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Canon Rf Lenses Vs Nikon Z

By | 12/10/2022

2 of Canon and Nikon’s biggest criticisms correct at present have to do with the choices they’ve fabricated regarding their full-frame mirrorless lenses. Simply put, Canon’due south RF L primes are very expensive and large, while Nikon’s Z primes are “but” f/1.8, and announced mediocre on paper at first glance.

Indeed, Nikon and Canon take gone in very opposite directions. Nikon already has a nearly complete lineup of “modest” f/1.8 Z-mount primes, from 24mm to 85mm, and Canon has put out two (well, three) f/ane.two RF-mount, L-series primes. (Plus one f/1.eight not-L prime, mind y’all.)

Those Canon Fifty primes are well over $two,000, while all of the Nikon primes are well under $i,000. Then, actually, what the heck is going on here?

Unfortunately, non everybody seems to “go information technology” with either of these decisions, and a lot of people have asked, “where is the [f/1.iv] love, CaNikon?”

I also wondered why this was the case, quite a few times during the concluding yr. Then, I started getting my hands on all of these lenses, and really trying them out in the field. What I found was very impressive, and telling…

(Notation: To those of you who are already itching to comment,
“why are yous heaping praise on Catechism and Nikon for these (controversial) lenses; don’t y’all e’er say anything critical?”
…to you, I say, yeah, I exercise have criticisms aplenty, and my mile-long lists of dislikes most each photographic camera brand will continue to announced in futurity articles. I’yard likewise open to suggestions; leave a comment below if at that place is a “hot” topic or question you would similar to hear our collective thoughts on!)

Nikon and Canon Are Both Playing To Their Strengths

First, let’s set the stage: what were the expectations for these newcomer full-frame mirrorless systems? In a higher place all, they needed to stand out, plain and simple. They needed to exist non just truly impressive, but also unique in a way that Sony (and the third-party Atomic number 26 options) had largely not notwithstanding accomplished.

Because, let’s be honest- if whatever of the new lenses were even remotely mediocre in their bodily performance, they’d exist laughed at. So, goal number one was/is, whatever the focal length or aperture, it has to deliver jaw-dropping images.

Second, it would exist wise to cater to existing customers. What would likely “wow” Nikon or Canon DSLR shooters the near? Basically, we find ourselves asking- what are Canon and Nikon best known for?

canon rf mirrorless 50mm f/1.2 L lens
Dat Bokeh Doe! | Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 L, EOS R | one/3200 sec, f/1.2, ISO 100

Canon, on the ane hand, has always been known for its loftier-cease L drinking glass, including not only f/2.8 zooms and some f/1.4 primes, but their most exotic optics, the legendary f/one.2 L’s.

In fact, every bit the #ane market share leader for many years now, Canon’s marketing has historically been all almost the illustrious condition of their top-tier “L” optics.

Indeed, many serious Canon shooters don’t own a single lens that doesn’t have a scarlet band around it, and even a beginner who first picks up a Canon Rebel (or an EF-M mirrorless camera) has their center on some L glass that they dream of owning someday. And, for the most role, this tactic has worked well for Canon.

Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4 S travel landscape lens
Nikon Z 24-70mm f/iv Due south, Nikon Z7 | one/250 sec, f/4, ISO 64

Nikon, on the other hand, being the #ii market contender for many years, has fabricated its systems all virtually a well-rounded lineup of lenses (and bodies), at all toll points, not simply at the highest-terminate.

Sure, their flagship f/2.viii zooms and f/one.4 primes are impressive workhorses, but information technology’s likely the more affordable and medium-priced options that starting time concenter a new photographer in the offset place.

For their F-mount DSLRs, for example, Nikon has made a half-dozen f/i.8 Grand primes in the last one-half-dozen years or and then, and they’ve all been rather impressive. Canon, meanwhile, hasn’t launched an all-new f/1.8 (EF) optical formula since, (oh dearest, this isn’t going to look proficient) …1995, according to Wikipedia. (Hint: information technology’due south the 28mm f/ane.8; their “new” 50mm f/1.8 STM is the same optical formula as their 1990 optic!)

This has left a gap in the mid-range for Nikon to fill, and fill information technology they did. While their f/i.8 Yard primes weren’t perfect or flagship-class, they are even so widely respected as venerable optics today.

In brusque, for Canon, the name of the game is prestige and sheer operation at the top level, even if only a minority of photographers will ever ain such exotic lenses. For Nikon, it’s been about offering a well-rounded lineup that impresses customers of (almost) whatever budget, not just the most cash-heavy shoppers.

So, y’all guessed it- that’s exactly what they’re doing with their full-frame mirrorless lenses, at least for now.

Nikon Z Mirrorless Primes: f/i.8 Doesn’t Mean “Cheap Beginner Option” Anymore

Nikon Z 35mm f/ane.8 Southward, Nikon Z7 | f/8 sharpness test (45 megapixels, no AA filter)
nikon z 35mm mirrorless lens review sharpness test
100% crop, corner, f/viii (fine-radius sharpening applied)

Unfortunately, the first thing that nigh experienced photographers recollect when they hear “f/i.8” or “great l” is, probably, “cheap beginner optic”. For some reason, that stereotype nearly inexpensive 50mm primes has translated to nigh of the other f/1.8 primes out there, from 20mm to 85mm. Maybe non so much in the eyes of anyone who has owned a lens like the venerable Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G, but generally speaking, people don’t acquaintance “flagship” and “f/i.8”, not between 24mm and 85mm at least.


(The exotic Sigma 14mm f/one.8 Art and Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM are different beasts, of course!)

Don’t Gauge An Optic By Its F-Number

Nikon Z 35mm f/1.eight S | Soft bokeh and so shine, it looks unreal!

The truth is, Nikon’s Z/Southward mirrorless primes are far from mediocre, in every way. Firstly, they’re congenital extremely well, with conditions sealing and (some) metal parts.  They really handle similar flagship lenses, and not a “kit” or aftermarket, consumer-course selection.

Secondly, they deliver the goods in terms of both sharpness and other optical measurements. The bokeh they achieve is unprecedented, largely (pun intended?) thanks to the enormous Z mount diameter that allows for much more than drinking glass compared to the previous, significantly smaller diameter DSLR F-mount.

Truthful, they’re not all flawless; at that place’s however a faint scrap of color fringing here and there, but honestly, that’south about it. (Plus, colour fringing is one of the things yous can remove relatively easily in post-production.)

Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S, Nikon Z7 | one/400 sec, f/2, ISO 64
100% crop corner sharpness test, 45 megapixels, f/2. (fine radius sharpening applied)

All in all, the lesser line is that if you usually shoot at f/2 or f/2.8, the Z-mountain S-series f/1.8 lenses will absolutely accident you abroad.

Could Nikon have done f/one.4 instead, or fifty-fifty f/one.2? Yes, but remember- these start lenses demand to be as perfect as possible, otherwise they will get laughed at. (Also, if Nikon was listening at all to the chatter well-nigh total-frame mirrorless over the last five+ years, and then they heard people’s expectations of it beingness lighter and smaller!)

Thus, f/1.8 was a smart choice, if Nikon wanted to get the Z system into the camera bags of many photographers as possible, as quickly every bit possible. A “perfect” f/ane.4 or f/1.2 S-line prime would have been much bigger, and a fiddling also price-prohibitive for besides many (hobbyist or pro) Nikon shooters. Too, Sony already has now-legendary 24mm and 85mm f/i.4 lenses, and a whole slew of other cracking (and some mediocre) f/1.4 and f/1.8 options. So, the contest is strong.

My advice? we should get rid of our prejudices against the number “1.eight”, and requite the Z/Southward primes a try. You can rent all of them, from 24mm to 85mm, from somewhere like LensRentals.com. I’m positive that you lot’ll be diddled away. (I repent in advance for making you desire to sell all your F-mount lenses and go 100% Z!)

Canon RF Optics: L Glass On A Whole New Level

Just similar how Nikon’s f/1.8 primes are on a whole new level in virtually every style, Canon has said “agree my beer and scout this!” when information technology comes to their legendary Fifty glass. The RF f/1.two L primes (and their one f/2 zoom, to exist sure) are absolutely incredible, with the wide-open sharpness plus gorgeous colors, dissimilarity, and bokeh that 50 lenses are famous for.

Most serious Canon shooters take at least rented or borrowed one of the DSLR EF f/i.2 50 primes once or twice. The Canon EF 50mm f/one.2 L and EF Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L are widely renowned for offering gorgeous images, whether shot wide-open or stopped-downwards; their rendering of color, dissimilarity, and bokeh is just beautiful.

Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 full-frame mirrorless lens
Canon RF 50mm f/1.2, Catechism EOS R | ane/400 sec, f/1.2, ISO 3200
Canon RF 50mm f/ane.two Fifty, Canon EOS R | 1/320 sec, f/i.2, ISO 1600

Yet, neither of them could be considered “ridiculously precipitous” (pardon my scientific terminology)… If yous wanted truly decent resolution on an EF i.ii L, you had to terminate downwardly to f/2.ii or f/2.8. If you wanted maximum sharpness, it was somewhere around f/three.5-five.6, according to some lab tests!

Now, the mirrorless RF primes achieve the impossible: admittedly gorgeous overall epitome quality, with clear, crisp colors and tones, buttery smooth bokeh, …AND “insane” sharpness even wide-open up. Seriously, what these lenses achieve at f/1.2, I’ve never seen from a previous L lens whatever faster than f/four. (And over again, the 28-70mm f/2 is sharper at f/2 than any 24-70mm f/two.8 I’ve always seen at f/4-5.6!)

The “lab tests” are sort of confirming this already, although our virtually-trusted lab, LensRentals.com’s OLAF operated by Roger Cicala, does not yet have a mount that is able to accept RF or Z-mount eyes, last I checked. Suffice it to say, they’re all very sharp, and non just that, but they also accept impressively low aberrations such as colour fringing anywhere in the paradigm, or prominent coma “wings” in the extreme corners.

Canon: “Let U.s. Show You lot How It’southward (Optically) Done”

Move over, Leica! Catechism is coming for your flare! | Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 50 @ f/ane.2, Canon EOS R


canon RF 50mm f/1.2
Catechism RF 50mm f/one.2 50, Catechism EOS R | Sharpness test (fine radius sharpening applied)

The bottom line? If you’re a Catechism portrait shooter, whether it’s weddings, families, or commercial/manner, you’re going to love these RF Fifty lenses, in one case you eventually salve up to purchase them! They’ve taken everything that Canon L drinking glass has stood for to a whole new level.

Could Canon have made a few more modest f/1.4 or f/i.eight primes first instead? Certain, and I promise they do that very soon. It would be smart for Catechism to hit the entry-level customers with many more competitive options than they e’er have before. In a shrinking ILC marketplace, existing customers are now almost less important than scooping up fresh, new customers before anyone else does!

Either mode, the reality is that Canon had something to bear witness, and show it they did: they’re still the bokeh/DOF champion.

Speaking of exotic lenses and the contest, let’s be honest: who else is going to make so many lenses like this? If yous want an armory of multiple f/1.two primes and what volition likely be multiple f/2 zooms, where else can you turn? Canon is likely going to be “it” for quite a while.

Yes, Sigma is inbound the f/i.2 prime realm, on Sony’due south Atomic number 26 mount. But, speaking of Sony, remember that it’s their full-frame (E/Iron) mount that is “simply” 46.1mm in diameter, which is really barely 2mm larger than the 2x-ingather Micro Iv Thirds mount, and even smaller than Catechism’s crop-sensor EF-M mount, at 46.5mm. Canon (and Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless mounts are both relatively massive, with Canon RF at 54mm and Nikon Z at 55mm.

The Sony East-Mount Can Of Worms

Canon EOS RP

Now, before you outset leaving comments near my bringing up this by and large blown-out-of-proportion complaint, let’south be clear: Yes, Sony’s E-mount can accommodate f/ane.2 primes. This is already obvious, thank you to Sigma and the handful of other (manual focus) lenses. There’s fifty-fifty an f/1.0 and an f/0.95 optic, if I’one thousand non mistaken…

Then, here’s where the difference will manifest itself: With Catechism’s RF mountain, you tin cram more glass into the optic itself, and achieve two things- ane) Better resolution (and brighter manual, fewer aberrations…) in the farthermost corners, and, 2) Better overall super-shine bokeh, again peculiarly in the corners.

Canon RF 50mm f/1.two L, Catechism EOS R | 1/8000 sec, f/1.2, ISO 100

In other words, Sony users will have no trouble getting precipitous f/1.2 lenses in the central area of an paradigm, but outside of that area, Canon’s RF 50 lenses volition probable stay far ahead of the competition in every way.

And so, honestly? If you lot never pixel-peep the corners of your images, and if you lot’re doing fine with f/1.eight and f/one.4 primes already, and then don’t worry, and please, don’t debate, only go accept pictures. Only try to avoid playing with either the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 L or the Canon RF 85mm f/one.2 L, though, because the images can exist extremely addictive.

Speaking Of Mount Diameters, Dorsum To That Nikon Z-Mount…

Of course, when it comes to lens mountain diameters, Nikon’southward Z mount takes the cake at 54mm; that’south one millimeter wider than Canon’s RF mount.  So, it volition be very exciting to see what they accomplish with their f/1.2 Z/S lenses that are slated to brainstorm shipping in 2020. We know a Z 50mm f/1.2 Southward is coming for sure, and at that place was either a rumor or a “simulated rumor” near a 35mm f/1.two, too.

Having said that, information technology is notwithstanding probable that the historic trend will go on- Nikon will offer a balanced range of value in lenses overall, by and large focusing on f/1.8 and f/1.four primes and f/2.eight and f/iv zooms.

Canon, on the other hand, has a bigger decision to brand: In the long run, exercise they continue offering mostly high-terminate optics with a few low-end and center-cease options thrown in, or will they start balancing out their lineup with an equal number of affordable options, now that they’ve fabricated it clear that they’re still the champion of DOF and bokeh?

Your gauge is equally good as mine, but I do suspect that the key to Canon and Nikon both doing well will exist to offer fully-fledged, well-rounded systems that attract all types of photographers, from brand-new beginners to high-end pros.

Determination | Spot-On Controlling, Catechism & Nikon. Now, Keep Going!

Nikon Z7 best landscape camera dynamic range ISO 64
Much similar the f/1.8 S-line primes, Nikon’s f/4 zooms are likewise breaking the mold in terms of flagship results from modest, portable optics! | Nikon Z7,  Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 Due south | 14mm, 1/xx sec, f/14, ISO 64 |

In brusk, practise we need to come across some f/ane.4 or f/1.2 primes for Nikon Z mirrorless, and should nosotros wait to see more non-L f/1.4 or f/1.eight primes for Catechism RF? Yes to both questions, absolutely.

Yet, from both a business tactics perspective, and in terms of what real-earth photographers will actually appreciate and pay good money for, both Canon and Nikon’southward lens-making decisions and then far have been spot-on.

Nikon Z mirrorless users should become past their outdated prejudice confronting the f/one.8 label and see these Z primes for what they really offer, because the actual image quality plus the physical durability and reliability are absolutely flagship-form in a prosumer package. In other words, in that location’due south never been a better
value
in Nikkor history.

With things like in-trunk stabilization and increasingly acceptable ISO noise levels, these f/ane.8’southward are already far superior to most previous F-mount and competing f/1.viii eyes, and more useful likewise.

Canon RF 85mm 1.2 L Review Bokeh King
Catechism RF 85mm i.ii L, Canon EOS R | ane/1600 sec, f/1.2, ISO 100

Catechism users, on the other hand, can expect their reputation for exotic lenses to be fully upheld, indeed, raised to a whole new level. And for those who simply prefer Canon’s interface and ergonomics, only can mayhap only expect forward to e’er affording one or two L lenses, don’t worry! Rest bodacious, tertiary-parties like Tamron, Sigma, Rokinon, and Tokina are actively working to develop lenses for these new mirrorless mounts, too!

Of grade, if you completely disagree with me, allow’s have a word! Leave a comment below; I’d dearest to hear your thoughts on whatever of the lenses discussed in this article, or any of the predictions for Canon and Nikon’due south full-frame mirrorless future.

Source: https://www.slrlounge.com/heres-why-canons-rf-f-1-2-primes-and-nikons-f-1-8-mirrorless-primes-are-both-smart-ideas/