Which Nikon DSLR would you recommend for me?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by rexmarriott, May 16, 2018.

  1. Yup! The D3 was the first DSLR I considered buying although I didn't buy it.
  2. Yes if he is not in a budget. D3s is much better in all aspects.
  3. Rex, have you decided?

    .....And.....the winner is.......?
  4. That's funny, Andrew!
    mike_halliwell likes this.
  5. Yes, I like an ending. My original question was whether it would be worth investing in a more recent model. I'm not yet decided on this point. I've had a strong steer here towards the D800 and if I do upgrade now, I'll go for that. I've got three concerns: the enormous resolution; the fact that I'd be going from a very old camera to one that is six years old; and, linked to the fact that the camera is six years old, its cost.

    I'm also mindful of this comment, posted by Ben Hutcherson:

    "Fundamentally, FX digital still looks like 35mm. Yes, the image even from something like a Df(16mp) is technically better in virtually every respect than even the best films made today, but it still looks like it's 35mm film.

    The only way to really get the medium format "look"(which I attribute a lot to the shallower DOF inherent in a large format for an equivalent FOV) is with...medium format."
  6. Rex, I believe the many technical improvements made in the last 12+ years mitigate in favor of an upgrade, even if not to the latest and greatest. You will see substantial improvements in resolution, autofocus, white balance, color management, and low light functionality. Moving from a DX to an FX sensor will have a very meaningful impact on the DoF and FoV in your images. I don't know if the 36MP of the D800/e is worthwhile to you, but even a 24MP body like the D750 will be technically worlds ahead of what you have right now. I suggest you rent or borrow some exemplars and give them a try. I think you will be very pleasantly surprised. There's nothing necessarily "wrong" with your D1X, but technology and it's impact on IQ and functionality have come a very long way.
  7. "Still looks like 35mm film..."

    - Only in a filmophile's wildest dreams!

    My old D700 beat 35mm film hands down, and gave results (as an A3 print) easily as good as what I could get from medium format. The results at ISO 400 and above are like chalk and cheese, in favour of the D700.

    The D800 was another quantum leap better still.

    And I wouldn't worry about the 'enormous' files from a D800 or D810. My several years old (Windows 8) laptop easily deals with 'em, and with HDD storage running at about £35 a Terabyte, archiving your files won't cost much or present any problems.

    A 64GB card will store well over 1200 RAW + JPEG Fine images as well.
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
  8. Just to clarify: A was talking about pixel density when I mentioned the D7200. Since it has a few more pixels, it has slightly more reach than the D500 (or the DX crop of a D850), but the difference is practically negligible. Because of the better AF system, larger buffer and higher frame rate, the D500 (or possibly D850 with a grip, so you can sometimes put more pixels on the subject) is a better birding camera. But they cost a lot more than a D7200, obviously.

    The D810 doesn't have the "block after live view" issue that the D800 series do, among other mild improvements (such as 1fps) - whether these affect the need for fast memory cards is another matter, and if you're relatively reserved in what you're shooting (not doing a lot of bursts) it's not an issue.

    The only reason to look at a D3 at this point is if you have desperate desire for a moderately high frame rate and like the unibody design; the D3 is only arguably an improvement on the D700 (depending on your opinions of portability, integrated flashes and ultrasonic sensor cleaning) - I looked at one before buying my D700, and passed. The D3s is a little faster and about a stop better in low light - and the same argument applies to the D4/Df sensor. If you typically shoot in low light, go for it (or get an A7S, or save for a D5 or D850).

    The biggest issue I have with the D610 is its autofocus module, shared with the Df. It's world's ahead of the D1 series, but it's essentially the same as the current D5x00 consumer range, and previously in the D7000. The autofocus system of the D8x0 and D750 (and D3, D700, D7200, etc.) on the other hand was, with various tweaks, state of the art for several years, only recently bettered by the D500/D850/D5's system. Plus the handling of the D750 is a little more refined. It's not the end of the world, but the D750 is definitely the better camera.

    And yes, don't be scared of the storage requirements - 32GB or 64GB SD and CF cards aren't too unreasonable (even fast ones). I'm only smarting because I decided that to make use of the frame rate on my shiny new D850 I ought to get a 128GB UHS-II card and a 128GB XQD card, which were about £200 each. Smaller or slower cards are a lot cheaper. Storage is relatively cheap these days, and computers are fast - you need something pretty low-end and ancient if it's flat out not going to cope with processing a 36MP image.
    DavidTriplett likes this.
  9. When you think the D6 will be?
  10. I'm not sure what the difference I'm seeing is, but with two 64gb cards(JPEG fine on one, RAW on the other) I get about 1K images on my D800.

    BTW, my comments on medium format were equally applicable to digital MF as well as film. Different sizes of imaging area have an inherently different look that I suspect has a lot to do with the DOF even at equal apertures. You can't get around that, and I'm not talking strictly about absolute image quality.

    Pure image quality is a loosing battle, as I can really only beat my D800 with 4x5 and that's only if I do everything absolutely right. 6x7 has potential, but my 4x5 kit is lighter than my 6x7 kit.
    DavidTriplett likes this.
  11. At one time I put 4x5 Vericolor III in a Polaroid 150 and took pictures with it. The images were not all that sharp compared to shots with the 35mm but I loved the grainless images when I made 8x10 prints from them.
  12. Probably a few years after a D5S.

    While I neither have a crystal ball nor am much for speculation, my guess would be that we will see a D6 in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics - which will take place in Tokyo.
  13. Rex, it's easy, just plunge in and start swimming. There are already 92 posts about this subject.

    Get something, Nikon, film, digital, new, old, whatever. Then, if you don't like it, trade it in for something else. The neat thing about this is that, by this time, you would have tested and experienced the piece of equipment and have a good understanding of why it is not a good fit for you. In the process you would have learned and played with varying pieces of equipment. I always consider the trade-in loss, if any (sometimes it's a gain), as "rental or educational fee".

    What do you think? ;)
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
    DavidTriplett likes this.
  14. The 150 probably isn't the best example of what you can do with LF sharpness. As best as I can find, it has a glass meniscus lens, while even my older uncoated LF lenses tend to be Tessar-type lenses. Also, it's been a while since I've looked at a Polaroid roll film camera, but I don't know if film flatness with sheet film would be great.

    LF lenses tend to not be as sharp as their smaller format counterparts in terms of lp/mm, but they make up for it just by sheer image area. Modern lenses like my 75mm Nikkor-SW are bitingly sharp despite the fact that it vignettes pretty badly.

    And, yes, the fact that they're essentially grainless at any reasonably sized enlargement makes a huge difference.
  15. I think that's the ball park I saw. With lossless compression the detail in the frame matters, and as ISO increases you get more noise that's harder to compress efficiently so the files get bigger (I believe Nikon allows for this in their space remaining estimates). If you want consistent sizing, shoot uncompressed, which will give you consistently fewer shots in the same space. :)

    Well, except you can - the relationship between aperture, sensor size, focal length and depth of field is well understood. I buy that f/1.4 35mm lenses tend to be a bit iffy wide open compared with medium format f/2.8 glass, but range of lenses available for 35mm tends to mean it has as much subject isolation as larger formats. Sure, the Pentax 67 600mm f/4 had a lot of subject isolation, but there's a 300mm f/2 for Nikon, it's just rare. A 150mm f/2.8 on a 5x4 is hard to match (without stitching), but that's the exception which proves the rule.

    Large format films are lower grain, but also tend to receive light at a smaller aperture; find slow enough film or a DSLR with low ISO and this one balances out too. If there's really a "look" difference to medium format, I'm not sure I've seen it, not yet I begrudge those who like to take 80MP exposures. And a 645 slide is certainly current to look at than a 35mm one.

    Given how much money I've thrown at Nikon over the years, if anyone was going to go medium format digital, it'd be me - and I haven't. Although my analogue Pentax 645 still gets occasional use.

    I'm always happy to me educated when I'm missing something, though. But I'd like to have the technical explanation as well as "feel".

    I've noticed that 5x4s aren't as heavy as you'd think, at least in field camera form. A friend showed me hers, and I'm fairly sure it was smaller and lighter than my F5.
  16. I did a 10yr upgrade from a D70 to the D600. I simply just use it the same way as I did. Focus and recompose, single shot mode etc etc ... When you see it on the computer you get a better file and more lattitude to edit and over time slowly thru the years I have slowly slowly embraced handholding more, but I do shoot a lot on a tripod since I mainly do scenery. With the D600 I was using a 2009 computer, a intermediate one, they the Intel i7 but I couldn't afford that so all I had was the Intel Q8200 Core 2 Quad, 4GB RAM and then upgraded to 8GB but one stick failed (China eBay) so 6GB just for the last 1 year however. I had 2 or 3 years with the D600 with just 4GB. It's not fast but it worked. I couldn't do panorama cos it ran out of memory. I guess to me it was like buying a newer car and dropping kids to schools or driving to the supermarket.

    My personal regret was maybe I shoulda waited 1yr more and got the D600 second hand. All my lenses for some time now are all used.
    yardkat and mike_halliwell like this.
  17. I have two 4x5 cameras-a Speed Graphic and the B&J field camera that's shown in my avatar.

    I have some heavy lenses(I'll again reference my newest and best lens, my 75mm f/4.5 Nikkor-SW) but most old Tessars are quite light.

    The Speed is a bit heavier, but it's not terrible and can be hand held. Of course, few folks actually DO that any more, but fundamentally it was designed to be a fast operating handheld camera. You get stuff like a rangefinder to help you focus and a wire frame finder(or peephole optical finder) for composition without using the ground glass. Of course, both only work with certain lenses-you have to change the rangefinder cam if you use something other than the lens the camera shipped with, and they are basically non-existent now. The "peephole" has masks. You can also fit up to 4 different focusing scales(vernier or semi-vernier style) on the bed along with different infinity stops(critical for all of the above to work correctly) for different lenses but the manuals suggested using a dealer for that.

    Throw a Grafmatic in it and you have 6 shots on tap as quickly as you can pull the tab. Of course, I also sue Grafmatics with my B&J because a single Grafmatic is about as thick as 1 1/2 standard 2-sheet holders.
  18. The fact that, at base ISO, there is not much difference, IQ wise, between all the modern sensors, means that depending on your type of photography it may be of no benefit to have good hi ISO performance. Indeed my D3S is not great for studio, base ISO stuff, it's DR isn't as good as my D7200.

    If you do tripod-based landscape shooting having the best AF module possible is pointless.

    If you only print to maybe 16" x 12", having 36 or 46 MPix is pretty pointless too, 20 or 24 is just fine.

    However, if you do high-speed sports in the dark, all bets are off and you NEED to use 'ISO stupid' and be able to lock focus on a black horse in a shady barn.

    Very few shooters are one or the other solely, so unless you have deep pockets, you buy a compromise somewhere between a D3400, a D850 and a D5.

    Horses for courses....;)
    DavidTriplett likes this.
  19. I didn't read the rest of the post. There was five pages. I've used a lot of different cameras and lenses. I just got a D700 for 440 dollars US on ebay with under 50,000 clicks. I will probably never wear the shutter out. It is ratted at 150,000. If you are patient you can find one cheap. The pictures look amazing. I doubt you could see a difference between a D800 and this camera unless you blow up the pictures to sizes you probably wont ever do or pixel peep. When using VR and shooting at 3200 ISO I can shoot a 300mm with one small lamp inside my living room. and come out with very sharp images. At 6400 it still looks good enough for good size prints. It feels amazing to hold. It's very solid and the button layout is easy to figure out. I rarely have to go into the menu to make adjustments which is a huge deal. I believe it gets around 1,000 photos per battery charge. I would buy this again and invest in a nice lens with VR rather than a new FX body.
  20. And also have to mention you should definitely use your ai and ais lenses no mater what body you get. On a full frame the viewfinder is much bigger and brighter. Focusing is much easier. My favorites are the Nikon 50 f2 and Tamron 90 F2.5 macro on my full frame dslr.

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