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Thread: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

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    S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Following the recent discussions in the "more fun images" thread and particularly Thomas's comments regarding corner sharpness I decided to shoot a brick wall and see what happens.

    Test setup:
    *Leica S2 with 70mm Summarit mounted on a Gitzo 1325 tripod with RRS BH-55 head.
    *Camera to wall distance was approximately 2.8 meters.
    *There is no easy way to ensure the camera sensor plane is exactly parallel to the wall so I did my best and quit worrying about it.
    *Autofocus was used just prior to first photo and was not changed for subsequent shots (I know one should use focus bracketing for a lens test, but I didn't want to bother as I wanted to see how accurate the autofocus was because that is how I use the camera - not focus bracketing)
    *Shot tethered to MacBook Pro using Leica's Shuttle software
    *Raw conversion in LR 3 Beta 2 using defaults with the only adjustment being my standard sharpening (amount - 50; radius - 0.7; detail 35). I made no attempt to white balance or equalize exposures. Note: I think the variation in corner colors are representative of the actual scene because the wall was under an awning and there was a color temperature variation from top (more shade) to bottom (brighter due to reflection off sidewalk).

    I know some or many will find faults with my test method and that is OK. It tells me what I wanted to know and I am happy.

    First the full image f2.5



    Next a center crop f2.5



    Top Left corner f2.5



    Top Right corner f2.5



    Bottom Left corner f2.5



    Bottom Right corner f2.5

    Last edited by Mark Gowin; 24th March 2010 at 18:33. Reason: correction

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Some distortion and slightly soft in corners and a little light falloff as expected but lens is not at any fault here. Looks normal for a standard lens wide open. Little surprised to see barrel though.

    I think you lens and sensor look fine though Mark
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Hey Guy, I also noticed what looks like barrel distortion, but I am not sure it is. I was alone when I took the photos so there was no way to pull a string to check it out for sure. I suspect a bit of optical illusion with the top brick row - actually excess mortar in the center area of that row. Of course it really could be barrel distortion.

    I think the corners look very good considering the lens is wide open at f2.5.

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Yea not bad your going to get some falloff in the corners. You can actually see a glow sort of in the middle but this is pretty typical wide open. My bet F4 it cleans up pretty well. Nothing to sweat about in my book. I do think there is barrel i see it in the bottom as well the first 3 rows going up. I do find this surprising since leica claims lens corrections built in. One reason i take any marketing with a grain of salt from anyone.
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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Looks like slight barrel distortion but nothing objectionable at all. Totally normal.
    Also, compared to most lenses, the corner sharpness is fine for f2.5. I guess one could argue the whole price point thing, but what's the point. As long as people are convinced it will perform well on the next iteration of the S system which I assume will be at least 50mp.

    It's all interesting for me though, especially as I begin to embark on the MF digi journey myself. Gotta know what each system component can do.

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Mark, many thanks!
    Looks really good!

    Actually I would have liked to see something at a wide distance (infinity)... but I know that such large brickwalls are rare

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Pretty effective test IMHO as it takes so many variables out of the equation that were present in the other photo. Now go enjoy your new MF kit !!!

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    Pretty effective test IMHO as it takes so many variables out of the equation that were present in the other photo. Now go enjoy your new MF kit !!!
    Takes enough variables out to lead us to believe that there is something amiss with the other person's camera or lens --- unless it is a distance-related issue as Thomas suggested. I too would *really* like to see the same type of shot taken from a much longer focus distance. Doesn't have to a brick wall either, a row of tall buildings 30 meters away would suffice for me...
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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Mark for comparisons sake I shot this test on the Salton Sea workshop with the P40+ and 80mm D lens. Full frame this is without using the correction tools and presharpen 1 which i always use only a little less. About 40 feet away



    Center Image 1200 pixels square at 100 percent


    Bottom left. Use the brick for comparisons since the wood is obviously closer. Also be careful the wall is split here and falling left


    Bottom right again use the wall itself
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Pretty typical again wide open slightly softer in corners and a little fall off. Distortion is hard to tell here because the wall is obviously not as square as we would want but it seems pretty good. Obviously this is all at 2.8

    Not so sure I am totally square either seems I am left side down to start. I could do this again to check distortion if you wanted to see that.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    I do agree with others though that your system is fine to go for sure and what we see from your tests is pretty normal. That other kit as we have seen something seems seriously amiss.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Pretty typical again wide open slightly softer in corners and a little fall off. Distortion is hard to tell here because the wall is obviously not as square as we would want but it seems pretty good. Obviously this is all at 2.8

    Not so sure I am totally square either seems I am left side down to start. I could do this again to check distortion if you wanted to see that.
    Guy,
    WTF? your upper corners are black LOL

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Only wall I could find that was not falling down. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    unless it is a distance-related issue as Thomas suggested.
    Hi Jack,
    I don't know if there may be distance related issues... I only know that lenses mostly look relatively good at close distances (unless it's almost near limit, of course) whereas things look a bit different at wider distances.

    In any case: I didn't want to spoil the party!!!
    It's just something I've noticed when looking at the S2/70mm images availabe. As corner sharpness and an even spread of DOF is quite important for me personally this is something I am looking at automatically - here... http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/p627107...b8e2#h2eb5b8e2 ... it simply looks strange to me that sharpness at the edges is okay in the forground but the wider the distance the more the falloff from the center of the image to the edges is noticable (in the plane of the orange cranes the center is still within DOF but the edges are clearly soft). I think at f6.7 or f8 it should look more even.

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Exactly. Lenses are optimized for a single focus distance --- actually magnification factor --- usually this is around 1:10 for "normal" lenses, 1:1 or 1:2 for macros. However some manufacturers choose to optimize their glass for closer distances, so you can find 1:6 or 1:8 also. I suspect based on their "street" legacy, Leica chose something closer for the S lenses like 1:8. This isn't bad or good, just a choice. But it may also mean more icky optical stuff starts to happen as you move further away from that optimal point, like towards infinity...
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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Thanks Mark
    Such a simple test clarifies a lot. So, the 70mm is a good, but maybe not a great lens? We usually don't look at brick walls.

    In the other thread, sharpening issues aside, xpixel's images have a look that IS special. Whether it can be duplicated with other systems and processing is sort of moot; Leica goes for aesthetics, which some like, some don't.

    But if you see and like, you will want - then like Ben and Jerry's vs xyz ice cream if you want, you will pay the price.

    Victor

    PS The vaunted 40mm Zeiss IF lens, the 21mm 2.8 the 35-70 Leica R all had some issue; distortion, focus shift, soft corners (sometimes) but these lenses just has a special something (Col Sanders would LOVE them )
    Same with cameras, the DMR and now M9 have a color and depth that you can't buy back with resolution. SO ok, not thye best ISO or fps.

    In the end, for a subset of the market they will see (maybe) a special charater to the S2 and $24k is, well, it is what it is.

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    M,R,S all different lens designs. One does not mean the other is the same. Need to remember this and the S lenses are all based on the same design and are all called summarits. M has maybe 6 different styles as well as the R glass. The S has one style. We all know in either a M or R a lux is totally different than a cron for instance. I said this from the day they announced the S2 . Not that they are bad but they will look the same through the line. Unfortunately MF does not have a lot of styles of glass except picking up some legacy stuff that can give you a different look.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    The well known Leica expert, Ken R. says;

    "Leica's trademarks tell you nothing about the lens' design, its age or its history. To refer to a 90mm Summicron means nothing more than to refer to a Leica 90mm f/2 lens. Leica has made at least three totally different 90mm f/2 optical designs housed inside many cosmetically different barrels over the past fifty years, all called Summicron. "

    Does that mean all S lenses are 2.5? (wow, even a 350mm?
    Actaully ZEISS names like Planar and Sonnar did mean design types.

    If Guy is right then Leica has found a way to standardize on both an aperture and design. Can't see it in the 35 to 350mm rage. There have GOT to be design differences.

    Victor

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Never said same aperture.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Victor,

    Put us and yourself out of misery, and just go frigging buy one already!

    Then get a room.



    (Seriously, it's a very sweet camera and I'm sure you will enjoy it a lot.)
    Jack
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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Quote Originally Posted by gogopix View Post
    The well known Leica expert, Ken R. says;

    "Leica's trademarks tell you nothing about the lens' design, its age or its history. To refer to a 90mm Summicron means nothing more than to refer to a Leica 90mm f/2 lens. Leica has made at least three totally different 90mm f/2 optical designs housed inside many cosmetically different barrels over the past fifty years, all called Summicron. "

    Does that mean all S lenses are 2.5? (wow, even a 350mm?
    Actaully ZEISS names like Planar and Sonnar did mean design types.

    If Guy is right then Leica has found a way to standardize on both an aperture and design. Can't see it in the 35 to 350mm rage. There have GOT to be design differences.

    Victor
    Ken is right - the naming of Leica lenses only tells the max aperture, not the design of the lens, like it does in Zeiss, where a Planar could be f/2 or f/2.8 (for instance).

    In fact, take two lenses, the 50 Summilux-M ASPH and the 75 APO-Summicron ASPH. One is a Lux and the other is a Cron, yet they are essentially the exact SAME design (the 75 has one less element). Yet, a 75 Lux and 50 Lux are vastly different. And, the current 50 Cron and the 75 Cron vastly different.

    With the S lenses, the various lenses are individually unique optical designs. Here is an excerpt from my S2 review, information which was gathered in an interview with Peter Karbe, the head of optics design for Leica:

    Many of the designs for the S lenses originated with R designs. The 35mm f/2.5 Summarit-S ASPH is based on the 19mm Elmarit-R (a lens that I loved on my DMR), but includes an asphere in the front optical group to reduce aberrations. The 120mm f/2.5 APO Macro-Summarit-S used the incredible 100mm APO-Macro-Elmarit-R as a foundation, but incorporated a floating element to optimize performance at all distances from close-focus to infinity (and increased maximum aperture by 1/2 a stop to boot). The 180mm f/3.5 APO-Tele-Elmar-S owes its heritage to the legendary 180mm APO-Summicron-R. Contrary to the other three lenses, the 70mm f/2.5 Summarit-S ASPH is an entirely new design, but has a similar signature Karbe modified double gauss design like the 50 Summilux-M ASPH.

    I actually forgot to add at the time of writing that the 70mm Summarit-S also uses a floating element. As Jack pointed out a few posts back, lenses are optimized for a certain distance. By using a floating element, this single distance can be extended over more of the focus range, improving performance from minimum focus distance to infinity.

    David
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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    By using a floating element, this single distance can be extended over more of the focus range, improving performance from minimum focus distance to infinity.
    very interessting! Now more than ever I am curious to see that nice theory translated to a real world image... there is no wide shot on the internet that shows satisfactory results at the edges (stopped down).
    Mr. Karbe also said the S lenses are sharp to the edges wide open.
    I really don't care whether a fast lens wide open is sharp at the edges or not (actually the falloff at large apertures can be very nice)... but that's what Leica promised (amongst other things to justify the steep prices).

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Based on the design but not exactly like it. As soon as you throw another element in there it is a different design. End of the day they are a Peter Karbe design. They call them Summarits.
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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Sorry to start a thread and disappear - it has been very busy and long day with only brief moments to look at the thread via iPhone.

    I agree with you Guy, it does look like barrel distortion. I have concentrated on the upper portion of the frame and noticed it at time of capture. However, looking at the image again it is obvious the bottom portion of the frame show a similar effect.

    I wished I had printed some sort of resolution targets to tape to the wall in the corners to make it easier to judge sharpness versus the subtle textures and variations of the bricks. However, I didn't and probably never will.

    Thomas, I would love to see examples of what you consider sharp corners. I admit that my experience in this area may be more limited than yours so I would truly like to be educated. I am not trying to be confrontational here - I genuinely want to learn new things everyday.

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    I think the corners are pretty danged nice... a slight lessening of contrast and a bit of falloff give the perception of less sharpness, but overall these are really nice. I do find the barrel a bit surprising, especially on a normal lens.

    Overall, really nice though.

    Guy, that 80D really continues to impress me. I'm presently picking up an RZ system for the "look" of the glass in tandem with a 9 micron sensor, but man do those D lenses on the 645 system impress! Such contrast and sharpness.

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Guy,
    WTF? your upper corners are black LOL
    Actually, if you look closer on a good monitor, they are not black -- in fact you can see shadow detail pretty well!

    Guy, that was my 80D on your P40+ right?
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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    That was yours and Jack is right you can actually see the roof inside through the window . Maybe what 9 stops at least

    Gotta love MF.

    My 40D , you won't even let me breath on your 65.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    The 80D is a very good lens and for what 1200 bucks hard to put your nose in the air on. Actually my 80d might even be better.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gowin View Post
    Thomas, I would love to see examples of what you consider sharp corners. I admit that my experience in this area may be more limited than yours so I would truly like to be educated. I am not trying to be confrontational here - I genuinely want to learn new things everyday.
    I've once decided not to post my photos in forums... and would like to leave it at that. When my DB is back from service sometime next week I'll take a comparable shot with the Contax 2.0/80 & P45 and going to post it.
    However... what I am referring to is simply that parts of the scene being in the same image plane should look somehow coherent when the lens is stopped down.

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Thomas, I only posted the wide open crops from my brick wall test. I did test across the full range of apertures and the results were as expected - no surprises.

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gowin View Post
    Thomas, I would love to see examples of what you consider sharp corners.
    FWIW here's the Contax 2.0/80 & P45.
    Distance to the building is around 70 meters or so.
    Sharpening in Capture One set to "Presharpening 1" (the setting Guy is using regularly).
    In terms of comparision to the S2/70mm this is quite useless, however you were asking for an example.

    f5.6 sharpness falloff is clearly visible.
    However the falloff is somehow "smoother" than that of the S2/70mm.
    The edges of the S2/70mm look like there is some motion blur. Somehow "turbulent". As if the crop of the side and the crop of the center do not originate from the same capture (see attachment). Whereas the Contax 80mm at 5.6 is a bit weak at the edges but it's still a coherent look … Besides you can apply sharpness falloff and it looks quite good whereas the S2/70mm is so coarse at the edges that additional sharpening won't help at all.

    Here's the scene:


    Respectively this is the scene (I've stitched bottom and sky to keep the camera leveled for the main object in the scene…):


    And here are the crops of the Contax 2.0/80 at f 5.6, f8 and f11 (from the leveled capture).
    At f8 and f11 the center and the side show a homogeneous image… IMO.
    I think you have to be logged in to see them in full size.
    Screenshots from Capture One.

    f5.6, center: http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/file...r_original.jpg
    f5.6, center/side: http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/file...e_original.jpg
    f5.6, corner: http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/file...r_original.jpg
    f8, center: http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/file...r_original.jpg
    f8, center/side: http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/file...e_original.jpg
    f8, corner: http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/file...r_original.jpg
    f11, center: http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/file...r_original.jpg
    f11, center/side http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/file...e_original.jpg
    f11, corner: http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/file...r_original.jpg
    Last edited by thomas; 29th March 2010 at 14:09.

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Can you really check for Barrel Distortion using a hand made brick wall?

    When I shot some real world stuff with the S2 and 70 I saw a bit of barrel, but nothing unexpected despite the statements from Leica ... wouldn't use it for copy work maybe, but it seemed fine ... I was more concerned about the lack of any special character compared to other fine offerings from other MFD makers. Setting aside the M line ... I think the later R lens line displayed more image character ... don't know why ... maybe it's just a small sensor thing or something. But technical perfection isn't everything.

    It's too bad that Leica put so much emphasis on their own marketing hype concerning digital optical corrections. Here they have a fully integrated camera with full communications between all elements of the image making chain that totally lends itself to such digital corrections ... now they would have to reverse themselves to take advantage of it.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    ...However the falloff is somehow "smoother" than that of the S2/70mm.
    The edges of the S2/70mm look like there is some motion blur. Somehow "turbulent". As if the crop of the side and the crop of the center do not originate from the same capture (see attachment). Whereas the Contax 80mm at 5.6 is a bit weak at the edges but it's still a coherent look Besides you can apply sharpness falloff and it looks quite good whereas the S2/70mm is so coarse at the edges that additional sharpening won't help at all...
    Thomas, thank you for posting your examples. I am still trying to digest and comprehend what you are saying about the images. However, I cannot agree with the quoted portion of your post above regarding "motion blur" and "turbulent" corners of the S2/70mm. Of course I had the advantage of seeing the bricks in my test up close - they are not uniform. I was quite pleased with the corner performance (e.g., representation of actual scene) especially considering the lens was wide open. However, I will try to re-evaluate with an open mind to see if I overlooked something (e.g., I will go back and compare the actual bricks to the photos to see if I can see what you are talking about).

    Mark

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Marc, there was definitely some irregularities in the mortar thickness in the brick rows which may be exaggerating the amount of barrel distortion, but there does seem to be some distortion present.

    Technically, I think it is possible for Leica to include optical corrections and still remain true their marketing hype. In other words they could include optical corrections in the firmware (ala M8/M9) and still be able to claim (as marketing hype) that no special software is required for post process lens corrections. I know this is splitting hairs.

    Mark

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gowin View Post
    I cannot agree with the quoted portion of your post above regarding "motion blur" and "turbulent" corners of the S2/70mm. Of course I had the advantage of seeing the bricks in my test up close - they are not uniform. I was quite pleased with the corner performance
    Your brick wall shot looks fine. I am talking about Tim's image... see the attachment at the end of my post (resp. see the image on his site: http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/p627107...c304#h2eb5b8e2 ). From the very beginning I was talking about shots at wider distances and stopped down. Not about close shots wide open.

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gowin View Post
    Marc, there was definitely some irregularities in the mortar thickness in the brick rows which may be exaggerating the amount of barrel distortion, but there does seem to be some distortion present.

    Technically, I think it is possible for Leica to include optical corrections and still remain true their marketing hype. In other words they could include optical corrections in the firmware (ala M8/M9) and still be able to claim (as marketing hype) that no special software is required for post process lens corrections. I know this is splitting hairs.

    Mark
    The difference is that you can turn it off in software if you want. If it was a selectable feature in camera that would be an alert that the lens isn't "perfect" ... so what's the difference?

    I did notice some barrel with the S 70 but it was on the sides ... with next to none that I could detect on the horizontal long side edges. Which is why I questioned the brick wall as target.

    The real measure will be the wide angles.

    It is amazing to watch the Hassey DAC software corrections as you toggle back and forth on an image ... but there have been cases where the perfect correction can look ... uh, well, unnatural. It's odd. Doesn't happen to often, so I just leave the software DAC box checked.

    -Marc

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    FWIW, was in NYC yesterday and visited Foto Care and handled an S2. Pleasant surprise. The camera is remarkable in the hand, feeling great, smooth and refined. It is a very light camera for all that it does. I am glad that my camera gear is committed in other directions. Thoughts of selling everything and one camera....were wisely disregarded. It is a much finer product than initially expected. THeir decision to abandon the R range for this newer approach was quite hard to understand before, but makes more sense now having seen this.

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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The difference is that you can turn it off in software if you want. If it was a selectable feature in camera that would be an alert that the lens isn't "perfect" ... so what's the difference?

    I did notice some barrel with the S 70 but it was on the sides ... with next to none that I could detect on the horizontal long side edges. Which is why I questioned the brick wall as target.

    The real measure will be the wide angles.

    It is amazing to watch the Hassey DAC software corrections as you toggle back and forth on an image ... but there have been cases where the perfect correction can look ... uh, well, unnatural. It's odd. Doesn't happen to often, so I just leave the software DAC box checked.

    -Marc
    Yes, I remember looking at the lenses before and after and it was indeed amazing how you would be looking at an image and then apply the corrections and realize how much distortion you were not aware of. Of course, this was mostly on the wider lenses. On the 80, 120, etc, you could barely tell a difference.

    Still, something about the tinkerer in me always wanted to play with that correction somehow (honestly!). Instead of completely distorted to zero distortion, I wanted to be able to introduce (or allow back in) some of that wompiness. Not in architectural shots, naturally, but other stuff, yeah. And I might not have even liked the result and just pushed it back to complete correction, but I still wanted to be able to. I know, ridiculous.


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    Digital Cam: Phase One | Leaf | Leica | Sinar Authorized Reseller
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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post

    It is amazing to watch the Hassey DAC software corrections as you toggle back and forth on an image ... but there have been cases where the perfect correction can look ... uh, well, unnatural. It's odd. Doesn't happen to often, so I just leave the software DAC box checked.
    I've noticed the same behavior with the C1 lens corrections for my Phase 28mm lens. Clearly the corrections make the image more optically "perfect" corner-to-corner, but I find that most of the time I prefer the image without them so leave it off. Weird indeed...
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: S2-70mm Brick Wall Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Weird indeed...
    not so weird actually.
    We are used to some kind of falloff.
    For instance I almost always reduce LCC based light falloff a little bit as at 100% the corners look too bright (they are not... but they look like). Not only to me, also to other viewers.

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