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

Started 10 months ago | Questions
BarnET
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Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to light_bulb, 10 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.

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Zeiss-Carl-Zeiss-Distagon-T-STAR-Otus-55mm-F14-ZF2-Nikon-on-Nikon-D800-versus-Nikon-AF-S-Nikkor-50mm-F18G-on-Nikon-D800-versus-Sigma-35mm-F14-DG-HSM-A-Nikon___1242_792_435_792_1057_0

It looks like you are right. The 50mm f1.8g is a great lens for the money. But It just can't resolve enough detail. The sigma 35mm seems to be the best blend in sharpness AF and cost. The zeiss otus is the advertised non compromis resolution king. That 29mpix is an value that could only be obtained with an mediu m format.

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Nexu1
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Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to BarnET, 10 months ago

BarnET wrote:

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.

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Zeiss-Carl-Zeiss-Distagon-T-STAR-Otus-55mm-F14-ZF2-Nikon-on-Nikon-D800-versus-Nikon-AF-S-Nikkor-50mm-F18G-on-Nikon-D800-versus-Sigma-35mm-F14-DG-HSM-A-Nikon___1242_792_435_792_1057_0

It looks like you are right. The 50mm f1.8g is a great lens for the money. But It just can't resolve enough detail. The sigma 35mm seems to be the best blend in sharpness AF and cost. The zeiss with an mediu m format.

Nikon 50mm f1.8G: http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/631-nikkorafs5018ff?start=1

Sigma 35mm f1.4: http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/792-sigma3514dgfx?start=1

Both peak at 3900-4000.

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Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to light_bulb, 10 months ago

light_bulb wrote:

Sorry, but you must be kidding.

Nope, far from it. The break point is about 3200 lwph at most, which most lenses can do without breaking a sweat, at least center to mid stopped down a bit. Download any of the full size jpgs available all over the net or use one of your own.  Clearly visible pixels will be the result zoomed in, which you can count one by one in Photoshop on the pixel grid from one side to the other. Want higher resolution? You'll have to buy a 50MP camera. Not what you wanted to hear, but pixels don't lie:

Portland, OR

24-85VR

Corner sharpness and overall contrast, color, etc. are all still in play, but not resolution with any 50mm stopped down.   If you have any 50mm D800e full size jpgs which will not show pixels at 400%, by all means put a few of them up so we can see them.

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BarnET
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Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to Nexu1, 10 months ago

Nexu1 wrote:

BarnET wrote:

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.

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Zeiss-Carl-Zeiss-Distagon-T-STAR-Otus-55mm-F14-ZF2-Nikon-on-Nikon-D800-versus-Nikon-AF-S-Nikkor-50mm-F18G-on-Nikon-D800-versus-Sigma-35mm-F14-DG-HSM-A-Nikon___1242_792_435_792_1057_0

It looks like you are right. The 50mm f1.8g is a great lens for the money. But It just can't resolve enough detail. The sigma 35mm seems to be the best blend in sharpness AF and cost. The zeiss with an mediu m format.

Nikon 50mm f1.8G: http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/631-nikkorafs5018ff?start=1

Sigma 35mm f1.4: http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/792-sigma3514dgfx?start=1

Both peak at 3900-4000.

That was on the d3x not an more demanding d800. And those scores were stopped down to f5.6

The sigma is sharper at f1.8 till f4.

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Nexu1
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Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to BarnET, 10 months ago

BarnET wrote:

That was on the d3x not an more demanding d800. And those scores were stopped down to f5.6

The sigma is sharper at f1.8 till f4.

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply the cheapo 50mm f1.8G is every bit as good as the Sig 35.  The Sig 35 deserves it's almost cult like following, it's a great lens.

I'm familiar with Riley's tests with the D800E.  If we're talking purely whether or not a 50 f1.8 can resolve all the pixels of the 36MP sensor, it can.  Obviously there is more to a lens than just resolving pixels.

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moving_comfort
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The 50 1.8 out-resolves the D800
In reply to light_bulb, 10 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.

.

??

Reilly was right.   I suspect you have a bad 50 1.8G?

.

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Bruce Granofsky
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Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to light_bulb, 10 months ago

I just posted this test with different 50's at 1.4 on 3 different cameras including the D800.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3601671

There is a difference between the cameras and lenses, but really, IMO not by That much.

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olyflyer
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Re: I only know that the...
In reply to light_bulb, 10 months ago

light_bulb wrote:

Unfortunately there is quite a bit of atmospheric haze that limited what might have been achieved.

...but no lens or camera can cut through haze and magically remove it.

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KLO82
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Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to light_bulb, 10 months ago

From dxomark:
50mm f1.8G --> D800: 16P-Mpix , D610: 16P-Mpix

50mm f1.4G --> D800: 16P-Mpix, D610: 16P-Mpix

85mm f1.4G --> D800: 19P-Mpix , D610: 19P-Mpix
100 2.0 Macro Planar --> D800: 17P-Mpix , D610: 17P-Mpix

135 2.8 APO Sonnar --> D800: 28P-Mpix , D610: 23P-Mpix

55 Otus --> D800: 29 P-Mpix , D610: 23 P-Mpix
It seems that even 100mm macro Planar is not very sharp either. But 135 APO Sonnar and 55 Otus are really very sharp.

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RedFox88
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Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to light_bulb, 10 months ago

light_bulb wrote:

According to to my understanding, moiré is also dependent on output size and resolution. For the most of it you may have it on a screen but not in print.

Agreed.  moire is more of a resizing issue for HD video/resized JPGs than an overall resolution issue.

I once had blueish moiré patterns in black fabric with a Pentax 645D with FA 120 4 Macro. With the D800 I have noticed it with feather detail but no yet with fabric.

I do not think that moiré provides indication for highly resolving lenses.

I was not talking about all Nikon lenses but I think all D800 users are aware that many lenses are not exactly designed for it.

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John Motts
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Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to light_bulb, 10 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.

Do we?

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John Motts
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Re: I only know that the...
In reply to light_bulb, 10 months ago

light_bulb wrote:

Unfortunately there is quite a bit of atmospheric haze that limited what might have been achieved.

But nevertheless thank you for this.

What more do you want?!!

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Nexu1
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Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to KLO82, 10 months ago

KLO82 wrote:

From dxomark:
50mm f1.8G --> D800: 16P-Mpix , D610: 16P-Mpix

50mm f1.4G --> D800: 16P-Mpix, D610: 16P-Mpix

85mm f1.4G --> D800: 19P-Mpix , D610: 19P-Mpix
100 2.0 Macro Planar --> D800: 17P-Mpix , D610: 17P-Mpix

135 2.8 APO Sonnar --> D800: 28P-Mpix , D610: 23P-Mpix

55 Otus --> D800: 29 P-Mpix , D610: 23 P-Mpix
It seems that even 100mm macro Planar is not very sharp either. But 135 APO Sonnar and 55 Otus are really very sharp.

Bruce posted some interesting comparison pics here: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3601671

Kind of interesting to see $400 vs. $3000 vs. $10,000

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MisterHairy
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Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to light_bulb, 10 months ago

If you are finding it difficult to exploit the resolution of the D800 with an existing Nikkor 50mm lens then you are doing something wrong as all will comfortably outresolve it. You may need to look at your technique before considering blowing that sort of cash on the Zeiss 55mm as it would likely be wasted.

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Scott McMorrow
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Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to Reilly Diefenbach, 10 months ago

3200 lw/ph is below the pixel resolution of the D800, which is 4912 lw/ph. A lens with an MTF50 of 3200 lw/ph most certainly does not out resolve the sensor.  The lens will be the weak link.  However, you didn't specify whether this was MTF80,MTF50, MTF30, MTF10, or some other contrast metric used to specify resolution.

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Scott McMorrow
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Based on what metric?
In reply to moving_comfort, 10 months ago

MTF10

MTF30

MTF50

?

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Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to Scott McMorrow, 10 months ago

Scott McMorrow wrote:

3200 lw/ph is below the pixel resolution of the D800, which is 4912 lw/ph. A lens with an MTF50 of 3200 lw/ph most certainly does not out resolve the sensor.

Actually it does, easily.  Any lens shows all available pixels at 3200 per Photozone, which is all that matters:

Imaging Resource D800e

No magic lens can add more pixels. You cannot make any lens produce more pixels and add resolution once you're already there, any more than you could somehow force your 1080p TV to show more detail.  Digital is pretty cut and dried that way.  I would defy anyone to reliably tell one 50mm at f8 from another at any magnification.

The lens will be the weak link. However, you didn't specify whether this was MTF80,MTF50, MTF30, MTF10, or some other contrast metric used to specify resolution.

Use your eyes and your favorite viewer to zoom in and see.  There's no great mystery going on here.

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Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to MisterHairy, 10 months ago

MisterHairy wrote:

If you are finding it difficult to exploit the resolution of the D800 with an existing Nikkor 50mm lens then you are doing something wrong as all will comfortably outresolve it. You may need to look at your technique before considering blowing that sort of cash on the Zeiss 55mm as it would likely be wasted.

The glass mystique dies hard :^)

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Scott McMorrow
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Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to Nexu1, 10 months ago

Nexu1 wrote:

Nikon 50mm f1.8G: http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/631-nikkorafs5018ff?start=1

Sigma 35mm f1.4: http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/792-sigma3514dgfx?start=1

Both peak at 3900-4000.

Which are both about 20% below the maximum resolution of 4912 lw/ph of the D800 sensor.

One of the serious problems with the photozone.de resolution measurements is the way in which they measure border and corner resolution.  What they do is to optimize focus in each zone, and then measure resolution.  This neglects field curvature.  Imatest MTF50 measurements made of the corners, when the center is in focus will be much lower than they report.

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MisterHairy
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Re: 50mm Prime with Resolution for a D800? Come on Nikon/Sigma!
In reply to Reilly Diefenbach, 10 months ago

Reilly Diefenbach wrote:

MisterHairy wrote:

If you are finding it difficult to exploit the resolution of the D800 with an existing Nikkor 50mm lens then you are doing something wrong as all will comfortably outresolve it. You may need to look at your technique before considering blowing that sort of cash on the Zeiss 55mm as it would likely be wasted.

The glass mystique dies hard :^)

£169 for the image and £3000 to feel confident that one has the very best lens ever ever ever (Otus is £3169 over here)

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