Which lenses will resolve 36mp? Which will struggle?

Started Mar 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
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dholl Veteran Member • Posts: 3,184
Which lenses will resolve 36mp? Which will struggle?

Which lenses in your collection have the ability to take full advantage of the D800's 36 million pixel sensor? Which do you think will struggle?

I have many lenses in Nikon-mount collected over the last few years, they've seen use on my old F90X & F-801, as well as myriad Nikon DSLR cameras, my current one being the D1X. I've not mounted the suspected pre-Ai lenses on my D1X for I might damage its aperture lever, those lenses however get excellent use on my Canon 5DII via adaptor (and previously on Micro-Fourthirds).

Does this same caution with pre-Ai lenses apply also for Nikon FX cameras? As far as I know only the entry-level bodies without internal AF motor can mount pre-Ai lenses safely (D40 onwards).

Ok, here's my list...which of these do you think can resolve 36mp worth of detail?

  • Elicar 200mm f3.5 (I think pre-Ai)

  • Nikkor AiS 50mm f1.4

  • Nikkor Ai 24mm f2.0

  • Nikkor Fisheye 16mm f3.5 (not sure if this is pre-Ai or not)

  • Nikkor AF 24mm f2.8

  • Nikkor 50mm f2 (I think this is pre-Ai)

  • Nikkor 180mm f2.8 (almost sure this is pre-Ai..."Nippon Kogaku")

  • Nikkor Micro 55mm f3.5 (another "Nippon Kogaku")

  • Nikkor 50mm f1.4 ("Nippon Kogaku")

  • Sigma 14mm f3.5 (Ai, I think)

  • Sigma AF 18-35mm f3.5-4.5

  • Sigma AF 50mm f2.8 Macro

  • Sigma AF DG 70-300mm f4-5-6

  • Tokina 17mm f3.5 (Ai, I think)

  • Tokina AT-X AF 24-200mm

  • Zeiss Planar ZF 50mm f1.4 (the modern one)

I'll do some resolution tests with my 21mp 5DII with these lenses too, this should help find out which lenses have potential. From memory the Zeiss and Nikkors perform very well on my 5D. Even the third-party primes do quite well, the zooms less so.

I'm also interested which lenses in your own collection do you think will do well with the D800 sensor? Are you sticking with high-end modern zooms and primes or do you have older lenses which can keep up?

I know this is very much an unknown for most of you, maybe only those of you with experience of the D3X will roughly know how good the lenses have to be. The D800 looks like it will be a very important release, in all the threads so far I've not seen too many discuss how our lenses may or may not be able to take full advantage of the 36 million pixels on offer.

Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon D1X Nikon D3X Nikon D800
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