I got the D700 on Saturday and could not be happier. (I sold a D300 and some DX lenses to finance this.) While the D300 was really stellar, there are no regrets with the D700. It feels so good to have the lenses working like they were designed to again -- and call high-iso performance "one stop better" if you want -- shooting this camera in low light feels like it opens new worlds of opportunities.
The only drawback is the purchase cleaned me out of two DX lenses that I really enjoyed owning. But I was pleasantly surprised with how my trusty old 28-105 performs on the D700. (I can hear the groans from the crowd for putting that humble lens on the D700 instead of something like the 24-70, but you should try it before you knock it. That lens has long been regarded as a "Decent" consumer lens, and it delivers exceptional images on the D700. Really.)
I will miss the convenience of the 18-200, but I will enjoy owning an 85 1.4 and other leganday fast primes that I'm heading toward. Those primes will supplement the 28-105 -- which will serve as a compact walk-about lens for now.
I am not suprised that your older 28-105 looks good on the D700. Did you ever try using it on the D300? I would think that with the larger pixel size on the FX sensor, the older lenses that weren't quite as good on the 12 MP DX sensors are going to look a lot better.
I used the 28-105 for macro on the D200 and not much at all with the D300. I had the 18-200 by the time the D300 arrived, and find that range to be better for walking around. I was very pleasantly surprised with the image quality from that 28-105 lens when I looked at the photos on my computer monitor last night.
It seems that the 28-105 is enjoying a rebirth from several posts I have seen here and at another forum. I recommend anybody who isn't too hung up being seen with a $3000 camera with a $150 lens snag a 28-105 while the getting is still good. (I suspect any nikonphiles who have spent $1700 or whatever for a 24-70 would be slow to give the 28-105 its due, but seeing how that lens functions on the D700 I would not spend my money for the 24-70 given I have that range covered well enough.)
That said, I am faced with re-thinking my humble lenses now that I have a camera that I can live happily with no matter what gets released by Nikon next month. or next year. I can't seem Nikon having another camera body customer in me for a long while now. (NAS denial, I know.)
I'm loving how the 20 2.8 and the 50 1.8 work on the camera, and have not yet tried the Tokina 100-300 F4 on it. But I want to have a few more lenses that are "higher" wuality. (Although that Tokina is very nice except for its artillery weight and size.)
Regardless, having film-like lens behavior in a DSLR with low light capabilities that this D700 produces is a case of love at first sight.
I left 35 MM film behind for a 6-year divorce-limited detour through P&S canon powershot (the EX TOOK my film camera with her), my first exposure to digital, and when I moved to DX it never felt "right."
The D700 feels right. The D300 was a giant leap forward in attainable good-image quality, and the D700 puts me right back where I am comfortable again in terms of camera behavior.
I have seen respected reviewers say low light performance is a "faux" reason for getting the D700. I will be curious to see how this reviewer revisits that claim.
Now to find a larger hard drive and get set up for RAID....I'm going to need it.
#5. "RE: D700 Joy" In response to Reply # 4 Tue 29-Jul-08 06:36 AM by johno
St. Louis, US
I believe it is much better in low light, and I believe the images are more-easily sharper than what I got from the D300. But I was VERY happy with the D300.
The best thing for me is that I feel at home with a 35 mm camera again. I got scared before I did this from all of the venom or ambivalance that I saw here and from respected reviwers. Now there is no hesitation. At all.
I'm very happy to own the D700. It is not "the same" as a D300. There is value in the additional $1300 spent.
However, there are a few minor nits. The glass? (I hope it's not plastic) in the eyepiece now lays nearly right against the bottom of my camera bag, and I liked having that recessed a bit more on the D300. Most bothersome on a $3000 camera is the plastic door that covers the HDMI/other ports on the left side is a compromise, quality wise. It is just plain cheap, and not firmly planted like on the D300. It has a fingernail catch that is positioned just so on the corner of the body so it will catch on anything that touches it, and the cover is inserted too loosly to resist much accidential lateral force. (It looks poised to open by accident) The hinge that holds this cover to the camera seems like it will not last. Same goes for the even flimsier straps that hold the covers on the 10-pin terminal. They will not last. I MUCH prefered the screw cap on the D200. If I shot for a living I would get a D3 just for those reasons. The D300 has a slight edge in build quality, I believe. That doesn't feel so good, but this is the worst criticism I can find right now. Other than those covers, it is clearly the best camera I have owned.