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Reader Comments on Nikon D800 Lens Evaluations

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

Don H writes:

Does any lens longer than the Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar show any promise besides the Leica 180/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R?

Are there any lenses in the 150mm range that could be a contender?

How about an 1.4 teleconverter on the Zeiss 100?

DIGLLOYD: Possible candidates (not tested) include:

  • The Voigtlander 180/4 APO (maybe), but it is no longer made, and I was never happy with its lens coatings (contrast).
  • The latest Nikon 200/2, 300/2.8, etc.
  • The Nikon 135/2 DC might be fairly good, since its sibling the 105/2 DC performed fairly well.
  • The Nikon 200mm f/4 macro.
  • Teleconverter likely to not satisfy.

Thomas S writes:

Regarding the Voigtlander 90 3.5 for the D800, I have a 24 1.4 and 85 1.4 (Nikon) for my D800, now looking for a macro lens to take out for flowers or occasional close-ups (1:1 not required).

Is the Voigtländer a good contender or should one go straight to the Zeiss 100? Quality & Practicality is of concern ... price also a bit :-)

DIGLLOYD: The 90/3.5 goes to 1:3.6 which isn't terribly close, but the included close-up lens goes to 1:1.8 (I have not tested its performance there). The Zeiss goes to 1:2. When focused closely, effective aperture is darker, so the Zeiss would be easier to focus, with more flexibility. However if one is not going all the way to 1:2 or close to it, the f-number should not be an issue.

David S writes:

I just wanted to thank you for your ongoing lens tests on the D800, and especially your test of the 40mm Ultron. Your hard work will make my lens decisions much more informed.

I'm loving what that tiny little Voigtlander accomplished. Once stopped down, it looks at least as good as the Nikon 50mm G lenses, with less distortion too. It even hangs in there with the 60mm macro. Since most of my hand-held work is done at f5.6 and smaller, and I prefer the 40mm focal length, this is a pretty big deal for me. I'm looking forward to seeing how well the D800/40mm Ultron combo works out in practice.

DIGLLOYD: There are many considerations in choosing a lens, including size and weight, ergonomics, and the style of image rendition. Sharpness isn’t everything for every subject, and the D800 can produce gorgeous results when downsampled.

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