Nikon Enlighten me in regards of the Nikon DX system, from D300 and up. :-)

JensM

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After having picked up a couple of Nikon 1s, a V1 and a J4, I am quite a bit fascinated by the output of those tiny rascals, but I dont find the files very mallable, quite the opposite, they break easily but even broken gives some pleasure in the results, so there is that.

I have also heard exceptional things of the output from the Nikon D700, but at the price point those goes for over here, along with the fact that I need to start entirely from scratch as to build a system around it, I have decided not to pursue that, but having stumbled over the fact that the D300 and S variety sports the same sensor, with a slightly higher pixel density but with a very nice output on their own, my interest is somewhat peaked for those, also to the tune of the possibility to get a second hand system with kit lenses for rather less than 200 over here.

The trouble is that I dont know the slightest about the Nikon DXs or Nikons in general, other than having two issued in 09, where one very well may have been a 300(S), it was a proper chunky monster, but it was never something I did anything much with, other than packing it around. The other one was some sort of "pro" compact ala the Canon G series. The only other one I have somewhat of a feeling of is the D500, and that is properly out of reach for some cheap thrills. I have somewhat latched onto the AF SLR 300 f:4 as a cheap and interesting tele alternative, and like the look of it, even if a D300 and one of those weights in at a hefty 2,4 kilo or thereabouts, unfortunately the lens is not adaptable to M43 as far as I have figured out.

So, if the Nikon Hivemind of Cameraderie would offer up their wisdom as to what is the stars of the show in regards of lenses, reasonable bodies no older than the 300 and other nice or must have stuff in the Nikon DX segment, I would appreciate it, and do further studies into it. :drinks:
 
Cameras
D300 is a great camera. If you want the same sensor in a slightly smaller body the D90 is an option. The D300 is the more upscale version with better sealing.

Other DX cameras of interest if you want the old CCD sensor is to look at a D50/D40/D80.

The D50 will AF with screw drive lenses (as will the D90/D300) and AF-S lenses. The D40/D80 need AF-S to autofocus.

After those, you start getting into the D3000 and D5000 series. Decent, but decidedly consumer and pro-Sumer build and handling.

If you want something closer to modern with enthusiast to almost pro levels then you are going to run into the D7000 series. Those may still be over your intended budget.

Lenses
If you go with a screw drive capable body, you open up the affordable choices of AF-D lenses like the Nikon 28-85, 28-105, 35-135, 80-200/4.5-5.6D. You also have the AF-S 18-55, 18-140, 18-70, 55-200. Primes - the legendary 35/1.8G can be found here in the USA for under $100 and older screw drive options abound, the 50/1.8D are $50-70.

Longer zooms beside the 80-200, like the 70-210/4 or 70-210/4-5.6 lenses can be affordable as well with that vintage look.


Hope this helped some.
 
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..... The D40/D80 need AF-S to autofocus.
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You're thinking of the D40/D60. The D70/D50/D80/D90 all have the AF screws (in release order)

I have to burst a significant bubble.

D3/D700 -- Nikon NC81338L
D300/D300s -- Sony IMX021aqe
Source: Camera_Matrix

What they do have in common is the AF system: CAM3500FX/DX
The 51point AF was a BIG change and was in D300/D300s, D7200, D7500 (this adds some bits from the D500)

I owned or use many of the referenced bodies below.
Quick descriptions in bullet form:
  • D100/200/300/500 - Enthusiast, semi-pro, pro Note no mode dial
  • D70/80/90 - Consumer, Enthusiast
  • D7000/7100/7200 - - Consumer, Enthusiast, and what Nikon tried to replace the D300 with. For many, it didn't
  • D7500 - Consumer, Enthusiast that thanks to the D500 could remove some things so it doesn't have to try to be something it isn't
  • D50 - Consumer. Nikon tried to make a simplified D70.
  • *D40/D40x/D3#00 - Consumer, really simplified - Will not AF non AF-S or AF-P lenses (though some issues there as well.
  • *D60/D5#00 - Consumer, simplified. - Will not AF non AF-S or AF-P lenses (though some issues there as well.
*AF and processor upgrade on the D5300 make it the base I would consider in this category if I didn't need/want older lens compatibility.
The D7000/D7100 have an updated 39-point AF over the D#0 series bodies.
The D7200 has the 51-point system from the D300/s.
D300 vs D300S? Do you need or want dual cards? Do you want the option to use SD instead of CF cards?
Do you want to use it with AF older lenses? If so skip the * options below.

D300/s is the tank but might be harder to find lower miles units.

AF-S lens: 18-70 f/3.5-4.5, it is a DX lens
AF screw drive lens: 28-105 with macro abilities.

Telephotos? Andrew's list looks good, loved the old 80-200 f/2.8. I'll add the original Sigma 50-150 f/2.8. They made a version I&II that were nice and small. Then they redesigned it and made it the size of a 70-200 f/2.8, no thanks.


What 300mm are you thinking about? There are several versions.
 
Personally I’d describe the D7xxx series as “prosumer”. They were the highest end models before jumping into the FX or D4 style cameras. I had a D7100, and found it a very capable camera. I’d say it still is, and are starting to be found for pretty bargain prices. I have a soft spot for this era of Nikon camera as a whole, so don’t ask me, because I’ll tell you that you can’t go wrong with just about anything.
 
Looking at the way you operate @JensM , be very very careful. AF-D lenses are your friend here, it is a hole from which you may never get out, the camera purchase is merely where the hole opens. I think but cannot verify via any link that the D7100 sensor is pretty much the same as that of the original Ricoh GR/ GRII 16 megapickle cameras, the image output of which I still really miss. But it doesn't really matter - any of the earlier Nikon DSLRs regardless of sensor are wonderful, heavy compared to today's standards but still wonderful. In simple terms, less computer, more camera.
 
I have a D7100. It's a fine fine camera and I have no need for any newer DX camera. It's solidly made and can handle all my AI'd lenses as well as older AF lens and every newer lens with VR or G stuff at 24 mp.

I intend to add a D700 in the next month or so with an AF 50/1.4 & AF 85/1.8 (probably pre -D versions, cheaper and I don't use flash which is what the -D for distance measuring is good for). I want the FX to do wide angles better than DX does but I'll keep the D7100 because it's still a great camera.

It's the cheap manual lenses that is the real rabbit hole of Nikon :)
 
Sigh, a rabbit hole indeed. I've been shooting Nikons since the 80's so I've been round the block with several of these models mentioned in various posts above.
The D700 is FF not DX. I'm still smarting over having sold mine many years ago. It was great! @davidzvi has covered the lay of the land rather comprehensively.

Caveat: Nikon does not guarantee spares after 5 years of discontinuing a model (that holds true for us here in South Africa; I can only surmise that it's similar everywhere)

More can potentially go wrong with camera bodies than with lenses, in my experience. So tread carefully when you buy used gear
 
Nikon 300mm f/4 AF, this one here. It looks like you could use it to either photograph seals, or to club them, with it... :oops:

And thanks for the info, fellows, this is pure gold! :care:
You could also consider the 180mm f/2.8. I used it often as a lighter option to the 70/80-200 f/2.8.


.......
I have also heard exceptional things of the output from the Nikon D700, but at the price point those goes for over here, along with the fact that I need to start entirely from scratch as to build a system around it, I have decided not to pursue that, but having stumbled over the fact that the D300 and S variety sports the same sensor, with a slightly higher pixel density but with a very nice output on their own, my interest is somewhat peaked for those, also to the tune of the possibility to get a second hand system with kit lenses for rather less than 200 over here.
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I'm not a fan of the D7000/7100/7200, but that's probably colored by the fact they weren't really well received by the folks over on the NikonCafe and that when I had the D7100 was after I had already moved to FX with the D600 & D800, it was my 3rd (a backup body).

But of relevance, it was one of only 3 Nikon bodies that used Toshiba Sensors (D5200, D7100, & D7200). So definitely has a different sensor than the D300/700.
 

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Looking at the way you operate @JensM , be very very careful.
Not to sure what you mean by that... :hmmm: :hiding: :rofl:

I have had a throughout browse and read up on some stuff, so I somewhat see a possible system, loosely founded upon the 35/50 f:1.8s, the 16-85, some sort of intermediate tele zoom, all in DX/VR where applicable versions exists, and the afore mentioned f:4 300mm AF.

With a bit of careful picking in the local classifieds, it should be somewhat within reason to land the entire system, sans the 300mm for about 350-400, depending on body (but no older than a 300(with an S preferred)) and towards the other end of the watershed with the D7100 with its by all writings and reviews glorious 24 MP sensor, with a bit of extras pieces such as bag and flash, thrown in, as the fellows offloading stuff tends to do that.

There is a D60 up bundled with the 16-85 for about 100,- for example. The primes I have found at about 50 each, and there are quite a few D300/D300S with old (closing on 60 days) ads up at around 100-150, before any possible haggling and a D7100 with 18-55/70-300, not sure which versions those lenses are, though, for 280 asking.

The 7000/7100 seems to be all over the place, pricewise, from 130,- for a decent looking D7000 body with battery grip and sundries such as charger, batteries and memory cards to a 1000,- for a worn looking D7100 one, all by itself, good luck with the latter sale.
 
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There is a D60 up bundled with the 16-85 for about 100,- for example. The primes I have found at about 50 each, and there are quite a few D300/D300S with old (closing on 60 days) ads up at around 100-150, before any possible haggling and a D7100 with 18-55/70-300, not sure which versions those lenses are, though, for 280 asking.
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Just remember the D60 won't AF that 300mm. Which 70-300? There are 2 later AF-P versions (DX & FX) that are supposed to be pretty good. But (and here's where I'd have to research to confirm) there are some compatibility issues depending on camera firmware versions. The older AF-S version isn't an issue and the even older AF-D* versions again would not AF on the D60.

* Many refer to AF-S and AF-D. AF-S is a real Nikon designation. AF-D is not, but is used to simplify things, I do it all the time. Nikon's actual naming is "AF Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8-4D" with "D" after the aperture. The real problem is early AF-S lenses also had the "D" after the aperture before Nikon went to "G". The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF for example.
 
The 50mm F1.8 AF-D, Nikon made so many of these, possibly too many, it is the opposite of sought after with so many being available for peanuts and cheap loose plastic all the way but I love it, it just marries so well with those early DSLR sensors and for those that like that sort of thing, fantastic sunstar rendition. What I’m saying is if you see one of them lying around for sale, don’t pass it by.
 
The 50mm F1.8 AF-D, Nikon made so many of these, possibly too many, it is the opposite of sought after with so many being available for peanuts and cheap loose plastic all the way but I love it, it just marries so well with those early DSLR sensors and for those that like that sort of thing, fantastic sunstar rendition. What I’m saying is if you see one of them lying around for sale, don’t pass it by.
No worries, it was actually that and its 35 mm sibling that dropped me down the rabbit hole.

A pair of them surfaced in the Pentax section of the local ad site, so I looked them over, thinking I should just check to see if they had a 24 mm sibling for that coverage equivalent of 35ish mm.

Why I have no idea about, I hadn't even looked at Nikon APSc cameras before that, but I may have been in a APSc state of mind after the Pentax browsing and ponderings over the 21mm somewhat odd length.
 
I rode the Nikon train from a D50 with 50 1.8(only lens for about three months and loved every minute) to a D700 with all the steps in between. Except the D300S.
Which oddly enough I have in my possession right now (selling for a friend).
Ohh the lenses. ( :
 
You could also consider the 180mm f/2.8. I used it often as a lighter option to the 70/80-200 f/2.8.



I'm not a fan of the D7000/7100/7200, but that's probably colored by the fact they weren't really well received by the folks over on the NikonCafe and that when I had the D7100 was after I had already moved to FX with the D600 & D800, it was my 3rd (a backup body).

But of relevance, it was one of only 3 Nikon bodies that used Toshiba Sensors (D5200, D7100, & D7200). So definitely has a different sensor than the D300/700.
I had no idea it was one of three to use a Toshiba sensor. Well, color me impressed by the Toshiba sensor…I quite liked it.
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