I'm a heretic but maybe the D300 has some advantages over a D700.

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I fully agree that none of us "need" any particular camera/lens. This is just a hobby for me and therefore I choose what I buy and how much to spend. FF just happens to be my goal.
Hobbies can be costly......my younger brother loves car racing and he would spend a few thousand dollars just to race on one weekend. To each his own.
It's the personal satisfaction and goals that counts most.
 
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Nuteshack

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Glass is an issue, and not least of these considerations is the reportedly poor performance of the legendary 70-200/2.8 VR on the D3 at longer focal lengths. So whether I buy a D700 (it's very tempting) or an eventual higher resolution FX DSLR, I'll be keeping my D300 and the 70-200 will probably live on it (Note to self: I'm going to need a bigger camera backpack).
does it have this same problem with the 80-200 2.8 ???
 
T

TonyBeach

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does it have this same problem with the 80-200 2.8 ???
According to Bjorn Rorslett the AFS version behaves similarly, for portraits and similar applications, and below 135mm these lenses will work fine on the D3. FWIW, my 70-200 VR is not as sharp in the corners at any focal length or any aperture on my DX cameras as my old one ring Nikkor 80-200/2.8 was, but that old warhorse had no tripod collar and the 70-200 VR is an overall better lens than it and the other zoom options.

Thom Hogan rates the 70-200 VR as the best or nearly the best lens at every focal length for DX here and he's comparing it to primes, note though that he makes other choices for FX beyond 85mm. So you need 5 primes to replace you 70-200 VR; the 85/1.4, the 105/2 DC, the 135/2 DC, the 180/2.8, and to make up for the reach you just lost the 300/4. Replacing this one lens on the D700 now just cost you about $5000, $2000 if you can get a good price on the D300 and 70-200 VR. Did I mention that none of those new lenses have VR, but you will gain two stop at 85mm and one stop at 105mm and 135mm and that's worth something right there.

I'm not saying I wouldn't mind this trade-off; but factor in another $1200-$1500 difference in price for the D700 compared to a D300, and that's a significant wad of cash for what might end up being marginal improvements below ISO 800 and shooting at longer focal lengths. FX, DX or any other format are not religions; the choice of format is something that should be done rationally, they are just tools.
 
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Yeah the only drawback to FX is to those who own the 70-200VR, it doesn't work so well on FX as it does on DX. I'm sure Nikon sacrificed the corner performance on purpose to better correct for the center, as this is generally known tradeoff to students who learn lens design. If Nikon releases a new version of the lens optimized for FX, DX performance might not be as good as the current lens.
 
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I want the reach - I want the fast processing of a D3 for quicker (compared to D300) af - and I want less noise at high iso than the D2X (plus a big lcd) so I am hoping for a D3X - no D700 or D3 for me.

D300 is great for stationary objects (for me) but not bif, unless the skies are clear and the bird is big.
 
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I'm back to using the D2x while my D300 is in for repairs. I'm remembering how much I like the IQ of that camera, but I miss the hi iso shooting and better AF performance. That said, I'd consider a D700 as an addition to my line up, not a replacement for anything. It would get used primarily for landscapes, macro, and night shooting. With DX, I miss shooting at f/16 and up due to difraction.
 
T

TonyBeach

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With DX, I miss shooting at f/16 and up due to diffraction.
I believe diffraction becomes an issue on the D3 above f/16 just as it does on the D300 at f/11, so for more DOF there is no difference.

For longer exposure times, the only real solution is an ND filter. I was shooting yesterday with my D200 IR at f/13, and despite the lower sensitivity (mine is 830nm), I still think I should get a ND filter for that flowing water look.
 
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Yeah the only drawback to FX is to those who own the 70-200VR, it doesn't work so well on FX as it does on DX. I'm sure Nikon sacrificed the corner performance on purpose to better correct for the center, as this is generally known tradeoff to students who learn lens design. If Nikon releases a new version of the lens optimized for FX, DX performance might not be as good as the current lens.
I guess I'm absolutely in the vast minority, but I love my 70-200 with the D3. Never lets me down, focuses very quickly, shows nice colors, has a good bokeh, and just gets great shots of the subjects I take. Of course, I don't shoot landscapes in full frame at 200mm f/2.8. Nothing I have ever shot with that lens combo shows vignetting, and all shots are intended to have a primary subject and blurred background, so possibly I'm not a good judge.
 
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TonyBeach

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I guess I'm absolutely in the vast minority, but I love my 70-200 with the D3. Never lets me down, focuses very quickly, shows nice colors, has a good bokeh, and just gets great shots of the subjects I take.
I'm not saying it isn't a great lens; but at 105mm critical users are switching to primes on the D3. If you are just throwing away or ignoring the edges, it may not be a concern, and Bjorn Rorslett has acknowledged this.

Of course, I don't shoot landscapes in full frame at 200mm f/2.8. Nothing I have ever shot with that lens combo shows vignetting, and all shots are intended to have a primary subject and blurred background, so possibly I'm not a good judge.
Right, but some us want sharp edges, at least sometimes, and if that is what you are after then the edges do become unsharp with 70-200 VR on an FX DSLR. I have a photo I recently made with the 70-200 VR taken at 70mm, which would have been 105mm on an FX DSLR, and another one taken at 82mm which would have been 123mm on an FX DSLR.

Sometimes the primary subject is not centered despite that dreamy out of focus effect intention, then you might be disappointed with those subject at the edge compositions compared to centered subject compositions or with another lens. To illustrate what I mean, here's a photo taken at 125mm and f/2.8 which would have been 187mm and f/4 on an FX DSLR.

My first point was simple and based on what's important to me and widely but not universally observed -- and that is that the 70-200 VR is not the same lens on the D3 that it is on the D300. From that observation my next point was that it makes sense to keep both the D300 alongside the D700 because getting that extra reach and retaining edge sharpness costs several thousand more dollars without the D300 and 70-200 VR combo.
 
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I don't see why some are always trying to convince others that a particular lens or body is better than another.

We all shoot differently, our own styles, our own likes. So what if a lens or body is not "perfect". As long as it's satisfying the shooter, then that's all that counts.

BTW, I just shot a wedding last weekend (as a second photographer), most with the 70-200 vr on the D3. I'm still very impressed with that combo.
 
T

TonyBeach

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I don't see why some are always trying to convince others that a particular lens or body is better than another.
Yes, I agree with that statement, but it seems in short supply in this new forum; and you of all people should be aware of that, after all, you wrote this:

"...but FF will eventually rule (IMHO)."

Now to again repeat my point (since it seems to have been entirely or partially missed by some), for my purposes the D300 and 70-200 VR combo stays in my camera bag after I get a D700 or some other FX DSLR. I end up saving money and weight not having to buy more lenses to stuff into my camera bag to replace what I would otherwise lose -- YMMV.
 
T

TonyBeach

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Yeah the only drawback to FX is to those who own the 70-200VR, it doesn't work so well on FX as it does on DX.
I would add that faster shutter speeds for equivalently framed scenes requiring maximum DOF will also be a consideration that favors DX. Dragging gear to remote locations is also easier with smaller formats. Then there's the question of cost; it still costs substantially more for a D700 than a D300, and that's before we factor in lenses and the 70-200 VR and the lenses mentioned in the OP.
 
T

TonyBeach

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but on the D300, you lose a stop. On FX, you can just shoot at higher ISO.
It's all about trade-offs. You lose a stop on the FX DSLR but not on the D300 (because you don't use a converter to get the same equivalent focal length); the AF performance of the D700 remains to be seen (but it may be better for some applications just because it has a tighter arrangement of AF sensors), but putting a converter on the camera will compromise that AF.

If you crank up the ISO to make up for slower shutter speeds on FX, then you are sacrificing some of the very ISO advantage that format is supposed to deliver and for which you will pay dearly. Now you are using a converter and a higher ISO to get the same results using the same lens.

So to summarize, with FX you use TC14e and your aperture effectively becomes f/4 while with DX you get slightly longer focal length (300mm FX equivalent versus 280mm) and retain f/2.8, but to make up the difference you shoot at a higher ISO on the FX DSLR. Now the important question becomes this: Did paying an extra $1200-$1500 for the camera and $350-$400 for the converter buy you improved IQ?
 
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For reach, you could just use a 1.4x teleconvertor.
If the D700 with a TC is as good as a D300, I will buy the D700 instead of the D300. But it won't be. It's bound to affect both image quality and AF on some lenses.

Note this would also mean comparing the D700 + 2.0x TC vs D300 + 1.4x TC
 
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If the D700 with a TC is as good as a D300, I will buy the D700 instead of the D300. But it won't be. It's bound to affect both image quality and AF on some lenses.

Note this would also mean comparing the D700 + 2.0x TC vs D300 + 1.4x TC
With D700's lower pixel density, it will demand less sharpness from the lenses, so the D700 would take less of a performance hit when used with a TC. I think performance of D700 + 2.0x TC vs D300 + 1.4x TC will be roughly equal. Someone should try it.
 

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