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Roger Cicala compares three 24-70mm F2.8 lenses

By dpreview staff on Jan 31, 2013 at 12:07 GMT

LensRentals' Roger Cicala has published an interesting article comparing 24-70mm F2.8 lenses from Canon, Nikon and Tamron, using both an optical test bench and Imatest results from Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Nikon D800E bodies. This provides some insights about the interaction between the sharpness of the lens and resolution of the camera's sensor, and under what practical circumstances you might see any difference.

It's worth reading for anyone interested in the long-running question: what provides more detail, a higher resolution sensor with a good lens, or a lower resolution sensor with a great lens?

Comments

Total comments: 142
easyliving
By easyliving (Mar 25, 2013)

Sorry, does it communicate distance infos to Canon and Nikon bodies, to obtain more precise exposure with dedicated flashes?

0 upvotes
The A-Team
By The A-Team (Feb 5, 2013)

DPReview is in love with Roger Cicala.

1 upvote
Spectro
By Spectro (Feb 4, 2013)

well I am still getting the d600 later in the year and using my old 35-70 f2.8 nikkor. But interesting read thought. I do have tamron an do notice they are a tad softer aka 70-200. But sometime you like the softer look. i say sigma is softer too. No doubt 1st party lenses on their camera will produce the sharpest image, but if you can't afford the best like most people not on here, that is consumerism.

0 upvotes
Carl Sanders
By Carl Sanders (Feb 3, 2013)

Does this really need a test, a long running question? A duff lens on any sensor is going to give duff results. An excellent lens on a duff sensor is going to give duff results. So buy the best lens and stop buying duff sensors.

At least with a best lens a sensor that meets expectation will come along. It is not rocket science! As most kit at this level is exceptional, such tests are for the birds! Get out more and take photographs!

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Feb 3, 2013)

If you are reading that thinking "why on earth..." the answer is clearly "because he can". He has the lenses, cameras, and test bench. Even if the result is what we all intuitively understand - a lens is only as good as the camera it's on, and a camera is only as good as the lens on the front - it's nice to see the numbers fall out to support that.

No one should be using that kind of information to help them make a buying decision though. A minute difference in resolution one way or another is simply not "field relevant": It does not significantly influence the quality of photos you can take, or the facility with which you can take them...

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
nawknai
By nawknai (Feb 6, 2013)

People are talking about this review as if it is a proper lens review. It's not. Well, at least not all of it.

If he wanted to compare apples with apples, he would have used a D600 for his test. He didn't because he wanted to take the Nikon 24-70 mm, which is worse than the Canon version (fwiw, I'm a Nikon guy), and outresolve a Canon lens that's better.

It's a round-a-bout way of saying, "It doesn't matter".

Also, if you want to see a proper review, always look for Canon vs Sigma/Tamron reviews, not Canon vs Nikon. These tests are mostly irrelevant unless you're not a DSLR owner and wish to choose how to spend your $5,000.

0 upvotes
MarkByland
By MarkByland (Feb 1, 2013)

Wait a few months. Dig around the intertubes, you'll find information regarding FF Pentax under development. I, for one, am definitely holding my breath for this.

0 upvotes
Lucas_
By Lucas_ (Feb 1, 2013)

Why not challenge the status quo and also try a Sony A99 with the Zeiss 24-70/2.8 combo?

0 upvotes
Marshall Muir
By Marshall Muir (Feb 1, 2013)

Pointless!

0 upvotes
Homam
By Homam (Feb 1, 2013)

Well...I read the article...aren't they supposed to test the lenses with one single camera...Obviously the higher resolution of the d800 would result in higher quality and sharper images from any lens, not just 24-70.

I rented canon 24-70 II for a month or so and tried it on my 7D, while a friend had Nikon 24-70 on his d300. Comparing the images we took under the same lighting in the same conditions, the canons were way sharper than those from Nikon. Of course nikon 24 70 is better and sharper than Canon 24 70 Mark I. But the MKII is a differrent world. You can check out the comparison reviews in other websites. For one: http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/lenses/24-70mm-ii.htm

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
HSway
By HSway (Feb 1, 2013)

Ken is a good man. He has provided lots of good comparisons. Sometimes he uses some seasoning to spice up his site just a bit but that’s alright we all need to make a living. Your dx comparison refers more to the article, though. I also shot my Canon’s 12 and 18 mp with 70-200/4 IS and 18mp was quite a leap in resolution with it.

0 upvotes
Martin Grecner
By Martin Grecner (Feb 1, 2013)

They clearly state that they wanted to compare lens+body combinations, not just the lens. A Canon+Nikon combination does not make much sense to test, since no one really uses something like that.

4 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 2, 2013)

they should test all Nikon lenses on a Canon body for comparison. Canon will have high resolution cameras in a year but Nikon won't have a 24-70/2.8 replacement in many years.

0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Feb 2, 2013)

@yabokkie

You are make some pretty big assumptions there.

0 upvotes
Yxa
By Yxa (3 months ago)

Yabokkie where is Canon's high resolution body?

0 upvotes
HSway
By HSway (Feb 1, 2013)

Many posts would suggest the article attempts comparing the lenses performance. As for the lenses it compares one FL and wide apertures both of which can easily be of a secondary interest to a 24-70 user, at short distance. Even if it was a setting of some importance to one, everyone familiar with lens comparison knows, it tells nothing about the lens performance. That is quite a complex set of results from f16 down to 2.8 at say 4 FLs. Then still, one can be judging these differently by his/hers preferences depending on the exact picture the results would bring out.
I based my purchasing decision on Tamron vs Nikon test and if I was biased it was towards the Tamron VC success (I acknowledged it better in one early comparison on Lens forum). In reality though, I had place for both. However, unlike at least one other review presented, the Nikkor was clearly better at 24mm where I expected the Tamron better with highest probability, and then at the rest of other settings judged /

0 upvotes
HSway
By HSway (Feb 1, 2013)

/ judged mainly from the landscape use point of view. The results are very similar to Cameralabs long distance samples, some differences I described elsewhere in the forum. In a nutshell, compared to CL the Tamron fared a bit better at some settings but the difference overall between the two was for landscape similarly apparent – and definitely greater than the parameter singled out here on the chart. As for the Canon’s new lens in almost the same test I was part of, the result was similar. clearly a better lens for landscape use on a 5d ll. (This picture can change a bit from person to person depending on what and also how he shoots and that mainly for insignificance of performance at the frame periphery while making most of the Tamron’s VS, for example. Although that diverts a bit from a sole optical assessment on the whole.)

0 upvotes
mr.izo
By mr.izo (Feb 1, 2013)

just for once, buy that adapeter and compare ALL lenses on ONE same camera..

1 upvote
Petka
By Petka (Feb 1, 2013)

Can not be done.

Lenses can be measured without a camera also.

1 upvote
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Feb 1, 2013)

Very interesting and expected. BTW, the other test, focus, shows something similar. Even though in absolute terms Canon's recent AF system with a recent lens is a little better than the Nikon, in terms of accuracy, if you factor in the extra res of the D800 the variation is actually smaller, meaning that the possible loss in resolution is less.

0 upvotes
vscd
By vscd (Feb 1, 2013)

I also have to say that if you read between the lines, the Nikon just wins out of it's high pixelcounting sensor. Bodies come and go, lenses stay. So wait for the next Canon Body with equal high MP and you already have the lense to match it.

For example, who cares what a Nikon D90 did years before, but the 35mm 1.4 Lense you probably still own.

I'd rather testet all 3 Lenses on a D700 + Canon 5Dc with equal Pixelcount ;)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Feb 1, 2013)

It's possible that when Canon goes high in MP Nikon will have also updated their system and possibly have a new lens and a better AF system. So, it's better to have it going now, in my opinion. And if you are rich enough, to have a dual system, then you have never to worry which is better, just update the best at the moment. And, no matter what one may say, what makes the image is the body, so once you have good lenses, the body is the bottleneck.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
vscd
By vscd (Feb 1, 2013)

>what makes the image is the body, so once you have
>good lenses, the body is the bottleneck

And vise versa. Both components make the image, but the
lense may last longer (in worth)...

The resultion is on both systems superior, so the next point
is to check the noise. And you can be sure that the D800 is
not competing well ;/

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
vscd
By vscd (Feb 1, 2013)

[Sadly the D800E is not tested with the 24-70 lense at DXO,
right now ;(] But...

If you pair comparable Camera/Lense combination, for
example a D700 + Nikkor 24-70 2.8 and a Canon 5D +
24-70 2.8 L II you get 9MPixel for Nikon and 12 MP for Canon
at DxoMark. You can doubt the DxoTests in generall, but I
believe nearly no lense can serve anything more than 22
MPixel on a Sensor right now. So, I would go for 18-20 MP,
save the speed and size for the RAW-Files and enjoy high
ISO with less noise.

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Feb 1, 2013)

@vscd: use RAWs, ACR for example, resize the D800E's image to 22MP and then come back.

0 upvotes
vscd
By vscd (Feb 1, 2013)

First tell me which algorithm you choose to resize. Every uneven amount of pixels will be a loss of data. I'm here, where are you?

0 upvotes
Qwntm
By Qwntm (Feb 1, 2013)

Canon lens with the D800e sensor and PENTAX interface. YUP. That's why I shoot Pentax. My priority is the interface. YMMV.

0 upvotes
IvanM
By IvanM (Feb 1, 2013)

Of all the reviewers and testers out there I trust his opinions and findings the most..why? because he can and does test whole batches of lenses and can see trends that none of the others can... It also shows the importance that a good quality lens has on overall image quality...my local canon technical service provider has often suggested that I bring in lenses for regular optical bench checks and calibration if necessary...personally I would go for the best lenses now because its just a matter of time before Canon's D800 competitor arrives...

0 upvotes
lbjack
By lbjack (Feb 1, 2013)

Typical editorial boilerplate. "What did I learn? Not much." And choose the one that suits you beat. Well, thank you for that.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ageha
By ageha (Feb 1, 2013)

Interesting test...

0 upvotes
HiRez
By HiRez (Jan 31, 2013)

Anyone who can't get stunning photos from either the Nikkor or Canon 24-70...your problem is not with the lens.

10 upvotes
Rick Knepper
By Rick Knepper (Feb 1, 2013)

But what does this have to do with making the actual choice? Your alias say HiRez. Is that an ironic HiRez?

3 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (Jan 31, 2013)

The actual interest is in how the third party lense(s) fair vs. the "maker" lenses, rather than how the maker lenses fair against one another.

Why? Well, let's say you shoot Canon. If the Nikon lens in this comparison is better, what are you going to do, buy Nikon instead? Or, if you are a first time SLR buyer deciding between Canon and Nikon, is this your market segment?

6 upvotes
vodanh1982
By vodanh1982 (Jan 31, 2013)

Unless people already have FF lens+ accessories, some first time FF buyer may switch. They need to sell their crop gear anyway.

0 upvotes
Sean65
By Sean65 (Feb 1, 2013)

Well yes. With camera systems the major investment is with the lenses. Bodies come and go. But most pros spend 5 x the money on a lens setup than they do with the body. That's why it was with a heavy heart the many major picture agencies and freelancers gave up all their great Cannon lenses to jump to Nikon after Cannon failed to deliver a decent body for years. EOS 1D, mark 2, mark3 all had issues and needed constant firmware upgrade etc....

If you haven't yet bought in to a system this would go some way to helping but what's the point in having a great lens from Cannon if the bodies have issues?

1 upvote
Martin Datzinger
By Martin Datzinger (Feb 1, 2013)

Not everyone has a full lineup of (FF) lenses for a certain system.

2 upvotes
Martin Datzinger
By Martin Datzinger (Jan 31, 2013)

I never had any doubt about the superiority of the Canon lens in terms of optical performance. After all, it is 50% more expensive and 5 years younger than the Nikkor.

But then I could never get over the construction principle of the lens, that, at least for me, looks less durable than the Nikkors': On the Canon, the lens hood is mounted on the inner tube, so every single bump on the hood will affect the zoom and/or focussing mechanics. Whereas on the Nikon, the hood is mounted on the outer shell and the innards are completely shielded (better protected from flare as well).

And in the end, according to photozone, the Nikkor gives better resolution on the D3x (and thus on my D600) than the Canon on the 24-70/2.8 on the 5DIII anyway.

2 upvotes
moving_comfort
By moving_comfort (Jan 31, 2013)

I'd like to see the Nikon kit lens on the D800E against the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 MK II on the 5DIII - or the $110 50 f/1.8D on the Nikon.

System Resolution is a combination score, and you can see some real cost benefits in going with a higher-res sensor, if resolution is what you're after.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Pepegidwa
By Pepegidwa (Jan 31, 2013)

It's very important problem if somebody plan to buy 1st DSLR camera.
For me xxxON is "the best", because I have some lenses of this brand.
Stop this Canon-Nikon World War. Take pictures.

9 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Jan 31, 2013)

They are all good, pick what works best for you.

3 upvotes
Scorehound
By Scorehound (Jan 31, 2013)

Who cares?

The Canon lens is fantastic, the Nikon lens is fantastic, lets move on. Anyone that needs to do graph charts to pick a camera has too much time on their hands. Just pick a camera system and buy the appropriate lens for that system.

4 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jan 31, 2013)

I agree when comparing the Nikon vs the Canon. However, seeing how the Tamron fares as a cheaper alternative is a useful exercise.

3 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Feb 1, 2013)

There is always the AF issues with 3rd party lenses. That has been my experience and why I stick to Nikkors (I use Nikon bodies).

1 upvote
PatrickP
By PatrickP (Jan 31, 2013)

the resolution of the said lenses seem to correlate with age more than anything. for premium lenses, the newer ones always resolve more.

Canon had a 24-70/2.8L for quite a while before the Nikon 24-70 shows up. Nikon 24-70 was crowed as the best out of the best for the past 5 years, until the Canon MkII shows up and claimed the throne.

I am sure once a Mark II from Nikon (hopefully with VR) shows up it would be the best again, so would be the Mark III from Canon. it's always a leap-frog between the two.

4 upvotes
ryansholl
By ryansholl (Jan 31, 2013)

Yes, it is always a Canon-Nikon leapfrogging provided you glance over the $300-dollar-cheaper-than-Canon Zeiss 24-70 entirely.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Ubiquity99
By Ubiquity99 (Jan 31, 2013)

You know that "Zeiss" ZA lenses are manufactured by Sony, right? Zeiss is nothing more than a marketing gimmick when it comes to A-mount lenses.

0 upvotes
Martin Datzinger
By Martin Datzinger (Jan 31, 2013)

The Zeiss won't get you remotely sharp corners at 24 no matter what aperture.

That has been the reason why I once diregarded the Sony a900. (That and the inferior and white 70-200/2.8).

0 upvotes
dbo
By dbo (Jan 31, 2013)

@Ubiquity99
You don't know anything about the Sony-Zeiss history - seemingly.
When the coop started it was corporate rule to manufacture the lenses in Japan.
The whole Sony-Zeiss fabrication machines, measurement facilities are designed and built by Zeiss. The quality assurance is designed, audited and certified by Zeiss.

So the only thing that is no Zeiss with the Sony-Zeiss'es is the fact that they are not made in Germany.

6 upvotes
vodanh1982
By vodanh1982 (Jan 31, 2013)

According to the test result, more MP is sharper so the new MP war should begin.

0 upvotes
qianp2k
By qianp2k (Jan 31, 2013)

My understanding is that more MP results to more resolution but not necessarily sharper. That's why DXOMark introduces the Perceptual Megapixel sharpness. Nikon lens on D800 certainly resolves more but not necessarily sharper especially in edges/corners. If we export to the same 3000-pixel wide or 30x20" print, I will not be surprises 24-70L/2.8 II on 5DIII is actually sharper.

2 upvotes
AlanG
By AlanG (Jan 31, 2013)

Yes I think Canon has been upgrading their lenses in advance of higher res bodies.

1 upvote
Rick Knepper
By Rick Knepper (Feb 1, 2013)

More resolution = more detail, sharper lens = sharper detail.

I also agree that Canon is prepping for higher resolutions - across the frame.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jan 31, 2013)

The Nikkor 24-70 tested better than the Canon on both Lenstip and Photozone. Both do far more thorough testing than LensRentals.

Roger's reviews are OK, but there's always the same caveat "I only had time to test X". Either you test a lens or you don't. You don't make wild statements about optical superiority based ONLY on resolution numbers at one focal length. 50mm is the Canon's best focal length by far. At 70mm the Canon is actually worse than the EF 24-70 Mk I (see Photozone conclusion). In contrast, ALL focal lengths are brilliant on the Nikkor.

7 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jan 31, 2013)

"I only had time to test 2 samples of each lens" How many do you expect him to test? He does what most review sites wont or cant do. You ever seen 22 samples of the same lens tested and charted? Only thing he does not do is make up your mind for you. Im guessing your the type of person that skips to the last page to see if a camera got a gold or silver award and then makes a comment based only on that.

2 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Jan 31, 2013)

You're missing, or ignoring, one of the key points of this article. Both Lenstip and Photozone test lenses on camera bodies like almost everyone else, including DxO (for both DxOMark and our reviews) and SLRGear. In system tests the camera's anti-aliasing filter becomes a limiting factor in what can be measured.

What Roger has done in the first part of his comparison is take the lenses off the cameras and put them on a test bench to measure the MTF directly. This is pretty crucial to the overall conclusion - that the Canon is demonstrably sharper than the Nikon in these tests, but this advantage is entirely negated when you put the lenses on the respective manufacturers highest-resolution bodies.

19 upvotes
photo nuts
By photo nuts (Jan 31, 2013)

Your 'fanboyism' is perplexing, exasperating and entertaining, all at the same time. :)

6 upvotes
qianp2k
By qianp2k (Jan 31, 2013)

Seriously? Check DXOMark test, the most creditable test that I believe.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Reviews/Canon-EF24-70mm-f-2.8L-II-USM-A-Peerless-Performer/Comparisons

Canon copy is better in sharpness especially in edges/corners and significantly better in CA (more than double). Check Measurements | Sharpness | FieldMap. Canon copy is better in every major focus stop.

DXOMark concluded that "Canon EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM: A Peerless Performer", period.

2 upvotes
vodanh1982
By vodanh1982 (Jan 31, 2013)

According to DXOMark, Canon sensors are the worst.

7 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jan 31, 2013)

My point is testing a 24-70 zoom lens at only 50mm, one focal length, does not tell the whole story. When Lenstip tested the 24-70 Nikkor, it was the highest resolving zoom they ever tested at 24mm. But again, that's not the whole story.

Photozone also demonstrated that the Canon was softer than the previous version at 70mm. But the point is MTFs at one focal length of a zoom cannot inform us about overall optical superiority or inferiority of a that lens . To say the EF 24-70 2.8 L II is the best standard zoom based on such a "sort-of" test is simply not possible. Distortion, vignetting, MTF, coma, astigmatism, CA, are all necessary in evaluating optics.

If MTFs are all that interest LensRentals, he should have at least tested 24mm and 70mm, not just 50mm.

4 upvotes
qianp2k
By qianp2k (Jan 31, 2013)

But sensors don't take photos by themselves but must work together with lenses. I ignored DXOMark score section that is very subjective and overweighed on specific measures but concentrate in lens-sensor test. If you check the most critical sensor performance such as SNR and Color Tonality then you don't see much difference between Nikon/Sony and Canon sensors. Sure Sony sensors have 2.5 stop better DR at base ISO but you basically only can take advantage thru extreme shadow pulling by exposing on highlight (that results to severe underexposed photo) and then pull shadows 4-6 stops, not a good tacit in general and usually result to surreal look. Most Nikon shooters don't do that either.

0 upvotes
rrccad
By rrccad (Jan 31, 2013)

@marike6 - so the 24-70 II has less CA, less distortion, and is sharper than the 24-70 nikkor. and according to photozone.de .. the nikkor 24-70 fell off a bit at 70mm as well. it just turned out that canon prioritized 24mm as the focal to be the best at.

of course i'm sure you will tell me that this shows the nikon to have the same or better optical characteristics..

http://the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=618&Camera=614&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=787&CameraComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

considering the vast majority of people will want a standard zoom to be the best corner to corner at 24mm then at 70mm I can appreciate canon's design decision far more than you hanging everything on 70mm which is about the on focal that the nikkor looks better at.

1 upvote
WellyNZ
By WellyNZ (Feb 1, 2013)

Blah DXO mark blah bench testing blah MFT charts...

YAWN!

The best test for a lens to take a photograph and print it. Does it look how you want it to look on paper? Yes? Good. There's your test.

0 upvotes
Dave Luttmann
By Dave Luttmann (Feb 1, 2013)

Doesnt matter how good the canon is...as it is limited with a sensor with rez so much lower than the d800 that the Nikon will slaughter it anyway

0 upvotes
Rick Knepper
By Rick Knepper (Feb 1, 2013)

I have been using the 24-70G on the D3x for several years now and just recently started using the 24-70 II on a 5D2. Small difference in camera resolutions. The 5D2/24-70 II is the clear winner in sharpness across the frame but this statement should not be taken to mean the D3x/24-70G combo isn't but a fraction behind. Throw in the D3x's edge on resolution and you've got a virtual draw. My new D800E will throw a new variable into the mix. But Canon is going to release their own hi-res camera -someday- so the D800E edge will be equalized or eclipsed.

0 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Jan 31, 2013)

MTF values only hold up under ideal studio lighting tests where ISOs are not pushed to higher sensitivities.

Under much more challenging conditions that are not so well lit, the MTF values will shift drastically downwards as detail start to be obscured by either excessive noise or too strong NR.

The tester is therefore biasing the tests specifically to exclude the low light scenario where higher ISOs need to be drawn upon. This may simply mean that low light shooting isn't important to the tester for these two cameras, so if one or the other dSLR (D800 or 5DMkIII) actually made a significant difference to others who want to know wrt to the Lenses being scrutinized, the tests so far will be inadequate, and reveal too little to nothing useful.

sdyue

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
ageha
By ageha (Feb 1, 2013)

lol, I like when people point out what everybody knows already. Anyway, not everyone shoots above base ISO.

1 upvote
Suave
By Suave (Jan 31, 2013)

Roger starts his post with "I am selecting a camera for myself and this is how I go about it". It's in bold, yet apparently all the people bitching about how much time they lost and how dumb the test is missed it.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Sabaki
By Sabaki (Jan 31, 2013)

First thing we should remember right now is that Roger is brand agnostic, whereas all of us have pledged allegiance to a specific brand.

Now picture this: You're standing in a retailer eyeballing both Samsung & Sony's latest and greatest LED units. Much time invested in research and observation only to realize the Samsung, by the smallest of margins, is better. BUT!!! Your component system at home is 100% Sony...
So okay, tv's are far easier to integrate into non native systems but my point is that if you take a slightly lesser performer and mount it to your wall, it becomes YOUR system. There's no Samsung on YOUR wall marginally out performing YOUR screen.

Lenses, bodies, peripherals and software are 20% of your photography system. The 80% is you. You're not bound by resolution or technological issues.

Cheers peeps :)

2 upvotes
Simon97
By Simon97 (Jan 31, 2013)

D800 users will be wondering how to get the Canon lens on their Nikon body to have the best of both worlds!

3 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (Jan 31, 2013)

While the new Canon 24-70 is the best midrange zoom at the moment, it is not the only good lens in the world. On the DxO lens resolution chart it is #103 with only one other zoom bettering it at #101 (Canon 70-200 f:2.8). There is only one Canon in top 20 at #19, all others are Nikons, Zeiss, Sigma and Samyang. So Nikon shooters certainly have enough good glass to put on their cameras without trying to put this Canon glass on them.

$500 Nikon 85mm f:1.8 gets 35 points in the chart and is the #1, $2000 Canon 24-70 gets 26 points (slightly better than average) and is #103.

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
8 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Jan 31, 2013)

the new Canon is amazing but Nikon users having been using a top quality lens for more than five years and they should expect a better one in five years.

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jan 31, 2013)

I doubt that. But I do know that Canon users have been buying the 14-24 2.8 Nikkor, by far the best UWA zoom, for years.

Besides, there's more to testing a standard zoom than just resolution at 50mm. But if you insist, the new Canon does worse at 24mm and 70mm than the Nikkor.

6 upvotes
photo nuts
By photo nuts (Jan 31, 2013)

@ fanboy marike6:
On the contrary, Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 has WORSE performance than Canon 24-70 f/2.8 at 24 mm. When normalized to center resolution @ f/2.8,
Nikon edge:center resolution = 0.68
Canon edge:center resolution = 0.74

What can I say? Your fanboyism is exasperating, perplexing and downright ridiculous. :)

1 upvote
qianp2k
By qianp2k (Jan 31, 2013)

Canon 14-24L/2.8 likely will be announced this year according to Canonrumors. However Canon TS-E lenses are more useful that Nikon has no match. 17mm TS-E is significantly sharper than 14-24G at edges/corner. You'd lose certain resolution and cut some amount of edges after perspective correction from 14-24.

0 upvotes
rrccad
By rrccad (Jan 31, 2013)

LOL worse at 24mm .. I want a pink skied world with candy and unicorns as well ..

http://the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=618&Camera=614&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=787&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Feb 1, 2013)

@qianp2k: possibly, but I keep hearing this since Nikon introduced it (14-24) 5+ years ago. Nikon is likely preparing the update. Same for the 24-70. BTW, IMO all these are incredible lenses which are far above the typical pro or amateur. Don't forget all this res will be easily negated once one shoots hand-held. So this is basically for products and landscapes/architecture. All others will be well served by these lenses or even the cheaper f/4 versions.

0 upvotes
rrccad
By rrccad (Feb 2, 2013)

@rhlpetrus .. that's not surprising with either canon or nikon .. i think the last i heard .. it takes around 7 years from conception to production for a professional lens from either canon or nikon. that may have sped up, but it takes a serious amount of time to R&D a lens. nikon for a while I believe wanted to push out 7 in 7 .. so 7 new lenses per year, with 7 years to develop the lens.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Wye Photography
By Wye Photography (Jan 31, 2013)

Nit picking over minutiae.

2 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (Jan 31, 2013)

That's what engineers do. If there weren't people scientifically inclined or application (engineers) inclined then your camera and lens would either suck or not exist at all. If someone didn't care about this stuff you'd be hacked off about your lousy prints because the lens was just designed to work, not optimized to yield beautiful results.

8 upvotes
Wye Photography
By Wye Photography (Jan 31, 2013)

I disagree. Nit picking over minutiae. My Summitar lens from 1954 yields very good results even today. Canon ikon have to sell their lenses to you. They only exist to make money. My Leica IIIC makes great 45cm prints. Modern cameras cater to people's laziness and make loads of money doing so. As Barry Thornton once said "lens technology for resolution and sharpness peaked in the mid fifties, they have only become small, lighter and longer".

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Feb 1, 2013)

And actually, lately, worse in terms of CA control, since now the fad is to use software for that.

0 upvotes
Jonathan F/2
By Jonathan F/2 (Jan 31, 2013)

That article was 5 minutes I'll never get back of my life.

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jan 31, 2013)

so back to pron for you?

4 upvotes
rayman 2
By rayman 2 (Jan 31, 2013)

what we always said and nobody wanted to believe....
a lens doesnt have a resolution... it has a resolution on a body and
the higher the pixelcount of the body the higher resolution that combination
gets.....
So if you have some old lenses and want to make them perform better you can
buy a new highres body to do that..
Its not like many people in the forums believe that a lens is like a resolution barrier and that the quality can get to a certain point over which it cant go further.. sort of like bad lens and it cant get any better witha better camera...
thats proved wrong....

2 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (Jan 31, 2013)

Wow, talk about misinterpreting results. That's not what that test says at all. Really, incredibly wrong statement. Lenses have a limit to their ability to resolve detail; however, so does the camera. If you go to DxO test result and look at lenses, you can find great examples of camera's being the bottleneck by checking the resolution of the lens on multiple bodies. The differences can be dramatic, and it is possible on some lenses that there aren't any sensors that can outresolve the lens, but on most lenses it becomes obvious very quickly where it max's out.

5 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (Jan 31, 2013)

Sounds like you have never upgraded lenses in your whole life. As someone who has gone from kit lenses to L lenses and primes, I have no idea how you can possibly say that.

0 upvotes
Ed Gill
By Ed Gill (Jan 31, 2013)

Actually not. Either the lens or body can be the limit to resolution. The point Roger made is that these are systems and like any system there are multiple limit points, the contolling point can either be determined by analysis (theory) or empirically (testing). Very basic engineering. And yes a lens can be a resolution barrier just like the sensor, just which one controls is not always easy to determine.

0 upvotes
fakuryu
By fakuryu (Jan 31, 2013)

Please, Canon shooters are drying up the Pentax lens market, especially our lovely Super Takumars

1 upvote
rayman 2
By rayman 2 (Jan 31, 2013)

lenses are not limited..... you can get more res from a higher res body but some lenses are better then others and the better ones show better results and get even better if you put higher
res bodies behind them.....
You just didnt read carefully what i said guys..

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Feb 1, 2013)

Totally true, the cheap kit lens for 400USD will perform better on the D800 than on any other FF around, by a good margin. It's funny reading people asking, "will my lenses still work with the D800"?

0 upvotes
Universeal
By Universeal (Jan 31, 2013)

How can you compare D800E with 5DMKIII? The D800E has the AA removed it's obvious to be sharper!

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
clicstudio
By clicstudio (Jan 31, 2013)

And how can you compare 2 different brands? This is the dumbest test. IMHO.

2 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (Jan 31, 2013)

How? By measuring the combined resolution of both camera and lens and then publishing the figures. Voilá: a comparison.

I this case the combination of great sensor with good lens was better than a good sensor with great lens. The conclusion I draw from this is that the best modern lenses tend to be quite good, as state of the art sensors can squeeze out more resolution form them than a good sensor. Quite clearly it is the camera which is the bottleneck with Canon systems if wee are looking for maximum resolution.

4 upvotes
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (Jan 31, 2013)

You have both missed the point of the test.

The object was not to compare just cameras or just lenses. We already know the Nikon is the highest resolving camera and Canon 24-70 this highest resolving lens.

The idea was to compare SYSTEMS because you can't mount the Canon lens on a Nikon body to have the ultimate resolution combination.

Therefore you need to look at the overall resolving power of a practical camera and lens combination to draw any meaningful conclusion.

What he was interested in was the resolution that a particular camera system (camera and lens combination) gives.

So as a SYSTEM the Nikon/Tamron is equivalent to a Canon/Canon system. The fact this is so because the Nikon has no AA filter and has more pixles (thus it makes up for the poorer resolving Tamron lens) is just NOT the point.

And it tells Canon users you can just about match a Nikon 800e (with either Nikon or Tamron 24-70 as the lenses are close optically) if you are can afford the Canon 24-70.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Feb 1, 2013)

The conclusion is not that, it's that the D800E + Nikkor is better than the 5D3+Canon, read again. Not a big margin, but it's there in his table, all parts of frame.

0 upvotes
Peter K Burian
By Peter K Burian (Jan 31, 2013)

I often get benefit from Roger's tests but not this time. I have read this article twice and I have no idea what value it was to me. A lot of information but what does it mean?

There is an important concept that's missing here: "Give the reader knowledge, not information".

3 upvotes
clicstudio
By clicstudio (Jan 31, 2013)

Absolutely right. All these geek tests but all that matters is the image that you can see on your screen or a print.
I own a Canon 24-70 F2.8L II and I love it. I don't care how it does in tests, specially against another brand. It's not fair and to me, just doesn't teach me anything.

0 upvotes
harveysteeves
By harveysteeves (Jan 31, 2013)

whether it gives knowledge or information may be up to the reader. It gave me knowledge - I may contemplate selling my 24-70 Nikkor for a Tamron just for the VC. Also, if you are already enamored with your lens purchase, the decision to read the article was yours alone. I am also thinking that if the article had shown that the Canon combo was Nikon's equal, the tenor or your post would be somewhat different.

1 upvote
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (Jan 31, 2013)

Just get a D800e and any good lens and you'll know what all the fuss is about.

0 upvotes
cyberstudio
By cyberstudio (Feb 1, 2013)

VC of Tamron is nice for video. Canon didn't have that. I am a firm believer you have to actually use a lens to know if it is good (for you) or not, but I do find Roger's tests to be informative and helpful. (Sounds a bit contradictory? So be it.)

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Feb 1, 2013)

Maybe a third read will just make it clear: more res on a body is good for your results, better lens is good for your results. But 50+% more res in the body is hard to beat.

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Wye Photography
By Wye Photography (Jan 31, 2013)

The Canon Lens looks more better though!

0 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Jan 31, 2013)

How can a lens have on-axis astigmatism? Clearly something’s wrong there: either the lens is improperly manufactured or the test is faulty, or both.

More generally, I’m not sure this is a particularly useful test:
• it tests three good lenses, on-axis, near the middle of their zoom ranges, i.e. it minimises optical differences. Naturally this brings sensor differences to the fore. In the real world, the more important differences are off-axis, often with poorer lenses or good lenses at weaker settings
• it compares a camera with an anti-aliasing filter to one without (or with a nullified filter), but no mention is made of the image processing techniques used, leading me to suspect no sharpening was applied. You might think no sharpening would level the playing field, but in this case it would prevent a useful comparison
• it compares resolution at an MTF of 0.5, which is a poor substitute for comparing two images visually

It is what it is, but it’s not very practicable.

4 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (Jan 31, 2013)

the middle of the zoom range does not have to be the best spot.. many lenses show that.

it depends on the lens design.
such an general statement like yours is not correct.

1 upvote
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Jan 31, 2013)

You’re right, Gothmoth. Today’s zoom lenses are often optimised for their extreme focal lengths (which doesn’t necessarily mean they perform best at their extremes, but they sometimes do). Nonetheless, I’ve never met a fast trans-standard zoom that wasn’t pretty close to its best on-axis at 50 mm. At any rate, the differences there are minuscule compared to, say, the corners at 24 mm.

For example, zoom lenses of the positive-lead type like the new Canon behave fairly predictably for lateral CA: they have a bit at the wide end (historically a lot, but the new Canon does very well there), tapering down to very little at intermediate focal lengths, and rising again at the long end.

Negative-lead types like the Nikkor are more complicated, but the Nikkor has lots of lateral CA at the wide end, yet less than the new Canon at 70 mm.

Similarly, other aberrations compare differently in these two lenses at other focal lengths. These lenses are very different despite sharing a basic role.

1 upvote
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Jan 31, 2013)

Don’t get me wrong: I found the article interesting (thanks Lens Rentals and DPReview), and I think the new Canon f/2.8 zoom is one of the most impressive lenses in years, and a pretty compelling statement about Canon’s lens-making prowess. That doesn’t mean the Nikkor doesn’t beat it in several optical, mechanical, and fitness-for-purpose ways.

Lenses are complicated.

2 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Jan 31, 2013)

"How can a lens have on-axis astigmatism? Clearly something’s wrong there: either the lens is improperly manufactured or the test is faulty, or both."

I'd put it slightly differently - all manufactured products are built to tolerances, and all tests are subject to a degree of experimental error, no matter how hard you try.

The most likely interpretation is that the Canon lens appears to be unusually well-centered in this test.

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Jan 31, 2013)

Andy: you might well be right (and I’d be content with such an explanation), but it would have been nice to hear some reassurances from Roger Cicala on the matter.

It would also be interesting to know whether the Tamron and Nikkor had ‘on-axis astigmatism’ of the same orientation – if they did it would be worth double-checking the test setup – and for that matter, what ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ refer to in this case.

1 upvote
RCicala
By RCicala (Jan 31, 2013)

This is a very pertinent point and one I can't say I understand completely. The graphs printed are for single lenses, but the results consistent with each of three copies.

The bench lens mounts were an obvious question, but the Tamron lenses were the same on both Canon and Nikon mounts, so I don't think the mount is an issue.

I don't know the answer, but here's one bit of data we've seen on numerous zooms: many show slight on-axis astigmatism at one area of the zoom range but not at others. I don't think element tilt would cause an on-axis asitmatism (it certainly makes off-axis go crazy) but I believe an element spacing issue could. My thoughts, since this seems more common in zooms, is element spacing can't be perfect throughout the zoom range - at least not given current manufacturing tolerance.

But that's just my current thought. Perhaps some of the people with more optical physics than I can confirm or correct that.

Roger Cicala

2 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Jan 31, 2013)

Good of you to check up on us, Roger.

If the graphs look the same for three examples of each lens I’d be cautious about attributing the result to the lens instead of the test, and doubly so if the on-axis astigmatism shows a consistent bias in the vertical or horizontal orientation (I’m guessing those orientations are relative to the lens position if mounted on an upright camera).

Since a spherical (or conventionally aspherical) lens is symmetrical about its axis, on-axis astigmatism can only happen if the symmetry is harmed at manufacture (assembly, etc.). Spacing the elements incorrectly wouldn’t produce on-axis astigmatism. Tilting an element could produce on-axis astigmatism, but I’d call that a badly made lens if it significantly affects performance.

If a lens definitely did have this problem, I’d refocus to the circle of least confusion, to try to superimpose the curves on the graph.

1 upvote
RCicala
By RCicala (Jan 31, 2013)

Thank you Samuel. It's something I'm trying to figure out as we learn this new equipment. Those are helpful points.

1 upvote
3systermuser
By 3systermuser (Jan 31, 2013)

he is the best lens reviewer , really honest and sincere.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jan 31, 2013)

What did we learn? That the 24-70 Nikkor is still the best standard zoom money can buy, the D800E the highest resolving camera DSLR in existence, and that the Tamron 24-70 VC, especially on the D800, is a great value.

6 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Jan 31, 2013)

Try again; that's not quite what the article says.

21 upvotes
3systermuser
By 3systermuser (Jan 31, 2013)

dont tiwst and make things up as you Nikon fanatics always do.
and do not demean or insult others or go back to your Nikon fanboy club (the Nikon FX forum).

anyway, Roger is the best, I love his writing and sense of humor!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
XeroJay
By XeroJay (Jan 31, 2013)

Let's reword that:
What did we learn? That the Canon 24-70 II is the absolute best standard zoom lens that money can buy, the D800E the highest resolving DSLR, and the Tamron 24-70 VC is very close in performance to the Nikon 24-70.

18 upvotes
Peter K Burian
By Peter K Burian (Jan 31, 2013)

Well, I guess others are also uncertain as to what we learned from all this lens testing in today's article.

1 upvote
rrccad
By rrccad (Jan 31, 2013)

lol .. we learnt that? .. did your browser do a google nikon translation somewhere?

what we learnt is that the 5D Mark III + 24-70 versus the D800E + nikkor 24-70 is alot closer than alot of people wanted to hear and that the Canon 24-70 II is certainly the highest resolving 24-70 2.8 out there.

Systematically .. a 24mp versus 36mp depends on alot more moving parts than simply a sensor.

Another point is that I believe roger was using default jpg - which is far more of a resolving delta between jpg and actual RAW for the 5DIII versus D800E. With RAW processing, the 5DIII should go up more % wise than the D800E.

this was also tested at 50mm .. which if I recall, isn't the canon's 24-70mm strongest focal range - it's actually better at 24mm.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
rkodama1
By rkodama1 (Jan 31, 2013)

What did we learn? That people will continue to believe what they want to believe regardless of what the information and data show.

6 upvotes
jjnik
By jjnik (Jan 31, 2013)

I would hope that the brand new Canon 24-70 would be a better performer in lab measurements than the 5+ year old Nikon lens? Why would that be surprising to anyone? However, until Canon puts out a D800E competitor, it's a little moot as the new Canon lens is limited by the Canon body(at least in terms of achievable maximum resolution).

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
richard cohen
By richard cohen (Jan 31, 2013)

I haven't read the article yet, but from the comments I think I learned that both Nikon and Canon put out some pretty amazing gear, and that the third party lens companies do as well.

3 upvotes
qianp2k
By qianp2k (Jan 31, 2013)

XeroJay, you said exactly the article indicates.

0 upvotes
Bamboojled
By Bamboojled (Jan 31, 2013)

Actually rrccad,
What we learned is Canon's new lens is currently better than Nikon's almost 6 year old lens.

What we also learned is that the Nikon combination will still out resolve the Canon combination despite having to pay a premium for the latter... :)

1 upvote
rrccad
By rrccad (Jan 31, 2013)

Bamboojled - perhaps.

If one gets to deal with long term archival storage of nearly 50% per shot, and achieve nearly the same systematic resolution - why waste storage footprint?

Why also deal with a smaller effective CoC, also limiting "real world" resolution using a normal 2.8 lens. with a 24-70 2.8 not everything is along the plane of focus in the real world outside of test charts - the differences are far smaller than even this test shows.

Also if the test was done using jpg engines, the results may be far far closer than what you'd want to hear.

I don't mind paying a premium for a higher performing lens - knowing that it's at least future proofed for higher resolving camera bodies.

0 upvotes
qianp2k
By qianp2k (Jan 31, 2013)

Bamboojled, I checked Amazon, Canon copy is only about $100 more than Nikon. Personally I only paid $1810.20 last month when 24-70L/2.8 II was $2050 before I used 10% off Amazon coupon. You know Camera bodies come and go but lenses especially good lenses stay. So when Canon releases 39 or 46mp camera later, we will see that camera with Canon lens will lead significantly. Canon also is better in other lenses such as 70-200L II and most super tele lenses that will all take advantage of future Canon high MP cameras.

0 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (Jan 31, 2013)

Canon lenses are fine, but if you look at the DxO lens test chart the top positions are held by Nikons (85mm 1.8 and 1.4), then there are also Zeiss, Sigma and Samyang among the top 20, the best Canon is #19...

0 upvotes
Suave
By Suave (Jan 31, 2013)

I thought we learned that Zeiss is a scam.

0 upvotes
Bamboojled
By Bamboojled (Jan 31, 2013)

To rrccad,
Why would you shoot jpeg if you want to test the best that these cameras and lenses can produce.
You may appreciate paying a premium now and getting a lesser result, I see it as an opportunity for Nikon to come out with an updated 24-70 in the near future (as this lens is almost 6 ears old) and once again having the best performing mid range zoom on the market with the best, highest resolving, greatest dynamic range camera...

To qianp2k,
I just went on line (Adorama), the Canon 24-70 sells for $2299, $2199 in cart.
The Nikon sells for $1886 (lens by itself)... $1690 if purchased with any camera, which represents a 30% price difference for the lens between the Nikon and the Canon if you are buying a kit.
and yes they also offer 2% cash back.
You could have also used that 10% coupon on a Nikon to make things even.

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Jan 31, 2013)

@Petka: The DxO lens ratings are influenced by the resolution of the test body, which is why Canon lenses end up scoring lower (note that the score is quoted specifically for a lens/body combination). If it were practical to test the lenses in an equalised fashion (high res sensor without AA filter), the mix would certainly be far more even.

1 upvote
anotherMike
By anotherMike (Jan 31, 2013)

What we learned was nothing more than two things:
#1) At 50mm on optical bench testing, the Canon 24-70 is superior
#2) The combination of body + lens greatly influences the overall sharpness

What is left unanswered are how the lenses in question compete at the various distance ranges (since lens performance often varies by focus distance), at focal lengths other than 50mm, and of course a variety of other parameters.

What should also be thought about more is at what point is sharp enough, sharp enough. If you peruse the Zeiss MTF white paper (google it), you'll see that even the slighest miss on your focus results in a pretty drastic MTF drop. Point being, how many photographers actually nail, 100%, focus, on a top tier tripod, in light with no atmospheric issues, where on a large print you could tell the difference between the 1st and 2nd best lens mounted on equal resolution cameras? IMO subjective quality differences will be seen more than a slight MTF 'win' in my experience.

1 upvote
rrccad
By rrccad (Jan 31, 2013)

@Bamboojled you must have some difficulty reading. the systematic testing that this is talking about I believe was done with default jpg - which canon will score much lower because if it's jpg engine as evidences by reviews even on this site by Andy and co. So if you look at the systematic resolution .. I suspect you'll find that between the D800E and what you can achieve out of the 5D3 is alot closer than even you wish to believe using standard lenses.

I find it interesting though you state that nikon will have a new standard lens (when they don't dramatically change them that often) that will be far better - yet don't think that canon would have a better DR, MP camera body to already match a much better performing lens.

Bottom line, unless you are shooting test charts with flat plane of focus, you simply aren't seeing much improvement in 50% more storage space required by the D800.

0 upvotes
rrccad
By rrccad (Jan 31, 2013)

@anotherMike - not only that, but the actual plane of focus with a very small CoC using the pixel level is actually quite a bit smaller.
so where yes, you can reach the actual theoretical maximum of the camera and lens combination under test conditions, in real life your actual resolution resolved is far less because the world isn't a flat sheet of paper on a perfect parallel plane to the image sensor.

0 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (Jan 31, 2013)

@Andy Westlake: Good point, but DxO tests lenses with Nikon D3x (not D800) and Canon 5D3, which have practically the same pixel count. So it is (almost) just the lenses which affect the outcome.

They do test with many other bodies also but those are the top models and quite identical what comes to resolution. Of course we have to pick similar bodies when comparing lenses from these companies as tested by DxO. Do not assume we are (even) more stupid than we sometimes appear... (at least not all of us).

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 58 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
rrccad
By rrccad (Jan 31, 2013)

@Petka DxO's weighted scores are a little confusing to what they are trying to achieve .. if you look at their optical metric scores you get an entirely different view with an entirely different top 20.

Even DxO remarks: "The DxOMark Score considers the overall performance of a lens plus its performance when used with a specific camera body." so you can't really compare across camera bodies and camera systems and use their "score"

0 upvotes
ender21
By ender21 (Jan 31, 2013)

@anotherMike -

"the slighest miss on your focus results in a pretty drastic MTF drop. Point being, how many photographers actually nail, 100%, focus, on a top tier tripod, in light with no atmospheric issues, where on a large print you could tell the difference between the 1st and 2nd best lens mounted on equal resolution cameras? IMO subjective quality differences will be seen more than a slight MTF 'win' in my experience."

Except that if I miss that 100% accurate focus on a low MTF lens, now I've just relegated myself to potentially unusable images, whereas a higher MTF lens might make that image passable.

Strive for 100, but accept less. Strive for 90, get disappointed.

0 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (Jan 31, 2013)

@rrccad: I understand that perfectly, but D3x and D53 are close enough to make the point academic.

After shooting 10 years with Canon, I switched to Nikon (d4, d3 & D800e). If Canon comes out with 45 Mpix body, I am not switching back, as even these cameras are better than me... resolution is not the most important thing after all, but the handling, at least in reportage/news. There C & N are equal, it is mostly a toss of a coin with which system you are stuck with each moment, at least when somebody else is paying for your gear.

0 upvotes
rrccad
By rrccad (Jan 31, 2013)

depends Petka. .. AA filter will influence results and even if the tester(s) are using standard default jpg versus RAW output with a consistent workflow test bed will influence results. even ACR and other tools can handle raw files "imperfectly" as they may not use / translate all the raw information that the vendor is placing in the raw file to be rendered correctly.

I just find it interesting that systematically there isn't much difference at all between a well performing 21Mp system and a 36Mp system. while there is a "outresolving" even on a pure linear test non real world - a variation of around 10% is insignificant - however the over time storage costs are not so insignificant - as you are increasing your storage costs nearly 50% for a 10% marginal gain on a perfect test image.

0 upvotes
zigi_S
By zigi_S (Jan 31, 2013)

Before the fruit cult, there was nikon.

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Feb 1, 2013)

Funny how users of each brand tend to be selectively blind and only mention part of the story. The conclusions are straightforward:

- The Canon lens is the best one overall.
- The Nikkor is a little better than the Tamron.
- The D800E+Nikkor is the highest resolving system available at the moment.

Canonites will say that a high res camera is on the horizon, to which the Nikonians will respond that they have one already and that lens updates are on the horizon. Winners?

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
rrccad
By rrccad (Feb 1, 2013)

actually i doubt very much I'll purchase a > 30mp camera body .. the overall systematic costs are still high .. i would rather the system stay in the 20's to be honest.

overall the size of the 35mm sensor really doesn't make much sense to go that dramatically over.

see these results for instance, for a 10% benefit, nearly 50% more storage and processing cost.

0 upvotes
nativetree
By nativetree (Jan 31, 2013)

Very nice reading. Thank you for pointing it out!

0 upvotes
nugat
By nugat (Feb 18, 2013)

For me, the best single observation from this test is that CaNikon lenses lag behind their sensor developments. Canon's performance is at 55% nyquist limit (maximum theoretical system resolution), Nikon's at 50%. Meanwhile Leica M9 with Leica glass reaches 85%, so does Olympus with their top Zuikos (SHG).
Anybody going for 24mpix or 36mpix Canikons will not get an optimal performance until matching lenses come out. But those would need to be either twice the size (see Zuiko digital SHG on the 4/3 sensor) or 4x the price (see Leica FF sensor) of the current models--to reach the 85% efficiency of Leica or Olympus systems.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 142