (and, hopefully, yours), this blog is an experiment, ever evolving. Perhaps at some point I’ll be able to say precisely what it is about and who it is for. But for now, the limits are set only by the boundaries of my own interests, which are diverse. Until the next post.

The Blockhead Lord