$1700: D300, 70-200 f2.8 VR, or Canon 5D

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by vrphoto, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. Hi I'm just wondering if anyone has a recommendation for me. I shoot portraits
    on location with natural light mostly on a now-ancient Nikon D50 usually with my
    85mm f2.0, which I love (the lens, that is...the camera is ok, but feeling a
    little cramped by it's limitations).

    Here are the main features drawing me to each item:

    D300: firmware technology for color and image processing in-camera, best
    exposure/light metering of Nikon line (shared w/ D5). Could use the increase of
    megapixels and burst.

    70-200: would instantly help me make memorable images by blurring backgrounds at
    long end, and shooting in low light, esp with the VR. The zoom and longer range
    over the fixed 85 sound nice too.

    Canon 5D: full-frame goodness, image sharpness and megapixels a big improvement
    over the D50, etc.

    Anyone? If you had the 1700, and a d50, what would you do with it?
     
  2. I would buy a D300. You can use your 85mm on it. I`ve had a look at your
    portfolio, I think the 70-200 will be so good in your hands, but after the D300.

    Many of my photography are children`s and baby portraits: The 70-200 minimum
    focus distance is more or less 1.5 meters, it is a big drawback to me. Think that
    with your 85mm
    you can surely shot at less that 1meter. Of course, with the 70-200mm you can
    have a narrower field of view, but at the expense of a longer focus distance. I
    wonder if it could work for you.

    I have switched to the Micro 105VR which is also great for portraits, absolutely
    sharp althought with other different issues. For some details (baby hands, very
    close faces, eyes, etc.) the 70-200 is unusable to me. The 105/2DC is also
    another great choice with a reasonable min. focus distance but pretty expensive
    too.

    The 5D looks to be replaced soon. If so, I`ll wait to see, althought it will be very
    expensive. Also, if you aren`t a current Canon user, you`ll need to buy new lenses.
     
  3. Well, a 5D means you'll need lenses, flash, batteries, etc., theNikon gear you have won't work with it. The D300 won't help your lens situation, you may still feel cramped there. The 70-200 is a great lens.

    I guess it depends on what you feel cramps your style or your interests/growth the most? I think I'd suggest the 70-200 for it's verstility in many different kinds of applications. Of course, it could well depend on what other gear you have besides the D50 and the 85mm.
     
  4. Where do you get a D300 and 70-200 VR or a Canon 5D and L telephoto lens for $1700?

    The 70-200 is nice, but it's a big lens, make sure you're comfortable with it for the intended use. Like Jose says, the minimum focus distance can be a problem.

    At one point I thought about the 5D, but it's a slow camera compared to the D300 and feels less solid. Also, the excellent display of the D300 is very useful for checking expressions when shooting portraits.
     
  5. Oskar,

    I think she meant either the D300, the 70-200 OR the Canon 5D.
     
  6. I am not a big fan of the D50 (had one and didn't like it but my dislike had
    nothing to do with IQ). I have a D300 and 5D but I feel compelled to tell you
    to keep your D50 and improve your technique. Unless you are shooting at high
    ISO, there would likely not be any difference in IQ [at lower ISOs] between the
    D300 and D50 IF you have your camera set correctly and use it correctly, you
    should be getting stunning portraits with your 85mm lens. If you are not, post
    some samples so you can get some assistance.

    Unless you are printing huge posters or cropping significantly, the increase in
    megapixels will not have any effect in your prints (certainly not in an 8 x 10).
    And I don't understand why you would need the high frame rate of the D300 for
    shooting portraits?

    You say you are '...a little cramped by it's limitations". What specifically is
    the D50 not doing for you? If you just want a new camera, go for it. If you
    really want to improve the quality of your portraits, improve your technique.
     
  7. ...a D200 and a 50-150mm SIgma HSM f2.8....unless you want to change systems or can afford both, to have a cheap FF camera, but what would that really do for you....just think about the things that really matter to you, you don't need the newest or best to make great images, you really just need creativity. A D200 would just give you what you need with your 85mm F2 and the 50-150mm gives you a great range for portraiture....jmho...all in you budget..this being said as an owner of a 5D, 40D and D200 and D60...
     
  8. As enticing as full frame sounds if you are not using wide angle lenses the only reason would be high ISO preformance or improved dynamic range. I like my D200 over the D70 because of lens compatibility, view finder and control features. I rarely print over 8x12. With full frame you would lose the field of view of the 85mm you currently use. Sometimes I wish for better high ISO preformance but still can not justify a D300, its a hobby for me.
     
  9. I had D200 in the past and now D300, but frankly the dropping 5D price is often tempting. I really like their fast primes, like 50/1.2L, 35/1.4L, 24/1.4L, and so on. And it is a good camera still. Will probably be for a while.

    Nikon on the other hand is catching up fast. The D200 was somewhat noisy, but D300 is very good. And D3 is of course the king. I like Nikon colors and absolutely love ergonomics. I do not know what I would do, I still would probably wait till the next FF Nikon camera is out. I do not think it will be long.

    - Sergey
     
  10. Looking at the photos in your portefolio, I think that a full frame camera is really not
    going to do much for you, nor would extra mega-pixels. As you shoot now, you
    seem to not have perfect focus, and use more than a little sharpening. Your lens is
    very sharp, but I know it requires very good technique to get perfect sharpness
    where you want it when you shoot with it wide open.

    I would say that getting a 5D and switching system will do nothing for you. Why not
    rent a 3D for a week to see if FF will really make such a big difference?

    If you feel cramped, what is the current limitation? The D300 is a great camera and
    has a very nice viewfinder (for DX camera), superb autofocus and will take weeks to
    learn to use properly. Try it out if you can. But perhaps what limits you is the lack of
    a high quality zoom? How far are you from your subjects when you shoot?

    In your situation, I would go with the D300 first, then save for another lens, but I
    would not be sure that lens would be the current version of the 70-200 VR.
     
  11. Elliot: d50 limitations are that portrait clients are wanting to make prints at
    16x20 and larger and yes, it's limiting because I have to nail the exposure and
    composition or they look bad.

    And yes, the frame rate does limit me. If you've taken pictures of a group of
    people with kids, it's a BIG benefit to leave your finger on the shutter as a
    child can move a lot even between those burst frames. In post-processing, I then
    make a composite group portrait usually having to paste heads or eyes, etc. It
    goes like this: you get everyone ready, click 3 times...wait...people
    move...click 3 times, etc. It gets old.

    I'd say those are my big reasons other than wanting the improvement in image
    colors and exposure that the d300 offers, as well as a full-color histogram for
    making exposure adjustments in the field.

    I'm attaching a recent image to see if you think that I need improvement in my
    technique so much that the things I'm considering buying aren't necessary. I'm
    open to critique, as I'm fully aware that I'm not some world-famous portraitist
    right now, though I do have people knocking at my door asking me to do their
    portraits.
     
  12. Elliot: d50 limitations are that portrait clients are wanting to make prints at 16x20 and larger and yes, it's limiting because I have to nail the exposure and composition or they look bad. And yes, the frame rate does limit me. If you've taken pictures of a group of people with kids, it's a BIG benefit to leave your finger on the shutter as a child can move a lot even between those burst frames. In post-processing, I then make a composite group portrait usually having to paste heads or eyes, etc. It goes like this: you get everyone ready, click 3 times...wait...people move...click 3 times, etc. It gets old. I'd say those are my big reasons other than wanting the improvement in image colors and exposure that the d300 offers, as well as a full-color histogram for making exposure adjustments in the field. I'm attaching a recent image I took with the 85mm to see if you think that I need improvement in my technique so much that the things I'm considering buying aren't necessary. I'm open to critique, as I'm fully aware that I'm not some world-famous portraitist right now, though I do have people knocking at my door asking me to do their portraits.
    00PojZ-48947584.jpg
     
  13. Elliot

    I guess you didn't take the time to look at Valerie's web site. She is doing very good work with her D50.

    Valerie

    Unless you really want to change systems I would say go for the D300 now and then maybe rent a 70-200 to see if you like it.
    I think the faster response time of the D300 and the better view finder are all steps in the right direction.
     
  14. I guess I partly just answered my question about technique when I said that I have to nail the exposure/composition to make the larger prints good, meaning that I could improve both of those and then not have those problems...

    Focus does seem to be an area I could also improve in. I guess maybe it's an issue of whether the equipment might help me improve (VR would help with the low-light camera shake) the D300 would also help with low light and noise/exposure (not having to under-expose) or if I'm still a ways off from that and should focus (no pun intended:) solely on my technique or buy supplemental lighting.

    Thanks everyone, keep the insights coming. It's very helpful.
     
  15. Looks like NAS to me....

    I doubt that a new camera will make even the slightest difference in your composition, focus, or results... (the focus is spot on in the picture)
    A full frame10 mp may make getting a grainless 16X20 easier (I actually doubt that, but I'm willing to compromise... OTOH, that is called grain, it is supposed to be there!)

    The chip in the D50 has a good reputation for low noise and clean color... Another amateur level chip, even an FX size, is not likely to be a quantum leap forward...

    WIth the exception of high burst rate, I see no big improvement to be had unless you spend serious money...

    denny
     
  16. It sounds like you already know what you want.... a new D300, and that would make
    a lot of sense for your business I think. Are you looking for justification? Seems to
    me you have made your case fairly well. You want the higher resolution. The extra
    frame rate can help. Better autofocus would help, especially with the kids moving
    about.

    Mind that you will still need to nail the exposure and composition and focus, but you
    may find all of these a little more natural with a D300. I don't know the D50, but the
    difference between the D70 and the D300 was huge. And yes, in many cases the
    camera does make a difference, especially better autofocus and viewfinder in this
    case.

    Perhaps you need to start considering the cost of equipment in the pricing of your
    photos. It is not only your time that you need to get paid for, you have equipment
    costs as well. Maybe you have been too cheap?
     
  17. BTW, I don't agree with Dennis. Not NAS (Nikon acquisition syndrome). There really
    is a difference between cameras.

    Your work is very good. Especially on the valerierobinson.com site. Very nice
    compositions and light, you have no trouble there. Your portefolio here has some full
    sized shots, which show that you could indeed have slightly better focus etc for
    those 20x30 prints.

    What we can't see is how many shots you took and time you spend getting your
    images. Do you shoot RAW files? If you don't, that is one place you can improve
    immediately. You that little more leeway to bring out shadows etc. You also can get
    better sharpening.

    I would stay away from lighting equipment, since I really like your natural light
    photos. OK, at most a speedlight (or two) if you are on a location with too much
    shadow.....

    Keep shooting.

    Cheers.
     
  18. Thanks, Tachion. I guess I'm leaning toward the D300, but I don't know if it's the price (which is a lot for me) but was just thinking that maybe I should spend the money on the lens rather than the camera. I guess I have pretty much ruled out the Canon as I would have to switch out all my Nikon gear.

    But the zoom would be nice with kids, the VR for the low-light flexibility, and I just like the blurred-out background/bokeh of the longer lens at f2.8. Maybe I should get the D300 and rent the lens for shoots. My biggest concern with the lens is that I haven't used one so big before, as the first poster said. (the 85mm is such a nice, light, small lens) Size might be a problem in someone's house on location? Also I'd still have the limitations of the camera to contend with, though part of what I'm trying to do with this thread is figure out how much to worry about them.

    Thanks...still open to opinions. You guys are all so helpful.
     
  19. The 5D doesn't hold a candle to the D300. Just go hold each body for 15 minutes in a store. You'll see.
     
  20. Hi Valerie,
    IMO, the reason it's hard to choose is that the D300 and the 70-200 are BOTH good choices.
    D300 then the lens.
    Lens then the D300.
    Doesn't really matter...you'll probably wind up with both eventually.
    Flip a coin...either way is good.

    BTW, looked at your website. You do good work. You deserve a 70-200 AND a D300 and will, I'm sure, make good use of them.
     
  21. Another reason to get the D300 is that you wouldl have two bodies -- if you're shooting professionally, backup equipment is a must. You don't want to cancel a paying shoot because the camera dies.
     
  22. Valerie - what's you website?? Thanks.
     
  23. Valerie,

    I love and appreciate what you are doing with the D50, and I think the D300 is an entirely appropriate upgrade for you. But I would recommend that you re-think the lens issue.

    A VR lens corrects for camera motion, but not subject motion. You need high ISO and fast lenses more. The 70-200mm lens is heavy, big, and it attracts attention. Due to its weight, you would probably be wishing for a monopod sooner than you imagine. But the distraction of a monopod would make it even harder to capture those fleeting expressions. The 70-200mm has a long minimum focusing distance, and you would still need other lenses. The 150mm through 200mm focal lengths are nearly useless for portraits. And considering the care that you now take with your photography, switching to autofocus may actually tend to worsen your results.

    Valerie, another approach you might consider is picking up a used 75-150 mm f3.5 AIS lens. That way you could get a feel for a useful focal length range before you decide. Of course, there are other excellent prime lenses as well.

    In short, go for the D300, but reconsider your lens choices.
     
  24. How about going for an upgrade, but not quite all the way to a D300 + 70-200
    "monster kit"? Refurb and closeout D200 bodies are a *great* deal right now, and
    would be a big step up from your D50 without blowing your entire budget. You could
    get the D200 and a 3rd-party tele-zoom like the Tokina 50-135mm or Sigma 50-
    150mm combined for less than the D300 body alone.

    I would definitely advise against moving away from your Nikon kit, unless you're
    ready to spend a lot more than $1700. To really take advantage of the FF sensor in
    the 5D, you're going to want L-series glass in several focal lengths, which means
    serious money ($1000+ per lens).

    However, if you have problems with under-exposure shooting with a D50 + fast
    prime, moving to a D300 (or even a D3 or Canon FF body) isn't going to magically
    solve them. The simple truth is, you need more light. Spend some quality time on
    strobist.com, and put together a portable lighting kit with a couple of strobes and
    basic modifiers (stands, umbrellas, gels) and you'll be able to coax clean images out
    of even more situations.
     
  25. For your purposes you should look at D200 with the nikkor 80-200 f2.8 which is the same great glass as the 70-200 without the VR. If you're shooting portraits, I assume you are using a tripod, and VR contributes nothing. In fact, on a tripod you're warned to turn VR off. The D200 and 80-200 lens combo will save you big bucks.
     
  26. I think a lot of people here have hit it on the head... Looking at your website and portfolio, you have a really good selection of images... I think you would find that the D300 will take you to the next level... Not that the images will necessarily be 'better', but it will be a more efficient and higher quality tool to help you to take better images.

    Considering your style, the 70-200 is probably a pretty good bet long term, although you may find the 24-70 f2.8 to be a little bit more useful for portraits, and people-photography in general (with the crop sensor factor taken into account)... I have both (canon versions albeit) and I find the 24-70 to be the better focal length for portrait work. It's really up for discussion though, and it will probably be worth your while to rent both once you have your new camera to better decide what is best suited to your style.

    The 85 prime, in the meantime, should fill the 'portrait' role just fine... as your pictures attest.
     
  27. "The 5D doesn't hold a candle to the D300. Just go hold each body for 15 minutes in a store"

    I did, and I hated the squinty little viewfinder of the D300. If I were taking natural light portraits, I'd want to be able to really evaluate light and expression through the viewfinder. I don't even think the 5D viewfinder is great (not compared to good SLR's) but it's streets ahead of the Nikon.

    Yes, I know the Nikon has more 'toys for boys' appeal with the latest gagetry to appeal to that mentality. But the Canon will give an image that will enlarge more (so good for cropping), a clearer sight of what you are taking, and enough specification to do anything you want in the field of portraiture. It will also let you work in dimmer light - sometimes important for dramatic effect.
     
  28. The 5D, with fast lenses, will also give you greater depth of field control than any APS sensor camera.
     
  29. valerie, the image you posted looks a bit overexposed. otherwise, it's a teriffic
    shot. :)

    working on your technique is probably the best advice you could get, although it
    may not be what you want to hear.

    having gone from a d80 to a d300 myself, i can understand the temptation to
    upgrade. however, i already had the fast glass i needed to get the most out of it,
    so the choice was perhaps easier for me.

    is your only lens the 85 (i'm guessing you have the 1.8, not a f/2)? what about
    wide angle and medium-range? $1700 is a lot of cash and could really go along
    way toward expanding your kit which would allow you to do more things with your
    photography.although you want a D300, i'm not sure you need one

    i guess what i'm saying is i would consider doing none of the above: no 70-200, no
    d300 and certainly no 5d, unless you have an additional $1K for canon lenses.

    $1700 would get you a used low-actuation d200 and 5fps for about $8-$900, which
    is pretty good considering it was $1600 before the D300 came out.

    that leaves about $8-$900 for glass. if outdoors natural light portraits are your
    thing, i'd think about the following lenses:

    *nikkor 50/1.4 or 50/1.8

    *nikkor 35/2 or sigma 30/1.4

    *tokina 11-16/2.8 (this would be possible, along with the D200 if you scooped the
    35 and the 50/1.8, instead of the 1.4s)

    here's the rationale: if you're mainly doing portraiture, you don't really need a
    zoom. a 35-50-85 fast prime kit would be fairly optimal for your purposes, since
    composition is more important than versatility. plus with a D50/D200 combo you
    could leave a 'normal' prime on one and the tele on the other, or go with a wide/tele
    combo, or a wide/normal combo, etc..

    the 85 is a great lens, but it's pretty long on a DX sensor. adding the 30/35 and the
    50 would help with group shots and other cases where the 85 has too much reach.
    and the 11-16 would greatly expand your perspective--literally--while still retaining
    low/natural light ability.

    i can see where an increase in fps would help you, but unless you're shooting
    sports or birds, 5fps should be plenty for active kids. the D200 is still a 'pro'
    camera, and even if you got the D300, you'd still only have one prime, at a
    somewhat limiting focal length, for it.
     
  30. Eric, I think she refers to the 85/2, manual focus Ai or AiS.
     
  31. Valerie, beautiful shot, as are the shots on your website.

    Again, I want to preface the following by stating I am not a big fan of the D50. And I know how easy it is to spend other people's money.

    If you want to save your money and keep using your D50... You can make beautiful 16 x 20 shots with the D50. You will have to rework the files a little (upsize) or find a lab that can 'fix' the file for you (most do), but you likely will not see much, if any of a difference between a D300 file and the D50 file unless you are shooting at higher ISOs, and even then a good noise reduction program will even the playing field.

    "it's limiting because I have to nail the exposure and composition or they look bad."

    This is true of any camera. Shoot RAW and you won't have as much of an issue if you don't nail the exposure.

    I agree with Dennis, your pictures will look great regardless of the camera you use.

    I also agree with Charles that the D300 is an appropriate upgrade for you because of your obvious advanced skill level. If you can afford it, go for it. I can't image any lens improving your shots - they seem perfect to me and others.

    Now, regarding 5D comments (negative ones are usually made be photographers that don't own and/or regularly use one):

    I agree with Robert's comments. In fact, except for indoor flash photography, I typically grab my 5D in spite of the fact that it doesn't have anywhere near the bells and whistles of the D300. It has the one thing I really need, exceptional IQ and consistent dead-on exposure.

    Valerie, I suggest, if you can, get a D300 body and a 5D with an 85mm lens - try them out for yourself under actual working conditions.
     
  32. In which way is the D300 *CLEARLY* better than the 5D? - Possibly more accurate, faster AF, certainly more AF points to chose from.

    In which way is the 5D *CLEARLY* better than the D300? - Certainly thinner DOF, certainly better noise characteristics in dim light, certainly more dynamic range.

    The only question you need to answer is: what limitations do you face with your current equipement, that will *certainly* be solved by buying one of the above cameras. The only clear difference that *I* can see is that you can get thinner DOF with the 5D. Do you NEED it?
     
  33. Valerie,
    I'm detecting some:

    "A D50 is good enough for a girl shooting pictures of kids. Why doncha get yourself a used 85 to 100mm f8 zoom lens and see if ya like it."

    You are a professional shooting professional level work. The D300 and the 70-200 2.8 are two tools that are suitable for the type of work you do.
     
  34. I would get a d80, one of the 80-200/2.8s and a 50 1.4

    The d80 viewfinder is a big improvement over the d50.
     
  35. Dear Miss Valerie,
    I love doing portraits myself and, I can understand your wanting to upgrade to
    another camera. I myself have been dragging my feet to upgrade to a newer
    camera... (I still use my old Digi Rebel). I like the idea of expanding your lenses.
    You will always be purchasing cameras for a long time, the lens is an investment,
    and can bring new avenues to your particular style. What I am saying is; if you
    want to spend that amount of cash, find the best piece of glass for your work.
    Do you shoot in RAW? When I switched to that format, my Digi Rebel didn't
    suck so much anymore. In fact, I will never shoot in JPEG again, I hate it. The
    creative freedom of RAW surpasses my personal dislike of my old Digi Rebel. ( I
    will be upgrading this summer to the 40D).
    Zooms are a very touchy subject for some people. I just purchased my first one
    this month (70-200mm f4 L). I bought it because, I ALWAYS use prime lenses.
    And i needed some length for a shoot coming up; other than that, I would have
    never purchased it. Unless you are shooting handheld in a poorly lit place, I
    personally feel you do not need the 70-200mm 2.8 VR. (Although, it is a pretty
    sweet lens.. and that's coming from a diehard Canon lover!)
    I fell in love with my Sigma 30mm f 1.4. That is my workhorse as of right now
    and; it sucked to compromise the extra F stops for length. I know I will rock that
    lens (70-200mm f4) with my Digi Rebel and it will be even sweeter when I upgrade
    next month.
    I am looking at the B&H catalog right now and I see that you have the
    awesome option of getting one of the Zeiss lenses (manual focus) for your
    camera? If they work, get one of those! I also own a Hasselblad and absoultly
    LOVE the Zeiss glass on that sucker. Just a thought...
    Hope I helped a little bit! Happy shopping!!
    -E-
     
  36. I have the 70-200. I have the 85/2.0. After a while the 70-200 got too damned heavy and now I mostly use the 85/2.0.

    Have you considered a 105 Defocus Control lens?
     
  37. Big imaging surface > smaller imaging surface. Always. No question.
     
  38. For portraits under the conditions you encounter and using the D300, which will also enable off camera flash so you do not have to rely 100% on ambient light all the time, a good lens to consider is the Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 or the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 lens which at $350 is a great value and a very good lens.

    Quite a few wedding photographers prefer the Tamron to the less reliable Canon 24-70mm f2.8 lens.
     
  39. First, your exposures seem somewhat off. You should learn how to use spot
    metering b/c it's
    the most accurate metering on a camera. Try these techniques before you buy
    anything.

    http://www.spotmetering.com/

    Second, always remember, bring the right tools for the job. Can you make
    portraits with a crop body? Yes, of course you can. However, you are being paid
    now and clients are asking for 16x20 prints. If you need to crop etc. it can be
    tricky, but done. So, I've read all the pros for the D300, D200 and even D80.
    These are all crop bodies which will by physics alone give you deeper DOF. Your
    images will all look the same as your current D50. So, you think a 70-200 zoom
    could solve the problem. To a degree it could, but that's a heavy lens, is it not?
    And it's no longer as useful for portraits b/c of the crop factor, in my view of course.

    BOKEH, BOKEH, BOKEH with the Canon 5D can not be matched by ANY crop
    body on earth. Being that it is also the smallest, lightest and cheapest full frame
    Dslr on the planet, how can you not buy it for PAID work. Rent it with a 135L
    prime b/c that's the same angle of view as your D50 and 85 f2 combo. Put them
    on a tripod and shoot whatever you want, and you will see the difference easily.
    That's the different level of IQ a full frame body brings to the 35mm format. Yes, I
    know, the 135L costs almost 1K. So try the 100 f/2 or 85 f/1.8 for 400 bucks and
    50 f/1.4 for 300 and a wide angle zoom. Also, remember the viewfinder is 50%
    larger than a crop viewfinder. And what's the first thing you do when you pick up a
    camera - put it to your eye. Drop in a high precision focusing screen for manual
    focus ($35) in low light, and bingo focus snaps into place.

    It's okay to have brand loyalty, but, when you're getting PAID - the right tools for
    the job are paramount.

    Check out Bob Atkins review of a full frame BOKEH result vs crop at the same
    angle of view under Normal lenses (half way down the page).

    http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/digital/eos_5D_vs_eos_40D.html

    Eric A. had some great advice about additional prime lenses that could work with
    your current setup. Robert C. and Elliot B also shared some great advice. Good
    luck to you and know that you have very nice pics on your site. :)
     
  40. Wow--I didn't realize you'd all give me so many different ways to look at this. And I had kind of ruled out the Canon, but those pictures on the bobatkins site showing the difference in DOF and bokeh (I hear the Canon 85mm is one of the best lenses ever made and I've seen amazing pics with it and it is $350-ish) are really amazing.

    If anyone is following this, some questions have been asked of me:

    I do use RAW and it's saved my skin with regards to exposure, especially. But I'm actually learning about using a white-balance card and a color histogram to make my exposures spot-on enough to use jpg, but I still can't picture shooting jpg on a portrait session. (That's another subject, so please just keep to the one at hand).

    I also have the 50mm f1.8 and the kit 18-55 lenses. But I find that I mostly use the 85mm for sessions unless space gets tight and then go to the 50mm. I use the kit lens when I want to get more of a wide angle, but only for the wide end usually.

    And thanks for all the info and encouragement. If there are more comments, please feel free to post them:)
     
  41. Also, thanks for the other lens suggestions. I will definitely look into them. I am looking for the best bokeh out there.

    And the comment about being able to use the wireless flash system Nikon includes on pretty much everything but the camera I own, is a plus.
     
  42. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Valerie, if you need really shallow depth of field, you can always buy a 50mm/f1.4 or 85mm/f1.4 lens on a DX camera. Be careful with what you wish, though. With such shallow depth of field, your portrait may have one eye in focus but the other eye not; that may or may not be the effect you want. (Such shallow depth of field in a portrait bothers me to no end, but that is just me.) The background blur may look great in a theoretical comparison in Bob Atkins' web site; in an actual portrait with a subject, there are other serious effects on the main parts of your image.

    Additionally, in this digital and PhotoShop era, it is trivial to increase background blur in post processing.

    The Canon 5D is cheap now because it is an out of date camera whose upgrade is over due. With a 5D, you'll be stuck with 3 frames/sec and a fairly old AF system that is no longer used even in sub-$1000 Canon DSLRs such as the 40D. It is probably still great for landscape and architecture. If you have some kids running round, you'll notice the 5D's limitations quickly.
     
  43. Valerie,

    At the risk of confusing you more....

    I bought the Canon 5d a few months ago. I needed it to shoot some still photographs on a
    movie set. The portrait size photos from my 100mm f2.0 were perfect and extremely
    sharp, even wide open. At wide open, if you zoom in, you can see the eyeball in focus,
    but the lashes are just going soft. It can be a great look, just make sure to get the correct
    eyeball in focus as you won't get both at f2.0

    I would not have gotten involved in this discussion, but when you mentioned 16x20 prints
    I thought that you might just consider the 5D for the image quality that the full frame
    sensor will give you. You know, it won't be sooooo dramatic a difference, but it will be
    there and visible at 16x20 inch prints. I also think that the 100mm focal length is a very
    good portrait size for full frame cameras, though the style now a days is to use longer
    lenses. For my taste the longer lenses make me feel like I'm looking at the person though
    a telescope instead of a camera. But that's just my opinion.

    I think the only way so solve your dilemma is to actually try out the camera/lenses in a
    photo session that's similar to the way you would normally work. So go to the camera
    store and see if they'll rent you the different set ups, and apply the rental toward the
    purchase of one of them. Otherwise you're just listening to a bunch of busy bodies (like
    me) being know-it-alls on the internet. Ultimately, I don't know if the image quality
    differences between any of these set ups will effect your sales (they're gonna be closer
    than you expect). Maybe the most important thing is to have the biggest lens to impress
    the clients (I"m not really kidding). Personally I just use a big lens shade...
     
  44. First, I respect Bob and I think he writes nice articles. I donメt want to start a big argument here, but I think there is a problem with Bobメs calculationsナナ
    First, let's not get into this brand versus that brand, since it really is all about the same. The issue brought up if DOF on a crop (read APS-C factor, with about a 1.5x crop factor) versus full frame (as in a 35mm frame).
    If your FF camera is 12MP, you would use a circle of confusion around 0.025mm, or 25microns (Bob uses 29.5) with a portrait lens, a 105mm/2.8 wide open, 2 meters from your subject, your DOF is 0.048m, or 4.8cm.
    If you use a DX camera with 12MP, you would use a circle of confusion around 0.016mm or 16microns (Bob uses 18.45microns), to account for the smaller sensor size and smaller pixel size. For portraits, you would use a different lens, the 85/2 would do well. Again, your subject is 2 meters from you, but now at f/2.8 your DOF is ..... ALSO 0.048m, or 4.8cm! However, you can open up another stop, at which point your DOF is actually only 3.4cm.
    WOA, what is going on here? Well, I have a lot of respect for Bob Atkins and he wrote a nice article, but I think he uses an incorrect approximate calculation when calculating his DOF. He then approximates again when he calculates his モrelative DOFヤ, and I think he looses some in the translation. I replicated the algebra, starting with the lens formulas, and after a bit of math I come up with:
    DOF = (2 F^2 fn c D ( D - F))/((F^2 + c D fn - c F fn) (F^2 - c D fn + c F fn))
    My calculations for DOF are in perfect agreement with the calculations for DOF by Thom Hogan, and they also agree perfectly with the printed table that came with my 105 macro lens, and they agree with (http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/depth-of-field.htm if you adjust for different choices of the Circle of Confusion. If I could find Bobメs email address, Iメd like to discuss this with him how he got his calculations.
    The other issue would be the out of focus part of the photo. I am not so convinced about the two photos he shows. For one, the 40D photo wasnメt quite focussed correctly. The other is that he used a different lens. In my experience the build details of the lens play quite a role in the Bokeh you get, it is not only determined by the size of the sensor. If it was, then it would all be up to geometry, and then the difference couldnメt be that large.
    I think that Thom Hogan says it quite nicely in his D300 guide, in the part モdebunking some mythsヤ:
    * Myth: ヤIt is not full frameヤ. The argument that a sensor has to be 24mmx36mm (the same size as film) just doesnメt play for meナ.
Bottom line: het used to the change and re-align your lens arsenal with a few DX lenses.
     
  45. Hmmmm, I got some funny characters in the previous post, I apologize.

    I agree with "b g" and "Shun", (and I point out above mathematically) that FF versus
    DX really won't make a huge difference. But really you should look at some of your
    own photos with the different equipment. You may just love a 5D for totally different
    reasons. Be careful what you try though. If you were to try a Nikon D3 and then really
    like it, you will have to sell a lot of photos to pay off your credit card...
     
  46. "I shoot portraits on location with natural light. . . ."

    I doubt that you could go wrong with either.

    I have never used the D300, but I have the 5D and the 1Ds Mark II. The 5D is an incredible bargain right now, the only reasonably-priced FF camera out there right now, and the image quality is superb. I sometimes use it with Nikon glass, when quickness is not a requirement..

    It is ideal for portrait and landscape work, although it is not fast enough for action shots. It is also good for low light, which "natural light" can sometimes be. Check out this crop from a larger file:

    http://www.photo.net/photo/5744613&size=lg

    I would rent one, or order one used from KEH. If you don't like it, you can send it back with absolutely no hassle.

    I have some gotten some pretty good butterfly shots using the 5D and the NIkon 600 f/4 manual focus, using an adapter. It is actually a pretty versatile camera. The AF works fine for my purposes.

    You won't get it with the 70-200 IS for $1700, of course.

    If you are willing to spring for it, there is always the Nikon D3, of course. . . .

    --Lannie
     
  47. Tachion,

    I'm not sure I can quite make out what you are saying, but if you are saying that the depth of field difference between a 50/2 lens on an APC sensor camera and an 80/2 on an FF camera at f2, is somehow only mythically different, then I suggest you step beck for a moment from the mathematics.

    The difference is between a 50/2 and an 80/2 lens at f2 - the sensor sizes are ONLY relevant in so far as they give approximately corresponding angles of view on the respective cameras.

    As anyone can tell you, the depth of field difference at f2 between a 50 and an 80 is exactly the same as it always was on a 35mm film camera. Call it large or small - it depends on your needs or priorities - but it is obviously and clearly a difference which is noticeable and measureable.
     
  48. Sometimes, I think brand loyalty leads to some of the deepest levels of stupidity I ever encounter.
     
  49. Tachion, that's impressive. However, the wider the lens, the greater the DOF.
    Example..a 50mm prime has more DOF than a 85mm prime. Valerie states she
    goes to a client's home sometimes. Well, if 85mm is the working angle of view for
    that shoot, then I would shoot with a full frame body and the 85 vs a crop body and
    a 50. The BOKEH will stand out with a true 85. That's a fact, no theory.

    Shun, the 5D has the best AF system outside of the 1 series bodies in the Canon
    lineup. It has 6 assist points in addition to 9 af points in ai-servo mode. No Canon
    body has assist points outside of the1 series. What does this mean, once the
    camera finds focus it's rock solid on keeping it. 3fps for portrait work is plenty with
    accurate focus.

    Valerie, you have a lot to ponder. Remember, as your techniques improve, so will
    your images. But having the right tools for the job will make your life much easier.
     
  50. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Hi Correct Exposure, or whatever your actual name is, the 40D has 9 cross-type AF points vs. the 5D's 1 cross type. There is no comparison.

    And it is Valerie who points out that the burst rate for the D50 (2.5 frames/second) is insufficient for her. That should quickly rule out the 3 frames/sec 5D.

    Personally, regardless of whether you already have Canon lenses or not, I would strongly recommend against getting a 5D now for most people. It is almost 3 years old and if anything, I am a bit surprised that Canon hasn't replaced it yet. As soon as Canon and/or Nikon announces a new prosumer FX-format DSLR (which can happen any time now), the 5D will look ancient and will lose a lot more value.
     
  51. Valerie,

    Here's a site that uses different lenses on mostly crop bodies from both nikon and
    canon. Hope this helps with your creative eye. :)

    http://www.motleypixel.com/reviews/index.htm

    Shun, i appreciate your view, however, the 5D may look ancient, but the IQ it
    produces is timeless and without peer for the price in 35mm format. And the
    images will only improve as RAW converters improve as well. I think ai-servo
    needs both good fps and great AF to be successful. As you may know, in ai-
    servo mode most cameras focus from the center first , then branch out from
    there.
    Well, the 5D has 7 focus pts in the center (3 are cross type - 6 are invisible) as
    the 40D has one cross in the center to "lock" with. Next the 5D has 8 more to
    track around the 7 for a total of 15 points vs the 40D's 9. So, you're correct, there
    is no comparsion. And the 40D has issues in ai-servo mode that has been
    mentioned here on photo.net. Once a person understands how to interpret light by
    using the Sunny 16 rule, or zone system, they may just put their fully automatic
    camera in MANUAL mode, like I do. Do we really want the camera to make every
    image 18% gray, or choose our af point automatically. Are we that brain dead as
    a society now?
     
  52. I had the same comparison several months ago..

    I settled on the D300 because of the features and accessories. I purchased the
    D300, a 24-70 2.8 VR ED, a 70 -200 2.8 VR ED, Lensbaby 3G, 18 -55 5.6, and a
    55 - 200 5.6. and I am insanely happy with my choices.. the 5.6 lenses are
    mainly for teleconverter possibilities..

    I also outfitted my home studio with a 3 light Photo Basics Strobe Lite Plus
    system and Manfroto tripods and Supierour Seamless, Studio Dynamics, and
    Westcott backgrounds. I settled with a Sekonic 358 light meter and Pocket
    Wizard Plus's

    After choosing the D300 .. all equipment choices from there fell into place.... Nikon
    took forever to get the 2 - 2.8 lenses.. like 6 weeks but it was worth the wait.

    Best of Luck to you..
     
  53. "Elliot: d50 limitations are that portrait clients are wanting to make prints at 16x20 and larger and yes, it's limiting because I have to nail the exposure and composition or they look bad. And yes, the frame rate does limit me. If you've taken pictures of a group of people with kids, it's a BIG benefit to leave your finger on the shutter as a child can move a lot even between those burst frames. "

    16x20: You WILL see an improvement with the 5D over crop-sensor cameras, even good ones like the D300 or 40D.

    Frame rate: 3fps in the 5D, faster in other, less expensive crop-sensor bodies.

    Pick your priorities.
     
  54. Dear Correct Exposure and Robert,

    Not quite. I just stated that for this particular application, with a DX camera and an
    85mm at f/2.8 at 2 meters from you subject, you get the exact same DOF as you
    get on FF with a 105mm at f/2.8 at 2 meters from your subject. It just happens to
    work out that way with these two lenses.

    If you take a 50 f/2 on DX and an 80 f/2 on FF, this does not work anymore. You
    would need to go to about f/1.4 on the 50mm and the DX camera to get the same
    depth of field (6cm versus 7cm). But this is NOT what we are talking about here.
    Were are evaluating Valerie's case, and in her case the DOF argument just doesn't
    fly. Besides as was pointed out, in this particular case you could go all the way to
    80/1.8 (or even f/1.4 if you have the $$$).

    The issue here is that with the right lens, you can get an image with a high end DX
    camera that is as good as that with a FF camera. OK, at high ISO you need a FF for
    the reduction in noise, with a f/5.6 zoom you will have limited depth of field. But
    those are not really the issues here.

    Neither would I recommend "spot metering" with available light and children, the light
    changes too much. Nor do I think a tripod will do you much good, you'll miss every
    shot. Nikon has a great flash system, but if you stay with available light, which
    makes these images so great, I think, since they don't look so "studio shot", that
    makes no difference either.

    In the end, it comes down to a D300 with a 85/2 or for autofocus, spend the $500 on
    the 85/1.8 AF-D, or a 5D and a 105/2.8. Really, when it comes down to this, does it
    make a difference? Either will give incredible prints at 16x20 and technique, focus,
    and exposure will be by far the more important factors in how good the final image
    will be than the camera it was taken with.

    Go with what feels most comfortable in your hand (and pocket book) and you will
    have a system that you can use for years to come (yes, even the older 5D will be
    still be great).

    Cheers.
     
  55. Thanks again, everyone. Tachion, thanks for your clarifying comments to apply to my situation, as you are indeed correct about missing shots and angles with a tripod. Versatility in movement and speed are what have carried me through, as I just follow these kids around at times.

    You cleared up one question I had as I was wondering if people were really suggesting that a 16x20 on the d50 6mp would be the same (as good) as with a 12 mp d300.

    I'm a bit confused about one thing, though...my 85mm AF autofocuses on my d50, I understand that it wouldn't on a d60, but it surely would on a d300, right? Guess I could check it out myself, but there have been a few comments that were written as if this were an MF lens.

    Anyway, thanks so much. I'm leaning against the big lens, for the versatility of movement reasons mentioned above, but still not sure between the 5D or the D300 and need to check out the other portrait lenses that have been mentioned. I'm thinking about renting the 5D w/ the Canon 85mm and D300 and seeing what they feel like to me.

    Still open to any more input if people have more to say...whew!
     
  56. Keep the D50, wait for a proper full frame camera from Nikon in a prosumer body, and pull the trigger on the 70-200. You will not see that much of an improvement with a D300 over your D50 but the 70-200 for an outdoor portrait lens will create some great opportunities for you. High ISO is not important for portrait work and for better image processing just shoot raw and use your PC/Mac to handle that in CameraRaw or Lightroom.
     
  57. Well, here is my 2 cents; I am a Nikon film guy, who has decided to go digital. My first reaction was to go with Nikon D300 since it will AF my existing lenses; then I started to look at the options, as a film guy I'm used to shooting full frame, an 85 is an 85, not a 135; Then I started to internet search what the wedding guys- gals are using, and almost always its canon full frame with L lenses. Then I thought back to my canon Manual F days, and realized my SSC coated lenses produced better images, without a doubt. So i think this is what it comes down to; at the non L lens images, canon and nikon are the same, so the D 300 wins because at small sensor size, its ahead of canon. The canon L lenses are way way ahead of nikon glass, the 85 1.2 in particular, but acoss the board ; If you can pay the price for L lenses, Canon is the body- now its down to 5d 0r 40 D.
    The 5D is behind the curve, and priced accordingly. The 40 D is ahead of the curve , with the limitation being the sensor size and the 1.6 that goes with it ; So, what makes a great image- the camera or the photographer ? Yes, the 5 D Mk II will be a " better " body, with a much higher cost; does that diminish the great images being made now with the 5 D ? I. E. see karen Lippowith- will these images be " better " with the new 5 D- I don't think so Tim.
    That pretty much sums it up.
     
  58. Ok, maybe there's an elephant in the room: Are the Canon L lenses that much better than the Nikon equivalents for this particular usage? I was reading Ken Rockwell's site where he says that for fast lenses, "Nikon owes us big time," saying, among other things, that Nikon hasn't really kept up with Canon in this one area. Obviously, Nikon makes amazing lenses, and I really like Nikon, as it's the only thing I've known. But really, the most amazing portraits I've seen for bokeh and just that general "oooh" factor are from those Canon lenses.

    Is it worth opening the can of worms here?
     
  59. There is no can to open, The L lenses are exactly what you see, Nikon does not
    make " amazing " lenses.
     
  60. Valerie, for a given aperture or focal length, one brand or another might be better. In general, however, both Canon and Nikon (among others) make some spectacularly good lenses. It is usually not about brand, but about dollars. The top lenses are going to cost, no matter who makes them. There are, however, some real bargains that perform quite well.

    Since you are interested in comparing only Canon and Nikon, proceed with the system that you want, secure that you can get very, very good lenses from both companies.

    Most of my lenses are now Canon since I switched to Canon in 2006 to take advantage of full-frame cameras. I still miss some of the Nikon glass that I got rid of, but the Canon glass has been fine. You typically get what you pay for. They are both so good that most of us cannot tell the difference, but do read the reviews for a particular lens and a particular application.

    --Lannie
     
  61. Valerie,
    Don't bite. Some of this is the "Canon is way better" folks (not you Landrum). Nikon does not make "amazing lenses". You may as well say, "Joe McNally doesn't know how to take photos, and neither does Anne Leibowitz". Or perhaps someone can chime in with, "You really should consider a second mortgage and go all Leica, since everyone knows that Leica is the only company that can make amazing lenses."
    It is generally recognized that both companies (add Zeiss and Leica to the list too) make "amazing lenses" and "amazing cameras". The L lenses are the Canon expensive pro line. These are indeed excellent and they are expensive. Nikon has it's own set of expensive lenses. Why would anyone buy a converter to put a Nikon lens on a Canon body (and only get manual focus) if Nikon does not make excellent lenses? (Or if Canon does not make excellent bodies, for that matter.)
    Don't go the "this brand versus that brand" route. You can take awesome photos with a Minolta, or Pentax. I think you have a good plan to rent some equipment and try out what you like best. Ultimately, some people will strongly prefer one brand over the other because of how it feels in their hands. Some prefer one brand, some the other. But in the end, you will be using the equipment, and you will be the one that needs to use it.
    By the way, it seems that Mr Ken Rockwell has his own way of attracting traffic to his site. He seems to claim that a cheap point and shoot is just as good as a $2000 DSLR. Yet, he uses the DSL (actually a D3, which is even more) exclusively for his own photos. Don't take everything literally.
    If someone said "Canon gives you more choice because they have a larger lineup and bring out new stuff faster", I would not disagree with that. They were also first in the full frame area, which lost Nikon some customers. Generally, Nikon will be a little slower to bring out the latest technology. Generally Nikon will be more backwards compatible. That really gorgeous AIS lens from the 70's will still work on a current model. Try that with a Canon lens from the 70s. But none of this is relevant for your situation.
    If you feel that only Canon equipment has made portraits that you like, go with Canon! I don't feel that way though. Check out McNally's photos, or Steve McCurry's work, or any other top photographer using Nikon.
    Cheers
     
  62. Fair enough...I'm going to compare them for myself and see. It'll probably be a little while, as the place that rents the equipment is a bit of a drive, but when I do, I'll post...

    Thanks, everyone!
     
  63. There's so much disinformation here it'll be a miracle if Valerie ever makes up her mind.

    Bokeh and sensor size? Bokeh and sensor size have zero influence on each other. Bokeh is strictly related to the lens. Even then it's a voodoo topic at best. You're cluttering up the issues of sensor size and depth of field under the nonsense rubric of "bokeh."

    A larger viewfinder doesn't necessarily equal a better viewfinder. Again, misinformed clutter. My FM2N has a "full frame" viewfinder. So what? My D2H has a better viewfinder - brighter, crisper, better suited to manual focusing even in dim light, without any need for split-image or microprism collar focusing aids.

    More than relying on shallow DOF, "bokeh," fast framerates and autofocus, you'll probably gain more from getting control of your photographic conditions than from any new equipment. Relying on shallow DOF and "bokeh" are often poor techniques. Careful choice of backgrounds and lighting are better techniques. If 3 fps isn't fast enough, the problem is shot selection, not faster framerates. Practice manual focusing for those inevitable occasions when even the best AF will let you down.

    My advice? Get into the stores and handle the cameras and lenses you're considering. Rent 'em if possible. Nobody here can tell you what works best for your preferences. All this piling on of misguided good intentions has just created a mess of disinformation, misinformation and cognitive dissonance. For every person who offers reasonable sounding advice two people will come along with equally reasonable conclusions about why everyone else is wrong.

    Including me.
     
  64. Do read Ken Rockwell, Valerie, but always be sure that the switch for your CpDr (crap detector) is in the "On" position.

    --Lannie
     
  65. "A larger viewfinder doesn't necessarily equal a better viewfinder."

    But it usually does. Especially when it is almost 50% larger and both are using modern technology.

    "Again, misinformed clutter." And your comparrison of a 30 yr old budget camera with a top-of-the-line current professional camera, neither of which are relevant to the issue, is not somewhat obscuring?

    It's hardly rocket science. All Valerie needs to do is go into a shop and compare the viewfinders with the same speed lenses giving the same field of view. She should then be able to compare the squinty little D300 APS viewfinder, that looks like you're looking down a tunnel, and the larger, brighter FF viewfinder of the 5D. My experience is that the 5D is also much easier to manual focus quickly and accurately. This is on top of being able to see things like subtle lighting changes and expressions so much more easily. This matters when lighting is low.

    The viewfinder on the 5D is ok, but, of course, there are other film cameras with considerably better viewfinders (Leicaflex, Pentax LX, Nikon F3, F6 Pentax 645 and 67) Given the other features of the 5D though, and the benefits of FF digital, the viewfinder is just about good enough.
     
  66. I use both systems. For the type of work you want to do a 5D is probably the best choice outside of a D3...which is total overkill. The full frame and the dof advantage is what you seek.
    <p>
    As others like to point out, the 5D is a bit outdated, feature wise...but still at the top in picture quality.
     
  67. I've looked at your work . It is promising. While a better camera and or lens is always a fu nway to spend money I thin k spendign it on a good portrait workshop is a better way. You also do not appear to be charging enough. For your $100 portrait package, how much time are you spending. Not just oot time , but also deciding which are the best ones to present to the client (editing/culling) , presenting to the client (selling) , and then processign the selected ones? How much money have you spent on equipment and software so far? How much are you budgeting for into the future? what are your goals? In other words: will buying a new camera or lens actually help you make more money?
     
  68. Robert, there is zero correlation between viewfinder size and ease of use. Zero.

    Ever used a view camera? Huge finder and focusing screen. PITA to use. How 'bout a Rollei 2.8C TLR with original focusing screen? Or almost any TLR with the original focusing screen? Huge. And like looking through a dirty window.

    A bigger viewfinder is bigger, period. The FM2N finder is very good. Good enough that I've used it successfully many times for nighttime street photography, always with manual focus of course. Dismissing it as a "30 yr old budget camera" is more ill-informed nonsense. But it's not as good as the D2H finder, which is every bit the equal to my F3HP finder. And it has zero, nothing, nada, to do with viewfinder size.

    The nonsense about using a DX or comparable sized viewfinder being like peering down a tunnel is ridiculous. Might as well say that looking through a view camera or Yashica TLR finder is like looking down a huge cavern. The size has absolutely nothing to do with brightness, clarity and utility.

    This addiction to the concept that the 35mm paradigm as the "fool frame" be-all, end-all of photography has literally blinded people to reality. OTOH, it's produced some amusing illogical conclusions.
     
  69. Lex, you are overstating your case ... dramatically.

    What part of - "But it usually does. Especially when it is almost 50% larger and both are using modern technology." do you not get?

    Why do you again bring up irrelevant comparisons - the almost 60 year old technology of the Rolleiflex C2.8 TLR? Put a new screen in there, a Maxwell screen from the last few years and the D300 is laughably wretched, squinty and awful when compared - albeit the right way round.

    The case in question is a comparrison of modern cameras using comparable technology - D300/5D.

    The D300 viewfinder is AWFUL compared to many other cameras. (Some of the oldies I named). You only have to compare them side by side with comparable lenses. The case in point, relevant to Valerie's question, is the 5D. As I said she only has to compare them to settle the issue for herself.

    "The nonsense about using a DX or comparable sized viewfinder being like peering down a tunnel is ridiculous." Why not just jump up and down and shout! This is my experience when I compare it to other viewfinders - even to old technology like an LX with an SC69 screen or a Leicaflex - and many others have said the same, whether you agree or not. It is squinty, narrow, small, distant and uncomfortable to work with, and certainly not optimal for portrait work.

    Just look through a Leicaflex (or a Canon 5d) with an 80/1.4 and then a D300 and a 50/1.4. See a new world open up.

    The Nikon F3HP is a case in point - this is for sports work, for working quickly and at a slight distance from the camera - good also for people with glasses - also giving a tunnel effect, deliberately narrowed so that it's all visible from a distance - so yes it does, slightly, compare to a DX camera. But why choose that for portrait work, or any work where you can take your time and actually notice things through the viewfinder. For that the plain F3 is larger and clearer.
     
  70. WOW!
    <p>
    A great deal of misinformation is being presented above by a few posters!
    <p>
    Valerie!
    <p>
    Just get a small loan and buy a Nikon D3 and be done with it. It is definitely state-of-the-art today in the sub-$10,000 range and does an outstanding job for portraits, weddings (low-light), sports (9-11 FPS), and just about anything else you can imagine.
    <p>
    I have posted this image from a recent wedding in a few other threads - but it does illustrate what is possible with the D3 and the 85mm f/1.8 lens: (very similar to your 85mm f/2.0 lens)
    <p>
    <img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3098/2556010370_c54c138a73.jpg?v=0">
     
  71. Wow Russ,

    The D3 is awesome for sure, but 5K body only is a reach when you can spend it on a Canon 5D + 85 f/1.2L + 135 f/2L or 70-200L for portrait work. :) But we are in agreement that she should look into a full frame body if only to know what else is out there.
     
  72. She doesn't need to buy the other lenses. She already has the Nikon 85mm f/2.0 lens for her portrait work.

    And once you work with the Nikon D3, you will never consider the slower, older, plastic Canon 5D.

    After all - Valerie does this professionally and the investment in the D3 will be well worth it. We purchased our D3 about a month ago - one of the best investments in equipment we have ever made! (Added to our D300 and D200 bodies.)
     
  73. Russ, we are not at odds in our view of full frame image quality for portraits. But
    for the price, a 5D and 85L 1.2 is awesome for under 4K. The only thing Nikon
    has to match that is a D3 and 85 1.4 for over 6K. Even then the Canon setup has
    a faster lens with ultrasonic motor for 2K less.

    If she takes a loan out, she's better off with a Mamiya ZD medium format digital for
    less than 10K that will smoke anything were're talking about for portraits with BIG
    prints. Her clientale will skyrocket for sure when she shows off a 20x24 print with
    that baby. :)

    However, she has 1,700 to spend, and there is no better camera under 2K for
    portraits than the 5D. That's why it has not been replaced. No one can match
    it...yet. :) And yes, I think the D3 is excellent in everyway. But it's IQ is not 3K
    better than a 5D. In fact, the 5D has been said to have sharper images than the
    D3.

    You have both a D300 and D3..for portraits, which would you choose? If you say
    D3, then for the same price as a D300 (a camera she is looking into) she can have
    a full frame 5D that can surpass even your D3 as I have mentioned earlier.

    We need to look at cameras as tools for the job. Forget brand loyalty. Heck, I'm
    looking into a Mamiya ZD b/c 35mm cannot match it for portraits. :)
     

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