Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Nikon > D7K?

After all the people desperate for Nadia G photos, someone got here by searching "how sharp is the D7k".  Wrong question.  Right question--how sharp is your lens.  Buy expensive glass.  Don't invest in the new Nikon D800 unless you can afford really great glass.  The 55-200 VR will always look like crap no matter what the reviews say.  You need to pay hundreds of dollars for a real lens, not a a plastic toy.  Don't pay for speed you don't need, research for sharpness.

My 85mm, comes in 2 versions of the same lens.  One is an f 1.4 that costs $1900 at Amazon right now.  Mine is an  f 1.8 that costs $500.  Same lens,  but more speed for $1400.  You can't bump the ISO up?  You can't find a flash that costs under $1200?  You don't need that f stop.  Where are you shooting?  In a cave?  This is a good portrait lens and fine all purpose lens.  Zoom with your feet.

I know it's a weird length --some people love the 35mm for $200 or the 50mm but the good one is $700 and I've never been that much of a fan of a 50m--but I continue to love the 40 mm bigtime.  It's the right length for me and it's super sharp.  You can hit it with post processing sharpening and not really detect an improvement.

Here's a real quickie proof.  I started a new cookbook yesterday (it'll have 1 recipe, I want to see the complaints and refunds demanded on that!).  I took a picture of my kitchen scale with the 40 at the end of the day, totally overcast, lousy light.  This is at 100%.

No Sharpening

A little sharpening
What's the difference?  In photo 2, there is a little more clarity, organization of the pixels.  You really have to look for it.  (If I could get the quality of #1 with the 55-200 after processing, I would be thrilled.)  I suspect that's the nature of digital.  I've never used a super expensive digital Nikon with a $3000 lens so maybe they don't need the 40 sec it takes to open the file and hit it with some sharpening.  But if what you get is the same thing to a naked eye, unless you're shooting billboards, you don't need it.

I will try to think of something positive to say about writing later today.  Don't count on it.

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