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New 70-200 vs. old 70-200 MTF Charts

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by ZoranC, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. ZoranC


    Dec 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
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  2. cleoent


    Dec 21, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    there's another thread on this exact same subject.
  3. I have absolutely no clue how to decipher MTF charts, so it just looks like a bunch of meaningless lines to me.:redface::confused: :redface:
  4. ZoranC


    Dec 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Could you please point where?
  5. Preston


    May 2, 2005
    Reno, NV
    Doesn't look like it's worth the extra money to me but then again I can't read MTF's either.
  6. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
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    The biggest difference I see is that the M10 line (-------) representing meridonial contrast is much improved at the tele end. The M30/S30 lines describe resolution and is a mixed bag. In some areas the new version is better and in others it's not. I said then this lens came out that I thought the new one would still upset brick wall shooters because both of these 70-200s are showing 'issues' a the edges of the frame. The original some people said were bad. Just based on MTF, the new one looks a little less bad, but what does that really mean?

    Now compare to some micro lenses.

    60mm f/2.8G AF-S:

    200mm f/4 Macro:

    Look at all those nice purdy lines staying pretty much flat and consistent all the way out to the corners. So if you shoot brick walls or other subjects that are flat and absolutely require good performance across the frame, one of these lenses is probably what you want and not a 70-200 zoom designed for portraiture and sports. If these 70-200 MTFs are accurate, I really do think the people buying the new one who did not like the old one for these traits are going to end up being upset too. For this type of shooting (flat walls, flat subjects, brick stuff, paintings, flat art, etc) you really do want a macro lens and not a general purpose telephoto optimized for different subjects than these.
  7. ZoranC


    Dec 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Based on this would you say that for DX shooters performance of new at 200mm wide open will be worse than of old one?
  8. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    Anything past 15 on the horizontal scale of those charts is irrelevant on DX since that's as wide as they go. Look at a DX MTF chart and it stops there, at 15.
  9. ZoranC


    Dec 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I know. What I am asking is do you feel new one will be worse than old one at 200mm toward far edges/corners?
  10. Tosh


    May 6, 2005
    Here's my simplified view of reading MTF charts.
    The vertical axis represents contrast. .9 =90%. More is better.
    The horizontal axis shows distance in mm from the center of the lens.
    Use the horizontal axis to get a sense of light and sharpness dropoffs at borders and corners

    The S10 and M10 lines measure contrast.
    The S30 and M30 measure resolution.
    Higher is better.

    S stands for sagittal and M stands for meridional, which have to do with the direction in which the line pairs on the test chart run.
    The closer the S and M lines are to each other, the better the bokeh.

    Nikon's MTF charts reflect the lens wide open.
    Some manufacturers will give you lens characteristics at more than one aperture.
  11. dL302


    Aug 7, 2008
    I also heard if the solid line and the dotted line is very close to each other and smoother, then that means the bokeh reproduction is better, so in that case, we should see improved bokeh performance on the new one as it is 1) closer and 2) smoother.

  12. ArtScott


    Jul 11, 2009
    The far edges and corners should not be seen in your viewfinder or on screen.......DX cams do not sue the whole lens like and FX cam does.....make sense????
  13. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    New vs Old, M30 & S30 or resolution.

    Wide in the corners
    Old M30: 0.30
    New M30: 0.25

    Old S30: 0.10
    New S30: 0.37

    M10: new is slightly improved
    S10: new is somewhat worse

    Tele in the corners
    Old M30: 0.15
    New M30: 0.20

    Old S30: 0.73
    New S30: 0.50

    M10: awful on the old (0.3), but way better on the new (0.83)
    S10: great on the old (0.95), and somewhat worse on the new (0.76)


    Even the new 70-200 appears to be a mixed bag. Slight tweaks in some areas but mixed or even worse in others. Center and even getting out towards the edges the contrast (M10/S10) on both of these lenses are great. What I'm more concerned about is the (S30/M30) apparent sharpness drop-off in mid-frame. The Mk I does seem to hold on to its great center sharpness a bit better before rolling off, but when it does roll off it rolls HARD into ugly corners. The new Mk II seems to maintain a more gradual treck to the bottom, but actually starts rolling off sooner which means potentially less mide-frame sharpness on the new 70-200. This is precisely what I feared. You don't get something for nothing ever. I worried that if they optimized the corners better, you'd trade off center sharpness. And now it looks like this might be at least partially true just from reading the MTF charts. If I was a Nikon lens designer I would do what I could to appease the corner sharpness people while not upsetting the rest of the lens design any more than possible, and that's what it looks like they did here.

    Corners are still going to be soft compared to a macro though, on either.
  14. So are the corners on just about every other non-macro :rolleyes: 
  15. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    Towards the 200mm end wide-open on the DX frame...

    70-200 Mk I
    S10: 0.98
    M10: 0.97
    S30: 0.89
    M30: 0.75

    70-200 Mk II
    S10: 0.96
    M10: 0.92
    S30: 0.76
    M30: 0.60

    To me it looks like the MkI is better in the corners than the Mk II on the DX frame, although in most cases here I think the differences are going to be almost indistinguishable so this could be talking about nothing.
  16. Not that I'm lusting for this lens but the disucssion is extremely useful for helping me understand the MTF charts and what they mean, thank you all for contributing, it made my day!!!
  17. Goodness, I don't get who the heck shoots at 2.8 at 200 for landscape? This is a sports lens in my opinion.
  18. Julien


    Jul 28, 2006
    Paris, France
    Agreed on the landscape part. Sport lens ? I don't know but it's a lens that every PJ (more or less) has and we're not afraid to use it at 2.8 regardless of MTF charts or brick charts :tongue:
  19. It's my money lens, and I don't shoot sports. Works pretty darn good as a nice portrait and wedding lens too. :wink:
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