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Shootout: Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon vs Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Elmarit-SL ASPH vs Leica 24-90: Downed Aspen in Lee Vining Creek (Panasonic S1R)

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist and Leica M wishlist.

In Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon Aperture Series: Mosaic I stated:

This series shows that the Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon can nonetheless outperform native lenses (!) when stopped down, in spite of the serious damage to its performance caused by ray angle effects of the sensor cover glass. See MTF on Mirrorless Cameras for just how serious the damage is. One wonders what Zeiss could do for a native design.

This series is remarkable in that by f/5.6 to f/8, total performance across the field stomps on the performance seen with native lenses for the Panasonic S1R, albeit with the downside of accentuated field curvature. It is by far best total performance I have yet seen of any lens yet tested on the S1R, including two Panasonic LUMIX S and three Leica SL lenses (April 2019). Which is astounding, to say the least.

Skepticism can reasonably be expected from Leica SL shooters, both from cognitive commitments to Leica optical prowess as well as from dumbing-down the lens resolution to a 24 megapixel sensor.

As I strictly avoid assertions I cannot back up with proofs, I now present a 3-way field shootout in diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Shootout: Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon vs Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-45 Elmarit-SL ASPH (Panasonic S1R)

Includes images at 24, 47 and 124 megapixels, all downsampled from the 187MP Multi-Shot High-res mode images, plus crops and black and white renditions.

This example is a prime example of what is possible in Multi-Shot High-Res modeblack and white shooters should take special note of the incredible detail and image quality and total freed0m from noise. From what I can tell, the results here are better than (single shot) medium format quality of any size.

Cognitive dissonance can make heads explode, so Leica fans are forewarned as to the findings. However, the comparison has nuances and more than one consideration, and there are good things to say about the Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-45 Elmarit-SL ASPH at 35mm. The Leica 24-90... not so much.

Zeiss ZM 35/1.4 was mounted on the Panasonic S1R using the Novoflex Leica M Lens to Leica SL/T Camera Body.

f8 @ 1/4 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-04-23 18:38:43
[location “Lee Vining Canyon”, altitude 7600 ft / 2316 m, 55°F / 12°C, Enhance Details, LACA corrected, distortion corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmarit-SL ASPH @ 35mm

[low-res image for bot]
f8 @ 1/4 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-04-23 18:38:43
[location “Lee Vining Canyon”, altitude 7600 ft / 2316 m, 55°F / 12°C, Enhance Details, LACA corrected, distortion corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmarit-SL ASPH @ 35mm

[low-res image for bot]
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Leica 24-90mm f/2.8-4 Vario-Elmarit-SL ASPH Aperture Series @ 46mm: Downed Aspen Trunks in Creek (Panasonic S1R)

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist

This near-to-far scene evaluates the Leica 24-90mm f/2.8-4 Vario-Elmarit-SL ASPH OIS at 46mm on a finely detailed scene with an excellent near/far range. Detail is evaluated in the context of pronounced focus shift.

In diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Leica 24-90mm f/2.8-4 Vario-Elmarit-SL ASPH Aperture Series @ 46mm: Downed Aspen Trunks in Creek

Shot in Multi-Shot High-Res mode, it includes images at 24, 47, and 105 megapixels from f/3.6 to f/8.

f5.6 @ 1/6 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-04-23 18:46:05
Panasonic S1R + Leica 24-90mm f/2.8-4 Vario-Elmarit-SL ASPH OIS @ 46mm

[low-res image for bot]
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Panasonic S1R Fails with Write Errors with Two Different-Brand QXD Cards

The Panasonic S1R has a serious bug with XQD cards which results in loss of images. The camera warns of a write error then cannot be used any more until power cycling the camera or pulling/reinserting the card. At this point, I do not know if the same bug occurs with SDXC cards (much slower so I prefer not to use SD).

Although my rigorous verification of the Sony 256GB XQD Card as reliable was compelling evidence the S1R was at fault, I wanted to give the Panasonic S1R a chance to prove itself with a different card. Accordingly, I started using a Lexar 128GB XQD card., formatting it in camera first of course (as I’ve done repeatedly with the Sony XQD card).

The very first day shooting with the Lexar XQD card, the S1R reported write errors numerous times over 3 hours, destroying the exposure every time. Typically, truncated RW2 raw files remain on the card, e.g., 4MB or 17MB or whatever (random file size, aborted recording). These files are of course useless.

A side effect when a write error is reported by the S1R is the need to power cycle the camera or pull and reinsert the card. Either resets the lens focus—disruptive and time-wasting when shooting a series or in HighRes mode. As if loss of camera operation were not disruptive enough. Still, that the S1R warns when the problem occurs is a good thing, even though it is inconvenient—better than silent errors.

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Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmar-SL ASPH Aperture Series @ 35mm: Bikes and Tower at Dusk

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist

This aperture series from f/4.4 to f/11 evaluates the performance across the frame and near to far at 33mm. Shot in single shot mode on the Panasonic S1R (too dark for multi shot). It complements the mosaic series at 35mm.

In diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmar-SL ASPH Aperture Series @ 35mm: Bikes and Tower at Dusk

Includes images up to 47 megapixels from f/4.4 to f/11.

f8 @ 5.0 sec, ISO 50; 2019-04-18 20:00:55
[Enhance Details, LACA corrected, distortion corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmarit-SL ASPH @ 33mm

[low-res image for bot]

MacPerformanceGuide.com

Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmar-SL ASPH Aperture Series @ 35mm: Mosaic

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist

This aperture series from f/4.5 to f/8 evaluates the performance across the frame at 35mm. Shot in Multi-Shot High-res mode on the Panasonic S1R, to allow for maximum possible quality including mitigation the effects of distortion correction.

In diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmar-SL ASPH Aperture Series @ 35mm: Mosaic

Includes images at 47 and 106 megapixels from f/4.5 to f/8.

I am delighted to see solid performance at the 35mm zoom setting.

f8 @ 1/6 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-04-18 19:16:14
[Enhance Details, distortion corrected, USM{8,50,0}, LACA corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmarit-SL ASPH @ 35mm

[low-res image for bot]

MacPerformanceGuide.com

3-Way Shootout: Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH, Panasonic Lumix S PRO 50mm f/1.4, Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 (Mosaic)

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist.

This 3-way shootout compared the Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH to the Panasonic Lumix S Pro 50mm f/1.4 and Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4.

This subject is extremely demanding for lens performance. It is a highly detailed planar target and thus intolerant of focus shift and field curvature, revealing any lens weakness. Examined in this comparison are lens symmetry (e.g., build tolerances), sharpness particularly in outer zones, focus shift (!), field curvature, and total imaging performance.

In diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Shootout: Leica 50mm f/1.4 SL vs Panasonic LUMIX S PRO 50mm f/1.4 vs Panasonic LUMIX S 24-105mm f/4 (Mosaic)

Includes images at 47 and 93 megapixels, downsampled from the 187MP Multi-Shot High-res mode images, plus crops from the 93 megapixel images, all from f/1.4 through f/8.

This comparison is unusually compelling—recommended reading for all and even if these lenses are not of specific interest.

f4 @ 1/40 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-04-18 18:54:38
[Enhance Details, USM{8,1.0,0}, distortion corrected, LACA corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH

[low-res image for bot]

Panasonic LUMIX S PRO 50mm f/1.4: How Distortion Correction Affects Sharpness in both Single Shot and Multi Shot High Res Mode

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist and Leica M wishlist.

I am not a fan of the sharpness-robbing approach to lens design of allowing distortion that requires distortion correction, be it Leica, be it Zeiss, or be it Panasonic. And when manufacturers present MTF charts of optical performance for a lens flags distortion correction in the EXIF as mandatory, one has to wonder if the deception is intentional, because the claimed MTF in the negatively-affected areas is impossible to achieve with distortion correction.

See also Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH: Sharpness Losses from Distortion Correction.

The Panasonic Lumix S PRO 50mm f/1.4 relies on software distortion correction to deal with its pronounced optical distortion. This page shows distortion with and without distortion correction, and also shows much sharpness is lost to distortion correction, both for single shot mode and Multi-Shot High-Res mode.

In diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Distortion for Panasonic Lumix S PRO 50mm f/1.4

Includes crops from both 93-megapixel and 47 megapixel images.

f8 @ 1/10 sec, ISO 50; 2019-04-18 18:50:10 [LACA corrected, Enhance Details]
Panasonic S1R + Panasonic Lumix S PRO 50mm f/1.4

[low-res image for bot]
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Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon Aperture Series: Mosaic (Panasonic S1R)

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist and Leica M wishlist.

Performance at wider apertures of Leica M lenses and Zeiss ZM lenses is generally miserable on all mirrorless cameras to date (~April 2019) including the Panasonic S1R as used here.

However, this series shows that the Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon can nonetheless outperform native lenses (!) when stopped down, in spite of the serious damage to its performance caused by ray angle effects of the sensor cover glass. See MTF on Mirrorless Cameras for just how serious the damage is. One wonders what Zeiss could do for a native design.

This series is remarkable in that by f/5.6 to f/8, total performance across the field stomps on the performance seen with native lenses for the Panasonic S1R, albeit with the downside of accentuated field curvature. It is by far best total performance I have yet seen of any lens yet tested on the S1R, including two Panasonic LUMIX S and three Leica SL lenses (April 2019). Which is astounding, to say the least.

In diglloyd Leica M:

Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon Aperture Series: Mosaic (Panasonic S1R)

Includes images up to 93 megapixels, 47MP sensor-resolution images, and 24MP images, all downsampled from the 187MP Multi-Shot High-res mode images, plus crops from the 93 megapixel image.

Zeiss ZM 35/1.4 was mounted on the Panasonic S1R using the Novoflex Leica M Lens to Leica SL/T Camera Body Lens Adapter.

Below, bottom 1/4 of frame was cropped off.

f5.6 @ 1/13 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-04-18 19:10:49 [LACA corrected, Enhance Details]
Panasonic S1R + Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon

[low-res image for bot]

Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmar-SL ASPH Aperture Series @ 16mm: Mosaic

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist

This aperture series from f/3.5 to f/8 evaluates the performance across the frame at 16mm. Shot in Multi-Shot High-res mode on the Panasonic S1R, to allow for maximum possible quality including mitigation the effects of distortion correction.

In diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmar-SL ASPH Aperture Series @ 16mm: Mosaic

Includes images up to 93 megapixels from f/3.5 to f/8, plus crops.

f3.5 @ 1/20 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-04-18 19:27:39
[Enhance Details, LACA corrected, distortion corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmarit-SL ASPH @ 16mm

[low-res image for bot]
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Panasonic S1R: Improvement in Noise Level Using Multi-Shot High-Res Mode vs Single Shot

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist

In Panasonic S1R: True ISO 50, not a Faux ISO — Kudos to Panasonic, I discussed noise and and the signal/noise ratio derived from images I had taken from ISO 50 to ISO 51200 in 1/3 stops (RawDigger folks analyzed the images). That series was not ideal and not shot for the goal of showing the true S/N ratio because it was shot in-focus, which means that standard deviation calculated on the gray patch is increased by subject detail, including dust.

I re-shot part of that series in whole stops, this time defocusing the image so that subject detail would be blurred away. I was interested in seeing how much the S/N ratio would improve using Multi-Shot High-Res Mode versus single shot. I concluded two things:

  • Visually and with careful inspection at enlarged size, I determined that there is a subjective 1.5 stop improvement in noise level by using Multi-Shot High-Res Mode versus single shot. This matches the theoretical improvement in noise from 8X the exposure: √8 = 2.8 which is 1.5 stops (2^1.5 = 2.83).
  • Multi-Shot High-Res Mode really only makes sense at ISO 50, is marginal at ISO 100, and no point at ISO 200 on up. Given the time and space required, this can be summarized as “in terms of noise alone, High-Res mode at ISO 50 is the only ISO that makes sense”. At ISO 100, you’re dealing with an 8 exposures huge file hassle for a 1/2 stop gain in noise performance at most—pointless since a single shot at ISO 50 is so close; The S/N graph suggests ISO 50 single shot is as good as ISO 100 MultiShot, but visual inspection repudiates that idea; ISO 100 MultiShot is slightly better.

I expand upon my comments in Panasonic S1R: Signal/Noise ratio for Multi-Shot vs Single Shot, ISO 50 to ISO 1600.

Signal/Noise ratio of Panasonic S1R with single shot and Multi-Shot from ISO 50 to ISO 1600
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Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmar-SL ASPH Aperture Series @ 16mm: Pescadero Creek, Upstream

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist

This aperture series from f/3.5 to f/11 evaluates the performance across the frame at 16mm. Shot in single shot mode on the Panasonic S1R.

This series confirms the poor edge performance also seen in View over Bike Path to Tower.

In diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmar-SL ASPH Aperture Series @ 16mm: Pescadero Creek, Upstream

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/3.5 to f/11, plus crops.

Pescadero Creek, Upstream
f3.5 @ 0.8 sec, ISO 50; 2019-04-16 19:24:17
[location “Pescadero Creek”, 58°F / 14°C, LACA corrected, Enhance Details, distortion corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmarit-SL ASPH @ 16mm

[low-res image for bot]
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Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmar-SL ASPH Aperture Series @ 16mm: View over Bike Path to Tower

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist

This aperture series from f/3.5 to f/11 evaluates the performance across the frame at 16mm. Shot in single shot mode on the Panasonic S1R.

In diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmar-SL ASPH Aperture Series @ 16mm: View over Bike Path to Tower

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/3.5 to f/11, plus crops.

f3.5 @ 2.0 sec, ISO 50; 2019-04-18 20:04:03
[Enhance Details, LACA corrected, distortion corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmarit-SL ASPH @ 16mm

[low-res image for bot]

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Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmar-SL ASPH: Assessing Distortion at 16mm, 25mm, 28mm, 35mm, plus MTF

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist

The Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmar-SL ASPH relies on software correction for distortion, including a jaw-droppingly huge amount at the 16mm setting—perhaps taking a cue in optical design from the extreme distortion of the Leica Q.

Distortion correction required for
Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmar-SL ASPH

The degrading effects of distortion correction in both single shot mode and especially Multi-Shot High-Res mode are well worth understanding for anyone thinking of high resolution capture.

I take a close look at distortion and the effects of distortion correction in diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Distortion correction relates directly to MTF: I also discuss MTF in depth, noting two points that make the Leica MTF charts misleading at best:

MTF for Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmar-SL ASPH

I’m stunned that an about $5500 lens with an exceptionally dark f/3.5 to f/4.5 maximum aperture relies upon sharpness-robbing distortion correction to combat extreme distortion at 16mm that seems more fitting for a consumer-grade APS-C kit lens.

Below, the uncorrected distortion at 16mm with the Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmar-SL ASPH. Image processed with Iridient Developer, which allows raw conversion with or without “mandatory” distortion correction—Adobe Camera Raw in either Photoshop or LIghtroom provides no option to disable correction for built-in lens profiles (those that the camera writes into the EXIF).

Uncorrected distortion at 16mm
f8 @ 1/4 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-04-18 19:28:37
Panasonic S1R + Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmarit-SL ASPH @ 16mm

[low-res image for bot]

World of Tamron

Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH: Sharpness Losses from Distortion Correction

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist

The Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH sets an EXIF flag that requires software correction for both color fringing and distortion. For a lens claimed by Leica to be a “reference lens”, requiring distortion correction seems dubious at best because a requirement for distortion correction guarantees reduced performance in some part of the frame, since pixels have to be stretched apart to correct the distortion. And yet the distortion is strong enough that it really has to be corrected.

Distortion correction required for
Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH

The degrading effects of distortion correction in both single shot mode and especially Multi-Shot High-Res mode are well worth understanding for anyone thinking of high resolution capture. In diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Distortion for Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH, with Examples

I also discuss MTF in depth, noting two points that make the Leica MTF charts misleading at best:

MTF for Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH

Based on working with both the Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH and the Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmar-SL ASPH, I would say that any assumption that Leica SL lenses are a magic bullet for resolving power on the Panasonic S1R is a poor assumption at best. Stay tuned for lens comparisons!


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FOR SALE: Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L

I'm selling this lens on behalf of a friend.

As some readers might know the Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L is a beautiful supertele long lusted over that has become a collector’s item—not many were made.

  • Glass looks perfect front and rear and through, lens is not mint but looks close to it.
  • Includes Canon lens hood and hardcase and warranty card (out of warranty, USA).
  • Circular drop-in filter.
  • Includes original lens foot and Really Right Stuff LCF-40 Foot.

Local sale (San Francisco Bay Area) preferred so buyer can inspect lens, Reno NV area might be possible next week. Contact Lloyd. $5500 or best offer.


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Off Topic: Longer Term CBD Experience

Preface—I post health-related issues from time to time, because this results in direct benefit to some readers, which is always a goal, photography or otherwise—skip such posts if you object. Judging by positive feedback, they’re nice intermission once in a while. Most such posts are health posts at WindInMyFace.com.

Everyone ought to read about an emerging danger in The Fungus that Can Kill You—Candida Auris Spreading and Very Hard to Decontaminate.

CBD — real merit, but also hype and quality concerns

CBD (cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive hemp compound) is all the rage, which means the world is now filled with bogus claims and charlatans, and low quality or even dangerous product. The dumbest thing is food infused with CBD—CBD is expensive and the digestive tract metabolizes away 2/3 or so of it so it’s just a waste to eat it—see CBD (Cannabidiol): How to Use/Apply.

The smart move is sticking only with lab-tested brands grown organically*. I’ve read the independent lab reports for NuLeafNaturals CBD (use code diglloyd20 for 20% off every day) and asked many questions of the company both in phone and email. I have satisfied myself that they are the up and up, and so I use their product exclusively.

* Any concentrated extract such as CBD carries the risk of concentrating contamination also.

More experience with CBD

I am not a doctor, and none of what follows is medical advice! Consult your own doctor before using CBD.

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Last year I wrote about how CBD helped my asthma by keeping small airway spasms down in CBD (Cannabidiol)—Eliminated My Small Airway Impairment (Asthma). A number of readers wrote to confirm that NuLeaf Naturals CBD was the real deal, and helped them.

Here is some followup on what I think works for me with CBD.

Small airway impairment (asthma)

I’ve concluded that CBD is effective for some but not all types of small-airway bronchospasms, and not a substitute for an inhaler for rapid-onset issues. However, I use my prescription asthma inhaler far less than before.

Heavy breathing while exercising in cold air can cause exercise-induced asthma—has been an issue for me for years. CBD might damp-down the issue, but it’s not a solution when it happens—the inhaler is still needed though it too is not fully effective.

Where CBD really seems to help is when there are ongoing environmental insults such as bad air, pollen, etc. I’ve concluded that CBD moderates things so that days where I notice impairment are both fewer and less noticeable. The allergy season is picking up big time, so this year should be a tough test of that theory.

Back pain

I have a lower back pain that comes and goes (this might sound odd, but a double century usually eliminates it 80 miles or so into the ride, presumably from blood flow). One particular day while working at the computer, this pain had plagued me half a day to the point of being distracting. I took a triple dose of CBD (about 75 mg) and all pain was gone 30 minutes later and stayed gone that day. It was an experiment, one I will repeat when the need arises. Doctors might scoff, but pain meds are serious business, so I’ll scoff back at the costs and risks.

Hand pain

My elderly father injured his hand and had chronic pain in it for weeks. Being a natural skeptic and frugal too, it’s not easy getting him to try anything and I expected a firm “doesn’t work, won’t buy it again”. But he gave CBD a try and believes it has helped the pain—a ringing endorsement from him. In his case he applied it topically to his hand. So far I have not persuaded him to follow my recommendation of an oral dose also.

Relaxation

There are all sorts of claims out there as to mental health benefits but I think these may be overreaching considerably. Still, I’m going to give the claims of “calming” and “relaxing” some credence based on my experience and my daughter’s—but the effect is mild for me.

The placebo effect

Applies to prescription drugs too, and many marginally beat placebo. If my brain thinks it works, then it works, period.

Dosing

Each person surely responds differently.

My daughter has a incurable health condition that causes muscle pain and fatigue. She uses it 3 times per day, 10-12 drops = 24mg CBD each dose.

As far as I can tell, 25mg is a better dosing for me, just on the threshold of noticing a relaxing effective, and what I’ve been using for my asthma. I’ll use more if I feel particularly stressed or if asthma creeps up.


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Sony 256GB XQD Card Tests Good Twice with diglloydTools DiskTester, Puts Suspicion of Data Loss Bug Squarely on Panasonic S1R

Update April 23: although verification of the Sony 256GB XQD Card (remainder of post below) was compelling evidence that the card was good and the Panasonic S1R was/is at fault, I swapped cards to a Lexar 128GB XQD card. The first day shooting with the Lexar card, the S1R alerted me to write errors 5 or 6 times over 3 hours.

In other words, the Panasonic S1R looks to have a very serious problem, failing to work correctly with two different XQD cards of two different brands.

Loss of images is the kiss of death for any camera, and the S1R has destroyed about 20 images now. For what I’ve been shooting, I can shoot the frame again, but that’s not the case for many types of photography.

...

About two weeks ago in Panasonic S1R: Data Loss with Sony XQD Card, I reported card errors but I wasn’t sure of the cause—camera or card. Since then I had card write errors 2 or 3 more times. I give credit to the Panasonic S1R for reporting the errors instead of silently failing. The card has been formatted many times in the camera, but the problem recurs.

I should have done this sooner, but I today tested the card in an XQD card reader using the fill-volume command of my software diglloydTools DiskTester (see also IntegrityChecker) The fill-volume command (which I use frequently for testing hard drives and SSDs) writes to 99% of the card capacity and then reads it back and verifies it byte-for-byte.

The tests ran to completion, and showed no errors. While not an absolute proof (could be a compatibility issue?), the rock-solid reliability of this exact-same card over the past year in the Nikon D850 and Nikon Z7 implicates the Panasonic S1R as the root cause.

Reader James K (NYC pro photog) writes:

This kind of problem is to be expected on a new top to the line system. Probably caused by not enough company testing under real world conditions. Not only could this affect you reputation but also your pocket book. If models are involved on a commercial advertising shoot you might be responsible for model fees and production costs. A pro would have to have at least two and possibly three bodies to feel halfway secure on a big money shoot. It also means that there are probably other hidden problems that will take 6 months of continuous use to uncover. Your readers should thank you for finding these significant errors. “Abandon all hope ye who enter here."

Lloyd you are really something. Why don’t the high end camera companies hire you to test their products BEFORE they unleash them on consumers? No one tests equipment like you, no one.

DIGLLOYD: one camera and one card do not make a pattern, but it is worrisome.

Test results from fill-volume command of diglloydTools DiskTester

Speed using a USB port on the 2018 Mac mini is rocking fast! Zero errors.

llcMini:DIGLLOYD lloyd$ disktester fill-volume SonyXQD
DiskTester 2.2.14 64-bit, diglloydTools 2.2.15, 2017-12-24 18:12
Copyright 2006-2017 DIGLLOYD INC. All Rights Reserved
Use of this software requires a license. See http://macperformanceguide.com/Software-License.html

OS X 10.14.4, 6 CPU cores @ 3000 MHz, 8192 MiB memory Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 09:28:12 Pacific Daylight Time
Volume: SonyXQD Num files: 1000 Space to fill: 232.4 GiB File size: 237 MiB Transfer size: 131072 KiB Fill with: "0x0000000000000000" Free space to remain: 1.40 GiB = 0.60%
Creating up to 1000 files of size 237 MiB on volume "SonyXQD" Speed shown includes file system create/open/allocate/write-- real world time. TARGET FOLDER: "/Volumes/SonyXQD/disktester-blobs"
Elapsed File# Qty 2sec 5sec 15sec 1min 2min 5min 15min 30min 60min 2s:15s 1m:5m ClockAvg 5s 4 1.05 GiB 226 219 219 219 219 219 219 219 219 1.03 1.00 212 10s 9 2.21 GiB 230 230 225 225 225 225 225 225 225 1.02 1.00 221 15s 14 3.37 GiB 232 231 227 227 227 227 227 227 227 1.02 1.00 224 20s 19 4.52 GiB 229 230 230 228 228 228 228 228 228 0.99 1.00 226 ......................... 754s 994 230.2 GiB 317 315 316 314 313 315 312 312 312 1.00 1.01 312
1000 files of size 237 MiB created in /Volumes/SonyXQD/disktester-blobs Total data written: 231.4 GiB Slowest write speed: 175 MiB/sec Average write speed: 312 MiB/sec Fastest write speed: 325 MiB/sec Average write time per file: 758.50 milliseconds .........................
Read 1000 files totaling 231.4 GiB in 681.08 seconds @ 348 MiB/sec MiB/sec write/read for fill-volume on SonyXQD   Mean: 312 MiB/sec 348 MiB/sec StdDev: 17.2 MiB/sec 2.90 MiB/sec
;

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On the 2017 iMac 5K

Speed on a USB 3.1 port through a hub on the 2017 iMac 5K is severely impaired, but no errors.

# using SonyXQD card reader on 2017 iMac 5K, USB 3.1 gen 1
diglloyd-iMac:DIGLLOYD lloyd$ disktester fill-volume SonyXQD
DiskTester 2.2.15b 64-bit, diglloydTools 2.2.16 beta, 2018-01-24 07:42
Copyright 2006-2019 DIGLLOYD INC. All Rights Reserved
Use of this software requires a license. See http://macperformanceguide.com/Software-License.html
OS X 10.13.6, 8 CPU cores @ 4200 MHz, 65536 MiB memory 2019-04-17 at 22:24:31
Volume: SonyXQD Num files: 1000 Space to fill: 232.4 GiB File size: 237 MiB Transfer size: 131072 KiB Fill with: "0x0000000000000000" Free space to remain: 1.40 GiB = 0.60%
Creating up to 1000 files of size 237 MiB on volume "SonyXQD" Speed shown includes file system create/open/allocate/write-- real world time. TARGET FOLDER: "/Volumes/SonyXQD/disktester-blobs"
Elapsed File# Qty 2sec 5sec 15sec 1min 2min 5min 15min 30min 60min 2s:15s 1m:5m ClockAvg 5s 0 128 MiB nan nan nan nan nan nan nan nan nan nan nan 25.1 13s 1 365 MiB nan 25.7 25.5 25.5 25.5 25.5 25.5 25.5 25.5 nan 1.00 27.9 20s 2 602 MiB nan 35.9 31.4 29.5 29.5 29.5 29.5 29.5 29.5 nan 1.00 29.6 ........................ 6734s 995 230.4 GiB nan 35.6 35.6 35.6 35.6 35.6 32.6 34.1 34.8 nan 1.01 35.0 6740s 996 230.6 GiB nan 35.7 35.6 35.6 35.6 35.6 32.6 34.1 34.8 nan 1.01 35.0 6747s 997 230.9 GiB nan 35.7 35.6 35.6 35.6 35.6 32.6 34.1 34.8 nan 1.01 35.0 6754s 998 231.1 GiB nan 35.7 35.6 35.6 35.6 35.6 32.6 34.1 34.8 nan 1.01 35.0 6760s 999 231.3 GiB nan 35.7 35.6 35.6 35.6 35.6 32.6 34.1 34.8 nan 1.01 35.0
1000 files of size 237 MiB created in /Volumes/SonyXQD/disktester-blobs Total data written: 231.4 GiB Slowest write speed: 21.3 MiB/sec Average write speed: 35.0 MiB/sec Fastest write speed: 37.2 MiB/sec Average write time per file: 6.76 seconds
........................
Read 1000 files totaling 231.4 GiB in 6411.88 seconds of clock time @ 37.0 MiB/sec MiB/sec write/read for fill-volume on SonyXQD
Mean: 35.0 MiB/sec 37.0 MiB/sec StdDev: 1.89 MiB/sec 0.67 MiB/sec
File# Write Read 1 25.5 36.6 2 35.0 36.9 ............ elided ............ 997 35.5 37.0 998 35.6 37.0 999 35.6 37.0 1000 35.6 37.0
Wrote results summary to: /Volumes/Boot/Users/lloyd/Documents/diglloydTools/2019-04-17_22.24.31.80671633-fill-volume-SonyXQD.txt /Volumes/SonyXQD/2019-04-17_22.24.31.80671633-fill-volume-SonyXQD.txt
Command "fill-volume" executed in 13175.78 seconds on 2019-04-18 at 02:04:07

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Panasonic S1R: Moving Water Image Defects with HighRes Mode2

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist

The Single-Shot vs Multi-Shot High-Res Mode2 Motion Correction page looked at image quality using Motion Blur Processing = MODE2, showing excellent results, as did Multi-Shot High-Res MODE1 vs MODE2 with Moving Subject Matter.

This page shows that even using Mode2 for Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res mode, moving water can generate intolerable artifacts of at least two kinds: (1) patchy areas that show abrupt discontinuation from other areas, and (2) pixellation.

In diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Panasonic S1R: Moving Water Failures with HighRes Mode2

Includes images up to full camera resolution for HighRes vs single-shot, plus crops.

f4 @ 1.0 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-04-16 19:48:21 [push 3.5 stops, Enhance Details]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH

[low-res image for bot]

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Panasonic S1R: a Way to get 2X more Magnification in Manual Focus

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist

Just quick note, I’ve added a tedious but usable workaround for magnified Live View focusing that achieves 2X greater magnification.

Magnified Live View Magnification Precludes Reliable Manual Focus + Workaround

The workaround has serious drawbacks that make it worthwhile only in limited circumstances., but you do get 2X larger (4X in area) magnification for manual focusing.

The workaround is proof that Panasonic could easily fix the issue in a firmware update. And that someone in Panasonic engineering has poor judgment shipping the S1R with such an arbitrary magnification cutoff.

Panasonic S1R: Best Practices When Shooting in Multi-Shot High-Res Mode

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist

This page discusses best shooting practices for obtaining the very best possible results from Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res mode. In diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Panasonic S1R: Best Shooting Practices for Multi-Shot High-Res Mode

See also:

Panasonic S1R: Workflow for Multi-Shot High-Res Mode Images in Adobe Camera Raw

Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res mode

Get up to 16x more storage and 2x the speeds of the original drive

Panasonic S1R: Multi-Shot High-Res MODE1 vs MODE2 with Moving Leaves and Water

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist

Hey, if you’re reading this, subscribe now—you can’t get the stuff I do anywhere else. Help me keep doing it—not tomorrow or next month, but right now—thanks!

In Single-Shot vs Multi-Shot High-Res Mode2 Motion Correction, I showed that MODE2 of the Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res mode was the way to go for movement.

This page look at fast moving water and foliage moving around willy-nilly on a moderately windy day, the kind of thing I encounter all the time in field shooting and for which just 1/2 of one percent of the motion used here is the kiss of death for conventional pixel shift.

In diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Panasonic S1R: Multi-Shot High-Res MODE1 vs MODE2 with Moving Subject Matter

Includes HighRes image crops from Mode1 and Mode2 along with the corresponding auto-recorded standard-res crops.

Bad juju with Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res MODE1
f5.6 @ 1/15 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-04-13 17:44:29 [Enhance Details]
Panasonic S1R + Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon

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World of Sigma and especially Sigma ART Lenses

Testing on Panasonic S1R: Panasonic LUMIX S PRO 50mm f/1.4, Leica 50/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH, Leica 16-35/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmar-SL ASPH

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist and Leica M wishlist.

It is my goal to cover all the the Leica SL lenses on the Panasonic S1R as well as all of the Panasonic LUMIX S lenses too, and later the Sigma DG HSM Art lenses for L-Mount.

The following lenses should be in my hands by April 17:

Coverage will go into diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless, currently included as part of diglloyd Mirrorless. I hope to also have the Leica 24-90mm f/2.8-4 Vario-Elmarit-SL ASPH OIS in time to compare it in the 24-35mm range against the 16-35. Subscribe to diglloyd Mirrorless....

     
Panasonic LUMIX S PRO 50mm f/1.4 and
Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH and
Leica 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Super-Vario-Elmar-SL ASPH

Reader Comment: Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res Mode vs PhaseONE IQ4 150MP

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist and Leica M wishlist.

Background: see Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res Mode: the Largest Advance in Image Quality in a Decade and It Works with Motion = OMG and Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res Mode: the Largest Advance in Image Quality in a Decade?.

For the best possible results with Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res Mode, see Panasonic S1R: Best Shooting Practices for Multi-Shot High-Res Mode.

Panasonic S1R HighRes mode

Reader Roy P writes about Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res mode:

Hi Lloyd,

I downloaded an RMA from B&H to return the Panasonic S1R and almost shipped it back on Friday, but my gut said I should play with it some more over the weekend, and especially check out the multi shot high res mode.

I’m glad I did. I took a bunch of test shots of the same scenes with both my PhaseONE IQ4 150MP + Schneider 80mm f/2.8 (~55mm equivalent) and the S1R with my Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH, the only HQ lens I have that could work well with the S1R without introducing significant complications of its own. I tested both Mode 1 and 2 on the S1R. All my P1 shots were at f/11 (~f/6.8) and the S1R were at f/6.3.

While I’m not ready to declare medium format is dead, I think the high res mode in the S1R is for real and must be taken very seriously. For static scenes, it looks nothing less than spectacular, and at least on my iMac 5K 27” monitor, the images look every bit as good as my PhaseOne IQ140 images, but with even more pixels. The HR images from the S1R look slightly darker and more saturated than my P1 images, but it’s not a problem.

I have tried pushing the exposure up by 4 stops (the max that Capture One will allow), and maxing out the shadows, and nothing is breaking down: the S1R files appear to be holding up just as well as the P1 files. I don’t know if there might be a noticeable difference in print quality, but at least on my monitor, I see no issues at all.

Extremely precise focus is a problem with both cameras, so if you have an uneven surface with some features in the scene a little closer to the camera and some a little farther away, you can see the differences between the two cameras – different parts of the image are at the sharpest focus on the two images. From a distance of about 10 feet, a difference of ±2 inches proximity to camera seems enough to make a difference.

You almost need another merge that could combine the S1R and IQ4 images that could produce the perfect image! Of course, that would be impossible with two different lenses.

It looks like the S1R HR mode works best when you can contain all of the subject to within a fairly narrow DOF. It looks ideal for flat subjects, the flatter the better. In scenes with a lot of depth, the fall off from best focus is much more rapid in the HR composite image than either individual S1R images or P1 images. So if you have a lot of depth to a scene, maybe focus stacking HR images would be the ultimate! I am going to try this next.

So far, in Mode 2, I haven’t had the success you did, with features like leaves swaying with the wind even sharper in the composite image – the best result I’ve got is that there are no motion blurs, but without the sharpest focus either. The worst results I’ve seen are HR images with a bizarre patch that is badly OOF. [diglloyd: moving things will be blurred more or less depending on circumstances].

This maybe a premature guess, but I suspect the two best focal lengths to use with the HR mode maybe very wide (so movements are less perceptible, and the focal length buys you a great deal more DoF), and long (so the field is small enough that you can dodge movements, and the DoF is compressed to a relatively narrow range). A more normal focal length range (say 35mm to 70mm) is probably the most challenging to work with the HR mode.

[diglloyd: focal length is mainly about magnification, focal length applying mostly at close distance: a 70mm lens makes CoC blurs twice as large at the same aperture and distance to subject, but at twice the distance (which it must be for the same FoV), the CoC will be the same size as a 35mm lens at half the distance]

Net-net, I agree with your assessment, the HR mode has got to be considered as a breakthrough technology. Considering this is the very first generation of this technology, the results are already very impressive and highly usable, albeit with the proper selection of subject matter and careful technique (many opportunities to create new best practices using the HR mode!). It can only get better over time, with more compute power in cameras and other camera makers trying to one up Panasonic.

It makes it a bit messy for me personally, since I am already neck deep-committed to Sony and P1, and I expect I will have a hard time resisting a Sigma Foveon FF camera, and possibly a Leica M11 camera if it comes out with a high quality EVF. So the last thing I need is one more camera, and other than the HR mode, I have no use case for the S1R, and I don’t want to invest in L mount glass, if I can help it. So I need to figure out what I’m going to do with the S1R.

I can’t see how every other camera maker can afford to not provide it as a standard feature. All prior innovations from one camera maker have been copied by others in time (e.g., Live View, PDAF, AF points embedded in a sensor, focus peaking, IBIS, etc.) So unless Panasonic has some kind of a death grip IP ownership on this, I would expect the other camera makers to be working overtime to introduce their own versions in their next cameras. (Besides, the Japanese have a way of sorting out their IP issues). A Sony A7R IV with similar HR mode would make all my headaches go away! No speculations from any of the rumor sites yet. I suspect most of the photography world hasn’t quite woken up to the potential of the HR mode in the S1R.

DIGLLOYD: depth of field is critically important in HighRes mode. And yet Panasonic has made critical focus with manual focus impossible, or I should say it this way: I am not able to nail focus even a third of the time using magnified Live View. Never has any digital camera delivered a magnified Live View feature that is so destructive to need. So the #1 issue with the Panasonic S1R is its magnified Live View implementation—see Panasonic S1R: Magnified Live View is Fundamentally Flawed. Yet the flaw is fixable with a firmware update, so there is some hope that Panasonic will wake up.

See Panasonic S1R: Best Shooting Practices for Multi-Shot High-Res Mode.


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Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon Aperture Series: Moots MTB by Creek in Forest (Panasonic S1R)

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist and Leica M wishlist.

Performance at wider apertures of Leica M lenses and Zeiss ZM lenses on all mirrorless cameras to date (~April 2019) is poor in outer zones. This series from f/1.4 through f/11 confirms that finding with one of the best M-mount lenses, with the key point being at which aperture the lens starts being nicely sharp.

In Walkway Through Grass at Night as well as the nighttime examples, the Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon fails to impress in the outer zones, with f/4 the minimum aperture for performance to the edges. In other words, it is impaired substantially by the sensor cover glass at f/1.4, f/2, and f/2.8 and somewhat impaired at f/4. See MTF on Mirrorless Cameras for the huge loss of MTF caused by the sensor cover glass.

In diglloyd Leica M:

Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon Aperture Series: Moots MTB by Creek in Forest (Panasonic S1R)

Includes images from f/1.4 through f/11 at up to full camera resolution including an frame at f/5.6 in Multi-Shot High-Res mode. Also includes intermediate 24 megapixel size for perspective vs Leica M10.

The Zeiss ZM 35/1.4 was mounted on the Panasonic S1R using the Novoflex Leica M Lens to Leica SL/T Camera Body Lens Adapter.

f5.6 @ 0.8 sec, ISO 50; 2019-04-13 18:24:06 [Enhance Details]
Panasonic S1R + Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon

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Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res Mode: the Largest Advance in Image Quality in a Decade and It Works with Motion = OMG

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist

Update: while this example with moving water is impressive, moving water can be a problem.
...

Cameras with pixel shift are prone to severe and prominent artifacts like checkerboarding that are just about impossible to deal with, making pixel shift pretty much useless for field shooting, a finding from long experience and true of Pentax and Sony pixel shift (I have probably 50GB of ruined Pentax and Sony pixel shift files).

But the Panasonic S1R uses an 8-frame multi-shot high-res mode approach that performs in-camera merging of those 8 frames into single raw file with size equivalent to four frames. A smart merge, not a dumb-recording science fair project like Pentax and Sony.

Can the Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res mode be used without unwanted digital artifacts with subject motion? Here HighRes mode 2* is used and compared to a single-shot frame.

*Mode 1 = “Motion blur appears as afterimage in the picture.”
 Mode 2 = “An afterimage of motion blur is minimized.”

In diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Panasonic S1R: Single-Shot vs Multi-Shot High-Res Mode2 Motion Correction (Alpine Creek)

Includes HighRes and StdRes images along with crops.

Holy crap! For the first time besides an iPhone, I’m seeing a pro-grade field-usable computational photography feature. Huge kudos to Panasonic for unf**king what the other guys could not get right.

What a shame that Panasonic has screwed up magnified Live View manual focus. Someday a camera vendor will get it all right, maybe.

f5.6 @ 1.0 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-04-13 18:17:38 [Enhance Details]
Panasonic S1R + LENS_NA

[low-res image for bot] Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon

Panasonic S1R: True ISO 50, not a Faux ISO — Kudos to Panasonic (UPDATED: “true ISO” is not a thing for RAW)

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist

Update April 17: the question of ISO is quite confusing and even forbidden in the latest ISO specification. See update towards end with comments by Alex Tutubalin of RawDigger.

...

The Panasonic S1R has a real ISO 50—not a faux ISO "Lo" mode. That is established by the RawDigger analysis as well as the identical match to ISO 100 (except for lower noise).

In diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Panasonic S1R: ISO Series 50 to 51200 (Dolls)

The bonus is that the Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res mode has the noise of ISO 6.25 and that it is actually usable in the field even with motion and that image quality is improved.

Seriously? A REAL ISO 50? Dang!!!

I shot and provided raw files in 1/3 stop ISO from ISO 50 to 51200 to the RawDigger folks. The signal/noise analysis is shown below. ISO 50 has an SN of ~64 versus ~57 for ISO 100, showing that ISO 50 is notably superior to ISO 100 which is in turn much superior to ISO 200—which I showed directly in Poppy by Window.

Note the nice smooth curve even with these 1/3 stop ISO changes—true ISO at all settings.

Signal/noise ratio on target that had some dust—values would be somewhat higher if dust were removed and target defocused to eliminate image detail as source of “noise”.

Panasonic S1R signal/noise ratio from ISO 50 to ISO 51200, 1/3 stops

Slight brightness variation at +1/3 ISO values at higher ISO

While shooting, I noticed a slight fluctuation at ISO values 1/3 stop higher than whole ISO, starting at ISO 800 (e.g., the exposure bumps up at ISO 1000). This was consistent as shown, is visible right in the viewfinder, all this graph below does is verify what can be seen directly. The variation is also seen the the S/N graph above.

ISOs 1000, 2000, 4000, 8000 are really ~1100, 2200.... (assuming 800 is real 800), while in-camera metering meters exposure for formal '1000, 2000,...' So, this is results in slightly better exposure (minimal overexposure) at these ISOs and so better S/N ratio.

Panasonic S1R Green average vs ISO from ISO 50 to ISO 51200, 1/3 stops

What is “true ISO”

I asked Alex Tutubalin of Lib Raw (RawDigger) “what is true ISO?”:

To make things more complicated:

- ISO Sensitivity is defined in ISO 12232 standard

- Latest Edition of ISO 12232:2019, released this year, explicitly *forbids* ISO determination for RAW shots. It is defined only for JPEG (so shot + 'development').

So, to be completely correct, 'true ISO' means nothing for RAW.... according to standard.

Meanwhile, it is possible to use at least two measurement methods (out of three) described in standard:

- Saturation based method (because RAW saturates at some point /unless full-well limited at lowest ISO/
- Noise based method.

The third method (gray point) is not directly applicable to RAWs because RAW gray point is not fixed (and vendor may vary it, to get more/less room in highlights).

However (and not standard conformant), we may assume that RAW gray point should be at 3 stops from saturation point (or 3.5 stops, it does not matter, the main thing is always the same value) and use graypoint-based ISO estimation method for RAWs.

Of course, this is not ISO-standard conformant, because standard explicitly forbids to measure 'ISO sensitivity' for RAW files.

Also, it is possible to use some 'standard RAW developer' (like D76 or D23 in film days) and measure sensitivity for sensor + developer combo. The main thing here: avoid any hidden exposure compensation if these adjustment are different for different cameras (so, Adobe tools should not be used as standard developer, because Adobe adjusts graypoint to match in-camera JPEG)

I also asked why ISO 50 values go only to about ~8900:

My guess: camera sensor is 'full well' limited at ISO setting less than 100.

That means:

- sensor pixels are not get saturated (really: values are cut) at same value for all pixels, but results in bell-like histogram in highlights.

- because all pixels are different, this results in some highlight (output) non-linearity

- so Panasonic opted to cut all output values below lowest possible pixel saturation point, to avoid such non-linearity.

This will result in less 'highlights headroom', so ETTR exposure for ISO 50...80 should be corrected for this phenomenon. Apparently Panasonic opted to cut out non-linear part of pixel(s) response, to avoid bell-like histogram at very highlights (instead of usual 'hit the wall') This nonlinearity results in pink-colored highlights, so it should be cut either in camera or in RAW developer.

So what does all this mean for practical photography?

In terms of seeking peak image quality for RAW, the ISO value is irrelevant—all that matters in terms of exposure is not blowing highlights (except speculars) while also minimizing noise. In other words, preserving the range of detail by not obliterating it by blowing highlights or by obscuring detail by noise in dark areas.

So the only useful question to ask is whether ISO 50 is superior to ISO 100 for high dynamic range scenes. That ISO 50 is best is shown decisively in Poppy by Window: equally good highlights but visibly superior noise control at ISO 50, that is, superior dynamic range.

In essence, ISO 50 on auto exposure allows exposing (almost) a stop more, which inherently increases dynamic range by creating cleaner blacks. The trick is that there is no so-called “headroom” for error as with ISO 100—but all ISO 100 is doing is cutting the exposure in half and then scaling up to larger numbers. Assuming ISO 100 and ISO 50 as shot do not blow highlights, ISO 50 always wins because more exposure means lower noise.

f5.6 @ 1.0 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-04-11 19:19:52
Panasonic S1R + Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4

[low-res image for bot]

Get up to 16x more storage and 2x the speeds of the original drive

Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res Mode: the Largest Advance in Image Quality in a Decade?

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist

Hey, if you’re reading this, subscribe now—you can’t get the stuff I do anywhere else. Help me keep doing it—not tomorrow or next month, but right now—thanks!

I went out to do some motion assessment studies with the Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res mode, both Mode 1 and Mode 2. Finishing up, I took the shot below, which turned out to be so compelling that I’m showing it first.

Is Multi-Shot High-Res mode 2 a partial or total 'win' or something else? Is moderate subject motion an issue?

What are the real differences in the field at f/8 (where diffraction is a serious factor for HighRes mode), given that f/5.6 really is not enough depth of field for many real images, and f/11 mostly obliterates gains in HighRes mode*?

* Depth of field at 187 megapixels is two stops less on a per-pixel basis (e.g., in terms of resolving to the pixel level, f/11 is needed for 187MP pixels versus f/5.6 for 47 megapixels). And yet, f/11 obliterates most of the extra detail in Multi-Shot High-Res mode due to diffraction.

And the $50K judgment call: is this as good as a 100 megapixel medium format camera, in terms of detail, pixel quality, noise? For 1/10 the cost it certainly bears looking into.

This page looks at a detailed outdoor shot at f/8 which includes motion that would render the pixel shift mode of Pentax an Sony unusable by awful checkerboarding. But here, the Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res mode 2 is used. In diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Panasonic S1R: Standard vs Multi-Shot High-Res Mode (Moots by Creek)

Includes HighRes and StdRes images up to 125 megapixels along with numerous crops.

I’d say that Nikon and Canon and Sony have some catching up to do. Dang! Ever see noise effectively ZERO, undetectable to the eye? Multi-Shot High-Res mode is essentially ISO 6.25.

How does an Easton XC90 carbon fiber rim just decide to bulge out after sitting around for a few years at 5 PSI? Shame on Easton for a shitty defective product—I’m pissed off that the wheel is now unrideable—warranty long gone.

f8 @ 1.0 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-04-13 18:34:44
Panasonic S1R + Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4

[low-res image for bot]
OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock
Ideal for any Mac with Thunderbolt 3


Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports
USB 3 • USB-C
Gigabit Ethernet
5K and 4K display support plus Mini Display Port
Analog sound in/out and Optical sound out

Works on any Mac with Thunderbolt 3

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