In the next month or two I plan on purchasing a new addition to my photo gear-either a new D7000 (body only) or a like new 17-55 2.8 from KEH.com. I currently have a D5000. It is my only digital body. My lenses are: Nikon afs-70-300vr, Nikon af-s 35mm 1.8, Sigma 10-20 EX HSM, Sigma 17-70 2.8-4. From evrything I've read here and other places the D7000 is far superior to the D5000 in every way. It doesn't hurt that it's now selling for less than $900 on Amazon. While the thought of two bodies is appealing, I'm intrigued by what I've read about the 17-55. I can purchase a like new lens for a little less than the price of the D7000. Faced with this choice, which would you get and why?
#1. "RE: What Would You Do" In response to Reply # 0
I'm not sure I would do either of those things, but with those as the choices, I would probably opt for the D7000. One strong reason is that it opens up the possibility of using AF (non-AF-S) lenses that your D5000 can't autofocus with. Of course, I don't know if that interests you, but you did ask what I would do.
#2. "RE: What Would You Do" In response to Reply # 0
I would upgrade to the D7000 or maybe even wait a bit to see if the D7000 replacement is announced in early 2013. I have never been a fan of the 17-55, mainly due to the weight, but also because it does not zoom farther. At 755g it is almost as heavy as a D7000 with battery, which is 780g. However, it is a high quality lens, and I know there are many happy users. Even if I did want that lens though, I would upgrade from the D5000 first.
#3. "RE: What Would You Do" In response to Reply # 0
I was in a similar position about a year ago, with a twist: I had to have two bodies for a shoot, circumstances dictated I couldn't swap lenses (outdoors, -20F, etc). I needed some glass, and I needed bodies that were a little "sturdier" than the D5000.
I played with the 7000, and decided that the control layout, etc., was so different that I couldn't, in the heat of the moment, use both bodies effectively. So I purchased 2 D7000 bodies. By "heat of the moment" I mean that this was a sporting event: dogsled race and weightpull, and skijoorning. No way am I good enough to switch from the 5000 controls to the 7000 and not flub the action shots.
Then later I worked on building up my glass. Still working on that, NAS blows.
With that said: a lot depends on what you're shooting, IMO. If you're shooting in relatively controlled conditions, the 5000 produces excellent images. Yeah, it won't have the high ISO performance, nor the dynamic range, of the 7000, and the controls are not nearly as flexible, not as high a pixel count, yada yada. But I've shot many images with the 5000 that I still am proud to print and show.
But as much as I liked the 5000, the 7000 is a major upgrade in every way. A year later, I'm still thrilled with the 7000, and am still practicing and learning how to make better images. It's really a great introduction, IMO, to a professional level DSLR.
The other comment I'll make: the 17-55 is a dx lens, albeit a very good one. However, I made a decision to avoid investing in DX lenses, just in case I make the switch to FX format down the road, I won't have to lose as much money. Something to consider.
#9. "RE: What Would You Do" In response to Reply # 8
St Petersburg, RU
What specifically do you shoot and in what conditions? As you get deeper into better lenses you will find that they become more specialized meaning if you have many types of subjects, the cost of your hobby gets pretty expensive getting lenses that are optimized for your needs. The 17-55 is a good lens, not stellar but good and well made. If you shoot what it is a good match for, it would be a good investment, provided that you are going to stick with DX for a long time. But if you plan on shifting to FX, forget the 17-55, it will suffer too much in resale compared to more in-demand lenses. If you have any desire to move to FX, stop buying DX lenses now, even if the move is a couple years from now.
Can you post am image that you think would have been noticeably better with a D7000? Depending on the weakness of the image, the upgrade could be warranted or not. No mistaking it, the D7000 is a very competent camera. I really enjoy mine but in typcial shots it is not that much different than your D5000 in image quality. If lower noise is the most important improvement you seek, a couple of speedlights and a flash workshop would probably give better results. Also, consider the 1.8 low cost primes like the 85, 50, 35 and 28 which have excellent IQ plus gather more light than the 2.8 zooms.
#10. "RE: What Would You Do" In response to Reply # 9
Greetings, Stan. I mainly shoot landscapes mostly within a few hours of sunrise and sunset. So I'm often operating in low light conditions. I shot the image below about a week ago at sunrise with the D5000 and af-s 35mm at f/1.8, 1/125s and ISO 200. There was a very light haze in the air but nothing like what shows up in the photo. This is uncropped and not processed in any way and converted to jpeg from the RAW file.
#11. "RE: What Would You Do" In response to Reply # 10
I seriously doubt that any camera is going to capture this one better. You were at base ISO. Possibly a tripod might have improved it. Very arguably shooting at a higher ISO might have helped, but you surely could have gotten a good result at 800, even with the d5000.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#12. "RE: What Would You Do" In response to Reply # 11
Seattle, WA, US
I am with Brian on the tripod suggestion, if you are doing mostly landscapes. Mounted on a tripod, I would have probably shot this scene at the base ISO, f/8, whatever slow shutter speed, with probably bracketing turned on.
---------+---------+---------+---------+ Joseph K Seattle, WA, USA
#13. "RE: What Would You Do" In response to Reply # 0
Brian and Joseph, this was shot with a tripod. I use a tripod 90% of the time when shooting landscapes, even when the light is much brighter. So that's not the problem. It is probably not the best image to demonstrate the noise deficiency. This one probably has more of a dynamic range problem. It was late when I posted so I went the easy route and picked a recent shot. I'll have to look again and find one that I know for sure exhibits the noise issue. Thanks for the replies.
#15. "RE: What Would You Do" In response to Reply # 0
Thanks, Brian and evryone. I'm not questioning the capabilities of the D5000. I've captured some great images with it. I'm almost certainly going to buy either the D7000 or the 17-55. I didn't mean to give the impression that I was not satisfied with my current body. I'm just considering an upgrade with either a new body or a new lens. So the question is not if I should buy, it is which would you buy? Thanks again to everyone who took the time to comment.
#17. "RE: What Would You Do" In response to Reply # 16
Thanks, Tom. That's the way I'm leaning.
"Why would you purchase a 17-55 when you already have a 17-70? What would it buy you?"
Constant 2.8 aperture at all focal lengths and from what Ive read, much better image quality and superior build quality. After reading the responses here, though, it doesn't seem worth the price premium. I think I'd be better served purchasing the D7000 and starting a fund for FX lenses for future upgrade.
#18. "RE: What Would You Do" In response to Reply # 17
Have you considered the tamron 17-55 f2.8 NON vc version??? its got good reviews and as such there may be an option where you could get the D7000, then sell the D5000 and get the tamron with the money you made from selling the D5000
#19. "RE: What Would You Do" In response to Reply # 18
St. Louis, US
I'd get the lens. At less than $900, you're not going to take much of a hit if you resell it later to move to FX. And, while the idea of 2 bodies sounds interesting, it makes most sense when the two bodies are the same. These cameras are complex (as you probably know) and learning them takes time. Switching between two different cameras can get confusing. When I got my D7K, I kept my D100 for a while, thinking it could help cut down on lens swaps. But the two cameras were so different that the only real use for the D100 would be as a backup if the 7000 bit the dust. So I sold the D100. I have the 17-55 and love it. I bought it after trying a 24-70 for a couple of weeks and decided that I needed more room on the wide end.
I also have no need to consider FX (I might want FX, like I want a Ferrari), but as a hobbyist there's no way I can justify the money and the sacrifice of added distance on my long lenses
Jim Singler D7K with a bunch of lenses and other assorted stuff
#20. "RE: What Would You Do" In response to Reply # 0
"which would you get and why?"
Without a blink, the D7000. You are well equipped in the lens department. Yes, the D7000 will produce better images than the D5000, but also consider just some of the shooting and handling features of the D7000:
Pentaprism 100% viewfinder; -Superior autofocus; -meter functions with manual focus lenses; U1,U2 modes; external controls for fast operation; dual card slots; read the Nikon USA tech specs for more. For your action photography, the D7000 will take your photography to another level. Shooting on CH (Continuous High), will fill the buffer quickly, so your strategy may include burst shooting, and shooting large Jpegs for action.
With my D7000, I use the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 that I purchased with my D80. The main advantages that the Nikon 17-55mm f2.8 holds over the Tamron are superior build quality, and superior autofocus -- a definite advantage in low-light shooting environments.
#23. "RE: What Would You Do" In response to Reply # 22 Sat 15-Dec-12 10:35 PM by William Symonds
The 17-55mm is a terrific lens but a bit of a brick - given the way FX prices are tumbling I'd avoid DX lenses if you are even vaguely thinking about going FX, and just now Nikon are giving great deals on FX cameras so the temptation to got to FX will grow.
So personally I'd wait for the new D7000 replacement body, as the D90 is pretty good, and your lenses already have a good coverage too.
Or maybe think about a ballhead upgrade so that you have the confidence to use lower shutter speeds and enable smaller apertures. I suspect you'd enjoy using a Markins M10 or something similar.
And if you're really after shooting landscapes with high dynamic range, maybe think about a D600 should prices continue to tumble after Christmas, though that would leave you with some lens issues, as you are have quite a lot of DX glass.