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Thread: Lens Insight

  1. #51
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    The hardware can't run full resolution at video frame rates. The sensor can't be read at those rates, and ADC can't sample it, and the DSP can't process it.

    So there are a few possibilities:
    ...
    Assuming that your first three statements are true ...
    Do we know for certain that the hardware cannot run full resolution at video frame rates? that the sensor can't be read at those rates, etc etc?

    Well, maybe you do. And maybe it's true that the new M can't target a different window in the sensor data. It's a bummer, as this is a very useful capability, and one I hope they address in the future.

    Nothing's perfect, unfortunately or otherwise...
    I guess I'll just keep my GXR which does this particular trick so very well.

    There's enough other goodness in the new M to motivate me towards a purchase in the next year or two anyway. And maybe they'll have updated it to solve this lack by then.

    Back to the Lens Insights ... sorry for the diversion.

    G

  2. #52
    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Jono had asked the question of Leica. I asked the question of Jono. I don't imagine Leica would have told Jono about this limitation if it didn't exist.

  3. #53
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    I have acquired a D800E (it arrived today), along with Sigma 85mm f1.4 and Nkkor 24mm PC-E D3.5D, Like Guy, I come from / still have medium format digital and expect - unrealistically I suspect - similar lens quality in 35mm format. The Sigma delivers, the 24mm PC-E the jury is still out on. I am now looking for a medium standard zoom and wonder if the Tamron 24-70 F2.8 VR is up to the job. I have already seen a number of my test shots are showing signs of camera shake, and VR looks a good bet and that lens looks to match the equivalent Nikon.

    However, what really matters now is quality, quality, quality. I see no reason not to expect edge to edge to performance, and if its out there, I want it, preferebaly from Nikon but otherwise another manufacturer. Would the Tamron be a mistake? Should I stick to primes? There is a lot of choice....

    I have always been a fan of Nikon, used to use an F100 and latterly a D700 for a while. I expect near-Hassy performance but with better high ISO.

    Quentin
    Hello Quentin,

    I'm a Nikon user too and trust me, if you can stay in Nikon line (money speaking) STAY in Nikon line, even if some other brand can reach high optical quality. Of course I do not speak about Zeiss. The actual 24-70 AFS-G is very good on the D800; just pick a good copy and take time to test it.

    My guess is the future turn in favour of SIGMA corporation. Optically and build wise, they start to be on par with the best of the best.

    For now, I think you should stay with primes :

    Your 24 PC-E, the very reliable and "effective at f1.4" 50 f1.4AFS-G, the 85 f1.8 AFS-G and just have a run with the 135 DC or, my precious, the Nikkor 180mm f/2.8 IF ED.

    Actually, a very effective trinity on latest Nikon DSLR is the 1.8 trinity which is excellent at all level.
    Kind regards - Hulyss - hulyssbowman.com

  4. #54
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    Jono had asked the question of Leica. I asked the question of Jono. I don't imagine Leica would have told Jono about this limitation if it didn't exist.
    Well, that explains why I didn't see it in his review... :-)

    G

  5. #55
    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Back on topic, let's hope a 17mm PC-E turns up soon and turns up trumps.

  6. #56
    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quentin, you could do worse than look here LensRentals.com - D800 Lens Selection

  7. #57
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Um, with all due respect to the beta testers, they can only state what they've been told or inferred from what they've been told about technical implementation details like this. I don't recall that Jono said anything about it (I'll re-read his report...), Ming sounded as if he was relaying what someone told him a little bit casually, and I'm not sure who Chris is ... :-)

    Ah well, another feature request for type 241. :-)

    G

    addendum: Just read through Jono's review. He doesn't mention this limitation at all that I could find. Ming does. Who is Chris ...? ;-)
    I think you can safely take it as read that the AF point in Live View, whether magnified or not, can't be moved away from centre, using either the LCD or the EVF.

  8. #58
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Hulyss Bowman View Post
    Hello Quentin,

    I'm a Nikon user too and trust me, if you can stay in Nikon line (money speaking) STAY in Nikon line, even if some other brand can reach high optical quality. Of course I do not speak about Zeiss. The actual 24-70 AFS-G is very good on the D800; just pick a good copy and take time to test it.

    My guess is the future turn in favour of SIGMA corporation. Optically and build wise, they start to be on par with the best of the best.

    For now, I think you should stay with primes :

    Your 24 PC-E, the very reliable and "effective at f1.4" 50 f1.4AFS-G, the 85 f1.8 AFS-G and just have a run with the 135 DC or, my precious, the Nikkor 180mm f/2.8 IF ED.

    Actually, a very effective trinity on latest Nikon DSLR is the 1.8 trinity which is excellent at all level.
    Gosh, I could not disagree more with some of that! The 24 PC-E is IMHO (two copies) not very good at all even unshifted. Even a very good copy seems to get no more than a 'useful' rating from its owners.

    The 24-70... not great. Known for doing what my new copy does, which is to have such different AFFT values at either end of the zoom range that no one value works well, and for being soggy apart from on centre at 24mm as a result of its bizarrely 'folded' field of focus, with poor control of CA and wide end distortions: it is surely superannuated on the D800 other than for the convenience it offers - which given its size, weight and lack of VR isn't much.

    I think the D800 is more of a MF replacement than we originally thought: it needs manual focus primes to reach its potential, and they shouldn't have too wide a maximum aperture.

    And as for the 1.8 trinity: I agree the 85 is excellent, the 50 I have not tried, and the 28 can be extremely sharp but it is 'tricky' - it has quite a lot of curvature and needs using accordingly.

  9. #59
    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Insight

    I'm edging towards Tim's conclusions regarding the 24 PC-E but somewhat sceptical about the quality of some other Nikon lenses also. The Sigma 85 f1.4 is very sharp - maybe the (more expensive) nikon 85mm f1.4 is as good or better but the Sigma is a quality lens and also seems to focus accurately and pretty quickly. I'd rate it close to or a match for the Sony Zeiss 85mm f1.4, but with much less longitudinal CA.

    And given the superb quality of the lens on the Sigma DP2M, in my view one of the sharpest lenses edge to edge I have ever used, it is clearly possible not just for Sigma but any lens manufacturer to do a good job on smaller formats. What then explains the frankly shoddy quality of some highly rated lenses?

    I thought I'd buy the Nikon wide 24-70 but now wonder if I should go only with primes.
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    I think you can safely take it as read that the AF point in Live View, whether magnified or not, can't be moved away from centre, using either the LCD or the EVF.
    Um ... the "AF point" ... on a manual focus camera? (I can only infer from the quotation that you were referring to the new Leica M ...)

    Since the M is a manual focus camera, as long as the subject you want is in the magnified area of the FoV with Live View, you can critically focus there. The problem is that you can't move the magnified area to allow focusing on subject features that are outside of the central area without moving the camera, which can be a pain when working with setups that require precise camera positioning/framing.

    Again, sorry for the diversion.

    G

  11. #61
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quentin, I would really consider renting (Solutions in Vauxhall?) the 24-70 to see if it suits you. I am almost shocked at its 24mm performance, I expected much better. But so far it is sharper to the edges at 35mm than my Sigma 35 1.4, though without the classy look, and is also pretty good at 50 and 70. Whether or not you want a 35-70 lens that weighs nearly a kilo and with focus and zoom actions that feel cheap depends on your needs ;-)

    I would much prefer a good copy of the 24-120 F4, if I were ever able to find one: aside from asymmetrical sides, which I am lead to believe are more or less endemic, it's a good compromise of size, weight and central performance. However, the weasel words are 'good copy'...

  12. #62
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Um ... the "AF point" ... on a manual focus camera? (I can only infer from the quotation that you were referring to the new Leica M ...)

    Since the M is a manual focus camera, as long as the subject you want is in the magnified area of the FoV with Live View, you can critically focus there. The problem is that you can't move the magnified area to allow focusing on subject features that are outside of the central area without moving the camera, which can be a pain when working with setups that require precise camera positioning/framing.

    Again, sorry for the diversion.

    G
    Yes, yagotme, it is the M I'm talking about and of course what I mean is the thing on a live view MF camera that is in the middle of the field of view and sits where the central AF point would sit if there were one. I have to stop jumping from system to system!

  13. #63
    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Quentin, I would really consider renting (Solutions in Vauxhall?) the 24-70. I am almost shocked at its 24mm performance, I expected much better. But so far it is sharper to the edges at 35mm than my Sigma 35 1.4, though without the classy look, and is also pretty good at 50 and 70. Whether or not you want a 35-70 lens that weighs nearly a kilo and with focus and zoom actions that feel cheap depends on your needs ;-)

    I would much prefer a good copy of the 24-120 F4, if I were ever able to find one: aside from asymmetrical sides, which I am lead to believe are more or less endemic, it's a good compromise of size, weight and central performance. However, the weasel words are 'good copy'...
    Years ago I had an early copy of the 24-120 and it was so bad I took it back. Great focal length range, poor performance. One of the reasons to look at the third party alternatives in my view.
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Lens Insight


    Quentin, maybe you mix up the present 24-120mm VR zoom with the older VR version from year 2003 - 2010 (or the even older AF-D version year 1996 - 2002 for that matter) ?

    The older variable max aperture AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF VR was indeed considered a dog by a lot of users.

    In summer 2010 it was replaced by the AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 G ED VR (fixed max aperture).

    The new VR version is said to be much sharper than its predecessor, but both are said to show a lot of distortion.

    I have never owned or even tried any of them (I try to avoid zooms), only referring the internet gossip here.

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Lens Insight


    I'm afraid that Jack nailed it when in post # 38 in another thread he said this:

    "I have come to the ultimate conclusion that buying glass for ANY high-resolution camera requires a "shoppers" mentality: try on several to find the one that looks and fits you -- or in this case your camera -- the best ..." (...)

    In that post you can read about some of the necessary cherry-picking Jack went through.

  16. #66
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    Re: Lens Insight

    You are right Steen I have been out of the Nikon family for several years and I once had the old 24-120mm used on a Kodak 14nx, probably the worst lens I have ever owned, to call it a dog is an insult to dogs . Might give the new version a run out.
    Quentin Bargate
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  17. #67
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    You are right Steen I have been out of the Nikon family for several years and I once had the old 24-120mm used on a Kodak 14nx, probably the worst lens I have ever owned, to call it a dog is an insult to dogs . Might give the new version a run out.
    If you do try one, the following routine will be helpful:

    Find a mid distant planar facade with detail.
    On a good tripod with delay and MUP, shoot a sequence at 24mm, 28, 35, 50, 70, 100, 120 and at each focal length F4 F5.6 and F8.

    For each combination of focal length/aperture, shoot a couple with Live View AF and a couple with Live View magnified MF.

    Choose the best shot from each combination and look particularly at the edges. I don't mind if they are soft-ish at F4, maybe even a little soft at F5.6 but by F8 they should, at 50% on screen, be reasonably good and they should (but probably won't be) symmetrical. If they're not, see if you can live with not only that but also the way the DOF zone is skewed across the frame. I personally find that effect far more disconcerting in a final image than I do the soft edges.

    If you can live with what you find, quickly check that the required AFFT at 24 and 120 are no more than 5 points apart. It will probably pass this test.

    If all the above is acceptable to you, you will have an incredibly useful lens. I wish I could find one! It really is so, so useful and also very sharp on centre. If not, 'do a Jack'

  18. #68
    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Since the M is a manual focus camera, as long as the subject you want is in the magnified area of the FoV with Live View, you can critically focus there. The problem is that you can't move the magnified area to allow focusing on subject features that are outside of the central area without moving the camera, which can be a pain when working with setups that require precise camera positioning/framing.

    Again, sorry for the diversion.
    Going back to the diversion for a moment. Despite my dismissal and criticism of the M240 liveview implementation and despite myself, I still can't dismiss the camera/system.

    Looking forward to some independent reviews.
    http://www.keithlaban.co.uk
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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Lens Insight


    + 1

    A well known reviewer recently said the following in a review of the Leica M240:

    "I won’t be posting full size images as is my standard policy; there is just too little respect for intellectual property online and poor images are rather meaningless."

    Poor images are rather meaningless ... ??

    I would rather say that web-sized images are rather meaningless in a gear review.
    I think he is just hiding something

    So I await Tim's announced M240 review, he doesn't tend to hide any aspect when reviewing gear.
    Then I expect we will see the necessary full size illustrations (maybe even RAW files).

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  21. #71
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    If you do try one, the following routine will be helpful:

    Find a mid distant planar facade with detail.
    On a good tripod with delay and MUP, shoot a sequence at 24mm, 28, 35, 50, 70, 100, 120 and at each focal length F4 F5.6 and F8.

    For each combination of focal length/aperture, shoot a couple with Live View AF and a couple with Live View magnified MF.

    Choose the best shot from each combination and look particularly at the edges. I don't mind if they are soft-ish at F4, maybe even a little soft at F5.6 but by F8 they should, at 50% on screen, be reasonably good and they should (but probably won't be) symmetrical. If they're not, see if you can live with not only that but also the way the DOF zone is skewed across the frame. I personally find that effect far more disconcerting in a final image than I do the soft edges.

    If you can live with what you find, quickly check that the required AFFT at 24 and 120 are no more than 5 points apart. It will probably pass this test.

    If all the above is acceptable to you, you will have an incredibly useful lens. I wish I could find one! It really is so, so useful and also very sharp on centre. If not, 'do a Jack'
    What might be of interest is I tested out a bunch of these lenses (the 24-120 f4 VR) with very in-depth testing shortly after they were first released. Three different distances at all major f-stops and all major focal lengths. Most every one had issues, especially fairly extreme asymmetry at the wider focal lengths, with extreme softness on one side of the frame or the other "especially" between 35mm -50mm. There was evidence of corner smearing too, although it should be noted that at 24mm, it was good across the entire frame. Zoom in a bit and the image quality would deteriorate. Images at the longer end of 85 and 120 weren't all that impressive either. The one thing consistant was that all these sample performed in this fashion. At the time, you could say I was not enamored with the lens.

    Fast forward to the present and I once again tested a newly arrived batch these past few months. Clearly something has changed. Almost all the samples were now weakest at 24mm, with a small amount of asymmetry seen but at f5.6, it was just about "good" by f5.6 and by f8, nearly perfect in terms of consistancy across the frame. Of course with this lens, center sharpness is always of higher resolution than the sides/edges. At focal length of 27mm and above, no real evidence of asymmetry and performance was head and shoulders above the early batch of lenses. Gone was the extreme "one side" softness between 35-50mm, and performance from 27mm on up was quite good and often times a bit better than that, especially when the lens was used at f6.7 (which is close to the optimal f-stop in terms of even sharpness across the frame). Center sharpness though exceeds side/edge performance with most any setting.

    Distortion, of course was (and still is) prominant in this lens, easily correctable in most cases.

    This lens was clearly better than other incarnations of Nikon's similar lenses in years past, where it developed (and rightly so), a terrible reputation and left a bad taste in most peoples mouth.
    The current 24-120 f4 Vr when first released may have been a much improved lens but it still had it's issues from what I saw in testing.

    My theory is when Nikon was developing the D800/e, they wanted a alternative lens to the 24-70 f2.8, that people could use on that camera who might have desired a wider range or walk around/travel lens...so to speak. My belief is the early released version wasn't good enough to recommend for that camera and they apparently tweaked the 24-120 f4 VR and/or upped the QC in the process so that they would have a zoom of this type that they could include on their recommended list of lenses that performed well (or well enough) on the D800/e. I'd say in some respects, they achieved that goal from what I saw of recently tested samples. I couldn't say that before with the earlier samples I tested.

    Whether it was simply a batch that had better QC or some slight changes were made in what portion of the zoom range they optimized the lens for, I can't say...but at least it was a step in the right direction. Is it equivelent to a top performing sample of a 24-70 f2.8 lens in that range...no...but it has other advantages as Tim, Jack and others have pointed out.

    Dave (D&A)

  22. #72
    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Steen View Post
    Then I expect we will see the necessary full size illustrations (maybe even RAW files).
    ...and if not RAW files then hopefully full size uncorrected jpegs. I've never understood why reviewers feel the need to tweak files. Give us warts and all

  23. #73
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    Going back to the diversion for a moment. Despite my dismissal and criticism of the M240 liveview implementation and despite myself, I still can't dismiss the camera/system.
    Looking forward to some independent reviews.
    Another +1. This limitation is unfortunate, but a minor point for me. Live view is just one of the new M features I'm interested in it for, and a secondary one at that.

    G

  24. #74
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Steen View Post


    So I await Tim's announced M240 review, he doesn't tend to hide any aspect when reviewing gear.
    Then I expect we will see the necessary full size illustrations (maybe even RAW files).
    Thank you Steen... I intend to be thorough, to provide full samples, and to be fair but firm ;-)

  25. #75
    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Well a quick run up the A11 to the WEX showroom in Norwich saw the part exchange of my remaining Sony A900 kit and lenses and the completion of my intial set of lenses for the D800E. What I ended up buying contained one surprise

    1. Zeiss Distagon 21mm F2.8;
    2. Nikon 105mm VR Macro
    3. Nikon 28-300 G ED VR

    The first two are probably not controversial. I wanted a top quality wideangle and I need a good quality macro lens for studio work, amongst other things.

    I ended up with the 28-300mm after a comparison for a walkabout lens with the 24-120mm VR, first because I was surpised how good the 28-300mm seemed to be after a quick test and second because they did not have the 24-120mm in stock (not a good reason but I had pretty much decided on the 28-300mm anyway)! I go the whole lot for not much cash after the trade in.

    Now we will have to see how it all works together...
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

  26. #76
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quentin, that sounds like a really nice place to start. I hope you hugely enjoy the camera!

    If I ever want truly ultimate quality with the Zeiss, I bracket two shots, one at say F5.6 and another at F11, and then combine them so as to get the sharpest edges going. It's not strictly required but for perfection, where time and conditions allow, it can make a nice little difference.

  27. #77
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Steen View Post


    So I await Tim's announced M240 review, he doesn't tend to hide any aspect when reviewing gear.
    Then I expect we will see the necessary full size illustrations (maybe even RAW files).
    Steen I have PMd you something you might find interesting...

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    Re: Lens Insight

    I'd like to know more about the 28-300 G ED VR... it sounds like an incredibly handy travel lens and a possible alternative to the 24-120/4. The travel "lens cap" so to speak, which is then complemented with a set of primes (18, 35, 85 in my case).

  29. #79
    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    I'd like to know more about the 28-300 G ED VR... it sounds like an incredibly handy travel lens and a possible alternative to the 24-120/4. The travel "lens cap" so to speak, which is then complemented with a set of primes (18, 35, 85 in my case).
    I will try a few shots using the 28-300 VR over the weekend.

    In the meantime, a quick test studio macro with the 105 F2.8 VR Macro (2 shots focus stacked). Close to Hassy 50mp quality.

    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

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    Re: Lens Insight

    Well, call me boring, but apart from a 70mm f2.8 Sigma Macro (because its insanely sharp and I needed something shorter than 100mm for copying prints), everything I have in 35mm SLR mount is Canon L. I know there are, in some cases, better lenses out there, but I don't feel I am missing anything (not since I got the 24-70 L II to cover the wide end anyway). Life is nice and simple!

    Leica M mount is a different story, but Leica lenses are:

    In most cases far too expensive for a full line up.
    Too large (in some cases)
    Too contrasty.

    I have bought a variety of CV, ZM and Leica lenses to find the right balance in the size, price, performance, contrast equation.

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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I find that focus peaking is great for getting the focus in the ballpark, but for critical focusing accuracy I want a 4x to 10x magnification (depending upon focal length) without peaking turned on (just like I used to do with an optical ground glass and a magnifier). Being able to target the center of the zoom area has been a major boon for static work that requires critical focus, for me anyway.

    G
    In my experience the only way to assure critical focus is tethered on a laptop. All other methods will get you close most of the time, but the LCD's on my D800E and Canon 5Dmk3, 1Ds3, are just not good enough for critical work especially when the focus shifts when stopped down. As sensors get better and lenses get sharper - our out of focus shots look worse than ever, or at least they feel that way...

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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonio Chagin View Post
    Guy, I'm glad that you bought the 60mm Macro 2.8
    Excellent lens. So far the only lens that I own that is really up to the D800.
    ACH
    Nice to hear that. I'm picking one up tomorrow

    I'm also excited to have finally got my Leica 19 2.8 adapted. I've been using it regularly and it seems up to the demands of the D800E so far.

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    Re: Lens Insight

    Quote Originally Posted by ShooterSteve View Post
    In my experience the only way to assure critical focus is tethered on a laptop. All other methods will get you close most of the time, but the LCD's on my D800E and Canon 5Dmk3, 1Ds3, are just not good enough for critical work especially when the focus shifts when stopped down. As sensors get better and lenses get sharper - our out of focus shots look worse than ever, or at least they feel that way...
    I've not used those cameras so can't comment on them.

    The LCDs and EVFs on the Panasonic L1, Panasonic G1, Ricoh GXR, Olympus E-PL1 and Olympus E-5 seem right on the money for critical focus when set to approximately 8x magnification - just as sharp as when I see them on my laptop screen.

    G

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