To cross test for maximum camera/sensor potential, the lens must be the very best.
For a fair cross-comparison test, I need lenses that I can shoot on both Canon and Nikon (so they must have an aperture ring, or I must have both Canon and Nikon versions, e.g. Zeiss ZF.2 and Zeiss ZE; this rules out fine lenses like Nikon’s 60mm f/2.8G, as well as all Canon EF lenses).
I expect to use the following lenses to compare the Nikon D800/D800E, Nikon D4, Canon 1D X, because these lenses have proven themselves as the best of the best in their ranges.
- 15mm f/2.8 Distagon.
- Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Distagon.
- Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 Distagon.
- Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO macro.
- Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar.
- Leica 100mm f/2.8 APO-Macro-Elmarit-R.
- Leica 180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R.
Certainly there is ample room for many other kinds of testing, the above list is really for use in testing peak resolving power against a 36-megapixel sensor.
Given the new benchmark of 36 megapixels with the Nikon D800E, I will of course be reevaluating the entire Zeiss ZF.2 line on the Nikon D800E in my Guide to Zeiss ZF/ZE Lenses. Which of course cannot happen overnight, but will accrue over several months, and the D800E is not even due until mid April.
See also :
- Lens Performance: What Matters
- Which Wide-Angle Lens is Best?
- Blur Can Be Beautiful
- Lenses as an Investment; Electronic Lenses vs Manual Control.
- My Reference Lenses For Testing Sharpness.
- Shooting a New Lens — Focus.
- What Does Depth of Field Mean on a 36 Megapixel Camera?
- Nikon D800 / D800E — Which Nikon Lenses?
- Reader Comments on Lens Reviews.