Should I Enter the FF DSLR World with a 5div or a D850?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by hussain_al_lawati, Dec 1, 2017.


Should I Enter the FF DSLR World with a 5div or a D850?

  1. D850

  2. 5DIV

  1. I prefer "G" to "E" due to better reliability in cold weather and high humidity. The electrical contacts (that control the aperture in "E") seem to stop working regularly when photographing ice formations on the sea for me, or where there is open water and temperatures are cold enough (-20C +- 5C). The first hour of shooting by the open water is usually problem free but I want to shoot for several hours and usually the "E" lenses start crashing by then (overexposure is typical, camera body shows error and won't take shots reliably). It's not a big issue as usually things start to work again by removing the lens and battery and putting them back in, but it's enough of an annoyance to mention. I don't think Nikon was wise in confounding the F mount with a new system that was not properly tested in difficult field conditions. Perhaps the electrical contacts are not shielded from the outside air well enough.
    erik_christensen|3 likes this.
  2. I doubt it'll help Hussain much at this point, but dpreview have just done a run-down of the D850 vs the A7RIII (it's a qualified draw). A quick google for D850 vs 5DIV comparisons showed up this (and obviously DPReview's one). But Hussain started this by saying he was aware the D850 out-specced the 5DIV, so that may not be of any use. Just reminding people.

    I've mostly been hand-holding mine (I have to get exercise somehow). I have a RRS foot for it, but I admit it's cantilevered. I'm vaguely tempted by the little brackets you can get that support the body as well as the lens foot (kind of the reverse of the traditional long lens support). I have heard that the nano-coat reduces flare, but to be honest I don't often point mine towards the sun. I bought mine just as the mk2 200 f/2 was announced; would I have liked the new one? Yes. But the old one was £3000 at that point, and the mk2 was, and still is, over £5000. The improvements weren't really worth £2000 to me. If Nikon come out with a fluorite one with slightly better off-centre performance (not that I'm really complaining about mine) I might reconsider, but not just for flare reduction. I do use the hood! But I believe Ilkka is more outdoorsy than me. :)

    Fortunately the E 400 f/2.8 is priced high enough that Nikon have lots of room to aim under with the pricing of any new 200-400. Unfortunately I'd really like one... And given how paranoid I am about falling over with a camera bag, I don't think I'll be dancing on ice with a 400mm - I'll rely on global warming to save me from Ilkka's concern!

    Dieter: Yes, bet that's arguably also a reason not to consider the Canon lenses when the Nikkors are an option. The 70-200 f/2.8 G Nikkor was pretty competitive with the Canon version; the E version is detectably better. (I've not compared the 24-70s, partly because of how competitive the Tamron is.)
  3. It's not something limited to shooting in backlight but is evident in normal diffuse daylight at f/2, in everyday lighting conditions. If you compare the results between f/2.8 and f/2 in the 1st VR version you should be able to see the difference in contrast between the two apertures; in the nano coated version the f/2 basically matches the contrast of the f/2.8 shots, give or take a little. At f/2.8 and stopped down from that the two versions are similar. What any of this is worth is of course very much up to the individual photographer. For the least flare, the 70-200/2.8 FL seems to be the winner in that category, if the sun is in the frame or close to it, as strange as it might seem, but it doesn't quite match the resolution or out of focus rendering of the prime.

    Fortunately the E 400 f/2.8 is priced high enough that Nikon have lots of room to aim under with the pricing of any new 200-400.

    I would like to see Nikon improve the 200-400/4 without introducing an expensive built in matched switchable teleconverter system because I suspect this is what is increasing the price of the Canon lens so much. But I equally don't see them not trying to outdo Canon and thus I suspect they will try to make a lens that is better in every way, and that also means more expensive. I do believe the popularity of the 200-400 Nikkor was partly in its fair pricing. A teleconverter-equipped FL 200-400/4 would probably cost about the same as the 400/2.8 FL. And I think most people would in such case choose one of the primes. Perhaps the 200-400 would be limited to those who must have a zoom and have enough money that it's not an issue (or who can access rental lenses or lenses provided by employer). I guess the built in TC is appealing in that it increases the effective range of the lens and may be great in dusty conditions but it also increases weight and lens-to-air surfaces reduce contrast.

    I'll rely on global warming to save me from Ilkka's concern!

    I do most of my nature photos in hard winter conditions ... after all, one has to try to do something that most people won't bother with, to get something different. ;-) And to make sure no one is following my process I use tilt-shift lenses in such conditions quite often, for better or worse. ;)
    Albin''s images likes this.
  4. Good to know, Ilkka - sadly I've not had the chance to use the two 200mm f/2 VR lenses side by side. Maybe I should experiment with f/2.8 vs f/2, or maybe that would just prove to be expensive for my NAS!

    I can see merit to a TC that's very fast to stick in the optical path (or just a longer zoom), but as you say, I'm sure it affects the cost (and size) of the lens. I'm keener on improved optics at range than this kind of thing, but to be honest 400mm (or 560mm) is a bit short for most wildlife I get anywhere near, and I think, at the weight, losing the ability to have f/2 is a poor trade-off vs the teleconverted (but a bit softer) 200mm f/2 option. But then I don't sit on the sidelines of tennis courts (much). I'm after a 400 f/2.8 partly to use as a teleconverted 560mm f/4 and 800mm f/5.6, but also to have the f/2.8 option - and I don't always need longer than 400mm.

    Kudos for being different. I believe photography should be about showing people new things, or things in a new way (at least to them). While shots of Yellowstone and Yosemite are new to me, I realise they're not so new to a lot of other people (hence my Yellowstone experience of Americans ignoring a coyote but being fascinated by a red fox and a swan). Finding anything near me that anyone would find interesting is a challenge, but I'm trying!
  5. Mea culpa - I should have paid closer attention to the dates. I do agree with your other post that this is a case of analysis paralysis. As others have stated, either Nikon or Canon (and in fact, even Sony) should more than meet the OP's needs.
  6. I don’t think it’s worth worrying about small differences in lenses, if you can help it. Fluorite seems to make noticeable weight reduction at the front of the lens possible, along with high level of optical correction but the price is high. I suppose it can be rationalized by considering that with modern high resolution cameras, one can use a more sparse set of primes and crop as needed for the in-between shots, if the lens is excellent.

    If you need a long focal length because there is a long distance from camera to subject, then of course the lens should be one that works well for such long distances. While I sympathise with the difficulty of getting close, it may still be a more productive approach to getting high quality images than trying to shoot long distance. In my country the use of a hide is very common in wildlife photography.
  7. All true, of course, Ilkka. Sadly I can't justify the time (or energy) to camp out in a hide for too long, especially when holidaying anywhere with what I'd deem "interesting wildlife". Plus, said wildlife can get upset, so there are rules against getting close (obviously in Yellowstone for the big fauna, also for things like osprey nests in the UK). I've seen enough people trying to take a selfie with an elk that, while I see the merits of proximity, I'd generally rather rely on reach, for everyone's sake. There's a middle ground, though.
  8. The use of fluorite elements has always intrigued me.

    Canon started doing it in the late 1970s in their super-teles. That was around the same time Nikon started using ED glass. Of course, both brands had the same goal(reducing CA) and each considered their approach "better." As I recall, fluorite was considered to accomplish its stated purpose better, but very expensively(especially with 70s/80s technology) and was considered to be more fragile. ED glass of course did a pretty darn good job less expensively than fluorite.

    It's interesting to see that 30+ years later both companies use both glass technologies. Nikon, of course, throws ED into almost everything from cheap kit lenses on up, and Canon makes pretty heavy use of their equivalent technology. Nikon seems to also only use their "gold band" advertising for ED higher end lenses. The only ones I have with an actual inlaid gold band are my 14-24 2.8 and my DX 12-24 f/4(I have a few others with a painted gold band). Apparently, though, Nikon has now recognized/conceded the superiority of fluorite at least in the correct applications, while from what I've seen Canon seems to have scaled it back somewhat.
  9. I assumed Canon just had a patent on some component of the process, which expired recently? (Sigma also had a "not fluorite" formula.) It's certainly been said that growing large fluorite crystals from which to make big supertelephotos took time, and this affected the availability of some lenses.

    The fragility of fluorite was also, I believe, supposed to relate to its thermal expansion - this being the supposed reason that Canon's big telephotos containing fluorite were white, to reflect the sun. (I'm sure it was also marketing, but the smaller lenses were black, and I've had black lenses get very toasty in the sun when I've not been careful.) Nikon's telephotos, without fluorite, could stay black. I'm not clear why you couldn't make a black lens with a bit of a ventilation shield so it effectively shaded itself, but that may be over-engineering.

    Or it could all be apocryphal (or my fevered imagination).

    I've still not found the time to read up on optics. Do you need more types of glass to make a super-apochromat, or can you arrange fewer types to do it? (I'm not sure how much of the benefit is low dispersion in fluorite and how much is just varying behaviour between glasses, as in a conventional achromatic lens.) I envy astronomy types who don't have to worry about bokeh, and who can get away with mirrors...
  10. The "growing big fluorite crystals" thing was actually a big deal, and Canon made a REALLY big deal out of in early advertising. I'd assume that technology has become better over the years.

    I have always heard the white lens argument in regard to fluorite, but at the same the very early pre-L "green band" fluorites were black. Granted the white lens thing has been a BIG deal as marketing goes for Canon. It's also worked equally for Nikon, since when you look at the sidelines of a major sporting event you can pretty well tell which company has the lead these days :) .

    BTW, I've not owned any Nikon MF super-teles(aside from a 500mm Reflex-Nikkor), but even non-fluorite(and non-L) ones like my Canon FD 400mm f/4.5 lack a hard infinity stop. It's black, and if I have it out in the sun I can see the infinity drift on it. Fluorite may make the problem even MORE pronounced, but any big lens is susceptible.

    I've studied optics a bit, but not enough to be able to answer your questions.
  11. The reason Nikon originally gave for not using fluorite widely was that it was too fragile. However, with the advent of high resolution digital cameras, the pressure is for ever higher level of correction of aberrations and also to reduce weight so Nikon too are now using fluorite in some of their high end teles. I don’t know how fragile the new lenses are - I suppose eventually someone will find out. :)

    I don’t think patents prevented widespread use or fluorite; it has been used in stepper lenses, telescopes, uv-ir photography and microscopy (the UV Nikkor includes fluorite) etc. Aside from Canon, Nikon, Leica, Zeiss, Olympus and Konica are reported to have manufactured objectives containing fluorite elements. It seems to be widely used in scientific optics judging from some catalogs.
  12. Thanks, Ilkka. I would have been surprised if just "make a fluorite lens" was patented, but I wondered if there was some aspect of the design that stopped Nikon using it. I may just be generally paranoid about how much the patent system stops innovation, and be maligning it in this case.

    Whether or not fluorite is the reason, the latest batch of superteles do seem to be a detectable step up from the predecessors (as with the 70-200 f/2.8). I honestly don't shoot my 70-200 at f/2.8 unless I have to, whereas I'd be less concerned with the E version; it sounds as though others have the same opinion with the big glass on the latest bodies. I'm also aware that the old(er) 600mm was considered a bit weaker than its contemporary 400mm (which was affecting my bias towards the f/2.8), whereas the very long glass now seems to be testing better. The 200 f/2, along with the 200-400 zoom, is now the outlier, at least by MTF. I wonder whether that'll get a refresh soon as well. If they do, I hope they avoid the cat's eye bokeh suffered by the other recent fast glass.

    Of course, another way Nikon could differentiate their 200-400 option is to make it f/2.8. I know Sigma has the 200-500 f/2.8, but the shots I've seen from it doesn't exactly look stellar, for the price (and it's just a little unwieldy). I'd be somewhat astonished if Nikon decided to do that, but you never know. After all, Nikon have the 300mm f/2 and Canon have a 300mm f/1.8, so weird stuff shows up sometimes.

    I've lost track of what lenses Canon is producing these days, so my system comparison is a bit limited. I hope Hussain reports back.
  13. And you have just shown yourself to be a fanboy.

    Anyone who doesn't recognize that, regardless of your choices, both systems have their merits, is fooling themselves.
  14. More of an anti-fan boy, surely? :) I admit to a slight bias against Canon in my decision to get a D700. Partly because the 300D I own was so deliberately crippled for pure market positioning reasons. I know it could do more than it did, because I updated the firmware with a hacked version to re-enable a load of missing functionality that was present on the 10D.

    Nikon, to me, have had better excuses for the degree of functionality in their devices. There's a load of stuff I'd like added to the Nikon firmware, but it's not so common that something exists on one body but not on another, except where there was a mechanical reason for the omission relating to cost. I guess the exception that most springs to mind might be the level of control over raw files on the D3x00 and D5x00 series compared with the D7x00 series. Canon were less flagrant about any reduction in functionality for the 350D, so I've mostly got over this.

    My other reason was that Canon had publicly been testing 5D replacements for a couple of years before actually shipping anything, despite the fact that an incremental improvement would have been good for their customers, even if it cost them tooling. At the time, the original 5D had no practical competition for affordable full-frame (Kodak don't count). Canon only finally turned a prototype into a 5D2 at the point when Nikon had the D700 ready to go. I'm sure the actual situation was complicated, but it felt like a company choosing to save money and not put the best product in their customers' hands. But again, that was some generations ago.

    However, I never claimed the Canon bodies weren't perfectly capable, I just didn't like the way the company was conducting itself (and this was a minor complaint compared to the corporate behaviour of, say, Microsoft and Intel in the 1990s) and chose not to give them money. BeBu may be in the same position. I don't still hold a grudge, regardless.

    Currently, based on the specs and test results of the cameras, I have no interest in a 5DIV for the kind of shooting I do - I think it's less clear-cut from what Hussain has mentioned. I think, at this point, that's an unbiased opinion. But that's because the 5DIV is "slightly worse" at what I need, not "terrible" - and it has strengths I don't care about.
  15. The Nikon VR 200/2 II is the sixth best lens ranked by lenscore (using their 200MP sensor) and dxomark rank it the best Nikon lens for the D810 so from that perspective there isn’t much reason it would be updated any time soon (unless they make a camera with a 500MP sensor ;-)). Canon’s 200/2 is 14th in lenscore ranking though it is lighter so it may be easier to use. I think an AF-S 135/2 is a much higher priority given the current version’s 1990 optics and autofocus performance. The 24-70 VR and 70-200 FL feature faster ring SWM motors which don’t stutter as much as the older ones so if the 200/2 is updated one might see some AF improvement. Fast as the current one is to focus, that doesn’t mean every shot is perfectly in focus at f/2.

    Those 300/2, 200-500/2.8 are so difficult to use due to the size and weight, I don’t see much practical use (when the 300/2 came out Kodachrome 200 pushed was ”high ISO”, but even so Nikon moved to the 200/2 instead as a more practical lens). I would think Nikon focus their efforts on something that would actually be used by photographers and could be manufactured in at least a few thousand copies (instead of at most a few hundred or a dozen).

    Crazy apertures seem in fashion though, so you never know. Although I use some f/1,4 and f/2 lenses I still prefer something reasonably compact and lightweight where possible. I’d love to see a 135/2.8 AF-S actually, for those times portability matters.
  16. The 135 f/2 replacement would be high on my wish list (since my 200 f/2 was my replacement for my 135 f/2 disappointment), but since Sigma has the f/1.8, it's a lot less urgent to me than it was - much as I'd love the same performance without the cats-eye bokeh (which feels like the easiest thing to fix, at the cost of size). The same probably applies to the 200 f/4 macro, since Sigma have the 180mm. Of course, Nikon might decide not to give all their lens money to Sigma, but that hasn't made them make decent DX zooms in the last decade...

    A fluorite 300 f/2 wouldn't actually be that bad - if you can hold the latest 600mm f/4, it's only the same entrance aperture as that. Likewise (and maybe more practically) the idea of a 200-400 f/2.8, if you can already hold a 400mm f/2.8 prime (and, at least in a shop, I can). But yes, I hope Nikon will focus on lenses that would be a bit more popular. By which I don't mean yet another 18-xxx variant consumer zoom. Bring back the 70-180mm micro!

    Having carried my AI-S version around (and especially since there's mould in it), I second the 135 f/2.8 for portability. That said, if the DX bodies can get a collapsing kit zoom, why can't we have an FX version? Unless it was optically awful, I'd have an interest in, say, an updated 24-85 f/3.5-4.5 that collapsed, possibly with PF elements to make it fold flatter. I'd really love Nikon to make some pancakes, too (what's special about Pentax?), especially if they would actually autofocus. Since I already have an E-series based on entirely this argument, I'd also like Nikon to think about a 50mm f/1.8 without the vastly inset front element that makes the lens twice as long as it needs to be...
  17. Doable if it used FL and PF technology to keep the weight and size down. Moot point for me as I wouldn't and couldn't afford it anyway.

    Another reason I never went for the 200-400 is that it simply is not the right range for what I wanted to use it for - a 300-500 would have suited me much better, even if it was f/4-f/5.6 in order to keep the cost down. I considered it only because Nikon was taking forever to update the 80-400 and despite having an excellent manual focus 400/5.6 never bothered to bring that one into the AF or better even AF-S world. In any case, the 200-500/5.6 solved most of my issues and any f/4 lens with a focal length of 400mm or above is going to cost a lot more than I am willing to spend on it.

    I would consider the 16-80/2.8-4 quite decent even though I don't like the price of it.

    It is quite amazing that people are now wanting that lens but didn't care for it when it was actually in production. I owned one and liked it - but it had its shortcomings when macro was concerned. At least to me, the variable focal length (which is why I got it in the first place) never became as important as I expected it to be and that had a lot to do with the rather short working distance that came along with it. Way too late did I realize that the 70-180 is a great lens for shooting macro off a tripod and a rather poor one when shooting mostly handheld (I sold it once I realized that I could do better with the Sigma 150/2.8).

    I love pancakes too - with maple or coconut syrup. To me, they have no place mounted on a camera though:D
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  18. You have that right.

    As an unapologetic collector, I "had" to have a DCS 14N(still wouldn't mind an SLR/n, which is supposed to have fixed a lot of issues with the 14N).

    The thing is big and clunky, but it doesn't betray its origins in the N80 body and is very cheap feeling. It's slow-I admit it's not as bad as a Finepix S3 shooting RAW, but the fact that it takes about 30 seconds from the time you power it on to the time it's ready to shoot. I've managed to squeeze some decent images out of it despite its limitations, but it's still crippled by poor dynamic range, loads of noise at anything above base ISO(even that isn't great) and IMO some weird color rendition artifacts.

    Also, it was described at the time of its introduction as having a "Jay Leno Chin."(I'm surprised one of those reviews never made it on the air during a "headlines" segment but I digress). I was out a few weeks ago and even though it wasn't my primary camera(I was shooting with my D800 and F5) I thought I'd take some frames with it for the sake of comparison before I left one of the sites. I went to put my "grab and go" lens-the 24-85 3.5-4.5 VR-on it and found that it wouldn't mount. I couldn't see anything obviously wrong, but gave up and tossed an AF 50mm 1.4 on it to take a few shots.

    When I got home, I spent a lot of time playing and found the issue-finally. It seems as though the VR on-off switch was just barely interfering on the camera's "chin." It was an almost imperceptibly small amount, which is why the lens felt like it wanted to mount but couldn't, but none the less the issue was there. Had it been able to clear this, everything would have been fine once the lens was rotated into place, but of course that wasn't actually the case. I could PROBABLY make the lens mount by sanding down the switch or the camera slightly, but I'm not inclined to do either.
  19. Like Andrew said I am rather an anti fanboy of Canon.
  20. Heh. I'd kind of like one, just for kicks, but I'm not expecting much of it. And I have actually useful photographic kit to spend money on. (By latest calculations, it'll be summer before I get around to acquiring a D850...) It was tempting as a D700 back-up, since my alternative is an F5. Not so much now better cameras are cheaper.

    I remember, but I hadn't realised it would foul on normal Nikkor lenses. Oops. Although, at least on my D700, my Kiev 35mm T/S doesn't mount properly. It mounts, but not by the normal process - you have to rotate the back section of the mount to lock it in place while holding the large, square lens stationary. I should give it a go on the D810 (if I dare - it tends to mount at funny angles and I don't want to trash my aperture lever), but I think the problem wasn't just with the D700's duck's [bottom] prism.

    In any case, I doubt the Kodak took many sales from the 5D mk1...

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