12MP, 16MP or 24MP for the 17-55 lens?

Started Apr 19, 2013 | Questions
mistermejia Veteran Member • Posts: 3,340
12MP, 16MP or 24MP for the 17-55 lens?

Hi guys,

okay, let me ask this in the simplest possible way.  For you actual  17-55 owners, have you used different MP bodies on the 17-55 2.8 lens?

I just want to get THE BEST possible IQ out of this lens, but i am not sure what body would work best, if a 12, 16 or 24 MP.  Do any of you here have experience in this matter.  I am thinking that 12MP might be too low for this lens, and i am thinking that a 24MP is too much, perhaphs right in the middle would be best ??

With a 24MP camera and this lens not having VR i am thinking i might encounter a problem with the "technique" issue because of the high resolution and stuff.  What are your thoughts? I mainly shoot portraits for kids/family/friends.

Basically i am looking into the 12MP D90, 16MP D5100 and 24MP D3200, and the reason is because all these are pretty much the same price in the $500 dollar range.  Note that i am NOT considering external controls or anything like that, only proper MATCH for best image quality

Thanks!

 mistermejia's gear list:mistermejia's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro Fujifilm X-E1 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R +6 more
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Nikon D3200 Nikon D5100 Nikon D90
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(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,144
Re: 12MP, 16MP or 24MP for the 17-55 lens?

mistermejia wrote:

Hi guys,

okay, let me ask this in the simplest possible way.  For you actual  17-55 owners, have you used different MP bodies on the 17-55 2.8 lens?

I just want to get THE BEST possible IQ out of this lens, but i am not sure what body would work best, if a 12, 16 or 24 MP.  Do any of you here have experience in this matter.  I am thinking that 12MP might be too low for this lens, and i am thinking that a 24MP is too much, perhaphs right in the middle would be best ??

With a 24MP camera and this lens not having VR i am thinking i might encounter a problem with the "technique" issue because of the high resolution and stuff.  What are your thoughts? I mainly shoot portraits for kids/family/friends.

Basically i am looking into the 12MP D90, 16MP D5100 and 24MP D3200, and the reason is because all these are pretty much the same price in the $500 dollar range.  Note that i am NOT considering external controls or anything like that, only proper MATCH for best image quality

Thanks!

I don't know your skill level, but given that you have a pro-grade lens, I imagine that you are at least an advance amateur or an avid hobbyist.  If you don't already have the 17-55.  I would strongly encourage you to purchase a different lens.  E.g., the Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 has comparable IQ with VR.

Okay, if you are an avid hobbyist, you will almost certainly be disappointed with the limited controls that the D3200 offers.  It is a beginner's camera.  Great for point-and-shoot photography, but frustrating for photographers who enjoy tailoring settings for specific situations.

I have had both the D90 and D5100.  Both are very nice cameras.  The D5100 may be a good compromise, but I sometimes found the limited controls, e.g., no dedicated ISO button, frustrating.

As for IQ, all three produce excellent imagines, so I wouldn't choose between these cameras based on that dimension.  I believe that the IQ between the D5100 and D3200 are closer than the IQ between this pair and the D90.  The biggest difference will be in dynamic range and low-light shooting. The D5100's sensor provided a very nice boost in DR and a more modest boost in low-light shooting over the D90.

OP mistermejia Veteran Member • Posts: 3,340
Re: 12MP, 16MP or 24MP for the 17-55 lens?

gatorowl wrote:

mistermejia wrote:

Hi guys,

okay, let me ask this in the simplest possible way.  For you actual  17-55 owners, have you used different MP bodies on the 17-55 2.8 lens?

I just want to get THE BEST possible IQ out of this lens, but i am not sure what body would work best, if a 12, 16 or 24 MP.  Do any of you here have experience in this matter.  I am thinking that 12MP might be too low for this lens, and i am thinking that a 24MP is too much, perhaphs right in the middle would be best ??

With a 24MP camera and this lens not having VR i am thinking i might encounter a problem with the "technique" issue because of the high resolution and stuff.  What are your thoughts? I mainly shoot portraits for kids/family/friends.

Basically i am looking into the 12MP D90, 16MP D5100 and 24MP D3200, and the reason is because all these are pretty much the same price in the $500 dollar range.  Note that i am NOT considering external controls or anything like that, only proper MATCH for best image quality

Thanks!

I don't know your skill level, but given that you have a pro-grade lens, I imagine that you are at least an advance amateur or an avid hobbyist.  If you don't already have the 17-55.  I would strongly encourage you to purchase a different lens.  E.g., the Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 has comparable IQ with VR.

Okay, if you are an avid hobbyist, you will almost certainly be disappointed with the limited controls that the D3200 offers.  It is a beginner's camera.  Great for point-and-shoot photography, but frustrating for photographers who enjoy tailoring settings for specific situations.

I have had both the D90 and D5100.  Both are very nice cameras.  The D5100 may be a good compromise, but I sometimes found the limited controls, e.g., no dedicated ISO button, frustrating.

As for IQ, all three produce excellent imagines, so I wouldn't choose between these cameras based on that dimension.  I believe that the IQ between the D5100 and D3200 are closer than the IQ between this pair and the D90.  The biggest difference will be in dynamic range and low-light shooting. The D5100's sensor provided a very nice boost in DR and a more modest boost in low-light shooting over the D90.

Thanks gatorowl.  Have you used ALL these cameras with your Sigma 2.8 lens?  I know exactly  what you mean by "frustrating", i would feel the same way with the D5100/D3200, but i guess IF i just study the manual i will "eventually" find my way thru the stinking menu in a reasonable amount of time, but obviously not as fast as the D90.  I sold my D7000 months ago and i do know the ISO differences, and right now i am using my Fuji S5, so yes, it is frustrating to use one of these higher end camera bodies and then use one of these cheapy ones, but i figure that if D800 owners have one of this little backup cameras, then maybe i can deal with it eventually.  It is not high ISO i am looking for, as i already explained above, i just want to match the right amount of MP to the 17-55 lens.  What i do find very funny is that these three cameras are costing about the same, but they are all different.

 mistermejia's gear list:mistermejia's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro Fujifilm X-E1 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R +6 more
BAK Forum Pro • Posts: 22,807
Re: 12MP, 16MP or 24MP for the 17-55 lens?
1

Why do you think this whole issue matters?

You are wasting your time as far as creating excellent photographs that satisfy the people who look at them.

Pick the body based on the features that appeal most, and the price you can afford.

BAK

coudet Veteran Member • Posts: 3,974
Re: 12MP, 16MP or 24MP for the 17-55 lens?

mistermejia wrote:

I just want to get THE BEST possible IQ out of this lens, but i am not sure what body would work best, if a 12, 16 or 24 MP. 

24mp.

(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,144
Re: 12MP, 16MP or 24MP for the 17-55 lens?

BAK stated what I intended far clearer (and more succinctly) than I did.

Buy the camera based on the features.  You have a great lens.  You will notice far more differences based on your technique than on the body you choose.

I recommend the D5100 because it does have a bit better DR and better video if that matters to you, but I don't think that you could go wrong with the D90 a more feature packed camera.

I've owned both the d5100 and the D90.  I was happy with both cameras.  I do not think that I would be happy with the d3200.  Frankly, I don't think Nikon got the implementation of 24MP right until the D5200. But I don't think any of the 24MP cameras offer enough "more" to select the camera based on additional MP.

If I was looking for a DX camera today on a limited budget, I would try to find a used D7000 with a low shutter count.  That is the true sweet spot.

mistermejia wrote:

gatorowl wrote:

mistermejia wrote:

Hi guys,

okay, let me ask this in the simplest possible way.  For you actual  17-55 owners, have you used different MP bodies on the 17-55 2.8 lens?

I just want to get THE BEST possible IQ out of this lens, but i am not sure what body would work best, if a 12, 16 or 24 MP.  Do any of you here have experience in this matter.  I am thinking that 12MP might be too low for this lens, and i am thinking that a 24MP is too much, perhaphs right in the middle would be best ??

With a 24MP camera and this lens not having VR i am thinking i might encounter a problem with the "technique" issue because of the high resolution and stuff.  What are your thoughts? I mainly shoot portraits for kids/family/friends.

Basically i am looking into the 12MP D90, 16MP D5100 and 24MP D3200, and the reason is because all these are pretty much the same price in the $500 dollar range.  Note that i am NOT considering external controls or anything like that, only proper MATCH for best image quality

Thanks!

I don't know your skill level, but given that you have a pro-grade lens, I imagine that you are at least an advance amateur or an avid hobbyist.  If you don't already have the 17-55.  I would strongly encourage you to purchase a different lens.  E.g., the Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 has comparable IQ with VR.

Okay, if you are an avid hobbyist, you will almost certainly be disappointed with the limited controls that the D3200 offers.  It is a beginner's camera.  Great for point-and-shoot photography, but frustrating for photographers who enjoy tailoring settings for specific situations.

I have had both the D90 and D5100.  Both are very nice cameras.  The D5100 may be a good compromise, but I sometimes found the limited controls, e.g., no dedicated ISO button, frustrating.

As for IQ, all three produce excellent imagines, so I wouldn't choose between these cameras based on that dimension.  I believe that the IQ between the D5100 and D3200 are closer than the IQ between this pair and the D90.  The biggest difference will be in dynamic range and low-light shooting. The D5100's sensor provided a very nice boost in DR and a more modest boost in low-light shooting over the D90.

Thanks gatorowl.  Have you used ALL these cameras with your Sigma 2.8 lens?  I know exactly  what you mean by "frustrating", i would feel the same way with the D5100/D3200, but i guess IF i just study the manual i will "eventually" find my way thru the stinking menu in a reasonable amount of time, but obviously not as fast as the D90.  I sold my D7000 months ago and i do know the ISO differences, and right now i am using my Fuji S5, so yes, it is frustrating to use one of these higher end camera bodies and then use one of these cheapy ones, but i figure that if D800 owners have one of this little backup cameras, then maybe i can deal with it eventually.  It is not high ISO i am looking for, as i already explained above, i just want to match the right amount of MP to the 17-55 lens.  What i do find very funny is that these three cameras are costing about the same, but they are all different.

zirtico Contributing Member • Posts: 729
Re: 12MP, 16MP or 24MP for the 17-55 lens?

I own the Nikon 17-55.  Let me say first that I was initially considering the Sigma and Tammy as well but I couldn't be happier that I went with the Nikon.  The AF on my D7000 really comes to life and AF is very sure, even in low light.  No jittering, no hunting, it just works.  Also, it's been through heavy sleet and snow and it just keeps on going.  It even fell when a gust of wind blew my tripod over with my 17-55 and D7000 mounted.  Neither had a scratch.  Regarding resolution, I wouldn't go past 16 MP.  That is my personal opinion, because I just don't think lenses can resolve 24 MP on a DX sensor.  24 MP on a 24 x 16mm sensor works out to approximately 250 lines/mm and an exceptional lens can resolve 150 lines/mm.  Frankly, 16 MP works best in terms of pixel size, low light performance, file sizes when shooting RAW, and fewest "wasted" pixels.

P.S. I didn't notice what gatorowl said.  He hit the nail on the head!

wasserball Veteran Member • Posts: 3,984
pixel counting instead of the art of photography

36.3 mp  

 wasserball's gear list:wasserball's gear list
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED-IF VR Nikon D3S Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR II +4 more
(unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 650
Maybe a different question?

mistermejia wrote:

Hi guys,

okay, let me ask this in the simplest possible way.  For you actual  17-55 owners, have you used different MP bodies on the 17-55 2.8 lens?

I just want to get THE BEST possible IQ out of this lens, but i am not sure what body would work best, if a 12, 16 or 24 MP.  Do any of you here have experience in this matter.  I am thinking that 12MP might be too low for this lens, and i am thinking that a 24MP is too much, perhaphs right in the middle would be best ??

With a 24MP camera and this lens not having VR i am thinking i might encounter a problem with the "technique" issue because of the high resolution and stuff.  What are your thoughts? I mainly shoot portraits for kids/family/friends.

Basically i am looking into the 12MP D90, 16MP D5100 and 24MP D3200, and the reason is because all these are pretty much the same price in the $500 dollar range.  Note that i am NOT considering external controls or anything like that, only proper MATCH for best image quality

Thanks!

mistermejia,

If you want to consider 1:1 views on your monitor a measure of "sharpness" or other kinds of image quality, then I suppose this question has an answer.  At some point moving up the megapixel count, those pixels will get smaller than the smallest circle of confusion the lens can project, and at that point a 1:1 view will look blurry.

I'm assuming you understand that as sensor resolution increases, the 1:1 view's magnification also increases, right?   So looking at 1:1 with a D3200, you're looking at an area of your photo 1/4 the size of a 1:1 view with the D90.

So, I have a hunch that a 24MP APS-C sensor may have pixels smaller than the 17-55's smallest circle of confusion.  Maybe the 16MP does, too.  Meaning that if you zoom 1:1 with 24 megapixels, it might not look as "sharp" as viewing 1:1 with 12 megapixels.

But so what?  I mean, what does "sharpness" at 1:1 reveal?   Unless you're working with a "retina" display, a 1:1 view is only at 72 - 96 dots-per-inch anyway; so it's kind of impossible for a 1:1 view to look "sharp" at a close viewing distance even if the lens is projecting a circle of confusion smaller than the sensor pixel pitch.

Basically, it boils down to this: if you choose a lens that can out-resolve your camera, then your camera limits the maximum size of your prints.  If you choose a camera that can out-resolve your lens, then your lens limits the maximum size of your prints.  But there's nothing intrinsically "better" about the IQ from one choice or the other at the same print size.

So, how big are you printing and what kinds of DPI / detail are you interested in showing at those sizes?

(My suggestion: if you're never printing larger than 16" x 20" or so, think long and hard about what you'll really get by replacing your S5 Pro.)

slimandy Forum Pro • Posts: 17,071
Re: 12MP, 16MP or 24MP for the 17-55 lens?

It's not all about the number of pixels.

Why are you putting a pro quality lens on an entry level body?

-- hide signature --

www.andrewsandersphotography.co.uk

 slimandy's gear list:slimandy's gear list
Sony RX100 II Nikon D200 Nikon D700 Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm X-T1
OP mistermejia Veteran Member • Posts: 3,340
Re: Maybe a different question?

MarkJH wrote:

mistermejia wrote:

Hi guys,

okay, let me ask this in the simplest possible way.  For you actual  17-55 owners, have you used different MP bodies on the 17-55 2.8 lens?

I just want to get THE BEST possible IQ out of this lens, but i am not sure what body would work best, if a 12, 16 or 24 MP.  Do any of you here have experience in this matter.  I am thinking that 12MP might be too low for this lens, and i am thinking that a 24MP is too much, perhaphs right in the middle would be best ??

With a 24MP camera and this lens not having VR i am thinking i might encounter a problem with the "technique" issue because of the high resolution and stuff.  What are your thoughts? I mainly shoot portraits for kids/family/friends.

Basically i am looking into the 12MP D90, 16MP D5100 and 24MP D3200, and the reason is because all these are pretty much the same price in the $500 dollar range.  Note that i am NOT considering external controls or anything like that, only proper MATCH for best image quality

Thanks!

mistermejia,

If you want to consider 1:1 views on your monitor a measure of "sharpness" or other kinds of image quality, then I suppose this question has an answer.  At some point moving up the megapixel count, those pixels will get smaller than the smallest circle of confusion the lens can project, and at that point a 1:1 view will look blurry.

I'm assuming you understand that as sensor resolution increases, the 1:1 view's magnification also increases, right?   So looking at 1:1 with a D3200, you're looking at an area of your photo 1/4 the size of a 1:1 view with the D90.

So, I have a hunch that a 24MP APS-C sensor may have pixels smaller than the 17-55's smallest circle of confusion.  Maybe the 16MP does, too.  Meaning that if you zoom 1:1 with 24 megapixels, it might not look as "sharp" as viewing 1:1 with 12 megapixels.

But so what?  I mean, what does "sharpness" at 1:1 reveal?   Unless you're working with a "retina" display, a 1:1 view is only at 72 - 96 dots-per-inch anyway; so it's kind of impossible for a 1:1 view to look "sharp" at a close viewing distance even if the lens is projecting a circle of confusion smaller than the sensor pixel pitch.

Basically, it boils down to this: if you choose a lens that can out-resolve your camera, then your camera limits the maximum size of your prints.  If you choose a camera that can out-resolve your lens, then your lens limits the maximum size of your prints.  But there's nothing intrinsically "better" about the IQ from one choice or the other at the same print size.

So, how big are you printing and what kinds of DPI / detail are you interested in showing at those sizes?

(My suggestion: if you're never printing larger than 16" x 20" or so, think long and hard about what you'll really get by replacing your S5 Pro.)

Excellent explenation, thank you!  By the way, i am not replacing my S5, but just looking in complementing it with a second body with better low light performance.

 mistermejia's gear list:mistermejia's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro Fujifilm X-E1 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R +6 more
OP mistermejia Veteran Member • Posts: 3,340
Re: 12MP, 16MP or 24MP for the 17-55 lens?

slimandy wrote:

It's not all about the number of pixels.

Why are you putting a pro quality lens on an entry level body?

-- hide signature --

www.andrewsandersphotography.co.uk

You are 100% correct, is not all about number of pixels.  I am using this PRO lens on my S5 because the S5 demands it.  Is one of the best lenses for this camera for colors and sharpness mainly.

Also, isn't this what everybody else says, to use better glass in an "older" body, instead of putting a cheap lens on a top of the line camera

By the way, the S5 is not an entry level body either

 mistermejia's gear list:mistermejia's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro Fujifilm X-E1 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R +6 more
(unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 650
The Cons of Big DX

mistermejia wrote:

MarkJH wrote:

mistermejia wrote:

Hi guys,

okay, let me ask this in the simplest possible way.  For you actual  17-55 owners, have you used different MP bodies on the 17-55 2.8 lens?

I just want to get THE BEST possible IQ out of this lens, but i am not sure what body would work best, if a 12, 16 or 24 MP.  Do any of you here have experience in this matter.  I am thinking that 12MP might be too low for this lens, and i am thinking that a 24MP is too much, perhaphs right in the middle would be best ??

With a 24MP camera and this lens not having VR i am thinking i might encounter a problem with the "technique" issue because of the high resolution and stuff.  What are your thoughts? I mainly shoot portraits for kids/family/friends.

Basically i am looking into the 12MP D90, 16MP D5100 and 24MP D3200, and the reason is because all these are pretty much the same price in the $500 dollar range.  Note that i am NOT considering external controls or anything like that, only proper MATCH for best image quality

Thanks!

mistermejia,

If you want to consider 1:1 views on your monitor a measure of "sharpness" or other kinds of image quality, then I suppose this question has an answer.  At some point moving up the megapixel count, those pixels will get smaller than the smallest circle of confusion the lens can project, and at that point a 1:1 view will look blurry.

I'm assuming you understand that as sensor resolution increases, the 1:1 view's magnification also increases, right?   So looking at 1:1 with a D3200, you're looking at an area of your photo 1/4 the size of a 1:1 view with the D90.

So, I have a hunch that a 24MP APS-C sensor may have pixels smaller than the 17-55's smallest circle of confusion.  Maybe the 16MP does, too.  Meaning that if you zoom 1:1 with 24 megapixels, it might not look as "sharp" as viewing 1:1 with 12 megapixels.

But so what?  I mean, what does "sharpness" at 1:1 reveal?   Unless you're working with a "retina" display, a 1:1 view is only at 72 - 96 dots-per-inch anyway; so it's kind of impossible for a 1:1 view to look "sharp" at a close viewing distance even if the lens is projecting a circle of confusion smaller than the sensor pixel pitch.

Basically, it boils down to this: if you choose a lens that can out-resolve your camera, then your camera limits the maximum size of your prints.  If you choose a camera that can out-resolve your lens, then your lens limits the maximum size of your prints.  But there's nothing intrinsically "better" about the IQ from one choice or the other at the same print size.

So, how big are you printing and what kinds of DPI / detail are you interested in showing at those sizes?

(My suggestion: if you're never printing larger than 16" x 20" or so, think long and hard about what you'll really get by replacing your S5 Pro.)

Excellent explenation, thank you!  By the way, i am not replacing my S5, but just looking in complementing it with a second body with better low light performance.

I dunno, man: adding to the DX arsenal is not the direction I'd go for high ISO performance.  Marginal gains, there, at best.

The $550 you'd spend on any of these bodies + the $900-ish you'd get for a 17-55 f/2.8 DX on the used market today puts you in striking distance of a nice used D700.

The compelling reasons to shoot DX in 2013 are cost and size.  Good reasons, both--but they're the only reasons.  Which is why the 17-55 f/2.8 DX is a total boat anchor and/or historical artifact of simpler times.  It's as expensive, it's as big, and it's as heavy as FX lenses that now outperform it.  So picking 2003's lens as a centerpiece for a 2013 system might be a costly mistake.

Many lenses never age.  AI-S primes, "legends" like the 75-150 Series E--all totally relevant in 2013.  But DX lenses are a big exception to that rule.  Of the half-century that Nikon's been kicking out professional 35mm tools, DX was the "state of the art" for only five of those years, seven years ago!  As the F-mount goes, it's basically a Pronea / Advantix-sized blip on the radar.

So if I were you, I'd ditch your 17-55 while it's still worth something.   If that new Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 zoom comes to market with a price anywhere around or below the $1k mark, the 17-55 f/2.8 DX's resale value will fall off a cliff.

M.

OP mistermejia Veteran Member • Posts: 3,340
Re: The Cons of Big DX

MarkJH wrote:

mistermejia wrote:

MarkJH wrote:

mistermejia wrote:

Hi guys,

okay, let me ask this in the simplest possible way.  For you actual  17-55 owners, have you used different MP bodies on the 17-55 2.8 lens?

I just want to get THE BEST possible IQ out of this lens, but i am not sure what body would work best, if a 12, 16 or 24 MP.  Do any of you here have experience in this matter.  I am thinking that 12MP might be too low for this lens, and i am thinking that a 24MP is too much, perhaphs right in the middle would be best ??

With a 24MP camera and this lens not having VR i am thinking i might encounter a problem with the "technique" issue because of the high resolution and stuff.  What are your thoughts? I mainly shoot portraits for kids/family/friends.

Basically i am looking into the 12MP D90, 16MP D5100 and 24MP D3200, and the reason is because all these are pretty much the same price in the $500 dollar range.  Note that i am NOT considering external controls or anything like that, only proper MATCH for best image quality

Thanks!

mistermejia,

If you want to consider 1:1 views on your monitor a measure of "sharpness" or other kinds of image quality, then I suppose this question has an answer.  At some point moving up the megapixel count, those pixels will get smaller than the smallest circle of confusion the lens can project, and at that point a 1:1 view will look blurry.

I'm assuming you understand that as sensor resolution increases, the 1:1 view's magnification also increases, right?   So looking at 1:1 with a D3200, you're looking at an area of your photo 1/4 the size of a 1:1 view with the D90.

So, I have a hunch that a 24MP APS-C sensor may have pixels smaller than the 17-55's smallest circle of confusion.  Maybe the 16MP does, too.  Meaning that if you zoom 1:1 with 24 megapixels, it might not look as "sharp" as viewing 1:1 with 12 megapixels.

But so what?  I mean, what does "sharpness" at 1:1 reveal?   Unless you're working with a "retina" display, a 1:1 view is only at 72 - 96 dots-per-inch anyway; so it's kind of impossible for a 1:1 view to look "sharp" at a close viewing distance even if the lens is projecting a circle of confusion smaller than the sensor pixel pitch.

Basically, it boils down to this: if you choose a lens that can out-resolve your camera, then your camera limits the maximum size of your prints.  If you choose a camera that can out-resolve your lens, then your lens limits the maximum size of your prints.  But there's nothing intrinsically "better" about the IQ from one choice or the other at the same print size.

So, how big are you printing and what kinds of DPI / detail are you interested in showing at those sizes?

(My suggestion: if you're never printing larger than 16" x 20" or so, think long and hard about what you'll really get by replacing your S5 Pro.)

Excellent explenation, thank you!  By the way, i am not replacing my S5, but just looking in complementing it with a second body with better low light performance.

I dunno, man: adding to the DX arsenal is not the direction I'd go for high ISO performance.  Marginal gains, there, at best.

The $550 you'd spend on any of these bodies + the $900-ish you'd get for a 17-55 f/2.8 DX on the used market today puts you in striking distance of a nice used D700.

The compelling reasons to shoot DX in 2013 are cost and size.  Good reasons, both--but they're the only reasons.  Which is why the 17-55 f/2.8 DX is a total boat anchor and/or historical artifact of simpler times.  It's as expensive, it's as big, and it's as heavy as FX lenses that now outperform it.  So picking 2003's lens as a centerpiece for a 2013 system might be a costly mistake.

Many lenses never age.  AI-S primes, "legends" like the 75-150 Series E--all totally relevant in 2013.  But DX lenses are a big exception to that rule.  Of the half-century that Nikon's been kicking out professional 35mm tools, DX was the "state of the art" for only five of those years, seven years ago!  As the F-mount goes, it's basically a Pronea / Advantix-sized blip on the radar.

So if I were you, I'd ditch your 17-55 while it's still worth something.   If that new Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 zoom comes to market with a price anywhere around or below the $1k mark, the 17-55 f/2.8 DX's resale value will fall off a cliff.

M.

Very interesting point of view Mark.  I appreciate it.  You are right when you mentioned that i can get a D700 for around the same price of what i have, but honestly i just shoot for plain fun and enjoyment.  I didn't buy the S5 for high iso performance, i bought it for its unique colors and highlight dynamic range, that's all.

Regarding the expensive 17-55 lens, i doubt that Sigma will compete with this extreme solid and fast nikon pro lens, not to mention the great contrasty IQ.  Me personally i always asked myself why this damm 17-55 is so expensive, well, now i know.  But then again i know absolutely nothing about that sigma lens you are talking about, but you could be right.

BUT, having said all that, i have been thinking of re-selling my 17-55 for more than what i paid for, and only use the primes that i have, AND buy me something else, either a lens or a second camera OR both   Thank you for your input.

 mistermejia's gear list:mistermejia's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro Fujifilm X-E1 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R +6 more
Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 13,334
Re: 12MP, 16MP or 24MP for the 17-55 lens?
2

mistermejia wrote:

For you actual  17-55 owners, have you used different MP bodies on the 17-55 2.8 lens?

I just want to get THE BEST possible IQ out of this lens,

It is part straightforward. You can get more image quality from any lens by going from 12MP to 16MP and then to 24MP.

If your technique is not very good you may not get the maximum image quality possible whether you use a 12, 16 or 24 MP body.

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Leonard Shepherd
Many problems turn out to be a lack of intimate knowledge of complex modern camera equipment.

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jonrobertp Forum Pro • Posts: 12,856
Sigma 18-35...what price guess ?

sheesh, a 1.8 2x zoom ?   but no I.S.   ...guess...around a grand. .. more ??

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photoreddi Veteran Member • Posts: 7,749
Re: Maybe a different question?

MarkJH wrote:

...

mistermejia,

If you want to consider 1:1 views on your monitor a measure of "sharpness" or other kinds of image quality, then I suppose this question has an answer.  At some point moving up the megapixel count, those pixels will get smaller than the smallest circle of confusion the lens can project, and at that point a 1:1 view will look blurry.

You're confusing "circle of confusion" (a term related to a lens's depth of field) and "Airy disc", which is the smallest image that a lens can produce from an infinitely small (theoretically) point sized object.

I'm assuming you understand that as sensor resolution increases, the 1:1 view's magnification also increases, right?   So looking at 1:1 with a D3200, you're looking at an area of your photo 1/4 the size of a 1:1 view with the D90.

So, I have a hunch that a 24MP APS-C sensor may have pixels smaller than the 17-55's smallest circle of confusion.  Maybe the 16MP does, too.  Meaning that if you zoom 1:1 with 24 megapixels, it might not look as "sharp" as viewing 1:1 with 12 megapixels.

No. The quality of the lens has nothing to do with either the size of the circle of confusion or the size of the airy disc. Both are functions of the aperture and other parameters, such as focal length, viewing size, etc. You're on the right trail, sort of, in that the 12mp sensor's 1:1 (or 100%) view might look better than the 24mp's view, but that can be misleading because to get to a 100% view, the 12mp sensor's image isn't magnified as much, but if the magnifications of images produced by both sensors are equalized so that the subjects in the frame are the same size, the 24mp image will be better, irregardless of the lens used, as long as the same lens is used on both cameras.

Basically, it boils down to this: if you choose a lens that can out-resolve your camera, then your camera limits the maximum size of your prints.  If you choose a camera that can out-resolve your lens, then your lens limits the maximum size of your prints.  But there's nothing intrinsically "better" about the IQ from one choice or the other at the same print size.

So, how big are you printing and what kinds of DPI / detail are you interested in showing at those sizes?

(My suggestion: if you're never printing larger than 16" x 20" or so, think long and hard about what you'll really get by replacing your S5 Pro.)

The S5 pro is a nice camera (I own one) but even a 12mp D90 produces higher resolution images. Where the S5 Pro has an advantage over the D90 is its ability to produce 6mp images that have very high DR, but the newer Nikon DSLRs also are capable of capturing a wider dynamic range than the D90. When the S5 Pro isn't using its high DR mode its resolution is somewhat higher than 6mp, but still significantly lower than the D90's 12mp resolution. Here's a quote from Thom Hogan's S5 Pro review where among other things he compares its resolution with Nikon's 10mp D200. Following that is a link to his "How Big Can You Print?" article.

Should you get a D200 or an S5 Pro? (Or perhaps both?) The answer to that question will lie in your priorities. The D200 is a hands down winner in speed, handling, and all-around decent image quality with plenty of megapixels for the maximum size of any desktop inkjet printer. While I normally shoot with my D2xs (as I write this in mid-2007), I have no qualms at all about instead using the D200 for some shoots. For example, my climb up Kilimanjaro, where I sacrificed a teeny bit of image quality for a big reduction in size and weight. The D200 isn't a great high ISO camera, but it's also not a bad one. Thus, it takes something mighty fine to dethrone it from a trusted place in my bag.

Meanwhile, the S5 Pro is a hands down winner in (un-neutral but) pleasing color and dynamic range. Boy could I have used that shooting white arctic foxes on snow earlier this year. But the lack of speed, some handling issues, and slightly less usable resolution make the S5 Pro more of a specialist than the all-around D200. If you need a specialist that does what the S5 Pro does, you'll love the S5 Pro. That's why, it, too, has found a place in my bag. I don't use it as often, but when I need what it does, nothing else can match it. If I were an event shooter or portrait specialist, I'd probably use it more than I do--there's something quite pleasing about the color rendering of most skin tones (once you get it dialed in with the white balance).

http://www.bythom.com/s5review.htm

(unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 650
Re: Sigma 18-35...what price guess ?
1

jonrobertp wrote:

sheesh, a 1.8 2x zoom ?   but no I.S.   ...guess...around a grand. .. more ??

I'm going to guess $899 on the street / Adorama / BH.   I just don't see a market for four-figure DX-only lenses in 2013, and honestly even $899 sounds pricey.

The first set of samples from it look great, though.  And the build / handling look impressive, too--very much to the standard they set with the 35 f/1.4.  The "new" Sigma really does appear go be coming out guns blazing.

More power to 'em.

M.

jonrobertp Forum Pro • Posts: 12,856
Re: Sigma 18-35...what price guess ?

hope u r right.  another person guessed 1 grand.  ok, not cheap, but livable for the 1.8.

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Canon PowerShot G7 X Canon G3 X Panasonic ZS100 Canon EOS 70D
pavi1 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,852
Re: Sigma 18-35...what price guess ?

jonrobertp wrote:

hope u r right.  another person guessed 1 grand.  ok, not cheap, but livable for the 1.8.

35 1.4 @ $900, this new lens will be near $1,400.

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