Overall Performance and verdict
Having done all my shots over the holidays with the new lens I can give you some insight into the overall performance and how my findings so far reveal themselves in the images.
Overall contrast is very good even wide open and with very bright backgrounds like snow. Sharpness and micro-contrast is reduced at f1.4 and f2.0 (you have to look at 66% or 100% magnification on your monitor to see it) but performance from f2.8 onwards is impeccable on a D300 or D700. And this holds true whether you shot close-up or at infinity. I’m very impressed.
Focus speed is never an issue for me, although the lens takes some time to “recover” to infinity from a very close-up shot (30 cm distance or so). Focus accuracy is of much greater interest to me especially with an f/1.4 lens where every inch of misfocus is immediately punished. Well, what can I say: up to now I had no real outliers although I was provoking trouble by using the lens wide open as often as possible. Even when shooting Siemens-stars and letting the AF find focus from infinity or close-up I only had few cases where the combo couldn’t find good focus or behaved better when approaching from one side than from the other. No problems under low light either. So everything seems OK.
Well, this is the only gripe I have with this lens, as it easily shows up when you use the lens wide open with high contrast targets.
Vignetting is clearly visible even on a DX body. I have not the best tools to measure it but I’d guess it’s around -1EV in the corners at standard settings on a D300 at infinity. At minimum focus distance vignetting is reduced to only half of that value.
Und wenn es irgendwelche Fragen, Kommentare und Anregungen zu meinem Review gibt, hier gibt’s die Möglichkeit auch für unsere deutschsprachigen Forums-Besucher! Und dort ist eine Auswahl an Bildern, die ich mit dieser Linse gemacht habe.