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Thread: Which NIKON to BUY

  1. #1
    mfields's Avatar
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    Which NIKON to BUY

    Hello guys. Need some help.

    I am soon to retire from my day job, to that of my serious interest, that of Photography. I was invoived with photography in Vietnam as the company photographer with an old Nikon 35mm. Now want to upgrade to new Nikon. But... the delima. Costco has two choices... First, Nikon D5200... a higher end camera, but still considered to be a STARTER CAMERA at $1,300. Or, the PRO Nikon D600, for $2,800. My question is... Which one? I know the technicals are marginally better on the D600, but can't figure out if I will actually be able to tell the difference with the finished product.

    A perplexing question to me, but... I do not plan on becoming a full time paid professional, and therefore don't really want to have to develop a college education re: lighting, etc. all from scratch, but I do plan on spending a LOT OF TIME on shoots around the world, etc, really getting back into it again. I want some opinions on the best Nikon, and reasons that the more expensive camera could be the best choice... or not. And, any thoughts as to opting for a CANON instead... Thanks anyone so much for your input and help.

  2. #2

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    Re: Which NIKON to BUY

    The playground is a bit wider than Nikon vs Canon. There are many more cameras out there, and some of them may have advantages for you, so it might be worth the while to study the market a bit more.

    The two cameras you mention are rather different, and the D600 is a larger affair, with larger lenses than the D5200. There is a considerable difference in some respects, but generally if you are not into making very large images, you might not be game for the larger camera. The crop sensor of the D5200 is also excellent and I doubt that it would turn you down in any way.

    But as you mention Canon, you might also have a look at other brands and compare prices for the outfit that you think might suit you. Pentax also is still around, and they make some of the very best cameras around, and there's a new actor, Sony, which also has very interesting cameras. There are also others. Depending on what's important to you, your choice may be different than CaNikon.

    But as a general remark, most system cameras are excellent image-making machines, and depending on your mileage, your preference might be a less "instep" and more "enthusiast" model. The latter have better viewfinders and more buttons, to reach essential settings more easily, and they are more comfortable to handle for a seasoned photographer.

    Digital cameras have some quirks compared to older cameras, and there are new things to learn, like setting white balance and how to use different ISO settings and why. Depending on your photographic style, there might be advantages with certain cameras over other, and also your choice of lenses might differ a bit depending on what camera you get. But you can get good results with just any of them, so the risk of making a wrong choice is minimal, at least if you don't try hard.

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    Re: Which NIKON to BUY

    mfields: welcome to CIC, if you could add some more info, such as your name as it is easier to talk to someone if you know their name and where you are (country). This item helps so we can tell you where to go that is to get stuff you need. I an going to place you in the US as you say the store you looked at is Costoc. The price of their D600 I think is a ripoff, go online to say Adorama, or B&H two of the better online camera stores at least they know what they are talking about. Nothing against Costco but they are a large volume item store, what kind of service do you think you will get from them. As for the cameras both are less than a year old, the D5200 on the bottom end and the D600 on the upper end. Remember it is not the equippment that takes the image but you. If you take a bad picture it is you not the camera or lens. That said what you end up upgrading it the camera not the glass if you have good glass. Most cameras come with what is called a kit lens one that usually inexpensive, you will upgrade this to a more expensive lens and then keep it through camera upgrades. Best thing is if you can rent one for a week to try out how you like it and try the other one. In the US there a number of online sides that rent cameras and lens one such site is Borrowlenes (they ship and supply return shipping for both lens and cameras) price is now that bad. $158.00 of 10 days for the D600 and $85.00 for the D5200. You then rent good glass say the 24-70mm f/2.8 then compare. Alot cheaper than buying one and finding out you do like like it than going out an upgrading later.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  4. #4
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    Re: Which NIKON to BUY

    Quote Originally Posted by mfields View Post
    ... Costco has two choices... First, Nikon D5200... a higher end camera, but still considered to be a STARTER CAMERA at $1,300. Or, the PRO Nikon D600, for $2,800. My question is... Which one? I know the technicals are marginally better on the D600, but can't figure out if I will actually be able to tell the difference with the finished product.
    The biggest difference is that the D5200/D3200/D7000 are "crop body" cameras: the sensor in them is smaller than a frame of 35mm film (135 format). So, the FoV that you will see in the viewfinder, and that you will get with specific focal lengths will be smaller than what you're used to from shooting film. However, these cameras are a lot less expensive, and there are crop ("DX") lenses that have been created for them over the last few years that are small/lighter/cheaper/sharper than could be accomplished designing for a "full frame" sensor.

    The D600/D700/D800 are "full frame" cameras: the sensor is as large as a frame of 35mm film. So, lenses that were designed for film will behave pretty much the same way. Only digital now has much higher resolution than film, so you can see more flaws than you used to.

    The reasons to choose a full frame over a crop body are out there, but generally speaking, the image quality and resolution you can get from a crop-body camera is more than most folks will ever need, and the cost is going to be lower than going to full frame. Particularly now that the D5200 has a 24MP sensor in it. How big were you planning on printing out your photos? How often do you need iso 25600?

    As for going Canon instead--how much money do you have invested in F-mount lenses and other Nikon accessories like cable releases, remotes, and flash gear? And are your lenses autofocusing? The D3200/D5200's main drawback is that there is no focus motor in the body, so AF lenses will not autofocus on it--AF-S is required. A D7000 might be a better choice if the majority of your glass is AF. Manual focusing is not as easy with dSLRs as with manual film SLR cameras, because the viewfinders are smaller/dimmer (light has to be diverted to the AF sensors), and everything is optimized for autofocus: there is no split-circle, no prism collar, and the manual focus "throw" (how far you twist the ring around the barrel) is much shorter, giving you less precision.

    If you only have kit lenses, however, then maybe starting over fresh with Canon is not a bad choice. The only brand that has the autofocus motor issue is Nikon. Pentax, Canon, Sony--all the current lenses autofocus on all the current dSLR bodies.

    Most folks will recommend Nikon / Canon to you, and since you're already familiar with Nikon, it makes a great deal of sense to look there. Nikon and Canon have the largest systems with the best 3rd party support. But Pentax and Sony also offer in-body stabilization. Sony has autofocusing Zeiss glass, and focus peaking, and EVFs, being SLTs rather than SLRs. Pentax has pancake primes and weathersealing. All of the systems are good. It's a matter of you judging which is going to be the best fit for you.

    And. Since you mention travel as a major deal, you may also want to do a bit more research and consider whether you need a dSLR, or whether a compact mirrorless camera, like a Fuji X, Sony NEX, or Panasonic/Olympus micro four-thirds camera might be a better fit. This new class of cameras is smaller/lighter than dSLRs, also offer interchangeable lens mounts, and full-manual control. They may not be as good at fast-action/supertele/flash photography as their bigger cousins, but they're only three or four years old as a class of camera, and they're rapidly making strides in catching up to the functionality of the older systems with many additional advantages. For travel, where size/weight/cost may make a difference in what you want to haul with you, this class of cameras may hit a value sweet spot. Some folks, in fact, are moving to this class of camera from dSLRs.

  5. #5
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Which NIKON to BUY

    I assume that you live in the US. I had a look at the Costco packages, and might suggest that you check out the prices at two well known, reputable bricks & mortar retailers that also have a really good online presence; B&H http://www.bhphotovideo.com/ and Adorama http://www.adorama.com/. This is really in case the bundles that Costco offers are not to your liking.

    I moved over to Nikon when I bought my first DSLR and had a look at the other offerings out there, including the other DSLR manufacturers and the companies that turn out the mirrorless cameras, like Olympus and Panasonic. In the end, for my purposes it boiled down to Canon or Nikon for a number of reasons (I believe I would make the same decision today); and ended up going with Nikon. I bought a D90, which was the high end amateur camera at the time. This is a crop frame model, just like the D5200. Last May I got a D800 full-frame camera; so I shoot both crop and full frame. The D600, is not really a pro camera, but is more of a prosumer model. I can see a pro using it as a backup body, but not as the primary body.

    The D600 has a larger sensor, but that also means a larger body (and price) for both the camera body and lenses. The larger sensor is going to allow you to create larger prints (looking at sizes of 17" x 22" and larger), but won't make much of a difference if you are shooting primarily to display on a computer. The larger viewfinder is a lot easier for me to use wearing glasses (it is significantly larger than both the crop frame ones and the ones on mirrorless cameras), I get a bit shallower depth of field with fast lenses and they have an edge when it comes to using ultra-wide angle lenses and macro lenses. The larger image gives me a bit more headroom when I crop images in post-processing as well. You can only use full-frame lenses on these cameras.

    The crop frame sensor camera have an advantage of being less expensive and lighter, and this goes for lenses as well. They have an advantage of having an effective multiplier effect on lens focal length. While this can be a disadvantage at the wide angle side, on the telephoto side, a 300mm telephoto on a crop frame sensor give the same angle of view (magnification) as a 450mm lens would on a full frame for a Nikon (1.5 crop factor) or 480mm on Canon (a 1.6 crop factor because of its smaller sensor). The micro-four-thirds sensors on the Olympus and Panasonic mirrorless camera have a crop factor of 2. You can use both full-frame and crop frame lenses on crop frame cameras.

    When I bought my D90, Nikon had just introduced the D5000 (the D5200 is the latest iteration of this line). In my view, it has three fatal flaws, which is why I did not buy it. First of all, it only autofocuses with newer lenses with built in focus motors, secondly it has a single command dial, which means you have to make more use of menus to set up some of your shooting parameters and thirdly it uses a pentamirror, rather than a pentaprism, so the viewfinder is a bit dimmer. The D600, being a more advanced model does not have these flaws.

    Why did I narrow things down to Canon and Nikon? They really owned the lions share of the market between them. My concern was that the other companies might not survive the shakeout in the marketplace. Why did I go with Nikon over Canon? The camera was simply more intuitive in my hands. The control layout worked for me and I could make adjustments without taking my eye off the viewfinder. It was better for me from an ergonomic standpoint. I shot a Leica SLR before going digital, so I had not owned either a Canon or Nikon, so I did not have any preconceptions going in.

    I hope that this helps.

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Which NIKON to BUY

    Hi Mark,

    Welcome to the CiC forums from me (thanks for the PM).

    This is a vast topic and without knowing how good your technical knowledge is, I apologise in advance if I use any terminology below that causes confusion - if I do, just ask for clarification.

    I think you need to decide whether the differences between these two models are going to be important for what you (mostly) want to shoot.

    The D600 is a "full frame" camera, meaning the image sensor is the same size (almost) as your old 35mm cameras and when you use lenses on it, the focal lengths will feel familiar.
    The D5200 is a "DX" camera, meaning the image sensor is smaller, this provides an angle of view, when using a given focal length lens, that will appear longer, which in turn means it brings things closer. To put a couple of figures on this, a 50mm lens will give an angle of view equivalent to a 75mm lens when used on the D5200, but the normal 50mm if used on the D600.

    If you're not familiar with current Nikon digital bodies and lenses, you need to be aware that the lens range available with AF (auto focus) on a D5200 is less than the D600, because the D5200 does not have an AF motor in the camera body. That said, you'll also find that the range of DX lenses aren't much good on a D600 either, so maybe that cancels out (I haven't counted 'em all)

    The D5200 has a tilting LCD, which I have on my D5000 and find very useful on occasion, for shooting at low or high angles when my old bones don't cope so well.

    Undoubtedly the D600 is a better quality camera, you might consider the D7000 if you don't want the tilting LCD but do want a DX body - although that is quite an old model now and will likely be replaced sometime this year.

    I'm sure there's lots I haven't touched on, so do ask more specific questions if need be.
    It might be an idea to give us a clue as to your total budget - lenses don't come cheap and 'fast glass' can be heavy.

    Unless there's a really good deal, and you know exactly what you want, I would agree that Costco should probably be avoided and certainly not a place to ask advice - besides, you now have us all at CiC for that

    Cheers,

  7. #7
    mfields's Avatar
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    Re: Which NIKON to BUY

    Alan,
    Thanks.
    Name is Mark Robucks, and am in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Thanks fo rhe information.
    Last edited by mfields; 20th February 2013 at 07:04 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Which NIKON to BUY

    Thanks Kathy. Well, I just thought I could speak a little "camera." It may have turned out that I might have a little catching up to do. Like... for example, what the hell is a "Pancake Prime"... or and "EVF"? If you would ask me to show you how to design an "algorithm for a floating derivitive," that's not a problem, but you might as well have been speaking mostly Greek to me. I kind of feel clueless - so I guess I'll just dive in - right or wrong. Thanks very much though, as it gave me a lot to start really chewing on. Isn't it fantastic to know a subject that well. Makes it all the more satisfying.

  9. #9
    mfields's Avatar
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    Re: Which NIKON to BUY

    It did help Manfred. Think I will be heading up to Canada sometime this year. You live in one beautiful country. Thanks.

  10. #10
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    Re: Which NIKON to BUY

    Thanks Dave. Really was a little overwhelmed with the massive, and very quick feedback. Looks like a great site, and more than I have experienced before... anywhere. I do appreciate the feedback. As I said to Kathy... and especially with your meniton that you have a N5000, guess I will just jump into the water and see what floats. I will be adding more cameras to the collection as I grow in knowledge. So, guess I will start with the 5200.

    By the way. One thing. Should I have any leftover VR lenses (for example the 55-300 VR) tha comes with the 5200, and that has the built in autofocus, and then later I should obtain a more advanced Nikon camera body that has the autofocus motor built into the camera body itself... will my 55-300 VR with the autofocus lense continue to work on the newer, high end camers too? Is that clear? Thanks.

  11. #11
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Which NIKON to BUY

    Hi Mark,

    Quote Originally Posted by mfields View Post
    By the way. One thing. Should I have any leftover VR lenses (for example the 55-300 VR) tha comes with the 5200, and that has the built in autofocus, and then later I should obtain a more advanced Nikon camera body that has the autofocus motor built into the camera body itself... will my 55-300 VR with the autofocus lense continue to work on the newer, high end camers too? Is that clear? Thanks.
    Yes, it will still Auto Focus on better bodies, but it will continue to use the motor in the lens - because that is quicker.

    for example, what the hell is a "Pancake Prime"... or and "EVF"?
    EVF = Electronic View Finder (the sort you get on bridge cameras) it consists of a tiny LCD inside the camera which you look at through a 'viewfinder hole' on the back of the camera. These are essential for most mirror-less DSL cameras because there is no optical (reflex) path or range-finder viewfinder to look through.

    A Pancake Prime is a prime lens (i.e. one that doesn't zoom - it has a fixed focal length like 20mm (or 40mm) and is described as a pancake because it is small and flat

    For pictures and more text ...
    Wikipedia Prime Lens
    Wikipedia Pancake Lens
    Wikipedia EVF

    Please don't air your algorithms here, you'll sink all our derivatives

    Joking aside, do ask questions, there is a lot to learn.

    Cheers,

  12. #12
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    Re: Which NIKON to BUY

    Quote Originally Posted by mfields View Post
    ... what the hell is a "Pancake Prime"...
    A prime lens is one with a fixed focal length (it doesn't zoom). Pancake means it's very thin. The Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM or the Pentax smc 40/2.8 Limited are good examples. You can't get much smaller, lens-wise.

    or an "EVF"?
    EVF: Electronic ViewFinder vs. an OVF (optical viewfinder). These have been very common on camcorders, but are only recently making their way into still-image cameras. It's still an eyepiece that you stare into, but instead of looking through glass at the actual scene, you're looking at a little video screen that conveys data from the sensor. Because it's video, you can get the data overlays you typically see on the LCD of a dSLR imposed on top of the "liveview": features like live histograms, exposure simulation, and focus peaking are now making their way from P&S cameras to mirrorless compacts and Sony's "SLT" Alpha cameras. The absence or presence of the mirrorbox in a camera can lead to some interesting side effects.

    If you would ask me to show you how to design an "algorithm for a floating derivitive," that's not a problem, but you might as well have been speaking mostly Greek to me.
    Sorry about that! I'm a technical writer by profession, so I very much enjoy slinging terminology and acronyms. But I have no idea how you'd design an algorithm for a floating derivative. My brain kind of exploded when I hit differential equations and matrix math.

    BTW, if you want to see what mad hackers will do with digital cameras, and bleeding edge features, you may want to explore the for-Canon-cameras firmware add-on, Magic Lantern.

  13. #13
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    Re: Which NIKON to BUY

    Quote Originally Posted by mfields View Post
    Hello guys. Need some help.

    I am soon to retire from my day job, to that of my serious interest, that of Photography. I was invoived with photography in Vietnam as the company photographer with an old Nikon 35mm. Now want to upgrade to new Nikon. But... the delima. Costco has two choices... First, Nikon D5200... a higher end camera, but still considered to be a STARTER CAMERA at $1,300. Or, the PRO Nikon D600, for $2,800. My question is... Which one? I know the technicals are marginally better on the D600, but can't figure out if I will actually be able to tell the difference with the finished product.

    A perplexing question to me, but... I do not plan on becoming a full time paid professional, and therefore don't really want to have to develop a college education re: lighting, etc. all from scratch, but I do plan on spending a LOT OF TIME on shoots around the world, etc, really getting back into it again. I want some opinions on the best Nikon, and reasons that the more expensive camera could be the best choice... or not. And, any thoughts as to opting for a CANON instead... Thanks anyone so much for your input and help.
    If you are really going to get back into it and were used to using a 35mm Nikon SLR I think you will end up wanting to go full frame so you may as well head for the D600 straight away. You mentioned shoots around the world so I am assuming low level lighting and some wide angle photography will be of interest and a D600 will definitely be superior in these aspects. If your main interest is birds and animals with a long lens then the equivalent "reach" lenses for the D5200 will be lighter and usually cheaper unless you do the prudent thing and buy FX (full frame) compatible lenses in anticipation of going FX in the future.

  14. #14
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Which NIKON to BUY

    Quote Originally Posted by mfields View Post
    ... will my 55-300 VR with the autofocus lense continue to work on the newer, high end camers too?
    As was stated, the AF and lens features will all work. But there is another issue. The 55-300VR, iirc, is a DX lens.

    So, if you were to upgrade to an APS-C ("crop") camera body, say a D7000 or D300s, then you're fine. But if you decide to go full frame with a D600/D800/D4x, as was also suggested, then while the lens will still mount to the camera and can be used, it will not cover the entire "full frame" (crop factor: 1x) sensor. The images will be (I think--I'm a Canon shooter, not Nikon) cropped in-camera. The image circle it projects can only cover an APS-C sensor. On a full-frame sensor it will vignette. [BTW, this is far better behavior than on the Canon side of the fence. With Canon full frames, the crop EF-S lenses won't even mount on the camera.]

    The hidden cost in going full frame is the glass. DX lenses are all relatively new designs, having only come in with digital. But the smaller sensor means the lens can project a smaller image circle, and it's easier to design more compact and sharper lenses with less expense for crop sensors.

    The idea that you can shoot a DX camera, but only get FX glass can work, but as a plan it really really really sucks for going wide angle. Because of the crop factor, nothing that's wide angle on a film/full-frame camera is really going to be particularly wide on a crop body. 28mm on film is wide angle. On an APS-C sensor, the FoV is equivalent to that of a 42mm lens. Which is faintly widish. Very different character. And there are no $600 10-20 ultrawide lenses that cover a full-frame sensor, as proliferate for crop bodies. Whatever happens, if you do this switch, you're liable to have to flip SOME glass no matter what, or you're going to be living with less than great fits on DX until you do. Personally, I'd advocate getting the lenses that suit what you need best with the body you're shooting at the time, and worry about FX when the swapover is imminent. Most good lenses retain a lot of value for resale. Think of the difference as your rental fee for using the lens in the meantime.

    I'm not sure I agree with L.Paul that you should start with full-frame. Full frame is an expensive proposition. And the gains are marginal. Unless you know that you need those gains, crop gear can probably fulfill your needs just as well. I went from a Canon 1.6x crop body to a full-frame, and today I mostly shoot with a micro four-thirds camera (2x crop factor). IMHO, the emphasis that's placed on shooting full-frame dSLRs is mostly made by those who haven't done it and can still romanticize it without having faced the cold hard realities of what all your lenses getting 1.5x times shorter and having 2x the data choking up your workflow can mean. The advantages are smaller than you might be led to believe. Think of it as 1 stop. 1 stop better iso performance, 1 stop less DoF. That's how I'd characterize it.
    Last edited by inkista; 20th February 2013 at 09:31 PM.

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    Re: Which NIKON to BUY

    The idea that you can shoot a DX camera, but only get FX glass can work, but as a plan it really really really sucks for going wide angle. Because of the crop factor, nothing that's wide angle on a film/full-frame camera is really going to be particularly wide on a crop body. 28mm on film is wide angle. On an APS-C sensor, the FoV is equivalent to that of a 42mm lens.
    The difference between FX and DX glass has nothing to do with the field of view. Even for DX glass you still need to multiply by the crop factor to get to the FoV because the FoV is ultimatly determined by the sensor size (a FX lens just lights the area around the crop sensor). The reason why DX glass is cheaper (and sometimes better) is that you need less of it to fill the sensor. Smaller lenses are cheaper in material cost as well as that they are easier to produce without the small deviations/errors that easily occur in molded glass.
    Last edited by Hero; 21st February 2013 at 04:28 AM.

  16. #16
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Which NIKON to BUY

    Quote Originally Posted by Hero View Post
    The reason why DX glass is cheaper (and sometimes better) is that you need less of it to fill the sensor. Smaller lenses are cheaper in material cost as well as that they are easier to produce without the small deviations/errors that easily occur in molded glass.
    Hero – this is a vast oversimplification of the manufacturing costs that go into a lens (or for that matter, any product). You also discount some of the other key factors that have to be made when putting a new lens into production. Any item will have three major cost components:

    1. Material costs;
    2. Direct labour costs to assemble the lens; and
    3. Other costs including R&D, tooling, marketing, warehousing, etc.

    Material Costs: I would have to agree that there will be a slight difference in material costs for a FX lens as they do have to cover a larger image circle and tend to have a larger diameter. Frankly, these differences are fairly minor and by themselves would not contribute significantly to the total cost of the lens. There are some other important factors in play.

    Many of the FX lenses are faster than their DX counterparts; a faster lens will have more components because of the additional optical complexities in correcting aberrations, so more parts, rather than larger parts are going to be one reason for higher costs. This also accounts for some the “better” comment you make; a slower lens, will perform better and will require fewer components because the light does not have to be bent at extreme angles, thus requiring less corrective components (fewer lens elements required). These larger and additional components add to the size and weight of the lens, not just the costs.

    A second key cost component in the FX lenses is that these have traditionally been aimed at the professional or semi-professional markets, so they are built more robustly, which means more expensive materials and manufacturing techniques.

    You mention moulded glass elements; the only moulded optical components are the aspherical ones. The rest of the elements are still manufactured using standard optical grinding techniques. Cheaper lenses use injection moulded plastic aspherical elements, which are bonded to glass elements.

    Labour Costs: A mass produced lens can be designed to take advantages of economies of scale to use (semi) automated assembly and testing equipment. Multi-cavity moulds can be used to produce some of the high volume plastic components.

    The equipment and tooling costs of automation can outweigh the benefits of doing so, which means lower volume lenses are going to be inherently more expensive to manufacture. High levels of automation have the added benefit of being relatively simple, so these types of manufacturing processes tend to be fairly easy to move to facilities in countries with relatively low labour costs like China and Thailand, while the more expensive, more highly skilled labour is going to be used to produce these higher end produces (Japan). You will note that this is exactly what Nikon does.

    Other Costs: When you bring a new lens to market, you have to design it as well as the tooling and machinery to produce it. These costs will be included in the price of any new lens. If you have startup costs of •100 million and amortize the costs over a production run of 1 million lenses, these costs will work out to •100 per lens. If the total production run that the startup costs are amortized over is only 10 000 units, then each unit sold would have to absorb • 10 000 in costs. DX lenses tend to be high volume when compared to FX lenses.

    Once these start up and development costs have been recovered, the manufacturer can start offering these products at lower prices; which is often the case.

  17. #17
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Which NIKON to BUY

    As of today, there is also the D7100 to consider. About $1600 or £1100 I believe.

    This is much closer to a DX format equivalent of the D600 and has so many features I'd like, I may have to forego the tilting LCD

    Decision, decisions

  18. #18
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Which NIKON to BUY

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    As of today, there is also the D7100 to consider. About $1600 or £1100 I believe.

    This is much closer to a DX format equivalent of the D600 and has so many features I'd like, I may have to forego the tilting LCD

    Decision, decisions
    The price is a bit of a shock. I can pick up a D7000 for about half of the what you are showing (just over $800 CDN).

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    Re: Which NIKON to BUY

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Hero – this is a vast oversimplification of the manufacturing costs that go into a lens (or for that matter, any product). You also discount some of the other key factors that have to be made when putting a new lens into production.
    As was my intention. I just wanted to point out a few differences when only taking the difference in size into acount.

    Regarding the moulding, every element has to go from raw materials into some form to be worked into a lens, whether it's directly moulding a lens or first create a rod or plate, slice it up and then grind it into a lens. It's that moulding that is the hard part because even the slightest deviation in circumstances influences the homogeneity of the material.

  20. #20
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Which NIKON to BUY

    Quote Originally Posted by Hero View Post
    Regarding the moulding, every element has to go from raw materials into some form to be worked into a lens, whether it's directly moulding a lens or first create a rod or plate, slice it up and then grind it into a lens. It's that moulding that is the hard part because even the slightest deviation in circumstances influences the homogeneity of the material.
    Carefully said, we are writing about high quality optical glass manufacturing here, not the common glass that is use in windows. Homogeneity is not affected by casting or moulding processes.

    So far as I understand it, all optically quality glass goes through a multi-step process to ensure that it is homogeneous. The raw materials are first blended in mixers before they are fired in controlled electric furnaces to produce the input material used in the production of the glass blanks used in lenses. This first melt is checked to ensure it meets the required specifications and additional compounds are added for the second melt, again in a controlled electric furnace. The glass is quite homogeneous and really the only potential non-homogeneous element introduced could be some very minor air bubbles, which have no impact on the overall lens performance. The blanks are cast, not moulded. The cooling rate is carefully controlled to ensure that the glass is not stressed. Iím not 100% sure but there could be a secondary annealing process for stress relief, especially in some of the larger blanks. Having the proper hardness is important for the grinding and polishing process. Casting is a fairly crude process and additional steps are required before the blanks are turned into lens elements

    Aspherical elements are often moulded; this means highly polished male and female halves of the mould are pushed together to create the two optical surfaces. After the semi-molten glass is injected into the mould, both halves are clamped together and the assembly is left in this configuration to cool. A coolant is circulated inside the mould to accelerate the cooling process. This part of lens manufacturing is quite proprietary, so I can only make educated guesses as to how parts of the process work. Needless to say, this technique is far less expensive and has fewer rejects than traditional aspherical lens grinding techniques. These techniques are common to both FX and DX lenses.

    The only way to reduce costs, in creating aspherical elements is to use a plastic, rather than glass in the optical elements. Resins have a lower index or refraction than glass, so these elements have a resin and glass component to create the optical element, so this technique is not going to be effective in faster lenses. Resins have lower viscosity that class and are easier to mould.

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