D800 - best budget lenses?

Started Feb 8, 2012 | Discussions
Leok Regular Member • Posts: 190
Re: D800 - best budget lenses?

John Motts wrote:

Why do you need to look at 100%?

Why is everyone so obsessed with looking at files, in effect, through a microscope? It's what they they look like in actual use that matters.

When they're to be looked at on screen they don't need to be zoomed in to such an extreme degree.

When they're to be printed they don't need to be zoomed in to such an extreme degree. So what's the point?

A few possible reasons :

Poster prints which are likely to be viewed close up e.g. landscapes, architecture
36mp translates to just over 16x24" @ 300dpi

Extremely high res printing : 36Mp gives just over 8x12" @ 600dpi.

If the image is to be cropped significantly before printing the extra resolution may be needed. e.g. cropping from "landscape" to "portrait" resolution gives you around 18Mp which is still enough for a good sized sharp print.

Funnily enough huge prints like billboards don't need huge resolution as they are viewed from so far away. They are commonly printed at around 6Mp which is very roughly the same resolution as the human eye.

For on screen use lower resolutions are generally fine.

For most people though its a matter of knowing you have the best gear which allows you to crop and print with more flexibility than say a D700 - even though 98% of the time 12Mp is fine.

OP mfbernstein Veteran Member • Posts: 6,518
Re: D800 - best budget lenses?

dominikov wrote:

windsprite wrote:

Read the thread. You are wrong, and the OP knows what he is doing.

Julie

Julie, I wasn't specifically directing those comments at the OP. I'm talking about anyone who buys this camera and then compromises on glass.

It doesn't make sense.

If you're going to compromise anywhere, it should be with the camera body and not the lenses. Every optical defect will be apparent at 36mp, not to mention technique, lighting, etc. all has to be perfect to make use of it.

Otherwise all you've paid $3000 for is a camera that produces large files.

Everything is a compromise in some fashion. However, I take exception to the idea that larger more expensive lenses will necessarily be much better than smaller less expensive alternatives. Indeed, in some scenarios, the smaller lenses may even offer better quality. This thread is about finding them.

And of course it's worth remembering that the pro lenses everybody suggests are also compromises in their own fashion. Some are optimized for flexibility in framing (zoom), some for close focus (ironically not the 105/2.8 micro), some for wide aperture (the 24/1.4 is edged by the 17-35/2.8 at 24mm for sharpness).

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Hawaii-geek
Hawaii-geek Veteran Member • Posts: 8,066
mfbernstein, Agree ... It's ALL about compromise

mfbernstein, Agree ... It's ALL about compromise

imho, the 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 VRII yes, compromise

And you need to look at all of the components thru the "filter" of what is important to you.

For me it's AF in Low light. and consistancy of AF ... Zoom , probably yes for flexability.

And if I can "Split the Differance" by buying a High Resolution body that improves the performance (or percieved sharpness) of my compromise choice of lens ... GREAT !

The D800 does NOT hurt the Speed to AF on the first shot , and in fact it will improve it in Low Light. and probably in sports/Events. but, it will not be less vs the D700 ... except for that "trade" of 2fps with grip and DX for higher Res at that DX crop.

  • Now , if a FW update gives us a 5mp 2.7 crop at 8fps ... then ZERO loss of D700 features.

just my opinion,
HG

mfbernstein wrote:

Everything is a compromise in some fashion. However, I take exception to the idea that larger more expensive lenses will necessarily be much better than smaller less expensive alternatives. Indeed, in some scenarios, the smaller lenses may even offer better quality. This thread is about finding them.

And of course it's worth remembering that the pro lenses everybody suggests are also compromises in their own fashion. Some are optimized for flexibility in framing (zoom), some for close focus (ironically not the 105/2.8 micro), some for wide aperture (the 24/1.4 is edged by the 17-35/2.8 at 24mm for sharpness).

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John Motts Veteran Member • Posts: 5,681
Re: D800 - best budget lenses?

Leok wrote:

John Motts wrote:

Why do you need to look at 100%?

Why is everyone so obsessed with looking at files, in effect, through a microscope? It's what they they look like in actual use that matters.

When they're to be looked at on screen they don't need to be zoomed in to such an extreme degree.

When they're to be printed they don't need to be zoomed in to such an extreme degree. So what's the point?

A few possible reasons :

Poster prints which are likely to be viewed close up e.g. landscapes, architecture
36mp translates to just over 16x24" @ 300dpi

Only a very tiny proportion of the work produced by people on this forum will be reproduced as poster size prints.

Extremely high res printing : 36Mp gives just over 8x12" @ 600dpi.

Almost non-existent

For most people though its a matter of knowing you have the best gear which allows you to crop and print with more flexibility than say a D700 - even though 98% of the time 12Mp is fine.

Yes, but this obsession with having to examine everything at what will be for many the equivalent of about 70"x 45" on screen and then saying that it's likely to look softer than a D700 file would appear at a third of the area is getting so silly. I've even seen people write that their lenses will look softer with the D800 than they will with the D700!

John Motts Veteran Member • Posts: 5,681
Re: I like the 18-55VR

Cha Chief wrote:

It works great and it sure is a budget lens. Get the 55-200VR and you've covered a lot. Generally if you just get a prime, it will leave you wishing you'd bought a zoom. You won't always be in places where your legs can do the zooming.

Why spend so much on a body and stick a cheap lens on the front?

(And yes I have owned an 18-55.)

bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 61,718
Re: I like the 18-55VR

John Motts wrote:

Cha Chief wrote:

It works great and it sure is a budget lens. Get the 55-200VR and you've covered a lot. Generally if you just get a prime, it will leave you wishing you'd bought a zoom. You won't always be in places where your legs can do the zooming.

Why spend so much on a body and stick a cheap lens on the front?

Because you haven't any money left after buying such an expensive body?

The D800 can be seen as a one-shot upgrade to every existing lens in your collection. One possible reason for buying it is that it will allow you to get by with cheaper lenses, and thus end up being good value.
--
Bob

hsmeets Regular Member • Posts: 158
Re: D800 - best budget lenses?

as long as you (roughly speaking): do not pixel peep on screen, often crop a lot of the borders away, do not print much larger then 11x14", you always shoot hand-held, don't shoot lenses wide open but stopped down to f16/f22 for DoF, well then you can get a way with budget lenses for sure, but given that use case then also a D800 is questionable.

DavidHux Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: D800 - best budget lenses?

hsmeets wrote:

as long as you (roughly speaking): do not pixel peep on screen, often crop a lot of the borders away, do not print much larger then 11x14", you always shoot hand-held, don't shoot lenses wide open but stopped down to f16/f22 for DoF, well then you can get a way with budget lenses for sure, but given that use case then also a D800 is questionable.

Resolution is only one factor.

I do all of the above, using a D700. I got it for three reasons

  • Noise at ISO 1600 plus

  • Dynamic Range (ability to map 14 bit RAW into prints without getting black holes and burnt out high lights or posterization)

  • Automation - it can be set up to support whatever I need to do

JakeB Contributing Member • Posts: 855
Re: I like the 18-55VR

So let me get this straight.

There are people on this forum who are going to buy (or at least say they will) a $3000 camera which will produce 36.3 mp photographs --- and they're trying to figure out how cheap they can go on the glass???

That is freakin' hilarious.

Oh, man. Don't forget to turn off the on-board flash in daylight, Pops!

bobn2 wrote:

John Motts wrote:

Cha Chief wrote:

It works great and it sure is a budget lens. Get the 55-200VR and you've covered a lot. Generally if you just get a prime, it will leave you wishing you'd bought a zoom. You won't always be in places where your legs can do the zooming.

Why spend so much on a body and stick a cheap lens on the front?

Because you haven't any money left after buying such an expensive body?

The D800 can be seen as a one-shot upgrade to every existing lens in your collection. One possible reason for buying it is that it will allow you to get by with cheaper lenses, and thus end up being good value.
--
Bob

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JakeB Contributing Member • Posts: 855
Re: I like the 18-55VR

See, Bob, the optical quality of the lens doesn't improve based on the body, so the idea that a dslr with near-medium-format resolution will give all your lenses a "one-shot upgrade" is very silly indeed.

What it will do instead is expose the many compromises made in producing cheap glass.

Unless you don't view/print in formats that will take advantage of all that resolution.

In which case, why did you buy the camera to begin with?

bobn2 wrote:

John Motts wrote:

Cha Chief wrote:

It works great and it sure is a budget lens. Get the 55-200VR and you've covered a lot. Generally if you just get a prime, it will leave you wishing you'd bought a zoom. You won't always be in places where your legs can do the zooming.

Why spend so much on a body and stick a cheap lens on the front?

Because you haven't any money left after buying such an expensive body?

The D800 can be seen as a one-shot upgrade to every existing lens in your collection. One possible reason for buying it is that it will allow you to get by with cheaper lenses, and thus end up being good value.
--
Bob

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Flashlight Veteran Member • Posts: 7,954
Re: I like the 18-55VR

JakeB wrote:

So let me get this straight.

There are people on this forum who are going to buy (or at least say they will) a $3000 camera which will produce 36.3 mp photographs --- and they're trying to figure out how cheap they can go on the glass???

Other people buy $8000 telephoto lenses and use them with a $1000 camera. What were they thinking? Oh yes, the 500 f/4 won't fit on a 80MP Phase One camera while the D7000 gives them more reach than a D3s or D3x.

It makes perfect sense to buy a D800 first and later add the lenses. Firstly your lenses will give more detail than on any previous camera you owned. Secondly you can judge how the new lens will perform on the high res sensor only if you already have the camera. Some flaws will be hidden on a D700 but show on a D800.

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Philip

bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 61,718
Re: I like the 18-55VR

JakeB wrote:

See, Bob, the optical quality of the lens doesn't improve based on the body, so the idea that a dslr with near-medium-format resolution will give all your lenses a "one-shot upgrade" is very silly indeed.

You think so? Here's a little exercise to help you differentiate between what is 'very silly' and what isn't with a bit more success in future. Go to the photozone.de site, where they have tested the same lenses on different resolution cameras (for instance, 30D and 50D or D200 and D7000). See if you can find any that does not perform better with the higher resolution camera. Then try the DxO lens tests. These allow you to compare the same lens on different resolution cameras. See if you can find any lens that doesn't improve on the higher resolution camera (same sensor size, of course). When you find one, please report back and we can weigh the evidence, the number that improve against the number that don't.

What it will do instead is expose the many compromises made in producing cheap glass.

That is what you think, is it? Well, maybe, just maybe, you could try backing your opinion with some neutral evidence, like, for instance, the lens tests above. 'Because I say so' doesn't quite cut it, I'm afraid.

Unless you don't view/print in formats that will take advantage of all that resolution.

Again, let us have some evidence to back your point of view. Otherwise, I'm going to argue that a measurable increase in definition is a worthwhile plus.

In which case, why did you buy the camera to begin with?

I know very well why I'm buying it, I'm wondering whether it would have much to offer you, since it appears that you don't know how a camera works.

bobn2 wrote:

John Motts wrote:

Cha Chief wrote:

It works great and it sure is a budget lens. Get the 55-200VR and you've covered a lot. Generally if you just get a prime, it will leave you wishing you'd bought a zoom. You won't always be in places where your legs can do the zooming.

Why spend so much on a body and stick a cheap lens on the front?

Because you haven't any money left after buying such an expensive body?

The D800 can be seen as a one-shot upgrade to every existing lens in your collection. One possible reason for buying it is that it will allow you to get by with cheaper lenses, and thus end up being good value.
--
Bob

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Bob

Jon Rty Veteran Member • Posts: 3,838
Re: I like the 18-55VR

Sure they do. Look at resolution tests of lenses across several bodies with differing resolution. The highest resolution body always has the highest test figures.

JakeB wrote:

See, Bob, the optical quality of the lens doesn't improve based on the body, so the idea that a dslr with near-medium-format resolution will give all your lenses a "one-shot upgrade" is very silly indeed.

What it will do instead is expose the many compromises made in producing cheap glass.

Unless you don't view/print in formats that will take advantage of all that resolution.

In which case, why did you buy the camera to begin with?

stany buyle Senior Member • Posts: 1,957
Very curious for the tamron 24-70 F2.8...

My 28-75 F2.8 was my favorite lens on my D3/D700. Lightweight, compact and tack sharp...

Some at F2.8: http://www.nikonuser.info/fotoforum/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=479&sid=f5e0c7e132dd46f0653a47c5245ade85#p1769
I like the image stabilisation(VC) with the new tamron 24-70...
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mlewan Senior Member • Posts: 1,350
Re: I like the 18-55VR

JakeB wrote:

See, Bob, the optical quality of the lens doesn't improve based on the body, so the idea that a dslr with near-medium-format resolution will give all your lenses a "one-shot upgrade" is very silly indeed.

It would be nice to see some hard facts to back up that statement. (It is always nice to have some hard facts every time one uses the word "silly", so the word does not rebound.)

(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,144
Re: I like the 18-55VR

I'm definitely looking forward to tests.

All these statements about FX and higher-res cameras highlighting a lenses flaws makes me wonder whether I really want to go this route.

My thoughts are that a good lens that scores high for center resolution will score high (higher?) in the center on the D800.

However, away from the edges and the center, many lenses struggle especially wide open. My concern is whether the D800 will magnify the difference between center and edge quality? If true, then other than portrait shots, it may be necessary to stop down to f8 or higher all less-than-perfect lenses in order to get satisfactory results.

So, my 50mm f1.8G, which is amazing in the center, may not be good enough for landscape shooting at apertures bigger than f8.

But, I'll wait and see.

mlewan wrote:

JakeB wrote:

See, Bob, the optical quality of the lens doesn't improve based on the body, so the idea that a dslr with near-medium-format resolution will give all your lenses a "one-shot upgrade" is very silly indeed.

It would be nice to see some hard facts to back up that statement. (It is always nice to have some hard facts every time one uses the word "silly", so the word does not rebound.)

Jon Rty Veteran Member • Posts: 3,838
Re: I like the 18-55VR

Your 50mm F/1.8G will be fine. You won't have razor sharp performance wide open across the frame, but by F/2.8, it will be so sharp that you'll be hard pressed to see the difference of further stopping down.

gatorowl wrote:

I'm definitely looking forward to tests.

All these statements about FX and higher-res cameras highlighting a lenses flaws makes me wonder whether I really want to go this route.

My thoughts are that a good lens that scores high for center resolution will score high (higher?) in the center on the D800.

However, away from the edges and the center, many lenses struggle especially wide open. My concern is whether the D800 will magnify the difference between center and edge quality? If true, then other than portrait shots, it may be necessary to stop down to f8 or higher all less-than-perfect lenses in order to get satisfactory results.

So, my 50mm f1.8G, which is amazing in the center, may not be good enough for landscape shooting at apertures bigger than f8.

But, I'll wait and see.

coudet Veteran Member • Posts: 4,109
Re: I like the 18-55VR

gatorowl wrote:

All these statements about FX and higher-res cameras highlighting a lenses flaws makes me wonder whether I really want to go this route.

Ignore those statements.

Think of this way. Your lens doesn't know if your camera has a 0.4, 12 or 36 megapixel sensor. It doesn't magically rearrange it's elements depending on how many megapixels you have. It doesn't magically become garbage when you mount it on a D800. What that same lens will show you, mounted on a D800, is amount of detail you have never seen with your old camera.

So, my 50mm f1.8G, which is amazing in the center, may not be good enough for landscape shooting at apertures bigger than f8.

Sure it will be good enough.

John Motts Veteran Member • Posts: 5,681
Re: I like the 18-55VR

gatorowl wrote:

My concern is whether the D800 will magnify the difference between center and edge quality? If true, then other than portrait shots, it may be necessary to stop down to f8 or higher all less-than-perfect lenses in order to get satisfactory results.

So, my 50mm f1.8G, which is amazing in the center, may not be good enough for landscape shooting at apertures bigger than f8.

If your 50mm f/1.8G is good enough at any given size on your current camera, then it will be at least as good, if not better, on the D800.

rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 25,871
12-24mm f/4 at 1.2x crop? 16-35 f/4 x 14-24?

I think I'll try the 12-24 at f/8, with 1.2x crop. It'd be 14.4-28.8mm, very interesting range. Fort street shooting, good substitute for the 16-35 f/4, corners softness or vignetting would not be big issues, maybe use it from 14 or 15mm and up.

Of course, for critical landscape shooting one needs a dedicated UWA lens, how much, for landscapes, one misses from 14-24 to 16-35, at, say f/5.6 and up? I was checking PZ data and, curiously the 16-35mm is very close in the f/5.6-f/8 range at 21mm and also 28x24mm, thus likely at 24mm, except maybe for the very center of image. (I think shooting handheld no one would be able to capture the differences, at any given FL or aperture).

16-35

14-24

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