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Author Topic: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence  (Read 11223 times)

John Koerner

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #40 on: June 24, 2016, 12:20:37 pm »

Go and shoot some wildlife in Africa, or some tigers in the national parks of India. It's amazing how close the wildlife gets.

Yes, in trammel-operated parks.



Sure, there are times when even 800mm on a crop sensor isn't enough. But there are other times when even 200mm on full-frame is too long, and you desperately need to reach for a backup camera with a 70-200 mounted. Not everywhere is open savannah, and not all animal spottings occur at long range. There is a lot of scrubland where a lion or leopard could be hiding ten metres away and you wouldn't know it. You can be shooting warthogs or baboons with a long lens from 50m away when a previously-unseen elephant crashes through the bushes not even 20m in front of you - and it happens often. Tracking tigers in India, you'd almost never need more than 560mm, even for close-up shots of the head; quite often, they're close enough that you need 200mm for a body shot.

This is why I do what I do.

1) Cotton Carrier. Nikon D810 holstered at the hip. 125mm macro affixed.
2) Small, light, innocuous lenses ... (20 + 50 + extender) on a belt pouch.
3) Tripod + D500 + 300mm VR II slung over shoulder.

This means, I am always set at 450mm and 125 mm as I hike. The D810 + lens holstered at my hip is nothing, weight-wise.

The 300 + D500 is on a tripod, managed easily over my shoulder.

With those two lenses alone, and a 2x extender in a belt pounch, I have a 125mm, 190mm, 300mm, 450 mm, 600mm, and 900mm rotatable option within 1 minute's time, hands-free.

If I switch lenses between cameras, my D810 has the 300mm and my D500 makes the macro ~190mm.

If I add the 2x extender to the D500 + 300 I now have 900.

If I switch with the D810 it is 600.

Again, my tripod just stands there carrying the weight, if I need to switch.

All I have to do pop the back off, reach in a pouch, double the length (or swap cameras/lenses).

If I need a landscape, hands off the tripod, switch my D810 with a small lens in my pouch, I got it in under a minute.

The Cotton Carrier is probably the best thing to come out for a hiking photographer IMO.



The 1Dx2 is only just out and barely even available. Not sure how it performs. Sure, the D5 beats the crap out of the 1Dx in an AF torture-test (tested this the other day by trying to track a drone flying erratically, against a busy background of buildings and trees, dropping 'chaff' to try to confuse the AF - one of the hardest test subjects you'll ever find). But that's a brand-new camera against a four-year-old model. There'd be something wrong if it didn't kick the crap out of it.

The D5 AF also kicks the crap out of the new 1Dx2 as well ;)



But torture tests against elusive targets deliberately trying to confuse the AF are quite different from actual animals just going about their business without actively trying to give photographers a hard time. I've never had any problems tracking wildlife with the 1Dx either - or the D810, 5Ds, D4 or 5D3, for that matter. If you can't track a pouncing lion with any of those cameras, the problem isn't with the camera.

With larger animals, true.

But have you ever tried to track a pepsis wasp hunting on the ground?

I am sure erratic bird flight and soccer games are problematic also.



As for the sensor, we're talking about wildlife and action here. In other words, ISO 400-6400 or thereabouts. Performance at base ISO is irrelevant - there's no point taking a high-DR photo of a blur. Performance at ISO 51200 is also irrelevant - you can't shoot something you can't see, unless you routinely shoot wildlife while wearing night vision goggles. Within the relevant ISO range, the SNR measurements are close enough to be indistinguishable.

I agree with you.

But the D500 is better than the 7DII, in every conceivable way, and it has better AF than the 1Dx (1 or 2), better dynamic range up to 400, and comparable dynamic range up to 2000, with better tonal range all throughout.



Besides, the 1Dx2 uses Canon's new on-sensor ADC and should have much better base-ISO performance than the 1Dx (although the test results are still pending) while the D5 has been tested to be significantly worse than the D4s at base ISO. It's also no better than the A7r2's sensor at high ISO. I'd expect the 1Dx2 to have a better sensor when the test results come out. Not that base ISO performance or super-high ISO performance are relevant in wildlife photography.

You just finished saying Base ISO is meaningless, did you not?

What matters in moving wildlife, I agree, is ISO 640 - 2000.

However, on a clear day, with non-moving subjects, I can shoot Base ISO 64 on my D810 ... which, I am pretty sure, trumps them all ;)



Bears are shy creatures who tend to stay away from humans (polar bears in Churchill being the exception) or be a safe, long distance away (bear viewing in Alaska, or polar bears from a boat or Zodiac in Svalbard). You need long lenses to shoot them. If you're not shooting with a 500mm-or-longer lens, you're probably a bit too close for comfort.

Agree.

....

....



This is why even the Canon shooter still shoots primarily with his 600mm.

Been there, done that. It's also easier if you have a vehicle or an elephant to carry them.

That's a lot of lens switching which you don't necessarily have the time for, and probably don't want to be doing in a dusty or rainy environment, or when balancing on a steep, slippery jungle trail.

If they released a 300mm with inbuilt 1.4/1.7/2.0x TCs in a revolver-type device (like a more extreme version of the 200-400's TC) it would be a lot more interesting.

And that's why you don't want to have to keep switching them if you don't have to. Hence, a zoom.

Yes, if you're traversing in a vehicle, then carrying different lenses is less of a hassle.

But if you're on foot, hiking, no way are you carrying 2 telephotos.

I explained what I do, above: 2 lenses/cameras immediately ready, that span a 125 to 900mm range in less than a minute's time, unencumbered.

I will never use a zoom again. I don't like the quality on the long-end, which is the only end that matters.



Although, when shooting wildlife, you're probably using a monopod rather than a tripod.

I got rid of my monopod. FAR prefer a tripod.

The truth is, I can use a tripod like a monopod, without opening the legs, but when I really need that stability ... no monopod can give you the absolute clarity of a tripod + remote switch, especially for macro.



Or you can do what I do, and use two cameras and two lenses. At the moment, it's a 1Dx with 200-400L attached, and 5Ds (borrowed) with 800L attached on the other (when focal length limited and shooting wildlife at ISO 400-6400, I find that the extra pixel density of the 5Ds outweighs the better low-ISO performance of the D810 and Nikon 600/800 combination). No need to remove and reattach bodies and teleconverters - and, when in a vehicle or a blind, both are within arm's reach and often firmly clamped to a support, being ready to shoot in any direction instantly.

I do ... and it sounds like we're both basically thinking/doing the same thing, with different systems, in different contexts.

I disagree, though, on the base ISO performance.
(Again, it is quite easy to shoot at base ISO on still subjects during the day ... and nothing can touch the D810 in this manner.)

The difference between you and me is I do a lot of macro work, and hike, while you travel shooting mostly on the long-end from a vehicle.

So, if you're in a vehicle shooting long distance (or in a blind), sure, two long lenses are possible to carry.

Still, in that case, the Nikon 400mm on a D5 would trump anything the 200-400 could do on the 1Dx, while the 800 on a D810 would as well IMO.



Naturally, I try not to walk more than a few kilometres with it. But, when shooting wildlife, I generally don't have to - that's why we invented vehicles and ride on mounts. Weekslong hiking trips to shoot landscapes are different.

Again, within the context of shooting from a vehicle, I think you have a great setup, where two long lenses are possible.

But, for the way I do things ... hiking and actually trying to be a silent part of nature, peacefully-exploring (and not trampling over) the terrain, my solution works for me :)

Jack
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shadowblade

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #41 on: June 24, 2016, 01:38:47 pm »

Yes, in trammel-operated parks.

What's a trammel?

I'm talking about in the wilderness - no roads in sight when you're in the Jim Corbett park in India looking for tigers, the Virungas in the Congo or in the swamps of the Okavango, and the roads passing through the parks of East Africa are just that - roads - with the wildlife doing whatever it is they do without being constrained in any way. It's not a zoo.

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The Cotton Carrier is probably the best thing to come out for a hiking photographer IMO.

Depends what you're shooting. For landscapes, I either carry it all in a backpack, or distributed around the body in a tactical vest - no need for rapid access for that. When I need to carry two long lenses for a wildlife shoot, I use a modified rig attached to an ALICE frame.

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The D5 AF also kicks the crap out of the new 1Dx2 as well ;)

Haven't had a chance to test the 1Dx2 yet.

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With larger animals, true.

But have you ever tried to track a pepsis wasp hunting on the ground?

I am sure erratic bird flight and soccer games are problematic also.

The wasp is just about at the extreme of AF difficulty (similar to the drone). Not only is it moving erratically, but it's also at extreme close range, against a busy background.

Birds in flight and soccer games are much easier. Birds don't fly erratically - when they're moving forward, they tend to keep moving forward and change direction gradually, rather than suddenly reversing like a wasp. And both birds and soccer matches tend to be shot at longer ranges, meaning that the lens movements needed are far smaller than wasps and drones flying around at short range. Any decent camera can handle them well.

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I agree with you.

But the D500 is better than the 7DII, in every conceivable way, and it has better AF than the 1Dx (1 or 2), better dynamic range up to 400, and comparable dynamic range up to 2000, with better tonal range all throughout.

It's also two years newer, has a larger sensor, exists in a higher price bracket and is aimed at a somewhat different target audience.

The 7D2 is aimed at the amateur or enthusiast who wants something better than a basic xxD model. The D500 is aimed at professional users who absolutely need the greater pixel density and are choosing this camera even when they can afford a full-frame model. Canon has nothing in the same category.

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You just finished saying Base ISO is meaningless, did you not?

When shooting wildlife, it pretty much is. But it's still nice to have, even if it's mostly for bragging rights.

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What matters in moving wildlife, I agree, is ISO 640 - 2000.

However, on a clear day, with non-moving subjects, I can shoot Base ISO 64 on my D810 ... which, I am pretty sure, trumps them all ;)

How many cameras exactly are you carrying?

You're already talking about a D5 and a D500 - now you're throwing a D810 into the mix as well?

Besides, if you're talking about having an option for nonmoving subjects, where you have time to switch cameras and lenses, you can always throw an A7r2 into the bag, which weighs less and takes up less space than the D810.

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Yes, if you're traversing in a vehicle, then carrying different lenses is less of a hassle.

But if you're on foot, hiking, no way are you carrying 2 telephotos.

I explained what I do, above: 2 lenses/cameras immediately ready, that span a 125 to 900mm range in less than a minute's time, unencumbered.

And when an animal appears, which requires 275mm for a well-framed shot and 500-600mm for a head shot? You don't have a minute to change lenses, much less change lenses twice for different compositions on the same subject.

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I will never use a zoom again. I don't like the quality on the long-end, which is the only end that matters.

Maybe true if you're shooting wasps, or always shooting at long range.

When an elephant crashes through the bushes 20m in front of you or you spot a tiger 6m away, you'll wish you had that zoom.

I got rid of my monopod. FAR prefer a tripod.

The truth is, I can use a tripod like a monopod, without opening the legs, but when I really need that stability ... no monopod can give you the absolute clarity of a tripod + remote switch, especially for macro.

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I disagree, though, on the base ISO performance.
(Again, it is quite easy to shoot at base ISO on still subjects during the day ... and nothing can touch the D810 in this manner.)

When I shoot wildlife, I'm rarely shooting at base ISO.

DR is a binary thing - you either have enough of it or you don't. It's a rare situation in wildlife or sports photography where a Canon body lacks sufficient DR for a good shot, but a Nikon body's extra two stops gives you the shot.

Landscapes are a completely different matter. They also don't move much. The A7r/A7r2 performs just as well, weighs less and gives me a better selection of lenses for that.

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The difference between you and me is I do a lot of macro work, and hike, while you travel shooting mostly on the long-end from a vehicle.

Not true at all.

Firstly, I mostly shoot landscapes. I spent 180 days hiking and mountaineering end-to-end along the length of Nepal. Dedicated wildlife/nature shoots are a minority of trips.

Secondly, if I was mostly shooting at the long end, why would I bother with the 200-400? What would be the point of a zoom if I wasn't planning to zoom with it? If I were shooting long-distance, focal-length-limited only, I'd just bring a 5Ds with 800L and be done with it.
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John Koerner

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #42 on: June 24, 2016, 01:44:07 pm »

Who wants a 500mm MF lens?

The same could be said for 85mm lenses, or 50mm, yes?

I forget his name, but there is one pro nature photographer onboard here who only uses MF long lenses.



99% of the time, when using a long lens, you're shooting action. Maybe fast, maybe slow, but still moving.

For sports, yes. And birds in flight.

However, plenty of times birds are just sitting there on a branch ... or an animal sitting there, poised ... or a desert lizard just sitting there on a rock.

So your "99%" figure is a complete exaggeration (except for sports and flying birds).



There's not much point making a MF lens for the other 1% of times where the long lens is being used to shoot a landscape.

Again, not so.

There are also at least 10-40% of the time where a creature is in the brambles, or thickets, and AF is a cluster**** to use ... nailing branches and everything but the subject, requiring MF to get the desired animal in focus.

So, with the exception of sports, and flying birds, a truly smooth MF ring on long glass would be wonderful.

In fact the member here nails birds in flight on a regular basis with MF long lenses.

Jack
« Last Edit: June 24, 2016, 02:29:52 pm by John Koerner »
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John Koerner

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #43 on: June 24, 2016, 02:29:02 pm »

What ShadowBlade said ...

You said, rhetorically, "How many cameras do I shoot," because I commented on the D5.

I already told you my shooting arrangement, so I will not repeat myself.

I only spoke of the D5 because you did, reminding you that its AF is better than either 1Dx.

The funny thing is, now you throw in a Sony for good measure :D

Look, we can go back and forth on this forever, but here are The Ultimate Truths:

ALL Nikon Sport Cameras (D500 and D5) have far better AF than any Canon sports camera.

ALL Nikon Primes (200, 300, 400, 500, 600, and 800mm) all rate higher than their Canon equivalents.

From start to finish, Nikon wins.

From the precision of AF, through the highest optic, onto the best sensor, Nikon provides the advantage.

With Nikons Landscape Camera (D810), it wins on this end as well, having far better Base ISO, Tonal Range, and Color Range than any Canon camera.

In the end, for any "Canon arrangement" that can be made, there is a superior Nikon arrangement that can be made ... from the AF ... through the best Prime lenses ... and onto the sensor.

The best Canon can say is, "We're close."

The best Nikon can say is, "We own this."

And that is true for whatever combination you want to talk about.

You can rail-on forever after this, but it doesn't matter.

Because at the end of the day, it all boils down to that.

Jack
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shadowblade

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #44 on: June 24, 2016, 03:38:29 pm »

Look, we can go back and forth on this forever, but here are The Ultimate Truths:

ALL Nikon Sport Cameras (D500 and D5) have far better AF than any Canon sports camera.

Show me the tests.

Direct comparison of 1Dx2 and D5. Multiple sources, multiple users, multiple situations.

Unless you can show that, it's not established.

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ALL Nikon Primes (200, 300, 400, 500, 600, and 800mm) all rate higher than their Canon equivalents.

From start to finish, Nikon wins.

You've hardly named all Nikon primes. Look at the performance of the Nikon PC-E lenses. They're basically pathetic. For the rest of them, there's basically no discernible difference between most Nikon and Canon equivalents, one direction or the other.

For the record, I don't trust the Lenscore ratings at all. After all, they've rated:

- Canon 100-400L (the original dust trombone) as sharper (767 in resolving power) than the 400 f/5.6 (722)
- Canon 50/1.4 (863) as sharper than the 135L (827) and 100L Macro (813)
- Canon 16-35L II (777) as sharper than the 85/1.8 (711)
- Canon 14L (729) as sharper than the 35L (627)

All plainly ridiculous to anyone who isn't blind and has even a passing familiarity with the lenses in question.

Also, for the record:

Regarding existing zooms by both brands, two truths stand out:
Canon's 24-70 II is superior to Nikon's 24-70.
Canon's 70-200 II is superior to Nikon's 70-200

While the 5DS R may still fall short of the D810 in some important respects, as a landscape camera, to me it surpasses the D810 as a macro photography camera.

Let's face it, resolution is everything in macro photography (that and bokeh).
And, in Resolution, the 5DS R beats the D810 by a wide margin (1357 to 1051) ... not to mention beating my 7D by a country mile (1357 to 475).

I am not worried about the D810 beating the 5DS R in Dynamic Range (1028 to 850), because I will not even bother taking a natural light macro shot unless I have even light.
Therefore, "High Dynamic Range" means nothing to me; it has no relevance to the way I shoot.

...

Therefore, for a macro shooter, the Canon 5DS R is actually the better camera than the D810.
While it is lacking in respect to color, I am not sure what the real-world difference is in the color disparity.
The DR makes zero difference, while the Canon surpasses the D810 in every other category, most importantly in Resolution (and widely-so).

Rubbish. A camera of 11 stops can still take a perfectly wonderful photograph of the same damned thing. How do you think award-winning photographs have been produced for decades before cameras achieved 14 stops of DR?  ::)

The 1Dx trumps the D4.

Even Photoshop guru, Scott Kelby, made the switch.

Comparable color depth & high ISO scores, with far better ergonomics/functionality, faster FPS, etc.

Ok, I'll do some correction since you asked  :)

The DxOMark is about sensor performance, not camera performance. Besides you didn't specify which Sony-sensor camera you meant - Sony provides APS-C sensors for Nikon, Pentax, Fujifilm and it's own camera division.
I realize that.

But whoever wrote that DxO article is a geek behind a desk, not someone who's ever been outdoors trying to take nature or wildlife photography. You rarely use "base ISO" for that. The article was written from the perspective of a guy who doesn't even know what a camera is FOR ...

If he had the first clue about what a crop camera is for it is REACH ... and if the Canon 7D Mark II has better low ISO performance than all the others and better ergonomics, AF, functionality, etc. ... then it eclipses the competition pretty much on every level, as a wildlife/sports camera.

A person who actually uses cameras, and doesn't just "measure sensors" would realize this.

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If we look at what they measure, then the 7DII sensor performance does trail at lower ISOs and catches up on latter ones giving very similar performance on high ISOs though with lower colour accuracy and possibly higher colour interpolation induced noise.
High ISO is a toss up.
But the other properties you mention are not sensor properties, but camera properties. There are many cameras using Sonys sensors, including Nikons, and I'm sure Nikonians might disagree with some of your points  ;)
DxO measures sensor, not camera, and there Canon is lagging.

Wow, I keep having to repeat myself: people who actually use cameras for sports and wildlife photography don't really care about "base ISO," as they almost never use this.

The EOS 7D II is a more fully-functional camera, on pretty much every level ... and surpasses even the "top sensor" cameras where it matters, and that is at the higher ISOs.

For wildlife and fast-action, it is very compelling camera all the way around, including its sensor.

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Canon has used very weak colour separation for a long time now - the colour accuracy is better on pretty much all the competition (when it comes to colour filter array). Also, it's not just "base" ISO, but 7DII trails all the way to and including middle ISOs. Also has slightly lower pixel count.
And the high ISO is a toss up.

I am not sure this is a fact.
I have heard Canon reproduces skin tones better than Nikon, etc.
Most of the really great macro I have seen comes from Canon.
Most of the keen sports photography comes from Canon.

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  • Their APS-C sensor is about 9% smaller than the main competitions
  • They use their own rather coarse fabrication line (180nm) for APS-C and the competition uses 90nm or less
  • To make above items even more significant, 7DII has two photodiodes per pixel due to AF
  • Canon's analog to digital conversion has been subpar for ages - that's the reason for low ISO issues - maybe it's due to the 180nm geometry limitation?

Interesting facts, thanks. But, again, high ISO is what matters most to wildlife/sports photographers, so if that is where Canon excels ... and if its ergonomics, frame rate, and functionality also at the top of the food chain, then this merely confirms its position as THE best camera of the lot of them for this purpose.

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Canon's pixel designs are state of the art, no question about it.

And AF, and FPS, and lenses, and programmable functionality, etc.

Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't the 7D Mark II perform better, at ever function, at every level than the Sony "except" at base ISO?

It is faster, more versatile, better AF, surpasses the Sony's sensor at high ISO ... just not at base ISO.

To say Canon "is lagging behind" is rather laughable, actually. They surpass Sony in every single possible way, except 1, in a static environment at base ISO.

I don't know if you've ever shot nature photography, but hardly anyone shoots either macro, or telephoto, at "base ISO" ...

It is Sony that is lacking on almost every level, including ergonomics and functionality ...

Jack

Since this forum leans more toward landscape users, as the title reflects (portrait photographers, etc.), there is a bias toward resolution only.

However, in the more rounded nature photography world, it looks like Nikon APS-C users are already looking to dump their Nikons and get the 7D II ... for the same "checklist" reasons I have repeatedly stated from the start.

Earlier this year, longtime Nikon user, Scott Kelby likewise dumped his Nikon D4 for the Canon 1Dx, after an actual real-world comparison, once again for reasons of speed, total functionality, skin tones, etc.

Again, it isn't all about resolution. (I also think that straight DxO scores are somewhat bogus and they don't tell the whole story.)

The D810 is very nice, but ultimately somewhat of a rigid, niche camera--and I think more versatile all-around shooters will lean toward Canon.

As time progresses over the next year, I think there's going to be a boatload of Nikon wildlife/sports shooters switching to Canon.

Jack

But I am a macro and wildlife shooter. And Canon has by far the more versatile lens portfolio for my kind of shooting.


Aside from it not really being "the best" long lens on the market, even if (for the sake of argument) we said it is, then actually this is another reason to go with Canon, quite frankly.

1. Canon's overall lens lineup is simply better;
2. On the few instances where Nikon has an edge on a particular lens, you can still mount it on a Canon, increasing the versatility of the Canon system all the more;
3. On the many instances where Canon has the edge, over a wide variety of lens types, you basically have to do without that lens if you own a Nikon.
4. And, let's face it: Canon sensors are already good enough to have pros using them successfully all over the world; the difference isn't that much; and sooner or later they will equal or surpass Nikon in sensor development too.

Again, it would be simpler for Canon to plop a Sony sensor in its cameras than it would be for Nikon to equal the 24-70 II, the 70-200 II, the 200-400+ built-in extendor, etc. of Canon.

Even the new D7100 still can't match the overall pro specs of the old 7D of 5 years ago, and it is pretty much smoked by the specs of the new one.

And even if Nikon released a D400, it still wouldn't have the 200-400 that can come close to the Canon offering (nor the 24-70, nor the 70-200).

Okay, Nikon has the 400mm, but Canon's 200-400 is a much sweeter, overall more capable lens ... and then there's their new 600L II ...

But, hey, both camera companies have their strengths.

I just happen to like Canon's lens offerings better (*save one :) ).

Jack
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NancyP

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #45 on: June 24, 2016, 03:51:17 pm »

What it boils down to, for me, is the stuff that you don't buy at the brand-name counters at the camera store ends up being as important or more important as the latest in gear. The bucks that I have spent on properly fitted hiking packs are probably the highest yield photo investment that I have made. The Cotton Carrier vest chest carriage of the camera leaves my hands free and able to use poles or to use hands in scrambling. The CC vest system also works well under internal-frame backpacking packs and presumably external frame packs in the Alice and other designs. It gets a bit toasty under the chest-plate, but that can't be helped. It may sound silly, but carrying systems, shoes, socks, poles that work for the individual are an important part of nature photography - probably more important than choice between two or more versions of photo gear. If my feet and shoulders are happy, I am happy and thus more likely to "work" a photo opportunity instead of grouching "too dam' tired".
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John Koerner

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Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
« Reply #46 on: June 24, 2016, 04:27:15 pm »

    Show me the tests.

    Direct comparison of 1Dx2 and D5. Multiple sources, multiple users, multiple situations.

    Unless you can show that, it's not established.

    DP Review.

    • "... what a benchmark it sets. Use one, and you'll be rewarded with as close to a polished, pure and responsive photographic tool as you can get.

      "... The D5 is a big camera that represents a big investment. But with increased battery life, an updated metering sensor, and autofocus that's more reliable than ever, the D5's value proposition for those that truly need it is better than its price and sensor specification might suggest. The D5 may not re-imagine the high-end sports camera market segment, but it doesn't need to. It's an eminently enjoyable and reliable camera to use in the real world, and has the best autofocus system that anyone in the DPReview offices has ever used - bar none.
    You've hardly named all Nikon primes. Look at the performance of the Nikon PC-E lenses. They're basically pathetic. For the rest of them, there's basically no discernible difference between most Nikon and Canon equivalents, one direction or the other.

    Reality check. The title of this thread topic is Prime ED VR Nikkor lenses.

    I don't care about PC-E lenses, as I am a wildlife shooter.



    For the record, I don't trust the Lenscore ratings at all. After all, they've rated:

    - Canon 100-400L (the original dust trombone) as sharper (767 in resolving power) than the 400 f/5.6 (722)
    - Canon 50/1.4 (863) as sharper than the 135L (827) and 100L Macro (813)
    - Canon 16-35L II (777) as sharper than the 85/1.8 (711)
    - Canon 14L (729) as sharper than the 35L (627)

    All plainly ridiculous to anyone who isn't blind and has even a passing familiarity with the lenses in question.

    Your opinion is plainly ridiculous.

    I have owned multiple Canon lenses, and shot through all of the above.

    The 100L macro is a toy compared to other macro options.

    I trust LenScore's ratings more than any others, because they're all rated over the same sensor (lenses) and over matched lenses when they rate sensors.

    We can just agree to disagree ... but you can move on over to DxO, and compare the lenses there, and you will find Nikkor's prime Super Teles edge out Canon's super teles too, across the board there as well.

    You can also look at where Canon's cameras sit in the DxO ratings as well ... somewhere in the middle-to-bottom ... same as where they sit on SenScore ;)



    Also, for the record:
    Quoting me

    Yes, last year, I was still holding out hope for Canon.

    Like you, I had invested all my money into Canon lenses and Canon cameras.

    Like you, I kept trying to say, "They're almost as good," over and over again (knowing in my heart that didn't sit as well as knowing I really did have the best).

    Unlike you, I dumped my Canon gear, and now enjoy the kind of satisfaction "almost" can't quite ever give ;D

    Jack[/list]
    « Last Edit: June 24, 2016, 04:30:58 pm by John Koerner »
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    John Koerner

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    Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
    « Reply #47 on: June 24, 2016, 04:45:31 pm »

    By the way, here is a real-world example showing the extreme usability of the Base ISO 64 setting in the D810 can salvage an image ...





    The simple truth is, when one takes advantage of the Nikon D810 at Base-64 ISO (a feature unique to the D810), he or she can do some incredible things with poorly-captured images.

    Here is how this works at some larger sizes:



    The above image is the only capture of this lizard I was able to get before it ran off, while on a hike, which image was severely under-exposed.

    With most cameras, that do not have the D810's unique Base-64 ISO DR and Color-retention, the above capture would have been an essentially unusable image, because all of the micro-detail would have been lost in the shadows. However, because the Nikon D810 can still capture incredible detail even in an under-exposed image, I was able to move my slider over to increase the exposure, and crop the image like this:



    And from the larger, under-exposed image I was able to develop a full-sized, nicely-detailed image like this:



    Even better, because of the extreme quality of the sensor (as well as the Voigtlander 125 f/2.5 APO Macro lens I was using), I was able to crop to an even greater extreme, like this:



    The unique characteristic of a Base-64 ISO enabled me to come out of this with a very detailed, ultra-close macro-portrait of the animal, like this:



    While not absolutely perfect, the above image certainly is usable (and better than many entry-level camera/lens combos can achieve at true 1:1).

    Here is a nearly-noiseless, 90% crystal-clear, full profile of this Great Basin Fence Lizard that was able to be developed and salvaged from a rather dark, far-away shot that wouldn't be usable if taken by most systems. (It may not be much of a subject, but the principle applies to any subject.)

    As of this writing, the Nikon D810 still offers the greatest Dynamic Range at its Base 64 ISO setting, which combined with the sensor's ability to still capture "shadow detail" in under-exposed situations, is an under-appreciated combination for the nature photographer, allowing him/her to salvage fleeting opportunities that might have otherwise been lost.

    Jack
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    shadowblade

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    Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
    « Reply #48 on: June 24, 2016, 10:31:10 pm »

    No need to sell me on the D810 sensor at low ISO. I'm a landscape photographer primarily (nature/wildlife being secondary). There's a reason my main cameras at the moment are A7r2s (used with a combination of Zeiss, Sigma, Canon and Nikon lenses).

    And, equally, there are reasons I use Canon bodies when shooting wildlife and action. Namely, that the primes are functionally equal, the zooms are better, the IQ is similar over the 400-6400 ISO range and the 200-400 with 1.4x TC exists.

    Sure, if I could only have a single body and had to shoot everything with it, I'd take a D810 without hesitation - it's the best SLR out there at low ISO, competent in the 400-6400 range and tracks action competently. I'd just do rotational panoramas with Zeiss and Sigma lenses instead of shift-stitching, and the Nikon 24-70 and 70-200 lenses are fairly close to Canon's. But I don't need to use a single body to do everything - in fact, I can take a completely different loadout on a wildlife trip as compared to a landscape trip, and the A7r2 is smaller and lighter than an extra regular-sized lens, and easy enough to bring for the occasional landscape shot on a wildlife trip. And, when you need the flexibility of zooms and are shooting at ISO 800 and up, the Canon system just gives better output than the Nikon system. The supertele primes are so close that you can't tell them apart on an A7r2, while the Canon zooms are demonstrably better (the 200-400 by a large margin).
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    shadowblade

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    Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
    « Reply #49 on: June 24, 2016, 10:46:09 pm »

      DP Review.

      That's not a comparison. That's just a review of the D5. They haven't even done a review of the 1Dx2 yet, let alone a head-to-head comparison of production models.

      Your opinion is plainly ridiculous.

      Quote
      I have owned multiple Canon lenses, and shot through all of the above.

      Doesn't seem like it.

      So, basically, you're saying that the original 100-400L zoom, notoriously weak at the long end, is sharper than the 400/5.6 prime (a perennial birder's favourite)? That the 16-35, with edges and corners that look like they've been shot through frosted glass, is sharper than the tack-sharp 85/1.8? That the much-maligned 50/1.4 is sharper than the razor-sharp 135L and similarly-sharp 100L macro (yes, it's not the best macro out there, but it's still razor-sharp).

      Quote
      You can also look at where Canon's cameras sit in the DxO ratings as well ... somewhere in the middle-to-bottom ... same as where they sit on SenScore ;)

      That was never in contention - at base ISO. Which is where the scores are derived.

      But we're talking about wildlife. Wildlife moves. Look at the measured SNR/DR in the ISO 400-6400 region. Canon and Nikon sensors perform more-or-less the same there.

      Quote
      Yes, last year, I was still holding out hope for Canon.

      Like you, I had invested all my money into Canon lenses and Canon cameras.

      Like you, I kept trying to say, "They're almost as good," over and over again (knowing in my heart that didn't sit as well as knowing I really did have the best).

      Unlike you, I dumped my Canon gear, and now enjoy the kind of satisfaction "almost" can't quite ever give ;D

      Purely on account of the sensor.

      You can get that sensor in an A7r2 (I received two A7r bodies on the first day they came out, and got on a plane to Patagonia the next day). You can't fit a Canon zoom or TS-E lens onto a Nikon body.

      Also, wait for the 1Dx2 sensor measurements. I'm almost certain it will beat the D5 at low ISO by a significant margin, while equalling it at high ISO.[/list]
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      John Koerner

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      Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
      « Reply #50 on: June 24, 2016, 11:36:14 pm »

      No need to sell me on the D810 sensor at low ISO. I'm a landscape photographer primarily (nature/wildlife being secondary). There's a reason my main cameras at the moment are A7r2s (used with a combination of Zeiss, Sigma, Canon and Nikon lenses).

      We agree on something then.

      But even the A7rII can't match the D810 at Base ISO.



      And, equally, there are reasons I use Canon bodies when shooting wildlife and action. Namely, that the primes are functionally equal, the zooms are better, the IQ is similar over the 400-6400 ISO range and the 200-400 with 1.4x TC exists.

      The primes are almost equal, but lesser in every model.

      I don't care about zooms as every single one that has ever been made is less than the best primes.

      I will bet my D810 with the 300mm II, and a 2x extender (600mm) takes better images than your 200-400 at 400 with the extender on (560 mm)... let's make this fun ;)



      Sure, if I could only have a single body and had to shoot everything with it, I'd take a D810 without hesitation - it's the best SLR out there at low ISO, competent in the 400-6400 range and tracks action competently. I'd just do rotational panoramas with Zeiss and Sigma lenses instead of shift-stitching, and the Nikon 24-70 and 70-200 lenses are fairly close to Canon's.

      Agreed.



      But I don't need to use a single body to do everything - in fact, I can take a completely different loadout on a wildlife trip as compared to a landscape trip, and the A7r2 is smaller and lighter than an extra regular-sized lens, and easy enough to bring for the occasional landscape shot on a wildlife trip.

      Makes sense.



      And, when you need the flexibility of zooms and are shooting at ISO 800 and up, the Canon system just gives better output than the Nikon system.

      Not true, by a longshot.

      The exact opposite is true.



      The supertele primes are so close that you can't tell them apart on an A7r2, while the Canon zooms are demonstrably better (the 200-400 by a large margin).

      Zooms = junk, compared to primes.

      The Canon 200-400 zoom is the only exception, and only a mouse-hair better than the Nikon 200-400, and takes a back seat, quality-wise, to every Nikkor prime made ... especially at the long-end.

      You say you take all these expeditions, well, I would like to see you post some 400mm shots, with the 1x4 engaged, and let's see what your rig can do.

      Jack
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      BernardLanguillier

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      Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
      « Reply #51 on: June 24, 2016, 11:58:02 pm »

      Not interested in this debate but I'll just state that the "pathetic" applied to the Nikon T/S lenses is far over-stated.

      - the 85 is simply excellent
      - the 45 is ok and not worst than the Canon
      - the 24 is excellent without movement (and significantly better than the Canon 24mm according to lenscore), very good with the typical moderate tilt used for landscape (first hand experience here) and, indeed, very average with large shifts.

      I am aware that large shifts with the 24mm is important for architecture, but it is pretty much the only scenario where Canon T/S are superior optically.

      From a functional standpoint the lack of independant change of axis for tilt/shift is annoying, but "pathetic"?

      Those lenses are now very old, and there is little doubt that we are going to get an update soon. Patents were already made public several years ago.

      Cheers,
      Bernard
      « Last Edit: June 25, 2016, 12:38:26 am by BernardLanguillier »
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      shadowblade

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      Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
      « Reply #52 on: June 25, 2016, 03:11:53 am »

      Zooms = junk, compared to primes.

      The Canon 200-400 zoom is the only exception, and only a mouse-hair better than the Nikon 200-400, and takes a back seat, quality-wise, to every Nikkor prime made ... especially at the long-end.

      Let's see.

      From Photozone, comparing the 70-200L II to various primes. All tests done on a 21MP sensor (maximum LW/PH possible ~3800).

      70-200/2.8 at 70mm/2.8 vs 85/1.2L II at f/2.8 - a lens renowned for sharpness
      Centre - 3550 (70-200) vs 3604 (85L)
      Border - 3318 (70-200) vs 2577 (85L)
      Corner - 3070 (70-200) vs 2581 (85L)

      70-200/2.8 at 135mm/2.8 vs 135L at f/2.8
      Centre - 3454 (70-200) vs 3467 (135L)
      Border - 3124 (70-200) vs 2982 (135L)
      Corner - 2954 (70-200) vs 2919 (135L)

      70-200/2.8 at 200mm/f/2.8 vs 200/f2.8 at f/2.8
      Centre - 3265 (70-200) vs 3116 (200/2.8)
      Border - 3004 (70-200) vs 2746 (200/2.8)
      Corner - 3100 (70-200) vs 2708 (200/2.8)

      So, demonstrably sharper than the primes at each focal length along its entire zoom range, measured at the same aperture (i.e. with the zoom wide open and the primes stopped down 1-2 stops, except at 200mm). And these aren't dud primes - the 85L, 135L and 200/2.8L are all highly regarded for sharpness. Couldn't compare the 200/2.0, because there was no result available.

      Now the 24-70L II:

      vs the 24/1.4L II at 24mm, f/2.8
      Centre - 3531 (24-70) vs 3788 (24L)
      Border - 2964 (24-70) vs 2903 (24L)
      Corner - 2613 (24-70) vs 2695 (24L)

      vs the Zeiss 35/2.0 Distagon (24-70 at 40mm, Zeiss at 35mm, both f/2.8)
      Centre - 3418 (24-70) vs 3485 (Zeiss)
      Border - 2734 (24-70) vs 2652 (Zeiss)
      Corner - 2483 (24-70) vs 2722 (Zeiss)

      vs the Canon 50/1.2L (24-70 at 70mm, 50L at 50mm, both f/2.8). Comparison can also be made against the 85/1.2L II (numbers as before)
      Centre - 3343 (24-70) vs 3436 (50L)
      Border - 2505 (24-70) vs 2090 (50L)
      Corner - 2333 (24-70) vs 1874 (50L)

      Again, prime sharp at the wider end and middle, trailing off a bit at the long end, but still no slouch (behind the 85/1.2 but well in front of the 50/1.2) - and that's just where the 70-200 picks up the slack.

      Canon 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L II:

      vs Canon 100L Macro at 100mm/5.6 (no 100L results at f/4.5 for wide-open comparison)
      Centre - 3620 (100-400) vs 3511 (100L)
      Border - 3143 (100-400) vs 2986 (100L)
      Corner - 2967 (100-400) vs 2824 (100L)

      vs Canon 200/f2.8L (100-400 wide-open at f/5, 200/2.8 stopped down to f/5.6)
      Centre - 3711 (100-400) vs 3554 (200L)
      Border - 3224 (100-400) vs 3125 (200L)
      Corner - 3054 (100-400) vs 3045 (200L)

      vs Canon 400/5.6L at 400/5.6
      Centre - 3450 (100-400) vs 3084 (400L)
      Border - 2805 (100-400) vs 3010 (400L)
      Corner - 2721 (100-400) vs 2967 (400L)

      Again, it holds its own against the primes at all focal lengths, with the primes having the advantage, in most cases of being stopped down slightly vs a wide-open zoom.

      So, it's simply not true that zooms are 'junk' as compared to primes at the same focal length and f-stop, and the numbers are there to prove it. Actual measurements, not derived numbers distributed about some 'standard'.
      « Last Edit: June 25, 2016, 03:16:55 am by shadowblade »
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      pegelli

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      Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
      « Reply #53 on: June 25, 2016, 08:40:04 am »

        Yes, last year, I was still holding out hope for Canon.

        Like you, I had invested all my money into Canon lenses and Canon cameras.

        Like you, I kept trying to say, "They're almost as good," over and over again (knowing in my heart that didn't sit as well as knowing I really did have the best).

        Unlike you, I dumped my Canon gear, and now enjoy the kind of satisfaction "almost" can't quite ever give ;D

        Jack
        Jack, I admire your drive for perfection as well as all the numerical data you present here for differences between cameras and lenses. But with this you're really doing your previous efforts to convince us that Canon was better then anything else a serious injustice. Cameras and technologies develop, so it's OK to change your mind  ;)
        [/list]
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        pieter, aka pegelli

        John Koerner

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        Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
        « Reply #54 on: June 25, 2016, 09:36:35 am »

        A lot of figures that don't matter.

        Shadow, it's hard to believe you spent so much time writing statistics that don't matter. Every lens you mentioned was a sub-par lens when compared to the best primes and the best telephoto lenses made. I see no point in buying the best DSLR cameras money can buy, and then matching them to so-so lenses.

        Canon's 70-200 II is a sub-1000 lens.
        It rates 859 on LenScore.
        By contrast, Nikkor's 200 f/2.0G ED VR II rates 1376.

        Canon's "renowned" 85mm II lens is likewise a sub-1000 lens.
        It rates 943 on LenScore.
        By contrast, Zeiss' Apo Planar T* 1.4/85 Otus rates 1459.

        No, I don't have an Otus, and I am not interested in extreme quality in standard lenses. My interest is only in extreme quality for macro, and for telephoto, as a wildlife shooter.

        There are only 3 telephotos Zooms that cross "the 1000-mark barrier": Canon's 200-400 (rated 1307), Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4.0G ED VR II (rated 1167), and Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM (rated 1132).

        These zoom lenses are the only ones which are at a level to be worthy of putting over an A7rII or a D810. The trouble with even these "super-zooms," is that their scoring is given at their best focal length (their lowest setting), whereas when you get to the long-end of these zooms the quality is greatly-diminished (doubly-so with the 200-400, when you add the extender).

        I asked you to post some photos from your 200-400, at the 400-end + extender. If you're not up for it, or not satisfied with how things look at that end, just say so.

        But don't ignore the challenge ;)

        Jack
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        John Koerner

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        Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
        « Reply #55 on: June 25, 2016, 09:54:38 am »

        Jack, I admire your drive for perfection as well as all the numerical data you present here for differences between cameras and lenses. But with this you're really doing your previous efforts to convince us that Canon was better then anything else a serious injustice. Cameras and technologies develop, so it's OK to change your mind  ;)

        Thank you for your admiration of my quest for perfection.

        Keep in mind, when I first got started, the Canon EOS 7D was the big deal then and its challenger was the Nikon D300.

        Both were great APS-C's, at the time, but the Canon 7D cost less and was the better camera.

        Also, as a macro shooter, Canon had the MP-E 65mm lens, and was (and still is) an unrivaled macro lens, versatility-wise.

        The Canon 5D II was also out, and was another "standard" to which the other options were pale in comparison ...

        But a lot has changed since those days ;D

        The D810 came out, and I waited 6 years for Canon to come out with a new 7D.

        When Canon did with the 7D II, I wanted to like it ... I really did ... but I simply could not.
        When the sensor stats came out, and I compared them to even the fringe contenders' stats, it just turned me off to Canon.
        (Same with the 5DsR. Huge sensor, mediocre color, dynamic range, etc.)

        Since switching to the D810, I have purchased MF Nikkor lenses, to reverse, which give me better quality than what I got from the MP-E ... I upgraded my macro lens ... I have purchased a prime telephoto that makes every macro lens I have ever owned seem soft.

        So yeah, we all evolve and develop ... and some camera companies "stand still" in their technologies making only marginal improvements ... while others take the lead position, across the board, in both cameras and lenses.

        So, when I spend my money after 6 years of waiting, it's going to be at the high-end of what I can afford, not the low or mediocre end.

        All Canon DSLR's rate below their Nikon equivalents.
        All Canon prime telephoto lenses rate below their Nikkor equivalents.
        The Canon 100L macro and Canon 180L each rates below the Nikkor 105 and the Nikkor 200 macro equivalents.

        It's hard to get excited to keep buying what I know isn't the best I could do with the same money.

        The only thing I really miss is the MP-65 ... but I like the versatility of reversible, MF primes, as they can do so much more overall.

        Hope this clarifies,

        Jack
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        shadowblade

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        Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
        « Reply #56 on: June 25, 2016, 11:34:13 am »

        Shadow, it's hard to believe you spent so much time writing statistics that don't matter. Every lens you mentioned was a sub-par lens when compared to the best primes and the best telephoto lenses made. I see no point in buying the best DSLR cameras money can buy, and then matching them to so-so lenses.

        Right. Enjoy carrying your bag of 20 prime lenses when you could cover that just as well with three zooms (provided you don't need apertures wider than f/2.8).

        Quote
        Canon's 70-200 II is a sub-1000 lens.
        It rates 859 on LenScore.
        By contrast, Nikkor's 200 f/2.0G ED VR II rates 1376.

        Show me another test site that backs up Lenscore. The rankings shown there are so inconsistent with practical use - as well as almost every other review and measurement - that it's hard to believe them at all. Canon 100-400L (original) at 400mm sharper than the 400/5.6 prime? Yeah, right. Also, their numbers are derived values, not an actual measurement - they set an arbitrary standard at 1000, then somehow arranged lenses around that number.  Finally, they don't describe resolution at different apertures or (in the case of zooms) focal lengths, and don't even mention what aperture they're comparing lenses at.

        Quote
        Canon's "renowned" 85mm II lens is likewise a sub-1000 lens.
        It rates 943 on LenScore.
        By contrast, Zeiss' Apo Planar T* 1.4/85 Otus rates 1459.

        It also lacks AF, so isn't comparable in its use.

        By every single account on the internet, with the sole exception of yours, the 85L II, 85/1.8, 100L Macro, 135L, 200/2.8 and 400/5.6 are all solid primes with fantastic sharpness and image quality. It's not for nothing that the 400/5.6 has been a perennial favourite of birders, while the 100-400L dust pump (which Lenscore rated more highly) wasn't.

        Quote
        There are only 3 telephotos Zooms that cross "the 1000-mark barrier": Canon's 200-400 (rated 1307), Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4.0G ED VR II (rated 1167), and Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM (rated 1132).

        Funny that. I happen to own both the Sigma 120-300 OS and the Canon 70-200 (you know, the lens you praised to the heavens a year ago, and are now deriding as 'crap'). I've used them both extensively for landscaping - something in which sharpness is critical, and any focus errors taken out of consideration by manual focus and live view. And there's absolutely no way that the 120-300 OS is sharper across the frame than the 70-200, at any focal length.

        Quote
        I asked you to post some photos from your 200-400, at the 400-end + extender. If you're not up for it, or not satisfied with how things look at that end, just say so.

        But don't ignore the challenge ;)

        What comes out of my camera is completely irrelevant to the argument at hand - the objective quality of the optics, aesthetics aside - and I don't care to share my work with you.
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        shadowblade

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        Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
        « Reply #57 on: June 25, 2016, 11:58:59 am »

        Canon 100-400 vs 400/5.6, at 400/5.6. Lenscore rates the former higher. See for yourself, at the same settings on the same camera.

        Canon 70-200L II vs Sigma 120-300 OS HSM, at 200/2.8. Lenscore rates the Sigma higher. See for yourself.

        Canon 14L II vs Canon 35L. Lenscore rates the 14L II higher. See for yourself.

        Quite simply, the numbers at Lenscore don't match up with what comes out of the camera, so I'm inclined to disbelieve Lenscore's derived numbers and rely on test results that correlate well with what I'm seeing when I point the lens at something and shoot.

        Quote
        The Canon 100L macro and Canon 180L each rates below the Nikkor 105 and the Nikkor 200 macro equivalents.

        100L vs Nikkor 105. Taken at f/2.8 - the Canon on a 21MP sensor and the Nikon on a 24MP sensor, so magnification is very similar. The 105 is significantly worse.

        180L vs Nikkor 200 Micro. Corner performance is about the same, but the 180L is sharper in the centre.

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        John Koerner

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        Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
        « Reply #58 on: June 25, 2016, 12:36:53 pm »

        Right. Enjoy carrying your bag of 20 prime lenses when you could cover that just as well with three zooms (provided you don't need apertures wider than f/2.8).

        It's difficult to discuss anything factual with a person who deliberately lies (excuse me, exaggerates).

        I don't own 20 lenses; at the present time I own 6, 4 of which I typically bring with me out into the field.

        I don't need, or want, zooms.



        Show me another test site that backs up Lenscore. The rankings shown there are so inconsistent with practical use - as well as almost every other review and measurement - that it's hard to believe them at all. Canon 100-400L (original) at 400mm sharper than the 400/5.6 prime? Yeah, right. Also, their numbers are derived values, not an actual measurement - they set an arbitrary standard at 1000, then somehow arranged lenses around that number.  Finally, they don't describe resolution at different apertures or (in the case of zooms) focal lengths, and don't even mention what aperture they're comparing lenses at.

        First of all, the Canon 400 5.6 is a mid-level performer. Nothing special, just cheap and accessible with decent performance. Same with the 100-400L.

        Secondly, copies differ. It is not hard to believe that the best 100-400L compared favorable with the worst 400L.

        Thirdly, we don't know if the test was done at 100mm (on the 100-400). That is why I, ultimately, don't like or trust zooms (or their ratings). Too many variables.

        What I do know is, in **no** case are zooms comparable to the best primes.

        For someone so exacting in quality in cameras, you seem overly-enamored with mid-level lenses.



        It also lacks AF, so isn't comparable in its use.

        Not everyone needs AF.



        By every single account on the internet, with the sole exception of yours, the 85L II, 85/1.8, 100L Macro, 135L, 200/2.8 and 400/5.6 are all solid primes with fantastic sharpness and image quality. It's not for nothing that the 400/5.6 has been a perennial favourite of birders, while the 100-400L dust pump (which Lenscore rated more highly) wasn't.

        I didn't say they weren't "solid" primes. You are a pettifogger. You switch words to make a point.

        I distinctly said BEST, not "solid," so don't come back to me changing the playing field, just to keep talking, okay?

        None of the lenses you mentioned are the best in their class, not by a country mile. They are mid-level (ahem, "solid") performers, floundering in the 800-900 ranges.

        Yes, Shadow, many of the better zooms can get there too, but only 3 rise above this: the 3 previously-mentioned.

        As far as popularity goes, what you call the "dust mop" (the original 100-400 L) out-sold all the other lenses you mentioned put together ... so if you're going to rate a lens based on "popularity," the 100-400L should be #1  ;)



        Funny that. I happen to own both the Sigma 120-300 OS and the Canon 70-200 (you know, the lens you praised to the heavens a year ago, and are now deriding as 'crap'). I've used them both extensively for landscaping - something in which sharpness is critical, and any focus errors taken out of consideration by manual focus and live view. And there's absolutely no way that the 120-300 OS is sharper across the frame than the 70-200, at any focal length.

        I don't think you do. I think you make-up things just to keep talking.

        You own every camera in the book, and every lens, you travel all over the world taking photos of our world's richest places, yet you don't have the cajones to sign your name, nor the confidence to post your photos ::)

        Whatever dude.

        I remember there was a statement made in LuLa where people had to use their real names ... too bad they never stuck with that, because this would clear the air of much bull.

        Anyway, with that question-mark STAMP now on your forehead, I will respond: the Sigma 120-300 *is* a great zoom, and at no point have I ever said it wasn't. However, it too, pales next to a prime. Same with the 200-400, same with the 200-400.

        In fact, DxO Mark rates it better than either the Nikon or Canon 200-400.



        What comes out of my camera is completely irrelevant to the argument at hand - the objective quality of the optics, aesthetics aside - and I don't care to share my work with you.

        I am sure you don't. Because at the end of the day, a picture's worth a thousand words, and all you have is hot air.

        Jack
        « Last Edit: June 25, 2016, 12:46:25 pm by John Koerner »
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        John Koerner

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        Re: Nikkor Prime FL ED VR Lens Excellence
        « Reply #59 on: June 25, 2016, 12:43:02 pm »

        Canon 100-400 vs 400/5.6, at 400/5.6. Lenscore rates the former higher. See for yourself, at the same settings on the same camera.

        Canon 70-200L II vs Sigma 120-300 OS HSM, at 200/2.8. Lenscore rates the Sigma higher. See for yourself.

        Canon 14L II vs Canon 35L. Lenscore rates the 14L II higher. See for yourself.


        How many times must I reiterate that I don't care about any of these lenses?

        How many times are you going to MISS THE POINT that this thread topic is about THE BEST prime super-telephotos, not mid-level zooms and primes?



        Quite simply, the numbers at Lenscore don't match up with what comes out of the camera, so I'm inclined to disbelieve Lenscore's derived numbers and rely on test results that correlate well with what I'm seeing when I point the lens at something and shoot.

        Quite simply, you can't follow the trail and stay on topic.



        100L vs Nikkor 105. Taken at f/2.8 - the Canon on a 21MP sensor and the Nikon on a 24MP sensor, so magnification is very similar. The 105 is significantly worse.

        180L vs Nikkor 200 Micro. Corner performance is about the same, but the 180L is sharper in the centre.

        I have had more macro experience in any 6-month period than you have had in your life.

        Don't quote websites to me, please, as I have more macro experience than most of the people who post articles on the lenses ::)

        This is my review on macro lenses, and the placement of the Canon 100L and 180L are exactly where they belong, with specs and reasons stated, from actual use, of which you have no idea.

        Jack
        « Last Edit: June 25, 2016, 12:50:50 pm by John Koerner »
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