Hi, I am new to this forum. Please bare with me if this has been discussed. I just got my D800 moving up from the D300. I have quite a few Dx lenses. Which is better when using a Dx lense. The auto crop, 5:4, or just use full frame and crop in cs6?
The coverage of DX lenses varies with the lens, the aperture and the focal length that zoom lenses are set at. The automatic cropping feature is easiest, but shooting full frame and cropping in Photoshop will give you the largest usable area. You'll be able to judge whether or not the vignetting or loss of sharpness toward edges is tolerable and how much needs to be cropped.
I think you'll quickly find out that you want to use FX lenses on your D800.
>The Tokina 12-24 f4 is a DX lens that becomes a full frame >lens at 17MM.
It's true that the 12-24mm f/4 Tokina covers the whole FX frame at longer focal lengths. Some other DX lenses will also do this - but as Rick intimates they are not designed to do so, and image quality towards the FX frame corners is unlikely to be as strong as a lens designed for the larger format. Many of those who have migrated from DX to FX intending to re-use DX lenses have ended up being disappointed.
When I had a D90 I was really pleased with my 10-24 DX lens. As part of my upgrade plan when I got the D800 I had decided that I'd keep the 10-24 as it has always been rated fairly highly in reviews - but boy does the D800 show up the deficiencies at wider apertures. My 24-70 FX is way better at 24mm than the 10-24...as the comparative price would suggest.
I'm still considering which FX wide angle to go for, but it'll probably be the 14-24 f2.8 if I can find one second-hand.
The real IQ gains tend to occur when using FF lenses on DX as this uses only the strongest central portion of the frame. However, your best lens is always the one you have with you.
Granted, very few if any DX lenses will work very well on FF. However some will work as FF, even though IQ falls off toward the edges. The Tokina certainly works well enough even though it is not perfect at the edges.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye." Miss Piggy
One lens I've been very happy with is the 10.5 fisheye. The D800 has plenty of resolution in the DX crop portion for it, and it's sharp and fast and a lot of fun.
I have not, but others have trimmed the minimal sun shade and shot it on FX (not crop) and gotten a near 180 circular fisheye effect. In fact you should probably shoot it even with the shade in FX mode as it gives you a few more pixels if you do any distortion adjustments.
Other than that, the only other DX lens I used at all was the 18-200, and it quickly gave way to FX lenses.
But the 10.5 still lives in my bag all the time. It comes out when I'm a bit bored at an event. I was pleasantly surprised when FGCU even picked one of those shots for advertising (that's most of the DX portion of the D800).
Us Finns do that all the time, in the sauna, but our foreign visitors tend to feel uncomfortable doing that :)
I also had the Nikkor 10 – 24mm as my wide-angle zoom for my D90. When I got the D800E, I noticed that this lens can, in theory, be used with an FX frame at 17mm and up, but the short edges and corners were only suitable for out-of-focus backgrounds or foregrounds. Note, however, that the D800(E) offers a 1.2* crop mode between the FX and DX frames, giving you 21 – 22 megapixels at about 14mm and up. I sold the 10-24, however, and bought a first-rate but second-hand 14-24mm.
There’s one DX lens that I used with some regularity with my D800E, and that’s the 55-300mm zoom. I do have the Sigma 50-500mm OS model, but on short work-related trips I usually leave it at home, and carry only the 55-300mm zoom. My next longest lens is the 24-120mm, new f/4 model, and the 300mm is a huge improvement when I need more reach in a small package. Again, it does not cover the full FX frame but it can be used in 1.2* crop mode.
I have renewed my love affair with my Nikon 10.5mm DX lens on my D800E. I use it with the full FX setting. This allows me (with the additional coverage) to create a spherical panoramic image with just 4 captures at right angles to each other. The resulting quality is stellar. I use PTGui Pro to stitch the panorama and I use Panotour Pro to actually create the immersive virtual reality experience.