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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:59 am 
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Join in here if you have any question, comment or suggestion regarding my upcoming review of this brand new Nikon super-zoom.

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Last edited by Thomas on Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:17 pm 
Hi just wondering how this lens compares to the 70-300mm VR as far as focusing speed and IQ. Looking forward to your review.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:37 pm 
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Sorry, no 70-300 in my possession!
But I'll nevertheless try to give you an impression on how fast it is.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:29 pm 
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Glad you're getting hold of it Thomas. Looking forward to see how it measures-up. Many will use it as a complement to an ultra wide zoom on a crop body, although I hope to also try it out on an FX in the future...

One important question is how much the zoom shrinks at close focusing, and also how much the barrel suffers from zoom creep.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:14 pm 
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Well, if my calculations are right this zoom is absurdly shrinking: 0,31x (behaves like 90 mm lens) :shock:
The major question will be, how much it shrinks for more "normal" magnifications like 1:10.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:51 pm 
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I'd like to see how the creep, shrinkage and quality compare against the existing 18-200mm.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:29 pm 
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Will do!
Just discovered that the competing Sigma AF 28-300mm 3.5-6.3 DG Asp IF Macro seems to be discontinued. Anybody can confirm this?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:05 pm 
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Ah, the lens is on its way.
Expect a first report this weekend 8)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:24 pm 
Thanks for this upcoming review Thomas!

Can I just ask what did you buy this lens for? Are you planning to use it on a DX body as a longer 18-200 or on full frame?

Cheers!
Jeremy


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:28 pm 
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I have already set my sights on a future FX body. But in my review I will also give you a recommendation regarding the use of this lens on a DX body.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:52 pm 
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Btw. I can now confirm that the lens has a rubber grommet that seals the mount.
And there is some prelim. testing of the shrink factor at more reasonable distances: at around 2m the 300mm nominal focal length shrinks to approx 200mm effective focal length. This makes for a magnification of around 1:10 which can give you very tight portraits - from a reasonable distance.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:12 pm 
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===== first impressions =====

Looking through the batch I shot today I think it is safe to say that this FX super-zoom delivers a quality at least as good as the 18-200mm.
There were some minor focus-quirks that spoiled some of the 1-to-1 comparisons, and there might be a weak spot at 105mm. But that are all preliminary findings.
There is some nasty CA at the wide end, but that can be controlled in-camera or through post. LoCAs and purple fringing did not rear their ugly head (yet). But there is some kind of "blooming" when you shoot dark silhouettes against a bright background. But that looks more dreamlike and not harsh or distracting. I think the behavior of this 19 element monster against bright background is pretty gracefully.
Bokeh looks also quite good so far.
Stopping down one step from fully open increases contrast visibly and I think that is why the MTF-charts of this lens have relatively low values even at 10 lp/mm. But sharpness/details are pretty good even wide open.

But all these impressions will now stand closer scrutiny and have to be substantiated to make it into my review.

So bear with me as I put the lens through its paces...

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:19 pm 
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Really close-up shots (0.5-0.6m) look quite soft even at f/11. Will try my luck with the Canon 500D close-up lens and see whether the results look more promising.
From around 1m the IQ looks clearly better. The magnification at that distance is around 1:5, the resp. shrink-factor around 0,46x (i.e. the lens behaves like a 140mm).

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Last edited by Thomas on Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:15 pm 
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A collection of current shots can be viewed here.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:26 pm 
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Let's do some quick calculation for my comparison of the raw close-up power of this zoom vs a solution with Canon 500D close-up filter.
- Max magnification is 1:3.1 (w/o close-up filter)
- If you screw the Canon 500D 2 diopter close-up filter in you can achieve magnification between 1:18 (at 28mm) and 1:1.7 (at 300mm)
- To achieve 1:3.1 with close-up filter I have to zoom in at a focal length of 160mm
- To compare performance also at 1:5 and 1:10 I need to zoom in to 100mm and 50mm resp. (with close-up filter).
Aha, will do so and use f/8 and f/16 to compare IQ of both solutions. That is because in most close-up situations you need to stop down to achieve a viable dof.

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