Nikon D700 Review

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Nikon D700 Optics


Because the D700 accepts a range of Nikkor lenses, performance in the Zoom, Macro, Distortion, Chromatic aberration and Corner sharpness categories will vary with the lens in use.

Though we don't normally post lens results unless a digital SLR includes a kit lens, there is one aspect of optical performance that's very much a function of the D700 body: Like its predecessor the D3, the Nikon D700 can compensate for lateral chromatic aberration in lenses attached to it. This ability isn't limited to Nikon-brand lenses, it will produce at least some improvement in most any lens you choose to use with it.

Crop from RAW file
Crop from JPEG

The anti-CA system in the D700 works identically to that in the D3, so the crops above are taken from our review of the D3. These are taken from the corners of a JPEG + RAW pair shot with the D3 and the Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 lens, shooting at 24mm. It's an excellent lens, but there's still some CA in the corners on a full-frame camera like the D3, as can be seen clearly here. The image on the left is from a RAW file, converted through Adobe Camera Raw, with no lens correction applied, and just enough sharpening to approximate the look of the D3's JPEGs, shot with the default sharpness setting.

The image on the right is from the same area of an in-camera JPEG image. (The images were captured as a JPEG+RAW pair, so the pixel alignment between the two is exact.) You can still see just a smidgen of coloration along the vertical edges of the bold black bar, but that's really splitting hairs: For all intents and purposes, the chromatic aberration is gone. (Note that the anti-CA processing is only applied to the in-camera JPEGs; the camera very rightly leaves the RAW files untouched.)

It's important to note that this CA correction isn't dependent on your using a Nikon lens: The camera figures out how much CA there is in each area of the image, and shifts the planes of red and blue pixel data to compensate for it. Note, though, that this only works for lateral CA. Longitudinal chromatic aberration isn't corrected out. (Happily, though, with most good quality lenses, lateral CA is much more common than longitudinal.)

Is that great, or what? - A camera that makes your lenses look better than they are! (Now, if they could just make a camera that'd make me look like a better photographer than I am, they'd really have something! ;-) -Dave


The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Nikon D700 Photo Gallery.

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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