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Thread: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

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    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    A recent test has confirmed what i had suspected based on other images - that I am seeing wildly different edge performance with my 16-35mm F/4 Zeiss from one shot to another, even though the centres look equally sharp.

    Here is what I mean (not exact crops but you will see the point)

    Here are 100% crops from the centre and right edge for Shot "A". Both look pretty good, both taaken at F/5.6, Steady shot on, about 1/200 sec.

    A, centre



    A, Edge



    Then here is the centre and right egde shot for shot "B" taken immediately before shot "A". Centre is fine, but edge is awful.

    B, centre:



    B, Edge



    In both cases the centres are sharp, but the edges are very different.

    And for reference, here is the whole of shot "A"

    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer
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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    That suggests there is something awry with the OSS.

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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Quote Originally Posted by dmward View Post
    That suggests there is something awry with the OSS.

    That's what I'm thinking. It is just with this lens.
    Quentin Bargate
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    Senior Member ggibson's Avatar
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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Was this on a tripod?

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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    So have you tried with OSS off?

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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Is this issue pretty consistent through the focal range or at a certain point. This lens goes pretty south after about 26mm. It was the reason I decided to sell it and get the Batis 25 and the VC 15mm.
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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Is this issue pretty consistent through the focal range or at a certain point. This lens goes pretty south after about 26mm. It was the reason I decided to sell it and get the Batis 25 and the VC 15mm.
    They look to have been shot at the same focal length.

    If its on a tripod then it suggests that OSS should be turned off.

    If its handheld, then there may be an issue with OSS settings or operation.

    In my experience the only thing that would cause a lens to change as illustrated is a good bang to dislocate an element.

    With OSS, there is also the gyro to dislocate an element.

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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Handheld, with OSS on.

    Most of the time its great. Then this happens once every few shots. I suppose it just might be luck - the shot might have been taken just as adjustments are made to the stabilization.
    Quentin Bargate
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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    I see the same thing with my 16-35 f4. mostly at 16mm. when not using OSS I does not happens or it is so much less I do not notice it anymore. using f11 seems to mostly solve this, but is not always convenient and needs more sharpening. My theory is that it is caused by OSS, decentering the lens somewhat. It is a shame you can not disable OSS and let IBIS do all the stabilization (on the assumption this would help).
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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Firmware update request to Sony: allow users to turn off OSS but keep IBIS on.
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    Firmware update request to Sony: allow users to turn off OSS but keep IBIS on.
    Just a thought, but it could be an issue with field curvature? If you focussed near into the scene in one shot and further in the other, that could affect the edges with no discernible impact on the centre.

    Probably not but it's worth throwing it into the mix. It should be easy to test for all this using MF and several handheld shots in a row without changing focus, with OSS on, and then tripod with OSS off?

    I got my repaired unit back today, they replaced the entire optical assembly. It's a lot better at 35mm but in many ways it feels like a totally different lens. Sony's manufacturing is the only one to be inconsistent though!

    Good luck!

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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Just a thought, but it could be an issue with field curvature? If you focussed near into the scene in one shot and further in the other, that could affect the edges with no discernible impact on the centre.

    Probably not but it's worth throwing it into the mix. It should be easy to test for all this using MF and several handheld shots in a row without changing focus, with OSS on, and then tripod with OSS off?

    I got my repaired unit back today, they replaced the entire optical assembly. It's a lot better at 35mm but in many ways it feels like a totally different lens. Sony's manufacturing is the only one to be inconsistent though!

    Good luck!
    No, its not field curvature. Sometime its absolutely fine, the next shot its not. It does seem to be connected with OSS.

    These issues with expensive lenses are completely unacceptable. Like you, Tim, I have had a number of faulty lenses in my time. We pay the same money, good lens or bad, but each should be individually checked and faults corrected. When it works, mine is superb.

    Do we really need OSS and IBIS in a wide angle lens? I think not.
    Quentin Bargate
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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    No, its not field curvature. Sometime its absolutely fine, the next shot its not. It does seem to be connected with OSS.
    Actually it could be FC with a varied focal point. You see this all the time with WA on the Sony, if the focus is dead center the edge will show soft or "smeared", but if you focus just a tad before infinity the DOF at f/8 will bring in the edges.

    It's why I hate AF on the Sony cameras with a passion, and the lack of a hard infinity stop is.....grrrrrr.

    I had this happen on the nex-5n and that nice little 10-18 all the time.

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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Quote Originally Posted by uhoh7 View Post
    Actually it could be FC with a varied focal point. You see this all the time with WA on the Sony, if the focus is dead center the edge will show soft or "smeared", but if you focus just a tad before infinity the DOF at f/8 will bring in the edges.

    It's why I hate AF on the Sony cameras with a passion, and the lack of a hard infinity stop is.....grrrrrr.

    I had this happen on the nex-5n and that nice little 10-18 all the time.
    Couldn't agree with you more. The lack of an infinity hard stop (and no DOF scale) is the most frustrating thing about the Sony FE lenses and can make landscape focussing quite a hit and miss affair

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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Quote Originally Posted by uhoh7 View Post
    Actually it could be FC with a varied focal point. You see this all the time with WA on the Sony, if the focus is dead center the edge will show soft or "smeared", but if you focus just a tad before infinity the DOF at f/8 will bring in the edges.

    It's why I hate AF on the Sony cameras with a passion, and the lack of a hard infinity stop is.....grrrrrr.

    I had this happen on the nex-5n and that nice little 10-18 all the time.
    Its a very good point. Added to that, the speed of operation of the focus ring seems to vary depending on how fast you turn it, making accurate, precise and repeatable manual focussing a nightmare.
    Quentin Bargate
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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Hi Quentin

    How do you normally focus, manual, halfpress shutter, af-on, etc. Could it be that (if auto) it did not complete focusing before shot fired. (I do understand the center seems to be in focus)

    Regards, Monty

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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Quote Originally Posted by slickster View Post
    Hi Quentin

    How do you normally focus, manual, halfpress shutter, af-on, etc. Could it be that (if auto) it did not complete focusing before shot fired. (I do understand the center seems to be in focus)

    Regards, Monty
    Monty,

    It depends. These were autofocus, but for a lot of the time, and particularly when using a tripod, its manual focus all the way (manual everything in fact).
    Quentin Bargate
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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Looking again at the out of focus building, it appears that motion blurr may also be a factor. Since the center is sharp, that suggests that the OSS element was moving or jittering. Not sure what that implies or how that could happen.

    As for focus by wire, I've read that faster twisting of the focus ring results in larger focus movement while slower means less. Suggesting that the design is intended to speed gross focus change while making fine tuning easier.

    Haven't had time to experiment with Batis readout for AF but it seems to be a good alternative to no focus scale. Infinity focus has always been an approximation with lenses. My recollection is that every lens I've owned with a focus scale has an L at infinity to suggest that its a relative focus position.

    Ground glass was always a better option for me. The magnification AF assist with EVF seems a good alternative.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Quentin, Lloyd has a piece on his free to view page that seems to be about the same issue...

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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Quentin, Lloyd has a piece on his free to view page that seems to be about the same issue...
    Interesting, Tim, but for full info I'd have to subscribe, a big no no for me.


    With IBIS tuned off, and camera located on a sturdy tripod, manual focus- i.e. treating A7RII and 16-35mm combo in a similar way as I would use MF digital - then the issue seems to go away. Then its just a very good camera lens combo that renders MF redundant

    I guess as Lloyd suggests, there must be a downside to the sensor moving to correct pitch and yaw, meaning the sensor may not be parallel to the plane of focus. That would not be a fault, simply an downside to IBIS.
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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Based on what you've found so far, could be the IBIS or OSS. I think more likely the latter since you've not seen this with other lenses.

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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    Interesting, Tim, but for full info I'd have to subscribe, a big no no for me.


    With IBIS tuned off, and camera located on a sturdy tripod, manual focus- i.e. treating A7RII and 16-35mm combo in a similar way as I would use MF digital - then the issue seems to go away. Then its just a very good camera lens combo that renders MF redundant

    I guess as Lloyd suggests, there must be a downside to the sensor moving to correct pitch and yaw, meaning the sensor may not be parallel to the plane of focus. That would not be a fault, simply an downside to IBIS.
    There's no full info yet in any case - Lloyd tends to put up headline stuff when he notices it as a heads up that he intends to investigate further, but it struck me from what he writes that it sounds very similar to what you're seeing and I think that pitch/yaw hypothesis might have something in it. I'll let you know if any more stuff comes up.
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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    This might be irrelevant to your problem but I have an e mount tamrom zoom with vr(OSS) that I have removed the baffle off. Because it doesn't quite cover FF I see the lens stabilisation moving around. Recently I was travelling and sometimes the stabilisation would get stuck. I had to change the zoom, then focus, and change back. I have tried to replicate now I'm home but can't so I suspect it might be heat related as it was hot at the time and now I'm home it's too cold in Australia at the moment.

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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Quote Originally Posted by uhoh7 View Post
    Actually it could be FC with a varied focal point. You see this all the time with WA on the Sony, if the focus is dead center the edge will show soft or "smeared", but if you focus just a tad before infinity the DOF at f/8 will bring in the edges.

    It's why I hate AF on the Sony cameras with a passion, and the lack of a hard infinity stop is.....grrrrrr.

    I had this happen on the nex-5n and that nice little 10-18 all the time.
    Put the camera in manual mode and you will get a visual meter of where infinity stop is.
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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    Put the camera in manual mode and you will get a visual meter of where infinity stop is.
    That's a good tip, I did not know that Is that true on all A7 models?

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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Quote Originally Posted by uhoh7 View Post
    That's a good tip, I did not know that Is that true on all A7 models?
    Yes. I only have the original A7 and A7R as of now. This is specifically for native FE lenses with focus by wire. In short when you turn the focus ring a digital meter will appear in the EVF (or rear LCD I believe as well) showing "where" you are in the focus range.
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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    Put the camera in manual mode and you will get a visual meter of where infinity stop is.
    Its a bit rough and ready. I have also noticed when using MF that you can focus quite a long way beyond infinity ("to infinity and beyond!").

    Better than nothing, but not great.

    Its a pity all Sony lenses are not like their excellent 90mm macro G OSS, which has the best of both worlds - full autofocus, and a clutch that allows you easily to switch to good old fashioned manual focus, with a distance scale engraved on the lens barrel. That's so much better than the electronic approximation of distance on the screen in MF mode.
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    Re: 16-35mm Inconsistent edge performance from shot to shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    Its a bit rough and ready. I have also noticed when using MF that you can focus quite a long way beyond infinity ("to infinity and beyond!").

    Better than nothing, but not great.

    Its a pity all Sony lenses are not like their excellent 90mm macro G OSS, which has the best of both worlds - full autofocus, and a clutch that allows you easily to switch to good old fashioned manual focus, with a distance scale engraved on the lens barrel. That's so much better than the electronic approximation of distance on the screen in MF mode.
    Minority opinion: I'm glad they're not! The main advantage is that remain as small and light as possible IMHO.

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