Sat 28-Jul-12 04:01 PM | edited Sat 28-Jul-12 04:26 PM by ljordan316
I just shot real images with the 200-400mm f/4 set at 400mm and at f/5.6. Frankly, I cannot see a difference in the images at 100% zoom. I plan to do some test at different apertures to see if I can find differences that way.
This leads me to believe you are right about how FoCal is measuring the sharpness of contrast of a black and white image with hard edges. This also supports Pete's contention that the numbers probably cannot be used to measure the absolute difference between two cameras. Even though the calibration numbers look like one is sharper than the other with the same target, in the field the lighting and subject contrast make all the difference. It would be hard to do an absolute test in the field.
The FoCal numbers simply tell you that under some conditions the D800E will produce sharper results than the D800 if you use the same lens on both...and you have done the AF fine tuning for each.
I hope to shoot some horses and birds later today with both cameras. If I find a difference with those results, I will let you know.
Update: When I moved the real shot images from ACR to PS6, and zoomed to 100%, I could see a slight difference in contrast and detail. The E has better contrast in detail areas. However, I would bet I can produce the same end results between the two using Nik Color Effects Pro. I may try that.
Update 2: OK, I could not pass up the opportunity to try Nik on both images. I truly cannot tell the difference in 100% zoom crops of the two after doing my Nik thing on them...exact same Nik filters/settings.
Keep in mind these were taken with the 200-400mm at 400mm. Although I used f/5.6 on both of the final real images, it is still not my sharpest lens. The 24-70mm might show a difference.