A digital version of N70

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by shawna_mcgregor, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. Hi. This is my first post.

    In 1997, I wanted an N90, couldn't afford one, and bought an N70. It has a 50mm lens and a 70-210mm lens. Everything with them has
    been amazing and I have no regrets or complaints.

    I would like a break from film and want a digital camera similar to the N70. Nikon, of course.

    Which model do you suggest? I like to shoot everything from low light indoors, bright light outdoors, action, portraits, food, knitted
    projects, and everything in between. I'm hooked on autofocus, and at my age (46) have become a tad lazy. I want he camera o think for
    me, but still like to switch to manual settings from time to time.

    Which Nikon DSLR do you think is close to an N70? I have not looked into cameras whatsoever for any reason since 1997 o I'm a bit
    overwhelmed at the moment.

    Thank you for your kindness and thoughtful replies.
  2. a d7000 will allow you to use your current lenses and has both auto and manual settings.
  3. I'm not up on the plethora of digital SLRs available now (not really interested), but I think that just about any current dSLR, from the lowliest consumer model upwards, would blow the N70 out of the water in terms of technology and usability. The cheaper Nikons will all be DX (sensor smaller than the 35mm frame), giving lenses a field of view about 2/3 that of a 35mm SLR (for example, on a DX DSLR, your 50 mm lens will have an apparent FOV of a 75mm lens). The other thing to consider is AF compatibility. Cheaper dSLRs do not have an integral AF motor, and will only give autofocus with lenses that contain a built-in motor (AF-S lenses). Since the N-70 has an integral AF motor, it is likely that your lenses are screw-driven (AF-D I think - no integral AF motor) and therefore will only give focus confirmation (they won't autofocus, but the camera will tell you when you're in focus, while you turn the focus ring manually). If you want to use your AF lenses as before, you'll need to identify a dSLR with a built-in AF motor. However, even the cheapest such dSLR will be vastly more advanced than the N70.
  4. Thank you for your replies.

    If I have to invest in new lenses, that is OK. It would be nice to keep using the current ones, but I don't remember the specs on them.
    They do screw in place, but if they are D mounts, F mounts, or something else, I couldn't say.

    I've been looking at bundles. My husband says the lenses in bundles won't be fast enough and will drive me nuts. I don't know what I
    want to do where lenses are concerned.
  5. I have a D 7000 and I have also used an N70 a little. If you want to start shooting again I suggest you buy what you can afford in a D-SLR, but get one with a kit lens. The D 7000 kit lens is usually an 18-105 with VR (vibration compensation), a very nice technical advancement for photography. The D 7000 with a lens can be had for around $1300.00. The D 7000 will be able to use most of the lenses Nikon makes including manual focus AI lenses but not non AI and a few specialty lenses. If you are not comfortable with that much money get one less expensive that may not be able to use the lenses you already have, but get a kit lens with it. The newer cameras have more buttons and functions but they all come with a users manual. There are all kinds of forums and blogs online to get you up to speed again. If you already have experience with photography it will come back to you quickly.
    You can pickup a D-SLR put it in Auto(the green setting) and be shooting in no time.
  6. Thank you, William.

    I have never stopped taking pictures, I just want a break from film. I'm sick of the inconvenience of it especially after
    returning from vacation with anywhere from 10 to 15 rolls (or more) of it that need developing. Plus, it s becoming more
    difficult to find good photo labs that still handle film. It is becoming more difficult to find my favorite film, as well. on my
    last trip, I had to use Kodak. Good stuff, the pictures were fine, but it isn't my favorite.

    I'm just in need of something different and beyond ready to dive into digi formats & put the N70 away. I still have every
    camera I have ever owned, so maybe it's time to put them on a display shelf like old relics! Haha. I still have an old Fujica
    that is used strictly for black and white film. It is never stocked with anything else. Good camera. Never had to go in the
    shop. I think it was made in 1971. I bought it in a pawn shop in 1979 for $10.

    After reading all night tonight about the D7000 it seems like the camera to get. It is a tad outside my price point, but it
    may be worth scraping together some more cash to get one.

    Thanks again!
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Back in those days, the N70 was very much a consumer-grade film SLR. The rough equivalent today would be something like the D3200, D5100, D5200; the latter is just introduced and won't be available in the US until next year.
    I would not put compatibility with your old lenses as a priority. Therefore, while the D7000 is a higher-end camera and is fully compatible with your old lenses, if it is just over your budget, I would get a lesser body and some new lenses. DSLRs in your price range are DX, with a smaller APS-C format sensor. Your old lenses will tend to be long on such DX cameras. You are better off starting with a couple of new DX lenses such as the 18-105mm DX AF-S mentioned above.
  8. Keep an eye on the D7000 for discounts. It's 2 years old and just could be nearing replacement with an updated(24mp?) sensor sometime(early?) next year.
  9. I always thought of the N70 as being rather twiddly to use, compared to the N90 or the N50. So, no matter what Nikon DSLR that you buy, it's going to be a major advancement in learning controls, etc. My first DSLR was a D70s, which I just recently passed along to my daughter-in-law. It has been replaced with a D90 which does all that I need. Depending on how much cash you want to outlay, your choices are varied. I would stay away from the cheapest consumer models, as they lack some features that allow the use of your older AF lenses. Several have suggested the D7000 which is a good choice, but you might also want to consider the full-frame D600. The full-frame FX sensor is a lot more like shooting 35mm than the cropped DX sensors, in that the viewfinder is much improved, as is the use of legacy lenses at the focal lengths for which they are designed.
    I'm still a film shooter for a lot of reasons, but when it comes to convenience and color, DSLRS are hard to beat.
  10. Your lenses are likely the 50mm f/1.8 and the 70-210mm f/4-5.6 push-pull, so they aren't really worth choosing one body over another for. Those lenses are probably worth about $60-$70 each today. You don't even have to stay with Nikon, unless you have a driving reason to. Pentax, Canon, and Sony make just-as-good cameras, and even the micro 4/3 cameras of Panasonic and Olympus will be good enough quality for your needs, and be smaller. Just for argument's sake though, let's stick with Nikon. The D5100 is on refurbished sale right now at Adorama (I'm assuming that you're inside the United States since your camera is an N70 instead of F70), so for $380, you can't go wrong. Add the 35mm f/1.8 and either the 55-200mm VR, 55-300mm VR, or Tamron 70-300mm VC lens to the camera purchase, and you're set! I was in your position a few years ago, moving from film to digital, and trust me, don't get the D7000. It's too much camera, you'll be paying for too many features that you just won't need or use for the first two years of your digital foray, and by the time that you're ready for them, it will already be an old-news camera and time to upgrade. I came from years of film experience, university courses in photography, worked as a photographer for a newspaper, and when I got what was the cheapest Nikon DSLR at the time, it still took me a few months until I was completely familiar with the camera. Even the cheapest DSLR still has full manual controls.
    As a counterpoint, I'll tell you to check out the Sony NEX-5R or NEX-6, if you're willing to step away from Nikon. It's the same sensor as you find in Nikon DSLRs, but it takes advantage of the fact that a sensor, unlike film, doesn't have to be hidden behind a mirror and shutter all the time, so it's much smaller. One of those cameras, along with the new Sony 35mm f/1.8 and the 55-210mm, will be a great digital camera for you that gives you about the same range as you have with your film camera (a fast normal and a consumer-grade telephoto). It will also be much smaller, which is nicer for those travels.
  11. Be aware of the size of digital file sizes. The D 7000 is 16 megapixels and the raw files are from 14 to 19 megabytes on my hard drive. Full frame cameras and large megapixels mean more hard drive space. With my current computer with a 500gb hard drive I have to keep deleting and cleaning it to have the space I need to process my files. If I had more megapixels I would not have enough space. I will have to upgrade soon as it is.
    Just consider all of the facts when you buy. 12, 16, 24, 36, megapixel all make great 8x10s or larger. My D 5000 still makes great photos and I can't tell them from the D 7000 without looking at the metadata.
  12. William, good points. In the end, it partly depends on what one is going to do with their images afterwards. If they are just going on social media sites, and making 4x6" prints, one might just be fine with a D1x. :) If one is aiming for 16x20 prints, then the latest and greatest would be far better. One must definitely take into account the computing end, since that is where the processing takes place, not at the photo-finishers.
  13. From the details you provided, you appear to be an advanced photographer. The D7000 is the current Nikon body that hits the point of diminishing returns with regard to features and performance. You are looking at a $1000+ investment however. A step down from the D7000 in both features and price is the D90. For some the much lower current cost more than offsets the reduction in feature set. Another way to go would be to purchase something very inexpensive to get your feet wet and then decide if you want to fully convert to digital. Nikon D70s bodies are readily available for less than $200. All of the above bodies will work with your existing lenses with the caveat that they will be subject to full frame to DX crop factor. In use, film lenses will have the same angle of view as a lens of 50% greater focal length. If it were me and I could afford it, I would purchase the D7000 with a kit lens. Then use your existing lenses as needed.
  14. Because you are novice on digital my advice is to buy the entry level DSLR which is D3200. This is new technology, not long in tooth like D5100 or D7000 and you can get it for an attractive cost. This camera will provide an easier transition towards digital and its IQ is quite phenomenal. I know a pro guy that uses it in a studio alongside more expensive gear.
    The money you save this way you can invest in two better lenses, like Nikon16-85 VR and Nikon 35/1.8 DX.
    After a few years when you'll take the juice from your camera you'll be better prepared for an advanced camera.
  15. The point here as I see it is don't get caught in the latest and greatest. Get a camera you can live with, money wise and technical wise. Any of the latest cameras mentioned will do a fantastic job. It just depends on what you can live with and work with. Good Luck!
  16. Ross, how does someone whose gear is a bottom-end autofocus SLR from two decades ago, along with two of the cheapest lenses from the era, strike you as an "advanced amateur?" I think that you're remembering gear through rose-colored glasses, and even a D3200 with 35mm and 55-200mm VR is far and away more advanced than the current film setup. It has much better controls than the N70 did, as well, have you ever used one? Also, I disagree on where you place the point of diminishing returns. The D5100 gives the same image quality as the D7000, with the D200's autofocus system (respectable enough in its own right), at less than half the price. That means that you pay double for features like a top LCD, magnesium body, second command dial, flash commander mode, etc. Also, there is no way I could, with a straight face, recommend that someone get a D70s over even the cheapest D3200 today, for any user, from beginner to Ansel Adams reincarnate.
    Besides, even advanced amateurs don't often go for the highest-end gear. A landscape photographer friend of mine, whose main system is a Linhof Master Technika 4x5 with a full bag of Schneider-Linhof and Zeiss glass, recently picked up a D3100 to be his digital camera. An "advanced amateur" looks at what features he needs, and doesn't pay for what he doesn't. The D3200 and D5100 have a pretty solid feature set, and while they have some shortcomings, a beginner into digital will find them more than enough for a good long while. And by the time that they're ready to upgrade and take advantage of the D7000's features, the D7000 will have dropped in price more than the value of their camera on the used market!
  17. I went from a N80 to D40, to D7000. The D7000 camera is brilliant, but you do need to consider getting the best glass you can buy, as 16 MP will show flaws in some older glass if you try to print at decent wall size prints larger than 8x10. I have printed at 20x30 and they look great!
    I wonder at the problems of having a 500 GB hard drive and needing to delete and clean for space. A typical processed file might be 20-40 MB depending on if you shoot JPG or RAW. This would equate to approximately 12,500 to 25,000 pics on a 500GB drive! That's a lot of pictures. I run Windows 7, 64 bit with only 4GB of RAM, and total storage of 410 GB on two drives, and have no problem processing RAW files in PS Elements 10 or Capture NX2.
    If you can swing the D7000 and possibly some new glass, you will noy be sorry, and will be probably be hard pressed to outgrow that camera.
  18. Where did my reply go? How strange.

    Anyway, thank you to everyone. This thread is very informative.

    Ariel, you are psychic! Those are the lenses I have for the N70 with the only difference being a twist rather than push/pull
    on that zoom! Haha.

    I just don't think I can swing a D7000 right now. I really don't. So I have decided to go with the D5100, refurb, in a kit.
    The lenses are too slow for my liking, however, they will get me started and in a few months I will have a better idea of
    what the camera does and what lenses to add to the arsenal.

    For example, from my film years, I am still clinging to the need to get a 1.4 50mm lens. I love a 50 for indoor snappies.
    But it would seem for digi, maybe a standard workhorse lens should be a 35mm. Or maybe the 50mm is still relevant, but
    the people I'm reading are just in need of a bit of lightening up or something. I won't really know until I get rolling.

    I am looking at a kit that contains either an 18-55mm and 70-200mm, or the 18-55 with a Tamron 70-300, but the reviews
    on that Tamron are not so hot. Maybe the two DX VR lens kit would be the way to go while I figure things out.

    In addition to the price being more affordable, the big feature that drew me to the D5100 is the swiveling screen on the
    back. We have had many trips where I was jealous of my husband's nearly-ancient-now Sony F828 and its ability to tilt
    up and own for easier viewing in weird situations. He currently uses a Lumix GH1 that has a swivel screen. I use that
    feature more than he does so it should be available on my camera. :). It s a necessity, not a luxury.

    So, thank you again, everyone! I appreciate you taking time out of your regularly scheduled programming to help a

    Enjoy the rest if your week, and happy shooting. I look forward to reading your other posts and threads.
  19. If you're on a budget, forget the 50mm 1.4. With your D5100 the "normal" prime to get is the 35mm 1.8G.
    The Tamron 70-300 VC version is really good, as tele lenses that aren't pro grade go - I don't know what reviews you saw, maybe it was of the less expensive version without VC. I have it and it stands up well to use on both a D7000 (same sensor as a D5100) and a D800. Last year I was shooting Fuji Reala with it and an F100 and scanning at 5400 PPI and it killed. In image quality the Tamron and Nikon versions of this lens are indistinguishable, but the Tamron is less expensive.
    It you're comparing 70-300 zooms to 70-200 zooms, don't. The 70-200s are much more expensive (and heavy) pro lenses that usually give superior images. If you're comparing to 55-200 lenses, the Nikon and Tamron VC 70-300s are a bit better, not a heck of a lot better, in image quality, better ergonomically and better built, and of course have more zoom range.
  20. Hi, Andy!

    The Tamron lens in the kit is this one.


    I love the macro capability and have used that before on my Quantaray zoom, but if it is going to fuzz out at 300mm,
    maybe looking to a different kit is the way to go.
  21. Shawna, Please don't compare your linked Tamron to the new Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD SP lens. They are worlds apart. I have the new version, and as many people will attest on here, it is an excellent lens. On my D7000, it is sharp, sharp, sharp!!! The VR works great too. It does hunt for AF somewhat in low light, but to me this is not a problem. It doesn't have macro capability, but there are better choices for that type of shooting. I also have the older Tamron 70-300 macro from my film days, and would definitely consider a new Nikon macro over that if this was an important part of my photography.
  22. I wasn't comparing it. I was posting what comes in the kit so participants in this thread could see why I was going to pass
    on it.

    And I forgot. I actually have a discontinued lens that I like very much.


    I may use that on manual for awhile until I figure out which other lenses to buy. I love that lens. It is my workhorse.

    As to the comparison, I cannot even find a Tamron 70-300mm VR online right now to try and size it up to the one I've
    found in kits. Lol
  23. HA! I guess the reason I cannot find a VR Tamron is because they call it something else! LOL Doy. OK. Off to read about those.
    I know that kit doesn't have the upgraded Tamron. The one that's in the kit is just a basic with no motion reduction and what I read about it is that it feels cheap and gets too soft at 300mm.
  24. Shawna, the 18-55 replaces the lens you linked. That lens isn't as good on a D5100 - it's not wide at the wide end on DX,
    doesn't have VR and isn't autofocus on a D5100.

    I'd take the Nikon 55-200 over the older Tamron 70-300 on a DX camera, no question.
  25. Nikon's N70 was a plasticky, mid-level camera in its day. The AF is fast and reliable, the 3D matrix metering is spot on, and with that "film sensor" installed, you have a full-frame camera. If you want that same sort of antiquated technology in a Nikon digital SLR your price point starts at $2000 for the D600.
    You can't replace a film camera with a crop-sensor camera like the D7000 or D3200 (or whatever) and still get the same image qualities. What you will do, or be convinced of, is that the capabilities you gain are worth more than the ones you lose. Even the most basic crop-sensor DSLR will be better in low light than any film SLR, at least for color work. And your 10-15 rolls of vacation film? Forget it, you'll now have hundreds of images or thousands on one SD card. The sky's the limit.
  26. The D3200 is directly comparable to the N70, but I'm not sure that it will work with older Nikon lenses. I'm sure that someone has addressed this point, but I don't have time to read all of the posts. ;-)
    Don't worry about crop-sensor versus full frame cameras. They render lens focal lengths somewhat differently, but they are all very capable cameras.
  27. Hello Shawna and welcome to the forum and the digital arena!

    In nikon speak there are two formats for DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras, Dx andFx. You really want to be in the dx world as
    90%+ of the cameras sold today are this format. APC sensor is another way of saying Dx.

    This format mostly a zoom lens world with great choices and excellent quality lenses.

    They represent terrific value. The d7000 camera body is a value and performance leader although it may not fit your budget,( it costs
    approx. $1000).

    Another great choice is the D90. And lastly there are excellent cameras like the d3200 ($600 including the lens mentioned below).

    I would recommend a lens like the 18-55 mm f3.5-f5.6 AF-S DX zoom lens ( $200) to start.

    Hard disk space on a computer is not, in my opinion, too worrisome because hard disk storage is inexpensive now. ( 1 terabyte for $90 at
    Best Buy).

    Good luck with your decisions!

    Brad Anderson
  28. Everybody has their own Take on your question, but today and Friday the D-5100 with 18-55 AFS VR Nikkor can be had for around $600.00 or less. It has the same sensor as the D-7000 and is slightly less talented in some areas, but is a very capable Nikon Camera. It also has the articulating monitor like you were talking about. Something that no one has mentioned so far is that almost all F-mount AI or newer lenses will fit and work on the D-5100, but some functions are not available. Some internet stores are also offering a bag and starter kit with it. This is a great deal for this great consumer grade camera. Remember all new cameras have a learning curve. "There is no try there is only do or don't do". Good Luck!
  29. I scout locations for movies. I've been using Nikons since 1971. I use the D90. It does an excellent job. I looked into the new D600 and the features don't seem to be that much greater than the E90 other than being full frame and having two card slots. Still limited to bracketing at 3 exposures rather than the 8 of the D800. I've been tempted to by the D800, but I'm reading about focus problems on the left focus sensors. So, I've settled back and am happy with the D90 for now.
  30. I also had an F70 (UK) and found the progression to Nikon DSLRs an easy one. I rather liked the F70 and if you could manage the user interface, then the D5100 will be fine. I now use my D5100 in preference to my D300, mainly due to its lighter weight. What I miss on the D5100 compared with the D300 includes: larger viewfinder, grid lines for composition, ability to AF with non-AF-S lenses and not being able to use the flash on the D5100 as a commander for off-camera flash.
    On the lens front, I have another 18-200mm (this copy being much better than my first) 35mm f1.8, 50mm af-s 1.8 (excellent lens) and Tamron 90mm macro.
  31. Why doesn't Nikon come out with a digital version of the Nikon SP, or F or F2, or for that matter, the N70: full frame sensor but with manual focus, capability to use the older accessories and glass, deletion of "unnecessary" complexity, appearance and build quality similar to the original cameras...something like the Leica M9?
  32. Thanks again, everyone. My apologies for seeming like I was ignoring your posts. The holiday, you know...
    I really wish I could go for a D600 or a D7000 and grow into them, but there is just no way, at least not right now, and probably not for several years.
    I am, however, enjoying reading everyone's opinions on the matter, and you're all giving me new things to research and read about, so I've learned a great deal about all these newfangled doodads. In my day, cameras didn't work unless we were walking uphill in the snow 15 miles, you know, and they consisted of a box and a pinhole.
    Have a great week, everyone!

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