D700 Upgrade from D90

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SOLLERBOY, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. SOLLERBOY macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
    I got my D90 about this time last year as an upgrade from a D40. Over the past couple of years I have amassed four lenses. The Nikon 50mm f1.4 afs sigma 10-20 f3.5, sigma 18-200 3.5 and the nikon 18-55 3.5.

    I will be starting a degree course in photography later this year but still have one last college project before I go. I mostly shoot night landscapes. I will be travelling to the West Coast of America in March to shoot my final project and want it to surpass everything I have done before. I was considering a D700 as it's just about affordable. I have been reading reviews etc but want some real opinions on the camera from you guys here. How is it's ISO? what's the max you can shoot at before it becomes too noisy? Which of my lenses will work with it? Just the 50? How good will it be for night landscapes and long exposures?? Battery life similar to d90?? etc.

    Any opinions are greatly appreciated.

    P.S. if I get the D700 should I try and get the 24-70 2.4????
  2. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Have you checked whether your lenses work on a FX body?

    A d90 to d700 jump seems like a big one. The general consensus on these forums is to invest in great glass before a great body.
  3. SOLLERBOY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008

    My biggest problem is that the d90 has a hot green pixel and autofocus issues so i could use a new body.
  4. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    D700 is a fantastic body. It's excellent at high ISO - it will perform brilliantly at 6400.

    Having said that, you have a lens problem such that you won't get the most out of that body with those two zooms. You could shoot with them in DX mode but unless you have the money to upgrade the body AND to upgrade the lenses over the next year or so, you might be better off considering a D300S.
  5. flosseR macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2009
    the cold dark north
    Agreed with above.
    I have seen ISO 6400 shots printed in magazines from the D700, it's that good BUT you need the glass for it and you currently only have the 50m 1.4 that does it justice.

    Having said that, I have a D700 with a PDK1 on it, I get upwards of 3000 shots with one charge and I use an "old" FW lens as my primary zoom.
    I shoot with a 24-85 AF-s lens and I have to say its spectacular. Night shots if you do long exposure it will be great otherwise I would invest also in a 20mm f1.8 to cover your ultra wide if you want to.

    Overall with your lenses the 300s look better but if you want to make the jump do research for lenses that fit you and don't break your bank, there are plenty out there.

  6. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    Why not get the D90 repaired? How long will you be in Africa..? Have you considered renting a body/lenses for the trip?
  7. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    If it's just one hot pixel, there should be no problem. If you are really that bothered about it you can send the body back to Nikon and they will map it out. A new DSLR probably has at least one hot pixel on it although I think they map them out at the factory prior to shipping.

    If you shoot night landscapes, I'm not sure what a D700 will gain you. You're shooting on a tripod anyways right? And should be using the lowest ISO possible for image quality.

    I think only the 50mm will work on the FX body, thus requiring you to re-purchase an entire lens set. That inflates the cost of the upgrade quite significantly. Considering that, is it even still affordable?

    You wouldn't really be gaining anything on the D700 other than perhaps a wider FOV, however, with your 10-20mm lens the only way you're going to get wider is if you buy something like the 14-24mm f2.8 which adds another $2000 onto your cost.

    Also considering that you aren't going to be gaining anything in terms of megapixel count (if you intend to print large), the upgrade doesn't really seem to make any sense to me. But if you can clarify your photographic requirements a little more, maybe it would make more sense.

  8. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    The D3/D700 will shoot night landscapes with far less noise than any dSLR on the market. The upgrade makes perfect sense if he can afford both the camera and the lenses that will optimize the body.
  9. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    Other than the 50mm, I believe all the lenses you list are DX lenses. I love my D700, but the D300s is a worthy camera in it's own right - most of the advantages of the D700 (e.g. 51 point autofocus, mirror lockup, almost-as-good high ISO performance), plus it's got a DX sensor (so all your existing lenses will work) and will save you a good chunk o' change. B&H has the D300s body for $1500 right now.
  10. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    The OP can select DX mode on his new D700, so his DX lenses certainly can be used with that FX body. There won't be degradation of the images because of that, he'll still have all the IQ advantages of the D700, just not the FX picture angle. He'll get better images from his DX lens/D700 combination than with his DX lens/D90 combo. His IQ will improve, just not using the FX sensor to its maximum advantage.

    I make no judgment about whether such a move makes financial sense. Only the OP can decide whether the IQ improvement is worth the expense.

    Attached Files:

  11. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Nov 19, 2007
    Portland, OR
    This is not true, maybe you shoot Canon and are used to the thought of non-compatibility between formats but DX lenses will mount and work just fine on FX Nikon cameras. The only drawback is the loss of about 50% of the resolution. Put a 17-55 f/2.8 on a D700 and you have a fantastic combo which has the resolution of a D40 (which many many people find more than enough), and the high ISO performance of the D3.

    Sure it'd be nicer to have the ability to buy all FX formatted lenses with the D700, but if the budget doesn't allow it, then it's not the same problem that it is with Canon cameras, the lenses do port across formats just fine.

  12. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    If you're shooting night landscapes, your subject matter isnt moving. Therefore, you should be shooting at or near base ISO and at that level, there is not a significant advantage in noise on an FX body except in extreme cases like extremely long exposure times but still, amp noise is going to be an issue at this point and is not recommended. For star trails the commonly accepted best practice is to shoot a series of shorter exposures (a few minutes each) and composite them digitally.

    If he was shooting nightclubs or something you might have a point, but when he says night landscapes I take that to mean shooting mostly still subjects with a tripod.

    If the OP gets a D700 and uses his current glass, he has degraded to a 5MP camera. Now if all he is going to do is to post snapshots on Flickr then yeah maybe that's okay (however at that point there is a serious argument as to whether the improved IQ of a D700 would even be visible) however as a student of the arts as he says, there is a good chance he's going to be making fine-art level prints, where 5MP isn't going to cut it. The D90 would likely net a better image (i.e. slightly noisier but much sharper).

    Also, upgraading the body but keeping mediocre glass is going to be a factor in image quality as well. Perhaps it would be smarter for the OP to get a faster lens instead of a new body. If he got a lens that was one stop faster, he would be roughly getting the same improvement in IQ that the superior sensor would (I thought that in general the D700 gets about one stop better performance than the D90) all the while benefitting from the higher quality glass for the rest of his shooting, and likely at a lower cost than a purchase of the D700 would.

    There's a lot of speculation in my post hence why I said if the OP could clarify more on what his shooting requirements are, perhaps a better solution would present itself.

  13. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2006
    That crops the image from 12 MP to 5 MP.

    OP, if you can afford it, get a D700 and a 17-35mm f/2.8 AF-S then just sell all your old gear (except for the 50mm f.1.4, that's a killer lens on FX)

    You can find them used on ebay for under $1k and it's a great wide angle.
    You should also get a 70-200mm f/2.8. It's my "go to lens" for any kind of event work.
    It is almost permanently attached to my D3 with a D700 and 17-35mm hanging from my other shoulder :D
  14. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    The D700 and D3 will shoot up to ISO 9600 with publishable results if you expose properly. The D3s will shoot to ISO 12500 under the same conditions. That means that if you're getting 1/60s at f/2.8 on a D3, you'll get 1/125 at f/2.8. How important a stop is depends a lot on what you're shooting and the results you wish to achieve. It's at least worth considering renting a D3s, or at least doing the math from the shots you're getting now and seeing where the extra stops will get you then see where one more stop goes before you decide.
  15. Macshroomer macrumors 65816


    Dec 6, 2009
    Which ISO setting do you mean?
    Low, middle, high?

    ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization. When people just say "ISO" they are talking like it is a one size fits all term. It is merely a scale of sensitivity to light, like "EV" or "LUX" values...
  16. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan

    To me it sounds as if the D700 is not just overkill, but an investment in the wrong direction: full frame will not be a very worthwhile investment -- especially if coupled to such mediocre lenses. When using wide-angle lenses, you cannot play as much with the depth of field compared to portraits shot with tele lenses, for instance. Also, you can probably shoot at base ISO at all times (or something near it) and you practically won't see any difference in terms of noise.

    So instead the OP should get some nicer lenses, probably a tripod (if landscapes are his main thing) and perhaps a flash gun or two that he can use off-camera (e. g. an SB-600 would work).
  17. Rondue macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2008
    going from a D90 to a full body FX camera is a HUGE step dude. I grabbed a D300s instead of a D700 due to the fact the lens price you will be going from 200-1500 for decent lenses for the D90-D300s to 1200-6000 dollars to get proper usage out of a FX body camera, I would do tons of research on the lenses people use with that body.

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