Thom on D800 lens choice

Started May 14, 2012 | Discussions
noirdesir Forum Pro • Posts: 13,586
Re: Thom on D800 lens choice

mattr wrote:

Ilkka Nissilä wrote:

It's not quite the same since the viewfinder area corresponding to DX crop is smaller than that of a good DX viewfinder (D7000, D300s etc.) and therefore the photographer can not see the subject as clearly as they would using an actual DX camera. This means that misfocuses will be missed, bad subject expressions will be obtained instead of good ones (since one can simply not see well enough) etc.

Sometimes a much brighter viewfinder image can at least partially compensate for lower magnification (see my example with 200/2 and 200-400/4 in this thread).

With current viewfinder screens, the difference in brightness between f/2.8 and wider is very slight (as is DOF difference as seen in the viewfinder because these screens are not pure matte glass interfaces but are optical components by themselves, this allows them to be brighter with slow lenses but as a side-effect they discard the rays coming coming from the outer areas of the lens, the rays that get added when you open up the aperture). The difference between f/2.8 and f/4 is probably noticeable.

noirdesir Forum Pro • Posts: 13,586
Re: Thom on D800 lens choice

Ilkka Nissilä wrote:

Certainly, cropping is the same as using a DX camera and nobody tells DX camera owners that they "don't own the right lens".

It's not quite the same since the viewfinder area corresponding to DX crop is smaller than that of a good DX viewfinder (D7000, D300s etc.) and therefore the photographer can not see the subject as clearly as they would using an actual DX camera. This means that misfocuses will be missed, bad subject expressions will be obtained instead of good ones (since one can simply not see well enough) etc.

I fully concur with this, as I said in my post myself.

And with the D800, a FX camera has finally enough pixel density on the DX crop to double as a very decent DX-ish camera.

Why would that be interesting, except occasionally in emergency when there is no other choice? The quality expectation will be that of the uncropped FX image.

The point here is that if previously you might have taken your DX camera when you needed the most 'reach' (aka pixel density for you longest lens), or just the most reach for given camera+lens size & weight, or just a more compact and lighter setup, you now don't need to own two cameras anymore or take two cameras with you to a vacation, all with the viewfinder caveat already mentioned.

It is not that a cropped FX camera image is equivalent to a full FX image. It is that in situations where you would have used a DX camera previously, you might now be able to use the D800.

I am also very much a prime person, ie, I to some degree mentally limit myself to only seeing the images I can take with the lenses I have with me. But in the end it is what satisfies you more, capturing high MP, low noise images or capturing whatever draws your attention.

I'm not sure what you mean here.

If I am walking around with only a 28 mm prime, or only a 105 mm prime, I am to some degree able to focus my attention to the subjects that I can photograph with the lens (or lenses) that I have with me. In the film days, when changing between B&W and colour was not that easy on a shot-by-shot basis, people got used to 'seeing' in B&W when they had a B&W film in their camera (though it often took a while). It is the same idea with primes.

noirdesir Forum Pro • Posts: 13,586
Re: Thom on D800 lens choice

mattr wrote:

Again, see my response above. - Moreover, a 200/2 cropped 2x gathers the same amount of total light as a non-cropped 400/4. Image quality (always assuming resolution of the crop is sufficient) should be close and will depend very much on the specific lenses/sensors.

Look at any lens test you want, the 200 mm f/2 + TC will give noticeably better resolution than the 200 mm f/2 cropped. In terms of light-gathering they will be basically equal but in terms of resolution the TC wins. Of course if you don't own a TC or don't want to carry it with you, cropping the 200 mm f/2 on a D800 will still give pretty good pictures.

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

noirdesir wrote:

mattr wrote:

Again, see my response above. - Moreover, a 200/2 cropped 2x gathers the same amount of total light as a non-cropped 400/4. Image quality (always assuming resolution of the crop is sufficient) should be close and will depend very much on the specific lenses/sensors.

Look at any lens test you want, the 200 mm f/2 + TC will give noticeably better resolution than the 200 mm f/2 cropped.

Of course, but that is not the point. A relevant question would be whether a 2x crop from the 200/2 with D800 will be worse than the full frame from a 400/4 with a 9MP camera.

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

noirdesir wrote:

With current viewfinder screens, the difference in brightness between f/2.8 and wider is very slight (as is DOF difference as seen in the viewfinder because these screens are not pure matte glass interfaces but are optical components by themselves, this allows them to be brighter with slow lenses but as a side-effect they discard the rays coming coming from the outer areas of the lens, the rays that get added when you open up the aperture). The difference between f/2.8 and f/4 is probably noticeable.

Interesting. I just checked with my 50/1.8 and the difference wide open to f/2.8 is easily noticeable. But you are right, the gap between f/2.8 and f/4 seems much bigger.

noirdesir Forum Pro • Posts: 13,586
Re: Thom on D800 lens choice

mattr wrote:

noirdesir wrote:

mattr wrote:

Again, see my response above. - Moreover, a 200/2 cropped 2x gathers the same amount of total light as a non-cropped 400/4. Image quality (always assuming resolution of the crop is sufficient) should be close and will depend very much on the specific lenses/sensors.

Look at any lens test you want, the 200 mm f/2 + TC will give noticeably better resolution than the 200 mm f/2 cropped.

Of course, but that is not the point. A relevant question would be whether a 2x crop from the 200/2 with D800 will be worse than the full frame from a 400/4 with a 9MP camera.

But that is not a practical question that ever will present itself, whereas the question whether to use a TC or just crop is a very practical question.

noirdesir Forum Pro • Posts: 13,586
Re: Thom on D800 lens choice

mattr wrote:

noirdesir wrote:

With current viewfinder screens, the difference in brightness between f/2.8 and wider is very slight (as is DOF difference as seen in the viewfinder because these screens are not pure matte glass interfaces but are optical components by themselves, this allows them to be brighter with slow lenses but as a side-effect they discard the rays coming coming from the outer areas of the lens, the rays that get added when you open up the aperture). The difference between f/2.8 and f/4 is probably noticeable.

Interesting. I just checked with my 50/1.8 and the difference wide open to f/2.8 is easily noticeable. But you are right, the gap between f/2.8 and f/4 seems much bigger.

It all depends on the specific screen, my original testing was with a D200 where I had the impression that the difference between f/2 and f/2.8 was very small.

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

noirdesir wrote:

mattr wrote:

noirdesir wrote:

mattr wrote:

Again, see my response above. - Moreover, a 200/2 cropped 2x gathers the same amount of total light as a non-cropped 400/4. Image quality (always assuming resolution of the crop is sufficient) should be close and will depend very much on the specific lenses/sensors.

Look at any lens test you want, the 200 mm f/2 + TC will give noticeably better resolution than the 200 mm f/2 cropped.

Of course, but that is not the point. A relevant question would be whether a 2x crop from the 200/2 with D800 will be worse than the full frame from a 400/4 with a 9MP camera.

But that is not a practical question that ever will present itself, ...

But it is a question that presents itself when people argue that we don't need higher megapixel cameras for cropping flexibility because we should get the "right lens" instead.

noirdesir Forum Pro • Posts: 13,586
Re: Thom on D800 lens choice

mattr wrote:

noirdesir wrote:

mattr wrote:

noirdesir wrote:

mattr wrote:

Again, see my response above. - Moreover, a 200/2 cropped 2x gathers the same amount of total light as a non-cropped 400/4. Image quality (always assuming resolution of the crop is sufficient) should be close and will depend very much on the specific lenses/sensors.

Look at any lens test you want, the 200 mm f/2 + TC will give noticeably better resolution than the 200 mm f/2 cropped.

Of course, but that is not the point. A relevant question would be whether a 2x crop from the 200/2 with D800 will be worse than the full frame from a 400/4 with a 9MP camera.

But that is not a practical question that ever will present itself, ...

But it is a question that presents itself when people argue that we don't need higher megapixel cameras for cropping flexibility because we should get the "right lens" instead.

I like to frame this differently, higher MP allow you to carry a cropped camera (DX, m43) and a FX camera in one body together with you, it allows you to buy a cropped and a FX camera with one body. All within limits because of the viewfinder size. It allows you to use your FX camera in situations where you previously needed a DX camera (eg, D7000) to achieve the same image with the same lens as you can now do with a D800. As you have seen in this thread, a lot of people will ask you: 'Why would you use a FX camera like a DX camera?', to which the answer is that sometimes a DX camera is a worthy compromise.

And everybody using a D800 like this from time to time should probably seriously consider a TC (if the extra resolution, and for static subjects also extra SNR, is worth the price for you). Actual performance naturally depends on the precise TC and also the base lens.

Michael Harvey Contributing Member • Posts: 639
Re: Thom on D800 lens choice

D800 w/28-300mm.
Hand-held quick snapshot w/onboard fill flash. Not posed or even planned.

Also no PP (if there was I would have removed the guy's shadow to the right of his head

Maybe its just the copy I have, but this lens is pretty darn good for casual shooting.

The iguana is the same lens with a D700.

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Mike Harvey

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SNRatio Regular Member • Posts: 476
Re: Boat sails. Thom on dock. And Venice still lovely

venice wrote:

I agree that it is better to have choices. I have the 28-300 and have used it on my D3x but when I do a fashion shoot I generally use either my 24 f/1.4 or 85 G f/1.4 or 135 DC f/2 for their size, fast focus, and the way they render an image. On a recent outdoor sports shoot I used my D3x and the 24-70 for the fast focus.

Even more mysterious why you choose to attack Thom's advice, then. Seems like you have misinterpreted it, and it also seems to be impossible to explain to you that more sensible interpretations are the correct ones.

About your ad hominem crack about my being inexperienced ...

Another example of your misinterpretations. I don't think you meant the Boat sails line as an ad hominem attack on Thom, and the following up should be taken in the same vein. You should rather think about why you appear to be inexperienced, when you in fact are not.

It is because I am very experienced that I can comfortably criticize Thom and his fallacious argument.

Rather typical that you continue making such statements about the quality of other's arguments, even after several people have shown your interpretations wrong, isn't it?
I think most people are able to read Thom as he intended.

If you cannot make terrific images using the 28-300 and a D800 then it is your failing as a photographer, not the equipment. I can afford any lens I want to get the shot I visualize, not everyone can. Also, not everyone wants to travel with a bag of lenses. And, the 28-300 on a D800 probably handily beats the 24-70 on a D700 for resolution anyway.

28-300/D800 beats 24-70/D700 resolution-wise: There is no way that is possible in general. Which is why we have to question your experience when you make this general statement. But, sure, you can go on shooting for years and only use the styles where the 28-300/D800 indeed does look better than the 24-70/D700. Maybe for 90% of all shots that may be true. But the remaining 10% is somewhat important, and very probably for a lot more than 10% of shooters. I have presented examples from my own experience with the corresponding situation on DX, and count me as an amateur, the crowd you are concerned about - then you can't dismiss my experience. (I really don't think the fact that I did professional shooting 40 years ago is very relevant to the IQ/equipment topic here.) Do you see a pattern here: I'm not disputing at all the validity of your arguments - within limits - but you insists on them being generally correct, which they aren't.

If you had read what I wrote, you would also have known that it was exacty beacuse I didn't want to bring so many back-up primes along that I ended up using the 16-85 with the D300 most, reserving the 18-200 for more special occasions. If I get the 28-300, I will probably never take it out without at least a 35+85mm set of primes. That will not be so urgent with, say, the 24-70 + 70-300 combo.

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

noirdesir wrote:

I like to frame this differently, higher MP allow you to carry a cropped camera (DX, m43) and a FX camera in one body together with you, it allows you to buy a cropped and a FX camera with one body. All within limits because of the viewfinder size. It allows you to use your FX camera in situations where you previously needed a DX camera (eg, D7000) to achieve the same image with the same lens as you can now do with a D800. As you have seen in this thread, a lot of people will ask you: 'Why would you use a FX camera like a DX camera?', to which the answer is that sometimes a DX camera is a worthy compromise.

I'm basically saying the same thing without the arteficial dichotomy between FX and DX.

And everybody using a D800 like this from time to time should probably seriously consider a TC (if the extra resolution, and for static subjects also extra SNR, is worth the price for you). Actual performance naturally depends on the precise TC and also the base lens.

Yes, but a TC is even more useful on lower pixel density cameras such as the D700. Higher pixel density can do exactly the same thing as a TC from an imaging point of view.

Funny, the same people who said that we don't really need more MP cameras (and I don't mean you) now always seem to argue that we have to "max out" the resolution of the D800 because anything else would be "in direct contradiction to the core of what the D800 is." (Thom Hogan)

We have to use TCs or "the right lenses" instead of cropping. Only the most expensive lenses are good enough (barely). We should not stop down smaller than f/8 (I guess the D800 will set new records of landscape shots ruined by too little DoF). We always have to use immaculate technique and a tripod if possible.

No wonder many see the resolution of the D800 as a burden and not an asset...

I say: the D800 offers a lot of new flexibility and options and will improve results even if the full resolution is not maxed out in some shots (because it is not necessary for the desired output).

noirdesir Forum Pro • Posts: 13,586
Re: Thom on D800 lens choice

mattr wrote:

noirdesir wrote:

I like to frame this differently, higher MP allow you to carry a cropped camera (DX, m43) and a FX camera in one body together with you, it allows you to buy a cropped and a FX camera with one body. All within limits because of the viewfinder size. It allows you to use your FX camera in situations where you previously needed a DX camera (eg, D7000) to achieve the same image with the same lens as you can now do with a D800. As you have seen in this thread, a lot of people will ask you: 'Why would you use a FX camera like a DX camera?', to which the answer is that sometimes a DX camera is a worthy compromise.

I'm basically saying the same thing without the arteficial dichotomy between FX and DX.

But to get through to those people that say that cropping is a sacrilege because you throw away pixels, you have to use an established analogue (cropped cameras) for them to take in that cropping is a well accepted compromise approach balancing IQ against size, weight, and cost.

And everybody using a D800 like this from time to time should probably seriously consider a TC (if the extra resolution, and for static subjects also extra SNR, is worth the price for you). Actual performance naturally depends on the precise TC and also the base lens.

Yes, but a TC is even more useful on lower pixel density cameras such as the D700. Higher pixel density can do exactly the same thing as a TC from an imaging point of view.

If you have a higher pixel density alternative with you. Generally a TC is cheaper and more compact than a second, higher pixel density camera.

venice Senior Member • Posts: 1,973
Re: Boat sails. Thom on dock. And Venice still lovely

SNRatio wrote:

venice wrote:

I agree that it is better to have choices. I have the 28-300 and have used it on my D3x but when I do a fashion shoot I generally use either my 24 f/1.4 or 85 G f/1.4 or 135 DC f/2 for their size, fast focus, and the way they render an image. On a recent outdoor sports shoot I used my D3x and the 24-70 for the fast focus.

Even more mysterious why you choose to attack Thom's advice, then. Seems like you have misinterpreted it, and it also seems to be impossible to explain to you that more sensible interpretations are the correct ones.

Nothing mysterious about it. Thom's advice is bad advice. Plain and simple. It seems impossible to explain to you why his crystal clear conclusion is wrong.

If you cannot make terrific images using the 28-300 and a D800 then it is your failing as a photographer, not the equipment. I can afford any lens I want to get the shot I visualize, not everyone can. Also, not everyone wants to travel with a bag of lenses. And, the 28-300 on a D800 probably handily beats the 24-70 on a D700 for resolution anyway.

28-300/D800 beats 24-70/D700 resolution-wise: There is no way that is possible in general.

I would say the 28-300/D800 probably crushes the 24-70/D700 the majority of the time. I say 'probably' because I have not done or seen the test that proves it.

However, my 28-300/D3x sure gets a lot more resolution than my 24-70/D700 did. I no longer have a D700 or D3 so I can't run A/B tests and show you but it is clear to me just from general shooting.

You say no way that it is possible in general. Fine, again we differ.

But, sure, you can go on shooting for years and only use the styles where the 28-300/D800 indeed does look better than the 24-70/D700. Maybe for 90% of all shots that may be true.

Wait, now you say the 28-300/D800 will look better than the 24-70/D700 for 90% of shots using some styles. It's not clear what styles you refer to but I would still say ...

That is a pretty good argument for my point. The 28/300 is absolutely fine on the D800 and it is useful for inexperienced shooters to know that.

But the remaining 10% is somewhat important, and very probably for a lot more than 10% of shooters.

Could be, if Thom said something like that as his main conclusion instead of condemning the 28-300/D800 then it is doubtful that I would have had any problem with his blog post.

Overall, if you don't need a fast aperture or super fast focusing the 28-300 is an excellent companion to the D800 for the vast majority of users. Certainly far better that the out of date 70-300.

Thom is not a strong writer. He is dull, repetitive without being clear and pedantic. However, he cares a great deal about photography and puts a lot of energy into sharing his views. I appreciate his effort.

You also clearly care a great deal about photography as do I. We will never agree about Thom's article, which itself shows his lack of clarity.

I am afraid that I have spent far too much time already repeating myself in this thread.

I now find myself with better things to do than continue this pointless back and forth.

Please, good shooting and nothing personal, I am thankful that you and so many others are so invested in photography.

-Bill

Fashion meets Fighting

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

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

noirdesir wrote:

If you have a higher pixel density alternative with you. Generally a TC is cheaper and more compact than a second, higher pixel density camera.

But with the D800 you need only one camera, which is cheaper and more compact (and more convenient) than one camera+TC...

I guess we basically agree and are going in circles here. The D800 offers framing flexibility by cropping if the full resolution is not required. That's for me a very good and useful thing. I simply don't understand how anybody can argue with that.

For years people were told that 12MP is plenty and asking for more is kind of stupid. And now out of a sudden you violate the core of the D800 when you don't maximise use of its full 36MP resolution? After all, the D800 is not more expensive than everybody would have expected a 12-16MP D700s to be (with all the other upgrades in addition to the sensor resolution).

noirdesir Forum Pro • Posts: 13,586
Re: Thom on D800 lens choice

mattr wrote:

noirdesir wrote:

If you have a higher pixel density alternative with you. Generally a TC is cheaper and more compact than a second, higher pixel density camera.

But with the D800 you need only one camera, which is cheaper and more compact (and more convenient) than one camera+TC...

But the D800 does not have a higher pixel density when used in DX mode (or manually cropped) compared to FX. Thus, using a TC results in a better resolution than cropping.

I guess we basically agree and are going in circles here. The D800 offers framing flexibility by cropping if the full resolution is not required.That's for me a very good and useful thing. I simply don't understand how anybody can argue with that.

Yes, that is useful, but if you have a TC, using it it instead of cropping is even better (I myself don't have a TC either, at least not one that does AF).

For years people were told that 12MP is plenty and asking for more is kind of stupid. And now out of a sudden you violate the core of the D800 when you don't maximise use of its full 36MP resolution?

The point is a different one: for years people said FX gives better low light performance (and better DR, and also better SNR in good light). That is what you discard as well when you crop. The point is that a 12 MP crop from a D800 is not as good as 12 MP full image from a D3s (which is closer in QE to the D800 than the D700) if both are taken at the same f-stop. It is not about whether 12 MP is enough, it often is, it is also about whether using a smaller sensor area is good enough (again it often can be).

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

We really are going in circles. I have addressed every single one of these points already.

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

noirdesir wrote:

mattr wrote:

noirdesir wrote:

If you have a higher pixel density alternative with you. Generally a TC is cheaper and more compact than a second, higher pixel density camera.

But with the D800 you need only one camera, which is cheaper and more compact (and more convenient) than one camera+TC...

But the D800 does not have a higher pixel density when used in DX mode (or manually cropped) compared to FX. Thus, using a TC results in a better resolution than cropping.

Of course. Didn't we have this discussion already?

I guess we basically agree and are going in circles here. The D800 offers framing flexibility by cropping if the full resolution is not required.That's for me a very good and useful thing. I simply don't understand how anybody can argue with that.

Yes, that is useful, but if you have a TC, using it it instead of cropping is even better (I myself don't have a TC either, at least not one that does AF).

Which part of "if the full resolution is not required" do you not understand?

For years people were told that 12MP is plenty and asking for more is kind of stupid. And now out of a sudden you violate the core of the D800 when you don't maximise use of its full 36MP resolution?

The point is a different one: for years people said FX gives better low light performance (and better DR, and also better SNR in good light). That is what you discard as well when you crop. The point is that a 12 MP crop from a D800 is not as good as 12 MP full image from a D3s (which is closer in QE to the D800 than the D700) if both are taken at the same f-stop. It is not about whether 12 MP is enough, it often is, it is also about whether using a smaller sensor area is good enough (again it often can be).

I thought we were talking about this all the time. A 2x crop from 200/2 corresponds to 400/4 on full frame. Sounds familiar?

fad
fad Forum Pro • Posts: 17,258
Thom is actually a good writer, lively and clear -nt
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Thanks in advance for the kindness of your comments or critiques.

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noirdesir Forum Pro • Posts: 13,586
Re: Thom on D800 lens choice

mattr wrote:

noirdesir wrote:

mattr wrote:

noirdesir wrote:

If you have a higher pixel density alternative with you. Generally a TC is cheaper and more compact than a second, higher pixel density camera.

But with the D800 you need only one camera, which is cheaper and more compact (and more convenient) than one camera+TC...

But the D800 does not have a higher pixel density when used in DX mode (or manually cropped) compared to FX. Thus, using a TC results in a better resolution than cropping.

Of course. Didn't we have this discussion already?

I just have trouble with this statement of yours:

Yes, but a TC is even more useful on lower pixel density cameras such as the D700. Higher pixel density can do exactly the same thing as a TC from an imaging point of view.

It somehow sounds to me as if you want to say that because of the higher pixel density (compared to the D700) using a TC on the D800 is not better than cropping.

I guess we basically agree and are going in circles here. The D800 offers framing flexibility by cropping if the full resolution is not required.That's for me a very good and useful thing. I simply don't understand how anybody can argue with that.

Yes, that is useful, but if you have a TC, using it it instead of cropping is even better (I myself don't have a TC either, at least not one that does AF).

Which part of "if the full resolution is not required" do you not understand?

I think mainly the part where you portray cropping as only affecting MP and not also affecting things like resolution in these MP, and SNR, DR and tonal range when you are not shutter speed limited.

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