D800E - which primes?

Started Apr 27, 2012 | Discussions
AlephNull
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D800E - which primes?
Apr 27, 2012

I have a D800E. First lens I bought was the 85mm f/1.4G (despite the comments on a certain page!) - it works well for me. Looking for thoughts on other lenses I might want.

Background: I've shot Canon for a long time, and I currently have 1Ds III + 1D IV, with every L prime from 24mm to 200mm (including the heavy 200/2 and 180mm macro). When the 1D X was delayed AGAIN, I thought about what I really wanted, and the thing I really wanted was more resolution. Hence the D800E (I have used the Leica M9, so I am happy with no AA).

In other words, I have no existing glass, but I'm not a beginner

The lenses I use most on Canon are the 85/1.2, 50/1.2, and 135/2. I like primes and I like shallow depth of field. I need auto-focus (my eyes won't let me focus manually - I've tried!) - so Zeiss lenses are no use to me.

The 85/1.4G happily fulfills my first want.

From what I have read, there isn't a 50mm lens that's "good enough" for the D800E, so I may have to settle for the 24-70. Not a fan of zooms, but this one might suit.

What about a longer lens? I tried the 135 DC in the shop, but I don't like it - it feels like a really old design, and I don't want the DC effect. One suggestion I came across on LL was the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 OS macro - the reviewer comparing D800 vs D800E suggested it was very sharp and well up to the resolution. Thoughts?

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mastertrimix
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Re: D800E - which primes?
In reply to AlephNull, Apr 27, 2012

After the Nikon 85 1.4 I would get in this order.

Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 24 1.4---or maybe Nikon 35 f1.4
Zeiss 100mm or Nikon 105 macro
Nikon 60mm micro or Nikon 50 f1.8
Nikon 200mm f 2.0

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Robin Casady
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Re: D800E - which primes?
In reply to AlephNull, Apr 27, 2012

AlephNull wrote:

I have a D800E. First lens I bought was the 85mm f/1.4G (despite the comments on a certain page!) - it works well for me. Looking for thoughts on other lenses I might want.

Michael Reichmann of Luminous Landscape seems to like that lens on the D800E. He has other suggestions as well.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/nikon_d800__e_initial_impressions.shtml

In other words, I have no existing glass, but I'm not a beginner

The lenses I use most on Canon are the 85/1.2, 50/1.2, and 135/2. I like primes and I like shallow depth of field. I need auto-focus (my eyes won't let me focus manually - I've tried!) - so Zeiss lenses are no use to me.

The 85/1.4G happily fulfills my first want.

From what I have read, there isn't a 50mm lens that's "good enough" for the D800E, so I may have to settle for the 24-70. Not a fan of zooms, but this one might suit.

Here is a link to a series of shots from Kuwahara Tsuneharu shot with the 50mm f/1.4G
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kuwahara/6932798990/in/set-72157629798405087
Previous and back will get you to the same shot at different f/stops.

The 60mm Micro is a very sharp lens with a very flat field of focus. I have the older AF version, and it is extremely sharp (got a very good copy, it seems). Most people say the AF-S version is sharper.

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AlephNull
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Re: D800E - which primes?
In reply to mastertrimix, Apr 27, 2012

mastertrimix wrote:

After the Nikon 85 1.4 I would get in this order.

Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 24 1.4---or maybe Nikon 35 f1.4
Zeiss 100mm or Nikon 105 macro
Nikon 60mm micro or Nikon 50 f1.8
Nikon 200mm f 2.0

Thank you for the suggestions.

I thought the Zeiss lenses were manual focus, which rules them out for me.

The 105mm Micro is a bit close to the 85 for now - I'm looking for something longer first (I'd get it if I had unlimited budget!).

The 60mm Micro - hadn't considered that (the Canon equivalent is EF-s = DX, so I skipped over it) - I shall have a look at that one as an alternative to a 50mm.

I have the Canon 200/2 - it's an awesome lens, but quite heavy. I would expect the Nikkor 200/2 would be similarly heavy. I might defer buying that one until I'm feeling stronger

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AlephNull
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Re: D800E - which primes?
In reply to Robin Casady, Apr 27, 2012

Robin Casady wrote:

AlephNull wrote:

I have a D800E. First lens I bought was the 85mm f/1.4G (despite the comments on a certain page!) - it works well for me. Looking for thoughts on other lenses I might want.

Michael Reichmann of Luminous Landscape seems to like that lens on the D800E. He has other suggestions as well.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/nikon_d800__e_initial_impressions.shtml

I hadn't seen that article until this morning. He recommends the 150mm Sigma, too - interesting.

In other words, I have no existing glass, but I'm not a beginner

The lenses I use most on Canon are the 85/1.2, 50/1.2, and 135/2. I like primes and I like shallow depth of field. I need auto-focus (my eyes won't let me focus manually - I've tried!) - so Zeiss lenses are no use to me.

The 85/1.4G happily fulfills my first want.

From what I have read, there isn't a 50mm lens that's "good enough" for the D800E, so I may have to settle for the 24-70. Not a fan of zooms, but this one might suit.

Here is a link to a series of shots from Kuwahara Tsuneharu shot with the 50mm f/1.4G
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kuwahara/6932798990/in/set-72157629798405087
Previous and back will get you to the same shot at different f/stops.

The 60mm Micro is a very sharp lens with a very flat field of focus. I have the older AF version, and it is extremely sharp (got a very good copy, it seems). Most people say the AF-S version is sharper.

Another vote for the 60mm Micro - definitely have to go look at that lens

Sounds like the 50 1/4G isn't as bad as the fear-mongers have made it sound, too.

Thank you - much appreciated.

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Jogger
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Re: D800E - which primes?
In reply to AlephNull, Apr 27, 2012

I would suggest the 24/1.4G and the Zeiss 100/2.

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Tom_Bruno
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Re: D800E - which primes?
In reply to Robin Casady, Apr 28, 2012

Robin Casady wrote:

Michael Reichmann of Luminous Landscape seems to like that lens on the D800E. He has other suggestions as well.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/nikon_d800__e_initial_impressions.shtml

In that article, Reichmann says to keep at or below f11, because "Apertures above about f/11 introduce diffraction which effectively acts as an unintentional AA filter."

Given that limitation, the lenses with the flattest field of focal plane are more important for the D800E (or D800), and I haven't seen any definitive measure of that. For landscapes, you want depth of field, and shooting at high f stops has been tradionally how to get it. Maybe on earlier cameras the diffraction wasn't as noticeable.

I bought a Nikon 50mm 1.8G after reading numerous reviews that measured the flattest focal plane for a Nikon 50mm, more so than the 1.4 lens. I can't tell you how it is on the D800 -- I'm still waiting.

Like you folks here, I'm also wondering which lenses might work best.

Mike Reichmann knows cameras very well and I respect his views, but I don't feel ready to try Tamron or Sigma. At this level of investment, I'm sticking with Nikon glass.

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Robin Casady
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Re: D800E - which primes?
In reply to Tom_Bruno, Apr 28, 2012

Tom_Bruno wrote:

Robin Casady wrote:

Michael Reichmann of Luminous Landscape seems to like that lens on the D800E. He has other suggestions as well.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/nikon_d800__e_initial_impressions.shtml

In that article, Reichmann says to keep at or below f11, because "Apertures above about f/11 introduce diffraction which effectively acts as an unintentional AA filter."

Given that limitation, the lenses with the flattest field of focal plane are more important for the D800E (or D800), and I haven't seen any definitive measure of that. For landscapes, you want depth of field, and shooting at high f stops has been tradionally how to get it. Maybe on earlier cameras the diffraction wasn't as noticeable.

Did you look at my previous post?

The Kuwahara Tsuneharu series with the 50mm f/1.4G give you a good feel for where diffraction becomes problematic. The foliage around the building gives a good idea about the DOF trade-off.
http://www.flickr.com/.../photos/kuwahara/6932798990/in/set-72157629798405087
Previous and back will get you to the same shot at different f/stops.

I expect I'll be doing a fair amount of focus stacking with the D800E.

I bought a Nikon 50mm 1.8G after reading numerous reviews that measured the flattest focal plane for a Nikon 50mm, more so than the 1.4 lens. I can't tell you how it is on the D800 -- I'm still waiting.

The 60mm Micro also has a very flat field.

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Dominique Dierick
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Re: D800E - which primes?
In reply to AlephNull, Apr 28, 2012

Nikon 50G 1.8 is not too bad. Higher contrast than the 1.4, similar sharpness, faster AF.

Indeed, don't underestimate the Sigma 150 2.8. Very sharp lens, doubles as macro and portrait. I have the 105VRII for the smaller form factor only. Otherwise would have bought the 150 2.8 OS.

35 1.4G isn't too bad either, comparable with my old 35L. The Nikon has a little bit better corner performance.

AlephNull wrote:

I have a D800E. First lens I bought was the 85mm f/1.4G (despite the comments on a certain page!) - it works well for me. Looking for thoughts on other lenses I might want.

Background: I've shot Canon for a long time, and I currently have 1Ds III + 1D IV, with every L prime from 24mm to 200mm (including the heavy 200/2 and 180mm macro). When the 1D X was delayed AGAIN, I thought about what I really wanted, and the thing I really wanted was more resolution. Hence the D800E (I have used the Leica M9, so I am happy with no AA).

In other words, I have no existing glass, but I'm not a beginner

The lenses I use most on Canon are the 85/1.2, 50/1.2, and 135/2. I like primes and I like shallow depth of field. I need auto-focus (my eyes won't let me focus manually - I've tried!) - so Zeiss lenses are no use to me.

The 85/1.4G happily fulfills my first want.

From what I have read, there isn't a 50mm lens that's "good enough" for the D800E, so I may have to settle for the 24-70. Not a fan of zooms, but this one might suit.

What about a longer lens? I tried the 135 DC in the shop, but I don't like it - it feels like a really old design, and I don't want the DC effect. One suggestion I came across on LL was the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 OS macro - the reviewer comparing D800 vs D800E suggested it was very sharp and well up to the resolution. Thoughts?

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My equipment: Nikon D3s, D800, EOS 450D
The ladies equipment: Panasonic LX5 and GH2 for video

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Georgino
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Re: D800E - which primes?
In reply to Robin Casady, Apr 28, 2012

24 1.4G
35 1.4G
85 1.4G
105 macro 2.8 VR (very sharp)
70-200 VRII

I love 300 2.8 VR as well

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phototrope
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The 50mm question
In reply to AlephNull, Apr 28, 2012

I moved back to Nikon after being tempted over to Canon with the FF of the original 5D and the promis of a 50/1.2 AF lens. I must admit, I loved the 50/1.2L but lets not forget the massive fuss that people raised at first when the found it had a focus shift (something most lenses have but often gets unnoticed because most lenses dont have such a narrow dof as an f/1.2 lens). Anyway, after moving back to Nikon with a D800, the 50/1.4g was the first lens I bought. I was more than happy with its performance, happy that it was smaller and lighter than the 50/1.2L and also that it is weather sealed. I don't have any of the problems that others are reporting with the lens, and I can't explain why they are having these problem.

I also bought a second hand Nikkor 50/1.2, maybe because I thought I would miss f/1.2, and I had heard its better than the 50/1.4g. In some cases it is (notable, at f/2 - f/4 it is a bit more contrasty), but you have to work harder with the manual focus. Trust me, PP can make a 50/1.4g picture look as good or better than any other 50mm lens. So I may be putting my Nikkor 50/1.2 back on the market soon.

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AlephNull
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Progress
In reply to phototrope, Apr 28, 2012

Well, at $1200 I thought I'd take a chance on the 150mm Sigma. It focuses faster than I'd expected, and yes, it's sharp. Fills my need for a longer lens. It's a bit heavier than I'd like, but I guess that it's hard to get good images without heavy glass

I haven't had a chance to try a 50 1.4G or 1.8G - I'd like to, and the 35mm f/1.4G, as well.

I wanted something shorter, so I settled for a 24-70 for the moment. Not a prime, but sometimes ya gotta compromise.

So I have 3 lenses for the weekend: the 24-70, the 85, and the 150. That covers my immediate needs. Now I spend the weekend trying them out

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Dennis DH
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Re: Progress
In reply to AlephNull, Apr 28, 2012

Maybe the new 28mm f1.8, will have to wait for testing to make this choice.
50mm f1.8
60mm f2.8 AFS-G macro

85 f1.8 AFS-G this is actually sharper than the 85 f1.4 or the 60mm macro on my D800 The f1.8 lens are better performers than the f 1.4 lens.

180 f2.8 AFD this is performing very well or if you have a lot of money the 200 F2 VR11
any one of the telephoto lens are good
400mm f2.8
500mm F4
600 F4

or any one of the tilt shift lens 24mm, 45mm, or 85mm, they just release a patent for a new 17mm tilt shift lens

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AlephNull
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Re: Progress
In reply to Dennis DH, Apr 28, 2012

Dennis DH wrote:

Maybe the new 28mm f1.8, will have to wait for testing to make this choice.
50mm f1.8
60mm f2.8 AFS-G macro

Another vote for the 60mm Macro!

85 f1.8 AFS-G this is actually sharper than the 85 f1.4 or the 60mm macro on my D800 The f1.8 lens are better performers than the f 1.4 lens.

I've read one article that suggested the f/1.8 lenses might be a good choice (Was is the Ming page?) - one theory I heard was that might be because they are simpler / less complicated designs (and don't have the complications needed to reach f/1.4). It's an interesting theory, but I'd like to see some reviews to back that up - the Lens Rentals page shows the 50/1.8 sharper at the edges, but softer in the centre, and the 85/1.8 very slightly sharper in the centre, but softer at the edges.

180 f2.8 AFD this is performing very well or if you have a lot of money the 200 F2 VR11
any one of the telephoto lens are good
400mm f2.8
500mm F4
600 F4

Those telephotos will all be heavier than I'd be happy with at the moment.

or any one of the tilt shift lens 24mm, 45mm, or 85mm, they just release a patent for a new 17mm tilt shift lens

Sadly, those lenses are all manual focus.

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ajo43
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Re: Progress
In reply to AlephNull, Apr 28, 2012

You may laugh at me but if you want something very light I think that the 35mm f2 works really well on my D800. Old school lens but small, compact, light - great for street.
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Mark B UK
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Re: Progress
In reply to ajo43, Apr 28, 2012

I suspect that the optimum lenses for the D800 may be the 28 1.8 and 85 1.8, on the basis that these two optics have been announced at the same time and subsequent to that camera respectively and I think I'm right in saying that the press releases for both reference their having been designed with high-resolution sensors in mind. Also while we don't yet to the best of my knowledge have independent test results on the 28, we do for the 85, and the consensus seems to be that it's one of the best lenses that Nikon has made in the digital era.

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dabrickbat
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Re: D800E - which primes?
In reply to AlephNull, Apr 28, 2012

I wouldn't write off the 105 macro so quickly. The problem several excellent Nikon lenses have is how close you can focus. The 105mm micro overcomes this problem and still provides amazing sharpness, more than decent bokeh, and excellent colors. Even though my go to lens is the 85mm 1.8 g, I use the 105mm on every shoot. It is indispensible. While the 60mm is probably just as sharp, the bokeh is a bit busier and you have to get pretty close with it to get the detail you want. If you are shooting close ups of peoples faces, you are likely to have to invade their personal space to get the shot you want.

AlephNull wrote:

mastertrimix wrote:

After the Nikon 85 1.4 I would get in this order.

Zeiss 21mm or Nikon 24 1.4---or maybe Nikon 35 f1.4
Zeiss 100mm or Nikon 105 macro
Nikon 60mm micro or Nikon 50 f1.8
Nikon 200mm f 2.0

Thank you for the suggestions.

I thought the Zeiss lenses were manual focus, which rules them out for me.

The 105mm Micro is a bit close to the 85 for now - I'm looking for something longer first (I'd get it if I had unlimited budget!).

The 60mm Micro - hadn't considered that (the Canon equivalent is EF-s = DX, so I skipped over it) - I shall have a look at that one as an alternative to a 50mm.

I have the Canon 200/2 - it's an awesome lens, but quite heavy. I would expect the Nikkor 200/2 would be similarly heavy. I might defer buying that one until I'm feeling stronger

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stany buyle
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The AF-S 85mm F1.8 is verrrrrry good,...
In reply to AlephNull, Apr 28, 2012

...and reasonably priced.

http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/singlefocal/normal/af-s_nikkor85mmf_18g/index.htm

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