Nikon FF for cheapskates

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  • decentristdecentrist Posts: 33Member
    tell me about f/1.8 light not being equal between dx and fx....that's funny!
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    edited April 2018

    tell me about f/1.8 light not being equal between dx and fx....that's funny!

    Do you have a better explanation?
    Post edited by CaMeRaQuEsT on
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    Went out with the D600, 20mm 2.8 AF and 50mm 1.4D to shoot my kids inline skating at the bay walk and the surrounding landscape and had a lot of fun with them, plus a lot of keepers.

    The D600 is definitively not huge for action, given all those AF points being concentrated at the center of the frame, also an easily confused 3D AF doesn't help either, but its buffer depth and FPS are still better than the D7200's and are a huge improvement over my D5500. On the ergonomics side, the more I shoot with it the more I grow accustomed to its weight, so now when I reach for the D5500 it feels like a toy in my hands. I can still use a better grip design, though, like the one on the D750, the D600's right side feels too flat, its contours don't fit nicely with the palm of my hand, so I always feel like I'm not having a good purchase on it.

    I can't stop singing praises on the 20mm 2.8 AF. It is, again, amazingly sharp, and a huge improvement upon the results I had with my previous UWA DX zooms. Coupled with its compact size, great optical performance, AF precision and garage sale price, this lens is probably the last UWA I'll ever need.

    The 50mm 1.4D is the poor Nikon shooter's bokeh generating machine, a lens with a lot of character. At f1.4 it renders your main subject dreamily, if you don't mind or pixel peep its bokeh fringing, while also resolving very good detail and maintaining good contrast. Stop it down just 1/2 a stop to f1.7 and it becomes a completely different lens: no more dreaminess, just sharpness throughout, getting a nice bump in contrast while still providing decent levels of bokeh. It's like having 2 lenses for the price of one, and I got mine for less than 1/2 the price of the cheapest gray market import. And it AFs fast and accurately to booth, keeping pace with the action. Not only is this one a keeper, it's letting me re-acquaint with a FOV I've long despised for not being wide enough nor long enough for my tastes and needs.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,025Member
    The only reason it could vary FX to DX is the AF fine tune is different or not available on the DX
  • KnockKnockKnockKnock Posts: 385Member
    Interesting venture you're on. I "found" a 50mm 1.8 D and put it on my D60 at the time, and got a little of the feel of the romance of jumping back in time a bit. On one hand I'd be all in on trying to experiment with older gear. I was brought up and think in 35mm, so DX has always demanded a little bit of a math coprocessor.

    I get the concept that it doesn't take the latest greatest tech to capture visibly superior photos. But I think the OK button would drive me nuts, the AF issues too, and the latest 70-300mm AF-P stomps most tele's before it. I could probably get a D750 as my last DSLR, and filling a lot of prime gaps with less expensive AF-D versions is cool too. But for all the zooms I would really want VRii. That's just me. When I shoot with my primes, I have to bump my minimum auto-iso setting so it's on the shutter/mm rule or one higher. I look closely and see a lot of very subtle motion blur - I'm sure I didn't notice back in the b/w tri-x pan days.
    D7100, D60, 35mm f/1.8 DX, 50mm f/1.4, 18-105mm DX, 18-55mm VR II, Sony RX-100 ii
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,235Moderator
    Ah, but we were younger then Knockknock and we could hold it steadier even when in awkward positions. I love the D750 and in spite of having the D850 now still think of it as the sweet-spot in the range for a general photographer. By general I mean doesn't specialise in BIF or high-speed sport.
    Always learning.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,423Member
    My problem with the D750 is that it’s almost 4 years old now, and Nikon is still pricing it about the same as when it came out.

    I’d be very tempted if they came out with an update, hopefully at 36 mp or so and with a D5500/5600 style flip out touchscreen.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,187Member
    mhedges said:

    My problem with the D750 is that it’s almost 4 years old now, and Nikon is still pricing it about the same as when it came out.



    I’d be very tempted if they came out with an update, hopefully at 36 mp or so and with a D5500/5600 style flip out touchscreen.

    And yet it is still competitive with the competition. So yeah, I might wait until a replacement comes out, but you can feel good about buying Nikon gear when it has those characteristics.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,235Moderator
    The price reflects its standing in the market I think.
    Always learning.
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    edited April 2018
    KnockKnock, budget constrains, that's the name of the business here. It's a hobby for me, no monetary rewards other than earning some when I flip equipment, so I only purchase what I can afford at a price I can profit later on. And what I'm learning from this exercise is that I can assemble a nice outfit for less money than one based on a D7200 while getting better results, at least when shooting RAW and within the FOVs I normally use, and I very seldom need anything longer than 85mm. So it's a fallacy that staying DX saves you money, it certainly hasn't been the case for me. Using shutter speeds 2x focal length is my new law since I started shooting at 24Mp, and having a fast prime helps a lot in this regard, VR+low shutter speeds are of no use if you want to freeze action, and with landscapes you risk a soft quarter or even a soft half with VR activated. VR good for video you say? A gimbal is a much better option, and they are so cheap nowadays, though they are still big and cumbersome.

    Getting a D750 is my ultimate goal, but in the meantime, I have to live with my D600's shortcomings. I too feel that the D750 is currently being sold somewhat overpriced, as it has been sold in Japan brand new for only $1000 and the gray market ones on ebay are currently at $1250, which is historically the lowest price it's been sold at, and we are not in the max discount season. You can see their turnaround just by clicking on the numbers sold, it doesn't look pretty, at these prices they used to sell off their stocks in just a couple of days, they are now weeks into this sale, with plenty of stock still left. I am also seeing a lot of Nikon gear being sold on eBay because of migration to Sony, the A7III and the A7II selling at $1100 together are taking a big bite out of the D750 sales numbers. The D610 gray market stock at $1,050 is pretty much belly up with no takers, again seeing their sold numbers. But come time to buy a lens, you're spending many times as much in the Sony world while getting poor optics compared to what you can get in the Nikon world, unless you're willing to use a smart adapter with Canon EF lenses, but you still have to deal with Sony's idiosyncrasies and shortcomings, which are too much for me to take.
    Post edited by CaMeRaQuEsT on
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    mhedges said:

    My problem with the D750 is that it’s almost 4 years old now, and Nikon is still pricing it about the same as when it came out.



    I’d be very tempted if they came out with an update, hopefully at 36 mp or so and with a D5500/5600 style flip out touchscreen.

    I have a feeling that Nikon is done with DSRLs, the D850 certainly feeling like a very fitting swangsong. They'll probably do a D6, just like they did an F6 and that will be it. It will be a big surprise for me to see a D750 DSRL replacement, if they do their last window of opportunity would be this year's Photokina and it should perform like a D850 but with only 24Mp, but the overall D750/6DII/5DIV sales numbers after the A7III's introduction and the A7II/A7RII latest round of discounted prices must be very disappointing to both CaNikon and the deal breaker for them to step up to the mirrorless FF plate.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,118Member
    The reality is that the camera makers are trying to hold onto marketshare in a quickly shrinking market. More and more young people are happy with cell phone cameras, so the camera makers are keeping prices high, even on old gear like the D750 in hope of cashing in on older buyers with more disposable income, who don't have that the "cell phone is more than good enough" mindset.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,423Member
    My hot take is that for a lot of people cell phone cameras are good enough.

    Curious to see how mirrorless will play out. Nikon already has too many different camera bodies if you ask me. The need to prune the product line.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,118Member
    edited April 2018
    mhedges said:

    My hot take is that for a lot of people cell phone cameras are good enough.

    Curious to see how mirrorless will play out. Nikon already has too many different camera bodies if you ask me. The need to prune the product line.

    No doubt about it, for most people cell phones are enough.

    As for the product line, I also agree. One entry level camera (D3xxx), two mid-range (1-DX D7xxx), 1-FX 6/7xx) and one high end (FX 8xx) and a "flagship" X sports/photojournalism camera is all they really need. For mirrorless just swap "D" for "DM"maintain the product naming types and off you go, that way customers can relate the product easily between the DSLR and mirrorless range.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,423Member

    mhedges said:

    My problem with the D750 is that it’s almost 4 years old now, and Nikon is still pricing it about the same as when it came out.



    I’d be very tempted if they came out with an update, hopefully at 36 mp or so and with a D5500/5600 style flip out touchscreen.

    I have a feeling that Nikon is done with DSRLs, the D850 certainly feeling like a very fitting swangsong. They'll probably do a D6, just like they did an F6 and that will be it. It will be a big surprise for me to see a D750 DSRL replacement, if they do their last window of opportunity would be this year's Photokina and it should perform like a D850 but with only 24Mp, but the overall D750/6DII/5DIV sales numbers after the A7III's introduction and the A7II/A7RII latest round of discounted prices must be very disappointing to both CaNikon and the deal breaker for them to step up to the mirrorless FF plate.
    I think we will get at least one more round of updates in the 3000/5000 class. I doubt they will go all in on mirrorless without testing the waters a bit first.

    As far as your 600 - have you tried out its AF performance in low light? Curious how it compares to the 5500. They should be about the same, since they use similar modules.
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    mhedges said:

    As far as your 600 - have you tried out its AF performance in low light? Curious how it compares to the 5500. They should be about the same, since they use similar modules.

    Haven't had any issues at low light levels with either camera. As long as there is visible light on the viewfinder either camera will focus, alas with the same issues I encounter even with good light. The D7200 is definitively better in this regard, so I guess the D750 should beat them all, thanks to its 91,000 pixel metering sensor.
  • KnockKnockKnockKnock Posts: 385Member
    I'm in denial. I also think I've become digital-lazy. Film forced more concentration due to the cost of film and development. Must remain disciplined!

    Ah, but we were younger then Knockknock and we could hold it steadier even when in awkward positions. I love the D750 and in spite of having the D850 now still think of it as the sweet-spot in the range for a general photographer. By general I mean doesn't specialise in BIF or high-speed sport.

    D7100, D60, 35mm f/1.8 DX, 50mm f/1.4, 18-105mm DX, 18-55mm VR II, Sony RX-100 ii
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    edited May 2018
    Just scored an 85mm 1.8 AF in “some assembly required” condition for $89+shipping. Hope it is useable after I go over it. Can’t believe how well this version and the 1.8D are holding up in value, seems like lots of folks prefer these to the new 1.8G, of which I previously owned a copy of. It was clinically sharp, with beautiful bokeh, but at $400 it was too expensive for me to keep, especially given its limited use.
    Post edited by CaMeRaQuEsT on
  • bigeaterbigeater Posts: 36Member
    As with every camera, if you want the sharpest possible photos don't worry about lenses. The real answer is to buy a decent tripod and use it all the time along with mirror lockup and a remote release. I was able to produce magnificent photos with the much-reviled first version of the 18-200 thanks to an old QuickSet Senior I had lying around.
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    MAP Camera from Japan (yes, the same MAP that has a monthly best selling list that Peter often mentions in his blog) has put up for sale on ebay a bunch D600 bodies that look in very good shape and that even include the original box for $650 each shipped. Ebay has been running 15% coupons and ebay bucks promotions very often as of lately, so it will be $550 if you are able to pay for it during these promotions.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,187Member
    Well big eater, if you shoot landscapes, I agree with the tripod, but then I am going to be thinking of the sharpest possible lens.
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    edited May 2018
    Just got my 85mm 1.8 AF as sold: disassembled. With lots of scratches in the front element, which wasn't mentioned by the seller. Bummer. He did refund me 2/3 of what I paid, as I wanted to keep it anyways, so I guess it's Ok, maybe? After giving it a thorough cleanup and a careful reassembly, initial tests shot at close to infinity show that this lens is resolving, at same apertures, almost as well as my pristine condition 85mm 2.0 Ai-S, but with way higher contrast levels/deeper colors. And it gives the most amazing sunstars I've ever had from a lens when stopped way down. No bad for $26.50 plus shipping. And I get AF to boot! Granted, I still need to get a $10 tool to tighten its filter ring down so that it might maybe resolve a bit better, and a pin screw that's missing on said ring, the culprit for it being sold disassembled: the filter ring unscrewed itself as its pin screw loosened out from age/usage, then the front group spilled out of the barrel and the seller didn't want to deal with that. Also, the outer plastic shell shows a fair bit of wear; and I'm still not sure how those scratches on the glass affect IQ. The lens itself is very well built, with all metal innards that simplify tear down and reassembly; it is also much smaller than the 1.8G, while also being heavier: it balances front heavy on the D600, while the 85mm 1.8G felt evenly balanced on the D7200. Overall, it's another keeper, and reason enough to unload my now 10 times more expensive 2.0 Ai-S. Next stop: scoring a 35mm 2D for cheap, which is much harder than I thought.
    Post edited by CaMeRaQuEsT on
  • KnockKnockKnockKnock Posts: 385Member
    If you're happy with the optical quality, I wouldn't worry. Surface scratches are hard to quantify and I think I read that you'll never see them - they may just reduce contrast an imperceptible amount.
    D7100, D60, 35mm f/1.8 DX, 50mm f/1.4, 18-105mm DX, 18-55mm VR II, Sony RX-100 ii
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 335Member
    I guess I'm Ok with its optical quality, given that it is giving overall better images than my 2.0 Ai-S, but even if the scratches don't affect IQ that much, they do place this lens in the "junk" category, thus making it unsaleable for the wider public, so I'm basically stuck with it, with no other choice but to love it!

    After some more deeper analysis of the test shots, I found out that the slightly lower resolving power of this lens compared to my 2.0 Ai-S is due to field curvature, something that is absent from both the 2.0 Ai-S and the 1.8G versions. This is a very strange phenomena for a tele lens, but should help it render stronger bokeh around the main subject. Quite an intriguing little lens this one is turning out to be.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,423Member
    @CaMeRaQuEsT Can you say how the viewfinder compares between the D600, D5500, and D7200? I assume the D600 is quite a bit bigger and brighter? Are there any noticable differences between the D5500 and D7200?
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