Comparing 3 Nikkor 16mm fisheyes


I have a special craving for these lenses, especially the older one, the f/3.5.
I compared an old f/3.5 non Ai, a f/2.8 Ais and the latest AF f/2.8D. I just wanted to know which one is the sharpest at center and border to decide once and for all which one will remain in my bag.

I used a Nikon Df on a tripod, with Aperture Priority. This is far from a complete and scientific test.


First batch are pictures of a map in my wall, with the camera placed 1m away from it, so focus may not be perfect. 100% crops from the center and upper left side, lens wide open and two other apertures (f/5.6 and f/8).
Second batch are from my window, lens at infinity and 100% crops from center and border (close). Only at f/5.6.

They are all in this sequence (older at the top, newer at bottom).
1- NIKKOR 16mm f/3.5 non AI
2- NIKKOR 16mm f/2.8 Ais
3- AF NIKKOR 16mm f/2.8D





















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      However, due to the lateral nature of these fringes, a quick fix in PhotoNinja clears up the rendition remarkably well. The crop below is the same frame run through PhotoNinja's automatic Chromatic aberration Tool so basically is a one-click affair.

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      and the 100% crop of the frame with VR off clearly shows I cannot get a sharp image at that speed with a hand-held 300 mm lens. No big surprise. Let this be the reference to assess the efficacy of VR.

      Here is the same subject , now with VR in Normal mode;

      The improvement in image clarity is quite significant to my eyes.
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      If weather improves I might venture into the field to shoot more interesting scenery. All in due time.
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      Thus, the 300 mm f/4 PF Nikkor is no substitute for a Micro-Nikkor or equivalent lens. But it can deliver the image in a pinch.
      I repeated close-up tests with a tripod support to eliminate the potential adverse influence from hand-holding the lens. Using my AF 200 mm f/4 ED-IF Micro-Nikkor as a reference, the 300 PF Nikkor now delivered much better results. Not entirely up to a genuine Micro-Nikkor, but close enough for for most situations. However, it again proved imperative that VR should be turned off and you also should employ proper technique such as combining mirror lock-up and a cable release to capture the shot. For long exposures with a tripod-mounted lens, VR is likely to degrade the image by making blurs in one ('Normal' mode or two dimensions ('Sport' mode). For these tests, shutter speeds ranged from a 'fast' 1/8 sec to a 'slow' 0.8 sec.

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    • By Dallas
      Yesterday Nikon Corporation announced the third iteration of their Nikon 1 Mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, unsurprisingly titled the Nikon 1 V3. It’s got a lot of people talking, but not all about the right things in my opinion.
      There is a lot of negative comment about certain aspects of the camera, which I do see as justifiably stupid moves by Nikon, but then again on the positive side, if the specs and claims that Nikon make are to be believed, then they are going to be able to make one helluva serious mirrorless camera when they finally decide to take the segment seriously.
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      The other problem with micro SD cards is that while they are cheap, they don’t offer very fast write speeds, so the chances of actually getting through a 5 second or longer burst seems a little unlikely with your standard cellphone issue micro SD card. I can’t find any information on the Nikon site relating to buffer size for the V3, so I do hope for the sake of Nikon that they have included a really big one in the camera, otherwise the high frame rate is going to be totally useless.
      More fodder for “the Bad” folder is that the V3 doesn’t support Nikon’s excellent Creative Lighting System (CLS), which means that it can’t control remotely positioned speedlights. I can understand this because I believe CLS depends on a whole lot of information that is usually read off sensors found in the DSLR mirrorbox, so with a mirrorless design the engineers at Nikon would probably have to incorporate it onto the sensor, which already has a whole bunch of things going on, considering the number of AF points, both CDAF and PDAF. Then again the person buying a V3 isn’t likely to begin using CLS seriously, are they? Might as well get a DSLR if you’re getting that creative with lighting.

      In “the Good” folder we have some staggering numbers claims from Nikon. Up to 60 frames per second when using fixed focus and 20 when using auto focus tracking? That is very fast. Another claim, which if true, is that it can track moving subjects faster than any DSLR can, using 105 phase detect points on the sensor. So if you put the FT-1 adapter on the V3 you can use any of Nikon’s lenses with crop factors of 2.7x. This is very good news for those who shoot birds (especially those in flight), because with this small camera and (say) a 70-300mm VR lens you will get a field of view range equivalent to 810mm. Twitchers will love it.
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      However, in the Ugly folder we have the price consideration. The basic kit Nikon are punting includes the 10-30mm kit lens, the grip and the EVF for $1200. That’s the US street price, so given Nikon’s global pricing trends those of us in far flung corners of the world, we are going to probably be paying in the region of $1500 to $2000 for the basic kit. That… with a dramatic Horatio Cain / Jeremy Clarkson pause for effect… is complete madness. It puts the camera into the price turf of the likes of the Olympus E-M10, the many various Fujifilm products and other far more desirable mirrorless offerings. I can’t see photography enthusiasts or the soccer Mom buying into the system at that price. Not with the poor native lens options available. Nobody involved in photography is going to recommend getting one when there are so many other, better options available. The FT-1 adapter will add $271 to the price if you’re wanting to use your other Nikkor lenses on this camera.
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    • By Dallas
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    • By Kyle
      So over a month ago I vowed to "post more" from my mountain fixed keyboard later and a new CPU, here I am. Enjoy. 

    • By Andrew L (gryphon1911)
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      A few samples from a walk around my neighborhood.  These are from a Fotodiox adapted PEN-F.


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