Downsizing: Dumping old screw-drive DX gear/buying newer, compact DX gear.

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by studio460, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. In my continuing downsizing efforts for casual shooting, I don't think I want/need any of my old screw-drive Nikon DX gear (I'm still keeping all of my FX gear and 35mm film bodies). I think Nikon's newest line-up of low-end DX bodies represents not only great value, I think they're excellent cameras. Sure, neither the (rumored) D2300, D3200, D3300, D5200, nor D5300 support screw-drive lenses, but who cares? I'll just use those lenses on an FX or 35mm film body.
    I just compared my Nikon D3200 + AF-S Nikkor f/1.8G with my D7000 + Tokina 50-135mm f/2.8. Not exactly apples-to-apples, but the D7000/Tokina combo weighs a TON in comparison. I like the these newer DX bodies so much, that I I've decided to sell my D7000, and all of my DX glass (I may as well toss in my old D90 as well). This would be my first sell-off of any photo gear I've ever owned (except for my very first Nikon 35mm and Mamiya 6x7 systems). I may replace a few of my DX lenses with AF-S equivalents (e.g., trade my screw-drive Tokina 11-16mm for version II). With any left over money, I'll put that towards a second modern DX body, a new Nikon D3300! I may also need built-in Wi-Fi capability someday--that's covered too, with the new D5300!
    I think Nikon's latest DX bodies are truly impressive. Nikon's newest, and lowest-priced DX body, the D3300, managed to achieve the highest DxO low-light score of all, higher than any other current or announced Nikon DX body. Probably the highest DxO score for an APS-C sensor ever: 1,385.
     
  2. Better check out the viewfinders before you do that. Every time I get that kind of idea, it's the universally terrible, small finders of the cheap cameras that throws that idea off.
     
  3. Michael said:
    Better check out the viewfinders before you do that.
    I just bought a refurbished Nikon D3200, and its penta-mirror viewfinder is surprisingly bright with a fast lens mounted. I just stole the Hoodman eyecup from my D7000, and put it on my D3200, making its viewfinder more pleasant to look through. But, you're absolutely right--I just checked: the D3200's viewfinder is quite a bit smaller than my D7000's viewfinder--perhaps about 30% smaller. But, I think I'll take that in trade for a noticeably lighter body. Also, it's still loads better than trying to shoot with a shiny LCD in bright sunlight when using a viewfinder-less compact like my Sony NEX-3N.
     
  4. It's the viewfinders that kill it for me.
     
  5. Nikon's latest budget DX bodies: key features
    Nikon D5300:
    • 24.2MP.
    • DxO low-light score: 1,338.
    • 39-point Multi-CAM 4800 AF (same as in D7000).
    • 5-FPS, continuous.
    • EXPEED 4.
    • No OLPF.
    • Built-in Wi-Fi + GPS.
    • 1.06 lbs.
    Nikon D3300:
    • 24.2MP.
    • DxO low-light score: 1,385.
    • 11-point Multi-CAM 1000 AF.
    • 5-FPS, continuous.
    • EXPEED 4.
    • No OLPF.
    • 0.95 lbs.
     
  6. Just purchased the D5300 for 24 MP sensor & WiFi: With AFS lenses, 12-24 f4, etc., you get auto focus & all other options on camera. AI lenses are Manual only on the 5300. Pentaprism not as bright as view thru D800 but it suffices at 1/3 the price and the sensor is a big +. Wifi without expensive attachment is nice as the Nikon mobile utility is a free download.
     
  7. I've been replacing my non-AFS lenses with newer AFS ones so they'll work on both D7100 and D5100. I only have one left to switch. It seems wise to have lenses that both cameras can easily use, especially since I take the D5100 as a back up body on trips.
    Kent in SD
     
  8. the D3200's viewfinder is quite a bit smaller than my D7000's viewfinder​
    Difference is about the same as going from an FX body to a pentaprism DX body.
    I keep a D60 for casual shooting - mostly with the 35/1.8DX or sometimes with the 16-85 VR. Not really comparable with the newer low-end DSLRs though - less MP, no grid lines. Got it quite cheap and might just keep it around as a "P&S".
    I can see me giving up my DX system altogether in the near future (i.e. once Nikon released the D7100/D300 successor) - except for one body to be used with the 80-400G. Traded my NEX 6 yesterday for a A7 (a deal too good to pass up) - to be used with some manual focus legacy glass - might prove quite sufficient for my casual shooting needs.
    Nikon so far failed to produce a reasonably fast f/1.8 or f/2 24mm AF-S prime suitable for DX (the 24/1.4G would do but is just a tad expensive at $2200 or even used at around $1600-$1700) - this to me is a serious shortcoming in the DX lens lineup. I briefly tried the Zeiss 24/1.8 on my NEX 6 - excellent lens but overpriced at $1100 (new) - as is clearly demonstrated by used prices mostly in the $600-$750 range. Seems to be the only manufacturer though that thinks a fast 24mm lens is valuable on a APS-C sensor camera.
     
  9. Dieter said:
    Nikon so far failed to produce a reasonably fast f/1.8 or f/2 24mm AF-S prime suitable for DX . . . this to me is a serious shortcoming in the DX lens lineup.
    Exactly. To me, it's Nikon's greatest marketing failure--not ever producing a fast DX wide-angle prime. Kinda cripples the entire DX product line.
     
  10. Seems to be the only manufacturer though that thinks a fast 24mm lens is valuable on a APS-C sensor camera.
    Fujifilm also make a 23/1.4.
    To me, it's Nikon's greatest marketing failure--not ever producing a fast DX wide-angle prime.
    Nikon only made what lenses they deemed necessary for high end DX users until FX became less expensive.
    Kinda cripples the entire DX product line.
    That depends on what you intend to do with it; some consider a fast wide angle prime the foundation of a lens system (I belong in this group), while others think it's unnecessary. Nikon's message with respect to wide angle primes is quite clear: go FX. Cameras such as the Df and D610 are quite small and lightweight already, and so are lenses such as the 28/1.8, 35/1.8, 50/1.8 and 85/1.8. Unfortunately the Df and D610 are still too expensive for most people. Used FX cameras might be the answer, e.g. the D700.
    To me the fuzzy pentamirror viewfinder is not acceptable, which is one reason why I generally recommend D7100 class body as a starter / lightweight body to those who are getting into DSLRs (or the D90 which has a nice viewfinder but a less advanced AF system at a much lower cost).
     
  11. Not trying to be funny or anything, but are there any screw-drive DX lenses? I can't think of any, Nikon lenses anyway. AF-S came out before the DX digital sensor, right?
    Edit to add: Now that I think about it, my Tokina 12-24 is a screw drive DX lens.
     
  12. "...are there any screw-drive DX lenses?"​
    Yup, the Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye. And some Tokina lenses about 7-10 years ago, including their very good 12-24/4. The moving elements were so tiny it autofocused as quickly and quietly as the Nikkor 2-24/4. The Tokina was nearly as good too. I compared 'em side by side. The Nikkor was a tiny bit sharper at the edges and corners with a tiny bit less CA. But the Tokina was darned good for a fraction of the price. One of the few lenses I'd still consider buying for my old D2H if I needed an ultrawide. (The second would be one of the stabilized Sigma midrange zooms, either the 17-50/2.8 or 17-70/2.8-4, which aren't screwdriver types.)
     
  13. Fujifilm also make a 23/1.4.​
    Yup, forgot about that one.
    And FWIW, there's a reasonably fast and priced f/2 or f/1.8 FX 24mm lens missing as well. It is quite funny to think that one focal length that is equally valuable on FX and on DX isn't covered at all in the Nikon system - again excluding the 24/1.4 that is just too pricey for many. Could even be one lens - there's no need to make a DX and an FX version.
     
  14. Is the Sigma HSM, Hyper Sonic Motor, as implemented on the Sigma 35mm f1.4 considered the equivalent of Nikon AFS and workable on the D5300?
     
  15. Yes. Most if not all third-party lenses with "built-in" AF motors usually work with non-screwdrive Nikon cameras (some lenses may require updated firmware). I just tried my Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lens on my D3200--it works.
     
  16. Is the Sigma HSM, Hyper Sonic Motor, as implemented on the Sigma 35mm f1.4 considered the equivalent of Nikon AFS and workable on the D5300?​
    It might be! There's a lot of e-space full of Sigma lens incompatibility stories with Nikon LV focussing. My 30mm f1.4 DC HSM won't AF with my D5100 in LV, but will normally. Sigma offered to re-chip mine for about £30.
     
  17. Nikon only made what lenses they deemed necessary for high end DX users until FX became less expensive.​
    As the Zeiss 24/1.8 ($1100) and Fuji 23/1.4 ($900) show, a fast 24mm for a mirrorless doesn't come cheap and the additional effort to make one for a DX DSLR surely won't bring the price down - so we may not have seen such a lens because the $1000+ price point might not sell all too well. On the other hand - a D7100 with a $1000 24/1.8 would still be cheaper than a D610 with the new 35/1.8G FX. So in the strict sense, even low-end FX is still not less expensive than high-end DX would be - but there isn't a high-end DX to compare too.
    Strangely enough, the Zeiss 35/2.8 for the Sony A7/A7R costs more than the 35/1.8FX and the 55/18 is more than four times the price of the 50/1.8G - owning mirrorless FX doesn't come cheaper than FX DSLR. The upcoming 70-200/4 for the Sony is at the same price point as Nikon's 70-200/4.
     
  18. Not to beat a dead horse, but it sounds like there were really only a few DX-
    only screw drive lenses. I wasn't even aware they existed, since Nikon
    omitted the screw drive for most of their DX cameras, so these must have
    been early niche products. I know it doesn't help, but it seems kind of
    unlucky if you ended up with a bunch of them.
    <p>
    To come to the main point though,
    for me and I assume many others the attractive feature of Nikon (as
    compared to, say, Canon, where I was coming from originally) is the
    system aspect, i.e. being able to use any old lens (within reason, unless you
    don't mind some machining) on a modern body. DX-only lenses and non-
    screw drive bodies violated that principle, so they really never fit into the
    system.
    <p>
    Buying more DX only lenses seems to me like making the same mistake twice. The mount diameter and register distance are the same for DX and FX, so there's no reason to assume there won't be a similarly compact FX sensor Nikon some time in the future.
     
  19. I completely use the smaller, lighter DX for everything. I love the fold out screens on the D5100 etc, and I have a D7100
    too. I've been moving to the small fast lenses like 35 1.8 and even like the 18-55 on 18 as a small wide. The longer side is
    too slow for me, I'd rather use the 5o 1.4, but at 18-24 it's surprisingly decent. Enjoy!
     
  20. I've often wondered whether you could mod a flexi d5*00 screen onto a D7100 body?
     
  21. Stefan said:
    . . . it sounds like there were really only a few DX- only screw drive lenses. I wasn't even aware they existed, since Nikon omitted the screw drive for most of their DX cameras, so these must have been early niche products. I know it doesn't help, but it seems kind of unlucky if you ended up with a bunch of them.
    As many of you are aware, there were two DX tele-zooms in particular which helped to support an entire industry of pro DX shooters, only one of which had a built-in focus motor:

    • Tokina 50-135mm f/2.8 (screw-drive).
    • Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 HSM (built-in AF motor)

    Plus, Tokina also became popular with many Nikon DX shooters on the wide end for those who wanted a faster DX wide-angle than Nikon offered (updated in 2012 to version II, with a built-in AF motor):

    • Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 (pre-2012, screw-drive version).

    I just happened to opt for both Tokina screw-drive lenses, since the the original HSM version of the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 had a lot of mixed reviews (by most accounts, I think version II of the Sigma 50-150mm is fine; however, the stabilized version of the Sigma 50-150mm is considered by many to be too big, and too expensive).

    So, yeah, kind of "unlucky" purchases, I guess (again, this was before I thought I was going to make the move to FX). My biggest regret now was buying the AF-S Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G for use on a D7000 as a second "event" body. I shot one event in near darkness using both a D3s and a D7000, and after that, decided, "never again." I then proceeded to buy a second D3s body for event work from that point on (the noise difference was simply too noticeable).
     
  22. In a relatively fast-changing field, such as the first ten years of digital cameras, making some purchases that may seem like mistakes in retrospect are difficult to avoid without having a crystal ball into the future. I also used the 17-55 DX with the D200 many years ago. I liked it a lot and if I had continued to use DX I would definitely have kept it; however, like you I didn't find the FX+DX pairing good for indoor events as I like to do a lot of available light photography. I liked the rendering and handling of the 17-55 but it has a tendency to flare and ghost. For outdoor events and general photography, I find the 17-55 a fine lens, and also if you use lighting you can get good results with it indoors in the studio or with lighting, at indoor venues for formal portraits. I would never have considered buying it a mistake, but then I got it for about $1100 in 2006 (after rebate), so the price was very good. However I went to FX in 2008 and six months later sold the 17-55. At times I regret that I did that, as it would have made a good match with the 70-200 with a DX camera for a lot of outdoor photography, but money is always an issue and I've determined that I can't really maintain multiple camera systems (or formats); for me it is preferable to have one system that is good for my applications and stay with it; it simplifies things especially when something breaks and backup needs to be at hand for whatever component that needs to go to service.
     
  23. +1 Ilkka. I'm reluctant to buy new DX lenses now as I also use both DX and FX regularly. FX for paid work and DX for travelling light. The money tied-up in glass is getting a bit much.
    The crop factor issue with UWA on DX is covered with an older Sigma 10-20mm and then all my FX lenses are wide enough and indeed, if I need reach, FX lenses on a DX body works well.
    The only DX lens I'm tempted by is the 50-150mm Sigma OS, when I want to replicate my D700+70-200mm VRII+Grip set-up but in DX format.....paired with a D7200, when it arrives....Should be about 1/2 the weight...although the Sigma is quite heavy.
     
  24. Neither the D7000 nor the 17-55mm were ever meant to use in near darkness. What exactly did you expect, especially when comparing them to a D3S?
     
  25. i have the non-OS sigma 50-150, and it's one of the better DX lenses, ever. i used to have the non-VC tamron 17-50, which was wicked sharp. i also have the screw-drive tokina 12-24 and tokina 35/2.8 macro (the sharpest normal DX lens around, bar none).
    when i use the tokina lenses on a d90, it definitely has a smaller form factor than the d300s or d3s. IMO the newer DX bodies arent that much smaller, and offer less functionality in many ways, despite their larger megapixel count. if i want compact size with HQ images, i reach for the Fuji XE1 and x100s. i made the move to Fuji because i needed better low-light ability than the d90/d300s in a smaller form factor than the D3s, and also because i got tired of waiting for a d400. the only DX lens i'm even tempted by currently is the sigma 18-35/1.8, and if i do buy a 24mp camera, it will probably be FX.
     
  26. Elliot--
    I routinely use the 17-55mm f2.8 at night, albeit with a D7100 It works just fine. This combo will focus with only moonlight.
    Kent in SD
     
  27. Kent, the AF module of the D7100 is quite different than that of the D7000.
     
  28. With regards to the viewfinder: At least on the d7000 you can add an eyepiece magnifier (DK-21M). It made a big difference for me. I had missed the larger view from my old nikon SLR 8008s. I'm not 100% sure you can add this to the d3300, but worth a look maybe.
     

Share This Page