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Thread: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

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    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    And that's due to the oversampling effect I was discussing above. Matt, I do not believe this is in direct conflict with your comments, but oversampling in digital has a tangible benefit if sampled at Nyquist (2x base resolution) or above. Without going into the math, we basically impart an interpolated artifact at the midpoint (½ Nyquist); and voila, more perceived resolution... In Pegelli's example, it was enough to clarify the data accurately on the 6 to 7 line pairs -- though note we have a hint of a false artifact about ¾ way up that line pair progression in a thicker or darker line. I would further guess that the 7-8 line pairs and above are below Nyquist for that sensor. Would a 200MP sensor generate realistic detail between the 7-8 pairs? I have no idea, but suspect they might, though probably not as accurately as they did for 6-7...
    Jack,

    Oh, I'm not addressing oversampling at all. I'm assuming that the sensor has a proper AA filter, which they never do, these days, which surprises the heck out of me. But:

    In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

    Matt
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Jack, thanks for the explanation, which to be fair I don't totally understand but so be it. However in practical terms the lines between 6 and 7 seems very much like real detail that is really there and can be seen well with the 42 MP sensor and becomes a moiré'd mess with the 24 MP sensor under identical shooting conditions, lens and aperture. So the conclusion of the Photographylive article that started this discussion doesn't seem to be correct, more MP's give more detail, even with "bad" lenses like I used in my simplistic test.

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Pegelli, firstly we are assuming the lens used cannot out-resolve the A7ii sensor -- that may not be an accurate assumption; and bear in mind, acutance is different than resolution as contrast is in play...

    You could repeat the test with your sensor oriented 45 degrees to the lines, and this would be more telling about the interpolation quality too...
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Pegelli, firstly we are assuming the lens used cannot out-resolve the A7ii sensor -- that may not be an accurate assumption; and bear in mind, acutance is different than resolution as contrast is in play...
    True, I can't imagine but don't have any real data. It's just the "unsharpest" lens I have, maybe I'll make a series and see how much it improves when stopping down. Or move the test image closer to the corner, they are so mushy that I cant imagine 24 MP gets resolved there

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    You could repeat the test with your sensor oriented 45 degrees to the lines, and this would be more telling about the interpolation quality too...
    Splendid idea, a job for next week. Stay tuned and I'll report back. I'd like to understand more about the practical aspects of the brick wall vs. slippery slope of lens vs. sensor resolution.

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    Jack,

    In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

    Matt
    Exactly! I have used old Sigma and Nikon (ED) 70-300mm lenses, the ones you can get more or less for free these days, on D800 and D810 bodies and seen resolution and sharpness that to the human eye was approaching that of my 85mm f/1.8 and well beyond what they would render with a lower resolution sensor (I also used them on the D700 with much inferior results). Of course the prime looked sharper when pixel peeping, but the perceived resolution when looking at the whole picture was similar, particularly for people shots.

    The problem with lens resolution tests is that they are mostly based on straight lines and hard contrast. In reality, there are very few straight lines in a real photo. Even architecture shots of modern buildings have gradients in the straight lines, and more so with higher resolution. Yes, there is a difference between lenses, but good lenses that according to tests shouldn't resolve more than 24 or even 12MP will still show more detail at 36MP than they do with the lower resolution sensors. Bad lenses on the other hand will always be bad, no matter what. My ancient Tamron 24-135 couldn't even keep up with the 6MP Fuji sensors of the S3 and S5 when shot beyond 50mm.

    It's a bit like the old discussion about perceived detail and Tri-X. One sees detail that shouldn't be there, at least not in theory.

    Did this make sense?

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    I think if I only wanted 24, actually 26 megapixels I'd buy a Fujifilm X-T3

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    I find the ergos on Sony cams annoying at best.
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post
    I think if I only wanted 24, actually 26 megapixels I'd buy a Fujifilm X-T3
    The disadvantage buying into the Fuji system is that one gets locked into APS-C. With Nikon, both sensor sizes are available, in addition to the option of going very high resolution with the Z7 if needed later. Nikon also offers IBIS, which may or may not be important. When it comes to size, the X-T3 is almost as large as the Nikon and almost as heavy. Changing brands also means changing user interface and menu systems.

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I find the ergos on Sony cams annoying at best.
    Good for you, but that's very personal.

    I have the same with any Nikon body shape. Performance wise I've always wanted to have a Nikon but as soon as I handle the body (DSLR or Z makes no difference) that desire is sunk very quickly. It's good there are choices so everybody can choose what's right for him or her.
    My Pics
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Thread is about getting a Z6, Z7 or both.

    Not about brands, ergos of other brands, different sized sensors
    weight, or needs & wants, or whether one can or cannot afford any particular camera
    brand eco system.

    Jack has already committed to a system of his
    chosing. i wish him good light with his choice.

    Others, have made their choice, accepting a system’s
    compromises ( or not ? ). Good luck to them.

    i would prefer to see images made with any system.

    Endless talk regurgitating the merits or otherwise
    of camera systems does not improve my photography nor
    expand my image making vision or thought.

    As a mediocre photog n a verrry sloweww learner please show
    me your work...not what tool u used to create it.
    koffee & kamera
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Ray,

    I'll share my wrk with the new gear once I actually get it

    While I agree generally with your comment, I disagree that gear discussion has no merit. We all understand certain gears fulfilling individual needs better than others, and the discussion of those merits can have a beneficial effect on a would-be purchaser. For example, after reading what Pegelli said about Nikon ergos and what I said about Sony ergos, a shooter who didn't feel fully comfortable with Nikon ergos, might now decide to look at Sony before making their final choice -- a hopefully a better decision *for them* will result from it.

    Pax,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Update... So I got over my initial distaste at receiving a DOA kit and have re-ordered. But this time a Z7 -- so maybe it was all for the best, we will see! (Oh and yes, I did order a spare battery!)
    Jack
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Update... So I got over my initial distaste at receiving a DOA kit and have re-ordered. But this time a Z7 -- so maybe it was all for the best, we will see! (Oh and yes, I did order a spare battery!)
    Congrats Jack!
    Have fun - keen to see 1st pix.

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Cam arrived. One battery partially charged, the pother dead flat, one in charger the other trying to charge through cam on AC, both taking FOREVER lol. Can't update FW until battery is full. (Edit -- first battery now fully charged, FW updating -- yeah!)

    Got most of the menu settings set, at least close enough to start, will prolly tweak as time goes on. 24-70 appears quite usably sharp just shooting HH in my office. 14-30 looks good too. Surprise was the 70-300 AF-P -- WOW, that thing is impressive for a "cheap" lens!I seriously expected mediocre, and not only does it AF quite fast on the FTZ adapter, it does it all truly silently. Hope to get some good test pics tomorrow, will post a few if worthy, stay tuned.

    Only nit so far is I cannot lock the focus point joy-stick -- I hate having it move around my from just handling the cam. (Yes, I have the press set to recenter, but I find this UI frustrating.)
    Last edited by Jack; 4 Weeks Ago at 16:50.
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Just wait until you can really see what is coming out of the thing with the 24-70 and/or 14-30. I am constantly pleasantly surprised. The Z does need some getting used to though..

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Played around with it a little last night in my backyard -- the sun had set by the time I got the batteries charged and menus figured out. Was really impressed with the 24-70, IBIS and the overall low-light capabilities. I limited ISO to 6400, and shot around my backyard at f6.3, and the results were frankly impressive.

    I remain a little conflicted on the EVF: I like the weight and compact size it offers, LOVE using it in low light situations, but definitely prefer the clarity one gets from an OVF. Overall, I believe I will adjust. Still need to work with the 14-30 a bit -- but it sure seems like a winner too.

    Going to play around with the entire kit today as soon as I get caught up at the office. Hopefully I'll have something worthwhile to share by tomorrow.
    Jack
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Okay, first images out of cam as promised. The light was HARSH, cloudy bright, and this old Victorian is actually backlit, hence the limited detail in the sky -- nothing stellar here at all, just a few quick test grabs on my lunch break. They are basically SOOC jpegs, just downsized for display here. I am EXTREMELY impressed with how well the Z7 handled the light. The histo for these shots was basically two pretty good hump spikes at each end, but nothing was clipped(!) Oh, I do have auto-lens corrections turned "on" in the menu:

    First is the 24-70 at 35mm f6.3:




    Next is same house with Lensbaby 35mm at f4, vignette slider at position 2 (There is full open, then 3 click levels for adding lighting vignette, but you can of course use it in-between click-stops.) I note this lens renders a bit cooler than Nikon, but most of the time I'm going to be shooting with it in mono anyway.:




    Last was a HH grab of a young egret fishing, 70-300 AF-P+FTZ at 300mm f6.3 (this one I did add a touch of brightness before I sized as the Egret was standing in a shaded culvert):

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    I just have to add that the performance of the "kit" 24-70 is darned impressive. It's easily as good as most primes in those ranges I've ever owned, and actually better in the corners than most of them were!

    The 14-30 is equally impressive -- in fact more so as it renders essentially the same as the 24-70, which is simply remarkable for an ultra-wide zoom.

    The 70-300 does show a bit of softness at 300mm, but you can really only see it at larger magnification. I'd guess it's resolving maybe half the sensor resolutionat 300(?). But 70 through 200 appears every bit as sharp as my 70-200 AF-VR-G's were at similar aperture. I also carried the 1.4X with those two zooms, and would have to give them with the 1.4x a slight nod over this lens at 300, at least judging by what I remember them doing. But the difference here is not huge, and this lens still generates a very nice and usable image at 300mm -- so for the cost and weight savings, I am a very happy camper with it

    I need to spend more time with the Lensbaby before declaring victory, though I am initially optimistic. It renders a little less "obvious" than I expected it would, but the effect is clearly notable. Just a little more subtle than anticipated. I simply need to use it more thoroughly and see if it earns a permanent spot in my bag. My main issue with it is it renders almost too sharp centrally. Edit: I edited the Lensbaby image from above, going mono, adding slight sepia and blurring the entire image slightly -- this is closer to the overall effect I am looking for. We shall see if it's worth it longer term:



    That's all for now, more as I get it.
    Last edited by Jack; 3 Weeks Ago at 14:29.
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Congrats Jack, this one looks like a keeper

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Update... So I got over my initial distaste at receiving a DOA kit and have re-ordered. But this time a Z7 -- so maybe it was all for the best, we will see! (Oh and yes, I did order a spare battery!)
    Better choice in my eyes for a photographer. M lenses work well, too, mostly. Not sure you have any.

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Congrats Jack.

    Enjoy.

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Well, at least I do look forward to at least attempting to create some wall-worthy images with it.

    I will say there's a steeper learning curve to this camera. For example, I just realized the auto vignette correction works with ANY lens, not just newer electronically-coupled lenses -- hence why the vignette slider on the Lensbaby didn't do much... Duh.
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Played around with it a little last night in my backyard -- the sun had set by the time I got the batteries charged and menus figured out. Was really impressed with the 24-70, IBIS and the overall low-light capabilities. I limited ISO to 6400, and shot around my backyard at f6.3, and the results were frankly impressive.

    I remain a little conflicted on the EVF: I like the weight and compact size it offers, LOVE using it in low light situations, but definitely prefer the clarity one gets from an OVF. Overall, I believe I will adjust. Still need to work with the 14-30 a bit -- but it sure seems like a winner too.

    Going to play around with the entire kit today as soon as I get caught up at the office. Hopefully I'll have something worthwhile to share by tomorrow.
    Congratulations on your new camera kit!
    You may want to change Picture Control settings in order to improve how the image appears in the EVF. I have it set to 'Neutral'.

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Update: Usability improves. It's taking me a little while to get comfortable with the new menu arrangement and extra viewing and focusing options. But end of day, I'm liking the little cam. Only real nit is EVF compared to OVF and slight lags, but then it's got a couple big advantages for me: brightness and usability in dark environs, changeable readout/data, and the fact it previews my monochrome shooting setting in mono, which for me absolutely aids in composition.

    I *really* like the Z lenses, but moreover, focusing older, dumb MF lenses with my aged eyes is a piece of cake now! (I especially like yellow focus peaking )

    More later...
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Update: Usability improves. It's taking me a little while to get comfortable with the new menu arrangement and extra viewing and focusing options. But end of day, I'm liking the little cam. Only real nit is EVF compared to OVF and slight lags, but then it's got a couple big advantages for me: brightness and usability in dark environs, changeable readout/data, and the fact it previews my monochrome shooting setting in mono, which for me absolutely aids in composition.

    I *really* like the Z lenses, but moreover, focusing older, dumb MF lenses with my aged eyes is a piece of cake now! (I especially like yellow focus peaking )

    More later...
    Thanks for the update. One thing that I changed when switching from D850 to Z 7 is to assign one of the front buttons to image review. That way I can quickly check in the EVF the sharpness and/or image composition when in doubt.

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by SrMphoto View Post
    One thing that I changed when switching from D850 to Z 7 is to assign one of the front buttons to image review. That way I can quickly check in the EVF the sharpness and/or image composition when in doubt.
    That's also what I did. And my other front button is assigned for 100% view.

    Regards,
    Ben

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    I currently have those assigned to two other functions I like to be able call up quickly -- I don't have much trouble hitting the rear review button for review, then the center "OK" button for 100%. Plus I have monitor-only review on, so it's ready when my eye is not at the finder, and a simple matter to hit 100% and confirm; and then once you hit the 100% button, the OVF pops into review mode too, so you can a really good inspection in either.

    You just have to love the user "set-ability" of these cams!
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I currently have those assigned to two other functions I like to be able call up quickly -- I don't have much trouble hitting the rear review button for review, then the center "OK" button for 100%. Plus I have monitor-only review on, so it's ready when my eye is not at the finder, and a simple matter to hit 100% and confirm; and then once you hit the 100% button, the OVF pops into review mode too, so you can a really good inspection in either.

    You just have to love the user "set-ability" of these cams!
    The advantage of my suggestion is that nobody can see that you are "chimping" :-).

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Haha, good one! But let me reiterate the way I have mine set up:

    1) Review set to on, "monitor only."
    2) "OK" button set to 100% zoom.

    Now if I shoot using the rear LCD, the image reviews after the shot. If I punch the OK button, it zooms to 100% at wherever the focus was zeroed on both the rear monitor AND EVF.

    If I'm using the EVF, nothing reviews at either the monitor or EVF -- the cam knows when I'm using the EVF, and does not auto review. But now, if I hit the review arrow on the back of the cam with left thumb while my eye is still at the EVF, the FF review shows in the EVF; if I then hit the "OK" button on the rear with my thumb, it zooms to 100% -- so it does take 2 button pushes for me to chimp at 100% through the EVF, but at the same time nobody knows I'm doing it either!
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Haha, good one! But let me reiterate the way I have mine set up:

    1) Review set to on, "monitor only."
    2) "OK" button set to 100% zoom.

    Now if I shoot using the rear LCD, the image reviews after the shot. If I punch the OK button, it zooms to 100% at wherever the focus was zeroed on both the rear monitor AND EVF.

    If I'm using the EVF, nothing reviews at either the monitor or EVF -- the cam knows when I'm using the EVF, and does not auto review. But now, if I hit the review arrow on the back of the cam with left thumb while my eye is still at the EVF, the FF review shows in the EVF; if I then hit the "OK" button on the rear with my thumb, it zooms to 100% -- so it does take 2 button pushes for me to chimp at 100% through the EVF, but at the same time nobody knows I'm doing it either!
    Using the left thumb for review works well for tripod-based photography. I assume that is your main type of photography. It works less well for handheld, especially with longer lenses when your left hand supports the lens. The advantage of your settings is that it does not 'waste' a button and you can use one of the front buttons for DOF Preview instead.

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    SR, I use this cam mostly hand-held -- actually quite natural for me to hit the review button with my left thumb while looking through the finder, admittedly with the smaller glass -- tougher to do with any larger lens that needs the left hand for support -- but then I wonder if I could program the lens function button for review??? Hmmm, need to look into that. Oh, another caveat for this is I am left-handed

    Two more "art" lenses arriving today, looking forward to playing with them this weekend!
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    SR, I use this cam mostly hand-held -- actually quite natural for me to hit the review button with my left thumb while looking through the finder, admittedly with the smaller glass -- tougher to do with any larger lens that needs the left hand for support -- but then I wonder if I could program the lens function button for review??? Hmmm, need to look into that. Oh, another caveat for this is I am left-handed

    Two more "art" lenses arriving today, looking forward to playing with them this weekend!
    Intriguing, we need details and perhaps eventually, pics!


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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    Intriguing, we need details and perhaps eventually, pics!

    I am betting that one of them you will be able to guess what it is by the images... The other I am hoping you will want to KNOW what it is by the images!
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  34. #134
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I am betting that one of them you will be able to guess what it is by the images... The other I am hoping you will want to KNOW what it is by the images!
    Curiouser and curiouser!


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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Jack, with the ‘Art’ lenses you are heading into the heavy weight category...for me.

    But I shall eagerly await your results from the ‘weights’

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by rayyan View Post
    Jack, with the ‘Art’ lenses you are heading into the heavy weight category...for me.

    But I shall eagerly await your results from the ‘weights’
    Ray, these are NOT Sigma "Art" lenses, rather older optical design "artistic" lenses -- and in fact BOTH are pretty light in weight One is a newer manufacture of an old design, the other is an older lens with older design -- hint: it's a Sonnar type formula made by a Japanese lens manufacturer, and is at the longer end of "normal" focals. ( )
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  37. #137
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Ray, these are NOT Sigma "Art" lenses, rather older optical design "artistic" lenses -- and in fact BOTH are pretty light in weight One is a newer manufacture of an old design, the other is an older lens with older design -- hint: it's a Sonnar type formula made by a Japanese lens manufacturer, and is at the longer end of "normal" focals. ( )
    Interesting.

    I've just sold my Zeiss C Sonnar ZM f/1.5 lens which was my favourite lens on my Leica M series cameras but which sadly didn't cut the mustard on my Z7.

    Having said that, I await to hear more on Jack's selection and findings with bated breath.

    ;-)

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Keith -- I too liked the Zeiss ZM 1.5 on the M8 -- but this isn't that This is an old Japanese built lens, I am going to guess late 50's vintage. And yes, I plan on keeping everybody guessing
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Keith -- I too liked the Zeiss ZM 1.5 on the M8 -- but this isn't that This is an old Japanese built lens, I am going to guess late 50's vintage. And yes, I plan on keeping everybody guessing
    Voigtlander 58?
    Last edited by Dustbak; 2 Weeks Ago at 05:52. Reason: Typo

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustbak View Post
    Voigtlander 58?
    I'm also looking at the Voigtlander 40 & 50 f1.2 Nokton Aspherical VM lenses. Anyone have any experience with these on Z series?

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustbak View Post
    Voigtlander 58?
    Warm, but not it I'll give you a *HUGE* hint -- a lot of folks aren't even aware this lens exists, because it was improved and replaced in 1962 after just 2 years on the market. But I understand the current Voigtlander version is a copy of the mid-60's Topcon 58 lens, which in turn was a copy of this lens' 1960 SLR debut
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Okay, here you go. Note ALL of these are SOOC as-shot jpegs, resized in PS to 1200 px for web view. (I know these are not artistic, but chosen as a quick way to show off how the lenses perform at PoF and background rendering at people portrait distances.)

    First image is a lens I've mentioned above, the LensBaby 35 "Burnside." I have the vignette set to 3, and aperture at f4. This lens is a petzval design, but it surprised me that it was so sharp -- and in fact too sharp for my liking. It also rendered a bit cooler than my native Nikon glass, so in addition, this lens has a Tiffen ½ gold diffusion filter over it, which IMO quite pleasantly smooths the sharpness and warms it up just enough:



    Next is another modern 60mm petzval design, also surprisingly sharp, also at f4:



    Final lens is the mystery 58. I'm going to show you a wide open capture, then an f2, where I think it sings sweetest -- but there is a rather significant clue as to what this lens is showing in these two images as you compare them :





    And here it is at f2.8 -- note contrast and sharpness has come up, and background is still relatively pleasant:



    But now here's the mystery 58 at f4 to be fair to the old petzval designs above -- you can see just how well contrast and sharpness has improved. But then the ugly -- while the foreground bokeh remains very pleasing, the formerly pleasant background bokeh has pretty much evaporated with the smaller aperture :



    End of day, I like the way the modern petzval renders, and the fact it fits the family with the 35 better, I will likely not keep the 58. But I can see it would be a sweet portrait lens, especially for older people at f1.4 and 2 and even 2.8 if you want a bit more sharpness and contrast. If anybody else want's it, send me a PM -- it's a $200 lens in very good condition optically, but needs a focus ring re-lube if you're going to shoot regularly with it. Oh, it is in native Nikon F mount (OTOH, as an admitted gear whore, it is only a $200 lens... So maybe I'll just tuck it away in the cabinet dry focus ring and all as a just in case I want it portrait lens -- decisions, decisions! )

    Feedback welcome!
    Last edited by Jack; 2 Weeks Ago at 12:49.
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    If you hadn't mentioned Japanese, I would have guessed it's a Helios 44-2...

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    If you hadn't mentioned Japanese, I would have guessed it's a Helios 44-2...
    What's interesting, is that of all the people I can think of that might figure this one out fastest, my money was evenly split between you and Dave! Well Bob too, but I won't let him play
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Jack, you certainly chose the harshest of light to conduct your testing!

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    I'm a coward, preferring to test in the kind of light I prefer shooting in

    The following is an unscientific test, same subject shot at different times but in similar light. All handheld.

    35 S f1.8


    50 Zeiss C Sonnar ZM f2


    50 S f1.8


    85 S f1.8


    My conclusions. The Nikon 35 S bokeh is rather harsh, but to be fair I wouldn't normally shoot with this lens for the OOF qualities. The 50 Zeiss has good bokeh but the significant fall off in sharpness away from the centre is dramatic and limiting. The Nikon 50 S bokeh is very good with great central sharpness. The Nikon 85 S bokeh is wonderful, again with great central sharpness.

    As I've said, unscientific, but take from it what you will.
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    I should add that the Zeiss C Sonnar ZM on the Z7 is comparatively soft centrally.

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Keith, I chose harsh light specifically to see how specular highlights will render — I shoot a fair amount of my fun travel images at night.

    But as respects the Z family of lenses, I absolutely do appreciate the fact they all render so well and so similarly -- not easy to do. I liked this about the Sigma Art series of lenses too. But the current top end contemporary lenses are all so well corrected that their drawing while pleasant is at the same time, somewhat unremarkable -- I'll call it "excellent vanilla" And I do absolutely appreciate the superb AF and AE performance they offer. If I still shot commercially, I would own every f1.8 Z prime currently marketed and be on the short list for the 28!

    But for what I personally want to achieve now, I am looking for a few distinct characteristics that no modern lens design has anymore; swirly oof backgrounds being one of them, and soft, smooth speculars being another...
    Last edited by Jack; 2 Weeks Ago at 06:48.
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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    Technically, the S lenses are great. Especially the 50mm 1.8S. However, depending on the distance to the OOF areas, the 85mm 1.8 S just didn't look great for portraits, imo. As mentioned before, character is more important than sharpness for my style. Pixel peepers would love it. I'd be very curious about 1.2 Z lenses, but look how long it took to get a decent, native portrait lens. I guess the FTZ and F lenses are the alternative if one wants faster lenses for portraits. Landscape shooters should be pleased with the Z's though.

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    Re: Z6 or Z7 -- or both ???

    I guess we all have our own ideas about what constitutes character and what appeals to us in terms of bokeh. Personally I like to start with smooth transitions and unfussy specular highlights. I find many 'character' lenses to be too harsh, too repetitive in their rendering. If anything I prefer to start with Jack's 'vanilla' and if more or less character is needed then to add or subtract it in post, a much more controllable process. A few examples below.

    Nikon 50 S f1.8, out of camera.


    Nikon 50 S f1.8, with work - character - added in post.


    Nikon 50 S f1.8, again, with work - character - added in post.


    This process gets me to where I want to be, in control, but admittedly it is ultimately more time consuming.

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