Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"

Started Sep 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
wildlifr Senior Member • Posts: 1,547
Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"

Timj351 wrote:

RudyPohl wrote:

wildlifr wrote:

RudyPohl wrote:

wildlifr wrote:

This statement is a bit off Rudy. DOF at 300mm f4 on D7100 (450mm in 35mm terms) at 5 meters = .04 meters DOF. This field of view is equivalent to 81mm (also 450mm in 35mm terms) on your FZ200, which, at 5 meters, has DOF = .11 meters. In fact even the nikon 70-300 at f5.6 has shallower DOF (.06 meters). In a nutshell, its quite a bit easier to obtain shallow DOF and subject isolation with the APS-C sensor size than with the FZ200. And DOF is one of the most important factors that contributes to bokeh for a given scene. Lens design is also important.

Hi wildlifr:

I realize what the calculations appear to say, however, having examined a couple of hundred of my shots with the FZ200 and a similar number with the D7100 + 70-300 VR combo, I can say without hesitation that my bokeh was consistently much better with the FZ00, in fact the bokeh of the FZ200 while using F2.8 (which was a lot of the time for me) was fabulous.


No offense, but I'd have to see identical shots of the same scene side by side at typical shooting parameters before I believed that. Otherwise, there's far too much variability. The fact that its so much easier to obtain shallow DOF with the much larger APS-C sensor is what drives my skepticism, because other than the details of the background, I think the ability to produce shallow DOF is the single biggest factor in obtaining pleasing bokeh. Aperture blade design is in the mix too.

Not a problem wildlifr, no offense taken. I understand your skepticism and unfortunately I don't have identical shots, nor would I be motivated to get some... I couldn't do it anyway because I no longer have an FZ200. I'm just saying that anyone is welcome to rummage through my Flickr gallery and see for themselves what a consistently nice bokeh the FZ200 produced in the 7 months that I used it... what is not to be found in that gallery is the countless images I trashed from from the D7100 + 70-300 combo because the bokeh was so dreadful.

Again, these are only my opinions and my understanding of my experience after shooting 35,000 combined shots with both cameras over a 13 month period.


Hope nobody minds if I jump into this conversation. I think both sides are right. A DSLR with the appropriate lens for wildlife shooting is going to have a shallower depth of field than the FZ200 But since both cameras, at long range, are going to have sufficiently shallow depth of field anyways I would say both systems work very well to produce nice out of focus backgrounds in these conditions. The real issue that Rudy is talking about is the bokeh, which is the quality of the out of focus area. The FZ200 has very pleasing bokeh where many lenses for DSLR's, even some expensive ones, aren't as pleasing.

I just recently took some shots of dragonflies where I was shooting at 600mm on my FZ200 and I was also very impressed by the quality of the backgrounds. Here is one example.


That's definitely nice. In my opinion, bokeh is the parameter of IQ that is most heavily dependent on what's in the scene, or more importantly, what's in the background of the scene. At moderate levels of background blur, point sources of light will look much nicer than long lines of light (like midday reflections off branches), but extreme blur brought about by shallow DOF will improve even unattractive backgrounds. I really don't concern myself much with bokeh as compared to DOF with respect to evaluating a lens. IMO, complaints of poor bokeh is often the same as taking a picture of an unattractive person and then using that as proof that the lens is no good for portraits. I just think lens and camera have a tiny role in bokeh as compared to the background itself.

 wildlifr's gear list:wildlifr's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon D750 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II +11 more
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