Nikon gets it… Canon on the other hand…

First a disclaimer. Anyone who has read this blog on a few occasions knows that I am not one of those, my camera is better than yours person. Nor am I someone who gets too excited about their gear.

I’ve been using Canon for thirty years I guess. A year ago I bought my first Nikon lens. Yup, a Nikon lens. It sounds strange but read on.

I had been using a second generation 16-35 f2.8 Canon zoom as my primary lens. I usually only use one lens and seldom if ever carry a second with me. I just like the look that a wide lens gives me. The lens was good but I always thought that it was lacking. After all, I stop my lens down to the mid apertures. I use a tripod, always. I also use a shutter release but still there was softness that I thought was something that only older lenses had. I had read about the Nikon 14-24 and seen results from the center and edges and wherever I went to read it was always held up as the mark for all other wide angle lenses to measure against.

An adapter is available to use that lens on my Canon digital body. I lose auto aperture, I have to manually stop the lens down. I also lose autofocus. Not a big deal since I am always shooting stationary subjects, ie, the landscape. After having used the lens for over a year, I gotta say that the reviews I read were right. The lens is noticeably, not theoretically, it is noticeably sharper and crisper than my new Canon zoom.

Fast forward a year and both Nikon and Canon announce new high end bodies. Both are more suited to photo journalists and sports photographers than anything that I do. I wasn’t interested in EVER purchasing either.

A few days ago, Nikon introduces the D800, a 36 megapixel camera body that comes in two flavors. One with the standard antialiasing filter and one without. What’s an AA filter? Well, if you’ve ever scanned something with a pattern and have gotten those funny concentric patterns called moire, the AA or antialisasing filter helps remove or reduce it from ever becoming a problem. What it in essence does is soften or slightly blur the image.

As someone who is only ever shooting organic or natural subjects that don’t have fine patterns I have no need for an AA filter. Images will be noticeably sharper without the AA filter.

So not only does Nikon introduce a high megapixel body so that I can make larger and more detailed prints, it offers me a choice of AA or not. Best of all the price is around three thousand dollars. Not six or seven thousand like for the high end Canon or Nikons with high ISO performance, which I don’t need but only being around 18 megapixels.

So now I am thinking, is Canon going to play catch up and offer a similar high megapixel, cheaper body? If so, do I continue to use a Nikon lens with a converter because right now, Canon wide angle zooms don’t hold a candle to Nikon’s. Don’t message message me about their sharp telephotos. I NEVER use one so for me, it’s a moot point.

Canon, you were so good for so long and now…

Happy shooting,


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~ by Dan Jurak on February 9, 2012.

6 Responses to “Nikon gets it… Canon on the other hand…”

  1. I love my Nikons. $3k sounds like a decent deal to be honest from the specs that I saw.

  2. Interesting times, Dan.

    I too have always shot Canon, from the days of real 35mm cameras, but I am on the cusp of updating my 40D to full frame, in the expectation of a wonderfully exciting time photographically for me, and am very interested in the D800.

    Having purchased all but one of my lenses second-hand, it’s wouldn’t be too painful to switch systems. One thing I’ve learnt is good glass keeps it’s value.

    It sounds as if Canon are likely to announce their 5DIII soon, so once these cameras get in the hands of ‘real’ people who’s photography I respect, rather than web sites who think MTF charts are everything, I may be tempted.

  3. @ Mike, I should have added this to the original post but I usually sit down for five minutes, type away and forget the blog but here goes.

    I am SPLITTING hairs when I talk about the quality. The vast majority of people, would never notice the difference for their purposes. I am always going over my images at 1:1 to get them ready for stock or for printing so I see the flaws. I doubt that many amateur photographers need to do that.

    The 16-35 is a GOOD lens but the 14-24 is incredible.


  4. Dan… what impresses me is the continuing progression of dSLRs… whether resolution, low-light performance, fps, video. From Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Sony, Fuji, Sigma, etc. Each one is significantly improved over its predecessor. we may not need/want all those features, but for the ones that mean a lot to us, the increase in performance at a relatively-low (and affordable price) is simply amazing. when we see the tapering off of improvement? in the meantime, it’s fun to watch

  5. ..and of course, what I could have added is that the technology is no longer the limiting factor for 99% of us

  6. 36 Megapix on a sensor is waaaaay too much. Bigger prints yes. Better files and/or better noise performance no.
    36 Megapix also means you’ll need far better lenses then you do now. You will see a lot of defects in your files.
    Did Nikon introduce new lenses as well?

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