September 02, 2014, 06:50:43 PM

Author Topic: Observation on the D800: Only 1 lens in Nikon's lineup can remotely resolve 36mp  (Read 5726 times)

Radiating

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As an engineer I realize that there are several positive side effects to having more megapixels. However, I think the main reason people are buying the D800 would be for the resolution.

I've spent the better part of the day researching the resolving power of Nikon's entire lens lineup and I've come to an interesting conclusion.

Asside from the super telephoto primes, Nikon only has one lens in it's lineup that can actually resolve 36 megapixels, including their primes etc... the Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.4 G.

So in effect the actual resolution of the D800 is a useless figure. The biggest benefit will probably be the side effect of having enough resolution to remove the AA filter.

It will be interesting to see if the 5D3 with super sharp lenses like the new 24-70mm f/2.8 II or the D800E without an AA filter and less sharp lenses will actually be able to deliver the higher resolution. It seems to be anybody's race.

Just trying to to prompt some interesting discussion. Feel free to comment.

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Tuggem

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You do understand that the sensor significantly needs to "outresolve" the lens to get the most of the lens?
You will gain total resolution even with the worst available lenses by increasing the pixel density in the current pixel range FF sensors are at.

koolman

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As an engineer I realize that there are several positive side effects to having more megapixels. However, I think the main reason people are buying the D800 would be for the resolution.

I've spent the better part of the day researching the resolving power of Nikon's entire lens lineup and I've come to an interesting conclusion.

Asside from the super telephoto primes, Nikon only has one lens in it's lineup that can actually resolve 36 megapixels, including their primes etc... the Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.4 G.

So in effect the actual resolution of the D800 is a useless figure. The biggest benefit will probably be the side effect of having enough resolution to remove the AA filter.

It will be interesting to see if the 5D3 with super sharp lenses like the new 24-70mm f/2.8 II or the D800E without an AA filter and less sharp lenses will actually be able to deliver the higher resolution. It seems to be anybody's race.

Just trying to to prompt some interesting discussion. Feel free to comment.

Can you explain to those of us less tech oriented - what you mean by saying a lens cannot "resolve 36 megapixels" ?? :) thanks
Jerusalem Photographer (canon t2i, 50 1.4, Tamron 17-50 non VC, canon 60mm, canon 35mm L,Samyang 14mm MF,Voigtlander 20mm MF)

traveller

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As an engineer I realize that there are several positive side effects to having more megapixels. However, I think the main reason people are buying the D800 would be for the resolution.

I've spent the better part of the day researching the resolving power of Nikon's entire lens lineup and I've come to an interesting conclusion.

Asside from the super telephoto primes, Nikon only has one lens in it's lineup that can actually resolve 36 megapixels, including their primes etc... the Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.4 G.

So in effect the actual resolution of the D800 is a useless figure. The biggest benefit will probably be the side effect of having enough resolution to remove the AA filter.

It will be interesting to see if the 5D3 with super sharp lenses like the new 24-70mm f/2.8 II or the D800E without an AA filter and less sharp lenses will actually be able to deliver the higher resolution. It seems to be anybody's race.

Just trying to to prompt some interesting discussion. Feel free to comment.

Would you care to clarify your argument? For example, are you referring to centre or edge of frame resolution? Where are you getting your resolution figures from? I hope that as an engineer you're calculating them from MTF charts and not using the LP/PH from Photozone, as this will change for each lens based upon the resolution of the sensor that the lens is tested with. 

Astro

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as an engineer myself i wonder that you donĀ“t "prove" your words with at least one example of your calculations. :)

that way we can decide if you are right and when you are not right ... where your error is.

that would spark a more serious discussion i guess.


marekjoz

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I think @Radiating meant corners. 36MP's pixel density on FF is not something, Nikons APS-C didn't resolve in the past. There were not people complaining Nikkors didn't resolve it. Did they?
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TexPhoto

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While their might be diminishing returns in higher megapixels, i can't quite buy into lenses resolving a certain number of megapixels and no more.  As said above center and corner sharpness are 2 different things.  And, our current technology borrows from the neighboring pixels to obtain RGB for each pixel, when each is R, G, or B natively (all before the "RAW" image is recorded.)  And, from lens to image, there is an analog to digital conversion involving optical filters on the sensor, and proprietary algorithms in the computer.   I just don't see a lens being a single resolution.

In general however, obviously more and more mega pixels are going to need a better lens on a steadier platform to active the same per pixel sharpness.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 08:30:18 AM by TexPhoto »

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Radiating

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You do understand that the sensor significantly needs to "outresolve" the lens to get the most of the lens?
You will gain total resolution even with the worst available lenses by increasing the pixel density in the current pixel range FF sensors are at.

I am very keenly aware of this issue seeing as I've preformed real world testing to see it's effect and I've actually run the theoretical calculations on it aswell.

Due to the extremely low resolution of Nikon's lenses they stand to gain only 8% more resolution by going from 24 MP to 36 MP for their higher end lenses. Canon's lenses would stand to gain 25% more resolution by going from 21 to 36 MP on the higher end lenses. Theoretically speaking.

snip

Can you explain to those of us less tech oriented - what you mean by saying a lens cannot "resolve 36 megapixels" ?? :) thanks

There are many ways to atempt to turn a resolution curve from a lens into a flat linear resolution. Two ways are to take the integral of the resolution curve and then average that over the area, or to take the resolution at the half way point of the area of the image and extrapolate it over the whole image. I use the latter because it's easier and the results are fairly representative result.

snip

Would you care to clarify your argument? For example, are you referring to centre or edge of frame resolution? Where are you getting your resolution figures from? I hope that as an engineer you're calculating them from MTF charts and not using the LP/PH from Photozone, as this will change for each lens based upon the resolution of the sensor that the lens is tested with.

I am using the photozone data, BUT I am using the crop frame boarder (not extreme corner) resolution data and extrapolating it to the full frame data. This essentially mimics a 40 megapixel sensor at the half way point of the frame which is an extremely accurate way of measuring considering we're dealing with a 36 MP sensor. Most of Nikon's lenses are barley resolving two thirds the resolution at this point so it's safe to say that they wouldn't take advantage of 36 megapixels over the majority of the frame.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 07:36:15 AM by Radiating »

Canon-F1

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I am using the photozone data, BUT I am using the crop frame boarder (not extreme corner) resolution data and extrapolating it to the full frame data. This essentially mimics a 40 megapixel sensor at the half way point of the frame which is an extremely accurate way of measuring considering we're dealing with a 36 MP sensor. Most of Nikon's lenses are barley resolving two thirds the resolution at this point so it's safe to say that they wouldn't take advantage of 36 megapixels over the majority of the frame.

i would say post an example.
take the sweetspot of the lens and post your calculation.

i mean as engineer you know that people like to see hard numbers not just talk.   ;)



« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 07:51:18 AM by Canon-F1 »
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studio1972

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You do understand that the sensor significantly needs to "outresolve" the lens to get the most of the lens?
You will gain total resolution even with the worst available lenses by increasing the pixel density in the current pixel range FF sensors are at.

I am very keenly aware of this issue seeing as I've preformed real world testing to see it's effect and I've actually run the theoretical calculations on it aswell.

Due to the extremely low resolution of Nikon's lenses they stand to gain only 8% more resolution by going from 24 MP to 36 MP for their higher end lenses. Canon's lenses would stand to gain 25% more resolution by going from 21 to 36 MP on the higher end lenses. Theoretically speaking.

snip

Can you explain to those of us less tech oriented - what you mean by saying a lens cannot "resolve 36 megapixels" ?? :) thanks

There are many ways to atempt to turn a resolution curve from a lens into a flat linear resolution. Two ways are to take the integral of the resolution curve and then average that over the area, or to take the resolution at the half way point of the area of the image and extrapolate it over the whole image. I use the latter because it's easier and the results are fairly representative result.

snip

Would you care to clarify your argument? For example, are you referring to centre or edge of frame resolution? Where are you getting your resolution figures from? I hope that as an engineer you're calculating them from MTF charts and not using the LP/PH from Photozone, as this will change for each lens based upon the resolution of the sensor that the lens is tested with.

I am using the photozone data, BUT I am using the crop frame boarder (not extreme corner) resolution data and extrapolating it to the full frame data. This essentially mimics a 40 megapixel sensor at the half way point of the frame which is an extremely accurate way of measuring considering we're dealing with a 36 MP sensor. Most of Nikon's lenses are barley resolving two thirds the resolution at this point so it's safe to say that they wouldn't take advantage of 36 megapixels over the majority of the frame.

FWIW, I much prefer the 5D3 specs to the D800, but I doubt your claims about the resolution on the Nikon being effectively useless, and I also doubt the benefit in spending hours crunching the numbers.
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Tuggem

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Did you look at the gain going from the 10MP D200 to the 16MP D7000?

3kramd5

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Is not the D800 sensor more or less a larger D7000 sensor (similar pixel density, likely similar or better micro lens geometry and micro circuitry)?

Is the D7000 better than their glass?

How is this something you can observe?
5D3, 5D2, 40D; Various lenses

Tuggem

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Is not the D800 sensor more or less a larger D7000 sensor (similar pixel density, likely similar or better micro lens geometry and micro circuitry)?

Is the D7000 better than their glass?

How is this something you can observe?

Since it has been shown that the pixel density of 7D is not enough to get the absolute most of a lens at f22, even though it starts to get close, I think this talk doesn't make sense.

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AprilForever

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As an engineer I realize that there are several positive side effects to having more megapixels. However, I think the main reason people are buying the D800 would be for the resolution.

I've spent the better part of the day researching the resolving power of Nikon's entire lens lineup and I've come to an interesting conclusion.

Asside from the super telephoto primes, Nikon only has one lens in it's lineup that can actually resolve 36 megapixels, including their primes etc... the Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.4 G.

So in effect the actual resolution of the D800 is a useless figure. The biggest benefit will probably be the side effect of having enough resolution to remove the AA filter.

It will be interesting to see if the 5D3 with super sharp lenses like the new 24-70mm f/2.8 II or the D800E without an AA filter and less sharp lenses will actually be able to deliver the higher resolution. It seems to be anybody's race.

Just trying to to prompt some interesting discussion. Feel free to comment.

Theory and fact may prove an interesting difference...
What is truth?

simonhowes

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You do know the actual resolution of the D800 is around 27 megapixels, the D800 is far less. We could get out the maths, but the rule of thumb for Bayer is the physical resolution times 0.75. We'll have to wait for resolution charts to tell us the real world resolutions.

Pixel density of the D800 is less than the Canon 650D/60D/7D, it's even less than the 50D. I do not see Canon users worrying about their L lenses not being up to the spec.


As an engineer I realize that there are several positive side effects to having more megapixels. However, I think the main reason people are buying the D800 would be for the resolution.


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