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Resolution-SulfurMine

The remains of an abandoned sulfur mine—a major cleanup project is in progress just below this cliff section—Markleeville, California

D200 D2x
click for large versions

Introduction

This page compares the resolving power of the D2X and D200 using the 17-55/f2.8DX AFS at 32mm @ f8. A polarizer was used, with care being taken to not alter the position while swapping the lens between camera bodies.

Click on each image below to see larger versions from the D2X and D200.

Nikon D2x Nikon D200

Sharpness

Five (5) frames were taken with each camera at f8, refocusing each time using mirror lockup. Unlike the building example and lighthouse example, no focus error was observed across multiple frames; all 5 frames appeared to be identical for each camera.

As with the other resolution examples, the D2X shows its superior resolution. It is modest, yet significant enough for those who might make larger prints. Less evident without sharpening [below] , the difference is more noticeable with sharpening [below]. Observe the small branches at the upper right corner of the frame.

Nikon 17-55/f2.8 DX AFS, 55mm @ f8
Unsharpened
D200 D2X

Nikon 17-55/f2.8 DX AFS, 55mm @ f8
Unsharp Mask {400, 0.3, 0}
D200 D2X
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Evaluating a print

A sharpened (Unsharp Mask {500, 0.5, 0}) 10 X 8 section of this image was printed, equivalent to a 24 X 16 print for the whole frame. A casual viewer of the images would note little difference. However, the D200 image looks just slightly soft when viewed side-by-side with the D2X print—within a viewing distance of about 2 feet. Beyond that, the differences diminish, so that at a viewing distance of 3 feet or more, distinguishing differences in detail between the two prints becomes impossible (for the author’s eyes at least).

Conclusions

The D2X resolution advantage is apparent both onscreen and in a print when viewed within about 2 feet for a 24 X 16 print.

The difference is small enough that an error in focus, inadequate depth of field, or sub-par lens performance could easily eliminate the superior resolution of the D2X.

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