Nikon 28-300 on a D800

Started Jul 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
RichyjV Contributing Member • Posts: 869
Re: Nikon 28-300 on a D800

D Knisely wrote:

It is a very good lens, easily providing enough resolution for fairly large prints. However, a couple of things:

  • It will not fully resolve 36 Mpixels. It will not resolve even 24 Mpixels on a D600. You need to set your expectations correctly. I estimate my 28-300VR (a VERY good copy on the second try) resolves about 18 Mpixels -- more than enough for most purposes, but don't expect to crop massively on the D800. By the way, the 28-300VR is almost certainly sharper than your technique unless you are shooting with great care on tripod. If you're going handheld, the 28-300VR is plenty of sharpness.

Eh? Almost certainly sharper than your technique without tripod shooting? Whilst the % of fully sharp D800 shots is a bit lower than on my 12mp D700 before, its still high! I have good technique but not *amazing* and fire off sharp 36mp images with very sharp lenses routinely. If the logic is 'your shots won't be sharp anyway unless you use a tripod so you might as well enjoy the convenience of a not-very-sharp lens', I think that is crazy. On the other hand, I used a 28-200 G for years of pro work when I first started out, and as long as you don't want large prints or to be able to view on a hi-rez monitor of the future in a few years time, then it does the job handily, and the same will be true of the 28-300.

  • There is a LOT of sample variation. Allow time to test carefully and return until you get a good one. My first copy was quite unimpressive -- softer than my 70-300VR, which turned out not to even be a good copy of that lens. My second copy is remarkable. Buy from a dealer than allows returns/exchanges and test, test, test. If you don't know how to test, find a friend who does.
  • AF is not terrific in low light; it is not the best choice for night shooting.

All that said, the build quality is excellent and the flexibility is amazing. You will get shots because you don't have to change lenses. I think it beats lugging a ton of heavy lenses. That said, I MOSTLY rely on the amazing 70-200 f/4 now. If I carry 2-3 lenses, it would be an UWA, 85/1.8, and 70-200/4 (possibly with the TC20E III to reach 400mm in a pinch). If conditions were dirty/dusty, I would stick with the 28-300VR to avoid lens changing.

Equally, having moved up to a D800E from a D700 I now use the amazing 70-200f/4 and an equally awesome sigma 35mm 1.4, and that 2 lens combo for me does everything I usually need at pretty much top levels of sharpness, an extender would be a very good idea for safari though. I gave away my superzoom for my dad to use who only outputs in website size (where you usually cant tell the difference except for the overall contrast and corners).

Enjoy the safari! You wont have to think about the lens you your head can be in the shots

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