D2x - been gifted one, some advice on lenses please

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Apr 14, 2019
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First time poster here (came over from the MU-43 Forum)

First IILC for me has been an Olympus E-M1 ver 1.

My cousin’s husband is a Nikon fan and gave me his D2x so that I could have a ''real camera":D

So here she is... Nikon D2x with Speedlight SB-24, 2 batteries and 2 lenses, 24mm f2.8D and a 38-80mm f4-5.6D. Even came with a Thom Hogan Complete Guide to the Nikon D2x and D2xs... all 800+ pages et al.
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I did some reading up on the D2x... best DSLR in the world at launch in 2004/5 for pros at a modest price of $5000.00... for a 12MP, 5fps, APC-S sensor, ISO 100-400 (apparently anything above 400 is noisy).

It's big and heavy as to be expected, lenses aren't the best but useable (jpegs look meh but the raws look ok), shutter is at 39K so expect lots of life left in the old girl.

So, what to do? M43 is my main system but this Dx2 (for an enthusiastic hobbyist) looks like a lot of fun.

Any idea on what lenses to get? I like shooting architecture, churches, events and being in Africa wildlife is a favourite.

My initial thinking is Tamron 18-400mm and a decent 35mm prime. Pity there is no smart adapter for Nikon F to M43 so use on the Em1.1 will be manual only.

Seen some of the shots taken with the D2x on the forum which are most impressive (even motorsports!) so some tips and ideas will be most welcome.
 
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Yeah, whoever told you above 400 iso is noisy was mostly right. In the dark, definitely so. In daylight that camera rocks! Amazing colors. And you have a little more wiggle room with the iso. Take some time to learn what it likes, and what it doesn't. It's still a great camera in good light.

"Tips and ideas" ? If you can learn to shoot with your left eye in the finder you can use your left shoulder to support the body. The D2x body is that big. Lean your right side on a wall, tree... rest the camera on your left shoulder and your a human tripod :)

Welcome to the Cafe! Looking forward to seeing what you can wring out of it.
 
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Ah, the D2X. At ISO 100-200 the images still hold up today IMO. ISO 200-400 is usable IMO but the magic is gone. Here are some ideas:

Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX. So cheap and so good every DX shooter should have one, period.

Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR version I. This is a great lens on DX, but somewhat out of favor today because it is less great on full frame. Another option would be the 80-200 f/2.8 AF "two-ring." The motor in the D2X can really torque the old "screwdriver" style AF lenses. Note also the D2X has a handy crop mode that I used a lot. Either would be good for wildlife. If you want something longer and don't need f/2.8 the Nikon 70-300 VR is justifiably popular.

For wide angle, there are a lot of options, mostly third party. Back in the day the Nikon f/4 12-24 DX was probably the go-to wide angle and would still be a good choice used. A good choice for architecture because it is relatively low distortion. My DX wide angle is the Tokina f/4 12-28 which I like a lot, esp. for the money.

I don't have anything to say one way or the other about the 18-400, but in general I don't think you'll get the best out of a this camera with a super zoom.
 
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Thank you @bett
"Tips and ideas" ? If you can learn to shoot with your left eye in the finder you can use your left shoulder to support the body. The D2x body is that big. Lean your right side on a wall, tree... rest the camera on your left shoulder and your a human tripod :)

Welcome to the Cafe! Looking forward to seeing what you can wring out of it.


I'm left eye dominant so that's a good start:)
 
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@CAJames
Thank you as well... like the idea of a 35mm f1.8 DX (so basically a FX nifty fifty(y))

It looks like the 70-200mm in so many variations (and models) is also a ''must have'' giving the crop sensor basically a 105-300mm FOV. Shoot in HSC mode and you effectively will get 600mm FOV but at 6.8MP resolution and at a faster fps (8 vs 5)?. Just need to allocate HSC to the front function button.

I will have to see what is available locally but you have given me some sound advice.:)
 
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When I shot my D2x regularly, I used a Tokina 12-24, Nikkor 24-120 and 70-200 F2.8. You could easily swap in a 70-300, just be careful as some of the newer ones with E aperture won't work with the older bodies. Lens will need to have an aperture activation lever (mechanical). The 24-120 f4 is a sweet lens, it's field of view on DX is 36-180.
 
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I made bank with my D2Xs in HSC mode (8fps) shootin' rodeo with a 70-200 f2.8 VR
Still have it and will bring 'er out with my Zeiss 135 f2 and tubes for macro when our
flowers are at their peak. Amazing colors/IQ with those old 12MP's >ISO400. (y)
 
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Good lenses will make a big difference. When I shoot our company-issued D200 (6mp APS-C) there is a noticeable difference between lenses bought years ago (2006-2008) and current glass. Even at lower resolutions the acuity and corner performance improvements in newer glass are very apparent. Like @Baywing wrote, only the mechanical aperture lever lenses work properly; E-type lenses are not compatible (including third-party electronic aperture control lenses).

Current RAW processing software can wring a lot more out of the files than the D2x can using its internal JPG engine. While there has been a lot of hardware improvement, image processing has also come a long way in the last few years!
 
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D2x is my only camera ….
use it with : AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED always tack sharp very very good lens and very cheap.
AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR 1 very fast very sharp not expencive

one other thing about the d2x : best software to process d2x image is Nikon Capture NX2 ( I don not use anything else , I tried a bunch of other ones , the best,by far,is Nikon capture NX2 , its a free download on the Nikon website ))

Have a look at my website : menbrial ( 10 000 pictures taken with Nikon d2x )
 
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There's lots of good cheap DX glass. I hear the Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 is very good if you want an ultra wide angle for interiors or architecture. The D2X image output is excellent. Shoot raw and keep the ISO below 400 and you'll be blown away at how nice the images look. I shot some of my best selling images with that camera!
 
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Hi Keith!

I've had 2 D2x cameras - it's my second favorite digital Nikon. I'm a meaty guy, so it feels natural in my hands. I use only 2 lenses with it - a 35mm f/2 AF-D, and a 60mm f/2.8 AF-D Micro. I used to have a 12-24DX. I'd almost agree with the admonition not to shoot above iso 400, but sometimes yas gotta do what ya gotta do. Someday that stripy chroma noise is gonna be in fashion, so there ya go.

I'd think the character of the D2x is wonderful - it's propensity toward noisy, and the precision to which you can control the camera, make for a very enjoyable shooting experience, especially if you use simple glass. It's a fun camera, and if you approach it that way, you won't be disappointed.
 
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I used to have a 12-24DX. I'd almost agree with the admonition not to shoot above iso 400, but sometimes yas gotta do what ya gotta do.
Think of this camera as old school film... above 400 you're going to get grainy images. As long as you understand that and expect the grain you can use above 400 happily ESPECIALLY in B&W! I do love how meaty that camera is... I should charge a battery (if it'll still take a charge) and play with it again.
 
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Coming from the E-M1.1, the D2x is beastly heavy, but it's good for bicep curls. ;)

In many areas the E-M1.1 has advantages over the D2x, so I'd think about what you want to start shooting with the Nikon before you decide on lenses. I'm not saying it's a bad camera, I'm only saying I'd pick an area to start. The E-M1 has the advantage in ISO, pixel density, and advance features for architecture like key stone compensation. Not to mention the tilt screen and silent shutter for churches.

I'd probably start with anything that involves tracking, the D2x will track things better as I recall. I haven't had my E-M1.1 or an 11 point AF Nikon body is years and actually sold my E-M1.1 before FW 4.0 was released so I could be wrong.

So what might you be shooting that involves tracking? If 70/80-200 is the right range I'd also recommend the 2-ring AF 80-200 f/2.8D. The AF-S 80-200 or AF-S 70-200 will acquire a subject faster, but I'm not sure it impacts tracking as much and the D2x has more then enough torque. And if you're tracking, are you shooting at speeds where you'd turn VR on the 70-200 off anyway? It's also (and this will sound strange) the oldest and the newest of the three. It's the oldest version by a few years, but it's also still in production. So having one serviced should not be an issue, getting parts for the other two might be an issue.

But if you're REALLY into architecture you could also look into tilt / shift lenses. They're not something I'm interested in, but they are something that's not natively available for m4/3, but the are for Nikon.
 
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D2Xs HSC mode 200 f2 SOOC
Sold dozens of prints with this combo (still use it!)

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