What do you think???

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by johnrobertmiller, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. Hi

    This what I'm thinking about buying or doing. I do have reasons as weird as it sounds...
    I'm want to buy a bunch of Nikon gear and I think it will cover just about everything that I want to do with it. Some of it is old, (cameras) and the rest is I think current gear. All of it will be brought used but in great shape and if it needs a CLA or service I'll get it done, no problem.

    1 Nikon D2Xs and 1 Nikon D2Hs. I know about the noise at higher ASAs and there's newer gear out there but for me I feel that they will be perfect. I won't shoot at anything higher than 800 ASA unless I have to and I know about the noise and I'll deal with it then. I like the design and operating speed of pro bodies, the others (pro amateur cameras) don't cut it for me. I really like the fact that the focusing points are spread out over the frame not grouped in a central area where it's hard to set the focusing where you really want it at times. I'll only shoot raw unless there's a reason to shoot jpeg, which is usually working with a group of photographers and it's an event, you're on deadline where speed is everything. I don't think I'll be doing that much anymore. Btw..I used to own 2 Nikon D2H bodies and I though they were the best digital cameras I ever owned and used, so tough, so fast and easy to use.

    17-55 f2.8, 18-200 f3.5-5.6, 70-200 f2.8 VR the first one, 1.4 tele-converter, 35 f2 or 35 1.8 DX lens, and I'm not sure a 12-24 f4, maybe, plus either a SB800 or SB900 with the battery pack. These lens are all Nikon either full frame or DX lens. I'm just thinking about the 200-400 f4 or a 300 f2.8 AFI, not really sure at this point. I don't know if I'll really have a use for the long lens or not.

    Now I'm wondering about what you think about all of this: The good and bad...Your comments and your thoughts will be most welcome. I'm sure I'll find lots of stuff I didn't even think about.

    Note: I'm not made of money but I think this set of tools will be easy to use and give me the results that I want.

    This is my tumblr page if you're interested in what I have shot in the past.


    Thanks very much for your opinions and comments in advance!
  2. I enjoyed using the D2hs I had, but I think the D300(s) is better. Or, better yet, Good deals can be had on the very pro body D3. In the D3 DX crop mode, the AF points cover much of the screen. I would not want a camera without AF fine tune, now. The camera body costs would be small compared to the money you propose to spend on lenses.
  3. You have some great images there and it looks like you know what you're doing. What were they shot with?

    I had an opportunity to buy a pair of D2 bodies a year or so ago and passed on it in favor of a D7000 (I already had a D200) since I shoot jobs where I need low-light/high ISO capability. But the D2 was very tempting. I like it's heft and substantial feel etc.

    If you've had a D2 before and you liked it and it will shoot what you want to shoot, by all means go for it. Just because it's not a current camera doesn't mean it's not a good camera. Many excellent pictures were made with a D2 and as long as you get one in good shape they can still produce good images. And you will certainly be able to save a bundle over the price of a D3 or D4.
  4. "Btw..I used to own 2 Nikon D2H bodies and I though they were the best digital cameras I ever owned and used, so
    tough, so fast and easy to use."

    This at least supports some of your thinking. I still use D200s for some things, I also keep them to under 800 or so. But I
    have used them higher to shoot musicians in various environments and the grain was useful, so really it's your $$. Why
    do you need all that glass. Buy two or three good lenses to start. JMO
  5. No way would I buy a 10-year old digital camera today.
    For DX, I'd go to a D7000 or D7100 if I were you, maybe a D300 or D90 and get a grip on whatever you get.. Nothing before. Too old technology. Too much has improved, and not just in low light... Sure, if it's only printed small or viewed on-screen, any camera can make a good image... is that you? Maybe...
    But if you know it will work for you and won't be heartbroken if they don't last (these things are NOT built to last decades and decades like film cameras were... mainly because of that sensor)... go for it.
    And I'd pass on the 18-200. It was a great lens for 6MP. That day has also come and gone.
  6. I would go for the D300 and forget the 35mm, if it were me. It balances out cost wise.
    Kent in SD
  7. 17-55 f2.8, 35 f2 or 35 1.8 DX lens​
    Scratch those and get the Sigma 18-35/1.8 instead - unless size matters (really shouldn't given your choice of bodies).
    18-200 f3.5-5.6,​
    professional grade camera bodies and a crappy lens - why? Should do OK on that 4MP D2Hs though.
    70-200 f2.8 VR the first one, 1.4 tele-converter​
    Don't work all that well together.
    and I'm not sure a 12-24 f4​
    Nothing wrong with that one if purchased used. Given your other lenses, I'd go for the Tokina 11-16/2.8 instead though.
  8. As a longtime D2H owner I've posted my opinions, pro and con, ad tedium, so I'll skip most of that. Long story short, usually I'd advise against buying a D2H/s unless the buyer fully understands the limitations and has a specific need for the very quick overall performance in daylight and can use 4 meagerpickle files.
    However I recently discovered a possibly under-appreciated characteristic of the D2H: it can shoot true IR without any mechanical conversion or removal of the existing sensor filter. It just needs the right IR filter or combination of filters for the lens. It isn't convenient because my filter rig is almost impermeable to visible light, and even at ISO 1600 in daylight the shutter speeds are fairly slow, seldom faster than 1/60th. But the results are very good, and since IR photos tend to be somewhat soft anyway the 4mp resolution isn't a serious hindrance unless you need large prints.
  9. John, please excuse me for my post but something doesn't make cense to me - if you are John Miller with 25 years of experience and you have shot such great pictures, than why are you asking now some total strangers (who may have much less experience than you) what equipment to buy? I think somebody with your expertise and experience should give advices to others. Would you tell us what equipment you have used before to make all those great pictures and why are you changing it.
  10. You don't discuss what you plan to do with the equipment. That makes it nearly impossible to make a recommendation.

    My recommendation would be to buy newer get even if you have to buy less of it. The D610 and D7100 are excellent cameras.

    I hated the 18-200 and couldn't wait to get rid of it.
  11. Little of what you're saying makes any logical sense to me, but you only have to please yourself so go for it. ;)
  12. Count me in the corner with those who would not get the D2h or D2x. As many have mentioned above, the technology is ancient compared to the new bodies. I used both bodies extensively when they were the ones to own. D2h first, then D2x and I loved both. You are correct that they feel and handle like true pro bodies and were rugged as could be expected for what is essentially a computer masquerading as a camera. (robust yes, but not like my F2, F4 and F5 which you can drive nails with)
    You also mention that you shoot the D2h at up to 800. Obviously, everyone has different limits of tolerance, but I always thought that anything north of 400 was unacceptable in the D2x.
    My suggestion, echoing the others, is to step up to the plate and get a "modern" body. D-3 is a sensational body and I routinely shoot at ISO (you give away your age when you refer to ASA)6400 with the D3. Since they are now replaced by D3s and D4, they are plentiful on the resale market and quite reasonably priced. If you don't want to blow the asking price on a used D3, consider the D700 with a grip. Very similar to the D3, but not quite as well built. Unless you are exceptionally hard on your gear, you should not have any issues with the D700 compared to D3 in terms of build.
  13. Do you still have the Canon bodies and excellent lenses? At the time I chose a used D2X over a used 1DII, since then had a 1Ds for a bit, and for the past three years have had a 5D II.
    My optimum situation has been to have an FX body and a DX body. I would never bother having two DX bodies. Funny part is I seem to choose Canon for FX and Nikon for DX. I use several Nikon lenses on my Canon. It is a shame Nikon never upgraded the D300 or the D2X, and that Canon refuses to match Nikon for pure resolution, but we have to accept it and deal with it.
    I understand your love of the pro bodies, their build, and their ergonomics but current bodies have far superior resolution to the older pros, which tips the balance for me.
    Everyone is gung ho over what current cameras can do with high ISO but when you actually compare your own pictures at ISO 100 to ISO 800 their is still a very significant difference in image quality. So I am with you on maintaining the lowest ISO possible.
  14. i would skip the d2 generation and go for a d300 or a d3. if you like big bodies, the d3 will amaze you, and the d300 can be made into a big body with the grip. i'm still using a d300s and d3s, which are both workhorses.
    also, +1 on the 18-35/1.8 if you stick with DX.
  15. Lex's comments notwithstanding I used a D2Hs body for quite a while as it was supplied to me at work. I thought it was awful. You have experience with it but I'd buy a pair of D2X's instead. I love the 17-55, one of Nikon's best and don't like at all the first version of the 70-200. I would and did get an 80-200/2.8 instead. Excellent lens for much less money and the AF speed was just fine for NCAA football coverage. Wouldn't waste time on the 18-200 but there are many opposing views on that topic. I know exactly what you mean about using top of the line pro gear. It's just better all around over the next tier and that's been true since the Nikon F came out.

    Rick H.
  16. There are better tools, but it's the workman that counts.
  17. No way would I buy a 10-year old digital camera today.​
    This. Worth repeating.
    Especially pro-level bodies which very likely have been used seriously. A bit of CLA and service will cost more than they are worth - they are simply no longer economically sound the second you need anything done to it. Second-hand, I'd look at the D300, and if you feel this body really is not "pro" enough, add the grip. It is telling enough the D2 prices collapsed the second the D300 came out - it just does everything that bit better. AF points all over the place (and a lot more of them as well), with grip as fast shooting as the D2H, same resolution as the D2x. D7000 and D7100 are excellent choices as well, though their body design is less "beefy" than the D300, which could well be part of what you dislike.
    Instead of the Nikon 12-24 f/4, I'd go for the Tokina 12-24 f/4 and save a lot of money. The 18-200, I'd skip. If you want some convenience lens, the 18-105VR costs a lot less, can easily be found second hand and is optically at least as good. If you have more money to spend, the new 18-140VR looks really excellent in tests, lots better than the 18-200 (which isn't best at the long end, so those last 60mm aren't a big loss).
    Nikon 17-55, I wouldn't get either - too expensive in comparison. The Sigma mentioned before is the most interesting alternative, but its zoomrange is limiting. Otherwise, Tamron or Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 for half the money what the Nikon costs without any sacrifice optically. TC on a zoom - skip it. The added 80mm are not worth the hit in quality. An alternative for the longer lenses could be the AF-S 300 f/4 - which does take a TC14 well - again a lot cheaper than the others you look for, available new as well, and a seriously good performer.
    Your list, frankly, reads as the pro-wish-list from a decade ago. A lot happened since then, and you can get a lot more performance for your money, even 2nd hand.
  18. I like the design and operating speed of pro bodies, the others (pro amateur cameras) don't cut it for me. I really like the fact that the focusing points are spread out over the frame not grouped in a central area where it's hard to set the focusing where you really want it at times.​
    This is a really unfortunate combination of requirements: as others have said, Nikon have not produced a truly pro unibody DX camera since the D2xs, and technology has moved on a lot. The nearest would probably be to use a D3x in DX crop mode - but that's a horrendously expensive way to get a 10MP camera with slightly behind-the-curve sensor technology. (For most people wanting a 24MP camera, the much cheaper D610 would be a better option than a D3x.) Even putting a grip on a D300s would get you a very limited sensor by modern standards. The D3 series and D4 series are "pro", but they do have the AF modules centred in the frame, which seems to be an issue for you. Of course, if you can live with live view, it ceases to be an issue.

    However, cameras have got a lot faster over time, and I'm not sure how much "un-pro" you'd find a D7100 with a grip - although if you're not in a rush, I'd wait to see what's announced at Photokina, since the D7100 is one of Nikon's oldest designs. It costs more than a D2 series, but it's a lot more camera - market position notwithstanding - and if you're serious about big superteles, it would be a shame to be limited by the body.

    For lenses, I'd really buy as you need them unless there's some critical reason to buy everything now. As others have said, the Sigma 18-35 is exceptional. The 18-200 is optically pretty awful - if you really want the flexibility in a smallish package, maybe keep it on the list, but I'd sooner take an 18-140 and just crop to get the extra range. The 70-200 VR 1 is a pretty solid choice for a crop sensor, modulo the teleconverter behaviour. If you don't need f/2.8 for subject isolation, I agree with Wouter that the 300 f/4 AF-S is a good choice; bear in mind that the 300 f/2.8 AF-I is a bit slow to focus. If you can live with the aperture, the new 80-400 AF-S is optically very good, though it's pricey.

    Out of interest, since a lot of your pictures seem to be with high-end Canon gear, why the switch?

    In general: If the handling makes you comfortable, don't let us put you off. But it seems like a large investment in kit where better technology is available. Make sure what you're getting, and don't rule out the dynamic range advantages of modern sensors even at low ISO.
  19. Hi John, I looked at your images and they are very nice. With that said, buying used 10 year old digital bodies would seem to me to be a risky proposition at best. In my mind a D7000 or D7100 would be much more likely to be around for the long run, with the benefit of the ability of set it and forget it focus adjustment for each of your chosen lenses.
    Now as for your lens choices, the 17-55 2.8 is a great lens, and along with your 70-200 2.8VR tend to make your 18-200 superfluous. There is a lens that I like a lot, although it is not widely popular that fits in the middle. It is the older AF Nikkor 35-105mm 3.5-4.5 a nice middle range lens that is very sharp, not much money as it is from the pre-digital era.
    In the long run though, it is your money and your images to be made and you will ultimately make your own decision. How about a "compromise with time" for the bodies, one of your D2 style and one D7000 or D7100?
    However you choose, enjoy your pictures, but it looks like you already do that now.
    Keep shooting John, and don't let equipment get in the way!
  20. I just don't see the rationale for purchasing something older than a D300 (my camera of choice). I added the battery grip. The D300 with grip nicely balance my 17 - 55 f/2.8 and my 70 - 200 f/2.8. I have handled the D7100 and was not comfortable with it. I've printed up to 24" x 36" from my RAW files converted to TIFF and some tweaking. I have fiddled with a friend's D3200 and it was like playing with a toy. I've not handled a D600/D800 so I cannot comment on them, but if they're smaller than a D300 I just don't see them working for me. I'm about average in size (5 ft 9 inches). I don't think I have overly large hands. I have had 10+ years of classical piano lessons so my hands are pretty agile. I really like to be able to fill both hands with my camera.
  21. The OP's first post makes no sense at all. The link he sent (perhaps the reason for the post at all) shows the work of a fairly accomplished photographer, using great Canon gear to good affect. It would be preposterous for that photographer to buy the mixed-up bag he proposes and even questionable that he would switch to Nikon. So I am not buying his post at all.
    For the record. I currently own and have extensively used the D2H, D2X, D3 and D4 as well as most of the lenses he mentions. I think there are some fun reasons to use the D2H and the D2X is still a capable rough-service camera for good light. The rest of the kit is not thoughtfully considered IMO.
    Let us see if the OP posts again.
  22. Okay I've read all your responses or opinions on the above question and I thank you so much. So it's my turn now...

    To all that suggested the Nikon D3 I didn't think about it that much. I do know that a couple of pro photographers buddies that shoot the D3 and really like it a lot. They say it's much better the the D700. I didn't really think that much about the D300 but I'm giving a lot of thought to it but to the D300s right now. I do want two to use two of the same kind of bodies not different but the same.

    I know the lens kit is costly but I want the range and speed of it. Btw..I know that the 18-200 is not a great lens but I wanted it for it's range. It's sort of one-stop lens for carrying around where the others are just big and heavy and I don't need the speed. That kit is still in use by a ton of pro photographers, they want it for it's speed plus range without carrying the the kitchen sink with them. You also get a lot of options in the field that kit. I also want only Nikon lenses too, they go on the same way, everything is about in the same place on them plus if you have to get them repaired just about everybody repairs Nikon.

    So some of you who looked at my tumblr page "thank you" but I didn't post it for hits. I just wanted you to know what I shoot, not all but some of it.

    Also I have never been asked in about 25 years of working what kind of camera I use by editors or clients, they don't care at all. They just want to see the images you shot for them, did you get what they needed and did you get them to them before deadline without a lot of drama.

    I have used both Canon and Nikon gear in the past...I have switched 3 times back and forth over the years because there was a need for me to do so. Right now the reason for the switch is for the Canon focusing problems, I'm tried of them. Nikon used to have a problem with noise at higher ASAs but not now.

    I happen to just like the older Nikon D2 body styles but I'll give the D3 and D300s a closer look but not to the D7000 it's not what I want but it's a great camera btw.

    Lastly your responses and opinions have been most useful. If you don't ask the question...you'll never know, so I did.
  23. "These lens are all Nikon either full frame or DX lens"

    Now that you are considering the D3, I remain confused about your statement in your original post. Are you implying that all of the lenses you mention may be used on both DX and FX? Or are you saying that your wish list contains some DX lenses and some FX lenses.
    If it is the former, I think you may be mistaked since to the best of my knowledge, neither the 17-55 nor the 18-200 is much use on an FX body. If it is the latter, then I don't understand a list of lenses that are exclusive to different bodies and, if fulfilled, would necessitate owning both an fx and dx body.
    On the subject of lenses, I was a big fan of the 200-400/4 lens until I picked up the new 80-400. The 80-400 is much smaller and easier to carry than the 200-400 and I find the image quality to be equal or better than the the bigger lens as long as you shoot with a newer body that can handle the higher ISO's that are necessary due to the slower lens. (By the way - neither of those lenses can match the optical quality and speed of the 400/2.8, but they are certainly more convenient to carry and can be handheld.) If I have the luxury of being able to handle the size of the prime 400 and use a monopod or tripod, I always reach for the prime.) And the wider end of the 80-400 is more useful than the wide end of the 200-400. I sold my 200-400.
    As far as the 18-200 (or the FX 28-300 version) - while it may serve as a one lens walk around when weight and bulk is a factor, it really is a pretty poor lens, especially at the long end. I suppose that pro street shooters or anyone that simply needs a "record shot" of an event may be find the compromise something to "live with", but it just isn't anywhere in the league of the other glass in your bucket list. If you want an excellent "walking around lens", take a look at the 24-120/4 lens. The newest version - not the old ones which were garbage. I know guys who have sold their 24-70's and now rely on the 24-120. I use both, by the way.
    Good luck no matter which way you go.
  24. WIth your new info, the D3 and D3s are the ones to consider, imho, period.
  25. My one concern about a D3 or later is that the coverage of AF points seemed to be an issue. They are much more spread across the frame on a DX camera dues to the mirror box geometry. But so long as that's okay for you, the build quality and speed of the D3 and later is certainly without reproach.
  26. "My one concern about a D3 or later is that the coverage of AF points seemed to be an issue. They are much more spread across the frame on a DX camera dues to the mirror box geometry"
    Out of curiousity, why does the distance between the AF points matter? When shooting in single focus mode, I just place the point (whichever one I choose) over the point of critical focus. When shooting in continuous "follow focus", I place the center point over the desired area of focus and the machine does its thing handing off the focus to whichever point it decides it needs to. I shoot sideline sports and began with a D2h and a D2x, which were of course DX bodies and graduated up to the D3 when it came out and never noticed one bit of difference in the focusing. If anything, while I never shot with DX and FX at the same time, my impression was that the AF in the D3 was better than that in the DX bodies.
    Not disagreeing with your comment - just trying to understand the issue. It is something that never crossed my mind.
  27. Okay I've read all your responses or opinions on the above question and I thank you so much. So it's my turn now...​
    +1 to John Miller for a thoughtful discussion. Very interesting to read your comments about gear preferences. So many of your choices run counter to "prevailing wisdom" but you clearly know how to use these tools skillfully.
  28. John makes a good point about autofocus points on full frame ("FX") camera bodies. The AF sensor is considerably smaller than the image sensor, so the AF points will be clustered in the middle of the FX frame.
    One benefit of newer cameras is shooting in Live View, i.e. looking at the LCD screen instead of through the viewfinder. Granted, this has limitations. Autofocus is slower, you can forget about fancy AF-S modes for following action, and Live View is not very practical in bright sunlight where the LCD screen is difficult to see.
    But autofocus in Live View also has a number of advantages.
    • It's very accurate because it's based on contrast in the actual image.
    • It does not require AF micro fine tuning.
    • The focus point can be placed ANYWHERE in the frame.
    • On the latest generation of models (D800, D4, D7100, etc. - maybe the D3s, but I'm not certain), the mirror stays up, effectively reducing vibration as in Mirror Lockup Mode.
    • Multiple useful display options are available.
    Live View will not replace Phase Detection (viewfinder) autofocus for everything, or even the majority of things. But when you really need to focus on something at the far edges of the frame - or even between normal AF points - the option exists.
    I would caution, however, that the cameras in the D3, D300, D700 era had a cumbersome Live View implementation. The mirror closes and re-opens before the exposure occurs. So, if you want to consider using Live View at some point, invest in a later model body with the more efficient mirror-stays-up implementation of Live View.
  29. Eric wrote:
    Out of curiousity, why does the distance between the AF points matter? When shooting in single focus mode, I just place the point (whichever one I choose) over the point of critical focus. When shooting in continuous "follow focus", I place the center point over the desired area of focus and the machine does its thing handing off the focus to whichever point it decides it needs to. I shoot sideline sports and began with a D2h and a D2x, which were of course DX bodies and graduated up to the D3 when it came out and never noticed one bit of difference in the focusing. If anything, while I never shot with DX and FX at the same time, my impression was that the AF in the D3 was better than that in the DX bodies.​
    I was just responding to John's stated concern:
    I really like the fact that the focusing points are spread out over the frame not grouped in a central area where it's hard to set the focusing where you really want it at times.​
    The Multicam 3500 in the D3 and derivatives is a much advanced model over that in the D2h and D2x - but the geometry of the mirror means that all the AF points are nearer the middle of the frame, particularly compared with the same Multicam 3500 when used in the D300 or D7100. (The autofocus module covers the same sensor area on each camera, but the sensor is bigger on the FX cameras, leaving a gap around the edges.) Everything's fine so long as the thing you want to autofocus on is actually within the region covered by the AF sensors, but they barely reach to the "rule of thirds" points on an FX sensor. This is an artifact of the mirror geometry, and not unique to Nikon.

    Of course, you can "focus and recompose" (with the nearest AF point), but that necessarily introduces some error as the focal plane rotates with the camera. And you don't have any way to compensate for you or the subject moving slightly.

    Live view (contrast-detect) focus has its own limitations, especially with a moving subject - the camera can detect whether something is out of focus, but not "how much" and "what direction", unlike phase detect. But for a static subject, Dan is quite right that it has advantages. I'd also point out that the D800 has some live view issues (it doesn't display full resolution at maximum zoom), but that isn't necessarily a sticking point.
  30. Hmmmm Andrew. Did not know that. I will have to fool around with my D3 and D3s a bit to see if I can replicate the effect. Are you saying that once I lock on the focus with say the center point and the subject moves to the edge of the frame, beyond the farthest sensor, the camera will lose AF? If this is so, in practical terms for my shooting, it makes no difference since when shooting fast moving atheletes, once I lock on the initial focus, I almost always pan with the camera so that the subject is always within the actual AF point array. Either I have never allowed a moving subject to get out beyond the outer AF points, or if I did and got poor results, did not understand what was occurring and attributed the blown shots to poor technique on my part.
    I guess we are never to old to learn. I am going to go out and try out your explanation. Fascinating.
  31. Hi Eric.

    Yes. The camera can only "see" autofocus at the autofocus points (which are not quite the shape and position suggested by the AF indicators in the finder, but are pretty close). The camera can't autofocus at the edge of the frame using the phase-detect (mirror down) focus mechanism.

    I can understand having the camera set to release priority for athletics - the shutter will release anyway even if there's no AF module there. And I can understand trying to keep the athlete under the AF points when in motion (and cropping in post-production). If you're tracking, it's fairly likely that you'd be within reasonable depth of field anyway - the AF system does contain some prediction, and 12MP is moderately lenient for focus errors. For me, it's more of a problem with relatively static scenes, where I'm trying to focus on an off-centre subject. Unfortunately, "relatively static" (static enough to allow time for creative framing) doesn't mean "static enough for fixed-focus", especially allowing for me and the subject to move a little. Include the difference in focal distance that comes from the focal plane rotation if you focus-and-recompose, and it is unfortunate that the AF points don't cover the entire frame. Unfortunately, ye cannae change the laws of physics (without adding a bigger mirror box) - even phase-detect-on-sensor mirrorless systems usually can't cover the entire frame with phase-detect modules. Contrast-detect is easier - it just needs to look at the captured picture.

    Good luck!
  32. Andrew - Never knew any of the science. I suppose I have simply been blissfully ignorant and never noticing that the camera won't focus at the edges. To the best of my knowledge, I have never attempted AF on the fringes beyond the AF points. I have explained my technique when shooting moving subjects and apparently the panning effect mitigates the problem since I cannot think of a single time that I intentionally panned with the camera and allowed the subject to be beyond the AF points.
    For times when I am shooting in static mode, I will select an AF point, place it over the preferred focus subject and then shoot. So again - I never noticed that there was a problem. I did however notice that the outer AF points are not as sensitive in AF ability as the center point. Many years ago, when I first learned to shoot with an AF camera (F5 if I recall), I would simply place the center AF point over the intended area of focus, locked the focus and then recomposed as necessary to achieve the framing I desired. That way I always knew that the camera was AF'ing to its best ability and didn't worry that some outer points might not be as effective. Still do it often today.
    It is sort of like the early days of in camera metering where it was center weighted (or spot if I go back to the original Pentax) only. To get best exposure, when possible we walked right up to the subject, metered the scene and then stepped back to recompose keeping the aperture and shutter where it was when we got in close.
    Interesting conversation. My apologies for dragging the thread off the original poster's topic, but I never miss an opportunity to learn something new.
  33. Here's my response to the focusing points being spread out on a D2Xs or D2Hs and not being so centered...
    How many times have you been in a situation where you wanted the focusing at the edges of the frame and not the center? I don't like to lock-up focus and recompose, it's takes up to much time and what if the subject moves or you're shooting a long lens wide open and the depth of field is a couple of inches at best. So if you picked a single focusing point at the edge of frame...the camera will continue to auto-focus for you and the frames will be sharp.
    It couldn't be easier to do and that's why I like the points to be all around the frame.
  34. To Chip...thanks for your comment!
    Since as you stated so many of my choices run counter to "prevailing wisdom". My camera and lenses choices are not just different or weird, they're carefully thought out of what's the right the equipment for me to use.

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