30-110 VR (Un)sharpness

Started Jun 1, 2013 | Discussions
emax Senior Member • Posts: 1,945
30-110 VR (Un)sharpness

I recently tested a 30-110 VR on a V1 & was disappointed with the zoom's sharpness at longer focal lengths.  It seemed good at 30 mm & okay at 60mm, but was poor at 110mm.  Shutter speed / camera shake / focus accuracy were not issues.

Folks generally praise this zoom, and although reviews indicate it is poorest at longer focal lengths, it generally receives an overall high rating for optical performance.

Is my experience typical?

Thanks.

Nikon 1 V1
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Lucas Jarvis Regular Member • Posts: 475
Re: 30-110 VR (Un)sharpness

I don't own the lens but I've had a quick look at resolution charts from Photozone and SLRGear. It looks to me that it should have excellent performance right up to 80mm and then tapers off, but not even that much (although the corners suffer significantly at 110mm). Since you mentioned that is looks just OK at 60mm I'm wondering if it might have been a bad copy because at this focal length the two review sites rate it at excellent.

When you say that shutter speed wasn't a factor, what shutter were used for your testing?

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Regards,
Lucas

Pangloss
Pangloss Senior Member • Posts: 2,298
My Nikkor 1 30-110 is rather sharp
2

emax wrote:

I recently tested a 30-110 VR on a V1 & was disappointed with the zoom's sharpness at longer focal lengths.  It seemed good at 30 mm & okay at 60mm, but was poor at 110mm.  Shutter speed / camera shake / focus accuracy were not issues.

Folks generally praise this zoom, and although reviews indicate it is poorest at longer focal lengths, it generally receives an overall high rating for optical performance.

Is my experience typical?

Thanks.

Hi,

I played with mine today, with the V1 on a tripod and using the timer and electronic shutter mode, and I'll post a few shots with 100% crops in a separate thread. As far as I can tell my 1 Nikkor 30-110 VR copy is extremely sharp at all FLs in the center, a tiny bit less sharp on the left edge and noticeably less sharp (but not problematic) on the right edge.

Looking at the OOC JPEGs I can't say there is any noticeable CA or distortion issues with this lens or else the in-camera JPEG engine is doing an excellent job correcting them.

So with the single caveat that the right edge is not as sharp as the left edge, I give this lens a thumbs up. That's with regards to my copy. YMMV.

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Andrew
Novice photographer

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REShultz Senior Member • Posts: 1,108
Re: 30-110 VR (Un)sharpness
1

Mine is sharp right up to about 100mm and then you can start to see some slight blur as it becomes a bit harder to hand hold. Easy for me though, I just keep it between 30-100mm and it is really an optically excellent lens with great contrast and color.

Simon97
Simon97 Senior Member • Posts: 2,604
Re: 30-110 VR (Un)sharpness

At 110mm I notice a mild contrast/sharpness loss. Stopping down 1 stop to f/8 the lens is back to the clarity of shorter ranges.

I've used many different models and brands of the 70 or 75 to 300mm zooms back in the film and early digital days. All of them were pretty poor or mediocre at 300mm. The 30-110mm offers the same field of view in the CX format, yet it is quite good at the long end. It is possible you have a poor sample of the lens.

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Paul Pasco
Paul Pasco Veteran Member • Posts: 6,044
Re: 30-110 VR (Un)sharpness

Simon97 wrote:

At 110mm I notice a mild contrast/sharpness loss. Stopping down 1 stop to f/8 the lens is back to the clarity of shorter ranges.

I've used many different models and brands of the 70 or 75 to 300mm zooms back in the film and early digital days. All of them were pretty poor or mediocre at 300mm. The 30-110mm offers the same field of view in the CX format, yet it is quite good at the long end. It is possible you have a poor sample of the lens.

Same experience here regarding the 30-110 and with 70-300 zooms.

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Regards, Paul
Lili's Dad

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jonikon Veteran Member • Posts: 6,138
Re: 30-110 VR (Un)sharpness

emax wrote:

I recently tested a 30-110 VR on a V1 & was disappointed with the zoom's sharpness at longer focal lengths.  It seemed good at 30 mm & okay at 60mm, but was poor at 110mm.  Shutter speed / camera shake / focus accuracy were not issues.

Folks generally praise this zoom, and although reviews indicate it is poorest at longer focal lengths, it generally receives an overall high rating for optical performance.

Is my experience typical?

Thanks.

That has not been my experience with my 30-110. I find it is acceptably sharp at 110mm. Were you shooting at high ISO perhaps?

Here is an example at 110mm

110mm

(This image has also been cropped some.)

- Jon

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Tord S Eriksson
Tord S Eriksson Veteran Member • Posts: 9,730
Re: 30-110 VR (Un)sharpness

Paul Pasco wrote:

Simon97 wrote:

At 110mm I notice a mild contrast/sharpness loss. Stopping down 1 stop to f/8 the lens is back to the clarity of shorter ranges.

I've used many different models and brands of the 70 or 75 to 300mm zooms back in the film and early digital days. All of them were pretty poor or mediocre at 300mm. The 30-110mm offers the same field of view in the CX format, yet it is quite good at the long end. It is possible you have a poor sample of the lens.

Same experience here regarding the 30-110 and with 70-300 zooms.

Same here, but I must say Pentax cheap 55-300 is suprisingly good (you need a modern Pentax camera to get the best out of it), as is the AF-S VR 70-300, even if its sharpness tapers off slightly in the long end!

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