Please help me understand...

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by vic_., Mar 21, 2008.

  1. Someone I know who has a D200, and bought a D300 last week. However, his main
    lens is a 18-200 Zoom (he has the 12-24mm, and the 200-400mm, which he rarely
    uses), and his rationale is that with one lens he can do 99%.

    Why is it that people are willing to go from a D200 to a D300, but won't buy
    the better Nikon glass within the normal focal length range, eg., 14-24mm, 24-
    70mm, 17-35mm, 28-70mm? Note: This person has no money problems.

    My basic question is, which one is better:

    (a) D200 with a 17-35mm, and a 28-70mm

    or

    (b) D300 with a 18-200mm, or a 18-70mm

    NOTE: Assuming that only the 17mm to 70mm focal length is used for comparison.

    Why is it that people are quick to run for the D300, but stay with the cheaper
    lenses?
     
  2. However, his main lens is a 18-200 Zoom (he has the 12-24mm, and the 200-400mm, which he rarely uses)..
    Vic, Why would he buy a 12-24 and a 200-400 in the first place?
    It is quite obvious that he buys stuff not for photography.
    On your other question (the "basic" one)- it depends on what you would do with these combinations. Personally, I would only stick to a D300 and a Sigma 30/1.4 and no zoom.
     
  3. The 18-200 isn't as bad as you might think, and it's quite possible that for certain styles of photography, the D300's extra speed, lower noise, and improved menu system (among other things) are what count for this person. All depends on your style of shooting, and priorities. It's not that the 18-200 can do 99% of what the photographic world needs. It's that, by his current standards, it does 99% of what he believes that he needs. The other lenses you mention are far heavier and more intrusive, and would have to be swapped out under some circumstances in which the guy with the 18-200 would have already happily made the shot.

    I have an 18-200, and some nicer glass as well. The 18-200 stays on the camera for walk-about. It's very convenient. But I understand its limitations, and have problem - when circumstances permit - juggling lenses around. I dearly love my 70-200, or the 60/2 Micro, etc. The 24-70 or 17-55 or 28-70 would be very nice to have. But for casual stuff that I COULD cover with the 18-200, I'd need a much larger bag, and be taking much larger risks with the type of arsenal you describe. For what it's worth, I'm not sure that "people" ARE all that quick to go from a D200 to a D300 in place of lenses. There seems to be much agonizing by many people here over that very subject. Now... would I take a D300 over your friend's 200-400? Hmmm.
     
  4. "My basic question is, which one is better:"

    Vic, you are comparing apples and oranges. Or something like that.

    They are totally different systems for different styles and needs. I have the D300 and the 18-200VR, among many other lenses, because that fits my photography style. For me, a range of only 17-70mm would be far too limiting but for someone else, it might be ideal.

    Now if your friend is interested in dumping the 200-400........
     
  5. "Why is it that people are quick to run for the D300, but stay with the cheaper lenses?"

    That's a fair question. I guess some of my lenses are what you call 'cheaper' since they are not all f/2.8 and cost >$1500. I have a few slower lenses but even though I use a D300, they work well for me.

    For example, I use the 12-24 f/4 like your friend but I have no need for that extra stop because I rarely use it at f/5.6 much less f/4. Why pay three times as much for one extra stop that I just don't need?

    On the long end, I use the 80-400, a slowish variable aperture lens that I enjoy for wildlife. The range is excellent and the quality is pretty good but I concede I would much prefer the 200-400. Now if your friend wants to consider an even swap.......
     
  6. Sorry, I should have been more clear. By which one is better, I meant better in terms of Image Quality.
     
  7. I suspect some folks just enjoy their toys. And that's fine. Helps keep Nikon profitable.

    Assuming reasonably good capture media and reasonably well designed camera, the lens is more important than the box it's attached to. A higher resolution camera will only serve to reveal the flaws in a mediocre lens.
     
  8. BTW, I'm not saying any of those lenses are mediocre.

    (Note to self: Think before hitting the submit button.)
     
  9. Sorry again, I was off by $4,000. He has a Sigma 100-300mm, and not the Nikon 200-400mm. Big difference. The only thing he talks about using this lens for was to take a hand-held picture of Lance Armstrong cycling in the mountains at the Tour de France a few years ago. He said the pic was sharp.
     
  10. "My basic question is, which one is better:
    (a) D200 with a 17-35mm, and a 28-70mm
    or
    (b) D300 with a 18-200mm, or a 18-70mm
    "

    If you do not need the long 200 mm tele, then the a) is better, if 17-35 and the 28-70 are the F = 2.8 Pro quality lenses.

    You will recognize them by the golden tone ring painted around the lens barrel.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/186250-USA/Nikon_1960_AF_S_Zoom_Nikkor_17_35mm.html

    http://www.ritzcamera.com/product/541531364.htm
     
  11. Vic, you just broke my heart. Here I was sailing in thought of swaping my 80-400 for his 200-400. Ah, to fantasize...... :)

    But again I think you have totally different systems. Some could argue that (a) above is 'better' because of the faster glass. You certainly have more DOF control. If you are happy with a 17-70mm range, that's fine.

    OTOH, your (b) above gives you a few stops with VR and another stop with the D300 over the D200 and you increase your range >70mm. That can be a huge advantage, too. I guess I am more of the (b) style photographer.

    In the end, it's all about trade offs and styles.
     
  12. Dynamic range and associated highlight and shadow detail seem a good reason to upgrade the body, alongside better high ISO noise performance - hence superior handholdability. The D300 would also appear to offer better sharpness due to weaker AA filter.

    I personally sit in the 'stick the lens on the camera that maximises your chances of getting the shot' camp - the right lens just happens to depend on what type of photography one does!
     
  13. Maybe your friend has discovered that the photographs he takes don't seem to know how much plastic is in the mount of the lens that took them.
     
  14. The lens does everything he needs, so why should he buy better? The D300 will give him, in
    his own photography, the ability to do things better or differently, but if he isn't printing
    huge, he's not noticing the 18-200s shortcomings in his day-to-day photography.

    Guess what. Neither do I! And I know all the stuff that's "wrong" with the lens, having used,
    in the past, some really swell Nikon glass.

    It all makes sense to me.
     
  15. "Why is it that people are quick to run for the D300, but stay with the cheaper lenses?"

    Obviously they are satisfied with the results. Why does it matter?
     
  16. I believe I read in one of the reviews that the D300 sensor actually does improve mediocre lenses, particularly in mitigating CA and diffraction. The D300 has a plethora of miniscule improvements that a lot of folks will agree "add up to something".
     
  17. Obviously they are satisfied with the results. Why does it matter?
    It's like buying a sports car and using R-rated tires. They will get you from A to B, but if you use Z-rated tires, you'll get why the sports car was made.
     
  18. Forgot the link:

    http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=35
     
  19. "It's like buying a sports car and using R-rated tires. They will get you from A to B, but if you use Z-rated tires, you'll get why the sports car was made."

    The great and self satisfied pictures are the goal every photographer wants to go fot. It maybe different from going from A to B by a car.

    "Why is it that people are quick to run for the D300, but stay with the cheaper lenses?"

    -He does not need other pro lenses because he is satisfield with productions of the 18-200 with D200/D300.
    -He's using D300 to compensate for some limits of the 18-200, which itselft is not a bad lens, not only unexpensive but also very versatile and lightweigt relative to using 2-3 other Nikkor pro glasses to fill the range. 18-200 + his D200/300 + his skills lead him to the Rome !
    -His photography may be not for business, so the outcome consistency is not so important to him.

    Here are samples of 18-200 by a photographer I saw on pbase.com, to prove that 18-200 is not bad and cheap as you thought.
    http://www.pbase.com/ieke_vonk/norwegianforestcats
    http://www.pbase.com/beckchew/image/59576499
     
  20. And here, alot of great pictures produced by on pbase.com
    http://www.pbase.com/bigfly_tw/image/65998353

    Absolutely, the lens is not bad,and he may know how and when to use it.
     
  21. The answer is: NAS
     
  22. The only valid reason to get a 18-200 is to have a carry-anywhere lens to quickly cover 95% of needed focal lengths in a neat package that can be used quickly.

    However, to address the question, the D300 has the automatic CA fix feature, which I believe the D200 doesn't have. That should give a nice boost to IQ on a zoom like this.
     
  23. A LOT of the higher price of the "pro" Nikon glass is based on the build quality. The image quality is marginally better and the lenses are faster, yes, but as others have indicated, for *most situations* (not all!) the "better glass" of the pro lenses just doesn't translate into discernible improvement in photos. On the other hand, the improvements in the D300 over the D200 are fairly obvious even to the casual user.

    Where the higher price for a lens does make a HUGE difference is with long tele lenses. These are the clearest cases of "you get what you pay for."
     
  24. LOL, I just got the 17-35mm and 28-70mm and now I read this.

    You forgot to mention that with these you get top quality f2.8 at all focal lengths, which you don't get with the 10-1000mm infinite DOF lenses that people slap onto their D300s.
     
  25. >>>Obviously they are satisfied with the results. Why does it matter? ...It's like buying a sports car and using R-rated tires. They will get you from A to B, but if you use Z-rated tires, you'll get why the sports car was made."

    Perhaps I should have said, who cares? Do people rant about users of R rated tires on sports cars online too?
     

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