Moving up to Full Frame

I told myself that I had no reason to do it for years, The cost seemed prohibitive. None of my DX lenses were going to work on a full frame, so I would have to buy a new set of lenses. The pain wouldn’t stop there though; the lenses wouldn’t seem the same. I was accustomed to seeing 450mm worth of zoom from a 300mm lens. Using a lens on a crop sensor camera not only gives photographers 1.5X magnification, but it uses the sweet spot on a lot of lenses and produces very high quality images.

So why did I change my mind and buy a Nikon D750?  I wanted a new camera. I was using a Nikon D7100 which is a very nice camera, but it stinks in low light situations. Lots of noise and banding that just ruined a lot of photos for me. Noise reduction won’t help with the banding issue. My wife bought a D7200 and it does not have the issue that the D7100 has. Thank you Nikon for either not caring about quality control or testing cameras and releasing them with these issues anyway.

I still like Nikon, but anyone who stays informed knows that Nikon has had some issues in the past few years. Honestly, if I were starting out today from scratch, I would probably buy a Canon. Nikon cameras are (usually) great cameras and I am happy shooting with them, but  Canon cameras just seem to have ergonomics that Nikon doesn’t have right now. I’ve used Nikon cameras since the film days though and still have lenses that I used then that work fine on my DSLRs. Once you have made a commitment, it’s difficult (expensive) to turn back and start over.

Full frame cameras began to appeal to me more and more as I read and looked at other photographers’ photos on sites like 500px. Lack of noise is the single most important issue for me in my decision. The D750 produces images that are so clean I can hardly believe what I see when I zoom in to 400% on images that I shoot at ISO 2000. It’s just incredible.

I bought the 24-120mm zoom lens as well because the combo was on sale at B&H Photo, my favorite place to buy all of my photo equipment. The AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 is a great lens. It’s heavy, but the image stabilization it provides is wonderful. I already had the Tamron 150-600mm lens which is a monster requiring a tripod unless you’re incredibly strong and stable; a 17mm Tokina lens that I bought in 1986; and a Micro Nikkor 55mm micro lens purchased in 1985. They all work great on the D750.

A couple of weeks before I bought the D750, I bought a filter kit that includes a 3 stop graduated neutral density filter, 3 stop neutral density filter, and a 10 stop neutral density filter. Using those filters on the D750 has been an absolute joy for me. I recently moved to Oregon where waterfalls and beautiful landscapes are easy to find. I took the flowing image on my lunch break one day.


That’s a thirty second exposure, ISO-100, f/11, with the 10 stop neutral density filter on the front of the lens. I used a tripod and a Nikon ML-L3 remote control and  covered the viewfinder. The VR was turned on also.

Another sample showing the D750’s amazing low light capability

_DSC0163Specs or the photo above: Handheld, 1/10 sec., ISO-12800, f/4. That’s not a typo, I shot that image at ISO-12800. I kept pushing the ISO higher and higher wanting to see how high I could go before any noticeable noise appeared. There is no noise reduction applied to that image and the color balance is great considering the light source was incandescent. I did set the white balance in the camera to reflect the light source.

While this next property of the D750 probably has nothing to do with it being a full frame camera, I have to mention that this camera has the lowest noise from the mirror that I  have ever experienced on a DSLR. It’s so quite that for a moment when I took the first photo, I though something was wrong with the camera and it wasn’t firing. It’s incredible to take a shot and not feel the mirror slapping, knowing that it is certainly sending some degree of shake or vibration through the camera.

I could go on about the D750, but this is not a camera review. I’m just an avid photographer who wanted to share my positive experience in moving to full frame from the  DX format (cropped sensor) cameras. I’m not critical of the cropped sensor cameras either; many of them take incredible photos. I took many good photos with everything from a Nikon D70, D80…7100, and I’m now really stoked about the D750 and full frame photography with it’s superb ability to produce images with no noticeable noise in extremely low light.

Photography has come so far in the past twenty years with the introduction and advancement of digital cameras and Photoshop. It’s a great time to be a photographer.

I have images at Gallery Art Photography and 500px.JoeWhitten

Happy shooting

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