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Nikon, the eyes of Canon?

 
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DaveW



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1702
Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 8:56 am    Post subject: Nikon, the eyes of Canon? Reply with quote

Did you know Nippon Kogaku (Nikon) actually produced all of Canon's lenses up to mid-1947; therefore all prewar and early postwar Canons came with Nikkor lenses. Of course the first were in Canon's own bayonet mount, but later ones were equipped with the Leica thread mount.

See:-

http://www.nikonhs.org/history.html

DaveW
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Mike B in OKlahoma



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1048
Location: Oklahoma City

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting! Since I like my image stabilization and my MP-E-65, I think I prefer the current arrangement, though!
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Mike Broderick
Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Constructive critiques of my pictures, and reposts in this forum for purposes of critique are welcome

"I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul....My mandate includes weird bugs."
--Calvin
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Epidic



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 137
Location: Maine

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minolta used to made a camera and several lenses for Leica. Nikon has made lenses for Mamiya and Plaubel medium-format cameras. A Kamakura Kogu is one of the largest manufacturers for binoculars even though you cannot buy any binoculars under that manufacturer's name. Nikon and Pentax make really nice telescopes.

The world of optics is an interesting place.
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Will
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DaveW



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1702
Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many of the independents at some time have made parts or ground elements for the big name manufacturers, and there are rumours from the similarity in design they have made some entry level kit lenses which the big names have just badged.

Obviously it makes sense for a top of the range manufacturer to stick to making high end glass. But to compete they need low priced entry level lenses for their entry level camera's to get photographers hooked on their system when they upgrade. So why not go to those who specialise in the cheaper consumer lenses and just get them to put your name on them?

See:-

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/70300af.htm

Just think if Canon had kept making the camera's and Nikon the lenses we would not have two different mounts to contend with and ecconomies of scale would have meant cheaper camera and lens prices for us all!

DaveW
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DaveW



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1702
Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another interesting find was the comparison with noise performances with competitive Nikon and Canon models in actual photographic tests rather than the laboratory. It was pretty much a draw. It seems we amateurs worry too much about using the higher ISO numbers on digital which now has a better performance than the same ISO did on film:-

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/dslr-comparison/index.htm

I would be interested in out knowledgeable friends comments, as, like with film I have tended to stick on low ISO numbers for natural history shots thinking the quality would be so much better, whereas higher ISO's would have meant higher shutter speeds to freeze movement and made life much simpler?

However, to me Ken Rockwell has no sense of natural colour. He will turn up the colour saturation on all the camera's he uses to an unnatural degree! A picture of a red car taken by him looks almost as though it is on fire! Quite garish and unnatural. God knows what his TV picture looks like if he adjusts the colour settings! Laughing

Dave Whiteley
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18364
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave,

I'm reminded of the old rule for news photography, "f/8 and be there."

Capturing the essence of the scene wins out over noise any day.

For subjects in motion, my priorities are shutter speed (to control motion blur), then aperture size (to control DOF). Sensor speed is dead last. With my Canon 300D, ISO 1600 is a bit noisy for my tastes, but I'll use it if that's what I need to get the right shutter speed and DOF.

With a static subject and fixed camera, my priorities are reversed -- I dial in ISO 100, choose aperture for best DOF at whatever resolution I want, and use whatever shutter speed comes out.

On quick scan, that link you posted looks like a great report.

I do have one gripe about the comparison between large- and small-sensor cameras. The gripe is that this report, like all others I've seen published, compares images at same ISO.

What could possibly be wrong with that, you ask? Surely it's the scientific method to hold everything constant except for one parameter!

Well, yes, but there's always that little matter of what to hold constant.

If you care about the image and not the box, then what's really important to hold constant is shutter speed and DOF (and of course, the camera position, subject field width, and brightness in the image file).

It turns out that to keep constant DOF, small-sensor cameras need a "wider" f-number than large-sensor cameras do. (The absolute diameter of the aperture stays the same. The f-number varies because the lens focal length shrinks in proportion to the sensor size, to keep subject field width constant from the same camera position.)

The wider f-number for the small-sensor camera translates into lower ISO at same shutter speed and same image file brightness.

I had an opportunity last year to do some head-to-head comparison of my Canon D300 against a borrowed Panasonic FZ-30. The FZ-30 has a fairly small sensor (7.18 x 5.32 mm), and test reports at the time were critical of its noise levels.

However, what I found was this:

Quote:
The upshot was that for pictures taken at same field of view, same DOF, and same shutter speed, the images had quite similar levels of overall noise.

You can read the details in this old posting and follow-ups.

--Rik
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18364
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On re-reading my previous posting, I see a point that I need to clarify.

There's no doubt that my 300D can produce much quieter images than the FZ-30 does. But to do that, the 300D requires either less DOF, or a slower shutter, or more light, or some combination of those. In a lot of situations those can be provided, and the 300D wins big. It's only when they can't -- for example photographing live bugs in natural light -- that the noise levels become similar.

--Rik
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18364
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaveW wrote:
...on digital which now has a better performance than the same ISO did on film...

This was a key point in my decision to go digital.

I vividly remember the moment when a colleague showed me a pair of aerial photographs that had been shot same time, same place, using 35mm film and APS-format digital.

The noise in the digital image was much less visible than grain in the film image. That by itself was a bit surprising, since all of my previous experience with digital had been pretty disappointing. But the real shock came when I looked closer to check resolution. I was expecting to see more detail in the film image, and indeed I did -- but only when the detail was high contrast. For low contrast detail, I could see a lot more in the digital image than I could in the film.

I wrestled for a long time trying to understand what was going on. Why was the digital image better for low contrast detail, but film for high?

I eventually decided that the best explanation lay in decision theory regarding the statistics of estimated brightness. (Sorry, my B.S. is in math.) Very briefly, to tell that two areas are different, the uncertainty in brightness of each area cannot be large compared to the difference in brightness between areas. Suppose you look at areas of fixed size. As the contrast drops, the difference in brightness decreases, while the uncertainty in brightness does not. At some point, the uncertainty becomes large with respect to the difference, and then you're unable to decide. Averaging over a larger area reduces the uncertainty and allows the decision to be made again. The effective resolution -- the size of a resolvable detail element -- corresponds to the size of the area over which you have to average. That area is larger for low contrast than for high, and it's larger for noisier images than for quieter ones.

In the photographs my colleague had shown me, the digital image was very quiet but the film image had a lot of grain. At the lowest contrast I cared about, the digital image could still resolve at the size of a pixel, while the film image couldn't even come close. A sketched graph would have looked like this:



That realization -- relevant or not for other subjects -- sent me off to look at more images. Canon had posted a good collection of full-sized files straight out of the 300D, and when I looked at them alongside high quality scans of my 35mm negatives, it was pretty clear that digital was better for what I wanted to do. A week later I bought a 300D. That was in April 2004. I haven't bought a roll of film since.

By the way, another excellent link for your collection is Norman Koren's Digital cameras vs. film . It has an in-depth technical discussion of the many issues involved.

--Rik
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