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Archive 2012 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy
  
 
Bond
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


Hey folks,

I picked up a 14-24 about a week ago. I've got 10 days for any exchanges so I thought I'd run a simple test comparing it with my 24-70 and 24/1.4. The result at 24mm has surprised me quite a bit and I'm wondering if I should exchange the 14-24.

I'd have expected it might perform a little weaker than the 24/1.4, but not the 24-70. In the following JPEGs, not only does it show the 14-24 doesn't quite reach 24mm, but it's also significantly softer to my eye. All shot at ƒ/4, but the story doesn't change at 5.6 +. I focused directly on the wall and had the camera on a tripod. These are 100% crops all processed the same in Lightroom 4.

What do you think?

24-70
24
14-24



Aug 07, 2012 at 02:05 PM
honorerdieu
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


Assuming the test comparison was done correctly without any unwanted variables, I would exchange the 14-24. Sharpness should match closely with the 24-70 @ 24mm.


Aug 07, 2012 at 02:47 PM
rick_reno
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


i'd exchange it, mine doesn't do that


Aug 07, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Bond
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


Thanks for the replies.

Just ran one final test. Shot my garage which felt a little weird, but there’s no mistaking it now. That 14-24 is horribly soft at 24mm. Going back to the store today. Hope they have more stock.



Aug 07, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Hardcore
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


I think my copy is close to that. What camera are you using?


Aug 07, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Bond
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


D700. I'll post the latest shots later.


Aug 07, 2012 at 03:39 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


What method did you use to focus?


Aug 07, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Bond
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


Here's my latest test. To me, there's little doubt. I went a little more aggressive with sharpening on the ƒ/5.6 shot.


14-24 ƒ/4
24-70 ƒ/4
14-24 ƒ/5.6
24-70 ƒ/5.6
14-24 ƒ/8
24-70 ƒ/8



Aug 07, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Bond
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


snapsy, single point focus. The 14-24 seems ok at 14mm.


Aug 07, 2012 at 03:52 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


Bond wrote:
snapsy, single point focus. The 14-24 seems ok at 14mm.


My copy has over a 10-point AF tune spread between 14mm and 24mm. You'll either need to AF tune your copy at 24mm or focus in Live View in order to establish whether the optics are off. I can tell you with almost certainty that it's most likely a misfocus rather than a bad copy, esp. since you're looking at the center of the frame.



Aug 07, 2012 at 03:56 PM
 

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Bond
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


By ƒ/8 the 14-24 gets closer, but one I push the sharpening, it's way softer than the 24-70.

14-24 ƒ/8 sharpened
24-70 ƒ/8 sharpened

Take a look at the loupe view on the right in the Detail pane. Can that be chalked up to fine tuning?



Aug 07, 2012 at 04:24 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


A lack of sharpness vs. the expected standard for a lens can be attributed to imperfect focus. See this: http://www.slrgear.com/articles/focus/focus.htm



Aug 07, 2012 at 04:44 PM
runamuck
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


I added some contrast in Faststone. About 20 points. To my tired old eyes it looks far better. Often the lack of contrast is perceived as softness.







Aug 07, 2012 at 05:19 PM
parsons
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


from what i read online before i got my copy, 24mm is not the strongest end, and i can confirm that my sample. if i need 24mm i will use my 24-105L, below 18mm and below there is no competition.
i also think the 16:9 tests confirm this

simon



Aug 07, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Bond
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


I dunno. Mansurovs shows the 14-24 besting the 24-70 handily.

I went to the shop today. Apparently those lenses are on back order so they swap it once they get them in stock. In the meantime, I'll see about AF fine tuning it a little.

Thanks for the replies!



Aug 08, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Keith B.
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


Since you have experimental time, you might as well check for the focus shift made famous by Digi-Lloyd. He says it's pretty significant going from f/2.8 to f/4. I've never bothered to test my copy of the 14-24....too busy making photographs and all that stuff.


Aug 08, 2012 at 07:22 PM
VTXT
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


yeah there is a good chance it's a focus error/shift than an actual lens defect. Make sure to focus in live view using the tripod mode.


Aug 09, 2012 at 05:27 AM
Bond
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


I'll happily take the exchange whether it's focus shift or not. I'd rather have one that auto focuses well out of the box. And from what I've read of focus shift, having it to this degree on an f/2.8 lens when shooting at f/5.6 - f/8 at 24 mm is not only unlikely, but it's also unacceptable for me when an exchange is an option.

Keith B., it must suck to be so busy as not to have enough time even to determine if a product is functioning 100% the way it ought to. At nearly $2Gs, I like to make sure things are working as well as possible.



Aug 10, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Sneakyracer
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


Honestly looks like the difference in sharpness is due to focus. Never test a lens sharpness by using AF. Always focus manually using live view and on a rock solid tripod. Then after you are sure the lens is sharp use focus adjustment to get the AF to work right.


Aug 10, 2012 at 02:06 AM
snapsy
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Nikon 14-24 suspect soft copy


Bond wrote:
I'll happily take the exchange whether it's focus shift or not. I'd rather have one that auto focuses well out of the box. And from what I've read of focus shift, having it to this degree on an f/2.8 lens when shooting at f/5.6 - f/8 at 24 mm is not only unlikely, but it's also unacceptable for me when an exchange is an option.

Keith B., it must suck to be so busy as not to have enough time even to determine if a product is functioning 100% the way it ought to. At nearly $2Gs, I like to make
...Show more

I'm that case you're in for more disappointment from your replacement copy as well.



Aug 10, 2012 at 02:20 AM
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