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Reader Comment: Nikon D800 Lens Testing

David W writes:

Thanks for the thorough testing of the Nikon primes on your new D800. It's very interesting to see how these lenses stack up against each other on the camera, and to also see how capable they are of withstanding the torture of having 36MP of resolution sitting behind them.

Now that the Nikon primes are largely complete, when do you expect to start producing results for the Zeiss and Leica APO lenses, and also (hopefully) the Nikon 14-24?

Thanks again for your continuing great work and non-biased objective testing - it's much appreciated by many.

DIGLLOYD: It’s been a bit exhausting doing all these, but I figure it’s worth the investment to give a really good sense of how the D800 behaves.

I hope to add most of the following lenses. Zoom lenses are like testing 3 lenses; they need testing at short/medium/long focal lengths. Thus, they are triple the work of a prime.

  • Voigtlander 40/2 SL II
  • Voigtlander 58/1.4 SL II
  • Voigtlander 90/3.5 APO
  • Nikon 45/2.8P
  • Nikon AF-D 180/2.8 ED-IF
  • Nikon 14-24/2.8G (requires special attention due to the headache of focus shift as documented in the case study in Making Sharp Images).
  • Nikon 24-70/2.8G
  • Nikon 70-200/2.8G VR II

As for Zeiss, the results with the 100/2 Makro-Planar are already clear from the comparison of the Leica S2 to the D800. It is my intention to use the Nikon D800E for testing the Zeiss line, as I expect the higher micro contrast of the Zeiss lenses is best shown by the D800E. But I might have to ditch that idea if a D800E doesn’t show up sometime soon. I will test the entire Zeiss ZF.2 line, with the possible exception of the 18/3.5, which I do not have. And I might have to test the 15/2.8 differently, simply because it is so wide a field of view.

I also intend to add many field shot examples with the D800/D800E with Zeiss lenses, but these will take time over some months and will go into my Guide to Zeiss, not DAP (DAP has a huge amount of coverage already, and general Zeiss work belongs in my Guide to Zeiss).

Finally, I have a lot more planned that I have not yet presented. The D800 and D800E present some new and unique opportunities for exploration, especially for my Making Sharp Images, which is essential reading for anyone using high resolution digital of any brand or format.

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