upgrade from d300 to d700 for ultra wide angle

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by alan_tanz, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. Hello everyone. I'm currently using a d300 with a 12-24mm f4 to shoot mostly architecture - I need to go wider than 18mm (35mm equiv on DX) for indoor shots and was thinking on upgrading to the d700. The question isn't whether to upgrade, its what lens do I use? The obvious answer is the 14-24mm f2.8 - but its sort of out of my price range if I were to buy the d700 and this lens together.
    I already own the following lenses:
    Nikon 15mm f3.5 AIS
    Nikon 16mm f2.8 AIS fisheye
    Nikon 20mm f2.8 AFD
    Nikon 28mm f3.5 pc
    Nikon DX 12-24mm f4
    Most of these lenses work great on the d300 - except the widest one, the 15mm 3.5 - for some reason its not quite as sharp as the 12-24mm - I'm not sure if this is due to coupling it with a DX sensor or what, but 100% crops don't really compete with the 12-24 - I'm wondering if anyone has any experience using this lens on a full frame digital camera such as the d700, d3, d3x and what are your results? Do you think I can manage full frame with the assortment of lenses I have already? or should I really consider the 14-24 sooner than later? Also, any other recommendations are welcome. Thanks!
  2. Get the D700 now at the new higher prices and buy the lens later on when you can afford it. Or just use the very nice gear you already own which is what makes since to me, but I have kids and stuff to think of.
  3. good answer, fortunately my local camera shop still have a few for 2300 - although their next shipment will sell for 2999.
  4. I am in a similar spot. What I decided to do was wait on the camera. THe price on them always drops over time. I'm getting great quality from my D300 and Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 in the meantime, and it is plenty wide. My plan is to have the FX lenses in place before I buy a camera. I currently use D300, Tokina 11-16mm f2.8, Nikon 17-55mm f2.8, 70-200mm VR f2.8, Nikon 28mm PC. I will eventually sell all but the 70-200mm and replace them with 14-24mm f2.8, 24-70mm f2.8, and 24mm PCE. It's a sure bet the price of the D700 will decline, and I'm thinking the lenses may also as $$ exchange rates fluctuate back down. Or maybe we'll be hit with MASSIVE inflation if the government actually does spend another $900B. Hard to call. In the meantime, what I have is giving me results good enough to publish. One of my shots is currently on a magazine cover.
    Kent in SD
  5. I definitely agree with your approach Kent - invest in glass first then bodies - thats what I was trying to do with the primes I've acquired - its just that the 15mm through me for a loop with its softness on DX. I guess I just need that extra field of view with FX - I shoot mostly high end new york city apartments and condos - which as you can imagine are tight to begin with - try shooting a 12'x30' studio at 18mm! its hard - 14 or 15 is much more appropriate. thanks for the advice!
  6. I also moved from D300 to D700 and from 12-24 to 14-24. 14-24 is absolutely great, soooo wide! very very sharp and 2.8. Marvelous. The only thing I miss is not being able to use filters, specialy for landscape work but for arquitecture is perfect.
  7. Going wider than 18 mm tends to give a rather steep perspective, but if that's what you want, then it's the 14-24 that you need. I have little faith in Nikon's old primes wider than 28 mm (the 24 PC is a new prime and excellent). Failing that, you could consider getting a panorama rig and start stitching your shots while saving money for the upgrade.
  8. Alen
    I faced a similar delimma recently. Like you, a chief interest is architectrue (I'm an architect) and I had used a D80 for a year with a Tokina 12-24 and found it much less satisfying than my film days particularly missing my 28PC. Yes I know you can correct in photoshop but the post processing had problems as well. I decided to invest in a D700 and a new 50 1.8 AF (I already had the 28 and a 20AF. Took that combo out for the first time last week and was much happier with the results. An added bonus was very good low light performanace in some interiors. If I had it to to over again I wodl get the D700 in a heartbeat.
  9. How often do you shoot an interior shot where you need the 15mm and the 18mm equivalent just won't do? Call me crazy, but buying a D700 for that reason sounds... crazy.
    You probably have a Nikon film SLR, and if you don't you can get one for practically nothing. When you need to do ultrawide interior shots, bring a tripod and shoot some Provia and get it scanned at high res.
    If you guys are making enough money in architecture to afford this stuff right now I want to know what you're doing, cause I'm an architect and nobody I know is making money. (And I've yet to find a building that moves too fast to shoot with a D60.)
  10. I've used my dad's Sigma 10-20mm zoom on my D300 and it is pretty wide. I'm thinking of getting one for my D300.
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Alan, I am afraid that you are doing it all backwards. If the 12-24mm/f4 on DX is not wide enough for you, either go to the Sigma 10-20mm as Todd suggests. Otherwise, if you go FX for the purpose to reach ultra wide, the 14-24mm/f2.8 is THE ultra wide to get. If you cannot afford that lens, you might as well not get into FX until you are ready.
  12. At 12 MP the D700 is not, in my opinion, worth upgrading to. I suspect the $4300 invested in the D700 and 14-24 would not show the kind of significant image improvement you are looking for.
    I enjoyed the comment about buildings not moving too quickly so I have a rather insane suggestion. Currently at keh.com you can purchase a used Kodak SLRn (14 MP full frame Nikon mount body) and used Nikon 14/2.8 for about $1700. The SLRn has no AA filter, so it performs more like a 16 MP full frame body, although moire patterns in fine linear details can result. I use this combination for some architectural images, but mostly landscapes. I have found the SLRn to resolve better than my D2X, even with telephoto lenses. It is of course an antique by todays standards and while very slow to use and ergonomically poor, it is quite useable and provides excellent results. You could save a few hundred dollars by buying on the auction site, or by buying something like the Sigma 12-24 (full frame) instead of the 14/2.8. Also note that the Kodak SLRn is no longer serviceable by Kodak but they do have the software and software upgrades available on their site.
    The more traditional suggestion would be to wait for the next Nikon pro-sumer full frame camera that should be in the 16-20 MP range.
  13. Alan, wouldn't you be better keeping the D300 and buying a 4x5 view camera for architechtural work?
  14. Brand new Sigma 10-20mm is $479, but only for crop cameras. I love mine on a D300, it's a hoot. But I do not shoot architecture, except in the landscape sense. I figure it was low enough in cost that if I abandoned the crop format for an FX, that I would not lose that much money in turning it over. How about a used PC lens?
  15. BTW, where is this camera shop that sells the D700 for $2,300?
  16. Warren, after reading your thread entitled "d700 reality check" (http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00S6YL) I decided to go out to J & R and purchase the d700 before it goes up in price (they're only offering the 2300 price in store until their current stock runs out, after which the price will increase to 2999 - well thats what the sales rep told me at least). I'm in a very similar situation as you, I am educated and work as an architect - so photography is not my main income source - but the income I do make pays for equipment and usually looks like a loss on my tax returns ;) It is true, buildings do not move when I photograph them, but the speed of the d700 has nothing to do with the reason for purchase - the d300 is just as fast. I have also contemplated a 4x5 view camera - but that kind of throws a wrench in my business model of low overhead and virtually free processing.
    The benefits of the FX format are already paying off, just from a few simple comparison tests, the IQ of d700 over the d300 is really amazing and worth the $500 premium (I paid 1800 for the d300 about a year ago, and it would behoove me to sell the d300 before its successor is released - its crazy how much bodies depreciate when their replacement model is released...)
    I can now use all of my full frame lenses at their intended focal lengths and intended image circles (what ever way you want to look at it) - which at the wider end of things makes a huge difference - the fisheye is really a fisheye - the 28mm pc is wide again - these benefits of the FX format alone are worth the upgrade to me (instead of investing more into DX, ie the 10-20 sigma). The 15mm and 20mm will be my lenses of choice for now. Although these lenses are not as sharp as the 14-24 - I can always rent if I have a high end shoot before I can afford that lens.
    Thanks for all the comments, they have been very helpful.
  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Alan, I am afraid that you were misled by that sales rep. Nikon USA price increases mainly involve lenses and accessories. Their $300 instant rebate for the D700 remains. That alone will bring the price down from $3000 to $2700; on top of that are discounts from the retailer. If you visit sites such as B&H, you need to add the D700 or other Nikon item into the shopping cart to see the actual price.
  18. B and H has it for 2450.
  19. Hi Alan, I bought the 14-24mm f/2.8 and have no regrets. Expensive yes, but definitely worth the money.
    I tend to spend my money on good glass and wait for the newer cameras to come down in price before buying them.
    Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, 85mm f/1.4, 80-200mm f/2.8, 105mm micro VR f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8
    The cameras are both D70s. This hobby can get expensive. The lens purchases are geared toward a future D3 purchase.

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