Roger Cicala of Lensrentals measured a few lenses at 35mm and discussed his findings here. He also took some nature test images (at f/5.6) with the very same lenses and sent the raw files to us.
- s35f5.6: Sigma 35mm f/1.4 at f/5.6
- n35f5.6: Nikon 35mm f/1.4 at f/5.6
- n24-120f5.6: Nikon 24-120mm f/4 at f/5.6
- m16-35f5.6: Nikon 16-35mm f/4 at f/5.6
- OS3P: Sharpened with our script Opimal Sharp V3 Plus
- OS3PS: Sharpened with our script Opimal Sharp V3 Plus and Optimal Snap on top
We show 100% pixel views from Lightroom 4.3 on a 30" monitor.
Chromatic Aberrations (CA)
All lenses show some CA.
With the help of LR we can manage the CA with all these lenses.
Sharpening, Detail and Contrast Processing
We process the images in three steps:
- Lightroom: CA removal on, Sharpening 80, 0.5, 0, 0 (this is just some base sharpening, your technique may vary). We published our main workflow here. Of course we have a bias towards our own scripts. You can check a demo version of all our scripts for free.
- DOP Optimal Sharp V3 script for detail sharpening (works in Photoshop but we also use droplets from Lightroom)
- DOP Optimal Snap to enhance global and local contrast (we also add some saturation, can be tuned of course)
As mentioned all images were processed the same way (without any extra tweaks).
The left part shows the result from step 1 and the right after adding the contrast tuning (global and local) from DOP Optimal Snap.
The best lens in the center is the Sigma 35mm f/1.4. That is why we compare the other three lenses with the Sigma lens. We show crops of final the processed images.
We check the images on the right because there is no real right corner to analyse in this scene.
Nikon 35mm f/1.4 vs. Sigma 35mm f/1.4 at the right: The Sigma is quite a bit better.
The left would mirror the results of the right if the Sigma would not been slightly decentered (read in Roger's article).
We only show one comparison that shows the weaker left of the Sigma lens.
Overall there is no real surprise. The real world images mirror the finding of Roger's measurements. Minor measurement differences are hard to detect and major differences also show after processing. We think our detail sharpening is pretty good but it does not level the differences (a good thing I think). Keep in mind that all the lenses produced very usable results. Roger, thank you very much to let us join in on this project.
We for sure plan to use our 24-120mm f/4 VR a lot more. It is a very good compromise for zoom of this range.
Lets end with one of our portfolio images shot with our D800 and 24-120mm f/4 VR at f/6.3: