WTB: D90 or Nikon 12-24?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by matthewr, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. matthewr macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2004
    I'm contemplating a new camera-related purchase, and I am trying to decide between upgrading from a D70 to a D90, or expanding my focal length range by getting the Nikon 12-24 lens. I do a combination of wildlife (mainly birds) and landscape photography (along with the requisite pictures of my kids). My current gear is a D70, a Nikkor 20-85 f2.8-4 and a Nikkor 80-400 f 4.5-5.6 VR. I'm somewhat torn, because I like the idea of a nice wide lens (and I no longer have that with the DX sensor) for landscapes, but I also like the idea of the increased resolution of the CMOS sensor. I'd be curious to know what others think the better purchase would be.

    Thanks in advance,


    p.s. I know the real answer is to get both, that's not in the budget now...
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Think about dots per inch and not the total number of pixels. When you double the number of megapixels you gain only only about 40% more resolution. So if your D70 could make 10 inch wide prints a 12MP camera could make 14 inch wide prints. What are those extra 4 inches worth to you? The D90 might be worth it but not for the extra pixels. For those few times when you want to make a really large print, shoot film I've found that agfa 160 portrait film will scan to 24MP file size before you run into film grain and lens resolution limits. 24MP goes to about a 20" wide print
  3. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    I would say neither: get a Tokina 12-24 f/4 whose optics is at least as good as the Nikkor (and has better built quality) and save the money towards a new body. This lens has just been superseded by the 11-16 f/2.8, so it should be cheaper than before.

    There is no need to upgrade your body because of sensor resolution. The big advantages of the D90 are the much larger viewfinder (which the D80 already has) and the new sensor (which produces cleaner and better photos even at higher ISO).

    The most important thing which limits your creative freedom is the lens, though. Glass lasts much longer than a body, especially if you put it in a tough package :)
  4. matthewr thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2004

    Thanks for your input Chris and Oreo - I not decided yet, but am leaning towards the lens right now (I have missed the wide field of view quite a bit). Hearing other people's perspectives is always useful and appreciated.

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