Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 38

Thread: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

  1. #1
    Brownbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    7,244
    Real Name
    Christina

    Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    My local camera store has a sale so I just might just upgrade my Nikon D80 and purchase a Nikon 7100 or 600 real soon.

    My primary reason for upgrading is to allow me greater ease to capture good photos of birds in flight and in general animal portraits and I will go one of two directions.

    1. Buy the Nikon 600 which is just $600 more than the 7100 and use my old Tamron lens... a full frame, push pull lens 5.6 Aperture for a year or two before buying a better quality long lens.

    I have a very good macro lens which is also full frame so if I go this route I could use the Nikon 600 for birds and bugs and my D80 for everything else.

    But I'm not sure if this is a good route because the D600 is a heavier camera which will make tracking BIF harder and my tamron long lens has chromatic aberration challenges and is not so good in low light but I'm thinking that D600 would make up for this because of its low light capabilities and because I can use a higher iso with lessor noise. It is not as fast as the D7100 but faster than my D80 by 3 frames per second.


    2. Buy the D7100 which also means I could buy one of these long lens..

    Tamron 200-500 f5-6.3

    Sigma 150-500 f5-6.3

    Sigma 120-400 f4.5-5.6

    I'm not so sure about the quality of Sigma and Tamron and the aperture of the first two is only .5 better than what I currently have

    AFS Zoom Nikor 4.5-5.6 80-400 mm ED


    AFS Zoom Nikor 4.5-5.6 80-400 mm ED VR11
    I really can't afford this lens now but perhaps I should wait until I can afford to buy a higher quality lens like this.

    AFS Nikor 300 mm f4
    I suspect that this lens is likely the best of the bunch for light but I would sure miss having a 400 mm reach, and although the quality of zoom lens is not as good as a prime lens the ability to zoom in and out to capture a BIF is really nice and what I'm used to... ie; I think it would be pretty challenging to run and pan with your camera to capture the right composition.

    Basically I am seeking advice to help me with my final decision on...

    1. D600 or D7100 for Birds in Flight and animal portraits which means I will have to wait up to two years for a better long lens

    2. Which of the lens listed above will serve me best for birds in flight.


    Thank you.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    18,904

    Re: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    Though knowledge of gear is not my strength, I do have a couple of comments.

    You mentioned that you would use the D600 for birds and bugs and the D80 for everything else. Regardless of which camera you buy, why would you ever go back to using the D80? Is it because you have some lenses not mentioned that will not function properly on a full-frame camera?

    I believe your Tamron long lens will suffer the same low-light and chromatic aberration issues you're experiencing now when using it with a better sensor.

    Be sure to ask people to comment about a possible mismatch when using the D7100 with the long zooms you are considering. Its sensor has no anti-aliasing filter and I've read that its ability to resolve detail exceeds all but the highest quality lenses. If I understand the concern correctly, it might exacerbate the weaknesses of a lens by displaying them in greater detail.

  3. #3
    Brownbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    7,244
    Real Name
    Christina

    Re: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    Hi Mike,

    I would use the D80 for everything else because the rest of my lens are all cropped and I can't afford to upgrade them. And sometimes it is nice to have two cameras on hand so you don't have to change lens.

    Good to know that about my Tamron lens, that is important for me to know and means I would go with the D7100.

    I would appreciate comments on Mikes comment...

    Does this mean I should by a cropped lens instead of a full frame lens for the D7100.

    A possible mismatch when using the D7100 with the long zooms you are considering. Its sensor has no anti-aliasing filter and I've read that its ability to resolve detail exceeds all but the highest quality lenses. If I understand the concern correctly, it might exacerbate the weaknesses of a lens by displaying them in greater detail.


    Thank you.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    18,904

    Re: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    Does this mean I should by a cropped lens instead of a full frame lens for the D7100.
    Even if I'm right that the D7100 and lesser quality lenses may not be ideally compatible, that doesn't have anything to do with whether the lens can be used with a full-frame or cropped sensor. It has to do with the image quality. In other words, buy whatever lens delivers the desired image quality regardless of whether or not it can also be used on a full-frame sensor (unless of course you have future plans to use it on a full-frame camera, in which case it will also work on a crop-factor camera).
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 4th July 2013 at 03:02 PM.

  5. #5
    shreds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,320
    Real Name
    Ian

    Re: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    I must agree. The lenses will have a longer shelf life and yes, you will notice the poorer lenses with an upgraded camera/sensor.

    It will have you rushing out to trade them in.

    (I speak from bitter experience, but haven't had to upgrade anything since. (Much as I might try and convince myself the the f2 200mm is essential!)

  6. #6
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    12,863
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    Christina - as someone who shoots Nikon - crop frame (D90) and full-frame (D800) let me give you some thoughts.

    1. There are certain advantages to full-frame; mostly related to viewfinder size (larger), being able gain about 1 stop of shallower DoF versus what you get with a crop frame (i.e. shooting at f/2.8 on a crop frame gives me the same as shooting at f/4 on the full frame, for the same composition) and better ultra-wide angle support.

    2. There are advantages to crop frame as well; lower cost (camera and lenses), smaller size and the crop factor "magnification" for longer shots.

    3. The AA filter resolution is a bit of a red herring for all but a very limited subset of shooting. Yes, you might get some moire issues with some specific shots (also a criticism of the light AA filter on my D800), but I think I've only had one real life example where this was a problem (in over 15,000 images). The same issue goes for not being able to get the maximum performance out of a lens; so what unless you are shooting and printing to enormous size and pixel peeping to boot, you'll never notice. By the way; you would have to be shooting with a locked up mirror, on a heavy, weighted tripod and a top quality lens stopped down to around f/8 to get that level of performance as well. Not an issue for real life shooting for most of us.

    4. Unless your camera has a manual focus indicator (the D800 does, but the D90 does not); I don't know about either camera you are looking at has this. If they don't; your Tamron is going to be a real pain to use.

    5. Unless you are willing to invest a lot of money in new lenses; stick with the DX format. I knew I was going to go full-frame, so after I got my D90, I bought pretty well only full-frame lenses, so the switch was fairly painless that way for me. I only bought one lens after I got the full-frame body; an ultra-wide f/2.8 14-24mm. I had everything else I needed before then and shot them on my D90.

    6. For me personally; the D800 was the right way to go; based on the type of shooting I do. I don' t think this is necessarily true for most people.

  7. #7
    Brownbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    7,244
    Real Name
    Christina

    Re: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    Thank you to all.

    Okay. I've decided that am going to buy the D7100 since the only reason I was thinking full frame was "just in case I decided I need to go that way in the future" and assuming that it would make up for the Tamron long lens I already own. The lighter weight will also work better for me.

    Does anyone have any recommendations as to whether I should choose a Nikon long lens, perhaps a prime lens which means I will be sacrificing flexibility and some reach for better quality. The zoom Nikon lens is twice the cost of the prime 300 mm Nikon lens.

    or what I'm hoping someone will say is that if I go with the Tamron or Sigma Zoom lens I will keep the flexibility of the zoom, get better light and quality than I have now, at a very reasonable cost.


    Thank you.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    18,904

    Re: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    There are advantages to crop frame...the crop factor "magnification" for longer shots.
    Am I right that that depends on the crop-factor and full-frame sensors being compared? As an example, I've heard of studies done in which a full-frame image cropped to the same size as when taken on the crop-factor camera looks just as good as when taken using the crop-factor camera. That was years ago and may or may not apply today.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    The same issue goes for not being able to get the maximum performance out of a lens; so what unless you are...pixel peeping
    Christina is submitting to a stock agency that reviews all submissions at 100%.

  9. #9
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    12,863
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    Christina - it really depends on your shooting needs and style. If you are going to rack out a zoom and shoot at (or near) the long end of the zoom range; then I can certainly see going for a long prime lens. On the other hand, if you do shoot at the intermediate distances, you will find yourself limited by the lens.

    I assume you are looking at the AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED as it is a less expensive lens than some of the alternatives. Caution is warranted here; it is not a stabilized lens, so keep that in mind before moving off in that direction. You will have to shoot at a fairly high shutter speed to compensate for the lack of VR. The lens will work out as the equiivilent of a 450mm on a full-frame, so you are certainly looking at a lens that will be useful for bird shots. Being a f/4 lens, you could even look at adding a 1.4x or possibly 2x teleconverter on it to extend the range and still be able to use autofocus.

    You could look could certainly look at some of the other manufacturers; but understand that you get what you pay for. My personal experience with Sigma is not particularly good. My wife owns the 150-500mm and it has had to go back for repairs twice. I have looked at Tamron lenses a few times, but frankly was not particularly impressed with their build quality either.

  10. #10
    Brownbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    7,244
    Real Name
    Christina

    Re: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    Hi Manfred,

    Yes, the AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED is the lens that I am looking at precisely because it is the most affordable of the quality lens...

    Another Nikkor lens option I'm looking at is AFS Zoom Nikor 4.5-5.6 80-400 mm which is just a little more than the above lens, and which I can buy used. It has the zoom flexibility but no VR.. (Adding VR adds a $1000 to the cost of the lens which is too much for me at this time.) Would this lens offer better quality than Tamron and Sigma, even though it has such a wide range of zoom?


    And now that I have decided on the cropped frame DSLR I'm thinking I should switch back to full frame because I will loose reach.


    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Christina - it really depends on your shooting needs and style. If you are going to rack out a zoom and shoot at (or near) the long end of the zoom range; then I can certainly see going for a long prime lens. On the other hand, if you do shoot at the intermediate distances, you will find yourself limited by the lens.

    I assume you are looking at the AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED as it is a less expensive lens than some of the alternatives. Caution is warranted here; it is not a stabilized lens, so keep that in mind before moving off in that direction. You will have to shoot at a fairly high shutter speed to compensate for the lack of VR. The lens will work out as the equiivilent of a 450mm on a full-frame, so you are certainly looking at a lens that will be useful for bird shots. Being a f/4 lens, you could even look at adding a 1.4x or possibly 2x teleconverter on it to extend the range and still be able to use autofocus.

    You could look could certainly look at some of the other manufacturers; but understand that you get what you pay for. My personal experience with Sigma is not particularly good. My wife owns the 150-500mm and it has had to go back for repairs twice. I have looked at Tamron lenses a few times, but frankly was not particularly impressed with their build quality either.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    18,904

    Re: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    Yes, the AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED is the lens that I am looking at precisely because it is the most affordable of the quality lens...
    B&H has a used copy rated as follows: "shows little or no sign of wear." You can take B&H ratings to the bank as being conservative if anything. I seem to remember that they have a no-questions-asked return policy even on used equipment. Check out the lens: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...kor_300mm.html

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Eastern Massachusetts
    Posts
    126
    Real Name
    Hendrik

    Re: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    Christina,

    I went from the 12Mp D300 and D90 to the 24Mp D600 at the beginning of this year. While that seems a jump, it is not so across the board. If I am forced to stand xty-x feet from a subject and use a particular lens because it is my most powerful, except for operational and iso differences, there will be little enough to chose between the 24Mp FX and the 12 Mp DX bodies to mount it on. Each camera will place roughly the same number of pixels on the subject (12Mp, DX body; ~10.3 Mp, FX body in DX mode - which is really just a handy way to compare the pixel count in equivalent areas). If I happen to be too close for the lens to accommodate the entire subject, or wish to include more context, I will be able to fit more subject into the extra FX pixels. If, on the other hand, I had a 24Mp DX body, then the increase in pixels placed on the subject would start to be very meaningful, especially if the subject only filled a portion of the frame - more than likely for BIF and wildlife.

    If you simply wanted a superbly competent generalist camera and were comfortable shooting FX, then I can't imagine choosing the D7100. There might be one in my future but only to get the increased reach (reach=pixels on subject). However, for your stated purposes, I can't see the rationale for acquiring a D600. The D7100 will give you much improved reach over the D80 as well as all the increases in IQ that have come down the pike since the D80 was fresh and new. Once you are comfortable with the new camera, if you also determine that you don't need a cheap, paid-for backup body, the D80 will be available to help fund a bucket-list lens that much sooner.

    For my part, I have bonded with the D600 major-league but continue to use the D300 for most macro and studio work. The D90 hangs around as the lightest body I have - what I take out when I don't want to deal with the D600 on its monopod along with a second lens.

  13. #13
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    12,863
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    Hi Manfred,

    Yes, the AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED is the lens that I am looking at precisely because it is the most affordable of the quality lens...

    Another Nikkor lens option I'm looking at is AFS Zoom Nikor 4.5-5.6 80-400 mm which is just a little more than the above lens, and which I can buy used. It has the zoom flexibility but no VR.. (Adding VR adds a $1000 to the cost of the lens which is too much for me at this time.) Would this lens offer better quality than Tamron and Sigma, even though it has such a wide range of zoom?


    And now that I have decided on the cropped frame DSLR I'm thinking I should switch back to full frame because I will loose reach.
    I own the original AFS Zoom Nikor 4.5-5.6 80-400 mm, which is the lens I suspect you are looking at. I do not recommend it as it uses the screw drive focus and was also the first VR lens that Nikon put out. It works okay, but is slow to focus and is not a great lens for birds because of both the focus mechanism and the fact that it tends to "seek" when zoomed out; cycling through a large range. The new, recently introduced new Nikkor 4.5-5.6 80-400 mm runs at about $1000 more and has gotten good reviews.

    I also think you have it backwards; you will have more reach with the D7100 because of the 1.5 crop factor. The 80-400mm has that focal lens on the D600 but would give you the equivalent of 120-600mm on the D7100. It is difficult to hand-hold at the long end of the focal length and get a good tight composition as even minor camera movement will magnify due to the very small angle of view.

  14. #14
    Brownbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    7,244
    Real Name
    Christina

    Re: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    Hi Mike,

    Thank you for this... The review is truly helpful and the most informative review I have read to date...



    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    B&H has a used copy rated as follows: "shows little or no sign of wear." You can take B&H ratings to the bank as being conservative if anything. I seem to remember that they have a no-questions-asked return policy even on used equipment. Check out the lens: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...kor_300mm.html

  15. #15
    Brownbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    7,244
    Real Name
    Christina

    Re: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    Thank you Hendrick... very helpful and good to know

    Thank you Manfred... especially for the extra details on the zoom lens and for correcting me on the reach of the cropped frame vs full frame...

    I am going to head out and buy that D7100 and order the Nikon 300 mm prime lens.

    Thank you to all... It is truly wonderful to have such a great resource to go to.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Grafton, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,352
    Real Name
    Allan Short

    Re: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    Christina: if you have not got that 300mm yet, one last twist, what about the Nikkor 70-200mm 2.8 on the D7100 equals up to 300mm then add a 1.4 or 2 x's teleconverter to that. Just a thought.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  17. #17
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,295
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    Hi Christina,

    Comparing to what you're used to (with the Tamron at 300mm) gives 450mm FFE on the D80 at 3,872 x 2,592px.

    D7100 "24 x 16mm" sensor resolution: 450mm FFE at 6000 x 4000px. (24MP)
    D7100 "18 x 12mm" sensor resolution: 600mm FFE at 4800 x 3200px. (15MP)

    Effectively a built-in TC available at the touch of a button + the spin of wheel.

    Works for me!

    btw I also had a suspicion the original Nikon 80-400mm is not an AF-S lens and that although it will AF on a D7100 (via the screw drive), it would be too slow to be useful, glad that Manfred confirmed that before an expensive mistake was made.

    I think you'll like the D7100

    Cheers,

  18. #18
    benm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    315
    Real Name
    Ben

    Re: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    If you are wavering between FX and DX, FX is the better choice for BIF. Why? Before you can take a picture of a BIF you have to acquire it in the viewfinder. FX gives a wider field of view allowing you to get the bird into the viewfinder a little faster (though of course with less enlargement). I am currently using DX with the Nikkor 300 f/4. Frequently, by the time I am able to spot the BIF in my viewfinder it has long since gone over the horizon. And it's even more difficult when I have added the 1.4x teleconverter.

    Of course, it depends how fast the bird is flying (puffins are very difficult) and how much you practice. On the other hand, DX may have a denser pixel array giving you some real reach compared to FX (and not just digital enlargement).

    I can highly recommend the Nikkor 300 f/4 AFS. It is very sharp wide open, even with the 1.4x teleconverter.

  19. #19
    Brownbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    7,244
    Real Name
    Christina

    Re: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    Thank you Allan, Dave and Ben.

    Allan, great to know but right now I am set on the 300 mm lens.

    Dave, thank you for sharing... I just bought the D7100 and I'm very pleased with my decision... I've been researching this and pondering upgrading my camera for over a year... Great to know that.

    Ben, thank you for sharing... Perhaps in a few years time as my skills develop I will upgrade to a full frame... For now I'm sure the 7100 will serve me well.

    I just learned that I would have to wait at least 6 weeks for the AF-S Nikkor F4D AF... It seems that this particular lens is not in stock in Vancouver... Patience is a virtue but not my best trait so I am going to order the lens from B&H...

    Thank you to everyone for your help, including my previous posts on the camera.
    Last edited by Brownbear; 4th July 2013 at 11:51 PM.

  20. #20
    benm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    315
    Real Name
    Ben

    Re: Seeking Advice on Final Camera Decision and Long Lens

    The lenses are identical but the cheaper one is Gray Market and the more expensive one comes with a USA warranty. Since you are in Canada I don't know if the USA version makes sense for you. It may depend on where you send it for servicing, if it ever needed it. Nikon USA supposedly does not repair gray market equipment even if you wanted to pay for the repairs.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •