Nikon D850 OVF and Internal Focus Indicator Accuracy with 3 Otus Lenses

Started Nov 18, 2017 | Discussions thread
Flat view
ArthurMeursault Regular Member • Posts: 312
Nikon D850 OVF and Internal Focus Indicator Accuracy with 3 Otus Lenses

Near the bottom of page 6 of this thread Jim K challenged me to use the D850 OVF and internal focus indicator to achieve results above 1500 cy/ph.

I conducted the test today in windy outdoor conditions as it's easier for me to set up my slant edge target in full sunlight rather than drag out a ton of lights and take up an entire room in the house for a few hours.

I normally pin my slant edge target to a fence but didn't notice the wind had blown the target off perpendicular until the first round was complete.

The 2nd round I realized that strong winds were moving the fence a few mm to a cm + so I moved the target down lower on the fence and only shot when the wind was still. It's gusting to 25 mph + here today.

I restarted the test using the 85mm Otus on a tripod to eliminate my handholding technique. EV was set at + 1.33 and I shot at f2 through f5.6 or f8 for each series.

The order was this:

Otus 85mm on Tripod (1 set of 2.0-8.0)

Otus 85mm handheld (2 sets of 2.0 - 5.6)

Otus 55mm handheld (1 set of 2.0-8.0)

Otus 28mm handheld (1 set of 2.0-8.0)

I have 20/10 vision, use the DK-17m magnifying eyepiece (although that is not a factor in this test) I only relied on the internal focus indicator while using the OFV. >o< (grin)

The handheld results are also affected by my ability to hold the camera perpendicular to the slant edge target. I did align both the tripod head (RRS BH55) and using live view for camera alignment only before the tripod shots, I also used the horizon indicator to set up the camera.  All focusing was done with the internal focus indicator.

Import was in to latest version of Capture 1 with all pre-sharpening turned off. I did have to adjust brightness and exposure on 1 shot because a cloud passed over.

So on to the results.

Otus 85mm on tripod - best on left, worst on right

Otus 85mm handheld - best on left, worst on right

Otus 55mm handheld - best on left, worst on right

Otus 28mm handheld - best on left, worst on right


The Nikon D850 focus indicator is highly accurate and reliable with manual lenses. Empirically, I found this to be true with the D810 also but never tested it like this)

For the entire series, handheld or tripod, only 1 shot (handheld 85mm worst) failed to clear the sharpness hurdle.

The 55mm tests were extremely close across the board. Jim states it has very low focus shift.

The 28mm handheld was outstanding and produced the highest score of the day.

My hand holding technique reduces resolution by about 20-30%. This is why god invented the tripod some 10,000 years ago and later invented VRii.

Someone with better technique and a 'lesser' lens could probably match my handheld scores. Don't put too much in to the Otus scores in a test like this because I would expect most of the variance to come from my technique, whether the target was perpendicular to the sensor and other variables.

Bottom line - Nikon's focus indicator is a reliable tool.

-- hide signature --

"A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally."

 ArthurMeursault's gear list:ArthurMeursault's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II +7 more
Nikon D810 Nikon D850 Zeiss Otus 1.4/55 Zeiss Otus 85mm F1.4
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Flat view
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow