"D7100 Review" Sat 15-Jun-13 11:42 AM by newfoundlander61
I read a review this am on the D7100 from a web site called "kenrockwell" and noted this comment towards the end of the review: "24MP in DX is excessive. If you want to get the sharpness I showed at the top in my D7100 Sample Images, you need superb lenses. " I am currently looking purchase a second body to upgrade from a D50. The 2 lenses I have are:
80-400VR old version Nikkor 50mm AF f/1.8D
Is the observation about needing superb lenses accurate. Keeping in mind that alot of the quality of the image is based on conditions and the ability of the shooter. Would my assumption be if the comment is correct then you would need fixed prime lenses to get good pictures but I am not convinced of this. Comments most welcome. Thanks.
I believe you can look in the "Master Your Vision" forum and see plenty of good pictures produced with less than the most expensive prime lenses. Yet, some of the pictures that really "pop" are taken with the expensive primes. As you noted, conditions and the ability of the shooter are paramount to the end results but if the lenses are of poor quality the aforementioned are negated. Imo, most lens produced today, even the kit lens, will give good results if used correctly.
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><
Your current lenses will be fine - and on a D7100 should give you significantly better results than they do on your current D50. Just be aware that the greater pixel count of the D7100 will ask more from the photographer's technique.
Paraphrasing one of your remarks... "just be aware that the quality of advice on the web is based on the intentions and ability of the author". The author you mention primarily aims at attracting traffic, which he does by making controversial statements. The site can be an entertaining read, but I never rely on it for accurate advice on serious matters.
Ken Rockwell is a hoot. The thing that gives me a chuckle most of all about him is that there is a strong thread of "quit worrying about your camera...all cameras take good pictures...its not your camera...just go out and shoot!" while at the same time he gets whatever revenue he gets from his site from all the camera junkies who just have to have the latest and greatest. You'll note that most of his camera reviews start with something like "The Ajax TK8900 is the greatest camera ever, at any price!"
He's actually a pretty sensible guy. And he's right that by and large, cameras don't matter. He uses hyperbole to get people to his site, and get them talking about his site. (Photography websites are notorious for having 10 page "love/hate KR" threads...and they all help drive traffic to his site, which is exactly what he wants.)
As to your question, the big advantage of the newer cameras over your D50 is the huge display. That alone is worth the upgrade (at least IMHO and with my aging eyes).
Your lenses will be fine with a D7100. The D7100 is an advanced camera with all sorts of advanced capabilities. The learning curve for mastering it is non-trivial. KR and Nikon (and the industry in general) like to subtly and overtly send the message that the solution to disappointment with photographs is newer and better gear, but that is rarely the case. The solution is better creativity, better technique, and (substantially) better editing skills.
If your previous camera made great images with your lenses, then so will a D7100. The extra resolution afforded by the 24 MPixel sensor give you more options with the images you capture, e.g. cropping. I found coming from a D100 that the increased dynamic range and resolution of the D7100 sensor got the most image quality out of what I have and what I was shooting. The crispness available, even at high magnification, at 24 Mpixel just dwarfs 6 Mpixels, although the latter is all you need for 13 x 19" prints.
Having said all that, I think my D100 sensor limited perceived sharpness before, whereas I think my lenses are now limiting for image quality now for properly exposed shots.
So you old lenses will not look "bad" on a D7100. But with a high-resolution sensor, you have the capability to further improve image quality if you have better glass.
I have the original 80-400 VR, too. I went out with my D7100 and my D100 and took some photos of the garden from the 2nd floor window just for kicks. With the D100, I enlarged a black garden hose guide in the image and could see some detail in the carvings. (This was a pretty small feature in the image, even at 400 mm). With the D7100, same lens, same shot, I noticed that there was a small orange and black insect perched on the hose guide! Very impressive. That's what 4X the pixels can do for you.
I bought the D7100 and the first couple of pictures with my Sigma 150-500 was not coming out the way I wanted. So I uped the shutter speed and ISO and learned how to fix the noise in CS6 and I am getting great shots that dont need any sharpening. I still have the few pics not in focus but that is my fault. You will just have to learn all over again how to use your camera and all my lens do a great job.
Francine makes a good point, using habits that were good enough with the D50 will likely lead to disappointment at first with the d7100. Getting a new higher performance camera is a good way to force one into rethinking their assumptions that seemed good enough before. It is sort of like when girlfriends would want to drive my car back in the day when I had cars, and were insulted because I would not allow them. They had learned on imprecise forgiving moderate to low performance cars and I knew that their "experience" had let sloppy habits take hold that were good enough. Fine resolution braking or steering inputs that were fine in her Mustang would have landed her in a ditch and my car with her, since the car would do precisely what she asked it to, and not with the usual lag and broad tolerance. This camera is a Ferrari to the D50 Mustang. They will both get you to the grocery store but one is capable of making sloppy technique just as effective as good technique, while the other would return terrible images as a reward for sloppy technique. The pixel density of the D7100 is higher than the top of the line D800 that is the highest resolution DSLR made. Your lenses will work better on the D7100. But not approaching the capabilities of the D7100. When stopped down the 50 1.8D is really good but wide open at 1.8, it has a lot of problems. If you shoot at f/2.8, it will be very impressive on the D7100. As others have mentioned, the 80-400vr is optically very good, just slow to focus so was never a favorite among wildlife and sports shooters. The new version is faster but also 2x the cost. The camera is more complex which means you have more flexibility and more things you can fine tune to your wishes. That also means being more familiar with the cameras to figure out what was set wrong if a shot turns out badly. Luckily you found Nikonians.org. It is a great community that is known mostly for its helpful supportive attitude displayed by all its members. If you can't find your answers here, maybe there is no answer;>)