AkioOhtori last edited by AkioOhtori
So Oppo I'm in a bit of a camera equipment conundrum and I need some advice.
Quick and dirty SLR primer
Because it is relevant to this conundrum, lets quickly go over camera terminology. A single-lens reflex (SLR) camera has been the go-to for professional and hobbyist photographers for a very long time. Basically they're cool because what you see through the viewfinder is also what the film is going to see when you click the picture, which is a good thing, trust me. Back in the day 35mm film ruled the world and you had to get the shot right the first time because that shit cost money. No spray and pray back in the day.
When digital SLR (DSLR) cameras hit the scene, for reasons I don't fully understand we ended up with two formats: "crop" frame and "full" frame sensors. In a full frame camera the CCD (digital film thingy) is the same size as a frame of 35mm film. In crop frame it has about 50% of the surface area of 35mm.
In Nikon (my preferred brand) land, crop sensor equipment is "DX" and full frame is "FX".
Full frame equipment is heavier and more expensive and generally only used by actual professionals. Crop frame stuff is cheaper, lighter, and still very good. In addition to the camera body itself, the lenses also come in these different formats with crop frame lenses being less expensive than their full frame counterparts. The lenses are interchangeable between bodies, at least in Nikon land, but using a crop frame (DX) lens on a full frame (FX) body either means you'll get vignetting (darkening of the edges) or the camera will automatically crop down to the smaller sensor size, depending. Full frame lenses can be used on crop frame bodies with little to no downside.
There is some weirdness with focal lengths too, but fml we're not getting into that.
In quasi-automotive terms, if you were buying a car with two engine options a crop frame is like getting the V8 and full frame is the V12. In this example the performance difference isn't massive but the price difference is, plus overall lifetime cost is going to be higher on the V12. But also the V12 is a V12 so....
Background (oh god more reading)
So without getting too into the weeds, I used to be what I would call a professional hobbyist photographer. Which is to say I own(ed) a lot of good equipment, had some paid gigs, but never really pursued it as a career or side-gig. My mom got me into photography In high school and I did some fantastic work back then, but since the quality of my photos isn't up to my own standards.
So right now I have a Nikon D7000 (DSLR, DX, c2010) I bought new, a Nikon F2 (SLR, 35mm, c1970) I've had since high school, and a handful of decent Nikkor lenses. I also recently bought an Olympus OMD-M1 M43 camera for both novelty and traveling reasons. The D7000 is old as dirt, but has been well cared for, has an embarrassingly low shutter count, and still serves me quite well. No complaints, no plans to upgrade any time soon though I'd been toying with it recently.
Recently, my mom's DSLR and all her lenses were stolen, which blows. She purchased a replacement at some point and opted for a Nikon D810 (DSLR, FX, c2014) at the advice of her photography club. Unfortunately, she hates it. It is too large, too heavy, and she is afraid to use it. I mentioned I would buy it off of her if she wanted to change to something more manageable. Being a mother, she wants to just straight swap with my D7000.
So my mom wants to trade her newish full frame camera for my old crop frame camera.
Swapping a 10 year old crop frame camera for even a 6 year old full frame, though I suspect she bought the D810 new as it was nearing EOL, is a bad deal for her. At best my D7000 is worth $200 and at worst her D810 is worth $850... so there is a gap. She is aware of this, but persists.
Now don't get me wrong, usually I'm all for taking the free upgrade, but this doesn't sit right with me for a number of reasons.
Additionally, I only own one or two FX (full frame) lenses, so I'd probably immediately drop a couple hundo on a new or used FX lens in the coming months.
Also, as you might imagine, she 100% won't let me pay her the difference for mother reasons (Also I'm broke as shit right now. Do you know how much it costs to paint a house? Because I had no idea.) so I have to figure out how to make this work.
It isn't all bad news
I'm pretty convinced I am going to do the swap. She doesn't like the camera to the extent that she isn't shooting as much as she used to, so... that needs to be fixed. Despite its age my D7000 is in excellent shape and has many years left in it. Plus if she immediately drops it in a lake or whatever, no great loss.
Yes, it would probably make the most sense for her to sell or trade the D810 but she doesn't seem to want to do that for... reasons? Unclear.
I think the way I can make this sit right with me is by sending her some glass with the deal. I'm of two (or three) minds on this though.
One of the first lenses I'd want to upgrade to full frame would be my 35mm (~52mm equ) f1.8 prime lens, as it would benefit the most from full utilization of the larger sensor (in my mind). Even the FX versions of that lens isn't terribly expensive, so it wouldn't be a stretch to pick one up. Therefore I could throw in my 35mm with the trade and feel slightly better about it knowing she is getting one of my favorite lenses to shoot with.
Another options is to throw in my 18-200mm lens. Over the phone she'd expressed missing her old kit lens, which I think was an 18-70mm. The 18-200mm (24-300 equ) is my "daily driver" lens, but I'll admit I haven't been using it as much lately as I've found I'm not terribly excited by the pictures it takes. That said the flexibility is unmatched on that lens because, as noted, it is a freaking 18-200. That is... quite a range. I could pick up a FX version of that one for around $600 used, though I'm not sure I would. I've also been eyeing a Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8 lens outside of this transaction, so I could use that as an excuse to stop leaning on a mediocre, flexible lens and buy a more professional, if limited, one.
Lastly, I also mentioned that I'd just bought a new, non-Nikkor, macro lens as a novelty. The thing is just ok, but has a 2:1 ratio, where most traditional macro lenses are 1:1. While the new lens is full manual and cheap, it makes my already underutilized 105mm Nikkor macro even less likely to get used. She mentioned she really missed her macro lens, so I could also throw that one in with the deal.
Told you that macro was wild shit.
Or a combination of some or all of these. I just don't know.
We've talked about it a little bit, but the whole thing feels... a bit dirty.
I feel like this is one of those 100% manufactured problems. Like, I feel bad because I like the idea of getting to upgrade to a camera there was a 0% change I'd buy myself, but also the care and feeding of said camera would end up costing me. I also feel bad because, as mentioned, it feels like taking advantage of my mom which is something I am very much not on board with. I know she is going in with eyes open.
So yeah... usually typing out one of these posts actually helps. In this case my only real takeaway was that she is an adult and this is a thing that she wants to do. I am the one making it weird. Sounds like what I need to do is talk it out with her in greater detail, even if it feels a bit sordid. Also I should figure out why she doesn't sell it and buy something more manageable like a D7500.
Blerg. Family and money is a weird deal and I don't care for it.
Just Jeepin' last edited by
If you’re not happy with the 18-200 on a crop sensor, you’re going to hate it on a full frame.
I’d include it with the trade: she should enjoy it.
spacekraken last edited by
@AkioOhtori D810 is a $1400 camera easily, definitely a nice swap! Sounds like you'll both be happy.
Personally I'd do the 14-24 (badass lens, crazy wide angle and 24mm is a nice normal wide), get a 50mm and sell/give the 35mm if your 35mm is DX only, and think about tele/macro options.
36MP sensor on the d810 is awesome but absolutely makes "meh" lenses like wide ratio zooms like a 28-300 seem bad, simpley cause the sensor can resolve a lot more than the lens.
I've found I don't really miss having a do-it all lens, my full frame picks are a 50mm daily driver, 300mm tele, and Ive had a 14mm and 24mm in the past, planning to buy a 16-35mm eventually.
HammerheadFistpunch last edited by
@akioohtori Thats just Mom logic...run with it, it will make her happy.
As for lenses, my experience is that a single, broad high quality lense is worth 3 kit lenses. My favorite full frame lens is the 2.8 24-70. Covers 90 of what I need and looks great. Spendy? hell yes, but I really only use that or the 2.8 16-35 with rare exception I go to a 70-200 or some artsy prime for a specific look.
TexturedSoyProtein last edited by
Move away from the all-in-one zooms. Stick with a 28-70/2.8 or 24-70/2.8. Look at the third-party fast 24/28-70s from Sigma, Tamron & Tokina.
I've loved all my Sigma lenses over the years-- I'm a Canon user, so I don't have direct experience with Nikon stuff, but aside from the L ("pro") lenses, Sigmas have always been top-notch. I've got a couple primes and a super-wide from Sigma, and I'd say that the 50mm 1.4 has seen more use over the years than any other lens on my full-frame.
AkioOhtori last edited by
@hammerheadfistpunch For sure, on both haha. I paid a pretty penny for the 18-200 back in the day ($1200?) but the optical clarity is sort of meh. I wouldn't have thought the 14-24 would be appealing, but my partner has been killing it with his wide angle lenses, so it makes me wonder if I'm doing it wrong haha. Still, I guess $800 is a little steep for a trial run...
Good points. Thanks!
HammerheadFistpunch last edited by
@phenotyp The sigma art series are so good for video. Love them.
@HammerheadFistpunch I've always wanted to use the art lenses.
AkioOhtori last edited by
@phenotyp How do you like the 50mm prime vs something like a 35mm? I used to pretty much use my 50mm f1.2 film lens exclusively, but I find my 52mm equivalent to be a little too telephoto for my tastes so I was considering grabbing something a little wider.
@AkioOhtori I don't have a 35mm for the full-frame, so I can't really make a comparison. I use two different 50s, the Sigma 1.4 and an old Leica (1969) f2 when I don't need to worry too much about AF. When I go wider, I either use a Sigma 28mm or 12-24mm for superwide.
Italia last edited by
@akioohtori make the trade and pick up some used fx glass. If you watch craigslist like a hawk you can find steals. Ex my 70-200 tamron 2.8 for $300 also my 24-70 nikkor 2.8 for $700 wasn't as much of a bargain but it is an amazing lens. I wouldn't keep any dx glass either give them to mom or sell/swap them.
EngineerWithTools last edited by
I think you worked yourself around the right conclusion - if your mom wants to make the trade, and she "knows what she has", it's win-win!
I'll second (third?) @phenotyp and @TexturedSoyProtein 's Sigma suggestions. I'm a very amateur Canon user, but I LOVE night and landscape photography, so have a full frame 6D. My "walk around" (such as I walk around with it) is a Sigma 24-70mm 2.8 ART (the thing is a flippin' tank, which is good for me). I also have a Tamron SP 15-30 2.8, which isn't perfect but .... significantly exceeds my ability.