Author Topic: Is The Nikon D700 Camera Still Viable In 2021?  (Read 1389 times)

Anthony

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Re: Is The Nikon D700 Camera Still Viable In 2021?
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2021, 15:38:15 »
Because, sometimes, new is not better!
That is rare in the camera world, and certainly in this case.
Anthony Macaulay

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Re: Is The Nikon D700 Camera Still Viable In 2021?
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2021, 21:17:47 »
Why buy old technology?

Because one can get things that work OK for the purpose for a fraction of the price. I got Sony Nex 6 for 50 CAD (roghly 40 USD now, I guess) and many of my pictures cannot be improved by using a better camera anyway.

Anthony

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Re: Is The Nikon D700 Camera Still Viable In 2021?
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2021, 23:47:44 »
Because one can get things that work OK for the purpose for a fraction of the price. I got Sony Nex 6 for 50 CAD (roghly 40 USD now, I guess) and many of my pictures cannot be improved by using a better camera anyway.

Yes, if one cannot afford a modern camera. But in the present case the OP already has more modern and more capable gear.
Anthony Macaulay

JJChan

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Re: Is The Nikon D700 Camera Still Viable In 2021?
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2021, 01:47:28 »
I've done a bit of Internet research on this camera, and I've read that the D700's monochromatic film-grain-like noise makes it a great camera for black and white photography.  More than one reviewer said that it renders exceptional skin tone colors. 
Do you feel D700 images compare favorably with say a Z6 or Z7? 

Thanks

Bruce - Much as I loved the D700, for me the B+W fall apart more when converting using Silver EfexPro, I'm not sure whether it's the high dynamic range sensor or the very high pixel density or both, but there is far more tonal gradation with the newer sensors. Here are some photos - first three from D700, last three from D800E, all shot with AF35-70D. I'm not a fan of film grain, but more for texture and tones especially skin. I'll do some Z7 conversions if you like but will be with different lens as I dont have the 35-70 anymore. I suspect that the Z7 files will be just as malleable for monochrome. JJ

BruceSD

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Re: Is The Nikon D700 Camera Still Viable In 2021?
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2021, 01:57:55 »
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JJChan, very good examples.  Thank you so much for posting and sharing your experiences!

Dogman

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Re: Is The Nikon D700 Camera Still Viable In 2021?
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2021, 14:12:32 »
JJChan, very good examples of what I meant when I wrote of comparing the 12mp D700 to the 36mp cameras in B&W film terms.  Your D700 photos remind me of the look of Tri-X and HP5.  The D800E photo reminds me of PanF.  I was a fan of both types of film but I used Tri-X and HP5 the most and learned to love the look for my favorite type of photography which is based in candid, documentary style.  I used PanF for portraits, nature, etc., when detail was important and the subject was less dynamic.
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David H. Hartman

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Re: Is The Nikon D700 Camera Still Viable In 2021?
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2021, 18:00:10 »
Bruce - Much as I loved the D700, for me the B+W fall apart more when converting using Silver EfexPro, I'm not sure whether it's the high dynamic range sensor or the very high pixel density or both, but there is far more tonal gradation with the newer sensors.

Yes: with a higher dynamic range the person doing the RAW development and B&W conversion is in control. One can clip the dynamic range as the camera might or shaped it to suite their purpose.

Or: with a higher pixel density more unique tone values are possible so finer tone gradation is possible. In the days of film for B&W I shot mostly Tri-X Pan in 35mm and Tri-X pan (not professional which was a different film with a different H&D curve) in 120. The 120 negative gave smoother gradation. The smoother gradation could be seen in an 8x10 print and larger.

Regarding grain there are plugins or built in filters in Photoshop and I'm sure other software. I use an old version of photoshop so I don't have access to film grain filters. I have on occasion used a very light, smooth noise on a full image but I can't remember the last time. With some retouching I blur a small area, add noise and then smooth the noise with very light blur to match the noise of the surrounding area. I don't mind very light noise but I guess I haven't added it since using a D300s or maybe back to my D2H.

Grain was a feature of a 35mm prints from Tri-X. It was a given. Lack of grain was a feature of 120 prints from Tri-X. The goal was generally to minimize grain. I souped in D-76, one part developer and two parts water as a compromise between soft grain and image sharpness. Some people mistook my 35mm prints for 120 prints with the right lens, assuming my technique as excellent.

With a D800/E or D850 there is more to work with. In my mind this puts the photographer in control.

Dave
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David H. Hartman

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Re: Is The Nikon D700 Camera Still Viable In 2021?
« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2021, 18:23:49 »
Your D700 photos remind me of the look of Tri-X and HP5.  The D800E photo reminds me of PanF.

Tri-X had a slight hump in it's mid line at about zone 6 in the H&D curve and no shoulder. Pan F had a distinct shoulder in the highlights. Add this shoulder to the shoulder of the printing paper and I never like the look of Pan F prints. Ansel Adams spoke of "chalk and soot." I associated these with Grade 0 printing paper and Pan F.

The photographer is in control with high dynamic range and a high pixel density. I felt at the mercy of my D2H if the ambient light wasn't perfect or if I needed to crop. The D300s was a great relief and D800 and D850 allows even greater control of a high contrast subject.

If I have too much dynamic range I can loose it in RAW conversion. If I have too little I can retouch like a devil and I may still be screwed. With too little dynamic range I would be trying to fake diffused highlight.

Dave
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JJChan

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Re: Is The Nikon D700 Camera Still Viable In 2021?
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2021, 06:07:08 »
Tri-X had a slight hump in it's mid line at about zone 6 in the H&D curve and no shoulder. Pan F had a distinct shoulder in the highlights. Add this shoulder to the shoulder of the printing paper and I never like the look of Pan F prints. Ansel Adams spoke of "chalk and soot." I associated these with Grade 0 printing paper and Pan F.

Dave

Dave - so much knowledge and experience - alas a lost art. I never had any darkroom time and living in a small city 2500km from the next meant little chance of finding anyone with the sort of skill to learn from.

Bruce - here are some B+W using Z7 and Leica Elmarit 28mm (v3) at f2.8. The first is ISO 400, the last 2 at 6400 showing the 'grain' from noise and processing.

Steven P.

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Re: Is The Nikon D700 Camera Still Viable In 2021?
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2021, 02:46:14 »
Years back I had a D700, but I was playing with high rez and never realized the iso performance. I started a thread about a D3 that followed me home, recently. (There is a cult following & pro's are still all over these two, 12 megapixer's.)
There is a 2 step dynamic range increase with later cameras and I use an 800e. Not a real biggie for me. I tossed a LOT of 36mp raw files for storage reasons.


(They don't make them any better than the D3/D700.)
The best Nikons have the red swoop on the grip that are made of rubber, not hard plastic.

Set iso, auto 3200 and shoot all day

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Is The Nikon D700 Camera Still Viable In 2021?
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2021, 08:14:24 »
In the D3/D700 line, the D3S was the pinnacle and D3X the reminder that megapixels alone is not the optimal approach.

Dogman

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Re: Is The Nikon D700 Camera Still Viable In 2021?
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2021, 14:33:15 »
David, I never had any difficulty with PanF's contrast.  I always reduced development time and got a thin but full-detailed negative that printed perfectly on #3 Agfa Portriga Rapid.  Now Kodak Panatomic-X was a different story.  I never managed it without the soot and chalk look.  Other than Tri-X, I preferred Ilford films.  They always seemed a little less fussy to me.

Ansel was a great technician and I've read all his books but I learned the "down and dirty" method when working for a daily newspaper.  The requirements were "get the picture and get it out".  I learned a lot about the limits to which you could take film and negatives and still come out with acceptable photographs.  Thank goodness for digital.  Wish it had been available when I was working. 
"If it's more than a hundred feet from the car, it's not photogenic."--Edward Weston

David H. Hartman

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Re: Is The Nikon D700 Camera Still Viable In 2021?
« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2021, 16:35:06 »
David, I never had any difficulty with PanF's contrast.

I'm not talking about the overall contrast of the image. Maybe I'm not describing this as well as I might. It was about the mid range contrast in the final print. I'm talking about the double suppression of the high lights by having a strong shoulder in the film compounded by the shoulder of the printing paper. This is a tone mapping issue. I don't like the image contrast distribution. I just didn't like the look of PAN F. Choosing a paper grade and paper developer to give a full set of tones in the print from black to white is a different issue to the H&D curve and the look a film gives compared to Tri-X Pan (not Tri-X Professional) and Super-XX 4142. Tri-X and Super-XX were both no shoulder films.

I pulled my Tri-X to 200 EI and my normal paper grade was grade 3. I pulled Super-XX also, perhaps to 100 EI. I don't remember what I souped Super-XX in, maybe HC-110 B, but I souped Tri-X in D76 one part developer and two parts water. I only used one shot developing. I wanted the consistency of one shot development.

Dave
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David H. Hartman

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Re: Is The Nikon D700 Camera Still Viable In 2021?
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2021, 04:12:17 »
Is The Nikon D700 Camera Still Viable In 2021?

I think the question might be is a camera with a 12 megapixel sensor and an AA filter still viable?

Took my D300s out and gave it a spin. I'm thinking I'll never use it again. It's super clean, much better shape than either my D2H or D800. Not that my D2H and D800 were beat up but I polished the plastic smooth on the grip and polished off the paint on the lower right side of each. The D300s was a big step up from my D2H but I could not use the DK-21m, 1.2x eyepiece so it wasn't as easy to use with AI and AIS Nikkors as my D2H was. I'm wondering what I can sell my D300s for. I wonder if a cousin's grand daughter might like it.

I really don't like cameras with AA filters on their sensors. Buying a D800 rather than a D800E was a mistake.

Dave
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BruceSD

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Re: Is The Nikon D700 Camera Still Viable In 2021?
« Reply #29 on: July 22, 2021, 15:45:14 »
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Finally purchased a D700.   Got it from "Used Photo Pro" in Indianapolis Indiana USA (www.usedphotopro.com).  They are the best place to purchase used photo gear in the USA (I much prefer them to KEH.com).

I paid $350 USD for this D700.  It truly looks like new and has only 3,950 shutter clicks on it.  Immediately after receiving it I put a Nikon DK-17M eyepiece magnifier on it.  I'm glad that I had a couple of them laying about, because since they've been discontinued, their price on Ebay has gone up about 6 times!

I've decided that I'm going to use just one lens on it.  Yesterday I briefly tested my Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 lens on it.  Had trouble nailing focus with it.  I also tested my Nikkor 105 DC lens on it.  Was easily able to nail focus with it regularly.

So far I like the D700.  Yesterday was quite sunny and bright.  I noticed that the dynamic range was not what I've been used to with my more modern cameras (but I can live with that).  I shot different ISOs and found that I didn't care for the grain above about 2,000 ISO; so, I set my auto ISO upper limit to 2,000 and will do more test shooting today and maybe will need to adjust that up or down a bit.