Weekly Nikon news flash #360

Nikon D800 022 Disassembly Teardown & ReviewNikon D4 026 Disassembly Teardown & Review
Nikon D7100 031 Disassembly Teardown & ReviewNikon D600 087 Mirror Box Teardown & Review
→ Several Nikon camera and lens teardowns, reviews and repair guides (both pictures and videos) can be found at fixyourcamera.org.

→ Refurbished Nikon D800 cameras are now $1,699.95 ($100 price drop from last week).

Laowa 105mm f:2 STF vs. Nikon AF DC-Nikkor 105mm f:2D lenses comparison
Laowa 105mm f/2 STF vs. Nikon AF DC-Nikkor 105mm f/2D lenses comparison at venuslens.net.

Irix 11mm f/4 lens is coming next

Nik Collection now available for free

YongNuo YN685 Speedlite for NikonYongNuo YN685 Speedlite for Nikon 2
YongNuo have announced the YN685 Speedlite for Nikon with YN-622N and YN560-TX compatible radio receiver built inside.

→ Nikon D750 video review - the best hybrid camera to date?

→ Nikon F3 camera reviewed by DigitalRev.

→ Canon 5d vs. Nikon V1 comparison.

Nikon is marketing its cameras directly to cosplayers with Cosgenic cosplay photo tip series.

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  • Eric Calabros

    The bokeh difference that dual diaphragm makes is not significant as I expected. You have to be so obsessed with creamy out of focus to have it in your features wishlist.

    • nwcs

      For me the question is AF or not. The longer the focal length the more I want that AF.

      • Jeffry De Meyer

        I think the dc is an af d lens, might as well be manual focus

        • nwcs

          For lower end models yes but I’ve never had difficulty with AF-D focusing.

          • Jeffry De Meyer

            I find it slow and loud, pretty amazing Nikon had users left after canon introduced eos and Nikon kept selling blenders for a decade.

            • Eric Calabros

              AF-D is sometimes faster than AF-S. ask f/1.4 primes users. It was pretty good mechanical tech, but not suitable for modern 3D tracking.

            • guibo

              Agreed, it was relevant before digital when pixel peeping for pin point focus was not a thing. AF-D will get you close to perfect focus quicker, but it isn’t precise enough, especially behind a D810 or even 24mp sensors.
              For this reason, I no longer own any D lenses.

            • nwcs

              I’ve not met an AF-D that was really loud. They’re not silent but let’s not go into hyperbole. I never had a person or animal care about it.

              If you want loud try slewing an equatorial mount sometime. AF-D is downright silent in comparison.

            • fanboy fagz

              faster than any G prime lens hands down.

            • silmasan

              Loud as blender–have any usable numbers in dB? OK, hyperbole. Got it.

              But slow? Seriously, what body did you put it on? And what did you use it for? Sports? (in that case, any of the 70-200 AFS VR would be a better choice anyway).

            • PhilK

              Everyone has different criteria and different hearing.

              I will say that it’s pretty much categorically true that SWM AF is vastly quieter on the whole, compared to screw-drive. (Ehh, that’s why Nikon calls it silent wave motor 😉 ),

              But it depends on the lens and the body and how far you’re slewing the focus. (Since the focus motor for pre-AF-S is in the camera body, that has a large influence on the sound made while focusing) And it is a lot more physically difficult to drive a bunch of large elements 6 or 10 inches away from the lens flange (super telephoto) than it is to drive a couple of small elements 3/4″ from the lens flange. (Eg a wide-angle or normal prime)

            • silmasan

              The body, yes, exactly. That’s why I asked what body he used. I had owned an AF 50/1.4D and have used it on D70s and F-801s. Also AF 80-200/2.8D. I don’t remember exactly but it was somewhat louder with the D70s, and with the F-801s, much louder–plus the slowness would aggravate the noise even more. Btw I’m not on a mission to ‘save the AF-D Nikkors’ or anything–just being specific to this DC species.

              Now the 105 is obviously not a super tele, and more importantly it is a RF (rear focusing) design. That should explain it already. Is it silent as SWM/USM? Definitely no. But is it “slow” and “loud”? Moving from 1.5m to ~5m for example, is quite fast and gives only a short “fhew” sound. Nowhere near the “BRRRRRRRRRRRRRR” sound of a certain motorized kitchen appliance. 😉

    • Nikos Skartsilas

      I would like to see portraits instead of “vespas” in the comparison test. Just like this really interesting article http://petapixel.com/2016/03/14/problem-modern-lenses/

  • AYWY

    That’s a nice user review of the D750 video capabilities – actual video footage of interesting stuff to demonstrate the user’s real world experiences!

  • TheInconvenientRuth

    Am I right in thinking it is far easier to design a lens with pleasant ‘bokeh’ if it is a MF lens becasue you don’t have to worry about fitting an AF element group in the solution?

    • nwcs

      I wouldn’t think so. Aspherical and exotic elements have a lot more impact.

    • PhilK

      Perhaps. It seems to me that lens designs with either aspherical elements or very complex optical designs tend to be poorer in the bokeh department than simpler formulas with all-spherical lens elements. But AF lenses don’t necessarily need to have either aspherical elements nor be optically more complex than MF designs.

      Thom has also surmised that the fact that the VR lens group may not always get “re-centered” when at rest could be another factor that works against VR lenses in the bokeh department sometimes too.

  • jtra

    Comparison of Laowa and Nikon DC lens seems to be lacking images with DC ring set to some R values (better background bokeh, somewhat worse sharpness depending on value). I have some pictures which show how DC changes bokeh: http://jtra.cz/stuff/essays/bokeh/index.html#comparison_of_sigma_85_1.4_and_nikon_105dc_on_fx
    But then it is a comparison from somebody with vested interested in showing their lens is the best. So I’m more interested in third party comparisons. Still it shows the potential is good. Nikon DC is known for color fringing and Laowa images looks to be free of it. I like the bokeh as they show it. Nikon really needs to update 105 and 135. While competition to both (Laowa 105/2, Samyang 135/2) is manual focus – they just show how new designs can be optically better.

    The D750 video by Mattias Burling about D750 video capabilities is my favorite for some time (I have watched it multiple times already). This guy knows how to make a good video. And he can make great audio – which is probably main reason why liked to watch it again.

  • Zeneti
  • silmasan

    The DC feature wasn’t even used in the comparison, of course. 😉

    Try f/2.8 and DC set at R 2.8, for a start.

  • silmasan

    I had my D700’s front control dial (which I use for shutter speed) de-clicked/smoothened after a service at Nikon. I didn’t ask for it but I ended up liking it so much.

    Now I want to have the same with my D810’s front dial (which is still “clicky”, but feels a lot stiffer than what I’m used to) without sending it in. I guess those photos from fixyourcamera just convinced me to stop messing with it before I even begin.

  • jsvfoto

    I’m curious why they left the DC ring at neutral instead of 2R? That would be a more interesting comparison.

    • FountainHead

      Because they’re trying to sell their own piece of crap.

  • PhilK

    The problem with the Laowa/AF-DC comparison is that it is apples/oranges.

    Yes the AF-DC has nice bokeh, but its special (and still unique) feature is the ability to control the nature of the defocus between the foreground and background.

    The dual-aperture “apodization filter” Laowa design is very different, a copy of a design concept originally introduced by Minolta in 1999, and more recently by Fuji:



    Unlike the apodization lenses, the AF-DC doesn’t cut down the overall light transmission of the lens.

    • Eddy Kamera

      Not mention it retains AF.

      • PhilK

        Yes, that is another major point.

  • silmasan

    AFS 105/2 patent has been reported since 2011 here, but will Nikon keep the DC feature? I wouldn’t count on it. Sigma 105 (APO) Macro is also free from color fringing and is quite good (and has AF), but this focal length needs a truly modern contender!

  • 247th

    11 elements and 8 groups 2016 vs 6 elements 6 groups 1993. 23 years of technology difference.

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