Nikon FX Lenses on DX cameras?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Shacklebolt, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    #1
    So, I'm pretty sure I'm going go get the Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 (though I'm not thrilled about the lack of VR, but have heard good things). Problem is, I keep reading bad things about FX lenses on DX cameras - as in, waste of money (ken rockwell says "[on my D300, I'd rather have my 18-200, but for my D3, the 24-70 is invaluable]"). Is this so? I'd buy a D3, but wait, don't quite have 5k lying around.
     
  2. macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #2
    Aside from not using the lens to its full capacity, I don't see the "harm" perse, assuming you can afford it. :)
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    #3
    I use a 55mm AF Micro on my D50 all the time. Some less expensive lenses, like the 70-300 G, actually perform better on DX because you are not using the edges.

    What Rockwell is saying there is that on a DX sensor, a 24-70mm lens actually is equivalent to 36-105 on FX in terms of field of view, which doesn't go as wide as he likes.
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Fukuoka, Japan
    #4
    Any lens will perform better on a smaller sensor, not just cheap ones. Any problem of lenses (other than bad centering) get worse towards the edges (vignetting, distortions, chromatic aberration, lack of sharpness).

    24-70 mm corresponds to 36-105 on a Nikon crop body, a focal length range that isn't that appealing if you want to have a normal zoom. If you plan on keeping your D300 for some times, I recommend you get a 2.8/17-55 (Nikon or otherwise). This corresponds to a true `standard zoom' in terms of viewing angles.
     
  5. macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy part of the Pacific NW
    #5
    I plan to get the 24-70 as soon as I can afford it - and I'll be using it on a DX sensor camera (either my current D70 or a new D300).

    What really matters is what range you tend to shoot in. I take a LOT of photos in the 24-70 range, so it makes sense to have some really good glass to cover it. The argument about it "only" going to 24 really only applies if you don't have anything wider. The 17-xx and 18-xx zooms tend to have significant barrel distortion at the wide end anyway; so I'd think you're better off with a dedicated wide lens like the Tokina 12-24, Sigma 10-20, Nikkor 12-24 (or 14-24) for coverage.

    I'm not sure why some people insist on listening to Ken Rockwell. I've read a fair bit of his stuff - his writing style is piss-poor; he will contradict himself in the same article (and often within a few sentences of each other); and he's prone to bombast and sweeping oversimplification (such as "the Nikon 18-200 replaces a whole bag of lenses!"). And that's assuming he's actually used the item he's "reviewing", which isn't always the case.

    Additionally: I am pretty sure I'll eventually go full-frame, once the price point drops a bit; so I think investing in any more DX glass isn't a wise decision for me.
     
  6. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    I think about it the other way around. I'd hate to invest very much money in any DX lens. The DX format is a compromise and only exists at all because we can't afford "Full Frame". Once the price of full frame sensors comes down there will be no reason for anyone to make DX. I'm refusing to invest in DX lenses other then the few I really need. I know in 10 years my DX lenses will be useless.
     
  7. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Fukuoka, Japan
    #7
    It's not a Ken Rockwell argument, it's common sense and personal experience. I remember how liberating it was to go from a 35-70 zoom on my first slr (no d ;)) to a 2.8/28-70 zoom. A 35 mm minimal focal length doesn't cut it. Nor is a wide-angle zoom a replacement, if you don't want to change lenses all the time. Remember that this is the bread-and-butter lens. The equivalent on a DX sensor is 16/17/18-5x mm. Just because you might get a fullframe sensor camera in 7-10 years doesn't mean you should shoot with a suboptimal focal length range in the meantime.
     
  8. macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy part of the Pacific NW
    #8
    You can't make blanket statements like that and assume they fit every photographer. If we follow that to its logical conclusion, everyone should just buy the 18-200 and be done with it (I do have it, and it's a good lens... for what it does). What you think of as a "suboptimal focal length range" can be the perfect fit for another person.

    You have to look at what range you tend to shoot in, and make your lens purchasing decisions accordingly. I've found that when I'm shooting below 24mm, I tend to stay below 24mm pretty much the whole time during that shooting session - so a true wide angle lens is the right call. When I'm shooting an event, on the other hand, I'm almost never below 24mm - the vast majority of the time I'm between about 35mm and 65mm.
     
  9. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Fukuoka, Japan
    #9
    Back in the film days, the 2.8/28-70 wasn't called standard zoom for nothing.
     
  10. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #10
    I tended to use the 17-55mm very, very little on the D200 or D2Xs and so far it hasn't even been on either the D300 or the D3. On the other hand, in the past I used the 28-70mm extensively and now the 24-70mm happily jumps on either camera, depending upon what I'm doing and where I'm going. There IS a definite difference in its apparent focal length when viewing it through the D3 VF and then the D300 VF! Different perspectives but not bad in either case. For wide angle in the past I used the 12-24 and the 14mm on the D200 and D2Xs. Now I have the 14-24mm and find that I'm reaching for that lens a lot, regardless of which camera I'm choosing.

    Ken Rockwell? Well.....take him with a grain of rock salt. I have the 18-200mm VR and I have the 24-70mm lens. The 18-200 goes on a camera when I'm in a situation where I won't be able to carry a lot with me or won't be able to change lenses. It's really more of a travel lens. The 24-70mm is the lens which goes on either the D300 or the D3 most often.....

    Yes, much depends upon one's shooting style and one's subjects when choosing lenses.
     

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