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Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED Aperture Series: Orange Aspen by Towering Monolith

Get the Nikon 105mm f/1.4E at B&H Photo and see my Nikon wish list and other wish lists at B&H Photo.

Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED

This aperture series from f/1.4 through f/13 shows the remarkable subject separation potential at f/1.4 at 105mm along with the progression in depth of field with stopping down.

The subject demands f/13 to make the monolith sharp, but the results are visibly degraded by diffraction at f/13, which makes the f/9 dual-frame focus-stacked image included for comparison especially interesting when sandwiched between the f/9 and f/13 single-frame exposures.

Landscape photographers might do well to take note of the possibilities, particularly with a very high performance lens.

Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED Examples: Aperture Series: Orange Aspen by Towering Monolith

Images up to 28 megapixels for apertures from f/1.4 - f/11. Four large crops across are included at all apertures, including the focus-stacked frame as well, for a terrific look at what is possible via stopping down versus focus stacking.

I shot the Nikon 105mm f/1.4E ED extensively in the field on my last trip. In an acronym: OMG. That is, it’s the first Nikon lens I’ve actually wanted to buy in quite a few years now. If the 105/1.4E hints at Nikon optical efforts going forward, we are going to need an 80 megapixel Nikon D900, and hopefully a new optical competition between Nikon and Sigma and Canon and Zeiss. But why has it taken this many years to jolt Nikon out of its stupor of mediocrity with f/1.4 lenses? Maybe Sigma deserves some credit with its Art series.

The Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E is surely the best-corrected f/1.4 lens that Nikon has ever produced. If Leica produced this lens, everyone would rave about it and pay 3.5X the price—but it’s a stop faster than anything Leica has in this range and it puts any Leica M telephoto to shame. Indeed, we can properly classify the Nikon 105/1.4E as in the same league as Zeiss Otus, perhaps a little less good in some respects, but actually better in one area, as noted in my coverage. And bottom line for some: it is autofocus for a far higher hit rate than trying to focus via an optical viewfinder on a moving subject. At about $2196 it represents an outstanding value.


Late October Photo Tour in Yosemite or Eastern Sierra

Join me for a 1 or 2 or 3 day photo tour in late October, when I’ll be in the high country of Yosemite and/or the ancient Bristlecone Pine area of the White Mountains. Group size kept to 1 or 2 people—this is a one on one. Cost is $800 per day, or $600 per day per person for a 2 person arrangement. More info on photo tours. Contact Lloyd.

We can shoot however you want, but one suggestion is learning how to shoot for focus stacking—happy to teach that or anything else—bring your laptop for mid-day or evening processing.

I can advise on clothing, food, lodging and so on. Right now the weather is very warm and things are largely snow-free up to 10,500' on sun exposed areas (no snow in White Mountains).

Pine Growing in Solid Granite, Pothole Dome

Paiute Cutthroat Trout in Cottonwood Creek, White Mountains (shot with Nikon 105mm f/1.4E ED)

I’ve added some images to my review of the Nikon 105mm f/1.4E ED to my Paiute Cutthroat trout page as well as a bit of commentary on focusing with the 105/1.4E.

Examples: 'Oncorhynchus clarki seleniris' aka Paiute Cutthroat Trout in Cottonwood Creek

'Oncorhynchus clarki seleniris' aka Paiute Cutthroat Trout taking tiny bug
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Shootout: Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art vs 35mm f/1.4 Art: Aspen With Rust-Colored Trunk

Sigma 24-35/2 DG HSM Art
Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM Art

Get Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art and Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art at B&H Photo.

Following up on the Cottonwood Canyon Cabin shootout, this comparison confirms and extends the findings there on a different scene.

Sigma 24-35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art vs Sigma 35/1.4A: Aspen With Rust-Colored Trunk

Entire-frame images up to 28 megapixels for apertures from f/1.4 - f/13 with multiple large crops .


Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art Aperture Series:Rocky Outcrop and Aspen Fall Color

Sigma 24-35/2 DG HSM Art

Get Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art at B&H Photo for Canon/Nikon/Sony A/Sigma SA.

This aperture series evaluates sharpness at distance under difficult backlighting conditions.

Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art Aperture Series: Rocky Outcrop and Aspen Fall Color

Entire-frame images up to 28 megapixels for apertures from f/2 - f/13. Large crops also included.


Sigma dp0 Quattro: Examples in Cottonwood Canyon, White Mountains of California, Part 2

Get Sigma dp Quattro at B&H Photo . Recommended to buy with the LVF-01 LCD Viewfinder kit.

Following up on yesterday’s examples, I’ve posted part 2 of this Cottonwood Canyon group that I shot with the Sigma dp0 Quattro.

These examples give an excellent idea of the range and limitations of the Sigma dp0 Quattro. If you’re not 'sold' on the Sigma Quattro cameras from these images, then I doubt anything else will. Viewing on the late 2015 iMac 5K strongly recommended, for a jaw-dropping visual impact.

Sigma dp0 Quattro Examples: Cottonwood Canyon Area Part 2, White Mountains

All images at sizes up to full camera resolution, which really look stunning on an iMac 5K. Many images are focus stacked, and many have both color and black and white versions.


Sigma dp0 Quattro: Examples in Cottonwood Canyon, White Mountains of California

Get Sigma dp Quattro at B&H Photo . Recommended to buy with the LVF-01 LCD Viewfinder kit.

The about $999 Sigma dp0 Quattro ($1099 with LVF-01) offers impressive detail for its pixel count. So much so that I would tend to prefer it over any 24-megapixel Bayer matrix camera. I hope Sigma takes the Quattro concept forward with the larger APS-H sensor for the as-yet-to-ship Sigma sd Quattro-H.

With focus stacking at f/6.3 or so it is possible to record tremendous levels of detail near to far as well. The photographer looking to shoot wide angle in a very lightweight and portable camera may find it appealing—I found myself preferring to shoot (carry) the Sigma dp0 Quattro instead of carrying the bulky Nikon D810 and the Sigma 24-35mm f/2 around (the lens I was testing at the time). It’s just such a huge difference in heft, and not that much difference in detail in actual practice once depth of field and lens performance are taken into account.

These examples give an excellent idea of the range and limitations of the Sigma dp0 Quattro.

Sigma dp0 Quattro Examples: Cottonwood Canyon Area, White Mountains

All images at sizes up to full camera resolution, which really look stunning on an iMac 5K. Many images are focus stacked, and several have both color and black and white versions.

ThunderBay 4 - The Speed To Create. The Capacity To Dream.

Where is the Nikon D900?

See my wish lists at B&H Photo including my Nikon wish list.

Good as the Nikon D810 is (still my workhorse), I was hoping we would see a Nikon D900 announced today with an EVF option, 50 megapixel or better sensor, Retina-grade rear LCD, in-body image stabiliation and so on.

Well, not really all that—but at least some bone with meat on it. Still, I suppose that the new camera lifecycle is 3 years, and we are only 2.3 years into that cycle on the D810.

Which Mac? Storage, Backup, RAID? Color Management?
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B&H Photo Photoplus Show Specials

See my wish lists at B&H Photo.

B&H has many Photoplus show specials.

Photoplus specials at B&H Photo

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR

See my wish lists at B&H Photo including my Nikon wish list.

See my reviews of Nikon 70-200mm lenses in DAP.

Nikon lenses have been suffering performance anxiety it seems. Coming after the Nikon 105mm f/1.4E ED, the new 19mm f/4 PC-E Nikkor and the 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR carry super premium prices (for Nikon): if the 105/1.4E is any indicator, these new lenses should be the best yet from Nikon.

The price of $2796 is is the highest yet for a Nikon 70-200mm zoom, presumably because of the increased and thus more expensive optical efforts which are essential for today’s high-res DSLRs (particularly APS-C). The wild fluctation in the Yen-to-US$ exchange rate may be a protective measure.

  • F-Mount Lens/FX Format, Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Fluorite & Extra-Low Dispersion Elements
  • Nano Crystal & Super Integrated Coating
  • Fluorine Coated Front and Rear Elements
  • Silent Wave Motor and MF Override
  • VR Image Stabilization
  • Electromagnetic Diaphragm Mechanism

I’ll be testing the new 70-200/2.8E FL ED VR just as soon as it ships.

Nikon 70-200mm f/4E FL ED VR


Extraordinary Next-Generation AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR Sets a New Standard for Pro Telephoto Workhorse Lenses, While New PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED is Nikon’s Widest Ever Tilt-Shift NIKKOR Offering

MELVILLE, NY (October 19, 2016 at 12:01 A.M. EDT) – Today, Nikon Inc. has announced two exciting FX- format additions to the storied NIKKOR lens lineup, designed to achieve amazing optical performance for the most demanding professional and enthusiast photographers. An evolution of one of Nikon’s most versatile and popular pro-zoom lenses, the newly redesigned AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR sports an updated optical formula capable of amazing image quality, while optimized for high-speed shooting. Also introduced today is Nikon’s widest perspective control lens to date, the PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED tilt-shift lens, which helps photographers effortlessly control perspective when capturing architecture, interiors, fine art, product photography and landscapes.

“Nikon continues to raise the bar of optical excellence, and our newest FX-format NIKKOR offerings provide experienced photographers with powerful tools to help ensure brilliantly sharp images, whether capturing a high-speed photo finish or creatively framing an architectural marvel,” said Kosuke Kawaura, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “While the new AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR builds upon the success of its predecessors to offer a true all-around NIKKOR optic, the PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED will provide fantastic perspective control for a variety of challenging wide-angle applications.”

The Ultimate Workhorse Lens for Seasoned Photographers

Long considered an essential lens in the bag of professional photographers, this updated AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR sets a new benchmark for fast telephoto zoom lenses, taking image quality and handling to the next level. An indispensable and powerful tool for nearly any photographic scenario, the NIKKOR 70-200mm remains the professional’s choice with a wide f/2.8 constant aperture that is ideal for capturing sports, weddings, stunning portraits and more, even in low-light.

The next generation design of the lens helps ensure the very best in image quality, speed and low-light performance, while offering balance and handling that is nothing short of superb. Nikon’s new 70- 200mm provides up to four stops1 of Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization, an improvement from its predecessor that helps users to eliminate blur and camera shake even when shooting handheld or in challenging light. During burst shooting, the lens takes advantage of an electromagnetic diaphragm for consistent auto-exposure control. Additionally, a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) enables ultra-fast and quiet AF operation with seamless manual focus override. Discerning photographers will also appreciate assignable function buttons on the lens barrel that offer customization, perfect for engaging pre-set autofocus or other focusing options.

A new optical formula consisting of six ED elements, one Fluorite element, a high refractive element and Nano Crystal Coat helps make for a lighter and more versatile lens, while reducing chromatic aberration and helping to all but eliminate distortion, ghosting and flare. Ready for even the most rugged of assignments, the magnesium alloy lens barrel features superior weather-sealing that achieves anti-dust and waterdrop-resistance, while Fluorine coating on both the front and rear glass facilitates easy cleaning. Whether shooting with a camera like the Nikon D5, D810, D750 or D500, capturing sports or weddings, the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR is a fantastic lens choice for experienced photographers.

Seamlessly Control Perspective with the New Super-Wide PC NIKKOR Lens

Also new from Nikon is the latest perspective control lens (designated PC) in the NIKKOR lens lineup, the PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED, a tilt-shift offering that will help photographers master perspective and depth-of-field. For storytellers who yearn to capture optically-challenging subjects like cityscapes and architecture, interiors or unique landscapes, this lens offers 97° of coverage - the widest focal length of any PC lens in the NIKKOR family.

Tilt the lens to sharpen focus throughout a scene or create a miniature effect, or shift to adjust perspective in-camera, create panoramas or eliminate converging lines. For the first time with a NIKKOR PC lens, the direction of tilt operation can be made parallel or perpendicular to shift, offering users nearly unprecedented ability to control perspective, focus and depth-of-field, without having to lock and unlock to make adjustments.

Sporting a super-wide 19mm focal length, the lens provides a unique perspective ideal for shooting horizontal or vertical panoramas, or even filmmaking. With this ultra-wide angle in mind, the latest FX- format NIKKOR offering was crafted with three ED and two aspherical elements that help combat distortion and glare, while virtually eliminating chromatic aberration and coma, even at the widest aperture settings.

The lens also features core NIKKOR technologies such as Nano Crystal Coat to combat ghosting and flare, an electromagnetic diaphragm for fast auto-exposure control, as well as a Fluorine coat that helps resist dirt, water spots and smudges.

Ready for a variety of challenging ultra-wide applications, the PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED is a powerful tool for discerning photographers looking for full creative and perspective control. It joins three other Gold Ring Series PC lenses in Nikon’s line-up; the PC-E NIKKOR 24mm F3.5D ED, PC-E Micro NIKKOR 45mm f/2.8D ED and the PC-E Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/2.8D.
Price and Availability

Both the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR and PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED will be available starting in November 2016 for suggested retail prices (SRP) of $2,799.95* and $3,399.95*, respectively. For more information on these new Nikon products and pricing for optional accessories, please visit www.nikonusa.com.


Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E

See my wish lists at B&H Photo including my Nikon wish list.

See my reviews of tilt/shift lenses in DAP.

The price of $3396 is not for the faint-hearted, but Nikon’s new PC-E Nikkor Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E looks to check all the boxes on performance.

  • Ultra-wide-angle perspective control lens with tilt/shift capabilities
  • First NIKKOR PC-E lens that can be tilted parallel or perpendicular to shift
  • Tilt and shift independently and then rotate up to 90° with new PC Rotation capability
  • Designed for landscapes, cityscapes, architecture, interiors and fine art photography and filmmaking
  • Non-stick Fluorine Coat resists dirt, water spots, fingerprints and smudges.

I’ll be testing the new 19/4 just as soon as it ships. The 19/4 intrigues because that focal length falls in favorite range (18-21mm) and it is a tilt/shift lens for added versatility, parallax-free stitching, etc.

Nikon PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED PC-E

The “like all NIKKOR lenses” followup to the performance claims below are troubling, because that lumps the 19/4E in together with the other mediocre PC-E lenses. But I’ll cut the Nikon marketing folks some slack, since the 19/4E looks likely to be the finest wide angle Nikon has produced and because Nikon hasn’t had much to say for a while.

Transformative image quality

Optimized for high-resolution cameras: as an ultra-wide-angle lens and a perspective control lens, the PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED has to work double duty combating distortion and glare. And does it ever. Three Extra Low Dispersion (ED) glass elements and two Aspheric glass (AS) elements virtually eliminate chromatic aberration and coma, even at the widest aperture setting. Nano Crystal Coat (N) increases backlight tolerance for clear images with minimal ghosting and flare. Like all NIKKOR lenses, image quality comes first with the PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED.

Prized angle of view

Ideal for architecture, interiors, landscapes and panoramas: a 19mm angle of view on FX cameras is very similar to the angle of view prized by many large- and medium-format photographers. This sweeping, ultra-wide perspective is ideal for landscapes, cityscapes, interiors, architecture, horizontal or vertical panoramas and filmmaking, and it gives you a broad, versatile brush with which to paint your images.

Maximum perspective control

New PC rotation capability: for the first time, a NIKKOR lens can be tilted and shifted independently and then rotated up to 90°. Tilt to control the plane of focus—creatively or precisely, the choice is yours. Shift to control perspective or create panoramas. Shift operation no longer requires locking and unlocking—smoothly and seamlessly make adjustments. What thrilling new views will you discover?

Exceptional quality

Superior imaging at your fingertips
The new PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED joins other PC NIKKOR lenses in the Gold Ring Series, which include only PC NIKKOR lenses with Nano Crystal Coat and pro-grade build quality. These other lenses include the PC-E Micro NIKKOR 45mm f/2.8D ED, PC-E Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/2.8D, PC-E NIKKOR 24mm F3.5D ED.

Nikon PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED PC-E

The Sinar Leica S Mirrorless Camera

See my wish lists at B&H Photo including my Leica M wish list.

Sinar S-CS for Leica S CS lenses on S30/S45

Thanks to reader John D for pointing out that in effect, Leica has a mirrorless digital format camera now, the Sinar S30/S45. So there are not at least 3 mirrorless entrants in the medium format arena: the Hasselblad X1D, the Fujifilm GFX are conventional; the Sinar is a workhorse speciality tool.

The Sinary S30/S45 takes Leica S lenses via the Sinar S-CS adapter: CS (central shutter) S lenses required as the back has no shutter of its own. At its core, it is a Leica S, utilize the S firmware, S mount and S image processor. My understanding is that Leica purchased Sinar, hence the tight collaboration using the guts of the S system.

  • SENSOR SIZE / ASPECT RATIO: 30 x 45mm / 2:3
  • Leica CMOS sensor with 6 μm pixel size, 37,5 MP
  • COLOR DEPTH: 16 bits per pixel
  • MOIRÉ REDUCTION: with external software
  • ISO 100 – ISO 12500
  • VIDEO: Full HD, 4K, uninterrupted video recordings up to 29 minutes, maximum file size for transfer to Mac computers 4 GB
  • CF memory cards (max. UDMA7), SD cards up to 2 GB, SDHC cards up to 32 GB, SDXC cards. Memory cards with less than 1 GB cannot be used. 4K video recordings can only be stored on SD cards.

The S-CS adapter apparently supports shift/rise/fall, but does not tilt.

The Mobile Digital Back

Sinar's legendary image quality and precision, traditionally bound to the studio is now available in the great outdoors. The new Sinarback S 30|45 was specially designed for mobile use. A high-resolution 3-inch display guarantees accurate and vivid review of photographs in every situation.

Sinar S-CS for Leica S CS lenses on S30/S45

You can also view a live image directly on the display – and you even have the option of viewing on an iPad. CF and SD memory card slots ensure a reliable workflow when you’re shooting on location. Tethered shooting is available via USB 3.0 connection directly to the Sinar CaptureFlow software. Ideal for all our view cameras, the S 30|45 digital back perfectly complements the Sinar lanTec, which is also ideal for shooting outside of the studio.

Built-in Video Option

This digital back can do more than just take pictures. A Leica CMOS-sensor with micro lenses (37.5 million pixels) and a Leica Maestro II image processor provide the option of shooting Full HD and even 4K video. This puts the Sinar S 30|45 digital back in a class of its own, rendering it uniquely suited for shooting both stills and video. It has opened up completely new horizons of creativity and efficiency for photographers.

Direct WLAN control leaves nothing to be desired

You can connect an iPad directly to the new Sinarback S 30|45. This allows you to see the live view image directly from thesensor, view shots already saved, zoom, rate and access certain Sinarback S 30|45 functions including firing the shutter. Having this option untetheredmakes for intuitive use and provides an optimized workflow with control over the imaging process.

Sinar S-CS Adapter for Leica S Lenses

The Sinarback S 30|45 provides maximum flexibility, extreme sensor sensitivity of up to ISO 12500 and extensive features for the highest quality photographs and video. When a production requires high mobility and superior image quality, photographers now have the option of using Leica S-Lenses in addition to the familiar Sinaron digital lenses!

The new Sinar S-CS adapter makes this linkage possible, providing a seamless connection for all available Leica S-Lenses. The Sinarback S 30|45, the S-CS adapter and the Leica S central shutter lenses make up a chain that provides a compact and very simple-to-use system.

Ergonomic, intuitive and robust

When you are on the move, in addition to superior image quality, you expect one thing from your camera above all else: intuitive handling. That's why we paid particular attention to ergonomic and intuitive operation when developing the Sinarback S 30|45. Of course, the digital back is as robust as you would expect from a dedicated mobile camera solution

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Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III

See my wish lists at B&H Photo including my Canon wish list.

Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III

The Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III is in my hands. I’ll be shooting it starting in a few days on a trip to the (now snowy) Sierra Nevada and White Mountains.

Review of the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III is/will be in DAP.

The Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III (about $2199) is the 3rd generation of a workhorse ultra wide angle zoom. The original was a modest performer, v2 was fairly good but unexciting, but v3 is much more expensive and looks to have much stronger efforts made for image quality.

  • EF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to 22
  • Three Aspherical & Two UD Elements
  • Subwavelength & Air Sphere Coatings
  • Ring-Type Ultrasonic Motor AF System
  • Internal Focus; Full-Time MF Override
  • Fluorine Coating on Exposed Elements
  • Dust- and Water-Resistant Construction
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm

Combined with the Canon 11-24mm f/4L, the 11-35mm range can be covered with higher quality than ever before on Canon bodies. My personal view is that the 11-24mm plus 24-70mm range is the best combination (11mm to 70mm coverage), but 16-35mm serves as a compromise from very wide to slightly wide in a single lens.

Canon’s summary

See also the Canon 16-35mm lens page. The 50-megapixel Canon 5DS R is extremely demanding (even Zeiss Otus shows weakness), so field shots will have to establish the actual optical merits, including assembly quality and tolerances that must be extremely tight to perform well at 50 megapixels (or 30MP).

The EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM is an indispensable ultra wide-angle zoom lens for professional and enthusiast photographers who demand superlative operation and performance, in virtually any condition. Its 16-35mm focal range provides superb control of perspective, helping you capture pictures and movies with amazing, dramatic compositions limited only by your imagination.

Looking to take things up a notch, Canon's EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens embraces a revamped optical design with modern coating technologies that promise improved outer and corner sharpness along with minimal distortion and enhanced peripheral illumination. A member of Canon's legendary L series, this full-frame 16-35mm delivers outstanding image quality and a professional-grade durability. It also offers a fast and constant f/2.8 maximum aperture for consistent performance and light transmission throughout the zoom range.

With the incorporation of two large diameter GMO dual surface aspherical elements and one ground aspherical element, the lens will minimize distortions throughout the zoom range as well as maintain edge-to-edge sharpness and illumination. Along with those elements, the lens utilizes two Ultra-low Dispersion glass elements which minimize chromatic aberrations. Also, it uses both a Subwavelength Coating and an Air Sphere Coating to minimize flare and ghosting.

In terms of handling, the 16-35mm uses a ring-type USM focusing motor combined with a high-speed CPU and optimized algorithms for lightning fast and accurate autofocus. The lens has an internal focus design and offers full-time manual focus override so users can make tweaks using the physical focusing ring regardless of mode. Along with all of this, the aperture diaphragm uses nine rounded blades to create smooth bokeh.

For professional use, the lens is dust- and water-resistant, using seals throughout to prevent intrusion of particles, especially when shooting in inclement weather. Additionally, it uses a fluorine coating on the exposed front and rear elements to reduce smears and make cleaning easier.

An update to a venerable L-series zoom, the full-frame 16-35mm f/2.8 lens provides an extremely versatile range combined with a fast maximum aperture for excellent performance in a wide range of trying conditions. Version III offers an improved optical design that will provide notable improvements in outer and corner sharpness.

Designed for use with full-frame DSLRs, this optic is compatible with APS-C format cameras as well where it will provide a 25.6-56mm equivalent focal length range.
Constant f/2.8 maximum aperture offers consistent performance and excellent light transmission throughout the zoom range.

  • Two large-diameter GMO dual-surface aspherical elements and one ground aspherical element help to minimize distortions throughout the zoom range in order to maintain edge-to-edge sharpness and illumination.
  • Two UD lens elements are used to minimize chromatic aberration in the outer area at wide-angle; as well as eliminates color blurring around the edges of the subject, for images with high resolution and contrast.
  • Both a Subwavelength Coating (SWC) and an Air Sphere Coating (ASC) have been applied to lens elements to reduce backlit flaring and ghosting for maintained light transmission and high contrast in strong lighting conditions.
  • A ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM), along with an internal focusing system, high-speed CPU, and optimized AF algorithms, are employed to deliver fast, precise, and near-silent autofocus performance.
  • Full-time manual focus operation is available for fine-tuning of your focus position when working in the AF mode.
  • A weather-resistant design protects the lens from dust and moisture to enable its use in inclement conditions. Additionally, fluorine coatings have also been applied to the front and rear lens elements for further protection against fingerprints and smudging.
  • Nine rounded diaphragm blades contribute to a pleasing out of focus quality that benefits the use of shallow depth of field and selective focus techniques.


One has to wonder why Canon offers only a one-year warranty on its high-end lenses when Nikon offers a whopping five (5) years on similar lenses.

Specifications for Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM
Focal length: 16-35mm
Construction 16 elements in 11 groups
2 large diameter GMO dual surface aspherical elements and 1 ground aspherical element
2 Ultra-low Dispersion glass elements
Subwavelength Coating and an Air Sphere Coating to minimize flare and ghosting.
Diaphragm: 9 blades, rounded
Aperture scale: f/2.8 - f/22
Focusing range: 11.02 in / 28 cm
Magnification: 1:4.5 = 0.22x
Angle of view: 8° 10' - 63°
Filter thread: 82mm
Features: weather resistant, high grade optical performance and construction
Weight (nominal): 27.87 oz / 790g
Weight (to the gram as weighed): 855g with hood and caps, 788g lens alone
Dimensions: Approx 3.48 x 5.02 in / 88.5 x 127.5 mm
Street price: about $2199
Includes: E-82 II 82mm Lens Cap
Lens Dust Cap E (Rear)
EW-88D Lens Hood
LP1222 Lens Pouch
Limited 1-Year Warranty


OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock
Review of Thunderbolt 2 Dock

Why Lens Performance Matters for Focus Stacking

Get Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art at B&H Photo.

I’ve found that for focus stacking, world-class lens performance saves me a lot of time:

Why Lens Performance Matters for Focus Stacking

It is my view that my touchup work in the example that follows would have been made easier by a world-class lens like the Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon, for the reasons I discuss.

This 3-frame focus stack in Making Sharp Images shows performance at f/9 with a single frame versus the focus stack for comparison. It is an excellent example of when focus stacking is beneficial, but perhaps only for a large print.

Example: 3-Frame Stack (Warm and Cool Aspen, Nikon D810)

Images up to 28 megapixels, with large crops.


Reader Question: Focusing with Sony Mirrorless

See my Sony mirrorless wish list at B&H Photo.

Shooting 36/42/50 megapixel cameras demands perfection in technical execution, which means the #1 execution error is focus error, though that is a general term whose cause is not always self evident. There are many issues that interact, including autofocus accuracy and precision, focus shift, field curvature and real depth of field.

Gerner W writes:

It came to my attention in a Sony forum that some users of the Sony GM 85/1.4 and GM 24-70/2.8 have faced some problems achieving consistent AF-C focus with these two be mentioned lenses.

We know Sony changed the way of AF after the 2nd or 3rd FW update so that the iris closes down to the set aperture in order to eliminate any issues with focus shift and in some cases field curvature? Not sure about the last one.

Time ago I acquired a GM 24-70 for my A7R2 and haven't faced an eventual problem, but will do some provocative tests today to determine if I have a problem or not.

You mention such an eventual problem in your review of the GM85, but have you also detected the eventual phenomenon on the GM 24-70 but not found it worth to mention in the review?

You also mentioned that eventual turning off "picture effect" would help out the problem ... but I find this solution most inappropriate since where's my preview of my exposure compensation etc etc gone then.

DIGLLOYD: I am unsure about Sony’s timeline, etc. And Sony’s Setting Effect has no bearing on the issue; that was/is a red herring.

There is only one significant issue I am aware of for autofocus with Sony cameras: Sony mirrorless cameras focus with the lens stopped down, that is, if the camera is set to f/8, then the lens diaphragm is at f/8 and the camera will focus at f/8.

Focusing fully stopped down is a serious algorithmic bug that leads to significant focus error, since there is no way for the camera to center the zone of focus on the desired point (even a human will have great difficulty due to the depth of field)—it will be sharp where focused 99.9% of the time in my experience, but how the total zone of sharpness is centered around that area can be quite variable—worse under some conditions like dim light and close range.

Sony could fix this problematic focusing behavior with firmware update by offering a user preference, but I doubt Sony even has it on the radar. Other vendors always focus with the lens wide open, which is better but still a problem with some lenses. The best solution would be a “focus stopped down no more than ___” option, lens specific.

The foregoing is why when I shoot for comparisons and focus stacking or anything on a tripod, I always focus wide open or one stop down (rarely 2 stops down). However, it is not quite that simple; see these articles which apply to any camera platform:

A major factor in total sharpness optimization is differential focus shift, that is, focus shift that is different in peripheral areas versus the center, particularly with the Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM; see for example Aperture Series: Running Creek. Even the Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon (and many other fine lenses) have such behaviors, well worth understanding for peak results. Such behaviors often derive (particularly in high performance lenses) from a balancing of oblique spherical aberration against other undesirable aberrations.

Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art for a 160-megapixel Panorama: Oneida Lake

Sigma 24-35/2 DG HSM Art

Get Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art at B&H Photo.

This 14-frame panorama shot away from and into the sun shows how well the Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art handles difficult lighting conditions and flare.

Size of the full assembled panorama is 21296 X 7504 = 160 megapixels.

Sigma 24-35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Panorama: Oneida Lake (Nikon D810, 14 frames)

Images up to 60 megapixels for your viewing pleasure.

Best enjoyed on a late 2015 iMac 5K or better.

Oneida Lake is very lightly visitied, but in my view it is one of the most beautiful high Sierra Lakes one can visit. Its shallow stony northern end (from where the pano was shot) has a gorgeous waterworn stone bottom for starters. I think it is great fun to have this level of detail—I’d love to have a 100 megapixel DLSR, if only for oversampling along with some extra resolution beyond a 36MP sensor.


Shootout: Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art vs 35mm f/1.4 Art: Cottonwood Canyon Cabin

Sigma 24-35/2 DG HSM Art
Sigma 35/1.4 DG HSM Art

Get Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art and Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art at B&H Photo.

Can an optimized short-range zoom compete with a one-stop-faster prime lens?

Sigma’s 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art offers an excellent optional to address that question against its sibling, the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art. If a zoom can deliver similar image quality, the 24-35mm range at f/2 may well be worth it for some shooters. But all zooms have compromises, and the Sigma 24-35mm f/2 has at least two notable comprises as are discussed here.

Sigma 24-35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art vs Sigma 35/1.4A: Cottonwood Canyon Rancher’s Cabin

Entire-frame images up to 28 megapixels for apertures from f/1.4 - f/13. Multiple large crops and a focus stacked image at f/9 using the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art also included, along with extensive analysis.

The results here are unusually useful—highly recommended reading for users using or contemplating either lens.

UPDATE: I also take a look at distortion and its impacts on sharpness when corrected:

Sigma 24-35mm DG HSM Art vs 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art: Distortion @ 35mm, Corrected vs Uncorrected


https (TLS) at diglloyd.com

Update 15 October: https is now being enforced at diglloyd.com; all non-https access is redirected to secure https access.


In place at diglloyd.com is support for TLS/SSL aka https.

Visit https://diglloyd.com instead of http://diglloyd.com to try it.

There should be no difference in behavior other than the little lock icon in the address bar, but please report any anomalies with https, since server-side code could possibly have a bug in some oddball case involving URL handling.

There is nothing sensitive to secure here on this site, since diglloyd.com never sees credit card info*, does not store personal data other than email (even offline)*, thus there is nothing of any sensitivity on the server at all.

Still, some people like everything encrypted (cookies and such), and Google now makes https support a factor of about 1% in page rankings. Assuming no difficult issues crop up, I’ll be moving to https for MacPerformanceGuide.com and WindInMyFace.com as well (these sites can use https right now if specified, and you accept the certificate when prompted).

* Diglloyd.com never (never!) sees customer financial information (PayPal handles all this), so auto renew is impossible, nor can diglloyd.com accept credit cards directly (PayPal can).
** The diglloyd.com web server contains only username, email, and cryptographically hashed password for login purposes— the bare minimum.

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