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Messages - Artifex

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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.

I'm so seriously excited about this!! If it matches the 35 A, I will buy it ASAP. Anyone want to buy a Zeiss f2?

Would you have asked yesterday, I would have said yes, but now… meh…  ;)

« on: January 06, 2014, 06:24:49 PM »
Not a rumor, but a long awaited announcement...

- A

Really fast spec read:

  • Roughly halfway between the weight of the current Canon 50/1.4 and Canon 50/1.2L lenses
  • Long at 3.9" and with a 77mm filter diameter, the overall footprint is more like the Canon 24-70 F/4L IS (fully closed) than the current stable of 50mm lenses.  This thing is big.
  • No IS

It looks like an oversized Sigma 35/1.4 Art lens, though not nearly as heavy.  I never understood why faster 50 primes were often smaller than both 24/35mm lenses and 85mm lenses, but this one seems to buck the trend and run bigger than its wider counterpart.

Well, this has been wanted ever since the 35/1.4 Art ever came out.  Here you go.

- A

I am extremely happy to see this announcement. For now, the revealed specs remind me a lot of the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4; the lens is very big and heavy for it's focal length and looks more like a wide angle than a standard lens. I really hope it will also remind me of the Otus by it's performance, but not it's price!

Lenses / Re: New lenses ($6800 budget)
« on: January 04, 2014, 12:07:11 PM »
Hello fellow Canon-owners,

After holding all Canon bodies in my hands at the store, I have settled for a Canon 70D. The fullframe ones were just too large for my small hands.
Now I’m looking to invest in some quality glass, and I could really use some help.

My budget is around €5000,- ($6800) for 5 lenses in total. Even though with this amount of money I could go FF, I still don’t like the body size! Lens discussion only please :)

Lens 1:
A prime between 45-100mm with a maximum aperture of 2.8 (so 1.8, 1.4 and so on are fine too!)
I can work with the 50mm, but also the 85 and so on, so I just need 1 that is the best.

Lens 2:
A mid-range zoom with a maximum aperture of 2.8 (so 1.8, 1.4 and so on are fine too!)
Everything below 20mm to above 40mm is fine.

Lens 3:
A decent lens for macro between 85 and 100mm. I don’t have a preference for the aperture here.

Lens 4:
I have the 18-135, but I don’t find that sharp enough. I do like the zoom range though. Is there anything that comes close to the range, but sharper?

Lens 5:
A zoom that goes beyond 250/300mm. If that is achieved by a teleconverter that is fine by me, if that gives me better results.

Just a few notes:
- I don’t mind used lenses. If a great piece of glass is discontinued I’m more than happy to search the internet.
- Stabilized lenses don’t matter to me, I have steady hands.
- Autofocus is nice, but manual focus lenses are also welcome.
- I’m not a brand-whore. So I don’t care if the lenses are from Canon or a third party like Carl Zeiss. As long as the quality is good.

Some extra info:

With my current lenses I do this:

50mm 1.8: portraits, but also some macro. However I find that for macro it's too short in focal length.

18-135: I use this pretty much all of the time. But with the 70D the quality is bad to be honest.

70-300: I use this at festivals and at the zoo. I'm often at 250/300mm.

Before this I had a Canon 550D, so I already know how to work with them. With the new ones I just like to improve the sharpness of my shots and make use off all the 20 megapixels in the camera. So it is not like I just want to burn some cash, I think I really need those 5 lenses.

I say sell the 70D. With the 5000 EUR get the 1DX. With the proceeds from the sale of the 70D and a few hundred more EUR get the 24-70 f2.8 II and you've got yourself an awesome combo!

I am not sure the 1DX would be the best choice, considering the OP stated he wanted a small body and the 1DX can hardly be considered small! For me, the 6D would be a better choice; it is significantly smaller and lighter and have similar picture quality (though not equal). Moreover, the main benefit of the 1DX don't seems to be very important for the OP; he mentioned he didn't mind MF lens, so the much better AF might not be so useful for him. Also, he never mentioned the importance of weather sealing or burst speed.

For the macro lens, I can say that the 100L is just about as good as it gets. If you want something cheaper, which doesn't seems to be the case, the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 VC seems to be a very nice substitute for the more expensive but slightly better 100L.

In a more personal note, I have that being in the OP situation, I wouldn't rush and buy 4-5 lens at the same time. I personally prefer buying one lens at a time; that way, I can see what type of lens I am missing and what shoot I can't take because of it. Starting with minimal gear not only helps you master what you have and becoming better with it, but it also helps you differencing what you WANT from what you NEED. This, however, is just my point of view.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« on: January 02, 2014, 01:08:24 PM »
One of the things old MF lenses are often missing is a proper non reflective lens coating on both sides.  Light reflects of the shiny digital sensor and reduces contrast so it does not matter how sharp the lens is if the image is washed out.

This is the first time I've heard this mentioned.  ???

is a digital sensor more reflective than film was/is?


+1. Also, I use MF lens extensively and frankly never noticed my images were washed out. True, some lens like the Sears 55mm f/1.4 have low contrast wide open, but stopped down a bit, it is similar to modern lens. On the other hand, my CZJ 135mm f/3.5 seems to have higher contrast than modern lens, even wide open.

Lenses / Re: Review: Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 Makro-Planar T* ZE
« on: December 31, 2013, 07:23:32 PM »
In the German ColorFoto this lens is rated around average and do not even get the mark Digital Empfohlen, that most tested lenses get. It is especially due to low contrast in corners. Who want an average lens, very expensive and With no autofocus?


Inge, do you have a link to that test? The search on their website doesn't seem to work

I would also like to see that, since it was review as outstanding by my favorite websites. Lenstip, for instance, seems to praise this lens, like The Digital Picture and Photozone.




Lenses / Re: Review: Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 Makro-Planar T* ZE
« on: December 31, 2013, 02:09:06 PM »
Then I suggest you try a 50mm macro lens that focuses to 1:1, without an extension tube and compare the reading on your camera with that you get from a 50mm macro lens that focuses to 1:2, with the addition of an extension tube. Seeing is believing I guess ...

I really would like to try that if I had something uselessfull like a 50mm Makro 1:2. BUT. Both lenses would be focused to the closest point to get to their maximum magnification. Both would be set to an equal f-stop (and focal length of course) and both would be handled with the same sensor-sensitivity. So I doubt any difference between the shuttertimes. Doesn't sound to compelling to me. Maybe I'll find an old 100mm Macro with anything like 1:2 and compare it to the 100L with 1:1.


I saved you the trouble and did the test. Maybe it will help you.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« on: December 31, 2013, 01:31:07 PM »
Also, to find the way, it is really simple, we got to cut your head!  :P

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Will vintage lenses help me find the way?
« on: December 31, 2013, 10:02:41 AM »
I personally am a fan of vintage lens. I allow me to have multiple prime, covering much of the most useful focal length, at a very low price. Moreover, since I use a 6D (FF camera) and a custom split-screen focusing screen, I really get the same feeling when shooting than with my Pentax K-1000 film camera, with which I learned to love photography. I must point out that I do photography for artistic purpose and not professional purpose.

Of course, modern lens often offer more feature; AF, better sharpness, better coating, electronic aperture, more CA, etc. You are never going to have the same thing in a 50$ vintage lens than in a 1000$ modern lens. However, if like me, you always work in full manual, you might find the difference not so great. Also, if you study the lens themselves before buying, you will be able to find good deal on stunning lens.

Lots of people are advising against using vintage lens, which is only logical, because those lens don't fit the way they work. I really don't think they are giving bad advice, but IMO they are taking for granted you're needs and workflow are similar to theirs. If vintage lens fit the way you work, I really don't see why you shouldn't at least try working with one and see if you like it; you might love it, and if not, you can always sell it back the same price you bought it (if you take care of your gear, it is not 2 more month of use that is going to change the value of a 30 years old lens!).

Lenses / Re: Review: Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 Makro-Planar T* ZE
« on: December 27, 2013, 12:21:50 PM »
For those who worry about the 1:2 magnification limitation, add Kenko or Canon extension tubes and you´re OK to go a lot closer.

Then you loose a lot of light. Why do you buy a makro anyway when you can get the same effect with extension tubes? And if it's so easy and without backdraws, then please write Zeiss to get a longer back between bayonett and lense, so the extension is already attached and they can claim real 1:1.

You could work for marketing.   :o

Maybe I understand physic wrong, but I think the lost of light as nothing to do with the extension tubes, but are caused by the magnification. You can use this formula:

Effective F-Stop = F-Stop x (1 + Magnification)

For instance, if you use f/11 at 1:1, you have a effective F-stop of f/22. You lose two stops.
At f/11 at 2:1, you have f/33. Etc.

According to this, you won't lose more light using extension tube than a macro lens, as the light lost is caused by the magnification.

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Deal: Samyang/Bower 14mm f/2.8 $299
« on: December 27, 2013, 08:43:52 AM »
Is this the umc version? The picture shows umc, but nothing in the description says it's the new version.

Other than the brand name differences, are there also version differences?  I.e., a new version and an old version?  If so, what is the difference between new and old?  Thanks in advance.

There are, in fact, two differente version. The first one was only produce for a very short period of time and discountinued because of it's lack of performance, mostly in term of sharpness and flare control. Afterward, the new version, with UMC and better optic, replace the old one. I really don't see why B&H would sell a old version of a lens that stoped being produces years ago and was only produce for a short period of time. The easiest way to know if it is the new one is just to check it is written UMC on the lens body.

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Deal: Samyang/Bower 14mm f/2.8 $299
« on: December 26, 2013, 10:57:03 PM »
What is the difference between the samyang/rokinon with this bower model? I am looking for a ultra wide lens for my 6d. Will it compatible with my camera? I know samyang is good what about this one?

The only difference is what's written on the lens cap! The Samyang, Bower, Rokinon, Vivitar (and maybe some other name) are all the same lens made by Samyang, simply rebranded under different names.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 135mm f/2 DG OS Art Coming? [CR1]
« on: December 16, 2013, 11:30:35 PM »
How do you improve on the 135L?

I guess you do something like this :


The Zeiss from all accounts is an amazing lens, what we have come to expect from Zeiss, they make few poor Lenses, but.

For Canon & Nikon, this particular 135f/2, though sublime, lacks auto focus, so it's all manual, which is Ok as well, but the Canon 135L is a pretty hard act to follow considering it's maybe 98% as good as the Zeiss 135f/2, and has auto focus, on a Canon body.

I haven't actually used the Zeiss 135f/2, but I do own the Canon 135f/2, and it's pretty good.

I own the Sigma Art 35f/1.4 as well as the Canon 35f/1.4 L, and both are excellent Lenses, the Sigma may have the sharper image, but the Canon has the better Bokah, it's all subjective to the individuals taste & preference, and wallet.

I think also "distant stars" original "How do you improve on the 135L" didn't need to inspire the "Canon Fan Boy" tirade that followed, this is an open forum, people are allowed to post their views, and within normal reasonable bounds, shouldn't expect to be hammered for them.

I totally agree with you! You could also add that the Zeiss is more than twice the price of the Canon. I wasn't saying the Canon 135L is a bad lens, far from; it is exceptional, especially considering it's price. However, I was just pointing out that it can always be better. I am very curious of what Sigma can do with a 135mm, considering their latest products and the lack of choice in EF-mount for 135mm prime. Moreover, you can call me crazy, but I wouldn't even be disappointed if Sigma choses a different direction and produce an 135mm f/2.8 OS, which could be lighter, smaller and cheaper than a 135mm f/2 OS. I personally have difficulty believing such a lens is possible without being of size, weight and price similar to the EF 70-200 2.8L IS II.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 135mm f/2 DG OS Art Coming? [CR1]
« on: December 16, 2013, 09:23:56 PM »

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 135mm f/2 DG OS Art Coming? [CR1]
« on: December 16, 2013, 08:14:43 PM »
I would definitely love to see those new lens being Sigma Art 24mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.4 and 135mm f/2. I might be over-optimistic, but this could be a new holy-trifecta of prime!  :D

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