Carrying both dx and fx body

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bob_bill, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. Traditionally, many photographers carried 2 film bodies (lighter bodies in those days) usually with different lense
    lengths and/or film types. Since the advantage of the fx frame is at the wide end and the dx at the long end, how
    about carrying both bodies and use the fx body with from wide angle work through 200 mm and have the dx
    available to use to reach out with its 1.5 factor with a 70-200 giving a 2.8 300 mm or with a 1.7 TC giving a f/4.8
    510 mm. Does that dx+1.7 TC + 70-200 have any major drawbacks beside carrying the weight of the extra
    body? My type of shooting doesnt warrant the expense of 400mm or more lense, not to mention the weight. Also,
    my used d200 body wont bring much,only a fraction of the cost of a 500 mm and keeping it provides a backup body
    and charged battery. Would this make sense for occasional wildlife shooting or for that extra reach?
  2. Hi Bob Bill,

    I see where you're going & it has merit. However..... It will be heavy that I can promise you.

    As for the TC-17 E II & the 70-200VR.... This whole group is shots made with that combination. So you decide if you think it's OK or not. Personally I find that even since buying the Kenko 1.4 TC I don't use my Nikon TC any more. I feel the Kenko actually holds up better than the Nikon TC-17E II - - but you be the judge on that one.

    For occasional wildlife? What kind of Wildlife? At the Zoo it'll work. For large animals close it will work, but it won't be good enough for birds unless large & close up.

    It all depends upon what kind of wildlife you wish to shoot.


    Lil :)
  3. Dunno, I don't understand the whole issue over DX/FX anyway. There have been many occasions when I toted both 35mm and MF cameras for a session. I've taken one of my Nikon 35mm SLRs and the D2H out for the same sessions, even shooting a wedding and other events with both, swapping lenses between both cameras (where compatible, which is most of my lenses). I can't ever recall being concerned about one being superior to another, just different choices for different situations. As soon as I look through the viewfinder all that other stuff becomes insignificant.

    And I probably didn't even come close to addressing your question. %]
  4. Bob Bill,

    I have been doing this exact thing for the last month(when i got my D700. This camera, and my D300 work nicely in tandem. FOr me, what it comes down to when i put my lenses on them, is the field of view i am after. For the High School football i have been shooting at night, I've been rigging my D700 with a 300mm f2.8 AF-I. I put this lens on this camera for this situation for a couple reasons, which are low light performance, and the true 300mm FOV on the FX camera. 450mm on the DX sensor is just a shade much for me at HS games (but not unrealistic). THen, the D300 gets moounted with a VR-70-200f2.8 making this lens a 105-300mm lens on the DX. This pair of cameras/lenses has worked out great!, and i can cover most circumstances at these events.
  5. I have thought about this a bit. Currently I use a D200 with serveral primes and two DX zooms. I think the wide focal length range is well covered with the available zooms in the DX format. I don't believe the wide primes I have would be as good in the FX format. If I were shooting a lot in low light then maybe the 28mm f2 and 85mm f1.8 would really shine using the D700. IMHO anything longer works better with the DX format so my next body will be a D300. This is just a hobby for me so I really need to justify equipment purchases carefully. My lens set covers 11mm f2.8 to 500mm f4. 11x14 is about the limit I would have a print made.
  6. As Lil pointed out, whether or not a 70-200 with a 1.7x on a DX camera is sufficient for shooting wildlife depends on the type of wildlife you are shooting. From my experience shooting birds, it will be too short more often than not. The degradation in optical quality when attaching any converter to the 70-200 has been addressed numerous times in this forum - only you can decide if you can live with it or not.

    When shooting film, I liked my "walkaround" lens to start at 24mm and consequently, I had first a 24-50, then the 24-120 (which now resides on my wife's F100), and currently a 24-85. Before the 16-85 came out, DX lenses all started at 18mm (27mm equivalent) unless you opted for the pricey and heavy 17-55/2.8 - but nothing gave you the 24mm-equivalent. Unless you are planning on paying the price (both in cost and weight) for a 14-24/2.8 and 24-70/2.8, I see no reason for the FX/DX combo. My widest lens for film is the 18-35 - and I got that range covered on DX with the 12-24. I doubt you will see much difference between using the (outdated) 24-85/2.8-4 or the 24-120 VR on an FX body or the 16-85 VR on a DX body (except for paying at least almost twice the money for the FX body).
  7. mjt


    I want to be sure we're clear on one point, because there
    will be folks lurking threads such as this, who are new
    to digital photography, and will interpret what's being
    said as, "a 300mm lens on a DX body will give me the
    same magnification as a 450mm on an FX body".

    That is simply not true. The ONLY difference is that the
    300mm on a DX body will CROP the image to appear the same
    as a 450mm lens on an FX body.

    It's not magnification, it's crop (or field of view).
  8. It depends on how you define magnification. Is it in the sensor plane relative to the subject, or in the final
    print vs. subject.

    Although I recognize both formats have their own advantages, I prefer to have two bodies of the same format so
    that one is a genuine backup for the other in case of failure of one body (so that I don't have to carry separate
    lenses for the two). I prefer the FX format as there is greater variety in lenses designed for 24x36, and the
    larger pixel spacing allows consistently good images to be obtained at a greater range of apertures, which is
    nice. These considerations are more important to me than the extra reach of DX (which is very real). But if you
    need it, you need it! There isn't any reason to avoid something that is useful to you. For me, 300mm on FX is
    entirely satisfactory as my longest lens, and I can even use it hand-held a lot of the time with the high ISO
    characteristics of FX.
  9. I recently obtained a D700 70-200 VR and a TC 1.7 and off to the soccer field I went! Awesome combo. Equally as
    well is the same lens combo on the D200 while I used the 24-70 on the D700 for crowd shots and wider angle field
    shots. I guess the answer is as always - the answer depends - on what equipment you have, (the possibility),
    what you want to do, (the desire), where you are, what you are capable of given all the variables - and your
    choices. Bottom line - feed your passion, and have fun.
  10. mj t, it's correct and incorrect in the same way it's always been. Digital didn't change that particular law of physics any more than the shift toward 35mm miniature format film from large and medium format film changed the magnification of, say, a 300mm lens.

    However, nobody ever referred to 35mm film in terms of "crop factor" when, for example, they used an adapter to mount the 200mm f/4 Takumar from their Pentax 67 to their Pentax LX. Didn't happen. The common sense application applies regardless of aspect ratio and dimensions: how "big" does the subject/object appear within the context of a given format?

    So while I'm not disputing your contention on a technical basis, I do have to wonder how well your point would go over on the large format and medium format forums when you try to warn people about those "crop format" 645 and 4x5 cameras.

    Keep in mind that not everyone regards the 35mm paradigm as the be-all, end-all of photography. And considering the burbling rumors about an upcoming larger-than-FX sensor camera, you may need to revise your position once again regarding the crop vs. magnification issue to explain to D3 and D700 owners why they have only "crop sensor" cameras.

    And that doesn't even begin to get into complications like image circle, blah-blah-blah...
  11. i confess i've taken an FX and DX body out together -- one for wide, the other for long. i can imagine doing it again from time to time. but for me, the ergonomic challenges of making such an arrangement work are considerable. i've not been able to arrive at a comfortable style of carrying 2 cameras if the intention is to use them interchangably in a very impromptu manner. i find myself agreeing with ilkka nissila, and find the FX body sufficient for most of what i'm trying to do.
  12. Early on in this thread I saw mention of the Kenko TC and it's superiority. I got a Kenko Pro 300 1.4 TC from Ebay - $127.00 delivered. It autofocuses on my AFD 80-200mm lens/D300 combo (which a Nikon TC will not do) and the results are very good.
  13. "It's not magnification, it's crop (or field of view)."

    I now understand something much better -- the apparent field of view at 55mm (DX). Under the "magnification" belief, 55mm should be equal to about 82mm in 35mm language. But it's not, and that has perplexed me. In the 35mm world, so-called "normal" lenses in the 50-58mm range were called that because when you looked through the lens and then removed the camera from your eye, the field of vision was approximately the same. Well, I noticed that was also the case with my 18-55mm kit lens at 55mm. Huh? I thought -- this is supposed to be 1.5X magnification. Now I get it -- 55mm is 55mm, and even in DX, the field of view is the same as a "normal" lens in the 35mm world. Thanks mj t, for finally clearning that up for me.

    Still, at some focal lengths I feel "magnified" instead of cropped. For example, my 55-200mm kit lens looks to me like a "normal" lens at 55mm but like a 300mm lens at 200mm. I guess I can live with "crop" on one end and "magnify" on the other. [smile]

  14. I have been carrying a full frame body and crop body for six months now. I bought the full frame almost specifically for my 14/2.8 and the crop body is great with the 400/2.8. I have used both of these and all of my other lenses on each body for various subjects from autoracing and soccer to landscapes. I limit myself to the best primes available including the 135/2 AIS and 200/2 AIS. I did not expect to use the two bodies to give me twice the number of focal lengths (by view) but that is in fact what I have begun to do. Obviously the full frame is my primary tool for landscapes and the crop body becomes my primary tool for sports but I do overlap the two.

    Weight is not an issue as I am also used to using a 4x5 as well. Yes it does get a bit insane flipping around two bodies and 5 lenses as I did this past week-end for shooting some fall landscapes in a local provincial park, but each camera served it's purpose. I can't rely solely on my full frame body since it is very slow to use and I can't rely solely on my crop body because of it's lack of view.
  15. For decades I carried 2 Nikon bodies, at times three and an assortment of lenses with BW and Color.

    It makes sense for anyone who can carry the weight, even if you have to do some upper body workouts to get there. Now at 78 use my D200 and two lenses as I get too tired carrying more.

    Opinions will vary, only your decision will really matter.
  16. 50mm on DX looks like 75mm in a print, but with a major difference no one is addressing: the depth of field is still that of an 50mm lens.
  17. Kam, I guess that's a double edged sword, if you need more dof to get more of a subject in focus dx would be an advantage. If you need to blur more, a disadvantage but useable either way to expand your tool box. Thanks for everyones input. Robert Johnson, for 78, I think there is quite a memory there because in our last discussion months ago, we discussed my body building hobby. Even with 3 workouts a day 6 days a week, this burden gets old after several hours. Fortunately, when I find a subject, I may spend more time shooting and working the subject with the gear on the ground than walking. With all those years of experience, you probably have the wisdom to anticipate what you need to carry for a particular shoot, rather than some of us pack mules carrying everything lest we need what we left behind. John, considering all the potential combinations makes my brain want to explode. William, I move with everything in a bag that secures with one clasp that opens from the top. An Abel fishing gear bag. Not much padding but that can be added from removable innards of other bags. 4 zippered outside pockets holds filters, triggers available w/o opening the bag. Holds a ton, well, 15 lbs , I weighed it to see what I was lugging, comfortably with a padded curved strap. Right on Ed, but I will leave the spare body in the truck if sure it really isnt going to be needed. I dont know about you folks, but the planned shots on my shot list that I actually get are usually surpassed by the found shot and sometimes, having the right gear at hand makes the difference in the ability to get that shot. Thats why I was looking for a way to expand my kit's versatility with out too much added weight or outrageous expense. Was thinking of larger more docile species like elk and deer at Pt Reyes and the sandhill cranes in the Sacramento valley. Possibly some mallards, but can usually call them in to 40 yards(formerly shot gun range). The photos are more than just acceptable for me, Judd. How are they when printed at larger than 8x10? Ilkka, I have had the same experience on needed length, even checked my metadata to see how much was shot at the long end. Like macro, I wonder how much having the extra length will expand or in macros case shrink my vision to new levels, making me stretch to use it. Kind of like those exercises in Drawing from the Right Side of the brain that give us left brainers great discomfort as it forces us to expand use of the right brain. The drawing the negative space of an object has transferable skills to photography and drawing upside down, there was something to an upside down image in the viewfinder for seeing composition and forcing disassociation from the reality of objects to them as line, shape, form, shadow etc. Here's a docile kitty with bobbed tail fixated on an unattended toddler at Yosemite- can you say toddler burger? Shot handheld at 300 mm/450 equivalent at 1/30 of a second with vr.

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