On the fence... a D1 or a couple AF-S lenses
This is my very first post. I am fortunate enough to be in a little "dilema". I have saved my pennies and I plan to purchase some more Nikon equipment. I cannot decide if I want to buy a Nikon D1 or 3 Nikon AF-S lenses (17-35 f2.8, 28-70 f2.8, and a 80-200 f2.8).
I currently shoot with an Nikon F5, 24-120 f3.5-5.6, and a 80-200 f2.8 (older push-pull, non-D). I know I lose the 3D matrix metering feature using my old 80-200 nikkor but, I am comfortable using the push-pull mechanism. I shoot only chromes and scan all my slides with an HP S20 scanner. I print my images on an Epson 1200 with good results up to 10x13. I primarily shoot auto racing events, portraits, and "street photography". Most of my images are for personal use but, I have attempted getting my work published by submitting them to various magazines.
If I went the D1 route... will my current line-up of lenses hinder me in any way? at roughly $4500, is the D1 a very expensive body that might be obsolete in a few months? The savings on film, processing, and time is a big plus for me. Also, I run a few websites where I upload my pics for others to see, A D1 will enable me to post them up faster.
If I went with the AF-S lenses... I know that these lenses could be with me for life. I know image quality is superb and I know they are heavy. I could sell my existing lenses and pick up a Nikon 950 or 990 for webpage work. Should I invest in a better scanner if I go with the lenses?
I want a D1 but, reading alot of posts on other discussion groups lead me to believe that I need higher end lenses such as AF-S lenses. Unfortunatly, I cannot afford to have both the D1 and the AF-S lenses.
So I look the the wise patrons of this group to help me with my "dilema".
Thank you all in advance.
#1. "RE: On the fence... a D1 or a couple AF-S lenses" | In response to Reply # 0bgs Charter MemberSun 31-Dec-00 07:28 AM
Hi John & Welcome!
I have been playing with the tought of getting a D1 myself (currently using the F5). I have come to the following conclusion:
No, I should rather go for lenses than a digital body which will likely loose a lot of value in the next 2-3 years. And, being a "resolution maniac", I still don't get that resolution out of a D1.
So, my proposal: Go for the AF-S's and wait for the D2
Bo (Nikonian in the Black Forest/Germany)
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#6. "RE: On the fence... a D1 or a couple AF-S lenses" | In response to Reply # 1Sun 31-Dec-00 02:29 PM
Thank you for the welcome, I have been surfing the Nikonians website for awhile now, just haven't posted anything of interest. I feel the same way as you do, As most electronic equipment, it will be obsolete as soon as I get it home.
I am leaning towards the lenses but, I still need to think hard. I understand there is a new breed of slide scanners out such as the Kodak 3600 dpi optical scanner, that will pretty much blow the socks off the D1's resolution.
The only drawback I really see in going for the lenses is... time. Living in California, everyone is rush, rush including me. I am trying to get out of that mindset, and take my time. Digital will offer me the convenience of instant gratification.
Thank you for the reply,
#2. "RE: On the fence... a D1 or a couple AF-S lenses" | In response to Reply # 0
While the following is purely rumour at the moment, it seems highly likely that Nikon will be introducing another digital SLR in the near future as a competitor for Canon's D30. As such it is likely to be more of a "D100" (i.e. capabilities along the lines of the F100) than a "D2", although it's widely speculated that it will use a 6 MPixel sensor.
Unless you absolutely need the facilities of the D1 such as it's high continuous shooting rate you might like to wait a bit and see what happens since you could have the third alternative of the new camera and one of the AF-S lenses.
As to the AF-S lenses, you might like to consider going for the 28-70mm first since this would represent a significant quality improvement over your 24-120mm. The case for the 80-200mm is not so clear cut unless you want the very fast autofocus, since I understand the older push/pull version (Nikkor AF 80-200mm f/2.8 ED) is it's equal in optical terms.
Going the other way, the D1 is capable of excellent results at 10" x 13", and can go beyond this. I've successfully made "Super A3" prints (printed area about 12" x 18") with my Epson 2000P: these look slightly soft when you're up close, but at a normal viewing distance they're fine.
Your worries about the D1 becoming obsolete are understandable, but look at it this way: if the camera gives you the facilities and resolution you need then does this matter? You'd have to be very sure, though...
You've got a difficult choice to make!
#5. "RE: On the fence... a D1 or a couple AF-S lenses" | In response to Reply # 2Sun 31-Dec-00 02:21 PM
Thanks for the reply. I understand the quality improvement the 28-70 will be over my 24-120. As for the 80-200, my main motivation for going with the AF-S version is that I can use a TC20e 2x teleconverter to bring it to a 160-400 f5.6.
You bring up a good point, does the D1 give me the facilities and resolution that I need at the moment... according to all the homework I have done and test prints, Yes! Which brings me to my original post... will my current lineup of lenses hinder the D1's performance in any way. eg. my 80-200 push pull is slow! and it is a non-D lens so I cannot use 3D matrix with it. The quality of my 24-120 is another issue, I am very happy with mine but, I have read many flames regarding this lens.
I do have a difficult choice, but I am grateful that I am in such a dilema. Thank you for the reply.
#7. "RE: On the fence... a D1 or a couple AF-S lenses" | In response to Reply # 5AlanC Basic MemberMon 01-Jan-01 04:05 PM
You'll definitely get faster autofocus from the AF-S lenses, but where they really excel is when you're tracking a moving object: something I suspect would be of real value to you when photograping motor sports.
Just to add to your dilemma, }> have you considered the AF-S 300mm f/4? It can be used with the TC14E to take it out to 420mm. B&H sell it for about $1200, so it's somewhat less expensive than the AF-S zooms.
It looks like the chief advantages you'd gain from the D1 would be the instant results and the ability to take large numbers of shots at virtually no cost. What you'd lose would be the very high performance autofocus (which would undoubtedly be of use to you), the higher optical quality and the ability to use 3D matrix metering.
At the present time it looks like the lenses may be your best bet. The price of digital SLR's will fall far more and far faster than the price of such quality lenses - and you're far less likely to want or need to upgrade them in the future.
#8. "RE: On the fence... a D1 or a couple AF-S lenses" | In response to Reply # 7Tue 02-Jan-01 12:10 AM
Very good point about the price of digital SLR dropping in price far faster than the lenses in question. I would have to say that I am about 98% convinced I should go for the lenses.
I have had the opportunity to play with the 300 F4 AF-S, and I was very pleased with it. I have noticed a good percentage of my shots are with my 80-200, so when I eventually purchase the 80-200 AF-S, I will also purchase a TC20E when cash permits. This will give me an 160-400 f5.6 which is pretty close to a 420mm f5.6. I figure spending $600 for the teleconverter is better than $1200 for another lens... not to mention the weight and physical space savings.
Thank you for your reply, it looks like I'll be ordering up some new lenses. Too bad, almost every reputable mail order company is out of stock on the 80-200 AF-S. I did see cameraworld dropped their prices on the other two lenses I want though.
Thanks Alan, and thank you to everyone else who responded.
Happy New Year
#3. "RE: On the fence... a D1 or a couple AF-S lenses" | In response to Reply # 0
You haven't completed a profile, so I don't know what kind of shooting you do. However, as a semi-pro (I use a camera in my public relations work but don't make most of my income from photography), I would say that unless you need the immediate access to your photographs which digital cameras permit, you would would be better off with the lenses. You can always scan slides or negatives with a high quality scanner to get a good digital print, but as you and others have noted, digital technology is changing so fast that any digital camera you buy now will be worth considerably less a few months from now. About the only people I know who use high-end digital cameras in their work are photojournalists who need their images ASAP, and those cameras are supplied by their employers who can afford to upgrade as often as necessary. However, I know that a lot of advanced amateurs purchase the D-1 for their own use, so you have to ask yourself if you want to part with that much money for a body you may not be able to trade or resell for much in the future.
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#4. "RE: On the fence... a D1 or a couple AF-S lenses" | In response to Reply # 3Sun 31-Dec-00 02:10 PM
I just completed my profile. Most of my work involve motorsports, not just covering the race but also the human element of the race. Thank you for the reply, One of my hesitations to purchase the D1 is the fear of seeing it at my local camera shop next year for $999 when I just bought it the year before for $5000. Unfortunatly, that is how the market is. So far, I am leaning towards the lenses.
#9. "RE: On the fence... a D1 or a couple AF-S lenses" | In response to Reply # 4BJNicholls Charter MemberTue 02-Jan-01 03:22 PM
As far as timing goes, January is a big month for the announcement of new cameras (and lenses). I'd certainly wait until next month to do any buying and see what trade show introductions materialize so you avoid instant buyer's remorse.
#11. "RE: On the fence... a D1 or a couple AF-S lenses" | In response to Reply # 10Rick Wiese Basic MemberFri 05-Jan-01 08:07 AM
Just wanted to toss my two cents worth in. Let me say right off that if it were me, I would go with the lenses. No question. I shoot sports for a newspaper and they just bought us a D1 to use. It's a great camera, but aside from the convenience of not having to come back to the office and process film, I'd still rather shoot with my F3. But my F3 has become an old friend and it's probably just me. You said you were considering getting a teleconverter to turn your 80-200 into a 160-400. One big advantage of the D1 is that simply by mounting it on the camera, you've turned it into a 120-300 -- with no loss of lens speed. This can come in very handy shooting at long distances in low light situations. After buying the D1, our lens budget was very limited. I picked us up a Tokina AT-X 28-70 2.6-2.8 on eBay for about $300 and we're investing another $700 in a used Nikkor 80-200 2.8. For the time being, we've been using my Tokina 80-200 2.8 manual focus with it and the results have been excellent. Anyway, if you decide to go with the D1, you might check around on eBay or someplace and pick up something similar to the Tokina I found. I hope whatever decision you make turns out for the best.
#12. "RE: On the fence... a D1 or a couple AF-S lenses" | In response to Reply # 11jrp Charter MemberFri 05-Jan-01 02:25 PM
LAST EDITED ON Jan-05-01 AT 05:26 PM (GMT)
Go for the lenses.
No question about it, except that I also felt the temptation just a couple of days ago when they had a D1 on display at a small store I happened to walk into. What a beauty of a body. But just as with women, go for the substance.
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#13. "RE: On the fence... a D1 or a couple AF-S lenses" | In response to Reply # 12Sat 06-Jan-01 02:32 AM
Well, just to let everyone know... I went with the lenses. I just ordered the 80-200 AFS and it should arrive early next week. Why did I order this one first? It was the hardest to find in stock among reputable mail order companies. The other two will be ordered shortly. I will let you all know when I get to shoot my first frames with them. Thank you all again.
#14. "RE: On the fence... a D1 or a couple AF-S lenses" | In response to Reply # 13timmy Basic MemberTue 23-Jan-01 10:30 PM
A difficult question. I've been thinking of the D1 since it was announced nearly a year ago. Two weeks ago, I was able to borrow one for a weekend. I used it with an N80 and Proneia 6i and my 80~400 VR lens to take "similar" images at our local zoo. The 35mm (AGFAchrome) and APS films were scanned to PhotoCD. I used the BASE*4 (1536x1024) resolution images to compare with the D1's 2000x1312. I "cut and pasted" and then printed onto A3 size on my Epson 1270 printer. The 2 "film" images were clearly superior to the D1's and PhotoCD has 1 "higher" resolution file (3072x2048).
My conclusion is that the D1 will not come close to replacing film for my needs.
However, for "editorial/photojournalism" applications, it's fantastic. Image access time is digital photography's strength. The ability to have B&W or color from the same image is "a piece of cake". A 64MB card is around 40 exposures. If you only take 12 pictures, they can be downloaded and erased from the card.
The Kodak scanner is "darn good". In fact, I was almost ready to part with $1400 for one when Nikon announced their 4000 and 8000 models. I'm very interested in trying the 8000 since it can also scan 120 size film.
#15. "RE: On the fence... a D1 or a couple AF-S lenses" | In response to Reply # 14