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Thread: Advice on primes for D700

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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Advice on primes for D700

    I'm still going round in circles about getting a full frame DSLR. I'm leaning towards a D700.

    I personally do not like zooms. I'd prefer a set of prime lenses. I also would like to take advantage of autofocus, coming as I am from a purely manual system. This is largely for indoor reportage work.

    After some research I'm thinking of a 35/2 and 50/1.8. For outliers I'm torn between the 24/2.8 and 20/2.8. I'd also consider a 85/1.8.

    Any advice?

    LouisB

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    Re: Advice on primes for D700

    I have a 50 f1.8 for sale in the buy/sell. I switched to Sony.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on primes for D700

    Unfortunately you will find that the Nikon AF primes are lacking and need updating. i think the zeiss zf lenses provide the best available prime lenses for the Nikon D700. The ZF 28/2 or the 35/2 both provide exceptional optics and handle perfectly on the D700. The Nikon alternatives that compare are discontinued ..the 28/1.4 AF and the 35/1.4 AiS lenses are considered the best . In the 50 s none seem to be perfect....the zeiss 50/1.4 isn t up to the 28 or th 35 performance. The new Nikon 50 1.4 af G gets uninspiring reviews but is considered a good lens. The 50/2 zf macro is an incredible optic but focusing is slow as its a macro lens . The Nikon 85/1.4af is a nice lens as is the zeiss 85/1.4 . The 100/2 zeiss is a world class optic but again a macro.

    There are some great tests and discussion at either diglloyd or reid reports both pay sites but worth the investment.

    In the Nikon line both the 14-24/2.8 and the 24-70/2.8 are exceptional lenses if AF is a must......but they are both large and heavy compared to primes.

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    Re: Advice on primes for D700

    Don't forget CV's excellent SL II primes for Nikon!

    CV Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II
    CV Ultron 40mm f/2 SL II
    CV Color Skopar 20mm f/3.5 SL II

    All are amazingly good, reasonably priced and chipped for Nikon cameras. Best dealers is Stephen Gandy over at http://www.cameraquest.com
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: Advice on primes for D700

    you should borrow a 24-70 and try it--it is really a great lens, even though you state you don't like zooms. the D700 has great low-light capability so a 2.8 is adequate for most work. a working editorial pro would take this lens over any other option. only compliant is it is larger than a prime. i shot new 50 1.4G and it is nice too. for indoor reportage, don't you want a wide though?

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    Re: Advice on primes for D700

    I have the 24-70 and will be acquiring the 14-24 shortly. My 24-70 is sharp enough to shave a cat! Here is sample portrait I shot a f/2.8:

    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: Advice on primes for D700

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Unfortunately you will find that the Nikon AF primes are lacking and need updating. i think the zeiss zf lenses provide the best available prime lenses for the Nikon D700. The ZF 28/2 or the 35/2 both provide exceptional optics and handle perfectly on the D700. The Nikon alternatives that compare are discontinued ..the 28/1.4 AF and the 35/1.4 AiS lenses are considered the best . In the 50 s none seem to be perfect....the zeiss 50/1.4 isn t up to the 28 or th 35 performance. The new Nikon 50 1.4 af G gets uninspiring reviews but is considered a good lens. The 50/2 zf macro is an incredible optic but focusing is slow as its a macro lens . The Nikon 85/1.4af is a nice lens as is the zeiss 85/1.4 . The 100/2 zeiss is a world class optic but again a macro.

    There are some great tests and discussion at either diglloyd or reid reports both pay sites but worth the investment.

    In the Nikon line both the 14-24/2.8 and the 24-70/2.8 are exceptional lenses if AF is a must......but they are both large and heavy compared to primes.
    Roger

    I agree with all your comments and conclusions here but I don't find the focusing an issue with the Makro lenses. I find the 50 Makro exceptionally easy because my focus helicoid is so buttery smooth. The 100, while way better than the first copy I had, still needs to "break in" and lose some stiffness. However I find it is still relatively easy to focus.

    Frankly, compared to my new 24 Lux for the M8 these lenses are really easy to use. The new lux has a very stiff focus ring and no tab to allow you to find it while looking through the viewfinder. The aperture ring is ahead of the focus ring and is very light in the detents so I constantly find myself inadvertantly changing the aperture as I work with focus. Lots of Leica lenses in my opinion have these types of faults. This is what keeps people like Don Goldberg (DAG) and Sherry Krauter in business for heavens sake.You have many many Leica lenses and I am sure your focus helicoids are all over the map with regard to stiffness. Leica definitely needs a standard so that all lenses are more or less the same.

    Just my thoughts on the matter

    Woody

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    Re: Advice on primes for D700

    Quote Originally Posted by biglouis View Post
    I'm still going round in circles about getting a full frame DSLR. I'm leaning towards a D700.

    I personally do not like zooms. I'd prefer a set of prime lenses. I also would like to take advantage of autofocus, coming as I am from a purely manual system. This is largely for indoor reportage work.

    After some research I'm thinking of a 35/2 and 50/1.8. For outliers I'm torn between the 24/2.8 and 20/2.8. I'd also consider a 85/1.8.

    Any advice?

    LouisB
    Having bought a D700 2 months ago, i can only say that i am very happy with it. I use Leica r primes on it (fitted with the Leitax bajonet). Last year i had a D3 + 24-70 on loan from Nikon The Netherlands. The usability of the D3 made me choose the D700. The 24-70 2.8 did not convince me, quite curved focus plane on full opening effectively resulting in rather blurred image on the sides and corners. Needed to stop-down to at least F4 preferrably f5.6. Also not very "alive", the pictures are not appealing, a bit dull.
    But then again i have been exposed to Leica results virtually from birth.
    So D700 fine, very well with Leica R lenses, the manual focus is no problem for me. Perhaps the Zeiss lenses are also ok, no personal experience however.

    Jan R.

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    Re: Advice on primes for D700

    hi;

    I have the d700 with the same lenses, use it every day and I have very images.
    Get the 50mm 1.4 rather then the 1.8.

    I used it for arial photos for clients and group shots all in raw format and it is amazing.

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    Re: Advice on primes for D700

    Quote Originally Posted by biglouis View Post
    I'm still going round in circles about getting a full frame DSLR. I'm leaning towards a D700.

    I personally do not like zooms. I'd prefer a set of prime lenses. I also would like to take advantage of autofocus, coming as I am from a purely manual system. This is largely for indoor reportage work.

    After some research I'm thinking of a 35/2 and 50/1.8. For outliers I'm torn between the 24/2.8 and 20/2.8. I'd also consider a 85/1.8.

    Any advice?

    LouisB
    Hi Louis,

    I have the exact same lenses (35 f2D and 50 f1.8D) and found them to be good compromises for their size, weight, optical performance and price. While they are not as good as Leica or Zeiss, they are also not as big and heavy, and don't cost an arm and leg. I can shoot with one lens while having the other in my coat pocket or a small waist pouch - it's a great street photography kit.

    Alternatively, if you don't mind manual focusing, the voigtlander 40mm looks like a small package. I have not used the 40mm before, so I can't speak for its optical quality. Also, you can use the voigtlander 58mm f1.4 to replace the 50.

    I would pick a 24 over the 20 for Nikon AF. Voigtlander makes a sweet 20mm f3.5 SL II lens which is cheaper and smaller in size than the Nikon equivalent and has better build quality. I know you wanted AF, but it's not too difficult to manual focus the 20mm.

    The Zeiss are all good, BUT, they are all big. For me, I prefer small compact lenses!

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    Re: Advice on primes for D700

    The 40 is quite good. It has gotten good reviews and users here like it. I have one for sale (I sold my Nikon gear) but didn't mention it because you said you were looking for AF.

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    Senior Member LCT's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on primes for D700

    The 50/1.8D, at least mine, is very sharp but has one of the most distracting, and to me the uggliest bokeh of all my 50+ lenses. My 50/1.4D is not perfect but much better from this viewpoint. FWIW.

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    Re: Advice on primes for D700

    really like the Sigma 50/1.4 on ff Nikon.
    I dont see the Nikon primes as "outdated" as some people say.
    The 35/2.0 is quite a good lens IMO.
    I cant comment on the 85/1.8- but both the 85/1.4 and 100/2.0 DC are great lenses. If you have 50 anyways I would consider the 105DC.
    An interesting choice in the 24mm range are the 24PCE or 24PC IMO.
    Or maybe here a Zeiss 25mm prime.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on primes for D700

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    Roger

    I agree with all your comments and conclusions here but I don't find the focusing an issue with the Makro lenses. I find the 50 Makro exceptionally easy because my focus helicoid is so buttery smooth. The 100, while way better than the first copy I had, still needs to "break in" and lose some stiffness. However I find it is still relatively easy to focus.

    Frankly, compared to my new 24 Lux for the M8 these lenses are really easy to use. The new lux has a very stiff focus ring and no tab to allow you to find it while looking through the viewfinder. The aperture ring is ahead of the focus ring and is very light in the detents so I constantly find myself inadvertantly changing the aperture as I work with focus. Lots of Leica lenses in my opinion have these types of faults. This is what keeps people like Don Goldberg (DAG) and Sherry Krauter in business for heavens sake.You have many many Leica lenses and I am sure your focus helicoids are all over the map with regard to stiffness. Leica definitely needs a standard so that all lenses are more or less the same.

    Just my thoughts on the matter

    Woody
    Woody

    The focusing issue IMHO is due to the longer throw required for a Makro lens. The 28/2 seems to focus quickly (short throw ) and has a light touch. My 50/2 is very smooth but its slow when shooting action. The 100/2 is slower and stiffer. This isn t much different from the Leica 100/2.8 apo..a long throw to support the fine focusing required for makro work vs the 90/2 apo which is set up with a short throw.

    Obviously the type of subject matter really influences what s relevant to an individual.

    Roger

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    Re: Advice on primes for D700

    Pardon the Hijack.... Jan, what did you mean about useability and the D3? I'm on the fence between a D3 and D700 and ready to jump!

    Thanks,
    Chris

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    Re: Advice on primes for D700

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Barrett View Post
    Pardon the Hijack.... Jan, what did you mean about useability and the D3? I'm on the fence between a D3 and D700 and ready to jump!

    Thanks,
    Chris
    Chris, what i meant was that the D3 was for me really easy to get used to and actually always ready to take a picture, to get the maximum out a particualr scene it proved quite easy to learn to adjust EV. The same applies for the D700. As the D700 is image-wise the same, control-buttons and wheels the same, i choose the D700, being 2/3 of the price of a D3. The was for me no reason to buy the D3 instead.

    Regards,

    Jan R.

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    Re: Advice on primes for D700

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Woody

    The focusing issue IMHO is due to the longer throw required for a Makro lens. The 28/2 seems to focus quickly (short throw ) and has a light touch. My 50/2 is very smooth but its slow when shooting action. The 100/2 is slower and stiffer. This isn t much different from the Leica 100/2.8 apo..a long throw to support the fine focusing required for makro work vs the 90/2 apo which is set up with a short throw.

    Obviously the type of subject matter really influences what s relevant to an individual.

    Roger
    Roger

    As I said at the outset, I agree with your conclusions. The only reason I responded is that I don't find the longer focus throw a problem for my type of work. Then again, I don't shoot sports which would require much faster focus..........but then again, if I was shooting sports I would not be using the MF Zeiss optics, good as they are. I would be shooting the wonderful Nikon Zooms like the new nano 24-70 or the old standby 70-200! I know that everyone is clamoring for an updated 70-200 but the one we have is pretty damned good! A new version that would tackle the issues of the current version would be one expensive proposition IMHO> I do acknowledge that the sharpness in the corners of the current version could use some help! But the Nikon design already incorporates 5 ED lenses already. How much more exotic do we have to get and at what price? It might be cheaper (and better) to have a D300 body for the specific purpose of using it with the 70-200 lens. You would then have the equivalent of 105-300 and the issues of vignetting and softness in the corners would fundamentally be dealt with! Interesting stuff this!!!!!!!

    Hope you are having a superb time in Paris

    Woody

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    Re: Advice on primes for D700

    the 105/2.5 AIS performs well on FX cameras. full-size versions can be seen here.








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    Re: Advice on primes for D700

    The D700 is a great camera. So is the D3. Depends on what you are shooting and how much you have to carry the camera. For me when shooting weddings, I kept the D3 and sold the D700 for only two reasons ... the D3 is faster, and it shoots to two cards at once.
    That security when shooting a one time event is worth the additional weight.

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