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Author Topic: dpreview directly compares D800 and D800E...  (Read 9460 times)
dreed
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« on: June 12, 2012, 02:07:02 AM »
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In their D800 review, dpreview look at the difference between the D800 and D800E.

Some of the 100% zooms on raw images can be found starting here:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d800-d800e/22
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stamper
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2012, 02:50:03 AM »
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A pixel peepers wet dream?
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dreed
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2012, 06:58:20 AM »
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It would seem that if you want to see the differences in IQ between the D800 and the D800E then you must engage in pixel peeping or the equivalent of that with prints.
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shadowblade
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2012, 07:03:51 AM »
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It would seem that if you want to see the differences in IQ between the D800 and the D800E then you must engage in pixel peeping or the equivalent of that with prints.

Thing is, if your print is large enough, the audience will essentially be pixel-peeping too.
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Josh-H
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2012, 07:19:00 AM »
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Thing is, if your print is large enough, the audience will essentially be pixel-peeping too.

Only if its an audience of photographers!  Grin

In my experience - the art buyer stands back and admires.

The Photographer sticks his nose into the print.

Whilst I fall into category 2 - I sell to category 1. And to date no client ever has said 'geee.. I wish this sharper.. or I wish this had more resolution'

Makes one stop and think about who we are pleasing with the never ending quest for more resolution.....
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kers
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2012, 07:23:55 AM »
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I am in favor of the d800E

As long as you do not have too often moiré, who cares for a bit more sharpness...?

In print -the destination of these 36MP images- things always come out a bit softer so the extra acutance is welcome, as in downsampling.

Also High ISO images need less sharpening or non at all.

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Pieter Kers
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torger
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2012, 07:24:53 AM »
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The AA-filter in D800 is so weak that the D800E provides very little advantage after sharpening.

I'd like them to have done the landscape tests at f/8 though which is typically the best compromise for edge-to-edge sharpness vs diffraction. f/4.5 as they tested is not likely to be used often for landscapes, and f/16 only in emergencies.
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torger
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2012, 07:34:21 AM »
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It also shows how important it is to have a great demosaicing algorithm to extract the little advantage you get from D800E.

I think RawTherapee's amaze demosaicer + minor deconvolution sharpening (attached) does the job better (less false colors, finer lines) than the various raw converter examples on the dpreview page http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d800-d800e/27

Some of the fences are hopelessly moireed though.

I would also be a bit worried how those aliased diagonal wires to the right would end up on a print - I don't like see traces of pixels in a print. But as said, f/4.5 is an extreme, at f/8 the image would be a bit softer with less aliasing and moire issues.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 07:43:18 AM by torger » Logged
michael
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2012, 08:05:12 AM »
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I own both a D800 and D800e and have been using them for a couple of months now.

I wrote in my original reports that the difference in resolution were small, but visible, and not just on-screen at 100%. These can be seen in 13X19" prints.

But I also wrote that only the very best lenses and the very best shooting technique allows that small difference to be worthwhile. This has essentially now been corroborated by DPReview.

I have yet to see significant moire other than when I set out to do so for testing purposes.

Michael

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dreed
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2012, 12:39:03 PM »
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The AA-filter in D800 is so weak that the D800E provides very little advantage after sharpening.

I'd like them to have done the landscape tests at f/8 though which is typically the best compromise for edge-to-edge sharpness vs diffraction. f/4.5 as they tested is not likely to be used often for landscapes, and f/16 only in emergencies.

I think that the D800/E changes the game here with respect to aperture. They (dpreview) discuss the impact of smaller apertures on image quality and as Michael and dpreview say, the best technique is required for getting the best out of the sensor. I take that to mean including what the aperture is set to.

So setting up for a shot now requires knowledge of where each lens peaks in terms of IQ vs aperture and the resulting resolution.

What if there was an iPad/iPhone/whatever application where you could select the lenses that you have available, what is the required range of distances for subjects to be in focus is and have it tell you which lens will produce the best resolution? I say that because not all lenses peak at the same point in MTF graphs and trying to cram all that into your brain is likely to result in lossy compression. Or even just to answer the question "I have lenses X, Y and Z in my bag, I want to shoot at AAmm, using f/B.B, which lens gives me the best resoslution?"
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2012, 01:19:41 PM »
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Hi,

Sharpening is also a part of the equation. An image with AA-filter needs more sharpening than a non AA-filtered image.

The best aperture is where the lens gets diffraction limited. With the very best lenses that may happen at f/5.6 or even at f/4. Some lenses achieve optimum performance at large apertures, without being limited by diffraction. Those lenses will maintain performance stopping down until diffraction limit is met. There are very few photographic lenses that are diffraction limited at f/4. my guess would be one or two telephoto lenses for the Leica R, the Coastal Optics 60/4.0 Macro lens and possibly some of the Canon L-series telephoto lenses.

Best regards
Erik


I think that the D800/E changes the game here with respect to aperture. They (dpreview) discuss the impact of smaller apertures on image quality and as Michael and dpreview say, the best technique is required for getting the best out of the sensor. I take that to mean including what the aperture is set to.

So setting up for a shot now requires knowledge of where each lens peaks in terms of IQ vs aperture and the resulting resolution.

What if there was an iPad/iPhone/whatever application where you could select the lenses that you have available, what is the required range of distances for subjects to be in focus is and have it tell you which lens will produce the best resolution? I say that because not all lenses peak at the same point in MTF graphs and trying to cram all that into your brain is likely to result in lossy compression. Or even just to answer the question "I have lenses X, Y and Z in my bag, I want to shoot at AAmm, using f/B.B, which lens gives me the best resoslution?"
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luxborealis
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2012, 04:49:59 PM »
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I realize dpreview was pixel-peeping - not something typically done with fine art prints, but at the same time, I was surprised at the obvious degradation of the D800e "advantage" at smaller apertures like ƒ16. So much of the work done by outdoor landscape and nature photographers pushes the defraction limit at ƒ11, 16 and 22 that it would appear there is little or no realistic advantage to owning the "e" version.

I'd love to hear from those who are making active use of small apertures and the D800e (especially if you can compare your results to those from a straight D800) – can you confirm the obvious loss in advantage shown by the dpreview team? Perhaps I can save myself $300 and just purchase a D800.
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Terry McDonald
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2012, 05:13:39 PM »
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Most of my Leica R's on a D800E are optimum between f5.6 and f8.0 I see no difference, f4 and f11 are a bit soft
Marc

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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2012, 05:17:04 PM »
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I'd love to hear from those who are making active use of small apertures and the D800e (especially if you can compare your results to those from a straight D800) – can you confirm the obvious loss in advantage shown by the dpreview team? Perhaps I can save myself $300 and just purchase a D800.

Why not get the "E" and have an advantage when you need/want the extra sharpness?  The "E" images really are quite 3 dimensional I think worth the $300
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
LesPalenik
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2012, 05:24:48 PM »
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I think, using the small apertures to achieve greater depth of field is vastly overdone.
Back in film days, with 220 film I tried to use F22 and F32 whenever possible. Then with dSLR, I weaned myself from it towards F8.

Not so long ago, I came across a few new photography books in which the authors promoted the use of small apertures to achieve greater DOF. So, I thought, maybe the DOF will compensate for the diffraction devil, and that these guys know something I don't, so I tried the small apertures again. 
It didn't take very long to discover that the combination of the diffraction and departure from the lens sweet spot kills any sharpness, so I'm back to F5.6 and F8 (on APS-sized body).   

 
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2012, 06:13:53 PM »
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It didn't take very long to discover that the combination of the diffraction and departure from the lens sweet spot kills any sharpness, [...]

This is not entirely true. While diffraction does reduce the per pixel contrast, it is however also a type of blur that's recoverable to a large extent with proper (=deconvolution) sharpening. There are limits to such restorations though.

Cheers,
Bart
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luxborealis
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« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2012, 06:15:53 PM »
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I think, using the small apertures to achieve greater depth of field is vastly overdone.
It didn't take very long to discover that the combination of the diffraction and departure from the lens sweet spot kills any sharpness, so I'm back to F5.6 and F8 (on APS-sized body).   

I couldn't agree more. Over the years, I've moved through the 35mm, 6x7 and 4x5 range using upper limits of ƒ22 to ƒ64 respectively, but more recent use of a 4:3s sensor demonstrated clearly that ƒ11 was its limit. However, back in the 35mm days, I could routinely use ƒ22 on Velvia with no problem. Perhaps it's wishful thinking that the same could be achieved with the full-frame D800 without any obvious degradation. The degradation is there when pixel-peeping; hopefully it is not apparent with 20"+ fine prints.
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Terry McDonald
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Ray
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« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2012, 08:35:23 PM »
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The best aperture is where the lens gets diffraction limited. With the very best lenses that may happen at f/5.6 or even at f/4. Some lenses achieve optimum performance at large apertures, without being limited by diffraction. Those lenses will maintain performance stopping down until diffraction limit is met. There are very few photographic lenses that are diffraction limited at f/4. my guess would be one or two telephoto lenses for the Leica R, the Coastal Optics 60/4.0 Macro lens and possibly some of the Canon L-series telephoto lenses.


Hi Erik,

I don't think this is quite true, but perhaps that depends on one's definition of 'diffration limitation'.

As I understand the term, a lens is diffraction limited at a particular aperture when no amount of improvement by the lens designer and manufacturer could reveal any additional sharpness, simply because one cannot defeat the laws of diffraction. But it's interesting that physics research departments are trying very hard to defeat the laws of diffraction through the development of artificial materials, produced by nanotechnology, which have a negative refractive index, and could theoretically make it possible, eventually, to develop a camera lens which is as sharp at F22 as a good quality lens currently is at F5.6.

In practice, the effects of diffraction are present at all apertures in all lenses, but at larger apertures, say as F1.4 to F5.6, such effects are overshadowed by other lens aberrations which are the main obstacle to improving the lens sharpness.

If a lens is sharpest at F4, that doesn't mean the lens is diffraction limited at F4. I'd be very surprised if any 35mm-format lens exists which is diffraction limited at F4. Maybe certain very small-format lenses designed for P&S cameras can be diffraction limited at F4. Maybe microscope lenses can be diffraction limited at F4 or wider. I'm not sure about that.

Again, as I understand the situation, most DSLR camera lenses would not be diffraction limited till F11 and beyond, the apertures at which all lenses are equally bad.

ps. One also sometimes finds that a particular telephoto lens which is impressively sharp at F2.8 is only very marginally sharper at F2.8 than it is at F8. Furthermore, its sharpness at F8 may not be as great as the sharpness of other less impressive lenses at F8. In other words, the lens has been optimised for maximum sharpness at F2.8, with a trade-off of being slightly less sharp than it could be at physically smaller apertures.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 08:45:56 PM by Ray » Logged
LesPalenik
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« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2012, 09:09:01 PM »
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I couldn't agree more. Over the years, I've moved through the 35mm, 6x7 and 4x5 range using upper limits of ƒ22 to ƒ64 respectively, but more recent use of a 4:3s sensor demonstrated clearly that ƒ11 was its limit. However, back in the 35mm days, I could routinely use ƒ22 on Velvia with no problem. Perhaps it's wishful thinking that the same could be achieved with the full-frame D800 without any obvious degradation. The degradation is there when pixel-peeping; hopefully it is not apparent with 20"+ fine prints.

Terry,

I wonder how much of the sharpness is attributable to the film format/sensor size and how much to the media (film vs sensor, and putting up with the diffraction).

At the same time, we didn't do then so much pixel peeping as now. The printing was analog, and the photographic paper reacted also differently than the modern ink-jet papers. I produced some 12ft long prints from a 6x9 and 6x17 film, and found them plenty sharp. Most of the time, I used often F16 or F22, occasionally even F32, and at that time, I didn't even know what a diffraction was. I don't think, I could have it done from a 35x24mm image, regardless of the aperture used.

 
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torger
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« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2012, 12:29:54 AM »
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The lens they used in the test don't really peak at f/4.5. Center sharpness is at peak yes, but if you look at the edges there's plenty sharpness falloff.
Some will probably prefer having supersharp center and somewhat fuzzy edges like dpreview, but for landscapes I prefer having a more even edge-to-edge performance, and for many that is f/8 (there are exceptions though). There will also be depth of field issues, having larger aperture than f/8 will be problematic in many landscape scenes.
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