Light Pilgrim: I think these Zeiss lenses are not relevant anymore. They do not work properly with modern DSLRs and Manual Focusing is extremely complex on bodies like 5D MKIII as an example.
I think Canon will introduce 135 F/2 very soon and it will have AF...will be cheaper. The existing Canon lens is just stunning and is costs 50% of what Zeiss is asking for this lens.
I think Zeiss will need to change their business model very soon....of offer AF.
Manual focus with 50mm F1.4 is not a big deal, but manual focus on 135mm F2 lens is very difficult and hard with modern digital camera. I own 50mm/F1.4, 105mm/F1.8 and 135mm/F2, manual focus on a moving subject on low ligh is super hard with my 105mm/F1.8 and 135mmF2, lucky that my 135mmF2 comes with AF and I am selling my great but manual foucs 105mmF1.8, it is getting harder infoucs with my D800.Will pass on any manual focus lense beyong 85mm....135mm manual focus lens, no thanks!
Good review ! On exposure metering sensor : understand that dpreview have not tested the meter sensor accuracy in the past and I wonder if the D800 provide better i–TTL meter accuracy compare to D700 in real world test. For example, turn-on the build-in flash in command mode then use a SB-900/SB-910/SB-700 in slave mode for off camera flash for the same backlit subject, will D800 provide a better off camera i-TTL flash shooting result than D700 with the significant increase on meter sensor, 1k pixel on D700 vs. the 91k pixel RGB sensor on D800 ?
Leoking: D800 has a built-in Flash which allows use of CLS without purchasing an extra flash or a controller for most situations. That makes it even less expansive than 5D MK III.
tlinn, D800/D700/D300S/D300/D7000/D90 and several other Nikon cameras build in flash with Commander Mode that can support the Nikon flash system call CLS with multiple i-TTL flash support. If you are not using Nikon CLS flash system and prefer the radio control, that is another options but the camera does build in i-TTL support for multiple Nikon flash in Group A and Group B with up to 16pcs i-TTL Nikon CLS flash support.
Aero Windwalker: When you set the ISO to under 800, it seems that Sony NEX-7 has better performance than the Nikon D800. It could also be a result of the lens.
If you look at the coin head in between Mickey mouse and Pluto dog, you can easily find Moire on Sony NEX-7 and Canon 5D MII, very obvious in RAW but improved in Jpeg but still noticeable in Jpeg, perhaps the result of a bit over sharping (?). D800 has a balance result with no Moire on both RAW and Jpeg.I guess that D800E could post a even better sharpness but remain to see how well the Capture NX2 could remove the Moire. Sony A900 show a very slight amount of Moire in the same area but disappear in Jpeg. You can search dpreview.com for <Moire and sharpness of NEX5>, perhaps a weak AA (Anti-aliasing) filter at the possible expense of moire for sharpness...
Note : Sony NEX7 was shot with 50mm vs the rest of D800/A900/5D MII with 85mm, slightly different on DoF as well.
febphoto: Sorry to say this for the Nikonians, but the Pentax 645D is performing better up to 1600 iso, but ok it is a camera costing 3 to 4 times as much as the Nikon. Time for some price cutting by Pentax, I think, let's say down to the price of the Nikon.Even Pentax K5 and then Canon 5DmkII are at the same level. Time for a price cut at Nikons too, I think. What's the 5DmkIII going to do in the test?The marketing speak of Nikon with the low resolution D700 was that it gave you better results, because of the bigger light sites on the sensor. Less noise at higher iso etc. Now they are the leaders of the pack, sporting a 36 MP sensor at a max iso of 25000. And there is a price rise to match the denser sensor. I am not convinced it makes you a better photographer, although the professional image they attached to it suggests you will be a better photographer, much more professional looking with the bigga lens and the bigga camera, everybody will say.
Not sure if you move the cursors around that I believe D800 is either on par or slightly better than the Pentax 645 in some area.Oh, by the way, the Nikon 85mm F1.8 used on this test cost $500 vs the Pentax SMC 645 120mm F4 Macro at above $2000, 4X the cost of the Nikon lens !!
unistereo: For me the big surprise is...how the Sony NEX-7 fares in RAW.Compare it to both the D800 and Pentax 645D @ RAW/ISO 100 (look especially at the "earth"...unexpected amount of details).
I changed the Pentax to Sony NEX-7 for side by side comparison. Now if you look at the coin head in between Mickey mouse and Pluto dog, you can easily find Moire on Sony NEX-7 and Canon 5D MII, very obvious in RAW but improved in Jpeg but still noticeable in Jpeg, perhaps the result of a bit over sharping (?). D800 has a balance result with no Moire on both RAW and Jpeg.I guess that D800E could post a even better sharpness but remain to see how well the Capture NX2 could remove the Moire. Sony A900 show a very slight amount of Moire in the same area but disappear in Jpeg. You can search dpreview.com for <Moire and sharpness of NEX5>, perhaps a weak AA (Anti-aliasing) filter at the possible expense of moire for sharpness...
Wow, overall impressive D800 result together with the new and much cheaper Nikon 85mm F1.8 vs the more expensive F1.4 lens used on Sony A900+Zeiss Planar T* 85m F1.4 and Canon 5D II+85mm F1.4.
Great news !Somehow the mobile site with colors looks even better on my OLED smartphone (Galaxy Nexus) than my computer screen !!
Hmm, there is a long list of Android phone with 8MP sensor and perhaps Panasonic Lumix 101P with 13MP sensor ?
backayonder: Can you make phonecalls with it?
In some case, just wait untill some one else hang-up their call...
rocklobster: The NEF so called RAW files are almost totally devoid of chroma noise at high ISO (no sensor is that good) meaning that they have been processed to remove this and you can see some artifacts from this process. So, you may hope to get better images from the RAW than the JPEG from the camera but perhaps not have as much control as you want for noise reduction.
Having said that, those high ISO images are pretty good for a sensor of that size but overall M4/3 images are better IMHO.
I tried to open those NEF RAW file with my Nikon Capture NX 2 (bundle with Nik ColorEfex Pro), it was not supported at the moment. I then open the NEF file with Nikon ViewNX 2 on my calibrated 2560x1440 resolution monitor, I like what I saw especially on ISO-3200 RAW file, the noise is cleaner and seems better than my now old D300S on image noise.I would guess that once Nikon Capture NX 2 start supporting V1/J1, the software can even do a better job on distortion and Color Moire/auto lateral color abrration control.
Impressive !!The noise at ISO-6400 is cleaner than my D300S APS-C sensor !Well design, show us some slow motion video clip !...and D800 please !
Visualiza: ISO 800...one would think that this would shut the naysayers up(about noise at least), but something tells me they'll be singing the same tune 'til kingdom come.
Anyway, I was skeptical at first but I believe what my eyes see, and right now it's looking pretty good.
The image noise at ISO-6400 is much better than my D300S, V1/J1 seems a well design sensor with balance on the IQ and I will need to wait for a better lens, seems on my list...after my D800
It happens that I also have a TX10, and I just ran a few show under low light, NO, the IQ at ISO-800 can NOT match to this photo, the noise and lens quality is not even close.Well TX10 has one great featue that I love, need to clese the lens, just turn on the faucet with running water, ha !