Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 3 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Canon Lenses vs. Nikon Lenses  (Read 22558 times)
JohnKoerner
Guest
« on: February 06, 2008, 06:01:48 PM »
ReplyReply

There has been a lot of debate and interest surrounding the emergence of the Canon 40D vs. the Nikon D300, but what perhaps might be an even more important discussion would be the pros and cons of each of the corresponding lens choices/prices that the consumer is faced with, after he makes up his mind which camera body he likes.

In fact, while it seems like the latest camera bodies change with the seasons, it's the actual camera lenses that last the longest and so (ultimately) matter most. In keeping with this, I have configured both brands with their high-end lenses and have tried to read as many "testimonials" as my eyes will allow me to read ... but it doesn't seem like many people have actually used and compared Canon lenses and Nikon lenses side-by-side.

Here are the 4 lenses I have compared which I feel will give me a good, broad gamut in "serious amateur" diversity:



* Canon EF Zoom 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM ($1,310)
* Nikkor AF-S Zoom 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF ($1,500)


* Canon EF Zoom 24-70mm f/2.8L USM  ($1,059)
* Nikkor AF-S Zoom 28-70mm f/2.8D ED-IF  ($1,400)


* Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM AF ($1,569)
* Nikkor AF VR Zoom 70-200mm f/2.8D G-AFS ED-IF ($1,580)


* Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM ($1,239)
* Micro-Nikkor AF 200mm f/4D ED-IF ($1,340)



These 8 lenses are paired into 4 groups, based on nearly-identical specs. The specs are comparable, the prices are comparable, (although the Nikon glass is always higher), but how about the quality?

My question is, aside from the $643 difference in price ($1,294 difference when factoring the difference in price when adding the 40D and D300 bodies to the respective lists), in favor of Canon, is there any difference in function, durability, or end product? Are the Nikon lenses any better in these seemingly-comparable Canon models, to justify the extra money in favor of Nikon, or are both sets of lenses about equal in quality, function, and delivery?

Have any of you professionals done a side-by-side with any (or all) pairs of these lenses?

I have tried to compare for myself in local stores, but no one seems to have all of these options in the podunk town I live in  

Thanks for any input,

Jack
Logged
Panopeeper
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1805


« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2008, 06:16:19 PM »
ReplyReply

Three comments:

1. When considering the 40D, one should not forget the EF-S lenses, particularly the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, which would be an L lens if it was on full frame (it is one of the very best lenses Canon made),

2. Nikkors can be used on Canon bodies, but not the other way around,

3. Canon has apparently sold the QA department, thus now the customers have to test the lenses. If one takes the opinions on DPReview as representative, the rejection rate is very high with some models.
Logged

Gabor
BernardLanguillier
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7902



WWW
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2008, 08:18:36 PM »
ReplyReply

Why aren't you looking at the NIkkor 24-70 f2.8?

Besides, just look around and see the amount of posts put up by Canon users trying to use Nikon lenses on their FF bodies...

They are not trying to do it because they can, but because they need to.

Cheers,
Bernard
Logged

A few images online here!
BruceHouston
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 308



« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2008, 09:41:46 PM »
ReplyReply

Jack,

I suggest that you look at the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM before you buy the f/2.8L.

At the risk of echoing elements of our earlier discussion of tripods, there is a huge weight and size penalty to pay for the extra stop with the f/2.8L.  I did the side-by-side comparison recently at the San Antonio pro photo store and was immediately convinced to go with the f/4L.  Also, take a look at the MTF chart for each on the Canon website.  (See Michael R's tutorial about MTF charts from the LL home page if you need to).  The f/4 is measurably sharper.

Sorry that I have nothing to add to the Canon vs. Nikon quality/performance debate, given that I am a newby like yourself.  As an electrical engineer, however, I would not be inclined to mix brands as is sometimes suggested in the forums.  Current and/or future potential compatibility issues with the electronics, if nothing else, would preclude my following this path.  I think that you may be onto something by considering the lenses as a first priority.  But if you decide to go with Nikon lenses, I would recommend that you go with a Nikon body (D300, from your post?).

I made that decision in favor of the 40D back in November, based upon a review of the specs/chatter and based upon my experience several years ago with a 5mp Nikon Coolpix 5400 "prosumer" P&S.  Engineer that I am, I chose the 5400 back then based upon specs, including a 28mm equiv. wide angle zoom, a 4x zoom ratio, and practically infinite parameter configuration capability.  As I recall it cost about $800.  Unfortunately, the camera IQ was poor, at least in my hands.  A few years later I bought my wife a Canon 3.5mp P&S for $150 and the IQ blew the 5400 away.

This time around I was afraid that the same thing might be happening with the D300 vs. 40D.  The D300 is very "spec-y," but does it measure up in the real world in terms of IQ?  From what I have read in reviews and in the forums, apparently it does.  However, my prior experience coupled with the "vapor-ware" status of the D300 back in November resulted in my decision in favor of the 40D.

Good luck with your decisions.  It provides me comfort to see that I am not the only one who agonizes over these things.  

Cheers,
Bruce
Logged
JohnKoerner
Guest
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2008, 11:44:00 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Three comments:
1. When considering the 40D, one should not forget the EF-S lenses, particularly the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, which would be an L lens if it was on full frame (it is one of the very best lenses Canon made)

I did not know this lens was so highly-regarded. I guess I dismissed it because it didn't have the "L" designation, as well as for the fact the EF-S lenses don't work on FF bodies. If I decide to go FF in the future, I want all of my lenses to still be useable.




Quote
2. Nikkors can be used on Canon bodies, but not the other way around,

This is a hugely-important factor, for much the same reason as the above. Should I decide to switch to Nikon at some point in the future, all I'd have to do is switch the bodies, and my lenses would still work, provided I bought Nikkor lenses to begin with. But if I go all Canon, lenses too, then I would be severly limited in my freedom to switch brands. Wow! Thanks for sharing that. (I may have to re-think everything now ...)




Quote
3. Canon has apparently sold the QA department, thus now the customers have to test the lenses. If one takes the opinions on DPReview as representative, the rejection rate is very high with some models.

Well, that was what I was originally getting at I guess. "These" particular Canon lenses I have listed seem to be very highly-rated. I was wondering how they stack up to their Nikkor counterparts.

Another thing I wonder, with your #2 suggestion, is do the Nikkor lenses just "work" on the Canon bodies (bot not as well as the Canon lenses) ... or do the Nikkor lenses work as well as (or even better than) the Canon lenses?

If they work as well or better, I may have to get them instead. But if they are just "passable" on a Canon, but really shine only on Nikon, then I probably won't.
Logged
JohnKoerner
Guest
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2008, 11:47:40 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Why aren't you looking at the NIkkor 24-70 f2.8?

I didn't know they had two lenses so nearly identical. Is the one you listed the better of the two?




Quote
Besides, just look around and see the amount of posts put up by Canon users trying to use Nikon lenses on their FF bodies...
They are not trying to do it because they can, but because they need to.
Cheers,
Bernard

So the Nikkor lenses are superior then? Have you experienced this yourself or is this just a well-known consensus? (Sorry for so many questions, I am just trying to educate myself before I plop-down the cash.)

Jack
Logged
JohnKoerner
Guest
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2008, 12:01:41 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Jack,
I suggest that you look at the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM before you buy the f/2.8L.
At the risk of echoing elements of our earlier discussion of tripods, there is a huge weight and size penalty to pay for the extra stop with the f/2.8L.  I did the side-by-side comparison recently at the San Antonio pro photo store and was immediately convinced to go with the f/4L.  Also, take a look at the MTF chart for each on the Canon website.  (See Michael R's tutorial about MTF charts from the LL home page if you need to).  The f/4 is measurably sharper.

Thanks for your input again Bruce. The only comparison I saw of this product was on the reviews of B&H Photo, where most of the people who tried both favored the 2.8 over the 4 for sharpness. This is why I was trying to get other opinions, as unfortunately the little camera shop in my local mall doesn't have either




Quote
Sorry that I have nothing to add to the Canon vs. Nikon quality/performance debate, given that I am a newby like yourself.  As an electrical engineer, however, I would not be inclined to mix brands as is sometimes suggested in the forums.  Current and/or future potential compatibility issues with the electronics, if nothing else, would preclude my following this path.  I think that you may be onto something by considering the lenses as a first priority.  But if you decide to go with Nikon lenses, I would recommend that you go with a Nikon body (D300, from your post?).

That is exactly along the lines of my question back to Panopeeper. He seems to have a ton of technical expertise, so I wanted to make sure that the Nikkor lenses didn't just "work" on Canon bodies, but that they worked AS WELL OR BETTER.


...


Quote
Good luck with your decisions.  It provides me comfort to see that I am not the only one who agonizes over these things.   
Cheers,
Bruce

LOL, nope, you are not alone. I consider this a long-term investment, and the more I research, the more the true investment is with the lenses, not the camera bodies, so I just wanted to open a discussion on this subject ... as ultimately it seems to be the more important issue for consideration.

Jack
Logged
BruceHouston
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 308



« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2008, 12:40:20 AM »
ReplyReply

Well, I would be astounded if the competitor's lens microprocessor talks to the foreign camera body's microprocessor such that focus, aperature, and IS function commands and completion tasks, etc. are properly communicated back and forth between the lens and the body.  Remember that the body needs to know how the lens was set to record and report the EXIF information correctly.  I think that folks who are doing this are using manual focus and probably foregoing the EXIF information, at the very least.  But I may be (and often am) wrong.

I believe that you will need a more technical treatment than what you can get from reviews on the B&H website to make a good decision, though.  It is a matter of fact, based upon the MTF charts on the Canon website, that the 70-200mm f/4L is sharper than the f/2.8 at most or all aperatures.  Just take a look at the graphs.  And, even if there were no graphs, in general high levels of resolution/contrast are more difficult to achieve in a larger aperature lens of a given focal length as a matter of the physics of optics design.  The reviewers on B&H are speaking very subjectively.

Take a look at these sites for more serious lens reviews if you have not already done so:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/

http://www.kenrockwell.com/  (click on "search"---> radio button "Ken Rockwell"---> then enter "canon lenses" or "nikon lenses" to get lists)

http://www.nikonians.org/html/resources/jr...lens/index.html  (for Nikon lenses only, because this guy is a "Nikonian.")

If you are serious about researching this subject, there is no lack of material out there.  However it will require a modest amount of reading and research beyond the mere opinions.

Best,
Bruce
Logged
Morgan_Moore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2215


WWW
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2008, 02:32:25 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
There has been a lot of debate and interest surrounding the emergence of the Canon 40D vs. the Nikon D300, but what perhaps might be an even more important discussion would be the pros and cons of each of the corresponding lens choices/prices that the consumer is faced with, after he makes up his mind which camera body he likes.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172846\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

17 or 16 , your start point is not very wide on a crop sensor body IMO

Had you considered a 5d, a 20mm a fifty and a 135 prime or similar combo.

Seems to me like buying aa FF body saves a stack on wide lenses.

---

In terms of which lenses are better - I would say canon - they fit and work on a 22mp body !

The latest nikkors do seem to have a better rep than canon though

---

In the first part of the post I recomend prime lenses for value, my current thoughts as someone whold likes to own one body per lense is that quality zooms offer the best value over multiple body ownership due to the fixed ish value of lenses and the plummiting value of bodies

But given that IMO fullframe leads to decent and affordable wide I think you need to be looking for the cheapest entry point into FF - Canon

(I shoot nikon)

SMM
Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
www.sammorganmoore.com -photography
NikosR
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 622


WWW
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2008, 02:52:45 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
I didn't know they had two lenses so nearly identical. Is the one you listed the better of the two?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172913\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes. New model, reportedly somewhat better and replacing the 28-70 in the Nikon line. And while you are at it you might want to think about replacing the 17-35 with the very new 14-24 (both lenses remain in the current line) which is reportedly in a class of its own regarding WA zooms (and maybe WA primes also).
Logged

Nikos
Andy M
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 333


WWW
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2008, 03:19:24 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Besides, just look around and see the amount of posts put up by Canon users trying to use Nikon lenses on their FF bodies...

They are not trying to do it because they can, but because they need to.

Cheers,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172871\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

One lens; the new 14-24, but aside from that I can think of no others?

Lenses are an area where Nikon still does not compete with Canon, but I hope that will change soon, and that Nikon pushing forwards will raise Canon from their slumber.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2008, 03:20:12 AM by Andy M » Logged
BernardLanguillier
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7902



WWW
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2008, 07:22:42 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Lenses are an area where Nikon still does not compete with Canon, but I hope that will change soon, and that Nikon pushing forwards will raise Canon from their slumber.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172942\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No intention to enter an endless discussion on this, but what do you base your opinion on?

The only remaining "hole" in the Nikon lens line up are updated versions of their wide primes, but then again their current line up with 30 f2, 50f1.4 and 85f1.4 is far from being ridiculous. I have used extensively the 35 and 85 and these lenses are outstanding. OK, they are not 1.2, but reading various comments on the quality problems of the 50f1.2, I'd rather have a sharp 1.4.

Until a few months ago Nikon was clearly behind in long pro tele lenses because of the lack of VRs in theirs, but their current line if now overall more appealing on the Nikon side thanks to the 200-400 f4 AF-S VR. Nikon was also behind in T/S lenses but that was just corrected with their new 24 T/S due to become available in 2 weeks.

For the rest, there is basically one Nikkor for every Canon, and their quality is overall fairly close with a slight edge to Nikon IMHO. I can at least personnally think of no Canon lens whose quality is obviously superior to that of the corresponding Nikkor.

That is about FX lenses, if you look at the DX offering, then Nikon does have a pretty significantly wider offering.

So overall, we have close to a draw with slightly different strenghts on both sides, but I see no facts enabling you to claim that "Nikon still doesn't compete with Canon on lenses".

Cheers,
Bernard
Logged

A few images online here!
BernardLanguillier
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7902



WWW
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2008, 07:27:24 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
So the Nikkor lenses are superior then? Have you experienced this yourself or is this just a well-known consensus? (Sorry for so many questions, I am just trying to educate myself before I plop-down the cash.)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172913\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Canon users would be able to answer your question better, but there does indeed seem to have a concensus that at least on the wide end on FF bodies, the current Canon offering leaves something to be desired.

Overall, the Nikon and Canon offerings are fairly similar and both are excellent.

Regards,
Bernard
Logged

A few images online here!
Panopeeper
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1805


« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2008, 10:48:05 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
in general high levels of resolution/contrast are more difficult to achieve in a larger aperature lens of a given focal length as a matter of the physics of optics design

You are very inventive on several matters, particularly on this one. I wonder how you came to this conclusion re "the matter of physics of optics design". I would be very surprized if this were correct.

The "matter of physics of optics design" is, that a lens (lens elements) performs the best in all relations where the curvature is the least, i.e. the radius is the largest. Larger aperture lenses are generally larger in diameter (focal lengths being equal), as such they behave better, even if stopped down.
Logged

Gabor
JeffKohn
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1671



WWW
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2008, 12:16:18 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
One lens; the new 14-24, but aside from that I can think of no others?
Many FF Canon shooters seem to prefer the Nikkor 17-35 to Canon's offering (even after it was updated to 'II').

Quote
Lenses are an area where Nikon still does not compete with Canon, but I hope that will change soon, and that Nikon pushing forwards will raise Canon from their slumber.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172942\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I disagree. The two areas where Canon has led in years past were image-stabilized super-telephotos and mid-prices f/4 lenses. With the new VR super-tele's Nikon has address the first of those areas in a big way. There are still no mid-priced f/4 lenses in the lineup so I guess you could say Canon has a better lineup for budget-minded photogs than Nikon, but for sheer optical quality I think a strong case could be made that Nikon has an edge.

You could argue Canon has more USM primes, but the AF-D primes work quite well. Nikon also has some pretty compelling offerings in the 200-400vr, 200vr, 10.5 fisheye, not to mention the newly announced PC-E lenses.
Logged

JohnKoerner
Guest
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2008, 09:13:01 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Yes. New model, reportedly somewhat better and replacing the 28-70 in the Nikon line. And while you are at it you might want to think about replacing the 17-35 with the very new 14-24 (both lenses remain in the current line) which is reportedly in a class of its own regarding WA zooms (and maybe WA primes also).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172936\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Thanks for the information. Yes, I would much rather purchase the lens on the way in than the lens on the way out, if the results are noticeably better.
Logged
JohnKoerner
Guest
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2008, 09:20:45 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
17 or 16 , your start point is not very wide on a crop sensor body IMO

Had you considered a 5d, a 20mm a fifty and a 135 prime or similar combo.

Seems to me like buying aa FF body saves a stack on wide lenses.



I have considered it, yes. However, wide lenses are not a priority to me ... macro and telephoto are. This is part of the reason I decided on a 40D rather than a 5D.




Quote
In terms of which lenses are better - I would say canon - they fit and work on a 22mp body !

LOL, I don't think I'll be getting that one any time soon




Quote
The latest nikkors do seem to have a better rep than canon though

That was my concern and what prompted this question to begin with ...




Quote
In the first part of the post I recomend prime lenses for value, my current thoughts as someone whold likes to own one body per lense is that quality zooms offer the best value over multiple body ownership due to the fixed ish value of lenses and the plummiting value of bodies.

Ditto as above.

However, those 4 lens model/pairs that I originally listed are probably the only 4 lenses I am going to buy. Therefore, if the Canons are as good as the Nikons, in those models, I might just stick with the Canons. Especially if the Nikons only "work" on Canons, but do not work as well. However, I am still mulling the fact Nikon transference is preferred to Canon's lack of transference, no matter how you slice it.




Quote
But given that IMO fullframe leads to decent and affordable wide I think you need to be looking for the cheapest entry point into FF - Canon
(I shoot nikon)
SMM

Thanks again, and maybe I should. The trouble is 99% of my photography will be macro work (butterflies/insects) and telephoto work (birds), for which a 1.6x will actually help me. And while I really do appreciate viewing landscape work, I probably will not be doing much of it myself.

Jack
« Last Edit: February 07, 2008, 10:27:44 PM by JohnKoerner » Logged
JohnKoerner
Guest
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2008, 09:27:40 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Canon users would be able to answer your question better, but there does indeed seem to have a concensus that at least on the wide end on FF bodies, the current Canon offering leaves something to be desired.

Actually, longtime users of BOTH lens families would best be able to answer my question ...

I am hoping someone who has actually field-trialed any (or all 4) of these juxtaposed lense pairings, specifically, could provide his or her feedback, both objective and subjective, as to any qualitative differences noted between them (if any).

Jack
« Last Edit: February 07, 2008, 10:29:01 PM by JohnKoerner » Logged
JohnKoerner
Guest
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2008, 09:33:34 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Many FF Canon shooters seem to prefer the Nikkor 17-35 to Canon's offering (even after it was updated to 'II').

Was there a general consensus as to why, Jeff?




Quote
... There are still no mid-priced f/4 lenses in the lineup so I guess you could say Canon has a better lineup for budget-minded photogs than Nikon, but for sheer optical quality I think a strong case could be made that Nikon has an edge.

This is the kind of "peeling away" I am looking to do, dismissing particular lenses that may not be so sharp, and focusing only on "best-to-best" comparisons. And finally, within that parameter, then focusing on any tangible differences between the models I have listed above.




Quote
You could argue Canon has more USM primes, but the AF-D primes work quite well. Nikon also has some pretty compelling offerings in the 200-400vr, 200vr, 10.5 fisheye, not to mention the newly announced PC-E lenses.

What about the USM primes listed originally? Do you have any feedback on the +'s or -'s of any of these?

Jack
Logged
Tony Beach
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 452


WWW
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2008, 11:14:17 PM »
ReplyReply

With every pair of lenses you are comparing, the Nikkor has noticeably better MTF numbers.  You can check it out for yourself here:  http://www.photozone.de/reviews

If you went for the newer more expensive Nikkors (24-70/2.8 and 14-24/2.Cool then you are investing in lenses that are the benchmark lenses and will easily match prime lenses at the same apertures.

Since you are particularly interested in macro, I would think the two lenses that would be the most important to you would be these:

http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Canon%20EO...-review?start=1

http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Nikkor%20/...-report?start=1

Also, Nikkors come with a 5 year warranty versus a 1 year warranty for Canon lenses.  That might be an indication of what each company thinks of its products build quality.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad