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Nikon D3 and 180/2.8 IF-ED

Bjørn Rørslett of reports seeing fewer chromatic errors than expected when using many lenses on the D3. I believe he’s talking primarily about red/cyan color fringing, seen in lenses that are not fully corrected for color errors. This type of color fringing is quite common, and is technically known as lateral chromatic aberration, manifesting itself as a red fringe on one side, and a cyan fringe on the other. There also exists longitudinal (axial) chromatic aberration (generally observed as a green or magenta halo around bright areas); it tends to improve upon stopping down.

The Nikon 180 f/2.8 IF-ED on the D3 shows both types of color errors. The most prominent in the example below is what might be written off as “sensor blooming”, but it is most likely longitudinal (axial) chromatic aberration; it diminishes from f/2.8 to f/8. No evidence of such effects was seen using the Voigtlander 180mm f/4 APO—so it seems fair to say that the Nikon 180/2.8 ED is definitely not apochromatic, a finding I previously confirmed in comparing it to the Leica 180/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R.

Mouse over each image to see it as processed using the Nikon Capture NX “Auto Color Aberration” feature. The first two images are closer to the optical center; the 3rd one is nearer the edge of the frame. (JavaScript must be enabled in your browser for mouse-overs to work).

Nikon D3 + 180/2.8 IF-ED, mouse over for ACA

Nikon D3 + 180/2.8 IF-ED

Also seen is lateral chromatic aberration; mouse over to see how nicely the “Auto Color Aberration” feature works—color fringing is eliminated.

with <=> without ACA
(Nikon D3 + 180/2.8 IF-ED)

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