D90 or D700?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by igor_gefter, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. I am new here and thought I would ask for an advice.
    I am switching from Canon system to Nikon.

    I am looking to buy a camera body and am just torn between the choices.
    The budget is under $2000 or so, give or take. But I am trying to spend less if I can find a way that meets my needs.
    I have a 4 year old kid that I shot a lot of photos of, and he is constantly on the move. I also liker portraits, and do occasional nature shots.

    I have already acquired the following lenses: Tokina 28-70 2.8; Nikkor 50 1.8, and older Nikkor 70-210 3,5-5.6

    I would love to get the D700, but it is on the more expensive side of my range and I am not sure I would enjoy carrying it, as it is quite weighty and substantial.

    I have large hands and therefore, find small grips very uncomfortable.

    I could just buy a DX camera, but do not want to loose the wide angle with the DX camera, even though I am open to investing into another lens that would give me the equivalent of 28mm. unless I find a cheap lens that is a great value due to its optical quality. I know Ken Rockwell raves about the cheap 18-55.


    Any recommendations on what I should do? Which body would suit my needs with smallest expense?
    I was just offered a d90 at $680 and wondering if it could be good enough in my situation.
    I could get a 18-55 VR lens or nikon 20 2.8 prime to go with it.
    Would it be fast enough to photograph my constantly moving 4-year old?
    By the way, I haver never printed anything larger than 8x10. So this low noise offered by FF might not be necessary for me.
    Please share your thought.
     
  2. If you don't print above 8 x 10 and 11 x 14 a lot, you should, imho, just save the money and get the D90. Bottom line: If you don't KNOW you need FX... you probably don't.
    I'd get the D90 with a 16-85 VR lens (both together WAY less than a D700). Then I'd consider dumping the 28-70 (a Tamron 17-50 or Nikon 17-55 --both f2.8-- would be way better match for D90--28 at the wide end is too long for DX) and the old 70-210 (unless it's the "D" lens, in which case keep it).
    Honestly, a D90 with a 16-85 VR lens will be all you need for a LOT of what you do, and that combo can keep up with a kid moving around quite well. I'd get an SB600, too. Great addition. Great "kid" flash.
    I'm curious, why switch from Canon? They make great cameras? What didn't you like?
     
  3. I had an old Rebel, and it did not keep up to my moving kid in terms of focus.
    And yes, 70-210 is D version. I already got the SB600 flash as well.
    Is the cheap 18-55VR not such a great lens as Rockwell makes it to be?
     
  4. The D90 will make gorgeous 12x18 prints. It is a superb camera. Unless you NEED to have a full frame camera, like if you need to shoot at ISO 6400 a lot, get the D700. Otherwise the D90 is the better choice. The D700 is a fairly specialized camera body and it is not for general purpose photography. You'll enjoy the D90.
     
  5. You can, if you understand how focus works and learn the different modes, keep up with a kid with the D90. The 18-55 is a fine lens, but Ken over-dramatizes its qualities and value. Keep in mind that his site is, by his own admission, a goof, and for entertainment only (those may be, as I recall, his exact words). You need to take much of his stuff with a grain, nay, with an entire shaker full, of salt.
    The 16-85 is an AWESOME lens, almost a one-lens solution, for that camera. I have the older 18-200, which I love, but the 16-85 is better in every way.
    And the 70-210 D will, from what I've heard, focus very fast on that camera.
     
  6. Go someplace where you can hold both cameras in your hands. I have large hands and the D90 feels uncomfortable to me when I hold it. I can use it in a pinch but the D300 feels much better in my hands. I think the D300(s) and the D700 are very nearly the same size.
     
  7. this is kind of a no brainer because you can't really afford a d700. if you spend $700 on a body, that leaves $1300 for additional lenses. you can easily get an ultrawide & a 35/1.8 for indoor/low-light, and still have $$ left over. i'd also think about maybe getting something a little faster on the long end, like the sigma 50-150 or tokina 50-135.
     
  8. Okay, I will then go ahead and but a D90.
    As far as lenses are concerned.
    I will use my 50/1.8 for portraits. I can get and excellent 35/1.8 for most general use. The only thing I am missing is the wide angle. Is there a great prime that is a great value for the value that I can buy? Oldere lenses are fine with me too.
    Or maybe a wide angle zoom that is the great bargain for the money?
    Is 16-85 better than 35/1.8 and 50/1.8!???
     
  9. I can't speak highly enough of the 16-85 lens. I went through a number of mid range zooms (so much that I am sure the local retailer was tired of seeing me) until I settled on the 16-85. What really sold me on it is the light weight, compact size, useful (for my shooting) room range and FAST autofocus.
    It teams very well with the D90 and I think I could happily shoot with this combo for the rest of my life. (with an SB-600).
    I suggest you also pick up the 1.8 35mm when funds allow as it will give you some low-light capability which the 16-85 lacks. I have the 1.8 50 but find the field of view a little narrow when I shoot indoors.
    Ya, I love the D90 and 16-85.
     
  10. I purchased my D50 with the 18-70 lens and loved it. I then realized I needed faster glass and purchased the Tamron 17-50/2.8. I love this zoom lens. I can take pictures of my grandchildren indoors and outdoors with out changing the lens.
     
  11. This sort of thread is really weird. I mean you can compare/contrast D300 or D300s with a D700. But to compare the D90 with the D700 is kinda meaningless.
    As an analogy, if someone tells you he's confused about whether he wants a BMW 5-series or a Mercedes Benz E-class, then that makes sense. But if he asks your opinion on whether he should get the BMW or a Honda Civic, then it's a rather pointless discussion.
    Or maybe I am missing something here because this type of apples and oranges comparisons pop up quite often.
     
  12. Nish -- it's an unsophisticated question, perhaps, but a very reasonable one. The man wants a Nikon. The very best ASP-C camera offered is the D90 (I know the D200 and D300 folks will be appalled at this assertion but especially for the difference in price, it's hard to see why one would need a D300 over a D90 -- heavy duty construction? It's certainly not a matter of image quality.) The only full sensor for his budget is a D700. He knows the D700 is BETTER: he's asking us to tell him how much better, or how much will he "lose" with a D90. For what he wants to do, he'll lose nothing. Siimple question, now answered
    And yes, the 16-85mm is about five times better than the 18-55. The Tamron 17-50 is also better and it's about the only really good f2.8 zoom I know of at an affordable price.
     
  13. Well put that way, I suppose it does make sense.
     
  14. Well, I don't have the D90 vs D700 problem. I have the D90 and love it. But this thread has confirmed something for me at least; that the 16-85 VR is a superb lense. I've almost exclusively been using the 70-300mm VR, another superb lense, but I'd like to go a little more wide angle at times. I've considered both the 16-85 and the 18-200, but think that with the 18-200 there is too much overlap with what I already have. Looking at reviews I also get the impression that the 16-85 is a slightly better lense overall than the 18-200.
     
  15. Well, I don't have the D90 vs D700 problem. I have the D90 and love it. But this thread has confirmed something for me at least; that the 16-85 VR is a superb lense. I've almost exclusively been using the 70-300mm VR, another superb lense, but I'd like to go a little more wide angle at times. I've considered both the 16-85 and the 18-200, but think that with the 18-200 there is too much overlap with what I already have. Looking at reviews I also get the impression that the 16-85 is a slightly better lense overall than the 18-200.
     
  16. Is it safe to get 16-85VR used?
    Is there a cheaper alternative in Tamron/Tokina/Sigma that is just as good?
    Or should I just bite the bullet and get this Nikkor 16-85 and not look back?
     
  17. The D700 is a fairly specialized camera body and it is not for general purpose photography.​
    It's true that the D700 is notably more expensive than the D90, but it's about as general-purpose as cameras get. When the F100 was new, you wouldn't have called it a specialized camera, not for general photography -- you would have called it a very capable camera that could do most everything you might ask of a 35mm SLR, short of some of the specialized features of an F5.
    A D700 is very much like a digital F100, and it works nicely as a no-nonsense camera that will work with a wide variety of Nikon lenses to most anything you would ask of a 35mm-format DSLR. It's not specialized, but merely very capable.
     
  18. I am actually looking to buy the Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD IF to go with my D90
    There is this version. And there is also one for sale that is

    Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 LD SP XR Di II IF Non-BIM Nikon

    This one on eBay has no built in focus. They guy claims it is faster focusing as oppose to the newer version that has a built in focus.
    IS THIS TRUE?
     
  19. The D90 is an excellent choice. You won't be disappointed. (Check out my page.)
     
  20. An excellent wide-angle zoom on DX bodies is the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 - works out at about a 16-24mm equivalent.
    I would then look at the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 as your normal, walkaround zoom. Excellent in its old form, you don't really need to splash out for the image stabilized version.
    You may also want to look into ditching your old 70-210 and look at the Nikon 70-300mm VR - it's cheap and not a bad lens at all.
    Happy shooting!
     
  21. Igor, if you want a 3rd party alternative to the 16-85 (which is too expensive, considering it's nothing more than a kit zoom with more metal parts in the construction) the best comparable is the Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.0 OS. I used to use the previous (non-OS) version of the lens and it's extremely sharp - it's as good as my father's 16-85, and adds close focusing.
    Less expensive than that, the D90's own kit lens (the 18-105 VR) is also just as good as the 16-85, for less money, but with the drawback that its mount ring is made of plastic. Very strong plastic, mind you, and I don't know anybody who's broken one, but it is possible to break it.
    I think your other question is answered - the D700 is more of a specialized item and the D90 is fantastic for most uses.
     
  22. D90 much beautiful camera. Visit my homepage to see why. I victor like Nikon because it has special qualities other dont have.
     
  23. Being a BMW driver and D700 owner, I know the answer to both questions......
     
  24. Thank you all.
    i just ordered the D90 with Tamron 17-50 2.8.
    Hopefully I will be happy with this combo.
    By the way, I hear there is quite a bit of inconsistency with Tamy lenses. I have a 14 day exchange with B&H on it.
    Is there a good way to determine whether my copy is sharp or not? What kind of test would you run with it? Once the test are done, how would I know. It is not like I have another one to compare it against. In terms of point of reference.
    Any thoughts?
     
  25. it's hard to see why one would need a D300 over a D90
    It's not at all hard to see. The D300(s) has far superior autofocus whereas the AF of the D90 is only practically useable with the center focus point; the rest are too unrealiable. Recomposing only works for some subjects and static ones at that, thus if you're photographing people, you definitely want something that has useful autofocus throughout the image field, and that's what the D300(s) does better than any other camera.
    The D700 is a fairly specialized camera body and it is not for general purpose photography.
    By contrary, I think all DX cameras are fairly specialized; what is available for them in abundance are slow zooms with large ranges; i.e. consumer lenses for photos in bright daylight with lots of background clutter and difficulty in isolating the main subject outside of the studio. For bird photography they're no doubt great but that wasn't mentioned by the OP as being a key subject of interest (though I suppose "nature photography" may include birds and other wildlife but the budget specified isn't conductive to that). D700 is excellent for people photography; it has superb autofocus and lenses that were actually designed for people photos work as they were intended on FX. You even have a big viewfinder so you can see your subject clearly and detect nuances in expression which you can't when using a DX camera with a tiny viewfinder. For city subjects, like architecture, DX cameras have no really wide angle with shift available, that's a problem for architectural photography. And there are few fast wide angle options for DX; the 24/1.4 seems excessively expensive for a fast moderate wide if you only use it on DX. IMHO DX is way more specialized than FX if we only look at results possible in a variety of photographic fields, as opposed to focusing on price.
    Back to the OP,
    I have a 4 year old kid that I shot a lot of photos of, and he is constantly on the move. I also liker portraits, and do occasional nature shots.
    Either D700 or D300s would be excellent for the subjects mentioned; if people subjects are more important, get the D700, and if wild animals are an important part of nature photography for you, then D300s with some 300mmish lens would almost be within budget. A D90 would also be useable but the autofocus would probably eventually drive you to upgrade since you mention a moving 4-year old kid. It's better to buy something that is known to work well from the start, rather than start from something that will almost work, be frustrated, and then pay more to upgrade.
     
  26. i recommend the full frame d700. i went from a d40->d5000->d300s->d700 and i can say the full frame sensor blows the DX format away. my images in low light with the d700 look beautiful where as the dx sensor has more visible noise. u will notice the difference and u'll be glad u got it. the size is not unbearable, when u are getting such high quality shots from it at an event, wedding, family, whatever, u will not notice the weight.
     
  27. Would it be redundant if I were to also get the Nikkor 35 1.8 in addition to my Tamron 17-50 2.8
    I know Tamy has already 35 mm range, but Nikkor is faster, lighter.
    Or would the Tammy be comparable at 35 mm?
     
  28. I think the 35 f1.8 is a joy to use, and not just in low light. I'd say yes, that's my lens that "lives" on the camera.
     
  29. Congrats on the D90 purchase. The 35mm f/1.8 is a great lens for indoor shots - it's perfect for those family gatherings (holidays etc), and is very sharp, lightweight and inexpensive. What more do you need?
    Andrew Campbell
    The D90 is an excellent choice. You won't be disappointed. (Check out my page.)​
    Andrew brings up a great point. Check out his work. You don't need $20,000 of camera gear to take great pictures - you need dedication, hard work, and a creative mind. Thom Hogan's classic 'Blame the Equipment' article sums it up well: http://bythom.com/blame.htm
     
  30. I understand that 35 1.8 is a great lens. But I also need a wide angle. That's why I ordered the Tamron 17-50. Is it redundant to also order the 35 1.8?
     
  31. For me, buying a fixed focal length lens that fit in a range I already had covered by fairly good glass would be a waste of money. I would look outside the 17-50 range for my next lens be it fixed focal length or another high-speed zoom. For landscapes perhaps a 10-20 zoom or perhaps a 70-300 zoom for nature/wildlife. For mid distance sports perhaps a 70-200 2.8 zoom or maybe an 85mm 1.8 or a 105 2.8 macro lens. Both macros are also good for portraits although the 105 is perhaps a little on the long end.
     
  32. Like others have said, get the D90 with the 16-85 VR and you'll be very happy. I use the 16-85 as my back up lens for weddings and I am very happy with it. It's not as good as my 17-55 as far as IQ, focusing and build quality, but it's a lot lighter and has that longer tele length to get a little closer.
     
  33. I know the 16-85 is a good lens, but I am afraid it might be to slow for taking pictures of the the 4 year old kid indoors.
    From what I have read Tamron is nearly as good optically, yet will be better suited for indoor stop action pictures.
    Don't you agree?
     
  34. Nikon D90 with the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 zoom (a happy combination, for me at least).
    00Wlqk-255637784.jpg
     
  35. "Would it be redundant if I were to also get the Nikkor 35 1.8 in addition to my Tamron 17-50 2.8
    I know Tamy has already 35 mm range, but Nikkor is faster, lighter.
    Or would the Tammy be comparable at 35 mm?"
    yes, slightly. i have both the tamron 17-50 and the sigma 30/1.4--a more expensive, slightly faster alternative to the 35/1.8--i can tell you from personal experience that the 30/1.4 gets neglected frequently, except in conditions where 1.4 is absolutely necessary or when i'm going for jaw-dropping bokeh. the same thing has more or less happened with the 50/1.8.
    part of the reason for this is that the 17-50 is quite sharp at 2.8--my copy is, anyway--while the 50 and the 30 need to be stopped down to 2.8 to achieve the same level of sharpness in real-world usage. part of this is my shooting style--i shoot a lot of things which move in low-light situations, so the narrow DoF can result in focus errors.
    the original, non-VC version of the tamron is quite compact--not quite as small as the 35 and the 50--but well-suited for travel and street photography. so if you get the 35, there will be a lot more redundancy with the 17-50 then there would have been with the 16-85, for instance. the 17-50 also has better bokeh than both the 50 and the 35 (but not the 30).
    so, you're not really getting better IQ with the 35 over the 17-50, just a squeench more low-light ability and minimal size/weight savings, at the expense of zoom range. i wouldnt NOT recommend the 35, since it's cute, inexpensive and fairly sharp, but i would maybe suggest filling more gaps first before purchasing, such as replacing the 70-210 or getting an UWA. also, it's a lot easier to scrape up enough dough to buy a $200 lens down the line than one costing $500 and upwards.
     
  36. "From what I have read Tamron is nearly as good optically, yet will be better suited for indoor stop action pictures.
    Don't you agree?"
    yes, i do. the slow, variable aperture of the 16-85 took it out of the running for me. and if you compare MTF results on photozone, the nikon is better in some areas, the tamron in others, so it's probably closer to comparable optically than 'nearly as good.' what the 16-85 does have is more range and VR, but i'd rather have constant 2.8 than stabilization.
    VR can't freeze subject motion, just reduce camera shake, and with a short range zoom like the 17-50, would really only be necessary for low-light still shots, not low-light action shots. 1/15 is always gonna be 1/15, and if you needed ,say, a 1/60 shutter min. to freeze motion, you'll still get blurry pics with VR if you shoot things which move at that shutter speed.
    00Wlsl-255681584.jpg
     
  37. Great. Thank you all. I bought the Tamron lens.
    Which filter would you recomend on the Tamron lens for optimum results?
    I already have a cheap Tiffen UV filter I could use on it. Is it sufficient, or do I need to invest a few extra dollars into a better filter. Would it make any difference for this lens?
    Thanks.
     
  38. By the way, do I need to go a very fast SDHC card for D90? Sandisk Extreme III, or is it overkill?
    As I said, I will be shooting auction shots of my kid and occasional videos as well.
     
  39. Which filter would you recomend on the Tamron lens for optimum results?
    The only filter you need is a circular polarizer. Get a B + W or a Hoya HMC. Skip the UV filters unless you're shooting in an environment in which the front lens element could be damaged or soiled - such as on the beach.
     
  40. Extreme III cards are fast and reliable. It's the only card I use in my cameras.
     
  41. The d700 is an awesome camera! You won't regret it. It is a heavy camera, but if you have large hands it should be a comfortable fit. You'll make the most of your existing lenses with the D700 with the added benefit of great low light performance.
     
  42. duplicate post.
     
  43. I've found that in my D90 a faster memory card does improve rapid-fire performance. The D90 will do an initial burst of several fast shots, which will fill up the internal memory buffer (it fills faster in raw than in JPG) then it will shoot as fast as it can offload previous images to the memory card. A faster card doesn't make a huge difference but it makes some difference. I think that already having some reasonably fast cards I wouldn't have bought a faster one myself, but I was given one for Christmas and I use it.
    WRT the 35mm lens, I have one, and also a Tamron lens that could substitute (a 28-75/2.8). I choose a zoom lens in bright light because there's not much difference optically when stopped down, but I go to the 35mm in lower light because the finder is brighter, the AF works better (AF sensor works off what it seems through the lens wide open, the more light coming through the better) and it does give me better results as the 2.8 zoom wants to stop down to f/4 to get really, really sharp results. The 35mm is also small, quick handling and its wide aperture results can be stunning. It spends more time on my camera than any other lens and even gets some use on my F100.
     
  44. I've found that in my D90 a faster memory card does improve rapid-fire performance. The D90 will do an initial burst of several fast shots, which will fill up the internal memory buffer (it fills faster in raw than in JPG) then it will shoot as fast as it can offload previous images to the memory card. A faster card doesn't make a huge difference but it makes some difference. I think that already having some reasonably fast cards I wouldn't have bought a faster one myself, but I was given one for Christmas and I use it.
    WRT the 35mm lens, I have one, and also a Tamron lens that could substitute (a 28-75/2.8). I choose a zoom lens in bright light because there's not much difference optically when stopped down, but I go to the 35mm in lower light because the finder is brighter, the AF works better (AF sensor works off what it seems through the lens wide open, the more light coming through the better) and it does give me better results as the 2.8 zoom wants to stop down to f/4 to get really, really sharp results. The 35mm is also small, quick handling and its wide aperture results can be stunning. It spends more time on my camera than any other lens and even gets some use on my F100.
     
  45. To underline the point of Andrew:
    Whether owning a fixed focal, like a 35 f/1.8, in a range you already have pretty well covered, is a totally personal decision. I would still get the 35 f/1.8, even with a f/2.8 zoom. It's more than a stop faster, it's small, light, easy. Primes can help considering composition more since you physically have to move to change perspective.
    Some people prefer zooms because of flexibility, others primes because they're faster and smaller. The fact that somebody else has a preference won't tell you a thing there, it's worth finding out for yourself.
     
  46. yeah, from my experience, the difference between a "fast" and a "very fast" memory card isn't much, but there is a huge difference in how fast you can shoot between a cheapo no-name memory card and a very fast memory card. so it's probably worth springing for a good card if you haven't already...
     
  47. Indoors+kid = flash :)
     

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