Saturday, 28 December 2013

That Didn't Last Long

Liberty Chained by Mawz
Liberty Chained, a photo by Mawz on Flickr.

D7100, 18-70G DX

Well, a couple posts ago I commented that I didn't think the D600 was a great value due to its specs, but that a $1200 price tag would cause me to change my mind. That has turned out to be a pretty good prediction.

The D7100, as much as I liked it, was always intended as an interim step, to hold value until I could get the FF camera I wanted (I was intending that be the Sony A7). I was vacillating on the A7 however because of adapter issues, using G lenses on an adapter is kind of a pain, and I've been shooting a bit with the NEX-5R and my G adapter and while it's workable I still can't help but think a set of the Sigma's would be a better carry kit for the 5R. So I'd also been increasingly considering a Nikon FX body, either the D600 or the D700 (D800 is too expensive and too many pixels).

Well the Henry's Outlet Centre's Boxing Week Sale is 25% off the last ticketed price. And they were already selling open box D600's for $1500. The sale dropped them to a little under $1200. And that price for an essentially new FX body with full warranty is not something I could resist, especially since my D7100 and both my DX lenses (18-70G and 35/1.8G) are within the exchange period and were purchased from Henry's. So I took the DX kit back and walked out with a D600.

After 8 years of digital, always wanting a FF body, but never quite being able to justify it, I'm there. This doesn't change my opinion that DX is where the value is for most any photographer, if I wasn't a big fan of old manual focus lenses I'd have kept the D7100. But the allure of using old MF lenses and modern glass on one body with the intended field of view is too interesting to me to skip FX.

As to the body, I still find it handles a bit worse than the D7100, the difference is all in the grip, which is skinnier and not quite as deep on the mount side on the D600. A small difference, but noticeable. The eyecup is not deep enough, but that's common to all the cameras using the DX-21/DK-23 eyecups. I'll also miss the D7100's AF unit, especially the better frame coverage (in comparison the frame coverage of the D600's AF points is tiny, barely more than the old F80) and the OLED viewfinder display. Controls are a wash, almost everything I liked on the D7100 is identical on the D600. The only thing missing is the ability to use the OK button as an instant magnifier. In return I pick up some extra configuration options with regards to quality and similar. Set & forget for the most part.

Overall I've got the two camera's setup identically. Only difference right now is the DoF preview button is still set as DoF preview on the D600, instead of AE-L as I had it on the D7100. I don't use either option all that much though.

As to lenses, I'm going to miss the all AF-S kit. I added an old 24-50 f3.3-4.5 AF as my everyday wide/normal walkaround lens and my normal will be either my 50/1.8 E, 35/2.8 AI or Anne's 50/1.8D. So I'm back with screwdriver AF (and without the wonders of Minolta's DMF mode). But the updated AF/M switch is easily and readily flipped unlike the old style C/S/M or AF/M switches so I suspect I'll be OK. Long term the 24-50 will get replaced by an AF-S 24-xx lens with more reach, likely one of the Nikkor 24-85 AF-S's (VR or my old favourite non-VR G) or maybe the Sigma 24-105/4 OS if it's not too big.


  1. Damn that is a good deal. I've decided on the D600/610 as my next camera, but at that price I would have gotten it sooner.

  2. You may want to check with the HOC, the sale's on until Jan 2 and they might still have stock. The price is just stupid, and even though I have a few issues with the camera's design (the grip, the shutter and some OVF-related beefs) getting a FX body with full warranty for that price is irresistible.

  3. I was there on boxing day but walked out empty handed. They had loads of 5D classic at well under $400 with the 25% discount but I didn't fond anything worthwhile that I wanted.

  4. I'm not surprised, other than cheap FF bodies I heard the few interesting items all went first thing in the morning. That's how I ended up with the 24-50, everything else I was interested in was already gone.

    They actually almost sold my D7100 before I left the store, Mitch was asking if it could be sold the moment Marc & I finished the paperwork.