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sharatoni
sharatoni  6 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2013 - 12:15 PM

hi all, need some help, i m starting to shoot weddings and looking to upgrade from d300 as main and d40 as spare i use 50mm 1.8 and 18 200 , would love a full frame but thinking would a better all round zoom lense b better investment?

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Gundog
Gundog  1624 forum posts Scotland
22 Oct 2013 - 2:01 PM

Hi Sharatoni.

Not an answer to your question, but just a wee suggestion.

Before "going professional" and starting to shoot weddings, may I recommend that you bring you profile on here up to date. At present it says:


Quote:
hi to all, i no im not very good, but i am learning, so i shall be greatfull for all comments, good or bad please n thankyou.

....which is not a very good advertisement for a professional photographer.

Good Luck.

.

PS - the recent photographs in your portfolio do suggest you have come a long was since you wrote the above quotation.

Last Modified By Gundog at 22 Oct 2013 - 2:03 PM
ChrisV
ChrisV  7763 forum posts United Kingdom26 Constructive Critique Points
22 Oct 2013 - 3:26 PM

In terms of sharpness, subject isolation, general clarity, I'm sure you'll see a big difference between your 50/1.8 and the zoom.

The problem with very long zooms [usually] is that they're compromise designs - so you get barreling/vignetting at the short end and softness/chromatic aberration at the telephoto end. In terms of the 'technical quality' there would be more of a difference between the two lenses you use on your present camera than you would probably notice in switching to 35mm format.

Going up in sensor size would mean that while you could still use your 50mm lens [they're now currently designated FX for suitability for the larger format by Nikon], you would be only able to use your zoom in crop mode - and even then the shortcomings of the lens would be likely magnified rather than ameliorated by the larger format.

As noted you have quite a nice portfolio - what do you need 'full frame' for? 35mm format would give you more scope for limiting depth of field and it would also likely get you cleaner images higher up the sensitivity range. But lenses are a very significant cost - fast zooms are very good [some of them will rival or beat the quality of your 50mm prime], but if you wanted a couple to duplicate the range you currently get from your 18-200, you can be going on for doubling the amount [extra!] you'll pay for a D600/D610/D800 in the first place.

You could consider going up to a D7100 from your D300 - it would double the resolution and give you better performance at higher ISOs than the D300. You can also get decent third party fast zooms to fit for a reasonable price. Plenty to think about, but once you start investing heavily in gear it has an awful habit of becoming a compulsion...

sharatoni
sharatoni  6 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2013 - 3:44 PM

thanks Chris , my main reason is cleaner images, i look at others n see most are full frame, so i thot that would do it..lol, i love my d300 im thinking a may invest on a good lense first, did a wedding on friday ...all pics inside r good but outside is ..well horrid, weather plays a part in that but still feel dirty not clear, n not a whiz on PS. my folio is old, not been on here for about 2 years, thanks Shara

sharatoni
sharatoni  6 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2013 - 3:46 PM


Quote: Hi Sharatoni.

Not an answer to your question, but just a wee suggestion.

Before "going professional" and starting to shoot weddings, may I recommend that you bring you profile on here up to date. At present it says:


hi to all, i no im not very good, but i am learning, so i shall be greatfull for all comments, good or bad please n thankyou.

....which is not a very good advertisement for a professional photographer.

Good Luck.

.

PS - the recent photographs in your portfolio do suggest you have come a long was since you wrote the above quotation.

well i must say i need to change it, i hope i have not been on here for a long time..lol thanks

mikehit
mikehit  56298 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
22 Oct 2013 - 4:07 PM


Quote: Thanks Chris , my main reason is cleaner images, i look at others n see most are full frame, so i thot that would do it..lol, i love my d300 im thinking a may invest on a good lense first, did a wedding on friday ...all pics inside r good but outside is ..well horrid, weather plays a part in that but still feel dirty not clear, n not a whiz on PS. my folio is old, not been on here for about 2 years, thanks Shara

As Chris says, the 7100 will give you significantly cleaner images and will cost less than going full frame. Personally I think you will see more benefit from getting a good lens first as you have mentioned - maybe a prime in the 100mm to 200mm range to complement your 50mm, or maybe the 70-200 f4. This will enable you to use a wider aperture and lower ISO as well as giving narrow DOF.
Also, I would suggest honing your PS skills first - if you find that this overcomes many of your concerns about the D300 you may find yourself saving a whole load of money. If you use the search function for D300 and click on 'gallery' you will see a lot of good images with this camera at high ISO (800+) and I would not be deterred by any of them regards noise.

Steppenwolf
22 Oct 2013 - 4:33 PM

Full frame differs from APS-C in two ways - and only two ways. It gives you a shallower depth of field - which may or may not be an advantage - and it collects more light.

Collecting more light can mean that you can use higher ISOs, but the modern sensors are so good now that this may not be much of an advantage. For example most modern APS-C sensor cameras will shoot ISO3200 pretty cleanly - unlike your D300 which struggles at ISO1600.

Also the FF's shallower DoF may mean that, to get the DoF you want, you need to adopt a smaller aperture in which case you have to bump up the ISO - which negates the high ISO advantage of the FF.

Something like a D7100 (or even a D7000) will be a revelation compared to the D300. You don't need to go to FF unless you have a good reason to.

ChrisV
ChrisV  7763 forum posts United Kingdom26 Constructive Critique Points
22 Oct 2013 - 5:41 PM


Quote: Thanks Chris , my main reason is cleaner images, i look at others n see most are full frame, so i thot that would do it..lol, i love my d300 im thinking a may invest on a good lense first, did a wedding on friday ...all pics inside r good but outside is ..well horrid, weather plays a part in that but still feel dirty not clear, n not a whiz on PS. my folio is old, not been on here for about 2 years, thanks Shara

Not sure what you mean by that comment Shara - OK inside but 'dirty' out. Presumably it's lighter outside, so I'd expect the images to be cleaner [in terms of image noise]. Would need to know more really about your style of shooting to explain that. Are you for instance shooting with flash indoors [where the gun in most circumstances is taking care of the light] and natural light outside? Many wedding photographers will shoot contre-jour [that's subject's back to the sun] and use the flash to balance/fill shadows. Or are you perhaps letting the camera choose aperture? That would result in a smaller aperture/larger depth of field which may be giving your backgrounds a busy look - hard to tell without seeing what you mean.

I used to have a D300 - replacing a D200 which might seem extravagant. I thought at the time the IQ and high ISO performance was a revelation, but as Steppenwolf says, things have moved on a fair bit since then and you can expect decently clean images at ISO 3200 on modern APSc [and m4/3 for that matter]. You can also buy faster lenses cheaper for smaller formats, which will as Steppenwolf says negate some of the advantages of the greater light gathering of 35mm format.

Sigma's 18-35 f1.8 zoom [although slightly limited in terms of range] would be great teamed with something like a D7000/7100 and would give you something close to both the DoF control and light gathering capability of an f2.8 zoom on a D600. The one caveat [there has to be a downside doesn't there?] I've heard of the lens is that it can be tricky to focus wide open [not impossible, just not 100% certain all the time]. When Sigma announced the price [it's 699] a lot of people thought they'd forgotten the 1 from the front. If it were a Canon or Nikon lens they certainly wouldn't...

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1315163 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
22 Oct 2013 - 5:52 PM

Camera`s have come on a lot since the D300, a few years ago if you wanted the very best then full frame was the only way to go.

Have a good look at the current full range of DSLR`s, both full frame and crop, you may decide you do not need full frame.

The are plenty of wedding photographers now using M4/3, and I`m sure most modern DSLR`s are up to the job as well.

Looking at your portfolio I can see you certainly have the skills and understand light Smile

Last Modified By Paul Morgan at 22 Oct 2013 - 5:55 PM
scottishphototours

Just a thought...have you declared your tax status to HMRC and are you paying a self-employed persons NI contribution yet?? - if not, that's your first move...

We shot 2 years of weddings on D300's with primes and f2.8 18-55mm lenses and got great results. Their only downfall was image noisy above iso3200.

The D700's very noise clean up to iso 6400 and so would be a good buy. You can get them at good prices these days.

LenShepherd
LenShepherd e2 Member 62450 forum postsLenShepherd vcard United Kingdom
23 Oct 2013 - 10:14 AM

You have not given as much relevant information to help you.
You have your HND and a portfolio of generally very good work, but it contains only 1 wedding shot. I think the wedding shot might benefit from a reflector on the left to soften the harsh nose shadow. This brings up the query of do you use reflectors and studio type portable flash units? I guess as yet you do not have the money for these.
It is not clear to us what you mean by "clearer images". Do you mean viewing on something like a Mac Retina display, using higher quality gloss printing, or is the D300 high noise (by 2013 standards) and the relatively small aperture of the 18-200 cause camera shake and noise issues in some shooting situations?
As already mentioned unless you intend to do a lot of high ISO work (above about 3200) a 24 MP D610 offers no advantage over a D7100. We are not talking wildlife where the extra reach for the same money is a D7100 advantage.
If you go 24x36 as you have only one low cost 24x36 lens there is no reason why you should not consider Canon and Sony. Although the Sony electronic viewfinder is not instant it is much brighter than a conventional viewfinder in low light such as an evening wedding dance.
If you want more resolution 24 MP gives around 15% more than the D300 with any lens at any aperture. Getting a better zoom might only give you 5% more at around 100 mm at f11 compared to your current zoom, but a lot more used at f5.5 at 200 mm.
The D610 and D7100 will also give you more dynamic range (useful for black suite and white dress) and better high ISO noise than the D300.
Succesful wedding photography was more about marketing yourself, organising people and having a distinctive style (your portfolio hints strongly that you have) than the camera equipment used. In a digital error you also need first class post processing ability and a good pro lab for your prints.

discreetphoton
discreetphoton Site Moderator 93451 forum postsdiscreetphoton vcard United Kingdom20 Constructive Critique Points
23 Oct 2013 - 11:12 AM

As someone who recently made the move from a D300 to a D800, let me explain my reasons, or suggest an upgrade path for you.
I had to move quicker than planned. My strap failed; I dropped my D300 onto concrete and fractured the metal casing quite severely and letting water into the electronics. As a result, I got about 1000 compensation from my insurance company.
I already owned some fast lenses. A 17-55mm 2.8; a Nikkor 70-200mm 2.8; and a 105mm macro. This means that when I struggled in low light, I was pretty much at the limits of what was possible with the D300.

I'll tell you now that when I bought the 17-55mm, it completely changed how I took photos. Because it's a smaller zoom ratio, I moved around more, and looked for the shot within a scene, rather than standing in one spot. It's amazingly sharp, and the fast aperture gave smoother backgrounds than I was used to. I didn't need to use flash if the light was low but of a good quality, and when I chose to use flash, my batteries lasted longer. These all make for compelling reasons to upgrade your lens set.

That one is a DX lens. My other two lenses had a full-frame image circle. This gave me a few options. I looked at the D7100 first. It's as rugged as the D300, and the sensor is an upgrade in every sense. The low light performance on that camera is on a par with all but the D3s/ D4. Only problem was, it lacked all of the buttons of the D300. I use a range of features assigned to the AE-L button, and ALWAYS use the AF-ON button to keep the focus separate from the metering.

This meant a D7100 would change the way I shoot, so I had to rule it out. The D600 (now 610) was therefore no good either. It's almost the same camera as the D7100, just with a bigger sensor. If you don't use both of those buttons regularly on your D300, then I'd say go with the D7100, because you'll find the jump in quality (especially for low-light work) quite astounding, and it's got a really great feel to it. It's got exactly the same high ISO range as the D610 and D800, and more focus points than the D610.

Your big consideration now is what you do about your lenses if you move to full-frame (notice I haven't called it an upgrade). Right now, you have one FX-ready lens. Your 18-200 isn't going to do you any favours on a full-frame camera. If you put it on a D610 (or a used D700 as suggested above) then you'll only be able to use a 10MP area of the frame (6MP for the D700), which in a lot of ways is going to feel like a downgrade on your D300, and a huge waste of money.

The only sensible (?) upgrade to full-frame that lets you make use of your existing zoom would be the D800, because when you put a DX lens on that camera, you're effectively left with a D7000 with all the buttons of the D300. It still feels like an upgrade.
However, you're still only using 16MP of a possible 36! And at some point, you will need to change your lenses. If they're not top quality, you can tell straight away on the D800. And you are very aware of what is missing when you look through the viewfinder. The image on the left was shot with a DX lens at 105mm, and shows the rectangle denoting the image to be kept, and the one on the right was shot with a 2.8 lens at the same focal length.

2013-10-23-10-29-29.jpg

Be aware that fast lenses are heavy, and FX cameras add to that weight in a very noticeable way.

I went for the D800 because it had all the features of the D300, and I couldn't afford a D4. I like the feel of a full-frame viewfinder, it's a more pleasing user experience. The D800 allows me to add a grip for large-camera, dual orientation shooting, but can be stripped down and make good use of DX lenses for travelling. But I had some FX-ready lenses as well, so the only extra costs I had were for some faster high-capacity cards.

If I were you I'd stick with DX for now. If you use every button on the D300, then you may want to hold out for the D400, which may or may not ever appear. If not, get yourself a D7100, and a 17-55mm 2.8 for under 2000. I guarantee you will see more of an impact on your photography than going full frame, which will cost a lot more once you factor in the lenses. Without some fast glass, you haven't fully explored the limits of your D300, and I think that putting a 17-55mm on it may make you think twice about having to go full-frame.

If you have your heart set on going full frame, start looking at upgrading your lenses first to fast full-frame (have a look at the Tamron 24-70mm- same image quality as the Nikon model, but lighter and 300 cheaper). You'll find it makes more of a difference to your photos and technique, and you won't kick yourself so hard later.

Chant57
Chant57 e2 Member 8371 forum postsChant57 vcard United Kingdom3 Constructive Critique Points
23 Oct 2013 - 1:23 PM

Quite possibly the most in depth and helpful comment I've read on questions concerning moving from DX to FX is the post above from discreetphoton.
As a DX user (D300s) I've been mooching over whether to go FX or wait with baited breath for the D400 ( it could be an interminably long wait!)

brunerww
23 Oct 2013 - 3:04 PM

Great answer from discreetphoton. I agree 100%.

ChrisV
ChrisV  7763 forum posts United Kingdom26 Constructive Critique Points
23 Oct 2013 - 3:20 PM

Seconded [or thirdedTongue]

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