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Thread: Lens Question Regarding Going From DX to FX

  1. #1

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    Lens Question Regarding Going From DX to FX

    Hi,

    I'm Mary and have mostly been a browser here. I have a Nikon D60, my first DSLR. I've had it for 2 years and have the two kit lenses, 18-55 AF-S VR and 55-200 AF-S VR and I recently purchased a 50mm 1.4G AF-S.

    My question is: if I ever upgrade to a full-frame body, will the 50mm work or is it only for a DX body? It was not a super expensive lens but not cheap, either, so I don't want to put money into things that I can't grow with. When I am looking at lenses, how do I know what I can and can't keep for both a DX and FX or am I totally clueless and they each need their own?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    jiro's Avatar
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Lens Question Regarding Going From DX to FX

    Mary, I don't have this lens with me. But I think this link can help you learn more about its use on an FX Nikon Body: http://www.bythom.com/Nikkor50AF-Slensreview.htm

    As a gist, Thom somehow said that vignetting would be evident at the widest aperture on an FX body. Raise it to f2.8 or f4 and it's a totally nice lens to use. High praises has been given if you have a DX body. Hope this helps.

  3. #3

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    Re: Lens Question Regarding Going From DX to FX

    Thank you for the link.

  4. #4
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Question Regarding Going From DX to FX

    The 50/1.4G is FX. Both your other lenses, as you probably know, are DX. You can still use the DX lenses on an FX body, but the image will be cropped in-camera (since the image circle the DX lens projects won't cover the whole FX sensor, but will vignette). This is, btw, much nicer than on the Canon side of the fence, where you simply can't mount a crop lens on a full-frame body.

    To look up whether a lens is designed for FX or DX, you can just go to the Nikon website, and look it up in the lens list--they have a column to show if it's designated as DX, and they also put "DX" in the name.

    You don't necessarily have to have different sets of lenses for each type of camera--you can share across bodies (although, obviously, it's probably better to share FX lenses, rather than DX). But I will say, having made the leap from a Canon 50D to a 5D Mark II, that lenses do change their character when you move from using them on a crop to using them on a full-frame. Crop bodies don't let you see the weakest portion of a lens's performance (the corners), and the field of view change can be more extreme than you bargain on. The one place where it will be hardest to "replace" a DX lens, though, will be if you've got an ultrawide lens of any kind. The full-frame equivalents tend to be very expensive in comparison.

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    Hans's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Question Regarding Going From DX to FX

    Hi Mary,
    I had the same dilemma. It is one of those decisions you need to make before you buy your first lens, but you don't have the experience to know at that stage what you really want or need. So it is a catch 22.

    Some DX lenses can be used on FX bodies, but they usually have to forgo a portion of the zoom range or you have to put up with heavy vignetting or not use at larger apertures as jiro said. I think some FX have an option to switch to DX mode which allows use of DX lenses but crops the sensor reducing resolution which defeats the whole purpose.

    I ended up taking a big deep breath and selling off my DX lenses in preparation for FX. Nikon gear holds value well and I sold one lens for the same as I paid for it and took a hit on my 18-105mm kit lens. I now have purchased my budget kit and am ready to upgrade when my limited budget allows. I have found that the older lenses that were popular with film bodies are making a comeback like the 28-70mm f2.8 and 20-35mm f2.8 for example. These are great lenses and can be bought at very reasonable prices second hand. I purchased my 80-200 AF-S, 105 macro and 20-35mm all used and they are in great condition. Best of all, I can probably sell them tomorrow for what I paid.

    You can use all modern AF lenses on FX and don't need to worry about getting AF-S like you do with the D60. D700 FX camera will be compatable with AI, AF, AF-I, AF-D, AF-S and G lenses. Here is a lens compatibility chart for you to have a look at. have a look here as well.

    Good luck and let us know how you go.
    Last edited by Hans; 21st January 2011 at 03:26 AM.

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    Re: Lens Question Regarding Going From DX to FX

    Thank you for the great information. There is so much to learn!

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