Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?

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Michiel953
Michiel953 Forum Member • Posts: 76
Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?
2

This is something you read every now and then on the net. I've had mine for nine years now, starting on a D700, now on my D850, with all '8' iterations inbetween.

It's my most used lens, mainly (as all my primes) at f4.0, and I find it perfectly satisfactory, sharpnesswise and of course renderingwise.

Any other feelings? I it "too old, obsolete"? Is my eyesight failing?

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anotherMike Veteran Member • Posts: 9,621
Re: Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?
6

<shrug> I loved my 35/1.4G on the D700. Wasn't quite happy with it, resolution wise when I moved to the D800E, even stopped down to F/9. So I picked up the Sigma 35/1.4 Art and spent a few weeks evaluating it properly - because at that point in time I had a strong bias against third party glass, but spent the time, ran comparison scenario after comparison scenario, studio work, moderate outdoor distance, longer range outdoor distance, different apertures, repeating tests to root out test error, and after it all was said and done, it was evident the Sigma Art was the sharper lens, and after some print testing, I could tell it in print as well. Not that the 35/1.4G was in any way "bad" or "horrible", but it was evident to me the Sigma was better - better edges in the outdoor stuff, better/more realistic rendition of textures in the studio work, and as such, it became my first ever serious third party lens and the Nikon got sold. Subsequent testing with similar seriousness with the Nikon 35/1.8G FX proved it to be a bit better than the 1.4G (resolution wise, certainly not bokeh wise) as well, and currently, the lens I use in its place, the Sigma 40/1.4 Art, is yet another step better than those.

The issue always is of course, is when "good enough is good enough" and that answer is different for everyone. You might find no reason to go with a better lens, while I certainly did.

I do think if I shot outdoor portraiture or event or things where textural detail rendition was not important yet bokeh rendition was important, then I would have stayed with the 35/1.4G, which has tremendous bokeh/OOF rendering. Tool for task and all that.

-m

polizonte
polizonte Contributing Member • Posts: 980
Re: Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?
2

Michiel "...perfectly satisfactory, sharpnesswise and of course renderingwise." I can relate to your evaluation, the 60mm G is my most used lens, far from the sharpest, and though I have dispensed with a number of lenses over the years, it is permanently mounted on one of my D810 bodies. Maybe it is question of versatility vs. optical quality, somewhat similar to my experience with the 35mm f/1.4G.

I had the 35mm f/1.4G lens from when I shot a D700 to D800, D800e; many of my favorite family, street & travel fotos were shot with it but something was missing. Then I tried a Sigma 35mm Art and immediately noticed improved resolution - even more so with my Nikon 28mm f/1.4E, improved resolution, distortion control, reasonable size/weight..but I still miss the 35mm focal length. I tried a Tamron f/1.8 VC, it " didn't click with me ". 'Not willing to lug around a heavy 40mm Art, I waiting for an opportunity to try the latest Tamron 35mm f/1.4.

Good luck

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Michiel953
OP Michiel953 Forum Member • Posts: 76
Re: Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?

Thanks Polizonte! Maybe I should sell both my 35/1.4G and my hardly used 24/1.4G, great though it is, and get that 28...

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 Michiel953's gear list:Michiel953's gear list
Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G
Cineast Regular Member • Posts: 392
Re: Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?
3

I too have a 35 1.4 G, but only used it on a D700 and D750. In the meantime I bought a used Zeiss 35 f2, which I love for its clarity in the f2 - f2.8 range, but prefer the 35 1.4 G for its resolution corner to corner espc. when shooting landscapes. For me, this is a lens with a very well balanced performance. Sure the Sigma is punchier wide open, but to my taste it had harsh bokeh in too many photos I saw and a kind of clinical color reproduction. The 24 1.4g on the other hand doesn´t meet my expectations when it comes to sharpness (D750!). I will put it up for sale soon.

polizonte
polizonte Contributing Member • Posts: 980
Re: Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?
4

Be careful with selling lenses , you might not like the 28mm focal length!   24mm and 35mm  create a very  different  perspective from 28mm.

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 polizonte's gear list:polizonte's gear list
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Michiel953
OP Michiel953 Forum Member • Posts: 76
Re: Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?
1

I know; probably won’t do it as I like the 35 a lot as a do it all lens. The 58 comes next in most used, but it’s certainly not do it all.

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Reilly Diefenbach
Reilly Diefenbach Forum Pro • Posts: 13,438
Re: Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?
2

Michiel953 wrote:

This is something you read every now and then on the net. I've had mine for nine years now, starting on a D700, now on my D850, with all '8' iterations inbetween.

It's my most used lens, mainly (as all my primes) at f4.0, and I find it perfectly satisfactory, sharpnesswise and of course renderingwise.

Hang on to it, because it doesn't look like any manufacturers are in a hurry to make a 35 with as pleasing bokeh.

Any other feelings? I it "too old, obsolete"? Is my eyesight failing?

Nope.  It does quite well at f4:

Photozone/Optical Limits

3000 lwph is about where you would see blur set in.

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Jim Keye Senior Member • Posts: 2,221
Re: Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?
1

Michiel953 wrote:

It's my most used lens, mainly (as all my primes) at f4.0, and I find it perfectly satisfactory, sharpnesswise and of course renderingwise.

Any other feelings? I it "too old, obsolete"? Is my eyesight failing?

Most any f1.4 lens shot at f4 is going to perform very well. But so would most any f1.8 lens at 1/3 the price.

The disappointment over the f1.4 is it's performance at f1.4-f2.8--from a resolution standpoint. From a bokeh standpoint its one of the best ones out there. But neither is a factor at f4.

camerosity Senior Member • Posts: 1,604
the Nikon 35/1.4G is my primary and favorite AF lens

Jim Keye wrote:

Michiel953 wrote:

It's my most used lens, mainly (as all my primes) at f4.0, and I find it perfectly satisfactory, sharpnesswise and of course renderingwise.

Any other feelings? I it "too old, obsolete"? Is my eyesight failing?

Most any f1.4 lens shot at f4 is going to perform very well. But so would most any f1.8 lens at 1/3 the price.

The disappointment over the f1.4 is it's performance at f1.4-f2.8--from a resolution standpoint. From a bokeh standpoint its one of the best ones out there. But neither is a factor at f4.

Ni disappointment here. I shot at f1.4 in NYC from the top of Rockefeller Plaza at night with stunning results (my judgement). Sharp corner to corner wide open.

This is my main lens when I am out shooting. Mostly shoot at f4-8 but also shoot at f2.8 quite often when the light is lower. Love love love the look of this lens. The color fidelity is outstanding, and I like the operation and feel of the lens. Never had to calibrate focus, it's good right out of the box. Lens hood is solid and not cheaply made like the Tamron 35mm f1.8 VC, which I bought to try out and returned a week later.

The 35mm focal length sees the way my eye sees. When I hold the camera up to my eye I see the composition I had in mind as I walk around. No other focal length does it for me and I've been shooting with a 35mm lens for 22 years now and love it.

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Michiel953
OP Michiel953 Forum Member • Posts: 76
Re: Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?

I disagree. Even at f4.0, oof rendering matters if, a big if, your in focus subject is close enough. Perceived DoF with 46Mp is still quite thin then.

You should try it sometimes.

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 Michiel953's gear list:Michiel953's gear list
Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G
anotherMike Veteran Member • Posts: 9,621
Re: Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?
2

The Sigma bokeh isn't as bad as many make it out to be, but it's nowhere as good as that of the 35/1.4G, which is really one of the truly great bokeh 35's out there, no doubt. No surprise, given the designer is one of the best Nikon ever had (I believe he's retired now) at the bokeh/OOF transition aspects of lens design.

Your comments about "clinical color reproduction" though - sorry, I'd say that's off the mark. It has a different color balance, much like other Nikon lenses have different color balances, but "clinical" color reproduction - uh, no. It's just different. And color casts are pretty basic to normalize. I'm not even sure what "clinical" color reproduction would be. And how would you *measure* such an attribute? Is there a specific spectral transmission pattern that is better than another?

The word "clinical" is one word fanb**s of a certain lens/brand/sensor tend to use because it kind of scorns the opposing choice. Color is also a real difficult subject as well, given people have different color perception, differing abilities to discern subtle color differences, and many folks are likely not using the higher end color calibrated monitors from which to make such opinions anyway, and I'm certain, not measuring spectral transmission. I think the word "clinical" should be used less in describing lenses.

I think we're better off using different terminology - I tend to think of lenses that might lean towards or be included in two groups: those that are very transparent, meaning they don't really add or subtract much from what is in the scene, and those who impart some character to the scene. The Sigma 35 art is more to the former IMO, and the Nikon IMO is just slightly to the latter.

Realistically, the Nikon just doesn't resolve that amazingly at higher frequencies - we can see this in the gold standard of optical tests, bench MTF and for some of us, it's quickly apparent in real life tests too. That aspect may mean a lot, or little, to different photographers, even though is has good bokeh. Thus, it's not going to be a universally perfect tool for every photographer. Choices are good, dogmatic opinions that only one lens could be good, really aren't.

Off my usual soapbox...

-m

Michiel953
OP Michiel953 Forum Member • Posts: 76
Re: Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?

anotherMike: Agree, alhough I abhor the term "bokeh"; it's the way the lens renders out-of-focus to in-focus to out-of-focus that really matters to me; ultimate sharpness doesn't. That's why the 1.4G primes I have satisfy me, "even" on the D850.

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anotherMike Veteran Member • Posts: 9,621
Re: Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?
1

I get you. I don't mind the term "bokeh", but it's true that many folks look at this word only to describe how blurry the OOF background is when there is much more to it.

In an effort of honest disclaimer: what I shoot doesn't really concern bokeh much if at all. I'll look at it when I'm evaluating a lens, but given I'm almost always at the intermediate apertures (if possible) for studio/landscape, it's a non issue. I'm very much in the "transparency" camp when it comes to lenses. When the rare occasion comes up I need bokeh, I reach for the 105/1.4E, which excels at it (and OOF transitions) almost as good as the 200/2G I used to own, and most times, if I'm wide open, it's theater/stage work where I need contrast, and bokeh again becomes a non-issue. All about understanding the various ways we use our tools, and it's something I'm trying to get better at as I write about lenses.

Expounding a bit on my other post. One thing we all have to consider is that while some of us do "chase" resolution and "the sharpest" lens, for some subjects/use cases such a chase isn't going to be meaningful (and for some, it absolutely will be). Take an event shooter or a wedding shooter. Handheld, higher ISO, moderate aperture, couple dancing, focus decent but not technically 100% spot on perfect - absolutely no way, at all, high frequency resolution will ever be *available* for the capture, because too many elements are taking way that potential. Low frequency resolution (coarse structures in MTF terms) of course would be still a contributor to things. In this use case, you might not see much difference between a truly sharp lens and a "decently" sharp lens at F/4, but then, go to a landscape scenario, high end tripod/ballhead, precise focusing, good atmosphere, everything locked down, you'd easily see the difference - and of course, there's a gamut of granularity in between those two poles as well.

-m

camerosity Senior Member • Posts: 1,604
Re: Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?
1

anotherMike wrote:

[deleted the useless comparison of the Sigma 35 Art to the Nikon 35 1.4G]

Realistically, the Nikon just doesn't resolve that amazingly at higher frequencies - we can see this in the gold standard of optical tests, bench MTF and for some of us, it's quickly apparent in real life tests too. That aspect may mean a lot, or little, to different photographers, even though is has good bokeh. Thus, it's not going to be a universally perfect tool for every photographer. Choices are good, dogmatic opinions that only one lens could be good, really aren't.

Off my usual soapbox...

-m

"Realistically, the Nikon just doesn't resolve that amazingly at higher frequencies"

Can we just move on from finding "the sharpest lens" out there? I do zoom my images up to 100 percent (called "actual pixels" by some) but never beyond that, and I am completely satisfied with the Nikon 35mm f1.4G. Do you MTF test shooting fanboys really zoom in to 200-400 percent to find "sharpness"??

It's like the audiophiles, some who might spend $1800.00 on a pair of interconnects for their equipment, because "the upper mid bass is amazing with these cables".

Geez, I just can't stop throwing up when I hear people like this.

/soapbox

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Michiel953
OP Michiel953 Forum Member • Posts: 76
Re: Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?

Yes, mostly agree I think. I took some portraits but, more importantly in this context, some "landscape" images with my 58/1.4G today, and at 200% on my monitor (f5.6 at infinity, ISO 64) the detail was jaw dropping. As it should be with any decent lens obviously, but I don't see any useful room to improve on that.

Bokeh wasn't relevant, Rotterdam port area, distant haze etc...

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Michiel953
OP Michiel953 Forum Member • Posts: 76
Re: Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?
1

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threw the lens
threw the lens Senior Member • Posts: 1,102
Re: Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?
2

camerosity wrote:

anotherMike wrote:

[deleted the useless comparison of the Sigma 35 Art to the Nikon 35 1.4G]

Realistically, the Nikon just doesn't resolve that amazingly at higher frequencies - we can see this in the gold standard of optical tests, bench MTF and for some of us, it's quickly apparent in real life tests too. That aspect may mean a lot, or little, to different photographers, even though is has good bokeh. Thus, it's not going to be a universally perfect tool for every photographer. Choices are good, dogmatic opinions that only one lens could be good, really aren't.

Off my usual soapbox...

-m

"Realistically, the Nikon just doesn't resolve that amazingly at higher frequencies"

Can we just move on from finding "the sharpest lens" out there? I do zoom my images up to 100 percent (called "actual pixels" by some) but never beyond that, and I am completely satisfied with the Nikon 35mm f1.4G. Do you MTF test shooting fanboys really zoom in to 200-400 percent to find "sharpness"??

It's like the audiophiles, some who might spend $1800.00 on a pair of interconnects for their equipment, because "the upper mid bass is amazing with these cables".

Geez, I just can't stop throwing up when I hear people like this.

/soapbox

What was this ludicrous hyperbole in aid of?

Why can you not write decently to people who make different demands of their equipment than you?

anotherMike Veteran Member • Posts: 9,621
Re: Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?
4

My gut feeling is that you're letting your dislike of me affect your reading comprehension.

Here's how I judge image quality, which includes resolution: I print. And I look at the print. At normal, not insanely-stupid pixel-peeping close, viewing distances. When I look on screen, it's 100% and never more. No need.

I'm the guy who has done blind print tests to see if the differences on screen equate to differences most people can see on print, and found out, they can. I look at MTF because I'm openly curious if there actually are some objective measures to correlate to what I see subjectively. That's it.

There's a wide span of what photographers look for technically. I like lenses that render transparently and are sharp to the edges, because that's what helps get me to my technical goals of getting images that look like large format film output. That doesn't mean you have to strive for those goals, or that anyone else does, and it likely is that there are people who lie in between various thresholds and goals. No need to knock those of us who look for really high image quality out of our gear.

Look, I admit I was a total ahole in our last exchange and I apologize for that - you deserved better than that. But I do think it's time to say this: get off my case and move on. We aren't going to see eye to eye much, let's just agree to disagree and call it that.

-m

camerosity Senior Member • Posts: 1,604
Re: Nikkor 35/1.4G not up to high res sensor demands?

anotherMike wrote:

You're letting your dislike of me in the forums affect your reading comprehension.

Here's how I judge image quality, which includes resolution: I print. And I look at the print. At normal, not insanely-stupid pixel-peeping close, viewing distances. When I look on screen, it's 100% and never more. No need.

I'm the guy who has done blind print tests to see if the differences on screen equate to differences most people can see on print, and found out, they can. I look at MTF because I'm openly curious if there actually are some objective measures to correlate to what I see subjectively. That's it.

Get off my case and move on.

-m

You're the one making this personal. I was responding to your post, that's all. If you have a personal problem with me, take it out of the forum. Otherwise, keep your attitude to yourself. I have every right to respond to posts, including yours, without any personal attacks.

I've looked at plenty of lens tests over the years. Mostly I am interested in distortion percentages. Most modern lenses these days are sufficiently "sharp" enough for general photography.

I bought the Nikon 35mm f1.4G as I'd been shooting with a 35mm Nikon prime lens since 1997 when I bought my first one (the Nikon 35mm f2 AI) and just learned to love the focal length. I'd always wanted the f1.4 AIS but it was too expensive back in the day. So when I had the means I bought the 1.4G and have enjoyed it ever since (bought in June, 2017).

No one is on your "case" here.

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