Glass v Camera

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Formatted, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Formatted

    Formatted TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    This was mooted by a friend of mine as we discussed cameras and the such like. To give this question more structure I'll outline the position I'm in to provide a more focused answer.

    I currently have a D5000 which I want to upgrade, I'm looking at a D90 or one of Nikons new line of cameras this year or pick up a cheap D700 in the Summer. My lenses are Tamron 70-300 and 18-54 Nikkor AF-S (Which is great by the way). I've also ordered a 200 - 400 VR AF-S F4, which I'm really excited about.

    This has sparked the question, I'm looking at either a new camera or a 70-200 Nikkor lense. I'm looking to do lots of sports photography, and wildlife. So its got to be some fast and snappy.

    This therefore begs the question. Is it camera or is it glass?
     
  2. robertwsimpson

    robertwsimpson No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Messages:
    2,471
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    West Palm Beach, Fl
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Everyone here will tell you it's glass. That being said, I think that other things can limit you as well, like how fast your autofocus works, and how fast your burst rate is. I don't know how well your d5000 handles either of those or high ISO noise, so I can't really comment, but for the most part, you're always better off getting better lenses.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    It depends what you are looking for.

    If optimum image quality is your goal, then you're likely to be better off with top end glass than a top end camera.

    But if something like AF performance is important to you, then a top end body like the D700 might be a better direction to go.

    As mentioned, there is the issue of high ISO performance. Top end cameras are usually better at delivering good quality images at higher ISO.
     
  4. Natalie

    Natalie No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Here's how I usually explain it to people who talk about how my camera is so big and therefore "must" take amazing pictures...

    70% the photographer's skill
    20% the quality of the glass
    10% the actual camera
     
  5. Pugs

    Pugs TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,155
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Tee-hee! The most back-handed compliment a photographer can receive: "That's a GREAT photograph! You must have a REALLY nice camera!"

    To the OP, ISO performance and full-frame sensor are the main factors that I would consider in going with a new camera body. If those aren't an issue for what you want to do, then go with better glass.
     
  6. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7,274
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV / Almost, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    It really depends. Stepping from a D5000 to a D90 wouldn't yield much if they're using the same sensor (not sure about this, but certain entry level and mid level cameras from other companies share sensors between camera lines). You'd get better features in the camera that might make taking photos easier, but the jump in IQ would be negligible over purchasing a 70-200 to replace a not so swift 70-300.

    On the other hand, a jump from a D5000 to a D700 would give you move features, a sensor that would provide you with better IQ, and the ability to shoot at high ISO levels without worrying so much about noise.
     
  7. Formatted

    Formatted TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    All of course true.

    However there comes a point when I'm trying to photograph, rowing or cricket or hockey and I'm unable to get closer, or what has happened recently its out of focus.
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35,456
    Likes Received:
    12,794
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    My experience on focusing speed is that with Nikkor AF-S lenses the actual, individual lens plays a HUGE part in the autofocusing's "snap and speed", to use the OP's words. In an AF-S lens or a Sigma HSM lens, the focusing motor is built into the lens itself,and there are some differences in AF speed between differing lenses; the little Nikon 55-200 VR lens for example, is a somewhat slow autofocusing lens. It does not have a wide maximum aperture, especially at the longer end, so there is greater depth of field than if the lens were a fast 200mm lens, so the AF system's IN-focvus/OUT-of-focus phase detection data is less clear-cut than if it was the 200mm f/2 VR Nikkor, which is one of the-fastest focusing lenses I own. Comparing the 300mm f/4 AF-S Nikkor against the 300/2.8 AF-S Mark II, the Mark II is huge,heavy,and f/2.8 and autofocuses exceptionally fast, even on older, simple technology like the D70. The 300 f/4 AF-S on the other hand, is known pretty widely as a somewhat "nervous" focuser, and actually somewhat SLOW to focus for an AF-S lens. Even on the D2x, which has a powerful AF module, the 300/4 will often focus slowly,and will occasionally get "confused" and will hunt or stutter for focus, whereas the 300/2.8 will simply NAIL the focus, rapidly and with amazing sureness, over thousands of frames.

    I do not own the 200-400 VR, but it is an f/4 lens of large size, high weight, and high price, and I suspect that its AF performance will be at the very highest end of the f/4 category, due to the cost restrictions Nikon had when designing it. I'm pretty confident that the higher-level AF system with the 51 point AF will focus the lens a bit better,overall, than the D5000 body will. Focusing speed is a mix of the lens and the body's AF module, and your knowledge of how to set the AF system up for different types of subject matter or different situations.

    Secondly, the camera's firing rate can and does affect AF performance; the AF module can only receive data when the mirror is in the down position. Only when the mirror is DOWN does AF data come in and go to the AF module. The more frames per second the camera is firing, the more data is collected, processed, and acted upon, and the more focusing commands are sent to the AF motor per second. Faster firing rates actually improve AF tracking over sequences of action.
     
  9. wescobts

    wescobts TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rochester N.Y
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    ^ yeah what he said
     
  10. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    2,399
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Flagstaff/Az
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Well you seem to have your range covered in glass so, I would say dump the 5000. The D700 would serve you well for indoor sports shot but, you could get by with the D90 or D300 but, who wants to just get by. Is that Tamron a film/fx lens? If it is DX then you will loose one of your ranges and, still need a lens to cover it.
     
  11. Formatted

    Formatted TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    There is a D3 in a local shop for 1,200. Gonna go get that and then get some cheaper lens.

    Good idea or should I just get 1 expensive lens?
     
  12. mrdemin

    mrdemin TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    meh
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

nikkor af 18-54 vr

,

nikon 200-400 focus stutter