Thom on D800 lens choice

Started May 14, 2012 | Discussions
moving_comfort
moving_comfort Veteran Member • Posts: 8,242
Re: 28mm, 50mm and 85mm f1.8 dream team

harold1968 wrote:

I was going to suggest this group as the ideal travel set with the D800 but didn't want to get lynched

Glad Thom said it

I'm glad as well, but I had already come to that same 'dream team' conclusion myself

.

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OP GAP IMAGES Regular Member • Posts: 244
Re: Thom on D800 lens choice

Marshal wrote:

There's something I'm confused about, and I've been trying to find the thread from several says ago, but there's a gallery on "500MPix" ? or something like that where one guy with a D800 has stopped down from f14-22 and gotten outstanding scenic shots with great DOF of course, but little to now diffraction problems that I could see. And while looking over them, I was thinking "What about all these diffraction concerns I'm constantly reading about these days with the D800 bodies(both)? This guy here(named Gary something)is getting great results stopping all the way down! And he's got a D800!"

I'll try & find that thread again. Originally posted by someone named Anne. Thought I had bookmarked it, but apparently not.

Marshal

This is probably the one you're talking about by Gary Weathers:

http://500px.com/GaryJWeathers

russbarnes Senior Member • Posts: 1,660
Re: Thanks for the link, no surprises though...

Not exactly headline grabbing analysis, but concurs with everything I thought already, hence I hold a Nikon 24-70 over any other mid range zoom and shoot with the Zeiss 21mm ZF.2 as my widest choice, but it does help me more with deciding my next lens purchase of a 85mm...

GAP IMAGES wrote:

Thom wrote today (5/14) about lens choice for the D800. Worth a read:

http://www.bythom.com/index.htm

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thejohnnerparty Senior Member • Posts: 1,085
Re: Thom on D800 lens choice

Thx. It was worth the read.

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sfnikon Senior Member • Posts: 2,298
Agree. 20/50/85

for me it'll be 20/2.8D, 50/1.8G, 85/1.8G
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odedia Regular Member • Posts: 313
Re: Agree. 20/50/85

Looks like I made the right call buy getting the 50 & 85 1.8g. Will wait for the 28 1.8g as well.
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Testing123 Regular Member • Posts: 489
Re: Thom on D800 lens choice

Marshal wrote:

There's something I'm confused about, and I've been trying to find the thread from several says ago, but there's a gallery on "500MPix" ? or something like that where one guy with a D800 has stopped down from f14-22 and gotten outstanding scenic shots with great DOF of course, but little to now diffraction problems that I could see. And while looking over them, I was thinking "What about all these diffraction concerns I'm constantly reading about these days with the D800 bodies(both)? This guy here(named Gary something)is getting great results stopping all the way down! And he's got a D800!"

Here's a link to an article by Joe Johnson -- owner of Really Right Stuff and a Really Nice Guy

http://reallyrightstuff.com/mmrrs/Others/Newsletter/newsletter2.html

In it he talks about mazimizing image sharpness by using smaller apertures as opposed to setting for the lens' sweet spot (given that you are looking to have foreground, mid and background in focus).
I found it helpful that he included pictures to demonstrate his points.

I too was under the impression that you needed to keep the lens at its sweet spot and foucs one-third of the way into a scene for best results. I'm looking foward to giving his recommendations a go.

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jccrtv Regular Member • Posts: 414
Question about Thom's mention of the Zeiss lenses

At the end Thom says that "the 21mm, 50mm, 100mm Zeiss combo basically nets you the best you can do right now on a D800" if you're not on a budget.

I'd like to get these manual-focus Zeiss lenses but I read that the DxO ratings are better for the Nikon 1.4G than this 50mm Zeiss.

I already use the Nikon 1.4G and the Nikon 14-24. In keeping with Thom's comments can anyone who ACTUALLY OWNS the Zeiss Zf.2 lenses please comment about them vs. Nikon lenses for a D800?

Thanks in advance. (my question flows with the original topic on Thom's lens recommendations)

Jim

sfnikon Senior Member • Posts: 2,298
Re: Question about Thom's mention of the Zeiss lenses

There are two zeiss 50's and one is better than the other.

The one Thom is talking about I'm sure is the 50/2 makro planar and not the 50/1.4.

It outperforms the nikons at f/2 and by f/5.6 I think it's the sharpest 50 readily available for F mount. The center resolution is actually similar but the Zeiss has better edge performance.

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Jake

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jccrtv Regular Member • Posts: 414
Re: Question about Thom's mention of the Zeiss lenses

Ahhh, that explains it. Great to learn this. Thank you very much for replying. I had just ordered the 50 1.4 and will send it right back for the f2 version. I'm going to look further at the Zeiss 21mm and the 100.

Jim

calson Veteran Member • Posts: 9,675
Re: Thom on D800 lens choice

Thom is partly right and partly wrong. With the D800E the appearance of moire is more likely with larger apertures so with certain subjects it may be necessary to shoot at f8 regardless of which lens is in use. Most lenses including the 24-70 and 14-24mm are sharpest at f8.

What is missed in Thom's comments is that to get maximum IQ from the D800 you need the best lens you can afford. But this is true of every DSLR I have owned. Even with the 12MP D300 there is a very apparent difference in IQ between shots taken with the 14-24mm f2.8 lens and the 16-35mm f4 lens.

What is crazy is when people spend $3000 on a D800 and then having blown their budget stick a budget lens on the camera. They would be smarter to buy a good lens, new or used, and then buy a camera with the money they have left.

whoosh1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,781
Re: 28mm, 50mm and 85mm f1.8 dream team

Might not be a bad idea to surround these 3 by 20mm AF-D and a 180mm f/2.8 AF-D - will still be small enough.

20mm f/2.8 AF-D 269g
28 f/1.8 AF-S 330g
50mm f/1.8 AF-S 185g
85mm f/1.8 AF-S 350g
180mm f/2.8 760g

Total 1894g

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mattr Veteran Member • Posts: 3,531
Re: Thom on D800 lens choice

calson wrote:

What is crazy is when people spend $3000 on a D800 and then having blown their budget stick a budget lens on the camera. They would be smarter to buy a good lens, new or used, and then buy a camera with the money they have left.

No, not crazy at all, at least if you count for example the 50/1.8G, 85/1.8G, or Rokinon 14/2.8 as budget lenses.

I would find it considerably more crazy to buy a D700 now for slightly less money and add for example a 24/1.4, 35/1.4, or 85/1.4.

moving_comfort
moving_comfort Veteran Member • Posts: 8,242
Re: 28mm, 50mm and 85mm f1.8 dream team

whoosh1 wrote:

Might not be a bad idea to surround these 3 by 20mm AF-D and a 180mm f/2.8 AF-D - will still be small enough.

20mm f/2.8 AF-D 269g
28 f/1.8 AF-S 330g
50mm f/1.8 AF-S 185g
85mm f/1.8 AF-S 350g
180mm f/2.8 760g

Total 1894g

This will end up being my kit as well, although right now I have the D versions of the 50 & 85, and also have the 300 f/4 (and a couple zooms.)

But the 20 f/2.8D, 180 f/2.8 AF and 300 f/4 AF should be very, very good on the D800 in combination with those 1.8 G primes.

.
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 moving_comfort's gear list:moving_comfort's gear list
Pentax K20D Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D +10 more
moving_comfort
moving_comfort Veteran Member • Posts: 8,242
Re: Thom on D800 lens choice

mattr wrote:

I would find it considerably more crazy to buy a D700 now for slightly less money and add for example a 24/1.4, 35/1.4, or 85/1.4.

Me too. (and I adore my D700.)

I think a great 'budget' (relatively speaking) kit would be the 1.8G primes and a D700, though. Incredible IQ in that package.

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Pentax K20D Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D +10 more
rgolub
rgolub Senior Member • Posts: 2,061
Re: Thom on D800 lens choice

Except that's not the question he is attempting to answer.

It seems a lot of readers are grappling with which midrange zoom to stick on a D800. The commonly cited choices are 24-70mm f/2.8, 24-120mm f/4, and 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6.

So, given those three lenses, what are the pros and cons of each. The question clearly isn't directed to pro photographers. And the question is not 'what is the best lens of the three in terms of IQ?".

Certainly one can ask that question. One can ask lots of other questions. The choice of lenses to discuss struck me as a bit odd - but I suppose those are the lenses that he gets asked about.

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whoosh1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,781
Re: 28mm, 50mm and 85mm f1.8 dream team

If you want to add the 300 f/4 AF to that list - overall package might become too heavy (may be even heavier than adding a 70-200 VR II + TC 1.4 instead of the 85 f/1.8g + 180 f/2.8 + 300 f/4). It might be better to go with 85 f/1.8g + 70-300 VR (drop the 180mm f/2.8) - advantage is also shares a common 67mm size filter thread with 28mm f/1.8g and 85mm f/1.8g.

moving_comfort wrote:

This will end up being my kit as well, although right now I have the D versions of the 50 & 85, and also have the 300 f/4 (and a couple zooms.)

But the 20 f/2.8D, 180 f/2.8 AF and 300 f/4 AF should be very, very good on the D800 in combination with those 1.8 G primes.

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venice Senior Member • Posts: 1,973
Boat sails. Thom on dock.

Again missing the point that the D800 will make any lens better Thom feels that anything less than the best glass is a waste.

But wait, if so, then why use the 24-70 at all? As the venerable Ken Rockwell says, a cheapo prime will usually be sharper than a pricey zoom.

If a D800 is wasted without the best glass then no zoom is good enough, except possibly the 14-24.

Well, maybe Thom thinks the compromise of a 24-70 is worth it for the convenience.

Gee, maybe the compromise of the 28-300 is worth it too?

The real point is, take the lens you need to get the shot you want. The D800 will make any lens you choose better so don't sweat it if someone you will never meet tells you what kind of photo you should be taking.

Plenty of reviewers can tell you the 24-70 is sharper and faster than the 24-120 and both exceed the 28-300. But few will tell you that it probably won't make a bit of difference in your prints. Nor will most point you to really sharp, inexpensive lenses that will do the job brilliantly.

For me the 24-70 is my go to middle zoom. Why? It is f/2.8 and focuses fast, both qualities that really help me. Sharpness? Hey, for most of my images the 28-300 has plenty of IQ on my D3x. How do I know? I printed a bunch of big prints after my usual processing and no one but me could tell what lens I used. Sobering.

Bottom line: The D800 will make every lens better and will let you get shots you could never catch with a lessor camera.

BTW, don't get me wrong about Thom. I read his site daily and generally find him a font of useful and interesting information. Uh, just not this time ...

-Bill

Leica M cage fighting and sports shooter

Some images from my recent exhibition.

COLLISION: Fashion meets Fighting

http://www.hatakeyamagallery.com/april-2012-bill-fulcher/

lightmagic Senior Member • Posts: 1,410
Re: Boat sails. Thom on dock.

"As the venerable Ken Rockwell says"!!!!!
Is Rockwell the first and the last? Is he your Jesus?

Come on, I am not defending Thom, what for? but to say that what Ken R. said should be the bilble is a bit more than any one can take, for ever?

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inasir1971
inasir1971 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,697
Re: Thom on D800 lens choice

Some of them are remarkably hard to get a hold of. I initially had the 50 1.4 until I could get a hold of the 1.8 which I couldn't be happier with. Took ages hunting around stores to find that and the 85 1.8G.

With the 50 1.8G, stores don't seem to want to stock them because it is so cheap meaning less margin for them. Ditto for the 85 1.8, they'd much rather sell the 1.4's...

mattr wrote:

GAP IMAGES wrote:

Thom wrote today (5/14) about lens choice for the D800. Worth a read:

http://www.bythom.com/index.htm

I have criticized Thom's comments about lenses in the past, but in this post he indeed gets it pretty much right.

I'm eagerly expecting the 28-50-85mm f/1.8 lenses since I got the D800. Unfortunately, they were long out of stock everywhere. Last week I bought the 50/1.8G from a local Best Buy and it fully lives up to my expectations. A simply excellent little lens with good build quality and accurate and reliable autofocus on the D800. I wish Canon had offered such a normal prime for all the years I was stuck in the Canon system. The 85/1.8G will actually be delivered today from Amazon and I also placed a preorder for the 28/1.8G as soon as it appeared on the Amazon website.

These three lenses with the D800 are for me a dream come true!

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