I currently have the D3 and most often use the 24-70, 14-24 and 70-200 f/2.8 zoom lenses with it.
I have been seriously considering selling the D3 to get the D700 solely for the smaller size of the D700, but considering the lenses I am using, I am wondering if: 1) these lenses might balance better on the D3; and 2) whether I would really even notice the smaller size and weight much when using these rather large and heavy lenses on the D700. I don't have any local stores which have the D700 or else I would have gone to check one out in person, so if anyone on this board has any experience with the D700 and can comment on the above I would appreciate it.
#1. "RE: D700 vs. D3 with f/2.8 zooms?" In response to Reply # 0
The D3 will balance better with those lenses than the D700 without the grip. Getting the grip would be opposite of what you want, since it would then be possibly heavier and larger than the D3.
I find my F5 balances better with the pro zooms much better than my F100. On my D200, I use the grip.
If it was me, I would keep the D3. You will take a loss if you sell it and it is the better camera.
There is no real reason to save some weight with the camera body if you are using heavy lenses in my opinion. I choose to use the heavy lenses, so I don't notice much difference in weight with the slightly ligher cameras.
Shoot nature with respect and don't trample it or startle its inhabitants.
#2. "RE: D700 vs. D3 with f/2.8 zooms?" In response to Reply # 0
I have the D700, grip, 24-70, and 70-200. I don't have the 14-24 or the D3, and have only owned the D700 for 11 days. I do, however, have an opinion (doesn't everybody?).
I think the D700 without grip and the 24-70 are a perfect match, the combination feels well balanced and natural in my hands.
The 70-200 on the D700 w/o grip is a slight bit overpowering. It does not feel uncomfortable, just a tiny bit unbalanced. I find that adding the grip to the D700/70-200 combination feels better to me. Please don't misunderstand, I use the D700/70-200 combination without the grip most of the time. I don't find the grip "necessary" with this combination, just slightly more balanced.
I think you would really notice and appreciate the size/weight difference for general, everyday walk-around shooting. My previous bodies were 2 D200s, one with grip and one without. I found that for my style of shooting the D200 without the grip was used 90% of the time. Most often I like to carry 1 body and a few lenses/accessories in a backpack, just looking for something interesting to shoot.
The D700 is the best Nikon Full Frame Sensor option for me. I get the smaller, lighter body with an option to add the grip when appropriate. If I know I will be shooting mostly portraits the grip goes on. The D200 grip was just too much of a pain to add/remove to make this a reasonable option.
Just my opinion, but I hope this helps.
I never have taken a picture I've intended. They're always better or worse. - Diane Arbus
#5. "RE: D700 vs. D3 with f/2.8 zooms?" In response to Reply # 0
St. Asaph, GB
I currently use the 14-70, 24-70 and 70-200 on a D300, and find them very comfortably balanced. I am contemplating the D700 - as a main body and will kep the D300 as a DX/backup body (I have the DX lenses), waiting for the price to be right before I order one. NB I am a newcomer to this site/org and can truly say that I have not found a friendlier club in a long time with loads of help available from many aspects of the subject of photography.
#6. "RE: D700 vs. D3 with f/2.8 zooms?" In response to Reply # 5
I had a D2x, with a 17-55 and 70-200. I now have a D700, got a 24-70, and gave the D2x and DX lens to my daughter.
I think the D700 is balanced with the 24-70, and still feels balanced with an SB-900 on top for portraits. The 70-200 in fact balances better on a tripod with the D700 hanging off the back, than it did with the D2x.
You should consider some morning exercise routines with dumbells, and sit-ups to strengthen your back. The D700, 70-210, 24-70, and 14-24 in a Lowepro Slingbag with only a few extra goodies comes in over 18 pounds. I feel like I am carrying around a medium format kit.
But, then I see the pictures, and it is all worth it.
#8. "RE: D700 vs. D3 with f/2.8 zooms?" In response to Reply # 0
Miami (Coconut Grove), US
In my opinion no 2.8 zoom "balances" well with either the big bodies or the small ones. They are all very front heavy. I do find that it is easier to cradle the heavy lenses in my left hand with the short bodies which to me spells more keepers. Either way, or either one, it is still very manageable. It not like it's a hand gun or a pool cue