Full frame digital bodies.

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by rick_helmke|2, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. Afternoon all,
    I am pondering a purchase and could use some other points of view. I want to pick up a full frame digital body as I've been shooting nothing but DX since I got into digital. No complaints on the smaller format but I want to add a full frame body to the camera bag. For now at least I don't need to overspend on this and am looking at the D700. I like what I see in the spec sheets on the 6xx and 8xx bodies but for now don't want to spend well over $1k on this. The D700 is full frame, 12mp and seems to have all the features I want in a camera. Something I require is that it be compatible with older AI lenses as I have several that I use regularly. It has ISO ability up to something like 25600 which is much higher than I will ever need. Is there a reason not to choose this camera? I realize it is not the latest but that has never bothered me. I am using D200 and 300 bodies now and honestly they doing everything I ask of them. If I can get one from KEH that has some life left it seems as though it will do for the next year or two at least. One of the motivations behind this is that I have gone back to film for a lot of work and always keep both kinds of bodies in the bag. It just seems to make sense to have both bodies in the same frame size. Any thoughts are appreciated.

    Rick H.
     
  2. You may want to go with a used D610 from KEH, Adorama etc. It is a great camera for the price (new or used).
     
  3. Gup

    Gup Gup

    Well, I'm a big fan of the D700. I have owned 4 of them. Providing you're buying a good, well looked after copy I wouldn't hesitate to recommend one.
    If you search the archives here you will get all the information you need to help with your decision. D700 threads were very prevalent here a few years back.
     
  4. I have owned a D700, D600 and D3 cameras, all of which can be bought for under $1K. The advantage of a D700 vs other FX choices would be a similar build quality and controls layout to your D300. A D600 would have somewhat better image quality, and (significantly?) better auto white balance in poor artificial lighting, IMO, vs the D700. I found the D600 AF system to be adequate, and thought the D600 had 1-1.5 stops comparatively better performance at higher ISO under poor artificial lighting. For me the D700 got marginal above ISO 3200 under artificial lighting.
    The D700 might be a little better with manual focus of AI lenses vs a D600, so a tough choice.
     
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Something I require is that it be compatible with older AI lenses as I have several that I use regularly.​
    Every Nikon FX-format (full 35mm frame) DSLR introduced so far is compatible with older AI/AI-S lenses. Therefore, as long as you are going FX, there is no difference (except that the Df is also compatible with pre-AI).
    The D700 uses CF memory cards and EN-EL3e batteries that are compatible with the D200 and D300, but of course both are old. Current Nikon DSLRs mostly use SD and/or XQD memory cards and EN-EL15 batteries. New DSLRs also tend to have a 100% viewfinder and have dual memory cards.
    See my post from June 16, 2011 about why the D700 was already a bit out of date back then: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00Ytvg
    Far forward 6 years, while you can still take great pictures with the D700, IMO you are better off getting something newer.
     
  6. I just got a D600 which also came with the 105 f2.8 macro for less than $800. I'm pretty happy with it, and the low-light performance is good, and the AF is fine for my purposes (no sports/action shots). While I don't go around shrieking about FULL-FRAME!, it is nice that all of my older lenses work at their intended angles of view.
     
  7. Hi,
    I loved my D700, but my new D750 is a MUCH better camera! I had issues with noise at ISO6400 with my D700. I was great, but the 750 blows it away. My images with the 750 at ISO12,800 are better than what I took at ISO3200 with the 700. All my images are sharper. Having live view and a tilt LCD screen is a blessing. Having ISO 100 again is nice as well. Not to mention that it is smaller and lighter. It has a better image processor than the D810 (read reviews), the same processor as the D6. I've never used the video, but it is there if I want it. Also, it has built in wi-fi, I can view and expose images from my Ipad 25' away.
    Full Frame is the way to go if you want large prints, and my 14mm is a 14mm not a 21mm on a DX body. If you happen to be into astrophotography or birds, I'd tell you to stick to DX.
    regards,
    Rick
     
  8. Rick Jack +1. Used D750 prices will surely fall if, as some expect, a replacement comes out this year.
     
  9. Are used D800/D800E/D810's below $1k? A lot more functional than a D700 IMO.
     
  10. What possible advantages do you think a nine year old DSLR 12.1mp full frame DSLR might give you over an APS-C D7200 which has a far larger dynamic range when shooting NEFs?
     
  11. I can see the attraction of the D700 - similar handling to the D300, ability to shoot at 8fps if you add the grip (which would also be compatible with the D300), and price. But on balance I'd also go for a more recent camera if possible for high ISO and the ability to crop. A used D800 would be worth a look, a lot cheaper than a used D810, probably cheaper than a used D750, and about the same as a used D610 where I live. You get that great 36MP sensor in a 'semi pro' body. Only the fps is limiting for sport, etc.
     
  12. I still really like my D700 - does everything I need, and some more - but I wouldn't buy one today anymore. Not so much that a D700 isn't up to the job anymore (even if times clearly moved on), but they're simply getting old, and finding one that isn't quite used already is getting increasingly difficult.
    Frankly, getting digital full frame on a tight budget is still a rather difficult proposition. Either you free up the budget, or you stick with APS-C. Second hand D600 and D610 are the closest thing to a reasonable option.
     
  13. I still like my D700, but as others have said, its useable ISO is nowhere near 25600. I would push it to 6400 in an emegency, but I'd usually keep it below 3200 to get a reasonable quality image. Having said that, I much preferred the results and handling of the D800 when I upgraded. And that's the camera I'd go for in your situation.
     
  14. "What possible advantages do you think a nine year old DSLR 12.1mp full frame DSLR might give you over an APS-C D7200 which has a far larger dynamic range when shooting NEFs?"

    Larger, brighter viewfinder and superior high ISO performance come to mind. While the D7200 does have a bit better dynamic range, the advantage is most apparent at base and very low ISO and it might be difficult to see the difference in prints anyway. Above ISO 400, the two basically provide the same DR.
    If the D700 meets the OP's needs, does he really need more?
     
  15. While I think the D700 is getting a bit long in the tooth, and the one issue I have with mine is the 12MB sensor doesn't hold up as well as 16MB and 20MB in my other DSLR's when it comes to post processing, I've never had a DSLR that was easier to manual focus. Not sure why, but I can get much sharper images out of my manual focus Nikon glass with the D700 than I can with my D4, and it was as easy to manually focus the D700 as it was to focus a Df I borrowed a while back.
     
  16. A quick look at KEH and you can get a D600 or a D700 for slightly less then $1K. The D610 is $1099.00. I do not actually know about digital camera's so I am not making a recommendation. However KEH is a good place and you can just send it right back if a button or knob is wonky or for anything at all.
    As I transitioned to digital when the labs all closed I was shooting a D200 and a F100 and found them to be very good buddies and way to heavy.. However since then I have just gone back to film and shoot a Nikon FM2n and primarily HP5 at 800 with home processing and printing.
     
  17. Hi,
    D700 vs D750 image quality:
    I ran a quick test using a NBS test chart on my refrigerator. View the image at original size. Everything was the same except for the camera bodies. Exactly the same image processing. I took over 20 frames with each body in AF & MF focused at 100% in live view. These are the best. Try this with your own equipment.
    http://www.pbase.com/rick_jack/image/164922899
     
  18. Your numbers are a bit off Rick. Theoretical max resolution of the D700 is a tad under 60 lppmm, and for the D750 it's just over 80 lppmm. (Their AA filter blurring can be largely overcome by processing from RAW). While the D810 should resolve just over 100 lppmm. Those are orthogonal figures. Line pairs diagonal to the frame will have a considerably lower count, as will those that don't quite line up with the photosites. Regardless, my D700 delivered prints that easily stood up to, and in most cases beat, those I used to get from 120 film cameras. I keep seeing people trying to big up film's resolving capability, but in over 40 years of using the stuff I never saw any detail on film that comes close to what I can get from a modern DSLR. Not in normal picture-taking anyway.
     
  19. What possible advantages do you think a nine year old DSLR 12.1mp full frame DSLR might give you over an APS-C D7200 which has a far larger dynamic range when shooting NEFs?​
    It's a nicer and better built camera than the D7200. It has higher frame rate and I think it's low light capabilities is better.
     
  20. Hi Joe,
    Nope. I've done the calculations myself and can back them up when I find a link. There is no way a D810 can resolve 100 l/mm. In theory every time you double the mp your resolution goes up 25%. A D700 is about 54 l/mm. The D750 has a better image processor Expeed 4 which makes the image cleaner at high ISO's.
    Usually I don't care about the numbers or MTF values, but in the case of both of these cameras I really see a significant difference with images 8x12" or larger. My wife's D3400 produces better images than my D700 even with the kit lens. When I have time I will compare that to the D750.
    regards,
    Rick
     
  21. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    I think the OP's choices are between getting an older design to maintain compatibility with the past: CF memory card and EN-EL3e battery that are also used on the D200 and D300 or getting something more up to date.
    Personally, I would opt for a more current design with dual SD memory cards, EN-EL15 battery, 100% viewfinder coverage, one-button access to live view and video capture capability. But this is Rick the OP's decision, not mine.
     
  22. The square root of 2 is 1.414 Rick, and that's the resolution multiplier when you double the pixel density. It's also the divisor when you look at diagonal resolution as opposed to orthogonal. BTW, I can easily see the vertical and horizontal 80 lppmm lines resolved on a resolution chart with my D800 and 50mm f/1.2 Nikkor stopped down to f/4. And that's straight out of the camera with no special image processing. I'd expect a D810 to better that figure.
     
  23. Gup

    Gup Gup

    am looking at the D700. I like what I see in the spec sheets on the 6xx and 8xx bodies but for now don't want to spend well over $1k on this. The D700 is full frame, 12mp and seems to have all the features I want in a camera.​
    This was the basis for my first response to this thread.
    I'm not comparing the D700's performance or specs to anything else. I've been using a D800E now for a few years and enjoy the extra cropping availability with a 36MP sensor. My response was based on personal experience with the four D700 bodies I owned. I had to get used to downsizing from a D2x, and that took a bit, but eventually the smaller body won me over (as many here said it would) and none of those bodies every let me down.
     
  24. Hi Joe,
    Your correct using the square root of 2 is more accurate. You saw exactly the resolution that you were supposed to (80 l/mm). The D800 & D810 have exactly the same pixel size, 4.88 microns, the resolution will be the same. The D810 has a better image process or which will give cleaner images at higher ISO's, but little or no difference at ISO 100-200. The rumored "next" Nikon with a 50mp sensor will boost the resolution but probably require M/L and a tripod to show it. My 50mm f1.2 AIs tested to 136 l/mm on Kodak High Contrast Copy film years back, as did most 50mm lenses at f4-f8 in the center. Wide open and in the corners was another story.
    I'm still waiting for Nikon to make a small DSLR the size of a FM with the D810's sensor and leaving off the built in flash. I know my wish will never happen, the trend is "big". I loved it when all the lenses were 52mm filter sizes as well. I feel like I'm carrying around a medium format system now.
    enjoy your weekend!
     
  25. I'm still waiting for Nikon to make a small DSLR the size of a FM with the D810's sensor and leaving off the built in flash.​
    Many people said it but they don't want it. If a FX DSLR the size of the FM may have to sacrify the LCD screen and AF. And of course using the FM as reference would you take the camera with only manual? No AF, No LCD (the FM doesn't have an LCD)?
     
  26. I got a used D700 last year at a local real camera store, upgrade from a D200.
    With only about 13,000 shots, it wasn't over used, and I don't over use my cameras, either, maybe about 1000 per year.
    I suppose some was the desire for full frame, needed or not. It is enough better than that D200 that I am glad that I bought it, but for what I do the price of a newer camera, FX or DX, would have been too high.
    One reason for FX is that sometimes I like wide angle lenses.
    I have an AI 24/2.8, which I have used since film days.
    For reasonable current prices, I do believe that the D700 is a good choice.
     
  27. What possible advantages do you think a nine year old DSLR 12.1mp full frame DSLR might give you over an APS-C D7200 which has a far larger dynamic range when shooting NEFs?​
    Actually I forgot a very important thing. A full frame is full frame and the crop factor is 1 (for those who insist on crop factor). The number 1 is nice because when I bought my first digital it's a full frame camera and I didn't buy any lens. All the lenses function exactly the same on the digital camera. That was the reason I never considered going digital before Nikon introduced the D3 and D700.
     
  28. Rick, I'm still not sure how you're getting from the correct photosite spacing of 4.88 microns, to a degraded lppmm number of 80. 1000 microns (1mm) divided by 4.88 = 204.9. Divide that by 2 and you get just over 102 lppmm, and that's the theoretical resolution limit (or Nyquist spatial frequency) of the D810 sensor. The D800's resolution will be a little lower because it has a low-pass AA filter that's absent in the D810. Incidentally a 24Mp DX camera has an even higher theoretical resolution of 125 lppmm due to its higher pixel density.
     

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