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Thread: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

  1. #1

    Default Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    If this question sounds interesting to you, go to:

    http://www.wolfgangsteiner.com/blog-...blogid-25.html

    Regards

    Wolfgang

  2. #2
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    But going by price value of the lenses..

    the 50mm f1.8 would win top honours IMHO.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  3. #3

    Default Re: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    But going by price value of the lenses..

    the 50mm f1.8 would win top honours IMHO.
    Maybe, but that was not the question.

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    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang Steiner View Post
    Maybe, but that was not the question.
    True...

    Btw, was the EL able to fit into the Nikon F mount without the use of adapters? Been reading about some of these special lenses and some of them are not originally meant for F mounts, so how did they manage to get it fitted onto the newer cameras?
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

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    Default Re: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    Would this test be fundamentally flawed? The problem is that the tested lenses are all of a different focal length and then cropped to the same framing, therefore each image is "different" in the amount of resolution it represents.

    You also shot trees - would an incidental breeze cause movement of the subject that varies from shot to shot?

    Lastly I note that you used a fair spread of aperture settings F/4 to F/11. Is it appropriate to compare across such a wide variety of F-stops?

    Ultimately, is the point of your post leading to the conclusion that the lens that you got for a great price is better than other lenses out there?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by r32 View Post
    Would this test be fundamentally flawed? The problem is that the tested lenses are all of a different focal length and then cropped to the same framing, therefore each image is "different" in the amount of resolution it represents.

    You also shot trees - would an incidental breeze cause movement of the subject that varies from shot to shot?

    Lastly I note that you used a fair spread of aperture settings F/4 to F/11. Is it appropriate to compare across such a wide variety of F-stops?

    Ultimately, is the point of your post leading to the conclusion that the lens that you got for a great price is better than other lenses out there?
    @r32,

    you are absolutly right, the differnet lens have differnet focal lengths and thereof I had to crop all the images except the 85mm for better viewing, but thats not a problem at all.

    That the tree are moving doesnt disturb me either because there is a roof from a house inside and there you can check the qualitly and sharpness easyly.

    For sure you must test every lens with its best aperture. For example: The 85mm f/1.4 perfoms outstanding at f/5.6, but is very poor at f/11.0. And the EL-Nikkor is perfect only at f/11.0. So what should I do... forget about those lens specific details?

    My conlusion just shows the ability from the 63mm to record finest details, not more and not less.

    Regards

    Wolfgang

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang Steiner View Post
    @r32,

    you are absolutly right, the differnet lens have differnet focal lengths and thereof I had to crop all the images except the 85mm for better viewing, but thats not a problem at all.
    Can you please explain why this isn't a problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang Steiner View Post
    That the tree are moving doesnt disturb me either because there is a roof from a house inside and there you can check the qualitly and sharpness easyly.
    The house is at the corner, therefore it becomes a test of corner sharpness if we cannot use the trees as a guide to sharpness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang Steiner View Post
    For sure you must test every lens with its best aperture. For example: The 85mm f/1.4 perfoms outstanding at f/5.6, but is very poor at f/11.0. And the EL-Nikkor is perfect only at f/11.0. So what should I do... forget about those lens specific details?
    I am a Canon shooter, and besides, I don't have the same lenses you do. I'll concede that you have shot each lens at the "sweet spot" for optimum sharpness.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang Steiner View Post
    If this question sounds interesting to you, go to:

    http://www.wolfgangsteiner.com/blog-...blogid-25.html

    Regards

    Wolfgang
    I don't understand what the test is trying to drive at..

    1) You are taking different crops and expect the lenses to perform with the same sharpness?

    2) You expect lenses to behave the same at different aperture? I agree that every lens have their sweet spot but how do you judge which aperture is the best for each lens?

    3) You expect that after cropping, resizing the crops to the same resolution will give a fair comparison of the sharpness?

    Since the EL-Nikkor is an enlarging lens, how did you focus? (I'm not familiar with the lens.)
    Last edited by lsisaxon; 2nd November 2006 at 04:30 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    @Isisaxon,

    if somebody dont want to understand its absolutly impossible to discribe it for him.

    Resizeing or cropping doesnt make a picture sharper, or not? But because many people dont realize that my test is quite repeatable I will post 100% crops from the middle of every picture today.

    Then you will not be able to fret about such a small uninteresting detail.

    Your question about the focussing from the 63mm shows me that you didnt read, or understand what I wrote.

    regards

    Wolfgang

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    I did a little test of my own. I shot a test subject with a 70-200mm zoom lens set at 200mm, and without touching anything else, shot the same scene with a 50mm lens.

    In both shots, I used a tripod, timed shutter release, and the same exposure values (30s @ F/11, ISO 100). This is *not* a test of sharpness, even though I had kept the same aperture setting in both shots. What I am testing, is whether the focal length affects the quality of the image, once you have cropped it.



    This is the scene shot at 50mm. The tripod was not moved.


    The photo on the left is a cropped version of the photo above. The photo on the right is a downsized version of the original 200mm focal length shot (no cropping). What can clearly be seen, if we use the word Nokia as a guide, is that the 200mm shot shows more detail than the 50mm cropped version.

    It more or less proves that focal length affects image quality visibly. However, for the purposes of your lens experiments, it would appear that the lenses all fall in a reasonable spread of focal range that they *should* not suffer very much image quality loss from cropping and resizing. I intentionally used a very different focal length (50mm vs 200mm) so that any differences in quality can easily be seen.

    But as this mini test shows, the differences even at this difference in focal length is fairly small. It wouldn't skew the test very much that the lenses in your Nikkor sharpness test don't all have the same focal length.
    Last edited by r32; 2nd November 2006 at 10:05 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    Looks like you are a very funny guy? Will see when I' next time in Singapore (June 2007) and meet teerex and the gang if you still that funny when looking in my eyes...? Not same you I'm a professional photographer.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang Steiner View Post
    Looks like you are a very funny guy? Will see when I' next time in Singapore (June 2007) and meet teerex and the gang if you still that funny when looking in my eyes...? Not same you I'm a professional photographer.
    I see that you are not a native English speaker, so I have to ask, do you think I am making fun of you? Maybe you can ask your friends if I am making fun of you, or just offering my opinions? I'm not making anything up by asking you those things.

    I've even taken the trouble to test out what I questioned, in case I am wrong, and I have also said that after my testing, I see no wrong in you cropping the shots, because it makes little visible difference to the result.

    But then, you've just stamped your authority as a professional photographer. I'm not a professional, so I lose anyway.

    Uh huh. Yup.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang Steiner View Post
    @Isisaxon,

    if somebody dont want to understand its absolutly impossible to discribe it for him.

    Resizeing or cropping doesnt make a picture sharper, or not? But because many people dont realize that my test is quite repeatable I will post 100% crops from the middle of every picture today.

    Then you will not be able to fret about such a small uninteresting detail.

    Your question about the focussing from the 63mm shows me that you didnt read, or understand what I wrote.

    regards

    Wolfgang
    No. I was questioning if it's fair to compare a full sized image with a cropped image, even if you downsize, the inherent resolution at the sensor plane is different. To put it like that means you're trying to say that the lenses have infinite resolution. I don't need 1000mm lenses anymore because if I mount it to a smaller CCD, I would be able to use a 50mm lens as a 1000mm lens. Yes? No, because the 50mm lens is not designed to give so much resolution over a small cropped area.

    I am not saying that your test is not repeatable, and from this test, I'm sure that the EL is sharper than the 85/1.4, that's the only conclusion I can make, because you are using a cropped version of the image to compare with the full size of the 85mm image.

    This is why on lens test chart there is a bracket which lets you frame the chart exactly within your viewfinder. So if you used a longer lens, you will have to shoot from a further distance.

    I asked about the focusing of the EL because I'm not familiar with it and it wasn't mentioned in your article. And since my understanding of enlarging lenses are that they are M39 threaded and mounted onto the bellow of an enlarger, I was more interested to know if you had some kind of mount to mount the lens. Unless, of course, if it is F mount, then there would have been no questions.

    If you did use some kind of adapter, I'm interested because I would like to see how a Rodagon-G 50/2.8 enlarging lens would compare.
    Last edited by lsisaxon; 3rd November 2006 at 12:06 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    now there are 100% crops with the size 730x488 pixel under every picture. Saved with 100% quality!

    Hope that all of you are happy now...

    But the 63mm is still the winner

    http://www.wolfgangsteiner.com/blog-...blogid-26.html
    Last edited by Wolfgang Steiner; 3rd November 2006 at 03:05 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang Steiner View Post
    now there are 100% crops with the size 730x488 pixel under every picture. Saved with 100% quality!

    Hope that all of you are happy now...

    But the 63mm is still the winner

    http://www.wolfgangsteiner.com/blog-...blogid-26.html
    I think the 50mm looks sharper. no? This is quite a surprise also. the 100% crop seems is a fairer test.

  16. #16
    Senior Member glennyong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    I do not understand this. If you are a Professional Photographer. why on earth do you want to know which is the sharpest Nikkor ?


  17. #17
    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    eh, AF60mm micro f2.8D is not included in the test?

    that is the sharpest Nikkor ever made.
    u plo i oso plo leh!
    You'll Never Walk Alone! - i have the best job in the world!

  18. #18
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesecake View Post
    eh, AF60mm micro f2.8D is not included in the test?

    that is the sharpest Nikkor ever made.
    u plo i oso plo leh!
    Hmmmmm.... wonders...
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  19. #19
    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    Hmmmmm.... wonders...
    wonder wat? u got other nikkors to put to the test?
    You'll Never Walk Alone! - i have the best job in the world!

  20. #20
    Senior Member glennyong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which is the sharpest Nikkor lens?

    lol... Hasselblad mount lens by Carl Zeis den sharp... use Hasselblad and their lens la...

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