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Archive 2013 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?
  
 
PetKal
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?


Hardly.

No doubt, new Nikkor 800 f/5.6 looks like a very nice lens, and it will probably be a very good performer, although one would never be able to say that based on the 3 sample images posted on Nikon's web site, which have a distinctive cell phone quality.

In a way, looking at the published Nikkor 800 specs, I think Nikon missed the boat with MFD and the lens weight......they are both very similar to fairly old (by now) Canon 800L. Clearly, if they could have done better (economically), they would have done it. Having a dedicated (individually preselected/matched ?) 1.25xTC, may seem like a good move in ensuring that little IQ deterioration takes place at 1000mm, but that may also mean that they have insufficient production consistency of their regular TCs.

However, real operating experience will tell us soon how those two existing lenses compare, as Nikkor 800 is scheduled to become available in April this year.
Probably the most exciting part about all this to us is the direction in which Canon may be taking their 800mm model. While fully ignorant of any facts about any such possible developments, I kind of "see" it already, a 4 kg light 800L MkII, with all performance aspects enhanced along the existing supertelephoto MkII design pattern, with a possible exception of an even more effective IS.
Wishful thinking that might be, but when it comes to long lenses, Canon has been maintaining decidedly an upper hand over Nikon for a very long time......why would that change now in the case of the 800 lens ?

It looks to me that it may not be long before we see a mini switcharoo from 600 II to 800 II taking place, when EF 800mm f/5.6L IS II USM becomes the latest and greatest game in town (again). I stressed "mini" in "switcharoo", because if 800L II gets to be priced at $18,000, not many will be switching to it.

Lastly, please do not start selling your 600IIs and 800Ls yet .......the above is just my reflection/speculation in response to some recent Canon and Nikon long lens developments.

Petkal aka Supertelemaster

Edited on Jan 30, 2013 at 03:37 AM · View previous versions



Jan 30, 2013 at 01:10 AM
Johnny B Goode
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?


PetKal wrote:
Hardly.

Lastly, please do not start selling your 600IIs and 800Ls yet .......the above is just my reflection/speculation in response to some recent Canon and Nikon long lens developments.


I thought about selling my 800L but prices on the imaginary lens market just aren't what they use to be.



Jan 30, 2013 at 01:14 AM
PetKal
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?





Jan 30, 2013 at 01:16 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?


PetKal wrote:
Hardly.

No doubt, new Nikkor 800 f/5.6 looks like a very nice lens, and it will probably be a very good performer, although one would never be able to say that based on the 3 sample images posted on Nikon's web site, which have a distinctive cell phone quality.

In a way, looking at the published Nikkor 800 specs, I think Nikon missed the boat with MFD and the lens weight......they are both very similar to fairly old (by now) Canon 800L. Clearly, if they could have done better (economically), they would have done it. Having a dedicated
...Show more

Seeing we are talking crap, an 800 II would definitely be a bit lighter than the 600 f/4 II, but only by a few hundred grams at most - say 3.7-3.8kg. It would most definitely improve the mfd to probably same value as 600 f/4 mk I and an better set of distance limiter ranges, and gain mode 3 IS. Otherwise it already had the newest 4 stop IS, so not much scope to improve that unless they follow Tamron and start offering 3 axis IS. Price wise though while it's natural to expect another increase, it really would be about the same size and weight and performance as the 600 f/4 and may not increase much at all as the insane price rises have already occurred and Yen is waning. Nikon's 800 pricing is laugh out loud infuckingsane.



Jan 30, 2013 at 01:40 AM
snapsy
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?


Even if the Nikon proves to be sharper, for the difference in price a photographer could hire a second shooter to risk his neck getting closer with a shorter focal length lens like the 400L


Jan 30, 2013 at 01:41 AM
Photon
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?


I thought about selling my 800L, then remembered that I don't have one.
Your speculations are quite logical, though of course that may have no bearing on the likelihood of proving true.
I can see the possibility of a new millimeter race, after Canon comes out with a 40 or 50 MP sensor and the MP race pauses (hah!). Who can engineer the longest hand-holdable tele? Lighter weight? Five stop IS? Who will introduce the first six figure price tag since the not-hand-holdable-by-normal-humans limited production 1200/5.6?



Jan 30, 2013 at 01:46 AM
PetKal
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?


Pixel Perfect wrote:
Nikon's 800 pricing is laugh out loud infuckingsane.




There is also the issue of IQ and TCs.
The current 800L doesn't quite utilize the full MkIII TC capability because the lens was designed before the advent of those TCs. Canon clearly stated that the MkIII TC benefit would be best seen on their MkII supertelephoto lenses.


Edited on Jan 30, 2013 at 01:54 AM · View previous versions



Jan 30, 2013 at 01:47 AM
PetKal
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?


snapsy wrote:
Even if the Nikon proves to be sharper, for the difference in price a photographer could hire a second shooter to risk his neck getting closer with a shorter focal length lens like the 400L


A good point.



Jan 30, 2013 at 01:48 AM
PetKal
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?


Photon wrote:
I thought about selling my 800L, then remembered that I don't have one.
Your speculations are quite logical, though of course that may have no bearing on the likelihood of proving true.
I can see the possibility of a new millimeter race, after Canon comes out with a 40 or 50 MP sensor and the MP race pauses (hah!). Who can engineer the longest hand-holdable tele? Lighter weight? Five stop IS? Who will introduce the first six figure price tag since the not-hand-holdable-by-normal-humans limited production 1200/5.6?


Jess, you are right, sometimes it is hard to say where the dividing line is between marketing "optics" and photographic substance.

However, say in 800L II, Canon might deploy a 5 stop IS for marketing "optics" sake, although some practical benefit would be there as well.



Jan 30, 2013 at 01:52 AM
Photon
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?


When it comes to IS, for me, if the improvement is real, the benefit is real, even if not for all situations.


Jan 30, 2013 at 01:56 AM
 

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PetKal
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?


Photon wrote:
When it comes to IS, for me, if the improvement is real, the benefit is real, even if not for all situations.


I understand that, my point was related to a cost benefit factor of one stop increment in IS effectiveness. How much money does one wanna spend on 5 stop IS, having a 4 stop IS lens as a starting point ? I betcha a nickel to a doughnut that many would not be able to tell the difference in a blind test, similar to trying to differentiate between Kogan's and Milstein's interpretations of the Bruch's concerto.



Jan 30, 2013 at 02:29 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?


PetKal wrote:
I understand that, my point was related to a cost benefit factor of one stop increment in IS effectiveness. How much money does one wanna spend on 5 stop IS, having a 4 stop IS lens as a starting point ? I betcha a nickel to a doughnut that many would not be able to tell the difference in a blind test, similar to trying to differentiate between Kogan's and Milstein's interpretations of the Bruch's concerto.


It's a statistical process and you could get the same number of keepers from 5 stop and 4 stop IS with different people, when averaged over hundreds of shots.



Jan 30, 2013 at 03:07 AM
Liquidstone
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?


Photon wrote:
I thought about selling my 800L, then remembered that I don't have one.


Same here. I do have a poor man's version (400 2.8 IS + 2x) but I'm keeping it.

If Sigma can come out with an improved* Sigmonster, and sell it at half the price of the Nikon 800, many wildlife shooters will take a serious look at it. (I bought my original Sigmonster at around USD 4.5K).

*sharper wide open at 800 mm, with OS and focus limiter, lighter weight than the original, better paint finish and weather-sealing.



Jan 30, 2013 at 03:21 AM
PetKal
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?


That is true, Pixie....even 2 stop vs. 4 stop is not always absolutely clear.
Several months ago I was using 400 f/2.8 IS MkII handheld, and at one point I was telling myself that 4 stop IS wasn't such hot $hit after all, because there was some unsteadiness in the VF image . Lo behold, when I glanced at the lens switch panel eventually, I realised the IS had been turned OFF.



Jan 30, 2013 at 03:27 AM
Invertalon
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?


I noticed the Nikon has a "protective" front element on the front, which is probably considerable weight. Canon has been omitting those from latest super-tele designs.

I think Canon when they refresh the 800 will come in a few pounds lighter.



Jan 30, 2013 at 04:01 AM
rdcny
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?


Someone just pointed out to me that the new Nikon is only 100 grams (3 ounces) heavier than the Canon 800 - is that correct?

Here is what was sent: "Robert, the Nikon 800mm is 4590g, the Canon 800mm is 4490g, so the difference here is just 100 grams, or 2%. The VR 800 has 20 elements in 13 groups. By contrast, the manual focus 800mm f/5.6 Nikkor is 5400g, and has just 8 elements in 6 groups."



Jan 30, 2013 at 04:01 AM
PetKal
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?


Invertalon wrote:
I noticed the Nikon has a "protective" front element on the front, which is probably considerable weight. Canon has been omitting those from latest super-tele designs.

I think Canon when they refresh the 800 will come in a few pounds lighter.


Nikkor 800 f/5.6 as well as Canon 800L have the first optical element made of fluorite which is more delicate than glass and requires physical protection of a front meniscus.

However, in the MkII supertelephoto lenses, Canon has placed the fluorite element behind the first objective element made of suitably coated glass, which then allowed them to dispense with the separate protective meniscus altogether, and that was instrumental in the major MkII lens weight reduction.



Jan 30, 2013 at 04:22 AM
rdcny
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?


Ok another quote on the new Nikon 800mm (from photo.net):

"Most long teles are hollow towards the rear end of the lens. That is why we can use those teleconverters that protrude into the rear. However, this new 800mm has 3 elements at the very rear of the lens. I haven't seen the actual lens yet (and probably never will), but physically you might not even be able to mount those traditional teleconverters. And the aperture diaphragm may be in front of those very rear elements, but again, that is not entirely clear from the diagram."



Jan 30, 2013 at 04:24 AM
PetKal
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?


rdcny wrote:
Someone just pointed out to me that the new Nikon is only 100 grams (3 ounces) heavier than the Canon 800 - is that correct?

Here is what was sent: "Robert, the Nikon 800mm is 4590g, the Canon 800mm is 4490g, so the difference here is just 100 grams, or 2%. The VR 800 has 20 elements in 13 groups. By contrast, the manual focus 800mm f/5.6 Nikkor is 5400g, and has just 8 elements in 6 groups."



Yes, I have read the same specs on Nikon's site.
100 g is not a lot.......the weight of a standard size chocolate bar from Europe. What is perhaps more imoprtant is the "optics" of it.......Nikon can not claim their lens is lighter than Canon's.

In fact, considering all the numerous glass elements they have jammed into that lens, such relatively unremarkable lens weight doesn't come as a surprise.
Unfortunately for Nikon, Canon's MkII supertelephoto lenses have radically changed our views on what those weights "should be" these days.

A few years ago an 800 f/5.6 lens weighing merely 4.6 kg would have been considered quite an achievement, as 800L had been at the time.


Edited on Jan 30, 2013 at 04:36 AM · View previous versions



Jan 30, 2013 at 04:31 AM
PetKal
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · New Nikkor 800 f/5.6 a Canon killer ?


rdcny wrote:
Ok another quote on the new Nikon 800mm (from photo.net):

"Most long teles are hollow towards the rear end of the lens. That is why we can use those teleconverters that protrude into the rear. However, this new 800mm has 3 elements at the very rear of the lens. I haven't seen the actual lens yet (and probably never will), but physically you might not even be able to mount those traditional teleconverters. And the aperture diaphragm may be in front of those very rear elements, but again, that is not entirely clear from the diagram."



Yes, I have noticed an unorthodox placement of the drop in filter in that lens.
It looks like they have gone to great lengths in ensuring that the lens IQ is top notch.



Jan 30, 2013 at 04:34 AM
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