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Thread: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

  1. #51
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Thanks for such a thorough systematic test, Guy. I am surprised (and pleased to know) just how much sharper the 2/35 gets at f2.8.

    I wax hot and cold about getting the 16-35. I already own the Loxia 2/35 (my review is here) which is now my number one lens and the 24-70 which for me performs better than expected. I also use an Ultron 21/1.8 which is fantastic on all alpha cameras and the Heliar 15/4.5 which has problems (not sure if the V3 is that much better in the samples I have seen).

    The reason why I would like a 16-35 is that I want to be able to mount filters and the integrated lens hoods on the 21 and 15 prevent this.

    However, I think it will be worth hanging in there to see if Zeiss will introduce a Loxia 21 or 18 (to mirror the ZM product line). For me that would be the best solution.

    Thanks again, for an interesting comparison test.

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Guy, great work and review of the Loxia 35 compared to FE 16-35/4
    I love the Loxia 35, but it is reassuring to see how it truly compares.

    I have the Loxia 35 which I love on the A7II and I was fortunate to receive my copy of the FE 35/1.4 on Thursday. I really had my doubts about the FE 35/1.4 with respect to size and weight. In truth the FE 35/1.4 is same weight as my 50 Noct f/1.0 and it feels the same in the hand but with AF.

    I am really pleased now having two great 35mm native mount lenses!
    Charles Kalnins
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve P. View Post
    There's something very appealing in the overall smoothness of the Loxia rendering. In post #23 the f8 examples are both sharp, with plenty of detail but the zoom looks a little brittle in comparison. The Loxia draws beautifully to my eyes. As for the bokeh, well lets just say that having happily shot with the Voigtlander 58mm sl II, I'll take the Loxia any day!
    Thanks for your efforts here, Guy. Very useful and appreciated.
    I totally agree it has a nice smooth transition or look to the file. Often times I see that brittle look with some other lenses but the Loxia reminds me of my MF back with regards to smoothness. That was the biggest difference between MF and 35 was the color tonality and smoothness. This lens looks very much like that.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    What I want to to do is go back out check my 28mm setting on the 16-35 zoom and do a equal focal view by moving camera of course to equal the focal point of view. I think it would be interesting to see how the zoom is truly at 28mm. I know wider is excellent. But I have not shot the zoom at 28 mm on a serious level, mostly wider when I was on my last workshop and those images are really good but I was mostly 24mm and below looking at the EXIF data now.
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Btw I do appreciate all your comments folks. These do take time but it's the only real way to get to know a lens besides that I trust myself completely to give you a very neutral opinion as I'm only looking for the truth in these things. I have zero agenda and no affiliation with anyone. Lots of reviews out there but honestly I think there is some agendas going on. GetDPI has no agenda for more members. Its a free site. Lol

    One thing I would not mind is getting samples to test from Sony ahead of release so we all can benefit from that in our buying decision. I know I tore my hair out on the decision for the 35 1.4 and I know a few members here are doing the same. If we knew this stuff before release it certainly would help people make a smart buying decision. Anyone knows anyone at Sony that can do that throw my name in the hat.
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    Senior Member Joe Colson's Avatar
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Its a nice lens but it has very little character to it. I'm after character I said that numerous times with this Loxia. The Sigma is very nice but it is also without character.
    Pardon me for being so stupid, but what the heck does that mean exactly? I'm an engineer and tend to gravitate to technical explanations of performance. Does this "character" you refer to have to do with sharpness, out-of-focus rendering (bokeh), micro-contrast, tonal gradation...? I'm not being critical, but would appreciate an explanation. Or is it an "I know it when I see it" quality?

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Thank you for the work Guy! The results are very interesting. It seems like a decent lens, with a lot of contrast. That said, I am not impressed by it! The corners look quite soft wide open, and it does not look great on center either. Your last shot of the native american stature is particularly telling. There are several stops of vignetting in the corners and the white beam next to the statue is practically glowing at f/2! I can even see the softness in the door at left on the web-sized full picture. I am not particularly impressed with the 55mm f/1.8 FE that everyone raves about either...it's pretty good, but not great, even on the 12mp A7s. I recently added the A7s to do video and it is my only lens. It is sharp from about 2.5, but there are several stops of vignetting and soft corners wide open, even though it is only a 1.8 lens. It seems to me that Sony has a conundrum on their hands...the bodies clearly outpace the lenses. After spending most of my time shooting with the S2 and S in the past years, it is clearer to me than ever that manufacturers cannot design lenses that are good enough to truly meet the needs of 30+ megapixel cameras without either charging incredible amounts or making the lenses huge and heavy. I don't mean to be overly harsh in judgement, and I know it is not fair to compare multi-thousand dollar lenses to one that costs barely over 1000, but I would not be particularly happy to pay a premium to get a manual focus lens billed as being high resolution only to find it perform like this.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Actual a combination of all that you mention. Sharp yes but it must look smooth not as brittle as some lenses do, nice bokeh and 3d separation from focus to OOF areas. Sometimes lenses look no different from focus point to background they just blend in. Let's call another tonal graduation where in between colors it looks very smooth in transition. Softer edges let's say for clarity. Micro contrast that is smooth and does not look unnatural or brittle for in. Tonal graduation where a certain color has a nice blunt of saturation and fades out towards the edges. Hard to describe that one. But for example 256 colors versus 34 million. There are a lot of tonal graduations in the main colors.

    You know it when you see it as it don't look so darn digital. Brittle or unnatural. Its and I hate to say it more film like. Joe its kind of like over sharpening a image if you know what I mean when they have no character. Also we can say character or look has more 3d rendition instead of 2d flatness. Real ate that to the rule of thirds somewhat where you see foreground , middle and background in a 3d movie type look. Again hard to describe in the written word. Some would say draws you in to the image
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    Thank you for the work Guy! The results are very interesting. It seems like a decent lens, with a lot of contrast. That said, I am not impressed by it! The corners look quite soft wide open, and it does not look great on center either. Your last shot of the native american stature is particularly telling. There are several stops of vignetting in the corners and the white beam next to the statue is practically glowing at f/2! I can even see the softness in the door at left on the web-sized full picture. I am not particularly impressed with the 55mm f/1.8 FE that everyone raves about either...it's pretty good, but not great, even on the 12mp A7s. I recently added the A7s to do video and it is my only lens. It is sharp from about 2.5, but there are several stops of vignetting and soft corners wide open, even though it is only a 1.8 lens. It seems to me that Sony has a conundrum on their hands...the bodies clearly outpace the lenses. After spending most of my time shooting with the S2 and S in the past years, it is clearer to me than ever that manufacturers cannot design lenses that are good enough to truly meet the needs of 30+ megapixel cameras without either charging incredible amounts or making the lenses huge and heavy. I don't mean to be overly harsh in judgement, and I know it is not fair to compare multi-thousand dollar lenses to one that costs barely over 1000, but I would not be particularly happy to pay a premium to get a manual focus lens billed as being high resolution only to find it perform like this.
    Stuart there is not a lens on the planet that is fast and does not have some vignetting in it. This one is very little compared to the 35 2.8 which does not go away until F8. Also there is no lens wide open to the corners that does not need at least a stop down to pull the corners in at least nothing in 1.4, 2 or 2.8 lenses. You find one let me know as they do not exist in 35mm or wider. I'm sorry but I have to disagree with you. Even Leica glass has the same properties like this. They vignette and they are not sharp to the corners wide open. I owned a ton of them.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Btw ever lens I know wide open overexposes. I did not correct that download the raws and knock down the highlights but every and I mean every lens I have tested going from wide open to like F8 in a test the wide open shot is always a diffrent exposure to the high side. I knocked it down to match the 2.8 images for the test in the beginning but not the image you are referring too. Very very few lens have no wide open aberrations on the very wide side. Sure some have less and not to get any your going to have to buy OTUS level glass at 5k. No lens designer can design without lens aberrations at much lower costs, to correct they have to had special elements and more of them, so costs go way up
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Hi Guy,
    I did not mean no vignetting of course, but this one just seems like a lot to me...the corners are very dark indeed in comparison to the 5.6 shots...at least 2 stops. Anyway, I am not here to argue with your experience, but it does not jive with mine in this respect.
    Anyway, not one for me!
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    I will test this but that image is hard to judge since the whole bottom half is in the shade. So vignetting is a little harder to pick up my gut says by 2.8 its great reduced
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Okay went back in and made adjustments to that F2 shot





    Opened up the shadows a little pulled down the highlights added 12 points of clarity and minus .27 stops on vignetting
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Still a slight touch of glow around the door handle and the little signs.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Okay this one is interesting as I said i shot this building a ton. Last review I did was the Credo 50 Mpx CMOS back with a tech cam and a Rodenstock 40mm which it does not get much better than that. There is rise on this as I was doing a stitch but this was one of the images. Focused at the same spot at F11

    Colors are different as the Credo does need a LCC but I just want to see the clarity between the two





    100 percent crop no compensation for mpx or framing and such but close enough





    Now Credo is closer in and it is 14 mpx bigger but just for fun its pretty interesting
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Folks thats pretty darn good in my mind.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Not sure why there is not a lot more hoopla on it as its a damn good lens.
    Personally, I lost interest in this lens after seeing the rather strong coma wide open. Your test shots, though, show that this virtually disappears by f/2.8. I'm now thinking that the Loxia 35/2 could be the best general-purpose 35mm out there (aside from those who believe they need autofocus). At f/2, which seems most at home with people shots in dim light, unwanted details are softened and the coma adds a cinematic flare-like effect that I find pleasing. (I prefer flare and undercorrected spherical aberration, but the tangential alignment of coma would make for a pleasant swirly appearance even when objects are relatively in focus, such as with many social indoor scenes where 35/2 makes a lot of sense.) At f/4 (!), it looks quite capable of handling the needs of even rather demanding landscape photos. And all of this in a package that one might be willing to carry with them even when they're not specifically planning to shoot photos.

    On the other hand, Guy, I don't think Sony should send you lenses unless they're rather confident they will hold up to your scrutiny. Manufacturers that want to showcase their glass, however, would certainly be more likely to make a sale to me after being put through the wringer here.

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Folks thats pretty darn good in my mind.
    Agreed the that is pretty impressive comparing a ~$3K combo to a ~$35-40K combo and seeing it being roughly 80% of the performance (albeit without MF look.) The family resemblance of Sony sensors is very strong and the Leaf color isn't all too different from the Sony color - just a bit more saturated and bolder which is great for skin tones I'm told. The important thing is the amount of latitude in PP.

    To be honest the more I look at both the Loxia and the Distagon the more I'm torn. I think the Distagon is better all around optically for my purposes from what I've seen but I don't know that it's $3-400 better outside the extra stop and the smoother bokeh (from what I've seen.) What the Distagon would allow me to do is sell the Sigma Art and not have to buy the Loxia which would offset the price quite a bit and lightened my bag a bit with one lens to do the job of two. I could possibly even swing the Distagon and 28FE for the price of the Loxia (~$1300) IF I decided to sell the Sigma Art.

    Hmmm... Decisions... Decisions...
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Quote Originally Posted by JonPB View Post
    Personally, I lost interest in this lens after seeing the rather strong coma wide open.
    The closer shots show damn good sharpness at f2.0. So I think you are talking about the wider shots taken at f2.0 that look somehwhat soft, correct?
    Now, I have yet to see a fast wide (wider than normal) lens that is really sharp wide open at wide distances (although sharp at shorter distances).

    Too... did you look at the RAW files? Some shots are a bit misfocused (front focus in some captures)...
    And finally don't underestimate appropriate sharpening settings. Guy clearly stated he applied standard settings. But the A7R shines when you apply relatively high sharpening settings with very small radius and very low threshold... IMHO
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Thomas what settings are you using in C1 . I have sharpness at 190/.6/1
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    This lens will make that new Distagon a tough decision. I view that as a nice statement for the Loxia. Now wide open well no one in there right mind would shoot a distance shot wide open. Kind of what would be the point unless low light. But still we have to beat these things up to see what they can do. Do okay with the Raws folks. Web is a little tough to see what's going on. I will reload them again if need be when it expires. Believe me all your comments are a excellent dialogue to get to the performance level. It's not exactly a cheap lens and if you ask me about 200 more than it should be. What else is new
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Thomas what settings are you using in C1 . I have sharpness at 190/.6/1
    280|0.4|0.4. These are my "preview" sharpening settings based on the ZM Planar 2.0/50 and FE Sonnar 2.8/35 both at f8 optimized for the midfield of the capture frame. Alternatively I've also stored 650|0.3|0.2... (IIRC I've adjusted these for the FE 1.8/55 wide open - these settings also seem to work quite good for the Loxia wide open with the close shots).
    I do process my captures without sharpening out of C1, though ... so, mind you, these settings are for preview purposes only.

    BTW... just ordered a Loxia 35. Should be here end of the week ... :-)
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Thanks Thomas glad this helped make a decision for and please keep us updated on your findings as well. All great data here for folks to consider.

    I'll try those settings sounds interesting
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    The closer shots show damn good sharpness at f2.0.
    Yes, but that has to do more with the scene than the lens. Almost any lens made in the last 50 years will render high contrast, hard edges as sharp at moderate magnification.

    I completely agree with you that this lens has very good resolution at f/2 for an f/2 lens. In fact, it appears very well corrected, especially for color, except for this one problem (and my own idiosyncratic distaste for the overcorrected spherical aberration that characterizes most Zeiss lenses but which is admittedly mild here). The word "sharp" bothers me in discussions like this, however, due to it being subject so many variables...so I tend to overreact to its use.

    So I think you are talking about the wider shots taken at f2.0 that look somehwhat soft, correct?
    Specifically, I would point out the nailhead in the upper left corner of the '9309 file, which shows distinct smearing (I may be wrong that it is caused by coma) in a tangential pattern. This is practically gone in the '9310 file. Also, compare the floodlight that's even closer to the corner, where the same thing shows. Now that you know what I'm referring to, look at the thick white line on the horse's nose in the middle portion of the frame. Again, the same smearing is dominant across that edge at f/2, but gone at f/2.8.

    Admittedly, this coma/smearing won't show up across low-contrast edges, but I seek out strong light in my own photography so that level of aberration was a no-go for me in those circumstances.

    Before Guy posted these samples--and made such glowing (pun intended) remarks about the lens that I had to download the images to challenge my prior impression--I had only seen f/2 and f/8-ish samples. I figured that the coma died out across a few f-stops, like it does with most lenses. As it is, at least from these test shots, it appears that this lens is an extremely well-behaved lens. I'd probably shoot it as if it were an f/2.8 lens, but that's okay because I prefer slow lenses, and the Loxia would simply add an f/2 option to my arsenal. If I were in the market, it would have just shot to the top of my list.

    Now, I'll have to not lurk in this thread quite so much or the gear lust will overcome me and put an unnecessary dent in my liquor budget.

    Cheers,
    Jon

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    I have have the 16-35 and the FE35 and find them both to be very good in the areas where they are known to perform best. Personally I just find the 35/1.4 just too big and expensive to justify it's purchase as I already own the CV35/1.2 which performs very well at 1.4 when I need that kind of shot

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    280|0.4|0.4. These are my "preview" sharpening settings based on the ZM Planar 2.0/50 and FE Sonnar 2.8/35 both at f8 optimized for the midfield of the capture frame. Alternatively I've also stored 650|0.3|0.2... (IIRC I've adjusted these for the FE 1.8/55 wide open - these settings also seem to work quite good for the Loxia wide open with the close shots).
    I do process my captures without sharpening out of C1, though ... so, mind you, these settings are for preview purposes only.

    BTW... just ordered a Loxia 35. Should be here end of the week ... :-)
    Thomas i tried out these settings . Going back to the one image

    Here is the 650/.3/.2 setting. This is sharp for sure



    Now the other setting 280/.4/.4
    is here



    Here is the full image so not to confuse folks



    I think I like the 280/.4/.4 settings and may just make that my new default.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    I can see why you could use the higher setting as well if you really want to get sharp sharp. It maybe slightly overdone but that maybe a personal call on my part but nice to see you can get there wide open with this lens. The more I play around with the images the more I like this lens. I want the 50mm F2 Planar bad now

    Actually that is incredible how sharp that is for wide open.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Those settings do improve the IQ that much more. I do like the increased sharpness of the top image better but I think the bottom one would work better as a general baseline to start unless you see a trend of constantly applying additional sharpness to most images.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Yes I like the lower sharpness settings as a new baseline than take it from there per type of image.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  30. #80
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I can see why you could use the higher setting as well if you really want to get sharp sharp. It maybe slightly overdone ...
    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    Those settings do improve the IQ that much more. I do like the increased sharpness of the top image better but I think the bottom one would work better as a general baseline to start ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Yes I like the lower sharpness settings as a new baseline than take it from there per type of image.
    Agree with Guy here. The higher settings (650|0.3|0.2) show too much halos in such a high contrast scene. They are better suited for low contrast scenes. 500|0.5|0.5 might be a compromise for a default setting at wide open aperture :-)

    Personally I do print all of my images (well, not of all of them, but all successful or at least reasonable images). This is why I set relatively high sharpening settings in C1 for preview purposes. As outlined above I do process my captures without sharpening applied out of C1. For the actual final sharpening I do use different tools ... depending on the motif/expression. Basically I try to avoid ANY halos when sharpening (at least any halos visible in a print)... this is why I sharpen in Photohsop on multiple layers with different settings for blacks/whites, image center and image edges. Quite often I also use Iridient Developer for sharpening (for a first instance of deconvolution sharpening of my TIFs processed out of C1).

    To get back on topic... the one capture that really tells quite something about the capabilities of the lens at f2.0 is the capture of the cemetery posted in "biglouis'" review posted here: LouisBerk.com - Zeiss Loxia 35/2 Review ... and referenced to here in this thread in post #51 ( http://www.getdpi.com/forum/635187-post51.html ) ... because at the edges there is low contrast and still the lens reveals some decent detail edge to edge (at least decent for f2.0). Direct link: http://www.louisberk.com/getdpi/loxia352/_DSC0093.JPG
    There is some "blur" of course ... but it's a nice kind of blur - a kind of blur that really reminds me of my Contax645 2.0/80 Planar at f2.0 (look-wise one of my favorite lenses of all time ...).
    Can't wait to compare the Loxia 50-Planar to my ZM 2.0/50 Planar on the A7R :-)

  31. #81
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    I ordered the Loxia 50mm F2 out of Japan from a well known camera store. Hope to get it next week. Just love the look and feel of these lenses
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  32. #82
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Bumping this up for a reader that wanted to see this.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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