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Thread: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

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    Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    I shouldn't have done this . .
    Dave at LCE in Timberhill said - off you go, try it out. So I wandered around Norwich for 15 minutes banging away.

    Look at this:


    Zeiss 24-70 f2.8, at f2.8 1/2000, 70mm ISO 200

    and a crop:




    f5, 1/125th 45mm ISO 200

    and a crop





    F2.8 1/2000 24mm ISO 200
    and a couple of crops





    f2.8 1/500 70mm ISO 200



    I think I might need saving here!

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    Senior Member Riley's Avatar
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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    seems to hold detail in the crops very well Jono, crumbling bricks and all, i bet this thing will put a huge dent in the s/h Minolta lens market. Surely the AF lens choices is one of the significant weaknesses, that is when you get over how the thing looks...

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    asabet
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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Jono, I can't help with the saving part. Your samples look great, and there are some high ISO samples from RAW looking pretty good as well -> http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=29546134

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley View Post
    seems to hold detail in the crops very well Jono, crumbling bricks and all, i bet this thing will put a huge dent in the s/h Minolta lens market. Surely the AF lens choices is one of the significant weaknesses, that is when you get over how the thing looks...
    You mean you don't think it's beautiful
    Actually, it does have a certain something about it in the flesh.
    As for the lenses - I think there are a lot of good minolta lenses, and it seems that the weaker AA filter may be kinder to older lenses than those of the Nikon and Canon FF cameras (my old Kodak SLR'n rather liked soft old lenses)

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Jono they do look good although the last flower shot does give me a bit of a headache as my eyes are trying to focus all of the OOF areas

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    I'm impressed. Particularly by the crop showing the newspaper rack.

    So Jono, are you now thinking about running three DSLR systems in parallel: Nikon, Olympus, and Sony? In which case, no salvation for you my friend!

    Or rather are you expecting the D3x/D4/D900 to match or exceed these results?

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Hi Jonathon
    Well, I'm dithering terribly about this!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    I'm impressed. Particularly by the crop showing the newspaper rack.

    So Jono, are you now thinking about running three DSLR systems in parallel: Nikon, Olympus, and Sony? In which case, no salvation for you my friend!

    Or rather are you expecting the D3x/D4/D900 to match or exceed these results?
    No - I certainly won't run three Dslr systems - the Olympus stays anyway - I was expecting to wait for the Nikon camera with this lens, and sell the D700 to buy it (contrary to what you might think, I don't have cupboards full of unused cameras!).

    BUT

    I suspect that the Nikon camera will be D3 sized, and that it will be a great deal more expensive than the Sony . . . added to which I have rather fallen in love with the Zeiss 24-70 lens used here.

    So, if I buy this, then the Nikon kit will go - I've been offered a good price for the expensive stuff, and the few CV and ZF lenses should sell without too much trouble.

    The decision is whether to jump now, while my kit is worth a fair amount, or wait for 6 months or so, in which case Nikon may bring out a huge and very expensive camera (like the 1Ds MkIII).

    Ho and definitely Hum!

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    Senior Member Riley's Avatar
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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    well i guess you could wear dark glasses so you dont have to look at it, or put it in a paper bag....

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    asabet
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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Some folks knock the Zeiss 24-70 for its bokeh, but I've been unable to find many samples of poor bokeh from it. Photozone shows a few hard-edged areas in crops, but of course any lens can be made to look bad in a specific situation. At any rate, I'd want to see a lot more from this lens before considering a switch to Sony.

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Looks good. Actually, I even like the styling of the camera. It reminds me of the great 70's and 80's camera designs, like the Nikon F3, the Canon F1 and even the OM-1.

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I suspect that the Nikon camera will be D3 sized, and that it will be a great deal more expensive than the Sony . . . added to which I have rather fallen in love with the Zeiss 24-70 lens used here.
    On the other hand, Nikon may decide that the best way to neutralize the threats posed by both the Sony A900 and the Canon 5D Mark II is to put a high-megapixel sensor in a D700-style body.

    Regarding the Zeiss 24-70, am I correct in assuming that -- on the basis of a relatively brief trial -- you've found it superior to your Nikkor 24-70? If so, it'd be great if you could articulate why you prefer the Zeiss lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    So, if I buy this, then the Nikon kit will go - I've been offered a good price for the expensive stuff, and the few CV and ZF lenses should sell without too much trouble.
    There are lots of reasons that the GetDPI forums are excellent: well-informed members, wide range of viewpoints, civil discourse, no trolls... However one aspect I've come to admire is (what I would describe as) a ruthlessly pragmatic lack of attachment to any particular brand; in other words, the polar opposite to the fanboy-ism one finds in so many other forums. Instead, at GetDPI, if a piece of equipment doesn't meet or exceed expectations, it frequently gets kicked to the curb.

    Jono, I suspect I won't be the only one to follow with interest the direction you decide to take with this.

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    Senior Member Riley's Avatar
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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Looks good. Actually, I even like the styling of the camera. It reminds me of the great 70's and 80's camera designs, like the Nikon F3, the Canon F1 and even the OM-1.
    some of those things grow on you in time, i think the Sony reminds me somewhat of the Sigma SD14, I dont mind how they look. I really havent seen a digital SLR that looks attractive to me though. The original Sony prototype had that similar OM prism roof, but that seems to have gone from the production model and only the somewhat distorted sentiment remains.

    OM's look like jewellery compared with these things. Still, maybe thats not much of what its all about.
    Last edited by Riley; 2nd October 2008 at 20:52.

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley View Post
    OM's look like jewellery compared with these things. Still, maybe thats not much of what its all about.
    You can say that again. Last week, I was offered a mint, black OM-1 with a likewise mint 50mm f/1.2. Looks like jewellery? It IS jewellery. I would carry it around my neck at parties

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    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I shouldn't have done this . .

    I think I might need saving here!

    I think you have come to the wrong place for help, Jono!
    SlŠinte

    Robert.

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley View Post
    well i guess you could wear dark glasses so you dont have to look at it, or put it in a paper bag....

    I'd have to cut a hole in the end of the paper bag!
    Truth be told, it looks better in the flesh, and there is a certain retro-ness about it. But I do take your point!

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by asabet View Post
    Some folks knock the Zeiss 24-70 for its bokeh, but I've been unable to find many samples of poor bokeh from it. Photozone shows a few hard-edged areas in crops, but of course any lens can be made to look bad in a specific situation. At any rate, I'd want to see a lot more from this lens before considering a switch to Sony.
    Hi Amin
    I took around 100 shots with the lens around Norwich, and although I did detect a little 'busyness' in some shots, I thought that the shot of the flower (above) was rather nice.

    One thing one needs to be really careful about here is comparing 100% crops from the A900 and the D700 - because they represent a radically different proportion of the file.

    As for general observations on the lens - It seems to be very sharp, right down to f2.8, certainly in the same ball park as the Nikon. At first sight there might be a tiny bit more barrel distortion at 24mm, but it is SIMPLE, and not the wiggly stuff Nikon tends to dish out, so, if necessary it's easy to correct.

    The whole package (body and lens) is about the same size as the D700, but the lens is short and fat rather than long and thinner (like the Nikon). It's also very slightly lighter (but so little as to make no significant difference).

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    On the other hand, Nikon may decide that the best way to neutralize the threats posed by both the Sony A900 and the Canon 5D Mark II is to put a high-megapixel sensor in a D700-style body.
    Of course, they might, but I've learned about holding my breath and expecting what I'd like!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    Regarding the Zeiss 24-70, am I correct in assuming that -- on the basis of a relatively brief trial -- you've found it superior to your Nikkor 24-70? If so, it'd be great if you could articulate why you prefer the Zeiss lens.
    No, I haven't found it superior, I think I prefer the handling, but in terms of results I think it's probably a wash (as one would expect) - The question really is whether I want to sacrifice good high ISO for better resolution.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    There are lots of reasons that the GetDPI forums are excellent: well-informed members, wide range of viewpoints, civil discourse, no trolls... However one aspect I've come to admire is (what I would describe as) a ruthlessly pragmatic lack of attachment to any particular brand; in other words, the polar opposite to the fanboy-ism one finds in so many other forums. Instead, at GetDPI, if a piece of equipment doesn't meet or exceed expectations, it frequently gets kicked to the curb.

    Jono, I suspect I won't be the only one to follow with interest the direction you decide to take with this.
    I quite agree - good isn't it!
    As far as my decision goes (I still haven't decided). Rather ironically, what has pushed me in this direction is the fact of having taken the Olympus 4:3 gear on a 2 week trip to Crete - it performed really well, and was small and convenient. I'm happy to have two dSLR systems, but high ISO is a luxury I don't often use, whereas printing large is something I do quite often.

    The files from the D700 are certainly better than those from the E3, but they aren't better enough to take it with me on a trip - especially one where I won't be dealing in low light. The Sony files really are rather a different thing altogether.

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Hi Riley
    Quote Originally Posted by Riley View Post
    some of those things grow on you in time, i think the Sony reminds me somewhat of the Sigma SD14, I dont mind how they look. I really havent seen a digital SLR that looks attractive to me though. The original Sony prototype had that similar OM prism roof, but that seems to have gone from the production model and only the somewhat distorted sentiment remains.

    OM's look like jewellery compared with these things. Still, maybe thats not much of what its all about.
    I always liked the old contax cameras - mind you, if it's looks, then the Zeiss 24-70 is a beauty compared to the Nikon.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    You can say that again. Last week, I was offered a mint, black OM-1 with a likewise mint 50mm f/1.2. Looks like jewellery? It IS jewellery. I would carry it around my neck at parties
    Yes - I actually do mind about how things look - the S2 for instance makes me swoon with delight (but not my bank!).

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Campbell View Post
    I think you have come to the wrong place for help, Jono!
    So it would seem!


    It's such fun spending other people's money for them!

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Yes - I actually do mind about how things look - the S2 for instance makes me swoon with delight

    It's such fun spending other people's money for them!

    We'll do our best for you then, Jono!
    SlŠinte

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Hi Jono,

    I agree the flower shot is beautiful with a pleasing background blur and transition from sharp to out of focus. Again, I wasn't saying the lens had poor bokeh rendering, only that some give it that rap and that I had insufficient data to have an opinion. I feel that the coexistence of balanced sharpness across the frame and consistently pleasing bokeh rendering is a major strength of Nikon's top standard zoom. It sounds like you've done due diligence in evaluating the Zeiss to see how it stands up, which is all I was recommending.

    With regards to comparing crops, you make a good point. The nice thing about evaluating bokeh is that (unlike the evaluation of sharpness) significant problems are generally evident even after resizing whole images for the web. Some of the "bad bokeh" examples I've seen from this lens show minute OOF areas at 100% in the corner of the frame. That's just silly IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Amin
    I took around 100 shots with the lens around Norwich, and although I did detect a little 'busyness' in some shots, I thought that the shot of the flower (above) was rather nice.

    One thing one needs to be really careful about here is comparing 100% crops from the A900 and the D700 - because they represent a radically different proportion of the file.

    As for general observations on the lens - It seems to be very sharp, right down to f2.8, certainly in the same ball park as the Nikon. At first sight there might be a tiny bit more barrel distortion at 24mm, but it is SIMPLE, and not the wiggly stuff Nikon tends to dish out, so, if necessary it's easy to correct.

    The whole package (body and lens) is about the same size as the D700, but the lens is short and fat rather than long and thinner (like the Nikon). It's also very slightly lighter (but so little as to make no significant difference).

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by asabet View Post
    Hi Jono,

    I agree the flower shot is beautiful with a pleasing background blur and transition from sharp to out of focus. Again, I wasn't saying the lens had poor bokeh rendering, only that some give it that rap and that I had insufficient data to have an opinion. I feel that the coexistence of balanced sharpness across the frame and consistently pleasing bokeh rendering is a major strength of Nikon's top standard zoom. It sounds like you've done due diligence in evaluating the Zeiss to see how it stands up, which is all I was recommending.
    I quite agree about the Nikon, and whether the Zeiss will be that good is a moot point, and we all know that lenses can appear really good in some circumstances . . . and really bad in others.

    One of my frustrations with Nikon is to find good enough 'supporting' lenses for more casual use, but of course, that may be a problem with Sony as well!

    Quote Originally Posted by asabet View Post
    With regards to comparing crops, you make a good point. The nice thing about evaluating bokeh is that (unlike the evaluation of sharpness) significant problems are generally evident even after resizing whole images for the web. Some of the "bad bokeh" examples I've seen from this lens show minute OOF areas at 100% in the corner of the frame. That's just silly IMO.
    I haven't seen those, but I'm afraid I'm really bad at drawing conclusions from other people's experience!

    Certainly, this is the most effort I've made in trying to do a proper evaluation before getting a new camera . . . the 24mp is certainly seductive though!

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  23. #23
    asabet
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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I quite agree about the Nikon, and whether the Zeiss will be that good is a moot point, and we all know that lenses can appear really good in some circumstances . . . and really bad in others
    I guess we differ on that, as it isn't a moot point for me. It's absolutely true that each lens will shine in many circumstances and not fare as well in others. However, I'd want to have a sense for how often each lens did well compared to the other. Ie, you mentioned "busyness" in some of your Zeiss shots; do you note this finding in a similar proportion of your Nikon photos?

    I don't shoot as many scenics as you. For my purposes (mainly candid people photos), I wouldn't consider choosing more resolution if it came with an overall less pleasing due to inherent lens characteristics.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    One of my frustrations with Nikon is to find good enough 'supporting' lenses for more casual use, but of course, that may be a problem with Sony as well!
    Yes, I think outside of Olympus, Canon probably has the best "casual" use lens choices.

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    Senior Member Arne Hvaring's Avatar
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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Hi Jono
    interesting to see your thoughts on the Sony 24mpx. While I have no doubt as to the resolution of the camera (or the Zeiss lenses for that matter) I wonder how you find the colour and DR compared to the Nikon.

    I hear you when it comes to printing big. I've found that my 10 to12 mpx cameras (of different flavors) print well up to A3+ (provided minimal cropping) but above that size I need a higher resolving camera. Which is one of the reasons I keep the 1DsIII. What I would *really* wish for though would be a 22-30 mpx camera without the AA-filter. Unfortunately there are no candidates on the horizon yet, unless of course herr Kaufmann has a surprise in store...

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    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    The question really is whether I want to sacrifice good high ISO for better resolution.
    Canon would say that, with the new 5D Mark II, you can have both high ISO and better resolution! Admittedly, the 5D Mark II won't ship until November but would you not consider waiting to see how it performs?

    Or have you already eliminated the 5D Mark II because you like to use sharp, ultra wide angle lenses (and that's a widely-acknowledged deficiency in the Canon lens lineup)?

    Speaking of sharp, ultra wide angle lenses, assuming you switch to the Sony A900, would you plan to replace your Nikkor 14-24 with the Zeiss 16-35?

    Apologies for all the questions but I'm on the brink of buying a D700 and there's much to be learned from other people's choices.

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    HI Jonathan

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    Canon would say that, with the new 5D Mark II, you can have both high ISO and better resolution! Admittedly, the 5D Mark II won't ship until November but would you not consider waiting to see how it performs?
    I certainly had considered it, but I like zeiss glass, and I'm not really a fan of the Canon behemoth (childish, but there it is).
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    Or have you already eliminated the 5D Mark II because you like to use sharp, ultra wide angle lenses (and that's a widely-acknowledged deficiency in the Canon lens lineup)?
    You've got it - and although I really like the Zeiss ZF lenses, I know from experience that they don't get enough use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    Speaking of sharp, ultra wide angle lenses, assuming you switch to the Sony A900, would you plan to replace your Nikkor 14-24 with the Zeiss 16-35?
    I'm not sure about this - again, the Nikkor was excellent but very large. If, as seems to be the case, the much lighter AA filter on the A900 makes it kinder to lesser lenses than the Nikon, then I may not.

    At any rate, the Zeiss isn't there yet, so I think I would probably grab a Sigma 12-24 (I used to really like it on the Kodak 14n) - the extra 4mm gives quite a bit of room for cropping if it's vital.

    If it works well then it saves a lot of money, a good deal of weight and is a good deal wider . . . and I'm really not interested in using f2.8 for ultra wideangle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    Apologies for all the questions but I'm on the brink of buying a D700 and there's much to be learned from other people's choices.
    Keep them coming - these are important decisions, and there aren't so many places on the web where you can discuss them without emotions getting high!

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70


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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Jono,

    I'm holding you personally responsible for my joining this excellent forum :-).

    What concerns me most about the Sony is its dynamic range. Resolution is clearly there, good lenses, etc, but a blown highlight cannot easily be recovered if the sensor clips.

    I am approaching this from the perspective of someone who, as you already know only too well(!), is used to using dslr's with much better than normal highlight recovery capability - Kodak 14nx, Mamiya ZD and most recently a Nikon D700. You, of course, have done the Kodak and still own a D700, so your perspective on dynamic range would be valuable, old chap.

    How does it look to you?

    Cheers

    Quentin

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    From the looks of the first several photos Jono posted looks pretty good to me. i live in very very bright light in the Southwest and looking at the images he shot which looks like in full sun. i can see plenty of detail in the shadows with still very good highlights. also that shadows are not pitch black either , so it looks fairly good
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    These area's that i highlighted especially the far left which seems to in a area that no light is bouncing back looks really good. The other area there is some light coming back but I am impressed by the very left side to hold well and the white wall is not blown and holding detail very well. This actually looks better to me than some other 35mm DSLR's out there
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    BTW Quentin welcome to the forum.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Hi Guy
    You should get Q in your sites quickly - he's a fantastic bloke, and has a ZD, which he really ought to update to something MUCH MUCH bigger and MUCH MUCH more expensive (Just ask Glenys, she knows)

    You're quite right though, the A900 files have plenty of DR (shot raw - jpg may be different, buy why would you buy a camera like this and shoot jpg?).

    The high ISO is (as expected) nothing like the D700, but it has a much lighter AA filter, so that 100% pixel peeping gives more detail than the D700 . . . and that's half the area with respect to the whole frame.

    I'm generally pretty impressed (see the other 'fun' thread for some more crops)

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Guy
    You should get Q in your sites quickly - he's a fantastic bloke, and has a ZD, which he really ought to update to something MUCH MUCH bigger and MUCH MUCH more expensive (Just ask Glenys, she knows)

    You're quite right though, the A900 files have plenty of DR (shot raw - jpg may be different, buy why would you buy a camera like this and shoot jpg?).

    The high ISO is (as expected) nothing like the D700, but it has a much lighter AA filter, so that 100% pixel peeping gives more detail than the D700 . . . and that's half the area with respect to the whole frame.

    I'm generally pretty impressed (see the other 'fun' thread for some more crops)
    What ARE we going to do with you, Mr Slack

    So much is going on in digital at the moment its hard to know what path to take. That A900 looks good, but then again, the D700 high ISO performance is intoxicating.

    And I have that ZD with no AA filter if I need to go larger (or my 8x10 film camera if I can be bothered - not often these days).

    And thanks , Guy, for the welcome to the forum. Looks like the place where sensible folk hang out (which kind of disqualifies Jono and me )

    Quentin

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    HI Q

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    What ARE we going to do with you, Mr Slack
    erm. . . . . buy me a beer? Or, better still, a bottle of decent Meursault?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    So much is going on in digital at the moment its hard to know what path to take. That A900 looks good, but then again, the D700 high ISO performance is intoxicating.

    And I have that ZD with no AA filter if I need to go larger (or my 8x10 film camera if I can be bothered - not often these days).

    And thanks , Guy, for the welcome to the forum. Looks like the place where sensible folk hang out (which kind of disqualifies Jono and me )

    Quentin
    Speak for yourself ducky

    I think you should go and have a proper look at the REAL cameras in the MF forum - you KNOW it makes sense!

    Do stick around though - this is a pleasant place to hang out.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Hi Jono,

    Beer? Meursault? No problem. Name your place.

    MF is dropping in price - Your A900 is helping to see to that, as is the Canon 5DII. "35mm" digital quality is amazing now.

    I'll bide my time on any furture MF upgrade - lot of life in the ZD, I hope.

    Quentin

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Hi Arne
    Quote Originally Posted by Arne Hvaring View Post
    Hi Jono
    interesting to see your thoughts on the Sony 24mpx. While I have no doubt as to the resolution of the camera (or the Zeiss lenses for that matter) I wonder how you find the colour and DR compared to the Nikon.
    Well, the colour is better (without a doubt) but then, I was never that enamored of the Nikon colour, I'm still sceptical of their evening foliage (as we have discussed).
    Dynamic range is not as good . . . I think, but it is very very close.
    On the other hand the A900 has a much lighter AA filter, so that looking at both A900 and D700 files at 100%, the A900 files are sharper (and noisier) . . . but of course, this is half the size relating to the sensor, so they really are much MUCH sharper from the A900 in the larger print
    Quote Originally Posted by Arne Hvaring View Post
    I hear you when it comes to printing big. I've found that my 10 to12 mpx cameras (of different flavors) print well up to A3+ (provided minimal cropping) but above that size I need a higher resolving camera. Which is one of the reasons I keep the 1DsIII. What I would *really* wish for though would be a 22-30 mpx camera without the AA-filter. Unfortunately there are no candidates on the horizon yet, unless of course herr Kaufmann has a surprise in store...
    Well, perhaps Mr Kaufmann can sort you out. Still Sony have clearly settled on a very light AA filter for this camera - I've been doing some A2+ prints, and getting my 20 year old to look at them from 15cm - he always sighs with boredom, but he didn't think he could see any restrictions, and, of course, A2+ at 15cm is very VERY big if you look at it from 2 meters!

    Just this guy you know

  37. #37
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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    I don't think the A900 is ugly at all. The large "Sony" is a hurt, but the design and finish look good to me.

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    I kind of like the retro-look (but I love my M5, too, and everyone thinks it is ugly). I am happy to see that Sony might become a serious contender. It should shake things up and we will all benefit.

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Would it look better if it said "CitroŽn"?
    :-)
    -bob

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Would it look better if it said "CitroŽn"?
    :-)
    -bob
    Of course it wouldn't, it should simply say . . . jono

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Of course it wouldn't, it should simply say . . . jono
    Of Course!

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Hi Jono, thank you for sharing your impressions of the a900, the info re the weak AA filter is interesting and would indicate excellent resolving power+more realistic looking images out of the box (so to speak). I just read Chasseur d'Images quite favorable test of the Sony. They seem to indicate that high ISO noise isn't nearly as bad as some early posted images would lead us to believe.
    Personally, the lack of live-view is a deal breaker, so I just hope Nikon has the good sense to follow Sony when it comes to AA filtering,or ideally drop the *#§ thing , when they present their high res DSLR.

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by Arne Hvaring View Post
    Hi Jono, thank you for sharing your impressions of the a900, the info re the weak AA filter is interesting and would indicate excellent resolving power+more realistic looking images out of the box (so to speak). I just read Chasseur d'Images quite favorable test of the Sony. They seem to indicate that high ISO noise isn't nearly as bad as some early posted images would lead us to believe.
    Personally, the lack of live-view is a deal breaker, so I just hope Nikon has the good sense to follow Sony when it comes to AA filtering,or ideally drop the *#§ thing , when they present their high res DSLR.
    HI Arne
    Certainly the images seem fine 'out of the box'. I've now done some A2+ prints which you really can eyeball (even my 20 year old can't see any problems).

    I hear you about the live view, although they do have this 'preview' thing, which is okay if you are on a tripod.

    As for the noise - well, of course the trouble is that the first thing you do is look at it at 100% - which is fine, but it's half the area of the frame with a D700, I suppose one should really compare at 50% on the Sony and 100 on the Nikon. Whatever - I've done some ISO 800 and 1600 shots tonight, and they seem to be pretty good. Although not in the same league of course. I'm not sure quite why it should be the case, but it seems to me that good low noise has a pretty direct correlation with strong AA filters: I suspect you can't get the best of both worlds at the moment (and Nikon certainly seem to be in favour of stronger filters at the right now). To be honest, this was one of the motivations of the change - it's all very well waiting until next summer for the Nikon - but if it's in a D3 sized body, has a heavy AA filter, and costs £4000 . . . .

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Arne
    Certainly the images seem fine 'out of the box'. I've now done some A2+ prints which you really can eyeball (even my 20 year old can't see any problems).

    I hear you about the live view, although they do have this 'preview' thing, which is okay if you are on a tripod.

    As for the noise - well, of course the trouble is that the first thing you do is look at it at 100% - which is fine, but it's half the area of the frame with a D700, I suppose one should really compare at 50% on the Sony and 100 on the Nikon. Whatever - I've done some ISO 800 and 1600 shots tonight, and they seem to be pretty good. Although not in the same league of course. I'm not sure quite why it should be the case, but it seems to me that good low noise has a pretty direct correlation with strong AA filters: I suspect you can't get the best of both worlds at the moment (and Nikon certainly seem to be in favour of stronger filters at the right now). To be honest, this was one of the motivations of the change - it's all very well waiting until next summer for the Nikon - but if it's in a D3 sized body, has a heavy AA filter, and costs £4000 . . . .
    H Jono,
    quite agree on the noise issue. IMO the most relevant way to compare the *real* noise level of two (or more) cameras is to make identical prints in one's usual size and carefully inspect them. Since a paper print is the final destination of my photography (and not a 100% crop on a LCD screen ) that's what I'll be looking at.

    Well, if Nikon makes the mistake of bringing out another overpriced, overfiltered heavy brick of a camera, I'm definitely not buying it. I'll do just fine with the 1DsIII and Leica and Zeiss (and a few Canon) lenses. Might even consider exchanging the 1DsIII with the new 5D-II. Or buy it as a back-up/video camera for fun.

  45. #45
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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    ... I suppose one should really compare at 50% on the Sony and 100 on the Nikon. Whatever...
    About 70.4% for the Sony and 100 for the Nikon ought to do the trick based on the relative linear dimensions at maximum native file sizes.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I'm not sure quite why it should be the case, but it seems to me that good low noise has a pretty direct correlation with strong AA filters: I suspect you can't get the best of both worlds at the moment (and Nikon certainly seem to be in favour of stronger filters at the right now)...
    A stronger AA filter should decrease detail without affecting noise to as great an extent (some components of noise, eg read noise, aren't affected at all by the AA filter), whereas sharpening to get more detail in the presence of a strong AA filter will make noise more evident. Thus a strong AA filter has a net effect of increasing apparent noise for a given level of detail. I've always thought that Olympus is exacerbating their "noise issue" by using a strong AA filter.

    I think that the correlation you're finding is due to the fact that 1) large pixel cameras are more susceptible to aliasing and thus require stronger AA filters, and 2) large pixels currently have lower read noise than aggregations of small pixels of equal area (reference). Thus the cameras with the strongest AA filters happen to have the best low light high ISO performance, but there's no direct cause and effect there.

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    And thanks , Guy, for the welcome to the forum. Looks like the place where sensible folk hang out (which kind of disqualifies Jono and me )
    And you think you two are bad? Well, look who else has just joined! There goes the neighborhood .....

    G.

    PS - Jono .... don't blame me for THIS purchase. The 'Autumn approaching and you need 25MP to take pictures of coloured leaves' comment isn't a valid reason ok!

    PS - Q, I need some advice. I've just bought a book and there's a picture of some bloke waving his wad at me on the front cover in a crazed yet menacing manner. I'm suffering mental trauma each time I look at it. Can I sue the author ??

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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    I recall Kodak justified the absence on an AA filter on the Kodak 14n on the basis the resolution was high enough not to need it. at 14mp they were probably wrong in that case at least. I certainly spent many hours removing colour aliasing from Kodak files.

    The irony is AA filters are quite expensive. Kodak brought the cost of their cameras down by making an AA filter optional. My Mamiya ZD has a IR filter, but no AA filter - the AA filter is a near $1k optional extra. The ZD is amazingly sharp before diffraction kick in below around F/8. Colour aliasing is an occasional issue, but one I can work around.

    My interest in the A900 stems from the fact I shoot work for stock. Now, typically, RM stock photo libraries want files of at least 50mb (at 8bit). The ZD produces 62mb files at 8 bit, so I'm well over the threshold, and they are razor sharp, but its too big a camera to lug around everywhere and its rubbish above 100 ISO. Essentially, the ZD is a studio and tripod camera, although I also use it hand held. With the D700, I need to rezz the files up, which is no great problem as the data are high quality. But a 20mp+ smaller format would mean no interpolation necessary, which is tempting, particularly if Nikon mess about with a monster body for the "FX" format high rezz camera.

    Quentin

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    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Trying out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by GLJ View Post
    And you think you two are bad? Well, look who else has just joined! There goes the neighborhood .....

    G.

    PS - Jono .... don't blame me for THIS purchase. The 'Autumn approaching and you need 25MP to take pictures of coloured leaves' comment isn't a valid reason ok!

    PS - Q, I need some advice. I've just bought a book and there's a picture of some bloke waving his wad at me on the front cover in a crazed yet menacing manner. I'm suffering mental trauma each time I look at it. Can I sue the author ??
    Ha, that you Gareth?! Sue the author of a masterwork? I think not. I'd sue the guy who allowed said author/photographer to take the pic in his studio. I have his name and address if you need to pass it to your legal representatives

    Standards certainly are slipping..

    Quentin

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