Is this the best I can expect from D800?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
munro harrap
Contributing MemberPosts: 709
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Re: Is this the best I can expect from D800?
In reply to LesGoodey, 4 months ago

Use the older lenses, and cherry-pick. I bought two 24-70mm f2.8 lenses, both returned due to great field curvature (see the photozone de. APS-C review- its a LOT worse on full-frame.

I discovered that with a person, a building or a clump of trees that at ANY aperture only the central ninth was sharp, and the radiating all round is a greater and greater degree of departure from reality, added to which fringing just gets horrible. Yes, it can be corrected, but you simply cannot use this lens on film, and many recent lenses are also bad for fringing.

Also the focus IS critical, and worth checking . It may vary with distances in accuracy, and again some lenses vary a lot (the 35mm/f1.4 AI/AIS comes to mind.

The 24-85mm old and new are not worth buying at all, but the newest is the worst.

The older 28-85mm f3.5-4.5 and 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 are fine, if you get a good one, as is the old 24-50mm f3.3-4.5 which is a handy little thing that overall is much better than the 24-70mm f2.8 nano at the wide end. Except its duff in the extreme corners, where you and I dont put stuff anyway.

You can get very sharp pics on the 36MP sensor, but the problem is (check out the DXO mark tests) that even the most expensive nikkors (and yes I purchased and had to return a 14-24mm Nano as well) rarely get anywhere near the sensors resolution, so you end up with what are in fact merely 10-20 MP images blown up, and, of course you see this at 100% straightaway.

Wide-angles are especially bad in this way, as of course their 10 Megapixels worth of resolution gets spread over a much wider area.

Its staggering how bad some lenses are. The old 17-55MP that still retails at over £1000 in the UK new has, according to the DXO mark tests, mostly less than 6MP resolution, and there are full-frame lenses as bad.

The Tamron they rate very highly-its better than the Nikkors-all of them, but it can still only manage 17MP like the very good Samyang 14MM f2.8 I have.

BUT, and its a big but resolution is also reduced by the AA filter, and in two ways.

1, the filter introduces blur.

2.You then sharpen to increase acuity, but

3.This increases noise, so, you then reduce noise and wave bye bye to resolution!!

The idea that you can retain all of these sensors resolution vanishes with even a tiny bit of noise reduction, but I limit sharpening in shots like that one to a max of 0.3 pixels at 255% in photoshop elements, as Lightroom, great for noise reduction, still refuses anything finer than 0.5 pixels, which makes everything look unreal IMHO. For people shots I use only 0.2% @400 in Elements (Photoshops the same) and it works- I got that from Luminous Lightroom.

All one can do is keep the ISO as low as possible and sharpen pretty much as I do.

And try to avoid going to f11, since in fact the sensor prefers f5.6.

Hope this helps,

Peter

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