200mm shootout-Pany 100-300, Pany 45-200, Tokina 100-300
Here are the two of three lenses I tested in the 300mm shootout, with the addition of the Pany 45-200 minus the Nikor, all used at 200mm. See the 300mm shootout thread for methodology and further details of tests.
A question many ask, price aside, which - the 100-300 or 45-200. If you need 300 the answer of course is the 100-300. If you need 45, of course the 45-200.
What about the overlap at 200 - which is better?
First look at the 100-300 at 200mm. I was surprised that it was sharpest wide open at 5.0, gradually loosing sharpness as stopped down. See first image. I don't know if you can see the dif on the uploaded images, but they are real on my monitor (high end, calibrated 26").
The overlap question. They both show vignetting at 5.0 -5.6 with the 45-200 more pronounced. Vignetting is gone by 8.0 for the 100-300, slightly present with 45-200.
The 100-300 at 5.0 is slightly sharper at center than the 45-200 at 5.6 (second image). Both at 5.6 are about the same. Corner sharpness goes slightly to the 100-300 at all stops. At 8.0 center about even. At 11.0, the 100-300 is slightly sharper at center.
By slightly sharper I mean that I can see the difference at 100% with study. It would probably make a slight difference on a print. About the same means that I have too look very close to see any difference. Probably not noticeable on a print. Noticeably sharper means that the difference is evident at a glance and would be noticeable on a print. There were no noticeable differences in this comparison.
The third image compares the Pany at 5.0 to the Tokina ATX 100-300 4.0 at 5.6. The Pany is just slightly sharper at the center and holds a slight lead in the corners.
At 5.6 vs 5.6, the Tokina is slightly sharper at the center and about equal at the corners. Remember, the Pany is sharpest at 5.0 and looses sharpness as stopped down, so the Tokina was able to overtake it. Further stopping down shows the same pattern - Tokina slightly sharper,
I need to test in the range of 100 to 150. I have read that the 45-200 is much sharper in this range so it may do better.
I don't want anyone to think I am obsessive about this but it is something to do until the weather gets better. Besides it is nice to know which lens works best in a certain situations. Before this I would have used the Nikor 300mm 4.5 ED IF for greatest sharpness at 300mm, but not now - the Pany is sharper.
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