B&H Photo has the Fujifilm X-T1 and lenses.
Now published is a summary and discussion of the finalized MPG 2013 Mac Pro configuration for a intensive digital photography usage.
Please see the in-depth Feb 12 discussion Sony’s 11+7-bit Delta Compression, Posterization in Some Situations.
Alex Tutubalin of RawDigger has posted an excellent explanation of how the Sony compression scheme works in RawDigger: detecting posterization in SONY cRAW/ARW2 files.
Version 1.0.5 of RawDigger now includes a special display feature for detecting areas of posterization in Sony ARW raw files. The visual indicators shown by RawDigger can raise concern of image quality, but with nearly all images the eye cannot detect a visual issue.
Two fast Nikon lenses compared.
Includes the usual HD and UltraHD images from ƒ/1.4, ƒ/1.8 through ƒ/16, as well as large crops.
Also added is a distortion page:
The Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH can deliver a powerful visual impact by judicious use of perspective and aperture (depth of field).
This example discusses the use of an 18mm lens for visual impact with a particularly instructive example.
Includes the usual HD and UltraHD images from ƒ/3.8 through ƒ/11, as well as large crops.
Thanks to reader Kirk T for sending this.
When studying the retina of the chicken, researchers found that the five different types of cones are arranged in what is known as “disordered hyperuniformity” and has never before been seen in biology until now.
Gives new meaning to “bird brain”.
I tested for a light leak using a 5 minute exposure a few days ago, but with the Sony A7 that I used I could find no evidence of one. Perhaps it varies by camera. But having no native lens to test, this test was done using the Novoflex adapter with ASTAT tripod mount using the Zeiss ZF.2 18mm f/3.5 Distagon. Possibly that would affect a light leak behavior (e.g., torque or tension on the lens mount).
As shown below, this 257 second exposure is pushed 2 stops and on top of that the Shadows/Highlights feature was used to brighten the very dark foreground. There is no evidence of a light leak that I can detect, and if there is/was one on this particular A7, it ought to show up on the very dark edge and corner areas at left/right/bottom.
The multiple image of the moon is presumably the clouds hiding and revealing it.
All camera systems have growing pains, but some issues fall into the “what were/are they thinking!” area.
So let’s take stock of where the Sony A7 / A7R platform stands in terms of being a professional solution:
- Shutter vibration issues with the A7R.
- 11 + 7 bit lossy file recording (in direct conflict with misleading claims of 14-bit recording) making it an issue for certain high dynamic range fine details, like star trails.
- A disorganized and confusing menu system, one of the worst on the market (see how-to pages for configuration suggestions). Along with no “My Menu” and no ability to remove crapware like Sony Play Memories and similar.
- As per above, an apparent light leak problem that might require repair for some camera bodies.
- A total of two (2) prime lenses and one zoom designed for the new system. Many other lenses can be used with adapters, but the native lens line is severely limited to say the least.
The new Sony full-frame mirrorless system is in its infancy and certainly the sensor quality is outstanding in most all respects. So I’m giving Sony some time to produce a “rev B” of the A7R which might change the equation substantially—I am not a buyer at this point, since the shutter vibration invalidates lens testing in general. Fixing the first two items would go a long way to making the A7R a winner. In the meantime, the A7 avoids the shutter vibration issue by dint of its electronic first curtain shutter option.
The Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH has a 9-blade lens diaphragm which produces beautiful 18-spoke sunstars.
This series shows the sunstar effects from ƒ/3.8 - ƒ/16:
Also added is a page on sunstars with a few other examples:
To see a good example of real thought applied to real photography, see True Focus and Absolute Position Lock (5th page) in the Hasselblad H5D 50C brochure.
It’s an example of what happens when a company thinks about real challenges for real photography—instead of shoveling web features into a camera (e.g. design excrement like Sony Play Memories that cannot be removed from the menu system). A pity that Hasselblad has implemented a modal leveling feature and not one like the Sony camera, which allows viewing the image with a superimposed leveling feature—each company has its own scattershot design quirks.
But on the whole, reading the Hasselblad brochure makes one thing very clear: the camera is designed to solve the issues that photographers need solved. It does not cater to silly trends or throw in yuck that gets in the way; it’s focused on getting a job done reliably. And that’s where Sony (to pick on Sony) is still 100% clueless.
There are many useful, time-saving, error-avoidance and productivity features that a smart company could add to make really great cameras. The Ricoh GR has a few of these. Why is it so hard for camera companies to see this?
Robin D writes:
I must say I am somewhat sceptical about this claim from Hasselblad as it seems like an extreme solution to address being unable to get multi-point autofocus working properly or investing in on-chip focus points. As such I regard it as a technological red herring. As with most MF systems it takes forever to go from shot to shot and with typical MF focal length lenses the DOF is awfully thin. So they have certain issues.
As an ex engineer I appreciate what they have done and why, but it doesn’t really solve the issue: when one locks focus and recomposes the photographer is fighting 2 focus issues (1) the camera movement in several axis and (2) subject movement. While models are, generally, excellent at keeping their movements to a minimum, it is still a fact that they occur, thereby completely devaluing an investment. In short it will work with products but not people.
So, yes it attempts to solve a problem for the photographer but, and pardon my cynicism, it sounds like a bit of marketing FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt)
DIGLLOYD: I’ll point out the following:
- D800 had AF problems with off-center focus spots and these are never as good as the center one.
- Focus points often awkward to use or don't cover desired spot (quite restricted area on full frame, better on APS-C or mirrorless).
- Field curvature and lens performance off-center are often troublesome for AF system (impaired micro contrast), so focusing at center is often more desirable.
- I’ve had more than my fill of AF-system errors to last me a lifetime. Anything that eliminates a variable is a big plus in my book.
- Full frame cameras have similar DoF issues at equivalent apertures like ƒ/1.2 and ƒ/2 as medium format at ~ƒ/2 - ƒ/2.8.
One must consider all the issues, and yes a subject can move. There are always variables, but compounded variables makes it harder. I tested the H40D. The technology seems to work. To call it FUD is a repudiation of physics. Whether it matters for one’s work style... well, that’s up to the photographer. And that’s the point of pretty good vs best, for anything. Try shooting an Otus 55/1.4 and see that at ƒ/1.4 there is about a 2mm focus tolerance range for peak performance on a head shot (portrait): high grade lenses show trivial errors, mediocre ones mask the issue.
This site moves through a lot of gear. Most items are tested as loaners, but some gear has to be bought, and that means spinning off gear no longer needed.
Buyer pays 3-day UPS or FedEx shipping and/or supplies own shipping label (no USPS) and/or picks up locally. California buyers responsible for any applicable sales tax. USA only, no overseas shipments.
Contact me (please use an appropriate email subject)
Pentax K3 premium silver edition
Very lightly used (under 1000 actuations) Pentax K-3 premium silver edition (details) in box like new as shipped. $975.
Olympus E-M5 (black)
With the excellent Really Right Stuff L bracket. With charger and battery. $695.
Nikon D800 SOLD
Apparent shutter actuations of 3475 (“<aux:ImageNumber>3475</aux:ImageNumber>” in EXIF info). This camera was lightly used because I switched to my D800E after a few months; it served as an infrequently used spare.
In Nikon box with accessories as shipped with Really Right Stuff L-bracket for D800. $2200.
The Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH is an ultra-wide angle lens, but even an 18mm has its depth of field limits.
This example shows what is needed to render a sharp image from a few feet away to the far distance.
The Leica 24mm f/3.8 Elmar-M ASPH is such a consistent and reliable performer, it sets the mind at ease when using it; previsualization of the results is simplified greatly because the lens has no oddball issues to think about.
But no lens is perfect, and this particular series at near-infinity focus should prove to be rewarding reading for any 24/3.8 Elmar-M ASPH user looking to get the best out of the 24/3.8.
But any user of any brand lens should find the behavior here instructive because it applies to many if not most lenses, though particular behavior can vary in degree and direction.
The Leica 24mm f/3.8 Elmar-M ASPH is such a consistent and reliable performer, it sets the mind at ease when using it; previsualization of the results is easy because the lens is so good with no oddball issues to think about.
At about $2650, it offers a sheer performance to value ratio bettered by no other lens in the line.
This series includes apertures ƒ/6.8 and ƒ/9.5 and ƒ/13 in the ƒ/3.8 to ƒ/16 range, those apertures some interest to practical field shooting, particularly with respect to lens brilliance in the face of diffraction and also edge and corner performance with deep 3D scenes as here.
The Leica 24mm f/3.8 Elmar-M ASPH might be Leica’s best wide angle lens in its sheer consistency of image quality.
The 24/3.8 should probably be in every M-shooter’s bag. And at about $2650, it offers a sheer performance to value ratio bettered by no other lens in the line.
This series includes apertures ƒ/9.5 and ƒ/13 in the ƒ/3.8 to ƒ/16 range, those apertures having relevance to the issue of lens brilliance in the face of diffraction.
Hakan K writes:
Thank you for covering this, it worked out quite timely for me, just yesterday after hearing the Sony rep's comments on my Elmar 24 shots on A7R that they were too contrasty, I thought maybe I can push this to around f/11 for increased DoF, and I have the answer my queries today.
I bought mine with SX21 after reading your comments that Elmar 24 and Summilux 21 would make a good combination. I agree that Elmar 24 is best value for money lens in Leica-M range and it's Diglloyd.com that offers the ultimate value for money for digging out the gems. I intend to use this lens also with 20Mpx A5000 as a compact street camera*.
* I know you prefer the RX1, GR like fixed lens solutions but RX1's distortion is unfortunate for a 35mm.
DIGLLOYD: One wonders what Leica or Zeiss might be able to do if a Sony RX2R body utilized a lens designed for a new 36MP or 50MP sensor at ƒ/2.8 lens speed and with fewer constraints on cost and size.
With the ~20-megapixel Sigma dp2 Quattro availability likely to be early summer, users looking for a large-print-capable compact camera might meanwhile want to consider the ~15-megapixel Sigma DP Merrill lineup, particularly the 28mm and 75mm (equiv) models, the DP1 Merrill and DP3 Merrill. The dp2 Quattro will replace the 45mm DP 2 Merrill, but the other two siblings are coming sometime later.
Real detail free of digital artifacts, especially for natural materials including very fine textures, nuanced crystalline metallic zinc coatings and similar coupled with deep real (actual) depth of field are the hallmarks of the Sigma DP Merrill cameras with their Sigma/Foveon true-color sensors.
A planar subject like this is a demanding task for any lens, but particularly so for a 28mm (equiv) wide angle lens, and here the DP1M performs well above its pay grade. See also the recent reader comments as well as Pixel for Pixel, *Nothing* Beats a Sigma DP Merrill.
Tthe Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH offers a brilliant high contrast image, but it is not free of flare.
How does flare behave across the aperture range? This excellent example shows just what to expect when light grazes the front element and results are similar for many of the Leica M wides.
Always shield a lens from non-image-forming light when possible, though there is little room for error with an ultra wide, e.g. a finger into the frame.
Always good to play.
If an image is strong to being with, the results are very enjoyable—soothing and not so demanding as the originals—reduced to essentials. And that is a useful feedback loop (reducing to essentials) when making images.
The look reminded me immediately of the Fujifilm sensor artifacts that I do not want in my original image. That should not be misunderstood—I don’t mean the look seen here at an overall level (which is pronounced), but the tendency to stylize natural patterns in an odd way—fractal like—when approaching sensor resolution.
Click for larger.
The crops include apertures ƒ/6.8 and ƒ/9.5 and ƒ/13 in the ƒ/3.8 - ƒ/16 series. A discussion of diffraction and flare effects at those intermediate values is included.
Guide to Leica: 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH, Aperture Series: Backlit Cottonwood at DeChambeau Ranch
This series shows the impressive contrast and rendition of the Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH. It is certainly the finest 18mm full-frame lens available as of 2014, and has become a favorite.
The crops include apertures ƒ/9.5 and ƒ/13 in the ƒ/3.8 - ƒ/16 series, and a discussion of diffraction effects at those intermediate values, an important consideration for getting the lens brilliance out of the 18/3.8 SEM.