Nikon Camera - FX or DX

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by 68deluxe, May 31, 2013.

  1. 68deluxe

    68deluxe Long timer

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    I currently have a Nikon D50, AF-S 18-200, AF 50 1.8D, and an AF 24 2.8. We are going to be in San Francisco for the Americas Cup finals this September and I would like to make sure my equipment is up to the once in a lifetime (for me) event. I used D50 and zoom lens in Antiqua a few years ago and was disappointed at the results, many images are a little soft. A friend just suggested that the 18-200 lens if fine but I should upgrade the body. I am not a pro, or even serious amateur by any means. I understand that digital cameras are becoming more like computers and are improving every year. I am trying to keep the budget under $2K. Some possible choices:

    1. Keep the D50 as a backup/every day camera with the 50mm (or an inexpensive zoom) and get a D7100 body to pair with the 18-200.

    2. Buy a D600 and hope that the sensor stays dust/oil free. Keep the existing lenses.

    3. Buy a D800 and hide the receipt from my wife. :D Keep the existing lenses.


    I could probably get $100 for the D50 body and 50mm lens on E-bay so I really don't see the need to get rid of them. The 24mm lens would go for more $$$ and would be redundant if I bought a smaller zoom to keep on the D50. I am not sure how far away I will be from the race, at this time I am not sure if I will be watching from land or a boat. Renting an FX camera/lens for a week would be around $600 although a lens only would be $90. Here is one pic from Antigua:

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. RocketJohn

    RocketJohn Hook em' Horns!

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    If people aren't paying you for photos, DX, plus it's a ton lighter for running around. I actually use mine because its small and somewhat light. D5100

    One year, 6,000 shots. Not bad for a $600 kit.

    A sample crop, where I was not close to being close

    [​IMG]

    Album here
    #2
  3. Emperor Norton

    Emperor Norton Kilroy was here

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    IMO you're better off with a great lens and an ok body than the other way around. A great body will do a great job of pointing out any issues with a less than uber lens.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/wEpssQjhKOA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #3
  4. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    It's likely a combination but in good part the 18-200. Even with all the fancy glass in there a super zoom is a huge compromise.....it'll do nearly everything, just not that well.

    How much are you looking to spend in total? Also the only lenses that will work for the full frame are the 24 and the 50. The 18-200 is a DX lens, so you'd be missing a ton of the frame. If you went FX expect to spend another 800-4,500 in lenses for quality glass to cover that zoom range. That range starts off with used lenses, and the 4,500 would be the top of the line Nikkor's.

    I'd say go D7100 and grab a few lenses. If you like having the convenience of the 18-200 keep it for those times but I'd still get something roughly in the 16-50 range, then either the 50-150 Sigma or a 70-200, all of these you'll want as F2.8 lenses.
    #4
  5. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

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    The Nikon 80-200 F2.8 @ approx $1100 is less than half the price of the 70-200 F 2.8. Both FX lens's, the 70-200 being the go to lens in that size.

    Not sure if it will work with the D50 but it will take some nice pictures.

    [​IMG]

    taken with a D700.
    #5
  6. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

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    but after a year I did take it back to B&H and traded it in on the 70-200 F 2.8 :D

    [​IMG]
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  7. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

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    get the 800. rent a lens. a big one.
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  8. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    Or the push/pull 80-200 which can be had for 500-600 used :nod
    #8
  9. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

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    I think the 70-200 will auto focus faster but I think the 80-200 when everything is right can give a sharper image.

    can't imagine the distances he'll be shooting at an event like sailing. even if he's out on another boat I'd think the 200mm would be not enough lens.
    #9
  10. 68deluxe

    68deluxe Long timer

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    I would prefer a fixed lens but I do not know how close I will be to the boats. I got the 18-200 for the Antigua trip as my only lens, hence the big range. I might opt for the D600 if the prices drop in the next month, otherwise I will probably get the D7100.
    #10
  11. 68deluxe

    68deluxe Long timer

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    The boats are 72 feet long and probably have a 100 foot tall mast, even if I was a few hundred yards away I would hope 200 to 300 would be sufficient.
    #11
  12. CRP6001

    CRP6001 Photographer

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    Adorama has refurbished D600s for $1599. Join the VIP Club (it's free)
    and pay a $7.95 fee and they will add a year to the 90 day Nikon refurb
    warranty. I use an AF 300mm F4 IF-ED that I purchased new in 1987 on
    the D600 and it works great. You have a 24 and a 50, add an 85 and a
    long telephoto and you will have everything you need.
    #12
  13. wxwax

    wxwax Excited Member

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    Assuming you got the shutter speed right, it's the lens. An 18-200 is a huge compromise.

    If you have the money, by all means get a body. But it won't make the difference that a better lens will.
    #13
  14. Sylvia

    Sylvia vir sapit qui pauca loqui

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    D7100 + 80-200 will give you very nice images.
    Bonus is dx which is x1.5 so roughly 120-300 give or take.
    #14
  15. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    D7100 :deal

    24MP on a DX sensor means you'll get that 1.5x crop factor (a 200 on it is like a 300 on FX) AND you'll be able to crop it big time since it has 24MP in that small space.

    In comparison for the DX coverage area (since with a FF you'll likely be cropping more):
    D7100 24MP
    D600 10.5MP
    D800 15.3MP
    #15
  16. 68deluxe

    68deluxe Long timer

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    I just spotted a refurbished D800 for $2300 and a (8+) D3 for $2100 at B and H. I may call for more info to see how many clicks they have. The wife signed off on getting a better lens (FX) now, time to decide between the 70-200's or 80-200.
    #16
  17. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

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    For what you're doing I'd go for the D800, that D3 has the same sensor as my D700 and while it's great for low light if you're going to need to crop down the D800 will give you a lot more resolution to play with. You'll lose the FPS so it is a trade off, though one other thing about the D3 is it doesn't have a sensor cleaning system. With the D700 it can be annoying even running the sensor cleaning automatically at start up/shut down, I remember the lack of this being a common complaint of the old D3. The bigger opening sucks in a lot more dirt compared to the D50 than you'd expect.

    Also I'd look into 3rd party lenses, I don't have the time to look it up right now but you should be able to find info on how the new Sigma & Tamron 70-200's compare. Price wise IIRC they are 1250-1500.
    #17
  18. thumperpilot

    thumperpilot Thumper Pilot

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    D7100, Nikon F2.8 24-70mm lens:

    [​IMG]

    The D7100 is a way better camera than I am a photographer.

    I love it.

    :D

    .
    #18
  19. FLYING EYEBALL

    FLYING EYEBALL out of step

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    The 24-70 doesn't hurt :D
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  20. Ladukebob

    Ladukebob lost in hood river

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    If I ever upgrade from my D90 it will be to the D7100. Or what ever the current model is when I do upgrade. They change so quickly. I've had no complaints with the D90 so far and I would agree it's more about the lens that the camera.
    #20