Can a FX lens go on a DX camera like the D7100 ?

Discussion in 'Nikon Lenses' started by supercool2, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. supercool2

    supercool2 TPF Noob!

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    I just read up on the differences between FX and DX, and now want a FX camera, but it's not in my budget right now. I am asking if fx lenses can go on dx cameras so i can buy those instead,so I'll already have some lenses whenever I buy an FX camera in the future.

    Also, do the FX professional level cameras have an internal focus motor in the body like the D7100 ?


     
  2. Josh220

    Josh220 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes. I always recommend buying FX lenses so that when the time comes to upgrade you only have to upgrade your body rather than your entire kit.

    All FX bodies have motors.

    Just keep in mind your DX body will have a crop factor on your lenses so when you upgrade, your lenses will act slightly different.
     
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  3. Tailgunner

    Tailgunner No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Agreed
     
  4. PaulWog

    PaulWog No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is something I've done way too much research on. I've made my DX purchases, I've analyzed what I would do now if I were to go a second time around, and I'm planning for the future (FX) as well.

    Do note that if your upgrade path is more along the lines of 5 years from now, don't go buying FX lenses that are worse for your purposes (than a DX lens) just because you'll have a supposedly easier time shifting to FX in 5 years from now. You don't know what FX lenses might be released in the future, and what shifts in technology might come around the corner (when thinking about decades and half-decades).

    I full-well intend to purchase an FX body, but in the future if I make the leap to FX, I will have a fair bit invested in cameras. There are benefits to owning both a DX body and an FX body (namely the crop factor equates to getting zoom out of your lenses without using any adapter.

    Note also that picking up an F4 lens, or a cheaper F2.8 lens, might leave you wanting to upgrade when you make that shift to FX. Just because you pick up an FX lens doesn't mean you're going to stick with it. So that's just another reason to pick up what you need now, instead of planning for the future. Plan for the near future, but not the distant future.

    To give you a little anecdotal example (my personal upgrade route), I currently own the D5200, and I have the 16-85mm VR ($650 DX lens), 35mm 1.8G ($220 DX lens), and the 70-300mm VR ($420 FX lens). I want to upgrade to FX in the next 1-2 years depending on what bodies are offered (I'm interested in reaching over 30 megapixels with a bit better overall performance, dynamic range, etc, as well as better ISO performance, and at a sub-$2000 price for the body). If I pick up any lenses, I will be getting two primes: the 50mm 1.8G, and the 85mm 1.8G. If I pick up any zooms, I'll be looking at the Tamron 24-70mm f2.8, Nikon 24-70mm f2.8, sigma 70-200mm f2.8, and nikon 70-200mm f2.8. If I ever make the shift to FX, I'll also look at a wider-angle lens as well as a possibility. Would the 24-70mm f2.8 be a good buy on DX? Yes, and no. It's going to end up being a portable set of primes in a way, since its shortest focal length is too long (24mm). Would I get the 24-70mm right now? Probably not, and definitely not brand new, since it's likely not going to serve as the most versatile walk-around lens (though it would still be good). However, a lens like the 70-200mm f2.8 would be good on both DX and FX; however, again, the 70-200mm on a DX body is going to have an equivalent focal length of approximately 105mm, which isn't as easy for walk-arounds as a focal length of 70mm (not that the 70-200mm is necessarily a 'walk-around' lens, but it'll end up feeling different between a DX and FX body).

    So there's an example of what I would personally do with my money. I have DX, and my only purchases in the future will be FX lenses. *However*, I did pick up two DX lenses: the 35mm 1.8G, and the 16-85mm VR. Both of these lenses are excellent buys, and in my opinion, they allow me to do things with my DX camera that I probably wouldn't be able to do as easily right now with an FX lens in the same price-bracket.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
  5. supercool2

    supercool2 TPF Noob!

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    Im thinking 1-2 years if I can start making any money off taking pictures. Otherwise, maybe a little longer .
     
  6. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    FWIW, all Nikon DX camera bodies have a motor also - that drives the lens aperture.

    All Nikon FX camera bodies have 2 motors - One that drives the auto focus screw-drive, and another that drives the lens aperture.
    The AF motor and AF screw-drive in an FX body is not, and cannot be used to drive the AF mechanism of lenses that have an AF motor in them (AF-S, AF-I, and 3rd party).

    The only Nikon DSLR's that do not have an AF motor in them also only have 1 command wheel - D40, D40x, D60, D3000, D3100, D3200, D5000, D5100, D5200 - the 'compact' entry-level Nikon's.
     
  7. goodguy

    goodguy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    All my lenses are FX and I use them on my D7100, in the future I plan on getting an FX body (hope in 1-2 years) so I am ready (lens wise).
     
  8. Newtricks

    Newtricks No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nikon DX lenses are designed to project a image circle that will cover the smaller sensor at the focal plane, more than likely that image circle would not fully cover the FX sensor.
     
  9. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Very nicely stated counter point, though let me tell you my anecdotal experience here... I wound up deciding I wanted an FX body, and it was right around the same time that I was also very clearly seeing the difference between "good" and "not so good" glass. With a tight budget and only one FX lens to my name, this put me in a tough spot... do I spend money on the FX body now to get that great quality, only to be stuck using it with basically only one lens? Or do I start buying FX lenses now and pickup the FX body when I have enough glass to justify it?

    I wound up choosing the latter, as it seemed the only real choice... and it delayed my getting my hands on that body by literally three years. Had I been purchasing FX glass up to that point (even lesser glass!) I would have at least had the option to get the camera then and use "acceptable if not great" lenses.

    BTW, I also did have one case where I bought a DX lens knowing full well I was making a choice I would later be unable to use... I needed as wide a lens as I could get and the only option was to go with a DX lens that would handle it. So again, I see your point. :)

    Not an easy call either way.
     

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