Sun 12-May-13 06:56 PM | edited Sun 12-May-13 06:57 PM by rpb456
I'm a film photographer trying to get my first DSLR. I plan to use only MF lenses that I own already. I love the solid build of old F cameras. I would hate to buy a camera that doesen't fire the shutter exactly when I press the button (it seemed like on some older digital cameras I had to wait a second sometimes)
I probably can't go out and buy a d800. D600 would be stretching the budget. It seems like I could be happy with DX sensor but I've never tried it.
I was considering the d300 because it has 100% viewfinder, but I'm not sure that the image quality would be up to par with newer cameras. Does anyone have any input on this?
* "plan to use only MF lenses that I own already" > this means FX
"fire the shutter exactly when I press the button" > this means FX or DX
"d800/ D600 would be stretching the budget" > this means used FX
Given the parameters of owned + function + budget, I am inclined to suggest you to get a used FX body. The single digits ones would make you feel right at home when it comes to ergonomics and very decent used ones are on the market,
Those single digit ones are just too big for me. If I got FX it would be 600 or 700. Why do you say that I would need FX to use the old lenses? sure, they would be magnified 1.5x with a DX sensor, but wouldn't that just mean that I would simply substitute a shorter focal length?
You're right! But somewhere I always keep I my mind that one grows and the camera not! I don't mean your body but your skills…
FX will permit you to work in lower light conditions without having to use a flash… this is something that I, as a professional, appreciate every day. FX lenses may be used on DX bodies. Right! But the other way around… not so good. FX means also the any other purchase down the line will always be perfectly compatible thus avoiding having 2 sets of lenses.
The viewfinder may be your major stumbling block. All DSLRs are optimized for auto focus and, apart from the green focus confirmation dot, do not make manual focussing easy. You may find the viewfinders of stock DX bodies lacking even more than the viewfinders of FX bodies. The DX view is smaller and darker than FX. Many, if not all of the older DX bodies can be equipped with manual focussing screens such as Katz Eye. They do make a screen for the D700 but I have read that one for the D600 may not be forthcoming. This suggests that, if you share these concerns, a used D700 may be your best bet.
Yes, the d700 looks good, but that too has a 95% viewfinder and it's expensive. I really don't have a huge budget. The d300 looked very good to me but once again, I just dont know about how it fares vs newer dx cameras.
Stepping from the film to the digital world will be an amazing experience for you. I have both a D600 and D7000 and love them both. I hear great things about the new D7100 as well.
All three cameras mentioned will work with a wide range of Nikon manual and auto focus lenses. All will give you excellent IQ and are very well built. All three are also weather resistant, but not as ruggedized as the D3 and D4. In practice they will hold up very well under a wide variety of photography.
Think about your top 3 - 5 camera priorities. That may help narrow down the selection.
The great thing is that no matter which one you choose, you'll get a awesome camera.
"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right ....and which is an illusion"
>Yes, the d700 looks good, but that too has a 95% viewfinder >and it's expensive. I really don't have a huge budget. You should be able to pick up a used D700 for ~3/4 the price of a new D600. It might help to think of the 95% view as insuring there will be a margin for straightening or lens correction.
The >d300 looked very good to me but once again, I just dont know >about how it fares vs newer dx cameras.
In any situation in which you can be assured there is enough light, a D300 will be competitive with any other camera. Its limitations are high-iso and print size. (The D700 shares the print size limitation and adds a frame rate deficit.) If all you will be doing is filling albums with 4x6s, the D300 (or D700) will be a slam dunk. If you have large patches of wall to fill, you will need to be more careful, but you can do it with a D300.
I have both a D300 and a D600. The D300 (I love it, BTW) lives on the tripod and does a lot of studio work. I can control the light, use live view for critical focus and keep iso low. That's not to say it hasn't done fine service in dimly lit interiors, available light, hand held at iso 1600 but it's a bit of a stretch, not a comfortable fit. The D600 is currently my walkaround camera and the viewfinder is just so much more comfortable to use that I have no real incentive to go back to DX. The D600 simply shines in low light, too, so my shooting day is longer with it than with the D300.
At the end of the day, they're both tools and each will teach you how best to use it. Happy choosing.
I am a former film photographer (Nikon f2) I have a d600 which is the finest camera I have ever owned. I have friends that own the d7000, which is also a fine camera, but if your budget can somehow withstand it I would go with the d600.
>I am a former film photographer (Nikon f2) I have a d600 >which is the finest camera I have ever owned. I have friends >that own the d7000, which is also a fine camera, but if your >budget can somehow withstand it I would go with the d600.
I second the D600. I have owned the D40, D90, D7000, and used the D700 and now only use the D600 and will not go back. The D600 is a marvel. If it is stretching your budget, I have seen refurbished D600s on B&H and Adorama. You will not be sorry.
"There is a very fine line between 'hobby' and 'mental illness'." -- Dave Barry
I suspect you'd be perfectly happy with the D300. Very good camera and has a very solid feel in your hand, especially with a battery grip. I'm seeing them used around $600 on Craigs locally. The D700 has the same feel and is IMO, better in all ways. I see the D700 going for $1400 or so. You can get a D7000 used for around $750 and it outperforms the D300, but feels different in your hand. Try one out and see if you like it. It's currently the bang for the buck, image quality wise... If you want a warranty, I'd go with the D7100 or the D600, if they feel good to you. BTW, the FX viewfinder is big, relatively bright (depending on the lens) and a pleasure to use... I agree with the comment about the 95% viewfinder giving you a touch of margin for straightening/lens correction. The days of filed out negative carriers and the precious frame are over (at least for me...)