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Reader Comments on Nikon D800 Lens Evaluations

Comments regarding my lens evaluations in my review of the Nikon D800.

Mikko H writes:

Are you planning on testing Nikon 24/3.5 PC-E on D800?

There has been mixed feelings about that lens performing badly on D800.

DIGLLOYD: I might get to the 24/3.5D ED (would have to rent it), but I never found it to be a good enough performer when shifted to be interesting to me, even on the 24MP megapixel D3x (see the test of the 24/3.5D ED on the Nikon D3x in DAP). I also never liked its build quality, the reasons which I document in my shift lens reviews of Nikon (build quality is “ok” but well below what is possible, e.g. Canon and Schneider).

To expect the 24/3.5D ED to be interesting in terms of performance on the D800 is not realistic (in terms of getting D800 resolution).

But those are my considerations, and its tilt/shift functionality might make it perfectly worthwhile for some shooters. The 24/3.5D ED is a quite expensive lens (about $1999). For my purposes, I’d much rather use those funds towards the superlative Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon (about $2950), and crop if need be.

Graham L writes:

I see similar problems on the right of my 70-200 VRII. I wonder if these issues are influencing the way the AF is performing?

DIGLLOYD: The asymmetry I see with some lenses like the 70-200/2.8G VR II is an almost inevitable fact of life with a lens having 21 elements in 16b groups. I had to get a 2nd sample with Nikon because the first one was really bad, with Canon’s 7-200 it was 4 samples.

The 70-200 zooms are fine for what they are intended to be— sports and action lenses. Whether the symmetry seen on a planar target is a factor in autofocus, I don’t know, though I’d expect the AF to focus wherever it is set; the resulting slightly skewed plane of focus would simply be skewed forward or back as it happens.

Murray O writes:

After reading your results from the 70-200 @ 185 and the 180 ED, you've kind of boxed yourself into bringing out the Leica 180/2.8 Elmarit-R APO for a spin before your 800E arrives.

DIGLLOYD: I have a D800E coming on loan this coming week and the Leica 180/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R is on the menu to compare the D800 to the D800E.

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