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Author Topic: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence  (Read 11222 times)

John Koerner

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Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« on: June 21, 2016, 04:08:22 pm »

You know, someone on another thread made the comment that Nikon lenses "used to be" the best, but the reality is they still are.



Check out the latest LenScore rating for the new AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4.0E FL ED VR.

LenScore uses an unprecedented, 200mpx custom sensor to judge all its lenses, and I believe it gives the most accurate account of lens quality of any other system.

Here are the statistics:
  • Of the Top 5 Prime Lenses, Nikkor makes 2, Zeiss makes 2, Leica makes 1, and Canon makes 0.
  • Of the Top 10 Prime Lenses, Nikkor makes 4, Zeiss stays at 2, Leica makes 2, and Canon Makes 2.
  • Of the Top 20 Prime Lenses, Nikkor makes 9, Canon makes 6, Zeiss makes 3, and Leica makes 2.
Sorry folks, zooms are not where it's at. Primes are where the quality is, and Nikkor totally dominates the Prime lens category, making twice as many of the Top 10 as Zeiss and 3x as many of the Top 20.

(And even in the Zoom category Nikon and Canon are split at 4 of the Top 10 apiece, with Sigma making 2).

Whereas Nikon makes 9 of the Top 20 Primes, the only area where Canon equals this ratio in the Prime Lens department is Canon makes The Bottom 20 Primes (9 of them), with Sony following closely at 7, Zeiss putting out 3 junkers, and where Nikon only makes 1.

Someone made the comment that, "Nikon lenses aren't what they used to be," but I think this dude needs to actually research before speaking.

Nikon totally dominates the "Prime Lens Quality" department, producing 2x-5x the number of top-shelf lenses of any other company, bar none.

Canon only leads on the low-end, not the high-end.

Jack

PS: People talk about the "Otus" lenses, but Nikkor's FL ED VR lenses comprise 2 of the top 3 lenses (400mm and 600mm), and there's a whole lot more to making lenses like this than a simple 85mm Zeiss Otus).
« Last Edit: June 21, 2016, 05:07:15 pm by John Koerner »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2016, 05:29:13 pm »

Jack,

Yes, the Nikon super tele are excellent and are one generatin newer than most of the Canon, whch explains why they are are a bit better, but...

- the Canon are very good too,
- the improvements over the previous generation are mostly about weight reduction and they only managed to catch up with Canon,
- only a tiny % of working pros need/can afford the latest version of these lenses.

The optical quality of the latest Nikon super tele is great but will not help Nikon much to imprve their market position. It just confirms that today is a great time to be a photographer with many amazing options.

Cheers,
Bernard

John Koerner

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2016, 05:50:26 pm »

Jack,
Yes, the Nikon super tele are excellent and are one generatin newer than most of the Canon, whch explains why they are are a bit better, but...

The older Nikon generations were better too; the newer are better still.



- the Canon are very good too,
- the improvements over the previous generation are mostly about weight reduction and they only managed to catch up with Canon,

True, the Canon's are good; but the improvements were already there in the Nikkors, which are now amplified, and including better weight reduction.



- only a tiny % of working pros need/can afford the latest version of these lenses.

This doesn't concern me.

I have the 300 VR II, which is the finest lens I've ever looked through, and will be saving for the 600 f/4 FL ED VR over the next year.

That will end my concern with Telephoto lenses.


The optical quality of the latest Nikon super tele is great but will not help Nikon much to imprve their market position.

I am not worried about Nikon's market position, only that they produce the finest equipment for my purposes.

Again, to drive home a point (for the 20th time), no one cares what Porsche's "market position" is when they drive home in a new 911.

A Porsche is a Porsche, and Toyota's "market position" doesn't upgrade an owner into anything other than a Toyota  ;)



It just confirms that today is a great time to be a photographer with many amazing options.

Cheers,
Bernard

True ... especially if you're choosing from the best options, not the worst  ;D

Cheers back (and glad to see you "came to" ;D)

Jack
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NancyP

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2016, 06:36:37 pm »

Canon hangs onto really old lenses until they are all gone. Some may take a while to sell out - I think the old 50 f/2.5 macro is finally No Longer Available. I still use the Canon 400 f/5.6L no-IS, a lens that has only 7 elements, weighs next to nothing, and is pretty good for the price - not up to the $5,000.00 to $12,000.00 lenses, but still darn good for $1,100.00. This design is about 25 years old, and it isn't the oldest in the catalog. It is a blast for birds in flight.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2016, 07:34:18 pm »

... A Porsche is a Porsche, and Toyota's "market position" doesn't upgrade an owner into anything other than a Toyota  ;)

Consequently, you, as the owner of some of the finest lenses on the planet, are hereby upgraded into the finest photographer on the planet, Jack  ;)
« Last Edit: June 22, 2016, 12:12:47 pm by Slobodan Blagojevic »
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John Koerner

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2016, 08:09:46 pm »

Consequently, you, as the owner of some of the finest lenses on the planet, are herby upgraded into the finest photographer on the planet, Jack  ;)

Herby?

Other than your poor spelling, I think you're confusing two issues, Slobo: 1) optimal equipment and 2) optimal prowess with the equipment.

Buying a Porsche 911 may not automatically upgrade me into "the finest driver on the planet" ... but it does upgrade my driving experience the moment I get out of my Yugo and sit my ass down in that Porsche ;)

Not only am I able to improve on my own times and records, in the superior automobile, but from the moment I make that switch, it becomes 10x more enjoyable to keep driving and learning 8)

Jack
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Zorki5

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2016, 08:27:45 pm »

Not only am I able to improve on my own times and records, in the superior automobile, but from the moment I make that switch, it becomes 10x more enjoyable to keep driving and learning 8)

John, I can certainly relate to your enjoyment of a Porsche -- my prev. car had 4.3 liters engine, and current one is not that far behind, with a bit less torque -- but even more bhps...

But the joy of lugging around a 4 kg. lens??? I know such joy exists, but it's called masochism in my book...
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John Koerner

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2016, 09:27:10 pm »

John, I can certainly relate to your enjoyment of a Porsche -- my prev. car had 4.3 liters engine, and current one is not that far behind, with a bit less torque -- but even more bhps...

Yep.

Driver satisfaction matters ...



But the joy of lugging around a 4 kg. lens??? I know such joy exists, but it's called masochism in my book...

I don't think it's the lugging that brings the joy, but the results.

(BTW, the Canon 600mm weighs even more, but delivers a bit less.)

I hear you though. Many times I leave my 300mm behind, because of the weight, and it's only 2.9 kg.

However, when I do bring it (and use it), I think, "Damn," when I compare the results to the rest of my pack.

Oftentimes, a lens that big is used from a blind (a vehicle, or a stand) rather than a long hike.

Nikon decreased the weight in their 600mm from 5.06 kg to 3.81, and improved the specs, which a double-bonus.

You can't expect a lens with this kind of capability to be much lighter, can you?

If you do a comparison, the Zeiss 85mm Otus weighs 1,180 grams but only has 85mm reach.

By contrast, the Nikkor 600mm weighs 3,810 grams (3.23x more weight) but has 7x more reach ... plus AF, plus VR ... with very similar stats as the best Zeiss on the planet (and better than the rest).

Imagine if Nikkor decides to bring its FL ED VR technology into its smaller portrait lenses, they should be able to out-do the Otus.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2016, 10:09:01 pm »

Herby?

Other than your poor spelling...

Ok, Jack, you are hereby promoted into the most anal-retentive photographer and forum member on the planet :D

Quote
... the moment I get out of my Yugo and sit my ass down in that Porsche

I admire your driving choices. The good thing is, your Yugo will be still there, waiting for you, when your Porsche rental ends ;)

LesPalenik

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2016, 11:07:34 pm »

For posting a 800x600 image here on Lula or Flickr, the Sony RX10 III with a 1" sensor and 24-600mm equivalent lens should be almost as good as the Nikkor 600mm on D500.
Not only is the Sony RX10 III substantially cheaper, but in a situation with a charging bear or bull, the RX10 shooter would easily outrun the Nikon guy.


 
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John Koerner

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2016, 11:11:46 pm »

Ok, Jack, you are hereby promoted into the most anal-retentive photographer and forum member on the planet :D

Would you therefore be the most over-exaggerating? ???



I admire your driving choices. The good thing is, your Yugo will be still there, waiting for you, when your Porsche rental ends ;)

Nope, I sold all my Yugos, Slobo, but hope you're still enjoying yours  ;)
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John Koerner

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2016, 11:15:01 pm »

For posting a 800x600 image here on Lula or Flickr, the Sony RX10 III with a 1" sensor and 24-600mm equivalent lens should be almost as good as the Nikkor 600mm on D500.

A 24-600 won't be near as good ... but maybe the kids won't notice.



Not only is the Sony RX10 III substantially cheaper, but in a situation with a charging bear or bull, the RX10 shooter would easily outrun the Nikon guy.

Can't argue with this point ;D
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2016, 04:05:52 am »

Looking at LenScore ratings you mention, the Nikon and Canon prime lenses that dominate are the 400, 500, and 600 super teles. Nothing new, and Nikon's current advantage is just because they are more recent. The difference between a score of 1427 for the Nikon 400 and the score of 1373 for the Canon 400 is apparently not enough to make Canon pros change to Nikon...

Anyway, this listing is sort of pointless, because it mixes many different focal lengths. And anyway, the Otus 85 is still #1:)

But I am sure your enthusiasm with Nikon is well deserved, they are a good company that makes good cameras and lenses.

John Koerner

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2016, 10:53:57 am »

Looking at LenScore ratings you mention, the Nikon and Canon prime lenses that dominate are the 400, 500, and 600 super teles. Nothing new, and Nikon's current advantage is just because they are more recent.

Agreed, the super-teles are where NikCanon excel optically.



The difference between a score of 1427 for the Nikon 400 and the score of 1373 for the Canon 400 is apparently not enough to make Canon pros change to Nikon...

That is true, the qualitative difference at the top is negligible.

However, when slightly-better lenses are married to a vastly-superior AF system in the new Nikon pro cameras, I will bet many pros will see this as a decided combined advantage.



Anyway, this listing is sort of pointless, because it mixes many different focal lengths.

How is it pointless?

The LenScore system is actually the easiest one to use and follow, as well as being the best-conceived. Other rating systems put (say) a Canon 85mm on a 5D Mk II, and maybe a Canon 200mm on a 1Dx, and then compare that to (say) an 85mm on a Nikon D300 ... so how are we supposed to make sense of the results?

By contrast, LenScore uses a single, custom 200mpx sensor over which it mounts every lens it tests, so IMO the results actually mean something when posted because they're tested across the same platform. Let's face it, there isn't a photographer on here who doesn't look at the various measured statistics of his/her equipment.



And anyway, the Otus 85 is still #1:)

Yes it is, and you can see the areas where it excels.



But I am sure your enthusiasm with Nikon is well deserved, they are a good company that makes good cameras and lenses.

I just like knowing where I'm at, optically, before I make a purchase decision.

The funny thing is, most of the lenses I have now aren't even on here (elder AI-S manual lenses).

The only lens I currently have, that is actually on that chart, is the 300mm II, which just dropped from #10 to #11, with the recent placement of the new 600 mm FL ED VR. But, here again, anything over 1000 is considered "outstanding," so I am not too worried about the difference between a 1367 and a 1409 overall rating. You're talking a disparity of 42 points, spanning 10 different categories, or 4.2 points-per-category.  Both are above-outstanding scores.

Jack
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dwswager

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2016, 12:00:08 pm »

Consequently, you, as the owner of some of the finest lenses on the planet, are herby upgraded into the finest photographer on the planet, Jack  ;)

Didn't Rowell use a Nikon Series E lens...he was decent!
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2016, 12:19:39 pm »

... Nope, I sold all my Yugos, Slobo, but hope you're still enjoying yours  ;)

Now that you mentioned it, I never actually drove a Yugo, but it seems I helped you drive one  :)

I was a member of the Ambassador Scanlan's team (US Embassy Belgrade) that was assisting Yugo export to the States. It was considered his pet project at the time (80's), so much so that he was gifted the first Yugo ready for the US. Well, he could not accept gifts, so he paid $1 for it. Some incurable cynics would say he overpaid  ;)

John Koerner

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2016, 12:36:05 pm »

Now that you mentioned it, I never actually drove a Yugo, but it seems I helped you drive one  :)

Lol, true, and this this date I have saved the instructions you were kind enough to provide :)



I was a member of the Ambassador Scanlan's team (US Embassy Belgrade) that was assisting Yugo export to the States. It was considered his pet project at the time (80's), so much so that he was gifted the first Yugo ready for the US. Well, he could not accept gifts, so he paid $1 for it. Some incurable cynics would say he overpaid  ;)

 ;D
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NancyP

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2016, 06:28:50 pm »

Just consider that 4 kilo lens "exercise".  ;)
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Colorado David

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2016, 12:21:07 am »

I have carried my Nikon 200-400 f/4 along with a backpack full of other gear up and down mountains and through the bush in Denali and other parks.  When that's what you need, that's what you carry.  There are times I have carried three bodies one each with the 200-400, the 70-200, and the 24-70 lenses. Yes, they are heavy, but when compared to carrying video equipment, they seem light.  And I've been chased by a mature bull moose carrying all that stuff.

Herbc

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2016, 09:17:17 am »

If one goes to say 135mm and shorter, the numbers seem to be less significant.  It will take some time to plow thru all of those, but it all seems pointless anyway. 
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