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Nikon D3x

Review Date: Oct 26, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Hi-res, incredible blacks and reds, and the best of Nikon.
None for my work.

I migrated from film to the D100, D200, D300, and D700 to the D3x. It was not until the D300 that these Nikon cameras REALLY helped my photos and the D700 (FX sensor) was an incredible step forward.

I purchased a D3x (ouch!) because I am a macro and landscape photographer and could not resist seeing if the D3x would also be a step forward for me.

The good news is that the D3x is really incredible if you are a close-up/macro photographer or like landscapes or mini-landscapes (dioramas) like I do.

I only use it at the lowest possible ISO and the quality of the blacks and reds are something that has to be seen to be believed Ė wonderful! With this camera I can get a resolution that I have always tried to get, but that was not always available to me for one reason or another. In particular, using the D3x I can take a photo from a greater distance than before and extract/crop an area of it that is large enough to be a large photo by itself.
This is especially useful for insects, amphibians, etc., where to get closer risks scaring them into motion. Now I can keep a little farther back and still get images that are real close up. It is like have a more powerful (and fast!) telephoto lens, only there is no loss of light or clarity.

This is an expensive camera, for sure, and it took a bite out of my pocketbook. However, it has opened doors that I was unable to open any other way. My next adventure may be the new D3x. In that case, I will sell my D700 and use the D3s for low light concert still shots (which I need) AND for macro movies. Although the D3s may not be perfect for a wide range of video, from the specs I have studied, it should/could be perfect for close macro work and studio interviews, which is all I need it to do. So, it may be the D3x and D3s for me.

Nikon 300mm f/4 ED-IF AF-S Nikkor

Review Date: Oct 26, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Bought it for use with the D3x for macro. More below.
None for my use.

I had no real interest in this lens until I got a Nikon D3x. And the reason I did was as follows:

The telephoto lenses that I have (like the 70-200 2.8) donít really have a close focus that approaches macro distances.

However, the Nikon 300mm f/4 AF-S has a VERY short close focus (five feet) for its size and that made it interesting and usable with the D3x for macro work. Using this lens, I can get close (but not too close) to, letís say, a bullfrog out in the middle of a pond. If I took this picture with my D700, I would have a nice shot of a frog in a pond, but not one that could be cropped or blown up enough just to use the image of the frog as an enlarged photo..

The D3x changes all of this. Using this lens with the D3x, I can capture a shot of the bullfrog, crop it later, and end up with a really large image of just the frog.

Furthermore, using the 1.4 and 1.7 teleconverters, I can really zero in on small objects (like bees, hornets, etc.) in the same manner, with quite good clarity. Something is always lost (at least light) with tubes or converters, but I can live with that in some cases, although usually I use this lens with no supplemental devices.

So, the Nikon 300mm f/4 AF-S for me is a different way to approach macro photography. I wish more telephotos had a shorter close focus.