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Author Topic: Go to Nikon D3 or stick with Canon?  (Read 4681 times)
scubarob639
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« on: November 07, 2008, 07:30:38 PM »
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I have been using a Canon 1Dmk2 for about three years now and i'm thinking of upgrading to a 1Dmk3 or a Nikon D3.  The D3 has the features I want, but after reading about the Nikon lenses, I wonder if they have the quality like Canon's 300 2.8, 70-200, 17-40, 100 macro (these I own and love).  Can you make some Nikon lens recommendations which stand out from the crowd?  Is the Nikon D3 autofocus comparable to my 1Dmk2 or would I be disappointed?  I shoot a lot of fast moving wildlife. Last question, the D3 images i've seen look less natural then Canon images, am I crazy?   Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Rob

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k bennett
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2008, 09:34:51 PM »
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I am in exactly the same position -- shooting with 1Dm2 bodies (four years old now), looking for an upgrade path. What I want is a full-frame high speed professional camera of about 12 megapixels, which perfectly describes the Nikon D3, of course.

I tested the 1Dm3 last spring. It's a fine camera, with some improvement in high-ISO noise, a slight improvement in resolution, and a couple more frames per second. All in all, not worth ten thousand dollars for an upgrade (2 bodies plus accessories.) Not for me, anyway.

Then I tested the 1Ds Mark III this summer. Nice camera, and that 21 megapixels is pretty sweet. It's slow, though, with a too-small buffer for the way I like to shoot. And the cost is beyond my budget. For a more deliberate photographer, though, it's a great choice.

So I'm waiting for a 5Dm2 to test. I'd like to see if the AF and the basic interface work well for me (though I have a 40d and find it difficult to use for work.) A couple of those might be just enough if I can stand the interface. (Why can't Canon cameras have the same user interface throughout the mid-level and pro lines? Like, um, Nikon?)

Switching to Nikon, while very appealing, just isn't going to happen for me. Too many lenses to replace; not enough cash.

So I know this isn't any help, but you are not alone. And I'll keep chugging along with my 1Dm2 bodies until they finally give out.

--Ken
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Misirlou
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2008, 10:07:55 PM »
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Quote from: scubarob639
I have been using a Canon 1Dmk2 for about three years now and i'm thinking of upgrading to a 1Dmk3 or a Nikon D3.  The D3 has the features I want, but after reading about the Nikon lenses, I wonder if they have the quality like Canon's 300 2.8, 70-200, 17-40, 100 macro (these I own and love).  Can you make some Nikon lens recommendations which stand out from the crowd?  Is the Nikon D3 autofocus comparable to my 1Dmk2 or would I be disappointed?  I shoot a lot of fast moving wildlife. Last question, the D3 images i've seen look less natural then Canon images, am I crazy?   Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Rob

Even if image quality were a little better, and making the switch wouldn't cost a lot of money, there's no way I'd change my entire DSLR system just to get the hot feature du jour. By now, you've spent a long, long time getting to know which direction to turn the zoom ring to zoom out, where to press to get the card compartment open in the dark, etc., etc., etc. Don't discount the value of that experience.

Do you really sit around saying "Gee, my work is ok, but I'm really held back by that last little incremental improvement in resolution." Or high ISO noise, or whatever. You must realize there will be some new Canon feature in a year or two that Nikon doesn't have, right? Will it be time to switch back then?

You "love" the lenses you have now, and you think the Nikon images look "less natural." So what is it that makes you think you need to switch?

I switched MF film systems about 5 times in 5 years. Admittedly, It was all used stuff, and I benefited from an unusual set of circumstances where I could do all that without losing money. But what a huge waste of time and mental energy. Many times, I caught myself trying to remember how to do something simple, and being confused between Mamiya 6X7/Hassy/etc. I would not recommend that to anyone.
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BruceHouston
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2008, 10:14:50 PM »
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Quote from: Misirlou
Even if image quality were a little better, and making the switch wouldn't cost a lot of money, there's no way I'd change my entire DSLR system just to get the hot feature du jour. By now, you've spent a long, long time getting to know which direction to turn the zoom ring to zoom out, where to press to get the card compartment open in the dark, etc., etc., etc. Don't discount the value of that experience.

Do you really sit around saying "Gee, my work is ok, but I'm really held back by that last little incremental improvement in resolution." Or high ISO noise, or whatever. You must realize there will be some new Canon feature in a year or two that Nikon doesn't have, right? Will it be time to switch back then?

You "love" the lenses you have now, and you think the Nikon images look "less natural." So what is it that makes you think you need to switch?

I switched MF film systems about 5 times in 5 years. Admittedly, It was all used stuff, and I benefited from an unusual set of circumstances where I could do all that without losing money. But what a huge waste of time and mental energy. Many times, I caught myself trying to remember how to do something simple, and being confused between Mamiya 6X7/Hassy/etc. I would not recommend that to anyone.

Amen!
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Tony Beach
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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2008, 10:24:52 PM »
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Quote from: scubarob639
I have been using a Canon 1Dmk2 for about three years now and i'm thinking of upgrading to a 1Dmk3 or a Nikon D3.  The D3 has the features I want, but after reading about the Nikon lenses, I wonder if they have the quality like Canon's 300 2.8, 70-200, 17-40, 100 macro (these I own and love).

What features? Reading Ken's post I would be inclined to agree with his assessment of why not to switch systems, but if $8000 for lenses is not an issue...

Quote
Can you make some Nikon lens recommendations which stand out from the crowd?

Nikkor 300/2.8 VR
Nikkor 70-200/2.8 VR
Nikkor 14-24/2.8
Micro-Nikkor 105/2.8 VR

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Is the Nikon D3 autofocus comparable to my 1Dmk2 or would I be disappointed?  I shoot a lot of fast moving wildlife.

I can't say as I don't own either camera and haven't seen them directly compared.  You could read this Moose Peterson article on the D3 AF, I haven't seen anything that contradicts Moose's impressions.

Quote
Last question, the D3 images i've seen look less natural then Canon images, am I crazy?

My impression is the opposite of yours, I find Canon images tend to look oversaturated with reds becoming more orange -- it's probably a user/viewer preference thing and I think once you get used to a camera's files you can make them do just about anything you want.

Thom Hogan's D3 Review addresses both AF and color as well as other aspects of the camera.
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2008, 08:24:53 AM »
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Quote from: scubarob639
Can you make some Nikon lens recommendations which stand out from the crowd?
Get yourself a Novoflex adapter for your Canon body, rent a few Nikon lenses and find out for yourself, firsthand. There is no way words and JPEGs posted by forum members will give you enough information on which to base a decision to change out your entire camera system for another brand.

(Unless, of course, you have unlimited funds)  
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jjj
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2008, 11:09:46 PM »
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Quote from: Tony Beach
My impression is the opposite of yours, I find Canon images tend to look oversaturated with reds becoming more orange -- it's probably a user/viewer preference thing and I think once you get used to a camera's files you can make them do just about anything you want.
The red becoming orange issue is an ACR\Canon issue - thankfully now sorted by the new camera profiles you can get from the Adobe website.

More info and examples in this thread
ACR colours
« Last Edit: November 08, 2008, 11:13:38 PM by jjj » Logged

Tradition is the Backbone of the Spineless.   Futt Futt Futt Photography
Tony Beach
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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2008, 12:47:10 AM »
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Quote from: jjj
The red becoming orange issue is an ACR\Canon issue - thankfully now sorted by the new camera profiles you can get from the Adobe website.

I have also seen it from out of the camera JPEGs, but as I already wrote, I'm sure the user can make the file do most anything they want.  Experimenting with different RAW converters and settings is part of learning how to optimize getting the most out of a camera.  I am not a big fan of the head-to-head, shoot-from-the-hip comparisons many make, which are then followed by blanket pronouncements about the spectral characteristics of one camera versus another -- the data these cameras generate is very similar as far as that is concerned.
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Slough
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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2008, 02:49:34 AM »
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Quote from: scubarob639
I have been using a Canon 1Dmk2 for about three years now and i'm thinking of upgrading to a 1Dmk3 or a Nikon D3.  The D3 has the features I want, but after reading about the Nikon lenses, I wonder if they have the quality like Canon's 300 2.8, 70-200, 17-40, 100 macro (these I own and love).  Can you make some Nikon lens recommendations which stand out from the crowd?  Is the Nikon D3 autofocus comparable to my 1Dmk2 or would I be disappointed?  I shoot a lot of fast moving wildlife. Last question, the D3 images i've seen look less natural then Canon images, am I crazy?   Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Rob

Yes Nikon lenses do have comparable quality and are known for being contrasty, producing what I perceive as a very lifelike image. In fact Nikon top end wide angle zooms are arguably better. And the tilt shift lenses are superb. As are most of the micro lenses though the new 105mm VR gets mixed reviews. I own numerous lenses including the 200mm AFD F2.8 micro, 85mm F2.8 TS micro and 14-24mm AFS F2.8 which are all superb and at least as good as if not better than Canon equivalents. The Nikon 17-35mm F2.8 also has a good reputation. By all accounts the Nikon 70-200mm AFS F2.8 lens suffers from edge softness at 200mm.

This chap switched from Nikon to Canon, and has some comments on the lenses, such as the 300mm F2.8, from both companies:

http://www.digiscoped.com/

Also try http://www.NikonLinks.com

As someone said, rent some gear, and try it out rather than believe online 'experts'. You can download a trial NX2 which runs for free for 60 days. It is the best RAW converter despite being very unstable and slow.
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GregW
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2008, 08:18:15 AM »
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Quote from: scubarob639
I wonder if they have the quality like Canon's 300 2.8, 70-200, 17-40, 100 macro (these I own and love).  Can you make some Nikon lens recommendations which stand out from the crowd?

I believe that with one exception Nikon has a number of 'stand out' lenses you could purchase in tandem with a D3 to replace your Canon set-up.

What I can't answer is if their combination will be better than your current set-up. I don't follow the ups and downs of Canon's lens line, and don't engage in the old debate. I just use what works for me. I'm sure a good dealer will give you the opportunity to test the lenses and draw your own conclusions.

The key question has already been posed. Are you willing to bear the inevitably high cost of switching?


14-24mm f/2.8 (I don't use this a lot, but when I do it's excellent)
24-70mm f/2.8
300mm f/2.8 VR (Personal favorite right now, results are exceptional and with a 1.4 and 1.7 TC it's incredibly versatile.)
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor (Needs to be stopped down on DX but I've noticed performance is noticeably better on the D3. Also makes a nice portrait lens on the D3)

I mentioned an exception. I agree with Slough's comments.

Quote from: Slough
By all accounts the Nikon 70-200mm AFS F2.8 lens suffers from edge softness at 200mm.

The 70-200 is a good example of a lens that produced excellent results with my DX bodies but just falls short at the long end on the D3. For what's it's worth there are a number of rumors indicating a new version is on the way.

A lens I don't yet own is the 200mm f2 G AF-S VR IF ED.  Early reviews indicate it's a stunner.

I've focused on lenses I own and are comparable in focal lengths to those you listed. There are of course others.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 10:31:34 AM by GregW » Logged
bjanes
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2008, 09:36:05 AM »
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Quote from: scubarob639
Can you make some Nikon lens recommendations which stand out from the crowd?
Rob

See Bjorn Rorseltt's recommendations under lenses, the best of the best: Naturfotograf

I have found his reviews to be quite helpful.

Bill
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f/Ryan
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« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2008, 11:13:20 PM »
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I was a Canon shooter for many years, and following a burglary, and having AF problems with a couple 1D Mark III's I switched.  I was replacing everything, so I had a clean slate. The switch is discussed often, but I haven't heard anyone mention the transition being a bit painful. Consider the the lens mount. Canon mounts with a right hand turn, Nikon - Left.  Zoom in/out - Opposite rotation of the lens barrel. Manual focus, opposite. Exposure compensation dials, yep, opposite rotation of the dial. The flash card even mounts in the camera opposite than what you used to.  It's taken me several months to mount a nikon lens without having to look and think!

Nikon Lenses:
Image quality  -  I can't appreciate any real world differences.

A number of Nikon lenses are quite old.  My 85 f/1.4 and 50 f/1.4(just updated) are screw drive AF.  Not bad, but not as fast as Canon (subjective).  The 85 is something special though.  Makes for stunning portraits.

Tele: The current 70-200 VR seems comparable to the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 (also rumored to be updated soon). Although it does suffer from some considerable vignetting.  The 600 f/4 VR has been on order since Feb 2008 - purchased a used 600 AFS in the mean time (ever seen a Canon lens on backorder?).  The 600 AFS non VR focuses and handles just as well as the Canon.  The new 600 VR is around $2000 more than the Canon version. I'm sure its not $2000 better.

Autofocus:  Comparable, and possibly better. You couldn't possibly be disappointed, but to say its better, possibly. I also shoot wildlife and have found the D3 wonderful for birds in flight.

All said and done, I love the Nikon and after a Nikon year, Canons now feel backwards. Would I make the switch again. No.  The The daily handing/operation differences are many, the quality, performance differences are few.

The biggest problem with the switch, my shooting buddy uses a Canon. No more cheap backup in the form of sharing lenses and bodies on a trip.  

Stick with the Canon. Who knows, you might come across a cheap, and hot, 1D Mark III, 600 f4 and a lot of other nice glass.  


Be well
Ryan


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N Walker
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« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2008, 04:30:31 AM »
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Quote from: scubarob639
I have been using a Canon 1Dmk2 for about three years now and i'm thinking of upgrading to a 1Dmk3 or a Nikon D3.  The D3 has the features I want, but after reading about the Nikon lenses, I wonder if they have the quality like Canon's 300 2.8, 70-200, 17-40, 100 macro (these I own and love).  Can you make some Nikon lens recommendations which stand out from the crowd?  Is the Nikon D3 autofocus comparable to my 1Dmk2 or would I be disappointed?  I shoot a lot of fast moving wildlife. Last question, the D3 images i've seen look less natural then Canon images, am I crazy?   Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Rob


http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....100#entry216878 - Post 105 may assist you.  

Last question, the D3 images i've seen look less natural then Canon images, am I crazy?  

From my experience of using both systems extensively, it is 'very slightly' the other way around - at least straight out of the camera. However you can cook any RAW file, Canon or Nikon, to the look that you require.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2008, 05:11:37 AM by Nick Walker » Logged

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