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D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

P

petercoxphoto

Guest
Hi guys -
Over this weekend, myself and two other photographers will be doing a field test of these three cameras.

The IQ180 will be used both on an Arca-Swiss Rm3d with a 35mm Schneider APO-Digitar XL and a 645AF with 35mm Phase One f/3.5 lens.

The D800 and D800E will be tested with the Nikon PC-E 24mm.

We're going to be looking at resolution, dynamic range and general print quality.

DoF is going to be interesting. We'll probably test everything focused at infinity for one set of images, another focused at the hyperfocal distance (calculated using 2x pixel pitch) and f/11 and yet another using tilt.

This is a landscape photographer's test. We'll be looking to make aesthetically pleasing images (identical images with all cameras) and examining them both on screen and in 20x30" prints.

This will be released as a blog post and a free-to-download video under the Dynamic Range label (The Circle of Confusion — Dynamic Range Videos).

My question to you - anything you'd like to see covered in particular, or suggestions on how to execute the test?

Cheers,
Peter
 

tjv

Active member
I'm keen to see how this unfolds, even though the Nikon is the deserved underdog.
I'd like to see best practice workflow for each camera employed, e.g. appropriate sharpening and tonal edits, rather than just default settings. One other thing I'd like to see is appropriate exposure for each sensor rather than exactly equalized – I've always felt there's no point in doing that because in real world we expose for the properties of the particular sensor we're working with, i.e. depending on shadow depth and highlight recovery ability.
 

Craig Stocks

Well-known member
I am particularly interested in the comparison of the same size print of the same scene. I would like to see some larger sizes, at least 24 x 36 and larger since that's my target size.

Also, the Phase One 35 does not seem to be the best lens in the lineup, so it may have an undue effect on the outcome.
 

Paratom

Well-known member
Hi guys -
Over this weekend, myself and two other photographers will be doing a field test of these three cameras.

The IQ180 will be used both on an Arca-Swiss Rm3d with a 35mm Schneider APO-Digitar XL and a 645AF with 35mm Phase One f/3.5 lens.

The D800 and D800E will be tested with the Nikon PC-E 24mm.

We're going to be looking at resolution, dynamic range and general print quality.

DoF is going to be interesting. We'll probably test everything focused at infinity for one set of images, another focused at the hyperfocal distance (calculated using 2x pixel pitch) and f/11 and yet another using tilt.

This is a landscape photographer's test. We'll be looking to make aesthetically pleasing images (identical images with all cameras) and examining them both on screen and in 20x30" prints.

This will be released as a blog post and a free-to-download video under the Dynamic Range label (The Circle of Confusion — Dynamic Range Videos).

My question to you - anything you'd like to see covered in particular, or suggestions on how to execute the test?

Cheers,
Peter
Hi Peter,
even though it is a landscape test, maybe one shoot posible showing some skin or fine detailed structures?
Thanks, Tom
 

manouch shirzad

Workshop & Subscriber Member
Hi Peter,
Great idea and a lot of work for you, since you are doing the tests on landscape and I do almost all of my landscape shots by stitching,
if you use 800E and take four shots by dividing the scene into four horizontal shots (with some overlap) using the same focal length as
IQ 180, will be a great help. Since everything will be focused at infinity Nodal Point is not that critical. If you just send me the raw files I will work on them and will post the results.
Best,
_______
Manouch
 

torger

New member
Hi guys -
The IQ180 will be used both on an Arca-Swiss Rm3d with a 35mm Schneider APO-Digitar XL and a 645AF with 35mm Phase One f/3.5 lens.
Do you have a Rodenstock 32mm Digaron-W instead, or 40mm Digaron-W? I don't think the 35mm Schneider is such a good combination with the IQ180 if the intention is to show how good it can get. If not shift is going to be used in the test the Rodenstock 35mm Digaron-S is probably better too.

However, for me personally I'm more interested in the 35mm Schneider since I'm considering buying one to my ancient 33 megapixel back :), but if I had an IQ180 I would probably consider the Schneider being a bit soft towards the edges and have too much color cast.
 

Bryan Stephens

Workshop Member
I will be interested in seeing the results myself as I currently shoot a P40+ for landscape and am eagerly awaitng my D800 for everything else.
 

torger

New member
Since you do have a PC-E lens, it would be interesting to test shift, say have the camera horizontal and shift up/down to put the horizon at 1/3 or something, fairly typical landscape thing. (For that I think you absolutely need a Digaron-W for the IQ180 though.)

Dynamic range is a bit difficult to test correctly. I've written some tips about it in the appendix in this article:

An image sensor noise test
 

dougpeterson

Workshop Member
Few random thoughts:
- It's easy to let tests get dilluted by trying to satisfy everyone; my suggestion is first and foremost consider what YOU want to get out of it. Presumably you're seeking to answer the question "which of these do I want to use for shooting landscapes" so make sure the test answers that question first and foremost. No test will be applicable to everyone, so make sure it is at least applicable to you!
- With that in mind consider the multiple aspects of that question. Final image quality is REALLY important, but don't entirely disregard the process of making the image; everything from the weight/size, speed, and the intangible aspect of how much you enjoy working with the camera (no one else can answer that for you - some people LOVE the more traditional mechanical hands-on method of a tech camera; some people LOVE the more gadgety approach of live view on a Nikon; both opinions are completely valid for the owner of the opinion). Naturally some consideration should be given to whichever system you are less familiar with as there is a learning curve with any new (to you) camera.
- a major reason to have/use TSE lenses is WITH tilt or shift; assuming you agree (based on your needs and desires) I see a lot of tests comparing tech cameras and SLRs which only include straight on shots (including a few by yours truly). While others have correctly pointed out that a Rodenstock 32 or 40 would be better matches for an IQ180 it's still worth doing some image-rise on a test.
- you almost surely want to bracket a bit from whatever your field-evaluated exposure is since both systems will handle highlight and shadow curves fairly differently.
- The Phase One 45D is a much stronger lens than the 35D. BUT if your desired usage of the system calls for around a 35mm D then don't let anyone talk you out of using it for your test. This goes back to my first point about making the test first-and-foremost about you.
- Follow your normal workflow wherever it makes sense. If you typically up the contrast and sink large sections of the final image into deep black then by all means do that. If you typically like a somewhat flat rendering with detail and texture everywhere you can get it - do that. Often the strengths and weaknesses of a given camera system are less apparent at neutral "default" rendering than after adjustment.
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Hi Peter,

Looking forward to seeing your results! Obviously I have done some casual comparisons for myself and since they were only casual I have refrained from posting them until I had time to do a more thorough job. At present I still have my Arca tech cam and my favorite lens, the 40, but my other tech lenses and all of my DF gear has been sold...
 

baxter

New member
Sounds very interesting indeed.

I would recommend that the Nikons have their AF checked using the fine-tune and a Lensalign or similar.

Be interested to see how focus degrades with the t/s lens having used tilt and say f5.6-f11 away from plane of focus.

Also be interested to see how exposure handles tone for both types of sensor. eg ETTR type metering with highlight recovery and then giving less exposure so that highlights are safely held and then what happens with shadow recovery and how realistic this looks and easy it is to do in software.

Suggest also using Capture NX2 and Lightroom as well as Capture One Pro for the Nikons. It may well be that current C1 profile isn't optimal for the D800s just yet. The one for the D7000 I feel is in need of some improvement (other D7000 owners have similar opinions on this). Am assuming that the C1 profile will be best for the IQ180.

Given that I'm not able to commit much time to photography currently, I'm seriously thinking of going D800 instead of my P45+/DF645.
 

ustein

Contributing Editor
>I would recommend that the Nikons have their AF checked using the fine-tune and a Lensalign or similar.

Or use live view.
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Peter definitely knows how to use C1, so I would recommend he simply stick with that for both systems -- no sense adding un-necessary variables.
 

Guy Mancuso

Administrator, Instructor
Peter definitely knows how to use C1, so I would recommend he simply stick with that for both systems -- no sense adding un-necessary variables.
Totally agree and C1 is awesome on the Nikons as well. To me it levels the variables a great deal using C1
 

subrata1965

New member
Hi Peter,

Looking forward to seeing your results! Obviously I have done some casual comparisons for myself and since they were only casual I have refrained from posting them until I had time to do a more thorough job. At present I still have my Arca tech cam and my favorite lens, the 40, but my other tech lenses and all of my DF gear has been sold...
Casual testing by Jack? That is hard to believe! LOL!!!

"my other tech lenses and all of my DF gear has been sold"... that somewhat indicates me what was the result of casual testing, but I could be wrong.

Subrata
 
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