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V1 Lens Comparison Test_300 f/4 vs 55-300 vs 28-300VR

walk43

Pennsylvania, US
713 posts

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walk43 Gold Member Nikonian since 07th Feb 2012
Mon 28-Jan-13 07:33 PM | edited Mon 28-Jan-13 07:42 PM by walk43

I started a new thread for this subject since many have asked to see some results comparing different lenses on the V1. It is not a "strict studio test". I simply wanted to see which of the 3 subject lenses would produce the better image in the field if I was to stand at the same spot and shoot the same subject with each lens.

These shots are NOT retouched in post processing, only cropped to the "2.5" portion of the test image and resized for comparison here.

My premis has been that I can get better quality images from the V1 using the 55-300VR (or the 70-300VR) on the V1 rather than by using my 28-300VR ... since the 28-300VR has significant focus breathing at shorter (less than 50 ft) distances.

From a real life perspective, the test is to see which lens to use for a bird or butterfly shot at distances less than 30 feet that will require cropping to get the FOV and the detail I want without getting too close to spook the subject.

The Atkins Test Chart is the first image. At the top left of the 'checkerboard' image on the chart, I have cropped out the test section that shows "2.5" with horizontal bars below and vertical bars to the left.

The second image is shot with the 300 f/4, the third image is the 55-300VR and the 4th image is the 28-300VR. All shots were taken at 1/60th sec, SB-N5 flash, F10, ISO 100 (except the 300 f/4 is ISO400...sorry for not being exact)and shot at the same distance with tripod and remote trigger. The exif data shows 810mm FOV for all shots except the pic of the Atkins chart itself.


I mounted the 3 lenses (300 f/4, 55-300VR and 28-300VR) on my V1, inside my house, and shot the "Atkins Test Chart" at about 12 feet, focusing on the "2.5" section of the chart, cropping it out and resizing for the forum. These were tripod mounted using a remote trigger and all are from the same distance. Looking at the results, the 300 f/4 is clearly the best, followed by the 55-300VR and trailing the pack is the 28-300VR.

In my opinion, using the 28-300VR as a walk around lens for general photos on the V1 where you can fully frame the image in the VF and are not concerned about 'cropping in' to get small subjects works ok. But due to the significant focus breathing on the 28-300VR, I feel I am better off using a lens that has much better control over the breathing issues and is closer to 300mm at closer distances.

Result: I plan to use the 55-300VR on my V1 as my walk around lens in the field (left shoulder) along with my D800 and 70-200VR (right shoulder)and hopefully will be prepared for what ever comes my way. With a bit of sharpening etc. on the 55-300VR I expect to be satisfied.

Opinions and comments welcome...

PS: The Atkins chart is only 4 x 6 inches in actual size and as stated is 12 feet from the camera.

PS#2: There have been comments about the use of the 70-200VR1 vs the 70-200VR2, but tests by the 'pros' have shown the VR2 to have much worse focus breathing then the VR1. When used on the V1, or on the D800 in DX mode, I think the VR1 is a better choice if you will need to crop.

Reminder;
--Top Image: Test chart
--2nd image: 300 f/4
--3rd image: 55-300VR
--4th image: 28-300VR
--5th image: 70-200VR1 with TC17 (updated upon request. I don't have a TC14. This test surprised me ....but I swear it was the same distance and all other settings the same as the 300/f4 (at ISO-400 vs ISO-100). I shot it 4 times and always the same result.


Click on image to view larger version

Test Chart


Click on image to view larger version

Nikon 300 f/4


Click on image to view larger version

Nikon 55-300VR


Click on image to view larger version

Nikon 28-300VR


Click on image to view larger version

NIkon 70-200VR1 with TC17-E11

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Dan
(Nikon D800,V2,Sony HX400V,Lumix ZS40)
"I don't read, I just look at pictures" - Andy Warhol

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