Am I ready for full frame based on these select pictures?

Started Apr 3, 2012 | Discussions
Varuas
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Am I ready for full frame based on these select pictures?
Apr 3, 2012

Here are some of my better shots. You may or may not like these, but these are some examples of the best I can do at the moment. These were all taken with my D90, lenses are 35mm f1.8, 18-200mm vr, and some with Tamron 60mm f2 Macro. I have been using DSLRs for almost 3 years now... D90 is my first and only DSLR.

My workflow: I just shoot, mostly manual mode to make sure I have control over aperture and shutter. I let ISO be auto, while capping max to 1600 on my D90. 3200 is the most I ever go. I shoot RAW, process in ACR and PS. I crop... because my cropped ones tell better picture. There are examples of HDR, processed pics as well. I love HDR.

D90's center focus is good, but sometimes I use side focus points and results are not as consistent. I could definitely make use of better focus, especially non-center points. I cannot manual focus... unless it is a static macro shot.

I have SB600 flash, but I avoid flash as much as possible indoors... just use it during daylight for portraits, as fill flash.

Given my gear list, my brief workflow, and some of my BETTER shots, do you think I will benefit/make use from a FF dslr ? Assume that I can spend for a mid level FF DSLR with a couple of FF lenses. If so, which FF DSLR would you recommend? And what lenses to go with it.

The list is not entirely sorted, but top pics are usually couple of years old... recent shots are at the bottom.

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 Varuas's gear list:Varuas's gear list
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Nikon D90
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GeronimoD800
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I'd say no, not yet
In reply to Varuas, Apr 3, 2012

Just the fact that you have to ask the question means you're not ready.

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ScottnLaguna
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Re: Am I ready for full frame based on these select pictures?
In reply to Varuas, Apr 3, 2012

If you got a D800 and say a 24-70mm and a 70-200 vr2, you will have died and gone to heaven. Just a matter of paying for all that, really. I liked several of your shots. Go for it.

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Varuas
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Re: I'd say no, not yet
In reply to GeronimoD800, Apr 3, 2012

GeronimoD800 wrote:

Just the fact that you have to ask the question means you're not ready.

Asking questions is good, even though you feel you have all the answers.

 Varuas's gear list:Varuas's gear list
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Arretose
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Re: I'd say no, not yet
In reply to GeronimoD800, Apr 3, 2012

based on a few of his shots, it looks to me like he could use the built in level showing pitch and yaw that the D800 offers.... unless the D90 has it too?
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danharperphotography.com
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Re: Am I ready for full frame based on these select pictures?
In reply to Varuas, Apr 3, 2012

Varuas,

full frame provides only a couple of advantages over a "crop" based sensor. So I'm not sure what you want to illustrate by posting photos.

The real question is what advantages do you need over a crop sensor and why?

And as always, you'll be the best one to decide weather moving to a FFs makes sense for you, since none of us know you, nor know if you have the budget for it.
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Varuas
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Re: I'd say no, not yet
In reply to Arretose, Apr 3, 2012

Arretose wrote:

based on a few of his shots, it looks to me like he could use the built in level showing pitch and yaw that the D800 offers.... unless the D90 has it too?
--
Chris
http://www.flickr.com/photos/crossphotography/

I don't believe D90 has it. Could you give me a couple of examples of the shots above where that feature would have improved my shots? Thanks!

 Varuas's gear list:Varuas's gear list
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Varuas
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Re: Am I ready for full frame based on these select pictures?
In reply to danharperphotography.com, Apr 3, 2012

danharperphotography.com wrote:

Varuas,

full frame provides only a couple of advantages over a "crop" based sensor. So I'm not sure what you want to illustrate by posting photos.

My intent in posting those pictures were to give a sense of my skill. If me having a FF will not make these better, then there is no point for me to go FF.

The real question is what advantages do you need over a crop sensor and why?

And as always, you'll be the best one to decide weather moving to a FFs makes sense for you, since none of us know you, nor know if you have the budget for it.

FFs have better low light, better sharpness, and cameras like D800 have far greater resolution that will allow me to crop, etc. Also, please assume my budget will allow me to get a mid level FF (non D4, non 1D) and couple of 1.5-2k lenses.

Thanks!

-- hide signature --

-Dan
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Thanks, Dan. Regarding,

 Varuas's gear list:Varuas's gear list
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u007
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Re: Am I ready for full frame based on these select pictures?
In reply to danharperphotography.com, Apr 3, 2012

I don't see why not. There isn't some minimum criteria required before owning a FF camera

Your shots are pretty good. Some better than others. Watch the HDR though - some of it looks silly, and you can see halos around edges of things and that "cartoony" appearance.

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Varuas
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Re: Am I ready for full frame based on these select pictures?
In reply to ScottnLaguna, Apr 3, 2012

ScottnLaguna wrote:

If you got a D800 and say a 24-70mm and a 70-200 vr2, you will have died and gone to heaven. Just a matter of paying for all that, really. I liked several of your shots. Go for it.

Thanks for the recommendations!

u007 wrote:

I don't see why not. There isn't some minimum criteria required before owning a FF camera

Your shots are pretty good. Some better than others. Watch the HDR though - some of it looks silly, and you can see halos around edges of things and that "cartoony" appearance.

Thanks! One of the reasons I take HDR is to avoid blowing out highlights and to retain darker areas. Another benefit of D800 to me is it would allow me to take naturally high DR shots. Ever since photomatix, HDR has been going a little too much.

 Varuas's gear list:Varuas's gear list
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reginalddwight
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Take the plunge, head first
In reply to Varuas, Apr 3, 2012

If you have the means, then I say take the plunge. Don't look back.

Some of your images are very good. BTW, I am not a fan of overcooked HDR shots. I have to say many of your photographs are better than some of the images posted recently by new D800 owners.

Be prepared to pay more for heavier glass. Start saving up your pennies now.

Cheers.

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marike6
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Re: Am I ready for full frame based on these select pictures?
In reply to u007, Apr 3, 2012

u007 wrote:

I don't see why not. There isn't some minimum criteria required before owning a FF camera

Totally agree with this. FF is not some level that you reach after you have mastered others, like going from brown to black belt. "Grasshopper, time to retire your DX body for ever. You are ready for the FF D3s". It's just a camera. Usually with a better build quality, nicer viewfinder, more shallow DOF, but still an SLR. You have a good eye, and know how to good looking images. Buy the best camera you can afford. If you don't have a tripod (or course you do) buy one, and one or two FX lenses and have at it. Good luck.

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Jeff Morris
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Dan, I had a reality check.
In reply to u007, Apr 3, 2012

You know we always want the latest and greatest. For me full frame was all about low light high ISO performance and the ability to go UWA.

I went through the progression of bodies from D70-D200-D300-D700-D7000 now a D800. I kept the D300 when I got the D700. I thought I would appreciate the 12mp reach of the D300 in DX mode. In actuality I never used the D300 once I received my D700, so I sold it.

However after having my D700 for three years (And loving it!) I sold it prematurely and in my wait for the D800 I purchased a D7000. Well I will tell you I loved that camera. That and the 16-85vr was for me a match made in heaven. I much appreciated the feature set of the D7000 with it's reduced weight.

Last week I received my D800 and I felt right at home. But one thing I learned is that I could live with a DX camera today with no problem. If and when they come out with a 24mp D7100 or D400 or whatever that could be a great camera.

The other reason to get FF over a DX is foreground isolation. The larger your sensor the shallower your depth of field. So, when you shoot wide open you can obtain improved bokeh. This of course is where your foreground is in focus and your background is blurry.

Frankly you are a winner no matter what you do. The dramatic improvement in noise and detail with today's DX sensors makes\ DX a reasonable choice. With the excellent wide angles from Nikon and companies such as Tokina, you can gave great wide angle choices and the extra reach that DX affords you.

DX will not make you a better photographer. As noted there are benefits of both.

BTW, be prepared, once you experience FX viewfinder nirvana you may never go back to DX.

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Jeff Morris / Homecinemaman

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herbymel
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Re: Take the plunge, head first
In reply to reginalddwight, Apr 3, 2012

If you can afford it, no reason why you shouldn't give it a try...you may find it's not what you're looking for, but there will always be someone in the market to take it off your hands. From what I was seeing from your shots though it seems you have talent and imagination...at least a lot more than what I'm seeing from some who already own the camera.
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RickD
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Re: Am I ready for full frame based on these select pictures?
In reply to Varuas, Apr 3, 2012

Its a personal decision. If you think the greater capabilities of a FF will increase your enjoyment of photography, then go for it. You don't have to please anyone else.
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Peter Mueller
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Re: Am I ready for full frame based on these select pictures?
In reply to Varuas, Apr 3, 2012

I cannot answer your question directly, but I can tell you why I bought the D700:

(1) I like to play with shallow depth of field which is somewhat easier with a larger sensor.
(2) I wanted good high-ISO performance for available-light pictures.
(3) I wanted a brighter viewfinder.
(4) I wanted my 50mm to be a normal lens again.

To explain this last point: I learned photography with an all-manual 35mm film SLR camera (Yashica) with one 50mm f/1.4 lens. Later I bought a used 200mm f/4. Much later I moved to the Nikon F80/N80. I am used to calling 50mm normal, 35mm wide, 20mm very wide and 14mm ultra-wide, while an 85mm lens is a moderate tele for me. Before the D700 I had a D200 (still have it actually) and I liked it, but I never got used to the different feeling of the focal lengths.

A fifth reason was that I could afford it. It would be foolish to stretch one's budget to a point where real necessities are jeopardized.

I am tempted by the D800, but the four most important reasons why I moved from D200 to D700 don't apply for the D700 to D800 upgrade. Sure, I'd like more resolution once in a while (for macro and group photos) and better auto focus would be nice on occasion (just yesterday I struggled with focusing in dim light), but really I think the D700 can do pretty much everything I need.

I could afford a D800, but it feels like I would be wasting my money. Maybe I'll rent one for a weekend or so. Somehow I am more tempted by lenses these days. I'd like a tilt-shift lens and the 200mm f/2 and the new 85mm f/1.4 but now I am really straying from the original question.

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michaeladawson
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Full frame is not a skill
In reply to Varuas, Apr 3, 2012

Full frame is just a format. You pick a format based on how you think that format will help you take the type of photos you would like to take.

Full frame is not something you graduate to after passing your DX exams. If you pass your FX exams do graduate to medium format? If you pass that level do you graduate to large format?

Full frame is not something you have to ask if you are ready for. Looking at a bunch of your photos does not tell us anything. You can have the best photographic skill in the world and stil shoot DX. You can have bad artistic vision and FX may still be what you want to shoot with.

What are you trying to accomplish?
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ahmetu
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Re: Am I ready for full frame based on these select pictures?
In reply to Varuas, Apr 3, 2012

go for it. you have an eye for photography and your photos are better than what most people posts here. seems like you can grow more with the feature set of the D800. i am in the same boat as you are, upgrading from D90.

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Varuas
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Re: Full frame is not a skill
In reply to michaeladawson, Apr 3, 2012

A lot of good replies. Thanks everyone.

michaeladawson wrote:

Full frame is just a format. You pick a format based on how you think that format will help you take the type of photos you would like to take.

Full frame is not something you graduate to after passing your DX exams. If you pass your FX exams do graduate to medium format? If you pass that level do you graduate to large format?

That was not my intent of the post, although you do have a point. Many landscape and portrait shooters do use larger format than FF. They are doing that to get ultimate results and to make money. Many(most?) FF users are amateurs who do it for fun. Most MF/LF shooters are probably pros who do it for the money.

That being said, there is no incentive for FF shooters to get bulky MF/LF, unless their profession depends on it.

Full frame is not something you have to ask if you are ready for. Looking at a bunch of your photos does not tell us anything. You can have the best photographic skill in the world and stil shoot DX. You can have bad artistic vision and FX may still be what you want to shoot with.

On average, however, FF shooters are better, more experienced photographers, than DX shooters. No debate there. Also, DX cameras are usually lesser version of the FX cameras. So, DX users like me do want to "graduate" to FX if they are good enough and want to spend enough.

What are you trying to accomplish?

I want to take better photos than I can with my DX. I will only upgrade(or "graduate") to FX only if I can utilize thousands of dollars of expense I make on the equipment.

Thanks!

 Varuas's gear list:Varuas's gear list
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Bruce Bracken
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The "Upgrade To Full-Frame" Checklist
In reply to Varuas, Apr 3, 2012

In order to know if you are ready to begin shooting on a full-frame camera body, one must first ask himself a series of questions. If he says yes to all questions, then he is ready.

1) Do you want to capture images on a full-frame body?

2) Can you afford to purchase a new camera body (specifically, a full-frame camera body)?

And, there you have it. If you answered yes to both questions, then you are ready to upgrade to a full-frame camera.

In terms of gear, I'll assume you know that the real investment in photography is the lenses. Because of that, I would think more about investing in a great FF lens that will suit you for many day-to-day needs. My suggestion would be the Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8

In terms of camera bodies, if you want to spend $3k, then I'd suggest jumping into the deep in and grabbing a D800. If you want to be conservative with your cash, start off with a used D700. If the latter, use it to learn your craft, then if you want to keep going, sell it and upgrade to D800.

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