Technical question, and I am popping it in here because I looked at the EXIF data and noticed the camera model and then the F-number you used for this shot, so it got me thinking. I know this question probably depends on the lens, but at which f-number do you start to see a softening in the image when shooting with your D3X?
It depends on the lens. With the 24-70 it almost never happens. With the 14-24 nothing seems to affect the sharpness at all. It is a huge lump of glass. With the 28-300 I would say below f8 and above f14. They are my main three lenses unless using my 50mm which is just superb or my macro. Really it is all down to the lens. You need to put a real good lens on a full frame camera in my opinion. Hope that was useful to you.
Yes it was, thank you! I ask because I own the Nikkor 24-70 too, it's just that I currently use it on a DX body, so never stop down further than f/11. I am planning to purchase the D600 (similar pixel count as D3X), but I know that pixel density also influences diffraction somewhat, and although it's full frame, 24 MP is a lot of pixels to pack onto a sensor.
Yes it is a lot of pixels and Nikon resisted the big numbers for a long time. I do think they have got it right with the D3X as I have loved using it. The full frame does make a difference in my opinion but I also think the D300s is one of Nikons best cameras too. (it was anyway) That is DX but it is a great quality image and the low light performance is superb. If you want a challenge try using the D800. I recently lucked into getting one of those and have been playing with it and if you want to talk pixels the D800 is getting silly. The thing is the definition is so high you really cannot get away with mistakes. It is always the best fun when I have a camera and some time to spend with it. I honestly don't think you will have any problems with the D600 at all. I think you will have the time of your life and will certainly get much more out of your 24-70 on a full frame sensor. One day treat yourself to the 14-24 if you can. It is mind blowing (but you can't use any filters as it is a big bowl of glass) I believe that is the lens I used on this picture