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Thread: Lenses comparison

  1. #1
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    Lenses comparison

    Iím new member, and I would ask to the forum to indicate me a simple procedure to compare to different Nikon lenses. The target is mainly to verify the different quality (sharpening) between:
    AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G EII
    versus
    Micro-NIKKOR 55mm f/2.8

    Thanks in advance.
    alberto

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Lenses comparison

    Alberto,

    Welcome to the group.

    The quality (sharpness) of the lenses indicated is dependent on many things, time of day, movement of subject, movement of photographer (camera shake). Both lenses will give you quality images but depends on the circumstance in which they are used. What camera model will you be using and what subjects do you plan to photograph?

  3. #3

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    Re: Lenses comparison

    Hi Alberto,

    The sharpening that you apply in post-processing will make a lot bigger difference to the final image quality than any difference between the inherant sharpness of any two lenses.

  4. #4

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    Re: Lenses comparison

    You may find this comparison site useful, Alberto

    http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests

  5. #5
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    Re: Lenses comparison

    I’m new member, and I would ask to the forum to indicate me a simple procedure to compare to different Nikon lenses. The target is mainly to verify the different quality (sharpening) between:
    AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G EII
    versus
    Micro-NIKKOR 55mm f/2.8
    Alberto, welcome to CiC.
    I have always been on the hunt for sharp lenses, but have finally realised that a sharp lens in no way compensates for poor technique in the field or on the computer at home. I think it is pretty safe to say that a lot of amatures don't get the most out of the lens resolution we have due to poor technique.
    However, if you start with a inherently 'sharp' lens to begin with it makes taking sharp photos that much easier. As Colin and Shadowman pointed out, the most impact you can have on sharp photos is what you do with the camera and not what you put on it (though I really think this is important) and what you do in Post Processing (PP).
    For what it is worth, I would pretty much stake my life on the prime 55mm being noticably inherently sharper than the 18-55 zoom when the 55 is stopped down to f5.6 (the zooms max aperture at 55mm focal length). It will most likely be pretty sharp at f4 and above.
    Not sure what you are considering, but I would probably guess that you already have an 18-55 on a DX camera and were wondering if upgrading to the 55mm prime would be worthwhile. Macro, sharp prime, wider aperture for lower light and narrower depth of field are all good reasons to upgrade in my opinion. Is that where you are at or am I totally off the mark?
    Last edited by Hans; 24th January 2011 at 07:24 PM.

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Lenses comparison

    Hi Alberto,

    What camera body are you intending to use these on?

    Cheers,

  7. #7
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    Re: Lenses comparison

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/55af.htm
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/55f28ais.htm
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/18-55-ii.htm
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/18-55mm-vr.htm

    When going through these pages, make sure you take note of the date he wrote them at the top of the page. When he says in 2006 it is the greatest lens he has, that might change when looking at a lens introduced in 2010.

    Pops

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    Re: Lenses comparison

    John, thanks for your quick answer and thanks to the CiC community too.
    The current camera is a Nikon D3000 and the subjects are landscapes and flowers. This evaluation started with some preliminary tests which pointed out visible, better quality (sharpness) for the Micro-Nikkor lens. But I would be confident of the correct practice for testing. So, any suggestions will be welcome.
    alberto

  9. #9
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Lenses comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by alberto42 View Post
    John, thanks for your quick answer and thanks to the CiC community too.
    The current camera is a Nikon D3000 and the subjects are landscapes and flowers. This evaluation started with some preliminary tests which pointed out visible, better quality (sharpness) for the Micro-Nikkor lens. But I would be confident of the correct practice for testing. So, any suggestions will be welcome.
    alberto
    Hi Alberto,

    I don't think the 55mm lens is an AF-S one (there is now a 60mm), which means the 55mm won't Auto-Focus on a D3000, it may not even meter if a non-processor lens.

    I suspect, unless you always use a tripod and precisely manually focus using 10x on LiveView, that focus errors are going to completely outweigh any additional sharpness gained.

    With that body, you need AF-S lenses, in Micro-Nikkors, your choice (and mine) is curently limited to; 60mm, 85mm or 105mm (from memory).

    Cheers,

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    Re: Lenses comparison

    Alberto,
    If you already have the lenses to try then have a look here -

    http://leongoodman.tripod.com/d70focusnew.html

    It's about focus checking but may enable you to directly compare the 2 lenses using the same technique, especially using the test chart he provides.
    If it also helps I have a Nikon 18-55 VR but also bought a second-hand Nikon manual focus 55mm 3.5 micro lens specifically for macro work. I haven't used it as much as I want yet but it is certainly better than the 18-55 for macro stuff.

    Regards,
    Mike

  11. #11
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    Re: Lenses comparison

    Dave, in fact my Micro-Nikkor 55mm is an old lens used with an analog film-camera (Nikon). My interest for this comparison was mainly to clarify my doubts on the two lenses resolution. Just because, in the first tests (as said before) my personal perception has been the Micro-Nikkor lens was better than the AF-S DX Zoom one. The tests have been performed in manual settings, with a tripod..., but probably they do not make sense!
    alberto

  12. #12
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    Re: Lenses comparison

    Hi Pops, thanks for the site links information. They are very interesting and useful.

    alberto

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    Re: Lenses comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by alberto42 View Post
    John, thanks for your quick answer and thanks to the CiC community too.
    The current camera is a Nikon D3000 and the subjects are landscapes and flowers. This evaluation started with some preliminary tests which pointed out visible, better quality (sharpness) for the Micro-Nikkor lens. But I would be confident of the correct practice for testing. So, any suggestions will be welcome.
    alberto
    Alberto,

    This would be a good place to start when testing the lenses:

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...aphy-intro.htm

  14. #14
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    Re: Lenses comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by alberto42 View Post
    Dave, in fact my Micro-Nikkor 55mm is an old lens used with an analog film-camera (Nikon). My interest for this comparison was mainly to clarify my doubts on the two lenses resolution. Just because, in the first tests (as said before) my personal perception has been the Micro-Nikkor lens was better than the AF-S DX Zoom one. The tests have been performed in manual settings, with a tripod..., but probably they do not make sense!
    alberto
    No, that does make sense Alberto; and I wouldn't be surprised at all if a 25 year old prime isn't still sharper than a DX modern kit zoom. Of course, it might be slightly worse in other respects, e.g. flare, because coating technology has improved over the years.

    However, in everyday use (especially handheld), I would expect more successful AF shots than manually focused ones - certainly I found that to be the case when I used my old film era lenses on my D5000.

    Eventually I got the 105mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor with VR
    Success rate much better now - although I will admit to being shy of tripod working

    All the best,

  15. #15
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    Re: Lenses comparison

    Thanks for the information John.
    alberto

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