All the modern 90s are sharp.
The only thing I'll add is that you MAY get sharper results from a faster lens (f4.5 or 5.6) for two simple reasons.
1. you will be able to see the ground glass better which aids focusing.
2. When the 4.5 and 5.6 lenses are wide open for focusing they through the out of focus elements slightly more out of focus than an f8 model, which may also allow you to focus more accurately.
I used to use a 90mm SA f8 and switched to a 90mm Nikkor SW f4.5 for these reasons.
Assuming you are focused properly I believe all the modern 90s will give similar results.
Last edited by Shawn Dougherty; 09-20-2012 at 11:35 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Most DIY alleged sharpness tests are basically BS for at least one simple reason, esp with short focal
lengths like the one in question: the variations in film plane in a conventional holder affect focus more than variations between lenses! You'd have to use a vacuum holder or glass plate, or compare
aerial images w/o film. In the specific comparison of a Nkkor 4.5 vs f/8 it's mainly a tradeoff between
portability vs brighter viewing. The difference in optical performance per se is probably miniscule.
Drew is right to a certain point. I doubt in 8x10 or even 16x20's prints one can easily tell the difference between the Nikon f4.5 vs the Nikon SW F8 Nikkor.
But do know Drew's opinion of the Nikon f4,5 being sharper than the f8 is in the clear minority. Do a web search and go back to threads over the last dozen years. He's clearly wrong here.
I cherry picked from three brand new 90 f4.5 and kept the one that was acceptable. This cherry picked sample is a competent optic but it's not even in the same league in terms of resolution performance as the Nikon 90 f8.
PS: The f8 is not difficult to focus in daylight conditions. It's also half the size and weight of the f4.5.
Last edited by Andre Noble; 09-24-2012 at 12:19 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Ummm, guys. Here's what Drew said:"In the specific comparison of a Nkkor 4.5 vs f/8 it's mainly a tradeoff between
portability vs brighter viewing. The difference in optical performance per se is probably miniscule."
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Digging up this food fight once again - Andre, my standard is not 16x20 - its a 30X40 Cibachrome
made on a vacuum easel with precise graphics lenses. And lots of test have been done by lots of people. You'll find opinions both ways, but I'll bet not one of those web chatter remarks you find
authoritative even factored in the film plane variable, or the FACT that normal film holders don't hold
film dead flat. I measure my film plane with a special depth micrometer, and if needed use a special
kind of filmholder. I really don't really care who is right or wrong. The point is, given the exceptional
quality of these Nikon lenses in general, there are much more practical overall considerations. I bought mine because I was doing a certain amt of indoor architecture where the brighter viewing was essential. And in any event, the lens was distinctly sharper than Super Angulons I have used;
and at the time was considered by quite a few working pros with solid reputations as the best of the
90's. You obviously prefer the f/8 and I'm certain it's a wonderful lens too. I don't know how anyone
could go wrong with either.
One practical point which might help one choose one version of Nikon versus another is not only the
max aperture but the working image circle. They might appear identical, but if you read the fine print, the f/4.5 circle is calculated at f/16, not f/22 as in most other cases. This means that at this
aperture the image circle will in fact be bigger; and given the fact that 90's are often chosen for
serious rise or other architectural movements, the performance near the edge of such images might
in fact be inherently better. Smaller max-apertures lenses are easier to correct - but it's the real world application which determines what distribution of sharpness takes the priority. And certainly
when you get past f/22 or so with a lens of this focal length, diffraction pretty much levels the playing field anyway. When I want extreme sharpness, I don't use any kind of wide angle design.
My thoughts exactly.
Originally Posted by DREW WILEY
A Source of Discussion of LF Lenses
You might also try looking at Kerry Thalman's discussion of lenses for 4x5 at http://www.thalmann.com/.
+1 for the Nikkor 90/8 SW. Lots of good data here: http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/testing.html
Originally Posted by EdSawyer