Considering buying a Nikon D70s, have questions...

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Jack Black, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. Jack Black

    Jack Black Guest

    Hi, all!! Long-time film guy (both 35mm and Medium Format), and I've
    been toying with the idea of getting a Nikon D70s body for use with
    some existing AF and MF lenses, and want searching for some input
    beyond what I've already read on DPReview.com.

    My main concern is losing the use of a couple of my favorite AF
    lenses, currently used on my workhorse F4s and FM3A. I have a Tokina
    28-80 AF-X Pro f/2.8 lens that I use 80% of the time: losing the use
    of this lens might ("might") be a deal breaker, but I'm open to
    comments and suggestions. Will I still be able to use the new Matrix
    Metering with this lens? If not, what kind of metering will be
    available with this lens? Other lenses I'm concerned about losing are
    the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF and a Vivitar 100-400 AF f/4.5.

    Can I use my old Nikon SB-25 flash on this body?

    I've seen LCD sizes on various sized running from 1.8" (CNet; this is
    the original D70, no?), 2" (most sites), and 2.5" (a couple comments
    on this UseNET group). The D70s has the 2" LCD, yes?

    Also noticed that the max shutter speed is 30 seconds; what about
    longer shots (amateur astro photo shots)? Bulb setting or timed shots
    longer than 30 seconds?

    I typically shoot film in the ISO 50-100 range for color slides (and
    100-400 for B&W); has anyone seen any "issues" with a minimum ISO
    setting of 200 on this body? Noise above what I could get with ISO 50
    on a film body?

    Can I use a standard cable release on this body? Looks like it's
    electronic only now...

    Is the D70s scheduled for discontinuation any time soon? I noticed
    the 'S' model just came out last year but with Nikon discontinuing the
    FM3A so shortly after putting it on the market...

    Any thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated. Best price I've
    seen is at Adorama, so I'll probably buy the body (not kit) from them
    or B&H.

    Thanks!
    Jack
     
    Jack Black, Apr 9, 2006
    #1
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  2. That Tokina has been my main walkaround lens since 1994, when I first
    got Nikon AF gear. I went digital at the end of 2002. It works
    excellently (first on a Fuji S2, now on a D200). It's an AF-D lens,
    so it supports all metering modes.

    The only drawback is that, on a crop-factor body like mine or your
    hypothetical D70, it's a "normal" to mid-telephoto lens; no wide
    portion at all. (42mm to 105mm angle-of-view in 35mm film terms).
    I'm currently experimenting with the 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S ED DX
    "kit lens", though I bought it separately (used, cheap), and liking it
    a lot (note the AF-S and ED; while it's fairly cheap to buy, those are
    both premium-lens features). The obvious problem is that it's slow,
    of course; but I have fast primes for the *real* low-light situations,
    and figure I'll be using flash more now that I have a body and flash
    that support iTTL (one of the main motivators for the D200 upgrade).

    The other two AF lenses should also support matrix and all other
    metering modes, but I can't speak to them from personal experience.
    Not for TTL exposure. I don't know if it will even *try*; but it
    won't produce good results. You need modern equipment that supports
    iTTL for good TTL results. (If you're using it in manual or "A" mode
    where the flash uses its own sensor, that's fine.)
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Apr 10, 2006
    #2
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  3. Jack Black

    Buy_Sell Guest

    Hi Jack, ( better not say that on an aircraft these days...)

    I bought the D70s last year. The batteries last a really long time
    between charges, I was impressed. My favorite low cost lens is the
    Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF. With the D70s, you can load gamma corrections
    into the camera called custom tonal curves. When I first got my camera,
    I hated it. The images were lifeless and dull looking. They appeared
    darker than they should be. I would have to make ridiculous aperture
    and shutter settings to get the image that I wanted and then most of
    the time, the image was blurred because of camera shake. I learned
    about the custom tonal curve feature of the camera and its like a
    completely different camera now. I get images out of the camera
    exactly the way that I like them to be. No tripods for me, no flashes,
    no post processing. The camera works beautifully now. Natural
    lighting, the way it should be...

    -------------------------------------------------------
    Jack Black - Sun, Apr 9 2006 3:53 pm

    Hi, all!! Long-time film guy (both 35mm and Medium Format), and I've
    been toying with the idea of getting a Nikon D70s body for use with
    some existing AF and MF lenses, and want searching for some input
    beyond what I've already read on DPReview.com.

    My main concern is losing the use of a couple of my favorite AF lenses,
    currently used on my workhorse F4s and FM3A. I have a Tokina 28-80
    AF-X Pro f/2.8 lens that I use 80% of the time: losing the use of this
    lens might ("might") be a deal breaker, but I'm open to comments and
    suggestions. Will I still be able to use the new Matrix Metering with
    this lens? If not, what kind of metering will be available with this
    lens? Other lenses I'm concerned about losing are the Nikon 50mm f/1.4
    AF and a Vivitar 100-400 AF f/4.5.
     
    Buy_Sell, Apr 10, 2006
    #3
  4. Jack Black

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    Hmm ... are you using it in "Auto" mode? I tend to prefer
    "Program" mode -- unless I want to manually control aperture, shutter
    speed, or both. I use the Program mode and get quite good results,
    sometimes after adjusting the exposure boost/cut "[+/-]" button after
    examining the histogram -- depending on what the lighting conditions
    are, and what degree of "spot" metering I am using.

    Also -- if you turn on "Auto ISO" mode, you can cover a much
    greater range of illumination with a given lens. At the extremes (e.g.
    1600 ISO) there will be an increase in digital noise -- but that is not
    as objectionable as the increase in grain pushing a B&W film to that
    speed -- and you continue to get color.

    O.K. Note that the manual focus lenses will probably require
    you to also manually control the exposure (the metering does not work
    with a lens without a "chip" -- though I did have a chip added to a
    180mm f2.8 Nikkor and am quite pleased with that.

    As another followup has already indicated -- you might not be
    using the 28-80 as much with the D70s -- depending on where in the zoom
    range you normally shoot. It will have the same coverage as a 42-120mm
    lens. You might do better to use this new body with the normal "kit"
    lens for the D70 and D70s -- the "DX 18-70mm f3.5-4.5G ED", which will
    give you coverage equivalent to 27-105mm. Of course, that lens will not
    work on your film bodies, as it is designed to cover the 1.5 crop factor
    sensor in the Digital bodies, so you can leave your Tokina with the film
    bodies and be able to shoot both in about the same range at the same
    time.

    had a nice 28-105mm lens which I expected to use with my D70
    when I bought it "body only", and while it is an excellent lens, I
    eventually wound up buying the kit lens to cover the wide angle range
    which I was missing. And the kit lens is a *very* nice lens for the
    price -- probably better than the Tokina.

    That depends. I forget which brand of third-party lens decided
    that they could do just as well by reverse-engineering the
    communications protocol of the Nikon chips -- and wound up with a lens
    which had to have the chip upgraded when new camera bodies came out.
    Was it Tokina, Sigma, or some other brand? Someone here will probably
    supply this information.

    That depends on the chip in the lens.

    I'm using one of these, and getting excellent results with it.
    Remember that it will supply coverage equivalent to a 75mm lens on a
    full sized 35mm frame.

    This will probably work. I don't have one, so I can't say what
    it will do.

    Where you have to *really* jump through hoops is with lenses old
    enough to not have the AI (Aperture Indexed) aperture ring, which means
    that you can't mount the lens on the camera body until some
    modifications have been performed to the aperture ring to clear sensors
    on the camera body. But all of these lenses were pre-AF anyway, so this
    should not apply to your lenses.

    I hope that this helps,
    DoN.
     
    DoN. Nichols, Apr 11, 2006
    #4
  5. Jack Black

    Buy_Sell Guest

    Hi Don

    I prefer using manual mode. The Auto ISO is turned off. I've tried
    using it but I'm not crazy about the results. The ISO is set to 400
    most of the time. The custom tonal curve feature was the biggest
    improvement in my camera.

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    DoN. Nichols - Mon, Apr 10 2006 5:57 pm

    Hmm ... are you using it in "Auto" mode? I tend to prefer
    "Program" mode -- unless I want to manually control aperture, shutter
    speed, or both. I use the Program mode and get quite good results,
    sometimes after adjusting the exposure boost/cut "[+/-]" button after
    examining the histogram -- depending on what the lighting conditions
    are, and what degree of "spot" metering I am using.

    Also -- if you turn on "Auto ISO" mode, you can cover a much
    greater range of illumination with a given lens. At the extremes (e.g.
    1600 ISO) there will be an increase in digital noise -- but that is not
    as objectionable as the increase in grain pushing a B&W film to that
    speed -- and you continue to get color.
     
    Buy_Sell, Apr 11, 2006
    #5
  6. Jack Black

    Jack Black Guest

    DoN, thanks for the answers! Good info in there! :)

    I understand the 1.5 factor, just didn't really sink in that my fave
    lens would go away. I do landscape almost exclusively, and losing
    that 28mm-35mm range would be bad. The kit lens might just be the way
    to go, although I really try to avoid these slow lenses.

    Definately some good information to mull over, thanks for responding!!
    :)

    Jack
     
    Jack Black, Apr 11, 2006
    #6
  7. Jack Black

    Paul Furman Guest

    Yeah it's tough because the only fast options are really expensive.
    $1200 17-55mm f/2.8 DX (digital only)
    $1500 17-35mm f/2.8 (full frame)
     
    Paul Furman, Apr 11, 2006
    #7
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