Dilemma: D700 or D7000?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by mervyn_wilmington, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. From a recent posting, some members may have noticed that I had just about committed myself to purchasing a D7000. However, after much thought, I am questioning whether that is the better buy.
    In addition to my m/f film equipment, I have a brace of F4s. The a/f lenses I mainly use are 24mm; 35-70 f2.8; 50mm f1.8; an "old" 70-210 f4 constant. Whilst the focus of some of these might be slow by modern standards, they suit my kind of photography and have never let me down in optical terms. I also have several manual lenses that I use, including 90 and 105mm Tamrons; Tamron 70-150 soft focus; Vivitar 90-180 close focus; Nikon 300mm f4.5 ifed.
    I have a D70s that I use for "snaps", and it is that which I wish to upgrade for some serious digital work.
    In the UK, a D7000 and D700 are around 1,100 and 1,700 gbp respectively. On the face of it, this is a significant difference. However, more careful scrutiny indicates that such might not be the case. If I were to buy a D7000, I would certainly need a quality lens of wider angle than my 24mm. In addition, I already have a spare battery and good cards that would fit the D700. These factors taken together, suggest the costs would be about the same.
    What other factors are there? Well, the D700 is much heavier, but I'm already used to the weight of my F4s. The D700 doesn't have video, but that is of no concern. The D700 may be replaced before too long, but it is also a better built camera of professional quality than the D7000. Perhaps more than anything else it is FX, and that would probably get the best out of my existing lenses, quite apart from the general advantage of frame size. One of my sons, who uses a different system - I can't remember the name but I think it begins with C, changed from DX to FX last year. He says it is inconceivable that he would change back.
    I am now strongly inclined to the D700 in my particular circumstances. Do other members think there might be lack of logic to my thought processes or other major factors I have missed?
    Mervyn
     
  2. pge

    pge

    Mervyn, you hit all the important points, I am sure your decision will be the right one.
     
  3. D700 sounds a much better choice, I'm sorely jealous :)
     
  4. Hi Mervyn.
    What the D700 will give you is a little more depth of field control and possibly (but as yet unsubstantiated) more accurate metering than the D7000 and maybe a little more low light capability. You already have a good range of focal lengths covered at decently bright maximum apertures. Members of my camera club who made the switch from DX to the D700 (including the D90) would not go back to DX either. There's also the larger D700 viewfinder to consider which may also suit your circumstances.
     
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    If I were to buy a D7000, I would certainly need a quality lens of wider angle than my 24mm. In addition, I already have a spare battery and good cards that would fit the D700. These factors taken together, suggest the costs would be about the same.​
    If you get the D700, IMO you should get some new lenses anyway to take full advantage of the new camera. Is you spare battery EN-EL3e? The older EN-EL3 and EN-EL3a will not fit the D700. If you have old 1G, 2G CF cards, they will feel really small on the D700.

    The D700 may be replaced before too long, but it is also a better built camera of professional quality than the D7000.​
    Not in my opinion. The D700, D300/D300S, and D7000 are all similarly built. The D700 is bigger and heavier while the D7000 is smaller and lighter. A heavier camera does not mean it is better built; it merely has more weight.
    I have had a D700 for over 2 years; I just bought a D7000. I shoot both FX and DX to take full advantage of both formats. Since I mainly use DX for wildlife, I tend to shoot more DX in terms of number of frames captured.
    I think you should consider this for the longer run. Most people upgrade their DSLRs every 2, 3, or 4 years. If you need to buy an extra DX wide zoom, that is a one-time deal and the lens can easily last you 10 years, if not longer. If you get the D700, it is not merely 1700 Pounds vs. 1100 this time. Every time you upgrade the body, you will pay the "FX premium" again and again. I, for one, do not see the FX price gap closing any time soon unless you only buy used DSLR bodies that are 4, 5+ years old.
    The D7000 has HD video capture, live view that is easier to use, dual memory cards (but I personally prefer CF than SD; I think SD cards are fragile), and a 100% viewfinder. The D7000 also uses newer battery technology. The new EN-EL15 holds more charge and I really like the charger design.
    There are not right or wrong approaches. I like both the D700 and D7000, as well as the D300/D300S.
     
  6. I have used a D700 for two years, and recently lost it in an accident. While awaiting insurance adjustment, I went through the analysis your now in - replace the D700 or buy a D7000. The D7000 is, by all reports, excellent. And it is half the price of the D700. However, after some thought I am awaiting the arrival of a new D700 from B&H. I moved to digital from film, first with a D200. I was never comfortable with that format, especially since, at that time, wide angle lens were limited. I have loved the D700 and find that it does everything I want to do - and does it well. And, if Nikon releases a D700X or D800 tomorrow, so be it.
     
  7. I have a D70s that I use for "snaps", and it is that which I wish to upgrade for some serious digital work.​
    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I mean mistracking CD, I mean corrupt MP3 file, the D70s is a perfectly competent camera that has been used by many (including me) for 'serious digital work'. Remember, the D70 can take any picture that the D700 or D7000 can take. (Well, not fast-moving sports or anything needing superfast autofocus, but your film bodies are no better in that respect.) What do you shoot?
     
  8. I have both a D700 and an F4s. The D700 with an MB10 weight is withing a few ounces of the F4s. The biggest advantage of going with a D700 is that your F4s lenses will work perfectly with it and you will not have that DX crop factor to deal with.
     
  9. If I were to buy a D7000, I would certainly need a quality lens of wider angle than my 24mm. In addition, I already have a spare battery and good cards that would fit the D700. These factors taken together, suggest the costs would be about the same.
    not really. as shun says, moving to FX will cost more in the long run. the 24mm AF-D/2.8 isnt really known as a stellar digital performer, for one thing, and may not be as good optically on 16mp DX or 12mp FX as on a d70. so you may need to replace that regardless. down the line, if you upgrade to newer glass, better FX lenses will cost more than comparable DX lenses. also, you will need to buy larger-capacity cards regardless of your choice, as file sizes will be much larger, especially if you shoot RAW. the d70's battery is not compatible with d700, either.
    so, either way, it's gonna cost you, but in the longer term DX may end up costing less. that's not to say a D700 isnt logical for you, just that you need to be realistic about the economic investment an FX moves necessitates, both now and in the future.
     
  10. I have had both the D700, 5D mark I and II, and now have the D7000 in addition to my D300 and D3100. For my needs, the D7000 fills all I need for now and for sometime into the future. IT is well built and is everything Shun says it is. IMHO, I agree with Shun 100% on his statements, even down to memory card preferences. I have never had a CF card fail back to my original 340Mb one, but have had two SD cards fail within 2 yrs. That doesn't mean I won't look at a D800 or D400, but the D700 is not going to give me anything I don't already have or better...YMMV
     
  11. Unless you have a pressing need to shoot FX format, I'd buy the D7000 and spend the difference you save on a good lens. D700 is an old technology camera these days, and bound to be replaced by Nikon in the next few months. I'd hang on and wait for the replacement if you're convinced you need FX format. Otherwise, enjoy the D7000 and the good lens you'll buy with it (like the superb Nikon 16-85mm VR zoom).
     
  12. If you want a large, bright viewfinder, fast, accurate AF and excellent high ISO performance, the D700 is the obvious choice. Although some consider the D700 an 'old technology camera', it gives better IQ under a wider range of adverse shooting conditions than most cameras on the market today, including the D7000.
     
  13. This seems to be an umpteenth time repeat of D700 vs D7000, Dx vs Fx again. For the reasons that Elliot quotes above, go with the D700, but I will add that if you are a F4S person with those lenses, you will NOT be happy with DX format, and will regret it And whats with this "D700 is old technology camera" buisness ? Who says ............? So any camera that doesn't have video, is now 'old technology' ???
     
  14. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    If you want a large, bright viewfinder, fast, accurate AF and excellent high ISO performance, the D700 is the obvious choice. Although some consider the D700 an 'old technology camera', it gives better IQ under a wider range of adverse shooting conditions than most cameras on the market today, including the D7000.​
    Elliot, I wonder how much experience you have with the D7000 to make those comments? My experience is that the D7000's viewfinder and AF capability are on par with those on the D700. The D700 does have better high-ISO results.
    I will add that if you are a F4S person with those lenses, you will NOT be happy with DX format, and will regret it And whats with this "D700 is old technology camera" buisness ? Who says ............? So any camera that doesn't have video, is now 'old technology' ???​
    I can't speak for the OP, but I certainly wouldn't be happy to use those old lenses the OP has on any DX DSLR. I also would be very unhappy to use those lenses on any FX DSLR. To me, it is silly to spend so much money on a high-end DSLR and put mostly old, low-end lenses on it. But for whatever reason, quite a few people on this forum favor that approach. (IMO the only decent lenses on the OP's list are the 50mm/f1.8 and 35-70mm/f2.8, whose limited zoom range is a major drawback.)
    And I'll repeat what I have posted before: video is a "must have" feature on any future DSLR I am getting. I have just started that with the D7000. But that is me.
     
  15. I'm in the exact some boat. I even own most of the same gear as you. I'm getting the D7000, with the rationale that I usually shoot 120mm film for my 'arty' stuff, and the only really important stuff I'll need to crank the ISO up for is sports, where a little extra noise isn't as big of a deal.
    Since whatever I get is going to be my daily shooter, and the D7000 is lighter, cheaper, and more enjoyable to use, that's my call. If I wasn't also shooting film, it would have been worth the upgrade to the D700 for the larger sensor and better enlargements.
     
  16. I was of course refering to his AF lenses, not the manual focus ones.
     
  17. No question. D700....only buy a used one.....around $2k.
    Yes, it will be replaced, but you could wait forever if you are worried about obsolescence. And the D700 has heaps of resolution. Its a mini D3.
    I had a D300 and the DX thing gave me the irrits. I also have an F4s.....love it....And many of your lenses...all best used on FX.
     
  18. Get the d700 you will be happy you did. I have tried the d7000 and it is fine, but after using the d700 its hard to be satisfied with DX.
     
  19. I moved from a F100 straight to the D700. Why? I wanted a digital equivalent of the F100 and I believe the D700 is that camera. I did consider a D300 though. It is cheaper, has near equal capabilities, but still I decided to stay on FX format.
    All reasoning considered, I believe that there is no decisive argument to choose for either camera. Both are excellent pieces of equipment. On the FX premium: In my opinion, money is of limited concern. Not that I have money in abundance, on the contrary, but I just save a little longer to get what I want.
    If you are happy using the F4 range, the weight and feel of the D700 will be a factor to consider. Personally I couldn't care about video in my camera, but for you it just might open a whole new spectrum of use.
    All I can state is that the D700 is performing way, way beyond my expectations!
     
  20. a "full frame" sensor does not get the best out of a lens, it's quite the opposite. With a cropped sensor, you are putting all of those MP on the sweet spot of the lens (provided you aren't using a DX lens).
     
  21. a "full frame" sensor does not get the best out of a lens, it's quite the opposite. With a cropped sensor, you are putting all of those MP on the sweet spot of the lens (provided you aren't using a DX lens).
    Nice idea, but the sweet spot usually isn't sweet enough to compensate for the smaller area. And the light that enters the (FX) lens outside of the angle of view corresponding to the DX sensor will be bouncing around in the lens, causing additional flare and ghosting which will be recorded by the sensor. It's like having all the drawbacks of a wide angle lens but only getting a normal angle of view. This didn't really work for me. It is true that in some cases you get more even sharpness across the frame by using an oversize FX lens on a DX camera, but overall I find it's preferable to use FX lenses on FX cameras.
    The real benefits of DX are in telephoto and macro work, where it is possible to use a smaller rig to see more detail of a distant object (or a very small one at some distance) if there is enough light. And of course in many cases it is possible to make a smaller & less expensive camera & lens for the smaller format.
     
  22. maybe so, but i'd try to avoid the outer areas of retrofocus slr lenses if i could, if IQ was really important to me, which it isn't. my point was to not get hung up on the 24x36 sensors. budget is what usually gravitates people to small format slr's, so where should one draw the line. if IQ is what you are ultimately chasing, and you are shooting genres like landscape, then why would you choose an sfslr?
     
  23. IMHO you will probably want to purchase a new wide angle lens with either body. I use a D700 with older AIS glass and am happy enough not to want to purchase newer, larger, heavier glass though the 24mm PC-E tempts sometimes. The D700 is large and heavy and I have thought about something lighter but since I already have the D700 I will suck it up and carry the weight for 30 plus miles over 2-4 days. The IQ of the D700 is good enough. I plan, hope to wear this one out first. Either body will probably work very well for you. Maybe it just gets down to price or more weight with a bit better ISO preformance or just what you are comfortable with. One reason I purchased a D700 was to get away from buying a new body every 18 months. I still feel that way.
     
  24. Ty, your sensor is just like film. A larger sensor will yield greater resolution and tonal range as the image is (essentially) being magnified less, or it can yield the same resolution as a larger print. This is why people shot medium format for years, and why APS and 110 cameras made poor enlargements.
    Again, not saying a larger sensor is a must-own. I'm a pretty picky guy, and I opted to go DX. Just saying that using the phrase, 'It's just a full frame sensor,' is like saying, 'It just has 500 horsepower.' You might be correct, but you're also sort of missing the point.
     
  25. Ty, your sensor is just like film. A larger sensor will yield greater resolution and tonal range as the image is (essentially) being magnified less, or it can yield the same resolution as a larger print. This is why people shot medium format for years, and why APS and 110 cameras made poor enlargements.​
    Forgive me once again, but this is a profound misunderstanding. 12MP is 12MP. Once you get to the digital universe, things are measured in pixels, not inches or millimeters. Let's take my D70. It is a 6.1MP camera--2000x3000 pixels on 16x24mm sensor size. It will print 10x15 inches at 200 ppi. Now let's grab an old 6.1MP MF digital back. It has a physically larger sensor (say 30x45mm) but it will still print 10x15 inches at 200 ppi. Pixels are pixels. Now the pixel density of the D70 will be greater--more pixels/sq. mm. so the noise level will be greater, especially above base ISO, but the resolution is identical.
     
  26. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Forgive me once again, but this is a profound misunderstanding. 12MP is 12MP.​
    Les, not exactly. An easy example is that 12MP from those tiny point-n-shoot sensors is not going to give you the same quality as a D3S. The issue is that the quality of the pixels matters, and those densely populated small pixels is very challenging to the lenses as well as to the photographer's discipline.
    In any case, the OP merely wants to know whether he should get the D700 or D7000.
     
  27. Mervyn,
    I think the main reason for getting a D700 is that you can use your lenses at the same angle of view as with your F4s. Most other conciderations on getting the D700 or the D7000 will be based on if you want to buy new lenses. It might well be that you are happy with your old lenses on the D700. As long as you are not changing lenses every time a new greater lens comes around, there will always be better lenses than what you have.
    I came from film (F2, F4), bought a used D2H some years ago and last week got a D700. For my photography I prefer prime lenses over zooms most of the time, and I was never happy with the cropped view on the wide end. Yes, I would have better image quality with the 14-24 instead of my 20mm, but I find the 20mm good enough. And so on for my other lenses.
    I find the question is not only about DX of FX camera bodies, also if you want to use DX or FX lenses. If you want to use FX lenses - go for the FX body.
     
  28. Arthur, the D700 is not at all the digital F100 in my experience. The F100 handles like a dream, with perfect proportions and a superb weight to balance ratio. The D700 is chunky and much heavier. If Nikon released a true "digital F100" I'd buy it in a heartbeat. The D700 was too large and too thick (the grip, I guess I have small hands) for me. Not to mention the 90% viewfinder coverage was terrible compared to the D300's 100% coverage.
     
  29. In the year 2010 the D700 is still good enough FX entry level camera. Otherwise Nikon would already replace it. In my opinion an FX entry level model is still much better than every newest DX toy. If you have some old lenses, you can use them on D700 with no limitations. They have enough resolution. My simple old 105/2.5 lens gives me the same or better results than my newest 70-200/2.8VRII at 105mm.
    My advice: buy the D700 body.
     
  30. To me, it is silly to spend so much money on a high-end DSLR and put mostly old, low-end lenses on it.
    That's a joke right Shun? If so it was a lousy one. Those "low end", (assuming MF Nikkors) of which he speaks will compete or beat anything Nikon puts out today. And they will still be working 20+ years from now when all those new plastic Nikkors are in a landfill somewhere. I only use "low end" manual focus Nikkors, from 16mm - 600mm and not only do they work flawlessly on my D700 and F4S, they produce consistently outstanding results up to 16 x 20 and beyond. But then again, I guess I am somewhat of an enigma on this site. I very rarely use a camera's meter and I prefer to do the thinking myself when it comes to making an image, rather than being a spectator and letting a computer do the thinking and focusing for me.
     
  31. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    That's a joke right Shun? If so it was a lousy one. Those "low end", (assuming MF Nikkors) of which he speaks will compete or beat anything Nikon puts out today.​
    Scott, that is not at all a joke, but you made the wrong assumption by equating MF to low end, hence the rest of your post is completely off track. Plenty of auto-focus wide angles, especially older ones from early on in the AF era, do not work well on digital SLRs. A lot of members here are well aware of that problem. However, as I pointed out earlier, there are also plenty of people who either don't care or cannot see the difference.
    Incidentally, I still own some of those plastic AF lenses that I bought back in 1990. Physically they are fine after 20 years, but in many cases I prefer newer optical designs.
     
  32. Scott, what's all this talk about having to meter yourself and not using AF? Doing all that yourself sound terribly inconvenient. Sometimes I set my camera to A, but having to turn the aperture ring hour after hour gets a bit tiring in the wrist and fingers, so I can only handle that in small doses. I think Nikon have been aware of this RSI issue with their lenses for some time, and have since upgraded their lenses by removing those awkward aperture rings.
     
  33. First, please can I thank all those who have made contributions. They have been very educational and interesting. I thought some of the contention could be leading to pistols at dawn. I might have suggested that satisfaction would be better achieved by D700s and 7000s at all times of day and night with a variety of glass, both old and new. I suspect the problem with that is that there would be even more debate about what the results proved - or didn't prove. Neverthless, without that sort of discussion, we would all be the poorer
    Second, I must say sorry to Les Berkley. He took some exception to my inference that serious photography could not be achieved with a D70s. What I said was unfortunately worded. A true photographer can achieve good results with almost any camera. However, if one considers what a D70s and a D700 respectively provide, there are clearly worlds of difference, for example in the pixels and iso performance. That said, a superior camera will not make a poor photographer a superb one, but it may make a good one even better.
    Third, since it has been raised, I do have a "spare" Nikon battery for a D700. I also have a "spare" Sandisk 4gb Extreme IV card. The capacity may not be that great, but it will be a starter, bearing in mind that my kind of photography does not result in hundreds of images per session.
    Fourth, the issue of lenses. I have no doubt that some more modern glass will, in absolute terms, outperform some of mine. However, I don't photograph flying birds or planes, or racing cars or horses, or men on the moon. Most of my work is landscape/townscape and flora which are usually capable of being more accommodating in optical terms, especially if one is prepared to move around a little. I has, though, been rightly said that some older Nikon glass performs superbly. I would include my ai 50mm f2.0 in that category. It may have a little less speed, but it has nothing less otherwise in performance terms.
    I could, of course, try to replace my Tamron f2.8 70-150 soft focus and Vivitar 90-180 close focus, flat field with something more modern, but would I really get significantly better results?
    Then there is the vexed question of whether my "old" lenses would perform better on a D700 or 7000? I suspect that without substantial contemporaneous tests, who can really say? I think, on balance, the vote suggests the former should be preferred. It also remains my inclination.
    However, whilst I still have that inclination, I shall think a little longer. Of course, it remains open for members to offer further advice, especially if, above, I have uttered something absurd. I will avoid the temptation of publishing other peccadilloes, for example, regardless of the camera I am using, I still always carry a Pentax spot meter...........
    Thank you again to everyone who has contributed.
    Mervyn
     
  34. Since camera weight and size do not matter much to you, I would advise to buy a Nikon D700. It's better at high ISO's, works perfectly and it's build like a tank.
    I have used the D700 in combination with the excellent Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 and although it's the best digital camera I ever had, it's too heavy and too big for my taste. I felt like I was hauling and lifting a 1Kg brick (and that's without a lens).
    The D7000 is a perfect solution for me. It's light, small, strong and almost as good as the D700 at higher ISO's. Now I carry my camera happily all day. The D7000 test information on this website may be of interest: http://artoftheimage.blogspot.com/2010/11/nikon-d7000-vs-nikon-d700-high-iso.html
    The best of luck with your luxury decision ;-)
     
  35. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I could, of course, try to replace my Tamron f2.8 70-150 soft focus and Vivitar 90-180 close focus, flat field with something more modern, but would I really get significantly better results?​
    Mervyn, there is no doubt that the D700 is an excellent camera (even Dave Lee said so when he used to own it), but the question is whether it is wise to spend most of your budget on that and put some old lenses on it. To use your own words, will you really get "significantly better" results with the D700 over the D7000? Or you are better off spending less on a D7000 and buy some new DX wide angle.
    Lots and lots of test have already been perform to demonstrate that various old lenses do not work well on DSLRs. I have the 24mm/f2.8 AF-D, which has the same optical formula since the 1977 AI version, which I used to own. Even stopped down to f8, f11, the corners are simply unsharp. My 35mm/f1.4 AI-S has fairly serious chromatic aberration issues.
    But the only issue that matters is whether you are happy or not. If owning an FX-format body makes you happy, then by all means get the D700.
     
  36. Shun,
    Many thanks for your last posting.
    You say lots of tests have already been performed to demonstrate that various old lenses do not work well on DSLRs. My only experience is with the four af lenses I mentioned in the original postings, plus the 300mm f4.5 ifed, on the D70s.
    Have any of these tests been published on the web? If you could give me a pointer in the right direction, I would be much obliged. Obviously, I want to be best informed before I spend money. I might get frightened enough not to spend any at all!
    Many thanks.
    Mervyn
     
  37. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Mervyn, check out this thread on the 24mm/f2.8 AF-D: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00UKN6
    Nikon's 24mm/f2.8 has had the same optical forumula since the 1977 AI version. However, Bjorn Rorslett reports that his AI-S version, which is chronogically between the AI and AF-D versions, performs quite well on the D3X. Bjorn's opinions are well respected and are what I would trust. My findings typically match his, but Bjorn has far more lenses, cameras, and experience than I do.
    There is a lot of similar information on the web, but you need to do some searching. As starters, check out Bjorn Rorslett's web site.
     
  38. Shun,
    Many thanks for that.
    Mervyn
     
  39. Just how well does the Nikkor 70-210 F4 perform on digital?
    How about the other older lenses?
     
  40. Melvin,
    You will see that my original posting asked the question whether I should buy a D700 or 7000 having regard to my existing lenses.
    The debate rather changed as to whether my existing lenses were really suitable for digital at all. One school took the view that they would not do justice to the potential capabilities of either camera. The reasons for that seem to be twofold. First, top quality glass of today is better than that of yesterday. Second, that modern lenses were designed to take account of digital sensors because they do not behave in exactly the same way as film in "receiving" the image.
    The other school argued that if "old" lenses performed well on film, they would usually also do so on digital. Several members supported this with their own experiences.
    You will see that in my posting of Nov 19th, I suggested that short of testing old and new lenses contemporaneously, it seemed that consensus would not be achieved - and it might not even then!
    I can only give a very qualified view. I have used the lenses I have referred to over a long period for film. At one time, at the outset, I used to have my negative colour film commercially processed always with 18"x12" prints. At that sort of cost, you have to be reasonably confident about our own skills as a photographer, but even more about the quality of your equipment, particularly the lenses. All I can say is that, in my opinion, the results were almost always good or better.
    If, in particular, you then have regard to the 70-210mm f4 constant, you will find some "experts" saying its quality is such that it does not fall much short of the contemporary 80-200 f2.8 professional lens. Others suggested its performance was only good.
    You may be aware that the 70-210mm f4 has almost become something of a cult lens. That is dangerous because people tend to become even more subjective than they might usually. However, there is one "longish" string of user reviews that very much proclaim its high qualities. Most of these may be for film use. I found one reference to it being a favourite lens with a D700.
    My experience with the 70-210 and my D70s has been good/very good. However, there are perhaps problems in "testing" it because of limited pixels and iso performance. I experienced this recently. I always have the D70s set as to provide best image quality, although, of course, the iso setting will depend on lighting conditions. On this occasion, I took a photograph of someone fly fishing on a nearby reservoir. I could not get very near to him, and compositional requirements put him in the upper right hand corner of the frame. The problem - at least so far as I was concerned - was as I did a sectional enlargement the pixels were so pronounced that I could not actually judge the image quality that the lens was providing.
    It is a grey and damp here today. However, having regard to the debate, I hope in the next day or two to put the 70-210 onto the D70s and shoot at least a couple of hundred frames in as many circumstances/surroundings as I can muster. Whether that will take me any further forward, remains to be seen............
    Mervyn
     
  41. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Mervyn, I don't have the 70-210mm/f4, although my parents have one and presumably I could borrow that next time I visit them. And currently I only have a few older lenses around. One of them is the 35mm/f1.4 AI-S, which is one of the classics. You can see in the following thread I made an A/B/C comparison among the new 35mm/f1.8 AF-S DX, the 35mm/f1.4 AI-S and the 17-55mm/f2.8 AF-S DX. Both 35mm "primes" have a lot more chromatic aberration than the modern high-quality zoom: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00Tva8
    If your purpose is to shoot landscape, the older version of the 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR is terrible in the corners @ 200mm, and that is a fairly recent (2002/2003), expensive zoom: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00Rdrl
    But the new version 2 is a lot better: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00VhlF
    The test images in the above thread were based on a sample from Nikon US, but recently I bought version 2 myself for its superior quality. Now I own both versions of the 70-200.
    My point is, from the beginning of this thread, that if you are spending some 1700 Pounds or $2300 on a nice D700, I would think you want to know which lens works well on it to give you good results. It is not a matter of FX vs. DX or manual focus or not. Some fairly recent AF-S lenses have their share of drawbacks as I demonstrated in the threads above.
    In other words, having a nice FX body is not automatically going to solve all the technical problems. The optics in front of your camera will play a major role, so is the gray matter behind the camera. If you don't have a large budget, I think you are better off getting a good DX body, such as the D90, D7000, or D300S and some nice lenses. A lot of the DX wide zooms are fine lenses, especially if you can avoid the widest 2mm or so.
    Finally, if you are a landscape photographer and want FX, at this point I would say wait until Nikon puts more pixels on a D700-like body. I am surprised that has not happened yet in 2010, but there should be no doubt that will be coming in 2011. It is not like 18MP or 24MP will make a huge, huge difference on your large landscape prints, but there are some advantages. Today, even the D7000 has 16MP, I am sure Nikon will put more on the successors to the D700 and D3S.
     
  42. Scott, that is not at all a joke, but you made the wrong assumption by equating MF to low end, hence the rest of your post is completely off track.​
    Well perhaps if you had not been so ambiguous in your description of "mostly old, low-end lenses on it", and since the OP was talking about manual focus lenses, than you would not have left it up to me to try and decide what it was you were talking about in the first place.
     
  43. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Scott, it would help if you read the OP's opening post more carefully:
    The a/f lenses I mainly use are 24mm; 35-70 f2.8; 50mm f1.8; an "old" 70-210 f4 constant.​
     
  44. Shun,
    Your recent substantive posting was interesting and helpful: thank you.
    It has caused me to have further thought and really warrants a longer response. However, I suffer from something called Meniere's disease. You may not have come across it. Amongst other things, it causes severe vertigo. I am having quite a bad attack now. It may last a few hours or a few days........ It certainly curtails what I can do.
    One way forward might be this. We have a Nikon dealer about an hour's drive away. He has D700s in stock, but not 7000s - they are in very short supply in the UK.
    I am going to email him asking whether I might go over there with a good card and the 70-210. He may have a D700 demonstrator. I will suggest the camera is set to aperture priority, taken to the shop door and a couple of hundred images taken at various settings, and with subjects that might help to check definition, distortion, fall-off and chromatic fringing problems. I could then load onto my computer and see what might be proved - or not!
    Mervyn
     
  45. I think Mervun should adopt the safe policy of "when in doubt, do nothing". Thats what I am doing until the D700 upgrade comes our way. If (as is the case with the D3 and the D700) we see the D3x sensor etc make its way into the D700 replacement, that will be the camera for me.
     
  46. I'm in the same boat, in a way. I'm mainly a landscape photographer coming from 35mm & 6x7 film era. D200 being my first digital SLR, then I've used D300 for 3 years, and finally bought a 2nd hand D700 in good condition for $2000 as a temporary solution keeping in mind that Nikon will soon release a 24mp D800 (or something similar).
    The first thing I noticed with D700 compared to D300 was its stunning dynamic range, and acuity of edges. Ability to photograph at high iso settings was another bonus in case of adverse conditions. In the absence of VR lenses (my preference for less weight) & less perceived DoF, I noticed it forced me to return to MF-like discipline (eg. more use of tripod & horizon level, being more selective in the field avoiding any easy snaps that mix with the serious ones). The ease of D300 + 18-200mm VR could sometimes spoil the photographer !
    D7000 is fine, but approaching the end of DX road with 16mp, due to lens resolution & diffraction limitations; while FX has more potential than this imo. Yet, compared to D700, with its smaller weight and dedicated DX VR zooms D7000 is more fun, it must be a breeze to use. Wide angle is no more of a problem; simply Nikkor 10-24mm & Tokina 11-16mm are stellar optics.
    Imo, D700 has 3 major drawbacks from landscape viewpoint: 1) Mediocre sensor resolution (even though the files are clean, it needs to be upressed for a double-spread magazine page and there is little room for cropping, sometimes stitching is necessary for higher resolution), 2) Inaccurate (95% viewfinder), 3) Heavy body & lenses (problem for hiking in nature)
    D700 tolerates any lens put in front at around f/8; but a 24mp D800 may not be that forgiving, it may need best lenses to get the full potential of this resolution. It will be more prone to motion blur or focusing errors. Diffraction will set about one stop earlier too. For now, I have a 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 (a good sample) for general purpose, 20mm f/2.8 for ultra-wide, Sigma 8mm f/3.5 circular fisheye & 50mm f/1.8 for low-light. They are all landscape-oriented preferences. The weight of D700 + 28-200mm to carry on neck at hiking is near my limit. It is heavier than D300, thus restricts the already limited selection of FX lenses that are less heavy than 500g. Anyway usually I don't need a fast glass, since it would be mostly used at f/5.6 to f/16 range anyway. Yet, the lens must be sharp at corners when stopped down, and all my lenses are.
    Though sometimes I tempt at the ease of getting a D7000 + 18-105mm VR, with the rationale of "why take the burden since there's an practical & more affordable way now with similar quality if not better", yet I never forget the true reason of moving to FX, which is the upcoming 24mp D800...
    00Xj8Q-304709584.jpg
     
  47. My nearest dealer has neither the D700 nor D7000 in stock at the moment. He suggests a D300s would give maximum use of my existing lenses.
    Any experience of that, please?
    I've sent him a link for these postings.
    Mervyn
     
  48. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    So your dealer will see my response here? Anyway, I think you should buy the camera that meets your needs, not what your dealer happens to have. D7000 supply is tight at the moment but as far as I can tell, those who want them can get them; they may need to check around a few stores. If you can wait a few more weeks, supply should be no problem at all, from your current dealer.
    At this point of the D300S' production cycle, I don't think it is a good idea to get one now unless you must have its AF capability over the D7000. I can't imagine AF capability is a high priority for you since you mainly use older AF lenses and manual-focus lenses.
     
  49. Thanks for the posting Shun.
    In fairness to the dealer, I had particularly referred to the question of the suitability of my lenses on a D700. I had suggested I visit his shop and see how the 70-210 performed on a D700. Obviously, he can't facilitate that at the moment, but has offered the view that some of my lenses might be soft. You have previously expressed concern about their performance on a D700.
    I've dropped him an email asking to explain his thoughts on the suitability issue a little more, but also enquiring why I should prefer a D300s over a D7000, especially keeping in mind the seeming better iso performance of the latter.
    Mervyn
     
  50. Mervyn,
    I am using a D3x which replaced my previous D3 quite equivalent in performance with the D700. I am shooting 60% of my photos in available light and night scenes. Hence I missed the hight ISO capability of the D3 and along with it the opportunity to replace it with a D3s which in low light is unsurpassed.
    In order to bridge the gap until a new model arrives I bough a D7000 just ten days ago. It is a camera of high picture quality but it is too small, even the classic DX lens the 17-55/2.8 is bigger than the camera, it cannot be handled easily, it has a small view finder (it has a 100% coverage but in DX terms this is small) and above all it is a DX.
    Once you are used to an FX it is nearly impossible to go back and underuse your lenses, revise your composition techniques etc etc.
    Therefore the D7000 goes back and a D700 has already been ordered.
    The D700 is full frame, it is a workhorse, it is mid priced for an FX camera, has an incredible performance up to 3200 ISO a full useable 6400 ISO level at which in RAW post processing you can work miracles and I feel that will retain its value for a long time to come after any new equivalent model appears.
    Having worked with the equivalent D3 and with the D7000 and with the replacement of D3s to look imminent (do not forget that the PMA is coming) the D700 would be the only choice for me for the time being.
    Last but not least do not care too much about the 12 mpx of the D700 vs. the 16 mpx of D7000. It' s only about being more accurate with your compositions in order not to crop too much. Otherwise you can reach a A3+ printing quality and more without any problem and without any interpolation or resizing and also your 35-70/2.8 will shine on the D700. Regarding of what it is written about many of the new G lenses the 35-70/2.8 remains a top performer on the D3x (I am using it) which means that the lowest resolution D700 will be a piece of cake for it.
    I hope I helped a little.
    Dimitris V. Georgopoulos
    Athens, Greece
     
  51. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Interesting, in the last two weeks I have been using my new D7000 with none other than the 17-55mm/f2.8 AF-S DX and that combo works fine for me. Now suddenly the D700 seems rather large to me, but I am sure at least I have no problems switching among the D3, D700, D300, and D7000.
    Incidentally, for 2011, the PMA is moved to September. So don't expect any PMA in February next year. There is also no Photokina in an odd year. Therefore, when will various cameras and lenses be announced in 2011 will be unclear.
     
  52. My goodness, glad somebody mentioned how goofy-annoying it is to hear folks on this chat calling the D700 "old technology". Huh? Criminy. Get the D700. That's all. You can also buy a motor drive for the D700 for about $75 on Amazon that is a blueprint copy of Nikon's motor. I don't know why anyone would not want a motor, not just for the increased fps, but for the professional balance it brings to working with your equipment. There are a couple of companies selling them, along with inexpensive knock-off batteries. They work. I have both the Nikon motors and knock offs. When it comes to video, mixing stills and video on the same body is multi-tasking to absurdity. Then you get to split 'em up on your Mac, but only after you filled all your cards up before anything happened and missed the still you were going for in the first place. For a lens, the 70-300 Nikkor VR for about $500 is the best-kept secret... pros all use it when we don't need f 2.8....one of Nikon's sharpest lenses ever.
     
  53. Regardless of the lenses owned or type of photography interested in, I believe that the only clear advantages of D7000 over D700 could be:
    - 100% viewfinder
    - two memory card slots
    - (I'm not sure if a 1080p video functionality can be counted, but I will just listen to the majority of the consumer community.)

    And the new metering sensor in D7000 is not tested by the consumers yet, we'll see about that. The new EXPEED-2 is most probably "2" because of the new video functionality, not too much to be expected except for the improved ISO performance.
    All in all, I don't think that the IQ produced by D7000 can compete with D700's. Just calculate the area (in mm2) of sensors on which the photons will hit... D700 is an FX with a brilliant ISO performance.
    Kind regards,
    Serkan
     
  54. Surely the D700's ability to switch between the FX & DX formats is a consideration when it comes down to which lenses to use. ? It seems to me that the FX lens range is wider than DX and being able to use either on the D700 allows more options in juggling quality and price in lens choices.
    Geofk
     
  55. I have reservations about perpetuating this topic, but, having started it, I felt I should try to summarise my views.
    I commenced this by asking for advice about whether I should buy a D700 or 7000, having regard to my existing lenses. That issue became a little more complicated when my nearest Nikon dealer suggested a D300s might make best use of those lenses.
    Many views have been expressed, some strongly in contradiction. Although now retired, I spent my working life as a lawyer, and have been very used to sifting through conflicting opinions and try to rationalise them. I think I still have those skills. However, I have limited "science" about optics, and even less in relation to sensors and other digital functions.
    Thus, I wish to thank all those who have contributed, but have to say that, whilst I feel better informed and educated on the one hand, I feel even more confused in some respects on the other! I hope that is not a contradiction in terms, and that I do not give offence in saying it.
    The key points that have been raised are:
    1. All my lenses are "old" and I would do better buying the cheaper D7000 and using the saving to acquire better optics. It seems that that school of thought works on the bases that optics generally have been improved and some lenses have been computed to work better with digital cameras. It is said that film and digital sensors do not "receive" the image in the same way. It is my lack of understanding of those concepts that give me major problems.
    2. On the contrary, that "old" lenses that have worked very well on full frame film cameras will usually do likewise on FX digital. Many members have strongly supported that with their own experience. Thus, the D700 should be the choice.
    3. Experience of the D7000 is still very limited, and it might be prudent to wait and see how much it is appreciated after the passage of a few months. There is clear sense in that.
    4. The D700 is now old technology and it might be better to await its replacement. That view has been strongly rejected by some members: that it is a great camera and will continue to be so regardless of a replacement. For what it is worth, I feel sympathy with that approach. Something that is great does not become "not great" simply because something better comes along. I don't think my F4s are any less great because of the F5 and 6.
    What am I going to do? I suppose the answer is to wait and think a bit longer. Whether I spend 1000 or 2000gbp it is a good amount of cash, especially if it doesn't result in what one was hoping for! That said, I retain a gut feeling that the D700 is the best bet!!!
    Thanks again to everyone.
    Mervyn
     
  56. I just shoot in Full Frame format, film or digital.
     
  57. Mervin, you may want to read this informative review of the D7000 (there is also a comparison with the D700). I'm sure it will help you decide.
    http://nikonglass.blogspot.com/2010/11/nikon-d7000.html
     
  58. Peter,
    I am really grateful to you for drawing my attention to this article.
    One point I noticed in the specification is that the diopter adjustment is given as down to -2. I have seen that said in other reports, but I have also seen it recorded as the more usual -3. Since I need -3, I will need to check that further. Whilst further correction can be obtained, it tends to be at the usual Nikon sort of price. However, that is a minor point.
    I think the article confirms that the D7000 is, indeed, a very good camera. What the article does not do, of course, is deal with the main issue I raised, ie whether my existing arsenal of "old" lenses would perform better on the D700 or 7000. Some say they might not perform well on either, others disagree. Short of having both cameras together with the lenses - and the most recent top of the range lenses to compare - I don't think I'm going to get an answer to that!
    I did take my "old" 70-210 f4 constant out yesterday, generally waving it round the garden and nearby houses to see if I could get it to do anything really horrible, but even at f4 I couldn't. That said, on my D70s we are in a dx situation, and, moreover, the pixel level of the camera means substantial enlargements to check definition are seriously prejudiced by the pixel factor.
    I think the (high) iso performance issue is also interesting. Whilst the D7000 is clearly very good, it seems - as has been indicated in other accounts - the 700 is better. That is an important factor to me. Whether it is worth the extra cost, is another question!
    Thank you again.
    Mervyn
     
  59. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Mervyn, there shouldn't be any doubt that the D7000 is an excellent camera and a huge bargain at the current US$1200 level. It is closer to the more expensive D300S than to the D90. I have been testing my D7000 for 2+ weeks and there aren't a whole lot I can complain about, although those DSLRs that cost $5000 and up still have some advantages.
    Meanwhile, I have had a D700 for over 2 years and it has been an excellent DSLR as well. You can go either way and cannot be all that wrong. IMO the only wrong thing you can possibly do is to invest most of your budget onto a DSLR body and then put some low-quality lenses in front of it. If we wait another year or two, future 20MP, 30MP FX-format DSLRs will only be even more demanding on lens quality due to the dense pixels into the corners of the FX frame. That was already quite obvious when I tested the 24MP D3X last year.
    I am a computer scientist by training and profession. In my line of work, it is completely normal that hardware and software get out of date after 3, 4 years. Today, digital camera are merely specialized computers and technology marches on at a rapid pace. In hindsight, nobody should have been surprised that the D2X that I paid close to $5000 in 2005 rapidly dropped to about $1500 in the used market by 2008, as the D300 (initially $1800) beats it in just about every possible way; the D2X is probably around $1000 now. There should be little doubt that the D700, D7000, etc. will all have the same fate in another couple of years.
    Peter Koralis: I took a quick look at the D7000 review you linked to. For the most part it is very much on the mark. My experience with the D7000 is similar. Thanks for the link.
     
  60. Shun,
    Prices in the UK are around the following (gbp):
    D7000 - 1100 - if you can find one.
    D700 - 1700
    D300s - 1000
    Having spent an eternity on the web, I'm now satisfied that the 50mm f1.8 and 35-70mm f2.8 will do well on the D700. "My" Nikon dealer tells me he will have D700s in stock next week and I can go over there and see how the 70-210 f4 constant performs. My instinct tells me it will be pretty good, but I could be entirely wrong.
    It doesn't worry me too much about prices going down, since I don't change things every five minutes. My wife's VW is into its sixteenth year and my Subaru its seventh.
    Mervyn
     
  61. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I drive a 1994 Honda myself, and it is still running quite well. However, I think everybody should pay some attention to technology advances and price changes. If you don't need the latest and greatest, you might as well wait another few months until something replaces the D700 and buy one then. Whatever money you save can easily get you a decent lens.
    I currently have 6 DSLRs, including the D2X, D300, D700, and D7000. I am not at all surprised that the D300S has dropped below the D7000 in terms of price. Even though the D300S has better AF and frame rate, its technology is definitely older and in many ways behind the D7000 now. The D300 started at $1800 in late 2007; it was replaced by the D300S a bit more than a year ago also at $1800. It seems to worth less than the $1200 D7000 today. In the US, Nikon USA is providing all sorts of incentives to move the D300S, D700, and D3S along with various lenses.
     
  62. Some wise words there, Shun.
    We should certainly have regard to technology advances, but, as you have said yourself, the first consideration is the grey matter behind the camera. I'm fairly certain I could look-out one of my Nikkormats, put a pre ai 50mm f1.8 lens on it, and get some stunning images. I might use the Pentax spotmeter though!
    In the UK, we don't tend to get "fire-sales" of Nikon equipment when new models are announced, although there is some price fall, but usually moderate. It amazes me how some used prices hold-up as well.
    Moreover, we are scheduled to become grandparents in March, and I rather fancy having a dslr that will take baby pics with available light (indoors). Our son has a Canon FX dslr with all sorts of expensive lenses, but I can't think that will take decent photographs!
    Mervyn
     
  63. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Mervyn, the prices you provided indicate that the D300S is now cheaper than the D7000. Is that correct?
    Congratulations on the grand kid. Video capability may come in handy when the little one starts moving around a year from now. :)
     
  64. Shun, yes from reliable sources, ie not grey, that is correct. The 7000 is practically holding the rrp of 1100gbp. The 300s has fallen steadily . It was around 1300gbp in August last year.
     
  65. I would (and am myself) certainly wait to see what Nikon releases as a replacement for the D700. And shortly before or after that, the price of the D700 may fall a bit. It's still high today at $2399, I suspect that it should drop to $1999 or lower at the end, which could mean a very nice bargain for many people looking at one.
    In the end, you may find that a smaller camera might do very well for you, namely the D7000. You may find that the D7000 combined with the 18-105mm VR zoom lens is a good combination. Then again if you want a pro-grade body, big and heavy, to use in very low light, the D700 may be the one. I went from the D300 to the D700 and back to the D300 again. I just didn't see the need for the high ISO performance that left a lot to be desired in other areas compared to the superb D300.
     
  66. Thanks Dave.
    My dealer suggested a D300s. It would be helpful if you could tell me what left a lot to be desired compared to the D300 (or 300s for that matter). It is the iso performance and FX that attracts me to the D700.
    Thanks.
    Mervyn
     
  67. As an owner of both a D700 and D7000, my opinion is they are in completely different classes. As you already realize, the D7000 is more of a consumer camera. The D700 is more of a high end Prosumer camera. The D700 just feels more rock solid in your hand. It has AMAZING high ISO performance. It takes advantage of the full range of my wide glass, this is important to me.
    I just bought the D7000 and like it very much. But it will fill the role as my high end P&S camera. My D700 will keep it's place as my default go to camera.
     
  68. This thread is still honking along in the top half dozen, Shun.
    My dilema as well. I've decided to get a good used D700 as I don't need the extra reach of DX. I mainly do landscapes now, all my lenses ar FX and as the street price is hovering at $2k, its a good buy. But with this camera, I'll set it up once and leave it so navigating the endless menus won't affect me.
    I rarely print over A3 so the D700 has bags of resolution for that.
     
  69. Thanks for all the info in this thread! I've been asking myself the same question but came to a different conclusion - after Christmas, I'm hoping to get a D7000. Would I like to go full-frame? Sure, but I'd rather get a good camera & a great lens (I have my eye on the 17-35mm/2.8). The D700 would eat up too much budget for that. The lighter weight is another plus for me - I'm a small woman & good glass is heavy. Since I'm going from a D70s, either of these would be like going from a Pinto to a Cadillac. I started out with the N80, kept all my lenses when I went to the D70s 6yrs ago, and probably will go full-frame in the next 5-6yrs so I am staying away from DX lenses. That's one of the main things I've taken away from the many, many recommendations I've read - digital cameras have a limited life but lenses are an investment. In the meantime, I'll be keeping an eye out for D7000 reviews as more people road test them for any prevalent issues.
     

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