Moving to full frame soon, MP & Lens question

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Tom Sawyer, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. Tom Sawyer macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

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    Aug 29, 2007
    #1
    Hoping someone can share some thoughts/experience on this... I'm finally moving up to a full frame body and have pretty much decided on the D700, mostly because I actually prefer the lower MP spec, it follows that noise will be better and I can get by with less than perfect glass. I've moved from the canon world where I'm familiar with the different lens offerings but in the Nikon world it's all new.

    My question is mainly concerning the 24-120mm lens that comes in the D700 kit, how is that lens in general? Is there a better choice to get that kind of nice 'walk around' range for a D700? If I were going with the 5D Mark II, I'd undoubtedly get the 24-104mm f/4, seems reviews are good on that one, it's L construction etc. But the info on the Nikon 24-120mm is a bit mixed out there. With the lower pixel count, it seems that you could get by with slightly less than super high end glass. My understanding on the 5D II is that it is critical to mount the best glass you can to get acceptable results due to the very high pixel density.

    Anyway... greatly appreciate any recommendations on this. I have not ruled out the 5D II, but am really concerned over the high MP count.

    TIA!
     
  2. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    with Hamburglar.
    #2
    Having the best glass you can afford on a full-frame body has nothing to do with the pixel density. Lesser quality glass gets worse along the edges. Full-frame bodies will use the entire portion of the glass, whereas crop bodies will stay closer to the middle of the glass where the quality is better.

    [​IMG]

    I really wouldn't sweat the pixel density -- frame sensors have barely begun to scratch that surface. Crop-sensors are steadily reaching a maximum effective pixel density, although noise-reduction technology slows that process.

    P&S sensors - maxed out, tons of noise
    Crop sensors - moving toward max, noise can be an issue
    FF sensors - lots of headroom, noise is not really an issue

    The 5DII is an incredible camera, and should remain a strong contender for anyone looking to move into the realm of FF. The bonus (but not necessary) 1080p video setting is also neat, if you might occasionally shoot video. I owned the original 5D too, and it was nothing short of phenomenal.
     
  3. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #3
    So lets get this thing straight, you sold all your Canon lenses? and who told you 5D must have the best lenses? I read one of the reviews stating as long as its good optics, everything will be fine. And also, the higher detail (due to mp) given by 5D Mark II compensated the higher ISO effect (still retain details eventhough more noise), so its higher ISO performance is frankly speaking on par with D700.

    Anyway, what accessories you currently own?
     
  4. Tom Sawyer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

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    Aug 29, 2007
    #4
    My canon setup was minimal... a 50D with an 18-200mm kit lens and a 50mm prime, not a big deal and of course the 18-200mm would have to go anyway being EF-S....

    To be honest, I was making some assumptions (I know.. :eek: ) on the 5D Mk II based on my experience with the 50D being higher MP and having less performance than I was expecting noise wise etc. I had read a review on the II that mentioned it needed better glass.

    Thank you for the thoughts... makes sense. Having had Canons in the past, I would probably prefer and feel more comfortable with the 5D II, and really like the 24-105mm f/4. The Nikon lens lineup is just different and therefore if I go that way, want to make sure I make the best decision lens wise.
     
  5. Tom Sawyer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

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    Aug 29, 2007
    #5
    Thanks Grimace, that is very helpful! Considering the increase in surface area on the FF sensor, that higher MP count doesn't really translate to such a crowded density as I had with the 50D....

    And very good point on the 1080p video capability on the II... I've seen some example footage and it is just spectacular!!
     
  6. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #6
    I'll let someone else fight the Canon vs. Nikon war and confine myself to addressing your question.

    The 24-120 isn't very well regarded. If I were looking for a mid-range zoom lens at a consumer level price, I would probably opt for a used 24-85 G f3.5-4.5. AF-S I owned one of these at one time, but the focal length range was a poor fit with my then D100. It is more useful on an FX camera and compared to my current lenses, it's nice and light. I would probably complement it with a 70-300 VR. Thom Hogan has mentioned using a Tamron 28-300 VR as his walk around travel lens on the D700, and that's an interesting option too.

    By way of reference, I shoot with a D700, and I am pretty well set with professional quality lenses: 14-24 f2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 80-200 f2.8 AF-S, 300 f2.8 AF-S, etc. It's a heavy kit and not well suited to air travel or casual shooting. I've been eyeing the 24-85 on Ebay recently - clean copies can be had for pretty cheap. I will probably round out my kit with primes, but I am hoping those are next up for an update from Nikon and so I am holding off on that for now.
     
  7. qveda macrumors regular

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    Sep 8, 2008
    #7
    I'm also trying to decide between D700 and 5D2. I sold all my 35m gear years ago, and now getting back into photography. So I have no bias or lenses to tilt me one way or the other.

    I can live without video, so setting that aside. I was heading towards the d700 for its ergonomics, autofocus, and faster frame rate.
    Ergonomic feel, and user interface (buttons vs menus etc) are important to me since that is my 'connection' to the camera.

    But the more I looked at lenses, the more I tilt toward the 5D2. I expect to get the most use from 24-70 and 70-200. In both those categories, Canon seems to have better lenses. I tend to crop, so that also tilts me toward 5D2.

    I know that ultimately either would be wonderful, but I'm really on the fence, and having kind of a tough time deciding. (I'm about 2hrs from a real camera store, so hard for me to get 'face time' with these cameras)
     
  8. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #8
    Wow qveda, you really got yourself into a dilemma, both ergonomics and lens line up is important when choosing a camera. Well I guess now it comes down to price then?

    Wow Cliff, you got some nice set of glasses there
     
  9. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #9
    Pixel density isn't just about noise, it's also about resolution and diffraction. When the D2x came out, many folks had issues with lesser lenses. I'd expect the D3x to have about the same issues. Diffraction depends on pixel density both in terms of sharpness and contrast- contrast is most affected though.

    The D2x/xs have a pixel density of 32,820.62/mm^2, while the D3x has 28,302.62- the pixel size on the D3x is 5.94 microns, the D2x pixel size is 5.5 microns and the D300 is 5.49 microns- not really "barely begun to scratch the surface" IMO- it's within 10% of the max we've seen for crop sensors.

    Most lenses resolve in the 50-80 lp/mm range. The D2x sensor is around 90 lp/mm- that's why sub-par glass looks worse on the D2x than say a D70s at 63 lp/mm.
     
  10. Tom Sawyer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

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    Aug 29, 2007
    #10
    Really does sound like we face the same dilema. The Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 has reviews as a fantastic lens... but it has a fantastic price too, a fair amount more expensive than canon's 24-70 2.8.

    I'm fortunately in no major hurry and have my gear sold at good prices (actually parted out the 50D kit for more than I paid, can't beat that).
     
  11. qveda macrumors regular

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    Sep 8, 2008
    #11
    I'm also not in a major hurry. I'm not seeing great reviews of the D700 kit lens, but I am seeing great reviews of the 5D2 kit lens (24-105) which is a few hundred $ savings if you go with that lens. Another plus for Canon.

    But overall, price does not help me decide since either a 5D2 or D700 come out within about 10% of each other, depending on lens choices. Hopefully some new announcements will be made which will push me one way or the other before I have saved up enough to actually buy an outfit. A new 70-200 from Nikon might do it. I don't know if I will be able to sit on the sidelines until a D700x is available - could be awhile.
     
  12. anubis macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 7, 2003
    #12
    Grimace also has quite a set of camera equipment... maybe the most expensive and extensive out of anyone I've seen in Macrumors... I'm surprised he's still doggin' it with the non-L 50mm... Come on Grimace, what are you waiting for ;)
     
  13. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #13
    At least the most extensive out of anyone listing that level of detail in their signature.
     
  14. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #14
    Hehe, I'm sure there are plenty of others with nice glass too. I have made some buying mistakes over the years, but I am happy with the system of glass that I have settled on. The 50mm f/1.4 is actually a pretty great lens - as is the f/1.8 version (I've had both)

    The 50mm f/1.2L is still on my hit list, but I have heard lots of stories about its focusing issues. The 85mm is my bread and butter, but some day, I'll up the 50mm too! :)
     
  15. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #15
    I haven't looked at the MTFs of these lenses, but Nikkors tend (broad generalization which seems to hold true for most of the line) to be contrastier than Canon's to my eyes- given the lifetime on lenses, I'd really suggest trying to get somewhere that you can shoot both side-by-side to gain a good comparison- you may seriously prefer the look of one over the other if there's any noticeable difference.
     
  16. Rockies Photo macrumors newbie

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    Jan 8, 2008
    #16
    Since you have sold all your gear, and are starting from scratch, you now have the opportunity to begin again, so to speak. You cannot go wrong with either the D700 or 5DII. Both are excellent bodies. With yourself, having been used to Canon, the transition to the Nikon menu layout, will take some getting used to, as IMO, it is not as simple to use.

    Yes, there are better lenses. The 24-120 VR is not that great of a lens. Create a budget, and go from there. I would not purchase stated lens. It is not comparable to the 24-105 IS.

    If you go back to Canon, the 24-105, is an Excellent General purpose lens. It does have some drawbacks, but that depends on how anal retentive you are about lenses. I love it, as it is my general purpose/ walk around lens. There are times, it is not fast enough, but then I just switch to one of the 2.8 lenses, and push the ISO, if needed.

    Don't get caught up in the Pixel War, for lack of better term. If you are considering the form factor, then the 5DII/D700 are great for mid-sized cams. If you don't mind the full size bodies, then I would look into a used 1DsII. It will cost' less, than the 5D2/D700 New, and has awesome images that come from it. ;) Pixels aren't everything. Just a suggestion.
     
  17. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    #17
    Hmm, gotta ask currently f/4 like what people say not ideal for low light rite? But with the upcoming dSLR with higher ISO range especially since the 5D Mark II can reach ISO 6400 natively, wouldn't that be enough for low light? and the higher resolution helps with the details.

    Judging from the ISO comparison on DPReview, it seems you can use up to ISO1600-ISO3200 confidently and bump to 6400 without much worry
     
  18. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #18
    yeah, it's not as big a deal now, but lower ISO is still better to gather more detail. i'm not so sure the higher resolution can overcome noise.

    one extra stop from f/2.8 is always welcome, too.
     
  19. qveda macrumors regular

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    #19
    A used 1DsII is a very interesting suggestion. I've seen them on ebay for ~ $2500- 3000 in excellent condition. And a used 1DsII may not lose as much value over the next year as a D700 probably would. Might be a way for me to enter the Canon world, and upgrade the body later.
     
  20. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #20
    Bumping ISO doesn't help with subject isolation though.
     
  21. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    #21
    True though, and I debated this with a friend before, but wouldn't a f/2.8 bokeh will be too smooth till you can't see the background which sometimes defeats the purpose? Like when you capture events, it's important to be able to get the background peoples to bring the atmosphere in the photo right (I'm not saying that these people should be in focus or anything, just enough to see what they are doing while the main subject be perfectly in focus)?
     
  22. toxic macrumors 68000

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    #22
    f/2.8 doesn't blur that much.... that's when you're approaching f/1.2 at 85mm.
     
  23. joelypolly macrumors 6502

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    #23
    If you are going with a system do have a think about the future. When I was picking Canon vs Nikon I had a good think about the lenses I would be using in the future. Canon had a few lenses that I wanted but couldn't afford a the time (28-300mm Canon L, 60mm Macro 1X5 for those that are interested) so I picked the Canon system and slowly picked up the lenses as I had more money.

    So do think about what you want to use in terms of lenses. I think ergonomics wise I prefer Canon but that is my personal preference after using both systems. You may prefer Nikon.

    FF gives you a lot more depth of field than a cropped sensor, so a slower lens on a FF should still give you better background blur. Just make sure it's a nice and sharp lens
     
  24. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    #24
    Ah, okay. Thanks :)
     
  25. toxic macrumors 68000

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    #25
    i think you have your logic confused. the second clause is correct, the first isn't. FF gives you about 1 1/3 stop less DoF at a given f-stop and focal length. from the same distance, you will have a larger DoF because the image doesn't have to be enlarged as much, but all the focal lengths are "shorter", which makes you closer to the subject, which has a bigger impact on DoF and making it smaller.

    a larger sensor (and less pixel density) will make any lens look better, outside of the corners. even then, as long as the sharpness falloff isn't extreme and you don't get 5 stops of vignetting wide open, the lens will look fine. additionally, corner-to-corner sharpness isn't all that important until you stop down, in which case it'll be pretty even anyway.
     

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