Don't want to waste a silver bullet

PyratPyrat Posts: 10Member
edited June 2013 in Nikon Lenses
I am a long time lurker here on the forum, and have learned an amazing amount from everyone. In most every case someone else has proposed a question that I have considered prior to my having to post, and I have benefitted from the diversity of answers. Finally, I have now encountered a situation that is a bit overwhelming that I haven't yet seen on the board.
I shoot a D7000, using a pretty complete set of Nikon primes (35 2.0, 35 1.8, 50 1.8D, 50 1.4D, 85 1.4D), and some weaker link zooms (Tok 11-16, N 18-200) As a hobbyist my interests are diverse, but most of my shots amount to family portraiture, with some travel, landscape, and now a fair bit of video.
My goal is to add a pro-quality midrange zoom, tele-zoom, and ultimately a FF body to enable the ability to spend my time swapping bodies instead of lenses and to support two camera video shoots. My silver bullet question is this - I now have $4k that I can guilt free spend on some upgrades, and never having had this opportunity before (not likely again), want to make damn certain I do not blow it.
I have rented a 70-200V2 - and absolutely loved it. It's got to be a part of the solution, although many of you would counsel the VI would be more appropriate, for the difference in price it would have to open up some very significant options to go that way. Mid-Range I have the identical conflict many, many others seem to have - I WANT a 24-70, while my skills are far better suited to the VR of the 24-120 - and of note, I use Aperture, so I don't have all those cool barrel and pincushion fix-it tools all of you Adobe guys have, so shooting a 24-120 will be a bit rougher.
Nikon has quite a sale on now - which enables the ability to purchase virtually any combination of the above with a DX body - which is all good, but it doesn't advance the FF process. Here are my considered paths:
1) Get new 70-200V2, new 24-70. Wait on FF upgrade and second body
2) Get used 70-200V1, used 24-70, used D600
3) Get new 70-200V2, new 24-120, and leverage discount to fund a DX body.

After bit and piecing all of my lenses together, it sure would be nice to be the first guy to crack open a gold box, but is that very hedonistic pleasure too expensive for my budget?


D610, 11-16 Tok, 17-50 Siggy, 35 f1.4 Siggy, 70-300AFS, 24-120 f4, 70-200 f2.8 vII, 50 f1.4D, 85 f1.4D, 55 2.8AIS Nikkors. SB 900, SB 600, B&W, Lee filters


  • FlowtographyBerlinFlowtographyBerlin Posts: 477Member
    Since I'm not a DX shooter and don't know the D600, I can't tell you anything about those things, but one very easy and rather rock-solid way to save money on camera gear is to buy refurbished gear or used from trustworthy sources. So I'd definitely go for that path to get the highest bang for the buck.

    One thing on FF: The good DX cameras nowadays seem to be great, yes. And there's a lot of marketing blah blah made around "upgrading" to FF – as if it were naturally better (which, in some aspects, it actually is, but not in general). While FF may not be effectively "better", it sure is different, and most likely, you will love it. To give you one of the most visible reasons: You will love the DOF, especially if you're into video.

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited June 2013
    for my ten penny worth

    I would forget the D600 as the focusing does not seem up to ether the D7100 or the D800

    I have the 24 -120 and the 70 -200 f 2.8 both on a D800; I got the 70 -200 first, but since buying the 24-120 , hardly use it, except for very low light, available light stuff

    my advice; get a D800 and the "new " 24 -120 f 4 , then save up for the new gob smacking amazing new 80 -400
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,751Member
    I would go with option #2 but hold up buying the D600.

    "2) Get used 70-200V1, used 24-70,"

    Then wait for the D400 to come out and then look for good buys on a D600 or a D800. Keep the left over money in your camera slush fund and DO NOT SPEND IT until you find a good D600/D800.

    The 70-200mm F/2.8 is a fantastic lens. I recently added the Nikon 1.7x tele converter and my of my, great images. It's definitely calibrated for the 70-200.

    I only wish I had your problem of deciding how to spend $4K.

    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,287Member
    I agree with holding back on a new body purchase. Unless you really want to step up to full frame, there's no reason to upgrade from your D7000. It's a smarter decision to hold off on a body purchase as you benefit less from the technological advance.

    How much do you care in terms of weight? If you do, the 24-70 may be a bad idea and the 24-120 may be a better idea. From what I hear though, don't get the old 24-120, the new one is a lot better.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    Another opinion.....I have the primes 24, 35, 50, 85, 105, 135. the Zooms 24-120, 70-200 VRII, and others....

    I do not have a 24-70mm f/2.8, but probably wish I would have purchased that instead of the 24-120, although the VR is very nice, the 24-120 is sharp and is an excellent walk around.

    We are in a period of change with Nikon, IMO, and no one knows what the D400 is going to be.

    My suggestions:

    70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, new. Shoot with this for a period of several months, saving the rest of the money until we see what shows up from Nikon. Then, make a decision on FX, DX, long lens, or whatever, but I think it best to go with one piece of equipment at a time unless one is shooting professionally.

    For sure, I would avoid a D600 at this time.
    Msmoto, mod
  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    edited June 2013
    New 70-200mm VR2 for sure.
    Avoid D600.
    I bought a 24-120mm f/4 VR 2nd generation to compare it to my already owned 24-70mm f/2.8. It was OK but still sent it back before the 30 day return period was up. I'm sure it'll make a good walk around and portrait lens though. I just love everything about the 24-70mm too much. This includes the weight, size, and shape of it. VR is good for when you have time for the VR to work. The 24-70 focuses instantly for you to get that shot NOW. Consider it.
    If all you get is the 70-200 VR2 right now, save the rest of the money. Tuck it away and pretend it doesn't exist.
    Post edited by Rx4Photo on
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    @ Pyrat - you only have to look at the longish D600 thread on oil and dust to know that the 'dust' hasn't settled on the body. It would be unwise at best to buy a new or used D600 body, ever; it's simply toxic it the marketplace.

    Your options are always dependent upon what you like to shoot.

    If you favor landscapes, wides should be in your kit, if you like portraits, medium telephotos should be, and naturally, micros for closeup.

    Before you let loose with any cash, take an inventory with Adobe Bridge or similar of the shots that you've done over time - the ones you like doing, and furthermore - and perhaps more inportantly, take stock of the shots you want to do and can't do now because of limitations of lenses you lack. Note what range those shots are in and also what is unique about them, and what I'm driving at, what aperture and focal length is necessary to get that look.

    It could be that the lens/aperture is way beyond your pocketbook, and you might need to adjust your expectations or adjust your goals, or OTOH (and equally possible), your goals could fit into another tool kit that is more modest than you think.

    In either case, until you do some due diligence, you're walking in the dark without a flashlight or guidebook, and you have a bunch of eager people willing to help you.

    My best,

  • PyratPyrat Posts: 10Member
    Thanks, all. As always a diverse and well supported conversation.
    Wow - I wouldn't have thought there would be that strong a consensus on the d600. My experience here observing prepared me for opinions on all sides...I certainly have been tracking the issues with focus and oil, but expected there would be more support for the path that I ( as a hobbyist) am supposed to take., but had a feeling it wasn't the right decision. Bit of an issue now, as the d800 and d4 are obviously out of range for the budget, but product design and quality issues with d600 really appear to take me out of the chance for nice DOF and current technology. Msmoto, we certainly are in a period of transition, although how Nikon could have added models to the FX line, but given us fewer choices is an interesting quandary.
    I certainly will be moving forward with the V2 70-200, and will look more closely at the 24-70 on the buy/sell boards. If there is anything left, it will go into the kitty for whatever is next. I may even leverage the discount to buy two new versions, and add some cash to pick up a second d7000. It doesn't get me all of what I'm looking for, but it obviously will address my needs for years to come. Thank you all.
    D610, 11-16 Tok, 17-50 Siggy, 35 f1.4 Siggy, 70-300AFS, 24-120 f4, 70-200 f2.8 vII, 50 f1.4D, 85 f1.4D, 55 2.8AIS Nikkors. SB 900, SB 600, B&W, Lee filters
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    Short and sweet answer for you: D800, 24-70 & 70-200 VR II. If you can find these second hand go for it.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • sidewayssideways Posts: 54Member
    What Golf said !

    These three make a brilliant set. They're tough and if you take time to find excellent quality used items you can save a few dollars and not go too far over budget. If you have these, I think that some of your existing equipment will become surplus and you'll be able to sell it on to help fund this trio or an additional FF lens.

    Buy the 70-200 first. It gives a 100 ish -300mm equivalent which is very usable and will give great results on your D7100. The f/2.8 aperture will help your DX body to autofocus quickly, accurately and in lower light conditions.

    Then upgrade the body to take full advantage of the lens. The D800 is a superb camera.

    Once you've gone FF you'll soon find yourself wanting the 24-70 f/2.8, but while you're still on DX this is a 35mm-105mm equivalent - an awkward range that is missing the valuable 24-28mm focal lengths.
    There's no VR on this lens but VR doesn't help you to "freeze" moving subjects. An f/2.8 aperture does.

    I would suggest that you go and handle this stuff. It's wonderfully solid but compared to many DX systems it feels heavy enough to break rocks with !

    Alternatives just in case: the 70-200 f/4 is smaller and lighter with reports of good sharpness. If travelling light is more valuable to you than the fast aperture of the F/2.8 then it maybe worth a look.
    If you like long range, then the new 80-400 appears to be sharp and relatively light and versatile for a lens with a 400mm reach, but it's variable aperture and will take a BIG bite out of your budget.

    Enjoy the research :-) It's a good chunk of cash so you may as well have fun figuring out how best to use it !
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited June 2013
    the d800 and d4 are obviously out of range for the budget,........and add some cash to pick up a second d7000. .
    the big down side of FX is the cost . The big advantage of DX is cost

    If you cannot afford to go FX and get a D800 then why not go for the D7100. I have to confess I have never used one but the reviews all seem very good, the focusing seems faster than the D700. It is the reports of slow focusing, that would put me off a D600 not oil / dust

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    I think the 70-200 VR1 or 2 is a no brainer for FX & DX. I love that lens. I have the VR1, tried the VR2 and just didn't see the justification for getting the VR2, especially since my VR1 was only a couple of years old.

    I have been sitting on the edge of the 24-70 & 24-120 for 2 years now. I have rented both multiple times for jobs and both are great but I just don't find the need at the moment. I actually prefer the 24-120 for the extra reach and it is sharp wide open. If I want DOF I'm using a prime anyway so F4 is more than good enough. The distortion is really not bad at all, and is about the same as the 24-70 to my eye on the widest end. It does improve greatly, very quickly. I never noticed it on the long end for portraits.

    I prefer primes in this range for DOF, have an old tokina 28-70 2.6-2.8, AFD24-85 (non VR), 24-120vr (1st ver) and the only time I feel the need to reach for them is only for family/friends/walk around stuff. I do keep looking at the Tamron 24-70/2.8 VC but that is a "bokeh" thought - which primes do better.

    For video I keep reading the new 24-85vr is actually designed for it and works the best (at the moment). It is a compromise, but worth some research. If you do 2 rig set-up and shallow DOF isn't needed for video - it is worth some research due to it's price.

    At this time if I find the need for a mid range zoom for work - I'm going with the 24-70 due to the robustness of it. If it is more for me and a little work I will probably go with the 24-120 f4. If the need doesn't arise I'll be thinking the same a year from now.

    Not to throw a bad kink into things, but the 70-200 F4 VR should be worth a look if it is not for work. You have the primes for DOF. Smaller, lighter, very sharp. You could get the whole F4 set 16-35, 24-120, 70-200, and really cover everything and maybe a flash or continuous light for about the same price.

    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • JohnJohn Posts: 134Member
    The short and sweet answer:

    1) Get new 70-200V2, new 24-70. Wait on FF upgrade and second body

    I have both lenses on my D800 and love them.
    The 70-200 is probably the best protrait and light zoom lens that I have ever used and the 24-70 is an excellent all round lens and is an excellent choice when on holiday or when doing landscape photography.
    Both lenses offer very good resolution, are fairly fast (f2.8) and are build like a tank.
    I have been shooting them on my D800 since the release of the camera and at no point in time did I ever miss not having a prime lens with me. There might be some exceptions for wedding photographers who need to shoot in very low light but appart from that I don't see any reason not to use these zooms.
    Even on very large prints they remain up to the task.

    One possible disadvantage is that both of them are fairly heavy. Taking two bodies + both lenses with you on a hike will require a good backback. I use the lowpro backside series myself and have never had any problems to carry the gear.

    Also note that I have no experience filming with my camera. So far I'm sticking to photography.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,186Member
    edited June 2013
    When I am in the mood for a shoot.. I take 2 cameras.

    I would say go for the D600. (Yes, it does not focus as well as the D800 . but for video you want to manually focus anyway.) Having both DX and FX doubles your lenses FOV choices, You may be able to get rid of your 50mm as that Focal Length becomes redundant in a 2 camera FX/DX setup. then the 70-200 becomes reachable in price. I would still consider the F4 or Version 1 F2.8 as viable budget options(and that TC17 was designed with the old 70-200 F2.8)

    With the number of MP we have these days .. a "Digital Zoom" makes all your primes into little zoom lenses. eg the 85mm can easily "extend" to 160mm .. :-) so that 24-120 may seem a bit redundant. esp since you still have that 18-200 for the happy snappy situations.

    Also the D600 in terms of low light sensor capability is second only to the D4. It should open up a whole new world for you!
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    @heartyfisher: Yeah, the low light capability really shows the spots on the sensor well.....
    Always learning.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,186Member
    edited June 2013
    @heartyfisher: Yeah, the low light capability really shows the spots on the sensor well.....
    LOL Be positive, surely not all D600 have OIL spots.. and its probably cleared up by now no? Maybe fixing all those d600 oil spots is delaying the D400 ;-) and even if it does have oilspots [I AM|SURE] Nikon will fix it for me. ;-)

    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    edited June 2013

    LOL! - haven't you read ANY of the above pages? ;)
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • GarethGareth Posts: 159Member
    Have you thought about buying a used D700? They are selling for as low as $1000 now, sometimes for even less. I have decided to sell my d300s and rent when I need a second body (I'm a pro). Though I like the extra reach of DX, I would rather have 2 FX cameras than one of each, when shooting them both at the same time.
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