I will be ordering a D800 pretty quick and I have been told my tokina 28-70 2.8 and nikkor 80-400 VR isn't going to be sharp enough. Is this accurate and if so, why? Both of those lenses are about 6-7 years old but have been well taken care of. It's always nice to get new lenses but I don't want to bust the budget.
Howard The Plano, Texas Nikonian I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain
Since you have the lenses and plan to get the camera, try them and see if you are satisfied. Great (read "expensive") glass may give you better results, but you may be perfectly happy with what get with your existing lenses, so that is a good value proposition.
It's always easy to recommend that someone else spend a lot of their own money.
"Never let your schooling interfere with your education" -Mark Twain
I have the original 80-400 VR and I would not worry about it not being sharp enough. I do find that I need to use a tripod more. The old rule of the reciprocal of the focal length being the slowest shutter speed does not work for me with the D800. I am more inclined to go twice as fast (or use a tripod). Also because the D800 can capture such amazing images, my tolerance for what is less than perfect is at times too low. I am so much more aware of what is in focus, so depth of field is to me at least, something that I need to be more careful about.
I can't speak for the Tokina, but I have read that it is not weather sealed so be careful about dust.
Most of my lenses have made the transition. The notable exception is a Nikon 20mm 2.8 D which is not sharp enough for my taste.
The D800 offers so much that it can change your approach to photography. That may lead to a case of NAS (Nikon Acquisition Syndrome).
I had the original 80-400 AF lens when I first got my D800. It worked fine in terms of image quality.
I upgraded to the new AF-S lens but not due to image quality. I wanted the faster, quieter AF operation for birds in flight and other dynamic scenes. The new AF-S lens is incredibly faster focusing than the AF lens.
As for image quality to my eye I couldn't really see a difference although perhaps instruments could. But I would not upgrade just out of concern for image quality.
Chasing sharpness and upgrading lenses is not really a good idea. There is always a sharper lens.
I only had one lens that was not too soft to use on the D800E - the Tamron 28-200. This was and older consumer zoom and extremely soft. It was obvious with the first set of test images. All of my other lenses have been fine - and some are remarkably good.
I expect your lenses will be fine. The Tokina is not as sharp as the Nikon 24-70, but it's still a good lens. There are two versions of the 80-400, and the recent update is excellent. Assuming you have the older version, the real issue is AF speed which will be the same or better on a new camera. The earlier version is not quite as sharp, but it's still pretty good.
Both of these lenses could be upgraded. If you have been happy with them on earlier cameras, they should be okay on the D800. Keep in mind that if you look at an image zoomed to 100%, you are seeing a much more magnified image than on earlier cameras. And your post processing settings - especially sharpening - may need to be changed for the D800. Sharpening can use a little larger radius since the large file is downsized more when converting to a modest size.
They say the d800 rather improves even a quite imperfect lens. Further, to immediately check the 100% view of an image, and then being disappointed if it's not 100% sharp is usually misleading. The pixel peep certainly helps to diagnose an image, but what matters is the size you want to see it displayed.
It is generally suggested here that you take what Mr. Rockwell (also known as "he who shall not be named") with a grain of salt. He mixes facts and fiction so freely, it can be hard to distinguish which is which.
I heard this from my cousin who is a photography equipment and accessory rep. I think she must have heard this from someone at Samy's who is trying to sell new glass... I'll stick with what I have for the moment, thank you. Fortunately, I came from using film so I only have one DX lens which I will give to my 15 year old son along the the d200 so he can learn photography.
Howard The Plano, Texas Nikonian I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain
i do find that the d800 requires a little more attention. also agree with going more than the old 200mm 1/200 rule. also give your camera time to focus (sometimes i just punch the shutter, you need just a small pause halfway and it is more noticable on the d800)
Like it's been said.... try them and see if your happy. That said... I quite ofter do shoots with 2 other D800 owners... the only differance is the lens... & yes... there is a differance in sharpness that we must match/correct in post. The lens made for the D800 generation are very sharp... but... just how much sharpness do you really need...??? Do what works for you.
Howard -- Don't listen to that particular advice. You will immediately notice an immense gain in results over your D200. Understand -- I am NOT knocking that camera. I used one for several years before going to the D700. THAT move was revolutionary, and not evolutionary. And having switched to a pair of D800 bodies recently, I find them an advance over the D700s.
Try your lenses and the D800. You will get better results from both on the D800, especially if your technique -- holding the camera still and focusing accurately -- is good.
Like someone said, there are a lot of people who will help you spend your money. Unless they are ponying up the $$$ for YOUR lenses, just get busy shooting photographs -- and not test charts and brick walls. Trust me -- you are not going to be equipment limited with your current lenses. Maybe someday you'll want better or more glass -- but eat the $3k on the camera first!
The internet chatter will convince many that the D800 will render typical lenses useless but even a brief consideration of the facts will reveal those claims as foolish. The high resolution can reveal flaws but so will any current camera all except the D4 has a higher pixel density than the D800. The expected impression yOu will get if you ignore the rumors is that your lenses never focused so well, never were as sharp before, and never never captured color and details better before.
One suggestion: refrain from pixel peeping until you learn how much more magnification is involved. When viewing at 100% you are blowing it up much more that your current camera at 100% Stan St Petersburg Russia
With a theoretically perfect lens the camera image sensor determines the result. However, every lens has a maximum resolution which can become the weakest link in determining the final resolution of an image. This relationship is best told in numbers. For example: D700 is a 12 MP camera: Nikkor 80-400 on the D700 produces a 7 P-MP image. Nikkor 85 1.4 on the D700 produces a 12 P-MP image. D800 is a 36 MP camera: Nikkor 80-400 on the D800 produces a 10 P-MP image. Nikkor 85 1.4 on the D800 produces a 22 P-MP image.
You can clearly see how a soft lens limits your ability to reach the potential of both cameras, whereas a high quality lens enables the full potential of the D700 and a respectable part of the potential of the D800.
As an additional reference: Zeiss Otus 55 on the D800 produces a 29 P-MP image.
Resolution is only one small part of photography and many times it does not even show or matter. However, since you asked I felt you deserve a quantitative answer.
>With a theoretically perfect lens the camera image sensor >determines the result.
True, but in practice image resolution is always dependent on both lens resolution AND camera resolution.
>You can clearly see how a soft lens limits your ability to >reach the potential of both cameras
As you say, BOTH cameras. The figures also clearly show that a lens will produce higher-resolution images when used on a D800 than it does when used on a D700. In this particular case, someone with an 80-400mm should see an improvement in resolution by switching to a higher-resolution camera; the D800 won't "show it up" as is commonly claimed.
>Resolution is only one small part of photography and many >times it does not even show or matter.
Theoretical resolution limits and sensor capabilities and lens capabilities are all extremely interesting pieces of information. But I also think the OP's lenses are excellent designs, excellent performers, and far more than sufficent for amateur, enthusiast and professional photography for all his present intents and photography interests. I think the OP, like most of us, will get better results from those lenses than ever before if he concentrates on his tripod technique, handheld technique, exposure choices, composition choices and post-processing methods.
"I am constantly amused by the notion that some people have about photographic technique – a notion which reveals itself in an insatiable craving for sharpness of images. Is this the passion of an obsession? Or do these people hope, by this trompe l’oeil technique, to get to closer grips with reality? In either case, they are just as far away from the real problem as those of that other generation which used to endow all its photographic anecdotes with an intentional unsharpness such as was deemed to be “artistic.” Henri Cartier-Bresson
But in spite of advice from Henri and many other great photographers the illusion never fades.
>"I am constantly amused by the notion that some people >have about photographic technique – a notion which reveals >itself in an insatiable craving for sharpness of images. Is >this the passion of an obsession? Or do these people hope, by >this trompe l’oeil technique, to get to closer grips with >reality? In either case, they are just as far away from the >real problem as those of that other generation which used to >endow all its photographic anecdotes with an intentional >unsharpness such as was deemed to be “artistic.” >Henri Cartier-Bresson > >But in spite of advice from Henri and many other great >photographers the illusion never fades.
Do we look for a camera that only takes soft images and wonder about one that takes sharp images or do we use a camera that is capable of taking sharp images and use our own creativity and artistic ability to take an image with the amount softness we choose?
>Do we look for a camera that only takes soft images and wonder >about one that takes sharp images or do we use a camera that >is capable of taking sharp images and use our own creativity >and artistic ability to take an image with the amount softness >we choose?
No. We first recognize that all of the top camera and lens makers offer a wide range of products that are all fully capable of capturing award winning, sharp photos when used by photographers who've given up questing for gear with the absolute finest specs and concentrated instead on understanding what makes a great photo.
There is no such thing as a perfect exposure, because some people prefer more contrast (or less) or greater luminance (or less) or greater depth of field (or less) and so on. Award winning photos of all kinds are made and exhibited and show all sorts of different approaches to exposure. Exposure, composition and the ability to see and react to great light that falls on a subject or scene is hard to qualify, quantify and comparatively measure.
But sharpness can be bench tested and compared and tweaked, and it becomes a very deep rabbit hole into which too many photographers plunge. They forget that relative sharpness is just one comparatively minor factor that goes into the making of a good photo.
Yet again, in its 50th year, supremely critical sharpness is rarely evident in any of the winners, runners-up and commended photos in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. Of course the photos are all sharp enough - to the point at which sharpness recedes into to its proper position as only one small part of a great photo. A few of the photos are certainly critically sharp, but that factor is not evident in all of the winners - far from it - and it just doesn't matter.
All of the DSLR and most of the MILC cameras and lenses are capable of critical sharpness. Almost every time, if a photographer is complaining about too many soft photos it's usually his or her own fault rather than a problem with their gear.
Sat 08-Feb-14 08:55 AM | edited Sat 08-Feb-14 09:40 AM by Bengt Nyman
If you want a rough estimate of the image resolution from a new camera with an old lens, or vice versa, you need to know the native resolution of both the lens and the camera. Now take the lowest resolution of the two, (L) expressed in MP or P-MP, and the highest resolution of the two, (H) expressed in MP or P-MP, and calculate the final Image resolution:
Final image resolution = L - 2L/H
This approximation also allows you to use DxO test data to estimate the native resolution of any lens that DxO has tested on any camera, and to turn around and use this native lens resolution to roughly estimate the image resolution to be expected from any other camera using the same lens.
You're probably right. I studied mathematics at university, but it was 40 years ago!
Can we draw a line under this, and agree that (however it is measured):
1) a better lens will maximise the benefits of the higher resolving power of a D800; 2) any lens will deliver higher resolution on a D800 than it does on a camera with lower pixel density; 3) the caveat "given appropriate technique" should be applied to both the above statements.
Some people will consider the improvement with existing lenses to be sufficient, and will be happy to keep using them; other people will want to get the very best out of their camera and will invest in higher-end lenses. Either approach is valid; we should not leave members with the impression that the D800 can ONLY be used with the best lenses.
I feel that you are creating unrealistic expectations as far as using the D800 with low resolution lenses.
1. A 10 P-MP lens will produce a final image between 8 and 10 P-MP, even when used on a D800. 2. A 20 P-MP lens will produce a final image between 18 and 20 P-MP on any camera with a resolution > 20 MP, including the D800.
Your money is best spent maintaining a reasonable balance between the resolution of your lens(es) and your camera(s).
The main benefit of the D800 has nothing to do with getting higher resolution out of low resolution lenses.
The real benefit of the D800 is that when used with appropriate lenses it gives you extraordinary resolution, sharpness and cropping margin allowing a shift from zoom lenses to prime lenses.
...which still out resolves the print or any screen display by a considerable margin.
I doubt there is a camera produced in the last two years that is not capable of sharper images than can be printed or screen displayed unless magnified to the point of distorting scale and the ability of the eye to take in the whole image at once.
The obsession with sharpness is usually associated with extreme magnification, pixel-peeping, which is not photography. It is another hobby and leave out the nature of art, which is to communicate with others. Pixel peeping is a solitary habit that communicates nothing to others, and luckily, is seldom seen by others. We do a disservice to newcomers if we refrain from discouraging them from getting obsessed with pixel-peeping. It does as much for concealing the art as encouraging new art viewers to view a large piece from 2 inches, where the eye can only taken in about 5 square inches of a canvas of 7000 square inches. Stan St Petersburg Russia
I have three lenses which are considered some of the latest available. I also have other lenses, manual and auto focus, which are up to 40 years old and I never hesitate to use any of them on my D800 or D700 bodies. My AF70-180mm f4.5-5.6D Micro-Nikkor is an oldie but it can be relied upon to provide very good results. Give your Tokina 28-70 and Nikkor 80-400VR a good running start and I bet your results will be stellar! (plus you'll keep more money in your pocket)
"Great things are not done by impulse but by a series of small things brought together." Vincent Van Gogh
The lenses I listed are certainly good enough to be used on a D800, notwithstanding their apparently below par resolution numbers, and I suggest that most D800 owners would be very happy to do so.
I'm sure you are sincere in your belief that the D800 deserves only the best lenses, but most of us exist in the real world, where available finance, existing lens kits, the required quality of output and many other factors mean that we are quite content with what, by some people's standards, would be considered "lower-quality" glass.
I realise that I will never change your mind, but my message to other members (and in particular the poster of the original question) is this - if you don't have and/or can't afford the very best lenses, please don't be put off from buying a D800 and gaining the many benefits it offers that do not depend on lens quality (dynamic range, shadow detail, durability, handling, state of the art AF and metering systems, etc...)
>I trust that most D800 owners-to-be are smart enough to make >the choices that are right for them.
Agreed - we are. I'm sure most of us won't be rushing out to buy that Zeiss Otus 55mm - great lens though it is - when an alternative that comes at a fraction of the price will meet our needs quite nicely... even on a D800. It won't be as good, but it will be good enough
We really need to draw a line under this debate and move on.
A D800 is "good enough" for anyone that wants to use it, regardless of the lenses they use. If they find their results personally satisfying, so be it.
Zeiss glass may be wonderful (I have never used one), but it is ridiculously expensive, and I suspect one pays extra for the brand name. If you like to shoot "old-tech", and have the money, buying a fully manual, single focal length lens is probably very satisfying.
For the majority of photographers, there are only a few lenses that are truly awful, and all the rest involve trade-offs between cost, quality, capability and convenience. And, as many have mentioned, a D800 will can improve your results with any lens.
To look down on those using "lesser" equipment is just not right.