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Author Topic: Nikon d800 or d800E?  (Read 8945 times)
Mr. Capp
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« on: July 11, 2013, 08:11:42 AM »
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I'm looking to get a D800 but have a few concerns when comparing it against the D800E.

I never shoot wide open, usually f11-16 and it looked like on tests I've seen the differences are none at this aperture due to diffraction,
even more wide open with a tad of sharpening it looks pretty identical. Would I be benefiting with the E, as I loves my sharpness, am considering
the sigma 35 to go with it.

I'm a canon owner and considering the shift is becoming more and more daunting, Quality control issues mainly. Canon is a bit frustrating. Would hate to leave a girl because she's awesome and all but just wont step up to the next level, know what I mean? DR, Resolution, etc.

Plus it seems when the new megapixel/redesigned sensor camera comes out, it's gonna prolly be a 5,000 body. but the QC is there, but sheesh.

so 800 or 800e?

-M
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PhotoEcosse
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2013, 08:22:48 AM »
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I bought a D800 when they first came out in March 2012. The only reason that I did not buy a D800E at the time was that I wanted the camera for a 7-week phototour over in America starting in early April and it was unlikely that the 800E would arrive in time.

Then, in January of this year I decided that I wanted a second body - mainly so that I could have two lenses mounted for immediate use. Naturally (or maybe not so naturally) I chose the D800E.

Having now run both side by side and virtually interchangeably since then, I have to confess that I cannot see any difference whatsoever in the image quality. I'll qualify that by saying that I rarely print larger than A3+ although sometimes that may be from a fairly tight crop.

So, based on my own experience, I would suggest buying the D800 and spending the £300 you save on beer.
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Mr. Capp
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2013, 09:36:07 AM »
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Thanks for your input.
Did you or do your shoot canon too? was it a big diff in feeling, intuitiveness?
Have you noticed any QC issues with your nikons?

I'm going to rent a body and lens to really know what I'm getting into before jumping ship and dropping $$$
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Mr. Capp
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2013, 10:47:36 AM »
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Do you find your d800 sensor gets dirty rather easily?
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kers
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2013, 11:25:46 AM »
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Do you find your d800 sensor gets dirty rather easily?

I have my d800e just cleaned by Nikon- once every 3-4 months....
( the sensor stays longer clean than the d3x ;once every 2 months)
If you use apertures from d5,6 and larger ( number smaller)  there is no problem at all..


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Pieter Kers
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stevesanacore
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2013, 01:27:06 PM »
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Hi

I currently have a Nikon D800E that I use for my personal work. I use Canon for my pro work.

I was a Nikon guy the first twenty years of my career. Then when Nikon dropped the ball on digital I had no option but to switch to Canon. So I've been a Canon guy for the past ten years now. I have to say Canon bodies seem much better built than Nikons in the past - I'm not sure about current Nikons other than the D800E I've been using for the past six months or so.

The Nikon images are fantastic. Sharp and lots of dynamic range. I first got the D800 and was a bit disappointed in the sharpness. We were shooting an architectural job and my tech said the images were dull compared with the D800E he had used a week earlier. So I returned it and got the E. He was right. To me there is a big difference in sharpness. I think both cameras are great but I like the E for it's un-compromised sharpness in details. I do use it with only the best lenses usually at f5.6 to f8.

That said I think the biggest advantage to this camera is not the sharpness or megapixels - it's really the dynamic range that sets it so far ahead of my Canons and everything else I've tried.



 
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PhotoEcosse
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2013, 01:28:19 PM »
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Thanks for your input.
Did you or do your shoot canon too? was it a big diff in feeling, intuitiveness?
Have you noticed any QC issues with your nikons?

 

Never shot digital Canons (I use their film cameras) so can't really comment upon relative intuitiveness other than to say that having come through D80, D300 and D3s, the D800s are up to scratch in terms of handling.

No QC issues at all with either the D800 or D800E.

I started to notice a few dust specks on the D800 sensor after about 9 months and cleaned it at that stage. Haven't had to clean it again and haven't had to clean the D800E sensor. I believe that there was an early batch of D800s shipped to America that seemed to have problems with oil on the sensor but haven't heard any comments about that for the last year.
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akclimber
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2013, 02:42:12 PM »
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Thanks for your input.
Did you or do your shoot canon too? was it a big diff in feeling, intuitiveness?
Have you noticed any QC issues with your nikons?

I'm going to rent a body and lens to really know what I'm getting into before jumping ship and dropping $$$

Here's my take on the 5D2 & 5D3 vs D800E. I've posted it elsewhere as well (below is slightly updated). Hope you find it useful (can't comment on D800 vs D800e other than to say I bet at f/16 you prolly wouldn't notice a difference):

"I currently shoot with a 5D2, 5D3 & D800E.

First & foremost, at ISO 100 & 200 the image quality of the D800E blows the Canons out of the water - plain & simple. DR and detail are stunning. If you shoot a lot at these low ISOs you can't get better than the D800E's sensor. At those low ISOs, in a high DR scene, a shot that only needs one exposure with the D800 might very well need 2 with the Canon to capture clean shadows. At ISOs 400-800 the DR and IQ are generally about equal with the exception of more details for the D800E. At above ISO 800 the 5D3 starts to pull ahead in DR and maybe noise but I find the noise of the D800E files easier to deal with.

As for AF, I agree with others that the 5D3 has an edge (update: for action stuff).

As for ergonomics/shooting comfort overall I prefer Canon but not by much. The one design feature the D800E has that's inexplicably missing in the 5D series is a built-in viewfinder curtain. What is Canon thinking? And why neither cam has a flip out, tilting LCD screen is a real mystery.  Update: the more I get used to the Nikon ergonomics, the more I think it's a wash - both work, you just need to get familiar with them.

Update: In camera controls - I love it that Nikon has an easily programmable, intervalometer as a menu choice.

Oh, and Canons liveview is way, way better than Nikon's (update: way better - for me, it's the D800e's Achilles's heel).

As for build quality, the 5d3 feels better. Same too for shutter noise/feel.

As for frame rate, I kinda like the D800 option of using a 1.2 crop to get 5-6 fps (resulting in a 24MP file) but it takes practice to mentally switch from a full frame POV to a smaller crop.

As for lenses, I've seen a lot of 24-105 vs 24-120 talk in the thread with folks saying the 24-105 is a lot better. I don't agree. I have & love them both for their usability and IQ and find them comparable. As for overall lens line-up, I prefer Canon for its amazing TSE lenses and L quality mid zooms like the 70-300 and 100-400 and 70-200 f/4 IS (Update: but it looks like Nikon's newish 70-200 f/4 and 80-400 are terrific altho I haven't tried them - the 80-400 is on my short list of things to buy). On the wide end, Nikon has the wildly good 14-24 and useful 16-35 f/4 VR. I've rented a 14-24 to use on my 5D2 and wow, it's nice. I opted for a Zeiss 21 f/2.8 for the D800E but am still considering the 14-24 or 16-35 VR since I really like AF and handheld stuff.  Update #1, I bought a 16-35 f/4 VR to use in my handheld wanders.  Aside from its well documented wild distortion at the wide end, it's a nice lens.  Update #2 I'm really enjoying the ability to find affordable but great quality, small and light manual legacy lenses to use with the D800e.  Update #3:  I'm also enjoying that, with an adapter, I can use all my Nikon lenses on my Canon cams.

Update:  I enjoy IR photography and it turns out that newer Nikon DSLRs aren't very IR conversion friendly (which is really disappointing - I'd love a high DR IR camera!) so Canon gets the nod for IR.

As others have pointed out, your choice of body has everything to do with how you shoot and what you enjoy shooting. For ISO 100-200 use, the D800 smokes Canon for image quality and it's about equal up to ISO 800. The 5D3 might be a slightly better general use DSLR but not by much and only if you use higher ISOs and need a little better fullframe frame rate or slightly better low light AF.

If you can, rent one and find out for yourself how it'll work for your needs.

Good luck!

Oh, and BTW, my D800E did unfortunately have the left side AF problem (fixed by Nikon)). But on the other hand, my 5D3 exhibits a light leak thru the viewfinder when I'm using liveview. Sigh, nothing's perfect.
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shadowblade
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2013, 04:56:53 PM »
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Depends what you shoot.

The D800 is a more general-purpose solution - it will work for everything. The D800e will give you better image quality for some subjects, but be less-than-useable for some others. Ideally, you'd want one of each.

I'm still shooting Canon, and the only reason I do so is for the TS-E 17 and TS-E 24, which Nikon cannot match, and which cannot be fitted to Nikon bodies due to the greater flange distance in the Nikon mount. I also use a Nikon 14-24 lens with a Canon adapter.

If it weren't for these tilt-shift lenses, I'd have moved to Nikon long ago - the image quality is so much better, in terms of both dynamic range and pattern noise (Canon's pattern noise is a killer if you do a lot of fine-tuning in Photoshop, and is particularly annoying in the midtones), and Canon really hasn't improved their full-frame sensor image quality since the 1Ds3 in 2007. High-ISO noise reduction, certainly, but not ultimate image quality. Meanwhile, the D800/D800e is usually compared against medium-format cameras, and sometimes it's little brother the D600 - no-one even bothers comparing it against other 135-format DSLRs.

Any idea if there are any adapters which let you fit Canon lenses onto a Leica M-mount? Aside from the Sony Exmor sensors, the M240 seems to be the next-best thing... As an aside, the TS-E 17 and TS-E 24 are probably two of the finest medium-format lenses out there, and the TS-E 17 is the only way you can get that wide in a single frame!
« Last Edit: July 11, 2013, 06:32:17 PM by shadowblade » Logged
PhotoEcosse
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2013, 03:49:02 AM »
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The D800 is a more general-purpose solution - it will work for everything. The D800e will give you better image quality for some subjects, but be less-than-useable for some others. Ideally, you'd want one of each.



That's a bit of a myth promulgated by the pre-release Technical Note issued by Nikon basically intended, I suspect, to cover their backs. I imagine that they regret it now.

Remember that the only difference between the two cameras is that the D800E has an additional filter over the sensor (another myth is that it has none!!).

As mentioned above, I use both cameras interchangeably and can discern no difference in image quality whatsoever. No lack of sharpness with the D800 and no moiré or other problems with the D800E. Stevesanacore, on the other hand, did suggest he could identify a difference. Theoretically, according to DxO data, the D800E should be 3% sharper than the D800.

As also mentioned above, a huge benefit of the D800/E is the DR - which applies equally to both variants.

And the other big step forward with those cameras is the high-ISO performance. When I was first tempted by the D3s, one of the "selling points" was the alleged ability to produce usable photographs at up to ISO 102,400. In practice, I could count the number of times I ever went over ISO 6400 on the fingers of one hand. So, when I swapped the D3s for a D800 I was ready to accept ISO 6400 as a realistic maximum. What I found, of course, was that at all ISO settings up to, and including, 6400, the D800 outshone the D3s. (Above that, it did deteriorate more rapidly). But the real surprise was not only that there was so little noise at 6400, but that the "quality" of the noise was dramatically different. With the D800/E at ISO 6400, what little noise there is is more like film grain rather than the multi-coloured artifacts found with lesser cameras.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2013, 05:34:44 AM »
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As mentioned above, I use both cameras interchangeably and can discern no difference in image quality whatsoever. No lack of sharpness with the D800 and no moiré or other problems with the D800E. Stevesanacore, on the other hand, did suggest he could identify a difference. Theoretically, according to DxO data, the D800E should be 3% sharper than the D800.

Hi,

That's similar to what I found when I analyzed the limiting resolution differences, based on an image pair graciously made available to me by Michael Reichmann.

The difference was that the D800 showed a limiting resolution of 93.9 cycles/mm or 92.0% of Nyquist, and the D800E shows a limiting resolution of 94.9 cycles/mm or 92.9% of Nyquist. The almost 1% difference could stem from small focus differences (despite his best efforts) that benefitted the D800 a tiny bit more, thus closing the gap even further than the 3% from DxO.

I did notice that the Raw converters at that early stage of availability had more difficulty in avoiding a nasty reddish edge glow artifacting on the D800E images. Maybe that has improved over time, but it did show that a different/specific Raw conversion engine adjustment for both models would be required and beneficial.

Cheers,
Bart
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Mr. Capp
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2013, 01:43:45 PM »
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This may seem a bit bizarre but does anyone have a experience using an older nikkor, specifically the 28 or 35mm f2d's on the d800? You may say what on earth? But to me it seems like at f11-16 things are all pretty similar I guess except for chromatic aberration which can fairly easily removed in Lightroom.

Of course I really want the new sigma 35 but in this economy I may splurge on one prime and go old school on another.
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TMARK
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2013, 02:41:37 PM »
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This may seem a bit bizarre but does anyone have a experience using an older nikkor, specifically the 28 or 35mm f2d's on the d800? You may say what on earth? But to me it seems like at f11-16 things are all pretty similar I guess except for chromatic aberration which can fairly easily removed in Lightroom.

Of course I really want the new sigma 35 but in this economy I may splurge on one prime and go old school on another.

My favorite lenses on the D800e are the old Nikkors.  They don't look so "digital", have a different color rendition and rendering.  The 28 AI-S is fantastic, especially the 2.8 version.  You get some purple fringing on high contrast edges, even stopped down a bit to F4/5.6, but this cleans up easily in post.
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2013, 02:41:47 PM »
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Hello,

From my experience with the 28mm AF F2.8D lens even on a Nikon D3X it was a shocking lens. The corners where very soft even at F11.0. The Nikon AF 35mm F2.0 wasn’t that much better at the same aperture. The Tokina ATX 28-80mm F2.8 performed better than these two Nikon prime lenses.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tokina-AF-28-80mm-f-2-8-AT-X-PRO-280-Nikon-AF-D-FX-Full-Frame-Lens-Nr-MINT-/181167504423?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item2a2e6cbc27

When it come to the Nikon D800E this camera is very unforgiving when it comes to lenses. Since I purchased both versions of the D800 I have up graded all my Nikon lenses to the G version.

Also the Sigma 35mm F1.4 from my experience was soft in the corners even at F11.0 which is why I returned to the distributer and have stayed with the Nikon 35mm F1.4G lens.

For doing panoramas I have found the Nikon 16-35mm lens to be excellent especially when shooting with the camera vertically.

Cheers

Simon
 
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Simon Harper
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2013, 02:58:10 PM »
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But to me it seems like at f11-16 things are all pretty similar ...

At f/11 the diffraction pattern already has a diameter of approx. 3 sensels on the D800/D800E, so only the very best lenses would be able to make a tiny bit of difference, and only in the exact focus plane, because defocus will kill all micro-contrast.

Cheers,
Bart
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TMARK
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« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2013, 03:18:31 PM »
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Hello,

From my experience with the 28mm AF F2.8D lens even on a Nikon D3X it was a shocking lens. The corners where very soft even at F11.0. The Nikon AF 35mm F2.0 wasn’t that much better at the same aperture. The Tokina ATX 28-80mm F2.8 performed better than these two Nikon prime lenses.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tokina-AF-28-80mm-f-2-8-AT-X-PRO-280-Nikon-AF-D-FX-Full-Frame-Lens-Nr-MINT-/181167504423?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item2a2e6cbc27

When it come to the Nikon D800E this camera is very unforgiving when it comes to lenses. Since I purchased both versions of the D800 I have up graded all my Nikon lenses to the G version.

Also the Sigma 35mm F1.4 from my experience was soft in the corners even at F11.0 which is why I returned to the distributer and have stayed with the Nikon 35mm F1.4G lens.

For doing panoramas I have found the Nikon 16-35mm lens to be excellent especially when shooting with the camera vertically.

Cheers

Simon
 

That 28 AFd was bad on film outside of teh center 1/3 of the frame.  My understanding is that the optical formula was from the old 28 2.8 E lens, which was terrible.
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2013, 03:47:58 PM »
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Hello,

I still have my old Nikon 28mm F2.8, 50mm F1.4 and 105mm F2.5 AIS lens.

The Nikon 28mm F2.8 AIS lens is sharper than the Nikon AFD 28mm lens but the Tokina 28-80mm was even sharper in the the corners when I did my test back when I was using a Nikon D3X.

Now the new Nikon 28mm F1.8 G lens is superb and is worth every penny. The resolution is sharp right to the edges and with the Nano coating the images have a wonderful clarity to them.

And for only $697.00 US is a bargain.

Cheers

Simon
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Simon Harper
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Mr. Capp
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« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2013, 08:26:09 PM »
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Thank you all for all this input.

I'd love to think an older nikkor can perform well, I'm especially concerned at the corners, and will try some.

"At f/11 the diffraction pattern already has a diameter of approx. 3 sensels on the D800/D800E, so only the very best lenses would be able to make a tiny bit of difference, and only in the exact focus plane, because defocus will kill all micro-contrast."

This is pretty much why i'd want the new sigma, to really let the d800 do it's thing.

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Mr. Capp
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« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2013, 01:56:42 PM »
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I guess I have one more concern about the d800 in general.

Is diffraction such an issue at f11-16 that its not worth having this?
Would a d600 resolve at those apertures or is this just like any other
Camera and you get slightly softer results at smaller apertures. People
Scare me with comments like you can only use this camera wide open to f8.
It just seems a bit ridiculous. I tend to shoot f11-16 Iso 100 on a tripod in
Live view with a 28-35mm lens. I couldn't see the d800 being any worse than
Any other camera at that aperture range, only better. Seem like my paying attention
To pixel peepers is getting out of hand, and adorama better get a new stock
Of refurbished ones in soon...
Any input of course is so appreciated....
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Petrus
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« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2013, 02:35:51 PM »
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People Scare me with comments like you can only use this camera wide open to f8.
It just seems a bit ridiculous. I tend to shoot f11-16 Iso 100 on a tripod in
Live view with a 28-35mm lens. I couldn't see the d800 being any worse than
Any other camera at that aperture range, only better.

That is of course 100% true, D800e is better than anything with any lens or aperture. If the e is $300 better than the plain D800 at those apertures is another matter altogether. I suspect you would pay that extra just for the peace of mind, not any perceptible difference in sharpness. I have the D800e, but I did not have to pay for it myself (company gear). I have not noticed any moire in any pictures, but others have noticed some quite good looking pictures I have taken with it...

Old lenses: I really like the 135 f/2 DC portrait lens, stopped down to 5.6-11. The shorter sibling 100 f/2 DC which is 20 years old, got really good marks on the DxO test, much better than the new 105mm macro for example. 135mm test results are not out yet.
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