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Thread: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Pixel Peeping alert: those with pixel allergies should not consume this material.

    Here's a link to an urban landscape series, shot from a high vantage point and from the same tripod and during the same session on all the above-titled lenses at all main focal lengths and at F4 thru F8. All images are downloadable at 100% size, developed from RAW to 92% JPEG quality. Sharpening was set to 60/0.7/70/20 in LR, which is a bit too much for the prime and not quite enough for the zooms. Camera Standard profile was used. Otherwise there were no alterations and no lens corrections at all.

    The results could be pored over for ages but the summary is that you get what you pay for!

    There are small bits of some frames where the lowliest zoom seems a tad better, but massively overall it loses to the 24-70 despite that latter lens having a slightly soft left hand side. The 24-70 when shot at F8 and viewed at 50% is close enough to the 55mm in quality as to make it a sane preferred choice for some shooters. However, the 55mm lens is still better, and is faster and can 'do' edge to edge even wide open: it is the only lens of the three that performs to the sensor's abilities and the only one that looks like medium format across the frame - at the cost of some pretty nasty moire in at least one place that is absent from the zoom's version of the same.

    Focus was magnified manual for every frame, on the two rectangular windows bang on centre, one dark and one light, set in a grey mansard.

    Peep on my friends!
    Last edited by tashley; 18th February 2014 at 09:20.
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Added:

    Note that the 55 has a notably warmer rendition: look at the F8 frames, where auto WB chose the same settings, to see. Look also at the relative distortions: when I am back to base I will correct the zoom images but I guess that when corrected, the FOV of the 24-70 at 50mm is very similar to the 55mm uncorrected.

    Also look at the degree of in-camera 'half-baked' sharpening to the RAW files of the zooms: there is a lot more 'jaggy' than with the prime, which I suspect is a result of that.

    EDIT: one could play around with these RAWs forever but I just took the 50mm shot from the 24-70 at F8 and gave it -12 distortion, an additional ten on sharpening and 12 on clarity and then compared it with the 55mm shot at 50% view. There are few people in the world who would spot or care about the differences. Truly an exciting prospect for those who want to travel light but retain some flexibility of focal length.
    Last edited by tashley; 18th February 2014 at 07:29.
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Thank you for selfless effort!
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Thanks Zoran - it's useful to me too so I might as well share.

    Here's an interesting comparison: the A7R shot with two Mystery Lenses. I have given both the files 'rational' treatment in LR including lens corrections, and I have then cropped them a tiny bit so they both have the same FOV and then exported them both to 3680 pixels wide, being effectively a 50% view so they should be examined at 100% to get a rough idea of a print. For people with time, and inclination to pre-audition some interesting lenses, which of these two if either, do you prefer? I have stripped EXIF but please don't spoil the exercise for yourselves by looking at the file names and comparing them to yesterday's set: I am not to be trusted

    Mystery Lens A:


    Full File here

    Mystery Lens B:

    Full file here
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Top file Sony 55/1.8, bottom file 24-70 F4.

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Top 24-70
    Bottom 55 1.8
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Roll up, roll up folks, faites vos jeux... we have Guy in the Red Corner and Yat in the Black Corner... maybe one of them is right? Or maybe not?

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Back building right of tower windows look sharper in bottom photo
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Where is you dang 50 cron here in this test. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    well i like the top one - more contrast and 'apparent detail resolution' a la traditional Zeiss
    but out of curiosity .. where was the focus point, and the aperture ?

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Here Tim . You need this one for this test also

    Zeiss 55mm 1.4 Otus - OR - USA - Show Ad | getDPI
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Here Tim . You need this one for this test also

    Zeiss 55mm 1.4 Otus - OR - USA - Show Ad | getDPI
    actually Guy Mancuso .. in the pioneering tradition of knowledge sharing that you started on this forum .. you need to test that Otus on a A7r .. and pit it against the equivalent mfd ..( i'm being careful not to mention any names )

    (and God Bless .. in advance ..)

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Be fun to try it against a tech cam with a Rodie lens.

    Even a S2 and the 70 lens. That be a little more apples to apples.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Who needs an Otus?

    Focus was on the two windows, dark and light, absolute centre in the grey lead mansard. Apertures were both f8.
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Be fun to try it against a tech cam with a Rodie, "apples to apples" lens.

    Even a S2 and the 70 lens. That be a little more apples to apples.
    Guy.. that Apples to Apples comparison, would need a certain 'recently introduced' cmos based device ..
    (again, i'm being careful not to mention names!)

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    I s'pose I could get a loaner from Phase and try it at some point...

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    IQ 250
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Top is the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4. Bottom is the Sony 55mm f/1.8

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Howard makes a verrry interesting guess. Thinking laterally. But is he correct? All will be revealed later today...

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    top: 50/2.0 R
    bot: 55/1.8 FE

    Bart ...

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    These two are very similar, and the visual cues do not help. There are parts in the top image that looks sharper, for instance the windows in the building on the left edge. There are also parts in the bottom image that looks sharper than the top image, like the tiles on some of the rooftops. The third cue is the color temperature of the images. Having tested the 55 FE myself, I know it tends to produce a warmer image. Some parts of the bottom image looks warmer, but that could just be the sun peering through the clouds momentarily.

    On first glance, I thought the top one was the FE 55, but after close inspection, I'm going to say the top is the 24-70 and bottom is FE 55.

    The point is made. Stopped down, it's really hard to tell the difference between the two unless you're really peeping.

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Can't begin to guess but if you are giving one away I'd take the top lens
    -Jim

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Hmmm. On a cost basis I'd rather give away the second lens...

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Humm Tim, I want the first one so must be the FE 55, but i hope it is some cheap crap lens
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Hmmm. On a cost basis I'd rather give away the second lens...
    Ok, I'll pm you my shipping address

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    After looking at the full size image, I am switching my guess back to the original guess. The top one is the FE 55. Just slightly better micro contrast and sharpness at "first glance" whenever I glance at any same spot on both images.

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Suspense is killing me.

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    And the answer is...

    The top image is the 24-70 f4 OSS with lens corrections but vignetting correction dialled back a touch. It has sharpening at 80/0.7/70/20 and clarity +12 and then a tiny crop to match the FOV of lens 2, which is the 55mm f1.8, with 60/0.7/70/20 and no lens corrections or clarity.

    The zoom is pretty good...

    The clue, by the way, is moire in one of the windows bottom, centre right...
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Just to point out Im never wrong. ROTFLMAO

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Top 24-70
    Bottom 55 1.8
    Im joking of course
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    And the answer is...

    The top image is the 24-70 f4 OSS with lens corrections but vignetting correction dialled back a touch. It has sharpening at 80/0.7/70/20 and clarity +12 and then a tiny crop to match the FOV of lens 2, which is the 55mm f1.8, with 60/0.7/70/20 and no lens corrections or clarity.

    The zoom is pretty good...

    The clue, by the way, is moire in one of the windows bottom, centre right...
    Wow! I found the two images very difficult to tell apart on my (cheap) office monitor, but the top image from the zoom seems to have a bit better microcontrast. Perhaps the difference in sharpening settings?
    Thanks, Tim. Now let's get back to hand wringing over the corners at 24mm. [G]

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Nah, just buy it. It is pretty useful!

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Just to point out Im never wrong. ROTFLMAO



    Im joking of course
    Yes you are and no you're not!

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Rotflmao. My clue was detail in your infinity area. Far buildings but I did miss your moire . Sneaky you are. Lol
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    But I mean really, if you were able to shoot at f8 the zoom is almost a better choice. It has it's faults but is now my go to as long as there's some light...

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    My Z25 F2 just came with my Canon Metabones III adapter. I like having the Exif now and aperture control in camera. Now I can rent that 17TS of Canons

    Nice Job Tim
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    But I mean really, if you were able to shoot at f8 the zoom is almost a better choice. It has it's faults but is now my go to as ling as there's some light...
    Agree just stay in the 28 area. I am a bit surprised to some degree the 70 setting. But I'll be getting one. I'll play with this Voightlander 40 for a bit and get the zoom next month.

    I will say if folks are looking for a outstanding 24/25 focal length the Z 25mm F2 is maybe the best around. Check reviews on it but it's really good.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    What happened to comparing the Kit lens, 28-70 , to the 55, and 24-70.

    This would have been even more interesting seeing how the kit lens compared.

    Any opinions if it would be even close?

    Thanks, I enjoyed the comparison.

    Dave

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Dave, top of the thread - link to frames from all those lenses. Enjoy!

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    But I mean really, if you were able to shoot at f8 the zoom is almost a better choice. It has it's faults but is now my go to as long as there's some light...
    Tim:

    Thanks very much for all the great review work you've done. It has been eye-opening to see how subtle the approach needs to be to fully appraise a zoom lens. But you know every good review ends with a conclusion section where you give the executive summary (conclusion for dummies, I call it) and finally attach a number score (and possibly an award named after one of the transition metals in the periodic table: gold, silver, tantalum, plutonium, etc). So my humble question to you is if you were going to use this as a walk around lens with the A7R how good would you say it is compared to 24 - 70 lenses you've used on other mounts? 4=great, 3=good, 2=fair, 1=tragicomic? Of course feel free to add as many other details and comments as you care to. This stuff is invaluable to someone looking to plunk down many hundreds of the hard-earned dinarii on a new lens.

    Respectfully yours in GetDPI.com
    John

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Quote Originally Posted by jfirneno View Post
    Tim:

    Thanks very much for all the great review work you've done. It has been eye-opening to see how subtle the approach needs to be to fully appraise a zoom lens. But you know every good review ends with a conclusion section where you give the executive summary (conclusion for dummies, I call it) and finally attach a number score (and possibly an award named after one of the transition metals in the periodic table: gold, silver, tantalum, plutonium, etc). So my humble question to you is if you were going to use this as a walk around lens with the A7R how good would you say it is compared to 24 - 70 lenses you've used on other mounts? 4=great, 3=good, 2=fair, 1=tragicomic? Of course feel free to add as many other details and comments as you care to. This stuff is invaluable to someone looking to plunk down many hundreds of the hard-earned dinarii on a new lens.

    Respectfully yours in GetDPI.com
    John
    Ah! The good old $64,000 question...

    It is better than the Nikkor 24-120 but has a shorter range. It's better than the Canon 24-105, ditto. I can't say what it is like regarding the current Canon 24-70, which is supposed to be very good.

    The key question for 36mp addicts is, is it better than the Nikkor 24-70 F2.8G?

    IF one is happy to trade the F2.8 for F4 + OSS (I am) then I think it is: if you took the very best performance of the best focal length at the best aperture of the Nikon, then it would slightly, very slightly, surpass the Sony Zeiss. However, the Sony Zeiss is useable at all apertures, and I don't think the Nikkor is - it is parlous at the wide end. I posted this recently in another thread and it pretty much answers the question.

    But in summary, for my needs I give it a 80% where 100% is what I would really like (something pretty much as good as a prime by F5.6 at every aperture) whereas I'd give the Nikkor about a 70%. The Nikkor weighs more, costs more, does less (at least in my use so far) but feels a bit more industrial in construction.

    I won't be using the Nikkor unless I am in poor light (very grey days, dusk, indoors with poor light) because the Nikkor's trump card is more accurate low light focus - partly because it is phase detect and partly because it is F2.8 - but only as long as you are using the central 'cross hair' sensels on your D800/E. For reasonable to good light, especially with focus away from the central zone and especially if you have time to work methodically, the Sony Zeiss is a notably more useful lens for my needs.

    Having said all of the above, I have sent mine back today because it is a bit soft on the left at wider FOV and the right at 70mm. This is not at all unusual in mid range zooms, my 24-70 Nikkor is not perfectly symmetrical and I went through several 24-120s before giving up. I hope I'll get a slightly tighter copy soon, but even if I don't, the comments above apply.

    Final Score: 3.5 out of 4 given the constraints of designing these things and the quality of the competition. My knowledge of precious metals is limited so I'd give it a Golver, or a Sold.

    Final word: at 50mm and F8 I can use a bit of PP to make it look near as damn it as good as the 55mm F1.8, the 'best AF lens DXO has ever tested'. Sure, that is the peak of the zoom's performance but I see its softer edges at other apertures as something I can work with positively and creatively. I wouldn't have chosen them but I will find ways of using them.

    This was a crucial lens for my continued engagement for the system. If it hadn't been good enough I'd have given up.

    I ain't giving up!
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Final word: at 50mm and F8 I can use a bit of PP to make it look near as damn it as good as the 55mm F1.8, the 'best AF lens DXO has ever tested'. Sure, that is the peak of the zoom's performance but I see its softer edges at other apertures as something I can work with positively and creatively. I wouldn't have chosen them but I will find ways of using them.
    Thank you Tim
    I'm convinced.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Now that, my dear friend, is something I never thought to read!
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Tim, did I hear you say that you would 'make it work'? You do realise this goes against the cardinal rule for reviewing equipment, which is you find a flaw, throw your hands in the air in defeat, write an open letter to the manufacturer, then go back to ultra-demanding photographic needs (pets, fences, brick walls, the lawn...)

    My attitude is the same as yours. This is the mid range zoom they have made.... can one make it work and produce great images or not?

  44. #44
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Yes one quite certainly can. It's going to live on one of my bodies full time so as to keep the sensor nice and clean and when I travel I'll pack the 35 F2.8 just in case. The other body will have the 55 F1.8 almost welded on...

  45. #45
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Well it make me rich and famous is the real question. Okay i will get one anyway. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  46. #46
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Guy, I have no idea how rich you are but fame is yours already!
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    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Judging by his window screens and flowers, I'm gonna go with more fame than money

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    Judging by his window screens and flowers, I'm gonna go with more fame than money
    Smart man. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Ah! The good old $64,000 question...

    It is better than the Nikkor 24-120 but has a shorter range. It's better than the Canon 24-105, ditto. I can't say what it is like regarding the current Canon 24-70, which is supposed to be very good.

    The key question for 36mp addicts is, is it better than the Nikkor 24-70 F2.8G?

    IF one is happy to trade the F2.8 for F4 + OSS (I am) then I think it is: if you took the very best performance of the best focal length at the best aperture of the Nikon, then it would slightly, very slightly, surpass the Sony Zeiss. However, the Sony Zeiss is useable at all apertures, and I don't think the Nikkor is - it is parlous at the wide end. I posted this recently in another thread and it pretty much answers the question.

    But in summary, for my needs I give it a 80% where 100% is what I would really like (something pretty much as good as a prime by F5.6 at every aperture) whereas I'd give the Nikkor about a 70%. The Nikkor weighs more, costs more, does less (at least in my use so far) but feels a bit more industrial in construction.

    I won't be using the Nikkor unless I am in poor light (very grey days, dusk, indoors with poor light) because the Nikkor's trump card is more accurate low light focus - partly because it is phase detect and partly because it is F2.8 - but only as long as you are using the central 'cross hair' sensels on your D800/E. For reasonable to good light, especially with focus away from the central zone and especially if you have time to work methodically, the Sony Zeiss is a notably more useful lens for my needs.

    Having said all of the above, I have sent mine back today because it is a bit soft on the left at wider FOV and the right at 70mm. This is not at all unusual in mid range zooms, my 24-70 Nikkor is not perfectly symmetrical and I went through several 24-120s before giving up. I hope I'll get a slightly tighter copy soon, but even if I don't, the comments above apply.

    Final Score: 3.5 out of 4 given the constraints of designing these things and the quality of the competition. My knowledge of precious metals is limited so I'd give it a Golver, or a Sold.

    Final word: at 50mm and F8 I can use a bit of PP to make it look near as damn it as good as the 55mm F1.8, the 'best AF lens DXO has ever tested'. Sure, that is the peak of the zoom's performance but I see its softer edges at other apertures as something I can work with positively and creatively. I wouldn't have chosen them but I will find ways of using them.

    This was a crucial lens for my continued engagement for the system. If it hadn't been good enough I'd have given up.

    I ain't giving up!
    Thanks Tim:

    Your Golver Award rating has me Sold (oh boy).
    Honestly, 80% is more than enough for me. I've managed to take some of my favorite shots with an ultra wide angle that had corners that truly were mush (especially without live view and magnification assist). I think I'll get along with an AF OSS mid-zoom as a walkaround. Lots of fun.

    Best regards,
    John
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  50. #50
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Pixel Paradise: A7R with 24-70, 28-70 and 55 F1.8 compared.

    24-70 in stock at B&H . Someone wanna buy me one. Lol
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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