Ok, I'm starting to break-down...considering a D3

Discussion in 'Nikon FX DSLR' started by MMarz, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. MMarz

    MMarz

    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    So here's the scoop... My D300 is great in lower light conditions than the D2X..no surprise. The LCD rocks. The ENEL4a battery lasts longer than I do.. The focus is so so. Sensor cleaning is a plus, but I don't have much of a dust problem with either body. I rarely use the on-board flash.

    The ergonomics of the D2x are just plain perfect. I reach for this body more often, solely for this reason.

    It doesn't look like Nikon will have a DX sensor in a pro body, so I have given thought to how an FX would impact me..

    Most of my lenses would carry over with little problem.

    I shoot primarily wildlife with a spattering of everything else, and I do enjoy having two bodies (D300 on the big glass on the tripod and D2x with the 70-200 shouldered), but truth told there have been instances where switching between the bodies has resulted in a lost shot or two, but not having to switch lenses certainly adds to speed reaction times and my lack of dust problems.

    Since I never have enough reach, the thought of moving backward in this area by going to the Fx sensor has thwarted me entertaining the D3, and the cost was certainly a consideration. But the D2x, for what I do, excels at times of the day when wildlife is less active..it is the feel, sound, experience of the D2x that keeps it around, not necessarily the performance. (Ok, all you D2X proponents, don't get your panties all bunched up. It is a fantasic body!! It just isn't outstanding at 800 ISO!!).

    I think the first thing I need to resolve is the loss of the crop factor. So...I am going to mount the 300/2.8 on one body and the 200/2.8 on another and see the difference.

    The next thing I can't seem to negotiate in my mind is the lower pixel density. The way I see it, the loss of the crop factor will encourage more aggressive cropping in post. The greater pixel density of the Dx format is more useful in crop situations. So, isn't it a double negative? Loss of crop factor and it's perception of added reach, plus the lower pixel density working against you in post??

    Obviously there are tons of folks generating some great wildlife images with the D3...but I still have this mental stumbling block.
     
  2. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Missouri
    Some of my thoughts from some other posts I made:

    summary:

    Cropping 75%-100% with low ISO, D300 better prints at large print sizes, smaller (8x10 or less) prints, or online, not much difference.

    cropping 50% vs 75% on D300 vs D3 at low iso, not much difference large or small prints,

    Shooting at High ISO, 1600 to 3200, advantage to D3, this is even with less pixels on subject on big crops due to noise in FX camera at big crops. Pixel quality comes into play!
     
  3. jfenton

    jfenton

    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    The Way I See It Mike

    If you're like me, even with DX you're still stretching to get away with some of your shots...some of course you're not.

    Anything that is marginal or even at times reasonable in DX isn't going to work in FX unless: (I'm assuming you've already approached the subject to the closest, logistically doable distance)

    A) You increase the length of the optics.

    B) You decrease your output size.

    Believe me..I'd be all over FF if it worked for what I do, both for the IQ and the mechanics of the body.
     
  4. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Missouri
    Jim summed it up even shorter than I did. thanks Jim.

    big crops of subjects a long ways off, you need pixels on subject.
     
  5. jfenton

    jfenton

    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Wade...shooting litle birds even 75' away with a 500 and TC17EII and I found that the D3 didn't ofer enough pixels.

    Therefore I must add, that one could always switch to shooting larger subjects :)
     
  6. Michael,

    I'd wait until the rumored Nikon body based on the Sony 24-megapixel sensor comes out. It won't give you the wonderful high-ISO performance of the D3. But it'll give you the pixel density relatively close to your D300 and the body performance and ergonomics you want.
     
  7. MMarz

    MMarz

    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Jim... you, among others, keep coming to mind. Of all the imageer's here, I liken my style and content close to yours and I keep thinking...if it doesn't work for Jim Fenton, why think it will work for you?

    I think I need to sell my D2x so I stop lusting over the pro-body.
     
  8. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Missouri

    I consider a small bird 75' away a long way off! :wink: It is all relative, if the subject is small no matter what the distance and you have to crop, then it is a long way off!
     
  9. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Missouri
  10. MMarz

    MMarz

    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Nice shot Wade...

    You hit the other sensitive nerve I have. I am loving the reach of my 500, but feel like my 300/2.8 has been abandoned so have started examining the possibility of selling the 300 & 500 for the 200-400 VR..

    As far as the D3..I've come to the conclusion that no matter which body I have, I'll exploit as much of it's capabilities as I can. The D3 could work just fine, but the D300 is still a great performer...

    I need to exhale a little and give NAS a little rest.
     
  11. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Missouri
    If you are serious, consider selling your 300 and sig 500 and getting a 500f4 VR, with the 1.4, a great 700 mm lens with great AF speed on the D3, and pretty good on the D300 on close in stuff, and fast AF without the TC at 500mm.
     
  12. Pixelographer

    Pixelographer

    510
    Dec 22, 2006
    you could get more of the high qual pixels on a bird at distance if you buy the d3 and the sigma 200-500 f/2.8 plus the 2x tele

    being of limited resources, I'd keep the d300 and buy a used 600 f/4... sell 300/2.8, d2xs
     
  13. MMarz

    MMarz

    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    I don't know if I would do that...You know once the 300 was gone I would suddenly need it..and I would have a huge gap from 300 to 500. What I MIGHT do is exchange the 300 for the Sigma 120-300/2.8. That would make it more likely that I would use it. I think.
     
  14. MMarz

    MMarz

    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Well, we know the 200-500 scenario isn't going to happen, with or without a D3..
     
  15. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    Alberta
    If you can find a used Nikkor 800 5.6 ED-IF AIS than I think the not enough reach issue ceases to be a issue. The great thing about using one of these Super Telephoto's on a D3 is the ease of focusing and the ability to bump up the ISO to keep shutter speeds high. The 600 F4 ED-IF AIS is great but if you shoot little birds I still think you are always going to be slapping a 1.4 converter and while you do gain an extra 40mm (840mm) the IQ of the naked Nikkor 800 5.6 ED-IF AIS is still better. And when I do need more reach the 800 5.6 AIS behaves very nicely with the 1.4 and even the 2X provided the shutter speeds, support and focus are in tact. Hope this helps


    gregory
     
  16. vinman

    vinman

    Nov 15, 2006
    Upstate SC
    AIS lenses just don't cut it with smaller birds in a lot of scenarios. I use my 500f4P all the time on the beach, prone, mounted on a sliding base trying to shoot peep sandpipers walking around. Lack of AF makes it challenging, but not very practical for serious (hope to sell) photographs - just too many oof shots due to birds' movement while trying to keep the lens as open as possible for composition. I'm not saying it isn't doable, I have some wonderful shots, but as far as hoping for anything approaching a worthwhile keeper rate, nope. As much as I love my f4P, I am seriously thinking of selling it before next fall and trying to find a good deal on a 500/600 AFS so that I can start getting better shots more consistently.

    Regarding FX and teles, I've seen the same thing. Reach is reach, and there is NO substitute. I've taken some really nice shots with my D700 and 500. All the components are there - except the bird! The loss of that extra 50% is pretty significant - especially after you become accustomed to having it by default with a DX body. Fortunately, in my case, the purchase of the D700 has coincided with a transition in photo interests. I've been shooting a lot of architecture over the past 6 months, and now, with a newborn, I'm obviously shooting a lot of him, as well. Reach is not only not an issue, but the ability to go wide is a plus. I've still got the D200, but for now it's not getting used a lot.

    This is a great time to be a photographer, in my opinion. The tools that are available are growing more diverse and versatile. Two bodies now means both reach AND wide. High ISO AND low ISO - both with outstanding DR. Glass is getting better, although more expensive. I'm pretty happy, albeit more broke than ever!
     
  17. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    Alberta
    Vinman: I agree, reach is reach. Thats why I suggested getting a Nikkor 800 5.6 ED-IF AIS for small birds:tongue:. As far as keeper's I just made a nice sale of my keepes of birds and macro bugs all shot on Nikkor AIS to my doctor:biggrin:, for his office. Who says it dosnt pay to be sick:tongue:.
    Since getting my D3 I love using my Nikkor Super Telephoto 400/600/800 even more than using a DX(D2H) sensor. It's true I use my Nikkor 800 5.6 ED-IF AIS more than for birds. But so what? Untill nikon comes out with the D3X the D3 is the breath of life for classic Nikkor AIS glass. Shoot me a P.M if you want to sell your Nikkor 500 4P.

    Gregory
     
  18. I love my D3, but the D2X/D300 do resolve more resolution for telephoto shooting. I think the D3 has cleaner files though. It's a tough call.