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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 1:36 pm 
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==============================================
UPDATE: My review is now finished. Have a look here.
==============================================

This is to inform you that the latest Nikon f1.8 prime was delivered to me: The AF-S 28mm f1.8G which is a full-frame lens (as opposed to the DX 35/1.8G).
So it complements the Nikon AF-S 50/1.8G and 85/1.8G on the wide side.
It seems that Nikon didn't see enough economic value in doing a FX 35/1.8G plus a 24/1.8G to complement their 1.4G brethren. But 28mm just lies nicely in the middle of those focal lengths, so it may just fit many bills. And if the results from the latest 1.8G lenses is any indicator Nikon might just have delivered a very capable but reasonably priced wide-angle prime.
Well, all will be revealed in my up-and-coming review of this lens. Including Siemens-stars, the infamous Unremarkables, etc.
But before this review is completed and approved by Gordon you'll find some tid-bits and insights from my ongoing testing here.
Feel free to ask, comment and/or simply enjoy.
Btw.: it seems that I've got one of the first copies of this lens out there as no dealer in Germany/Austria lists this lens as available. Lucky me! And lucky you: to read all about this lens here at Camera Labs :D

Cheers!

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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 2:10 pm 
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Here're some quick first shots, all three wide open at f1.8:

Close-up:
Image
Nikon AF-S 28-1.8G @1.8 52706 by Thomas, on Flickr

Bokeh:
Image
Nikon AF-S 28-1.8G @1.8 52720 by Thomas, on Flickr

Flowers:
Image
Nikon AF-S 28-1.8G @1.8 52823 by Thomas, on Flickr

one thing is already clear: The dreaded longitudinal CAs (greenish outline of subjects behind the plane of sharpest focus, magenta outline of subjects in the foreground) haunt this lens too. On the other hand: Bokeh doesn't look too bad esp. considering the short focal length of this lens.

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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 7:58 pm 
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A series of test-shots in full D800-resolution can be found here and will be extended continuously.
For comparative purposes matching shots with the AF-S 24-70/2.8G at 28mm can be found there.

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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 9:16 pm 
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I've uploaded the "Unremarkables" now plus some old castle here.
You'll also find a test of geometric distortion - which is not very high and can be easily corrected.

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 10:01 pm 
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For easier access, Gordon has already published a page with selected sample images here all routed through to flickr with the underlying large 36MP originals.

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 9:04 pm 
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Stumbled across an "interesting" problem while doing my Siemens-stars:
The lens sharpened up until f2.8, then fell back, produced some signs of astigmatism at f4 and f5.6 and finally coming back to better performance at f8. I've never seen anything like this before.
Well, I thought of focus shift but had never seen it so bad that the image had a worse quality when stopping down.
I repeated the series with focusing in live-view/contrast-based at each working aperture (f1.8, f2.0, f2.8, f4, etc.) and could produce images that clearly improved every time the lens was stopped down.
Now this poses a real challenge if you want to use this lens with phase-shift AF in the normal way. You can either chose micro-focus adjust to give you optimal focus at wide-open aperture or say at f4.0. Which would you chose?
I'll do some restesting to make sure that this effect does not come from a botched test-setup.
So stay tuned!

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 5:57 pm 
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Focus repeatability in bog-standard phase-shift AF is very good: no outliers with 20 shots. But results depend slightly on the direction focus was coming from: infinity of minimum focus distance. But even at f1.8 you have to look very carefully at 100% magnification to see the difference.

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 9:58 pm 
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I have done retesting of the focus-shift effect tonight and the same results occurred: It turned out that live-view/contrast-based AF at working aperture indeed improved the sharpness of the targeted area (around 4 mm from the optical axis) at f4.0 and f5.6.
But it also decreased the image-quality at the FX-corners significantly. So you have to be very careful what you do!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:51 pm 
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My review is up here.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:01 am 
Very many thanks for a very clever test/review of the Nikon 28mm f/1.8G, which is much more thorough than the few other reviews that float around.

I have Nikon 24mm f/1.4G and use it for landscapes, including landscape shots where I want really good bokeh with f 1.4 or f 2.0 (the last is the best because it just gives the last good sharpness in the center and still super bokeh).

However, it is too heavy to walk around with my D3x for a long time, and use it only on a tripod, so this lens is very welcome due to its light weight.

My reflection was so originally to sell 1.4G- and buy this lens instead, also due to financial reasons, but I can see that there are certain problems, since you can not fine-tune it at both large and small aperture .

And this because the focus shifts, as I read your test?

And to me it should of course be good at both large and small apertures, and I was willing to sacrifice the amazing bokeh as 1.4-G gives, but I'm not so interested, if you should choose either large or small apertures to get good shots.

So: Should I switch to this lens, and I want that, it must both be very good from aperture 2.8 (portraits, weddings, etc.) and on up through the aperture 8-11 for landscapes with very good performance also at the edges.

This focus shift is the devil in this, but how do you work "outside" – or around - this - …..have tried some online, but I can not quite find a description of how to do it - certainly not one I can understand?

Can you perhaps give a guidance?

Thank you very much.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:07 am 
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Hello Kibberlasen, and welcome to the friendly Camera Labs forum!
To enjoy your stay here please have a look at the house-rules!
----
As to your questions:
How to work around the focus-shift issue? It depends on how critical you are regarding sharpness. You can fine-tune the AF so that it is a bit more in front than optimal for f1.8-f2.8 and a bit more behind with f4.0-f5.6. That way you lose a bit of sharpness but get a more consistent behavior when stopping the lens down.
Plus you have to remember that my examples were presented at 100% view. When reducing the output size for print or on a monitor you can still see the effect at 67%, but at 50% (i.e. reduction from 36MP to 9MP) you would no longer notice it.
Swap the AF-S 24/1.4G for the AF-S 28/1.8G? Well, I did not test the 24/1.4G but have only heard high praise for it. So I would be hesitant to exchange it. And I will not replace my own 35/1.4G by the 28/1.8G.

Hope that helps.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:19 am 
Thank you very much, Thomas, but I print out very huge (therefore I bought the D3x), so I need "top-sharpness", and by the way I love "top-sharpness" for my landscapes, and I thought there was "a way" to work around this, but there is not - without sacrifising something.

Sorry there is not,because 28mm focal lengh is perhaps even better, than 24mm, as a bit more allround lens.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:30 am 
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Then I wouldn't recommend swapping your 24/1.4G.
In another forum someone had a very close look at my "Unremarkables" shots and he observed a kind of fluctuating sharpness depending on the distance from the optical center. This implies two things:
(1) the effect shows not only at closer distances (my Siemens-stars are shot at 40x focal length) but also at infinity/landscape shots
(2) it can be observed even with targets that are not as contrasty and analytical as Siemens-stars

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:22 am 
Thank you again, Thomas.

No, I do not think this lens is for me (but I am still - and also - a Nikonfanboy :D )


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:44 pm 
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Hi Thomas

I am considering replacing my 24mm f2.8D with this lens because I shoot city scape / street in low light at evenings and the 24 f2.8D is rather prone to flare.
I think this is because of it's tiny lens hood and in the city at evenings you are always close to street lights and neon signs above you. It is also a little unreliable at auto focus in low light.
The lens hood on the 28 looks bigger (better?) for reducing flare in this scenario.
I would gladly give up the 4mm difference if it meant I didn't have to worry so much about street lights and neon signs.

Any advice or comments would be gratefully accepted.

Many thanks

Rob :oops:


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