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Advice Please - D300 or m4/3 glass ?

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by phigmov, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Hi all,

    I've got a bunch of nice AI/AF-D Nikkor glass I use on my film F100/FM/FE/F3 Nikons and I'm being sorely tempted to pick up a second-hand D300. They've hit the $650NZ mark (about $540USD) which is pretty attractive for a weather sealed, rugged pro-am body with lots of controls.

    On the other hand I could save my $$$ for new m4/3 glass. The only catch being the 'good stuff' is pretty pricey (second hand f1.4 25mm is 2x the equivalent Nikon) whereas the older Nikon glass seems to be flooding the market at great prices.

    An image-comparator seems to indicate that even though the D300 sensor is ancient it holds its own against my E-PM1 and G3 until you hit the high-iso arena (ISO 800+).

    Any thoughts from D300 owners ?
     
  2. Exposed

    Exposed Mu-43 Regular

    136
    Apr 13, 2011
    Central Washington State
    Randy dawson
    I own both the D300 and the D7000 along with the Olympus epl-2/14-42 kit. I love my D300 and will shoot at ISO 3200 and am very happy with it. The D7000 I just purchased and have not done much high ISO work yet but it is smaller, lighter and has, from reviews, better ISO but not the weather seal as the D300. If you look real hard, a D7000 body can be had for $700-$800US new, so now you have something else to ponder.

    Randy
     
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  3. MizOre

    MizOre Mu-43 Veteran

    201
    Dec 26, 2011
    It's a rather nice camera -- I had one -- but it's a heavy camera. I sold mine when I left the US, but sometimes miss it except for the weight. It will meter through your manual glass and does focus confirmation if I'm remembering it correctly. I paid about twice what you're looking at for a barely used one in 2009 or so.
     
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  4. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    252
    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    I have a nice weather-sealed and rugged D2X and had a D300S for a while but got rid of it. Honestly, I prefer shooting with my Olympus Pen and OM-D gear over the Nikon DSLRs. I shoot with the Nikon gear from time to time more out of nostalgia than image quality.

    My only advice is to buy what you think you're more likely to use. Whether you buy a used D300 or some nice m4/3 glass neither is a good value if it just sits on a shelf collecting dust.
     
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  5. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    If you look at your F100 and lenses when going out and think "do I really need to carry all that" then don't but the Nikon. If the Nikon gear you have is what give you the most pleasure shooting then get the Nikon.

    Small differences in sensor quality shoudn't outweigh usability. But as a film shooter you already know this, don't you?

    A third alternative is to save for a GH3.

    Gordon
     
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  6. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Thanks for all the great advice guys. Some useful food for thought here which I'll need to ponder and digest.
     
  7. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    If you have not yet made a decision, I will add to the equation. I have had a D300 for about five years, and I purchased an E-PL2 and G3 last year. I love my m4/3rd's bodies, but I would never try and shoot anything moving quickly with them. I shoot college football and like to shoot BIF, and the CAM3500 focus module in the D300 is leagues ahead when tracking focus is needed. If that is not important to you, then you would not miss it. If you shoot action and need a camera that can track focus, I recommend that you give strong consideration to the D300.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
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  8. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you plan to shoot MF glass mainly, M43 is a lot easier. If you want to shoot continuous AF, the D300 will smoke every M43 body currently available.
     
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  9. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I agree. I would never want to MF on a D300. That is an exercise in futility, where the Oly and Pany bodies make it a pleasure.

    --Ken
     
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Just get a m4/3 adapter for the old Nikkor glass and you'll have the best of all worlds. You'll be able to use the best digital bodies ever made for shooting legacy glass, plus you'll have money left over to buy some native glass or whatever else you please. No compromise necessary.
     
  11. Haans

    Haans Mu-43 Regular

    136
    Feb 18, 2012
    Agree with Ned.
    I use a lot of Leica and Voigtlander glass with my OMD and love it. M mount lenses are the big secret of m4/3...great glass, no larger than m4/3 lenses and much more character. Some of the m4/3 glass leaves me "cold".
    I use my big 4/3 glass with the OMD too.
     
  12. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    One thing I'm not seeing is "what do you want to shoot?"

    If you can MF and you're not shooting sports then the adapter is a good solution as many have said. If it's more sports/action the D300 may be overlooked by many since it's OLD. But the D300/D300s still rates as the best in it's class, that being a true semi-pro DX body. No idea what Nikon is thinking if they plan to abandon that segment. Another option if you have a little time, supposedly the D7000 replacement will be announced next week. If so it could be a cross between the D7000 and D300s which would drive the prices of each down.

    Then there is always the option of selling off you Nikon stuff to fund the m4/3 stuff.
     
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  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I use manual glass for shooting sports all the time. Here's some from today using a Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135mm (with Zuiko 1.4x teleconverter, which only makes the lens slower) on a Pen...

    kortebaan1_web.
    kortebaan2_web.
    kortebaan3_web.
    kortebaan4_web.
    kortebaan5_web.

    However... looking back through this post, I also just noticed that the OP is talking about AI glass. o_O Do all these lenses have auto-aperture and no ring on the lens?

    If so, then I take back my suggestion of getting a m4/3 adapter. I would just get the Nikon body instead. The glass is the important part of your system, so if you can keep using your glass with a new body then that beats swapping systems without a really strong reason to (ie, like maybe you want to swap because you REALLY need a small system to fit into a specific sized bag or something).

    But then... I also suspect that this thread is really old and no longer relevant. lol. :cool:
     
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  14. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    AI glass would have a a ring. But there are adapters that control the Nikon "G" lenses as well. My Fotodiox for one. Not one of the pricey adapters but does what I need.
     
  15. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Thank you! Yes, the G lenses are what I was thinking of...
     
  16. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Thanks guys. Still keeping my options open. D300/D90 prices are almost at free-fall stage - just under a Zuiko 60mm Macro which I'd be keen to get next in m43 land.

    After some more research it looks like the D300 doesn't necessarily have the Split Prism thing which I enjoy using on my older film Nikon bodies. Many users appear to swap the default screens for Katz-Eyes. Not sure I can be bothered.

    Its not quite the same, staring at the little focus confirm dot. May as well just use LiveView and AF on a modern lens.
     
  17. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    The D90 is not a bad camera, but not in the same league as the D300. While it uses the same sensor the AF, build, handling, features are completely different.

    As for the split prism, I can't think of a DLSR that does. But I know many people love the Katzeye, it's like a 10 minute operation.
     
  18. LegacyLens

    LegacyLens Mu-43 Regular

    99
    Apr 25, 2012
    Ned lol that's cheating your pre focusing lol.
     
  19. LegacyLens

    LegacyLens Mu-43 Regular

    99
    Apr 25, 2012
    And I have to disagree the d90 (I think) uses a ccd sensor and the d300 a CMOS sensor. I am pretty sure the nikon d300 is nikons first CMOS sensored camera. But I may be wrong I only know the canon line up, and that brings up that a 40d is only $250-$300 and has easy changing focus screens. So get a nikon to canon adapter for 15 bucks and get a Katz eye and a Katz eye alternative is focusingscreen.com (the URL may be wrong) but just some more to ponder.
     
  20. WorldShooter

    WorldShooter Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Jan 17, 2013
    Giethoorn, Netherlands
    Peter B.
    I now own two D300's (with lots of Nikon glass) and and Oly OM-D E-M5 (with Oly's 12mm, 17mm and 45mm).

    Im going to sell one D300, but not the other (not until the D400 is released anyway)!
    I'm now using the E-M5 mainly for travel, street, architecture and landscape/scenery shooting (my back is very happy :smile: !). Action (AF-C with tracking) and studio work (wireless flash) is still the domain of the D300 :2thumbs:, as well as stuff that I currently can't do with my Oly setup (macro, extreme wide-angle, fisheye).

    I find about a stop difference (in the E-M5's favor) in sensor performance. I'm using the E-M5 up to ISO 3200 (noise/contrast/detail nicely recoverable in ACR) and sometimes push it to ISO 6400 if really needed, whereas I'm running the D300's up to ISO 1600 respectively ISO 3200. For me that's not enough to complete swing one way...

    So for me, each system has its merit and owns a justified place in my photographic arsenal (and yes, it's costly.... :biggrin:).

    Kind regards, Peter
     
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