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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:25 am 
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Hello Thomas,

Finally I managed to read this review, marvelous.

I was very surprised at the 24-85, I didn't think it would come so close to the Nikon 24-70.

If you were to give the two Nikons an overall rating out of 100, would their be much of a gap?

Also IS, would not having it on the 24-70 put you off buying it?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:03 am 
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Colin, I'm afraid that I wouldn't give numeric ratings with my reviews. There are too many factors to be considered that may be more or less relevant for different shooting-conditions and different photographers.
So saying that a lens is "Recommended" or "Highly Recommended" just means that you should have a closer look at the good and bad points of this lens and find out whether it fits your demand(s).
An Example: whether a maximum aperture of f4.0 plus image stabilization is "better" for you than a maximum aperture of f2.8 with no image stabilization depends on the subjects and the shooting conditions:
- If you shoot fast action normally the faster lens would be preferred regardless of IS because you need the shortest possible shutter times.
- If you're carrying a tripod with you at all times, the lens with the best image quality might be your favorite
- If you're more the walk-about type that normally shoots not-so-fast moving subjects but needs some decent low-light capability than you might prefer the f4+VR version as the VR should more than compensate for the loss in maximum aperture.

I hope these examples make it clear that there seldom is a clear-cut answer as to "which lens is best".
Unless of course when the lens of a shootout has the largest aperture plus IS plus the best image quality plus the lowest price. 8)
But according to my crystal ball that is not going to happen soon...

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:56 am 
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Yes You're right, I thought about that when writing the question, and yes you've been very helpful. Well my main interest is architecture/street photography, sometimes I use my camera for landscape, but this is quite the exception.

Outside of this, in the future I might be doing wedding and real estate/realty photography.

So it doesn't seem i'd need a fast lense.

As for that perfect lense, yeah wouldn`t that be a dream 8)

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:24 am 
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Hi
I currently own a Nikon D600 and the 24-85 f/3.5-4.5G VR (plus a few primes). I shoot a lot of architecture, and find the distortion sometimes a bit painful. I use Lightroom but there isn't a lens correction profile for this lens that I'm aware of (at least not for jpeg). I'm considering going to the effort and creating one. Anyway my question is whether either of the 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses perform significantly better in terms of distortion? Most of my architectural shooting at the wider angle focal lengths (24mm). I have a Nikkor 20mm f2.8 which I sometimes attach when I know what I'll be shooting.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:30 am 
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Hello eMTee, and welcome to the friendly Camera Labs forum!
To enjoy your stay here please have a look at the house-rules!
----
Regarding your question: The Nikon AF-S 24-85/3.5-4.5 VR has 3.1% barrel distortions at 24mm, the Nikon AF-S 24-70/2.8 has 2.8% at 24mm, the Tamron 24-70/2.8 VC has 3.8% at 24mm. Hope that helps.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:21 am 
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In LR4.4 there is a lens correction for the Nikon 24-85 3.5-4.5 G ED VR, maybe be easier to upgrade to latest version of LR.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:26 am 
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Hi maxjj

I read somewhere that a 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 profile had been included in the newer Lightroom versions. I'm actually trialling LR5 at the moment, hoping it would be there. But I can't see it in the drop down menu. Then I tried the Adobe Lens Profile Downloader, but there is only a RAW version for this lens. Maybe that's a reason to try shooting RAW?

Or am I missing something somewhere? I like the idea of a faster lens like one of the f/2.8s, but its difficult to justify the expense.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:34 am 
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never tried using lens profile correction on jpgs, it maybe doable. Since you are already using LR why not try raw?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:08 pm 
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Hmm, as I always shoot RAW (and RAW only) I never tried lens-correction in Lightroom on jpgs.
Isn't it that the camera should do the correction in processing the image to jpg all by itself?
At least in my D800 there's an entry in the menus for automatic correction.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:08 am 
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To my eye the in-camera distortion correction (barrel/pincushion) doesn't seem to do a lot. I have been able to download and then edit the lens profile correction file for the 24-85mm lens so that LR recognises it as a JPEG profile (and not RAW).
So I'll tinker with that and see how successful it is.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:56 pm 
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I'm coming back to photography after a long break and am still a bit of a newbie with regard to DSLRs currently. I have the Nikon 24-85 f2.8-4 D and would like to get a better lens (I have the D600 and the D800).

I am undecided between the Tamron and the Nikon 24-70. I'm looking for an substantial increase in sharpness. Based on reviews elsewhere and also the Dxomark database, I thought the Tamron is probably better for that, but then I saw in your review that it seems that actually the Nikon 24-70 is sharper than the Tamron in many conditions.

I'm a bit confused as I don't know what the folks at Dxomark measure and how significant this is for my decision, because when looking at the test pics in the review here on cameralabs, indeed the Nikon 24-70 looks sharper under most conditions.

Could someone please shed some light on this for me? Did cameralabs just have a third bad copy of the Tamron, or am I comparing apples with oranges by comparing the findings of the Dxomark measurements with those of your review?

Thanks for any comments in advance!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:07 pm 
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Hello papa2jaja, and welcome to the friendly Camera Labs forum.
I personally find the DXOmark results hard to interpret. That's why I shoot test-images and show relevant crops of them so you get an impression of the real-life performance.
And there's always the the issue of bad copies. But normally you can identify the bad apples by looking for a corner that is visibly weaker than the other corners which is indicative of decentering. If the defect isn't too big I chose the better corner to give you an impression of what a lens could be capable of if it were well centered. If the defect is too big I'd send the lens back and ask for a better review exemplar.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:51 pm 
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Hello Thomas, thanks for your reply!

I guess real life test images shot with different settings and in real life conditions are more conclusive than anything else. Maybe Dxomark does a mix between different focus settings, and since they use laser measurements (or so I'm told), maybe their measurement only evaluates the center, where the Tamron is indeed very sharp.

Thanks again for the review, and the advice here in the forum!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:58 am 
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Hello Thomas,

I have meanwhile diligently compared all the images in the review, and found something I don't understand. While the Tamron in the Siemens chart test beats the Nikon 24-70 in some focus lenghts or apertures, in the real life images from that hill and the crops thereof, it seems that the Nikon beats the Tamron pretty much everywhere, and the best the Tamron can achieve is to catch up once.

Are my eyes deceiving me, or how can this discrepancy with the Siemens chart results be explained?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:18 am 
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Very good observation, papa2jaja!
There are two effects coming into play here: (1) field-curvature and (2) position/distance of crops from the optical axis.

(1) With the flat Siemens test-charts I focus separately on each of the displayed targets (center, DX-corner, FX-corner). This is to avoid the effects of field-curvature and is a praxis that many test-labs do, when measuring resolution along the optical axis. What does this mean?
Field curvature means that the plane of sharpest focus is indeed not a flat plane but more a slightly curved field. So a lens with field curvature produces its sharpest images at slightly different distances.
The Tamron has quite some field curvature so the resolving-power of the lens could not be adequately captured on a flat test-target in a single shot.
With the hills at infinity I used only one shot (per aperture value) and crops thereof to show what resolving power the lens has. In that case the field-curvature of the Tamron makes it impossible to achieve its highest resolution at the center and the borders in a single shot.
Mind you: many lenses show some degree of field-curvature, especially zooms. So the question is not "Does a lens have field-curvature?" but "How strong is the field-curvature of a lens?". And the Nikon looks a bit better here.

(2) The border crops from the "Unremarkables" are from somewhere between the DX-corner and the FX-corner. So it might well be that especially with "wavy" MTF functions the ranking of two lenses might switch when comparing them at say the FX-corner vs. comparing them at the FX-border. That's why in the end you have to look at real-life test-images in full resolution at different distances from the optical axis to fully evaluate the qualities of a lens.

Hope that helps...

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