It seems like it takes awhile each year before I am prepared to go out photographing in the bitter cold. These past couple of weeks in Michigan have been just that. So instead I am following up on another of my year goals to start catching up on the rocks I have piling up around my desk.
I still remain fascinated by the ancient landscapes and abstract patterns going on in these pieces. I usually hold a piece in my hand for awhile, rotating it, flipping it, looking for the more photogenic parts of the whole. It is not unlike scanning the landscape from the sky.
Interestingly, this section of Morrisonite reminded me of a landscape I photographed in the Pictured Rocks area of Lake Superior. See if you see some of the same similarity in the elements. It is almost as if I gave this photo to an abstract painter and asked for their interpretation of it.
Additionally, I learned something new recently in perusing the DXOmark website on some lens tests. Since I usually use either my Nikon 105 f/2.8 VR Macro or my Nikon 200 f/4 macro in working with these rocks, I was curious if one had better performance than the other in the lab. I hadn’t noticed their “Perceptual Megapixel” sharpness rating before. This basically takes the megapixel rating of a camera, and compares the lenses against an theoretical optically perfect transmission system.
So for a D800 36MP camera, perfect optics would yield 36 megapixels. I don’t think this is physically possible unless you have the budget of the Hubble telescope, but for an ultimate goal, OK. Interestingly enough, they rate the 105 mm lens at 16 MP, and the 200mm at 19 MP. That is quite a loss of megapixels! But probably visually insignificant in comparing the two.
Then I went through their data to find the lens that had the highest Perceptual Megapixel (P-Mpix) rating and it was a 200mm f2G ED VR II lens in combination with a D800, resulting in a P-Mpix of 28. Unfortunately, that lens doesn’t do macro (closest focusing is 6.2 feet (2 m) and costs nearly $6000. In fact, there are only 2 lenses on the list that offer 25 MP or higher. Then it starts dropping off quite quickly.
I still don’t understand why the 105 got an overall higher score than the 200, as the 200mm seems to beat the 105 in nearly every metric. Still, it is something that makes you think a bit. Even some of the most expensive lenses have trouble realizing the entire capability of this sensor by these types of measurements. Switch cameras to a lower MP rated camera, even Nikon’s D4 (a 16 MP sensor) has a P-Mpix of 12 MP with these lenses.
This would seem to indicate that the megapixel wars should really be over, and let the more perfect lens wars begin! So how many P-Mpix do you think that Nokia 41 MP camera phone really yields with that tiny lens?
So I will continue to catch up in the quarry over the next couple of weeks, and most likely choose my 200mm over my 105 for those few extra MP. :-)
Thanks for reading and stopping by!