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D700 - To FX or not to FX - DX is the question!

The Shooter

Perth, AU
134 posts

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The Shooter Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Apr 2007
Tue 25-Jun-13 08:14 AM

Dear Friends,

I have been pondering about a transfer to the dark side for a while now and a few Nikon advances have seen me become a bit impatient to go to FX; and I need you guys to give me clarity where otherwise confusion reigns.
The advances in Nikon D800's, D600's and D7100's are that I cannot afford the high end, I don't want video, I don't won't to change my cards.
I shoot with a D300 and have a D70s as backup (or the wife uses it when she feels the need to join me, mainly in Aug/Sep when the wild flowers come out in Western Australia)
I would like to find a low click (rare) D700 to move to FX. These are very rare in our fair land of Oz and therefore hold a good price when you can find one. And since it has taken so long to find one (still looking) the nasty seed of doubt grows in the brain.

So my D700 reasonings are these;
Same layout as my D300
Same batteries and CF cards
The amount of good press from you guys that enjoy them.

The thing I have against the change to FX is mainly based on my current lenses and the crop values of the D700.
I understand that if I use my wonderful 17-55mm f2.8 on a D700 the crop takes the picture to 5.1mp, which is sub level of my D70s.

If I bought a D600, for all the wrong personal reasons mentioned above, the crop value is 12.1mp which would at least give me the same quality that I have now. from my D300.

One shop assistant said I should forget about changing to FX and go to the best DX, a D7100. But all I see for my money is video, SD cards, smaller meterage (39 instead of 51) etc.

If you look at my current list of lenses you will see that there are only two, 50mm 1.8D and 70-300mm 4-5.6G that I could use on an FX camera.
I can see that it would appear that I want my cake and eat it too but I am just trying to make the transfer as least financially and equipment loss as possible.

I am all ears.................

Thanks in anticipation
Andy

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William Rounds

Rambouillet, FR
743 posts

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#1. "RE: D700 - To FX or not to FX - DX is the question!" | In response to Reply # 0

William Rounds Gold Member Nikonian since 25th Mar 2011
Tue 25-Jun-13 07:00 AM

Wait for the D400.

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Bass rock

Scotland, UK
968 posts

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#2. "RE: D700 - To FX or not to FX - DX is the question!" | In response to Reply # 0

Bass rock Registered since 21st Dec 2007
Tue 25-Jun-13 07:14 AM

Hi Andy,

I am sure many people will tell you to "go for it" - this is the D700 forum after all However, I also went from a D300 to a second-hand D700 last year, and have a note of caution. Yes, the D700 is a cracking camera, and the pictures from it are great. Not so great, perhaps, as the D800 with its extra pixels, but the D700 is just as good now as when it was released, and everyone thought it was fantastic then.

The "however" is (from my point of view) that it is noticeably heavier / bulkier than the D300, especially once you start to upgrade the DX to FX lenses and you want longer lenses to get that extra reach you get used to with DX. Also, unless you want the shallow DOF from shooting wide open on FX, I am also not sure that you will get much overall increase in IQ compared to the D300 and 17-55.

You didn't say why you are thinking to make the change to FX, and what you require from the system. I suggest you are clear about priorities, and be honest about things like limits you want on weight / costs etc.

I am actually thinking about going back to DX, because I find I prefer to carry a lighter kit.

Also when thinking about your decision, bear in mind the mythical D400 might be released later this year

Either way, they are all good cameras.

Bill
North Berwick, Scotland

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briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#3. "RE: D700 - To FX or not to FX - DX is the question!" | In response to Reply # 0

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Tue 25-Jun-13 08:02 AM

You don't tell us why you feel the need to go to the FX format. That's not uncommon - many folks think it's automatically "better" but in individual cases it may not be the best option.

Given that you want FX, can't run to a D800 (or, presumably, a D4), and you want to stick with CF cards, you don't have much choice - it would have to be the D700.

But... what will a D700 give you? Your lens choices would be very limited. In real terms, a D700 will be about one stop better in noise at high ISO values - and that's pretty much it. I used a D300 and D700 alongside each other for a year or so, and in average-to-good lighting I could see no difference between them.

Have you considered the option of a D300s?

Other than that, you would have to compromise on one or more requirements.

By the way - the DX crop mode of a D600 offers about 10.3MP, not 12.1MP.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

The Shooter

Perth, AU
134 posts

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#4. "RE: D700 - To FX or not to FX - DX is the question!" | In response to Reply # 3

The Shooter Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Apr 2007
Tue 25-Jun-13 09:25 AM

Thank you gentlemen for you views and observations
Bill,
Interesting that you are thinking of going back to DX for the weight issues. And that you both feel that the D300 and D700 are close in many ways.
Both you and Brian mentioned that I did not state why I wanted to go to FX and my answer in part is, like Brian said, I thought that it was better. I am also afraid to be left behind by these leaps and bounds brought to us by Nikon, more insane pixels and ISO's and more video gimmicks and more price. Once the D700 is gone my opinion is that anything newer in that ball park will have video and XQD cards(which no one has a reader for?)
If I have it right the superior DX to the D300 is the D7100, which again has a small frame, SD cards and video. If I want video I use my 12mp Samsung III phone, which produces great video.

I also think that part of my reasoning to upgrade to FX is to do some justice to a new lens I had been after. I originally wanted to get a 70-200mm f2.8 VRII, but now that the f4 version is getting such rave reviews, better VR and is so much lighter that's what I am aiming at. But maybe I am barking up the wrong tree, maybe the 70-200mm f4 will be astounding on my D300. That's why I created my original post to get some sense of reasoning.
Thanks
Andy

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ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3385 posts

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#5. "RE: D700 - To FX or not to FX - DX is the question!" | In response to Reply # 0

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Tue 25-Jun-13 11:19 AM | edited Tue 25-Jun-13 11:22 AM by ajdooley

Andy -- Don't get tangled up with the memory card issue concerning the D800. I recently added a D800 to my existing family of two D700 bodies and am using the same CF cards I used in my D700s. The only problem is that an 8gb card holds only 90 14-bit RAW + a medium JPG versus the 250 such captures I get on the D700. But there is NO requirement even to install an SD card. Maybe I will acquire some in the future, but I am using the D800 daily in my business with 8gb and recently, 32gb compact flash cards and an empty SD slot. The other questions you have to answer first are what you plan or hope to get from an FX camera and whether your finances will support those goals. Someone else in another thread recently noted (a) that existing cameras don't suddenly start taking bad pictures when a new version is released, and (b) it is easy to blame the tools for bad carpentry. The issue of lenses is also germane, although if and when you can acquire top-shelf glass, it lives beyond camera bodies. Going from the D700 to the D800, I have found no need to change or add lenses. BTW, I have a friend who is pretty anal about lens quality and who is raving about the new 70-200 f4. In addition to being very, very excellent, he notes it is a lot lighter at the end of a long day.

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

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JPJ

Toronto, CA
1327 posts

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#6. "RE: D700 - To FX or not to FX - DX is the question!" | In response to Reply # 0

JPJ Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Aug 2009
Tue 25-Jun-13 12:05 PM

To be fair to the D7100 it is superior technology to the D300. You lose buffer for sure and the familiar layout, but you gain quite a bit of dynamic range, and you get better ISO performance with 2x as many MPs. The photos being posted here on the D7000/7100 forum are stunning. You gain the ability to crop significantly and maintain usable photos. The AF system though it has less AF points/VF coverage is a new generation module and gets great reviews.

That being said I own a D700 and I love it so much, that when I added a D800e I refused to sell my D700. I pull it out mostly for impromptu photo sessions - but to be fair the D800e is the D7100 to its D300 and the improvements in DR and ISO performance see me using the D800e most of the time.

My advice would be if you go FX, go FX. As in get FX lenses and go all in. If you can't afford to I would hold off. I would have no interest to shoot my D700 in crop mode, in fact I never have. I sold my entire DX kit when I moved to FX and never looked back. The D600 and D800/e cameras are amazing. That being said, if you don't need the buffer and the form factor is satisfactory the D7100 holds its own amongst the new class of Nikons. You would have to change cards, good SD cards can be pretty cheap though.

Another option is to wait it out a little more and see if Nikon ever does release the D400. It bears noting that despite constant rumors over the last 3 years that it was imminent, it has never materialized. Still if you are not in a hurry, you could wait a bit, worst case scenario you still have your money and the D300 is a very capable camera.

Jason

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mklass

Tacoma, US
7437 posts

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#7. "RE: D700 - To FX or not to FX - DX is the question!" | In response to Reply # 5

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Tue 25-Jun-13 12:07 PM

A few points:

Don't get hung up on you memory cards. They are an accessory and getting cheaper. Your D70 uses SD cards and the D300 and D700 CF. Of course a D300s uses both.

Video is there, whether you want it or not. I have 3 DSLR's with video capability and I have yet to use it on any of them. I bought these cameras for their other capabilities.

The D7100 has 51 focus points, not 39, as the D7000 had. It will give you more pixels on the subject than a D700, and you can use your existing DX lenses. The dynamic range improvements over the D300 and D700 are amazing.

You'll pay as much or more for a used D700 than you will for a new D7100.

The D700 is a great camera. I had one. But technology has improved significantly since it's introduction. Right now, a used D700 is the low cost way to get into FX, if that is definitely what you want to do.
Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
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The Shooter

Perth, AU
134 posts

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#8. "RE: D700 - To FX or not to FX - DX is the question!" | In response to Reply # 6

The Shooter Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Apr 2007
Tue 25-Jun-13 12:41 PM

Maybe I should ask the question why do photographers move on to FX from DX?
I understand that I need to go the whole hog when changing to FX and it would happen eventually. Most people who have answered my original post have asked me why I want to go to FX and I have said that one of the reasons was that I thought it was better, natural progression as it were. Now I wonder what all the fuss is about if DX is up there with the best?

My aim for the future has always been to take better panoramics and I have thought, rightly or wrongly that I needed an FX to achieve it. If for no other reason than the 'negative' is bigger and the lenses are better.
If someone could tell me that I can get the same results from my D300 or D7100 then that is the way I shall head.
By the way I have just been offered a D700 with less than 5k clicks for $1350 which I have looked up is US$1245.

I have a question about resolution, here is the quoted figures for the D700;
FX: 4,256 x 2,832 (L), 3,184 x 2,120 (M), 2,128 x 1,416 (S).

DX: 2,784 x 1,848 (L), 2,080 x 1,384 (M), 1,392 x 920 (S)

And here is the D300;
DX: 4,288 x 2,848 (L), 3,216 x 2,136 (M), 2,144 x 1,424 (S)

Why are they larger on the D300 than the FX of the D700?
Is this what people mean by 'there's not much in it'?

Andy

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jgould2

Fort Pierce, US
4628 posts

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#9. "RE: D700 - To FX or not to FX - DX is the question!" | In response to Reply # 7

jgould2 Gold Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 13th Oct 2007
Tue 25-Jun-13 01:22 PM

Hi Mick.

Actually, the D70 uses CF cards not SD cards.

JIM

mklass

Tacoma, US
7437 posts

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#10. "RE: D700 - To FX or not to FX - DX is the question!" | In response to Reply # 9

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Tue 25-Jun-13 01:40 PM

Must be faulty memory on my part. It's been a long time since I had a D70. Didn't it have a hand crank to start it?

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
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jgould2

Fort Pierce, US
4628 posts

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#11. "RE: D700 - To FX or not to FX - DX is the question!" | In response to Reply # 10

jgould2 Gold Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 13th Oct 2007
Tue 25-Jun-13 01:46 PM

Hi Mick.

Hand crank = good one!

I only remembered because I dragged one out last night to help a neighbor with some advice on his.

JIM

GiantTristan

Stamford, US
2688 posts

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#12. "RE: D700 - To FX or not to FX - DX is the question!" | In response to Reply # 0

GiantTristan Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2006
Tue 25-Jun-13 08:10 PM

Looking at your lens inventory, I believe it makes little sense for you to change to a FX camera at this point. A much better approach would be to exchange your DX lenses for some high quality FX lenses. Generally, FX lenses work very well with DX cameras, since the DX system only uses the center section of the lens which is usually the sharpest. In my opinion, the IQ of your captures is much more affected by the quality of the lens than by the camera. For example, the IQ of a picture taken with a D70 and a 70-200/2.8 will generally be of higher quality than an image taken with a D300 and an 18-200 VR or similar.

I got an 70-200/2.8 when I had my D70 and the 24-70/2.8 when I had the D200. I only changed to the D700, since I wanted to make full use of the beautiful Nikon 14-24/2.8. During the past five years I have not encountered a zoom lens that is equal to the three f/2.8 zoom lenses and they are the best lenses for the new high resolution D600 and D800 cameras.

Tristan

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professorune

HK
1251 posts

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#13. "RE: D700 - To FX or not to FX - DX is the question!" | In response to Reply # 4

professorune Registered since 08th Jun 2013
Wed 26-Jun-13 12:26 PM

I don't know if I'm the only one, but I bought my D700 ahead of subsequent release of FX models because I knew future cameras would include the video function in them; something I didn't want.

Whether to go with FX depends what subjects you photograph most. If the use of telephoto lens is needed, FX may not be the best unless you want & can afford the high end telephoto lenses.

I suppose if you really wanted to buy a good quality used D700, the earlier the better. At least the shutter won't be as worn.

briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#14. "RE: D700 - To FX or not to FX - DX is the question!" | In response to Reply # 13

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Wed 26-Jun-13 01:57 PM

>Whether to go with FX depends what subjects you photograph
>most. If the use of telephoto lens is needed, FX may not be
>the best unless you want & can afford the high end
>telephoto lenses.

Again, that isn't really a DX/FX thing - it all depends on the pixel count. A (DX) D300 is out-gunned in pixel density by the (FX) D800, for example.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

Photograffiti

LA (Lower Arkansas), US
482 posts

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#15. "RE: D700 - To FX or not to FX - DX is the question!" | In response to Reply # 0

Photograffiti Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Apr 2006
Thu 27-Jun-13 03:06 AM

I'll weigh in with my opinion. Maybe it will give you insight into the matter.

I started shooting film. Loved it and the smell of the darkroom. I resisted digital for quite a while, but eventually caved in and bought a D70. I noticed that my 50 1.4 lens gave me a different perspective on the crop camera...and I didn't like it. Eventually, I moved to the D200 and to the D300. Both were good cameras, but neither were good in low light. When I moved to the D700, I noticed that I got the same perspective of focal length that I got from my film cameras - which I really loved - and excellent low-light performance.

As the newer FX cameras came out, I decided to stick with the D700. In fact, I bought a second one when the prices started to drop. It was everything I needed.

I've read here and elsewhere about the improved technology. Aside from slightly better low light performance from the D700, the biggest improvements in my photography have come from practice and improvements in my technique. Yes, the newer FX and DX bodies have better dynamic range. This can be seen in numerous tests found on various internet sites. I've found that although the testers went to great lengths to display these technological improvements, the actual photographs really did not. Of course, I'm not a pixel peeper, so none of this matters to me.

I owned the D300/17-55 combo. The D700/24-70 combo is better. My copy of the lens is sharper wide open, and the D700 is better in low light. I also get the same perspective looking through the D700 viewfinder that I get looking through the finders on my film cameras. Those reasons were enough for me.

I also realize that my setup is a little bit heavier - which makes it cumbersome for daily use. To address this issue, I bought a D5100 and a couple lighter DX lenses. That's the kit I use for casual snapshots.

You already have a D70 and 55-200VR. I'd sell the 18-70 and pick up an 18-55 and possibly a 35 1.8. All three lenses are small, light, relatively inexpensive, and use matching 52mm filters. I'd also sell the D300 and 17-55 and go with the D700/24-70. You've already found a nice deal on the lightly used body around which you can build a fine kit. Go for it.

Mark
www.markpricephotography.com

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The Shooter

Perth, AU
134 posts

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#16. "RE: D700 - To FX or not to FX - DX is the question!" | In response to Reply # 15

The Shooter Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Apr 2007
Sat 29-Jun-13 02:05 PM

Hi Guys,
Well I did it anyway!!
I have a D700 with about 5000 clicks, a 14 - 24mm f2.8 and a 85mm 1.4 and an MB-D10 battery grip.

If anyone in Perth, Western Australia is interested the gentleman still has a lot of gear to get rid of. Through no fault of his own he has fallen on hard times and needs to sell.

He still has a Elinchrom 500/500 flash units with Manfrotto tripods.
Nikon 70 - 200mm f2,8 VR I
2 x SB 900 flash guns
Spyder 3 Express and a few other flash brackets and background sheets etc.
Anyone interested can give me a pm and I will put you in touch.
Cheers
Andy

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Houstie1

Invergordon, UK
1 posts

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#17. "RE: D700 - To FX or not to FX - DX is the question!" | In response to Reply # 16

Houstie1 Registered since 27th Nov 2005
Mon 01-Jul-13 09:28 AM

Hi Andy,

I have the D300/d700 combination which is fantastic...have kept my 17-55 12-24 DX lenses for d300, have 70-200 and 100m and 60 macros for both and a new 28-300 which will be fantastic on both....

I think you have made a great choice which works well for both now and the future, and of course the layout in both cameras is similar...

Happy shooting


John H

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G