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Author Topic: Nat Geo shooter Ben Horton compares Canon glass to Zeiss glass.  (Read 8317 times)

c.d.embrey

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Found on Photo Cine News http://photocinenews.com/2010/10/22/nat-geo-shooter-ben-horton-compares-canon-glass-to-zeiss-glass/ Very interesting read. Lots of comparison photos. plus 100% crops.

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epsiloneri

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Re: Nat Geo shooter Ben Horton compares Canon glass to Zeiss glass.
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2010, 01:26:56 PM »
Thanks for the link. The one thing I take away from that comparison is that you don't have to understand optics in all its details to be an awesome photographer. I guess in the same way as you can be an excellent driver without knowing the intricacies of how your car works. But we already knew that.

Flake

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Re: Nat Geo shooter Ben Horton compares Canon glass to Zeiss glass.
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2010, 04:22:06 PM »
Yet another photographer talking out of a rear orifice trying to make a name for himself!

How can I say this?  Well partly because I know a professor involved in optics, and then again there's plenty of evidence on the web to show he's plain wrong!

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/resolution.shtml

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/537-zeiss50f14eosff

It's not that long ago that Luminous Landscape did a test in the Antarctic and one of the photographers blamed his poor results on a Canon 500mm f/4 and that he couldn't get the shutter speed high enough, even though it was wide open.

It's an oft said maxim " A poor workman blames his tools".

c.d.embrey

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Re: Nat Geo shooter Ben Horton compares Canon glass to Zeiss glass.
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2010, 09:14:38 PM »
Yet another photographer talking out of a rear orifice trying to make a name for himself!

It's an oft said maxim " A poor workman blames his tools".

Ben Horton has already made a name for himself. A big name.

BTW have you ever seen any of his work? If not, how can you call him a poor workman.

Flake

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Re: Nat Geo shooter Ben Horton compares Canon glass to Zeiss glass.
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2010, 03:49:17 AM »
When someone demonstrably is talking nonsense I think it's quite easy!  After all he's the one who's saying that the equipment is letting his photography down and it's not as good as it could be.  What I have shown is that the lenses he is using are not as far apart as he is claiming, and the Zeiss lens isn't as good as the Canon.  There's really only one other variable and that comes down to the photographer!

There are plenty of very good photographers around, a lot of making a success comes not from some kind of superior ability, but from luck, contacts, being in the right place, etc. etc.  Just like many other professions.  I wonder how many people could say hand on heart that Damien Hurst, or Tracey Emin are the absolute best living artists, and that there is no one in the UK / World as good?

epsiloneri

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Re: Nat Geo shooter Ben Horton compares Canon glass to Zeiss glass.
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2010, 04:40:43 AM »
How can I say this?  Well partly because I know a professor involved in optics

Would you care to elaborate? I know an MD, that doesn't make me an authority on heart failures  ;)

BTW have you ever seen any of his work? If not, how can you call him a poor workman.
When someone demonstrably is talking nonsense I think it's quite easy!  After all he's the one who's saying that the equipment is letting his photography down and it's not as good as it could be.

I think it's fair to say that you can talk nonsense and still be an awesome photographer. And technically, your photography can always be improved. So there's no contradiction.

There are plenty of very good photographers around, a lot of making a success comes not from some kind of superior ability, but from luck, contacts, being in the right place, etc. etc.

Yes, but it's not sufficient, you have to have some minimum talent. But I don't think that talent necessarily is as intimately connected to the ability to evaluate the equipment as you seem to believe.

Just like many other professions.  I wonder how many people could say hand on heart that Damien Hurst, or Tracey Emin are the absolute best living artists, and that there is no one in the UK / World as good?

I don't have a clue about who you're talking, but I see your point ("not necessarily the best get famous and credit" etc). My point, however, is that you can be an artist without being able to evaluate the microphone in a satisfactory way. You can even complain how quality of the microphone is limiting your work, and still be an awesome artist!



Grendel

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Re: Nat Geo shooter Ben Horton compares Canon glass to Zeiss glass.
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2010, 05:25:38 AM »
Well, even I can predict the outcome of comparison of a Zeiss 3.5/18 and a Canon 16-35/2.8 at f22  ::) This guy at least tried a more controlled comparision betw. the 85 lenses.

That said, my Zeiss 2/35 should arrive in a few days :)
« Last Edit: October 25, 2010, 05:28:23 AM by Grendel »

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Re: Nat Geo shooter Ben Horton compares Canon glass to Zeiss glass.
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2010, 05:25:38 AM »

epsiloneri

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Re: Nat Geo shooter Ben Horton compares Canon glass to Zeiss glass.
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2010, 05:52:19 AM »
This guy at least tried a more controlled comparision betw. the 85 lenses.


Thanks, that was better, though I found the following puzzling:

Quote
It is a harder lens to use, since it is manual focus only and exhibits focus shift at close focusing distances that needs to be compensated for.


I though that focus shift was the difference between the AF determined focus and the real focus. How can there be a focus shift on a MF lens? He must mean something different, any idea what?


Flake

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Re: Nat Geo shooter Ben Horton compares Canon glass to Zeiss glass.
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2010, 06:05:53 AM »
Knowing the professor means I have someone I can ask questions of, and be sure that I get answers that I can trust!
Fair enough to say that someone can be a good photographer & talk nonsense, which is what has happened, and I've pointed out that he has done this.  I do have a few issues with a constant search for the nth degree of improvement.  It's still possible to get a saleable image from a pinhole camera, most commercial uses for photography won't ever show the differences between the two lenses, and 99.99999999% of people looking at the image are not going to look at it and say "Oh look he used a Zeiss lens over a Canon" and then they'll probably get it wrong.

If he was that bothered about IQ why isn't he shooting medium format, or even large format film?

Damien Hurst is a UK modern artist producing modern art on a commercial scale at very high prices, a lot of it is very controversial, such as a cow cut in half and preserved in formaldehyde.

Shooting for newspaper / magazines can be a deceiving medium for the end viewer, I wonder if you ever saw an image called 'the falling man'?  it's a 9/11 shot quite famous, chilling in what it depicts, but the story behnd it illustrates how newspaper photography works.  A number of shots were taken in a high speed burst, the photographer didn't even know he'd captured it until it was viewed back at the office, it was the picture editor who picked it out, and that's the point, there's a whole back office of people the public never sees.  Most people see an image & think no further than the photographer, but I'm sure my images would improve if I had a picture editor, and a back office of photoshop experts behind me!  Most glossy magazines now don't even do it in house, they choose the images and then send them out to third parties who do all the necessary photoshopping, to such an extent that the final result can look completely different to the original.

This is now common practice in commercial magazine images, particularly fashion, where people complain about the unobtainable looks of models.

Composition? no need to bother with that when you can crop it when you get back, in fact the only thing a photographer needs to do is to press the shutter at the right time and make sure it's in focus, the back office can do the rest!

Using the pop music analogy, it's like finding that a singer is miming on stage & using auto tune in the studio because they can't really sing, people still buy the albums and go to the live performances, and people believe that their idol is an 'awesome singer'

Flake

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Re: Nat Geo shooter Ben Horton compares Canon glass to Zeiss glass.
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2010, 06:09:34 AM »
"I though that focus shift was the difference between the AF determined focus and the real focus. How can there be a focus shift on a MF lens? He must mean something different, any idea what?"

Focus shift is where the point of focus changes on stepping down the aperture.  It's a big issue because for focussing the lens is wide open, press the shutter the aperture snaps down as the image is taken, and you have a missfocussed image.  The only real way to compensate is to use the DOF preview to focus, and then pray the subject doesn't move during the time it takes to press the shutter!



epsiloneri

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Re: Nat Geo shooter Ben Horton compares Canon glass to Zeiss glass.
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2010, 07:39:14 AM »
If he was that bothered about IQ why isn't he shooting medium format, or even large format film?

I think he is! Considering he tried to improve the FF IQ by mounting a medium format lens  ;D

Damien Hurst is a UK modern artist producing modern art on a commercial scale at very high prices, a lot of it is very controversial, such as a cow cut in half and preserved in formaldehyde.

Ah, yes, I've heard of that one.

Composition? no need to bother with that when you can crop it when you get back, in fact the only thing a photographer needs to do is to press the shutter at the right time and make sure it's in focus, the back office can do the rest!

Yes, "f/8 and be there". But it depends on the kind of photography you do, and there's far more to composition than just the framing.

Using the pop music analogy, it's like finding that a singer is miming on stage & using auto tune in the studio because they can't really sing, people still buy the albums and go to the live performances, and people believe that their idol is an 'awesome singer'

Well, yeah, although possible, I wouldn't think that happens too often, in either profession...

Focus shift is where the point of focus changes on stepping down the aperture.

Ok thanks, I didn't think of that. It's weird though, since the light obtained by stepping down (in the pupil plane) is a subset of the wide open light. That must mean that the foci for the different pupil radii aren't aligned, blurring the image at wide open aperture.


neuroanatomist

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Re: Nat Geo shooter Ben Horton compares Canon glass to Zeiss glass.
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2010, 11:01:26 AM »
Focus shift is where the point of focus changes on stepping down the aperture.


Ok thanks, I didn't think of that. It's weird though, since the light obtained by stepping down (in the pupil plane) is a subset of the wide open light. That must mean that the foci for the different pupil radii aren't aligned, blurring the image at wide open aperture.


It results from spherical aberration - more details HERE and HERE.  Focus shift is generally worse in lenses with intentionally undercorrected spherical aberration, like the 50mm f/1.2L where some sharpness is sacrificed to produce better bokeh.
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docsmith

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Re: Nat Geo shooter Ben Horton compares Canon glass to Zeiss glass.
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2010, 01:16:28 PM »
About half way down the page, this review has an example of focus shift......
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Zeiss-85mm-f-1.4-ZE-Planar-Lens-Review.aspx

It also has several comparison photos to the Canon 85 mm f/1.2 L II.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2010, 01:23:20 PM by docsmith »

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Re: Nat Geo shooter Ben Horton compares Canon glass to Zeiss glass.
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2010, 01:16:28 PM »

epsiloneri

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Re: Nat Geo shooter Ben Horton compares Canon glass to Zeiss glass.
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2010, 02:56:22 PM »
It results from spherical aberration - more details HERE and HERE.  Focus shift is generally worse in lenses with intentionally undercorrected spherical aberration, like the 50mm f/1.2L where some sharpness is sacrificed to produce better bokeh.


Thanks, that is a good write-up (and I found some other interesting posts on the toothwalker site). I had no idea manufacturers were deliberately under correcting aberrations to improve the bokeh.

Pincher

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Re: Nat Geo shooter Ben Horton compares Canon glass to Zeiss glass.
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2010, 03:16:50 PM »
Ummm, my 85/1.8 looks better than his 85/1.2 images.  ?

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Re: Nat Geo shooter Ben Horton compares Canon glass to Zeiss glass.
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2010, 03:16:50 PM »