Thoughts on My Recent Conversion to Full Frame

This isn’t an in depth review, just a few thoughts and observations after a few days with a new (used) Nikon D700.

My other camera is a Canon 7d, and while it’s a very fine piece of machinery, I can say it just doesn’t have the same “pop” the D700 images have. I also know pixel peepers would read this and realize I’m comparing a D700 with a Nikkor 24mm 2.8 against a 7d with a Sigma 30mm 1.4 and yell about me for months to come, but I honestly don’t care. I know my equipment, and know that there are differences between them that the lenses don’t change.

The pictures aren’t sharper. In fact, I’ve seen quite a decrease in sharpness and resolution from the Canon set up. They aren’t necessarily noticeably better in color or dynamic range (though I do feel the Nikon excels here), but they just look…better. As my girlfriend says, “they’re magical.” 

Maybe it’s just the excitement of the new camera speaking, but I feel in the past week I’ve shot some of my best recent work, and that’s just with one lens (the 24mm 2.8). I’ve also been denied the field of view of wide angle for years as the widest lens I had on my Canon was a 30mm (and with the 1.6x crop, that equaled roughly to a 50mm), so the overwhelming glory of catching the full world around me has been pants-ruining exciting.

But one of the best things I can say about this camera is it just gets out of your way. I heard a photographer previously explain it that way, and it’s the best way I can pass on the knowledge. It’s intuitive, it’s easy to use, and it just feels good in my hands. My D700 allows me to forget I’m even holding a camera and lets me take the pictures I need without second thought. Personally, I never felt this way with any of my Canons, nor with the 5d’s I’ve used in the past.

I’m trying not to sound like a recent buyer fanboy here, but I can’t say enough about this camera. I was told that going full frame would be worth it, that it’s just “different,” and it is. 

And for anyone on the verge of buying a D700 but worrying it’ll be out of date now that the D800 is out in all its 36 megapixel glory…well, if 12 megapixels has been enough for National Geographic, Time and Newsweek in the very recent past, it’s enough for me. 

For some of my recent work, check out 

ImagePhoto courtesy of the wonderful Ms. Liz Pongratz whose work can be viewed here


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