Page 1 of 9 1236 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 164

Thread: Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

  1. #1

    Default Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

    Today, I tested some lenses with my Nikon D800E , to find out which one is still suitable for this camera, and which one I need to get rid of, because it can not reach the necessary resolution and sharpness.
    For this, I have to establish certain conditions and settings .
    1) Clean the lenses to test, clean it again, examine the lenses under a good light source with a magnifier and ...yes, clean it again.
    2) Find a suitable mount for the camera. The mount should be as stable as possible . So, forget the "easy-carry-on" tripods. I choose an old Gitzo 3 series with a big Manfrotto Gear head.
    Everything that shakes or moves should be avoided. No unstable heads, no plastic parts in the construction, no quick release, and so on . So, the setup looks like this

    [IMG] _DSF0506 by AchimReh, on Flickr[/IMG]

    3) Camera Setting : Here , you start to feel like a computer operator.
    Set ISO speed to 100
    Set all noise reduction to off
    Set the camera to live view
    Set Aperture Priority
    Close the viewfinder
    Set the camera to single shot
    Set the quality to Raw
    Set the raw format to 14 bit
    Set the raw to uncompressed or loss less compression
    Set picture control to standard or landscape
    Set Color Space to Adobe RGB
    Set AF-D lighting to off
    Set the image size to large
    Set the sensor to FX ( full Frame)
    Look up the lens data to find the suitable F stop for the best resolution. If you can't find the data ( I could no get it for my voigtlander Color Skopar) , most likely it is somewhere in the middle. I choose F8.
    Set d4 custom setting to 2 or 3 seconds. This adds a shutter lag . So , after you press the shutter, move away from the camera, stay still and wait. The camera will take the shot after 3 seconds.
    Switch off Auto Focus
    Make same test shots, to make sure, the sensor is clean.

    4) Taking the shot.
    After mounting the camera and set all the parameters above, look at the image in Live View . Now, zoom in to the maximum, using the (+) button. Be sensitive and adjust the lens to the optimal sharpness in the center.
    Finally, gently press the shutter and release it, take your hands off, don't move, don't breath ....after 3 seconds, you took your first picture.
    Well, I have to say, using the D800E to its full potential reminds me a lot of large format photography.

    And here are some results . All pictures are not edited or adjusted or enhanced in any way. Its straight form the camera - raw( nef) format, opened in Capture 2 , and saved as jpeg to upload to flicker.

    First , the "reference lens " Zeiss Planar 50/1.4 , F8 , 3, pictures , full picture, 100% corp center , 100% crop corner

    [IMG] ZeissPlan50full by AchimReh, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [IMG] ZeissPlan50cencrop100 by AchimReh, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [IMG] ZeissPlan50corncrop100 by AchimReh, on Flickr[/IMG]
    Last edited by Achim Reh; 11th May 2012 at 11:41 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

    Now the Nikon 24-120 AF-S VR ED, same spot, set to 50mm , same sequence , full picture, 100% crop center, 100% crop corner

    [IMG] Ni24_120_50mfull by AchimReh, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [IMG] Ni24_120_50cencrop100 by AchimReh, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [IMG] Ni24_120_50corncrop100 by AchimReh, on Flickr[/IMG]

    It is already clear to see, that the Nikon VR 24-120 is not really up to the job.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

    But I have one more set, comparing the Nikon VR 24-120 at 24mm setting to the Voigtlander Color Skopar 20mm 3.5

    First the Voigtlander Color Skopar 20mm, full picture, 100% crop at center, 100% crop at corner.

    [IMG] D800EColorScopar20 by AchimReh, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [IMG] D800EColorScopar20CentCrop100 by AchimReh, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [IMG] D800EColorScopar20CornerCrop100 by AchimReh, on Flickr[/IMG]

  4. #4

    Default Re: Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

    Compare to the Nikon 24-120 VR at 24mm , again full picture, 100% center crop, 100% corner crop

    [IMG] Ni24_120_24mfull by AchimReh, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [IMG] Ni24_120_24mcencrop100 by AchimReh, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [IMG] Ni24_120_24mcorncrop100 by AchimReh, on Flickr[/IMG]

    So far the first results of my lens and resolution test , Nikon D800E .

    Conclusion
    It becomes very clear to me that only the best lenses will deliver suitable results on this camera. Lenses which performed reasonable good in other tests,( like the example above, the nikon AF-S VR 24-120 ED)are not able to deliver the required sharpness and resolution for this camera. The 24-120 was performing well on my D700 , but on the D800E , the camera can not show its full potential, it is very much limited by the lens. The Zeiss Planar performed as expected, a razor sharp lens , it can't get any better. The Voigtlander Color Skopar performed reasonable well, given the fact that it costs only about 1/3 of the equivalent Zeiss lens. Value for money .
    One other thing became clear to me. This is not a point and shot camera. No shots without good tripod and detailed set up. Using this camera to its full potential is a bit like large format photography. If you don't want to do this, save yourself a lot of money and buy a D7000 or similar model. Otherwise you will never see the full potential of this outstanding camera .

    More test to come ;-))

  5. #5
    Senior Member UncleFai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    4,424

    Default Re: Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

    Did you calibrate the lenses and do AF fine tuning?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleFai View Post
    Did you calibrate the lenses and do AF fine tuning?
    Hello UnncleFai, If you read the test at the beginning , you see that I switched of the autofocus, and focused all by hand , with maximal enlargement in life view , to avoid any focus errors and get optimal results .
    So, no autofocus was used. Anyway , the Zeiss and Voigtlander are manual lenses anyway, so same condition for every lens. And with life view and maximal enlargement ( and yes, a very sensitive hand) , you will get the optimal focus .

  7. #7
    Senior Member UncleFai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    4,424

    Default Re: Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by Achim Reh View Post
    Hello UnncleFai, If you read the test at the beginning , you see that I switched of the autofocus, and focused all by hand , with maximal enlargement in life view , to avoid any focus errors and get optimal results .
    So, no autofocus was used. Anyway , the Zeiss and Voigtlander are manual lenses anyway, so same condition for every lens. And with life view and maximal enlargement ( and yes, a very sensitive hand) , you will get the optimal focus .
    Oops... sorry... but for AF lenses, I find that I seldom is able to do better than the AF of the camera coz the throw distance is not big and the tweak is too minute. So I suggest try AF with the 24-120 (after calibration) and see if it is better.

    Anyway, good job.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

    I tried it out ...when the camera is stable mounted, I enlarge the screen to a maximum, and be very sensitive, I can focus more accurate than AF ..but of course, never as fast , and never without tripod and lots of time

  9. #9
    Senior Member cichlid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    S'pore
    Posts
    5,060

    Default Re: Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

    Hi

    You are using very stable tripod and etc, but what if the wind blow the leaves and grass?
    Last edited by cichlid; 11th May 2012 at 01:24 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

    Than you have to wait for no wind. Anyway , this test is meant to compare lenses in regards to sharpness and resolution on a very high resolution camera. I think it is easy to see the difference between unsharp edges due to a lens problem and moving grass due to wind. It is indeed extremely important for the camera to be very very stable. Even the mirror creates already enough vibration to add motion blur to an image. Thats why you have to pre-release the mirror . This is the same as 20 years ago with film. The basics of high image quality have not changed, film or digital.

  11. #11
    Senior Member G-man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    My House
    Posts
    2,212

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cichlid
    Hi

    You are using very stable tripod and etc, but what if the wind blow the leaves and grass?
    That is down to shutter speed no?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

    Camera same as car…
    The more expensive car you buy, the more expensive petrol you must pump
    So the better camera you buy, the better lens you must use lor…
    In Any case, a zoom lens regardless of brand is not going to be better than a high quality Prime from Zeiss...

  13. #13

    Default Re: Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

    Shutter speed is something you have basically no influence anymore, nether is it very important for this type of photos ( it only will become a problem when it gets very very long, that it will add unwanted factors ) . It ( shutter speed) will become the result from the given factors that you can not change ( or you should not , if you want an optimal quality) . Lowest Iso setting ( as higher ISO setting is achieved by amplyfiing the signals from the sensor , which also increases the noise ..that we don't want) , an optimum aperture , chosen ether from own tests or from the manufacturers data sheet , to set the lens to an optimal possible performance in resolution and sharpness, and of course, the avaliable light at the scene .

  14. #14

    Default Re: Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

    Thanks for your tests. Many of my pictures contain foliage so its good to know which lens are able to make it. I keep the 24-120 for people shot then.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by cichlid View Post
    Hi

    You are using very stable tripod and etc, but what if the wind blow the leaves and grass?
    exactly my thoughts. I mean if you emphasize so much about the tripod setup, it is kind of weird to shoot grass which moves at the lightest wind.

    I don't see a difference between camera motion and subject motion

  16. #16

    Default Re: Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

    Camera motion = whole image becomes unsharp . Grass motion from wind = some grasses become unsharp . Anyway, you should shoot high quality pictures in strong wind, as even the most stable tripod will shake as well.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

    great stuff! thanks for contributing! i would wager that the 50/2 Makro-Planar is actually sharper than the 1.4, and with less field curvature too.

    you really do need the very best lenses AND photographic technique to fully extract the potential of this sensor. also taking into account the diffraction limit imposed by the sensor.

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Jurong
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by recap View Post
    ...................

    you really do need the very best lenses AND photographic technique to fully extract the potential of this sensor...............

    .
    Why is everybody, echoing this fact???? in various forum, in various 'review'....

    May I ask a naive question?

    Suppose I use the same 'OK' lens: one on D800, one on D700, and maybe on D7000 or whatever , D3000?? (factor the DX, but that is another thing.)

    Take the same shot/subject.... and view and or print same size....

    Will I get the same quality or the quality from D800 will be the worse????

    If the quality is from the D800 comes out best, then what is the real practical issue??

  19. #19

    Default Re: Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by recap View Post
    great stuff! thanks for contributing! i would wager that the 50/2 Makro-Planar is actually sharper than the 1.4, and with less field curvature too.

    you really do need the very best lenses AND photographic technique to fully extract the potential of this sensor. also taking into account the diffraction limit imposed by the sensor.
    Recap, I intend to agree with you , but according to the MTF Data, the 1.4/50 Planar has a ( slightly)higher maximum resolution than the 2/50 Macro Planar. Anyway, I also only have the 1.4/50 Planar and not the 2/50 Macro .

    I was thinking of getting the Zeiss 100 Macro Planar. This is, according to Zeiss and other sources, a photographic version of the world famous cine lens developed by Zeiss for Arriflex, and , at least according to the information I was able to get from Zeiss in Germany , the sharpest lens available in the market.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Nikon D800E -in pursuit of sharpness

    Nice..

    But zoom lens always has usability over IQ skew.. so there should be no surprise on the 100% view in these test esp against prime lens.
    Nikon D90

Page 1 of 9 1236 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •