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Author Topic: Is there a good quality 28 - 70 mm (or more) zoom lens for Nikon full-frame DSLRs?  (Read 19860 times)
Colorado David
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« Reply #60 on: January 22, 2009, 07:54:29 AM »
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Quote from: Slough
I think all but the oldest, and a few early ultra wides will work on the D700. Bjorn Rorslett's web site is a good source of information regarding older lenses, and new ones too. (His name requires a Nordic character which I cannot type, but Google and you will find the site.)


http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html

This link will take you to the top of the lens review pages.
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Ray
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« Reply #61 on: January 22, 2009, 08:57:20 AM »
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Quote from: eronald
Reluctant to buy, Ray ? Just go into the nearest pawnbroker's and stock up on old primes if you really need  a focal length;  I really don't understand why a smart guy like you would clutter up your time on trivial details - is a used 50/1.8 or 35/2  lens really worth the bother of a discussion ?  The used junk dealers have all these old primes sitting there and waiting.

Edmund,
This might be an ideal and inexpensive solution for studio work where distance to the subject can be altered to maximise lens performance within the composition, but I'm more of a peripatetic photographer. My interest in photography takes me clambering up hills in Nepal. It wouldn't be sensible to carry a heavy bag full of primes and I would miss a lot of shots whilst changing lenses frequently. High quality zooms with IS or VR capability is what I would prefer, rather than old lenses that probably won't autofocus when fitted to a modern Nikon body.

Quote
The last time I needed a lens for my 39 MP back and Mamiya I walked into Adorama in NY and paid $225 (!!!) for an AF 150mm F3.5 lens which was used by fully functional. At that price do I really a lens test or an MTF chart ?

You need a lens test. If it doesn't meet your standards you sell it and the next person who buys it does a lens test then sells it and so on and on until the lens eventually achieves the dubious status of being the most tested lens in the world. Finally the lens gets a permanent home with someone who doesn't give a stuff about lens quality   .
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Ray
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« Reply #62 on: January 22, 2009, 09:59:38 AM »
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Quote from: Slough
The 50mm F1.8 is a semi-consumer grade lens. Sadly some of the older semi-consumer grade primes are not so good, perhaps because Nikon reduced the price to make them competitive, and the quality took a hit. That is why the 28mm F2.8 AFD is awful, whereas the older manual designs are far superior. I guess they assume pros and serious amateurs would not buy the 28mm F2.8 AFD and 50mm F1.8 lenses, and hence optical performance was less than ideal.  

For reviews, check out www.NikonLinks.com.

Fair enough! But I was comparing apples with apples. The Canon 50/1.8 is also a very cheap lens. When I picked up my copy from the store, I asked the salesman if the lens was actually made of glass. It felt so light I suspected it was plastic.
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douglasf13
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« Reply #63 on: January 22, 2009, 12:06:26 PM »
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Quote from: Ray
[attachment=11041:Nikkor_C...mparison.jpg]

  Here is the ZA 24-70 for APS-C



Canon
 

Nikon
« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 12:08:14 PM by douglasf13 » Logged
aaykay
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« Reply #64 on: January 22, 2009, 01:02:30 PM »
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Quote from: douglasf13
Here is the ZA 24-70 for APS-C

I think most people would agree that the Carl Zeiss 24-70 has a *noticeably* higher resolution than the Canon "L" or the newer Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8, which is to be expected from a Zeiss, and has been depicted starkly in the charts you presented (and I personally know from past experience with a "good copy" of the "L" in comparison to my current Zeiss).

But some people find the Nikon to have a better Bokeh than the Zeiss.  Simply a matter of design priorities, I guess.
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NashvilleMike
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« Reply #65 on: January 22, 2009, 01:28:55 PM »
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Quote from: aaykay
I think most people would agree that the Carl Zeiss 24-70 has a *noticeably* higher resolution than the Canon "L" or the newer Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8, which is to be expected from a Zeiss, and has been depicted starkly in the charts you presented (and I personally know from past experience with a "good copy" of the "L" in comparison to my current Zeiss).

But some people find the Nikon to have a better Bokeh than the Zeiss.  Simply a matter of design priorities, I guess.

Um - guys, even photozone says one can NOT compare the charts cross system so these efforts to show superiority are pretty much a waste of bandwidth. The differences I've seen between the Sony/Zeiss and the Nikkor are nowhere what I'd call stark differences - they are quite close resolution wise, and the differences, as I've stated before, are much more rendering related, particularly in terms of bokeh. Both sharp, excellent lenses. And I fully expect Canon at some point to do a "mark II" version of their 24-70 at which point they'll join the top quality club as well. IMO both Sony and Nikon took an approach to making sure they had some *excellent* glass options available when they went FF with their bodies while Canon chose an approach to get the sensor/bodies out first and are lagging (IMO, as well as some other respected folks like Lloyd Chambers) in the glass. In time this will wash out because it doesn't take an einstein to realize the lenses are now key when we talk about high resolution bodies and I'm pretty sure Canon, who has been quite successful, is addressing it, as we've seen with their L series II designs.

As an aside, I rarely mean to get personal here, but you seem to have a problem with someone besides the maker of your body making good glass, because your consistent brand bias and zealotry/defense of your precious Sony is getting REALLY old here. REALLY old.

-m
« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 01:32:37 PM by NashvilleMike » Logged
Slough
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« Reply #66 on: January 22, 2009, 02:52:31 PM »
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Quote from: NashvilleMike
Um - guys, even photozone says one can NOT compare the charts cross system so these efforts to show superiority are pretty much a waste of bandwidth.

Quite. The resolution figures are roughly in order of the sensor pixel count: Sony A700 (12MP), Nikon D200 (10MP) and Canon EOS 350D (8MP).
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NikosR
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« Reply #67 on: January 22, 2009, 02:54:50 PM »
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Even if the charts were comparable across systems, which they are not, I would still fail to see the 'stark' difference between the Zeiss and the Nikon judging by those numbers... Now I'm not going to mention anything about those tests being on crop formats while we're talking here mostly about full frame.

To be honest I couldn't give a damn if one of the lenses is slightly 'better' (whatever this means) than the other if both lenses are very good ones according to all user accounts. I'm just commenting here because the insistence of some people to take comments and tests completely out of context has started getting on my nerves.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 02:56:20 PM by NikosR » Logged

Nikos
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« Reply #68 on: January 22, 2009, 02:56:28 PM »
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Quote from: Ray
Fair enough! But I was comparing apples with apples. The Canon 50/1.8 is also a very cheap lens. When I picked up my copy from the store, I asked the salesman if the lens was actually made of glass. It felt so light I suspected it was plastic.

You made the statement that any modern Nikon lens has weak edges on FX. I think that is mistaken. Any, I think this issue is best left before I lose the will to live. Though I am not sure these posts constitute a definition of life.
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thomashoven
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« Reply #69 on: January 22, 2009, 04:46:38 PM »
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Thank you all for many interesting posts. NikosR seems to summalize it all very well below. I should definetely count Nikon into the competition here. Thank you.

Rgds,
Thomas


Quote from: NikosR
So, to come back on topic and to answer the OP's question, which I remind was 'Is there a good quality 28 - 70 mm (or more) zoom lens for Nikon full-frame DSLRs? ' the answer is an emphatic YES there is, it is called the Nikkor AF-S 24-70 2.8G which is to all accounts an excellent quality lens. The old 28-70 is also a very good quality lens and can be found used priced attractively (in comparison to the 24-70).

There.
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Rgds,
Thomas
(www.thomashoven.com)
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« Reply #70 on: January 22, 2009, 05:08:54 PM »
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Thank you Bernard for bringing a translated short-version of this test (that I would not be able to read in it's original language). This has been very helpful in my decision-making.

Thomas

Quote from: BernardLanguillier
The most rigorous lens test I know of are those performed by the French magazine Chasseur d'Image. Recently they have been testing as a combo with a body.

Their Jan issue had a comparison of all the pro zooms for different mounts:

- The Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 on the D700 got the best absolute mark,
- Followed closely by the Canon 24-70 f2.8
- The Sony Zeiss on the A900 was a rather distant third. Their comment was that it was excellent on the A700, but clearly weaker than both Nikon and Canon offerings in the corners when used on the A900.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Rgds,
Thomas
(www.thomashoven.com)
aaykay
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« Reply #71 on: January 22, 2009, 06:39:00 PM »
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Quote from: NikosR
To be honest I couldn't give a damn if one of the lenses is slightly 'better' (whatever this means) than the other if both lenses are very good ones according to all user accounts. I'm just commenting here because the insistence of some people to take comments and tests completely out of context has started getting on my nerves.

Why should it "get on your nerves" ?  I am assuming you are referring to my post above.

I mentioned that the Sony/Zeiss has better resolution (as demonstrated by the charts from PZ) and the Nikkor has better bokeh.  The pluses and the minuses of either product.  

Why would you  read one portion of my response where the Zeiss's positive aspect was mentioned and ignore the second portion that gave credit to the Nikon lens ?  Case of selective vision ?
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aaykay
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« Reply #72 on: January 22, 2009, 06:51:36 PM »
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Quote from: NashvilleMike
As an aside, I rarely mean to get personal here, but you seem to have a problem with someone besides the maker of your body making good glass, because your consistent brand bias and zealotry/defense of your precious Sony is getting REALLY old here. REALLY old.

No, actually there are some lousy lenses in the Sony range, including the over-priced and under-performing 35mm f/1.4 G.  The 70-200 f/2.8G SSM and the 300mm f/2.8 G SSM are also severely over-priced while the performance is just comparable to a Canon L and a pro-grade Nikon.  Several other lenses like the 100mm f/2.8 Macro, the 50mm f/2.8 Macro, the 50mm f/1.4 etc., all lack SSM (ring-USM in Canon-speak) and AF through body-driven motor, while being priced the same as a Canon lens with ring-USM.

However, I have no problem in stating that the Zeiss lenses in the Sony range are exceptional performers and when I see subtle (and sometimes overt) attempts to downplay their performance (and unique availability to the mount),  I tend to speak up.  Nothing to do with "zealotry".   Having full-frame 35mm Zeiss or Leica lenses with native full mount compatibility and Auto-focus, is a BIG plus for any mount and whenever I see somebody try to downplay the importance of that (again, with great subtlety mind you), I try to change that perception - especially since Sony is not an "established" brand, with a lot of mis-information floating around that tries to beat it down (overtly and covertly).

Now, are you going to be selective about reading only the second paragraph in my response and ignore the first, and call me a zealot defending Sony ?  
« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 06:57:43 PM by aaykay » Logged
douglasf13
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« Reply #73 on: January 22, 2009, 07:20:30 PM »
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Quote from: aaykay
No, actually there are some lousy lenses in the Sony range, including the over-priced and under-performing 35mm f/1.4 G.  The 70-200 f/2.8G SSM and the 300mm f/2.8 G SSM are also severely over-priced while the performance is just comparable to a Canon L and a pro-grade Nikon.  Several other lenses like the 100mm f/2.8 Macro, the 50mm f/2.8 Macro, the 50mm f/1.4 etc., all lack SSM (ring-USM in Canon-speak) and AF through body-driven motor, while being priced the same as a Canon lens with ring-USM.

However, I have no problem in stating that the Zeiss lenses in the Sony range are exceptional performers and when I see subtle (and sometimes overt) attempts to downplay their performance (and unique availability to the mount),  I tend to speak up.  Nothing to do with "zealotry".   Having full-frame 35mm Zeiss or Leica lenses with native full mount compatibility and Auto-focus, is a BIG plus for any mount and whenever I see somebody try to downplay the importance of that (again, with great subtlety mind you), I try to change that perception - especially since Sony is not an "established" brand, with a lot of mis-information floating around that tries to beat it down (overtly and covertly).

Now, are you going to be selective about reading only the second paragraph in my response and ignore the first, and call me a zealot defending Sony ?  

  That Chasseur test calling the Zeiss 24-70 a distant third may be the most suspect review Ive heard about in a while. Something is definitely wrong.
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Ray
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« Reply #74 on: January 22, 2009, 07:20:54 PM »
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Quote from: Slough
You made the statement that any modern Nikon lens has weak edges on FX. I think that is mistaken. Any, I think this issue is best left before I lose the will to live. Though I am not sure these posts constitute a definition of life.

Slough,
A word of advice. If you want to leave an issue alone, then don't continue to yap at someone's heels after he has corrected his mistake, and even worse, misrepresent what he actually said as a final nip.

This is what I said:  "This seems to be a common problem with any modern Nikkor lens, weak in the corners on FX....."

Now I've already agreed that the above phrase is poorly worded and misleading and you were quite right to bring it to my attention. I should have written something like, "This seems to be a common problem with lenses designed for full frame 35mm, weak in the corners" without creating the impression that Nikon lenses might be worse than other brands in this respect.

You then continued to badger me to provide evidence, asking:  "Where is your evidence that any Nikon lens suffers from 'weak' corners on FX?"

I provided that evidence. The Nikkor 50/1.8 would appear to be particularly poor in the corners on an FX camera, certainly poorer than the Canon equivalent, which is not to say with more research one would not find a Canon lens which is significantly worse in the corners than the equivalent Nikkor lens.

The awareness I've been trying to create in this discussion is that corner softness of lenses when used on full frame cameras is a common problem. Even on cropped format cameras, corner softness can sometimes be an issue, which is why Photozone charts always include the performance of a lens at the 'border', not in the extreme corners specifically, which would result in an even worse figure, but in the borders which include the short edges of the format.

It doesn't take much imagination to deduce if a lens has noticeable softening at the edges on the APS-C format, it will be much more noticeable on full frame.

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NikosR
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« Reply #75 on: January 22, 2009, 09:55:23 PM »
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Quote from: aaykay
Why should it "get on your nerves" ?  I am assuming you are referring to my post above.

I mentioned that the Sony/Zeiss has better resolution (as demonstrated by the charts from PZ) and the Nikkor has better bokeh.  The pluses and the minuses of either product.  

Why would you  read one portion of my response where the Zeiss's positive aspect was mentioned and ignore the second portion that gave credit to the Nikon lens ?  Case of selective vision ?

Firstly, I was not referring only to you. Secondly, I read all of your message and still maintain that the sole piece of evidence (i.e. photozone test) you use to support your claim cannot be used for that purpose.In fact the evidence that you're using by definition precludes anyone to come to this conclusion. It's written prefixed by an exclamation mark all over the place in the site you're referring to. You choose to ignore it. I think it's pretty simple really. Now, who has selective vision?

 I repeat I have no clue, since I have only had limited experience with one of the lenses, and I don't really care, which of the lenses is subtly better than the other.


(PS. Don't even get me started on discussing what the photozone test REALLY tests, and how much is left out which is of photographic significance. I value an experienced photog's subjective test 100 times more than any such 'objective' test. Sure, it's an indicator of various performance characteristics so it can be used as a rough guide ASSUMING ONE UNDERSTANDS ITS LIMITATIONS, THE ASSUMPTIONS AND THE TEST CONDITIONS. Hints: How do lenses perform at infinity focus? How do macro lenses perform at close up distances? What is the relevance of flat vs curved field for different kinds of shooting, different shooting distances and different subjects? I can go on ad nauseum about these issues but I'd better stop here.)
« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 11:41:56 PM by NikosR » Logged

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aaykay
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« Reply #76 on: January 23, 2009, 11:24:01 AM »
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Quote from: douglasf13
That Chasseur test calling the Zeiss 24-70 a distant third may be the most suspect review Ive heard about in a while. Something is definitely wrong.

As a former user of Canon's 24-70 f/2.8L and a current owner of the Zeiss, I agree that the "distant third" statement is rubbish.  Or maybe they got a damaged Zeiss and thus the "test" and the results were irrelevant anyway.
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aaykay
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« Reply #77 on: January 23, 2009, 11:25:22 AM »
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Quote from: NikosR
Firstly, I was not referring only to you. Secondly, I read all of your message and still maintain that the sole piece of evidence (i.e. photozone test) you use to support your claim cannot be used for that purpose.In fact the evidence that you're using by definition precludes anyone to come to this conclusion. It's written prefixed by an exclamation mark all over the place in the site you're referring to. You choose to ignore it. I think it's pretty simple really. Now, who has selective vision?

 I repeat I have no clue, since I have only had limited experience with one of the lenses, and I don't really care, which of the lenses is subtly better than the other.


(PS. Don't even get me started on discussing what the photozone test REALLY tests, and how much is left out which is of photographic significance. I value an experienced photog's subjective test 100 times more than any such 'objective' test. Sure, it's an indicator of various performance characteristics so it can be used as a rough guide ASSUMING ONE UNDERSTANDS ITS LIMITATIONS, THE ASSUMPTIONS AND THE TEST CONDITIONS. Hints: How do lenses perform at infinity focus? How do macro lenses perform at close up distances? What is the relevance of flat vs curved field for different kinds of shooting, different shooting distances and different subjects? I can go on ad nauseum about these issues but I'd better stop here.)

Agree for the most part and apologize for mis-construing your earlier response.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 11:25:44 AM by aaykay » Logged
douglasf13
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« Reply #78 on: January 23, 2009, 12:28:13 PM »
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Quote from: aaykay
As a former user of Canon's 24-70 f/2.8L and a current owner of the Zeiss, I agree that the "distant third" statement is rubbish.  Or maybe they got a damaged Zeiss and thus the "test" and the results were irrelevant anyway.

  There has been a known issue with decentering with some copies of the ZA 24-70s that leaves the right side of the frame soft.  I have a feeling they may have gotten one of those bad copies.  I've yet to hear from an owner of multiple 24-70s from the various makers that say the ZA isn't the best of the lot.
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Slough
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« Reply #79 on: January 23, 2009, 04:39:35 PM »
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Quote from: Ray
Slough,
A word of advice. If you want to leave an issue alone, then don't continue to yap at someone's heels after he has corrected his mistake, and even worse, misrepresent what he actually said as a final nip.

This is what I said:  "This seems to be a common problem with any modern Nikkor lens, weak in the corners on FX....."

Now I've already agreed that the above phrase is poorly worded and misleading and you were quite right to bring it to my attention. I should have written something like, "This seems to be a common problem with lenses designed for full frame 35mm, weak in the corners" without creating the impression that Nikon lenses might be worse than other brands in this respect.

You then continued to badger me to provide evidence, asking:  "Where is your evidence that any Nikon lens suffers from 'weak' corners on FX?"

I provided that evidence. The Nikkor 50/1.8 would appear to be particularly poor in the corners on an FX camera, certainly poorer than the Canon equivalent, which is not to say with more research one would not find a Canon lens which is significantly worse in the corners than the equivalent Nikkor lens.

The awareness I've been trying to create in this discussion is that corner softness of lenses when used on full frame cameras is a common problem. Even on cropped format cameras, corner softness can sometimes be an issue, which is why Photozone charts always include the performance of a lens at the 'border', not in the extreme corners specifically, which would result in an even worse figure, but in the borders which include the short edges of the format.

It doesn't take much imagination to deduce if a lens has noticeable softening at the edges on the APS-C format, it will be much more noticeable on full frame.

No! One or two examples is not evidence. I think we have been here before that logic is not your strong suit.

Of course corner softness can sometimes be an issue, especially with wide angle lenses, used wide open, and sometimes even when stopped down. However ... an APS camera will a given pixel count have a higher pixel density than a full frame camera with the same pixel count. So the softening might not be more noticeable on full frame. It all depends if the IQ drop off is faster than linear. And my Nikon lenses are all superb on APS. But I would not generalise from my small selection.

I suspect what you really mean is that on a high pixel count full frame camera, such as the D3x, edge performance is a very real concern. As to whether or not that is true for most Nikon lenses, I will leave it to people with experience to provide an informative answer. Neither of us have the experience to comment.
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