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Archive 2013 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.
  
 
MaxBerlin
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


I got into photography just over a year ago. Bought a NEX7 and a number of c/y Zeiss lenses. I'm getting some pretty good results but feel constrained by the 1.5 crop and am hugely impressed by the DXO ratings of the D600/800 Nikons. (but scared of the customer service issues)

My process is to often use a tripod and take shots in low light using manual lenses and almost always primes. I trigger the camera with a remote.

I alternate between using the EVF and the screen at 11.7 magnification to insure that my focus is spot on. I don't mind taking several minutes to get the photograph right.

I went to a local camera shop and they didn't have enough knowledge of the Nikons to help me see if this will work for me. They put a Zeiss ZF lens on the camera and weren't able to get the magnification to work. Is this just a setting - knowledge issue ?

I want to be able to use a D600 or D800 to raise my photography up a few notches but if I can't use Live View that reflects the changes I am making with the lens and the ability to magnify the view while ensuring focus - I am stuck waiting for the NEX FF. I'd rather make the leap sooner than later.

(I understand I'll have to abandon my c/y glass to do this)

A few photo examples of what I'd like to do better.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zeissgeist/8123169594/in/photostream/lightbox/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zeissgeist/8440126444/in/photostream/lightbox/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zeissgeist/8363968680/in/photostream/lightbox/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zeissgeist/8706262226/in/photostream/lightbox/

Sincere thanks for any advice you can offer.



May 08, 2013 at 02:37 PM
ckcarr
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


You are talking a $1,000 difference approximately between the bodies.

If you have the money, get the D800e for landscapes.
Otherwise get the D600. Both are outstanding.

Either way, the lenses you acquire will be more important than the choice between the bodies. That's where the real money will be spent.



May 08, 2013 at 02:50 PM
MaxBerlin
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


Money isn't an object in this. I have $20k in Zeiss and Leica glass already.

From my Imatest results on the NEX it's a sad reality that $100 Sigmas resolve better than all but the most expensive glass (like the Zeiss 85mm f 1.2)

But as I've grown more experienced I care more about color, contrast, micro resolution, bokeh, etc than resolution.



May 08, 2013 at 03:35 PM
Albi86
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


If you do a lot of tripod work and you are ready to invest in the very best glass, then there's no better choice than a D800E

However, Nikon implementation of live view is not the best. As a double user, I would say that if live view is most of my work I'd get a 5D3.



May 08, 2013 at 03:45 PM
ckcarr
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


MaxBerlin wrote:
Money isn't an object in this. I have $20k in Zeiss and Leica glass already.


Then why even ask? Yikes...

However, you may not be 100% happy with live view on either of the bodies for critical focus. I've had both, and still have my D800e (might be for life). I do a lot of manual focusing, and even with the latest update, the D800e live view isn't perfect. If I recall correctly, I was not able to set up the one-touch zoom for live view on the D600 though.



May 08, 2013 at 03:50 PM
bpark42
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


Albi86 wrote:
If you do a lot of tripod work and you are ready to invest in the very best glass, then there's no better choice than a D800E

However, Nikon implementation of live view is not the best. As a double user, I would say that if live view is most of my work I'd get a 5D3.


While the D800's live view implementation is pretty poor, I have still found it sufficient to judge critical focus with magnified view in almost all cases. There is no way I would sacrifice the superior sensor performance of the D800 (or the D600 for that matter) just to get the 5D3's better live view.



May 08, 2013 at 04:02 PM
bpark42
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


MaxBerlin wrote:
I went to a local camera shop and they didn't have enough knowledge of the Nikons to help me see if this will work for me. They put a Zeiss ZF lens on the camera and weren't able to get the magnification to work. Is this just a setting - knowledge issue ?

I want to be able to use a D600 or D800 to raise my photography up a few notches but if I can't use Live View that reflects the changes I am making with the lens and the ability to magnify the view while ensuring focus - I
...Show more

I set the D800 for one touch magnification in live view. It works fine with all lenses (I primarily use Zeiss ZF lenses.)



May 08, 2013 at 04:10 PM
jph1
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


What mount is your Zeiss and Leica glass?


May 08, 2013 at 04:18 PM
MaxBerlin
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


Leica is all M and the Zeiss is all c/y. I'll probably do a mix of Zeiss ZF and Nikon glass for the D-camera. Once I am happy with the results I'll have a garage sale on the old stuff.






May 08, 2013 at 05:22 PM
lukeb
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


ckcarr wrote:
You are talking a $1,000 difference approximately between the bodies.

If you have the money, get the D800e for landscapes.
Otherwise get the D600. Both are outstanding.

Either way, the lenses you acquire will be more important than the choice between the bodies. That's where the real money will be spent.


+1 Great Advice!



May 08, 2013 at 05:33 PM
 

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jph1
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


MaxBerlin wrote:
Leica is all M and the Zeiss is all c/y. I'll probably do a mix of Zeiss ZF and Nikon glass for the D-camera. Once I am happy with the results I'll have a garage sale on the old stuff.



If you have a lot of M glass, I'm sure you've already considered an M (240), though I don't know how good the live view is on it.
I have the D800. I love the image quality, but I agree with others here that the live view is not as good as the 5DIII.
If I were doing smaller prints, where the extra resolution wasn't as important, I'd probably go with the Canon. But I tend to do larger prints, so I put up with the Live view.



May 08, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Alan321
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


I think the D800E will be the best option.

In terms of issues with the D800 and D800E there is really only the poor implementation of Live View, in which the image shown is very much downgraded and not as good as the screen can handle even when zoomed in.

There was another LiveView issue in that the image shown emulated the actual ambient exposure (not allowing for any use of flash) but with the latest firmware you have a choice of that or of having it display an always visible image.

The most significant negative flak arose from a problem with misaligned focus sensors and Nikons subsequent silence about the matter plus two failed solutions, but they did get it right last September and no new D800 or D800E will have that problem. Any older camera repaired after September 2012 should have been given the correct fix and will also be ok. Anything repaired prior to then may still be defective to some extent.

The D600 body is smaller and has been dumbed down a bit relative to the D800 and D800E but I cannot recall the differences off hand. I expect that you will prefer the D800E over the D600.

The Canon 5D3 has less useful dynamic range than the D800(E) and cannot pull as much detail out of the darker areas of a low-ISO image. In that the regard the D800 is truly impressive. I have read that the resolution advantage of the D800 over the 5D3 is not as great as the different pixel counts would suggest but there is still an advantage. Together with the clean DR it makes it no contest when there is no existing lens collection to make the choice harder.

Also, if you buy manual focus lenses for the Nikon and get lenses with an aperture ring, such as Zeiss ZF.2, then those lenses can be used on a Canon camera with EF lens mount with a suitable adapter ring that requires no lens elements. It won't work the other way around. This means that by going for Nikon initially you still have the option of transferring the glass to a Canon camera when Canon eventually catches up with and overtakes Nikon.

- Alan



May 09, 2013 at 02:54 AM
jrfx
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


Tough case to crack, you already got excellent Zeiss & Leica glass, need the DR of the new Nikons, but you can't mount your precious Leica M glass to the Nikon

Your photos clearly shows that you deserve the Zeiss & Leica M glass paired with Nikon/Sony FF sensors. Your only option might be waiting for the NEX-FF, or Leica body with Sony sensors (might never come though).



May 09, 2013 at 03:33 AM
MarcG19
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


In your case, I would go with the D800E like many others have said. For what your looking for, that will give the greatest boost in results. If you're looking for better sensor performance it makes no sense to go half way. . In fact, if anyone is really worried about resolution/detail/noise/dynamic range when viewed at 100% today, it seems to me the D800E is the answer.

IMO, the D600's improvements won't be great - appreciable, but not groundbreaking. It's still got a 24mp sensor, and while I found it better at high ISOs and base ISO dynamic range at 100% than my OM-D it wasn't night or day. I sent my $2000 holiday special back and it now sits in the hands of someone else who got a refurb (either way, Nikon got its $2000)



May 09, 2013 at 03:41 AM
philber
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


Max, have you considered staying the mirrorless course? Sony are due to announce a 7N any time soon, with improved performance. Also you could get a SpeedBooster, which would give the twin benefits of using your C/Y glass at its native focal length, and a one-stop gain.
Mirrorless performance is improving much faster than high-performance DSLR, where new models are on a 3-year+ cycle "only"



May 09, 2013 at 04:05 AM
MaxBerlin
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


So I went down to the local Nikon shop this morning and took my NEX with me. I forgot my ISO chart as I planned to run some Imatests to compare. Great resolution is always the start point. I spent some time with them and they could only let me test a 600. Knowing the DXO score for the 600 was a good 10% higher than my NEX I expected to see some easily visible differences. BOY was I right and boy was I wrong. Please understand, I am not trying to pick a fight or start a fanboi war but I was shocked to see the results. As were the guys in the camera shop (they also sell Sony). I did everything I could to make it an apples to apples comparison - The D600 with Zeiss 25mm 2.0 glass f4 - resting on the counter - timed shutter release - critical focus zoomed in - ISO 100. Did the same with the NEX but used a 28mm 2.0 c/y Distagon at f4. The shop guys gave some BS initially then finally said "it is what it is". I insisted that something must be wrong with the Nikon and Zeiss lens system and they tried as well with a Nikon 50mm that gave better results at higher ISO which helped me think the 600 was working correctly as it was improved over the first shot. (None of us noticed the obstruction while in the shop but it seems that should impact the frame except where the obstruction is.)

Here are the links to the photos and some Lightroom side by side views zoomed in.

The EXIF data is there for the 3 shots which are after the Lightroom screenshots.

(click here then older)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zeissgeist/8724513392/in/photostream/lightbox/




May 09, 2013 at 08:45 PM
MaxBerlin
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


I am sticking with the NEX for now and back to waiting for the full frame NEX. By no means do I think the test today was precise, inclusive or indicative of what the NIKONs can do (because I've seen spectacular photos from 800s and 800e's) but for now I am going to stick with what I know and hope that Sony comes sooner or later with a FF that will let me use my old Zeiss glass.

Things like articulating screens and EVFs that zoom are important to me for critical focusing. On the plus side using the D600 (with neither) would help keep one limber and actively involved in yoga contortions.



May 09, 2013 at 08:52 PM
Albi86
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


Imatest doesn't say it all. It's a very simplified test that doesn't take into account a lot of things. Useful when you compare different lenses on the same body, but when you change body, MP count and sensor size the results can be misleading.

You should try them both on the field and see the difference. When I went FF even my best shots with a crop looked dull and like they were missing something.



May 09, 2013 at 08:59 PM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


C/Y MMs can be converted to Nikon (AE is possible too, unfortunately no "ready to use" kit like Leitax, only ppl doing it on rare occasions).

D600 wouldnt give you much, D800 a bit more. You will loose nice colors with both. But..

You wouldnt loose "almost anything" with using 1DsMK3. Except video.. (http://www.pebbleplace.com/Personal/Start.html .. I really like what this guy is doing with various Zeiss lens and 1DsMK3). EF mount is pretty "old lens" friendly. Only mirrorless are better in this.

Other option (since you own NEX-7 which isnt exactly high ISO monster) is maybe D3X. In my opinion output from D3X is among best (other best being A900, 1DsMK3).

Btw. you should probably ask on alt forum.



May 09, 2013 at 09:09 PM
jph1
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · D600 or D800 ? NEX7 user looking to make the leap.


You probably should have used something around 16mm-17mm to give you the same magnification as a FF with a 25mm.

That said, your statement where you mention that you prefer articulated screens and EVF's that zoom, may be the most important information. Based on that alone, I think you are making the correct choice. Ergonomics that suit your shooting style can not be underestimated.



May 09, 2013 at 09:40 PM
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