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Reasons To Like the NEC PA302W Wide Gamut Professional Display

See my color management wishlist and get NEC PA302W at B&H Photo. Unless you already have the NEC calibrator and software, be sure to get the NEC PA302W BK-SV.

NEC PA302W 30-inch wide-gamut display 2560 X 1600

The NEC PA302W is my workhorse display on which I do all my photography work. It is a 30-inch 2560 X 1600 wide-gamut display with true hardware calibration (not faux calibration). The PA302W calibrates to within 1 delta-A accuracy (that’s for nerds, it means “amazingly accurate and your eyes are probably not that good”).

There is a lot to like about the NEC PA302W, which is why I consider it the finest display available today for evaluating and processing images (though the iMac 5K is my preferred display for viewing images). That is why I call it my workhorse display. The NEC PA302W is the display I will be installing in my mobile photography adventure van.

  • Screen resolution of 2560 X 1600 in a 30" form factor, for eye-friendly pixel density that allows me to quickly evaluate image sharpness. As well as the 1600-high thing: *way* better than 1440 (including the “looks like” 2560 X 1440 of the iMac 5K).
  • Color gamut that extends *way* beyond the AdobeRGB color space, important for making decisions on saturation and color subtlety, plus today’s printers are also beyond AdobeRGB gamut.
  • Neutral backlighting— the GB-R backlighting delivers a neutral gray—not the magenta-tinted “gray” W-LED displays that most calibration devices see as neutral, but is in fact tinted magenta to the human eye, or at least my eyes, which are unusually good for color discrimination.
  • Low glare—unlike the iMac 5K, the NEC PA302W has surface coating that works well in all sorts of lighting conditions, and does not display the walls behind my back.
  • 4-year warranty. Compare that to the abbreviated 1 year warranty Apple provides.

Below, check out that color gamut! The inside triangle is AdobeRGB, which falls far short of what the NEC PA302W offers. I use the 16-bit ProPhotoRGB color space for most of my work, outputting to AdobeRGB JPEG files unless the image is out of gamut in AdobeRGB.

Color gamut of NEC PA302W wide gamut display, full range calibration

See also:

NEC PA302W 30-inch wide-gamut display showing a bristlecone pine I shot one day
Deals Updated Daily at B&H Photo

Leica M10: Moiré

Many thanks to the folks at PopFlash.Photo for the Leica M10 on loan. PopFlash.photo offers many accessories for Leica M and other brands, such as the Thumbs Up EP-MX for Leica M10 and the Leica Visoflex (Type 020) EVF.

See my Leica M wishlist.

Moiré can be an issue with many cameras (including the Fujifilm GFX), but the Leica M10 and Leica M240 and other M cameras are particularly prone to it. The question is whether it interferes with the typical shooting scenario. I saw all kinds of aliasing that I found bothersome in the Dana Lake examples with the M10. Most users might look past that, but as this example shows, the M cameras really need a higher-resolution sensor, for oversampling, which greatly reduces moiré issues.

Leica M10: Moiré

The 24-megapixel resolution of the Leica M10 (and M240 and its variants) can be a serious image quality problem that causes digital artifacts of all sorts. The argument that “24 megapixels is enough” sometimes means awareness and acceptance of the limitations, but sometimes it shows an ignorance of the issues involved, particularly with a sensor lacking any anti-aliasing filter (as with the all M cameras).

How many years will pass before Leica ups their image quality game? I did not say “resolution” there, but it is a fact that higher image quality has as a prerequisite resolution sufficient to minimize the moiré and color aliasing issues so often seen with Leica M (years of shooting prove that out well enough).

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SHOOTOUT: Leica M10 vs Leica M240 ISO Series from 100 to 6400 (Fountain to Flowers to Tower)

Many thanks to the folks at PopFlash.Photo for the Leica M10 on loan. PopFlash.photo offers many accessories for Leica M and other brands, such as the Thumbs Up EP-MX for Leica M10 and the Leica Visoflex (Type 020) EVF.

See my Leica M wishlist.

Following my Saddlebag Lake field-shooting ISO series and the Dolls series, this dusk series shows the M10 and M240 ISO behavior for one of my favorite times of day to shoot—dusk.

M10 vs M240 ISO Series from 100 to 6400: Fountain to Flowers to Tower

Includes image at up to full resolution from ISO 100 through ISO 6400 for both cameras.

ALSO includes the full series (grayscale) for each of the red and green and blue color channels from the ProPhotoRGB color space as well as a gray gamma 2.2 grayscale series. Black and white shooters may find the color channels useful in seeing just how much better than M10 performs over the M240, in terms of the latitude for high quality black and white conversion.

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SHOOTOUT: Leica M10 vs Leica M240 ISO Series from 100 to 6400 (Dolls)

Many thanks to the folks at PopFlash.Photo for the Leica M10 on loan. PopFlash.photo offers many accessories for Leica M and other brands, such as the Thumbs Up EP-MX for Leica M10 and the Leica Visoflex (Type 020) EVF.

See my Leica M wishlist.

Following my Saddlebag Lake field-shooting ISO series, this 'dolls' controlled comparison is a series I deem a definitive shootout between the Leica M10 and the Leica M240.

M10 vs M240 ISO Series from 100 to 6400: Dolls*

Includes image at full resolution (albeit cropped to 4K wide), from ISO 100 through ISO 6400 for both cameras.

ALSO includes the full series (grayscale) for each of the red and green and blue color channels from the ProPhotoRGB color space as well as a gray gamma 2.2 grayscale series. These series really delves into the notable differences between the two cameras in terms of noise. A few years of sensor advances are worth waiting for.

* I dedicate it to all the men whose wives would not let them keep dolls around.

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Blue channel from ProPhotoRGB color space
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Up to $500 off MacBook Pro At B&H Photo

B&H Photo has up to $500 off Macs. I recommend sticking with models that have 16GB memory.

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More Tests: 2017 iMac 5K and 2017 MacBook Pro

See my Mac wish list.

Lightroom and Photoshop users might find my recent tests interesting.

Quite a few new tests today.

2017 iMac 5K vs others: Lightroom mport 156 raw files and generate 1:1 previews
Upgrade Your Mac Memory
At much lower cost than Apple, with more options.
Lloyd recommends 64GB for iMac or Mac Pro for photography/videography.

Leica M10 ISO Series from ISO 100 to ISO 6400

Many thanks to the folks at PopFlash.Photo for the Leica M10 on loan. PopFlash.photo offers many accessories for Leica M and other brands, such as the Thumbs Up EP-MX for Leica M10 and the Leica Visoflex (Type 020) EVF.

See my Leica M wishlist.

I prefer to evaluate noise in terms of what it looks like for real shooting, that is, what if I were hiking and wanted to shoot handheld with sufficient shutter speed to minimize the risk of blur or for more depth of field: what would my results look like at, say, at ISO 800 or higher? Is this noise random and thus “film like” and does pattern noise show up. What about very blue lighting, or tungsten? And so on.

The lighting here was blue mountain shadow after the had resin, but still deep in shade—mostly skylight from a blue cloudless sky. Hence the red channel is of most interest as to how noise it gets. Such blue-light conditions are frequently found in the mountains, particularly in valleys and/or late in the year.

Leica M10 ISO Series from 100 to 6400: Saddlebag Lake Fresh Ice

Includes image up to full resolution from ISO 100 through ISO 6400.

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FOR SALE: Zeiss ZF 25mm f/2.8 IR-Distagon

See all my gear that is for sale.

Why am I selling? If I have to keep insuring gear, it costs me money every year to do so. And I am constantly cycling through new lenses and cameras—no time to shoot most of the gear I have. Collecting lenses is nice, but not in the cards for me. So when there is no ROI, as much as I’d like to keep it, I need to fund new gear relevant to the current market.

Zeiss 25mm f/2.8 IR-Distagon for sale

I’m putting a very special lens up for sale. It might not be one of a kind but there are very few around. This one has a regular Nikon F-mount and barrel just like the non-IR version. It is ZF (not ZF.2) so no CPU chip to fail either.

Special infrared-optimized lens coatings, see A/B examples.

Zeiss ZF 25mm f/2.8 IR-Distagon RARE ONE OF A KIND. Includes original box with "IR" sticker on it. Picked for me at Zeiss. Native mount on Nikon, trivially adapter to Canon and other brands since it is Nikon F-mount with aperture ring. $4800.

New additions for sale

Reader Comment: Minimizing Power Usage for Travel (or Home)

Bruce M writes in reference to 2013 Mac Pro: Power Usage (Watts):

I too use a electricity usage meter to gauge ‘seat’ setup efficiency, and was questioning for the extra kick if this exact model would be worth it, vs a 2016/7 iMac or the ~50% performance hit with an uber efficient Macbook pro.

The monitor/display can make a huge difference, as I’m sure you know, and it might have been even more helpful to separate the two?

As I recall my LED Cinema/TB displays varied dramatically depending on brightness, with my notes suggesting usage ranges from 40~120w (~55w low brightness) for a Mini 2.0 (3,1). I settled on an AOC 40” 4k VA display and it uses only around 55w in a less bright ‘Uniformity’ mode, but unfortunately has no auto brightness sensor auto adjustment, which I really miss from the Apple display… It is not far off having 3x 27” displays @ 110dpi, which might add 100~250+ watts in a blaze of glory...

DIGLLOYD: I’m working on a more detailed discussion because power usage matters to my Mercedes Sprinter photography adventure van project. I am considering these three configurations which include a large display—I need a display with a large working area with low pixel density for evaluating images.

  • iMac with NEC PA272W display (NEC PA302W more desirable, but too wide for desk in van side by side with iMac).
  • 2013 Mac Pro with NEC PA302W.
  • 2015 MacBook Pro or 2017 MacBook Pro (preferred but an extra cost for me) with NEC PA302W.

I’m evaluating the power usage for these combinations. Obviously the MacBook Pro is best from a power usage standpoint but its miserly 16GB of memory is demonstrably a problem even on an iMac 5K; see 2017 iMac 5K: Photoshop Benchmarks, 64GB vs 8GB Memory.

A few quick observations:

  • The top-end 2017 15" MacBook Pro is efficient: I am measuring 15 watts at idle with screen lit up, with up to 75 watts going all out on CPUs. Even more efficient than the Apple AC power brick on an inverter, a vehicle with a 12V socket can use the BatPower USB-C adapter. Using the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock under full load sucks up an additional 32 watts when under full load (and doesn't even get warm), but the MacBook Pro runs faster than with the Apple power supply! When idle the overhead of the Dock is only 11 watts. While the TB3 dock is useful for avoiding the MacBook Pro dongle hassle, it suggests that direct-powering the MBP via the Apple adapter is more power efficient but less performant. Apple’s tech note says that the highest-power device will be preferred for charging—and that seems to be the TB3 Dock even though the Apple power brick is rated higher for power output—Apple bug?
  • The 2017 iMac 5K is highly efficient, drawing 54 watts at idle with the screen lit up (versus about 62 watts for the 2015 iMac 5K), and only 20 watts while with the display blanked. This is incredibly efficient given that my NEC displays use 70 to 90 watts all by themselves. The 2017 iMac 5K peaks at about 140 watts when doing a Lightroom Export (averaging about 125 watts during). It probably goes higher if all CPUs and the GPU are worked hard, but my normal workflow never gets beyond about 145 watts.
  • Displays like my NEC PA 302W workhorse display vary depending on brightness level, but take up to 90 watts or so.
OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock
Review of Thunderbolt 2 Dock

Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2 R WR Aperture Series: Detour at Dusk (Fujifilm GFX)

See my Fujifilm GFX wish list.

This series from f/2 through f/11 looks at a host of lens behaviors using a strongly backlit subject in deep shadow. The ability of a lens to maintain contrast in the face of such backlighting is critical to being able to make a faux HDR image using the inherent dynamic range of the camera. The Fujifilm GFX has the requisite dynamic range, but the lens plays the key role in keeping black areas black.

Also looked at here are sharpness and depth of field gains and color correction on out of focus foreground and background.

Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2 Aperture Series: Detour at Dusk

Includes images up to full resolution from f/2 - f/11.

I could not even contemplate yanking on the raw file as hard as was done here with the Canon 5Ds R, or the Sony A7R II—not without a lot of noise and brittleness showing up in the image quality. But the the GFX pulls it off without breaking a sweat. This kind of quality makes me lust after a GFX, because Sony and Canon cannot compete with it, and even the Nikon D810 would be hard pressed to manage it (and be 36 megapixels, not 50).

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Reader Comment: Leica SL as Platform for Leica M Lenses

See my Nikon wishlist and Fujifilm GFX system wishlist .

Roy P writes:

Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH

I’m still looking for a good 28mm fast prime I can use with my Sony A7x cameras as a street photography lens. The Otus is just too big and heavy. The Sony 28mm image quality is underwhelming. The Nikon 28mm AI-S is REALLY bad, brutally exposed by FF sensors with 24MP or resolution.

Right now, the Batis 25 is my 28mm lens. Not exactly extreme hardship, but I’d love to find a lens like the Leica 28/1.4. I don’t know why Zeiss hasn’t already come out with a few f/1.4 primes as part of the Loxia series. hey will never be as small as the Leica M lenses, but they should still be quite compact. I think there’s a market for a set of FE f/1.4 lenses that parallel the Leica M line up (21, 24, 28, 35, 50). Is that an input you could pass on to your friends at Zeiss?

Talking about Leica M, I have been hanging on to my 50 lux and 50 APO, but on the Sony cameras, even using the lens profile in LR, I can’t totally eliminate vignetting. In fact, it’s so bad that it takes a slider setting of 30 to as much as 60 on the Vignetting slider in LR to fix it, and sometimes, even at 60, you can’t fully eliminate it.

Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon

I even briefly considered the Leica M10, but I just couldn’t bring myself to pay $8,110 for a usable 24MP camera – body, add on grip, goofy add on EVF that is still crappy, Thumb support, and pack of three plastic protectors for the LCD back, because Leica is too cheap to put the gorilla glass on its cameras that every $300 smart phone comes with as a standard feature. Not to mention all the usability issues you pointed out.

I hate the Leica SL for its crappy design, but if I used it only as a digital back for my remaining M lenses, maybe the user interface is less of an issue. But I still can’t see myself paying so much for a 24MP camera with a sensor inferior to the original Sony A7 from 2013.

Just out of curiosity: do you know if the M lenses work any better on the SL than they do on Sony A7x bodies?

DIGLLOYD: taking the the last point first, Leica M lenses are far superior on the Leica SL as compared to Sony mirrorless ; the SL was designed with M lenses in mind. While the SL does not offer quite as good results as the Leica M240 or Leica M10 (it lacks the needed micro lenses), Leica M and Zeiss ZM lenses all work great on the SL because there is no fundamental mismatch on sensor cover glass (that mismatch is the problem with M lenses on Sony). For example, the Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon delivers gorgeous images on the Leica SL.

I greatly dislike the Leica SL design also, but some people think it’s just brickly.

As for a 28mm for Leica M, I own the Leica 28mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M ASPH and Leica 28mm f/2 Summicron-M ASPH both, but the one lens I’d love to have and that I would trade both for would be the Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH —I consider it Leica’s finest Summilux and perhaps the best all around wide angle, setting aside the Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon which I put at the top of the heap.

The Leica M10 is badly overpriced (body + EVF + batteries + etc all adds up to a huge cost).

Bottom line is that Leica could have a great offering for many folks by taking the M series forward with the EVF of the SL (drop the rangefinder) and a ~36 megapixel sensor. But they just don’t do it. And it would cost $10K. Sigh.

As for input to Zeiss, I have given it many times. They make their own marketing and design decisions, and don’t adopt strategies that I think would be successful . Plus Sony has been very aggressive about rolling out lenses—not sure what kind of volume would accrue to Zeiss versus the R&D costs.

Reader Comment: Nikon 28mm f/1.4E ED, Fujifilm GF Focus Stability

See my Nikon wishlist and Fujifilm GFX system wishlist .

Roy P writes:

It looks like the Nikon 28mm f/1.4 isn’t quite in the same league as the Nikon 105mm f/1.4. Am I right?

Looks like the Fujifilm medium format isn’t quite ready for prime time.

DIGLLOYD: it is far more difficult to achieve performance across the field in a 28mm f/1.4 than with a 105mm f/1.4, and Nikon has chosen to keep the lens size small and price moderate, if about $2k can be considered moderate! The relatively small lens sie makes it even more of a challenge. In the central 1/2 of the frame, the Nikon 28/1.4 is outstanding even wide open. Outside that area it needs stopping down. It has beautiful rendering and I like the lens, but it is not an Otus across the imaging field.

It is far more difficult to keep performance high at 28mm than with a 105mm. As the Otus 28 demonstrates: the Otus 28/1.4 has significantly less good MTF wide open than the Otus 55/1.4 MTF or Otus 85/1.4 MTF . Those are not just graphs and numbers, but visible in their effects in real images. The lower MTF at f/1.4 at 28mm is not a coincidence—in a 28/1.4, correcting aberrations is like herding cats. So it's apples and oranges to compare 28mm and 105mm performance—the expectations must be in line with reality.

In reference to Fujifilm medium format , Roy is referring to the focus instability I have observed with every Fujifilm GF lens (such as the Yellow Bike glitch), except perhaps the GF 23mm f/4 , but a 23mm f/4 hides such behaviors better. I have little doubt that it too will misbehave since I deem it a Fujifilm GFX elecrronic brain-fart bug which I first observed with Fujifilm X five years or so ago—a genetic defect. The GFX sensor is fantastic, so this behavior is terribly disappointing, but it won’t bother or even be noticed by many people since they’ll shoot one frame at f/8 or f/11 or whatever and be oblivious to small errors.

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Reader Comment: Site Download Speed

Yair T writes:

When trying to watch pictures on your site the speed of the downloading an image is very slow And many times it simply takes very long time. It never happened to me with your site on the past and it is like this for few days. I tested multiple times at different hours , download speed is very low. Please advise.

DIGLLOYD: slow download speed sure is frustrating.

Tip: many users run WiFi at home. In my experience even 5 to 10 feet from the WiFi router, all sorts of external factors can cause all kinds of hiccups that cause speed to range from fast to unreliable, which is why I never use WiFi at home. Use wired gigabit ethernet to a gigabit ethernet switch or router instead. Any testing that involves WiFi and not just the internet connection is an end to end test that introduces too many variables to diagnose root cause.

All three of my web sites are hosted on my own server in a secured-with-guard data center in Sunnyvale, CA on a dedicated/guaranteed 100 megabit link by Etheric Networks (they do mainly wireless, but my server is in a wired high security server room). I go to no small expense to do this so my subscribers enjoy a quality experience. Uptime of that server has been 99.99% for three years, the only downtime when my firewall went wonky one day.

Occassionally more than one user is hitting my server simultaneously with high bandwidth requirements, but in monitoring my server, the bandwidth is 95% unused on average. So I don't think it is a contention issue.

I tested speed this morning with the 50 megapixel GFX images I posted recently; I'm seeing 4 to 5 megabytes per second (32 to 40 megabits per second) real throughput down to my personal computer using my 75 megabit Comcast Business Internet link. That speed from my web site is faster than virtually all large commercial web sites that I use with that same Comcast link. About the only site that is consistently fast is Apple, which will saturate my link. So I’m not sure what to say on this matter except that I cannot see any problem on my end. I also see 2 to 3 megabytes per second from my site over LTE via my cell phone personal hot spot.

The 50-megapixel image aperture series with 10 to 14 megabyte images per aperture are coming down in 8 to 15 seconds for the entire series of 4/5/6 images. That’s an end-to-end test and is very fast by comparison with commercial web sites I use.

Many ISPs claim speed; many do not actually have it—bandwidth tests are misleading, done to dedicated test servers on backbone links. So I look at only real-world speed. For example, I tried doubling my Comcast Business Internet link speed. It helped in a few cases (like multi-gigabyte Apple downloads), but 99% of the web sites I use ran no faster.

MacPerformanceGuide.com

TESTED: 2017 iMac 5K and 2017 MacBook Pro

See my Mac wish list.

Lightroom and Photoshop users might find my recent tests interesting.

2017 iMac 5K vs others: Lightroom mport 156 raw files and generate 1:1 previews
SSD Upgrade for MacBook Pro Retina
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FOR SALE Lloyd’s Own Lenses: Zeiss, Leica, Voigtlander, Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Rodenstock, Schneider (PRICE DROPS)

I’d rather just keep a growing collection, but that’s just not feasible, for both space and financial reasons—I constantly have to be working with the newest lenses for my publications. There is no ROI (return on investment) for lenses that I rarely or ever need for my publications. Plus the ongoing insurance costs are negative ROI, plus I have to buy certain new gear each year. It’s time to clean house on some very good lenses.

  • All lenses here are “good samples” as far as my testing has determined; I never keep bad samples.
  • Nearly all are with original box and packaging (all that stuff up in the attic, I never throw away boxes).
  • My reputation is more important to me than any sale. I would never knowingly sell any gear with an issue. It’s that simple—just not worth it. Local buyers welcome to inspect firsthand.
  • All my glass tends to be pristine. If I see any kind of optical marring, I will note it prior to final sale.
  • Please note that new lenses have dust inside! Used lenses always have some dust, even after a week or two of use. NONE of my gear has ever gone to Burning Man or anything 1/10 that extreme.
  • Overseas is just too much of a hassle, but if payment is made I can hold a lens until buyer visits my area.

LNIB = Like New in Box

Payment as agreed upon. Buyer pays FedEx 3 day shipping and buyer is responsible for California sales tax, if applicable. Local inspection/pickup if you are close to Palo Alto, CA.

Nikon mount

All Nikon lenses are original USA models—no gray market. Zeiss sales are because I have the Milvus replacements for the lenses I’m selling. These are all excellent samples, some particularly so.

  • Nikon 45mm f/2.8 ED PC-E Micro Nikkor $1099. Shows some wear, but perfect glass and mechanical.
  • Nikon AF 105mm f/2D DC-Nikkor $890 LNIB
  • Nikon 50-300mm f/4.5 ED AIS, excellent glass $1150
  • Zeiss ZF.2 18mm f/3.5 Distagon $740
  • Zeiss ZF.2 35mm f/1.4 Distagon $1050
  • Zeiss ZF.2 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar $800
  • Zeiss ZF.2 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar $1299 (particularly outstanding copy with superb symmetry at distance)
  • Voigtlander Color-Skopar 28mm f2.8 SL II with lens hood LNIB $425.
  • Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2 SL II with lens hood LNIB $305.
  • Zeiss ZF 25mm f/2.8 IR-Distagon RARE and all but impossible to find $3500. Special build with infrared optimized lens coatings.

Canon mount

All Canon lenses are original USA models—no gray market.

Olympus

Sigma

Sigma dp Merrill set of 3 (28/45/75 equivalent) with 7 batteries and fits-all case. $1125.
See Pixel for Pixel, *Nothing* Beats a Sigma DP Merrill.

Leica

All Leica lenses are original USA models—no gray market.

Rodenstock and Schneider view camera lenses

All on Linhof Technikardan lens boards, copal shutters.

  • Rodenstock 135mm f/5.6 APO-Sironar-S Copal shutter + Linhof Technikardan lens board $1950 PRISTINE
  • Schneider 400mm f/5.6 APO-TELE-XENAR Copal shutter+ Linhof Technikardan lens board $2100 PRISTINE
  • Fujifilm Fujinon A 240mm f/9 $800 PRISTINE
  • Linhof Tecknikdan 4 X 5 View camera with quickload holders and various mounting boards $900
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Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2 R WR Aperture Series: Yellow Bike at Night (Fujifilm GFX)

See my Fujifilm GFX wish list.

This scene tests the Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2 angled to a target that yields insight into sharpness, color correction and focus shift.

I also show evidence that the Fujifilm GFX is still up to its old focus instability electronic brain-fart tricks, which I deem unacceptable in a pro camera, or any decent camera.

Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2 Aperture Series: Yellow Bike at Night

Includes images up to full resolution from f/2 - f/11.

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Fujifilm GF 23mm f/4 R WR Aperture Series: Church Mosaic (Fujifilm GFX)

See my Fujifilm GFX wish list.

This scene tests the Fujifilm GF 23mm f/4 on the most demanding target I know of: a finely detailed geometrically planar subject at distance. Such a scene is unforgiving of focus shift or field curvature or any lens symmetry defects. It is particularly difficult for an extreme wide angle lens.

Fujifilm GF 23mm f/4 Aperture Series: Church Mosaic

Fujifilm GF 23mm f/4: Distortion Correction and Micro Contrast Losses

Includes images up to full resolution from f/4 - f/9.

Performance of the Fujifilm GF 23mm f/4 surely ranks among the finest performances available in the 19mm (equivalent) focal length range in terms of total image sharpness and consistency across the field. Accordingly, I have only minor reservations in giving my highest recommendation to the about $2600 Fujifilm GF 23mm f/4—this is the wide angle lens that anchors the system, along with the about $2800 Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2 at the long end.

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Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2 R WR Aperture Series: View to Tower (Fujifilm GFX)

See my Fujifilm GFX wish list.

This example looks at image quality with the GF 110mm f/2 at late dusk, particularly very fine detail in wire and stone and roof tiles at distance. It differs from Oak Tree View to Tower in that it is more distant, and includes foreground elements to assess bokeh and color correction as well as offering a smaller reproduction scale to see how well the very finest details on the tower resolve.

Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2 Aperture Series: View to Tower

Includes images up to full resolution from f/2 - f/8.

On an optical basis, I have no hesitation in giving my highest recommendation to the about $2800 Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2—this is the telephoto lens that anchors the system. For most usage the GF 110mm f/2 should be preferred to the GF 120mm f/4 for the extra two stops of light and the smaller/lighter form factor. Plus, so far the 110mm f/2 has shown itself to have much more accurate autofocus with only a trace of focus instability.

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Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2 R WR Aperture Series: Oak Tree View to Tower (Fujifilm GFX)

See my Fujifilm GFX wish list.

This example looks at image quality with the Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2 at late dusk, particularly very fine detail in wire and stone and roof tiles at distance.

Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2 Aperture Series: Oak Tree View to Tower

Includes images up to full resolution from f/2 - f/8.

On an optical basis, I have no hesitation in giving my highest recommendation to the about $2800 Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2—this is the telephoto lens that anchors the system. For most usage the GF 110mm f/2 should be preferred to the GF 120mm f/4 for the extra two stops of light and the smaller/lighter form factor. Plus, so far the 110mm f/2 has shown itself to have much more accurate autofocus with only a trace of focus instability.

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Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2 R WR Aperture Series: Church Mosaic (Fujifilm GFX)

See my Fujifilm GFX wish list.

This scene tests the Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2 on the most demanding target I know of: a finely detailed geometrically planar subject at distance. Such a scene is unforgiving of focus shift or field curvature or any lens symmetry defects; it is the acid test for gold, or silver or lead—optically speaking.

Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2 Aperture Series: Church Mosaic

Includes images up to full resolution from f/2 - f/8.

On an optical basis, I have no hesitation in giving my highest recommendation to the about $2800 Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2—this is the telephoto lens that anchors the system. For most usage the GF 110mm f/2 should be preferred to the GF 120mm f/4 for the extra two stops of light and the smaller/lighter form factor. Plus, so far the 110mm f/2 has shown itself to have much more accurate autofocus with only a trace of focus instability.

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Nikon 28mm f/1.4E Aperture Series: Burghers of Calais

See my Nikon wishlist and get Nikon 28mm f/1.4E at B&H Photo.

See my review of the Nikon AF-S 28mm f/1.4E ED in diglloyd Advanced DSLR.

This scene tests the Nikon 28mm f/1.4E at close range with off-center focus to see how well the lens performs at wider apertures in the mid zones. It adds weight to the findings with the other series.

Nikon 28mm f/1.4E ED Aperture Series: Burghers of Calais

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/1.4 through f/13.

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Nikon 28mm f/1.4E Aperture Series: Mosaic

See my Nikon wishlist and get Nikon 28mm f/1.4E at B&H Photo.

This scene tests the Nikon 28mm f/1.4E on the most demanding target I know of: a finely detail geometrically planar subject at distance. Such a scene is absolutely unforgiving of focus shift or field curvature or any lens symmetry defects; it is the acid test for gold, or silver or lead—optically speaking.

Nikon 28mm f/1.4E ED Aperture Series: Mosaic

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/1.4 through f/8.

Lens is Nikon 28mm f/1.4E ED, NOT Otus. ACR bug caused wrong lens name in EXIF info..
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Nikon 28mm f/1.4E Aperture Series: Courtyard View to Tower

See my Nikon wishlist and get Nikon 28mm f/1.4E at B&H Photo.

The Nikon 28mm f/1.4E ED is a significantly smaller and lighter lens than the Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon, and the Nikon 28/1.4 has autofocus. But how does it perform, particularly across the frame at f/1.4 through f/4?

This scene shows off the Nikon 28mm f/1.4E at night using a a more planar scene than with View to Tower, so that we can better assess outer-zone performance

Nikon 28mm f/1.4E ED Aperture Series: Courtyard View to Tower

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/1.4 through f/9.

Lens is Nikon 28mm f/1.4E ED, NOT Otus. ACR bug caused wrong lens name in EXIF info.
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Nikon 28mm f/1.4E Aperture Series: View to Tower

See my Nikon wishlist and get Nikon 28mm f/1.4E at B&H Photo.

The Nikon 28mm f/1.4E ED is a significantly smaller and lighter lens than the Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon, and the Nikon 28/1.4 has autofocus. But how does it perform, particularly across the frame at f/1.4 through f/4?

Nikon 28mm f/1.4E ED Aperture Series: View to Tower

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/1.4 through f/9.

Lens is Nikon 28mm f/1.4E ED, NOT Otus. ACR bug caused wrong lens name in EXIF info.
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Leica M10 Examples with 18/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH and Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon: Dana Lakes Hike

Many thanks to the folks at PopFlash.Photo for the Leica M10 on loan. PopFlash.photo offers many accessories for Leica M and other brands, such as the Thumbs Up EP-MX for Leica M10 and the Leica Visoflex (Type 020) EVF.

See my Leica M wishlist.

Examples from June 2017 at the Dana Lakes / Glacier Canyon area area just east of Yosemite near Mt Dana, shot with the Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH and the Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon (a lens I consider the best available for Leica M).

Leica M10 Examples: from Tioga Lake to Dana Lakes / Glacier Canyon, Part 1

Leica M10 Examples: from Tioga Lake to Dana Lakes / Glacier Canyon, Part 2

Includes images up to full camera resolution.

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Reader Question: Sprinter Van and Rodent Damage (applies to any vehicle)

Sprinter cargo van,
before windows and upfit

See reasons for my choice in My Sprinter Van Project and in detail in my Sprinter Mobile Photography Adventure Van area.

Reader James G writes about a troubling hazard of travel in many parks and mountain areas:

Beware the move by Mercedes and a lot of other automobile manufacturers to use biodegradable or "green" materials in things like wiring and hoses. Very attractive to rodents.

Ex-wife's Prius was totaled due to rodents damaging wiring harness in so many places that it couldn't be repaired and something about the foam in the seat cushions made for a comfy home until they died inside the car and not all the carcasses could be found.

Mineral King trailhead used to be notorious for marmot damage and the advice was to screen off the bottom of your engine compartment with hardware cloth or chicken wire. But mice can get through even smaller stuff.

One would hate to be all the way out at White Mountain and have to be towed back to civilization because the mice trashed your wiring.

Short of dipping your van into a vat of bobcat piss, Honda sells a capsaicin-impregnated duct tape for wrapping wires and hoses. At least think about the problem and consider mitigation or at the very least a disaster recovery plan.

DIGLLOYD: I had been pondering this very issue recently.

See my discussion in Beware Rodents Chewing Wires and Hoses.

Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G: Aperture Series at 17mm and 24mm (Mosaic)

Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G

The about $1699 Sony 12-24mm f/4G is here. It’s quite modest in size for its 12-24mm range, and the tradeoff appears to be distortion, but that issue seems to be worst at the 12mm end.

These aperture series evaluate image sharpness from f/4 through f/8, along with distortion and color shading and lens symmetry.

Sony 12-24mm f/4G Aperture Series @ 17mm: Mosaic

Sony 12-24mm f/4G Aperture Series @ 24mm: Mosaic

Includes images up to full resolution at f/4, f/6.3, f/8.

The middle and long end of the zoom range looks stronger than the 12mm end of the zoom range.

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Reader Question on Sprinter Van Project

Sprinter cargo van,
before windows and upfit

See reasons for my choice in My Sprinter Van Project and in detail in my Sprinter Mobile Photography Adventure Van area.

Reader Jordan Y writes with questions all potential Sprinter owners might have:

Will the dealer negotiate, or do they get MSRP as listed on the sheets? May I ask where you had the most success with nationwide inventory for these Sprinters?

Also, can you purchase tax free from NV, or is the tax going to be due in any case?

Thank you for all of your detailed planning in this project. You can be sure others will benefit from this project. It translates into a just about any other activity (MTB, fishing, camping, traveling, whatever).

It is regrettable that that the price of entry is so high, but this Sprinter is in a class by itself. VW never came up with a van for the US market. And the domestics are slow to respond with a clean, new design. Maybe the cost isn’t so bad. All new vehicles are quite expensive. $40k is the new $30k, and so on. I am astounded that the additional 280 amp alternator costs what it does. $1600 wow. In any case this is great. Can’t wait to see it rolling along.

DIGLLOYD: see Choosing, Finding and Buying a Mercedes Sprinter Van.

My Sprinter van saga will span at least 100 pages eventually, I’m sure, including all sorts of stuff once it is built up. I support my family via my work here, it’s getting very difficult, and I’m making the Sprinter info free, so anyone I’ve helped might consider subscribing or anything else.

There is no real competition for the Sprinter flexibility and build quality and options: 4x4 option alone is just missing other brands, a stronger roof, the outstanding and well-proven Mercedes 3.0L turbo diesel engine—other vans cannot compete in any realistic sense.

Realistically, a nice Sprinter build is $54K plus tax plus upfitting (the 4x4 option is $7500 all by itself, it requires the 3.0L 6 cylinder engine). Which is why I have to sell my Cayenne and why I am staying lean and mean on the upfitting. As some perspective, I also considered the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro at $44K MSRP (and frequently sells above that price), so I see huge value in the Sprinter versus a well regarded offroad-capable SUV. The Sprinter is a 10 year investment (at least).

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