Pros and Cons of "non-DX" lenses for my D7000?

Started Nov 24, 2011 | Discussions thread
Alternative Energy Photography
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Re: Pros and Cons of "non-DX" lenses for my D7000?
In reply to Guidenet, Nov 24, 2011

Slimandy and Kevy, thank you both.

Kevy, I was thinking about the sensor size and more glass issue came to mind, and you confirmed it for me.

Guidenet wrote:

Good morning. Here's the thing to consider. In most cases, you'll be looking at FX lenses only. That will be your only choice. For example, there is no 100ish Macro in DX. The closest is Nikon's 85 f/3.5 Micro DX. All others are full frame. There are no 50mm lenses in DX either. All are full frame. All super telephoto lenses are also FX with no DX counterparts.

Thanks, I didn't know about the availability issue.

So you see, most of your problem is solved by having no other choice.

Yep, you're right!

Let's look at wide angles because here's where the choices are as well as zoom lenses up to something by 300. In the Zooms to 300 category, I'd go with FX for two reasons. One, they are better slightly in IQ and two, they don't cost that much more. Nikon's 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 or Tamrons 70-300 f/4-5.6 VC come to mind. They both work on DX or FX cameras superbly. I own both and use them on my D300 and D700.

Thank you for your observations and for sharing your experience. I like the Tamron but only looked through it (with my camera body) in the store. I wasn't shopping for a long lens at the time so I didn't take the time to compare it to the Nikon.

Wide angles are the problem and here's why. Because DX can't ignore the wide angle crop factor, there are very few choices that do the same thing on both DX and FX cameras. The very widest FX lenses just are not wide on DX. You're stuck. If you want a super wide now and try to get FX for later, you basically have two choices. One would be Nikon's expensive 14-24 f/2.8 which would be 21mm at the widest on your camera; almost not superwide. The other would be the Sigma 12-24. Now that's truly superwide on both DX and FX. On DX it's 18mm at the widest and that's pushing superwide. On FX, it's the widest there is other than some fisheyes. It's crazy wide.

Okay, I have casually looked at some lenses that go as wide as 12 and one at 10mm, but I don't recall if they were FX or DX. I'll pay better attention next time.

You're also sort of stuck at 35mm. The DX 35 f/1.8 at $195 is a crazy good lens but doesn't really work well on FX. It can, but vignettes terribly when stopped down for landscape scenes. People play at making it work wide open. The Nikon 35 f/2 is an older FX model that will work on your DX. The problem is that it's a pretty old design and you really have to stop it down to get the most out of it. I love the little thing, but use it at F/8. It's around $330 in price and is not AFS.

When it's time to shop for primes, I'll have to remember that I might end up having to get a 35mm DX now and repeat the process with a 50mm FX later if I do get an FX camera someday. If that becomes necessary, I think I can live with it; I'll just have to budget for for this possibility.

So, what it boils down to is this. If you want to buy for possible FX in the future, and I think that is a good idea basically, from 50mm and longer, there's not problem at all. Just buy FX. In most cases, that's your only choice. Under 50mm you pretty much are stuck buying DX. That's not bad in that if you stick with Nikon brand, you'll get most of your money back.

Yeah, I think your assessment is reasonable.

On the other hand, I've not taken my own advice and now have a FX and a DX kit. I love it, but that's probably not for everyone. Above 50mm it's all FX but below, I've got all my kit for both DX and FX. I like certain lenses in DX so much, I had to have them in that format. For example, I love the 10-20 Sigma f/4-5.6 HSM and own two copies. I also love the same thing if FX, the Nikon 16-35 f/4. I would never get rid of my Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 screw drive for DX. I've never quite found the equivalent for my taste in FX but use Nikon's 35-70 f/2.8 and love it.

Rules are made to be broken, yes?

So, it's only the wides and mid zooms to worry about and you've got a great mid-zoom DX lens now.

Craig, thank you very much for taking the time! I've learned a lot from this thread and especially from your post and Kevy's post.

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