What is the sharpest lens you have used on a D810 or D500?

rmprmp Posts: 327Member
I love my Sigma 50mm on my D4. I use the 24-70/2.8 on my D810 most of the time. But, my D500 is becoming the camera I have with me the most often. By default, I use a 16-80 on the D500. I am beginning to think I should put my sharpest lens on the D500 and carry it all of the time. Then the D4 and D810 could be "special shoot" tools. What lens would you put on a D500 if "image quality" was your primary criteria?
Robert M. Poston: D4, D810, V3, 14-24 F2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 80-400, 105 macro.
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Comments

  • BVSBVS Posts: 165Member
    edited July 2016
    I think it's going to depend on what focal length/range you're looking for, and what you want to shoot with it. The Sigma 50 you have is already one of the top two sharpest normal range lenses.

    For spare no expense absolute best image quality it'd probably be the Nikon exotic tele primes or the Zeiss primes, although putting manual focus Zeisss on the D500 just doesn't feel right.

    The Sigma 35 is also very sharp if you want something a little wider. Most of the Sigma Art lenses are very good.

    The Sigma 18-35 is probably the sharpest DX zoom lens, although your 16-80 is no slouch either, at least in the center of the frame.

    The Nikon 85/1.4, and maybe the new Tamron SP 85/1.8 (although I haven't seen many reviews yet) are probably the best in that range.

    If you're shooting movement though then you'll need something that focuses quickly too, so either the Nikon 2.8s, or back to the exotic teles.
    Post edited by BVS on
    D7100, 85 1.8G, 50 1.8G, 35 1.8G DX, Tokina 12-28 F4, 18-140, 55-200 VR DX
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 817Member
    edited July 2016
    For the three Nikon bodies you own the Zeiss Otus range 28,55,85 would bring dramatic results. Down side, they are all manual.and for some photographers this is an instant no no.I have had the Otus 55 for just over a year and used it both on a D4 and a D810, With the D810 the lens just takes it to an other level, Manual focus is something you get used to and even fast moving images can be got with practice.
    The focus movement on these lenses is very smooth with a long focus range. If you want the ultimate in sharpness this lens will fill and satisfy your demands.
    Post edited by paulr on
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • SportsSports Posts: 309Member
    rmp said:

    What lens would you put on a D500 if "image quality" was your primary criteria?

    A prime.

    D300, J1
    Sigma 70-200/2.8, 105/2.8
    Nikon 50/1.4G, 18-200, 80-400G
    1 10-30, 30-110
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,161Member
    I like Sports' answer.
  • rmprmp Posts: 327Member
    I know you will laugh, but I like the Sigma on the D4 so much, I am sort of afraid to take it off and try it on another camera. On a more logical side, I may try the Sigma 35, Msmoto has been recommending for a while. But does that mean, I am slowly drifting toward Sigma and away from Nikon?
    Robert M. Poston: D4, D810, V3, 14-24 F2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 80-400, 105 macro.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,058Moderator
    I started to do that Bob, but I found the auto focus on the Sigma Arts to be slower and less reliable than Nikkors in normal low light. If you don't find that to be the case, then Siggy's are good. I do still have one - the 24-35 f2 which the reviewers say is three primes in one package. My clickin' buddy uses the 18-35 f1.8 on his 7D2 which has very good AF (in spite of what some say) and he also notes that both his 24-35 and 18-35 are slow and unreliable.
    Always learning.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 2,951Moderator

    I like Sports' answer.

    I was going to say "a Nikkor" :smile:
    Minus perhaps a few superzooms (I'm looking at you 18-300mm)
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 609Member
    I choose Sigma primes for focal lengths below 200mm and Nikon primes for longer lengths.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 961Member
    edited July 2016
    Samyang 14mm uses 27 of the 36 MP available
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • kanuckkanuck Posts: 1,128Member
    edited July 2016
    Great topic, for me so far it seems to be the 50mm lenses such as the 1.8 and 1.4. You get that 3D action in the renderings that I just absolutely love. I am sure the other lenses such as 35mm and Otus lenses must be nuts. Lots of wonderful zooms out there now to that I haven't had the chance to try out. The D810 doesn't even need to be refreshed at 2+ years now. Still going strong :)

    +1 on the Samyangs as well Pistnbroke. The 14mm is fantastic....
    Post edited by kanuck on
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 630Member
    I must weigh in with the Zeiss 135mm f/2, the Nikon 200mm f/2, and the Sigma 50mm f/1.4. It all depends on focal lenght and aperture though, and I have to ever owned the Zeiss 55mm f/1.4...
  • rmprmp Posts: 327Member
    I love the Sigma 50mm. Now you have me thinking about the Zeiss 135. I have been using the Nikon 105 as a portrait lens, but have thought about a 135 based upon the brain washing I received in an earlier life.
    Robert M. Poston: D4, D810, V3, 14-24 F2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 80-400, 105 macro.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,161Member
    I suspect the Zeiss is the best, but be mindful that it is not in "Otus" class. You should consider the 135 DC 2.0. Despite being a little out of date, it is a fabulous lens.
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 704Member
    edited July 2016
    I have tried a few primes and really nice zooms on the D500. The primes were in my strong opinion.....not what I want. I spent way too much of my life with prime large and medium format. I have owned more expensive lens than I care to admit. My experience is decidedly I leave the 16-80 on the D500. I even tried to Zeiss primes. I really do not have the situation that allows moving forward or backward to get a picture. If you move forward doing what I am you are getting sprayed with sawdust......if you move back you get details that are extraneous....I like the 70-300, the 200-500 Nikkors on this camera but I see the D7200 as having that covered.
    But all this prime pushing?....is folks doing something other that what we need here.

    With our Ikelite UW housing....the 10-17 Tokina looks good as does the Sigma 10-20. Still with the right port on the housing I would rather have the 16-80 Nikkor......but shifting zoom UW is tougher than it is on land.....but when it is a Great White Shark or a rare Blue Shark.....the 80 would be nice because that just might be time to get back on board the boat!
    Post edited by DaveyJ on
  • framerframer Posts: 374Member
    Really I have several that are really good but the best a 400mm f/2.8 AFS II.

    framer
  • SportsSports Posts: 309Member
    edited July 2016
    DaveyJ said:

    But all this prime pushing?

    The original question was ... if "image quality" was your primary criteria.
    That's asking for prime pushing.
    For my part, IQ is not my primary criteria, and I use zooms 99% of the time.
    Post edited by Sports on
    D300, J1
    Sigma 70-200/2.8, 105/2.8
    Nikon 50/1.4G, 18-200, 80-400G
    1 10-30, 30-110
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,161Member
    Yes, it is really the point of the discussion. If the best lens you can come up with in this thread is a zoom, even a professional zoom, sharpness is not likely a criteria that matters to you. There is nothing wrong with deciding that that is your important criteria of course.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 2,921Member
    The thing is sharpness and image quality is not always synonymous.
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • rmprmp Posts: 327Member
    I like zooms for travel and family events, but once in a while, I go for image quality (IQ) and, for me, that starts with sharpness. I can blur a picture in post processing, but I can only save or recover so much sharpness.
    Robert M. Poston: D4, D810, V3, 14-24 F2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 80-400, 105 macro.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,161Member

    The thing is sharpness and image quality is not always synonymous.

    Yes, I agree, but it is something that the 58 naysayers will deny. If you are arguing against the new 24-70 because it is slightly less sharp in the middle, you are also forgetting that for its intended use, VR trumps all of that.

    RMP, I also agree with you. IQ does start with sharpness. Acknowledging the 58 naysayers, when sharpness is somehow lacking, it becomes a difficult hurdle.
  • rmprmp Posts: 327Member
    edited July 2016
    One of my pictures that I like the most is of two old codgers (friends) is a bar. The picture is very blurred. I mean nothing is in focus. It does not follow any of the "rules." Yet, it captures the "mood" -- two old friends having a few too many drinks and thoroughly enjoying life. So, for me, IQ starts with sharpness, but, of course, it does not end there.
    Post edited by rmp on
    Robert M. Poston: D4, D810, V3, 14-24 F2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 80-400, 105 macro.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,161Member
    There are certainly no rules, only guidelines I think.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 2,951Moderator
    One rule:
    "There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer."
    - Ansel Adams

    When I hear "image quality" I immediately think "quality of the image". Some of the best photos are blurry, low image quality, but have a high quality of the image in that they convey something to the viewer.

    So I would go back to the original question and say, what are you shooting? If you are shooting BIF the best quality will be a high-end super-tele. If you are doing portraits, a 135mm or 85mm, depending on full body or head shot, and if you are shooting sports on the sideline a zoom is almost a must. This is why you have received answers that range from 14mm to 400mm, primes and zooms. The discussion is great, and it's been interesting, but knowing what you want to shoot, and how you want to shoot it, will help narrow the field a bit :smile:
  • autofocusautofocus Posts: 559Member
    Without a doubt, Nikon 200mm f/2 but my Zeiss 100mm f/2 is no slouch either.
    D4, D810, D800, D700, Nikon 2.8 Trinity, 80-400G, 85mm 1.4G, 24-120 f4G, Zeiss 100mm ZF2, Sigma 35 1.4 Art, Sigma 50 1.4 Art and I want a 600mm prime.
  • vtc2002vtc2002 Posts: 246Member
    @Ironheart +1. It really depends on what you are shooting and how you are going to display the image.
    The discussion has drifted away from the original question and has been more about lenses and not about personal experience with lenses on the D500 or D810. The discussion about primes is good and I agree for the most part but there are exceptions. The Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 is as sharp or sharper than many of the primes in that range. For a landscape photographer not beaing able to mount a filter (or atleast not very easily) presents a challenge. The Nikon 24mm f1.4 is the sharpest wide angle lense Nikon has ever made and is excellent on the D810. The Nikon 85mm G f1.4 is a great lense. The Nikon 105 Micro, 105 DC, 135 DC are all excellent on the D810 for portraits. The Nikon 200 F2 is icredibly sharp. The Nikon 300 or 400mm are incredibly sharp on the D810.
    The D500 it really depends if you are going to stick with DX lenses or use FX lenses. I have used all of the lenses listed above and they work great on the D500 and produce sharp images. Some will have an awkward focal length but will produce sharp images. The Nikon DX 35mm f1.8 produces sharp results on the D500.
    @heartyfisher and @rmp I agree sharpness and image quality are not always synonymous. They can be a factor in producing a great image but there are many other factors that go into a great image and a separate discussion. The mood and the message that you are trying to convey can be missed by a sharp image.
    I have used a number of the Sigma lenses and for me personally they do not work for me. I have worked with others that use them and love them and produce sharp images.
    Not trying to be a smarta$$ but the sharpest lenses is the one that you have mounted on your camera. Wishing you had something different and not taking photos because you feel your equipment is lacking will result in missed opportunities to capture something great.
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