Rodney Campbell's Blog

Testing Nikon 28-300 @ 300mm Vs the Nikon Z 24-200 @ 200mm – Focus Breathing

by on Jun.25, 2020, under Life, Photography, Technology

Having watched Ricci’s excellent youtube video comparison of the Nikon Z 24-200mm Vs Nikon 28-300mm, one thing he showed us was the crazy levels of focus breathing that existed in the older F-Mount 28-300mm lens. Especially in comparison the the new Z-Mount 24-200mm lens which appeared to have essentially none

Why does this matter do you ask… Well for one thing – it means that whilst:

  • focusing on objects near infinity, the 300mm end of the 28-300 “may” give you a magnification and Field of View (FoV) of a more telephoto 300mm lens
  • however when you focus on objects that are closer, that so called 300mm lens actually gives you a field of view of a much wider (less telephoto) lens (much less than 300mm and as it turns out less than 200mm even)

So there will be folks who might be wondering about the “reach” they might be giving up if they were to switch from the F-Mount Nikon 28-300mm ultrazoom lens to the new Z-Mount 24-200mm ultrazoom lens

How much less do you ask – well I figured as I now have both lenses (my new Z 24-200 just arrived :)) I’d do some test shots

So here I’ve setup a ruler standing in front of a window and I have my camera (a Nikon Z7) on a tripod

I’ve taken pairs of test shots from the exact same camera and position (tripod hasn’t moved). All I’ve done between the two shots is swapped the lens. In the first shot I’m shooting with the Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200mm and in the second I have the Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR @ 300mm attached to the Z7 using the FTZ adapter. In both cases the in camera sensor plane is exactly the same distance from the ruler

In this first pair of shots below (Nikon Z 24-200 @ 200mm on top and Nikon 28-300 @ 300mm bottom) I’ve taken the images near the Minimum Focusing Distance (MFD) of the lens (near 0.5m)

In this case you can see that the Nikon Z 24-200 @ 200mm actually has a narrower field of view than the Nikon 28-300 @ 300mm (so that 300mm lens is actually providing significantly less than 200mm of magnification here)

Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200mm near MFD (~0.5m)

Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200mm near MFD (~0.5m)

NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200 mm, 1/200 sec at f/8, ISO 160

Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR @ 300mm near MFD (~0.5m)

Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR @ 300mm near MFD (~0.5m)

NIKON Z 7 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, 1/320 sec at f/8, ISO 280

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images.

It’s actually not till after 1.7m away that the 300mm end of the 28-300 even comes close to matching the 200mm of the 24-200

Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200mm at 1.7m

Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200mm at 1.7m

NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR @ 200 mm, 1/200 sec at f/8, ISO 220

Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR @ 300mm at 1.7m

Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR @ 300mm at 1.7m

NIKON Z 7 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, 1/320 sec at f/8, ISO 400

So what does this mean… well for shooting closer subjects (like < 2m away) the Z mount 24-200 actually provides greater “reach” (a narrower field of view) at 200mm than the old F-Mount 28-300mm does even at 300mm


Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Copyright © 2015 Rodney Campbell

Images contained on this web site may not be used or reproduced in any way without prior permission.