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Thread: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Just got this lens today. I had sworn not to buy any non-Zeiss lens from Sony, but I have a macro shoot next week (jewelry) and need 1:1 ratio. Even though the lens seems sharp enough, it is nothing compared to my good old Contax 100 Makro-Planar that I've recently sold. I have to say that I'm not impressed. Can't wait until Sony releases a Zeiss macro.

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Very strange, the Minolta 100mm/2.8 macro (old version) that is supposed to be the same as the new Sony version, is absolutely superb.
    David Anderson

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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Yes I know what you mean, as I used the Leica R100mm F2.8 macro with my R9/DMR. The Sony feels like a toy by comparison. It doesn't even come with a lens pouch either! I haven't used mine yet, but I will within the next two weeks. However I have seen results from this lens used with the A900 that are quite simply beautiful and let's face it, it is the results that matter most.

    Obviously the DOF is very shallow with FF, so I expect to stop down far more than with my R100 used on a 1.37 crop camera. but this obviously can be a great advantage in accentuating the product or subject matter. So I am looking forward to using it.
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    I guess I'm spoiled by many years of Zeiss. As I said, the Sony seems quite sharp especially at f/5.6 and above. It does show PF below f/5.6 but I usually use it at f/16-22. It's a good lens but nothing near the Makro-Planar, which is an outstanding lens, even by Zeiss standards. Anyway, I will post more about it after I use for the jewelry shoot

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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Jewelry is the acid test of all this gear. I've never used a 35mm DSLR that could cut it even using Zeiss Macros ... just can't handle the specular highlights ... but those were all with Canon 1Ds cameras (II & III).

    I'll be interested in hearing your opinion of how this gear does.

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    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    I agree, its a mediocre lens. Acceptable but not great. A decent Zeiss macro is needed.
    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: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Not familiar with Sony/Minolta mount, but did the CV 125/2.5 APO macro not come in a mount compatible with the A900?

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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    The CV 125/2.5 APO was indeed made in Alpha mount, but in extremely small quantities. I have been unable to find one, and given the astronomical prices they have been fetching, probably wouldn't want to pay the asking price if I did.
    On another note, those wanting to use Mamiya APO glass on the A900 have two options for adapters. Zoerk makes one, as does Cirrus adapters. I'm unsure of the quality of the Cirrus as I bought one of their Pentax 67 to Alpha adapters to use my 400/4 EDIF on the A900, and it mounted rather roughly, the lens release knob doesn't look too sturdy, and when I mounted the 100/4 macro the lens was facing to the right.
    I sent it back asking for a replacement, but I would probably be better served to pay the extra money and get a Zoerk.

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    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Its odd how one becomes inclined to mince one's words. I am as prone to do so as anyone.

    Actually my personal view is that the Sony 100mm macro is - given the pedigree - a rubbish lens. Its poorly made and optically dubious. Independent manufacturers like Sigma and Tamron make better lenses for less money. Sony or Zeiss need to do better. My apologies for being less than 100% candid before

    Quentin
    Quentin Bargate
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    Its odd how one becomes inclined to mince one's words. I am as prone to do so as anyone.

    Actually my personal view is that the Sony 100mm macro is - given the pedigree - a rubbish lens. Its poorly made and optically dubious. Independent manufacturers like Sigma and Tamron make better lenses for less money. Sony or Zeiss need to do better. My apologies for being less than 100% candid before

    Quentin
    Hrummph. Well, I'm not sure that I agree (and I actually bought it after your first impressions). I actually like the bokeh, colour and sharpness for natural stuff. . . . . as for the focusing and build quality . . I agree, rubbish.

    Still, I like the feel of the results.

    Mind you, I haven't taken pictures of jewelry, and I'm not sure that moss is very challenging!

    Just this guy you know

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    I revisited my Minolta 100m/2.8 Macro (original version not the D version) today.
    I have uploaded a few full-size JPGs at different apertures (processed from CRAW in Aperture and unsharpened). All shot with natural light on tripod with SSS off and 2 sec timer.

    I'm sorry no bling to photograph, but a few shiny bits of metal for highlights and a 3 D object to show in and out of focus areas. It resolves all the dust in my shop.

    Here is a large size of one which is scaled down by Pbase, if you visit
    http://www.pbase.com/braeside/image/109923400/large you can change to original size and compare all the different photos.



    Another scaled down (therefore looks softer than it is at fullsize)

    Last edited by Braeside; 7th March 2009 at 04:00.
    David Anderson

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    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hrummph. Well, I'm not sure that I agree (and I actually bought it after your first impressions). I actually like the bokeh, colour and sharpness for natural stuff. . . . . as for the focusing and build quality . . I agree, rubbish.

    Still, I like the feel of the results.

    Mind you, I haven't taken pictures of jewelry, and I'm not sure that moss is very challenging!
    Hi Jono,

    My understanding has evolved, shall we say. It does a workmanlike job, but I can't think of any area where its not just a little short of other macro lenses I have used, including Sigma and Tamron macros on the Kodak 14nx. The lens hood is flimsy. General build quality is low end. If it cost less I'd not mind, but I now think I should have purchased a Tamron 90mm macro instead.

    To be honest, the A900 deserves better than good enough. I confess I am somewhat spoilt by the superb build quality and results from the Mamiya 120mm macro on the Mamiya ZD - another league entirely compared to the Sony macro. Hopefully Zeiss will oblige at some stage with new Macro. In the meantime I'll carry on using it, but I may buy a Tamron as well.

    Cheers

    Quentin
    Last edited by Quentin_Bargate; 7th March 2009 at 04:39.
    Quentin Bargate
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    I think we just have to be patient. Hell, they just now delivered a camera that perked up people's ears ... and a bunch of us rushed to get it. But the aging re-badged Minolta stuff is just a stop gap ... some are okay, others are not. The 50/1.4 is pretty good from the limited use I had with it.

    In the meantime, I'm going to try a Heliopan Schott Glass, coated two sides +3 Close up lens on the Zeiss 135 and 24-70 and see what that looks like.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...u=21705&is=REG

    Or maybe one of the these:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...e_up_NL_3.html

    Actually, the Canon 500D Close-Up lens is pretty damned good ... has 2 achromatic elements

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc....html#features

    Or maybe the famous Leica Elpro 2 which at 55mm with fit the Sony 50/1.4

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...2_Elpro_2.html

    Or just use the 100/2.8VR Macro on the Nikon ... and leave it at that. If I need big, I'll use the H3D/31 and 120 macro.

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    So, can you tell me what is wrong with the results from the Minolta 100mm/2.8 macro RS I showed above? - Even viewing at 100% they are sharp at f2.8 given the extreme shallow depth of field at 1:1. They do get very sharp stopped down a fraction but later get diffraction as expected. Maybe the new Sony is not as good, but I would be surprised as it is basically the same lens with different rubber grips. (OK it is now a D lens).

    When you get some of these exotic lenses, I'd love to see the difference.
    Last edited by Braeside; 7th March 2009 at 07:15.
    David Anderson

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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Quote Originally Posted by Braeside View Post
    So, can you tell me what is wrong with the results from the Minolta 100mm/2.8 macro RS I showed above? - Even viewing at 100% they are sharp at f2.8 given the extreme shallow depth of field at 1:1. They do get very sharp stopped down a fraction but later get diffraction as expected. Maybe the new Sony is not as good, but I would be surprised as it is basically the same lens with different rubber grips. (OK it is now a D lens).

    When you get some of these exotic lenses, I'd love to see the difference.
    Don't get nervous.
    The Minolta 100 macro is still the best of the current macros if you don't consider Leica. Don't know how the mentioned Zeiss is. Probably on a higher level.
    Too funny the comment about the built quality as well. Like rubbish?

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    Member picman's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    I am waiting for a good solution to use my Carl Zeiss C/Y AE S-Planar 60 mm f 2.8 macro lens on my A900. That was a spectacular lens on my RTS. It will be manual and stopdown of course, but for macro that is OK for me.

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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    I took mine out for a little walk around today, looking back at my shots with the Nikon 100 f2.8 VR, I think the Minolta is sharper, has better bokeh (much) and I find the focusing more accurate.
    On the downside it feels plasticky, and the focusing is slow and screwdriver. On the upside it's about half the weight!

    here are some shots at different apertures with 100% crops, all done in aperture without sharpening.

    f5.6





    f4.5




    f2.8




    f2.8




    f2.8




    I'd love a Zeiss one, but in the meantime this seems to do the job okay

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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Why not just convert an older 2-3 cam 100 APO R (see related thread here) or 60 Macro to MA? Add a custom-encoded eprom to the MA mount (or use one from a donor 100 macro) adapter if you like to get focus confirm and SSS at 100mm (vs. 50mm default)? At least until a Zeiss one comes along that fills the need...

    Or use a Hassy (fotodiox) or Mamiya 120/4 (cheap and ED glass) or 80/4 Macro with an off the shelf adapter ?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Mamiya-645-adapt...742.m153.l1262

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I took mine out for a little walk around today, looking back at my shots with the Nikon 100 f2.8 VR, I think the Minolta is sharper, has better bokeh (much) and I find the focusing more accurate.
    On the downside it feels plasticky, and the focusing is slow and screwdriver. On the upside it's about half the weight!

    I'd love a Zeiss one, but in the meantime this seems to do the job okay
    I certainly believe this lens is quite sharp and does have a nice bokeh. What I think it lacks is micro-contrast and 3D effect, which are Zeiss signature. I am not going to throw it away after all Just use it until Sony decides it's time for a Zeiss Makro.

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Edward, I agree the Sony appears to have more in common with the Minolta lens contrasts than the Zeiss that is for sure. It also has 'bokeh' CA when wide open.
    David Anderson

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Imho, the best thing to get closer focus is with extension rings. No extra glass involved. But Sony doesn't seem to offer any.

    Edit:

    Found them: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Tube_Set.html

    Wish I thought about that before getting the Sony macro. I expect the Zeiss 135 to be simply amazing with these. I've already shot some jewelry with it at MFD and the results were really really good.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I think we just have to be patient. Hell, they just now delivered a camera that perked up people's ears ... and a bunch of us rushed to get it. But the aging re-badged Minolta stuff is just a stop gap ... some are okay, others are not. The 50/1.4 is pretty good from the limited use I had with it.

    In the meantime, I'm going to try a Heliopan Schott Glass, coated two sides +3 Close up lens on the Zeiss 135 and 24-70 and see what that looks like.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...u=21705&is=REG

    Or maybe one of the these:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...e_up_NL_3.html

    Actually, the Canon 500D Close-Up lens is pretty damned good ... has 2 achromatic elements

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc....html#features

    Or maybe the famous Leica Elpro 2 which at 55mm with fit the Sony 50/1.4

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...2_Elpro_2.html

    Or just use the 100/2.8VR Macro on the Nikon ... and leave it at that. If I need big, I'll use the H3D/31 and 120 macro.
    Last edited by edwardkaraa; 8th March 2009 at 10:48.

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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Check out my Sony and Zeiss macro thread with sample shots !!!!

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    I took today some jewelry shots with the 100 macro at f/16 which is the minimum I would use to get decent DOF. I have to say the results are disappointing. I don't want to even think what would I have gotten at f/22 or f/32. The resized photos took a ridiculous amount of sharpening to look good, and it shows. The 100% crops are standard sharpening in IDC3. I still didn't get the extension tubes, but I don't expect much from the ZA 135 as it is obviously not a macro lens and is not optimized for such use. We really need a Zeiss macro. My Contax 100/2.8 makro-planar was light years sharper even at f/22.

    Attachment 13481

    Attachment 13482

    Attachment 13483

    Attachment 13484
    Last edited by edwardkaraa; 30th August 2009 at 10:29.

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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    I think the issue is in large part due to diffraction. It's hardly ever worth shooting over f11 with a 24MP fullframe, because diffraction starts to set in at f8, and over f11 or so it gets really bad.

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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    I took today some jewelry shots with the 100 macro at f/16 which is the minimum I would use to get decent DOF. I have to say the results are disappointing. I don't want to even think what would I have gotten at f/22 or f/32. The resized photos took a ridiculous amount of sharpening to look good, and it shows. The 100% crops are standard sharpening in IDC3. I still didn't get the extension tubes, but I don't expect much from the ZA 135 as it is obviously not a macro lens and is not optimized for such use. We really need a Zeiss macro. My Contax 100/2.8 makro-planar was light years sharper even at f/22.

    Attachment 13481

    Attachment 13482

    Attachment 13483

    Attachment 13484

    Was the Zeiss 100/2.8 Macro "Light Years Sharper" shooting the same subject?

    What you have here IMO is the same thing I ran into when I tried to shoot a Jewelry assignment with that kind of high key light using a Canon 1DsMKII and both a Canon macro ... and then a Zeiss 100/2.8 Makro-Planar using an adapter ... a little better, but no cigar The best was an adapted Leica 100/2.8 APO ... but even that wasn't good enough. The APO helped with all that scattered light, but that wasn't the solution because the sensor also contributed to the problem ... I just switched to my Contax 645 with a Kodak ProBack and the 120/4 macro ... and all was well. I had hoped they weren't lying when they said the "s" in 1DsMKII meant "Studio" BULL!

    So, that 35mm DSLR sensor isn't helping ... coupled with diffracted light from stopping down the lens past f/8

    What we REALLY need for this kind of work is a highly corrected 90mm T/S lens like the new and improved 85/2.8 T/S Nikkor. That'd help with not stopping down so much.

    Diamonds are a bear to photograph ... it's one of the few things on earth that actually increases the light being reflected back to the eye ... which is why they sparkle like nothing else.

    These days I use a Rollei Xact2 view camera and Rodenstock 120 Macro Digital APO with a 39 meg back. BIG HONKIN' Horses for Courses.
    Last edited by fotografz; 13th March 2009 at 12:19.

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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    The MP was indeed sharper and it was strictly used under the same lighting and for the same subject.

    This was shot on a 1DsII with the 100 Makro-Planar at f/16 or f/22.

    Very minimal sharpening applied to the resized file.

    I don't have the full file on this computer but will post 100% crop later on.

    Attachment 13486
    Last edited by edwardkaraa; 30th August 2009 at 10:29.

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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    I think the issue is in large part due to diffraction. It's hardly ever worth shooting over f11 with a 24MP fullframe, because diffraction starts to set in at f8, and over f11 or so it gets really bad.
    I cannot agree with this. My 120mm Mamiya macro on a 22mp Mamiya ZD is good at around F.20 so there is no excuse for softness with the Sony macro at similar f-stops. The fact is the Sony macro is a hobbyist consumer grade lens, not up to professional use and it shows.
    Quentin Bargate
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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    I cannot agree with this. My 120mm Mamiya macro on a 22mp Mamiya ZD is good at around F.20 so there is no excuse for softness with the Sony macro at similar f-stops. The fact is the Sony macro is a hobbyist consumer grade lens, not up to professional use and it shows.
    Fully agreed!

    I have noticed that different lenses do not react similarly to the laws of diffraction, some suffer from it tremendously while others are barely affected.

    Especially macro lenses are designed to be used with very small apertures. My makro-planar for instance could be used to its smallest aperture f/22 with barely any signs of diffraction. The same lens seems to feature one of the old time Zeiss tricks, the extended DOF. It seems to have a much longer DOF than other lenses as it defocuses very softly and objects outside the circle of confusion still look reasonably sharp.

    The Sony macro in the countrary seems to suffer from extreme diffraction starting from f/16 and looses focus very abruptly as you can see in the cross pictures.

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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    I'd like to see a series of direct comparison shots between one of these other macro lenses and the Sony 100mm at the same range of apertures with the same camera.

    I can't explain how a good lens of the same focal length can defy the laws of optical diffraction, unless the poorer lens's aberrations are somehow magnified by the effects of diffraction.

    From my own tests with the similar Minolta 100mm/2.8 macro, I can clearly see that diffraction is limiting resolution, but that is pixel peeping at 100%, whether it matters at normal print sizes is another matter. I naively assumed that all macro lenses would suffer the same diffraction effects.

    Certainly something with very bright highlights like a diamond is going to show every slight lens aberration, especially colour fringing and longitudinal CA.
    David Anderson

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    I cannot agree with this. My 120mm Mamiya macro on a 22mp Mamiya ZD is good at around F.20 so there is no excuse for softness with the Sony macro at similar f-stops. The fact is the Sony macro is a hobbyist consumer grade lens, not up to professional use and it shows.
    Are we comparing eggs with eggs here? The pixel density on the MF larger sensor is not the same as the A900 ?
    David Anderson

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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Quote Originally Posted by Braeside View Post
    I'd like to see a series of direct comparison shots between one of these other macro lenses and the Sony 100mm at the same range of apertures with the same camera.

    I can't explain how a good lens of the same focal length can defy the laws of optical diffraction, unless the poorer lens's aberrations are somehow magnified by the effects of diffraction.

    From my own tests with the similar Minolta 100mm/2.8 macro, I can clearly see that diffraction is limiting resolution, but that is pixel peeping at 100%, whether it matters at normal print sizes is another matter. I naively assumed that all macro lenses would suffer the same diffraction effects.

    Certainly something with very bright highlights like a diamond is going to show every slight lens aberration, especially colour fringing and longitudinal CA.
    I tend to agree with you just based on experience... therefore do not have scientific charts and what not to bring to bear on the subject. I know what I see.

    There are too many variables to consider ... how something is lit can have a huge effect; is the sensor contributing to issues (sensor bloom around specular highlights), DOF control; Flatness of field; how much the lens design favors close-up focusing; APO corrections or not; as well as diffraction issues.

    I tend to believe that the older Minolta consumer grade macro rebadged as a Sony isn't going to deliver in an acid test like shooting diamonds. I know the Canon 100/2.8 can't. The Zeiss N100/2.8 macro couldn't pull it off. And I know for a fact that the current Zeiss Z series 100/2 Macro can't either ... where the Z 50/2 may do better (but I'd have to try it). So the Zeiss name isn't a guarantee. I haven't tried the Nikon 100/2.8 VR but wouldn't hold my breath on that lens either. Probably the best you could do with a 35mm DSLR would be a Leica 100/2.8 APO. or use a 35mm bellows with an APO view lens

    I do know the Zeiss/Contax 120/4 can, but 645 is lending a huge hand there ... especially when employing a CCD type MF sensor without all the AA filtering that's done on CMOS sensors. Also, the Mamiya RZ 140 macro does very well and has a tilt/shift adapter to aid with DOF.

    The long and short of it is that 35mm macro isn't the best tool for this kind of work.

    BTW, this is how I prefer to display jewelry (Bling photographed for a merchant catering to Middle Eastern clients) ...

  32. #32
    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Thanks for the comments on 35mm macro v MF. I have been doing a bit of reading on Macro this morning as it is a subject that I have had very limited experience with. One thing I had not appreciated was that as we focus closer and the reproduction ratio gets closer to 1:1, the effective aperture becomes smaller (larger f/no). At 1:1 RR f/16 marked on the lens is effectively f/32, so no wonder that we see considerable softening at f/22.
    Confusingly some modern DSLRs like the Nikon actually show effective apertures in the viewfinder, but most do not, including the Sony.

    I think we all agree that it is a case of the right tool for the job and 35mm is not that tool for such detailed macro work.
    No doubt having larger format sensors is going to be better for macro work as diffraction sets in at smaller apertures there.
    David Anderson

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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    I cannot agree with this. My 120mm Mamiya macro on a 22mp Mamiya ZD is good at around F.20 so there is no excuse for softness with the Sony macro at similar f-stops. The fact is the Sony macro is a hobbyist consumer grade lens, not up to professional use and it shows.
    I can't speak for the Sony macro, but there is little comparison to be drawn between the ZD and A900 in regards to diffraction. We're talking about pixel pitches of 9 microns vs. 5.9 microns, which is a pretty significant difference. I wouldn't be surprised if one could get an extra stop or two out of the ZD in any situation, regardless of the lens used.

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    I agree with Marc that 35mm is not very suitable for jewelry, BUT, I have been shooting jewelry with FF digital for several years, and have been satisfied so far with the results. Obviously the people for whom I shoot were satisfied too. Now, I see a major step backwards. The results are not what I'm used to get only a few weeks ago with a 16.7mp 1Ds2 and Makro-Planar. Is it due to the few extra pixels, or to the poor Sony lens? Or maybe a combination of both? Unfortunately there is no way to tell at the moment.

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Interesting Edward, is it just with 100% screen pixel peeping that the A900 macro shots are lacking, or can you see the difference clearly at normal print sizes?
    What aperture did you typically use previously for such work with 35mm?
    David Anderson

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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    I agree with Marc that 35mm is not very suitable for jewelry, BUT, I have been shooting jewelry with FF digital for several years, and have been satisfied so far with the results. Obviously the people for whom I shoot were satisfied too. Now, I see a major step backwards. The results are not what I'm used to get only a few weeks ago with a 16.7mp 1Ds2 and Makro-Planar. Is it due to the few extra pixels, or to the poor Sony lens? Or maybe a combination of both? Unfortunately there is no way to tell at the moment.
    If it's not to late, send the lens back.

    Did you try using the micro focus adjust? It's a long shot, but maybe the lens is off a bit (?)

    Or maybe it's just a bad copy. Wouldn't be the first time, or the last. I've sent a number of lenses back and the next ones were better. Even a couple of L optics ... and a load of Leica M lenses went back to Germany for calibration that were ALL off ... one by a mile that couldn't achieve critial focus even at f/8.

    Or maybe it just sucks

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Quote Originally Posted by Braeside View Post
    Interesting Edward, is it just with 100% screen pixel peeping that the A900 macro shots are lacking, or can you see the difference clearly at normal print sizes?
    What aperture did you typically use previously for such work with 35mm?
    Actually I have a standard lighting that I didn't change for several years (I'm too lazy ). It requires f/16 to f/22 depending on the magnification (I usually work at 1x to .5x magnification). I tried downsizing the files to 8mp but the softness was still there.

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    I had to send back my first CZ 24-70 as it was clearly poorly collimated.
    The replacement one was prefect by comparison, so poor copies do exist.

    I had to microadjust the AF for every lens to suit my A900, I seem to have an AF offset of typically about -5 with my A900, but at least I can adjust it easily, which is the best feature for me that the A900 has over my previous DSLRs.

    Edward, OK on the standard lighting, I just wondered if you had any way of trying a slightly bigger aperture, but I appreciate the lighting may not be suitable, nor the DOF.
    David Anderson

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    If it's not to late, send the lens back.

    Did you try using the micro focus adjust? It's a long shot, but maybe the lens is off a bit (?)

    Or maybe it's just a bad copy. Wouldn't be the first time, or the last. I've sent a number of lenses back and the next ones were better. Even a couple of L optics ... and a load of Leica M lenses went back to Germany for calibration that were ALL off ... one by a mile that couldn't achieve critial focus even at f/8.

    Or maybe it just sucks
    I usually manually focus the lens to its MFD and adjust the focus by moving the subject back or forth (it's on a moving piece of plexi). The DOF is so thin that I can get very accurate focus exactly where I want it.

    The lens is very sharp at wider apertures, so I don't think it's a bad copy. Interestingly, I have seen conflicting results at small apertures with different reviews. SLRgear copy shows excellent results even until f/22, but f/32 is not usable. J-M Sepulchre in his book on the A900 (several tests can be read at lemondedelaphoto.com) claims f/16 as the last usable aperture. Photozone test on an APS-C body shows average performance at f/16 and a dramatic drop in resolution at f/22. So I believe there may be sample variations which affect diffraction at small apertures for some strange reason.

  40. #40
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Quote Originally Posted by Braeside View Post

    Edward, OK on the standard lighting, I just wondered if you had any way of trying a slightly bigger aperture, but I appreciate the lighting may not be suitable, nor the DOF.
    I did play around with it handheld at wide apertures, and it looks to be very sharp. It's definitely afflicted by a worse than usual diffraction effect.

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    That is most odd, I confess I don't understand why that should be.

    I have not seen either of those tests, but wonder if they were both done at 1:1 or not, because the effective aperture reduces by 2 stops there, possibly accounting for the discrepancy between the two test results for the diffraction effects.
    David Anderson

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Quote Originally Posted by Braeside View Post
    That is most odd, I confess I don't understand why that should be.

    I have not seen either of those tests, but wonder if they were both done at 1:1 or not, because the effective aperture reduces by 2 stops there, possibly accounting for the discrepancy between the two test results for the diffraction effects.
    The usual distance to resolution charts is between 1 to 2 meters depending on the lens FL.

    By the way, the aperture does not change with magnification. The aperture as a mathematical value remains the same. It is the light that diminishes with the increased distance to the sensor (light fall off). That's at least how I understand it, but of course I could be wrong.

  43. #43
    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Edward, I have being trying to get a definitive answer on that myself. Eventually I convinced myself that the "effective aperture" would determine the diffraction, from an article and web calculator I found today. This particular one specifically allows DOF at different Reproduction Ratios and with different sensor sizes etc.

    http://www.rags-int-inc.com/PhotoTec...alculator.html

    I put some figures in for the A900 at 1:1 and diffraction should just start to be noticeable at f/5.6, and on the 22MP ZD larger 48x36mm sensor it should be f/8

    The notes are at: http://www.rags-int-inc.com/PhotoTec...ers_Guide.html

    In it he states " The effective aperture (EF) is shown based on the current real aperture size and the distance between the image and focal planes. At close up subject distances this becomes a factor in exposure settings and diffraction."

    It was that that led me to believe that the effects of diffraction depended on the effective aperture rather than the numeric aperture.
    David Anderson

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    I also found this illuminating article on diffraction at macro:

    http://www.zen20934.zen.co.uk/photog...tm#Diffraction

    Basically confirming that the diffraction effects become significant about two f-stops earlier for every doubling in magnification. So at 1:1 diffraction would be significant at 2 stops earlier than at infinity.

    Examples shown are for 35mm at 1:1 Diffraction limit is approx f16 versus f32 for infinity.
    David Anderson

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Quote Originally Posted by Braeside View Post
    I also found this illuminating article on diffraction at macro:

    http://www.zen20934.zen.co.uk/photog...tm#Diffraction

    Basically confirming that the diffraction effects become significant about two f-stops earlier for every doubling in magnification. So at 1:1 diffraction would be significant at 2 stops earlier than at infinity.

    Examples shown are for 35mm at 1:1 Diffraction limit is approx f16 versus f32 for infinity.
    Very interesting David. So the blur effect gets stronger as the aperture opening goes further away from the sensor. Very interesting.

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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Was cruising Lloyd Chambers' site this AM ( www.diglloyd.com ) and came across some info that may enlighten us about the performance of "Legacy Macros" in the world of high meg., full frame digital sensors.

    According to Lloyd, Even with the 21 meg Canon 1DsMKIII, the much acclaimed Costal Optics 60/4 APO macro peaks at f/5.6 due to diffraction ... and that a theoretical 36 meg camera would drop that limit a stop or so to f/4. So somewhere in there is our 24 meg FF Sony ... and the Sony 100/2.8 Macro is hardly a comparable lens to the $4,000. Costal Optics APO. This implies that pixel size and resulting resolution has an impact on diffraction ( I admit to not understanding the science of this, but have found Lloyd's observations to be pretty reliable.) So you add up all the things working against it, and the old school rebadged Sony seems to come up short when hung off the front of an A900.

    In other parts of the site, it appears the Nikon PC Macro gets decent marks, and Lloyd apparently is even using one adapted to a Canon 1DsMKIII. I wonder how good existing Nikon to Minolta/Alpha adapters are?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-F-to-Minol...QQcmdZViewItem

    If it would work, than investing in a 85/2.8 Nikon PC-E Macro might be a worthwhile investment since the tilt function would mitigate the need to stop down so much thus introducing diffraction.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...kkor_85mm.html

    Not to mention that would allow use of the Ziess ZF optics on the Sony ... and lenses like my Nikon 200/2

    What is not clear is whether this adapter has an optic in it, and whether it covers FF ... I suspect it does since it says it's a Minolta/Alpha ... but it could be referencing crop frame digital.

    Your thoughts?

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    The effects of diffraction will be seen earlier with smaller pixels, the diffraction is the same angle, just that the smaller pixels can show the effect quicker.

    I still doubt that there anything much wrong with the Sony 100mmm Macro, as it clearly is diffraction limited at a fairly large aperture, a sign of a good lens not a bad one.

    Agree T&S is needed for better DOF.
    David Anderson

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    The Nikon adapter does have a glass element in it to achieve infinity focus.

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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    The Nikon adapter does have a glass element in it to achieve infinity focus.
    Maybe I could just take a hammer to it ... for Macro who needs infinity ...

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Maybe I could just take a hammer to it ... for Macro who needs infinity ...
    Great idea
    David Anderson

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