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Mirrorless Price Wars Offer Terrific Value, but No System Pulls It All Together

A technology surge glacier has calved-off mirrorless offerings over the past half year, which is now putting downward price pressure on all brands.

Sony mirrorless is by far the leader, and shock waves lie over the horizon for Nikon and Canon and Panasonic, or already do, judging by the discounts, with the expected v3 offerings of the A7/A7 II/A7 III.

Check out the aggressive discounts already being offered further below. This surely reflects both slow sales of all brands but particularly Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, which fall way short in lens offerings.

There is something appealing in every brand. But none of them do more than get it more than 3/4 right, no vendor pulling it all together. For example, I want the optical prowess of Canon RF "L" lenses and some of the Sony/Zeiss lenses with the excellent ergonomics/haptics of the Nikon Z7 body with Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res mode. I also want a camera that makes computational photography a priority, to raise quality and eliminate errors that need never again be a factor (exposure, resolution, dynamic range, perfect focus, etc).

Canon is very serious about delivering the best possible lenses, the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L and Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L awing me with their performance. This doesn’t make sense unless Canon has a high megapixel camera coming.

Whereas Nikon seems intent on boring me with their lenses, though the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S is the best of the lineup yet, and a very good one, but it requires f/4 for brilliance, very disappointing for an f/2.8 zoom. OTOH, the Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S may be one of the best walk-around lightweight lenses out there for easy carefree shooting and the pair of them is very appealing on a size/weight/ergonomics basis with the Z7.

Panasonic S1R wows with its Multi-Shot High-Res mode, but it is a heavy beast of a camera sure to put off any one looking for reasonable size especially since getting the most out of HighRes mode means expensive and heavy lenses. Sigma has yet to deliver its true-color L-Mount offering.

Sony has a very broad lens line at this point, including many 3rd parties with lens lines such as the Zeiss Loxia and Zeiss Batis lines. And new lenses like the Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM are stunningly good. The wisdom that Sony shows in encouraging 3rd party lenses seems lost entirely on Canon and Nikon—a fundamental failure to understand customer perspective.

Panasonic has yet to discount the Panasonic S1R, but how long can that be? I hear that S1R sales are slow.

CLICK TO VIEW: Mirrorless Camera Rebates

John G writes:

I completely agree with your blog titled "Mirrorless Price Wars Offer Terrific Value, but No System Pulls It All Together."

Canon, Nikon, and Sony's systems all offer an enticing combination of virtues, but each also has maddening deficiencies. The Sony is the most complete, but even that system falls short of the Nikon in both IQ and ergonomics. Canon's lenses look to be revolutionary, but you'd have to put them on that POS R. The Nikon body's performance is higher, and its ergonomics much more sensible, but thus far the lenses have been upper-consumer grade at best. And so it goes.

Only Sony's A-system and Fuji's X system's (the only viable APS-C long-term play right now) long-term acceptance seems assured. They are the only two with followers who continue to buy new products and support the respective systems. For Canon and Nikon, the jury is still out. Panasonic and Leica's S system is almost certainly doomed to failure. And the investment dollars before any of these company's mirrorless entries gain real acceptance, let alone turn a profit, is enormous and daunting.

fun88官网: is a year enough to see which “horses” are in the lead?

James K writes:

Apparently store owners are reporting the the new Panasonic cameras are a flop...

Another nail in the coffin: Sony will be partnering with Microsoft to develop AI solutions for advanced photo gear. Now that is a powerful and intelligent move.

fun88官网: Sony has a big lead in mirrorless and a huge R&D budget. If other companies want to be player, they need to redouble their efforts, and bring something new to the table. In my, a key art of that is computational photography: software can move much faster than hardware.

Things that ought already to be available but most are not or are weakly implemented with issues in practical use:

  • iPhone style real-time panoramas, including multi-row and supporting smooth panning on a tripod head for jawdropping resolution and quailty (all without a bang-bang shutter).
  • Automated focus stacking support for both autofocus and manual focus lenses, including support a composite raw image and support for near/far focus points and ultra-fast shooting to minimize motion issues.
  • At least 18-bit dynamic range support via ultra-fast sequential exposures, along with intelligent “rolloff” of highlights and shadows so as to look entirely natural. I limit this to 18 bits because most lenses won’t have much more than 14 bit dynamic range; 18 bits will allow full lens dynamic range along with fine gradation.
  • Multi-Shot High-Res mode should be a standard feature one just assumes is present. And it should be supported in conjunction with focus stacking.
  • Automatic exposure mode that occurs only when the camera detects zero vibration.
  • ... many more things.

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Reader Comment: Zeiss ZF 25mm f/2.8 Distagon

See my Zeiss DSLR lenses wishlist and fun88官网 Zeiss DSLR Lenses.

Reader Ed M writes:

I recently pulled out a Nikon FM2-T from my dry box, bought new back in 1995 and recently CLA’d. A Zeiss ZF 25mm f/2.8 Distagon came up for sale at a reasonable price (<$500) and I decided to take a chance on it as an interesting companion to a NOCT Nikkor bought ages ago. You were one of the few to laud the Zeiss' unique but creative character.

What a fantastic lens! The ‘pop’, vivid colors and close focus is just crazy good. If you take the time to learn the optic, it will reward you for the patience. Tragic shame Nikon never made optional a split-screen or microprism focusing screen for the DSLR line, at the least for the Dƒ, the only new body compatible with non-AI glass. Counter-intuitive that a new but archaic Nikkor 24/2.8 AIS sells for more.

The diminutive Zeiss is a truly misunderstood ‘sleeper’.

fun88官网: the Zeiss ZF 28mm f/2 Distagon has similar qualities and is also lovely.

The Zeiss ZF 25mm f/2.8 Distagon was never offered in Canon EF mount, so it’s a bit of an oddball and easily forgotten.

Both and more are on my to-do list to take a fresh look at lenses like the Zeiss ZF 25mm f/2.8 Distagon in Multi-Shot High-Res mode on the Panasonic S1R.

Zeiss ZF 25mm f/2.8 Distagon

 

Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL Aperture Series: Mosaic, Focus Shift (Panasonic S1R)

Get L-Mount lenses at B&H Photo.

This aperture series at f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6 shows off the world class performance wide open at f/2 of the Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH on the Panasonic S1R shot in 187-megapixel Multi-Shot High-Res mode.

It also shows a focus shift such that f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6 are all substantially degraded from f/2, even down to sizes as small as 24 megapixels.

In fun88官网 L-Mount Mirrorless:

Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL Aperture Series: Mosaic, Focus Shift Evaluation

Images at up to 187 megapixels for f/2 and f/4 plus crops at f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6 in various places from the 187 megapixel resolution.

I loathe doing field work with a lens having focus shift when I have no means of compensating for, that is wasting my effort by never knowing until day’s end back at the computer whether I have made a fully sharp image, and only by always shooting also at f/2, for a baseline gauge of sharpness. I am not aware of any reliable method on the Panasonic S1R to ensure optimal focus for a specific aperture, something that would compensate for the focus shift.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f2 @ 1/30 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-05-22 20:07:15
[LACA corrected, Enhance Details, vignetting corrected, distortion corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH

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My Experience with the 2019 iMac 5K So Far

See my Mac wish list at B&H Photo and .

I thought I would shared a few quick notes on my experience with the 2019 iMac 5K, having

switched to it from the 2017 iMac 5K about a month ago.

Throughout 2018 the 2017 iMac 5K was a solid performer and excellent for field work (along with the NEC PA302W) in my Mercedes Sprinter photography adventure van.

However, over time I kept running into slowdowns in my work, some small, some moderate, and some disruptive; see .

  • The small and moderate slowdowns are solved— the 2019 iMac 5K is substantially faster for most things. Indeed it might be the most significant time-saving upgrade in many years for my work. There remains one key task that takes longer than I like because the task is largely single-threaded (scripted task), but there is nothing for it.
  • Having 128GB memory has eliminated issues when working with aperture series (multiple layers in Photoshop) of high pixel count. Especially for lens comparisons, 64GB had its limits; those slowdowns are now gone.
  • I can backup and work at the same time without running out of CPU cores. With the 2017 iMac 5K, half the cores could be sucked up, so the machine become sluggish and unresponsive at times. The 8 CPU cores of the 2019 iMac 5K have done away with that.
  • Raw conversion is substantially faster, which is very helpful especially for interactive use when I adjust and compare conversion settings.
  • Enhance Details is about 25% faster with the Vega 48 GPU—very nice though since the Vega 48 GPU upgrade is $450 and it doesn’t do much of anything else for me, probably not worth it.
  • I can run CPU-intensive tasks in the background like with little impact on my other work.
  • Working off the internal SSD and the 8TB has eliminated all delays from disk I/O and all noise from spinning hard disks. That’s more important than ever with 8 CPU cores.
2019 iMac 5K

Check out my .

Please engage me in for any questions on your specific situation on choice of computer, backup, RAID, SSDs, etc, and thank you for buying your Macs and other stuff through B&H Photo and , which make most of my computer and related gear reviews possible, via loaners.

2019 iMac 5K: Convert 100 Sony 7R III 42-megapixel raw flies to JPEG

MacPerformanceGuide.com

Focus Shift, a General Discussion

Get L-Mount lenses at B&H Photo.

I thought I would make a few points about focus shift, since it is poorly understood, even by very experienced photographers, and yet it is an increasingly important issue for optimal results with high resolution digital. See Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance (parts one and two) for more as well as pages mentioning focus shift.

Without understanding focus shift and adjusting appropriately, photographers are guaranteed to have sub-optimal results on a regular basis. It is about the odds, which are affected by and mitigated by a variety of factors. Add in the pixel density of an iMac 5K, and it can “disappear”. when photographers evaluate their work.

Focus shift is a serious challenge at 36 megapixels or more (even at 24MP with some lenses) and can be massively destructive of image sharpness using 187 megapixel Multi-Shot High-Res mode, which has focus tolerances twice as tight as at 47MP.

What focus shift is, what it does, what causes it

Focus shift is a change in distance of the center of the zone of sharp focus associated with stopping down. Focus shift can be rearward (more distant) or forward (closer) or both in the same lens in the same frame, e.g., rearward shift in the center and forward shift in the outer zones, varying by degree and by position in the frame.

The effects of focus shift can be:

  • Mild — the gain in depth of field with stopping down exceeds the shift enough to make it subtle;
  • Troublesome to visual impact — partially canceling out the gain in depth of field, resulting in subject matter at the wrong distance being favored (e.g., ears instead of nose when focusing on eyes). What can be confusing is that coarse and medium structures improve even while fine detail degrades;
  • Sharpness damaging — the shift exceeds gains in depth of field for the first stop or two, so that even three stops down the losses are scarcely regained.

The foregoing applies mainly to the first three apertures, but once the zone shifts, it really applies to all apertures because the entire zone of focus has shifted. Depth masks focus shift strongly by three stops down, which is one reason it is so confusing.

The root cause of focus shift is/are balancing aberrations introduced as part of the optical design to solve other issues—various kinds of spherical aberration typically. These aberrations rapidly disappear with stopping down—half gone one stop down, 3/4 down two stops down, etc. That is, peripheral rays are increasingly cut off with stopping down, leaving only central rays. Because central rays come to dominate and these focus at a slightly different distance than peripheral rays, the center of the zone of sharpest focus can be significantly different wide open than one or two or three stops down. Incidentally, the elimination of peripheral rays is why lenses tend to improve in performance with stopping down; rigorous efforts of optical design and build tolerances are required for high performance at full aperture.

Focus shift can vary a little by lens sample (build tolerances), but in my experience it never changes between good samples in any significant way. And a “bad sample” has other problems that jump out.

Consider a 90mm lens focused 3.00 meters away at f/2 with the depth (thickness) of the zone of critical sharpness of ±0.01 meters on a high resolution sensor (roughly 1 cm before and behind plane of focus). It might be that by f/4, the center of its zone of sharpness shifts to 3.03 meters, with the depth of the zone of critical sharpness of ±0.02 meters. Thus the point of sharpest focus goes out of focus by 1cm and the entire zone of sharp focus moves to an unintended distance, such as the interior of a solid wall versus its surface. While 1cm does not sound like much, on a high-resolution digital sensor a world class lens at f/2 might now perform like a mediocre one at f/4 at the intended focusing distance. See the example below.

For an example of focus shift that makes a lens all but unsuitable for landscape work, see Sharpness Losses from Field Curvature at Distance: Grassy Meadow and the other examples. Or see all the pages with focus shift content.

Observations about focus shift made over a decade of lens evaluations

Evaluating focus shift properly is a non-trivial exercise. It is not always obvious, for various reasons and thus quite confusing, but after a decade, I’ve tested so many lenses that I usually spot it quickly because it is so destructive to lens comparisons in particular, and to lens evaluation in general.

It is rare to hear from anyone who understands focus shift and knows how to test for it. Typically I am admonished with “my lens is tack sharp”, “my test shows no shift”, etc. In such cases, I’ve always found a methodology error, suggested how to evaluate better, and gotten an affirmative response. Why should that be? There are various reasons, some technical, and some psychological. The tolerance for optimal versus pretty-good varies with people.

Here then are some key points I have found to be truisms, some obvious, some less so:

  • Anyone shooting wide open won't notice, as there is no focus shift wide open, since the lens is focused at the shooting aperture (or usually is, there are exceptions). Similarly focusing and shooting stopped down eliminates the issue, but may induce other errors if focused too-far stopped-down.
  • Few photographers will notice focus shift when shooting at f/8 or f/11, since things will be sharp where focused—shrugging off the subtle oddity of things being sharper at distance (or closer) in the center (or outer zones) than expected—perhaps the thought “weird, I must have focused a little wrong” is likely the most that will occur even from observant photographers.
  • Handheld shooting is rife with error potentials (focus error, movement of the photographer or subject) that it just becomes a matter of odds—blind squirrels find acorns and those with one good eye might still get 70% of the acorns.
  • It takes only a few razor sharp shots from a high performance lens to form a cognitive commitment that the lens is perfect—all contrary evidence thereafter gets excluded. Often this is also a psychological commitment tied to one’s choice of brand. At least two things result from this: (1) a cognitive blindness develops, making it impossible to consider contrary evidence, and (2) impaired ability to consistently obtain optimal results, since technique is not adjusted appropriately.
  • If the camera tends to frontfocus wide open and the lens has rearward focus shift, then the shift cancels it out at least partly. See my notes in Lundy Canyon Portraits and related pages for examples of that.
  • Less than optimal sharpness is written off as focusing errors, often followed by Fine Focus Adjust, which cannot address focus shift except for one aperture, but thereafter sets up a cognitive commitment that all is well with good odds of subsequent cognitive blindness, as discussed above.

I greatly prefer lenses with strictly controlled focus shift, meaning that I need take no special steps to work with the lens—I can focus wide open and shoot stopped down with confidence. Lenses with focus shift can offer world-class performance but it becomes challenging to reliably capture that performance.

Zeiss goes to great pains to avoid focus shift in its Zeiss Otus line and very strong efforts in the Zeiss Milvus line. Zeiss understands that in a practical working sense that a lens is only as sharp as it can be accurately focused at the shooting aperture. Zeiss has thus adapted to the high resolution digital age in a practical and important way. Other lens manufacturers (most) seem to have ignored the point entirely—rather shocking since accurate focus is the single most important aspect of image sharpness.

In the image below, the lens was focused once at f/2 with world-class sharpness as shown (crop from 187 megapixel image). I was shooting an aperture series at f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6. Even at f/5.6, the sharpness is inferior to f/2. The cause is focus shift, as cross-confirmed in several ways. The shift looks to be about two meters at a distance of about 30 meters, which at 187 megapixels (or 47MP) is enough of a shift to seriously degrade the quality, let alone improve upon f/2.

Focus shift can seriously affect sharpness on planar subjects
Actual pixels crop from 187 megapixel image

Roy P writes regaring the Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH:

Hi Lloyd, your mosaic comparison at f/2 and f/4 was quite surprising. I would not have expected that, and I could not recall having seen that kind of behavior before. But then I realized I had never done a systematic comparison. As you said in your excellent article, you can’t shoot hand-held and expect to flush out focus shift issues.

So I thought I’d take a few test shots with my 90 APO and see how my lens fared. I was bracing for bad news, but I was very pleasantly surprised. As far as I can tell, everything is as it should be. I don’t see any focus shift at all. See crops from one of my test shots attached.

Center sharpness improves noticeably from f/2 to f/2.8, then further marginally at f/4 and f/5.6. Corner sharpness improves more dramatically from f/2 to f/2.8, and again strongly at f/4, reaching peak sharpness at f/5.6. At f/5.6, sharpness is at a max and uniform across the field. There is very little further improvement from f/5.6 to f/6.3 or f/8, but no degradation either.

I checked all four corners, in case the sensor plane was not parallel to the subject plane. My setup is fine – I see exactly the same behavior at all four corners, and I randomly picked the top right corner to send you.

The only inexplicable thing is the exposure time at f/2. I don’t understand why it was reported as 0.8s and not 0.6 or 0.7s. But apart from that little bit of mystery, everything else looks good! Maybe I lucked out with a very good copy of the lens??!

fun88官网: I wrote back:

Lenses don't change by sample unless there is something way off.

Looking at the center, what I see is an out of focus image to start (or one badly sharpened), and one that gets worse at f/4, but has attributes that are fooling you. Remember that it is fine detail we are talking about and that coarse and medium structures will “clean up” with stopping down.

What I see is that f/4 has greatly enlarged the blur spots vs f/2. The area at left looks sharper but it just has more crisply defined blur spots (less aberrational softness) with no more detail, and the area at right is notably more blurred at f/4 than at f/2.

To which Roy P replied:

I’ll be darned! You’re absolutely right. See the attached f/2 vs. f/4 comparison. The little white dots at f/2 are printing as tiny circles at f/4, like bokeh, for crying out loud!

Well, it is bokeh, anyway. These tiny circles created enough additional bogus structure that at a lower magnification as in my screen capture with four images, that the f/4 shot looked sharper than the f/2. But at actual pixels, it’s clear what’s really going on!

And it’s also easy to see the solid areas in the patterns (easily seen in the red, green and orange areas) are mushy at f/4 compared to f/2. I know the title for your next article: “Can you ******* see?” Sigh.

BTW, no sharpening was applied. Focusing at f/2 is really tough with this pattern. I should probably start using a newspaper as my test subject, instead of this rug hanging on the wall.

Thanks for the clarification.

fun88官网: there are various visual traps and methodology errors in assessing focus shift—it’s hard to get it right. But when blur circles in non-vignetting areas stay the same size or increase in size or change only a little with stopping down, that is absolute proof of focus shift—because stopping down one stop should always cut the blur circle diameter by 1.4X, by definition.

The mosaic shot is really good for showing focus shift without any ambiguity provided that the shift is large enough. The foreground brick pavers also show the transition from unsharpness to sharpness, very useful for confirmation. The problem with most focus shift evaluations is that many lenses shift, say, 1/2 or 2/3 or 3/4 or even a full stop (in DoF terms) at one stop down. In such cases, a 2/3 stop shift still means a 1/3 stop gain in DoF—but the entire zone has moved rearward. So a planar target like the mosaic can be really good for troublesome cases (as above), or it can mislead because the sharpness (just) holds. Typically though, some area of the frame degrades enough, which is grounds for further investigation.

In magnified Live View it is possible with some lenses on some subject matter for a slightly defocused image to look better than ideal focus, typically with lenses not well corrected for secondary color. Stopping down can eliminate the secondary color, which can sometimes look very similar to focus shift, which it is in a way (differential focus by color). But most modern lenses now control violet fringing and secondary color really well.

Newspapers don't work very well for focus shift tests unless at just the right size, because the eye responds to acutance, which typically improves with stopping down, and there is not good fine detail in printed newspaper unless the paper itself is resolved. It can work, it all depends on size and texture.

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Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL Examples: Dusk and Night Shooting (Panasonic S1R)

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This page shows examples at dusk and night with the Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH on the Panasonic S1R. Images have been chosen to demonstrate the lens at its best.

In fun88官网 L-Mount Mirrorless:

Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL Examples: Dusk and Night Shooting

Presented at up to 187 megapixels, because sharpness at f/2 is spectacular.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f2.8 @ 1.0 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-05-22 21:00:01
[LACA corrected, push 2.4 stops, Enhance Details, distortion corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH

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Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 OIS Aperture Series @ 87mm: Mosaic (Panasonic S1R, High-Res)

Get Panasonic S1R at B&H Photo.

This page looks at performance of the Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 OIS at 87mm on a demanding planar (flat) target at medium distance. This particular subject lays bare all lens weaknesses, but particularly micro contrast and sharpness the frame.

I shot this scene as a comparison against the Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL, which looked fantastic at f/2, but it exhibited a pronounced focus shift that made f/5.6 worse than f/2!

In fun88官网 L-Mount Mirrorless:

Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 OIS Aperture Series @ 87mm: Mosaic (Panasonic S1R, HighRes)

Presented at up to 93 megapixels (1.414X linear reduction from 187MP) using an approach similar to that documented in Workflow for Multi-Shot High-Res Mode Images in Adobe Camera Raw.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f5.6 @ 0.6 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-05-22 20:17:02
[distortion corrected, Enhance Details, LACA corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Panasonic LUMIX S PRO 70-200mm f/4 OIS @ 87mm
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Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 OIS Aperture Series @ 200mm: Mosaic (Panasonic S1R, High-Res)

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This page looks at performance of the Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 OIS at 200mm on a demanding planar (flat) target at medium distance. This particular subject lays bare all lens weaknesses, but particularly micro contrast and sharpness across the frame.

In fun88官网 L-Mount Mirrorless:

Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 OIS Aperture Series @ 200mm: Mosaic (Panasonic S1R, HighRes)

Presented at up to 93 megapixels (1.414X linear reduction from 187MP) using an approach similar to that documented in Workflow for Multi-Shot High-Res Mode Images in Adobe Camera Raw.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f5.6 @ 1/15 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-05-22 19:57:11
[distortion corrected, Enhance Details, LACA corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 OIS @ 200mm
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Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 OIS Aperture Series @ 135mm: Mosaic (Panasonic S1R, High-Res)

Get Panasonic S1R at B&H Photo.

This page looks at performance of the Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 OIS at 135mm on a demanding planar (flat) target at medium distance. This particular subject lays bare all lens weaknesses, but particularly micro contrast and sharpness the frame.

In fun88官网 L-Mount Mirrorless:

Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 OIS Aperture Series @ 135mm: Mosaic (Panasonic S1R, HighRes)

Presented at up to 93 megapixels (1.414X linear reduction from 187MP) using an approach similar to that documented in Workflow for Multi-Shot High-Res Mode Images in Adobe Camera Raw.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f4 @ 1/13 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-05-22 20:02:45
[distortion corrected, Enhance Details, LACA corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 OIS @ 135mm

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Nikon Z7 Eye AF: Does it Focus on Eye or Eyelashes?

Terence M writes:

For what it’s worth, a YouTube review using a 105mm F/1.4 close up at F/1.4 the Eye AF focused on the eyelash instead of the iris and the eye was out of focus.

Maybe you could find a 85mm F/1.4 or 105mm F/1.4 for your review?

DIGLOYD: my first tests with the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S show that the Z7 has a strong preference for eyelash and eyebrow focus, which suggests that Eye AF is a failure on the Nikon Z7. I tested at 70mm primarily.

I need to test the Z7 some more, but I am not hopeful. Between Eye AF on the Nikon Z7 and Eye AF on the Sony A7R III and Eye AF on the Panasonic S1R, I now have several hundred portraits with out of focus eyes, and I feel discouraged in wasting my time further. It all seems like one big lie shared by all the vendors. The emperor has sharp eyes—just look at those lashes!

If a camera cannot focus sharply on the iris of the eye at f/2.8, then it is a disaster at f/1.4, which has half the depth of field of f/2.8.

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Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL: Stopping Down Gets Worse at f/2.8 and f/4.

So yesterday I shot the Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL rigorously, and by chance got the most beautiful lighting I had seen in years.

What does the Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL do? Degrade excellence at f/2 into softness at f/2.8, more softness at f/4, recover (almost) at f/5.6 to f/2 quality. Looks like a very bad focus shift, but I now have to go prove that out, to rule out other oddball potential causes (operator error is NOT one, as I have already confirmed).

But one thing is clear: the size (magnification) of the image shrinks slightly with each stop, which means focus is shifting rearward (towards the distance). In past testing this has always meant optical focus shift, with the exception of the electronic focus-changing glitches with the Fujifilm GFX-50S and the Fujifilm GF 120mm f/4—and in that case there was no consistent pattern. A consistent pattern as with the Leica 90/2 SL has always meant strong focus shift.

It’s not a single series thing, but repeatable, though not always obvious or clear—could it have something to do with Multi-Shot High-Res mode, where the losses are plain to see? Either it’s a major focus shift or some weird mechanical or electronic glitch. I am furious that my work is toast, in terms of showing what the lens can do. If it’s optical, then I deem the lens useless. If not... I don’t yet know.

The Leica 90/2 SL can deliver truly outstanding images, but this behavior has me frustrated beyond printable words. And maybe the portrait focusing errors can be explained in part too, if it is indeed optical focus shift—that would surely screw the pooch for portraiture, as was the case.

I now have to research the problem and figure it out. I assume its 75mm sibling will behavesimilarly.

Given the atrocious field curvature and focus shift of the “reference lens”* Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH, maybe it’s just normal (see Sharpness Losses from Field Curvature at Distance: Grassy Meadow and other series).

Could the Leica SL build in some kind of compensation for severe focus shift that the Panasonic S1R does not? If so, it must be new because it did not when I last tested the Leica SL. Compensation is NOT a solution for many shooting scenarios: how does one focus in dim conditions except at full aperture? That’s one of my most common use cases!

* “Reference lens” is Leica-speak for “a lens demonstrating pronounced field curvature and focus shift that would make any other manufacturer would blush”.

James K writes:

You are in photo hell. One way of providing some insight into the mystery would be to shoot the Leica 50mm f/1.4 on the Leica SL and see if it behaves the same as on the Panasonic. If it does not exhibit the extreme focus shift on the SL you will have determined that there is a software issue. The idea of the common L mount might not be working with lenses using compensation programs to address optical flaws.

DIGLOYD: Leica gear has been the most problematic of all camera systems over the years.

I don’t intend to borrow the Leica SL as it’s pointless at this juncture—I’m not into 24 megapixels and crappy ergonomics/haptics, so it’s a non-starter camera as far as I’m concerned. I’ll have to run some more tests and I now also have the Leica 75mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH along with the 90/2.

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Fujifilm GFX-100 Announced, Review Planned (updated with comments)

Busy day, and so I am behind, but I have a new crown for the disintegrated molar.

Fujifilm has announced the Fujifilm GFX-100. That’s exciting—100 megapixels in a single shot “reasonably” priced camera.

But where is pixel shift and Multi-Shot High-Res mode? Bummer.

I’ll keep a hopeful outlook but traditionally “more pixels” means ”more hassles”, and Fujifilm looks to be upholding that principle: the ergonomics/haptics look really awful on the new brick-with-buttons. I see design by engineers here, not design for photography. It looks like the Fujifilm GFX-50R, whose ergonomics and haptics became quite irritating in the cold last winter. Anyone use a left hand for operating a camera? I do, a lot on Nikon cameras. Fujifilm should get a clue that people have two hands (usually). Ditto for other brands, not just picking on Fujifilm.

As I discussed in my four-part series Maximize Image Quality with Shot Discipline articles at , perfect shot execution and outstanding lenses are going to be needed for the extremely high pixel density of a 100 megapixel 44 X 33mm sensor. Along with focus stacking.

The one Fujifilm sample landscape shot with the GF 23/4 is laughably bad— it is very blurry and would not hold up at 50 megapixels and could be done with far superior results using a 35mm camera. Indeed my December shooting with the Fujifilm GF 23mm f/4 shows poor results at 50 megapixels in the outer zones. Fujifilm also has no clue how to make a good image from raw (technically speaking), judging by the image quality on its web site for the climbing photo. If that’s an out-of-camera JPEG, I want no part of it.

Manufacturers try very hard to make themselves look bad at product intro. So I am looking past that—I am looking forward to shooting the Fujifilm GFX-100 in raw to see what it can do. My concern is that some of the Fujifilm GF lenses are scarcely up to the task of 50 megapixels (23/4 and the 32-64mm zoom). Not in the central areas, but edges and corners are a serious letdown. Try harder, Fujifilm. I don’t want a $1200 lens on a $10K camera giving me 1/3 resolution at the edges. And I worry about the focus shift I have already documented, and any camera glitches that alter focus.

Bottom line though is image quality. Carrying a big brick can be worth it if the images are the reward as the Hasselblad H6D-100C showed me, and the GFX-100 is much more manageable. It is primarily on the basis of image quality that I will be evaluating it. Then again, the Panasonic S1R with the right lens and appropriate subject can work wonders beyond 100 megapixels.

Fujifilm GFX-100
Fujifilm GFX-100

James K writes:

The Fuji GFX-100 looks like a brick. With pixel shift or Multi-Shot High-Res mode they could have had a more appealing camera.

The smell of a Sony with a Global Shutter is in the wind. This Fall and Winter will tell the tale. The Sony Bear might leave the others like picked clean bones in Yellowstone with no meat for the wolves.

fun88官网: no one should count Sony out, and it makes me hesitate to buy anything right now. Still, if I were just shooting landscape, the appeal of high-grade Zeiss or other lenses on the Panasonic S1R with Multi-Shot High-Res mode is compelling.

Jason W writes:

Enhance Details might not be killer app for the GFX 100S the way it was for the 50R/S. As you point out, many of the GF lenses will fail to out-resolve the sensor which means there just won't be much for Enhance Details to do in terms of recovering aliased detail. The difference may end up truly being nothing.

fun88官网: some of the Fujifilm GF lenses are very sharp and all are sharp in the center, and thus color moiré and spurious detail issues might remain in the strong areas. But for several of the lenses, weak outer zones coupled with the damaging effects of distortion correction means capture of “higher resolution blur”.

However, I saw little benefit when processing Hasselblad H6D-100C and probably because of what Jason mentions: the lenses not being good enough to cause the usual optical issues—and the Fujifilm GFX-100 has far smaller pixels which means its lenses have to be better than the Hasselblad HCD lenses to incur isseus.


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L-Mount Lenses in my Review Pipeline: Leica 75mm f/2 SL, Leica 90mm f/2 SL, Panasonic 70-200mm f/4

Here or arriving soon are three L-Mount lenses, to be tested on the Panasonic S1R:

Leica 75mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH

Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH

Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 OIS

I’ll also be doing more with the Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar, the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, and the Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM and Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM. Whew!

It’s hard to do so much so quickly, so there will be some similar material from each, but I do hope to get out in the field in the next week or so, for a change of pace.


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Two Fun Days at the Dentist: Root Canal #1 and a Crown

I might slow down a bit over the next few days, tomorrow and the next day.

As a result of , my molar (tooth #30) has disintegrated in half, necessitating a root canal followed by a crown. The break is just high enough that maybe I won’t have to also see a periodontist to carve off gum tissue also. Plenty of other teeth (five) also need crowns from crash damage. Oh, and I need my wisdom teeth removed.

I’m told that a root canal is no big deal but for some reason it makes me nervous.

Dental work is not my favorite thing, and the total costs with orthodontia (coming off in 3 weeks) and wisdom teeth approaches $18K. I never thought that the dental work would greatly exceed the medical expenses. Well, it’s a damn site better than a broken neck.

Update: 5 hours in the dentist’s chair (root canal one day, crown the next) resulted in a perfect crown to replace the disintegrated lower molar. Amazing what scanning and 3D sculpting of porcelain can do. Five more crowns to go, and orthodontia off then a retainer. But it’s better than a broken neck.

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Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 28mm, 35mm, 50mm: Mosaic (Nikon Z7)

Get Nikon Z system at B&H Photo.

See also the assessment of distortion and its implications for sharpness after distortion correction in Distortion @ 24mm, 28mm for Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S.

I wanted to thoroughly document behavior over the zoom range of the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S because it is a key lens in the lineup that Nikon is offering. That is now done for 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm on this demanding target.

These series looks at the performance of the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S from f/2.8 through f/8 at 28mm, 35mm, 50mm on a highly demanding detailed planar (flat) target.

In fun88官网 Mirrorless:

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 24mm: Mosaic

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 28mm: Mosaic

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 35mm: Mosaic

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 50mm: Mosaic

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 70mm: Mosaic

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/2.8 through f/8, plus crops.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f2.8 @ 1/15 sec, ISO 64; 2019-05-09 19:55:51
[LACA corrected, Enhance Details, vignetting corrected, distortion corrected]
NIKON Z7 + Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S @ 35mm
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Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH Examples: Portraits using Panasonic S1R Eye AF

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This page puts the Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH to use for portraits on the Panasonic S1R using Eye AF focusing mode. A reflector was used for fill lighting. The 90/2 performs beautifully, but Eye AF was a sad story.

In fun88官网 L-Mount Mirrorless:

Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH Examples: Portraits with Panasonic S1R Eye AF

Images at up to full camera resolution. Some images are pairs of apertures for comparison.

As in previous portrait attempts, I had trouble with the Panasonic S1R Eye AF. Too often the S1R Eye AF focuses on eyelashes or nose in front of the iris. Many shots were discarded from this page with about 12 usable shots out of 40, 2 or 3 ruined by motion blur and the rest ruined by the failing of Eye AF. I was thus left with only a small fraction of the best poses.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f2 @ 1/250 sec handheld, ISO 50; 2019-05-20 17:53:31
[distortion corrected, Enhance Details, LACA corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH

 


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Panasonic S1R Eye AF: Hit and Miss at Its Best

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When you get the shot you want and the camera screwed the pooch with incompetent Eye AF, what does it feel like? Like a total waste of time and anger at shots lost.

Below, there are sharp eyebrows, lips and nose, but blurry iris of the eye. How hard can it be with a high-grade 90mm f/2 lens to nail focus on the iris of the eye? Half (at least) of my shots did not nail focus on the iris of the eye and of the other half, half of those succeeded only because of depth of field.

Eye Sensor AF = ON
Shutter AF = ON
AF Mode = Face/Eye/Body/Animal Detect
AF-S

I watch the focus indicator thing light up in the right area and all looks right when pressing the shutter. Am I missing something and it’s RTFM? I can’t see how.

How could any pro put up with this dogshit Eye AF? Screwing up the wrong job might mean screwing up a reputation which could mean career over. Better use f/8 and pray. Or buy Sony, assuming its Eye AF still works.

1296 | 2592 | 4320 | 6144
f2 @ 1/400 sec, ISO 50; 2019-05-20 17:52:57 [Enhance Details]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH

NYC pro photographer James K writes:

What’s up doc?

You are a fussy guy. What do you want for around $8000? You want a camera that actually does Eye Auto Focus. Imagine explaining to a beauty client that it “was the cameras fault”. Next photographer please.

Sometimes in life “there are no second chances.” There are at least ten guys around the corner happy to take your place at the table. Somebody has to shake the tree and it seems that job has fallen to you. Thank the Photo Gods. Keep up the good work.

fun88官网: and there is the rest of my life and hers that this shot might never happen again—life is not a dress rehearsal. Personal or professional, most opportunities never come again. I might photograph my daughter today or tomorrow, but it might be months before I do so again—she’s busy and not always cooperative. A camera that f****s it up is on my shit list, at least for that feature.

As to reviewing a lens, having to shoot and reshoot so I can get (at best) 1 in 3 perfectly focused images, and of those, hope and pray that some of the best expressions and poses are included.

What I don’t follow is how camera companies seem to monitor sites like mine—surely they’d like to address such issues, ideally by explaining the voodoo setting that I apparently forgot to turn on in order to make things work well, or by fixing the software algorithms if I am doing everything right. I suppose they just watch Twitter and Facebook and Instagram? I don’t have any contacts at Panasonic, and I’m not about to waste my time on Beginner Tech Support.

Below, a 2nd Eye AF failure. Most of the images in my shoot were ruined in this manner—sharpness on the eyebrows or nose, blurry eye or eyes. How hard can it be to get one eye sharp at this range at 90mm at f/2?!

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f2 @ 1/250 sec handheld, ISO 50; 2019-05-20 17:53:17 [distortion corrected, LACA corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH

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Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 24mm: Mosaic (Nikon Z7)

Get Nikon Z system at B&H Photo.

See also the assessment of distortion and its implications for sharpness after distortion correction in Distortion @ 24mm, 28mm for Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S.

This series looks at the performance of the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S from f/2.8 through f/8 at 24mm on a highly demanding detailed planar (flat) target.

In fun88官网 Mirrorless:

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 24mm: Mosaic

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/2.8 through f/8, plus crops.

Notably better results than at 70mm.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f2.8 @ 1/20 sec, ISO 64; 2019-05-09 19:54:54
[USM{6,60,0}, LACA corrected, Enhance Details, vignetting corrected, distortion corrected]
NIKON Z7 + Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S @ 24mm

Deals Updated Daily at B&H Photo

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 70mm: Mosaic (Nikon Z7)

Get Nikon Z system at B&H Photo.

See also the assessment of distortion and its implications for sharpness after distortion correction in Distortion @ 70mm, 50mm, 35mm for Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S.

This series looks at the performance of the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S from f/2.8 through f/8 at 70mm on a highly demanding detailed planar (flat) target.

In fun88官网 Mirrorless:

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 70mm: Mosaic

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/2.8 through f/8, plus crops.

I’m not impressed, and had hoped for more.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f2.8 @ 1/15 sec, ISO 64; 2019-05-09 19:55:31
[LACA corrected, Enhance Details, vignetting corrected, distortion corrected]
NIKON Z7 + Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S @ 70mm

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Shootout: Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM vs Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 (Mosaic, Sony A7R III)

Get Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM at B&H Photo.

This page compares the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM to the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 from f/1.4 through f/8 on a demanding planar (flat) target with extremely fine details.

In fun88官网 Mirrorless:

Shootout: Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM vs Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 (Mosaic)

Includes images up to full camera resolution with crops and extensive analysis.

There are interesting (and confounding) differences between these two lenses; anyone contemplating either should take note.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f2 @ 1/10 sec IS=off, ISO 50; 2019-05-17 20:06:14
[LACA corrected, Enhance Details, vignetting corrected]
Sony A7R III + Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM

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Shootout: Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM vs Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art (Mosaic, Sony A7R III)

Get Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM at B&H Photo.

This page compares the Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM to the Sigma FE 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art from f/1.8 through f/8 on a demanding planar (flat) target with extremely fine details. Focus shift and field curvature are assessed along with sharpness through the aperture series.

In fun88官网 Mirrorless:

Shootout: Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM vs Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art (Mosaic, Sony A7R III)

Includes images up to full camera resolution with crops and extensive analysis.

There are important differences between these two lenses; anyone contemplating either should take note.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f1.8 @ 1/200 sec IS=off, ISO 50; 2019-05-17 19:10:08
[LACA corrected, Enhance Details, vignetting corrected]
Sony A7R III + Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM
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Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM Aperture Series: Burghers and Rising Moon (Sony A7R III)

See my Sony mirrorless wishlist.

This aperture series from f/1.4 through f/11 explores the performance of the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM on a near-to-far composition with reflective subjects at varying distances. Sharpness, depth of field, focus shift and color correction are examined.

In my review of the Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM in fun88官网 Mirrorless:

Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM Aperture Series: Burghers and Rising Moon

Images up to full camera resolution.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f4 @ 15.0 sec, ISO 50; 2019-05-17 20:54:07
[vignetting corrected, Enhance Details, LACA corrected]
Sony A7R III + Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM

 


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Has Sony Broken Eye AF with the Latest Firmware Update?

See my Sony mirrorless wishlist.

Update: see reader comments after original post further below. I’ll need to retest, paying attention to the new requirements for how to use it, which have changed. I have not confirmed what is found in . There are several variables involved, a key one being the size of the AF spot, but also whether Eye AF is used with a custom button or via shutter press—crazy confusing and why Sony does not have a white paper explaining all this I dunno. I’ll have to explore and test this all.

This is in the overview. It pretty much looks like one should use wide-AF area when using Eye AF. The instruction manual as I it today is terrible—I cannot even find anything on Eye AF in it (page 37 mentions focus area but no mention of Eye AF).

Reliable eye tracking, in all conditions

Catch the eye for superb portraiture. Eye AF uses Sony’s remarkable wide AF area and accurate eye detection to open up unimagined freedom of composition, so you can explore creative expression like never before(1).

Enhanced Real-time Eye AF(1)

A subject's eyes can be detected as soon as the shutter button is half-pressed, then tracked continuously in AF-C mode with outstanding accuracy.

Choose your subject's left eye or right eye(1)

Now you can choose Left Eye, Right Eye, or Auto from the menu in advance, leaving you free to pay more attention to composition. These selections can be assigned to custom buttons, allowing you to quickly toggle between choices while mid-shoot.

(1) Eye AF may not always work as intended, depending on the shooting scene and conditions. Function availability and detection performance may vary by models (software version). Tracking available only in AF-C mode.

There is a which raises some interesting questions.

Original post plus comments

I on my Sony A7R III a few days ago and then configured the camera for Face/Eye AF (it is disturbing that Eye AF is now lumped together with "face", the two being radically different when working at wider apertures or close range), and "human".

The next day I shot 14 portrait images with the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM at close range. Of those one (1) image had a sharp iris of the eye. The other 13 were all junk-focused—very blurry iris of the eye, with sharp eyelashes and eyebrows or similar. The subject had eyeglasses on, if that somehow matters.

Possibly I am doing something wrong, but how? If the camera is set for Eye AF and "human" what else am I supposed to do?

If it’s configured correctly, I now have to rate Sony Eye AF as total garbage.

Reader David B writes:

Its changed configuration in various ways.

If you have it set it to time face/eye and you are not using wide area, if will only work under the movable focus point you have chosen (unless you go with wide area) You don’t have to find the eye if you have it set this way; you just have to move the AF point over, roughly, the area where you want eyes found. By setting focus to wide area for these purposes it will find eyes everywhere. Using an AF override button may make sense if you want to use it this way.

It’s possible to set it so that it has the previous behaviour, working when you press a dedicated button only... previously, Eye AF was assigned to a button, and it only looked for eyes while the button was pressed. With the new firmware, by default - if it’s turned on - it scans for eyes continuously and will focus on them with a half press of the shutter. If you prefer the old behaviour (and I do for some purposes) it can be turned on.

fun88官网: nice of Sony to do a terrible job explaining it. I will have to retest. It’s all well and good with a programmable button on GM lenses, but on others, switching between Eye AF on/off also means changing the size of the focus area—what a hassle. When I shot initially as per above, I used the smallest focus spot and put it near the eye, which might explain why only 1 of 14 images had a sharp eye—if the camera doesn’t look outside the spot it’s not going to find an eye.

Terence M writes:

I was planned on doing the firmware update next week on my Sony A7RIII but since your recent comments on the updated Eye AF, its on hold. Any plan to test the Eye AF with a portrait lens?

fun88官网: yes, when I can corral a suitable 'victim'.

Reader Dr S writes:

Could you be clear about what settings you use when you do your Eye AF on the Sony? After reading your comment about issues w/FW 3.00 or .01 I tested my upgraded cam w/few lenses.

One could put the cam on a tripod, VR off, and eye'AF AF-S or AF-C. So far I have tested without a tripod but with solid technique (yeah right!) to minimize camera shake and a very steady model. I have found with hand-holding the hit rate w/Af-S is abysmal but high with AF-C. Again please either tell me or direct me to a link on your site that describes your "portraiture" technique.

Thanks and your daughter must be getting pretty tired being your model. My wife quit long ago.

I responded saying:

I have always use AF-S with Sony with high hit rate (until current firmware). Eye AF ought to lock on and a fraction of a second later the picture is taken, so AF-C should not be needed. But if you say it is so, perhaps it is. Sony has not updated their manual and I could not even find Eye AF in the one I downloaded 2 days ago.

1. Place the (fairly large) focusing spot on the subject face

2. Half press the button, watch the camera indicate it found the eye

3. expose.

There should be no special technique needed!

Dr S continues:

Yup.... prior to the FW upgrade I used AF-S with a high, almost uncanny hit rate. New FW sucks.

Got out my old A7r2 and it behaved quite well in AF-S. Sony's got to fix it! They had a winner and the workaround w/AF-C doesn't cut it. I wonder what will happen when the Z7 is upgraded. Film at 11!

fun88官网: I guess I'll have to set it to AF-C and see what happens. But that's a disaster when doing mixed shooting; can't be consantly switching 3 or 4 settings to configure back/forth.


Get up to 16x more storage and 2x the speeds of the original drive

Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM Aperture Series: Quadrangle Shadows and Rising Moon (Sony A7R III)

See my Sony mirrorless wishlist.

This aperture series from f/1.4 through f/11 explores the performance of the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM on a near-to-far composition typical of landscape shooting. The point spread function and sagittal coma flare behavior are also explored.

In my review of the Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM in fun88官网 Mirrorless:

Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM Aperture Series: Quadrangle Shadows and Rising Moon

Images up to full camera resolution.

The about $1398 Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM is a very fine lens—clearly designed from scratch for Sony mirrorless—highly recommended along with the jaw-dropping about $1898 Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f1.4 @ 2.0 sec IS=off, ISO 50; 2019-05-17 20:48:19
[Enhance Details, push 0.6 stops, LACA corrected, "long exposure noise reduction NOT used"]
Sony A7R III + Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM

 

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Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar at 187 Megapixels: Church Mosaic Straight-On (Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res Mode)

Get Zeiss Otus at B&H Photo.

Here, the Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar is put to the ultimate test using the 187 megapixel Multi-Shot High-Res mode on the Panasonic S1R. This scene is difficult enough at sensor resolution, so this is a severe test of a lens performance headroom.

I’ve added a second example to the first one. In fun88官网 Zeiss DSLR Lenses:

Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar Examples: Multi-Shot High-Res Mode (Panasonic S1R)

Includes images at up to 47, 93 125, 187 megapixels.

As with the previous example, the detail level is astonishing, even at full resolution. Subtleties smeared away for the past decade shooting this target at lower resolution pop out: individual tiles have their own distinct color, nor is there any detectable noise. The grout itself is cleanly delineated. Defects within each tiny tile can be seen. There is no reason that the 187 megapixel version could not be used directly for a print.

If high resolution is a priority (along with superior color purity, ultra low noise, freedom from digital artifacts), it is hard to justify buying a conventional Sony mirrorless or Nikon mirrorless or Canon mirrorless camera as there is just no comparison. This is way WAY better than all but the most exotic medium format cameras. Of course, lots of photography has other priorities, handholding being the most obvious. But for sheer awesome imaging power with a suitable subject, no other 35mm camera can touch the Panasonic S1R with a high-grade lens.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f8 @ 1/8 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-05-17 19:30:41 [LACA corrected, Enhance Details]
Panasonic S1R + Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar

Upgrade the memory of your 2019 iMac up to 128GB

Full MTF Series for Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar

Get Zeiss Otus at B&H Photo.

I have published a full MTF series for the Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar: {f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16}, along with my commentary on performance. Aperture f/1.4 is on balance nearly as good as f/8—dang!

Based on my field usage, its incredible flat-field resolving power, strict control of all aberrations, the Otus 100 is now my reference lens.

In fun88官网 Zeiss DSLR Lenses:

MTF for Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar



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Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar at 187 Megapixels: Church Mosaic (Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res Mode)

Get Zeiss Otus at B&H Photo.

Only a very few lenses can faithfully render this mosaic to full sensor resolution (42/45/47/50 megapixel cameras as of 2019), with many “cheater” lens designs utilizing software distortion correction that makes that impossible.

Here, the Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar is put to the ultimate test using the 187 megapixel Multi-Shot High-Res mode on the Panasonic S1R. This scene is difficult enough at sensor resolution, so this is a severe test of a lens performance headroom.

In fun88官网 Zeiss DSLR Lenses:

Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar Example: Multi-Shot High-Res Mode (Panasonic S1R)

Includes images at up to 47, 93 125, 187 megapixels.

This is the finest capture I have ever made of this mosaic. The detail, color nuance and freedom from noise are astonishing.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f5.6 @ 1/13 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 100; 2019-05-17 20:02:22 [USM{8,50,0}, LACA corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar
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First Look at Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM, Examples

See my Sony mirrorless wishlist.

These initial examples were shot handheld (without IBIS) to look at sharpness and bokeh and overall rendering style near MOD (Minimum Object Distance) of the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM.

In my review of the Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM in fun88官网 Mirrorless:

Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM Examples: Close-Range Shooting

Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM: Violet Fringing and Secondary Color Bokeh, Point Spread Function

Images up to full camera resolution. Some images have dual aperture toggles for comparison.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f2 @ 1/320 sec handheld, ISO 100; 2019-05-17 09:26:52
[vignetting corrected, Enhance Details, LACA corrected]
Sony A7R III + Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM

 

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How Much Does the GPU Matter for Adobe Camera Raw Enhance Details?

MPG Lloyd tested the 2019 iMac 5K 3.6 GHz Intel Core i9 8-core / 128GB / 2TB / Radeon Vega 48. Purchase with 8GB memory, then . See recommended Macs for photographers and videographers.

These tests made possible by loaner gear from B&H Photo and OWC, so please buy your gear at B&H Photo and using any link from this site or MacPerformanceGuide.com, ditto for OWC/MacSales.com. See also .

Unsure which Mac to get or how to configure it? .

In my I cover a lot of photography-related performance metrics.

Added today is an update showing just how the 2019 iMac 5K with two different GPU choices fares against the iMac Pro, with thoughts as to whether the upgraded GPU is worth it for photographers.

Nikon Z7

 


Upgrade the memory of your 2019 iMac up to 128GB

Nikon Recalls Some Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z6 Cameras for Vibration Reduction Issues

See my Nikon mirrorless wishlist at B&H Photo.

The confirms what one reader reported to me and which I experienced myself with one Nikon Z7 body.

Nikon Z7

Technical Service Advisory for Users of the Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 Cameras

MAY 16, 2019

Thank you for choosing Nikon for your photographic needs.

Issue

While Nikon has taken great measures to assure the high quality expected of Nikon products, it has come to our attention that the vibration reduction (VR) feature in some Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 cameras may not function fully. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Resolution

Nikon has resolved this by making available corrective service for affected Z 6 and Z 7 cameras free of charge, including the cost of shipping an affected Z 6 and Z 7 camera to Nikon as well as its return, even if your Z 6 or Z 7 camera warranty has expired.

Identifying Affected Products and Requesting Service

To determine whether your camera is one of those affected, please click the appropriate Check Serial Number button below...

Voigtlander 21/1.4 for Sony FE

2 aspherical elements, 4 partial dispersion elements, floating elements, manual focus, 12 blade diaphragm, EXIF transfer.

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Nikon Z7 Firmware Update Brings Eye AF

Get Nikon Z7 at B&H Photo.

Given the unacceptable hit rate of Panasonic S1R Eye AF, I’m not assuming that Nikon Eye AF is as good as Sony Eye AF. It’s got to have a 95% hit rate on the iris of the eye, not the frustrating “eyelash focus” of the Panasonic S1R.

In general I trust Nikon to take its time to do things right, but I’m in favor of “trust but verify” for companies that have done a reliable job before.

Nikon’s description of the below.

Nikon Z7

Firmware 2.0: Eye-Detection AF & More

Superior image quality is the foundation of the Nikon Z series. Now, the all-new Firmware 2.0 upgrade builds upon that foundation with key feature enhancements developed in direct response to user feedback. Among the exciting improvements are the highly-anticipated Eye-Detection AF feature for still shooting, improved AF performance in low light and AE tracking capability in continuous high-speed (extended) mode. Firmware 2.0 ushers in the next era of a camera system designed to never stop evolving.

Eye-Detection AF

  • Continuously tracks eyes, even when subjects move within the frame
  • Works in AF-S and AF-C focus modes.
  • Intelligently recognizes the eyes of multiple people in the frame, giving you the freedom to choose which person and eye to focus on.
  • Remains locked on the eyes even when face is partially or temporarily obstructed .
  • Built on a legacy of Nikon autofocus and facial recognition innovations.

Even Better AF Performance in Low Light

  • Faster, more accurate focusing indoors and for night portraits.
  • Reduces the need to switch to Low-Light AF mode to acquire focus.

AE Tracking in Continuous H+ (extended) Shooting

  • Auto Exposure (AE) continues to track in every shot throughout the entire burst sequence
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Panasonic Lumix S PRO 50mm f/1.4 Portrait Examples (Panasonic S1R)

Get Panasonic Lumix S Pro 50mm f/1.4 at B&H Photo.

This page puts the Panasonic Lumix S PRO 50mm f/1.4 to use for portraits on the Panasonic S1R using Eye AF focusing mode. A reflector was used for fill lighting.

In fun88官网 L-Mount Mirrorless:

Examples: Portraits using Eye AF (Panasonic S1R)

Includes images up to full camera resolution, presented in both color and black and white.

I have fewer images to show here because I shot fewer, and the Panasonic Eye AF let me down again. I give Sony Eye AF an "A" and Panasonic Eye AF a "D+".

f1.4 @ 1/2000 sec, ISO 100; 2019-05-11 15:02:12
[distortion corrected, Enhance Details, LACA corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Panasonic Lumix S PRO 50mm f/1.4

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Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH Portrait Examples (Panasonic S1R)

Get L-Mount lenses at B&H Photo.

This page puts the Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH to use for portraits on the Panasonic S1R using Eye AF focusing mode. A reflector was used for fill lighting. To my eyes, it appears that the 50/1.4 SL has been expressly designed for beautiful portraiture.

In fun88官网 L-Mount Mirrorless:

Examples: Portraits using Eye AF in Color and Monochrome (Panasonic S1R)

Includes images up to full camera resolution. Most images presented in both color and black and white.

f4 @ 1/250 sec, ISO 100; 2019-05-11 15:00:07
[distortion corrected, Enhance Details, LACA corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH
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Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM Portrait Examples (Sony A7R III)

Get Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM at B&H Photo.

This page puts the Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM to use for portraits on the Sony A7R III using Eye AF focusing mode. A reflector was used for fill lighting.

In fun88官网 Mirrorless:

Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM Examples: Portraits

Includes images up to full camera resolution. Most images presented in both color and black and white.

I daresay that some women might find the Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM too sharp! The detail capture is stunning. At about $1898 it’s a great value.

f1.8 @ 1/3200 sec, ISO 100; 2019-05-11 15:03:58
Sony A7R III + Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM
1296 | 2592 | 4320
f4 @ 1/800 sec handheld, ISO 100; 2019-05-11 14:45:53 [Enhance Details]
Sony A7R III + Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM
f4.5 @ 1/800 sec handheld, ISO 100; 2019-05-11 15:05:25 [Enhance Details]
Sony A7R III + Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM

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Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 43mm: MemChu Wide View (Nikon Z7)

Get Nikon Z system at B&H Photo.

This series looks at performance from near to far of the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S from f/2.8 through f/8. Across the frame performance and field curvature are assessed.

In fun88官网 Mirrorless:

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 43mm: MemChu Wide View

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/2.8 through f/8, plus crops.

Bravo! The performance here is solid all around, with no obvious weak points.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f2.8 @ 0.4 sec, ISO 64; 2019-05-09 20:32:11
[distortion corrected, Enhance Details, LACA corrected]
NIKON Z7 + Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S @ 43mm
Hard drives or SSD.

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 24mm: MemChu Wide View (Nikon Z7)

Get Nikon Z system at B&H Photo.

This series looks at performance from near to far of the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S from f/2.8 through f/8. Across the frame performance and field curvature are assessed.

In fun88官网 Mirrorless:

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 24mm: MemChu Wide View

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/2.8 through f/8, plus crops.

Bravo! The performance here is solid all around, with no obvious weak points.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f4 @ 1/50 sec, ISO 64; 2019-05-09 18:46:56
[distortion corrected, Enhance Details, LACA corrected]
NIKON Z7 + Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S @ 24mm

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Canon’s Sleeper Strategy: Produce the Best Mirorrless Lenses (by far), with High-Res Pro Body to Come?

Get Canon EOS R system at B&H Photo.

It is now clear having tested all Nikon NIKKOR Z lenses except the 14-30mm that Nikon is producing very good but “high consumer grade” lenses for the Z system. I expect the Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S to rely even more heavily on sharpness-damaging distortion correction, and that’s not the only sharpness-damaging optical shortcut. I am disappointed in Nikon serving up lenses that are excellent in many ways, but fall flat on the most important areas: resolving power and micro contrast.

Even Leica uses such tricks with very expensive lenses—a disagreeble trend in the era of high resolution digital.

Canon plans to succeed with discerning pros?

Canon is taking another tack, producing “L” lenses that are true pro grade that are second to none. Canon has stated that very high optical quality is the goal and that size and weight are not priorities. This is a very different approach from Nikon or Leica, with Sony doing some of both, but falling short of Canon’s commitment to excellence.

To wit: the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L and Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L are extremely impressive performers, and I expect no less of the new Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L*.

Canon’s pro-grade lens strategy makes sense if there is a high megapixel Canon EOS R body coming this year. The top-flight L lenses should make a killer combination.

* The Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS is a dud, but every vendor needs a kit lens.

CLICK TO VIEW: Canon EOS R with World-class Optics


Get up to 16x more storage and 2x the speeds of the original drive

Sharpness and Micro Contrast Losses from Mandatory Distortion Correction with the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S

Get Nikon Z system at B&H Photo.

Distortion correction guarantees a loss of sharpness and micro contrast, because some of the pixels in the frame must be stretched apart. With the NikonZ 24-70/2.8, the 45 megapixel sensor of the Nikon Z7 captures as litte as 40 megapixels of detail in the most affected areas, and the losses span nearly all the zoom range, varying by degree. False claims on optical design are found in Nikon’s lens brochure “NIKKOR-Z-Brochure.pdf”:

The ultimate in optical image quality... Less Distortion

Even at their widest apertures, NIKKOR Z lenses show virtually no distortion—flare, ghosting, coma, chromatic, axial and spherical aberration are all greatly minimized.

I call on Nikon to correct the false claim in the PDF. As an additional complaint, shooting aperture is irrelevant to distortion, and conflating distortion and lateral chromatic aberration with other optical aberrations is just poor writing.

Assessing distortion with the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S

These pages shows the true optical distortion of the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S at 70mm, 50mm, 35mm, 28mm, 24mm. The sharpness and micro contrast losses when distortion correction is used are shown, with and without distortion correction*.

In fun88官网 Mirrorless:

Overview of Distortion for Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Distortion @ 24mm, 28mm for Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Distortion @ 70mm, 50mm, 35mm for Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S

Includes images up to full camera resolution with various crops and comparisons.

* Since Adobe Camera Raw enforces lens correction flags such as for distortion correction, paired images were created from the raw files using Iridient Developer.

It is now clear having tested all Nikon NIKKOR Z lenses except the 14-30mm that Nikon is producing very good but “high consumer grade” lenses for the Z system. I expect the 14-30mm to rely even more heavily on sharpness-damaging distortion correction. Even Leica uses such tricks with very expensive lenses—a disagreeble trend in the era of high resolution digital.

f5.6 @ 1/5 sec, ISO 64; 2019-05-09 19:55:06 [distortion corrected, LACA corrected]
NIKON Z7 + Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S @ 24mm
f8 @ 0.3 sec, ISO 64; 2019-05-09 19:45:14
[distortion corrected, diffraction mitigating sharpening, LACA corrected]
NIKON Z7 + Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S @ 70mm
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Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 64mm: View Through Arches to Church Mosaic (Nikon Z7)

Get Nikon Z system at B&H Photo.

This series from f/2.8 through f/8 looks at general performance of the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S at 64mm at night. Includes a 3-frame focus stack at f/8 using Zerene Stacker.

In fun88官网 Mirrorless:

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S Aperture Series: View Through Arches to Church Mosaic

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/2.8 through f/8.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f8 @ 6.0 sec, ISO 64; 2019-05-09 20:33:52
[distortion corrected, focus stack 3 frames, LACA corrected]
NIKON Z7 + Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S @ 64mm

Upgrade the memory of your 2019 iMac up to 128GB

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 48mm: Burghers of Calais (Nikon Z7)

Get Nikon Z system at B&H Photo.

This series from f/2.8 through f/8 looks at the sharpness, contrast and secondary color of the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S under artificial night lighting. Includes a a 2-frame focus stack at f/8.

In fun88官网 Mirrorless:

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S Aperture Series: Burghers of Calais

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/2.8 through f/8.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f8 @ 30.0 sec, ISO 64; 2019-05-09 20:28:23
[distortion corrected, focus stack 2 frames, LACA corrected]
NIKON Z7 + Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S @ 48mm
Voigtlander 21/1.4 for Sony FE

2 aspherical elements, 4 partial dispersion elements, floating elements, manual focus, 12 blade diaphragm, EXIF transfer.

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Buy at B&H via site links to support Lloyd’s reporting!
√ B&H Photo PAYS THE SALES TAX FOR YOU More info...

Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM Examples: Night Shooting (Sony A7R III)

Get Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM at B&H Photo.

These examples taken at night evaluate sharpness, contrast, and control of color aberrations at f/1.8.

In fun88官网 Mirrorless:

Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM Examples: Night Shooting

Includes images up to full camera resolution, plus crops.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f1.8 @ 4.0 sec, ISO 50; 2019-05-09 20:49:15 [LACA corrected, Enhance Details]
Sony A7R III + Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM

Upgrade the memory of your 2018 Mac mini up to 64GB

Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM Aperture Series: One Burgher, Night Lighting (Sony A7R III)

Get Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM at B&H Photo.

This series looks at the sharpness of the Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM at night on a medium-far target with very fine details from f/1.8 through f/5.6.

In fun88官网 Mirrorless:

Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM Aperture Series: One Burgher, Night Lighting

Includes images up to full camera resolution, plus crops.

f1.8 @ 5.0 sec IS=off, ISO 100; 2019-05-09 20:34:18
[Enhance Details, LACA corrected]
Sony A7R III + Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM
Lloyd’s Sony Mirrorless Wishlist
Hand-picked items for Sony.

Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM Aperture Series: Church at Night (Sony A7R III)

Get Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM at B&H Photo.

This series looks at the sharpness of the Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM at night on a medium-far target with very fine details from f/1.8 through f/5.6.

In fun88官网 Mirrorless:

Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM Aperture Series: Church at Night

Includes images up to full camera resolution, plus crops.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f1.8 @ 1.3 sec, ISO 50; 2019-05-09 20:43:26 [Enhance Details]
Sony A7R III + Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM
OWC Easy SSD Upgrade Guide
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Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar Aperture Series: Tower at Night (Nikon D850)

Get Zeiss Otus at B&H Photo.

This series looks at the sharpness of the Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar at night on a distant target with very fine details from f/1.4 through f/4.

In fun88官网 Zeiss DSLR Lenses:

Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar Aperture Series: Tower at Night

Includes images up to full camera resolution, plus crops.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f1.4 @ 1.3 sec, ISO 64; 2019-05-05 19:21:16 [Enhance Details]
NIKON D850 + Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar
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Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar Aperture Series: 'The Claw' Fountain (Nikon D850)

Get Zeiss Otus at B&H Photo.

This series looks at the sharpness and bokeh and secondary color of the Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar on a scene at medium distance from f/1.4 through f/8.

In fun88官网 Zeiss DSLR Lenses:

Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar Aperture Series: 'The Claw' Fountain

Includes images up to full camera resolution, plus crops.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f2.8 @ 2.5 sec, ISO 64; 2019-05-05 19:14:13 [Enhance Details]
NIKON D850 + Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar
Zeiss Loxia for Sony Mirrorless
$1349 SAVE $150 = 10.0% ZEISS 21mm f/2.8 Loxia in Lenses: Mirrorless
$1031 SAVE $268 = 20.0% ZEISS 25mm f/2.4 Loxia in Lenses: Mirrorless
$961 SAVE $338 = 26.0% ZEISS 35mm f/2 Loxia in Lenses: Mirrorless
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Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar Examples: Campus Dusk and Night (Nikon D850)

Get Zeiss Otus at B&H Photo.

This page shows a variety of ad-hoc examples shot for initial evaluation very late on a flat gloomy lighting day. On such days, lens contrast is an imperative to deliver images that have some snap in spit of the lighting.

Examples were chosen to demonstrate sharpness, bokeh, vignetting, and secondary color at f/1.4. Many examples have dual apertures to compare. Together, I think these give a really solid idea of how the Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar behaves.

In fun88官网 Zeiss DLSR Lenses:

Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar Examples: Campus Dusk and Night (Nikon D850)

Includes images up to full camera resolution.

As to Otii, I think the about $4990 Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar is my favorite Otus yet.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f1.4 @ 1.3 sec, ISO 64; 2019-05-05 19:33:59 [Enhance Details]
NIKON D850 + Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar
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Selling the 2017 iMac 5K and Buying the 2019 iMac 5K — Compelling Performance Gains for My Work, Plus 128GB Memory

2019 iMac 5K

As shown in my review of the 2019 iMac 5K, performance of the 2019 iMac 5K is so compelling for my uses that I have sold my 2017 iMac 5K and some other gear to fund the purchase (my budget otherwise is bare bones at best).

The 128GB memory will solve a for me.

This is the ideal machine along with :

Apple iMac 5K 3.6 GHz / 8GB / 2TB / Vega 48

  • 3.6 GHz Intel Core i9 Eight-Core
  • 8GB of DDR4 RAM (add )
  • 2TB PCIe SSD
  • AMD Radeon Pro Vega 48 GPU (8GB)

See my and/or to decide on not just the best Mac, but storage and backup and more.

CLICK TO VIEW: Recommended 2019 iMac 5K (buy OWC memory separately)

 

Voigtlander 21/1.4 for Sony FE

2 aspherical elements, 4 partial dispersion elements, floating elements, manual focus, 12 blade diaphragm, EXIF transfer.

NOW IN STOCK!

Buy at B&H via site links to support Lloyd’s reporting!
√ B&H Photo PAYS THE SALES TAX FOR YOU More info...

Calling Out Two Great Deals at B&H Photo

The Sigma 40mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is a terrific performer, and it’s at B&H Deal Zone at $400 off for Nikon or Canon or Sigma SA mount—wow! I’d buy it in a heartbet if my budget wasn’s so tight. It is one of the finest lenses available today—see my review of the Sigma 40mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art. I’m stunned that such a fine lens is being so deeply discounted.

As to the printer, I been using a non-duplex version of the Xerox WorkCentre 6515. I love the print quality—so much better than inket—so at this price I bought the duplex version.

See the other Deal Zone deals also, updated daily.

CLICK TO VIEW: Deal Zone Deals

 


Deals Updated Daily at B&H Photo

B&H Photo Introduces Payboo Card, Refunds the Sales Tax for Many States — Game Changer for Retailers?

As a small business, I remit sales/use tax every year on out of state purchases. If I were to buy a camera or computer locally or at Amazon, I remit that immediately—money gone.

Now, if I instead buy it from B&H, the sale tax amount is deducted from the purchase price—an unbeatable value given B&H competitive prices. Plus most of my use tax bill (same amount as sales tax) will go away, the tax already being paid.

B&H Photo loaner gear is crucial to my reviews here—please buy through links on this site, and check out wishlists, top deals and my deal finder page.

B&H changes the online sales model

B&H Photo makes a industry-changing move that builds brand loyalty with its new Payboo credit card, and at least here in California, is equivalent to a 9%+ discount:

Now, with the B&H Payboo Card, save the equivalent to the sales tax you pay on every purchase shipped to eligible states”.

I’d be surprised if this move does not cause other companies to follow. Kudos to B&H for innovating, and I hope they have the margins to make this work and stay financially healthy.

Apply Now for Payboo

B&H Photo Payboo “Save the tax” credit card

The arrangement is a not “points” or saving later, it is instant savings. B&H deserves praise both for this groundbreaking move as well as making it gimmick-free:

What are the B&H Payboo Credit Card benefits?

B&H issues instant Payboo Card Savings on all non-tax-exempt purchases shipped to eligible states paid for with the Payboo Card in the form of a reward concurrently issued and redeemed directly on your order during checkout.

How does the Payboo Card benefit really work?

When you pay for B&H purchases with the Payboo Credit Card, B&H will charge the total of merchandise plus applicable fees and taxes; but we instantly issue and apply a reward on orders made in our SuperStore or shipped to eligible states right in checkout as a form of customer payment. Then, the amount charged to the Payboo Card is net of the benefit applied. \

Am I paying sales tax on my purchase? Do I need to submit anything in my tax filings?

B&H will collect and remit state sales tax in accordance with state sales tax laws and regulations. So, customers do pay required sales tax and do not need to keep track or file anything separately. Is there any limit or cap on the total amount of Payboo Card savings? No. B&H will issue Payboo Card Savings rewards without any upper limit.

...

B&H Photo sells a wide variety of cameras, lenses, electronics and more, and is an Apple authorized reseller. See my B&H Photo wishlists.

Super easy to apply and use

I applied for and received my Payboo card and had made an order in under 5 minutes.

B&H Photo Payboo card used for order, saves sales tax

B&H letter

Nobody likes to pay sales tax, but everyone must pay sales tax! B&H, and only B&H, has the solution to the sales tax issue.

Tomorrow, May 7th, B&H will be making a game-changing announcement, and as a loyal customer, I’d like you to be privy to some inside information in advance that will change your shopping experience forever.

Nearly one year ago, the Supreme Court ruled that out-of-state retailers must collect sales tax on internet sales. This, of course, included B&H. For 46 years we have been committed to providing unparalleled customer service, and so we began the tedious process of implementing a way to eliminate the impact this ruling would have on our customers.

We are now ready to launch “Payboo”, the solution to the sales-tax challenge. Tune in tomorrow for details on how to become a part of “Payboo”!

I know you have many shopping choices for creative gear and consumer electronics, but with “Payboo”, there will only be one best choice: B&H!

I look forward to a continued great business relationship and remember, at B&H, the customer always comes first. That’s why we’ve created “Payboo” to solve the sales tax impact for you.

Sincerely,

Menashe Horowitz CEO

fun88官网: should be interesting to see how it goes. I wish B&H the best, but I wonder how other vendors will response.

Sergey Z writes:

While it is, admittedly, very exciting to expect to avoid paying the Socialist California 9% tax on stuff we buy often and for a lot of money, I think this is a very short-sighted improvement. Akin to the idea of taking Warren Buffet's money and re-distributing it evenly to everyone. In both cases, you get a short-term monetary gain, but the price is the long-term ruin:

1) If B&H is the only one that adopts this system (which I sure hope is what will happen), it will either go out of business, or simply have to raise their prices to compensate for the delta. The market they are in is pretty efficient, and there are no miracles...

2) Every other internet retailer caves in and adapts this strategy. That will be a major step towards Socialism then -- hidden confiscation, that the government can feel free to ratchet up at will, since consumers will never notice. I mean, consider the difference between:
a) The sales tax doubling overnight today (likely riots)

b) The sales tax doubling overnight when companies comp for it (probably half the country would not even understand this is same as (a), and think: "It's OK, rich B&H will just comp me anyway". Well, admittedly, it's likely the IQ of average B&H customer is higher than populace average, so specifically in case of B&H customers it may not fly, but I think you catch my drift.

fun88官网: when you push on one end of a balloon, the other end bulges—something has to 'give'. If B&H is cutting margins, then it is a bold move. Every year in CA there is another proposal to bump up sales tax for pet projects, but unless the tax diverges for in vs out of state, there is still (so far) enough resistance that we seem to be hovering at 9% sale tax.

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White Balance and Tint for Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar in Adobe Camera Raw — Differs for f/1.4

Get Zeiss Otus at B&H Photo.

With modern digital cameras, a substantial tint difference is often seen at f/1.4 with many lenses; see for example how the Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art behaves. This behavior can vary by sensor/camera but the Nikon D850 is prone to it, and presumably the Nikon Z7 also.

Like the Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art, the Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar also shows a significant tint difference at f/1.4 versus other apertures. It is readily visible in any aperture series if not compensated for.

This page uses a SpyderCHECKER ® color checker card to evaluate the difference in white balance and tint between f/1.4 and other apertures, using Photoshop Adobe Camera Raw. In fun88官网 Zeiss DSLR Lenses:

In fun88官网 Zeiss DLSR Lenses:

White Balance and Tint at f/1.4 Versus Stopped Down, Datacolor SpyderCHECKR (Nikon D850)

The discerning photographer will want to adjust the color (tint) for f/1.4 versus other apertures by the amount detailed in this report. Exact figures are given for white balance and tint.

Neutral color for f/1.4
f1.4 @ 1/1250 sec, ISO 31; 2019-05-06 12:16:02
NIKON D850 + Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar

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Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar Aperture Series: Mosaic (Nikon D850)

Get Zeiss Otus at B&H Photo.

This aperture series from f/1.4 through f/8 with the Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar looks at sharpness across the field as the sum total of optical performance, field curvature, focus shift and lens symmetry.

This planar target is highly demanding for any lens, intolerant of focus shift and field curvature, mercilessly revealing any lens weakness. Few lenses can deliver full sharpness on this scene wide open or even with stopping down, even very expensive ones.

In fun88官网 Zeiss DSLR Lenses:

Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar Aperture Series: Mosaic (Nikon D850)

Includes images up to full camera resolution, plus crops.

This might be the finest performance on this subject that I have ever seen.

1296 | 2592 | 5112
f2 @ 1/30 sec, ISO 64; 2019-05-05 18:37:11 [Enhance Details]
NIKON D850 + Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar

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Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH Examples with Panasonic S1R Eye AF: Portraits

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist and Leica M wishlist.

Results with animal Eye AF were excellent—see Boots the Cat with Eye AF.

In part, this page looks at the effectiveness of Eye AF on the Panasonic S1R for human eyes—not quite good enough, which is a pity given the gorgeous lens performance.

In spite of the failure of Eye AF to nail focus on the iris of the eyes, these examples nonetheless show off the spectacular rendering of the Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH for portrait applications.

In fun88官网 L-Mount Mirrorless:

Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH Examples: Portraits using Eye AF (Panasonic S1R, Eye AF)

Includes images up to full sensor resolution.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f1.4 @ 1/200 sec, ISO 200; 2019-04-29 19:41:29
[distortion corrected, Enhance Details, LACA corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH

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Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH Examples with Panasonic S1R Eye AF: Boots the Cat

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist and Leica M wishlist.

I had some trouble with the Panasonic S1R Eye AF with human eyes. I wondered how animal Eye AF would do with Boots the Cat.

These examples also show off the bokeh, sharpness, contrast and color of the Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH—really beautiful, and this kind of rendering surely will endear the 50/1.4 to its owners for portrait-style shooting.

In fun88官网 L-Mount Mirrorless:

Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH Examples: Boots the Cat (Panasonic S1R, Eye AF)

Includes images up to full sensor resolution.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f1.4 @ 1/200 sec, ISO 200; 2019-04-29 19:45:24
Panasonic S1R + Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH

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Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH Examples: Lee Vining Canyon (Panasonic S1R)

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist and Leica M wishlist.

This page looks at performance under outdoor conditions with various examples in Lee Vining Canyon.

In fun88官网 L-Mount Mirrorless:

Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH Examples: Examples: Lee Vining Canyon (Panasonic S1R, Eye AF)

Includes select ultra high resolution images derived from 187 megapixel Multi-Shot High-Res mode.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f9 @ 1.0 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-04-23 19:36:52
Panasonic S1R + Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH

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Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH: Impact of Field Curvature, Grassy Meadow (Panasonic S1R)

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist and Leica M wishlist.

I had so many disappointments with the Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH in the field; nearly every comparison I made to the the Panasonic 50mm f/1.4 could not really be used. The lens can make really lovely portraits and certain other images. Bought on that basis, it is sure to please.

I previously showed how to exploit the field curvature and focus shift behavior of the Leica 50/1.4 SL in Curved Creek, Using Field Curvature to Advantage.

This aperture series from f/1.4 through f/5.6 looks at the pronounced field curvature of the Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH, showing why the lens is a exceedingly poor choice for landscape work at a distance, or for any planar subject. In fun88官网 L-Mount Mirrorless:

Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH: Impact of Field Curvature, Grassy Meadow (Panasonic S1R)

Includes images up to full sensor resolution, plus crops.

A lens that cannot render sharpness across the frame even at f/5.6 means that it has no versatility, as it cannot be relied upon to perform for any image where sharpness must cover the frame, or for any planar subject, or for astrophotography. The Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH is such a lens, clearly designed for purposes at odd with general purpose photography. Leica calls it a “reference lens”, which is a remarkably warped claim.

Below, a very utilitarian scene in yuck lighting, but excellent at showing lens behavior.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f2 @ 1/250 sec, ISO 50; 2019-04-27 18:12:58
[location “Lee Vining Creek”, altitude 7400 ft / 2256 m, 58°F / 14°C, Enhance Details, LACA corrected, distortion corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH


Avoid costly mistakes and get the ideal system for your needs: fun88官网 photographic consulting.

Reader Comment: Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 and “Not found anywhere else is the level of relevant information you provide”

Reader Claude D writes:

I am a new Zeiss subscriber. Just wanted to thank you very much for your very unique work. Nobody analyses lenses as you do, with all the relevant studies and the right perspective required by people looking for beautiful quality images. I particularly appreciate the care you take to analyze focus shift and field curvature. I encourage you to even increase the amount of information you provide for that issue, as it appears to me as being of a paramount importance. As a matter of fact, the warning you gave about the Sigma 40mm was very useful. Also, it would be very interesting to get more detailed analysis about "color rendering" of lenses, specially when comparing Zeiss vs Sigma.

After carefully studying your articles on Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4, I finally decided to buy it. Not found anywhere the level of relevant information you provide.

For the Milvus 35mm 1.4, do you intend eventually to do testing on mirrorless like Nikon Z7 ? I currently use a Nikon D850 (totally satisfied), but eventually I may buy the next generation of Nikon mirrorless (Z8 ?). I wonder what will be the impact on the image quality provided by a "DSLR" lens like the Milvus 35mm 1.4.

Thank you again !

fun88官网: focus shift and field curvature are critical considerations for high-resolution digital since they in essence throw off expected focus—and high-res digital is intolerant of small deviations, even with stopping down, even at f/5.6 and sometimes f/8. With cameras like the Panasonic S1R in 187-megapixel Multi-Shot High-Res mode, there is no margin for error. That is why some lenses, beautiful as they are for portraiture, are shockingly poor for general photography, such as the uber-expensive Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH as shown in Grassy Meadow.

Moreover, the placement of the zone of sharpest focus can influence the visual impact negatively, drawing attention away from the intended target—focus shift and field curvature are very damaging in that regard—too sharp a background or a portrait with blurred nose and sharp ears is never a win if the goal is to set apart the subject.

As to shooting on the Nikon Z7, I intend to show more results on various mirrorless, not just the Z7. All such evaluations go into fun88官网 Zeiss DSLR Lenses, such as Aspen on Sagebrush Hillside Across Creek for the Milvus 35/1.4. In the web browser each the table of contents page for "Z7" for other lenses I’ve done so far with the Z7. The main issue for me is the huge cost of owning all the new mirrorless—I cannot—so I have an availability/time challenge.

Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4

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Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH Aperture Series: Curved Creek, Using Field Curvature to Advantage (Panasonic S1R)

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist and Leica M wishlist.

The field curvature and focus shift behaviorsof the Leica 50/1.4 SL are serious handicaps for landscape photography.

However, this aperture series from f/1.4 through f/9 looks at how the pronounced field curvature of the Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH can be used to advantage with an appropriately shaped subject. In fun88官网 L-Mount Mirrorless:

Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH Aperture Series: Curved Creek, Using Field Curvature to Advantage (Panasonic S1R)

Includes images up to 125 megapixels, plus crops.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f6.3 @ 1/5 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-04-24 18:37:38
Panasonic S1R + Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH


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Upgraded my 2015 MacBook Pro Retina Apple Flash Drive to the 2TB OWC Aura Pro X2 SSD

Many of us have older Mac laptops that work great and still have handy USB-A ports with no dongle adapters needed, plus a built in SDXC port.

My is working fine but I wanted more space. And with more speed and lower power consumption too, that’s a triple win!

Read about my 2TB SSD upgrade to my 2015 MacBook Pro:

 

Volumes Boot and Master on 2TB OWC Aura Pro X2 SS,
installed internally in the 2015 MacBook Pro Retina,
2TB OWC Aura Pro X2 SSD installed internally in the 2015 MacBook Pro Retina

MacPerformanceGuide.com

In-Depth Review of 2019 iMac 5K Specifically for Photographers

Unsure which Mac to get or how to configure it? .

These tests made possible by loaner gear from B&H Photo and OWC, so please buy your gear at B&H Photo and using any link from this site or MacPerformanceGuide.com, ditto for OWC/MacSales.com.

See also .

2019 iMac 5K

2019 iMac 5K tests so far

Tests so far give a really solid picture of what to expect as a photographer from the 2019 iMac 5K, and I’ll have a conclusions section soon.

Check the over the next week or so, more stuff coming.

* For example, I have not tested with PhaseOne CaptureONE Pro. Please bug PhaseOne about it and have them contact me—every new version voids my license, and I don’t want to spend my time explaining/asking again and again—and I’d rather have them hear it from a customer.

2019 iMac 5K: Convert 100 Sony 7R III 42-megapixel raw flies to JPEG

Backup, RAID, optimizing performance, workflow.

Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar with Novoflex lens adapter mounted on Panasonic S1R

Get Zeiss Otus at B&H Photo.

The Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar can be mounted on Panasonic S1R using the Novoflex Nikon F Lens to Leica SL/T Camera Body Lens Adapter. It is probably best to mount it using the Novoflex ASTAT-CN Tripod Collar for Leica SL Lens Adapters.

Its awkward best but I’ll be looking at what I can get out of it at 187 megapixels, having had excellent results with the Zeiss Milvus 135mm f/2.

Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar with Novoflex lens adapter mounted on Panasonic S1R

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Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar Examples: Flowers, Plants, Ad-Hoc (Nikon D850)

Get Zeiss Otus at B&H Photo.

This page shows a variety of ad-hoc examples shot for initial evaluation. They are chosen mostly to show off bokeh and sharpness at wide apertures, looking for faults—very hard to find.

In fun88官网 Zeiss DSLR Lenses:

Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar: Flowers, Plants, Ad-Hoc

Includes images up to full camera resolution.

1296 | 2592 | 4320
f1.4 @ 1/500 sec, ISO 100; 2019-04-29 18:04:00 [Enhance Details]
NIKON D850 + Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar
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