Last edited by GrahamWelland; 1st April 2012 at 17:34. Reason: Fricking iPhone!
My old days I had a Canon 200 1.8 actually 3 in total and a Leica 180 f2 summricon. Man that lens was a dream. Now I would love to get the Nikon, I seen some images and wow. Talk about magic
Guy, resistance is futile ...
Actually I think that the 200/2 VR is the Nikon analogous lens to the Noctilux in the Leica line up. Most people aspire to get one, love shooting it for a while but unless you need it for sports or close up wildlife shooting it tends to become one of your best but seldom used lenses. When you need to raid the piggy bank it tends to be the first one to go and then you lament selling it and buy another later and the cycle repeats itself.
My last rationalization with the 200/2VR was that with the 1.4x & 2x converters I could have a single lens that would give me everything that my 200-400VR gave me in a single package. In fact image quality-wise it was pretty darned near true but less convenient.
But (my silly justification) have you bought a tech cam lens lately. ROTFLMAO
Yeah, I understand all about lens design, and the relationships between aberrations and aperture, thanks!
Moreover, it is impossible to design a lens to be "perfect" except at one aperture and one focus distance -- a lot of folks do not know that. Everything either side of the optimal magnification ratio or aperture the lens was designed around is going to be a compromise in absolute quality. I believe the setting to -1 for optimal focus on the DC is because folks are shooting this lens wide open, and focus generally shifts further away as one stops down -- so I suspect the lenses are set for optimal at f 4 or f5.6 and when folks shoot at f2 or 2.8 the lenses focus a little closer, hence moving the DC control minus or towards front actually corrects the aberrations for the slightly closer focus.
Regardless, we get instant feedback with digital so we can figure out what works best for us with this lens pretty easily.
Both Guy and I owned the Leica R 180/2 in the day and loved it. It was a massive manual lens, but the results were spectacular. If I start shooting the D800 a lot, I will probably spring for 200/2. But my first fast tele will likely be the 300/2.8 --- owned one of the first Nikon AF versions of it back in film days and loved it. And I also owned the 600/4 and 800/5.6, shot a lot of nature and birds, but they were only available as manual focus back then.
Just magic glass. One word Mojo
PS- I found the 200/2 and the older 2TC was as good as my 200-400 @ 400 and AF on my then D2 was fast enough for horse racing. This newest 2TC III sounds quite appealing. Hmm, so maybe a 200/2 and the new 2TC and my older 1.4 TC is a cost saving way to have a long lens arsenal. Hmmm. ;>)
200 2.0, does anyone use these anymore? thought the d3s took them out. 300 2.8 is nice, but like the 400 2.8 (newer one) better.
(I only quoted only a portion of your original txt above). I understood you were well versed regarding lens optics, including the the principals behind soft focus lenses. Since postings (responses) in general are read by many, and additionally there were comments/questions regarding this particular lens, my response was generally for those who might not be familar with the operation or optical properties of how this lens works. In some ways it is different than two other well know soft focus/defocus contol lenses.
You are also correct....moving the DC control towards the front does correct the aberrations for the slightly closer focus.
In essence, the front positions are responsible for correction of spherical aberration (SA) and alter the defocused character in front of the subject. Conversely the rear positions introduces SA and alters the defocused character behind the subject.
In pre-digital days of film only, the amount of work to determine what settings (with this lens) that resulted in just the effect one desired, took a considerable amount of time and effort.
Interestingly a store going out of business recently was selling a brand new sealed 200 f2 VRII boxed, for more than 20% off mail order price. I resisted but found myself hesiatating for just a moment....but 5 minutes later, it was scooped up by another buyer.
In all seriousness, it's probably as potent a combination on the D800 as the 85mm f1.4G is...just different.
Here is my set for now:
- 24-120mm f/4 VR
- 105mm f/2.8 Micro VR
- 70-200mm f/2.8 VR I (we use this range often but $2,400 for the VR II version is a bit too much right now)
- 17-35mm f/2.8 (from 2001, use this range rarely)
- 28-70mm f/2.8 (not sure when I will use it though) The faster aperture is offset by no VR.
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"Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."1 Member(s) liked this post
So, since consensus seems to be that Nikon QC is spotty, especially with autofocus, I'm going to go the bourgeois route and buy my lenses new, with full USA warranty.
I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for a fairly efficient test procedure to determine if the thing can be tuned via camer settings or if it needs to go back to Mother Nikon?
So having read everything here and a host of other views and reviews I have settled on the following for my E... and with special thanks to Jack for bringing some of these to my attention...)
1) 24-120. No brainer. Everyone seems surprised by how well it does.
2) 70-300 either Nikon or Tamron. The Tamron gets slightly better reviews in pretty much every department and there are corrections for it in LR4. I was going to look at the 80-400 but apparently both these 70-300s are notably better, lighter and cheaper and I'd rather give up the extra range in favour of these attributes and then rely on 'digital zoom' for further reach I rarely do anything that needs these focal lengths and never for professional use so this should be fine as a compromise.
1) 20mm F2.8 sounds really useful: small, light, not too pricey, great to carry around in the bottom of the bag when the only other lens I have with me is the 24-120. Useful for certain kinds of landscape.
2) 50MM Leica R Cron (ROM version) with Leitax adaptor. I already have this lens so I might has well adapt it and have it as a good mid-ranger.
3) EITHER the 85 F1.8G (very nearly as good as the F1.4 but a lot cheaper) OR the 105 DC. Either of these will serve well for portraits. It's a pity neither has the benefit of VR, which I think may prove almost necessary at this focal length on the D800E. The advantage of the 10.8G is that it has way way better MTF performance at wide apertures, which helps mitigate the effects of no VR, but the bokeh won't be as good.
So given that I've got the Leica 50mm and the 24-120 already, I could have the full bagful for about £1,400 new if I went for the cheaper options. Then I'd have primes at wide, mid and portrait and zooms from 24-300.
Sound sensible? I am mildly concerned that the 20mm, 85mm and 70-300 are not in the Nikon technical document for enhanced sharpness with the D800E...
Last edited by tashley; 4th April 2012 at 03:21.
I have some thoughts on a some of lenses you mentioned Tim, but for the moment, permit me to concentrate them on the current Tamron 70-300 with the similar to Nikon vibration reduction control. I'm not completely certain that either of these lenses are completely up to the task of being used on the D800/D800E, but will reserve judgement in that department until I have a chance to actually test them out on that body...so my thoughts simply pertain to their use and some quick observations made on the D700.
Opticaly the Tamron was a bit sharper, especially at the longer end of the zoom range but in this class of lenses, sample variation in both the Nikon and Tamron may be more of a deciding factor regarding which ultimately gets the optical nod, more than anything else. In terms of actual performance, neither lens actually approaches the acuity and the ability to resolve detail as a good 70-200 f2.8 VR II zoom with a 1.4x, although as used as a walk around lens in a small kit, they obviously have their place.
One thing you should though be aware of is how Tamron implements their vibration type control mechanism. It's quite different than Nikon's and if you're used to how Nikon does it, it can and has been jarring and a bit disconcerning experience for some. The Nikon does it in a two step process when the shutter is first pressed half way down to focus (and activate VR and then ultimately you complete taking the shot). The Tamron does it all in one action and the image stabilization mechanism causes the image in the viewfinder to come to abrupt halt and be held there for some time, even if the half pressed shutter is released. Harder to describe in words and doesn't sound like much of an issue, but it has been for some. Actually having both lenses in hand and mounting and trying each side by side, you will immediately see what I am describing. Near or at 300mm both lenses did a creadible job (with the Tamron clearly having an edge) but I wouldn't personally put a lot of weight on their resolution holding up to sizeable prints where fine detail needs to be resolved. Thats been my experience when I tested two good samples of both for an aquantence, to use on an overseas trip. The Tamron is somewhat weighty too but appears to be constructed well. The other thing to note, is if you purchase the Tamron, try and get one from recent stock and production runs. Early one (runs) had an issue where the lens went completely soft at its longer focal lengths and many have reported this. Tamron does fix them readily when sent in for adjustment, but it's best to simply avoid having to do this with a new lens. On the D700, the Tamron was impressive thru most of it's range but like the Nikon, one can see it's missing that degree of acuity that helps define a certain look with regards to some images.
Last edited by D&A; 4th April 2012 at 09:20.
>2) 70-300 either Nikon
Very interested how this lens is working on the D800. Especially compared to the 70-200 VR 1 which is kind of soft.
Uwe, what I find most interesting is there have been more and more reports of certain lenses (and not always the top tier ones) that were found to perform just OK on the D700 but excellent on the D800. The 24-120 f4 comes to mind, since there were very mixed opinions on that one (on a D700/D3, including my own experiences), but a fair # have said when they tried the lens on their D800, its performance seemed to be considerably better. I've heard from one other that the same lens improvement was observed on his D800 with regards to his Nikon 70-300. My comments above regarding the comparision of the Nikon 70-300 on the D700 vs Nikon's 70-200 f2.8 with 1.4x, was with Nikon's newer 70-200 f2.8 VRII lens...which I now added this distinction in my post above. Thanks for the interesting info Uwe!
Last edited by D&A; 4th April 2012 at 09:20.
I'd love to understand the theory that can back those observations up.
Last edited by D&A; 4th April 2012 at 21:20.
I used this combo as my final small Nikon outfit for travel before selling up for more MF gear. (D700 + 16-35VR, 24-120VRII, 70-300VR). All good lenses but the 70-300 was the weakest and not even close to the 70-200VR II.
The 45/85 PC-Es, 24/35G, and 14-24 I had were noticeably sharper overall or had much nicer Bokeh.
I'm kind of thinking the same as you Dave. Maybe it's pixel wonderment at work.
>not even close to the 70-200VR II.
And I have the VR I (-:, too bad.
Did anybody try the following lenses on the D800:
- AF-S 50mm f/1.8 G
- AF-S 85mm f/1.8 G
Yes the 50 1.8 g very sharp. I took a couple shots with it yesterday will post in First Blush thread
Thanks. Hard to get right now.
One thing I remembered from back in my Nikon film days was how well the 20 AF handled direct light in the frame, so I tested it today -- it was the first day we've had actual Sun showing in blue sky since I got the camera! Anyway, here you go -- not the greatest artistic image, but a definite torture test for a lens and especially a digital sensor. I dod not actually expect to get the traditional lens "star" pattern from direct Sun on the sensor, but I did. Sure there is a bit of flare, but hey, look what I'm shooting at!
20 AF D at f16, processed in ACR, shadows lifted about 40 points:
Now here is a shot from the 105DC. This one is an infinity shot to show the lens in a normal environment. I was surprised by a couple factors. First was the dynamic range of this image exceeded the camera's ability to fully capture -- IOW both ends of the histo are clipped. I had to balance exposure and add 6 points of highlight recovery and 6 points of fill to "save" it. But the radio towers in the way background are very sharp for the hazy distance away they are. Also, there is a lot of detail on the hillside where I focused.
105DC at f8 with DF at +2, focus is on the rocks on the hill:
And a crop -- keep in mind this was hand-held 1/200th @ f8, ISO 100, and those radio towers are at least two miles (4.5KM) away. The rocks and trees are a good 500 - 600 meters away. You can see high tension power lines peeking out from the next canyon over:
Here is a bokeh shot with the 105DC -- I focused on the weed in front, f2.8 with DF set at +2 or f2.8 behind:
Bottom line is I am very happy with these two lenses.
PS: All were processed in the ACR beta using the Adobe standard profile. However, WB had to be bumped up to shift sky out of cyan -- let's hope Adobe gives a color tweak for the official release.All had a slight boost to saturation. Sharpening varied a little frame to frame, but I am using around 48/0.6/40/9 for most with some clarity (except for the bokeh shot).
The 105 looks nice.
The 105 DC lens is a outstanding lens! Some though prefer the slightly less sharp 135 DC, simply because the increased focal length of the 135mm provides a narrower depth of field at similar f-stops (when both lenses are used with DC control essentually off).
I'm not too worried if one or two of the lenses in this bag aren't quite up to the D800E - I think this sensor will offer benefits of tonality and DR that don't always need ultimate resolution and if I anticipate printing to 40" I'll make sure I've got one of the best lenses strapped on the front!
I just tested my Canon5DII with 24-105 versus NEX7 with 15-55 at equivalent FOV and at F8, the differences are visible in favour of the Canon at 100% on screen but with a touch of post, at 50%, which roughly equates to a 200dpi print, I actually prefer the NEX because the DR is better and so IMHO are the colours... so for prints up to the largest I can do myself (24" roll printer) even a lowly kit lens can hit the spot if the sensor has some of the extra mojo of this new generation!
Till not long ago, one of the most popular questions and discussions with Nikon shooters was whether they prefer and would choose the 105mm DC lens or the older 85mm f1.4 D lens. Opinions would be split 50-50. The 85mm f1.4D was sharp and would be better at isolating your subject with shallower depth of field but images were rendered "cool" and was not always the ideal or lens for portraits although many used it for just this reason. It's attrative creamy bokeh was a big plus. The 105 DC renders "warm", had excellent sharpness (arguably a bit more than the older 85mm f1.4D) and for portrait work was often the prefered lens, having a look in the way it would draw an image, warm and inviting, many positive attributes even when DC was not employed.
The newer Nikon 85mm lenses have altered some opinions. The new 85mm f1.4G is a bit warmer than it's predesessor, somewhat sharper and even a bit smoother in the way it renders busy backgrounds. I was impressed when I compared the older and newer versions together. Yet if I had to pick one specifically for portraits, I still woould probably go for the 105DC (although it is a very attractive lens for shooting other things)...but if subject isolation and certain types of distant landscapes was part of the equation, I probably would opt for the 85mm f1.4G. The older D version was mediocre at best for shots at long distances, going soft, but the new G version is much improved in this area.
I haven't really done anything with the new 85mm f1.8G lens except a few quick shots at a dealer but from what I briefly saw, it appeared more like a little brother to the new 85mm f1.4G as opposed to any similarity to the older 85mm f1.8D version, which quite different in a variety of ways.
Last edited by D&A; 5th April 2012 at 05:45.
Here this is the 85 1.4 G at F8
14-24 at 24mm at F8
Re 85. I have not shot the 85/1.8 G, but I passed up purchasing one because of the 105DC. That said, I see it both ways:
Speaking for me, I was going for a look lens, and the fact the 105 is laser sharp and has great bokeh when zeroed, then add in you can tune the aberrations to suit sealed it. Had I not bought this lens, the 85/1.4G was my short choice -- it was a gamble because I read the 105DC would not cut it on the D800, but clearly it does.
For you (or anybody else), I think it really comes down to which focal you'd use more -- I think there is a enough visual difference between 85 and 105 focals it is a factor -- and then what kind of look-character(s) you're after. Then you need to decide if you want near instant SW AF, or can you live with slightly slower screw AF to gain the tunable oof character?
Thanks Jack. I think the 105 sounds right for me: Nikon glass can be a bit characterless IMHO, and so one lens with a very distinctive look will be very useful... So with the 20 mm and the 24-120, it looks like I'm your new mini me...
Since I'm very fond of the 135mm focal length, this one would be interesting to try on the D800 (or on any other camera):
Carl Zeiss Press Release: CP.2 15/T2.9 and 135/T2.1
Pity about the price
I don't care what gear I have.
Things I sell: http://www.shutterstock.com/sets/413...html?rid=61105
I assume you saw my comments in one of my posts above regarding the Tamron. If you are able to try it out prior to purchasing, I would...not only for performance at the longer end which was superior to the equivalent Nikon lens, but for the way the VC is implemented. I got used to it (although I much prefer the way The Nikon VR works), but know a few people personally, that couldn't adjust to it and found it bothersome and therefore deferred purchase. It's not a major factor but the way it gets activated and ultimately released takes some shooters a while to adjust to it. Aside from that and early samples all soft near 300 ( a bad batch), it does quite well for what it is ( at least on the D700 it does). It too is weaker at 300mm than at shorter focal lengths ( as expected), but seems to hold onto resolution better at this end of it's range than the Nikon, especially in the central portion of the frame.
I'll mention a sleeper lens that was not long ago discontinued by Sigma. It was their 100-300 f4 (constant aperture) zoom. It's somewhat bigger in size than the Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VRII but in terms of its relatively low price and exceptional performance, it comes remarkably close and often is near ithe Nikon's equal at a fraction of the price. At 300mm, it also equals or surpasses the Nikon when the Nikon uses the 1.4x. Additionally the Sigma does well with it's own 1.4x, resulting in a capable 420mm f5.6 lens, especially across 80 percent of the frame and actually almost matches its $3000 big brother, the Sigma 120-300 f2.8 lens. Last year I tested all three lens together. The 00-300 f4 is built like a tank and only drawback is size/weight (not really a travel lens), and making sure you have an optimal sample.
Lastly two other superb AF lenses are the previously mentioned Nikon 135m DC lens and Sigma's 150 f2.8 macro (with or without lens stabilization). Both have stellar reputations, optically speaking and they both never cease to amaze me with their performance.
Last edited by D&A; 5th April 2012 at 13:10.
Dave, the other Sigma that is worth mentioning is the 120-300 f2.8! It is clearly bigger still and not a travel lens, but a lot of glass for the money. IIRC, the 120-300/4 is not OS/VR, correct?
I can tell you from personal experience that the 100-300 f4 is far superior than their updated 70-200 f2.8, especially when that lens is used with their 1.4x. I tested the 100-300 f4 along side their older non OS/VR 120-300 f2.8 and I'd give the edge to the faster zoom but not by much. When their 1.4x is used with both lenses, centrally it was almost a dead heat but the edges sides were distinctively better in the faster lens, but again not dramatically. When you consider the 100-300 f4 even at that time was $2000 less expensive than it's faster brother and much smaller and lighter by a significant margin, the 100-300 f4 was such a good buy, that most believe that Sigma was worried by keeping the 100-300 f4 lens in production, that it might take sales away from both their new 70-200 f2.8 and new 120-300 f2.8, especially if they (Sigma) updated the 100-300 f4 with OS/VR.
One last thing to note. The older 120-300 f2.8 non OS/VR had major issues with correct focusing on Nikon bodies and rectifying it with a trip back to Sigma, wasn't always successful. The 100-300 f4 basically was issue free except for the usual Sigma sample to sample variation. I haven't shot with the newly released 120-300 f2.8 OS/VR lens yet (hope to soon), but in speaking with a couple that already shot with this newly updated lens, optically it's close to the original but appears to be better with regards to correct focusing. Optically comapred to it's older non OS/VR version, nothing definitive yet from what I've heard so far. They definitely improved the mechanical and handling design of the lens though. Unfotunately sample to sample variation in both older lenses was often onsiderable and finding a good optical sample takes some doing.
After owning and using both (with and without their 1.4x), I kept the 100-300 f4, it being an invauable lens for concert work, much like Nikon's 70-200 f2.8 VRII, not only due to manageable size/weight but also that the images it produces has always been impressive.
***(This post has been substantially corrected and updated on 4/6/12)
Last edited by D&A; 6th April 2012 at 06:41.
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105mm Macro seems to work great.
Uwe very nice! These and along with some other images posted, really puts demands on the D800 sensor, especially with their very detailed repetitive patterns...such as the tree leaves and roof tiles. Normally in the past, these kinds of images were in the domain of MF if extreme detail was required for large format prints. I would love to see both the Raw's as well as how 40-60MP backs/cameras reproduce the same scenes...not so much as to which is better (as each system in other ways has advantages and disadvanatges), but simply to see what is gained and/or lost and how each reproduces such scenes.
After much thought and research I have decided that the Zeiss 100 f2 will be my short telephoto lens for my backordered D800e...also considered the nikkor 85 1.4 and nikkor 105 2.8 but in the end the zeiss won out. This forum has been really helpful but what finally made my decision final were the comparative results on digilloyd's site of the D800 with the zeiss 100 f2 and Leica s2. Eleanor
I'm new here and just want to say that I appreciate the tone, the pictures and the expert opinions. This is a very competent side.
I receive (hopefully) my D800 tomorrow and look forward to testing it and apparently also myself and my skills.
As for lenses for D800, seems to show a picture of lots of opportunities for 14 to 50 mm. Then I have only seen 85/1.4G, Zeiss 100/2, 105 VR, 105 DC and 70-200 VRII performs satisfactory. Is it right or have I missed something?
Check this thread out. I have 14-24, 35 1.4g, 85 1.4g, 50 1.8g and a 180 2.8 plus other members have posted various lenses as well. Welcome aboard