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35 mm DSLR Full Frame Selection

PSon

Active member
Ok I could have post this question on the Leica R, Canon, or Nikon but since the Nikon is the least posted threads, I will post the question here: Which full frame 35 mm DSLR system would you consider and why?

1. Canon 1Ds Mark III

2. Leica R10

3. Nikon D3
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
I would consider any of them, but some are more likely than others.

1. Canon 1Ds Mark III
For some reason, Canon has never been on my shopping-list, except for p&s. There's something about the ergonomics that doesn't suit me. Another reason, and this is important for me: I would never consider buying a big, white lens. Some of the places I go to take photos (villages and slums in Asia), showing off with big, white, obviously expensive gear is not a good idea.

2. Leica R10
This is my future plan. I prefer manual focus, and I get more and more obsessed with fast, sharp lenses. At this stage, the R10 is waporware, and I haven't really found a bank that is easy enough for me to rob and to get away with it, but some time in the future, hopefully the not too distant one, I'm going to have one. I actually consider buying a used R8 or R9 (no DMR) and one or two lenses, just to get started.

3. Nikon D3
This is a tempting camera, and the most logical way for me to enter the world of full frame, since I own a few Nikkor lenses. I don't need umpteen fps, and I'm not sure that a camera with built-in vertical grip is something that I want for everyday use (I travel a lot, and I travel light), but this is a camera that can do more or less everything I want a camera to do right now.

It's on my "shopping list B" at the moment. What is tempting with the D3 is what seems to be great image quality at all ISO-numbers, rock solid build, and functionality that, as far as I can gather, isn't surpassed by any competitor (except maybe the Olympus E-3, but I'm going to buy that one anyway).
 

woodyspedden

New member
I will have to see the R10 to know if it is worth giving up my DMR. If the main focus (pun intended) is autofocus then I would not likely get it. I have a fortune invested in manual R glass and since my focus is landscapes I have little need for autofocus. On the other hand if the R10 takes advantage of some of the newest Kodak innovations in sensor technology there may be compelling reasons to buy it. Must wait and see.

I have a Canon 5D as a backup to the DMR and where I can also use my Zeiss glass as well as the R glass. I will wait for the successor to the 5D to determine if there is a need fulfilled. I still am not entranced with Canon files compared to the DMR or the M8 so I see this strictly as a backup. I own no Canon glass and have never found a reason to get any.

I have owned Nikons for years and still have a sizeable collection of glass. Now that the D3 is out I must admit that for sports, wildlife, and grandchildren shooting this looks very attractive. At $3K less than the 1DsMkIII it becomes even more attractive given it is also full frame.

Except for the investment in Nikon lenses frankly I have become really spoiled by the Leica files and so I will probably wait for the R10 to become a reality and then decide.

woody spedden
 

doug

Active member
Except for the investment in Nikon lenses frankly I have become really spoiled by the Leica files and so I will probably wait for the R10 to become a reality and then decide.
Same for me. I've not been impressed with Canon files or glass and the DMR and Leica lenses have completely spoiled me. I've got a few manual-focus Nikkors (ED 300 f/4.5, ED 400 f/5.6, 55 f/3.5) so the D3 is mildly interesting but what's more likely is I'll find a pot of gold and wait for the R10 to become reality.
 

fotografz

Well-known member
If I want ultimate quality ... none of the selections listed. 39 meg MF digital using Zeiss glass would be, and is, my weapon of choice.

I use 35mm type DSLRs for documentary wedding work where AF speed, sophisticated flash control, and high ISO ability trumps ultimate file quality.

That eliminates manual focus R solutions. If the R-10 is AF and it's as good as Canon AF, then it's a possible future camera for me.

Since I have a fortune sunk into Canon glass, the Nikon is out. Sounds like a good camera for my application, and if I were just starting out it'd be a serious contender.

So, it's the Canon 1DsMKIII ... which I have on order.
 

jaapv

Subscriber Member
Well, since I took the Viso out on my M8 I have been thinking about picking up a DMR next year. Prices should come down as the R10 approaches. It should be a tad :D more practical to use. But I would not go full frame, I like to keep the weight of the medium tele down a bit. 80-200 would do me fine, or the 180 APO in addidtion to the 400.
 

Guy Mancuso

Administrator, Instructor
Same for me. I've not been impressed with Canon files or glass and the DMR and Leica lenses have completely spoiled me. I've got a few manual-focus Nikkors (ED 300 f/4.5, ED 400 f/5.6, 55 f/3.5) so the D3 is mildly interesting but what's more likely is I'll find a pot of gold and wait for the R10 to become reality.
I'm trying to hold out for the R10 also and like Doug looking for the pot of gold to get it. I am so spoiled by the Leica glass not sure i could use anything else except for Zeiss. And i don't want to go back to stop down stuff with a Canon, so if i had to buy something than maybe a D300 and a couple Zeiss lenses until at least the R10 comes out. Tough call
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
I already have a bunch of Canon glass, so the 5D-new or 1Ds3 make sense. However, the R10 is definitely on my watch list, and apart from lack of really good tilt/shift options, I would not hesitate to make a total system swap if it is great.
 

Steen

Senior Subscriber Member
Actually I made a very ealy preorder on the D3 along with the 14-24/2.8, but I ended up cancelling the order.
What I need is an F mount camera with a BIG and Bright and Contrasty viewfinder well suited for manual focus, since I have some nice Nikon AIS and Zeiss ZF lenses sitting on the shelf.
My approach is always the optics first, and then looking for some camera body to drive those lenses.
The D3 looked like a great machine for the purpose but at the same time completely overkill for me since I am just an amateur and don't do sports. So I decided to wait for the FX sensor plus the larger mirror and viewfinder to drip down into a smaller and somewhat cheaper body, the "D300FX" or whatever the name will be. I realize I will probably have to wait maybe a year or even more for that to happen. But i still believe that at some point Nikon needs to release a counterpart to the Canon 5D. And I could easily do with a slow camera with a plastic body without weathersealing.

I have owned the 5D along with three L lenses, but I was never really happy with the Canon files. I know that Jack and others are able to make them look great, but personally I am not at all good at postprocessing. It's definitely my weakest point. So for the moment I am not considering any EOS machine.

R10 ... hmm
I fear that it might turn out to be a very expensive camera.
But I have already bought some R lenses ... :eek:
I really hope that I can some day find an appropriate camera for those lenses. I think Leica should also consider an entry level DSLR for the R lenses if they want to gain some more market share. Maybe I will have to wait even longer for that to happen than the arrival of the Nikon prosumer FX model.

While waiting I keep shooting my little trusty Nikon D50, and ... because I cancelled my D3 order I have just bought an M8 so far with only one lens, the 28/2.8 Elmarit. At least this camera has a viewfinder optimized for manual focus. And it enables me to shoot some of the most delicious optics in the world. So very soon I will have a lot of questions for all of you about the M8 :)

Just while waiting of course. Waiting for the Nikon FX prosumer DSLR. Plus the Leica R ditto. I think maybe I need both :D

Well as I have the opportunity to be the first to post a picture on the Nikon board here's why I am definitely considering the D3, I really like the nikon files. And this is just from the cheap entry level D50. Nubian colors, Egypt. (Btw. Thanks for the great initiative with this forum, Guy and Jack !)
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
When I look at Nikon history, at least the digital part, Nikon has never launched a camera directly aimed at a Canon model, except maybe for the D2H which was very similar in performance to the 1D. In my mind, that means that there will not be a direct 5D competitor, but something in a different market segment, but with the FX sensor.

What would be really cool, is a D40 size camera with that sensor, the D3 viewfinder and decent build quality, preferably weather sealed. That would really stir things up, and being the only small digital 35mm camera, it would have that market segment completely for itself.

Would I buy one? I would buy two. That's the only camera I would need.
 

Steen

Senior Subscriber Member
Sounds true and realistic, Jorgen. You are probably right about your market segmentation point of view.

Also I totally agree that your suggestion about putting the D3 viewfinder onto an ultrasmall FX body sounds even better, I just didn't dare to hope for that to happen in any near future. Now that would really shake the market. Oh well, patience, patience :)
 

woodyspedden

New member
My guess is that at Photokina next year Nikon will introduce a D4 or some name like that which will be the D3 sensor or very similar but with the frame rate limited to perhaps 4-5 FPS. They will then be able to reduce the pixel size to roughly 6x6 microns and get close to 22Mpx which will go straight at the 1DsMkIII. This will put them back in direct contention for the pro buyer and other trickle down products will emerge from the efforts of the D3 and this new machine. They could also use the FF sensor from the D3 in a D300 body again with a reduced frame rate. All other features could be D3 like except for things like the dual card slots. The D300, which I just purchased is already well sealed against weather so it would be a natural competitor for the 5D and a great backup for the folks shooting the D3 or D4.

This of course is all speculation on my part but I believe it makes good sense.Now that they have gone FF they are not going to let Canon dominate the highest end of the market without a fight.

By the way my early experiences with the D300 have been very positive. The files look really good (I will post some very soon) and the sensor cleaning works well. The 3 inch 900,000 pixel LCD on the rear has to be seen to be believed. Knowing the LCD market as well as I do I am surprised that it took so long to get here.

Best

Woody

When I look at Nikon history, at least the digital part, Nikon has never launched a camera directly aimed at a Canon model, except maybe for the D2H which was very similar in performance to the 1D. In my mind, that means that there will not be a direct 5D competitor, but something in a different market segment, but with the FX sensor.

What would be really cool, is a D40 size camera with that sensor, the D3 viewfinder and decent build quality, preferably weather sealed. That would really stir things up, and being the only small digital 35mm camera, it would have that market segment completely for itself.

Would I buy one? I would buy two. That's the only camera I would need.
 

robsteve

Subscriber
By the way my early experiences with the D300 have been very positive. The files look really good (I will post some very soon) and the sensor cleaning works well. The 3 inch 900,000 pixel LCD on the rear has to be seen to be believed. Knowing the LCD market as well as I do I am surprised that it took so long to get here.

Best

Woody
Woody:

Can you see the images on the LCD in sunlight. I was disappointed in the M8 LCD compared to the DMR LCD, which can be see in full sun.
 

Marc Wilson

New member
I'd love to say either the nikon or leica full frame systems as I put image quality of both the look from the sensor coupled with top quality zeiss or leica glass above frame rate, etc.
But unfortunately until a 24mm shift lens is available for these systems I am forced to stick to canon...as I am sure many others are.
I am sure the dslr interiors, market is a big one but not sure if its big enough to get nikon or leica to make that wider shift lens!

Size wise all three of these cameras are in my opinion too big to serve the multiple purposes of travel, stock, street as well as the obvious and very workable as they are sports, studio, interiors etc where the larger body size is no problem.

So this leaves, wide shift lens dependant, either a 5d sized ff replacement from any of the three manufacturers, or one of new ff models in conjunction with a smaller travel, street, stock, specific camera / body. (M8, smaller nikon with zeiss zf lenses etc).

Marc

www.marcwilson.co.uk
 

Guy Mancuso

Administrator, Instructor
Marc I am using my Oly 24mm shift on the M8 but I had the mount converted to the Leica R from SK Grimes for than the DMR and now i use a Novaflex adapter from R to M for the M8. I'm holding on to it for hopes of a R10 and FF . but when this R10 hits the streets someday i certainly hope leica will make a shift and tilt 24mm to go with it. That would make me get a R10 in a hurry
 

Marc Wilson

New member
Hi Guy,
Now I remember you talking about that converted olympus over on the FM forum.
That type of conversion certainly does open up possibilities as it a shame to be tied to a particular system for just one lens...when for all other reasons another system may make more sense.

When you did the conversion did skgrimes ever talk about other possibilities such as the olympus or canon 24mm shift lenses on a nikon body?

Marc
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
FWIW, I got to see some images today out of a friend's new D3. GIven I just tested the 1Ds3 yesterday and wasn't overly excited, I hoped for better news on the nikon front. Bottom line is I wasn't very impressed here either. Both cameras are capable of making extremely good images, just not anything earth-shatteringly better than what I already own can do.

My .02 for now,
 

woodyspedden

New member
Jack

At only 12.1Mpx I wouldn't expect that you would gain much in resolution from your 5D. Where the D3 shines is in noise performance and speed. I have seen shots from Dave Black, a Nikon sports pro, that are just stunning. He also was using the new Nikon 14-24 2.8 zoom which may be the best wide angle optic on the market today. (See the 16-9 review)

Personally I have invested $1775 on the D300 and love the product but of course wish for full frame. I think it extremely likely that Nikon will have a FF 22 Mpx body by Photokina where the tradeoff will be much lower frame rate. (probably 4-5 fps) This would allow for 6x6 pixel pitch which should still represent very good noise performance (a la the D300). For landscape shooters like me, this will be the body of choice

Woody
 

kit laughlin

Subscriber Member
Sorry I haven't been back recently, folks: work.

I guess you know my answer to the OP's Q.: I ordered a D3, the 14–24/2.8, and the 24–70/2.8 on the day they were announced. Later, I ordered a D300, mainly because of the LCD. I wear glasses for close-up work, and checking settings via the top screen has always been a PITA in the field when things are fast and furious.

I have a perfect, very sharp and contrasty 80–200/2.8; these three zooms on FF will do most of the paying work. The high ISO performance of the D3 only means that I can hand-hold the longer lenses at the sort of shutter speeds that guarantee sharpness. I want to forget tripods, except for panoramas—hand holding was the whole raison-d'être for the 135 format in the first place

I have made a few notes about the D300 on the first thread here.

The D3 and the 14–24/2.8 arrive tomorrow.

Simple reasons for this fast decision are the control surfaces (I prefer the feel and ergonomics of the pro Nikons over the Canons), the early reports of the MTF graphs on the 14–24/2.8 from Nikon which looked like they break the laws of physics (I know they are calculated, not measured like Zeiss), and the fact that I own all the ZF lenses except the 85/1,4 and the 50/1,4. Auto stopdown for me is necessary when I work—as most of you know, I had most of the Leica and Zeiss lenses (15/3.5–180/2.8) and that aspect (needing to stop down) meant that for some of my work, I had to use Canon lenses. I always felt that the Canon-exotic via an adapter was a step backwards—we had auto stopdown 30 years ago, after all.

I can get good images from either Canon or Nikon sensors as everyone here can: the top cameras produce great images now. My decision came down to lens choice, ergonomics, and a great—maybe the greatest—wide angle zoom.

Wides were the reason most of us found ourselves on Fred's Alt DSLR thread in the first place. I have no brand loyalty (like hubsand's "changing gear like a Ferrari paddle shift"). The D3 and the 4–24/2.8 look like the best thing going for my work, at the moment. Hubsand's posts on the 14–24/2.8 seem to support those calculated MTFs, too. And we may have reached that point on the slope of diminishing returns, where the current commercial gear is good enough for most work. We'll know more soon. Cheers to all.
 
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