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28-70 *still* not as sharp as 70-200VR wide open

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Steve S, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Sent my 28-70 lens in for repair costing me ($350!), and while it's now better than before, it's still not as sharp as my 70-200VR when shot wide open @f2.8. fwiw, I still haven't done a controlled test on tripod, only shooting it a little handheld. If I stop down even a little to f3.2, and esp a whole stop to f4, it's equal. Did I just get a bad example? Yes, there are times when one needs to shoot wide open, even though most times you don't. What do I do next just live with it, or send it back in? It's long out of warranty.
  2. tasnim_fahim


    Oct 2, 2006
    I have a nikon 28-70/2.8 too, which I hardly use because of weight and
    its lack of sharpness. Been to Nikon twice,without success.It too is long
    out of warranty. Pity..I realyy wanted to like this lens.

  3. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    If, after doing some more controlled tripod mounted tests with this "beast" @ wide open, if I feel it's still not sharp enough, I will see if I can sell with (with full disclosure of softness at wide open), and try to pick up another example. True, it's a heavy bugger, but it is by far the favorite lens in my bag.
  4. Your right Steve, it is a "heavy bugger" but it is sharp at f/2.8. What is also nice is the color /contrast this lens gives... If you can find one that gives you sharp photos wide open, its definitely worth getting another... Pity about the problems with the one you have now. Couldn't Nikon get it right for sharpness..???

    Here's a sample from mine when I did a few simple test shots, with this one at 50mm f/2.8, focused on the label of the center bottle. BTW... When I started these test shots all the bottles were full, and if the shot wasn't sharp, just take a quick drink, and this way I didn't have a problem with sharpness...LOL...:biggrin::biggrin:

    On some browsers, you may have to click on the photo to see it correctly. Always seem to get the wrong size photo for posting...:rolleyes: 

    I change the Photo to one I took at 70mm@f/2.8

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2007
  5. Doug


    Jan 17, 2006
    East TN
    So, you guys like our Jack Black in Australia huh? Lynchburg Lemonaide. Lynchburg used to be a dry county, believe it or not. :) 

    I guess it still is, dunno. So, if you finish off the middle bottle, where is the focal point? If you finish all bottles, is there a focal point?

    Bummer Steve, that was a high $ repair for a lens this price range.
  6. Tosh


    May 6, 2005

    If your further tests show that there is still a problem, I'd give Nikon Customer Service a call and get a return shipping label.
    Give Nikon Service Dept. another crack at fixing it. An expensive f/2.8 lens should be usable wide open.
    If you do decide to send it in, send me a PM and I'll give you the name of a very senior Service Dept. manager who handled all my equipment issues throughout the years, always to my complete satisfaction.
  7. kramk

    kramk Guest

    Hi, a 28-70 can't be as sharp as a 70-200, both wide open at 70mm.

    MTFs really show the shorter the lens design, the softer it gets.

    This is particularly true as you move away from center (more than 5mm). I would stay within 5mm of center for comparing these two lenses. They should be pretty close there.

    best, mark
  8. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    The 28-80 is supposed to be a little soft wide open anyway isn't it? You're also compairing the best length of the 70-200 to the worst length of the 28-70.
  9. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Thanks guys, and

    that's an interesting point about the lense length vs sharpness thing. I'll need to do some tripod testing to be sure. The only time I've shot it thus far, was handheld at what should be fairly acceptable shutter speeds of 1/125th @70mm. That's a pretty minimum speed for these shaky old hands. But, if it's still soft, I'll give Nikon one last try at it, and I will take you up on that offer Glenn!
  10. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida

    and the comparisons I did were both @f2.8 and 70mm.
  11. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    Yeah, the longest and probably softest end of the 28-70, and shortest and probably sharpest end of th 70-200?
  12. kramk

    kramk Guest

    MTFs show the 70-200 to be easily better at 200mm than 70mm. The 28-70 is somewhat better at the long end. It really is just a case of longer lenses are sharper IMO.

    best, mark
  13. yoyo


    Nov 9, 2006
    The Netherlands
  14. Tosh


    May 6, 2005

    I don’t whether you’ll find this test shot helpful, but here’s a 100% crop of what I considered an excellent 28-70 at f/2.8.
    I used my 4mp D2HS, so it won’t provide a direct comparison to your D2X.

    Click on the image to bring it up in a separate window where it can be viewed in a larger size without distortion.


    Test Conditions: Tripod-mounted, D2HS, remote release, natural lighting, approximately 1 meter distance to subject, wide open at f/2.8, no sharpening or post processing, resized to 72 dpi, 100% crop with no reduction when posted. Newsprint on test target is from The New York Times.
  15. Nawww... What gives you that idea... HIC...BURP... Pardon me...:biggrin:
  16. paradiddle


    Jun 1, 2007
    Wally - how much does a fifth of Jack cost in Austrailia these days. I was in Fremantle/Perth in 82 and 84. It was funny to see something from home (TN) priced as an import.
  17. Gary, to buy it local, a 1.75Litre bottle of JD is around $90, and a 750ml is around $30-35... It expensive to have a taste of the good stuff... Luckily, at one point I was flying from Aust to the US around 5 to 8 times a year, and I was building my supplies every time I went there...:smile:

    Hey Steve, sorry to have deviated a little from your post as this conversation is NOT getting your 28-70 fixed....:rolleyes:  Hope you don't mind...
  18. Could it be that your 70-200 is just an incredible sharp copy?

    I've learned that comparing lenses with the 70-200 can be fatal...........and expensive.

    My copy outperformes nearly every lens in my lineup at f2.8 (Just not at 200mm, either turn to 190mm or stop down to f4).

    From my experience (no testing just experience) the 60 micro and the 105DC are even, and the 17-55 holds up very well (just not at 55mm, 17-50 is incredible sharp).

    70-200 was my first and only Pro-lens. And from there on, I spend many $$$ to match my kit to it's performance.............
  19. SMH77


    Feb 11, 2006
    If you're looking for sharp wide open, shouldn't you really be using the 17-55 f/2.8? That's the lens that has the reputation for sharpness wide open--not the 28-70 f/2.8. In my opinion, there have been a few (particularly one) individuals who've been very 'loud' about how great the 28-70 is and may have given the impression (false or true) that this lens is the best at anything it does. I would take a look into the 17-55 if you end up parting with this lens.

    I have the 17-55 and have used it extensively wide open and have been very pleased with the results time and time again (on a D70, D200 and D2Hs).

    Just my $0.02, feel free to disagree.

  20. I have the 28x70 and 70x200 as well. I totally agree that the 70x200 is sharper at 70 wide open than the 28x70. I think it's a bit sharper accross the board at 2.8. I guess I disagree that it's a problem because I knew this was the case going into my purchase.

    Yoyo points out the PhotoZone specs on both lenses. After buying 3 or 4 "duds", I've used the specs on PhotoZone to help me with every lens purchase and every lens purchase I've made since then seems to be dead on with their review/specs. It just works right for me.

    I shoot both lenses at F/4 or F4.5 in normal light and when I want to be *SHARP*. When using the 70x200 at 200, I fudge a bit and sometimes lock it in at 2.8 to get the higher speed and bokeh. I use 2.8 on the 28x70 at higher zooms (over 50) without fear of getting a "soft" photo, but with the knowledge that it just won't be as sharp and I watch the focus closely at that range to make sure what I want in focus in what's really locked in.
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