D800 with older lens?

ssj92ssj92 Posts: 23Member
edited April 2013 in D6x0/D7x0/D8x0
So I broke the wallet today and ordered a refurbished D800. I currently have a D50. What I'm worried about is my lens holding back the camera. Do you guys think the picture quality won't be too good with my current lens or will I see a major difference from the D50.

Here's the lens that work fine on my FM10 and should work on my D800:
Nikkor 35-80mm Lens
Quantaray 24mm F2.8 Prime lens
Tamron 28-200mm Model A03S

I also have the 35mm Nikon F1.8 and the 18-55mm(I haven't used this one in months) but those two are DX lens.

Later I want to invest into the Tokina 16-28 or something real wide that brings out the quality of the D800 and and all in one telephoto (up to 300mm+) zoom lens but this is what I have to work with thus far.
D800, D50, M18XR2, i7 870, 16GB, TITAN


  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Hi, Here is a thread in the old forum on the older lenses


    There are other threads as well, you can search "D800 lenses"

    Msmoto, mod
  • JohnJohn Posts: 134Member
    The D800 will give you better/sharper images because its sensor can resolve more.
    So, you will already get better images than with your D50. Not only does it offer more megapixels (higher resolution = more detail) but the dynamic range of the sensor is also better (so more highlight and shadow recovery options).

    The reason why a lot of people chose to put the best lenses on the D800 is because it will also show the weakness of a lens more clearly.
    But even then you will still get more data out of your image so it will be sharper and better when viewed at the same size.

    (One small remark: DX uses only the central portion of an FX lens. Normally this central portion is the sharpest.)

    So, I would definitely give your existing lenses a try. You probably already like the results.

    I would also suggest that you read a lot of lens reviews before you by a new lens / upgrade your lenses.
    There are a lot of very good lenses out there (Nikkor 12-24 f2.8, Nikkor 24-70 f2.8, Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 and f4, a lot of Nikkor primes,…) but this added quality comes at a price. The best lenses are expensive.
    So look at what you have and see if it’s good enough before you decide to upgrade.

    Finally… The D800 is a very demanding camera on the photographer when you want optimal results. It’s perfectly fine to use it hand held or to shoot at 800 ISO. But when you want the best possible image that you can get you’ll need to put it on a tripod, use a timer and shoot at ISO 100. You’ll see the difference when you “pixel peep”.
    Of course this is only relevant if you print on large posters (which you can do with the D800’s resolution). At this size you’ll start to see the difference when you look closely at the poster.
    When shooting for facebook resolution it doesn’t matter in the least.

    Enjoy your D800 and feel free to ask if you have any questions.
    (And feel free to post images :) )
  • birdmanbirdman Posts: 115Member
    edited April 2013
    I ran into the same conundrum (trying to sound intelligent). I'd buy the 50/1.8G or 1.8D, and the 70-300VR (and stick with using it at 200mm or less). You can use the DX crop mode on the D800 and get very acceptable images with the 70-300 -- even over 200mm. The 24-85VR is pretty good for an all-arounder, and can be had EXTREMELY cheap!

    Edit: Actually found a good used lens as I was looking for a lens myself. Hope this doesn't entice anger from Admin. Harmless gesture

    Post edited by birdman on
  • ssj92ssj92 Posts: 23Member
    @Msmoto, thank you! I actually apparently already read that thread awhile ago.

    @John, Thank you so much for the detailed post! That helps a lot. I already had seen better images with the D7000/D7100 with my current lens setup but the D7000 had backfocusing issues (my d50's pictures were even sharper) and my D7100's autofocus failed after a week. (Tried everything from resetting the camera, changing af modes etc.) So I ended up returning them and decided to go full frame [Really like the full frame picture]. I was just worried since the D800 is a full frame camera and this would be my first digital full frame camera. Oh, and I'll post comparison shots when I get the camera! (7-10 business days =/ )

    @birdman Thanks! That 50mm is the same price as my 35mm F1.8 DX lens. Would my 35mm work fine? I don't get any vignetting on the FM10 but maybe on the D800 the corners would be soft.
    D800, D50, M18XR2, i7 870, 16GB, TITAN
  • birdmanbirdman Posts: 115Member
    I would sell the 35mm and get the 50mm. Yes, essentially the same FL when comparing 35mm in CROP mode vs. the 50mm on FF. I've heard it doesn't vignette too much, but it is intended for use on a DX camera. I've had both lenses, and while this may generate a little controversy -- the 50/1.8G (the newest 1.8) is a better lens than the 35mm IMHO. The build is very similar, but the 50 feels a little chunkier and slightly better made. It's really an amazing piece of glass, optically of course, and extremely cheap. Good luck
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    I ran into the same conundrum (trying to sound intelligent). I'd buy the 50/1.8G or 1.8D, and the 70-300VR (and stick with using it at 200mm or less). You can use the DX crop mode on the D800 and get very acceptable images with the 70-300 -- even over 200mm. The 24-85VR is pretty good for an all-arounder, and can be had EXTREMELY cheap!

    The 70-300 VR is just fine at 300mm if you stop down to F8.

    The new 80-400 totally outclasses it.

    Regards ... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • jjdarlingjjdarling Posts: 59Member
    I just bought the Tokina 16-28mm last week. It's a great lens, but it's HEAVY. It's great though, I upgraded from the 10-24mm Nikon for DX and the Tokina blows it out the water in terms of distortion (and everything else).
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited April 2013
    @ssj92: The D800 will know when you mount a DX vs FX lens on it and thus the sensor will adjust accordingly for it. If you chose to turn off that feature within the body, the you will get some vignetting...which from my perspective adds a very nice effect.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    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 |
  • gabbott66gabbott66 Posts: 8Member
    I have a D800E, and I can recommend the 50 f/1.8D as a very good lens with the camera. Plenty sharp, very small and light. And cost-effective. Put a D800-50/1.8D combo on a tripod, with mirror up and a remote release, and you will be utterly astonished at how sharp your pictures are. I have some hand held shots of downtown Minneapolis with that combo sharper than similar shots on a tripod with my D60.

    I also have the 85mm f/1.8 G; the new 24-85; a Tamron 70-300; and an older Tokina 19-35 I picked up on clearance for $150. Out of this group, the lenses that really take advantage of the camera are the 85, and the 24-85. IMHO
  • ssj92ssj92 Posts: 23Member
    Which would you say has better image quality, the 50mm F1.8G or the 50mm F1.8D?
    D800, D50, M18XR2, i7 870, 16GB, TITAN
  • gabbott66gabbott66 Posts: 8Member
    I have not used the 50-G, so I cannot say from personal experience. They seem to be very close to each other, according to what I have read.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    Which would you say has better image quality, the 50mm F1.8G or the 50mm F1.8D?
    I did a comparison shoot between several 50mm and the 1.8D came our worst from my subjective testing. It was sharp but the Bokeh and "feel" was not great. Better than all the kit lenses but comparing the 50mm primes it was lacking. for me the old Manual focus 50mm F1.4 AIS came out the best, slightly edging out the 50 1.4G then the 1.4D and then the 1.8D . I have not tested the 1.8G but from what i have seen I would place it close or above the 1.4D. The 1.8G is on my list of lenses to get :-) its just that other lenses seem to keep getting ahead of it :-)
    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.

  • ssj92ssj92 Posts: 23Member
    It looks like the 50mm F1.8G is the winner. I wish it was 52mm like the 35m DX. (Another filter size to buy filters for =/ )
    D800, D50, M18XR2, i7 870, 16GB, TITAN
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    58mm is the new 52mm - didn't you hear?

    You will be astonished at the difference from your D50. I have an IR converted D50 and I just don't use it anymore due to the lack of quality vs the D800. (Well ok, I still use it here and there, but not much at all.)

    The 50mm 1.4G is the best but not much over the 1.8G.

    You will be able to use your 35mm DX lens, it does vienette but is actually not as bad as one would think and is quite good considering the 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...
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator

    DxOMark shows the two 50mm lenses to be almost identical on a crop sensor body (D300). The G gets a slight edge, yet the D has slightly less CA, distortion, and vignetting.

    I doubt if one could really tell the difference. Same conclusion with the D3s. If they are the same price...the G. But, if there is a marked difference in price, the D being less...I would get it.
    Msmoto, mod
  • roombarobotroombarobot Posts: 201Member

    @ssj92 there are a ton of comparisons between the 50mm 1.8D and 1.8G out there. Read a few and look at the comparison images. While reading them I felt the most important difference was that the 1.8G had significantly smoother bokeh. Both are sharp. Best of luck!

  • ssj92ssj92 Posts: 23Member
    Well I got my camera and I love it so far. I took some comparison pictures real quick.

    D50: image

    D800: image

    D50: image

    D800: image

    These are direct JPEG files from the cameras. I only resized them. I shot them in aperture priority. (Settings were nearly identical)

    I must say I really like the extra view of full frame.

    I've decided to go with the 50mm F1.8G but last I checked, they seem out of stock on Amazon, B&H and Adorama.

    I noticed with Active D-Lighting off the picture color seems to be better. Do you guys keep it on Auto or Off? I love being able to switch to Adobe RGB colorspace, looks amazing on an RGB panel.
    D800, D50, M18XR2, i7 870, 16GB, TITAN
  • macsavageg4macsavageg4 Posts: 75Member
    @ birdman I shoot with that Tokina that you linked to. It is a great lens but my copy is a little soft @ f/2.8 but it gets crazy sharp around f/4 - f/5.6 on my D800. I had a Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 but it had some major structural problems that I tried to fix but I don't currently have the skills/equipment to completely resort the lens into a lens I can trust as a full time walking around lens on the camera. The Tokina filled that row and is built like a tank in comparison.

    I know that anyone who has followed me or read much of my posts here on NR will see a very common theme with me and older lenses on the D800. I have personally shot with a 55mm f/1.2 built around '67 with some excellent pictures produced on both my D800 and D7000(smaller cmos pixel size). The fun thing about this copy is that it had wicked bad fungus when I originally got the lens so much so that some of the forward element's coatings were etched. After a heavy cleaning and popping a good multicoated filter on the front of the lens it shoots fine. I also have a '72 24mm f/2.8 hand me down from my dad that I have had excellent luck with on both the D800 and the D7000.

    I also shoot with a lot of the older AF and AF-D glass with great results on my D800 and D7000 and I do use a pretty fair amount of MF shooting since I have a lot of great MF glass.

    I should probably wrap this up before I ramble too much more. Long and short of it is old glass/new glass doesn't seem to make much of a difference as long as you know the weaknesses/strengths of the copy of the lens you have you can get excellent results.
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