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Thread: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

  1. #1
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    Default Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    I guess that you can say that I'm a Nikon person, having owned a black Nikon FE2 since 1983. That lead to an older Nikkormat Ftn and a beat up Nikon F with the Ftn finder. Those older mechanical cameras were sold off years ago, though I really miss the F. About nine years ago I joined the digital revolution and bought a D70. That camera was a game changer for me as it allowed me to shoot pictures without worry about "burning film" and I got used to the fact that I could adjust the ISO as needed. My buddy sold me his old Nikon F4s with lenses shortly after and this prompted me to give the old FE-2 to my nephew who was taking photography classes in JC. Along with that camera went a nice AI modified early 35mm f/2. I'm tempted to ask him if I can have it back, but, that'll probably upset my wife. Just this past week I purchased a D610 and this has gotten me to start looking at the world through a viewfinder again. Before that I had started to use the camera built into my iPhone 4, primarily due to convenience since it was always in my pocket. I've learned to hate the barrel distortion on the sides of pictures taken with it.

    Lenses: I have a few lenses in my kit right now. The 18-70 kit lens that came with the D70; the 70-200 f/2.8 VR that I bought from a different buddy; the 70-210 f/4 that came with the F4s; the AI modified 55 f/3.5 Micro that I bought from my cousin many years ago along with its companion M2 extension tube; the 28-80mm cheapo Nikkor that was given to me; and the other lens that came with the F4s - a 35-70mm f/3.3-4.5. I'm currently considering an AF wide angle zoom or just a manual focus 20mm f/2 which really doesn't need AF since it has much more DOF.

    I use my cameras for everything, particularly taking family photos, but, I love taking macro photos as well. I really like experimenting with different setups to see what I can do to get more magnification, more DOF, or just more distance to the subject (mounting the 70-200 onto the M2 makes it a nice long reach macro lens, especially at 200mm, but, makes the focus range very limited, something like five to ten feet).

    Anyone else a fan of Nikon SLRs/D-SLRs?

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Steve K's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    I've got a D40x, purchased 5 or 6 years ago, and a new D5200. Switching from film to digital was worthwhile, and digital tech has certainly advanced enough that I don't feel like I've given up anything.

    I had been using Canon film cameras, so there were no qualms about getting rid of my old lenses. I haven't bought many lenses, and probably won't need to. My main lens is a 18-135/f3.5-5.6. I've got a 70-300mm for aircraft and birds. The third and last lens is an older 50mm f1.8 lens for portraits, which is nice, but requires manual focusing. It does make me miss the focusing aids that were common in my old film cameras.

    I do miss the large apertures of my old lenses. Are the new lenses slower just to save money on glass? Practically speaking, the new cameras are pretty sensitive and I can bump up the ISO setting enough to compensate for the slower lenses, so it's not a real problem.

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    Flashaholic* greenlight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve K View Post


    I do miss the large apertures of my old lenses. Are the new lenses slower just to save money on glass? Practically speaking, the new cameras are pretty sensitive and I can bump up the ISO setting enough to compensate for the slower lenses, so it's not a real problem.
    iSO compensation is not really the point of fast glass, it's the difference in picture quality you get with a prime lens.

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    Flashaholic* martinaee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    I was about to say you should maybe upgrade at this point from the D70, but I read you got a D610. Nice!

    I myself use a D800 and D90 and still have my D50 too!

    I will never get rid of the D50 as it has the electronic shutter. I think you can sync it over 1/500th of a sec or maybe even way shorter if I'm remembering correctly. Good for catching really fast movement up close with flashes. It's nice as you don't have to have super expensive strobes that dump their light ultra fast and you can just use whatever nikon speedlights or other brand. In some ways I miss the ccd sensors. Everything is cmos now.

    I actually don't have a 70-200 right now. Have used the latest Sigma and also the fantastic new Tamron 70-200 vc several times, but am still taking my time considering whether to spend the extra grand or so for the Nikon. I know it's dumb to wait, but probably in several years (could be more) Nikon will release a new 70-200. Although their current version is so good it may be a while. The Tamron definitely has the best stabilization by far right now in a 70-200 2.8 . It's crazy how well it works.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    I've been using a D200 (updated from a D70) with a 50mm 1.4, 50mm 1.8, 85mm 1.4, 80-200mm 2.8, and few more lenses.
    For film, I still keep some bodies F100, F80, FE, EM, FG, and F3HP and sometimes take one out to shoot film.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    I started with 35mm and got some medium format experience with a mamiya RB67 in the 1980s, and had access to a good color lab. I liked and used canon, but had better access to borrow and buy used professional nikon equipment as a teen.

    I stayed with Nikons after the digital revolution and had a D40X when I was working crime scenes at work. I bought a D3000, which is now the kids, and have a D5100. I like the ISO adjustments, and have had to get the dummies series to really learn how to use the many features that used to only be available in a color darkroom with experience. The feature that I now use the most is the HD movie feature.

    I've got the DX 18-55 and the 55-200. I'll probably try to spot a 70-300 for vacations.

    Good stuff for my speed and level, while I'd like something higher speed and lower drag, I really don't need it. Compared with the Nikkor lenses, the DX seems to be better.

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    Flashaholic* will's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    I have been using Nikons for the last 15 years or so. I started with a few film cameras - an N80, then a used N90s. I switched to a my first Nikon digital a D70s later upgrading to a D90. The D90 is my 'good' camera as it has the ability to use the old 'screw' auto focus lenses, as well as the the newer VR lenses with the built in auto focus motor. I just picked up a D3000 body for use 'knocking around' That does not have movie or a few other features that I never use on any of the cameras. I have an SB-600 flash that I use on occasion. the lenses in my bag - 18-105mm VR, 55-300mm VR, 60mm macro and a 50 mm f1.8 normal lens. I also have Sigma 600mm mirror lens, completely manual. The cameras are all refurbished units from Nikon. the price on these is just too good to pass up, The lenses are either used or refurbished. I have been fortunate in that all the cameras and lenses have performed with no problems at all
    Now I can see the darkness .

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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    The buddy that I had bought the 70-200 from has a D90. It's really nice. His camera inspired me to look for something newer. It's just taken me a few years to finally pull the trigger. At one point I actually thought about getting the D700, hoping that my wife wouldn't notice the extra zero. Before buying the D610 I had seriously considered the D800, but, I decided on the faster D610.


    I recently picked up a BR-4 ring to compliment the BR-2a that I've had forever. I also picked up a PK-13 extension tube for the 55mm f/3.5 since that lens was AI modified. I've been doing a lot of macro photos lately.

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    Flashaholic* Steve K's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    Quote Originally Posted by greenlight View Post
    iSO compensation is not really the point of fast glass, it's the difference in picture quality you get with a prime lens.
    Is there a correlation between large apertures and picture quality? I would have thought that smaller apertures (or at least smaller than f1.4 or so) would be better quality.

    There's certainly less emphasis on fast lenses nowadays that there was 30 years ago. When the fastest film was 400 ASA (or ISO), then a fast lens was highly valued.

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    Flashaholic* will's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve K View Post
    Is there a correlation between large apertures and picture quality? I would have thought that smaller apertures (or at least smaller than f1.4 or so) would be better quality.
    The aperture size will affect depth of field, the smaller the opening, the greater the depth of field, meaning more of the image will be in focus
    Now I can see the darkness .

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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve K View Post
    Is there a correlation between large apertures and picture quality? I would have thought that smaller apertures (or at least smaller than f1.4 or so) would be better quality.

    There's certainly less emphasis on fast lenses nowadays that there was 30 years ago. When the fastest film was 400 ASA (or ISO), then a fast lens was highly valued.
    Your questions could lead to the two different answers:
    -If you're talking about the lens, so the smaller the smallest aperture number the lens has, the better quality of pictures it would take, especially the fix (prime) lens. For example, Nikon has some fix great lens as 50mm 1.2, 1.4, 85mm 1.4, 105mm 2.8, etc.
    -If you're talking about the open hole of the lens, the larger hole the lens has, the lower aperture number indicated in the lens dial, and it would make everything in focus in the picture look clear while the rest is blur (we call it the Depth Of Field DOF).

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    Flashaholic* will's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    Quote Originally Posted by Redhat703 View Post
    -If you're talking about the lens, so the smaller the smallest aperture number the lens has, the better quality of pictures it would take, especially the fix (prime) lens. For example, Nikon has some fix great lens as 50mm 1.2, 1.4, 85mm 1.4, 105mm 2.8, etc.
    While I agree that a 1.2 lens will perform better than a 1.8, the aperture number is not an indication of the quality of the lens. The number represents the amount of light the lens will pass through. If there is no resistance due to the glass in the lenses, the aperture would be 1. The smallest number I have ever seen is 1.2, meaning that some light is lost as it passes through the various lens groups. Generally, more work and better glass is used to get the number lower, allowing pictures to be taken at lower light levels.
    Now I can see the darkness .

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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve K View Post
    Is there a correlation between large apertures and picture quality?
    No.....

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    Flashaholic* P_A_S_1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    Brought a D7000 with a DX 18-200 lens as a gift for the girlfriend a while back. Since she has hardly used it but I've used it a lot, it was like a gift to myself .
    I was never into photography before but this camera made me learn the basics and has gotten me to enjoy the hobby, even humped it up and down the Grand Canyon despite it's size/weight. Fun camera.

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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    Quote Originally Posted by will View Post
    While I agree that a 1.2 lens will perform better than a 1.8, the aperture number is not an indication of the quality of the lens. The number represents the amount of light the lens will pass through. If there is no resistance due to the glass in the lenses, the aperture would be 1. The smallest number I have ever seen is 1.2, meaning that some light is lost as it passes through the various lens groups. Generally, more work and better glass is used to get the number lower, allowing pictures to be taken at lower light levels.
    Only one statement is correct: "the aperture number is not an indication of the quality of the lens", so no need to further explain how wrong the first part of that sentence is

    F stops represent the physical opening of the aperture blades of a lens and how much light can pass trough the lens in a perfect world. The actual amount of light that passes through a lens in the real world depends on the amount of glass elements (egg amount of air to glass transitions), coatings (improves transparency efficiency of the air to glass transitions), quality of the used glass, quality of workmanship, etc and is expressed in T stops. The delta between the two is the amount of light that got lost.

    As an example my muse of 2013, the Nikkor 35/1.4G, of course it's F stop is f/1.4 but it's T stop 1.7:
    http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Nikon/...kkor-35mm-f14G

    I have a couple of f/1.2 lenses, these are very fast for common lenses but there are plenty faster lenses out there like the Leica 50/0.95, the Voigtlander f/0.95 lenses for MFT but you can go even faster when you go for some rare and exotic lenses like the Rayxar 65mm f/0.75, etc.
    Last edited by Aperture; 01-04-2014 at 12:05 PM.

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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    Quote Originally Posted by will View Post
    While I agree that a 1.2 lens will perform better than a 1.8, the aperture number is not an indication of the quality of the lens. The number represents the amount of light the lens will pass through. If there is no resistance due to the glass in the lenses, the aperture would be 1. The smallest number I have ever seen is 1.2, meaning that some light is lost as it passes through the various lens groups. Generally, more work and better glass is used to get the number lower, allowing pictures to be taken at lower light levels.
    Nope sorry that is all wrong. F-stop is focal length divided by entrance pupil. Transmission does not play into it though effective f-stop or t-stop may be calculated.

    The limits on f-stop are somewhat more practical than theoretically but less than 0.7 is extremely difficult though single element aspherics can go much lower. You can also immerse the optics for different refraction indexes which can lower the potential as well.

    Semiman

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    Flashaholic* Steve K's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    Quote Originally Posted by Redhat703 View Post
    Your questions could lead to the two different answers:
    -If you're talking about the lens, so the smaller the smallest aperture number the lens has, the better quality of pictures it would take, especially the fix (prime) lens. For example, Nikon has some fix great lens as 50mm 1.2, 1.4, 85mm 1.4, 105mm 2.8, etc.
    -If you're talking about the open hole of the lens, the larger hole the lens has, the lower aperture number indicated in the lens dial, and it would make everything in focus in the picture look clear while the rest is blur (we call it the Depth Of Field DOF).
    my question was in response to Greenlight's assertion that the value of fast lenses was for their quality, and not for their ability to pass more light. You can ask him what he meant by quality.

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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    my old Nikkor F1.2 50mm certain didn't take better picture than my std Nikkor F1.4 50mm len. the F1.2 however would allow a crack more light. back then we pushed tri-X for more speed. now days with super sensitive sensors .. wild ISO numbers are routine.

    if OP still wants an old Nikon F ... got one available. been collecting em for years. something satisfying about having Nikon F's laying around. same for old Nikkor lens .. even the older manual focus only lens. despite not having auto focus .. could be wrong, but today's optics are no better

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    Flashaholic* will's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    I should have stated I was writing in very general terms. A 1.2 lens will perform better than a 1.8 when there is a very low level of light. You can shoot at a slightly faster speed, thus cutting down on motion blur ( lens fully open at 1.2 ) Reading this now, the lens is not performing better, rather the resulting image will be better. I also think that the glass and the coatings are at a better quality, resulting in a much higher cost. My mistake about the aperture number, I thought 1 was representative of no resistance, I guess the the number would be 0 ( ZERO )

    ( resistance - or - the amount of light passed through the lens )
    Last edited by will; 01-04-2014 at 07:38 PM. Reason: changing resistance to amount of light passed
    Now I can see the darkness .

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    Resistance has nothing to do with it.

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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    Quote Originally Posted by cy View Post
    my old Nikkor F1.2 50mm certain didn't take better picture than my std Nikkor F1.4 50mm len. the F1.2 however would allow a crack more light. back then we pushed tri-X for more speed. now days with super sensitive sensors .. wild ISO numbers are routine.

    if OP still wants an old Nikon F ... got one available. been collecting em for years. something satisfying about having Nikon F's laying around. same for old Nikkor lens .. even the older manual focus only lens. despite not having auto focus .. could be wrong, but today's optics are no better
    In theory, the faster lenses were nicer, quality-wise because they're more expensive to manufacture and so the manufacturer would make them to a higher quality standard, or so you would think since you're paying more for it. The reality is that each lens should be taken for its own merits and not so much compared to its faster or slower peers.

    When I used the D70 the speed of the lens mattered more because of the higher noise at higher ISOs. I regularly set the ISO to 800 because the noise would go up exponentially as you went up from there. With the D610 that's not so much an issue anymore since I can shoot at ISO 6400 with about as much noise as I did with the D70 at ISO 800. I can also get rid of noise using post processing.

    The older mechanical Nikons, especially the pro cameras (F and F2), are great to fondle and to take pictures with, but, I've not shot film in a very long time. There's still a roll of film in the F4 that I've loaded two or three years ago that I still need to finish off then I'll need to figure out how to get it processed. At this rate, I may never actually finish that roll and I've got three or four rolls of unused film waiting to use.

    Since the Nikon pro cameras (and a few of the non-pro cameras) have removable backs, one would think that a digital back could be made to allow these mostly obsolete cameras to have a comeback. Forget the Df with its weird ergonomics and ugly styling. Give me an F2, F3, or F4 with a digital back and I'll be happy.

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    Flashaholic* will's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    Quote Originally Posted by PCC View Post
    There's still a roll of film in the F4 that I've loaded two or three years ago that I still need to finish off then I'll need to figure out how to get it processed. At this rate, I may never actually finish that roll and I've got three or four rolls of unused film waiting to use.
    I still have a few rolls of 35mm and 120 film in the freezer. I might even have a film mailer or two around. Here is a link to a company in CA that does quality film processing

    http://aandi.com/film-processing
    Now I can see the darkness .

  23. #23

    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    Costco now still does film processing. You can ask them to scan your pics to digital files.

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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    Quote Originally Posted by Redhat703 View Post
    Costco now still does film processing. You can ask them to scan your pics to digital files.
    My local Costcos all stopped processing film last year, at least the Costcos I've been to.

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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    I used to have a Nikon D50 consumer dslr. It was 6.1 MP, I believe. It took great pictures but my biggest complaint was the tiny review screen and the settings info lcd was not back lit, so taking beam shots meant using a flashlight to see how it was set. My new camera is the D3200. It's a 24.2 MP sensor. The screen is much bigger but doesn't articulate like the D5200. I thought I would end up breaking it if I got that one and it was a couple hundred more. But I'm very happy with this camera.

    The only things I wish Nikon would have built into these were:
    1. WiFi built in- I think the dongle add on is cool feature to add on, but ridiculous that it sticks out so far that you cannot close the rubber access flap.
    2. Touch screen like the Canon t4i/5i,SL1,D70- would add expense but I think it would make the controls simpler than holding fn keys and other buttons to change settings
    3. USB 3.0- Its not like you don't use a card reader but why not have the latest connection even if it would cost a small amount more
    Lambda and other high power Lights

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    I did the touch screens slow for many operations when I tried it. It encourages ui growth, not ui optimization it seems.

    Semiman

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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    To answer the OP's question;

    Yes I'm a big fan of Nikon DSLR's and Nikkor lenses but currently don't own the former since my recent switch to the Sony a7R (wanted to try something different).

    Started out in 2006 with the D200 and some old consumer zoom lenses slowly building up to a month in Africa with a D300/D700 combo and the 14-400mm pro zoom quartet, sold everything for a D3s and later the D800E both used with a couple of legendary primes like the 16/3.5, 35/1.4G, 50/1.2, 200/2VR, etc. I once again sold everything but the 50/1.2, my first fast lens that took me years to master (focus on old DX viewfinders was a biatch) and appreciate, a perfect reminder of my 7 year Nikon adventure.

    I like playing with light, preferably with one or several natural light sources but might on occasion throw some artificial light (like a flashlight) into the mix to spice things up a bit, below a couple from a recent canoeing trip in Sweden / Norway.

    Startrails, Northern Light and the orange glow from a campfire (D800E & Samyang 14/2.8, 30 minutes on tripod)


    Blue Hour, foreground lit by my buddies headlight (D800E & 35/1.4G, ISO4000 and 1/10th a second, handheld)


    Glootube in the tent and painted the rest with my Surefire P2X-18650, sadly the blue hour was over for the final shot (D800E & Samyang 14/2.8, 4 minutes on tripod)

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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    Beautiful pics!

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    Flashaholic* P_A_S_1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    Very nice pictures, especially the first one.

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    Default Re: Nikon SLR/D-SLR fans

    Quote Originally Posted by PCC View Post
    Since the Nikon pro cameras (and a few of the non-pro cameras) have removable backs, one would think that a digital back could be made to allow these mostly obsolete cameras to have a comeback. Forget the Df with its weird ergonomics and ugly styling. Give me an F2, F3, or F4 with a digital back and I'll be happy.
    unfortunately digital backs older pro Nikon will never happen .. Nikon would rather sell a completely new digital camera. Hasselblad took a different approach by offering a 16 megapixel digital back way back when Nikon's digital offerings were 4.1 megapixel range.

    my comment were really for old Nikkor lens which I routinely use on my ancient Nikon D2H with a whopping 4.1 meg. Nikon pro digital bodies have advantage of built in motor. allowing both AF Nikkor (no motor) and DX lens. HUGE advantage being able to use AF Nikkor lens. which costs a fraction of newer DX lens. with added bonus of being full frame, which is exactly what's needed for latest full frame Nikkor bodies.

    for instance one of the most desirable of all normal lens is Nikkor 1.4 50mm ... AF Nikkor 1.4 can be found for $200 range vs $400 range for DX version F1.4 Nikkor. that's just tip of iceberg costs wise .. one can put together a butt load of AF Nikkor lens on Craigslist, etc for $500 range. that would buy 1-2 DX lens if you are lucky. if one is going full frame .. one gets to upgrade again, unless they are AF Nikkor.

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