PHOTOOG Photography writings by Olivier Giroux


Rumor check

I have to say this rumor about Nikon’s September 15th announcements sounds too good to be true.  If it is true however, it will position Nikon very well against the most direct competition.  I mean Canon and Zeiss in particular.

The D7000 presented by this rumor looks really terrific.  It’ll squeeze Canon tight with their 60D, which now has to compete against higher metrics of quality with only a tilting LCD and 6% more linear resolution.  This is not the first time that Canon’s mid-range makes a lackluster showing immediately upon launch, recall both the 40D and 50D.  I continue to think that Canon’s culture (I perceive: “what else can we remove”) is interfering in this market segment, and Nikon’s (I perceive: “what else can we add”) is helping.  I'm eager to believe this rumor, but I doubt the physical characteristics (100% VF, metal body).

A 35mm f/1.4G AF-S would put a lot of pressure on Zeiss, who just announced their own 35mm f/1.4 lens.  If this is going to go down the same way that the 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.4 lenses did for both players then Zeiss is going to lose three in three.  This is going to be one to watch closely if the rumor is true.  I’ll make my prediction now: Nikon for the win, all fast primes in the set (24, 35, 50, 85), with a reservation on maximum available resolution (recall the 24mm review).

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  1. I guess the Rumor turned out to be true… that 35 f 1.4 is really putting some pressure on Zeiss.

    I wonder how much more Zeiss can improve their design if Nikon’s 35 turns out to be excellent.

    • It all turned out to be true. I think the D7000 is an exceptional camera too.

      I still think my prediction will come true but the optical layout for the Nikkor looks simplistic. I predict the following performance comparison:
      1) Zeiss wins on sharpness from f/1.4 to f/2.8
      2) Zeiss wins on close-up performance
      3) Nikkor wins on Bokeh from f/1.4 to f/2.8
      4) Nikkor wins on ergonomics (weight, size, AF)
      5) Both lenses effectively equal on the rest

  2. I agree with your predictions.. But let’s not overlook the Zeiss drawing, that 3d look of the pictures rendered through a Zeiss lens. The last post on diglloyd on 35 F1.4 also emphasizes on this.

    What I think would really boost CZ brand awareness and sales would be a digital camera. Be it rangefinder, mirorless, whatever, with a nice, big and noiseless sensor. Fuji stepped out to the task already when no one expected. Do you see any chances on this happening?

    • I know the look well. Part of the look is also high micro-contrast. I don’t subscribe to Diglloyd’s ZF guide so I don’t know any more about the new lens than you.

      No kidding… a Sony-Zeiss DRF at a price point close to the A900/D700/5DMk-II would redefine enthusiast photography overnight. They have a splendid lens line (ZM) that gets hardly any customers when it should basically rule the roost.

      Do I see any chances? Definitely. But is it going to happen in this decade? In next 5 years?

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