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Canon or Nikon: lens-based decision
#1
Hi,



I finally gave up on hoping that any manufacturer will come up with DX(APC-C)-specific fast primes. My next camera will be a full-frame one. I am invested a bit in Nikon, but am not overly inclined towards buying the bulky D700 at the current price. I am not in a hurry, but I have some money to spend for a lens and/or body and am thinking about the long-term plan.



What I have: D90, 35/1.8 (DX), 18-70 (DX), 105/2.8VR, 180/2.8, SB-800.

I will sell the 180/2.8 in any case, as I used it only once in two years.

In the long term I want to have (in this order) the fastest available 50, a 105/2.8 macro, a 35/1.4, and of course a standard zoom, just in case.



Option 1 - Stay with Nikon:

1. get the 35/1.4G now, it will not be useless on the D90.

2. wait for the D700 successor or at least for the D700 to drop in price, get it together with the 50/1.4G.

3. get the 24-120/4 or wait a bit longer for a good standard zoom.



Option 2 - switch brands:

1. get a used 5D Mk.I for the moment, also 105/2.8L IS.

2. when I am sure that Canon is right for me, sell all Nikon gear and get the 50/1.2L.

3. get a 35/1.4L, a flash and the 24-105/4L later.



Is the 2nd option stupid? Actually there is nothing I need that the 5D Mk.I does not have. And a 50/1.2 is something I cannot ever have with Nikon, probably. I have an Ai-S Nikkor 50/1.2 that will work on the D700, but AF would be nice. Canon's standard zoom also looks more attractive than Nikon's. Overall I feel that with Canon I can invest towards lenses now and am satisfied for years (despite maybe replacing the body later). With Nikon this is not really clear for me.



Thanks for any thoughts.
#2
[quote name='ThomasD' timestamp='1297689182' post='6105']

Hi,



I finally gave up on hoping that any manufacturer will come up with DX(APC-C)-specific fast primes. My next camera will be a full-frame one. I am invested a bit in Nikon, but am not overly inclined towards buying the bulky D700 at the current price. I am not in a hurry, but I have some money to spend for a lens and/or body and am thinking about the long-term plan.



What I have: D90, 35/1.8 (DX), 18-70 (DX), 105/2.8VR, 180/2.8, SB-800.

I will sell the 180/2.8 in any case, as I used it only once in two years.

In the long term I want to have (in this order) the fastest available 50, a 105/2.8 macro, a 35/1.4, and of course a standard zoom, just in case.



Option 1 - Stay with Nikon:

1. get the 35/1.4G now, it will not be useless on the D90.

2. wait for the D700 successor or at least for the D700 to drop in price, get it together with the 50/1.4G.

3. get the 24-120/4 or wait a bit longer for a good standard zoom.



Option 2 - switch brands:

1. get a used 5D Mk.I for the moment, also 105/2.8L IS.

2. when I am sure that Canon is right for me, sell all Nikon gear and get the 50/1.2L.

3. get a 35/1.4L, a flash and the 24-105/4L later.



Is the 2nd option stupid? Actually there is nothing I need that the 5D Mk.I does not have. And a 50/1.2 is something I cannot ever have with Nikon, probably. I have an Ai-S Nikkor 50/1.2 that will work on the D700, but AF would be nice. Canon's standard zoom also looks more attractive than Nikon's. Overall I feel that with Canon I can invest towards lenses now and am satisfied for years (despite maybe replacing the body later). With Nikon this is not really clear for me.



Thanks for any thoughts.

[/quote]

The 5D is not a lot lighter than the D700, so that is not a deciding factor, the bulk.

From the lenses you list (macro, standard + moderate wide angle primes, standard zoom) you seem not to be a portrait photographer, more s everyday life, land/city scape, macro photographer. In those areas the differences are not huge, lens wise, in my opinion. I find that usually, Canon lenses give a (much?) more pleasing bokeh, but that is not really of concern to you?



The Canon 100mm f2.8 L IS USM is a lovely made, very good macro. But the differences between macro lenses IQ wise are not huge, so there won't be a big gap between 5D +100mm L IS and D700 + 105mm VR.

The standard zooms... I have not seen enough images yet to have a preference for the Nikon or the Canon. The Canon has a much better build/finish though... which makes the Nikon appear a bit overpriced. The Canon macro also is a bit better built.

The 35mm f1.4... again, I have not seen that many images yet (for the Nikon). But for now my guess is that the Canon will have more pleasant bokeh, Nikon seems to have a hang to nisen background bokeh, more than Canon.

For the 50mm, I would choose the Canon for sure. Lovely, expensive lens with beautiful rendering for a 50mm. The Nikon 50mm f1,4 has that harsh background rendering I am not a fan of. Of course, one could substitute the Nikon for the SIgma 50mm f1.4.



Then the bodies... the Nikon D700 is of course a nice camera. IQ wise the 5D at times seems to have something special, but that might just be conversion based. The 5D obviously has no liveview. But it focusses well in low light, probably the D700 will beat it in tracking a moving subject (but, just based on specs, not real data).



If it was me, I would go for Canon. But, that is ME, going for the more pleasant rendering. And I would go for the 5D mk II, because of the live view I do need at times for my low angle nature shots.

And I would get different lenses too... The Canon 24mm f1.4 (keeping my 35mm f2), the Canon 50mm f1.2 (or the old f1.0), the 85mm f1.8 USm, the 200mm f2.8 L USM II and the 70-300mm f4-5.6 L IS USM (keeping my 70-200mm L USM).

But, again, that is for me, and my photography.

And for both, I would then get a Tokina 16-28mm 2.8, for when I want/need a wider view.
#3
Thanks for your reply.



[quote name='Brightcolours' timestamp='1297697578' post='6108']

The 5D is not a lot lighter than the D700, so that is not a deciding factor, the bulk.

[/quote]

Well, having handled both, the 5D feels substantially lighter and quite a bit smaller to me. But you are probably right and I do not try to base my decision on that.



[quote name='Brightcolours' timestamp='1297697578' post='6108']

From the lenses you list (macro, standard + moderate wide angle primes, standard zoom) you seem not to be a portrait photographer, more s everyday life, land/city scape, macro photographer. In those areas the differences are not huge, lens wise, in my opinion. I find that usually, Canon lenses give a (much?) more pleasing bokeh, but that is not really of concern to you?

[/quote]

It is, of course, but this is the first time I hear about substantial differences in this area. Maybe I will have to browse through some photos taken with each lens with that in mind.



[quote name='Brightcolours' timestamp='1297697578' post='6108']

The Canon 100mm f2.8 L IS USM is a lovely made, very good macro. But the differences between macro lenses IQ wise are not huge, so there won't be a big gap between 5D +100mm L IS and D700 + 105mm VR.

[/quote]

That is right. I love the 105/2.8VR and would not have considered switching to Canon if they had no equivalent. This lens made me choose Nikon at the time it was rather new. I always feel that it is a bit too long for non-macro work, which is why I think I might like the focal length much more on full frame.



[quote name='Brightcolours' timestamp='1297697578' post='6108']

The 35mm f1.4... again, I have not seen that many images yet (for the Nikon). But for now my guess is that the Canon will have more pleasant bokeh, Nikon seems to have a hang to nisen background bokeh, more than Canon.

[/quote]

Bjorn Rorslett likes the new Nikon 35/1.4 a lot. But he is very enthusiastic about nearly every new lens, I think. Nevertheless, I judge his opinion highly, because it is not only based on sharpness tests.



[quote name='Brightcolours' timestamp='1297697578' post='6108']

For the 50mm, I would choose the Canon for sure. Lovely, expensive lens with beautiful rendering for a 50mm. The Nikon 50mm f1,4 has that harsh background rendering I am not a fan of. Of course, one could substitute the Nikon for the SIgma 50mm f1.4.

[/quote]

It is good to here an opinion that the Canon is better. Reviews seem to be quite mixed, but in the end it isn't sharpness in the borders what you have an f/1.2 lens for.



[quote name='Brightcolours' timestamp='1297697578' post='6108']

Then the bodies... the Nikon D700 is of course a nice camera. IQ wise the 5D at times seems to have something special, but that might just be conversion based. The 5D obviously has no liveview. But it focusses well in low light, probably the D700 will beat it in tracking a moving subject (but, just based on specs, not real data).



If it was me, I would go for Canon. But, that is ME, going for the more pleasant rendering. And I would go for the 5D mk II, because of the live view I do need at times for my low angle nature shots.

And I would get different lenses too... The Canon 24mm f1.4 (keeping my 35mm f2), the Canon 50mm f1.2 (or the old f1.0), the 85mm f1.8 USm, the 200mm f2.8 L USM II and the 70-300mm f4-5.6 L IS USM (keeping my 70-200mm L USM).

But, again, that is for me, and my photography.

[/quote]

I rarely feel the need for anything wider than 35mm. Mostly for landscapes, and there the not-so-fast 24mm end of a standard zoom will probably be sufficient.

I did not think about tele lenses for now. I just use them that seldom that I will be fine with any cheap 70-300.



Is there anything but live view that lets you choose the Mk.II over the Mk.I of the 5D?



Overall, there seems to be nothing really leaning towards Nikon in your post.



Thanks.
#4
[quote name='ThomasD' timestamp='1297700392' post='6109']



Bjorn Rorslett likes the new Nikon 35/1.4 a lot. But he is very enthusiastic about nearly every new lens, I think. Nevertheless, I judge his opinion highly, because it is not only based on sharpness tests.



It is good to here an opinion that the Canon is better. Reviews seem to be quite mixed, but in the end it isn't sharpness in the borders what you have an f/1.2 lens for.





Is there anything but live view that lets you choose the Mk.II over the Mk.I of the 5D?



Overall, there seems to be nothing really leaning towards Nikon in your post.



Thanks.

[/quote]

I find bjorn rorslett a very silly figure, really. Seems to be looked at by many as authority, but his opinion is not based on very much. He only looks at Nikkors, he says weird things at times, and I trust what he writes online less important than what even Ken you know who writes. The 35mm f1.4 may be a lovely lens, but i won't take bjorn's word for it! I remember how he described the 85mm f1.4 bokeh just a few months ago...



Judge the 50mm f1.2 by what photographers say about it, and by what they do with it. Not a lens to judge on measurements, they do not convey the important things (contrast, colour, rendering). The 50mm f1.4 from Nikon is not bad, though!



Well, the live view is most important to me, difference wise. And if I would upgrade, the higher resolution would be welcome too (as I make images that are at its best printed in big formats). The very good movie mode... not for me, as I will not shoot video. And they share the most important feature for me: the Canon EF mount.
#5
[quote name='Brightcolours' timestamp='1297703135' post='6110']

I find bjorn rorslett a very silly figure, really. Seems to be looked at by many as authority, but his opinion is not based on very much. He only looks at Nikkors, he says weird things at times, and I trust what he writes online less important than what even Ken you know who writes. The 35mm f1.4 may be a lovely lens, but i won't take bjorn's word for it! I remember how he described the 85mm f1.4 bokeh just a few months ago...

[/quote]

Well, since he bashed the 105/2.8VR for some strange reasons, my high opinion of him has already suffered a bit. Maybe I will have to look elsewhere.



Thanks again for your input.
#6
I'd stick with Nikon. This is coming from a Canon shooter. You already have the 105/2.8 VR and 50/1.2 manual focus and a flash. I'd look for a used D700, no point in buying a new one right now and no point waiting either!



As for Canon's standard zoom being better - I hear very good things about Nikon's 24-70/2.8.



If you're concerned about lack of AF with your 50/1.2 - Maybe buy a 50/1.4G (or Sigma 50/1.4) and use the 1.2 when you just need that extra little bit of aperture, a specialty lens for slower-paced more careful work.
#7
50mm on FF gives you the angle of view for close-up portraits, maybe can be used in landscape photography (but not very likely), and also suits for the street photography. The first case is the best you can get on FF with 50mm. And the 3rd case would require a smaller and lighter body. I guess depending on the type of photography you like, it's not so hard to choose...



Serkan
#8
[quote name='ThomasD' timestamp='1297689182' post='6105']

I finally gave up on hoping that any manufacturer will come up with DX(APC-C)-specific fast primes.

[/quote]

If you're willing to give up auto focus, you can use fast, small (but FF) rangefinder primes on Sony Nex APS-C cameras:



[url="http://www.flickr.com/search/groups/?q=leica&m=pool&w=1433188%40N23&s=int"]Leica M on Sony Nex[/url]

[url="http://www.flickr.com/search/groups/?m=pool&s=int&w=1433188%40N23&q=voigtlander"]Voigtlander VM on Sony Nex[/url]





[quote name='ThomasD' timestamp='1297689182' post='6105']

Option 2 - switch brands:

1. get a used 5D Mk.I for the moment, also 105/2.8L IS.

2. when I am sure that Canon is right for me, sell all Nikon gear and get the 50/1.2L.

3. get a 35/1.4L, a flash and the 24-105/4L later.



Is the 2nd option stupid? Actually there is nothing I need that the 5D Mk.I does not have.

[/quote]

Umm be careful when picking up used original 5D bodies. I've heard several people say that they had mirror box issues. Can be fixed easily at a repair center (it's a glue thing) but better check if it's loose or anything when buying.



Btw, Canon's current 35 1.4L is noticeably better than Nikon's 35 1.4G in the corners from a recent test I did (will publish it soon).





[quote name='ThomasD' timestamp='1297689182' post='6105']

And a 50/1.2 is something I cannot ever have with Nikon, probably. I have an Ai-S Nikkor 50/1.2 that will work on the D700, but AF would be nice.

[/quote]

Then you have to try the 85 1.2L II... far better than the 50 1.2L <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Wink' />



GTW
#9
You don't say why you're after fast primes. Extreme subject isolation? Or low light capabilities? I'll assume the latter.



[quote name='ThomasD' timestamp='1297689182' post='6105']I finally gave up on hoping that any manufacturer will come up with DX(APC-C)-specific fast primes.[/quote]



Have you looked at Pentax? They do APS-C specific fast primes, and really good ones too. The K5 is pretty much as good as it gets in APS-C DSLR land with respect to low light and high ISO right now. The body is compact, of very high build quality, and fully weather sealed (like the Nikon D3 and Canon 1D series). If you're into that sort of thing, you can get some great older lenses on ebay, for example the 50mm f/1.2. Best of all, *ALL* your primes are stabilized thanks to the in-body stabilisation. If you're after a solution for shooting low light with fast primes, it doesn't get any better right now.



And no, I'm not a Pentax shooter (other than my old K1000) but I have spent a fair bit of time trying out the system.
#10
[quote name='PuxaVida' timestamp='1297769208' post='6126']

50mm on FF gives you the angle of view for close-up portraits, maybe can be used in landscape photography (but not very likely), and also suits for the street photography. The first case is the best you can get on FF with 50mm. And the 3rd case would require a smaller and lighter body. I guess depending on the type of photography you like, it's not so hard to choose...

[/quote]

I am not sure I get your point. The fast 50 will get most use for the first case. Street photography in the classic sense is not about shooting wide open anyway, is it? A slow lens would be sufficient for this application.
  
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