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Old Nov 19, 2012, 12:57 PM   #1
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Default Before you upgrade to full frame

I've been seriously looking at upgrading to full frame given how attractive the pricing has become for a D800 or D600. Then I started evaluating what I actually shoot and the type of lenses I have. More importantly, the cost of new lenses that I may have to purchase in the course of upgrading.

A large part of my photography is centered around nature,birds, as well as birds in flight. There is actually an advantage to using a cropped sensor camera when shooting this type of photography. The DX Nikon dslr is a cropped sensor camera that essentially provides a 1.5 magnification. My D7000 equipped with a 70-200mm f2.8, in 35mm terms provides a focal length around 283mm. Mount the same Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 lens on a full frame D700 and, well you get a focal length of 200mm.

If you like to do landscapes primarily, then that isn't an issue. but, if you want to shoot birds and not have to sell the house to get a good lens for birding, then, the D7000 with the smaller sensor just may be the best solution.

Here are a couple of images taken this morning that do a better job of illustrating my concerns.
The first is the one taken with the 70-200mm D7000 combo.




The second image is taken with the D700 + 70-200mm combo.




Now, I'm sure that most of you know all this. BUT, if you're new to all of this and are considering upgrading to full frame, it just might be better to full investigate exactly what your needs are prior to pressing the buy button on the screen.

Zig
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 2:24 PM   #2
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Absolutely, but in addition, the higher resolution sensors make the optical flaws more apparent. ( See D800 Lens Selection. )

Then, of course, in addition to having some really nice DX lenses, DX bodies also get to use the best part of FX lenses. It is absolutely a win-win, unless you really need some of the few real advantages FX has over DX.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 3:34 PM   #3
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I agree 100%...!

If the type of shooting you do needs reach then a crop frame camera gives you
the equivelent of a free 1.5x teleconverter without the light loss or loosing pixels
from cropping...

On the other hand if you do landscape or portrait/studio or extremely low light
work then FF is a no brainer...

However, if you are planning to buy something like the D800 you can have the best
of both worlds... At 36mp you can shoot it in crop mode and end up with the same
(roughly) 16mp's as the D7k and still get the free 1.5x teleconverter effect... I've
heard that you can even program the function button (FN) so you can flip back and
forth between crop and FF at a whim...

Be aware however that the D600 crop mode is only (roughly) 10mp's so with that
model you would lose some pixels compared to the D7k...

As pointed out, "think" about these things before you just jump on FF...
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D7k with old/new glass and a few other things...

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Old Nov 19, 2012, 3:53 PM   #4
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Zig - great points. Certainly no one should jump into FF eyes closed. I knew without a doubt it was for me being primarily a portrait and sometimes event shooter and often shooting in low light.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
Absolutely, but in addition, the higher resolution sensors make the optical flaws more apparent. ( See D800 Lens Selection. )
There is an important point to note about that and it is stated in your link:

Quote:
But again, thatís for people who want to wring every bit of resolution out of the camera. Very few will need to do that most of the time.
Once the picture is scaled down to typical viewing resolution it actually hides a lot of flaws and can even give the appearance of greater sharpness. If you are printing or viewing at maximum resolution then definitely the above applies.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizzard0003 View Post
However, if you are planning to buy something like the D800 you can have the best
of both worlds... At 36mp you can shoot it in crop mode and end up with the same
(roughly) 16mp's as the D7k and still get the free 1.5x teleconverter effect... I've
heard that you can even program the function button (FN) so you can flip back and
forth between crop and FF at a whim...

Be aware however that the D600 crop mode is only (roughly) 10mp's so with that
model you would lose some pixels compared to the D7k...
Even 10mp is pretty darn big!

brad
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 3:54 PM   #5
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Another thing to consider for full framers is that Nikon's teleconverters are pretty darn good especially with their pro glass such as the 70-200 2.8 though you do lose some effective aperture of course.

brad
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 4:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizzard0003 View Post
On the other hand if you do landscape or portrait/studio or extremely low light
work then FF is a no brainer...
Not necessarily. DX bodies with DX UWA lenses are as good as FX bodies with FX UWA lenses.

That's not one of ...
Quote:
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... the few real advantages FX has over DX.
Then there's some of the real advantages DX has over FX: The bodies are smaller, lighter and cheaper, and the lenses are smaller, lighter and cheaper as well.
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Last edited by TCav; Nov 19, 2012 at 4:54 PM.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 5:51 PM   #7
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Hi all,

Thanks for taking the time to chime in on this rather important topic. You've all made good points.

Frankly, at first, I thought it would be an easier decision for those who are just starting to look at upgrading from another system or who haven't yet taken the plunge into a dslr system. In those situations, there is no present investment in lenses and accessories. But then as TCav mentioned, there is the size and cost advantage of the cropped sensor DX system. That is no small consideration.

Dx has lots of lens choices, less costly bodies and yet, still has the AF - durability- and IQ performance that will meet most everyone's needs.

Now, how to tell that story in one photograph?

Zig
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 8:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zig-123 View Post
Now, how to tell that story in one photograph?
If it takes more than a thousand words, all bets are off.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 3:07 PM   #9
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Hi Zig,

If you want to go FF and your subject is BIF you will need at least a 500mm to have the same reach wit a DX body and 70-200mm + 1.7 TC and that option is very expensive.

DX bodies like the D300s and D7000 have a great AF system and the IQ is great if you don't cross the ISO 800- 1200 barrier.

You will notice the advantages of FF is you shoot in low light and using prime lens.
I think for portraits, weddings, social events FF is a great option but for BIF the crop sensor is a great option.

I have both a D300 and a D700, for travel and BIF I use the D300 and the D700 for events, portraits or for situations when I need a better IQ.

FF is expensive and heavy and DX is light and affordable but I think every system is for different applications.

Marcelo
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 7:58 PM   #10
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I looked into lenses and read Ken Rockwell's write up on the 28-300. The one B&H use in their D6oo kit. One of his biggest points was in FF the results show a lot of vigneting, the DX of course cuts that part of the sensor out.
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