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NEED QUICK RESPONSE from D3 owners with a D700! Auto focus question!

Discussion in 'Nikon FX DSLR Forum' started by Jonathan F/2, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. Okay guys, I need a response from all you guys who own both the D3 and D700. I'm planning on dumping some gear to finance either a D3 or a D700. I'm planning to dump both my D300 bodies for either a new D700 or a used D3.

    The most important question I need answered is the AF regarding the D700. Is it up to par with the D3 AF? Lately I find the D300 AF isn't that great and people say the D700 is just like the D3, but I need to know. If the D700 is more like the D300, then I don't want to waste my money. So here are my scenarios.

    I prefer a 3 camera system in regards to my daily shooting style:

    D2X mounted to the 17-55 on the short lens flash
    D2X mounted to the 200mm F/2 VR (I'm happy with this setup on the D2X)
    D3 or D700 mounted to the 70-200 VR for low light telephoto zoom shooting

    I still retain my 2 DX cameras for the crop and use the D3/D700 for the FX advantage. Though by dumping my D300 bodies I loose out on a fast FPS DX body that does 1600 ISO decently with 12mp in the 1.5x crop, but I gain excellent high ISO shooting with either a D3 and/or D700.

    Part of the reason I'm not dumping my D2X bodies, is realistically no one wants to buy them! Plus I do have a heavy investment in the DX short lenses. I don't shoot landscape and DX wide angles are fine with me. Opinions from users who have experience with all cameras please.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2008
  2. Be careful when listening to what others say, especially if they say the D700 is as good. We are not expecting it to be, so we should trust those who find a difference between AF on the two cameras. Those who say there is no difference might be shooting subjects that work fine with the D300.
  3. My two main criteria regarding the AF:

    1. Locking on low contrast subjects with telephoto lenses.
    2. Tracking subject movement with little background separation.
  4. vinman


    Nov 15, 2006
    Upstate SC
    All the major reviewers are claiming identical performance, although a few key players who would best quantify an answer to this specific question have yet to report (Moose, for one).
    I'm anxious to read a direct comparison to the D3 just to see an end to the almost hostile insistance that they can't possibly be the same :)  Seriously, either way, hopefully soon someone will chime in with an answer that is relevant to the bif question...
  5. I am not hostile - if you mean me. :tongue:

    I really, really hope the AF for BIF is as good as the D3. But I want to hear it from the bird shooting experts.
  6. Why is the D700 focus expected to be not as good as the D3?
  7. Jonathon, many are reporting the AF on the D300 really goes south when tcs are used on long lenses. So, if the D700 is like the D3, not the D300, it will focus as well (or nearly so) as the D3 when tcs are used.
  8. If the AF is just as good, then I'm pulling the trigger on the D700 ASAP. Well, as soon as I dump the D300 bodies! :wink:

    Man, I kinda miss the old Nikon that was slow to release anything, now I feel like a Canon user!
  9. I'm fine with TC usage. I only have a Nikon 1.4 tc and I'm covered up to 500mm, so for me I'm not too worried. It's the criteria that I listed above that I'm most concerned about. I also like the dual CF slot on the D3.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2008
  10. zandym


    Apr 14, 2006
    Now that made me laugh! Good one Jonathan. I think a lot of us feel the same way.

    All I had was a D40 and a D200 last year and was pretty contented since I know I wasn't missing much.

    Since the rejuvenated Nikon came about, I got the D300, D3, bought the 85/1.4 again as it works great with FX, the 24mm PC-E, 60mm AFS, and 500VR . :eek:  Somebody hit the Pause button ! :D izzy:

    Also thinking of selling the D300 for the D700. :rolleyes: 
  11. vinman


    Nov 15, 2006
    Upstate SC
    That 500 is what I NEED to work into next year's budget. I've been shooting birds with my 500f4P since the early 90's!! BIF is usually not a good option for me, anyway because of this. If 50% of what I have planned to finish up project-wise this year pays off, I may just be able to do it! I'd actually be pretty thrilled to work in the 500 AF-SII instead...
  12. I shoot people, not birds or anything that challenging motion-wise, but I do shoot a lot in very low light and from tonight's playing around I can't see a difference between my D3's and my D700.

    I've only had it a day though and haven't had much time with it - these are just cursory thoughts. I wont be using it in anger until Adobe release support for it anyway as Capture NX makes my teeth itch.
  13. Jez


    Jun 22, 2005
    :biggrin: Glad to hear it's not just me!

    You don't fancy hacking around with a hex editor then?
  14. I've tried - I can get the Hex to read D3 but Lightroom and Aperture don't like it so I'm doing something wrong...
  15. Jez


    Jun 22, 2005
    Just send that D700 over to me and I'll get it working for you.... :wink:
  16. Ha - did it - Aperture can see it now....but the same file doesn't read in Lightroom....this is output from Aperture.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Sorry for the hijack
  17. Don't know this site, but they are not fond of the D700 AF

    "Like the D3 and D300, the D700 also showcases a 51 point autofocus system with 3D tracking available locking focus to moving subjects. However, we found it rather sluggish in comparison and would only place it on par with Canon's 40D. In fact, we felt that the autofocus might even be a bit slower than the Canon 5D."

    I find that hard to believe. Here's the source:

  18. david7703


    Mar 27, 2008
    melrose ma
    I'm sorry..I tried to read the "review" at the link you posted, but all those big words and goofy graphs, get in the way of the cleavage..so i gave up :biggrin:
  19. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    :eek:  +1 :eek: 
  20. The answer is that I don't know and noone else does at this point. It should be about the same AF between the D3 and the D700. But I'm pretty sure you will find a whole bunch of threads with people that will claim this or that in the coming weeks.

    There are currently only two things we do know for sure, and that is D300 and the D3's capabilities. I find the D300 AF very good. I find the D3's AF VERY good, clearly better then the D300 for what I do. YMMV!!!

    If you need to pull the trigger now, there is only one way to be sure and that is to go with a D3. Not that much of a price difference right now between the D700 with a grip and the D3...Wait 3 weeks untill all the noise dies down and you can make much more of an educated decision .....
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