Best lenses for the Nikon D800E: The sharpest full-frame camera ever measured?

By Kevin Carter - Wednesday May 14 2014

Lens Recommendations
Introduction | Sharpness analysis: D800E vs. D800 | Best lenses on the D800E | Best DxOMark sharpness rankings | Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1.4/55 Nikon vs Sony FE Carl Zeiss T* 55mm F1.8 ZA: Outstanding sharpness
Best lenses for the Nikon D800E: The sharpest full-frame camera ever measured?

Aimed at professional studio and landscape photographers, the full-frame 36-Mpix D800E with its modified AA filter effectively increasing resolution over the standard D800 model is the closest 35mm full-frame camera yet to rival larger formats in rendering fine detail. If you’re undecided over which of the two models to choose, we’ve analyzed the image quality of the Nikon D800E with 100 different lenses to discover how well this groundbreaking camera performs.

As a derivative of the standard full-frame 36-Mpix D800 the D800E varies only by its modified AA filter. Although the two models share the same full-frame CMOS sensor with an enormous pixel count, the D800E adopts a slightly modified version of that found in the D800.

In the standard D800, the low-pass filter consists of two layers of bifringent crystalline material at 90-degrees to each other – the first attenuates high frequency light in one plane and the second does the same in another, reducing high frequency signals slightly – enough to reduce a percentage of erroneous signals that result in moiré and false color.

The big question of course is just how much difference is there in resolution between the two models? We’ve tested the optical quality of 100 different lenses on the cameras to see, first, just how much difference there is in sharpness between the two cameras and, second, to determine which are the best lenses to complement the D800E.

Sharpness analysis: D800E vs. D800

Best lenses on the D800E

Best DxOMark sharpness rankings

Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1.4/55 Nikon vs Sony FE Carl Zeiss T* 55mm F1.8 ZA: Outstanding sharpness

See also: Best lenses for the Nikon D800E: Wide angle primes and zooms

See also: Best lenses for the Nikon D800E: Standard and telephoto primes and zooms