Here in the UK the street price of the Nikon D3x is far less than the street price of the Canon 1Ds MK111.
Here in the UK the street price of the Nikon D3x is far less than the street price of the Canon 1Ds MK111.
Please note that I am not saying the D3X IQ is worse or any IQ in general is better, this is just my personal preference!
But for me it was important how the 5D2 handles IQ with lower ISO and weather sealing is more than enough for my needs in the 5D2.
WRT lenses, all the Nikkor glass is great, but I simply cannot get the fast primes I am looking for - 1.4/24, 1.2/85 etc.
Was waiting years for these to come but nothing. One only waits for a certain time Same BTW true for the Leica R System! Thus now my patience is gone.
And waht I was always waiting for the last years was a 1.4/24 or 28 from Nikon, but unfortunately NOTHING. This is why I went for Canon. Still keep my Nikon gear, but who knows for how long, as I probabl will trade it in for parts of the H System
The S System design would be actually very appealing, if I did not look for more MPs. And if I would not have been disappointed by Leica in general over the last years with their digital approach and support and strategy.
I also remembered the specs of the 105 VR Macro wrong, thinking it was a 100/2.8. In any case, some tests have shown it softer than the previous version. I think some people on fredmiranda were testing this, but I don't recall any more.
Anyway, my impression is of a system with a few fantastic lenses, and some of the very best DSLRs ever made, but with a lens lineup full of older glass which really needs to be refreshed. If the lineup was fully modern and top-notch, I would probably give up on my idea of a MF camera, but between Canon, which I personally do not like, Nikon, with their lens lineup and boke issues, and Sony, which really isn't up to speed yet, I feel more comfortable with the Contax 645. I also have a strong preference for primes, whereas some of Nikon's best glass is currently zooms. Probably sounds weird to some, but hey, that is my conclusion
Sure the lens line up needs bolstering but the G lenses are also way better in the bokeh department than Nikon IMHO. I also like the intuitive handling after coming from the Leica which is REAl intuitive!
Yeah, the A900 is the way I would go at this point if I decided not to go for MF. I would probably just start with the 24-70, and maybe later add the 85/1.4 and 135/1.8. I don't need that many lenses and prefer primes for most things.
http://www.graham-mitchell.com Graham Mitchell
My opinion of the D3x vs 5DII MUCH favors the D3x, but to each his own. From what I've seen the X has amazing clarity. I STRONGLY suggest subscribing to Lloyd Chambers site if either is of interest. He loves the D3x, but also does side-side tests of both, the D3, etc. More importantly he does so with the same lenses and only the very best (Leica 90, 100 and 180 APO converted to Nikon, CV APO AiS and Zeiss ZF with Canon adapters) using best RAW software for each type. This keeps things on an even keel. Looks at all forms of noise, handling, lens focus shift, etc- all in real world vs test shots of martini bottles.
Lots of large test images, mouse-over comparisions, etc. He's a member here and very easily reached by email via his site.
The $40 odd annual fee is WELL, WELL worth the coin.
Last edited by robmac; 12th March 2009 at 12:39.
What is nice about Nikon is you have a HUGE selection of glass to pick thru w/o necessarily having to use adapters, etc:
1. Nikon Ai and Ais
2. Older AF and AFS glass
3. The new G AFS zooms
4. CV SL and growing SLII line
Convertible or Adaptable
A large number of Leica R units (www.leitax.com)
Hassy Fx, CFx
Many of the older Nikon glass does suck (same can be said for Canon as well know), but part of that is the age of the mount and the huge variety of lenses produced.
While Nikon does really need to get some fast AFS/VR primes re-designed, many of the Canon units that are so famous for their resolution (e.g. 35/1.4, 85/1.2) are also famous for their CA, so it's always a trade off.
A good site for Nikon lens evaluations based on Nikon body used is:
That said, please ignore if I'm telling you what is already well known ;> I'm a bit enthused at the moment re: Nikon as while I use a 1Ds2 with adapted glass (Leica, CZ, CV, Mamiya, Hassy), I'm migrating my lenses to only those usable on Nikon as my replacement for the 1DS2 will be a Nikkor unit (unless Jono et al cam twist my arm on the A900 first).
At Robert White, sort of the B&H of England, (robertwhite.co.uk), the D3x is £4782 and the 1Ds3 is £5120. That makes the D3x about €1700 cheaper there than in Germany. Insane.
Oops - before any Zeiss fans get upset, just realized I forgot to mention an obvious Nikon-mount alternative - Zeiss ZF (also becoming avail of course in Canon ZE mount).
Canon does give the ultimate in lens usage, but other than EF and ZE, it's all stop-down and adapters; some of the latter being excellent, many being utter crap.
You do have to wonder who prices gear within markets. The above price delta between the UK and EU is nutty to say the least, but so if the fact that the A900 costs less here in Canada than in the US - despite the stronger US$.
A900 (body only) Sony Store Canada: A900 C$3100 or US$2425 (maybe $150-200 more than a used D700)
A900 B&H: US$2999.95
Not that we're complaining mind you - about time we came out on the better end of a deal ;> At least we don't pay any duty on gear - just (in my case) 13% VAT - if they bother to charge it.
Last edited by robmac; 12th March 2009 at 14:04.
Keith, true about VAT, but although I would have to pay it, Marc wouldn't, since he doesn't live in Europe. I don't know how easy it is to get around that, but it ought to be possible.
Folk from the USA wouldn't have to pay VAT but would probably be clobbered with import duties.
The fact is, for folk here in the UK, the D3x is looking very attractive!
US import duty on gear is 2.9%. State sales tax is iffy. No one I've ever sold used gear to in the US has ever been charged either (US Customs being more concerned about contraband and nasty stuff).
That said, I always ship by Canada Post/USPS. Postal system in Canada only samples items for VAT (no duty) and USPS doesn't seem to care. Courier firms are another matter.
UPS in particular can be nasty @#$%^ - charging 'brokerage fees' as a percentage of value (class action case over that in Canada) for crossing border (in either direction) - something not charged by USPS or Canada Post. Couriers are also legally bound to charge duty or in Canada VAT.
So - if you can it shipped Royal Mail, etc into US you're laughing. Warranty on the other hand is another matter.
I havent used the 28/1.4 that much on the d3x so far. Probably that lens doesnt show the highest resolution, but it shows a very nice tonality, a very smooth bokeh, it allows interesting effect to have a wideangle with shallow DOF, IMO it is fully usable wide open.
I could see room for improvement for a nice Nikon 50/1.2, but even though I am not a Sigma fan I like what I see so far from the 50/1.4 Sigma.
Cant comment on the Nikon 105Macro.
The 105 DC and 135 DC are older designs but great lenses IMO.
There are a number of decent optics for the Nikon line-up ... depending on what your applications may be.
The 14-24/2.8 is excellent ... and just as good or better than the Canon 14/2.8 & 16-35/2.8 MKII I sold along with all my Canon gear.
The 24-70/2.8 whips the Canon version ... which was a lens I hated.
I had the Sigma 50/1.4 ... then got the newer AFS 50/1.4 which focuses faster, so I sold the Sigma.
The 85/1.4 needs to be replaced with an AFS Nano coated version, but isn't all that bad for now.
I'm not a fan of the Nikon 70-200/2.8VR and sold mine when I got the Sony APO version which is better optically, but for some use it's fine.
The 100/2.8 macro is quite good ... not Leica R 100/2.8 good, but still very good, and IMO optically better than the Canon 100/2.8 I had ... and adds VR as a bonus ... which ALL general use macro lenses should be IMO.
Didn't like the 135/2DC for my applications, but I've seen some shots from this lenses that are excellent. Waiting for the rumored AFS 135.
The 200/2 VR barks with the big dogs, and out barks the older Canon 200/1.8 I had ... plus has VR. Worth having Nikon just for this lens IMHO
The newer T/S array of lenses look to be very good, I know from direct use that the previous 85/2.8 T/S was VERY good, and the new one is touted as being even better. (Don't know anything about the other two New T/S lenses).
IMO, Nikon has waaaaay to many odd focal length zooms that are difficult to even sort out ... some only slightly different than the next. A good AFS 24/1.8 and 35/1.4 and an updated 85/1.4 are desperately needed to run with the FF cameras.
For those not being happy with the 85/1.4 I can suggest the 105/2.0DC. I really like that lens and think it shows alittlw warmer color, more contrast and eventually a little more detail than the 85 (at least when using wide open)
For me, it was clearly the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50/1.4G ... for 3 reasons:
1) The Nikon is smaller and perfectly balances on the D700 which is the camera I use for available low light. Plus, I wanted a smaller 50 to fit my bag, but the previous 50/1.4 was to small and not nearly as good optically..
2) Both Sigma's I tried (bought one, sent it back, got another) showed to much halation around specular highlights and way too much of it around things like white type. The Nikon shows some but very little. So rim lit things and such looked better from the Nikon.
3) The Nikon AF-s simply focused faster in the same lighting conditions ... this is very important to me in the type of work I do.
I categorically disagree that the Bokeh is better on the Sigma. The Nikon I have is great .... just as good as the Sigma without the Halation issue. Vignetting is there on both lenses, maybe more from the Nikon, but that's low on the criteria list for me.
Could be both the Sigma copies I got. You never know.
The Sigma balances very well on a D3 but I can see that it might be a little big on a D700.
It feels tiny though after having used the Rollei 110/2.0 on the Hy6
For now I really like to bring the 50 prime (with 2 or 3 other primes) more often instead of carrying the 24-70.
Sorry for the Nikon talk in a MF thread
Throwing some more oil into this discussion about Nikon vs. Canon:
As a Nikon user for many years (D3 plus most of their high end new glass) I am still missing the fast primes.
Canon is offering these plus they are better in my opinion with their high resolution models (1DsMk3 and 5D2) than the Nikon D3X and A900). Resolution is not everything, for me it is also the way they calculate a "clean" photo at higher iSO and here I clearly prefer Canon. Plus I also refer their camera handling.
And also compared some lenses like the 24-70 from Canon and Nikon which I currently both own - although the Canon is a far older design, it outperforms overall the new Nikon lens. Same for the classical 2.8/70-200.
So this "Nikon lenses are better than Canon" is pure storytelling or in best case personal feeling and preference, which of course is important and if someone has these preferences and is happy than fine!
In the end of the day both can not hold up against Leica glass, but I think this was clear from the beginning and the question is if it is not better to just have any good lens as compared to none (from Leica).
For example, I was a fully vested user of Canon 1 series tools from the EOS-1D through and including the EOS 1DMKIII & 1DsMKIII, and with each new camera I became increasingly disgusted with the over filtered files until I couldn't hack it any longer. Plus, in direct contrast to your opinion, I dispised the Canon 24-70/2.8 from it's inception right through all 3 copies I owned ... in fact, it resides on my top ten list of lenses I "loved to hate" ... Where I have no such feelings for the Nikon 24-70/2.8 I now use. I'd agree with you concerning the 70-200/2.8s ... but I don't use that focal length zoom very often ... and have now found the Sony APO version to be better than both Canon/Nikon ... at least my specific copy of it is.
Leica 35mm has always been the pinnicle ... but for me a 35mm DSLR HAS to be AF for the work I do ... so Leica remains high in regard, and low in use ... which does not fit my business plan at all.
Different strokes for different folks.
I prefer handling and IQ of Nikon, but I agree, probably also a matter of taste and if you are happy with Canon and I am happy with Nikon than we are all fine.
I also gave up on the 24-70L after 3 copies. I have a 24-105L which although inferior in every way as a lens, is actually sharp and focuses where I tell it to. I use primes for anything important these days..
I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz
Hm.... so they seem to have different quality levels for different parts of the world, as I bought mine in Austria???
Well, it wouldn't be by country, but anyway, the 24-70L is known to have highly variable IQ. If you have a good one, don't sell it!
I see that Michael Reichmann has published a new article and "guessed" that the S2 + 70mm will sell for around $25,000 and the lenses will be $5,000 to $10,000 a pop.
Yes, but he said "guess". The only data point is still Herr Doktor Kaufmann's expressed hope for a price below €15.000. A guess is useless in the world of today. Who would have guessed that a brand-new H3DII-31 would go for €10.000? No one.
Last edited by carstenw; 18th April 2009 at 02:41.
Even 25 percent less is way too much.
Honestly my opinion for a S2 and 70mm should be 16k and not a penny more. Lenses 3500 tops. As I said many times it should be compared to about a H3 31 or P30 plus and maybe just a touch more. Basically the same sensor and 16k to me sound like the proper number. Than compare that too d3x pricing and it is double which I don't think it should be. This is a tweener camera and should be priced in a tweener area and 25k is just cutting your throat. Not a chance in hell would I pay that no matter how good it is. Scary thing is i am one of there prime target shooters and those prices are not even close. This is survival time get people in the door than worry about profits later AFTER the system establishes itself. If I sound hard on Leica you damn right I am. And if that is the price I will be writing a LONG letter to Dr Kaufman. Sorry Leica fans and i am one of them but that kind of pricing is completely out of line to the market. MY OPINION which won't matter in the end. Frankly by the time they release this they will get smoked by someone else. I got a dozen donuts on that one.
Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.
You know what, I read the MR article on LL also, and my first impressions were 1) there was really nothing we have not already discussed at some greater length here with input from David and others that also handled the new S2; and 2) while his speculation over the pricing may be more "Leica-ish", that is the one of the main points we all have debated for some time, offering our thoughts on how this may play out.....$25k is way over the top for the body, and $5-10k per lens is not going to have many buyers. Period.
All of that could change, but the folks that might/would/could be the target for this system are not going to be spending that kind of money, even if it lives up to or surpasses some of our speculations. I could be very wrong on this, but as another "target" for this system, I already have a pretty good idea of how much I will be willing to spend, and the numbers in the article are way, way over the top for me. Based on what we are seeing in the marketplace today, $15k for body and 70mm lens seems like the right price point, and with all of the supposed efficiencies of design in the new lenses, Guy's $3,500 would be the top end in my thinking also. Maybe a bit more for the T/S or the planned zoom, but only if they knock it out of the park with resolution and such.
So, I will freely admit that at the prices MR is "guessing", the S2 drops off of my list really fast, and I would bet the lists of others also, especially those that already have solid MF systems now, as well as those with a lot vested in 35mm DSLRs.
I love the glass. I love the image capture capability. I am not thrilled by the past service, nor the plethora of imperfections of things at release. I am totally put off by the too high pricing ideas. If Leica wants this to be a camera for the working pros, they need to make this affordable to the working pros, and not just a handful of folks that have been able to command really high rates....in years past. Today, and the present economy, which is looking to hang around for a while, demands a much more sober approach to equipment costs for those working at it, as our businesses are not just booming along as they may have been before. Leica could help themselves a whole lot by pricing the S2 and lenses in today's perspective, and then raise prices as the market allows. I doubt too many would complain with that approach, but stratospheric pricing just because they are Leica and think they can is not going to cover those investments made for a very, very long time. Just more opinion.
In his position, I would not even have guessed, simply restated Leica's comments and left it at that. It doesn't sit well with me that he did that.
Anyway, all that is left to do is to wait and see.
In a way, he sort of had to put out some price, as much of the rest of his article was spent talking about who the target buyer is and why. The $25k number (and the others) that he punted out there sort of coincide with part of what Leica mentioned earlier about coming in at 20k euros or so, but the other part was about being competitive with Hasselblad. The one thing that folks keep comparing things to is the now, low entry price of the H3DII-31, when the 37.5MP S2 is probably closer to the H3DII-39 for the pixel density of the sensor, and that price is a bit more than the -31 being offered right now. The S2 is closer to the -31 for the smaller sensor size, microlenses and higher ISO capability (proposed) than it is to the -39, but actually is really is somewhere in between.
It did strike me as odd, given all the discussion here, over what folks are thinking about. The other thing that underscored this is how his forum does not tolerate speculation and rumors. The S2 is not a rumor. Its pricing is unknown, and only hints we have actually are lower, based on what Leica has commented on over several months. Plus, as mentioned, prices on the competitor landscape in MF have dropped a fair bit. Would Leica ignore this? As I said above, nothing really new learned from his "review" and marketing thoughts that has not been hashed several times here already. Not putting MR down, but wish he would have spent more time talking about the camera, the lenses, and how things fit into the market....at least from his perspective.
You know, an interesting side bar to the rotten economy and people holding on to their gear is that a lot of us are squeezing more and more out of existing technology.
It takes time to really get to know this sophisticated gear and all the variables that can improve IQ. In addition I've been delighted with the tweaks that the manufacturers have instituted ... even Leica with the recent additions to the original M8.
Maybe we get caught up in the rat race of "New/Now/New" and never really get a chance to get the most out of what we have.
It makes you wonder what would really be possible given more time with a system.
While Leica indicated that they would be competitive at the time the S2 was pre-announced, they probably didn't expect to see MFDB prices drop so dramatically since then. Development of the S2 and various (initial) materials supply contracts for it (thus initial lot costs) were also started/inked well before the global economy went in the toilet.
MR was/is a long-term Leica (M) user and while I don't see him having any axe to grind, I do see him, like many of us, simply shaking hsi head at what Solms is doing re: prices in any market, let alone todays.
On the S2 I think he, like the rest of us, simply applied 1) existing (and vague) pricing statements by Leica + 2) Leica's historical strategy of uber-premium pricing regardless of market conditions + 3) guess work and 4) MAYBE some insider industry chatter he couldn't label as such to arrive at his numbers.
Until such time as Solms updates the pricing info on the S2, that's all he and the rest of us have to go one. Right now, his numbers as good as anyone's.
Now, Leica being Leica, to think that Leica is going to ski down the same new MFDB pricing curve as Hassy and Phamiya upon the S2's release (if it is released) I see as wishful thinking based more on hope/desire/marketing logic vs. the reality of Leica strategic history.
They also need to be careful. As much folks will argue "...they're different markets..", etc., introducing new uber-premium M lenses for up to $10K a pop, and an M8.2 for ~$6K and then dropping an new uber-premium AF MF large-sensor kit on the market (that will sell in likely in lower volumes than most M gear) at anywhere near the new competitive prices WILL get people asking just what in the hell they're paying for on the M side.
Last edited by robmac; 18th April 2009 at 06:30.