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Top 10 Nikon lenses


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#1 Derron

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 10:32 PM

Hi Everyone!

I'm new to this forum and wish to request that the Photozone guys put together their own "Top 10" or "Must Have" list for Nikon lenses. The reason for the request is because during the process of deciding on new lenses to purchase one browses through what feels like 100's of reviews - compared to most other reputable review sites Photozone seems to give the WORST reviews!

Ha ha it seems as if NOTHING is good to them, every lens they review generally gets a rather poor score compared to everyone else on the net.

So I thought that if Photozone gives a good review it must be a bloody excellent lens!

I think that a "Top 10" or "Must have" list consisting of categories like portrait,general zoom etc. compiled by Photozone could really help new buyers steer clear of poor lenses and not waste their money.


Thanks for taking the time to read this!

Kind Regards

Derron

#2 joachim

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 11:02 PM

Ha ha it seems as if NOTHING is good to them, every lens they review generally gets a rather poor score compared to everyone else on the net.


Oh well, that is easy explained. The editorial team is German. The German attitude to say if something is "gut", which is the German word for good, it really means it is good and does the job well. In modern American and British culture if you call something "good", it has severe short comings. You can't call something "bad", can you? Something your really like, you call "excellent" or "outstanding". (I am German, lived in the US and Britain for several years and had to escape Britain before the Toffs came into power).

The way I see it:
On photozone 4 out of 5 marks a product which works really well, while in a US/British review something with 4 out of 5 has shortcomings. In the later case it is as if you have 1 pass and 4 fail marks.
enjoy

#3 IanCD

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 11:12 PM

Here's a screenshot of an excel file I started a while back... the PZ reviews (and a few others) are hyperlinked to the reviews, lens dimensions and review scores and extracts, plus summaries are all included... I've been selective, mostly going for 'good' rated lenses... I'll mail you a copy if you want
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#4 Jupeku

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 02:09 AM

At least i want see this stuff what you show IanCD. and is funny thing really some tests give good results some lenses but other test give poorer results.

#5 Klaus

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 09:27 AM

We point towards insufficiencies. That is the essence of testing, isn't it ? If everything was great it wouldn't make sense to test in the first place.

In school a rating starts with an F ( a 1 locally) and I reckon that the majority of the students don't get an A (15 locally) either. If not it is an indication for a crappy school system for sure.
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#6 Klaus

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 09:40 AM

Here's a screenshot of an excel file I started a while back... the PZ reviews (and a few others) are hyperlinked to the reviews, lens dimensions and review scores and extracts, plus summaries are all included... I've been selective, mostly going for 'good' rated lenses... I'll mail you a copy if you want
Ian


We are working on such a feature.
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#7 AAC7man

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 09:57 AM

Oh well, that is easy explained. The editorial team is German. The German attitude to say if something is "gut", which is the German word for good, it really means it is good and does the job well. In modern American and British culture if you call something "good", it has severe short comings. You can't call something "bad", can you? Something your really like, you call "excellent" or "outstanding". (I am German, lived in the US and Britain for several years and had to escape Britain before the Toffs came into power).

The 'Toffs' replaced the Bankruptcy party. Just for the record.


The way I see it:
On photozone 4 out of 5 marks a product which works really well, while in a US/British review something with 4 out of 5 has shortcomings. In the later case it is as if you have 1 pass and 4 fail marks.



#8 Bryan Conner

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 04:34 PM

The way I see it:
On photozone 4 out of 5 marks a product which works really well, while in a US/British review something with 4 out of 5 has shortcomings. In the later case it is as if you have 1 pass and 4 fail marks.


The way I see it:

If a German, or a Martian, or a Klingon rewards a product with 4 out of 5 marks, then that lens also has shortcomings in the opinion of the reviewer. If it had no shortcomings...if it were perfect....it would be awarded 5 stars.

As an American now living in Germany, I would not say that German reviewers are tougher in their reviews than American reviewers. This would be a prejudiced statement. It would also be an unfair and broad generalization. Each reviewer is an individual with individual opinions. Sometimes these opinions have commonalities, sometimes they conflict with one another. All German reviewers are not the same, and all American reviewers are not the same. Each has a different opinion and a different reason for giving the rating that they give. Plus, is there a standardized process for rating lenses? No. If there was, there would only be a need for one reviewer.

#9 IanCD

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 08:50 PM

We are working on such a feature.

Hi Klaus,
Hope I'm not "treading on your toes" by offering that... it was something I've found useful, so it's great to know you're developing a feature like it here...

Regarding the 'lens rating' system, it might be helpful to point folk in the direction of the 'PZ rating system', HERE (it's not that obvious to find on the site):

"Lens Reviews - Generic
Some of you folks may be a bit surprised by the "rather low" ratings in the verdicts here at photozone.de. This isn't really intentional but you're simply experiencing a cultural effect. Photozone.de is located in Germany and locally the word "average" means just that - reads: "average" is in between of better and worse. So this is strictly different compared to the more popular anglo-american-style meaning of the word where an "average" is equivalent to about as bad as it gets. Now you may argue that this is confusing but remember that this may be confusing for you but less so for visitors from different countries (thus different cultural backgrounds). We at photozone.de do firmly believe that "feel good" ratings are pointless - it neither helps you to choose nor does it help the manufacturers to get better."

#10 mst

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 08:56 PM

Regarding the 'lens rating' system, I'm surprised you haven't pointed folk in the direction of the 'PZ rating system', HERE (it's not that obvious to find on the site):


Actually, that page is linked to below every lens rating ... the "What does this mean" link ;) Maybe we should rename it ...

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#11 IanCD

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 09:21 PM

Actually, that page is linked to below every lens rating ... the "What does this mean" link ;) Maybe we should rename it ...

-- Markus

Duh :rolleyes:
!!!

#12 Bryan Conner

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 05:58 AM

Photozone.de is located in Germany and locally the word "average" means just that - reads: "average" is in between of better and worse. So this is strictly different compared to the more popular anglo-american-style meaning of the word where an "average" is equivalent to about as bad as it gets.


I was born, and lived in America, for 43 of my 45 years, and "average" always meant in between the best and the worst to me. Even when talking about products. Maybe this is a generational thing, but I never noticed "average" meaning "about as bad as it gets. It is common to say that something is "only average", but this is usually in reference to the fact that there are other choices that are better than average. Maybe some non-Americans only "think" that Americans believe that "average" is equivalent to "about as bad as it gets". This is the same as the misconceptions that some Americans have about Europeans, including Germans. I also had misconceptions, but after living here with open eyes and an open mind, I have become less ignorant.

#13 popo

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 08:03 AM

We might be looking at the difference between marketing speak here. For example, typical marketing categories are "good, better and best". They're going to finder it hard selling something called "below average" than "good". Another marketing speak example might be food portion sizes "medium, large, extra large", as "small" doesn't sell. Also remember that "average" is a moving target. As things get generally better, then by definition the average does too. The average level of today isn't the same as the average of the past, so there can be a disconnect if that is not considered.

On the question if Germans (as a generalisation) are more technically demanding, I'd have to say yes. In my day job I frequently have to provide support to other Euro-zone countries, Germany included. For sure the test labs in Germany pay far more attention to detail than those of other countries.

Side note, my trip to Saarbruecken didn't happen in the end... maybe another time.
dA Canon 7D, 5D2, 600D, 450D, 300D IR modified, 1D, EF-S 15-85, EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2, 70-300L, 100-400L, MP-E65, TS-E24, Zeiss 2/50, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300/2.8, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Olympus E-P1, Panasonic 20/1.7, Sony HX9V.

#14 Brightcolours

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 10:22 AM

Nothing German about it (the rating language).

The difference with the english photo press (mags) is: Their reviews and tests are crap, and their ratings should not be trusted (in general, of course there might be exceptions).

About the "german" ratings:

The German photo magazin "Foto Magazin" has, for decades, used the most laughable ratings ever.
Every lens would be at least "gut".
Most mediocre lenses would get "sehr gut".
The real "good" lenses would be called "super".
The lowest rating I have seen would have been for some really crappy colour film, which then would get the rating of "noch gut".

Example: Tokina 24-200mm f3.5-5.6 AT-X.
"In all focal lengths, it shows a clear brilliance loss from center to edge. Stopping down brings a bit of improvement."
"Light fall off towards the corners wide open at the wide end is very high, in mid and long end still visible."
"24mm, clear barrel distortion, tele clearly pin cushion distorted."
"Colour cast": Clearly warm (yellow).
"At tele, very high veil porblems"
"Zoom with many achilles heels."

Rating: Sehr gut....

#15 PuxaVida

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 01:20 PM

I don't tkink publishing a top 10 list could be effectively used for decision making. Because;

- this makes things "popular", nothing more...
- everone might have his/her own top 10 (based on photographic styles, camera format etc...)

But publishing a database including quantitative test results (in addition to existing reports) could be quite useful. Actually what I was doing before can be compared to what IanCD does, but it takes a lot time I have to say... And also I was inserting charts including the MTF results of comparable lenses. This kind of information is valuable I guess... at least I felt so (as a guy who is really obsessed when it comes to quantifiying something).

Serkan

#16 Vieux loup

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 02:00 PM

We are really quite far away from the thread now :unsure: ! The poor guy never got any answer! But I agree with those who say that a top 10 is impossible, without at least several parameters to use in making the list. Not practical. B) So Derron, restate your question pls with enough parameters to make it possible; what type Nikon camera? What do you want to take pictures of? Zooms or primes? Inexpensive or expensive? APC or FF? Those are just a few.
Kind regards, Vieux Loup

#17 Brightcolours

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 02:25 PM

Top 10 best lenses is not possible unless you indeed specify what they are best in.

My top 10 (silly, since the criteria need to be more defined), not necessarily in any order:

1. Nikkor AF-S 200-400mm VR
2. Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm f2.8 (sharpness, not other attributes)
3. Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f2.8
4. Nikkor AF-S 200mm f2 VR
5. Nikkor PC 85mm f2.8 micro
6. Nikkor AF-S 24mm f1.4
7. Nikkor 55mm f3.5 micro (1st gen. pre-AI)
8. Nikkor ultra micro 55mm f2 (for the sheer impracticality and impressive design of it)
9. Nikkor AF-S 600mm f4 VR II
10. Nikkor AF 70-180mm Micro

#18 Derron

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 10:37 PM

Hello Everyone

Thank you all for your input - very much appreciated!

You are all correct in your statements regarding how difficult/impossible it is to define some of these things ultimately, so therefore I should apologize for not including enough information in my original post.

I think that I made a mistake by saying "Top 10 Nikkor Lenses", because it seems to me that would imply that being a "Top 10" there is a BEST lens sitting right at the top of the list above all other lenses in the numer 1 position - for that I apologize, of course there is no such thing because we have different lenses for different applications.

So with that in mind please allow me to try & expand on this somewhat, here goes -

I would love suggestions for lenses in the following categories, no Top 10 lists, just maybe "3 Must Have" lenses for each category, maybe with a brief bullet point or two descibing why a particular lens is good for it's application. To make it even more comprehensive or laborious depending on your perspective we could break it down into "cheap lenses that are good", "medium cost" & "high-end expensive" lenses.

Maybe a final, useful group of lenses could be something like "6 Lenses that every Nikon owner must have to cover all situations" ?

I suppose that could be split between DX & FX... But for my purposes here let's stick to DX lenses.

So what I'm looking at is great, sharp, crisp lenses for a Nikon D7000 DSLR (DX Body), doesn't matter if they're Autofocus or Manual.

Herewith Suggested Categories:

- Recommended Nikkor / Nikon lenses for portrait, wedding and low-light photography
- Recommended Nikkor / Nikon lenses for general-purpose, everyday photography and kit lens upgrades
- Recommended Nikkor / Nikon wide-angle lenses for landscape and architectural photography
- Recommended Nikkor / Nikon lenses for insect, flower and general close-up (Macro) photography
- Recommended Nikkor / Nikon telephoto lenses for action, sports, wildlife and portrait photography

Thanks again everyone, Take Care!

Kind Regards

D

#19 edge

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 01:06 AM

What you are probably looking for is right here:

http://www.bythom.co...ionallenses.htm






Hello Everyone

Thank you all for your input - very much appreciated!

You are all correct in your statements regarding how difficult/impossible it is to define some of these things ultimately, so therefore I should apologize for not including enough information in my original post.

I think that I made a mistake by saying "Top 10 Nikkor Lenses", because it seems to me that would imply that being a "Top 10" there is a BEST lens sitting right at the top of the list above all other lenses in the numer 1 position - for that I apologize, of course there is no such thing because we have different lenses for different applications.

So with that in mind please allow me to try & expand on this somewhat, here goes -

I would love suggestions for lenses in the following categories, no Top 10 lists, just maybe "3 Must Have" lenses for each category, maybe with a brief bullet point or two descibing why a particular lens is good for it's application. To make it even more comprehensive or laborious depending on your perspective we could break it down into "cheap lenses that are good", "medium cost" & "high-end expensive" lenses.

Maybe a final, useful group of lenses could be something like "6 Lenses that every Nikon owner must have to cover all situations" ?

I suppose that could be split between DX & FX... But for my purposes here let's stick to DX lenses.

So what I'm looking at is great, sharp, crisp lenses for a Nikon D7000 DSLR (DX Body), doesn't matter if they're Autofocus or Manual.

Herewith Suggested Categories:

- Recommended Nikkor / Nikon lenses for portrait, wedding and low-light photography
- Recommended Nikkor / Nikon lenses for general-purpose, everyday photography and kit lens upgrades
- Recommended Nikkor / Nikon wide-angle lenses for landscape and architectural photography
- Recommended Nikkor / Nikon lenses for insect, flower and general close-up (Macro) photography
- Recommended Nikkor / Nikon telephoto lenses for action, sports, wildlife and portrait photography

Thanks again everyone, Take Care!

Kind Regards

D


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#20 Brightcolours

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 03:17 PM

- Recommended Nikkor / Nikon lenses for portrait, wedding and low-light photography
- Recommended Nikkor / Nikon lenses for general-purpose, everyday photography and kit lens upgrades
- Recommended Nikkor / Nikon wide-angle lenses for landscape and architectural photography
- Recommended Nikkor / Nikon lenses for insect, flower and general close-up (Macro) photography
- Recommended Nikkor / Nikon telephoto lenses for action, sports, wildlife and portrait photography

APS-C

Short portrait zoom:
- Tamron 28-75mm f2.8. compact, affordable and good.
- Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 HSM and Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 as more expensive and most expensive alternatives.

Long portrait zoom:
- Nikon 80-200mm D. Very nice optics and build quality for a reasonable price.
- Tamron 70-200mm f2.8. Nice optics, ok-ish build.
- Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR, VR II as very good but expensive alternatives, offer image stabilization.
- Sigma 70-200mm OS HSM, optically least impressive, but price wise interesting if IS is a must.

Portrait lenses:
- Nikon 85mm f1.8D. Very affordable good portrait prime.
- Sigma 85mm f1.4 HSM. When f1.8 is not enough, or Nikon 85mm f1.4 G, but very expensive.
- Tamron 60mm f2 Di II macro, for when you want a lens at the shorter end of the portrait range.

Wide angle:
- The usual suspects.... Sigma 8-16mm for when you want WIDE, Nikon 10-24mm or Sigma 10-20mm f4-4.6 or Tokina 11-26mm f2.8 for when you do not need that wide or don't like protruding front elements.

Macro (insects):
- Sigma 150mm f2.8 HSM macro
- Tamron 180mm f3.5 macro
Both awesomely great macro lenses.
- Nikon 200mm f4. Also very good, but very expensive.




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