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Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM: Imaging Performance @ 16mm, Single Frame vs 3-Frame Stack: Flowers in Meadow to High Peaks, Dusk

See Sony mirrorless wish list.

This 3-frame focus stack at 12mm at f/11 (using Zerene Stacker) compares what is possible with a single frame to a focus stack. The difference in total sharpness is not dramatic at first glance, since f/11 at 16mm does have a good depth of field. But no single frame is up to the job for an image like this, particularly with Sony lens skew issues and field curvature, so the foreground and outer zones really benefit:

Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM: Imaging Performance @ 16mm, Single Frame vs 3-Frame Stack: Flowers in Meadow to High Peaks, Dusk

Includes images up to full resolution. Also includes crops showing the stacked result versus , close/far frames.

Focus stacking is a tool that should be mastered by any serious landscape photographer for any scene like this one, since depth of field can never be adequate for this extreme near-far composition. Focus stacking overcomes:

See my tutorial/how-to in Making Sharp Images.

f11 @ 1/50 sec, ISO 100; 2017-08-15 18:48:24 [focus stack 3 frames]
Sony A7R II + Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM @ 16mm

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Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM 3-Way Shootout vs Sony 12-24mm f/4 and Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2: Rock Creek Meadow

See my Sony mirrorless wish list.

This shootout at 25mm follows the shootout at 18mm. It looks at the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM vs the Sony 12-24mm f/4 G vs the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Distagon.

Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM 3-Way Shootout @ 24mm: Rock Creek Meadow

Includes images up to full resolution.

A far field scene was chosen to best show the differences, since far field scenes more easily reveal lens sharpness and asymmetry across a near-far zone. In this case, the behaviors are laid bare to see; I think this is one of the more remarkable comparisons I’ve shot, if only to show how zooms can misbehave badly.

The behavior of the two zooms is 'wild' enough that this comparison is best appreciated by scrolling around the full resolution images to see the weird things going on. The Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 anchors the comparison and acts as a reference by showing consistency across the frame.

f2.8 @ 1/2500 sec, ISO 100; 2017-08-15 11:12:46
Sony A7R II + Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM @ 24mm

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Rigorously lab tested and OWC certified.

Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM 3-Way Shootout vs Sony 12-24mm f/4 and Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8: Rock Creek Meadow

See my Sony mirrorless wish list.

This shootout at 18mm looks at the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM vs the Sony 12-24mm f/4 G vs the Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 Distagon. A far field scene was chosen to best show the differences, since far field scenes more easily reveal lens sharpness and asymmetry across a near-far zone.

Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM 3-Way Shootout @ 18mm: Rock Creek Meadow

Includes images up to full resolution.

This comparison has one stunning winner-takes-all performer.

f6.3 @ 1/500 sec, ISO 100; 2017-08-15 11:26:58
Sony A7R II + Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM @ 18mm

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B&H Deal ZoneDeals by Brand/Category/Savings
Deals expire in 45 min unless noted. Certain deals may last longer.
$2299 SAVE $500 = 17.0% Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR in Cameras: DSLR
$1797 SAVE $200 = 10.0% Nikon D750 DSLR in Cameras: DSLR
$3297 SAVE $800 = 19.0% Nikon D810 DSLR with 24-120mm in Cameras: DSLR
$1799 SAVE $1151 = 39.0% Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T* ZE in Lenses: DSLR

FOR SALE: 2008 Porsche Cayenne Turbo with RARE Advanced Offroad Technology Package, PDCC, Thermal Glass, Extras

Pursuant to my Mercedes Sprinter photography adventure van purchase, I am selling a very lovely and extremely well maintained Porsche Cayenne Turbo—can’t afford to own both. I will miss the Cayenne as the best car I've ever owned and IMO far superior to current models, but I am moving on to the van so I can work efficiently on the computer in the field . Already, this has proven itself out as valuable.

In-depth description for sale of 2008 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Ad on AutoTrader.com for my 2008 Porsche Cayenne Turbo.

Clean CarFax report, aggressively maintained, beautiful car. Beautiful car in beautiful shape. California car, no rust corrosion issues. LOADED very high end car, MUST SEE. Looks like new at a glance. San Francisco Bay Area, near Palo Alto / Redwood City.

2008 Porsche Cayenne Turbo for sale
f2.2 @ 1/7700 sec, ISO 25; 2016-06-12 11:31:09
iPhone 6s Plus + iPhone 6s Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 @ 29mm (4.2mm)

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Sony 12-24mm f/4 G @ 12mm: Single Frame Performance at f/11 vs Focus Stacking at f/11 (Pine at Morgan Lake)

See my Sony mirrorless wish list.

Focus stacking using Zerene Stacker. See my tutorial/how-to in Making Sharp Images.

This 2-frame focus stack at 12mm at f/11 compares what is possible with a single frame to a focus stack. The difference in total sharpness is remarkable, especially since f/11 at 12mm might be expected to have adequate depth of field. But no single frame is up to the job for an image like this, particularly with Sony lens skew issues.

Sony 12-24mm f/4 G: Imaging Performance @ 12mm, Single Frame vs Stacked: Pine at Morgan Lake

Includes images up to full resolution. Also includes crops showing the stacked result versus , close/far frames.

The asymmetry (lens skew) of the Sony 12-24mm f/4 G is laid bare in this example—quite bad and yet not at all out of place in the Sony lens lineup. The good news is that focus stacking overcomes lens skew.

See also Single Frame Performance at f/11 vs Focus Stacking at f/11 (Downed Tree, Last Kiss of Sunlight).

Focus stacking is a tool that should be mastered by any serious landscape photographer for any scene like this one, since depth of field can never be adequate for this extreme near-far composition. Focus stacking overcomes:

 

f11 @ 1/125 sec, ISO 100; 2017-08-15 13:48:40 [focus stack 2 frames]
Sony A7R II + Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G @ 12mm

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Sony 12-24mm f/4 G @ 24mm: Single Frame Performance at f/11 vs Focus Stacking at f/11 (Downed Tree, Last Kiss of Sunlight)

See my Sony mirrorless wish list.

Focus stacking using Zerene Stacker. See my tutorial/how-to in Making Sharp Images.

See also Flowers Amid Bristlecones, which used the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM.

This 3-frame focus stack compares what is possible with a single frame at f/11 to a focus stack at f/11 using 3 frames. The difference in total sharpness is remarkable, especially since f/11 at 24mm might be expected to have good depth of field. As the single frame shows, no single frame is up to the job for an image like this.

Sony 12-24mm f/4 G: Imaging Performance @ 24mm, Single Frame vs Stacked: Downed Tree, Last Kiss of Sunlight

Includes images up to full resolution. Also includes crops showing the stacked result versus , close/medium/far focus distance frames.

Focus stacking is a tool that should be mastered by any serious landscape photographers for any scene like this one, since depth of field can never be adequate for this extreme near-far composition. Focus stacking helps overcome three issues:

f11 @ 1.3 sec, ISO 100; 2017-08-16 19:53:19 [focus stack 3 frames]
Sony A7R II + Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G @ 24mm

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OWC Used Mac Mega Sale
At much lower cost than Apple, with more options.
Lloyd recommends 64GB for iMac or Mac Pro for photography/videography.
ends in 42 hours

Remembering Login on this Site when Using Microsoft Edge(25) Web Browser for Subscriber Pages

One subscriber out there using Microsoft Edge(25) on Windows 10 reports that Edge does not remember login info for subscriber pages for this site.

Anyone out there using Edge, and are there settings for remembering login details?

The major web browsers {Safari, Chrome, Firefox} all remember login info properly for this site’s DIGEST AUTH (an IETF web standard).

See also Recommended Web Browsers and Web Browser Display of Image Color: Color Space and Gamut.

 

 

 

 

Upgrade Your Mac Memory
At much lower cost than Apple, with more options.
Lloyd recommends 64GB for iMac or Mac Pro for photography/videography.

Heavy Snow Remains in Sierra in Places + Trout Dead From Spawning Attempt?

See my Sony wishlist.

I’m back home with a lot of Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM and Sony 12-24mm f/4 G field shots to process, including comparisons with the Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 and the Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8.

I would have processed more of them in the field in my Mercedes Sprinter photography adventure van while using the NEC PA302W and so on, but I spent a week or so completing two new Zeiss Lenspire articles, to be published in a few weeks.

See the growing Sprinter Photography Adventure Van section at WindInMyFace.com.

Hard winter, heavy snow

The winter of 2016/2017 set an all-time record for snowfall over much of the Sierra Nevada. Below, Dana Lake #3 still has snow up to 40 feet thick in places— 4 days later in the season in 2016 I camped just over that rocky area, but last year’s campsite is till covered with snow! And last year, the last traces of snow had disappeared by that time.

This year, wildflowers bloom with abandon in every canyon in the 10,000+ elevation range, whereas last year the scrub blueberries were already turning bright red a week from now. Those wildflowers this year might get a rude shock if an early September frost hits—many are blooming as if is still springtime, having emerged from under the snow only a few weeks ago.

As shown below, that “hole” at far right is about 30 feet high from water to the top of the snowpack with the snowpack even deeper just uphill a bit. I theorize that the 50 feet of snowfall became more like 100 feet in this area, blown in by wind. But even so, many areas just still have a great deal of snow. This snow below will not melt away this year, much of it is there to stay until 2018. I say this because I saw this about three weeks ago, and the melting has progressed but clearly not fast enough to beat the oncoming cold season.

Extreme Snow Depth in August, Dana Lake #3
f9 @ 1/100 sec, ISO 100; 2017-08-16 16:40:38
Sony A7R II + Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM @ 35mm

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Extreme Snow Depth in August, Dana Lake #3
f11 @ 1/125 sec, ISO 100; 2017-08-16 17:21:35
Sony A7R II + Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM @ 22mm

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Death from too much water? (temporarily)

The low number of trout in Dana Lake #2 had puzzled me. I figured some winter mortality, and later in the day I found the reason.

Below in this grim image, I theorize that during peak melt, these hapless golden trout made their way from Dana Lake #2 part way to Dana Lake #3 in an attempt to spawn—excepting 2017 I have *never* seen surface water flow between the two lakes. I counted twenty (20) dead golden trout, and that is only the ones I could see. There could be many more among the rocks under the thick but undermined sheet of snow just below which had been undercut by water.

Dead Golden Trout
f11 @ 1/20 sec, ISO 100; 2017-08-16 18:11:19
Sony A7R II + Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G @ 24mm

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Scary Golden Trout
f11 @ 0.3 sec, ISO 100; 2017-08-16 18:03:50
Sony A7R II + Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G @ 24mm

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East Side of Yosemite Choked with Smoke, but to the South it is Clear (Update: Fire Out)

Please bookmark my camera and computer wish lists for shopping at B&H and/or Amazon.com, so I get credit.

UPDATE August 16: the area is free of smoke and quite clear. Apparently it was a small fire high up in Lundy Canyon.

I drove up Hwy 395 from Bishop to Lee Vining. A brisk and cool front had cleared out the air to around June Lake the night prior. But Lee Vining Canyon / Hwy 120 / Yosemite east entrance are choked with smoke, as is Lundy Canyon. It’s so thick that the mountainside cannot even be seen from within the canyon. Not sure where I’m headed now as the stink is intolerable.

Another desk-ranger at the Lee Vining visitor center was 100% clueless, telling me that “there are 48 fires in California and it’s smoky everywhere, why does it matter?”. Which was nonsense as I had just seen and driven through 90 miles of clear air to the south just prior. The only thing worse than an idiot is an idiot who thinks he knows something.

Yet another desk-ranger at the Lee Vining visitor center was telling visitors how they’d have wonderful views of Cathedral Peak, Tuolumne Meadows, etc.

Heavy Smoke in Lee Vining Canyon area
f1.8 @ 1/3700 sec, ISO 20; 2017-08-14 13:46:19
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back dual camera 3.99mm f/1.8 @ 63mm (4mm)

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So much for my plans to shoot in the Conness wilderness and Tenaya Canyon areas. Even down here the acrid smoke was very unpleasant. I turned around and headed down to Rock Creek.

Heavy Smoke in Lee Vining Canyon
f2.8 @ 1/2100 sec, ISO 20; 2017-08-14 14:37:16
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back dual camera 6.6mm f/2.8 @ 57mm (6.6mm)

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At least on August 14, the smoke from the Yosemite east / Lee Vining / Lundy area does not go much further south than June Lake. So go to Rock Creek and hike up here, it’s gorgeous. But bring mosquito repellant, because Mosquito Flat lives up to its billing. It is still spring in this area, with many flowers along the trail.

Sunset at Chickenfoot Lake
f1.8 @ 1/1000 sec, ISO 40; 2017-08-14 19:36:38
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 @ 28mm (4mm)

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SSD Upgrade for MacBook Pro Retina
Internal SSD Wishlist…

Deep Discounts on 2015/2016 Macs at B&H Photo + Sony Mirrorless Deals

Apple must really want to move the 2016 models in particular, with up to $700 off the 2016 MacBook Pro.

Items shown below might not show the discount—click to view the item and its discount.

Separately, Sony has summer savings and trade-in deals.

;

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Thunderbolt 3 Dock
Must-have expansion for 2016 MacBook Pro
Thunderbolt 3 • USB 3 • Gigabit Ethernet • 4K Support • Firewire 800 • Sound Ports

Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Aperture Series: Aspen by Creek

See my Sony mirrorless wish list.

The about $2198 Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM offers the convenience of a zoom lens with strong performance and relatively compact size and weight. It has some weaknesses, but it can deliver beautiful and sharp results, as this aperture series from f/2.8 through f/11 shows.

Sony 16-35/2.8 GM Aperture Series @ 28mm: Aspen by Creek

Includes images up to full resolution.

f9 @ 1/6 sec, ISO 100; 2017-08-12 17:46:45
Sony A7R II + Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM @ 28mm

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SSD Upgrade for MacBook Pro Retina
Internal SSD Wishlist…

One Reader and Fujifilm GFX User Says that Fujifilm GFX 50s Stop-Down Behavior is Unchanged with the Firmware update.

See my Fujifilm GFX wish list and please bookmark my camera and computer wish lists for shopping at B&H and/or Amazon.com, so I get credit.

Regarding my post two days ago, Fujifilm GFX 50s Firmware Update Might Degrade Focusing by Stopping Down?.


Regarding

Chris D writes:

Just tested this claim with the old firmware, and then the new firmware after updating the camera. The new firmware does not alter the AF behavior with regard to the aperture - it’s exactly the same The lens does not focus at the selected aperture in AF.

DIGLLOYD: good news!

Reader Comment: NEC PA302W Wide Gamut Professional Display

See also Reasons To Like the NEC PA302W Wide Gamut Professional Display.

Get NEC PA302W at B&H Photo, be sure to get the BK-SV model which includes calibration software and hardware.

Get OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock at MacSales.com.

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”).

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

Susan E writes:

I am writing to share my first impression of the PA302W monitor and compare it with another 30'' wide-gamut monitor (HP Z30i) I've been using for a year.

I finally went ahead and bought the NEC PA302W monitor after seeing all your praises, and received it last night. My initial impression after using it for several hours was, WOW!

I was initially debating whether to get the 27'' or 30'' version as the price difference is huge. However, from my experience of using a 30'' wide-gamut monitor at work (HP Z30i) I find that the 30'' 16:10 monitor is superior in providing more workspace, and offers a more immersive experience. Since a great monitor is long-term investment, I eventually decided to get the 30'' version and I am now so satisfied.

The uniformity (after turning on uniformity compensation) of the PA302W is simply unmatched by the HP Z30i (still a $1k+ monitor) I use in my office -- being very sensitive to screen uniformity myself, I cannot see any uniformity issues on the PA302W while I can spot multiple white point and luminance uniformity issues on the Z30i. Besides, although both being wide-gamut monitors, I find the PA302W more accurate after calibration. The colors are just so dead-on and neutral, it even changed my sentiments and gave me stronger emotions when viewing the same pictures/videos, which really demonstrates the power of accurate colors. I'd use "luxurious" to describe the experience of using the PA302W.

Thank you for recommending this monitor and I look forward to many years of happy use of it!

DIGLLOYD: still my workhorse, I wrote this blog entry using the NEC PA302W in my Mercedes Sprinter photography adventure van—it’s worth the trouble of taking it for its size and resolution and pixel density, uniformity and color accuracy, etc.

OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock port layout,
includes Mini DisplayPort for displays

David R writes:

I wanted to pass along the following about the use of my NEC PA-302 monitor. I originally purchased it about 2 1/2 years ago based on your review and attached it to my 2012 MacBook Pro. It did everything I wanted, had great resolution and because of the internal profiling with Spectraview I found the consistency between prints and the image on the monitor was amazingly good after discounting for the transmissive display versus the reflective print.

Looking, recently, to upgrade my MacBook Pro, I purchased a 2017 27” iMac pretty much maxed out, other than the RAM, and I upgraded that through OWC. All-in-all, not an inexpensive purchase. Unfortunately, I have found that with Apple’s implementation of the USB-C/Thunderbolt3 ports I can no longer display the NEC monitor at its full, native resolution.

I appear to be limited to using it through an Apple dongle that allows me to connect the NEC through an HDMI cable (and this is original HDMI, not HDMI2), thereby degrading the resolution on the NEC monitor. I spent an hour on the phone with Apple support and the person who I spoke with, although very pleasant, ultimately confirmed that there was no way for me to output the iMac to get full resolution since the NEC doesn’t, of course, support USB-C inputs.

This has been a big disappointment since, as good as the iMac display may be, it is not capable of being profiled internally as the NEC can, and can’t support the consistency of color accuracy that I prefer for my printing. Of course, I can still make a final evaluation on my lower res NEC, but this is, IMO, far from ideal. Now it appears my only option is to upgrade to either Eizo or the newer 4K resolution NEC at a cost of at least an additional $2,800. That’s a big hidden cost and thought your readers might want to know about this “gotcha" before “upgrading.” I understand that technology moves on, but it would have been nice if Apple would have protected legacy peripherals by provided a DisplayPort output from the new iMac. Apple seems to think that because they offer an LG display that can be mated to the new iMac, that’s good enough. Sadly, it’s not.

DIGLLOYD: Apple support has given David false information. It’s too bad that Apple support is so insular and ignorant to be unaware of 3rd party products. But I think this is the RULE not the exception: Apple attitude is that the only products that exist are their own. Apple support is NOT in the business of having a clue about non-Apple potentials.

The NEC PA302W works great and correctly via the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock—I personally used it this way on the 2017 iMac 5K, as shown in the picture in My Sprinter Photography Adventure Van Project: Which Mac? Experience Report / Proving it Out, shown here below also:

Apple 2017 iMac 5K + OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock driving NEC PA302W @ its native 2560 X 1600 resolution
Lloyd Chambers' simulated photography working table for Sprinter photographic adventure van

See also the following:

Color gamut of NEC PA302W wide gamut display, full range calibration
Color gamut of NEC PA302W wide gamut display, full range calibration
OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock
Review of Thunderbolt 2 Dock

Substantial discounts on Macs at B&H Photo + OWC Back to School Specials

View iMac 5K at B&H Photo and see also MPG’s computer gear wishlist. Not sure which Mac to get or how to configure it? Consult with MPG.

Check out these substantial discounts on Macs, below!

Bookmark these pages to quickly check for the latest deals (updated daily!).

Below, many of these Macs make great machines for that high-schooler or college student. If the budget allows, I recommend 16GB memory and at least 512GB SSD.

The $1399 Apple 27" iMac with Retina 5K Display (Late 2015) is a screaming deal for a fantastic display. Consider it a fantastic display with a free computer included.

Select items below, or see all OWC Back to School Specials.

 

OWC Used Mac Mega Sale
At much lower cost than Apple, with more options.
Lloyd recommends 64GB for iMac or Mac Pro for photography/videography.
ends in 42 hours

Fujifilm GFX 50s Firmware Update Might Degrade Focusing by Stopping Down?

See my Fujifilm GFX wish list and please bookmark my camera and computer wish lists for shopping at B&H and/or Amazon.com, so I get credit.

UPDATE: this note from Ahmed looks to be in error, see Chris D’s comment that follows.

Regarding the Fujifilm GFX 50s firmare update, Ahmed G writes:

Japanese guys from Fuji contacted me to say with the new firmware GFX will focus at the aperture you have selected.

It was always focusing wide open then stop down which made the focus shift.

But now it will focus at the selected aperture.At their firmware update info they did not mention it but it works :) I think they do not want it to be known as an update. Please try it your self and see.

DIGLLOYD: if true, this is terrible news. Focus shift with the Fujifilm lenses is minor and not a serious issue. So stopping down is a solution in search of a problem with other worse ramifications.

It means that if you want to shoot at say f/8 or f/11 or, you’ll have to twiddle the aperture open to focus, then close it down again to shoot. This is a problem even at f/4 or f/5.6. For manual focus or autofocus it’s a big problem. I spend all day wasting my time over and over doing this with Sony. It is a major hassle doing focus stacking with Sony for this reason; it simply cannot focus where desired with the lens stopped down.

No human eye or camera autofocus can precisely focus where desired when stopped down beyond about f/4. I know this from repeated problems with Sony and other cameras, manual focus or autofocus. It is easily proved: focus on some critical target at, say, f/8, then open up to full aperture and zoom in— most of the time it will be blurry there, showing that the camera cannot focus precisely when there is too much depth of field. Of course it cannot—that’s the whole point of depth of field—a deeper zone of critically sharp focus. The camera AF (or human eye) cannot tell focus at 30 feet from focus at 50 feet if f/8 or f/11 is making it equally sharp.

Chris D writes:

Just tested this claim with the old firmware, and then the new firmware after updating the camera. The new firmware does not alter the AF behavior with regard to the aperture - it’s exactly the same The lens does not focus at the selected aperture in AF.

DIGLLOYD: good!

Peter F writes:

I promise that this will be my last comment on the 1.11 firmware update I wrote to you about a few days ago, and is in response to Ahmed’s post on your blog today.

I updated, and today drove around 200 miles around South East England and made many photographs with the GFX and 63mm lens in a huge range of situations, interiors, outside close ups, middle distance and far distance scenes, at apertures from f2.8 thru to f22 and have been astounded by the extraordinarily consistent spot on focusing in all cases, from 15” away indoors, to infinity outdoors…and all distances in between, only using autofocus.

If the camera is now focusing at the taking aperture it’s doing an incredible job. The camera I now have working is the camera I dreamt of years ago...quite amazing, and I am an exhibiting professional who often makes prints 40” x 60” and larger. I’m stunned with the turnaround.

DIGLLOYD: sounds encouraging. However, claims that focus is spot on at f/8 (or f/22!) are misleading at best, because of the depth of field involved. One has to look at the zone of focus and where sits relative to the chosen point of focus. It is easy to have that zone too far or too close, and yet the “spot on” comment might well apply always or nearly so! So it sounds encouraging but I am not encouraged by this summary statement. One has to do the right test, which is to nail the focus at full aperture (focus that way), then stop down and shoot. Then compare that ideal result to 5 or 10 AF results focused at the taking aperture.

Eric B writes:

I don’t know about the GFX, because I cannot afford one either, but with my XT-2 if I use autofocus, shutter AF, and partially press the shutter release, it stops down to the shooting aperture.

If I set the camera to manual focus, turn off shutter AF in the menu, and use the AF-L button to focus (back button focus) it does not.

It stops down a tiny bit but certainly not to a shooting aperture of f/5.6 or smaller. when I use back button focus. If the camera is set to autofocus, either AFS or AFS, to stops down even with the AF-L button. It’s more complicated to explain than it is to do. In summary, with the XT-2, just set the camera to manual focus, turn off shutter AF, and use the AF-L button to focus. I’d love to know if it’s the same behavior as the GFX. I started using back button focus years ago with my D800E and except for fast moving situations, continue to use it. Your comments would be welcome.

DIGLLOYD: I've seen variable behavior and I’m dubious it is so simple—what I means is erratic behavior that may depend on lighting brightness and other factors, making it unpredictable as a reliable and predictable tool. But I don’t have an XT-2 to check. I also generally use only the rear AF-ON button. See my Sony setup guidelines for how I like to setup up Sony cameras; similar ideas apply to Fujifilm.

Blazing-fast PCIe storage for Mac Pro Tower

Patriarch Grove Road Still Blocked by Snow

Please bookmark my camera and computer wish lists for shopping at B&H and/or Amazon.com, so I get credit.

An FYI for anyone planning on visiting the Patriarch Grove in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest: shortly after the turnoff onto the ~1 mile road to the heart of Patriarch Grove, a snow drift still blocks the road, as shown below.

Parked in the lot here where this picture was taken, I once saw a visitor just drive around a similar blockage for quite a long way. I took several photographs as he drove by over the meadow, with clear license plate number, sent it all to the Forest Service, which did nothing about it AFAIK.

It’s no problem to visit the grove—the rest of it is snow free—just walk in and walk around. All sorts of interesting stuff abounds that does not require even going down this road. My general policy is this anyway: if it’s official, I don’t like to go there!

f1.8 @ 1/200 sec, ISO 20; 2017-08-09 19:06:43
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back dual camera 3.99mm f/1.8 @ 28mm (4mm)

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USB-C Dock for MacBook

4 USB3 ports, 1 USB-C port, SD card reader, gigabit ethernet, audio ports, HDMK 4K port!

Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM: Single Frame Performance at f/9 vs Focus Stacking at f/9 (Flowers Amid Bristlecones)

See my Sony mirrorless wish list.

Focus stacking using Zerene Stacker. See my tutorial/how-to in Making Sharp Images.

This comparison confirms Bristlecone Log Low View, this time comparing a single frame to a stacked image made with two frames at f/10.

Sony 16-35/2.8 GM: Imaging Performance @ 17mm, Single Frame vs Stacked: Flowers Amid Bristlecones

Includes images up to full resolution, with crops.

At 11,700' elevation, plants grow low to the ground and the flowers might be missed by the casual visitor. It is springtime in August at this elevation—delayed at least a month by the deep snows. I’ve seen many fewer ground animals (marmots and pika), so some might have perished.

f10 @ 1/25 sec, ISO 100; 2017-08-08 19:28:39 [focus stack 2 frames]
Sony A7R II + Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM @ 17mm

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Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM: Single Frame Performance at f/9 vs Focus Stacking at f/9 (Bristlecone Log Low View)

See my Sony mirrorless wish list.

Focus stacking using Zerene Stacker. See my tutorial/how-to in Making Sharp Images.

 
Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM

The about $2198 Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM offers the convenience of a zoom lens with good performance and relatively compact size and weight.

But how does one deal with outdoor scenes in which the depth of field of f/22 would be desirable, but f/22 is unavailable and both f/22 and f/16 would degrade the image unacceptably (by diffraction)? The answer is focus stacking

As this example makes obvious, depth of field even at 17mm at f/9 remains strictly limited. Using f/13 would help but also degrades the image by diffraction and still cannot deliver the required depth of field.

This comparison shows a 4-frame focus stacked image to a single frame taken at f/9, the frame delivering the sharpest rendering of the log.

Sony 16-35/2.8 GM: Imaging Performance @ 17mm, Single Frame vs Stacked: Bristlecone Log Low View

Includes images up to full resolution, with crops.

f9 @ 1/60 sec, ISO 100; 2017-08-08 19:26:58 [focus stack 4 frames]
Sony A7R II + Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM @ 17mm

[low-res image for bot]

Sprinter Photography Adventure Van by Moonlight, Cineo for Interior Lighting

It was a long day shooting and I got back late. I hesitated to make this shot, wanting to eat and rest, but the full moon presented too good an opportunity.

Note the superb match of the interior color balance to the moonlight: few LED lights can do that. I used the Cineo Matchbox with a 3200°K panel at about 1% output to illuminate the interior of the van; it has a 160° beam spread, perfect. Here it was powered by the optional 12V adapter; just plug into the vehicle socket and it can run a very long time, taking only 13 watts at 100% power.

The Cineo Matchbox and related products maintain color consistency from 1% to 100% with a CRI of 98 and TLCI of 99 for the 3200°K panel. It uses remote phosphor technology, which IMO is far superior to ordinary LED technology, not just for color quality but for the diffuse nature of lighting. At about $459, it is pricey (it was on sale for a while at B&H), but it is incredibly well built and compact for what it does—perfect for a van.

See also Cineo Matchbox and Dracast LED500 vs Daylight in DAP.

See the growing Sprinter Photography Adventure Van section at WindInMyFace.com.

Sprinter Photograph Adventure Van By Moonlight
(no upfitting as yet, maiden voyage)
f11 @ 448.0 sec, ISO 64; 2017-08-07 21:07:16
NIKON D810 + Zeiss Otus 1.4/55 ZF.2

[low-res image for bot]

Peter W writes:

I am very interested in your Sprinter van adventure and have even looked into buying one in the UK.

A few suggestions:

1. The walls look a bit bare - perhaps a couple of your best pix?

2. A home is nothing without an espresso machine but I couldn’t see one - perhaps hidden behind the wall.

3. The acoustics look challenging for any decent hifi system so it might be best to avoid that and use headphones.

4. A small library of classic books for those long wet evenings. I suggest Emile Zola a French writer who revels in hardship. This is a great blog and I am enjoying your adventures very much vicariously of course.

DIGLLOYD: this its maiden voyage—it is basically a metal box with what I hauled to Reno when I bought it.

The walls are bare metal because the best way to do upfitting is to buy the cargo van. Otherwise you have to rip out interior stuff (crew van or passenger van versions). Upfitting will add acoustic and thermal insulation to fill out all those spaces and over that wallboard of some kind covered by a fabric of some kind. The acoustics should then be excellent, though I don’t plan on putting in a HiFi system.

I generally do not drink coffee except opportunistically. As for books, I have many in audio form.

Which Camera System / Lenses Should Are Best?
✓ Get the ideal system for your needs: diglloyd photographic consulting.

Fujifilm Issues a Firmware Update Claiming Fixes for Two Focusing Bugs, AKA “phenomenon”

See my Fujifilm GFX wish list and please bookmark my camera and computer wish lists for shopping at B&H and/or Amazon.com, so I get credit.

Early on I reported on the Fujifilm GFX focusing problems. They were confusing, and by the looks of it, more than one problem. The idea of a bad camera was dubious, but was ruled out by reproducing the same issues with a 2nd camera and a 2nd 120/4 and the 63/2.8.

Detail of the update

The firmware update Ver.1.11 from Ver.1.10 incorporates the following issues:

1. The phenomenon is fixed that in the MF mode, repeated halfway shutter pressing can shift the focus point under a specific exposure condition.

2. The phenomenon is fixed that in the AF-S mode, repeated halfway shutter pressing can shift the focus point with SHUTTER AF setting OFF.

.Just a few of the pages showing problems with the GFX. We can now hope for stability

At present I do not have the budget to buy a GFX system. It might be a while before I am able to test the GFX again; B&H Photo has already generously loaned me the GFX three times (see my Fujifilm GFX wish list which clicks through to B&H, thanks).

To this day, not a peep from Fujifilm about my reporting on the issue (zero communication followup from my report to Fujifilm tech support where I described in detail the issues I was facing). That seems like poor customer service at best, and in a way, irresponsible: I was (AFAIK) the first one to report on focusing issues and it would only make sense if only from a business perspective to have someone with intimate knowledge of the behavior try out the firmware and give it the nod. At least that’s what I would do: see my critics as my best chance for making the best product possible.

Ahmed G writes:

Japanese guys from Fuji contacted me to say with the new firmware GFX will focus at the aperture you have selected.

It was always focusing wide open then stop down which made the focus shift.

But now it will focus at the selected aperture.At their firmware update info they did not mention it but it works :) I think they do not want it to be known as an update. Please try it your self and see.

DIGLLOYD: see more on this.

Peter F writes:

I have found your Medium Format posts over the last months extremely helpful in coming to a decision about Fujifilm GFX vs Hasselblad X1D and finally bought the Fujifilm last week with the 63mm lens, not withstanding your reservations particularly about focusing issues.

I have been very frustrated too with the wild inconsistency making many prints at 24” x 30” to observe the changes/errors.

I have noticed this morning that Fuji have released a firmware update for the GFX which appears to address some of the focusing problems of the camera, and which I’m updating now. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for improvements, as my joy for the sensor is significant.

Just in case you haven’t had time to spot this, and thank you again as ever for your tireless work on our behalf!

DIGLLOYD: I’m very happy to see the development, as the GFX sensor is terrific.

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