Canon vs Nikon FF prime trio

Messages
1,147
Name
Craig
Edit My Images
Yes
#1
After many switches in gear I feel like I finally know what I want from a camera, I want to go back to full frame with an older Canikon body and a trio of prime lenses. I know there is a lot of talk about DSLR's becoming obsoloete but leaving that to one side, I'm going to be buying an older but perfectly capable body (either D700 or 5D2 or similar) and a trio of primes. Bodies go out of date faster than I change my shirt so old ones are fine for my usage. Buying second hand. I have no experience of Nikon but I adapt very quickly so that doesn't concern me. I shoot a bit of everything excluding wildlife and sport/transport.

The question is which brand has the better range of primes to choose from? They will not be L-glass level or equivalent Nikon level as I don't need that level of equipment and don't want to spend that sort of money, but rather the cheaper end of the range. I've owned FF Canon before with 85mm 1.8 and 50mm 1.8 which were bother great lenses and perferctly adequate.

Focal lengths I would like would be: 24/28/35mm, 50mm, 85/100mm.

Which has the better range in your mind, leaving brand loyalty aside if possible, or is there not much in it in terms of af accuracy, sharpness etc?
 
Messages
4,103
Name
matt
Edit My Images
Yes
#2
I've never owned a Nikon so cant comment on the lens range etc, however some people prefer the colour rendition of a Canon over a Nikon, that to me would be as important as range of lenses. The 5D2 is a really old camera now and it's AF was only a slight advance over the original 5D so I would consider a 5D3 a better option in the Canon range and some might suggest a 6D over a 5D.
 
Messages
1,329
Name
Soeren
Edit My Images
Yes
#3
Fuji 16mm f/1,4 (or 23mm f/1, 4) 35mm f/1,4 and 56mm f/1,2 ;)
 
Messages
6,889
Name
Graham
Edit My Images
No
#4
The D700 was and still is a great camera, especially for the money, and is superior in my opinion to the 5D2. But if you can get the 5D3 for similar money then I'd say it's more a case of looking at so the usual outlets to see if the lenses you are looking at are more readily available in Nikon or Canon form and at what prices.

I'm using a Sony A6000 now after previously using D3 bodies and I do miss full frame and the quality lenses I had but for what is now just family photos the CSC system is ideal. Currently tempted to trade in for a Sony A7ii for FF glory but I know I'll need new and decent lenses to make it fully worthwhile.
 
OP
OP
Craigus
Messages
1,147
Name
Craig
Edit My Images
Yes
#5
Thanks for the replies. I’ve done mirrorless Fuji and I’ve used Sony, it’s great but it’s not for me.

The 5d3 is quite a lot more than a d700, and probably contains quite a few years newer tech. I don’t want to spend much on the body, it’s the lenses I’m interested in as they will outlast (hopefully) whatever body I get. I would rather the D700 body, but if their lens lineup isn’t as accessible at reasonable prices then I may look back to canon. There seems to be a lack of reasonably priced options at the wide end in their lineup though,
 
Messages
1,320
Name
Peter
Edit My Images
Yes
#6
Nikon D750. (Used).
24, 28, 35, 85 and 105 all 1.4 and all very good but expensive.

I would go with a 3rd party lens on the 50.

The 1.8 prime range could give you 24, 28, 50 is cheap but OK and the very good 85.
24 (along with the 20) is probably the highest rated of these.
I have no idea of Canon prices but my opinion is that these Nikon 1.8 primes are good value for the money,
Plenty of internet reviews of these.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Craigus
Messages
1,147
Name
Craig
Edit My Images
Yes
#7
I’m sure they’re lovely, but they’re also very expensive and I’m not willing to spend anywhere near that much and as I said I’ve owned Canon 50 1.8 stm and 85 1.8 which were perfectly adequate and could get both of those for £300. If the Nikon offerings at the lower end are comparable then great.
 
OP
OP
Craigus
Messages
1,147
Name
Craig
Edit My Images
Yes
#9
Not really, just using my past experience to illustrate the fact that the cheaper prime lenses are plenty good enough for 95% of situations at a fraction of the cost. I don’t think you read my opening post properly.
 
Messages
1,320
Name
Peter
Edit My Images
Yes
#10
Probably. I tend to skim read and sometimes it bites me back.
I was giving you an option to your last paragraph.
I suppose most have experience with either one or the other system (Canikon I mean).
Good luck and Happy New Year.
 
Messages
4,512
Name
Dave
Edit My Images
No
#11
Nikon's old AF-D lenses are good value and better than the internet sharpness freaks would like you to believe. They are also more compact than the current models - and cheapish. I've used the 20, 24, 35, 50 and 85 on D700 and D750 and been well pleased with all but the 85. Although that's because I don't like 85mm as a focal length.

There's also a 28 which is supposed to be pants but I might still get one to play with. :D There are two 105s - one of which is a macro. I use a Tokina 100mm macro instead of either.
 
Messages
3,037
Name
Fraser White
Edit My Images
Yes
#12
What do you intend to take pictures of?

Would you consider manual focus lenses which are superb quality and extremely well built?

I have the following Nikkor MF glass - 24mm f2.8/ 50mm f1.8 & 105mm f2.5; all were very highly rated and are pretty cheap for the quality (£3-400 will get you all of these in mint condition). All Ais Nikkor glass will workk correctly on a good Nikon body.
 
Last edited:
Messages
11,795
Name
Toni
Edit My Images
No
#13
As Dave says, the Nikon AF-D lenses were good - I happily use the 50 f1.8 AF-D, and I've seen some excellent shots from the 85 f1.8. TBH I doubt there's anything in it between the 2 brands in terms of image quality, if you're going to be using an older body like that which won't show up the limitations of the lens.
 
Messages
6,439
Name
Graham
Edit My Images
No
#16
Nikon's range of 1.8g primes are really nice. About 6 years ago they just starting churning out lovely, lovely 1.8 lenses one after another. They're all great performers, all sensibly priced and make a great deal of sense. Only caveats are really that the 50mm is nice but nothing special and the elephant in the room is the Sigma art range, which are nearly all 1.4's and some are about the same price. They're bigger and heavier though. All the options have their pros and cons but I would say that a set of lenses along the lines of 28mm 1.8g, 50mm 1.8g (it's so cheap, you might as well) and an 85mm 1.8g would be a lovely set up and relatively light and affordable. As an alternative, a few years back I had a Nikon 20mm 1.8g, a Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art and a Nikon 85mm 1.8g. Again worked nicely. But you can go so many different ways with a 3x prime set up that it's hard to recommend options within a system let alone which system to go for in the first place. Doubt you'll go far wrong though as long as you pick your lengths right.

D700 and 5D2 are both very nice. I think the 5D2 probably offers better overall IQ, at least in terms of detail, if not noise but the D700 is probably better for moving subjects. Nit picking though, both would be pretty nice.
 
Messages
6,889
Name
Graham
Edit My Images
No
#17
Do the Sigma lenses use the full AF system under all conditions? I can't remember but I'm sure there's some lenses which can't use the cross type focus points etc.
 
Messages
20,179
Name
Alan
Edit My Images
No
#19
Thinking back to my Canon days my primes were mostly Sigma but I did have one Canon, the 50mm f2.5. At the time I bought it was thought by some to be Canons sharpest 50mm but even so I thought my Sigma 50mm f1.4 at least matched it at every aperture that the Canon could match. When looking at 85mm lenses the choice was easy and again Sigma, same when I wanted a 20mm. My point being that the cheaper end of the Canon prime line up has maybe not historically been exactly cutting edge.

Whatever you go for I'd recommend you don't rule out third party lenses and these days there's also Tamron primes to think about. Personally I wouldn't bother with manual lenses on a DSLR, the fact is they cameras are just not built with ease of manual focus as a priority. If you want to mf a SLR built for it or even better a mirrorless digital camera are the way forward, IMVHO.
 
Messages
316
Edit My Images
Yes
#20
I have had Nikon 50mm 1.8 and the Nikon 35mm FX model and preferred them over the Canon 50mm 1.8 MK 2 and Canon 35 F2. All FF primes.
However good luck finding cheap other FF lenses, I have not seen any apart from junk or zooms
 
Messages
591
Name
Steve
Edit My Images
Yes
#21
I recently bought the 85mm f1.8 AF Nikkor for my film cameras and my D300. That was only £132 from a seller on eBay. This is the first version of the AF lens. I've been carrying it ever since.

I also bought a Micro-Nikkor AF-S 60mm f2.8 G ED. I'm more limited on the cameras I can used it with but it's also a great lens. It's £579 new but I picked mine up for £165 from a Cash Converters.

I also picked up an AF Nikkor 28mm f2.8 for £4.99 from a Cash Converters and if I remember correctly I got my AF Nikkor 50mm f1.8 from a charity shop for about £10.

I have also used Yongnuo lenses on both my Canon and Nikon SLRs and DSLRs with great results for reasonable prices.
 
Messages
15,029
Edit My Images
No
#22
After many switches in gear I feel like I finally know what I want from a camera, I want to go back to full frame with an older Canikon body and a trio of prime lenses. I know there is a lot of talk about DSLR's becoming obsoloete but leaving that to one side, I'm going to be buying an older but perfectly capable body (either D700 or 5D2 or similar) and a trio of primes. Bodies go out of date faster than I change my shirt so old ones are fine for my usage. Buying second hand. I have no experience of Nikon but I adapt very quickly so that doesn't concern me. I shoot a bit of everything excluding wildlife and sport/transport.

The question is which brand has the better range of primes to choose from? They will not be L-glass level or equivalent Nikon level as I don't need that level of equipment and don't want to spend that sort of money, but rather the cheaper end of the range. I've owned FF Canon before with 85mm 1.8 and 50mm 1.8 which were bother great lenses and perferctly adequate.

Focal lengths I would like would be: 24/28/35mm, 50mm, 85/100mm.

Which has the better range in your mind, leaving brand loyalty aside if possible, or is there not much in it in terms of af accuracy, sharpness etc?
Why are you buying so many FLs so close together? Might make more sense to go for something like 28/50/100 or 24/35/85.
 
Messages
20,179
Name
Alan
Edit My Images
No
#23
This thread is months old so I suppose the OP's decision was made some time ago.

Personally I don't see any great reason to go to something like a 5DII except some mad notion of nostalgia when IMO a much smaller mirrorless camera like a Panasonic GX80 or Sony A6000 will probably have it beat for image quality and the GX80 and a combination of primes to suit (oly 12, Pany 14mm, Oly/Panny 15/17, 25, 42/45mm, pick any three) will fit it a winter coat pocket. I haven't checked prices but I do know that I bought all my MFT used and cheap so there can't be much in it. Just my VHO.
 
Messages
1,168
Name
Peter
Edit My Images
No
#24
Left field choice....... in case the OP hadn't made the decisiton.

Pentax K-1

And the FA Limited Trinity 31mm f1.8, 43mm f1.9 and 77mm f1.8. I have these lenses which are magnificent.
If the Limited are too much then you can always go for HD-FA 35 mm f2, FA 50 mm f1.4 (old model unless you can afford the D-FA) and the 100mm f2.8 Macro WR.
 
Top