50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!

Started 8 months ago | Questions
light_bulb
Contributing MemberPosts: 509
Like?
50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
8 months ago

One of the reasons I went for the D800 was higher resolution. However we all know that (Nikon) lenses are for the most of it not really up to the task.

This has been demonstrated by the Zeiss lenses 100 2.0 Macro Planar, 135 2.8 APO Sonnar and lately by the 55 Otus which resolve (way) better than most/all Nikkors.

My best buy from Nikon was the AFS 85 1.8 G which optically is very good indeed, however AF precision is so so. Not knowing what prime to buy in the 50 mm range, I have bought an AFS 50 1.8 G to buy some time finding a better option. I use it for full body shots in studio as well as for city/landscaping and in particular for these purposes I would like a lens that resolves significantly better.

The 50 1.8 G is not at all bad at its price point and most likely sufficient for a D610 but it is not exactly what I wanted to have. By know, I have not really come accross a good alternative except for the Zeiss 55 Otus (well of course without AF, but quite some bulk and on the pricey side).

Nikon´s 50 1.4 is in some regard better and in others worse. The Micro Nikkors fail to deliver the kind of resolution one would expect from macro lenses. At the same time, macro lenses are often not good as general purpose lenses. While Sigma has got a very good alternative as a 35 mm prime, in the 50 mm range the last resort seems to be the Otus.

Is it really that difficult to build a not too fast 50 mm prime lens that can hold a candle to the D800/800E? When I started with photography in film days, a good 50 mm 1.8 came as a kit lens.

It is kind of funny that the money I would have to spend for the Otus would buy me a Sony A7R plus FE Zeiss prime lens to get the kind of resolution I want (instead of just larger but somewhat mushy files).

Have I missed to notice any existing alternative, even though I have done my homework? What has Sigma on its Art roadmap?

Thanks for any useful hints that may help me out of this.

ANSWER:
This question has not been answered yet.
Nikon D610 Nikon D800 Sony Alpha 7R
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
ZAnton
Contributing MemberPosts: 577Gear list
Like?
Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to light_bulb, 8 months ago

Robert Cicala at lensrentals has tested the A7r+Sony f2.8 prime and indeed it shows amazing resolution. On the other side he say, that Sony precook the raw-files. So take any (good) lens and apply some sharpening. You will get same resolution in the test charts or even higher.

At photozone.de, they use same camera and absolutely  same raw converter settings, because even simple sharpening higher the resolution numbers by 30%.

 ZAnton's gear list:ZAnton's gear list
Nikon D600 Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Reilly Diefenbach
Senior MemberPosts: 8,229Gear list
Like?
Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to light_bulb, 8 months ago

Any 50mm lens Nikon makes will outresolve the D800e with ease, sometimes stopped down a bit.  We'd have to be at 50 or 100 MP for that to be an issue.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
light_bulb
Contributing MemberPosts: 509
Like?
Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to ZAnton, 8 months ago

ZAnton wrote:

Robert Cicala at lensrentals has tested the A7r+Sony f2.8 prime and indeed it shows amazing resolution. On the other side he say, that Sony precook the raw-files. So take any (good) lens and apply some sharpening. You will get same resolution in the test charts or even higher.

At photozone.de, they use same camera and absolutely same raw converter settings, because even simple sharpening higher the resolution numbers by 30%.

I am aware of it and having an eye on further reviews to come. As far as I have noticed, existing reviews regarding the A7R plus Sony/Zeiss prime glass seem to be consistent.

Besides the very small package, the A7R would allow me to adapt some Zuiko OM (macro) glas from film days that I have sitting on the shelf but that cannot be used on a Nikon (without some trouble I do not want). I would expect that the Zuiko OM 50 3.5 MC Macro resolves better and more consistent than the AFS 50 1.8 G.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
light_bulb
Contributing MemberPosts: 509
Like?
Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to Reilly Diefenbach, 8 months ago

Sorry, but you must be kidding.

The 50 1.8 G is fairly limited stopped down even in the centre not to talk about the borders/corners where it visibly suffers from field curvature.

This became very obvious to me once I used the D800 50 1.8 G  and D800E 85 1.8 G side by side in studio. Since I currently also have a D800E, my further tries with the 50 1.8 G on the D800E confirmed that it never allows to achieve the crisp appearence that the 85 1.8 G can deliver.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Stujomo
Contributing MemberPosts: 945
Like?
Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to light_bulb, 8 months ago

light_bulb wrote:

Sorry, but you must be kidding.

The 50 1.8 G is fairly limited stopped down even in the centre not to talk about the borders/corners where it visibly suffers from field curvature.

This became very obvious to me once I used the D800 50 1.8 G and D800E 85 1.8 G side by side in studio. Since I currently also have a D800E, my further tries with the 50 1.8 G on the D800E confirmed that it never allows to achieve the crisp appearence that the 85 1.8 G can deliver.

My 50mm 1.8g is pretty sharp on my D800.

view the original

Maybe not as good as my 85 1.8g never done a test as such.

heres the full image.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
light_bulb
Contributing MemberPosts: 509
Like?
Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to Stujomo, 8 months ago

Stujomo wrote:

light_bulb wrote:

Sorry, but you must be kidding.

The 50 1.8 G is fairly limited stopped down even in the centre not to talk about the borders/corners where it visibly suffers from field curvature.

This became very obvious to me once I used the D800 50 1.8 G and D800E 85 1.8 G side by side in studio. Since I currently also have a D800E, my further tries with the 50 1.8 G on the D800E confirmed that it never allows to achieve the crisp appearence that the 85 1.8 G can deliver.

My 50mm 1.8g is pretty sharp on my D800.

view the original

Maybe not as good as my 85 1.8g never done a test as such.

heres the full image.

It is ok in the centre given its price point. With headshots you often do not want more resolution and normally less resolution at the bordes/corners is a nonissue. With full body shots resolution accross the frame is gaining importance and with city/landscapes it is even more important.

Nice picture by the way.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Yves P.
Forum ProPosts: 18,623
Like?
I was fooled all that time then ...
In reply to light_bulb, 8 months ago

light_bulb wrote:

One of the reasons I went for the D800 was higher resolution. However we all know that (Nikon) lenses are for the most of it not really up to the task.

This has been demonstrated by the Zeiss lenses 100 2.0 Macro Planar, 135 2.8 APO Sonnar and lately by the 55 Otus which resolve (way) better than most/all Nikkors.

My best buy from Nikon was the AFS 85 1.8 G which optically is very good indeed, however AF precision is so so. Not knowing what prime to buy in the 50 mm range, I have bought an AFS 50 1.8 G to buy some time finding a better option. I use it for full body shots in studio as well as for city/landscaping and in particular for these purposes I would like a lens that resolves significantly better.

The 50 1.8 G is not at all bad at its price point and most likely sufficient for a D610 but it is not exactly what I wanted to have. By know, I have not really come accross a good alternative except for the Zeiss 55 Otus (well of course without AF, but quite some bulk and on the pricey side).

Nikon´s 50 1.4 is in some regard better and in others worse. The Micro Nikkors fail to deliver the kind of resolution one would expect from macro lenses. At the same time, macro lenses are often not good as general purpose lenses. While Sigma has got a very good alternative as a 35 mm prime, in the 50 mm range the last resort seems to be the Otus.

Is it really that difficult to build a not too fast 50 mm prime lens that can hold a candle to the D800/800E? When I started with photography in film days, a good 50 mm 1.8 came as a kit lens.

It is kind of funny that the money I would have to spend for the Otus would buy me a Sony A7R plus FE Zeiss prime lens to get the kind of resolution I want (instead of just larger but somewhat mushy files).

Have I missed to notice any existing alternative, even though I have done my homework? What has Sigma on its Art roadmap?

Thanks for any useful hints that may help me out of this.

I think my 50 1.4G is pretty good on my D800 (both of them actually)

You can always go with the Atus from Zeiss. Resolution comes with a price.

-- hide signature --

Yves P. Photographe
Share the Knowledge
NPS Member
PBASE Supporter
Some pictures I like:
http://www.pbase.com/yp8/

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Nexu1
Senior MemberPosts: 1,696
Like?
Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to light_bulb, 8 months ago

light_bulb wrote:

It is ok in the centre given its price point. With headshots you often do not want more resolution and normally less resolution at the bordes/corners is a nonissue. With full body shots resolution accross the frame is gaining importance and with city/landscapes it is even more important.

Nice picture by the way.

"OK in the centre given its price point"?

It out resolves the D800.  Click on the crop, full size, download it to your computer, zoom in and you will see individual pixels along the glasses of the young girl.  The lens itself is capable of resolving much, much more than the 36MP, at least in the center.

Perhaps you could show some shots where you are not getting the resolution your shooting style demands.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Shaun_Nyc
Senior MemberPosts: 2,267Gear list
Like?
Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to light_bulb, 8 months ago

I hope Sigma does a 55mm 1.4 art for about a 1k, tweak Nikon's butt cheeks again

 Shaun_Nyc's gear list:Shaun_Nyc's gear list
Nikon D3 Nikon D800 Nikon D50 Canon EOS 5D Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM +10 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
olyflyer
Forum ProPosts: 22,827
Like?
I only know that the...
In reply to light_bulb, 8 months ago

Nikon 50/1.4G, the Nikon 60/2.8, the Nikon 105/2.8VRG and also the Nikon 70-300VRG performing MUCH better on the D800 than on other cameras. That's enough for me. I think actually that if Nikon makes a 48MP camera (or whatever the next will be) my lenses will still be fine wide open also.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
michaeladawson
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,660Gear list
Like?
Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to light_bulb, 8 months ago

light_bulb wrote:

One of the reasons I went for the D800 was higher resolution. However we all know that (Nikon) lenses are for the most of it not really up to the task.

I don't agree. I shoot fashion. Explain to me how I get moiré all the time if my lenses weren't up to the resolution of the D800.

This has been demonstrated by the Zeiss lenses 100 2.0 Macro Planar, 135 2.8 APO Sonnar and lately by the 55 Otus which resolve (way) better than most/all Nikkors.

That is a totally different issue.  Zeiss lenses may be better.  But your opening statement says that Nikon lenses aren't up to the task.

My best buy from Nikon was the AFS 85 1.8 G which optically is very good indeed, however AF precision is so so. Not knowing what prime to buy in the 50 mm range, I have bought an AFS 50 1.8 G to buy some time finding a better option. I use it for full body shots in studio as well as for city/landscaping and in particular for these purposes I would like a lens that resolves significantly better.

The 50 1.8 G is not at all bad at its price point and most likely sufficient for a D610 but it is not exactly what I wanted to have. By know, I have not really come accross a good alternative except for the Zeiss 55 Otus (well of course without AF, but quite some bulk and on the pricey side).

Nikon´s 50 1.4 is in some regard better and in others worse. The Micro Nikkors fail to deliver the kind of resolution one would expect from macro lenses. At the same time, macro lenses are often not good as general purpose lenses. While Sigma has got a very good alternative as a 35 mm prime, in the 50 mm range the last resort seems to be the Otus.

Is it really that difficult to build a not too fast 50 mm prime lens that can hold a candle to the D800/800E? When I started with photography in film days, a good 50 mm 1.8 came as a kit lens.

It is kind of funny that the money I would have to spend for the Otus would buy me a Sony A7R plus FE Zeiss prime lens to get the kind of resolution I want (instead of just larger but somewhat mushy files).

Have I missed to notice any existing alternative, even though I have done my homework? What has Sigma on its Art roadmap?

Thanks for any useful hints that may help me out of this.

-- hide signature --

Mike Dawson

 michaeladawson's gear list:michaeladawson's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Nikon D800E Nikon D4 Nikon D200 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF +17 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Leonard Shepherd
Veteran MemberPosts: 8,468Gear list
Like?
Re: I am not convinced
In reply to Reilly Diefenbach, 8 months ago

Reilly Diefenbach wrote:

Any 50mm lens Nikon makes will outresolve the D800e with ease,

The basic laws of optics (which I find to be correct) are that image resolution is a combination of lens resolution in isolation and sensor resolution in isolate;, and you are lucky to get 70% of the resolution in a file that a lens or sensor tested in isolation can acheive.

If your technique is good you should get about 33% more image resolution going from 12 to 36 MP, or about 12.5% going from 14 to 36 MP - with every lens at every aperture.

I do

-- hide signature --

A great painter gets credit for artistic skill rather than owning marvellous brushes. Maybe photographers should challenge the common assumption a great photograph requires no more than a marvellous camera.

 Leonard Shepherd's gear list:Leonard Shepherd's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +19 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
light_bulb
Contributing MemberPosts: 509
Like?
Re: I was fooled all that time then ...
In reply to Yves P., 8 months ago

Well the Zeiss glass on the A7R seems to show that the price does not need to be that high, provided the lens is a bit slower. A very fast lens with manual focus wide open is kind of a beast you have to struggle with.

Many of the examples with the Otus wide open I have seen are not exactly in focus. It remains to be seen how the DPR crew will manage ...;-)

So you spend quite a bit of money for a fight that needs to be won in every single case you shoot wide open.

Obviously Nikon did not have the D800(E)  on its radar screen while developing its roadmap for lenses. Other than that there would be more lenses that can deliver.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
light_bulb
Contributing MemberPosts: 509
Like?
Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to Shaun_Nyc, 8 months ago

Shaun_Nyc wrote:

I hope Sigma does a 55mm 1.4 art for about a 1k, tweak Nikon's butt cheeks again

I hope so too.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
light_bulb
Contributing MemberPosts: 509
Like?
Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to Nexu1, 8 months ago

Nexu1 wrote:

light_bulb wrote:

It is ok in the centre given its price point. With headshots you often do not want more resolution and normally less resolution at the bordes/corners is a nonissue. With full body shots resolution accross the frame is gaining importance and with city/landscapes it is even more important.

Nice picture by the way.

"OK in the centre given its price point"?

It out resolves the D800. Click on the crop, full size, download it to your computer, zoom in and you will see individual pixels along the glasses of the young girl. The lens itself is capable of resolving much, much more than the 36MP, at least in the center.

Perhaps you could show some shots where you are not getting the resolution your shooting style demands.

It is ok in the centre but there are lenses that resolve better. You need fine detail to notice the difference. EG hair in focus.

However my main concern ist sharpness across the frame.

I am not complaining about this lens at its price.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Stujomo
Contributing MemberPosts: 945
Like?
Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to Nexu1, 8 months ago

Nexu1 wrote:

light_bulb wrote:

It is ok in the centre given its price point. With headshots you often do not want more resolution and normally less resolution at the bordes/corners is a nonissue. With full body shots resolution accross the frame is gaining importance and with city/landscapes it is even more important.

Nice picture by the way.

"OK in the centre given its price point"?

It out resolves the D800. Click on the crop, full size, download it to your computer, zoom in and you will see individual pixels along the glasses of the young girl. The lens itself is capable of resolving much, much more than the 36MP, at least in the center.

Perhaps you could show some shots where you are not getting the resolution your shooting style demands.

Sorry here is the 100% crop. looks like I had something else in me gallery.

It's still very sharp. Sorry if there was any confusion.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Rich42
Regular MemberPosts: 208
Like?
Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to light_bulb, 8 months ago

I have been involved in photography for a very long time and have seen enormous changes and advances in technologies over the last 50-60 years. All through this time, those of us involved at the profesional level have noticed a persistent theme from amateurs and gear-hounds, that if they only had a specific piece of equipment, which for various reasons was just out of their reach, or unavailable, or soon-to-be-developed, their work would improve immensely and they would be able to overcome the present limitations of their equipment.

Truth is, most photographic gear is capable of performance far, far beyond the capabilities of most photographers. Compelling, technically good, artistic images are made by the photographer, not lenses. There really is no such thing as a poor Nikon lens (or a poor lens by any major manufacturer for that matter) despite all the hair-splitting and hand-wringing by reviewers and people reading, comparing and quoting the data from such reviews.

The faults you attribute to the lenses you have named are non-existent in real-world image making. Outside of some very highly specialized industrial, technical and commercial photography, superb results can be had with anything that is available "off-the-shelf."

Where are your images of cityscapes that suffer from the imaginary shortcomings of your Nikon equipment? Show me the optical problems you're complaining about in such pictures. The combination of the the D800/e and any of Nikon's "normal" lenses is capable of excellent work under any kind of assignment. At the f/ stops one would use for such work, there isn't a reviewer in the universe who could distinguish a Nikkor from a Zeiss, a Leica, Zuiko, Voightlander, etc. In fact, if you or they were given a hundred random prints from a small group of excellent photographers, using all makes of lenses at random, making images as they usually do, you would never be able to match any print to any lens except by random chance.

Where is the studio work you mention that taxes your lens so badly? Your gallery shows work that doesn't begin to scratch the capabilities of your equipment.

I am not trying to be negatively critical. I'm trying to give you some constructive advice. I think if you go out and concentrate on acquiring the technical and artistic skill required by the guy behind the camera, and do a lot of the kind of photography that you are just talking about, your gear will do just fine

Rich

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
light_bulb
Contributing MemberPosts: 509
Like?
Re: I only know that the...
In reply to olyflyer, 8 months ago

Lenses will always perform somewhat better with higher pixel counts how negligible that may be.

With the D800 as opposed to the D700, Nikon has moved from mainly sensor limited resolution more into lens limited resolution territory and many lenses will need an upgrade.

This is not necessarily bad for Nikon as it allows to sell more new lenses provided they come up with upgrades. Other than that Sigma, Zeiss etc. will do so.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Scott McMorrow
Regular MemberPosts: 355
Like?
Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to michaeladawson, 8 months ago

I don't agree. I shoot fashion. Explain to me how I get moiré all the time if my lenses weren't up to the resolution of the D800.

It's not just resolution that is important.  It is resolution at high contrast.  Moire, being a repeating pattern alias phenomenon is very easy to spot even at even low contrast levels, such as MTF 10, where the contrast between a white line and a black line is 10%. When you talk about resolution, the contrast level that it is measured at is important.  MTF 50 (Lines/something at 50% contrast) is usually the most often used measure, but there are others.

Being able to see Moire in a photograph just means that there is some non-zero image contrast getting through above the pixel pitch resolution.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads