Nikon AI-s lenses - quality tests

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
Birdmanfriday
New MemberPosts: 17
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Re: Nikon AI-s lenses - quality tests
In reply to as1mov, 11 months ago

as1mov wrote:

Hi,

where I can find sharpness tests of AI-s lenses? I'd like to compare their optical performance with the newer D and G lenses.

In particular I have 28mm f/2 and 50mm f1.2 and I'd like to see how good the 35mm f1.4 Ai-s performs compared with the others in its category.

P.S. I know only this web site for the 50mm lenses: http://nikonrumors.com/2011/11/03/seven-50mm-prime-lenses-for-nikon-f-mount-compared-by-cary-jordan.aspx/

Thank you.

I own both lenses. I mainly bought them for use on my D7100 but I've also tested them on my D800.

Of the 28/2 I'd say:

  • Flares badly at f2 but a lens hood helps somewhat.
  • Lacks contrast wide open
  • Geometric distortion is well controlled
  • Has significant field curvature and if the centre is sharp, the corners with appear soft when shooting a flat surface. However, focus more towards the corners using LV and it becomes clear that curvature is the problem, rather than poor resolution.
  • Contrast and resolution improve very dramatically at f2.8 and are simply excellent from f4 - f11 from the centre to about 85% out. Extreme corners are never quite critically sharp on FX but are fine on DX.
  • Performance at 2.8 is better than the 2.8 version IMO
  • Great for video
  • Mechanically it's superb and a joy to use.

Of the 50 1.2

  • Flares badly at 1.2 and 1.4
  • Produces rather nice hazy results wide open - 1.4 making it great for portraits if you can nail focus
  • The best 50mm I've used at f2
  • Outstanding between f2.8 - f5.6
  • Geometric distortion is minimal
  • Coma distortion is evident
  • Mechanically excellent
  • I haven't tested the extreme corners as I don't use it that way, but find them pretty sharp from 2.8 on the basis of informal use.
  • Difficult to focus accurately without LV wide open
  • Great for video
  • The only affordable 1.2

I like them both and think they're great on DX. The 28/2 is particularly nice as a 42mm equivalent walkaround lens on DX, with the added depth of field masking focus errors. Like many MF Nikons, their edge performance on FX may be a little less than stellar. Maybe a 1.2x crop would minimise their deficiencies?

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