Nikon D700, Full Frame & Lenses

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by joseph_sage|1, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. Hello,
    I have a burning question concerning the full frame Nikon D700 I just bought and it's full frame capability and lenses. Please be patient an break down your answers to Sesame Street Simple being that I'm still learning about photography and how to use all of the functions on my camera.
    I traded in my Nikon D200 & Nikon D300 for a Nikon D700.
    I have the following lenses:
    1. AF-S Nikkor 18-200mm 1.3.5-5.6 G ED DX
    2. AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8D
    3. Sigma 170-500mm 1:5-6.3 APO DG
    As I was trading in the camera I was told that the lenses that I have would only produce a 6.1 megapixel image and that the images would be cropped. Also, it was explained to me that the reasoning behind this is because the D200/D300 have what was referred to slangly as a "half sensor" and that the D700 has a "full sensor." Furthermore, because the camera can sense that the lenses weren't designed for the full sensor that the camera would default the images to 6.1 megapixels and the image would be cropped.
    Could someone please explain to me the truth behind this & how this works? Thanks for your time and I'll be looking forward to your replies.
    All the Best!
    ~ Joseph.
  2. Joseph
    Why didn't you ask the question before you did the deal ? it seems to me you were sold a bill of goods, what exactly about the D300 and D200 did not meet your requirements? You now have traded two perfectly good cameras and lenses for 1 camera and effectively just 1 lens and the gobbleydook you are spouting makes makes no sense buddy .
    The D700 has what is known as a full frame sensor that is the size of a 35mm film frame while the D200 and the D300 have a DX sensor the size of an aps film frame which is smaller.
    The 18-200 mm lens you have is designed to cover a DX frame it will not cover the full frame so you need to toss it. The Sigma lens you have on a D700 is like putting diesel in a Maserati.
    Lastly the guy you bought the camera off is wasted, he should be on Wall Street or better still a lobbyist for the insurance companies.
    Good luck Steve
  3. You were slightly (significantly) misinformed.
    Both the AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8D and (AFAIK) Sigma 170-500mm 1:5-6.3 APO DG will produce a full resolution 12.1 megapixel full frame image on the D700, and will not be cropped. I'm not familiar with the Sigma, but some quick research seems to indicate that the APO DG version is designed to cover both film and digital (DX and FX) formats. If that's not correct, I'm sure that any owners of this particular lens can set me straight.
    The AF-S Nikkor 18-200mm 1.3.5-5.6 G ED DX is a DX lens and does not project an image circle large enough to cover the FX (35mm size) sensor of the D700. Because it is a Nikkor lens, the D700 can recognize it as DX and automatically crop the image to a 6MP DX sized format. So you'll see the same angle of view with this lens on the D700 and you did on the D200/300. If you look through your D700 manual (p. 58-61), you'll see the section that explains all of this.
  4. Your D200 and D300 had "DX" format sensors. Yes, they are smaller than the D700's "FX" format sensor - which just happens to be the same size as a classic 35mm film frame.

    Your 18-200 is a DX format lens. It projects a smaller image circle into the camera, and that projected image can't fully cover the D700's full size sensor. The camera will recognize the presence of that lens and can be told to automatically only use a part of the sensor that's the same size as the smaller DX sensor bodies.

    Your 50/1.8, though, is a full-frame capable lens. A very effective one, actually - you'll find it to be quite useful on that D700.

    The Sigma? I believe it will also work fine on an FX body.
  5. sell your 18-200 and get a (used) 28-200 nikkor G.
  6. No big deal. Just sell your 18-200 and get a used 28-200 ED G. You get (IMHO) a lighter and optically better all arround lens. So you lose VR but you gain $200+ toward you 17-35/2.8 :)
    The real bummer may be is the 500mm lens is not so long any more.
  7. Considering the lenses you have, you pretty much have just bought yourself a $2,500 Nikon D300, LOL. It was your lenses that were weak, not your camera body. My thinking is you've made a very big mistake.
    Kent in SD
  8. Was the D700 new, or was it used? If new, then the deal wasn't bad at all from a $$$ standpoint, given what you could get for a D200 and D300 on eBay.
    However, as others have said, the new body didn't really get you much improvement given your lens line up.
    To add to what's already been stated, I think the Sigma is an FX lens and in theory, should work as such, but Sigma lenses have forward compatibility with nw Nikon bodies, soyou'd want to test it out to make sure. I had a Sigma 30mm lens (recently sold) when I bought a D700, and with the correct setting, the D700 should have automatically recognized the DX lens and automatically shifted to DX mode. It didn't, and I had to manually set the body to DX mode when using this lens.
  9. "Considering the lenses you have, you pretty much have just bought yourself a $2,500 Nikon D300, LOL."
    Not quite. The D700 is an excellent camera and has much better low light performance than does the D300. So now it's just a matter of rationalizing lenses so that you can take advantage of the FX sensor.
    What lenses? It depends on what you shoot. But, as a first step, you might sell your 18-200mm. Better yet, why don't you use it a bit? Yes, you'll only use a portion of the D700 sensor, but you'll still be able to easily print stunning 8x10's.
  10. Do you have a strong arm and some money to burn? If so, and you can afford a 24-70 f2.8 from Nikon (it's big, expensive and heavy), you will have between that camera and that lens, no excuse not to make the best possible images from a camera in this class. If you can't afford really great lenses, you were better off with the D300, and should see if you can trade back.
    Alternatively, you could do what we all used to do years ago. Keep the 50mm lens (it's GREAT on that camera), and get a 24mm f2.8 wide angle lens for when you go wide and just use your feet.
    If you love the 18-200 and what it gave you in terms of range... add a D40 to your line up as a "high end point and shoot" solution and just leave that lens on that camera forever. That would be a GREAT camera for family snapshots.
  11. I don't think it could ever be a "mistake" getting a D700. He just needs to get some lenses to go with it. So what!? And there is no comparison between the D200/300 and a D700, although I would have held onto one of them for telephoto shots.
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    It certainly can be a big mistake getting a D700; in fact, merely based on the threads here from the last week or two, I see quite a few people making that mistake. The most common one is spending most of the budget on the D700 body with little left for some good lenses.
    The D700 is expensive, fairly big and heavy. If you don't have the right lenses for it, you cannot take advantage of its capabilities. For more beginngers and casual photographers, using a lower end DX body with convenient lenses such as the 18-200 can easily lead to more and better images.
    Moreover, while the D3 and D700 indeed have excellent low-light capabilities, it is merely a stop to a stop and half better than the D300. It isn't like there is a huge difference that everybody needs.
  13. I see your point Shun, and it's a good one. I'm just too enthusiastic about my D700. :)
  14. "And there is no comparison between the D200/300 and a D700"
    This sort of drivel is great for camera salesman but does not really help beginner photographers, I would rather use my old D70 and a 300.2.8 rather than a D700 with a Sigma 170-500 Zoom, okay so the D700 is a great camera but only in specific circumstances is it better than a D300 and with crap lenses any advantage is negated.
    One of the reasons we have rank beginners going out and spending stupid money on equipment they don't need is because of the rubbish written here. The OP would have been much better off with some sound advice and maybe even some help with his photography before he met the snake oil salesman.
    This is how it should work use the equipment you have until you reach it's absolute limits and then trade up, the same goes for lenses. Frankly I think only about 10% of photographers on this site would really benefit with a D700 over a D300 in most circumstances, I wouldn't and I've been doing this since the 70's.
    As to the Sigma lens somebody correct me if I'm wrong would not even a D200 with a 300mm prime produce better images than that lens and a D700.
    excuse the rant
  15. From the OP's post I see no reason to blame the salesman here. What I like to hear from the OP is his reasoning behind making the trade in the first place without apparently doing any research into the subject beforehand...
  16. Lighten Steve buddy. We're not exactly curing cancer here. And actually there is no comparison between between a D200/D300 considering the extra light gathering ability and FF sensor of the D700. Whether someone is able to exploit the differences is another story.
  17. The 18-200 is the only one that will produce a cropped image. The other two lenses will work fine. Any lens made by Sigma that carries the DG emblem is a full frame lens. DC is the one you would want to stay away from since it is designed for the DX sensor. The 50mm is a full frame lens and will work just fine.
  18. I would agree, the low light ability of this camera is worth the price for me. I had shooting flash photography, so this was the ideal camera for me. Going from a D200 the difference is huge. I can't speak for the D300 but I'm sure it is still better given the bigger pixels. For what it is worth, I even sold my flash to buy a battery grip. Most people would scoff at selling a flash but I hardly used if before and now with my 50mm 1.4 on the D700 I never used it. In the rare times I might need a flash I get by with the built in.
  19. Joseph, don't press the panic button. I too sold my brand-new D300 after using it for only three months to get full-frame.
    Sell your 18-200 and sigma. With that money you can buy Nikon 35-70mm f2.8 and 28-200 ED G (both used). I have both and they are great. You have done NOTHING wrong by buying full-frame D700 provided you now upgrade your skills quickly to use it effectively.
    D300 is great, but still NO match for D700 in low light and wide-angle photography. D200 is too old now.
    Happy shooting.
    Brian, I agree with you. No need for flash with D700.
  20. You have done NOTHING wrong by buying full-frame D700 provided you now upgrade your skills quickly to use it effectively.​
    This is silly - do you mean to imply that there are less skills required to shoot with a D300? Why would one need to "upgrade the skills" when going from DX to FX? It's still the "10 inches behind the camera" that make the difference...
    No need for flash with D700​
    Like all generalizations, this one is silly too...
  21. You don't have to spend a lot on lenses if you buya few nice primes.
    Why do so many people seem to think that you have to spen $$$ to get excellent lenses? Or that you need to cover all focal lengths?
  22. Relax, Dieter. It is a forum and keep your language civil.
    When did I say ``that there are less skills required to shoot with a D300?''
    When I wrote ``you now upgrade your skills quickly to use it effectively'', it was in reference to the OP who said ``I'm still learning about photography.'' That's it.
    I hope you understand the English language.
    As for flash with D700, I hope you have ever used this camera.
  23. I am relaxed, thank you. I don't see where I was using "uncivil" language. You can read my post again and tell me "where I said less skill required" - I phrased a question and used the word "imply" - looks like it isn't me that has problems with the English language. And if you can't think of scenarios where a flash might be useful/necessary despite the low-light capabilities, I suggest you follow your own advice.
  24. Jeffrey
    My second post didn't make it where I apologised to you for my sharp tongue, Shun's post was so much more eloquent and temperate than mine that it shamed me in to an apology.
    People do seek advice on these forums and frankly even the best intentioned post can be misconstrued. With the lenses the OP has, and taking in to account his level of expertise, trading his two cameras and probably a nice chunk of cash for a D700 makes no sense whatsoever and no amount of partisanship or gobblydgook can alter that,
    cheers Steve
  25. No problem Steve, thanks for manning up.
    My comments didn't really take into the account the OP since I thought his questions were already adequately addressed before I posted. With that said, I still don't see that the OP is in such bad shape as a newbie photographer if he gets his lens situation squared-away (which is something we all have to do anyway). He has a superb camera that he can grow with for a long time to come (assuming that's his intention, if not, then yes, he wasted his money). I know if I was moving from film to digital today, instead of five years ago when I did, I would go straight to a D700 and probably never consider an APS-C sensored camera. FWIW.
  26. I have a D200 and have thought about getting a D700 in other words a lens made for a 35mm film camera will work on the D700 as it would on a film camera? As it is right now with my AF-D Nikkors and my AI-S Nikkors I get a little boost in mm department on the D200...I think it is like 1.5X stronger 400mm 5.6 EDIF is a 600 mm on the D200.
  27. Sell the 18-200 DX VR G.
    Buy a 24-85 f/2.8-4 ED.
    Save up for the 17-35 f/2.8.
    Be happy.
  28. I am curious about something: why would someone who is a beginner at photography purchase a professional camera? I would recommend starting with a manual SLR film camera ($30 on ebay). a much better learning tool.
  29. Looking at Joseph's portfolio here on PN and also his webpage, I'd say he is hardly a beginner at photography.
  30. "I am curious about something: why would someone who is a beginner at photography purchase a professional camera?"
    I wouldn't classify someone who owns both a D200 and a D300 as a newbie (I'm assuming he's owned them for more than a few months). As for why a newbie would buy a D700 - good fortune!
  31. Joseph,
    Clearly you suffer from NAS (google for definition). Not to worry. The cure is simple. Stick with your D700. Do not 'upgrade' your camera for a few years. Learn to take pictures you like with this camera (I kept my Nikon FM for 25 years before I bought an F3). You don't need anything more than you have now. You have a great camera which will give you better indoor and low lighting shots than either of the D200 or D300. That is the brilliance of the D700.
    I expect you may see your lenses shoot wider given you are using a full frame sensor. Be that as it may, carry on. As you have a digital camera you get instant feedback. You will know if any of your lenses pose problems.
    Congratulations on owning one of the best professional cameras on the planet.
  32. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    I just checked Joseph's portfolio also:
    He is certainly not a beginner; in fact, he is quite good. Apparently Joseph knows his photography much better than the underlying cameras as well as DX vs. FX (which is the opposite to a lot of the people who participate in this forum).
    There are a few firework images and a few moon shots. Otherwise, Joseph doesn't seem to do much indoor/low light photography, and I don't think he can really benefit from the D700. However, it is very obvious that he travels a lot and the 18-200 is a key lens for him. It is very well known that the 18-200 is excellent for travel photography.
    I am afraid that the combo of D300 + 18-200 is excellent in Joseph's situation. For him, selling the 18-200 would be another mistake. There simply isn't any lens like the 18-200 for FX.
  33. Shun has hit the nail on the head here. Joseph is a good photographer but a beginner when it comes to gear. Its better to be that than the other way around.
    Since all of your lenses will work, id keep what you have for now, and as you shoot try to figure out where you feel the weakness of your system is. I suspect that you may want something a little wider, maybe as others suggest the 24-70, or maybe not and you coud get the 28-70 which would give you almost exactly the same "wideness" as the 18-200. You might also find you don't like to carry the 170-500 lens, and maybe get a 180 prime. Really I think its all up to you. Go out and shoot and see how things feel and then make determinations about lenses.
  34. Shun, I guess the cheap 28-200mm G will also be outstanding on FF.. I used it on D700 briefly and it was outstanding.
  35. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    I very well understand that most poeple don't like this type of suggestions, but I'll be blunt and echo what Peter Hamm wrote earlier:
    you were better off with the D300, and should see if you can trade back.​
    Check out the OP's portfolio; the 18-200 is the cornerstone to his travel photography. In this particular case, it neither makes sense to put some questionable super zoom onto the D700 nor does it make sense to carry a bunch of fixed-focal-lenth lenes and heavy zoom such as the 24-70 on foreign trips. Putting the 18-200 on the D700 to use it as a 5MP DSLR doesn't make a whole lot of sense either.
    IMO, re-purchasing a high-end DX DSLR body to use with a super zoom that is wonderful for travel photography is the best choice here.
  36. The Tamron 28-300mm VC (image stabilization in Tamron speak) may be a legitimate choice to replace the 18-200mm focal length on a DX camera.
    Some D700 shooters seem to like this lens and have obtained good images (for an 11x superzoom).
  37. Ray- Yes you will lose some on the long end going from the D200 to the D700 but for me the trade was worth it. I still can't get over the improve portrait ability of the D700. The DOF with a 50mm lens is something to admire. I can't believe how much sharper the images are straight out of the camera and they take a good amount of sharpening in PS as well.
  38. What seems to be missed in these kinds of discussons is that photo gear is a SYSTEM. Sort of like a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, a camera system is only good as its weakest components. I've come to think the most significant part of the system are the lenses, and that's where my money is. Since I have drifted much further into night photography the past two years, I've also put together a fairly massive lighting system. I could easily have purchased two D700 for what the lights cost. However, the lights allow me to make photos that a camera body never would. I have matched my SYSTEM to my needs. I just don't see the point of buying a high dollar camera for low light use and then sticking f5.6 lenses on it. In the case of the Tamron 28-300mm it's an f6.3 lens.
    Kent in SD
  39. Kent
    You took the words right out of my mouth, the problem with Joseph's deal was not so much about getting the D700 but about not having a clear plan as far as lenses were concerned. Let's face it a box brownie and a roll of outdated verichrome is of more use than D700 witout a lens, so investing in a $3000 camera should be part of a plan and all the posts suggesting different inferior lens solutions show how people think .
    The camera is only as good as the lens you put on it and putting slow amateur "do it all" lenses on a camera like the D700 seems a little bass -ackward.
  40. Joseph, you bought a great camera. As pointed out above, the 18-200 isn't going to be very useful on the D700 but the 50mm will work great. I suggest that you sell the 18-200 and get either the 24-70/2.8 AF-S which is the standard range zoom designed for the D700 and sometimes sold in as a kit with the camera. Alternatively, if the 24-70 is too expensive, you could go for a 2nd hand 28-70/2.8 AF-S or one of the older mid-priced zooms such as the 28-105 or 24-85. With this swap, you're all set, assuming the Sigma you have works as a full frame lens. It's easy to try out. Put the lens on the camera, and if the DX frame shows up in the viewfinder then you're using a DX lens.
    Let's face it a box brownie and a roll of outdated verichrome is of more use than D700 witout a lens

    But the OP has an excellent lens, the 50/1.8 that works with the D700.
  41. Steve, it seems that the lens situation is just something that he's going to have to work out unless he wants to sell the camera at a loss and get a D300 again. Of course the camera is part of a system but Nikon is a great system to get into, so I don't really see a big problem there. Ideally he would have worked everything out beforehand, but he didn't, so he just moves forward building his system around his D700. Not a bad situation to be in really.
  42. I guess the 105/2.8 Micro VR or an 80-200/2.8D would fit well between the 24-70 and the 170-500, money permitting. Yes, a heavier kit than a 18-200 but you don't gain something without putting in more effort.
  43. Shun, I wouldn't make the mistake of presuming that a person's portfolio here is the near-totality of their work or style. I've shot thousands of low-light images during the past year, but I cannot post any of them, as I work at a school. The D700 will be a huge help for me when I get it. I have never seen the D300 produce clean shots at 6400 ISO. Mine certainly didn't, at least. Further, I much prefer shooting with primes, and I feel like the two I own, plus a couple more to come, will cover most of my needs. I consider a 50mm to be wasted on a DX camera, as it's in a dead zone between 50 and 85. I'm sure most others will disagree, but I just don't like the 50 on a DX camera. I like it a lot on an FX of film camera.
    For me, a 24/50/85/135 (or 180) setup covers the vast majority of my needs. I have the middle two and plan to get the first and last at some point. I hope it doesn't make me a lesser photographer because I feel like I do better with primes and like the FX/high ISO nature of the D700. I've had a D300/17-55 and I am selling both because they don't meet my needs.
  44. Joseph, as many others (with the exception of Shun) battle over the pros and cons of your purchase decision, I just want to compliment you on your portfolio. Beautiful shots.
  45. I'm a beginner looking to buy a camera and lens; what about this combination? Nikon D300s with Nikon Nikkor 70-300mm zoom VR image stabilization f/4.5-5.6G AF-s IF-ED
  46. I'm a beginner looking to buy a camera and lens; what about this combination? Nikon D300s with Nikon Nikkor 70-300mm zoom VR image stabilization f/4.5-5.6G AF-s IF-ED

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