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Are my lenses good enough for a D800?

NikonMark37814

Morristown, US
1125 posts

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NikonMark37814 Registered since 20th May 2010
Mon 22-Oct-12 06:40 PM

Although the my D800 purchase is months away I'd like to make sure I don't need to upgrade lenses before buying the camera. I have a collection of Nikon and Sigma AF primes from 15 fisheye to 300 f2.8 and a few zooms I like to use most notably the 24-120 VRI and the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 HSM II and 150-500 OS. How would these lenses hold up? They work great with my D700 but I'm wondering if the higher resolution would show their faults with these lenses?

mVs
D2x, D300s, D700 & D800

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PerroneFord

Tallahassee, US
2817 posts

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#1. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

PerroneFord Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2011
Mon 22-Oct-12 06:26 PM

>They work great with my
>D700

Done.

------
Webpage: http://www.ptfphoto.com

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briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#2. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Mon 22-Oct-12 06:57 PM

It's difficult for me to be certain (since I don't have a D800 myself), but my impression from wide reading of reliable sources suggests that the vast majority of lenses will work well on a D800, and will produce images with greater detail than you would see from the same lens on a D700.

Sure, to get the absolute best performance that a D800 is capable of, you may well need the best lenses, but I certainly would not worry that your lenses are suddenly going to be inadequate

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

GiantTristan

Stamford, US
2688 posts

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#3. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

GiantTristan Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2006
Mon 22-Oct-12 07:14 PM

You might want to have a look at Lloyd Chambers' blog: http://www.digilloyd.com/blog/2012/20120207_4-NikonD800-NikonLenses.html
I believe that he is one of the few Internet gurus who is quite trustworthy.

Tristan

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The Colonel

UK
5 posts

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#4. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 3

The Colonel Registered since 20th Oct 2012
Tue 30-Oct-12 06:50 PM

Try them and see what you think first. I have been amazed at the results I can achieve with my 800 and some fairly reasonably priced i.e. non pro lenses. Sure the camera will let you see the limitations of a poor lens, but the results will be far better than with the same lens on an inferior camera. So just enjoy your new camera and make your own mind up.

blw

Richmond, US
28703 posts

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#5. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 4

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Tue 30-Oct-12 07:27 PM

And if worst comes to worst, and you find that one of your lenses really doesn't cut the mustard with the D800 at full res, you can always downsize files from that lens to 12mp - it will surely be no worse than the 12mp camera you had before, with the possible exception of a D3s file at ISO 12800.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

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rpierce

Potomac Falls, US
89 posts

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#6. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

rpierce Gold Member Nikonian since 17th Apr 2003
Tue 30-Oct-12 07:32 PM

Fully opened or stopped down?

Take a look at: http://blog.mingthein.com/2012/06/30/recommended-lenses-for-the-nikon-d800e/

Bob Pierce
Potomac Falls, VA

avisys

Placitas, US
482 posts

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#7. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 6

avisys Basic Member
Tue 30-Oct-12 11:43 PM

It's not the lens, it's the camera body. But, wait, it's the photographer!! The skill!! Oh, yeah, it's both! The photographer, and skill, and after all that, once all that is resolved, and maximized, then the body begins to take charge, with the best lens. Oh my! It's all the above. You need the best skill, with the best lens on the best body to get the best results!! What a shocking development!!! And, if either of those is missing, then the end result will suffer!!

Oh, I suffer so! I need more skill, even though I've spent all this money!!

Oh, wait! At f8 they all seem to be the same! Oh, that's the solution!

F8 and be there!! (Where have I heard that?)





AviSys

EricBarney

US
32 posts

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#8. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 7

EricBarney Registered since 02nd Oct 2012
Tue 30-Oct-12 11:56 PM

One of these days, I am going to have to try to remove my Nikon 24-70 F:2.8 and see if any other lenses work!

LMMiller9

Potomac, US
1169 posts

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#9. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

LMMiller9 Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2005
Wed 31-Oct-12 12:34 AM | edited Wed 31-Oct-12 12:35 AM by LMMiller9

The short answer to your question is "Yes, they will work fine."

However, in every system there is a constraining element which is why every system can be improved. You will have about the best camera money can buy. Your biggest constraint will be your own skills. But, you may also want to upgrade your 24-120 to the newer f.4.0 version which is definitely superior and will produce superior results. Of course, there are a dozen other great lenses that you will want.

I have the 150-500 OS Sigma and the 50mm/f1.4 Sigma and they both work fine on the D800 so I am sure your 70-200HSM will also work well.

There is always something you will need to upgrade or our entire capitalist system would come crumbling down. You wouldn't want to be responsible for that, would you?

Larry Miller, Potomac, MD
DF/D810
http://lmmillerphotography.smugmug.com/

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gpoole

Farmington Hills, US
4127 posts

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#10. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 4

gpoole Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundrasing Campaing 2014 Writer Ribbon awarded for his article contributions for the Articles library and the eZine Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004
Wed 31-Oct-12 12:39 AM

+1

Gary in SE Michigan, USA.
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nwcs

Knoxville, US
7030 posts

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#11. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

nwcs Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Landscape and Wildlife Photography Registered since 15th Jan 2006
Wed 31-Oct-12 01:54 PM

I have the 150-500 and have used it on my D800. It works just fine. But remember that the 150-500 isn't super sharp at 500 so don't expect miracles. So if you don't have unrealistic expectations you'll be plenty pleased. I'm in the process of selling my 14-24 and 24-70 and replacing it with the 24-120 VR. I expect that will be just fine.

The Sigma 70-200 is very good and you shouldn't see anything wrong with it on the D800.

Personally, I think the "camera sees the flaws" comments are either from nitpickers or just overblown. You'll see your own flaws in photographing (technique, ability, etc) long before you see the lens flaws.

thesteviewonder

Victoria, CA
24 posts

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#12. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

thesteviewonder Registered since 22nd Aug 2013
Sat 24-Aug-13 10:35 PM | edited Sat 24-Aug-13 10:36 PM by thesteviewonder

Dxomark.com have written a series of articles showing test results of various lenses on the D800. Inferior glass will certainly have their defects magnified. They have reviewed wide angle, normal and telephoto lenses on the D800. Very interesting findings as sometimes less expensive lenses did rather well.

Vlad_IT

US
1354 posts

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#13. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 5

Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011
Sat 24-Aug-13 10:40 PM

>And if worst comes to worst, and you find that one of your
>lenses really doesn't cut the mustard with the D800 at full
>res, you can always downsize files from that lens to 12mp - it
>will surely be no worse than the 12mp camera you had before,
>with the possible exception of a D3s file at ISO 12800.


Brian,

What do you mean downsize? in post processing or in camera?
thanks


Vlad

RRRoger

Monterey Bay, US
3373 posts

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#14. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 13

RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter Member
Sun 25-Aug-13 03:51 AM | edited Sun 25-Aug-13 03:54 AM by RRRoger

Just send a blank check to the online "Nikon Store".
They will return to you their 10 "Best" Nikkors for your D800.

Or you can start with what you have and let "NAS" dictate what else you need.

Yes higher resolution will show user error and lens flaws "Mo Beta".
But, my experience has been that all F-mount lens work better on my D800e than any other camera.

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JPJ

Toronto, CA
1327 posts

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#15. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

JPJ Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Aug 2009
Sun 25-Aug-13 12:10 PM

My answer would be that the whole D800(e) and only the finest glass issue is a waste of time to think about, and I agree with those here who have said it is totally overblown.

I am firmly in the camp that a poor photographer blames their equipment. I'll take a great photographer with the worst lenses who spends their time taking unique and interesting shots over someone who buys all the best equipment and spends their time shooting brick walls and test charts any day.

If you take great photographs, no one will notice the 'flaws'.

Jason

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Vlad_IT

US
1354 posts

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#16. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 15

Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011
Sun 25-Aug-13 12:33 PM

>My answer would be that the whole D800(e) and only the finest
>glass issue is a waste of time to think about, and I agree
>with those here who have said it is totally overblown.
>
>I am firmly in the camp that a poor photographer blames their
>equipment. I'll take a great photographer with the worst
>lenses who spends their time taking unique and interesting
>shots over someone who buys all the best equipment and spends
>their time shooting brick walls and test charts any day.
>
>If you take great photographs, no one will notice the 'flaws'.
>
>
>Jason

Jason,

I'm in the same boat with you. One of the examples is 18-200 DX lens on DX camera. I had three selling and returning back to it for all-in-one convenience for family and friends work. I agree with all your statements - as my skills are improving and i'm getting more and more confident in myself as a photographer my keeper's rate is climbing.

But there are plenty of pixel peepers (including me), who are constantly looking in flows in there work. some are trying to understand what went wrong and how to improve and some are just plain blaming equipment, without realizing the difference between 12mp and 36mp sensors.

Never the less, the people who understand the difference very often test the lenses on their own using right techniques and I believe they can see the difference.




Best regards,
Vlad

walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16960 posts

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#17. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 16

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Sun 25-Aug-13 01:11 PM

There can certainly be a difference, but it often doesn't matter as much as it's made out to matter on the internet. It's often one of the least important factors in a photograph.

Rick Walker

My photos:

GeoVista Photography

tekneektom

Kohler, US
2003 posts

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#18. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

tekneektom Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Winner in the Annual Nikonians Best Images Contest 2015 Nikonian since 18th Nov 2011
Mon 26-Aug-13 07:32 PM

I'm confident that your lenses will provide very good results with the D800. If you're thinking of replacing or adding lenses you might refer to this DxO report. It appears that DxO has tested a significant number of lenses and rates their output with the D800.
http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Reviews/Which-lenses-for-your-Nikon-D800/Nikon-D800-and-standard-lens-choices

Tom

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ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3375 posts

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#19. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Tue 27-Aug-13 05:32 PM

The whole issue of whether or not any specific lens will perform on a D800/800e is -- I think -- a waste of time. There is nothing about a higher resolution camera that will make an image deteriorate! NOTHING. The D800 will give you the best image each of your lenses is capable of producing -- at least for now.

I agree with every opinion that holds that the technique you bring to the game and your vision are more important than any other element. If they worked great with your D700, they'll worker greater with the D800.

I come from film days. I never heard a soul say they could not consider loading the days top image quality films -- Kodachrome or Pan-X -- because they possibly had an inferior lens.

I think the whole concern for lenses not measuring up to the D800 is a combination of marketing by Nikon (... buy new lenses...) and the eternal anal fixation of the crowd who shoot test charts and brick walls instead of getting out and capturing the world around them.

So... put your lenses to work taking pictures and don't look back. If you feel the need for a new lens -- if the $$$ are there, get it. Enjoy!

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

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Bengt Nyman

Stockholm, SE & San Diego, US
101 posts

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#20. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

Bengt Nyman Registered since 10th Apr 2013
Tue 27-Aug-13 06:57 PM

With the D800 and your existing lenses you will:

Get higher resolution and thereby more detail than with your D700.

Be able to crop further before the image starts showing pixels.

But you will only get the sharpness that your particular lens produces.

If you want facts about the D800 image quality using different lenses, let DxO guide you.

briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#21. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 20

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Tue 27-Aug-13 07:47 PM

>If you want facts about the D800 image quality using different
>lenses, let DxO guide you.

For those who are interested in test numbers, DxOMark can certainly be a useful source of data. Their figures neatly illustrate the main points being made here, which are:

+ any lens will score better when tested with a higher-MP camera;
+ a "better" lens will score higher still.

So, let's look at the DxOMark "overall" numbers for the two versions of the 24-120mm VR Nikkor...

The first, variable-maximum-aperture, VR version was generally held to be a below-average performer (although in practice I found it to be fine). This version scores 12 on a D700 and 18 on a D800.

The newer f/4 VR II version is acknowledged to be a better lens, and that is is borne out by the figures - it scores 16 on a D700 and 22 on a D800.

The D800 doesn't "show up" the older version. It still works better on that camera than on a D700; it's just not as good as the new one

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

avisys

Placitas, US
482 posts

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#22. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 21

avisys Basic Member
Wed 28-Aug-13 02:20 AM

Brian, as I try to dig through the DxO rationale, in a lot of places it looks like they test wide open, or in an environment simulating a dim room, which equates to wide open.

Do you get that impression?

In any case the various descriptions of the DxOMark score are less than crisp.




AviSys

Bengt Nyman

Stockholm, SE & San Diego, US
101 posts

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#23. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 22

Bengt Nyman Registered since 10th Apr 2013
Wed 28-Aug-13 06:30 AM

>... in a lot of places it looks like they (DxO) test wide open...

If you dig into DxO's test data you will find that they test all apertures. They also indicate at what aperture the lens performs "best" overall. Examples are the Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM tested on the Nikon D800 which is reported to be "best at" f2. Also Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC tested on Nikon D800 and reported to be "best at" f2.
You find this data under respective lens with separate aperture performance maps for:
DxOMark score, Sharpness, Transmission, Distortion, Vignetting and Chromatic aberration.

briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#24. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 22

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Wed 28-Aug-13 06:33 AM

>in a lot of places it looks like they test wide open

Their description states that they test at a variety of apertures and report the best score.

Speaking for myself, I tend not to use score-type tests when choosing a lens, because it's difficult to encapsulate a lens' characteristics in a single number. Having said that, DxOMark meets my definition of a well-designed process, in that they check each lens type on a variety of cameras and in consistent conditions.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

Bengt Nyman

Stockholm, SE & San Diego, US
101 posts

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#25. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 24

Bengt Nyman Registered since 10th Apr 2013
Wed 28-Aug-13 07:08 AM

I definitely use DxO test results as one reference point when choosing a lens. It sometimes forces me to wait a while because of the price of the lens, but it also sometimes offers a pleasant surprise when a new and reasonably priced lens jumps to the front of the pack.

avisys

Placitas, US
482 posts

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#26. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 24

avisys Basic Member
Wed 28-Aug-13 08:29 PM

>>in a lot of places it looks like they test wide open
>
>Their
>description
>states that they test at a variety of apertures and report the
>best score.
>
>. . . DxOMark
>meets my definition of a well-designed process, in that they
>check each lens type on a variety of cameras and in consistent
>conditions.
>

And from that description: "DxOMark Score is measured for low-light conditions: 150 lux and 1/60s exposure time. Such conditions correspond to a correctly-lit living room (with no daylight): it is a difficult but rather typical photographic use case."

Emphasis theirs.

I think that explains why the "optimum" aperture for the two lenses mentioned in this thread as exemplary is f2.0 --- instead of what I would normally have expected to be f5.6 or f8. I seems strange to me that a "lit living room (with no daylight)" and openings of f2.0, one stop down, are presented as a "typical photographic use case."


AviSys

briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#27. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 26

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Thu 29-Aug-13 06:26 AM

It's not unusual for a well-designed fast lens to provide its best performance around 1 stop below maximum aperture. These types of lens are intended for use at or close to wide-open.

I don't think the lighting conditions DxOMark use are a factor. As you say, DxO say they are "difficult but rather typical...", not "typical..." conditions.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

Bengt Nyman

Stockholm, SE & San Diego, US
101 posts

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#28. "RE: Are my lenses good enough for a D800?" | In response to Reply # 26

Bengt Nyman Registered since 10th Apr 2013
Thu 29-Aug-13 08:43 AM

>I seems strange to me that a "lit living room (with no daylight)" is >presented as a "typical photographic use case."

As an outdoors daylight photographer I agree with you. However, I can think of a several reasons for DxO's choice of low level artificial lighting.

1. It tests the many times critical low light and ISO performance of sensors and lenses.
2. It is not possible to test the entire ISO range of a camera and lens under sunlight conditions since higher ISO settings require an aperture smaller than that available on the lens.
3. To test under several lighting conditions to also mimic a range of outdoor daylight situations including sun, overcast and shade would make both testing and test results overwhelming.

G