Anyone TEST the Nikon 60mm AF-S? (aside from what is on the web)

Started Nov 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
anotherMike
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Re: Anyone TEST the Nikon 60mm AF-S? (aside from what is on the web)
In reply to FrankG, Nov 14, 2012

I think Steve is onto what my issue with the 60 is - some field curvature.

Prior to me selling the lens, I ran the 60G against both the 50/1.8G and the 24-70 on a scene with detail out to the left and right edges in a straight line, and detail in the top left and right corners. Distance was perhaps a couple hundred feet. Shots done on a D800E and also a D7000 and D700, 5 series Gitzo tripod, RRS 55 ballhead, live view focusing, mirror lock, remote release, multiple shots, and then the whole test series done two more times on two different days with the same scene and one similar but slightly closer scene.  A lot of work honestly.  In the end of it all the 50/1.8G did the best in the corners and edges in this scene, followed by the 24-70 (which also had some edge/corner issues, but a bit ahead of the 60 at this distance/scene) and the 60 right behind it. Prior, but not as exhaustive testing, at closer ranges showed the 60 was quite good. So my thoughts are that if you were to shoot a scene whose profile matched the field curvature of the 60 well, you'd think the 60 was great to the edges. But for the test scene I used, it wasn't. Looking back, I wish I had kept the 60G around so I could run some more scenes on it, but the D800E combined with some travel this summer put a heavy dent in the wallet, and something had to be sold to finance those things, and the 60 was a victim, as was the D7000. (Not that I ever liked my D7000 - I really didn't, but the 60 was kind of tough to say goodbye to, although I just don't shoot at this focal length enough to justify having three lenses that were in the same general range, thus the "loser" in my test was the victim to be sold). As I've shot more since then, I firmly believe the D800E is a lens reviewer beyond belief - everything, from aperture selection, field curvature, strengths and weaknesses of the lenses, is revealed if one is picky enough. So on one hand you have to get realistic about how much performance you can reasonably expect and settle back into reality a bit - some of these differences aren't as noticeable on a large test print (although the 60's issues, unfortunately, were, even at 13x19", which isn't huge), but then again, if one really wants to max out the D800E's potential, one has to explore the lenses they use to fully understand their sweet (and not so sweet) spots, and how their field curvature might affect results. As I've mentioned before, one example of this is the 35/1.4G vs 24-70 at 35mm at, say, F/9. I'll often carry both lenses for landscape duty, and pick the one whose field curvature best fits the scene; sometimes it's the prime, sometimes it's the zoom. Thus it's harder to say is overall "better, period" than the other...

I wish I had my test samples around, but I don't back-up my test images (no real reason to in my mind as I'm not running a lens review site) and I recently crashed a drive that I had to recreate from backup, and my 60G tests were on that drive. Oh well.

-m

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