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DxOMark investigates lenses for the Nikon D800

By dpreview staff on Mar 14, 2013 at 18:04 GMT

DxOMark has tested 61 lenses on the Nikon D800, and drawn some conclusions about the results. So far it has published two sections of an eventual four-part article: the first discusses how much benefit the D800's 36MP sensor really offers over the 24MP chips in cameras such as the D3X and D600, while the second looks at which lenses in the 50-100mm range come out with the best DxOMark scores. Further parts later this month will look at telephoto and wideangle lenses.

DxOMark's graph comparing Perceptual MP scores for lenses on the Nikon D800 and D3X
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Comments

Total comments: 93
Plastek
By Plastek (Mar 17, 2013)

And D800 is barely an equivalent to the 16MPx APS-C sensor...

1 upvote
Petka
By Petka (Mar 18, 2013)

And then, a 16 MPx APS-C sensor with lens attached is barely an equivalent to a 8 MPx P&S, and so on along the line...

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Mar 18, 2013)

sorry not 24 MP APS-C (about 55 MB FX).

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Mar 19, 2013)

though I'd prefer equivalent f-number because lens comes ahead of the sensor but at the same "non-equivalent" f-number, image quality is propotional to the sensor size.

at the same pixel size, the area can be expressed in pixel counts thus 36 / 16 = 2.25 times better D800 over D7000.

0 upvotes
harold1968
By harold1968 (Mar 16, 2013)

good comparison
as I expected, the 50mm f1.4G and the 85mm f1.8G are the best lenses
pretty much concurs with slrgear

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Mar 17, 2013)

I'm still using AFD and AIS types of 50/1.4 though they are not as good as EF50/1.4. I casually tested several copies of AF-S ones and the result was not promsing. I look forward to seeing AF-S50/1.2G hope it will be better than Canon L.

0 upvotes
King Penguin
By King Penguin (Mar 17, 2013)

I use both lenses on a D600 and they are tack sharp and very compact too, fits in the poachers pocket of my Barbour.....

Who needs M43 when a D600 and a nice prime is so pocketable :)

0 upvotes
Biological_Viewfinder
By Biological_Viewfinder (Mar 15, 2013)

These comments read sort of like a comedy.

Canon Guy says, "It's rubbish, DXO is meaningless"
Nikon Guy says, "It's science."
Canon Guy says, "Not when Canon's not the leader anymore."

Someone actually asked if they should sell all their Canon gear and buy Nikon gear. Well, my answer is yes you should if you want the very best possible camera for Landscapes or Studio work. Otherwise, you should keep your brand because it's about the same for everything else. Understand that the D800 really only shows that massive resolution when its on a tripod and hands and mirror are off. If your shooting handheld, then that resolution gap is gone.

But the real question is "Why is it so important to have the best?"
Everything is replaced with "new & improved", no matter what you buy.
I think the Canon crowd would be better served to just let stuff like this bring about market competition that will generate even better Canon cameras in the future. Competition is good!!! Even for Canon.

10 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (Mar 15, 2013)

Only few people knows that Canon and Nikon are actually the same company.

5 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (Mar 15, 2013)

Yes, zero.

2 upvotes
Anastigmat
By Anastigmat (Mar 15, 2013)

DXO is meaningless. I use Canon, Nikon and Pentax cameras. Can't accuse me of bias.

If you shoot landscapes, you generally want maximum depth of field. If you stop the lens down to f/11, then diffraction limits resolution to 16 megapixels, no matter how many pixels there is on the full frame sensor. Things are a little better at f/8, because diffraction limits resolution to 29 mp. For the D800 to show higher resolution than the Canon full frame, you need to be a landscape photographer who shoots at f/8 full time. If you do that, part of your scene may look out of focus. Therefore, in real life, there really isn't any difference between the Canon and the Nikon even if you are a landscape photographer full time.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Mar 15, 2013)

This nonsense about you need the very bes lens stopped down on a tripod with the mirror locked up to gain any value out of the d800 is still persisting.

honestly please stop

7 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (Mar 15, 2013)

Completely agree with Kodachrome. The D800 is excellent in almost all situations and with almost any lens, hand held or not.

Hand held I use faster shutter times than with the D700, which I used to own and especially if the lens is without VR.

5 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Mar 16, 2013)

for cameras that use 2x2-pixel Bayer pattern, they need 4 times more pixels to reach the diffraction cutoff frequency. though we will notice the blur more than 1 stop before that.

now exposure HDR is standard for landscape shooters. think focus bracketing will become standard when we go beyond 100MP.

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Nerval
By Nerval (Mar 17, 2013)

Canon and Nikon ARE NOT owned by the same companies...
Would people please stop affirming random stuff without fact to back it up?
There may be shareholders who own both Nikon and Canon shares, as they are publicly listed entities, and thus investors investing in imaging companies may want to avoid putting all their eggs in the same basket, but that's all.
If you want a proof, contact Ernst and Young Global Limited, and ask for the annual returns of Canon, as an investor performing a KYC due diligence. Same for Nikon with Deloitte Touche LLC.
Information in trade registries is not public, which means you have to pay a fee to access it, and you may NOT reproduce or diffuse the documents publicly, but at least you will know which are the "controlling parent companies".
Also, even if they were both owned to a certain percentage by a same and single entity, Canon and Nikon are huge publicly listed companies, so they are pretty much autonomous, the weight of a single investor is limited.

0 upvotes
SBoudreault
By SBoudreault (Mar 18, 2013)

Nerval, obviously, you didn't get the point !
Lol :)
Canon & Nikon might not be the same company, but they basically offer the same gear for the same audience...
S.

2 upvotes
3systermuser
By 3systermuser (Mar 15, 2013)

they should review the AFS70-200mmf2.8GEDVR2 lens as soon as they can and they should make some wide lens recommendation chart like this for NEX7 , Fuji X, Samsung NX and Oly MFT as well.

but one thing I can not understand is why they always rating the Zeiss 2/100ZF2MP lower than the Nikon AFS85mmf1.4G?

I have these 2 best primes for F mount and there is no way to claim the Nikon 85mm f1.4G is optically better than the 100Zeiss MP.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Mar 17, 2013)

think 70-200/2.8VR2 at 200mm can beat the new Canon one at open and it can even beat Canon prime 200/2.8L2. the tele end is probably the only place Nikkor can score but that's mostly used focal length by many.

85/1.4G isn't impressive to me
and Zeiss simply means "third-class Japanese."
Zeiss could mean "standard" = not above average.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Mar 17, 2013)

yabokkie - never owned any good Zeiss glass, have you? Cause from the BS you write it's quite clear.

0 upvotes
SBoudreault
By SBoudreault (Mar 18, 2013)

Some Zeiss glass is spectacular, some really is Cosina's standard...
Sorry to burst your bubble, but Zeiss ain't what it used to be.
Designed is Germany is not made in Germany (thank God it's cheap to make up for it!)
S.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Mar 18, 2013)

Cosina means good quality even if there is a Zeiss mark on it.

0 upvotes
doctorbza
By doctorbza (Mar 15, 2013)

i wanna know which photographers are going to let the body dictate the lens based on an internet score.

"well, i really wanted to shoot architecture; but dxo said the 400mm performed best so i shoot birds now."

2 upvotes
mimot13
By mimot13 (Mar 15, 2013)

@doctorbza : your answer is really very funny (architecture/birds) and interesting ! I've since a long time the curious impression that DxO stress mainly on lens corrections, details, resolution and other physical wonderful properties, which are without any doubt, important but not often relevant for the overall real photo quality.. as long as you look at all aspects of a "good photography" ? Many people are now looking at the very best performance of their equipment, but thus sometimes (?) totally forget other important photography factors. This is of course only a personal standpoint !

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
wildbild
By wildbild (Mar 15, 2013)

resolutionwise there is not much coming on top.
what a nice excuse for buying a medium format system!
e.g. 24mm f1.4
D3s 10p-mpix
D3x 16p-mpix
D800 17p-mpix

0 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (Mar 15, 2013)

Well, only the 80 MPix IQ180 back actually beats D800 in real resolution, and the new version costs $50000. Do not forget that with MF backs also the real image quality (in MPix) is much less than the "advertised" one, also much depending on the lens.

Wide angles are always the worst performers, 85mm and longer lenses are the sharpest.

3 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Mar 16, 2013)

I use a D800E and also Medium format.. medium format (providing you use good glass) is still better.. the D800E has closed the gap but there is still a difference... for eg: hasselblad is much better for portraits ,rendering more detail and beautiful skin tones...with MF back's you can also use tech cam's with Rodenstock HR glass.. which blows nikkor glass away..

1 upvote
Jonny Gawler
By Jonny Gawler (Mar 15, 2013)

I like DPReview's use of DxO research a whole lot better now that DPR has stopped reporting DxOmark Score results as showing "Best" lenses. A ranking of DxOmark Score results does not give you a list of the best lenses overall, and the graph on DxO's site labelled "The Highest IQ" is just plain wrong.
The DxOmark Score is a low-light test at increasingly higher iso settings. So those three 50mm lenses are all best at f/1.4 are they? It may as well be a "best lenses to use wide open on a D800" ranking.
They should tabulate their "mid-light score" results (much harder to find) – it would give a much more realistic impression of "Best" for a lens comparison.

2 upvotes
fibonacci1618
By fibonacci1618 (Mar 15, 2013)

Really much a-do about nothing much... almost all modern DLSRs and lenses are going to be very good for 95 to 99% of users' intended applications. This just confirms that.

It often strikes me how we tend to over-scrutinise and be too-anxious about the technical brilliance (or otherwise) of modern cameras and lenses. When I come across old photos or large prints taken 100 years ago with glass plate cameras and bellows-mounted lenses, I find myself in-awe & inspired with the scene or content and appreciating the image itself. I do not even think of the sharpness, etc. of the lens or camera. Many of the most famous photos of the last 200 years are nowhere near the sharpness etc of modern cameras, or cameras from the '60s or '70s, or even P&S cams.

I sure hope in 50 or 100 years from now, nobody cares if the images were taken with a Nikon or Canon, because a great image is a great image.

No one usually asks what camera took a great image, they ask "Wow! Who took that photo?"

9 upvotes
GSpencer
By GSpencer (Mar 22, 2013)

Fibonacci1618:
You are so right about with your direction on this. I can purchase a Lamborghini, but with mediocre & normal skills, I still can't beat that skilled dirver in a 6 cyc Mustang automatic. Skills do shine through equipment.

0 upvotes
lightandday
By lightandday (Mar 15, 2013)

What credibility has this Company ( DXO ) got ?
i.e. Are Nikkors really that better than Canon EF lenses as demonstrated in their "TEST" results ?
Should I be selling my digital Canon digital camerasand lenses and buying Nikon/Nikkor equipment ?
Are they( DXO ) independent with no financial benefit received for their results and are there any other non commercial "TESTING "organisations that perform and publish their results ?

1 upvote
Petka
By Petka (Mar 15, 2013)

I rather trust somebody who does exact testing than fanboy hearsay.

DxO tests lens/camera combinations. Why would it surprise anybody that a 36 MPix body and a good lens beats 24 Mpix with great lens? Lensrentals came to the same conclusion when comparing D800 and 5DIII with 24-70mm f:2.8 zooms. The new canon zoom is better, but still D800 with the Nikon zoom was sharper.

If Canon comes out with 30 MPix + body, or even 40+, the results are given a new shake again. Just wait, and then some Nikon fanboy can claim the results questionable...

17 upvotes
wakaba
By wakaba (Mar 15, 2013)

Actually Dxo is credible. They use a very well thought out testprocess.

You are trained to believe opinionated journalist reviews and are shocked if somebody produces raw numbers and tells you with the numbers that C is worse than N. Those mags are the ones that push products on mfg. behalf. That is why you own a Canon and EF lens and get saturated and less than sharp pics out of it.

It is long known that C products have 10-30% less resolving power than N lenses which are just 10% below theoretical max. resolving power.

D600 and D800(e) and the new prime 50mm lenses are really gamechangers. Combined they are actually better than many Mediumformat cams/backs/lenses that have high pixel counts but suffer from not so great sensors and some terrible lenses. The D-cams and the new FX-lenses are 5 years ahead of Canon.

11 upvotes
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (Mar 15, 2013)

@wakaba: in science, if you want to be credible, you will have to reference all your statements. Just saying "The D-cams and the new FX-lenses are 5 years ahead of Canon" is not quite enough, because I might say "Nikon has a Sony sensor that is stronger in resolution, BUT, many features on the Nikon(s) are crap -e.g. ergonomics- when compared with Canon and, Nikon lenses are less sharp than the Canon counterparts (especially pro lenses, Nikon is 10 years behind Canon)"... I hope you will understand my point. Cheers! :)

0 upvotes
3systermuser
By 3systermuser (Mar 15, 2013)

don't do it , I did it a year ago, went almost 100 percent Nikon with the D800E from 3 system kit.
the D800E at base ISO is great.
but it can be very difficult to fully optimize its IQ above ISO200.
the D800E is quite noisy even at ISO 200 compared to my d600 or the 6D.
from ISO400 almost all shots with it require re-sampling in CS6 or LR4, it is quite annoying to re-sample all shots to keep luma noise in check.

Nikon primes are simply not great , the 135DC is dated, the 105VR micro is just ok lens, a bit worse than the similar Canon 100L.
if you buy a D800E , you need a set of Zeiss primes but it is almost impossible to MF on the D800 due to the poor(est) LV mode of that cam.
so on paper and in lab , the D800E is a great camera but it is not worth selling all your Canon lenses for it.
so if you go dual system , I 'd encourage it but switching to Nikon from Canon or Sony is not worth the effort , buy a body for your already existing glass.

2 upvotes
3systermuser
By 3systermuser (Mar 15, 2013)

oh and the Nikon AFS35mmf1.4G is not as good as the Sigma , the 24f1.4G is worse than the cheap Samyong.

0 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Mar 15, 2013)

@wakaba

Contradicting your findings Nikon's PC-E Nikkor 24mm is a dog compared to Canon TS-E 24mm L II. A well known fact. And where's Nikon's answer to TS-E 17mm?

1 upvote
wakaba
By wakaba (Mar 15, 2013)

I don`t shoot above 400. I hardly ever go above 100. I really think hard before I take my cam out nowadays. Got to be good - or else.

I only use prime 50mm1,4 and 180mm 2.8. nowadays. Its like a big V8. Lots of power low down, rev it and it gets harsh. You probably never used or even heard of the Nikon 180mm - that one is really, really good. Sharp and nice focus plane.

LV is a nonissue. Sucks battery and the prism is much better. Zeiss is just not as good as my preferred two lenses, lack AF. LV and MF is a stupid thing to do - use prism. Wideangle lenses are a lot worse than "narrow" angle 50 and 85mm. No point in comparing lenses in this segment and no point to measure variolenses.
That is what dxo says.

Ergonomics on Nikon are ok. But then again I use that stuff for 30 years.
Do I like my current D600? Yes, and I also liked my 601, D50, 3100 etc.
Would I get a D800e? No. I want a D1000e with an even bigger sensor and square images and a faster DSP.

0 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Mar 16, 2013)

@wakaba I use both Canon L glass and nikon G glass.. I have the 24mm 1.4G,35mm 1.4g ,50mm 1.4G and both 85mm G lenses.. canon make lenses that are easily as good as Nikon.. the 17 & 24 TSE's,the 85mm L ,the 200F2 ,24-70mk2 and 70-200mk2 are all excellent,and canon's latest generation of super tele's are amazing.. I use a D800E and D4 from nikon and love them both.. and BTW and the best 35mm is neither nikon or canon... it's sigma..
....I just like a balanced view...

0 upvotes
lightandday
By lightandday (Mar 16, 2013)

I thank you for you thoughts - I was really shattered to see how good Nikon is and using Canon for digital and previously using Nikon film equipment (and still do ! ) I wondered about the crediabilty of DXO and was rather hoping that they didn't have any !

0 upvotes
wakaba
By wakaba (Mar 16, 2013)

@scorpius:
Lensmeasurments say otherwise: 1400lpi for C and 2000lpi for N 50mm
It is not about a balanced view, try fact based view. Hard numbers only, please. What they also say is variolenses suck. So no - you did not read nor understand what Dx0 measured and what they say and your choice of lenses apart from the new N50 and N85 suck. And a 4000$ supertele from Canon is ok but my 900$ N180mm beats it. Simple physics.

0 upvotes
wakaba
By wakaba (Mar 16, 2013)

@darkshift: Those lenses are fun to use, they are made to distort. If that is your thing - great. But you will not get meaningful lpi out of them. I got rid of my "old" lenses half a year ago - only the 50mm and the 180mm remained. The others required too much image postprocessing and still fell short of those two lenses. Fact is: Variolenses and specialty lenses are done in. Imagequality is beyond the physics that these concepts can deliver. Same mit M43, APS-C bodies. Done, Gone.

0 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (Mar 16, 2013)

@darkshift: Canon has better T/S lenses than Nikon, it is a well known fact. What people asking for a 17mm Nikon T/S do not realize is the fact that Nikon has a big problem with their lens mount what comes to T/S lenses: The flange opening is too small. There simply is no way to make a T/S lens with large shift movements without getting light cutoff from the flange. Canon has larger flange aperture; lot of room for lens movements. Simple geometry. If somebody really needs WA T/S, get a Canon, it is that simple. Canon 17mm T/S is truly awesome, and I can say that as a Nikon shooter. Cameras are tools and technology, not religion.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Mar 16, 2013)

@wakaba.. do you have a source for those figure's.. as for the 180nikkor beating the canon 200f@.. i would have a hard time believing that.. source??

0 upvotes
wakaba
By wakaba (Mar 16, 2013)

@scorpius: German test mag, no use here, paper.

0 upvotes
Gary Dean Mercer Clark
By Gary Dean Mercer Clark (Mar 15, 2013)

I only wonder about the comment that a ten percent increase in resolution is worth investing in a new camera system that will require spending even more more money to upgrade existing lenses to really extract the potential of the sensor?
Sigma is addressing the newer super high generation sensors with new lens offerings like the 35mm f1.4 for APC cameras and the soon to be released 30mm f 1.4 for full frame cameras in their " Art" series as well as major upgrades to their other lens lines. Competition is great for photographers. Maybe these tests will prompt the manufacturers to really push the lens technology to take full advantage of these higher resolution sensors.
I just wonder how much further optical technology can be pushed to match these super high resolution sensors. Where is the limit?

1 upvote
Kevin Jorgensen
By Kevin Jorgensen (Mar 16, 2013)

''Sigma is addressing the newer super high generation sensors with new lens offerings like the 35mm f1.4 for APC cameras and the soon to be released 30mm f 1.4 for full frame cameras in their " Art" series as well as major upgrades to their other lens lines.''

I think you've got that the wrong way round, at least I hope you have. I just ordered the new Sigma 35f1.4 and my guy in Saigon knows I've got a 5DM2 and will soon be purchasing the ''3''.

0 upvotes
pixel_peeper
By pixel_peeper (Mar 15, 2013)

The DXO score apparently uses centre resolution only, which explains why the Sigma 50 and the Samyang 85 have DXO scores that are higher than better lenses. Mostly you can't see the difference between the resolution of different lenses in the centre, but you sure can in the corners! Of course, the corners don't matter for portraits, but neither does the centre.

1 upvote
copajaus
By copajaus (Mar 14, 2013)

DXO does lab tests. Reality shooting is a different story. Canon and Nikon both are they strength in some area and they weakness in others. I own both a 5D Mk3 and a D800; I can tell you they both are professional tools which in the right hands can produce brilliant results. I don't think photography is based only on the quality of your lens so really those results are just indicative.
I think it's pointless to argue which system is best, lenses produced these days have extraordinary resolving power and really it's all about getting the best lens camera combination for the job.

7 upvotes
lightandday
By lightandday (Mar 15, 2013)

A true word said !

0 upvotes
Tommot1965
By Tommot1965 (Mar 14, 2013)

DXO need to proof read their articles..quite a few mistakes and confusing statements ...take a look at the comparison between the 24-70 Nikon and the sigma...it states that the sigma beats the Nikon in sharpness..yet the results don't show that..plus it goes onto point out that the sigma has a high CHr score which lets it down..but it doesn't point out the Nikon lens did worse ...quite a poor review and makes me question the results if such mistakes are made in other areas ...Ive never thought my Nikon 24-70 was that bad in CHR

3 upvotes
Tommot1965
By Tommot1965 (Mar 14, 2013)

I wish the 70-200 VRII would get tested with any Nikon camera..whats the go there..why no test of such a well liked lens !!

5 upvotes
aftab
By aftab (Mar 14, 2013)

and 14-24/2.8 too

5 upvotes
Tommot1965
By Tommot1965 (Mar 14, 2013)

Ive just read that results for the 70-200VR II will be posted on the 22/3/13 ...but yes the 14-24 is also a big miss

5 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Mar 14, 2013)

Interesting to note that say a 28-300 Nikkor ultra zoomlens on a D800 is able to keep up with/beat a 28mm F2.8 *prime* on a D3S in terms of final image resolution. Simply because of the extra pixels making more out of "average" lenses too.

So much for the theory that 36MP only give benefit with a handful of top end lenses.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (Mar 14, 2013)

Agree. I have several older lenses that works very well with the D800. Among those the 35mm f/2 and 50mm f/1.4 D. Even the old 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 D is capable of producing very nice images with the D800. The pro lenses are of course better, but not as much as you would think considering the huge price difference.

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Mar 15, 2013)

The 50 1.4 D is a great lens. Just because it's older doesn't mean it's not a sharp, highly corrected optic. Mostly all 50mm lenses are gems and all will work great on the D800.

But I agree that older lenses like the 28-105 AF-D and some AIS Nikkors work wonderfully on the D800.

1 upvote
rrccad
By rrccad (Mar 16, 2013)

you're comparing pixel densities from a 12mp sensor to a 36mp and surprised?

diminishing returns on higher Mp cameras, which should come as no surprise.

even more diminishing returns if you don't shoot test charts, because the only real area of improvement is in your plane of focus.

0 upvotes
Paul Guba
By Paul Guba (Mar 14, 2013)

How can you do macro lenses and not include the 60mm? Nothing you didn't know the best lenses performed the best. Surprised?

1 upvote
AEndrs
By AEndrs (Mar 14, 2013)

What I have always said, the Samyang 85mm f/1.4 is a jewel. The same performance as the Zeiss, but for 1500$ less.

3 upvotes
wadap0
By wadap0 (Mar 14, 2013)

Why do I keep seeing ridiculous comments like "Nikon has no control over their sensors". Everyone knows the D800 sensor was manufactured by Sony. Can anyone reasonably assume that Nikon was not involved in the DESIGN of the sensor? Sony can make sensors at lower cost than Nikon due to economies of scale, but the sensor DESIGN is definitely Nikon's - that is what is important to know.

Comment edited 13 seconds after posting
9 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (Mar 14, 2013)

Or it was just some random sensor which ended up in D800 and Nikon had no control over it?

1 upvote
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Mar 14, 2013)

Or was it? First it's an Exmor design (Sony's trademark), second, it's the exact same architecture as the 16MP APS-C sensor (underlined by the equal performance *per unit area*). And the latter first debuted in... the Sony A55 and A580 before being used in the D7000.

8 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Mar 14, 2013)

It's more likely Sony has several verified designs and grades and Nikon picked one.

7 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (Mar 15, 2013)

If they were the exact same Sony sensor, why don't Nikon and Sony get the exact same score?
I agree with the gentleman. My iPhone is Apple, not Foxconn.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Mar 15, 2013)

the d800 is a sony design. sony does make nikon designed sensors like the ones in the d3200 and d4. but this is a sony. the reason sony is outperformed by nikon is that is not all sensor. it is also the hardware and software that does image processing witch nikon clearly has a n edge on sony in

1 upvote
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Mar 15, 2013)

@InTheMyst:
The A580 and D7000 did score the same even though Sony opted not to use the 14bit mode and uses its own filters (more selective CFA's for example). The RX1 scored within margin of error from the D600 too.

2 upvotes
wakaba
By wakaba (Mar 14, 2013)

This is already very noticeable and visible with the D600. Noticed that 6 months ago. So I stick with the high quality 50mm FX Prime and the stellar 180mm FX primetele. Thanks dxo for confirming my suspicions.

Most likely variolensing is a thing of the past since many variables are constantly out of tune. A convenient but not really needed feature.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Mar 19, 2013)

50/1.4 is one of Nikon's weak points but I don't think they are going to make a new one soon. then I hope there will be a new 50/1.2 at reasonable price.

0 upvotes
maxnimo
By maxnimo (Mar 14, 2013)

I've been saying this for years. Basically, if you use a cheap zoom lens on a 24 MP camera your image won't even be as good as a clean 4 MP image.

1 upvote
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Mar 14, 2013)

Where did you read anything like that in the DXO articles?

7 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Mar 14, 2013)

Proven time and time again, better to have an excellent lens on an average body, than an average lens on an excellent body.

3 upvotes
David Hull
By David Hull (Mar 14, 2013)

Well.... this should keep the forums hopping for a few weeks :-)

7 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Mar 14, 2013)

that's a beautiful line.
36MP is just a big step towards high resolution.
36MP is about standard resolution.

0 upvotes
MikeF4Black
By MikeF4Black (Mar 14, 2013)

Lloyd Chambers did this very thoroughly, and in a way everyone can understand. The D800/D800E's sensor is so good it makes the flaws of lenses stand out. That's all there is to it.

1 upvote
sebastian huvenaars
By sebastian huvenaars (Mar 14, 2013)

That's part of what's to it.

D800 gives extra resolution in almost all cases. This resolution gap must be worth something, even if it leads to showing lens flaws at some point.

I'd rather have the extra resolution and knowledge of what my lenses are capable of, than a cam that lacks the resolution to do so in the first place...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
MikeF4Black
By MikeF4Black (Mar 15, 2013)

Sure, but the upgrade from D700 (which I've now had for over three years; I like that camera) to D800 is rather costly. It involves upgrading my laptop (RAM memory, speed retina grade screen) as well, and I'm just not up for that right now. I've got the glass though. The 1.4 24, 35 and 85 AFS's, the 2.0 28 and 50 Zeiss...

0 upvotes
sebastian huvenaars
By sebastian huvenaars (Mar 15, 2013)

Well that's another story... (On what i agree with :)

0 upvotes
mantra
By mantra (Mar 14, 2013)

hi
do you know I never understood Dxo ?

in short i read the article

is the point that 36mp are too much for nikkor lenses outside few new lenses?

if i got the point , it's not a great discovery

just think to the past canon sensors and the current 1.5 or 1.6 sensors

i think nikon develop the d800 to be the king in pro studio photography

1 upvote
gordon lafleur
By gordon lafleur (Mar 14, 2013)

No surprise that the clunky Zeiss lenses fared so badly. They've always been over-rated. Maybe they should be selling re-badged Samyangs.

3 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Mar 16, 2013)

I am not a Zeiss fanboy but I will say these tests wont show the Benefits of a Zeiss lens..they have lovely color and contrast..C.A's are well controlled and they handle flare well.. they are good lenses...

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Mar 14, 2013)

nikon should have gone the canon way.
first the lenses, then the sensor.

5 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (Mar 14, 2013)

that's what nikon is doing already. they have no control over its sensors which are produced by sony.

1 upvote
semorg
By semorg (Mar 14, 2013)

Nikon has better lenses in general than Canon.

10 upvotes
XeroJay
By XeroJay (Mar 14, 2013)

Correction; Nikon did have better glass than Canon until recently.

8 upvotes
gsum
By gsum (Mar 14, 2013)

They have done. The 42 year old non-AI 28mm f3.5, the 35-70 f2.8 and 24mm f.2.8 (20 years old) all out-resolve the D800 sensor. There's little reason to buy Zeiss or Samyang glass with such a wealth of legacy lenses, almost any of which will fit modern Nikons thanks to the standard mount.

2 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Mar 14, 2013)

nikon better lenses then canon.. LOL.. you clown.. get a clue what your talking about.

11 upvotes
Paul Guba
By Paul Guba (Mar 14, 2013)

Nikon released several new lenses a couple years ago. They were considered better than Canon's equivalent. Notable were 14-24 and 24-70. Nikon primes were lacking but they updated those. Canon updated their PC lenses and those are top notch. Super wide zoom still Nikons ballpark. Primes are neck and neck. Canon's macro lenses have always been poop in my experience Nikons were just better across the board.

This is based on my own experience shooting both system extensively as a working professional. Sorry I don't shoot targets or brick walls.

Both systems are excellent and produce fabulous images that you would be hard to distinguish the difference between the two.

5 upvotes
paulski66
By paulski66 (Mar 14, 2013)

^^ You're. It's "what you're talking about," ffs... :sigh:

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
SirSeth
By SirSeth (Mar 14, 2013)

Both systems brag a large array of lenses. Imo, some lenses developed for film are still great on digital. Most are not, especially as we get into huge MP counts. The newest lenses to come out are improved, but cost an arm and a leg. That leaves a lot of people out cold. If Oly could give a great body for Zuiko 4/3rds glass I'd be happy since I have a few nice ones there, but changing to Nikon or Canon makes lens hunting depressing.

1 upvote
rb59020
By rb59020 (Mar 14, 2013)

Pentax lenses are way gooder!

1 upvote
yslee1
By yslee1 (Mar 15, 2013)

@Paul Guba That's mostly correct from my experience as well - note the general correlation between age of lenses and quality. The newer lenses tend to be better since they were designed with digital sensor interactions in mind. There are exceptions, as always, but those are few.

0 upvotes
Stanchung
By Stanchung (Mar 15, 2013)

@Paul Guba- I'd like to believe you but the comparison of 24-70's between marquees shows that the Canon is superior in every way.

Not that the Nikon is bad, it's still very good.
Just wish it was on par with the Canon.

0 upvotes
falconeyes
By falconeyes (Mar 17, 2013)

@Stanchung, this is not what Guba said. He said the recent Nikon lenses bested their then existing Canon peers. The Canon 24-70 is brand new (2012), replacing a ten year old design (2002). The Nikon is five years old now (2007).

In general, I got the impression that both, Canon and Nikon, are making good progress with recent lens designs and their high end optics tend to better if more recent. From whatever brand...

0 upvotes
Total comments: 93