Putting the 18-35/3.5-4.5G in context

Started Mar 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
gatorowl
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Re: Putting the 18-35/3.5-4.5G in context
In reply to J Craig H, Apr 27, 2013

J Craig H wrote:

Very useful thread, thanks.

I'm wondering if anyone has any updates to this - either from using the 18-35 g more or from getting one recently? (Particularly on a D800/E.)

I'm thinking about ordering one tonight. So far it seems like an ideal wide zoom for hiking and travel but with good quality too.

Craig

I have some thoughts (I shoot with a D800E), although I need to do a lot more testing before I'm completely confident about my observations.

I just got my Tokina 16-28mm back from the service center.  It suffered from decentering problems.  It is a whole let better now, so I did some preliminary (informal) testing against my 18-35mm, which I like a  lot.  My testing consists simply of comparisons.  Since it's preliminary, I'm not ready to post any images.

It seems that at like apertures  the 16-28mm is marginally sharper in the center from 18-35mm.  However, from 24-28, the 18-35mm is sharper in the center. I'm not at all impressed with the 16-28mm at 28mm although it is adequate.   What is truly amazing, however, is that the 18-24mm edges are sharper throughout the overlapping zoom range. It's not that the Tokina is super soft, I think that it's more that the Nikkor just does a truly excellent job on the edges.

If these observations hold up under more rigorous testing, I need to decide how much that extra 2mm of reach is for me.  The additional sharpness in the center at wider FLs is not so great as to overcome the consistency edge that the 18-35 provides over a longer range of FLs. However, more testing is needed before I decide whether to keep the Tokina. The 18-35mm is without a doubt a keeper.

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