Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: New Lenses from Nikon  (Read 4113 times)

RFPhotography

  • Guest
New Lenses from Nikon
« on: August 19, 2010, 08:18:21 am »

Nikon's announced several new lenses today, including a new 24-120 f4 with an estimated street price of $1089.  That puts it right in line with the popular Canon 24-105 f4 L.
Logged

kpmedia

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 57
Re: New Lenses from Nikon
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2010, 03:39:49 pm »

Nice!

Not that I have an extra $1k in my wallet, but this is an option I've wanted for a while now.
The older 24-85 was never entirely to my liking.

The ISO options of a D3 or D3s makes f/4 pretty good these days. :)
Logged
Long time Nikon user. Currently using D200 + D3s for sports photography.

DaveCurtis

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 508
    • http://www.magiclight.co.nz
Re: New Lenses from Nikon
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2010, 05:02:19 am »

I few years back I decided not to go with Nikon as they had no 24-105 f4 equivalent and a poor 70-200mm f2.8. Now they have rectified the problem with the 24-120 f4 and of course the very good 70-200mm II.

Why did it take them so long?
Logged

Mike Arst

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 148
Re: New Lenses from Nikon
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2010, 02:22:43 am »

Regarding the 24-120: Nikon's own samples do not show this lens in an especially great light, as it were:

http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/lineup/lens/zoom/normalzoom/af-s_nikkor24-120mmf_4d_ed_vr/sample.htm

Perhaps these are pre-production samples, and perhaps it's a case of "O ye of little faith." Still, the images they're showing -- see them full-sized -- appear kind of indistinct, and some of them display an unpleasant amount of fringing or chromatic aberration (whatever it is we're calling it these days). If this lens is as mediocre a performer as it appears from these samples, it will turn out to be spectacularly overpriced. As much as I like the features, if this one is mediocre at best it's not going to be worth the asking-price and won't tempt me away from the 24-85/2.8-4 (which despite the smacking-down it has gotten in some reviews, has performed very well for me at nearly all focal lengths).

That range of focal lengths, the fixed max. aperture, and the VR feature could make the 24-120 an ideal "carry-around" lens for travel. Mediocre-at-best would be quite the disappointment -- the "CA" in particular.
Logged

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10299
Re: New Lenses from Nikon
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2010, 08:37:09 pm »

This Nikkor 24-120/F4 will generate a lot of interest and inevitable comparisons with the Canon 24-105/F4. It seems the sample images so far are not ideal for assessing resolution, although the shot of the scene in Venice demonstrates a fairly constant resolution from edge to edge, looking at the brickwork, as well as the expected resolution fall-off in the corners (specifically the upper left corner). I doubt whether the Canon would do better than this at 24mm.

The over all resolution of this Venice shot seems a bit soft for a 12mp image at F8 on full frame, but it appears to be undersharpened; perhaps a jpeg straight out of the camera with sharpening set at low. My Focus Magic plug-in indicates this image needs a sharpening of 2 pixels blur width. Applying this degree of sharpening at 100% produces a significant improvement.
Logged

Mike Arst

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 148
Re: New Lenses from Nikon
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2010, 02:10:36 am »

...although the shot of the scene in Venice demonstrates a fairly constant resolution from edge to edge, looking at the brickwork, as well as the expected resolution fall-off in the corners (specifically the upper left corner). I doubt whether the Canon would do better than this at 24mm.

The copy of the Canon 24-105 that I once used was far from sterling at 24mm (of course it's always possible the one I bought was sub-optimal -- and the one next to it on the shelf would have performed far better). I hope that the new 24-120 is no worse than that, at 24mm.

Quote
The over all resolution of this Venice shot seems a bit soft for a 12mp image at F8 on full frame

They all appear a bit soft to me. This is not the first time I've seen Nikon display its wares using sample images that do not show the equipment in its best possible light. Years ago they had a very expensively produced color brochure for one of their film cameras, and the shots they included were laughably poor. What a strange approach to marketing...

Quote
Applying this degree of sharpening [with Focus Magic] at 100% produces a significant improvement.

I assumed that sharpening would improve the images. That aside, I'm somewhat disturbed by the amount of chromatic aberration -- subtle in some of the samples, less so in others. While it's true that this problem can usually be corrected in software, it seems bizarre to me that it would would appear to that extent, to begin with, in a lens at this price range. (And I have not found that this kind of aberration is always fully correctable via the simple controls provided in RAW converters or in Photoshop. There are times when a correction in one part of the image accentuates the problem in another part. Then a good deal more work is required.)
Logged

BernardLanguillier

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13723
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/
Re: New Lenses from Nikon
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2010, 05:31:08 pm »

That aside, I'm somewhat disturbed by the amount of chromatic aberration -- subtle in some of the samples, less so in others. While it's true that this problem can usually be corrected in software, it seems bizarre to me that it would would appear to that extent, to begin with, in a lens at this price range. (And I have not found that this kind of aberration is always fully correctable via the simple controls provided in RAW converters or in Photoshop. There are times when a correction in one part of the image accentuates the problem in another part. Then a good deal more work is required.)

I hope I am wrong, but my guess would be that upcoming cameras from Nikon will feature either exellent in camera corrections of these aberations on jpgs (a good thing although it doesn't show on these samples)... or automatic correction when using NX3...

It would seem that Nikon still considers the camera + raw conversion software as a proprietary system that they optimize for globally.

The consequence of this approach is that the priorities change when doing lens design... instead of focusing on a global optimization of a lens design, they concentrate on these aspects that are hard to fix in post processing by their own software. They might forget in the way that most people shooting with Nikon high end DSLRs do not use Capture NX. This is a good approach for these people using Capture NX (assuming they get their act together software wise, which is highly doubtful), but might be a poor one for all the others since it is unclear whether Adobe, Phaseone,... will all be able to implement a chromaric aberation correction as tuned as Nikon's own. DxO might come out on top... :)

Anyway, future will tell. I hope I am wrong.

Regards,
Bernard

Mike Arst

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 148
Re: New Lenses from Nikon
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2010, 06:08:00 pm »

It would seem that Nikon still considers the camera + raw conversion software as a proprietary system that they optimize for globally.

So it appears, yes. But aside from those few companies directly supporting DNG as an in-camera RAW format -- they all seem to have this attitude.

Quote
They might forget in the way that most people shooting with Nikon high end DSLRs do not use Capture NX.

A significant improvement in that program's user interface might go quite a distance toward increasing its popularity...but major UI redesigns can be hugely expensive -- and the company (and Nik Software) would have to become willing to face the issue head-on to begin with. This is a difficult thing for development teams with a serious emotional investment in the "rightness" of their user interfaces...

Quote
[...]it is unclear whether Adobe, Phaseone,... will all be able to implement a chromaric aberation correction as tuned as Nikon's own. DxO might come out on top... :)

I would love to see some of these companies adopt a strategy used by the admittedly rather odd program SilkyPix, which does a reasonable job of correcting chromatic aberration. You can use the sliders -- the typical approach -- but SP introduced one extremely convenient innovation: hover the mouse over an area where there is "CA", right-click, and then select the menu item "Correct chromatic aberration here." Immediately, the program does an acceptable job of removing the defect -- and if not, you can fine-tune it with the sliders afterward. Usually the fine-tuning is not required. This can save a substantial amount of time during a long editing session and is the kind of convenience for which computers were designed.

DxO: I loved the output I got from this program's evaluation version. Oh, how I want to love this program. And how frustrating it is, how slow they are to introduce camera+lens modules -- for example, for the D3s. By the point at which they've done a decent job of supporting D3s/lens combinations, Nikon will have introduced some miraculous new camera body, and the DxO Cycle of Lens Module Despair will begin all over again. :-/ (Significant improvements in DNG support and in highlight-correction are also needed; the midtone/shadow/gamma controls are superb, though.)

Of course nearly all of the corrections are available whether or not there is direct support. However, the one I have found near-miraculous -- the remarkable lens-unsharpness correction -- requires a module. People tell me that Lightroom 3's sharpening is substantially improved. I haven't used it yet. It is hard to imagine other programs doing as good a job as DxO in this regard, though. Up to now I found that the only sharpening tool I could live with is the very effective, but glacially slow, plug-in FocusFixer. Then I ran across DxO and got the full effect of "instantaneous." Suddenly glacially-slow-but-effective became much less attractive than instantaneous-and-effective. A temporary "hack" might be to alter the EXIF data in a file, persuading DxO that the "taking" lens was a supported lens, but that's pretty drastic and introduces a possibility (however slight) of file corruption.

DxO apparently also believes that the EXIF block is in a hard-coded location, making it difficult or impossible to use if a program such as Photo Mechanic has relocated the EXIF block. In doing so it updates the pointer to the EXIF block, leaving the data accessible to any tool that looks for the pointer. But DxO apparently does not -- and it should. What a shame. (To date they have not been responsive to queries about this.)

To return to the 24-120...Nikon has had some considerable successes lately -- the 14-24, the 24-70, and per a friend who is using the new 16-35, that one is also remarkably good (if you can get a good copy). I'll hope the 24-120 rises to that level of quality, the current samples notwithstanding.
Logged

OldRoy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 470
    • http://
Re: New Lenses from Nikon
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2010, 08:13:07 am »

I have no intention (actually no money...) to purchase any of these lenses although the 24-120 would undoubtedly be useful in principle. However I am an existing user of the big three 2.8s, including the "poor 70-200mm f2.8" VR1 (to which I would comment "depends what you use it for") and NX2.

I have never been able to get to the bottom of one question about NX2 which seems relevant to the issues discussed here - about its distortion correction. What exactly is the "auto distortion correction" in NX2 doing? Where ca is concerned it's obviously a fairly easy job to correct, and NX2 seems to do it extremely well - although I've only used it for recent G series lenses. But the geometric distortion doesn't seem to be fully mapped to the lenses - focal distance taken into account too, as with DxO's software, which I have tried in evaluation and then only briefly. Quite often I end up tweaking distortion in PS as well as NX2.

It would seem to be a missed opportunity for Nikon not to include (and clearly document and advertise) equivalent functions to those offered by DxO. Amongst which, an absolute bugbear of mine, would be the inclusion of some volume anamorphosis correction for the wide end of the 14-24. This function alone almost persuades me to buy the DxO package. Almost. Of course many people have kindly informed me that I don't need this attribute, under the impression that I use the lens exclusively for group portraits at short range. Maybe I have one of the infamous "bad copies", however this effect annoys the hell out of me when shooting anything at all at almost any range.

Anyway, let's hope that NX3 includes ALL these functions, and tells us clearly what it's doing as well. Everyone was yelling for updates on some of the lenses; it might be a good idea if its users were all yelling equally loud about the shortcomings of NX2 too.
Logged

Mike Arst

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 148
Re: New Lenses from Nikon
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2010, 12:40:53 pm »

The camera companies that produce software don't seem to have understood that they aren't world-class software developers. Just try getting decent documentation from Canon about DPP -- or having any effect on some of the features such as the bizarre and near-unexplained tone curve adjustment that is completely unlike any such feature in any other graphics-editing tool (unless they've now changed it -- I gave up on DPP a long time ago). I suppose Nikon has some incentive to improve NX -- since they sell it and perhaps want to profit from it. But they've proven resistant to certain changes in it up to now...a much-improved user interface, for example (Nikon, if you're going to improve the UI, kindly note: there's no mandate from God that every piece of software must be made to resemble a rejected version of the Lightroom UI).

A friend has pointed out to me some better-looking sample shots from the 24-120:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/10234786@N06/sets/72157624766947530/

Perhaps Mr. and Mrs. Nikon have a ne'er-do-well son who talked them into using his less-than-sterling sample shots on their own web site. :-) I do realize that sample shots not done by oneself are usually of limited usefulness. Although, a friend has sent me a very persuasive shot from his new Nikkor 16-35 -- 1/4-sec., hand-held, indoors, and you can almost read the fine print of various magazines that appear on various tables within the shot. Corner performance is gratifyingly better than that of my 17-35. Clearly a good piece of work, this newer lens (though he had to go through two copies before he got a decent one).
Logged

kpmedia

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 57
Re: New Lenses from Nikon
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2010, 05:42:25 pm »

I few years back I decided not to go with Nikon as they had no 24-105 f4 equivalent and a poor 70-200mm f2.8. Now they have rectified the problem with the 24-120 f4 and of course the very good 70-200mm II.
Why did it take them so long?

I've had the 80-200 f/2.8 since 2000, and it's one of the sharpest lenses I've ever seen, rivals primes at most lengths, even stopped all the way down to 2.8. The AF-S focusing is also faster than Canon lenses in the same range, as used on a 5D. So I don't know what you're talking about there.

I'd agree on the 24-105 length. I opted for a Tamron 28-105 f/2.8 many years ago, and it looks pretty good on full-frame film or digital bodies. Not so good on crop bodies. After more thought, I've decided to keep my Tamron for now, passing on this 24-105 in favor of other prime or some accessories (need new tripod/monopod gear in a major way). I don't think lenses do well in the range, regardless of manufacturer.

It took them so long, I would guess, for the same reasons that it took until 2007 to make a full-frame body. Your guess is as good as mine.

I don't really use the 30-70 range much anyway. 12-24, 50 and 80-200 covers my needs pretty well.
Still have that 28-300 for the "one lens" solution, should one lens be a limitation of an assignment.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 05:47:14 pm by kpmedia »
Logged
Long time Nikon user. Currently using D200 + D3s for sports photography.
Pages: [1]   Go Up