Please have a look at this 12-24 pic
I received my Nikon 12-24 dx today. Went out to quickly snap a few shots with my tripod. Please take a look at the pic listed below. It was a quick shot just to see how wide 12mm was and get a feel for the lens. I opened it via PSE4.0 Raw converter, only took the auto changes, then saved straight as a JPEG.
First of all, things aren't as crisp as I expected, although this is most likely my poor technique - I'll try to be a little more patient next time.
My main question is what is the multi-colored "noise" that you can see in the tops of the middle tree? I wasn't sure how to get a good crop of this area, so I uploaded a higher resolution pic that, if downloaded, can be zoomed in on. At that point, things are very apparent.
The original was shot as NEF, as noted.
Thanks in advance.
#1. "RE: Please have a look at this 12-24 pic" | In response to Reply # 0phred Registered since 23rd May 2004Thu 23-Feb-06 10:52 PM
You're looking at Chromatic Abberation (CA). Not suprising based on reviews of the lens.
I've noted that CA tends to be much more obvious on high contrast, high detail elements towards the corners of my pictures with most of my lenses.
#2. "RE: Please have a look at this 12-24 pic" | In response to Reply # 1
#4. "RE: Please have a look at this 12-24 pic" | In response to Reply # 2blw Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Fri 24-Feb-06 12:08 AM
The 10.5mm has so much CA that Nikon ought to put Capture in the box with it... cleans up nicely, though, and otherwise it's great.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#3. "RE: Please have a look at this 12-24 pic" | In response to Reply # 0
Try to process the same shot (assuming your histogram shows proper exposure, if not, take another one) from RAW with the settings all set to 0, except Brightness to 50% and Sharpening to 50% in PSE4.0 Raw Converter. Then check it out. The default PSE settings I find too aggressive. Do not pay attention to white balance or tint for this test. Once in PSE4 after the ACR adjustments, you can apply some USM - 80,1,0.5 to see if you get any better...
You ccan enlarge on your screen to 100%, then crop an area that is about 400x400 pixels big with the crop tool and save that as a high quality JPG making sure it is under 100K to post here. Where you put it is OK as well and you can put larger sizes there as well...
Apart from the above, I see some corner softness and not only in the corners but all around the edges. Not sure if this is normal for this lens on this camera, gien the shot is at f/8. I myself am looking to get a wide angle and am hoping to get better results. But reading the Ken Rockwell recent shootout of four wide angles I begin to think that my expectations may be unrealistic...
Try to shoot with the self timer to make sure you minimize camera shake and do not extend the tripod fully if it is not very sturdy, for this tests.
>I received my Nikon 12-24 dx today. Went out to quickly
>snap a few shots with my tripod. Please take a look at the
>pic listed below. It was a quick shot just to see how wide
>12mm was and get a feel for the lens. I opened it via
>PSE4.0 Raw converter, only took the auto changes, then saved
>straight as a JPEG.
>First of all, things aren't as crisp as I expected, although
>this is most likely my poor technique - I'll try to be a
>little more patient next time.
>My main question is what is the multi-colored "noise" that
>you can see in the tops of the middle tree? I wasn't sure
>how to get a good crop of this area, so I uploaded a higher
>resolution pic that, if downloaded, can be zoomed in on. At
>that point, things are very apparent.
>The original was shot as NEF, as noted.
>Thanks in advance.
#5. "RE: Please have a look at this 12-24 pic" | In response to Reply # 0
Thanks to everyone so far for the feedback. Obviously, prior to spending this amount of money on a lens (which is a lot for me right now), I poured over and agonized over the reviews and options scattered about the web. I am familiar with the WA's and their CA issues via the info out there, however, since I've never had a lens that demonstrated it, I thought of CA as basically purple fringing. Plus, I would have thought CA would have appeared in the uppper left, in the direction of the sun.
When opening this picture for the first time, and seeing a multicolored rainbow in the center tree top, I didn't characterize this as CA. However, I downloaded Nikon Capture, and as some of you mentioned, when this image was opened with it, the colors were gone. Satisfactory solution although I'd prefer it not be there in the first place.
Now I've just got to figure out how to tackle the sharpness test. I thought f8, and focusing on the center of the picture mounted on a tripod would have been sufficient. (Yes, I know rookies like me have to be coached through this time and again here).
In the end, this lens had better turn out to be sharp. Otherwise, it will be just the 24-85 on vacation with me, which will be a real disappointment.
It's going to be a real pain when my trial of Capture expires. I've been on the phone with Nikon to try and determine what upgrade paths there will be for Capture NX, but they are clueless for now. I don't want to plunk down $100 for Capture and not be given an upgrade path in less than 3 months when NX hits. If there is no upgrade for at least recent purchasers of Capture, it's going to be a long 2 months after my trial expires.
#7. "RE: Please have a look at this 12-24 pic" | In response to Reply # 6Fri 24-Feb-06 01:47 AM
Well, I thought long and hard about that lens, but it is another $550+ over and above the 12-24 : not insignificant.
Plus, I've already got the full 17-35 covered with my 24-85 (yeah, I know not in the same league as the 17-35), and 12mm is quite a bit different look than the 17mm.
The 17-35 is on my list for someday, but that someday is WAY down the road. I've had a Nikon body since '93, and this is, unfortunately, only my 5th lens purchase (well, actually 6th, but I don't really count the 28-80 cheap zoom).
#18. "RE: Please have a look at this 12-24 pic" | In response to Reply # 6arthury Registered since 24th May 2002Sat 25-Feb-06 10:07 PM
>I solved all my issues regarding the 12-24MM by trading it
>in for a 17-35MM and could not be happier.
Hmmm ... looks like you traded an apple for an orange. These two lenses have quite different coverage in terms of angle of view. I don't see how they can replace each other.
#19. "RE: Please have a look at this 12-24 pic" | In response to Reply # 18Slohand1 Charter MemberSun 26-Feb-06 03:05 AM
>Hmmm...looks like you traded an apple for an orange. These two lenses have quite different coverage in terms of angle of view.
>I don't see how they can replace each other.
The 17-35MM clearly came out a winner in terms of sharpness and did not display any CA. In addition, at the camera store where I do business, they indicated that people were trading in the 12-24MM in droves because no matter how they adjusted their shooting technique all images were "very soft".
"Still could not be happier"
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#8. "RE: Please have a look at this 12-24 pic" | In response to Reply # 0
check out this thread. I had my doubts about the sharpness of my 12-24 as well. Using iso 100-200, f8-11, tripod, and cable release/self timer, I have been aboe to get very sharp exposures, especially for a wide zoom. I still want to try out a 14mm f2.8, but after learning how to shoot the 12-24, I am quite happy with it, even for architectural interiors.
I suppose I got spoiled by my old 20mm f4 AI...
Shoot first; process later.
me @ Flickr
#9. "RE: Please have a look at this 12-24 pic" | In response to Reply # 8Fri 24-Feb-06 04:02 AM
Thanks for the link. I had actually read your two posts prior to my purchase of the 12-24.
I think the only things I didn't do in your successful test was use a D200 (would be nice, but I'm liking my D50 anyway) and use a cable release (I shot via tripod, but w/o self-timer - going to give self-timer a try tomorrow).
I'm certainly open to the fact that the softness is my technique. I'm not sure if I am running into limitations of the 6MP sensor or not. Plus it could be my 43 year old eyes just aren't able to resolve the smaller detail on the 12mm as well.
There are a couple of other areas in the 12mm pic that I've discovered that don't look right. Along the right of the slides on the fence line, the fence "posts" have added info/blurred. Maybe this is some more CA.
I'll do more extensive testing this weekend and hopefully find that it was my technique after all, and that my lens, like yours, is a sharp one. Hopefully I can post some nicer pictures tomorrow. If so, I may ask for another look.
I appreciate everyone's input and thanks for the assistance.
#10. "RE: Please have a look at this 12-24 pic" | In response to Reply # 9fraserj1 Registered since 11th Sep 2004Fri 24-Feb-06 11:00 AM
This lens is known to be a moderate performer at 12mm, both in sharpness and CA (which by the way manifests itself as purple fringing, but also magenta, cyan, yellow). You'll see that as you move from 12 to 24mm, youll see less and less issues with the lens.
You made a good choice, so don't second guess yourself.
FWIW, Ken Rockwell compared a number of wide zooms recently (I don't particularly like Ken's reviews, but he included test images which I think prove a lot about the lenses themselves), and also imcluded some comparison shots to the 18-200 and 17-35. In virtually all of the image comparisons, the 12-24 did very well (in most cases as good or better than all of the other lenses). The 17-35 was dead last in some of the tests, so make sure you do your homework before you buy that lens.
#11. "RE: Please have a look at this 12-24 pic" | In response to Reply # 0
I had similar looking shots with my 12-24 on my D70s and I put it down to my being picky or CA or something. Once I got my D200 the problem was a lot worse. I took it into Nikon and they gave me their sample to try - one world of difference!! My 12-24 is now at Nikon for "lens element re-alignment" and it was only used @ 5 times. I'll get it back in a week or so (been 2 weeks now) and hopefully it will be better.
#12. "RE: Please have a look at this 12-24 pic" | In response to Reply # 11markgrif Registered since 09th Jan 2006Fri 24-Feb-06 12:17 PM
PLEASE post the results of the Nikon repair. I like my 12-24 but I thought it a little soft also for the price.
Nikonian in North Carolina
#13. "RE: Please have a look at this 12-24 pic" | In response to Reply # 12jrh68uk Basic MemberFri 24-Feb-06 12:47 PM
I tried two samples of the Nikkor 12-24 and gave up.
The first was horrendous. At 12 mm it looked as though I'd taped the bottom of a wine bottle to the end. Each corner was horrible even well stopped-down. Added to this was an area about a third of the way in from both left and right sides where the image was soft and, for want of a better word, smeared.
I obviously exchanged it and took the replacement away to test. At 12 mm, this one was fine, although I wouldn't say exactly astounding. At the other end of the zoom range, though, it was a different story. At 24 mm I noticed some very odd things. If I focused at distance, objects in the foreground, at the same distance from me, would be very soft on one side of the frame and pin-sharp on the other. On the sharp-foreground side, the background (i.e., where I'd focused) was very soft.
Two bad samples was enough for me to write this lens off as a bad design, or at least one that's very difficult to QC. I bought a used Nikkor 14/2.8 instead, and am very happy with it both on my F6 and D2x. The 14 mm is an extremely good lens (I had the Sigma equivalent before it, used on both these bodies, and the Nikkor wins without question).
#14. "RE: Please have a look at this 12-24 pic" | In response to Reply # 0
After reading through this thread and the 2 reviews, I really don't know what to do. I was planning to get the Nikon 12-24mm over the Sigma 10-20mm because of the better color and contrast, but all these comments about quality issue has me concern. I ruled out the Tokina because I didn't want to deal with the CA. Yes I know that the Nikon has CA as well, but I don't believe it's as bad from the test shots.
The thing is that I want something to match my 70-200 VR. So pretty much I would be using a 2 lens system and just ditch my 18-70mm dx and skip the mid-zoom all together. And I am really wondering if any of those 3 lens are up to the job.
#15. "RE: Please have a look at this 12-24 pic" | In response to Reply # 14Sat 25-Feb-06 02:53 AM
Well, I can only speak from initial impressions, and maybe I should withhold my opinion until I get a few more 12-24 shots under my belt. But I won't.
I intentionally took some shots that I thought would show purple fringing (my definition of CA, but apparently not exactly the correct definition). They did - some to a large degree. Nikon Capture handles some of the areas ok, and some not so well. However, a responder to my other current 12-24 thread offered a very good point - maybe in a print CA wouldn't be noticable. Clearly zooming way in Capture will magnify the size of it.
I am waiting for good weather to get out and do some more tests for sharpness. However, on the plus side, I think a couple of the pics I took were really neat and could not be achieved with anything less than this wide. I don't want to give up that capability.
I was dead set on the Tokina for a while, but then decided to get the Nikon. I didn't really consider the Sigma because of some of the sharpness tests I saw. I spent this kind of money (by far my most expensive lens to date) for what the reviewers told me was the sharpest of the WA's.
This guy here has some great 12-24 shots : http://www.millhouse.nl/nikon12-24dx.html. All of them are in the f8 to f16 range. If I could get this kind of performance, without huge amounts of effort or the absolute requirement of a tripod, then I'd be one happy camper!
I am also debating on buying another sample for comparison sake and returning the one that I like the least, if there is a difference.
#16. "RE: Please have a look at this 12-24 pic" | In response to Reply # 14kocho Basic MemberSat 25-Feb-06 01:32 PM
I'm in the same boat - want one but am afraid to try and end-up with a bad sample...
I see all sorts of reviews for all three lenses. The only thing consistent among these reviews seems to be most agree on the the relative amount of distortion and CA among the lenses and the color rendition and contrast. Some swear by the Sigmas, others by Tokina, others by Nikon, while Ken Rockwell's tests show the Tamron on top in some tests in terms of sharpness. All this tells me that one needs to be prepared to deal with potentially (and very likely) testing/returning a few samples before finding a good one...
I've seen horrible (for the price) samples that I could not live with. But I've seen good samples from all four lenses (Tamron, Tokina, Nikon, Sigma) so I think it is a matter of finding a good sample and using it properly. There is not much to using it IMO to get a sharp picture from a good sample (not talking here a "good photograph", just sharp and in focus). Unlike long telephotos one does not need a sturdy tripod and hand-holding should work well in bright conditions to test sharpness and uniformity - just keep the shutter speed high enough like you would with any other lens and be aware of the DOF limits at the chosen aperture.
My point I guess is that if one is getting questionable results with a wide angle lens under reasonably controlled conditions, then it is most likely the lens' fault...
I've shot quite a bit at 18mm with both the 18-70 and the 18-200 lens. I could easily tell them apart and see their strengths and weaknesses without using a tripod. This focal length is comparable with the middle-tele end of the WA lenses and I did not feel I needed to train myself for years before getting a good result. WA should be no excecption in terms of technique. Getting the composition and perspective right is another story, but that's beyond the point...
Here is a sample with the 18-70 (full size from RAW saved as "excellent quality" JPG thru Nikon Capture, camera settings to "normal", not other procecssing).
Here is a smaller size; I think the 3x 12-24 Nikkor should be able to do better than that; in the sample shots in this thread I think the more expensive WA does not fare much better if at all...
>After reading through this thread and the 2 reviews, I
>really don't know what to do. I was planning to get the
>Nikon 12-24mm over the Sigma 10-20mm because of the better
>color and contrast, but all these comments about quality
>issue has me concern. I ruled out the Tokina because I
>didn't want to deal with the CA. Yes I know that the Nikon
>has CA as well, but I don't believe it's as bad from the
>The thing is that I want something to match my 70-200 VR. So
>pretty much I would be using a 2 lens system and just ditch
>my 18-70mm dx and skip the mid-zoom all together. And I am
>really wondering if any of those 3 lens are up to the job.
#17. "RE: Please have a look at this 12-24 pic" | In response to Reply # 16vh_bu98 Registered since 02nd Mar 2007Sat 25-Feb-06 03:12 PM
I got a chance to test the Nikon, Sigma and Tokina this morning. They all seem to be good quality lenses, but the Nikon looked and felt the best to me. I couldn't really get any CA to show up, than again I was shooting inside aiming at the lights and that probably wasn't strong enough of a contrast. I shot handheld and my technique wasn't the best, so I can't really judge on sharpness since they all seem good to me. As for colors and contrast, the Nikon samples jumped out at me and it was just "wow".
It would be a toss-up between the Tokina and the Sigma, but the Nikon was definitely the leader. Now I'm going to have to bite the bullet and buy the Nikon.
#20. "RE: Please have a look at this 12-24 pic" | In response to Reply # 17Masa Registered since 27th Nov 2005Mon 27-Feb-06 12:11 AM
I have the Nikon one, and I've been happy. Sure, it's not as sharp as the 17-35, which I also own, but it's sharper than the 18-70 and the 18-200VR. Also, the 18-70 and the 18-200 have a lot more distortion at wider end.
When I first got the 12-24, I also thought it wasn't sharp. But, I kept shooting, and got used to the lens. Now, I don't have any complaint about its sharpness. It seems like a common problem, based on what I've read on the forums. People think it's not sharp, then start learning how to use it, and be satisfied with it.
The sharpness is one thing, but it also has the good image quality, way better than the kit lens or the 18-200. I used to have the kit lens, and now the 18-200 replaced it. When I go out with those lenses, come home, and start doing PP, I could tell which pictures were taken with the 12-24, instead of the 18-200 or the 18-70, because of the IQ.
I got the 17-35 used, and unfortunately, I had to send it to Nikon for repair. I had it for one week, before I sent for repair, but I could tell the 17-35 is sharper than the 12-24. The 17-35 also has very good IQ. I like them both, but I think I'll be using the 17-35 as my main lens, when it comes back.