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Friday, 29 July 2016


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I used Nikon DX for a long time and was always happy with it except for the prime lenses. For some reason using the old (or new) FX prime lenses with the cropped sensors just never really worked for my brain out even though there was no real rational reason to care that much. This was especially confusing since when I used the *zoom* lenses my brain was perfectly happy.

I finally caved at some point and bought a D700 to remove this mental block and I was happy. At the time I wrote on a web page that while I did not believe any of the standard justifications for FX (1. Slightly better image quality, 2. matched focal lengths, 3. something else I can't remember) my main reasons for finally switching were exactly those three things.

Later the D700 just got too unwieldy to carry around, and I'm perfectly happy with my Olympus micro 4/3rds... even with the cropped primes. There is no accounting for the irrational subjective aspects of taste.

I went from Nikon film to Nikon digital because I was happy with the Nikons I had and wouldn't need a new set of expensive lenses-which I couldn't afford anyway. I got a DX format camera, and had no problem dealing with the "zoom" of DX. If I get a new camera, it will be FX, and since my lenses are all full frame, I won't need to replace them-at great cost. Re-adapting won't be a problem. If I had purchased DX format lenses, I would need to replace them. Personally, I think the DX only lenses are a poor choice, limiting one's choice of cameras, or requiring replacing all lenses. I like Nikon, but not THAT much.

Nikon doesn't have the DX lenses, but other companies do. Here's my ideal DX kit:

Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8
Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 (or the 17-50/2.8 OS)
Sigma 50-100 f/1.8 (or the 50-150/2.8 OS)

Who needs primes when you have f/1.8 zooms?

For primes the main lenses that are missing are lightweight wide-angles. The 35/1.8 and 50/1.8 work fine. Nikon just needs a DX-only 24/1.8 and 20/1.8 to round out the group.

Does it not drive you bonkers to resist copy editing that Amazon page?

"It's probably just an understandable mistake by a lower-level functionary who doesn't get that 35mm is a normal lens on DX"

To be picky ...

A 28mm lens is a "normal" lens on a 1.5x crop factor sensor (that has a diagonal of about 28mm). That would be 42mm eq for 135 cameras. I use a Nikon 28mm AF-D as a normal lens (but manual focused as I don't have a D7xxx).

A 35mm on a 1.5x crop factor sensor is a 53m eq (most people round down to 50mm) so I call my 35mm DX a short tele.

That sums up Nikon's DX lens problem: 1 prime and the possibility of using some other Nikon full frame lenses (if you give up features).

Regarding light tumblers I usually find those are the ones I break when washing them or putting them away (usually by gently knocking them against a more substantial classic French "jam jar" tumbler).

I've been looking for some good shatterproof tumblers since I dropped a glass and a shard made a large puncture in my bare leg. There's a wide choice of Michley on Amazon UK, I think I will get some.

Re your OCD, I'm reminded of a phrase I came across years and years ago in an issue of Field and Stream, where the writer was referring to fly fishing as "a fine and pleasant misery". Does that fit your writing? sounds good, too me.

With best regards,


You're not the only one befuddled by Nikon's disinterest in designing more primes for their DX bodies. The fact that they would rather release a $2200 105mm f/1.4 for FX instead of a new DX prime for a fourth the price speaks volumes. Mind you, I'm not losing any sleep over this; Nikon can and will do whatever it sees fit. I see fit to look elsewhere. Apparently so do you.

Yes, the lens line and poorer (smaller) finders is what drove me from DX Nikons to FX ones. (the D500 probably has pretty good finder, but....)

But the EVF of the Sony a7 means I don't use the Nikon much.

But at the RNC, NPS lent me a 24-70 2.8 VR which meant I used Nikon rather than Nikon. I guess I have to keep both. But I didn't trust the focus with the optical finder, I fine-tuned the focus with test shots downloaded to lap-top.

But no DX Nikons for me for now. Not that the Sony lens line is anything to be happy with.

John must have missed one, as there are four Nikon DX lenses. In addition to the 35mm, there's the 10.5mm ƒ/2.8 fisheye (though that won't autofocus on the low end D3000/D5000 series cameras), and two macro lenses - 40mm ƒ/2.8, and 85mm ƒ/3.5.

Of that lot, I have... none! Tried the 35mm. Twice! Despite everyone else's good reviews, I seemed to end up with two duds. Focus was on what you wanted, but the background blur was kinda lopsided - more blurred on one side compared with the other - which bugged me somewhat.

Prime lenses I do use on Nikon's DX bodies are: Nikon's 85mm ƒ/1.8D, and 300mm ƒ/4; Samyang 8mm ƒ/3.5 fisheye; Sigma 30mm ƒ/1.4; Tamron 90 ƒ/2.8; and a collection of manual focus Voigtlander lenses - 20mm ƒ/3.5; 28mm ƒ/2.8; and 58mm ƒ/1.4. Of that lot, only the Samyang and Sigma are designed for DX (APS-C) sensors. The rest are all full frame.

So yes Nikon has neglected the DX-specific primes, but so have the third party manufacturers, most having similarly low numbers of such lenses... and several of those are macros. Wouldn't be surprised if it's the latecomer, Samyang, that has the most. Heck they even have, not one, but two wide-angled primes! The 10mm ƒ/2.8, and a 16mm ƒ/2 - both manual focus.

I have too many lenses.

(Could've put a lot of links in the above!)

Unbreakable drinking glass? Straight away I thought of this [grin]

Thanks for the tip.
I hate glass shards too. I don't think anything that dangerous belongs in homes. For many years I've used mugs instead. But it's nice to have a glass, if nothing else then for guests.

DX, FX, what's in a name? Use those FX lenses on a DX body. They work.

Why not get the Pentax K3? I think it has the same Sony sensor, it's very well built and you get IBIS. Pentax has a lot of nice lenses too.

[They do, but I used to shoot Pentax. The main lens I need--my everyday always-on-the-camera lens--needs to be something in the 35 to 40mm-equivalent, f/2 or faster range. The 20-40mm zoom wasn't in the range when I left, and I might be able to make friends with that. Otherwise I'm kinda left hanging. Fuji on the other hand has the very nice 23mm f/1.4. I might actually prefer a 23mm f/2, which has been rumored for a long time, but the 23mm f/1.4 is a sweet lens. --Mike]

OK, I clicked. I just love - "Not only is MICHLEY a BPA-free Wine Glasses", "You have got a tough Wine Glasses...", "MICHLEY Wine Glasses is Designed to be Better.", "MICHLEY is a durable Wine Glasses" and "But Do not Worry it Break." - all in about the same number of paragraphs. It sure is getting hard to read anymore. [sigh]

Does the material actually look like GLASS?

Since they are unbreakable Amazon will undoubtedly ship these in a box the size of an African elephant, surrounded with several cubic yards of captive air ... (love Amazon, but sometimes you have to just shake your head about their packing protocols.)

[To answer your question, reasonably close. --Mike]

A Nikon rep told me (in Australia) that he admits Canon has the edge in the crop area, but Nikon dominates full frame. He failed to respond clearly or confidently when probed about mirrorless cameras, Sony, lens support for crop (maybe he would use a 35mm as a wide angle!!?), the weight/size/cost issue for everyday photographers and the "blind spots" Nikon has been afflicted with lately. Maybe we were too needy, being lowly floor salesmen and did not see the big picture?

That's why I'm a believer in wood counter tops and floors in kitchens. Granite does not agree with my clumsiness.

Hi Mike,

I thought "flubbering flunky" was a bit harsh. So many big organizations have cut staff to the bone. Perhaps this is an outcome from that. You never know.

I'm not a Nikon shooter, but I've noticed that Sigma has some Nikon mount APS-C lenses in their lineup, including a 30mm f/1.4.

Love the blog.

Bill Danby

Your comment about the 35mm DX Nikkor lens is proof positive that even Nikon doesn't know where it's head is at. And thus lies the problem.

The difference between Nikon and Fuji is that Fuji thinks things through fully to create a coherent strategy. It consistently updates its lens roadmap based on actual user needs, and then actually executes on it. Imagine that. When's the last time you saw a Nikkor DX lens roadmap?

Regarding your jonesing for a D7200. Honestly, I think it's just another GAS pang, and hopefully it will pass soon, and you can get on to more important stuff, like making images. I would encourage you to reflect on whether shooting with the D7200 will actually deliver a more beguiling experience than your X-T1, given that you're an old-school guy like me who loves dials and knobs and superb glass. Somehow, I think not.


The writer who coined the phrase 'A Fine and Pleasant Misery' is Patrick McManus, and there is a collection of his writings by that title. It also contains the essay 'The Modified Stationary Panic', which everyone should read and have in their repertoire, IMHO.


Steam weed blasters seem to be SOP in Sweden and Gremany - traveling in July, we've seen them used a lot. Looks effective.


The 35 f/1.8 DX is a terrific lens, for very little money. It's not to be sniffed at.

I chose Nikon early on because a working pro told me their lens selection was better than Canon’s, this was ~ 1980. I was shooting a Canon AE-1 and did not have any formal photography education. I used the camera to take pictures of things I would draw into design sketches when I worked as a comp artist. After I had my fill of advertising art, I decided I wanted to do the photography. After all, the photographers the agencies hired reproduced my sketch ideas into photos and they made a lot more money than me.

One day I confided to a working pro on the job what I wanted to do and showed him my little AE-1. He advised me to switch to Nikon because of their lens line and told me to buy a F3HP with the 28mm, 50mm and 105mm lenses.

During lunch the next day, I walked over to 47th Street Photo and told the guys at the counter what I wanted. Then one of them asked laughingly why did I want a black F3 and not a chrome F3? I said I thought it looked more professional. Well those two guys proceeded to make fun of me in a bad way when some nice customer ‘they respected’ stepped in and put a stop to it. But I never forgot how they made me feel, and to this day I will not give 47th Street Photo my business. Granted I was young and naive, but back then as a young woman coming up in the commercial photography business, I found it best if some clients saw my work before my face or name.

I stayed with Nikon as long as I stayed with FF 35. My first dSLR was the D200 and then onto the D700. I sold off everything Nikon except for a Nikon 50mm F/1.2 and a cheap zoom that I continued to use with a Sony NEX. I made the decision to leave Nikon altogether when I sold the D700, and I used their cameras and lenses for over 30 years.

Today I have access to a D750 and a few lenses at the school where I teach. In June I shipped the D750 off for its recall repair, and got a call a month ago it was back in town. I picked it up, but still have yet to use it. I am not motivated to shoot the D750 in part due to its size and weight. My ALPA medium format kit weighs less than the D750 and I do not have to deal with all the menus. I really do enjoy simplicity at this stage of life.

I have been renting Fuji XF lenses and testing them with my XP2 over summer break. I have rented a bunch (16-55mm, 23mm, 35mm f/1.4, 50-140mm, 55-200mm, 56mm, 56mm APD, Zeiss 50mm, 60mm, and 90mm). I bought the 14mm, 35mm F/2 and Zeiss 32mm, and plan to buy the 23mm F/2 when it comes out and *maybe* a used 56mm APD for portraits. But no zooms for me. If I buy a zoom I am defeating the purpose of why I made the switch from FF 35 to APS-C; they are too big for what I want to use the XP2 for. I have a web page with mostly black and white photos made with XF lenses if anyone is interested in seeing. I try to add to it every few days and nothing is staged or the type of commercial work I am accustomed to. No fancy post processing either. I am actually testing that out too (the Fuji Acros calibration got me started), so hues tend to be separate and unique.


The XP2 motivates me artistically and some of its glass is exceptional with all things considered. I find my copy of the Zeiss 32mm a real beauty. What it can do with light I have not seen with the XF 35mm lenses, but the XF 35 lenses are superb lenses in their own way. The size of the F2 is teeny-tiny and stays on my XP2. Unfortunately the Nikon APS-C system I owned never made me feel this way, and it is heavier than what I want to use for leisure shooting. I would not be buying back into Nikon for the same reason I bought into it from the beginning, but I sure did make some money and art with their cameras. It truly was a joy ride while it lasted.

For more than twenty years I was loyal to Nikon, but when the digital era came the early FX cameras were too expensive for me. I bought a D300 with that great but bulky 17-55mm 2.8 and sold them soon after. Somehow DX always felt to me like going back to the future. As an investment in the past.

Try Duralex ....http://www.duralexusa.com/Duralex-Glassware-Products.html

"They are made from tempered glass, like car windshields, so they are tough and resistant to breaking and chipping. They will survive most falls from table-height, even onto stone or tile floors. In fact I have yet to break one, and I have gone through perhaps six wine glasses in the same time. When they do break, they break into little squarish pebbles rather than sharp shards. (But that is not unique to Duralex.)"

Steam will take care of the weeds in the driveway, Mike, as will plain old boiling water from the kettle. It ruptures the cells of the weed. Whenever I boil the kettle I wander outside and pour the spare water over any weeds. They will die before your eyes.

The term I like to use for the 24Mpix DX camera with available DX lenses is "K-3" :^)

I'm happy to see so many Nikon DX users agree with me. And yes I did miss one. But someone who thinks a 55MM DX lens is a really big telephoto you can understand why I stopped at the 40MM.

Over at the 'By Thom' site he posted an article on Nikon titled: 'What Does Nikon Excel At?' He includes a pie chart that has to be seen to be believed. In short between 2007 and 2015 90% of all DX/FX sales were of DX cameras. I repeat 90%.

And DX users just can't any respect from Nikon.

Like any product, a camera is a trade off between price and convenience on the one hand, and quality and performance on the other. The extremes of this envelope (for most people) range from phone cameras to full frame cameras.

1", MFT and APSC are all in their own way different compromise between the two that suit different people. I could never find one camera that did everything, so I have lived with various combinations, including Compact+DX, 1"+FX and DX+FX.

Anything less than APSC turned out to be a compromise too far for travel, so my first DX/FX combination was a D90 with some DX lenses and D700 with full-metal pro FX lenses. At least the D90 would make a good backup, and it even had video!!

Both were 12MP, so I wasn't expecting quite such a difference in the images, but the sad fact was the DX lenses were just relatively lacklustre and the AF system in the FX cameras was more accurate and consistent. My experience in this case exactly echoes that of psu and Darleen.

I eventually swapped the DX Nikon for a Fuji and resigned myself to two incompatible systems. However, 16MP, great lenses and very accurate (if slow) AF meant I got better low ISO images from the Fuji, and high ISO was not far behind.

A year or so later, I replaced the D700 with a problem ridden D600, which was exchanged for a D800. This was a big step up, but I seldom print bigger than A2 (around 24X16) and I really couldn't see that much of a difference in the prints.

If I were a keen action photographer, I could really see the appeal of the D500. The AF and frame rate, as well as the buffer size, is amazing. The downside is that my experience would force me to stick to FX Nikkor lenses, or some of Sigma's high-performance DX lenses.

All of which means that the size and weight of the kit would be no different from many of the FX options. For me, this would preclude it from doing double duty as a street/travel camera, so I would still be using the Fuji alongside.

Fortunately, action photography is not high on my priority list. I have hundreds of air show, motor racing and party images from my Pentax K10, which was not famous for focus tracking. As long as I can get a few good shots, I'm happy. I don't make a living from it.

In other words, the Xpro2 is the only camera I need. Enough resolution with some crop space for my largest landscape prints, enough low ISO DR and tonality for studio work and enough high ISO performance for all my travel and street needs.

All this comes in a combination that is reasonably light, rugged and portable, so much so that I can pack everything (including a portable tripod) in a small carry-on rucksack.

It is probably the first time I could say that about any camera I ever owned.

About 40 seconds in...


I know there is a lot of love for APS-C here at TOP, but I wonder if Nikon is simply following the market. When I finally got around to selling my old DX stuff, I was astonished how little value it had. OK, of course bodies lose all their value because they are old sensors. My DX lenses though lost enormous value, which is not what you would expect for Nikon lenses. I've bought and sold a certain number of new and used lenses, and I don't think anything compares to the loss of value of Nikon DX lenses over the 2005-2011 period vs 2015-16. I think there is rather a supply glut (people selling their DX) and less demand as mirrorless takes hold and FF gains ground in the premium market.

Meanwhile vintage full frame lenses are gaining in price on the used market as more people adapt them, while mainstream full frame and micro four thirds (I don't know about other mirrorless) lenses seem to be holding their ground well enough to be a stable investment as used items.

Bumper sticker in the parking lot.
Point and Click means you are out of Ammunition.

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