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Someone had to do it

tashley

Subscriber Member
Disclaimer: this was for purposes of my own curiosity. I don't consider it scientific enough to prove anything at all. I am aware of the non-prefect technical aspects of the experiment and I do know that this is comparing apples to oranges but

a) I like fruit
b) Sometimes I want to know if the apple will be more satisfying than the orange

First off, developed in LR4. No howls of protest from either side, I will be doing C1 later.

All shots on a Gitzo three, Cube, MUP and remote release.

The D800 using a Leica 50 Cron at F8, ISO 50 and 1.6 seconds
The IQ180 on Phase DF with Phase 80MM standard lens @ ISO 50, F8 and 1.6 seconds

The Phase file came out a tiny touch lighter, but showed clipping warnings in the blacks and a touch in the whites. Maybe the lenses have different T stops or maybe the nominal versus actual ISOs differ. The Nikon file had fewer warnings at both ends (none in the whites other than in the bright window ledge on right, which is not shown in the Phase file because of the slightly different aspect ratio and FOV).

This is intended to show nothing about resolution: it can't because the focal lengths of the lenses are different so the DOF varies widely between the two. I chose these differing focal lengths because the both 'normalise' to about the same FOV - they are both 'standard'.

I did the test purely to test my suspicion that I was getting cleaner shadow detail from the Nikon files than I had ever seen elsewhere, at my normalised printing resolutions of 200DPI.

That is a long-edge print from an un-cropped Nikon file of a touch over 36 inches, which at this aspect ratio is 24" on the width - the largest print that almost anyone can make at home or even in their professional studios without having to outsource.

The most relevant crops are prepared as follows: the Nikon files are reduced to 1:2 and the Phase files to 1:3 so that they both approximate to a 36 inch print on the long side for the Nikon and 34 inches for the Phase.

These downresing ratios clearly favour the Phase files, but are a good representation of how I print from both cameras.

Right, just been called to lunch. Images coming soon thereafter....
 
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tashley

Subscriber Member
First, the scene as captured and uncropped.


NIKON FILES FIRST THROUGHOUT






Now crops at 100% for each file. Focus was manual in both cases: the D800E using LV and the Phase using iterative eye/review. Focus was intended to be on the neck of the thin glass flask centre.



 

tashley

Subscriber Member
Now some crops with the shadows lifted to +100 and the exposure lifted 1.5 stops.

A torture test to be sure, and both cameras pass with flying colours... and this is a not totally unrealistic ask when trying to get maximum detail from a file. Well, not until the last year or so...

Be clear though: these following crops are with the D800E at 1:2 and the IQ180 at 1:3 to give very similar print sizes.



 

f8orbust

Active member
Thanks for sticking your head above the parapet Tim. I'm not too bothered by the difference in resolution - there is so much more to IQ than simply how many bloody pixels there are. Just as with other comparisons that are appearing, its obvious that the D800 has an amazing ability to capture clean shadow detail, easily out performing everything else, including the IQ180, by a country mile. Amazing. You can see the noise in the IQ file in your last set of images, whilst the D800 is as clean as a whistle. With the D800 it's now possible to hold extreme highlights and still have clean shadows. This is nothing short of astonishing - especially given the sensor size of the D800 (and remembering also that it costs 7.5% of the cost of an IQ180).

Jim

P.S. I had to check the exif data to make sure the Nikon files were first - they're that good!

P.P.S. Not sure you've nailed focus with the IQ180 - either that, or the increased DOF of the smaller sensor on the D800 makes it look that way.
 

tashley

Subscriber Member
And here are the more challenging crops in C1... again with the Nikon to 1:2 and the Phase to 1:3 and with +1.5 stops exposure and with the shadows slider hard to the right on both. Otherwise default settings for everything APART from there were a lot of single pixel faults in the Phase file so I gave it full single pixel correction.



 

T.Karma

New member
The Nikon pic gives me a slighty cramped feeling. The Phase is more graceful from highlight to midtone, where the Nikon obviously has better definition in the shadows. Clearly, the D800 will be a milestone, like the first 5D was years ago.
 

tashley

Subscriber Member
Thanks for sticking your head above the parapet Tim.
My.....errr... pleasure! :ROTFL:

I'm not too bothered by the difference in resolution - there is so much more to IQ than simply how many bloody pixels there are. Just as with other comparisons that are appearing, its obvious that the D800 has an amazing ability to capture clean shadow detail, easily out performing everything else, including the IQ180, by a country mile. Amazing. You can see the noise in the IQ file in your last set of images, whilst the D800 is as clean as a whistle. With the D800 it's now possible to hold extreme highlights and still have clean shadows. This is nothing short of astonishing - especially given the sensor size of the D800 (and remembering also that it costs 7.5% of the cost of an IQ180).

Jim
There are other factors of course: some people might prefer the colour rendition of the 180 and the way the format allows for gradations of colour, tone and focus...

P.S. I had to check the exif data to make sure the Nikon files were first - they're that good!
Me too, several times, and then it clicked...



P.P.S. Not sure you've nailed focus with the IQ180 - either that, or the increased DOF of the smaller sensor on the D800 makes it look that way.
I know - I learned one side-lesson from this test: the LV on the D800E might look crunchy compared to zoom view on the IQ review, but it is the ability to go past and back to focus several times whilst still looking that lets you nail it. Maybe a loupe on the IQ would help but you really need to see your tweaks in real time. That IQ shot was the best focussed for four, with iterative method, and looked damn sharp at 100% review...
 

tashley

Subscriber Member
The Nikon pic gives me a slighty cramped feeling. The Phase is more graceful from highlight to midtone, where the Nikon obviously has better definition in the shadows. Clearly, the D800 will be a milestone, like the first 5D was years ago.

I'm currently uploading the files to a dropbox account so people can play with them themselves: the Nikon file can be opened up and tweaked endlessly to have that same continuous smooth gradation look. The whole scene shots I posted here were, apart from WB, 'out of the can' which is fair to neither, merely a way of showing the scene and the relative FOV.
 

Joe Colson

Well-known member
Tim,

Thanks for performing the test and posting these images. Well, I'm definitely impressed by the clean shadow detail from the D800. And like Jim, I wouldn't have guessed that the Nikon files were first!

Joe
 

tashley

Subscriber Member
I would caution mildly, though I am sure you all already know this, that noise is easier to 'read' in OOF areas because there is no other detail for the eye to chew.
 

Guy Mancuso

Administrator, Instructor
Been doing these tests a lot myself where the Nikon lacks is mid tone contrast. Try a little clarity on the Nikon when your processing. Better yet apply it at 100 percent and watch it being applied . I found about 15 to be pretty nice. And yes it's a little tough telling them apart. The big difference right now is the tech cam just kills the Nikon in usage as the Nikons can't get close on the wide end of the world with shift, swing and tilt. So the beauty for me is having both.

Of course the Nikon smokes the tech cam in other areas. Freaking can't win need both systems. Lol
 

tashley

Subscriber Member
Been doing these tests a lot myself where the Nikon lacks is mid tone contrast. Try a little clarity on the Nikon when your processing. Better yet apply it at 100 percent and watch it being applied . I found about 15 to be pretty nice. And yes it's a little tough telling them apart. The big difference right now is the tech cam just kills the Nikon in usage as the Nikons can't get close on the wide end of the world with shift, swing and tilt. So the beauty for me is having both.

Of course the Nikon smokes the tech cam in other areas. Freaking can't win need both systems. Lol
I know. Damned expensive need hey?

:LOL:
 

johnnygoesdigital

New member
Tim,

Your dedication to this is commendable because these sort of environments are more "uncontrolled", in terms of lighting, so I think the results of your photographs are extremely useful. Very surprised that the detail in almost every Nikon capture is cleaner than the IQ. Proficiency with post production technique will undoubtedly create even more stunning detail... No IQ for me, thank you!
 
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