Shopping ... help to compare models

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by BratNikotin, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. I would put as little money into a camera as possible. A used D7200 will do what you want. A decent two-flash lighting system is going to cost at least $500 and probably more than the camera. My camera is worth ~$1,000; my lighting system is worth ~$4,500. You are also a bit weak on lenses for what you are doing. Don't even consider buying a new D500.

    Kent in SD
  2. As you describe your photography I believe you could benefit from an FX sensor. But, you would need completely new lenses at considerable expense and increased size and weight, plus I am not sure that the equivalent FX lenses are better (or even as good).

    On the other hand, D7200/D7500 would definitely be a step up at much lesser expense and less risk of disappointment. D7200 would be no brainer since it is basically an improved D7000. The main improvements will be more reliable AF system and metering, more reliable metering, and the increased to 24MP and especially removal of the AA filter will give you noticeably sharper images and greater cropping ability. I have not used D7500 but the main advances will be still more sophisticated AF (which you may not need) and a few other features such as auto AF fine tune. On the other hand Nikon have removed some features from D7500 as they have bifurcated the D7xxx series into the higher end D500 and lower end D7500, so the built-in flash and second card slot are gone, plus some reduced compatibility with old manual focus lenses (which you don't own).

    There is about 2/3 stop improved sensor dynamic range between the D7000 and D7200/D7500. The last two are almost indistinguishable in image quality.
  3. That 16-80mm says You will want another DX body. 35mm DX does not care even if You shoot FX. 55-300mm is better on DX. It is still quite long time to Black Friday and holiday season deals, but maybe it is worth a wait. Look for good deals on D7100 or D7200.
    photo_galleries likes this.
  4. Thanks all for your advice.
    I think I finally sold the D7000, .. for not much but it is better than having it collecting dust.
    Reading all that you say and from other sources, I think I will try to go with Full frame camera ..
    Can anyone suggest how and where to look for a used camera, and how to evaluate. What are the risks ?
    I see that the new D610 cost just $200 less than D750... Both are a little too expensive new, but .... we live once
    So, if going with used, would go with 610 if the deal will be better on it. If buying brand new, than it is D750...

    Someone asked what was it I did not like about D7000: It was not the best performance in low lights and also .. my pictures keep coming "flat" and grainy for anything above 400 ISO. The friend of mine, who is my photography partner, "teaching" me how to's and such said that a full frame can give me better results in that regard.
  5. If you do not know what to look for when checking out a used camera, I humbly sugest buying second hand from a dealer offering warranty. What you pay for is the knowledge that you have a warranty if something happens. Buying used from a dealer also means that you may have some wiggle room on the price. Even those in the know cannot predict failure, so a warranty of sorts is always a good thing.

    The D610 is excellent value for money, if you buy used. When buying new, the D750 represents better value due to its better autofocus system. I would not say the af is so much better that it makes up for the higher price when buying used. Better to spend the money on better lenses. I had no problems whatsoever shooting indoor showjumping with the D610. Granted, I got a AF-S 70-200/2.8 VRII. I went from the D7000 and felt at home with the D610 from the first photo. The difference in noise is worth the move to FX if you donlow light photography. Only reason I sold the D610 was that I wanted even more resolution for bird photography.
  6. I second heimbrandt's post - I moved from a D7000 to a D610 and have been quite happy with the switch.

    The D610 will do much better in low light, and while the autofocus isn't Nikon's most sophisticated, it's very good. There's an added advantage to the D610 - the layout of the controls on the camera, meaning button placement, is almost identical to a D7000. That makes the move from one camera to the other easier.

    Buying from a used gear company, like KEH and others, has something to offer. First, when they classify a used camera's condition as Excellent, you can reasonably expect that it will be excellent. Second, there's usually a warranty, like heimbrandt said. A used camera from KEH will cost more than you can get it for on Ebay or from someone selling the camera locally, but KEH's assessment of the condition will be based on an examination by a knowledgeable technician and the company will stand by the item with a solid return policy and a warranty. You get what you pay for.
  7. Yes, I found what I need, I think, at But what do you think of Adorama ? Their prices are the same, and my office is 15-20 minute walk from adorama store in NYC
    I would prefer that... to waiting for shipment
  8. I believe Adorama and B&H are the two primary advertisers on this site (or maybe I'm confused). They have a good reputation, as far as I know. I've ordered from them in the past. I'm a Brit, so I've not done so regularly.

    If in doubt, I'd say try the D610 before the D750. If you're coming from a D7000, you won't know what you're missing with the D750's AF module; you might not want to go back once you've got used to the difference. Both these cameras are getting on a bit now, though - a crop sensor like the D7200 or D7500 might keep them relatively honest, although it depends what exactly you're measuring in image quality. I certainly wouldn't expect miracles from the upgrade, but since the D7000 and D6x0 are of similar vintage, you should at least see an improvement from where you were.

    You might want to give it a month or so, though. I'd imagine some people will have an interest in Nikon's pre-announced mirrorless offerings and be waiting to sell their DSLRs, so you might find that the used market contains more bodies soon, and the prices drop. (There's a chance Nikon will produce a mirrorless camera that's a better option for you, but I would doubt it based on rumours.)
  9. To be honest, be careful what you wish for.
    Yes, generically full frame will do better at higher ISOs. But if you feel a D7000 is grainy at ISO400, then every single camera is going to disappoint. If shot well, the D7000 is practically grainless below say IS01600, and most would agree it only starts to become problematic above ISO3200. Sure, if you pixelpeep photos shot at ISO400, you will see not everything is smooth, but neither will a photo from a D610 be, or a D750. The D7000 is far from a poor low-light performer, except possibly its AF system.

    The photos being flat - sorry, but I think the camera is not going to be the issue. Flat photos usually come thanks to bad light - no camera is going to change that. You can push things a bit in post-processing, but that has its limits. Pretty often, indoors light is diffuse and flat, and if you do not add a bit of light (flash), the photos will be flat with soft, muddy grey shadows. If this is what you encounter, add a good flash because the camera won't fix this.

    Not saying you shouldn't get a full frame camera - it's your wallet - but to be honest I wonder whether it will fix the shortcomings you see with the D7000.
  10. Referring back to the original post:
    Concert, Nature, Street.

    None of those genres really benefit from use of a full-frame camera, since both concert and nature subjects usually require the use of tele lenses, and street - well it's not very demanding in terms of image quality, and extra depth-of-field is usually welcome. I would certainly be more than happy grabbing my D7200 for any of those subject areas. And my neck and shoulders would definitely thank me at the end of the day!
  11. Thanks ...
    People here keep telling to upgrade the lenses.

    I am looking at the available DX lenses, from Nikon, Tamron and Sigma, and I am not seeing what better can I get in addition to the list I mentioned I have:
    Nikon 16-60/2.8-4
    Nikon 55-300
    Nikon 35mm/f1.8

    To me this list of lenses, looks as exhaustive as it can get for the DX outfit.
  12. Consider a used AF 180mm f/2.8 Nikkor. The IQ is better than almost any zoom you can buy, and it's a compact and fairly affordable way to get an f/2.8 tele. There's no VR, but the fast aperture gets you a higher shutter speed, and that helps to freeze subject movement. I find subject movement quite an issue with concert/event shooting.

    I've been known to use an old Series-E f/3.5 75-150 zoom at music events as well. The IQ is really good and the constant f/3.5 aperture beats many modern zooms. Manual focus isn't too much of an issue when a performer's tied to a static microphone.
  13. Joe: Are you sure? The 180 f/2.8 is conveniently small, it's historically been considered to be a very good performer, and I don't dispute the price. But every recent test I've seen suggests that optically it's no match even for the 70-200 f/2.8 VR2 (or the f/4), let alone the FL version (and arguably doesn't even keep up with the old 80-200 lenses). It's much cheaper than them, but it's only slightly cheaper than the (almost as long) 150mm Sigma f/2.8 macro, which is also a very good macro lens and has stabilisation - I have one of those (which for a while subbed as a portable version of my 200 f/2 before I got a 70-200), and I'd much rather spend the extra $100 or so to get the Sigma over the old 180mm. Sigma also do a 180mm f/2.8 macro if you want the reach, but it's quite a bit more expensive, I believe. Sigma's old 50-150mm f/2.8 for crop sensors is a big chunky, but worth a look if you can find it. (If you want to push the boat out, the latest Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 is supposed to be competitive with the Nikkor but half the price.)

    The latest 70-300 (FX) is supposed to be very good, but obviously you're only going to get f/5.6 at the long end. (On DX, the 70-300 DX is also pretty good, although not as good as the FX version, apparently.) Good for depth of field, not so good for low light. Short of something expensive and unwieldy like a 105mm f/1.4, 135mm f/1.8 or 200mm f/2, low-light shooting of a moving subject at a distance is tricky - your best affordable solution is to get closer and use a fast 50mm or 85mm, but I do think of the Nikkor glass at those focal lengths as compromised wide open. (The pre-Art Sigma 50mm HSM is pretty good within the DX image circle, if you end up looking for something like that. Horrible corners on FX, though.) I can't vouch for the 35mm f/1.8, but if you can get that close, our talk about expensive telephotos may be a waste.
  14. I must admit I haven't directly compared my 2nd version 180mm AF Nikkor with any of the latest 70-200 zooms, and I have an allergy to Sigma lenses brought on by previous contact :eek:. I was only talking about the IQ of the 180mm in its own right, and not in comparison to other glass, which might give better MTF figures, but I doubt they return better pictures in the real world.

    The big advantage of the 180mm prime, for me, is that it stays a 180mm throughout the focus range. I briefly owned a so-called 70-200mm VC Tamron that shrank to about 130mm when close focused. I returned it, since I'd paid for a zoom that went to 200mm, not some drastically shorter focal length as soon as the focus fell below infinity.
  15. I've got to say that the 200/2 is better than it looks by MTF, so I'm in no position to judge. :)

    The 70-200 VR2 famously has the same problem - in fact the G2 Tamron is worse at this than the FL Nikkor (the working distance at minimum focus is less for the Tamron, but the Nikkor produces the larger image at minimum focus because it retains its focal length better), which is one reason I went with the more expensive item. I'd hope it doesn't matter hugely at concert distances, though. The 80-200 AF-D is notably soft and hard to focus at shorter focal distances, though it holds up well at infinity. I admit to being put off the 180mm by the test results, so I have no personal experience. The 150mm Sigma is definitely very good, though. (I did have a failed focus system, which got replaced under warranty, but it's been fine since. It's not "art", but it's an "ex" lens, and Sigma have been trying to improve their reputation since the days of budget 28-xxx zooms - I no longer assume that a Sigma, or indeed Tamron, will fall apart when you look at it.)
  16. I have the cheap 70-300 ED AF-D and it has serious focus breathing. I found that at the same distance of 6 feet if I focus using the lens focus ring I have significantly less magnification than if I leave the lens at infinity and put the lens on the bellow to focus at the same 6 feet distance.
  17. Andrew, I sold my 80-200 f/2.8D after getting the 180mm f/2.8. It's no contest, the 180 was just clearly better than the zoom. I cannot compare to newer 70-200 zooms, certainly the last 2 generations are very impressive so those may be a tall order. They're also another price bracket. Still, no idea where reports on the 180mm being optically that inferior to zooms come from. The only serious "defect" I see with my 180mm f/2.8 on my D810 is purple fringing, and it benefits from some stopping down - but from f/3.5 on, there is really little to complain. Plenty detail and sharpness. And second hand prices are very reasonable, so also good value.
  18. Maybe saying something overly obvious, but just to be sure: you do know that for a DX camera, you are not obliged to get DX lenses, right? Any full frame lens will work just fine on a DX camera as well. So, the list of lenses is a lot more exhaustive, only at the ultra-wide end, you typically need DX lenses since the widest full frame lenses (say ~12 or 14 mm) are more moderate wide on DX. Plus for generic midrange zooms like the 17-50 lenses, the DX lenses have a more useful range typically; the full frame lenses (24-85 etc.) lack a bit of wide angle in comparison. But that's more convenience, the full frame lenses will work otherwise just fine.
    BratNikotin and mike_halliwell like this.
  19. In-fact some of the poorer FX lenses work 'better' on DX..... the 70-200mm VRI comes to mind.

    Most lens flaws tend to increase the further away from the optical centre towards the frame edges.

    Poor FX lens on a DX body, now many of the naff bits are now outside the frame...:)
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  20. Fair enough. I think I remember someone on this forum expressing the reverse opinion, but it may have been in the context of defending the 80-200 to me, since I got on very badly with it.

    I thought I remembered photozone (now opticallimits) being underwhelmed, but their review now doesn't seem all that negative. I did take a look on DxOMark to check I wasn't entirely making it up, and the field maps certainly make it look bad (especially off-centre), but I don't remember where else I may have seen negatives.

    Photozone's images show some pretty horrible LoCA (still there at f/8!) which would stop me from touching it with a barge pole, but most others are a bit less sensitive to LoCA than I am. I certainly wouldn't buy a new one - the latest Tamron 70-200 G2 is pretty good for not much more money, as is the Sigma 150 I mentioned. Used, if it can be found for a lot less than the 70-200 lenses, it may well be worth it. On DX, though, I'd expect the 70-200 VR mk1 to be much better, and more flexible.

    Should Nikon update the 180mm f/2.8 to a more modern design, I'd look again. I don't dislike the idea of a small, portable portrait lens (I have the 135 f/2.8 AI and the 200mm f/4 AI...) and I like old features like the integrated lens hood, but there's been a lot of attention in the area of moderately priced short telephotos over the years.

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