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Messages - Artifex

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1
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Gets Reviewed
« on: April 12, 2014, 02:04:08 PM »
.........................
I must admit that, having looked at the available images I could find, including the http://lcap.tistory.com image examples, I believe the Sigma is a top notch lens. Sharpness, CA, distortion and bokeh looks very good. Color is still an open issue to me, since I do not know what kind of post processing they have been through, but it does not look bad.

Like you, I still doubt it will match the Otus, but it will have the advantage of AF. So I just made the decision and preordered the Sigma, but I will definitely keep my Otus.



Looking at the images and comparison at http://lcap.tistory.com there is no doubt that the Sigma outperforms the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4. Is there such a detailed comparison somewhere between the Sigma and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2? or the Zeis Otus 55mm f/1.4?


I am wondering how it compare against Zeiss 50mm f/2 Macro, considering the pretty similar price (1280$) and the fact that it was until recently the best 50mm in term of optics.

2
Lenses / Re: New 50mm Sigma ? There are other options !
« on: April 12, 2014, 09:37:10 AM »
Up to 1/40 you don’t really need IS with a 35mm lens on full frame for stills.

The rest of what you have said is perfectly reasonable, but the above statement is at best outdated and at worst inaccurate. You might be able to hand hold some shots at 1/40 with a 35mm focal length, but generally you won't make full use of your 20mp or whatever.

Shake is quite random, but with the resolution of modern digital FF you really need to be in the region of 2x focal length. Even then you can get random shake. For really critical use nothing beats a genuinely stable mounting platform, but IS is a competent substitute up to a point. Personally I find IS very useful for stills when travelling without a tripod. It allows lower ISOs, greater dof, lower shutter speeds etc when hand held.

I have to say I disagree. With a bit of practice, you can easily have no shake at 1/30 up to 1/20 with a 35mm. At least, that's my situation.

3
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Gets Reviewed
« on: April 06, 2014, 04:14:32 PM »
P.S. I hope Samyang will join the fast 50 competition soon.

Partly agree ... that Samyang makes a 50mm prime.

However, I hope they produce a relatively slow f2.8 lens without the trade-offs required for f1.4 to f1.8.

I am very, very happy with my Samyang 14mm f2.8, even though it is fully manual. I have little interest in their faster 35mm and 85mm lenses with f1.4.

My "vote" would be for Samyang to have a full line-up of very affordable, very sharp, fully manual f2.8 prime lenses, such as 24mm, 50mm, and 100mm (about doubling each step from 14mm, and skipping "intermediates" like 20mm, 28mm, 35mm, and 85mm, which also would duplicate their existing FL's).

I have to say that I respectfully totally disagree with you!  ;)

For me, those kind of lens wouldn't have much of a market. I think it would be much more interesting for Samyang to produce very fast lens, for instance a 50mm f/1.2 or f/1. I personally can't find much use for a f/2.8 standard prime and even then, you can easily find old manual lens on eBay that are plenty sharp at f2.8 for less than 100$, sometime even less than 35$!

“The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art is the most exciting lens we’re likely to review this year."

I got rid of all my 50s largely because they are so boring.  If this is the most exciting lens they're likely to review this year, it's going to be a pretty rotten year.

They should review the Tamron 150-600.  That lens has 10 times the excitement of yet another 50mm prime.

I also have to respectfully totally disagree with you!

I am sure that I am not the only one for whom the 50mm is a personnal favorite, and I would even go as far as saying that in is one of the most complex FL. You might dislike it, as any lens of any FL are just tools, I have no problem understanding this, but I would never qualify it as boring. Disliking a certain tool for your craft doesn't mean it is bad per se, but rather that it is not for you. I am sure a look at Henry Cartier-Bresson photographs would convince you.

4
As someone who has not shot any video on my DSLRs, can someone explain to me the value in spending 4k on a 50mm zeiss lens to mount on a DSLR that is going to down sample the image to 2 mega pixels?

Because its not all down to dslr now is it.... The Otus will work wonders on a RED or Sony F55 and handle very well...


The market is even bigger since the metabone speedboasters are getting more and more popular. People are now using EF lens on all sorts of camera, like the Sony FS-700 and BMCC for instance.

5
Lenses / Re: Review: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T*
« on: February 26, 2014, 09:53:53 AM »
I looked at the review - very impressive at 1.4. It is the contrast between sharpness of focus plane that sets off the bokeh - aka EF 85 1.2.

However in the comparisons I looked up TDP crops of the Nikkor 58 1.4G. What's going on there !? Have you seen the price of this lens ? Nikon is currently like a child's spinning top just as it loses it's momentum; it wobbles all over the place.

Lucky for us Canon users that Zeiss are pushing the boundaries   - 'cos Nikon certainly aren't.

Incidentally I believe the Otus is made in Germany; it's the other dslr 'Zeiss' lenses that are made by Cosina in Japan.


If you want a good laugh, check this review of the 58 1.4G : http://www.lenstip.com/397.4-Lens_review-Nikon_Nikkor_AF-S_58_mm_f_1.4G_Image_resolution.html

The new 58 1.4G actually performs noticeably worst than the old 58 1.2 film lens, which dates, I think, from the 70's.

6
Can you imagine? "Sorry the image isn't very good but the lens is so light!"
You must be talking about the new Nikon 58mm - LOL

That is one remarkable combination of sky-high price and unimpressive performance.

Just because it performs worse than the Nikon 58mm produced in 1970 doesn't mean it's performance are unimpressive. Oh wait, it does…

7
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 50 f/1.4 Art Lens Should be Amazing
« on: January 15, 2014, 09:45:11 PM »
It may just be me, but I can't get at all excited about any 50mm lens. I just find the focal length uninteresting. I suppose it has to do with how we "see" images, but I find myself composing most shots at either the wide or long end.
I'm drawn to the 24mm focal length myself, but for me, there's a distinct challenge in using the 50mm.  It's so "normal" that it takes a lot of work to make distinctive photos with it.  I think I remember reading something about Cartier-Bresson having felt that way and it stuck with me.

It would be logical. If I am not mistaking, when he was shooting for himself, Cartier-Bresson only used a 50mm lens. He thought that by always working with the same focal would help it become as an "extension" of his eye. Looking at his work, I can only agree with him.

8
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« on: January 11, 2014, 09:18:00 AM »
+1...if you not in hurry, wait for x-mas holidays. BH has great deals on EF and L lenses.

I'm envious of the low prices on camera gear in USA. :D
I think that the shipping costs and customs fees would nullify any savings.
And i can't see myself staying for a whole year with just a 28-135 and a nifty fifty.... :P

+1, we suffer from a lot more tax  ::)

I don't know where exactly you are from, but in Québec (Canada), it is a bit ridiculous! Gear sold at B&H is cheaper with taxes, customs and shipping than here before taxes (and we have 14,975% of taxes).

I'm in the Netherlands, 21% tax  :-\

Ahahahah, well, you beat us!  :P

9
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« on: January 10, 2014, 08:08:26 PM »
+1...if you not in hurry, wait for x-mas holidays. BH has great deals on EF and L lenses.

I'm envious of the low prices on camera gear in USA. :D
I think that the shipping costs and customs fees would nullify any savings.
And i can't see myself staying for a whole year with just a 28-135 and a nifty fifty.... :P

+1, we suffer from a lot more tax  ::)

I don't know where exactly you are from, but in Québec (Canada), it is a bit ridiculous! Gear sold at B&H is cheaper with taxes, customs and shipping than here before taxes (and we have 14,975% of taxes).

10
The Zeiss Otus is nearly 10 inches long, which seems to be what you need to avoid the double gauss design. The new Sigma is an inch longer than the last one, at 4 inches so I highly doubt that it will be any other design, but we don't know for sure.


The Otus is about 6" long, I don't know if I call that "nearly 10 inches".
Sigma seems to have an "enhanced" double gauss design, by the way:

http://www.sigmaphoto.com/sites/default/files/311-lens-construction.jpg


I'm in no way a specialist and I might be wrong, but the 50mm Art design makes me more think it could be a retrofocus design like the Otus 55mm. Maybe someone with better knowledge could confirm or negate this.

11
EOS Bodies / Re: Where are Canons innovation?
« on: January 09, 2014, 09:00:49 PM »
If the OP feels that Sony's innovations are inviting then he should move to Sony. After all this is why Sony are producing these cameras; they want people to buy them. Just don't mention lens innovations.

For myself, the most recent Canon innovation is the 6D sensor. Excellent dynamic range coupled with film-like tonal graduation and astonishing high ISO performance. Quite extraordinary.

I totally agree with you. For me, as a MF shooter who started on film SLR and loved it, the 6D is a bit of a dream come true once the stock focussing screen is replaced. As you stated, the tonal graduation is lovely and the high ISO performance is ridiculously good. However, there is something that impresses a lot that isn't much discussed; the look of the high ISO noise. Unlike the 550D or the 7D, the noise doesn't actually look like "noise", but makes me more think of film grain. Even at 6400-12 800, where it starts being heavy, I actually don't find it ugly; it resemble the grain added in post in film shoot on digitals cameras more than "regular" noise.

12
Lenses / Re: TAMRON SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD Hitting Market
« on: January 09, 2014, 05:42:02 PM »
Why is there so much fuss about the quality of a $1000 lens that comes with a 5-year guarantee? Buy a copy from a proper retailer and either test it for yourself in the shop or at home if by post and send it back if soft. There are rubbish copies of the 100-400L, but no one makes such a song and dance about it.
My reason is that I've sprung for a Tamron 200-500, and it was pretty poor.  I also bought a Samyang 14mm after reading the glowing reviews and got the worst lens I've ever owned.
 
I don't want to lay out $1100 until a few reviewers that are careful and know what they are doing put up some reviews.

I'm really surprised to hear about the Samyang, although I have heard that there was an early optical formula that wasn't nearly as good.  How long ago was that?

My copy (Rokinon) is shockingly sharp.  I purchased the copy that I reviewed because I simply did not want to send it back.  I know of many very, very skilled night and landscape photographers that use it over far more expensive options because it is just that good.

I personally am not very surprise however. Samyang lack good quality control on their lens. My first copy of the 14mm was unable to focus farther than 1m. I returned it and the second copy is absolutely stunning, with no defect whatsoever. For me, you should buy those kind of lens from trusted sources with good return policy and be patient.

13
The f/2.5mm is a Macro lens it is not a general purpose lens. The 40mm f/2.8 was Canon's entry into a super cheap STM prime for their STM initiative, the 50mm f/1.8 was just a super cheap lens to promote entry level photography with primes, and the 50mm L prime is horrible. The last version was so bad at f/1.0 that they dropped the entire idea, and the new version is equally horrible. At f/1.2 it has lower picture resolution than an iPhone 5. It also has image quality that has to be compared to lensbaby, a plastic lens made to be extremely horrible on purpose for visual effects. The 50mm f/1.2L is one of the worst lenses made by any manufacturer period.

Canon's only non-gimicky 50mm is the 50mm f/1.4. And actually it's a pretty decent 50mm, it actually has more resolution at f/2 than any other 50mm lens in the world released, prior to 2013. It is extremely hard to make a 50mm lens that is fast and most deliver extremely poor image quality. The Canon 50mm 1.4 actually beat out every other 50mm lens on the market at f/2, delivering what I would consider the fastest 50mm aperture with an average resolution of 2400 LPPH or more (which is the minimum resolution I consider acceptable), but it was disappointing to see such a poor focusing mechanism and such poor coatings because it wasn't updated for an extremely long time.


Just because you don't personally use or like a lens doesn't make it "gimmicky". 

The original 50/1.0 lens, which you call "horrible", was almost unique in its time and still makes beautiful photos at f/1.0:  http://www.jessicaclaire.net/index.cfm/postID/263

The 50/2.5 macro is for any purpose you want to use it, not just macro.  It's cheap and sharp, though it has the old buzzy AF motor.  Cheap + sharp + 1:2 macro = a good combination.

The 40/2.8 is a wonderful pancake lens and is a cheap way of shrinking your big dslr and still having really sharp photos.  Brilliant and a joy to use.  Cheap + sharp + very small = a good combination

You're right, the 50/1.8 is "just" a super cheap lens to promote entry level photography with primes.  But wait, that's a good thing.  What's wrong with that?  That actually makes some people very happy.

The "horrible" 50/1.2L which you compare to a plastic Lensbaby has been used for a tremendous amount of professional work.  It is good enough for David Burnett, Sebastiao Salgado and Mario Sorrenti, but not good enough for you?  And this guy seems to make decent photos with it:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/petezelewski/ ... not bad for using what you say is "one of the worst lenses made by any manufacturer period."

As for the Canon 50mm f/1.4 having more resolution at f/2 than any other 50mm lens in the world released prior to 2013 ... not exactly.  That would easily have been the Leica 50/1.4 Summiluxhttp://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/01/the-great-50mm-shootout

In the Lensrentals "Great 50mm Shootout", you'll note that both Canon 50/1.4 and 50/1.2L scored higher in resolution than any of the 50's from Nikon, Sigma or Zeiss.  That's pretty good for lenses you consider gimmicky or not good.  Leica scored higher, but Leica is in a much higher price category.


Moreover, just looking at lens in EF-mount, the Zeiss 50mm f/2 clearly beats the EF 50mm f/1.4 at f/2.


... which is a $1200 manual focus f/2 macro lens. Lensrentals clearly shows that Nikkor 50/1.4 beats all of it's price category rivals and Sigma is the sharpest in the center, while the good old plastic-fantastic 50/1.8II would put all them to shame, for the price that is :).
I'm not a pixel-peeper, but I do prefer sharp-cropping over soft-zooming. Any decent lens can produce perfectly good and sharp snapshots. Actually, you don't need a DSLR for that (or anything with a big sensor, you can make bokeh in photoshop these days :) ). 50L is not my dream fifty, nor is the 50/1.4USM. If the new Sigma 50/1.4 is anything like their 35Art, then I'm getting one, but for now - nothing beats my 40.


Of course, I haven't talked about value, but only sharpness. Of course, the Ef f/1.4 is faster, cheaper and have AF, while the Zeiss 50 f/2 MP is sharper, have 1:2 magnification and have a much better build quality and focus ring for MF. They are very diffent produces for different needs and different photographers.

I can only agree with you though; if the Sigma 50mm Art is anything like the 35mm Art, I am also getting one!  ;D

14
Moreover, just looking at lens in EF-mount, the Zeiss 50mm f/2 clearly beats the EF 50mm f/1.4 at f/2.


Where are you seeing this?  How does the $1,283 Zeiss beat the Canon 50/1.4?  Here are the numbers at f/2 according to LensRentals:
Canon 50/1.4 = 790 center, 660 average
Zeiss 50/2 = 760 center, 620 average
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/01/the-great-50mm-shootout

They are close, but the Canon 50/1.4 scored higher.  The Zeiss is arguably better according to charts over at The-Digital-Picture, but again they are close.  Of course, the Zeiss should be better, being 3X or 4X more expensive.


I am seeing this on the MTF graphs and reviews of lenstip and photozone. They are, from my expirence at least, trusted sources. Also, the fact that it is more expensive doesn't affect the fact that it is, according to the graphs, sharper; I haven't talked about value, but only image quality.

15
The f/2.5mm is a Macro lens it is not a general purpose lens. The 40mm f/2.8 was Canon's entry into a super cheap STM prime for their STM initiative, the 50mm f/1.8 was just a super cheap lens to promote entry level photography with primes, and the 50mm L prime is horrible. The last version was so bad at f/1.0 that they dropped the entire idea, and the new version is equally horrible. At f/1.2 it has lower picture resolution than an iPhone 5. It also has image quality that has to be compared to lensbaby, a plastic lens made to be extremely horrible on purpose for visual effects. The 50mm f/1.2L is one of the worst lenses made by any manufacturer period.

Canon's only non-gimicky 50mm is the 50mm f/1.4. And actually it's a pretty decent 50mm, it actually has more resolution at f/2 than any other 50mm lens in the world released, prior to 2013. It is extremely hard to make a 50mm lens that is fast and most deliver extremely poor image quality. The Canon 50mm 1.4 actually beat out every other 50mm lens on the market at f/2, delivering what I would consider the fastest 50mm aperture with an average resolution of 2400 LPPH or more (which is the minimum resolution I consider acceptable), but it was disappointing to see such a poor focusing mechanism and such poor coatings because it wasn't updated for an extremely long time.


Just because you don't personally use or like a lens doesn't make it "gimmicky". 

The original 50/1.0 lens, which you call "horrible", was almost unique in its time and still makes beautiful photos at f/1.0:  http://www.jessicaclaire.net/index.cfm/postID/263

The 50/2.5 macro is for any purpose you want to use it, not just macro.  It's cheap and sharp, though it has the old buzzy AF motor.  Cheap + sharp + 1:2 macro = a good combination.

The 40/2.8 is a wonderful pancake lens and is a cheap way of shrinking your big dslr and still having really sharp photos.  Brilliant and a joy to use.  Cheap + sharp + very small = a good combination

You're right, the 50/1.8 is "just" a super cheap lens to promote entry level photography with primes.  But wait, that's a good thing.  What's wrong with that?  That actually makes some people very happy.

The "horrible" 50/1.2L which you compare to a plastic Lensbaby has been used for a tremendous amount of professional work.  It is good enough for David Burnett, Sebastiao Salgado and Mario Sorrenti, but not good enough for you?  And this guy seems to make decent photos with it:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/petezelewski/ ... not bad for using what you say is "one of the worst lenses made by any manufacturer period."

As for the Canon 50mm f/1.4 having more resolution at f/2 than any other 50mm lens in the world released prior to 2013 ... not exactly.  That would easily have been the Leica 50/1.4 Summiluxhttp://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/01/the-great-50mm-shootout

In the Lensrentals "Great 50mm Shootout", you'll note that both Canon 50/1.4 and 50/1.2L scored higher in resolution than any of the 50's from Nikon, Sigma or Zeiss.  That's pretty good for lenses you consider gimmicky or not good.  Leica scored higher, but Leica is in a much higher price category.


Moreover, just looking at lens in EF-mount, the Zeiss 50mm f/2 clearly beats the EF 50mm f/1.4 at f/2.

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