Generally speaking, my photography generally consists of: #1 macro (insects, science,etc) #2 landscapes #3 long-exposure night photography (i.e., stars) #4 some wildlife (i.e., birds, deer, etc). With this upgrade, I also want the ability to dabble in portraits/weddings. This is not my priority, but something that I could build up over time.
In addition to my D5100, I have the current gear: Glass: Nikon 50mm 1.8 AF-S Tamron 90mm 2.8 Macro Nikon 70-300mm VR f4-5.6 AF-S Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6
Accessories: Kenko Extension Tubes for Macro Nikon SB-700 Flash
My plan: Camera: The hardest decision to make and where I could use the most feedback. I know the D610 is probably the best choice in terms of quality/cost ratio. It is a great camera that could probably handle everything I throw at it.
However, I am also agonizing over how the D800 is particularly well suited for macro and landscape photography. I like how the large sensor allows for flexible cropping options and that it also has more focus points. Because the D800 excels at my two primary shooting approaches, I am starting to believe I should go with it instead of the D610.
Lenses: I know I have work to do in the lens department. However, I also believe that my initial purchases were careful enough that most of my lenses will work well on FX (i.e., Nikon 50mm, Tamron 90mm, and Nikon 70-300mm). I know I would eventually need to upgrade to a better macro lens (i.e., Sigma 150mm 2.8) and a better telephoto (i.e., Nikon 70-200mm VR 2.8); however, I feel both of these lenses will work for the time being.
The Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 definitely has to go and I plan to upgrade that lens first. I definitely want a 2.8 lens, and have been looking at the few limited options (i.e., Tokina 16-28mm 2.8 FX Pro, cheapo Rokinon 14mm 2.8, or the Nikon 14-24mm 2.8 with the huge price tag,), but I am still undecided on what is best. Feedback relating to the best camera choice and lens upgrades would be very much appreciated!
Thanks for the reply. I agree that is one of the core issues, but I was also inquiring about lenses and their best upgrade paths, so I figured that other thread only partially covered my issue.
Or, if your budget is limited, maybe a D610, an 85mm f/1.8 Nikkor which with extension tubes works well as a macro, and a 70-200mm f/4 Nikkor. Less than $4000.
For landscape I like the viewfinder curtain and is better than the piece it comes with it seperately. I am not sure if the d 610 has the curtain or plastic piece.
As far as the sigma 10-20. I had that lens and i had fun with it. It was a hard choice of either getting the 24-70 first or the nikon 16-35 f4 when I upgraded to FX. I picked the 24-70 and now im wanting a UWA like you.
The nikon 14-24 doesnt take filters. Will you use it to shoot landscapes at f2.8? If so and the nikon is too pricey I have heard the tokina is a good contender.
Nikon has to fix this.
While they are at it they can add radio trigger to their flash system so we don't need pocket wizards. Canon just did that with their top end flash for the same price as the SB-910. I am looking at the pocket wizards - 3 wizards and a zone controller is >$700. Nikon should be able to do this for a hundred dollars.
The OPs main subjects:1) macro (insects, science) 2) landscapes 3) long exposure night photograph (stars)
Given that, and no budget restrictions, the D800 seems to be the best choice.
It is cheaper
Its is lighter
It is smaller
slightly more fps
I shoot the same subjects as you, I have had my D800 for 2 years and in over 50 years of photography , It is the best camera I have ever owned, by a mile
If the additional fps are not important, you can afford the D800, and don't mind the additional size and weight get the D800
If your results are not excellent, you can rest assured, it will not be the cameras fault
A pic is worth 1000 words on the focus area:
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.
Thank you for the great feedback.
I recently listed my Sigma 10-20mm on a local ad and plan to sell it later today. I found the Tokina 16-28mm 2.8 Pro FX on sale at B&H for $599, which I think is a steal for that price. Sure, the Nikon 14-24mm is slightly better all around, but I think you could achieve fantastic photos with either lens and the price/performance ratio of the Tokina is unbeatable. I also think it is a great option at the moment, as I will be upgrading a f4-5.6 DX lens to a 2.8 FX lens for only about $250 more.
Msmoto pointed out the obvious issue: budget. Although I do not have an unlimited budget, I am willing to make this purchase an investment that I can add to over time. Shooting styles evolve, techniques get refined, and as an amateur/enthusiast, I don't think I need to buy every top piece of glass on day 1. That being said, I think the compatible lenses I currently own will serve me well on either the D610 or D800 until I can make upgrades to top of the line glass.
As per some recommendations, I think I need to physically hold the different bodies and get a feel for the body, controls, and weight to help make the best decision for body.
D3 • D750 • 14-24mm f2.8 • 35mm f1.4A • PC-E 45mm f2.8 • 50mm f1.8G • AF-D 85mm f1.4 • ZF.2 100mm f2 • 200mm f2 VR2
In those price ranges that also opens up the 24-120 f4, Tamron 24-70VC, and Tokina 17-35mm as well.
On the D800 vs D610 From what you described the differences between the two eliminate any "real" difference to you. I think of it in simple terms - are you selling photos or not? How many years ARE you going to use it before upgrading. If you sell your stuff - D800. If this is a camera you are going to use for 5 years. D800. Any other answer than those, D610.
Great comments. I ultimately sold my Sigma 10-20 and got the Tokina 16-28mm on sale. All in all it was about $250 to upgrade and now I'll have a 2.8 UWA fx lens that is a very sharp.
In regard to your comment on D610 vs D800:
I'm not going into this purchase under the assumption I will be selling photos to regain some of the funds back. This is a hobby I find very rewarding and a worthwhile investment. I get to travel several times a year for my career and I enjoy getting to lug my gear around and taking pictures. I also like to spend free time on macro and landscape/astrology. That being said, I wouldn't mind doing some part-time stuff to help absorb some of my costs.
If I do buy the D800, it would definitely be a 5+ year investment. In the long run I don't think the extra $1000 for a superior body (i.e., weather proofing, better chassis) is a bad thing, even if it might be a bit steep on the front end of things. I know that extra $1000 could go towards some better glass on day 1, but as I've said before, I think I'll be able to take good photos with what I have and upgrade over time.
However I agree with you about shutter noise in general. Its way too loud.
A second thought is that (and I say this with much honestly) I rarely have ever needed 36mp or truly found it to be that much "better." I need a pro body, fast shutter, build quality and AF for what I do. (I have already this week smacked about 5 doors hard - and it keeps on clicking.;) I need a body that can I am confident it can take daily abuse.) The MP are really the last in a decision point. 24mp is more than enough. Glass is 1,000 more times important than any body. I would suggest saving $$ on the body as an upgrade will be out in 3 years or less for both, and look at better glass options. For instance I have the 70-300vr & 70-200vr I and the latter blows the 70-300vr away in performance, hand holding, detail etc. As you know the 70-300vr is a really good lens. Or if you really like macro, adding a second flash or some better modifiers/grip equipment would be an even longer lasting purchase.
My point being, there are many things that could make your images many, many times better than the difference between the D610 vs. D800. Too many times people think they are limited by the body when actually they are limited by only believing an image is just a body and a lens.
it is now £600
machine gunDSLR going off indoors. You are correct sir. Full frame is great for everything <200mm. I still prefer my crop sensor for tele (200mm+) shooting though.