>Its all relative I suppose.. I'm coming from the point of a >hobby shooter with a limited budget (extremely limited by most >standards). > >For a pro shooter - I can completely understand, and would >likely buy the more expensive bodies. As you said, clients >are demanding and you have to give consistent high quality >results if you expect to get repeat customers.. I get that.
If I were a pro right now (and not a semi-pro) I'd be using a D700, minimum, no question. One just can't produce/compete effectively today with a D1- or D2- series or D70, D100, D200 (or even a D90 or D300-series these days).
>The difference, and maybe the point of my original post - is >that for someone like me, who really struggles to purchase >even a $5-600 body, and appreciates pro features, the older >bodies aren't unusable just because tech has moved forward.
I hear you, and am in the same boat. I've been using the D1H since 2005. I got a good deal ($1200, which was huge for me to spend) on a used one after the D2Hs came out (making the 1h one full generation old at that point in time). Likewise, I bought the D200 after the D300s came out. A D1H/D1x/D200 setup is far better for me, personally and what I do (newspaper photography) than would be a D5100/D3200/D90 setup, for example. It's all based on what you do, and what you appreciate more. The tradeoffs are that I can't shoot in extremely low-light without long exposures/support or a flash, and I have to use noise reduction at high ISOs. I also don't have live view or video (but I have a Coolpix P7000 that shoots 720p video). I am also two generations behind the state-of-the-art in terms of ISO (4 stops behind), dynamic range, and color. None of this matters for a semi-pro press photographer. What does matter is response time, viewfinder quality, focusing speed, accuracy, and durability. Older pro bodies thus work fine, except when I'm shooting night football. Thankfully the A.D. at my school lets me use flash (he was a former teacher of mine and saw me progress through my photography habit over the years and is happy to have local coverage in the paper of the sports at his school).
>A D1 or D2 hasn't changed and will still give the same results >it did when it was the "cutting edge". Your point >is taken, however, in respect to better tone rendition and >superior performance due to improvements in tech.
Hasn't changed one bit. B. Moose Peterson loved his D1, D1H, D1x, and D2H bodies despite their low (today) MP. You can still accomplish results equal to his (if you're good and practice enough!). He felt that technique was far more important than the camera/sensor...getting the right focus, holding steady, correct white balance, even composition, etc. And he was/is enlarging routinely to 20x30 (something I've only had to do once so far, and it was from a D1H fine jpeg file). Some of the pictures in his files are still from these camera bodies, and I'm sure he still makes prints from them routinely.
>I suppose my main point is that there is a lot of life left in >these older bodies and they can be a worthwhile investment for >folks who cant afford the higher dollar bodies.
Yes! If you need/want the built-in grip, the durability, viewfinder quality, and responsiveness, but don't mind being a generation or two (yikes...my D1H is now 2.5 generations behind the D4!!) behind the current state-of-the-art, then these bodies did/can perhaps represent a "good" value.
>The trade off >would be, in my mind - a bit more patience in composition and >/ or understanding of the body's limitations(i.e. the AF >issues mentioned and less crop-friendly MO sizes).
If by composition you mean filling the frame and not having to crop, then yes, composition is included in the patience one must have. But no camera composes itself!
>I spend a lot of time on various forums for several hobbies >and see the same thing over and over again - especially in >Astronomy... Beginners wanting to buy the latest and best >just because that's the "hot" item. But in a lot of >cases, they would be better served with an older and less >expensive but still capable tool...
Yes, as an example, the D3200 versus D300s dilemma. Most would go for the newer D3200. But some would actually be better served with the older D300s for ~the same price.
>I read the recent post regarding the 2012 review of the D1 and >appreciated it, but didn't care for some of the tone towards >the end of the review. > >For example: >"A reader of my site sent me this. I wouldn't buy one, >except as a joke." > >I think this sort of thing gives newcomers a bad taste, I know >it would if I had just started out and was looking for a Nikon >Pro DSLR on a budget - when the truth is, I *had* a D1... and >other than the color issues, I thought it took very capable >pics in raw mode. I would wholeheartedly recommend its >younger siblings - the d1h and d1x to a student or beginner >looking for a solid body on the cheap.
Thanks for the comment...I posted the review link because I thought it was a decent review, and one of the few made in 2012.
As for the sarcasm, note that this guy is sort of like Ken Rockwell. Some of the stuff in these reviews is just pure #### or humor/sarcasm. Bottom line: the guy wouldn't have accepted the D1 unless he actually wanted it. But he doesn't seem to be a pro, either.
You also have to remember that pros cursed a lot of things about the D1 and some things about the D1H/x in the early to mid 2000s when they were state-of-the-art. A lot of things about them weren't/aren't on par with the F5/F100...especially the original D1. When I was in high school in 2003, a photojournalist who came in to do a presentation in a class recommended that I not buy an original D1, and instead save for a D1H, because it was much improved. I'm glad I did. I decided against the D2H because it was $500 more and I could (and did) buy a much-needed 15-30mm wide-angle lens with the difference in 2005. Also, I felt that since the D2H had ~1 stop worse high ISO, why spend an extra $500 on that if I was on such a tight budget?
Lenses follow a similar principle. Give me the older pro lens over the newer consumer lens any day. In 2002, I wanted an 80-200/2.8, but could only afford a used manual focus Tokina version. But I chose it over a brand new Sigma 70-300/4-5.6 APO AF lens for the same cost. Then in 2008, I was sick of the flare and ghosting and unsharp f/2.8 images of the older Tokina, so I purchased a Nikkor 1st generation, non-D 80-200/2.8 AF ED. In 2011, I started heavily relying on AF to shoot sports, and found this lens severely lacking, to the point that 70% of my frames for sports (with good technique and the fastest in-camera AF motor in the D1-series that Nikon ever put into a body) were OOF. My 300/4 non-AFS gave well-focused images under the same conditions. So after a year and a half of putting up with this, I finally broke down and purchased the current 80-200/2.8 D 2-ring version about a month ago (though I haven't used it for sports yet, but will use it for HS hockey tomorrow night for the first time). It's supposed to be a huge improvement. But the bottom line is: had I gone with f/5.6 lenses at the beginning insetead of f/2.8, I never would have gotten ANY usable shots!
> >Thanks to everyone for the discussion thus far - I enjoy the >education on the newer v.s. older tech and associated >improvements.