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Sharpness and Zone of Focus

Sharpness loss by focusing or zone of sharp focus..

Blur from Camera or Support

Sharpness loss by camera or support or technique..

Expose To The Right (ETTR)

Maximizing image quality, dynamic range, minimizing digital noise. .

Focusing Accuracy (Case Studies)

Focusing accuracy and errors..

How To Banish Blur Whether Handheld or Tripod

Using your camera’s mirror lockup, self timer, and Live View features..

Depth of Field Mitigations

Increasing Depth of Field by means other than stopping down..

Focus Stacking Shooting Tips

Best practices for shooting stacking frames..

Field Curvature

Zone of focus, not plane of focus.

Focus Shift and Spherical Aberration

Elusive sharpness, depending on aperture.

Focus Shift (Case Studies)

Focus shift with a variety of lenses..

How to Test A Lens

How to verify a good sample and assess all aspects of lens performance..

Optical Behavior (Case Studies)

Illuminating examples of lens behavior..

Expose To The Right (ETTR)

Maximizing image quality, dynamic range, minimizing digital noise. (MOVES to Making Sharp Images in June 2019).

Sigma SD1 Merrill

Sigma/Foveon true-color sensor in a DSLR body..

Nikon D850

The best becomes better..

Nikon D810

Improvements on the workhorse D800E..

Nikon D800E

36 megapixels in a compact full-frame DSLR..

Nikon D800E vs D800

D800E supplement and comparisons with Nikon D800..

Nikon D600

Full-frame 24 megapixel DSLR..

Nikon Df

Full-frame 16 megapixel Retro Style DSLR..

Nikon D5

High speed big brick shooter..

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

22 megapixel successor to the popular 5D Mark II..

Sony A900

The 24.6 megapixel Sony A900 digital SLR is compared with Canon’ top-of-the-line 21.1MP EOS 1Ds Mark III. A field report including two comparisons with the Canon 1Ds Mark IIII, example images in color and black and white, and the Zeiss ZA 135mm f/1.8 Sonnar. Anti-Shake (SteadyShot) is assessed, as is noise behavior..

Nikon D3x 24.4-megapixel DSLR review

Includes: D3x resolution comparisons (res chart) with Nikon D3, Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III, resolution comparison on outdoor shot with Nikon D3, large examples, large wildlife examples, Nikon 200mm f/2 VR on D3x, long exposure noise ISO series, D3x sensitivity on diffraction, D3x dynamic range at ISO 100 vs ISO 50, D3x vs D3 color and noise..

Canon EOS 5D Mark II review

Canon 5D Mark II impressions.

Pentax SMCP-FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited

Full frame slightly wide normal lens, pancake form factor..

Pentax K-3 II (APS-C)

24-megapixel APS-C DSLR with SuperResolution true-color..

Pentax K-3 (APS-C)

23-megapixel APS-C DSLR with an unusual feature set..

Canon 200-400mm f/4L IS

Canon’s versatile super telephoto..

Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art

Fast constant-aperture ultrawide zoom..

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Sigma’s fast high performance wide angle..

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Sigma’s fast and affordable moderate excellent wide angle..

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Sigma’s fast high performance normal lens..

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Sigma’s best portrait lens..

Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art

Fastest 135mm lens yet, with ultra high performance..

Sigma Telephoto APO Macro Lenses: 150mm, 180mm

Sigma’s fast telephoto APO macro lenses..

Schneider PC-TS Perspective Control Tilt/Shift Lenses

Tilt/Shift by Schneider for Canon and Nikon and other brands..

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G

Nikon’s High Performance Moderately-Priced 50mm..

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G

Nikon’s High performance normal lens.

Nikon AF-S 24mm f/1.4G ED

State of the art design in a fast 24mm lens. Includes full-resolution images at f/1.4..

Nikon AF-S 28mm f/1.8G

A fast moderate wide angle lens with some practical difficulties..

Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.4G

State of the art design in a fast 35mm lens..

Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G

State of the art design in a fast 85mm lens..

Nikon AF-S 300mm f/2.8 VR II

Does high price guarantee quality control and superb images?.

Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR

Compact and lightweight travel-friendly telephoto..

Nikon Ultra Wide Zooms

Comparing Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR, 17-35mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 18-35mm, 24-70mm f/2.8 along with Nikon 20mm f/3.5, 24mm f/2, 28mm f/2, 35mm f/1.4 AIS, and more..

Canon-Wide Angle Prime Lenses

Comparing the 16-35mm f/2.8L II to most of Canon’s wide angle prime lenses. Optical performance, ergonomics, focus, build quality..

Canon Ultra-wide Zoom Lenses: 17-40 and 16-35

Comparing the Canon 17-40mm f/4L and 16-35mm f/2.L II..

Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

Nikon’s ultra wide angle zoom and the Nikon 14mm f/2.8, critical focus shift behavior..

Focus Shift In-Depth

Focus shift assesments of a wide variety of lenses of various brands. Shows a range of apertures for each lens and the mount of focus shift, discusses how to compensate for it..

Adapting Other Lenses to Fujifilm GFX

Adapting lenses delivers degraded results in most cases..

Fujifilm GFX Operational Aspects

Experience, reader insights, etc..

Fujifilm GFX Image Quality

Image quality assessments..

Fujifilm GF 120mm f/4 Macro R LM OIS WR

High performance macro photography on medium format, equivalent to 99mm f/3.3..

Hasselblad X1D

Mirrorless large format with leaf shutter lenses..

Pentax 645D 40-Megapixel Medium Format DSLR

A price/performance breakthrough?.

Hasselblad H4D 50 Megapixel Medium Format DSLR

How does Hasselblad’s 3rd generation medium format entry measure up?.

Mamiya DL28 medium format 28 megapixel system

The Mamiya DL28 offers the Mamiya 645 AFD III, the new Sekor AF 80mm f/2.8D lens and the Leaf Aptus-II 6 digital back. Image quality is outstanding and the DL28 should definitely be considered by anyone looking into medium format..

Leica S2 37.5 Megapixel Medium Format DSLR

How does Leica’s medium format entry measure up in ergonomics, image quality, etc?.

Introduction

Start here to best utilize this guide..

Optical Performance

Sharpness and rendering..

18mm f/3.5 Distagon

A brilliant, but also colorful character..

21mm f/2.8 Distagon

Brilliant imaging, even wide open, but with a few quirks. (Review in progress) .

25mm f/2 Distagon

Ultra high performance with a fast aperture..

28mm f/2 Distagon

An artist’s drawing tool..

35mm f/1.4 Distagon

Strokes of a master..

35mm f/2 Distagon

Balance and poise..

50/1.4 Planar vs 50/2 Makro-Planar

Comparing the two 50mm options near and far, more comparisons coming..

Otus 28mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon

Fast high performance APO wide angle..

Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon

Ultra high performance apochromatic normal lens, first in the Otus line..

Otus 85mm f/1.4 APO-Planar

Ultra high performance apochromatic medium telephoto, overview and technical..

85mm f/1.4 Planar

True-to-life imagery..

100mm f/2 Makro-Planar

King of bokeh! Corner-to-corner sharpness, world class..

135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar

Beautiful bokeh, razor sharp, superb color correction..

Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM

High speed normal lens optimized for Canon mirrorless..

Nikon Z7 Overview, Setup, General

Setup, IBIS performance, focusing..

Nikon Z7 IBIS and Focusing

Setup, IBIS performance, focusing..

Sony Alpha A7R II

Attention to details: a big upgrade over the A7R..

Sony Alpha A7R III

Attention to details: a solid upgrade over the A7R II..

Sony Alpha A7R

Full frame compact mirrorless with interchangeable lenses..

Sony Alpha A7 II

Sensor stabilized 24MP full-frame..

Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM

Top-grade medium telephoto..

Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Vario-Tessar

Comapact ultra-wide zoom for Sony full frame mirrorless..

Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS

Premiere telephoto zoom for Sony full frame mirrorless.

Sony Cybershot DSC-RX1 / RX1R

Full frame camera in an ultra-compact body with or without anti-aliasing filter..

Olympus OM-D E-M5

Superb ergonomic design in a compact camera..

Sony NEX-7 and NEX-5N

24 or 16 megapixels in a compact body with APS-C sensor..

Zeiss Batis 40mm f/2

All-around slightly wide angle/normal with close focus..

Sigma dp2 Quattro

45mm f/2.8 equivalent FOV lens..

Leica M10

Leica M mount in slim body with SL-type sensor..

Leica M Typ 240 Usability Issues

Specific issues affecting usability..

Leica M Typ 240 In Use

Overall design and behavior..

Leica M Monochrom In the Field

Field shooting the Leica MM, and comparisons..

Leica SL Typ 601

24-megapixel interchangeable lenses, high-res EVF. Leica SL moves to L-mount in June 2019..

Leica Q (Typ 116)

24-megapixel fixed lens compact full-frame. Leica Q moves to L-mount in June 2019..

M9: User’s Guide and Review

High resolution digital rangefinder.

M9 Rear LCD, Image Review

Modern digital features lacking with the M9..

Leica 16-18-21mm f/4 Tri-Elmar-M ASPH

Leica’s ultra wide angle zoom lens..

Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH

Leica’s widest prime lens..

Leica 21mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH

Leica’s fastest and widest lens..

Leica 24mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH

Leica’s fast wide angle..

Leica 28mm f/2 Summicron-M ASPH (2016)

Tweaked 2016 redesign..

Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron-M ASPH

Leica’s f/2 35mm for the M..

Leica M 50mm Lenses

Six models to choose from..

Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH

Leica’s superlative normal lens..

Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH

The world’s best 50mm lens is outstanding, but with some limits..

Leica 90mm f/2.2 Thambar-M

Leica’s retro telephoto..

Leica 90mm f/2.4 (2.5) Summarit-M

Leica’s compact 90mm for the M..

Shooting Leica R Lenses on Leica M

General discussion of R lenses on M..

Zeiss ZM 15mm f/2.8 Distagon

Notes and examples..

Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon

Fast and ultra high performance moderate wide angle rangefinder lens..


Blog posts, reverse chronological

2019

2019-04-17 Panasonic S1R: a Way to get 2X more Magnification in Manual Focus

2019-04-15 Reader Comment: Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res Mode vs PhaseONE IQ4 150MP

2019-04-10 Panasonic S1R: Magnified Live View with its Gorgeous High-Res EVF = Total FAIL

2018

2018-10-10 Nikon Z7 Autofocus Accuracy: Pinpoint AF vs Magnified Live View Reference Frame

2018-07-31 Reader Question: Focus Shift with Nikon Mirrorless

2018-07-25 Hasselblad PR: “Real World” Comparison: Nikon D850 with Decrepit Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8 Zoom Compared Without Format Equivalence or Validation of Basics

2017

2017-10-28 Critical Tip on Focus Stacking Focusing, Particularly with Nikon D850 Autofocus

2017-10-27 Nikon D850: 'Focus shift shooting' Feature Most Important Feature since Live View; Focus Stacking is the ONLY Solution to Full Resolution Images

2017-10-08 Nikon D850: New Copy Seems Good (except for infinity focus)

2017-09-29 Nikon D850: Apparent Build Tolerance Error in Flange Focal Distance vs Optical Viewfinder, Causes Major Focus Error with Manual Focus Lenses and Focus Confirmation

2017-09-16 Sony A7R II Repaired via Sony Pro Services, Well, Mostly, Still Unusable

2017-08-26 Nikon D850: AF Fine Tune Using Live View

2017-04-25 Reader Comment: Hasselblad X1D

2016

2016-02-29 CONFIRMED: Pentax K1 DOES NOT have an Electronic First Curtain Shutter (EFC Shutter)

2016-02-24 Pentax K3 II: Does it Have an Electronic First Curtain Shutter (EFC Shutter)? what about K1?

2015

2015-08-06 Sony A7R II: 5X Live View Magnification in EVF is Fugly, with Pixellation, Jagged Edges, and Obvious Subsampling degradation

2015-08-04 Canon 5DS R Protects Itself In Extreme Heat by Disabling Live View

2015-05-27 Leica 24-Megapixel Leica M Monochrom Typ 246 Arrives for Testing

2015-05-07 Leica 24-Megapixel Leica M Monochrom Typ 246 Starts Shipping

2014

2014-08-27 Working Hard on a 'Project'

2014-08-27 Nikon D810: Sensor Cover Glass Quality?

2014-08-26 Nikon D810: Recommended Picture Control Settings for Magnified Live View Focusing

2014-07-24 A conversation with Ming Thein on the Pentax 645Z and Nikon D810 and More

2014-07-22 Reader Comments: D810 Review, Lenses, etc

2014-07-19 Nikon D810: Live View Quality vs Nikon D800E/D800

2014-07-16 Nikon D810 About to Ship

2014-07-10 Pentax 645z: Detail Rendition and Image Quality on Variety

2014-07-08 Pentax 645z: Noise from ISO 100 to ISO 204800 with RGB, Channels, Grayscale

2014-07-08 Pentax 645z: Handheld Portraits with the Pentax 90mm f/2.8

2014-07-06 Pentax 645z + 25mm f/4 Aperture Series: Blue Beater Bike

2014-07-05 Pentax 645z + 90mm f/2.8 Aperture Series: Mosaic

2014-07-05 Pentax 645z + 25mm f/4 Aperture Series: Mosaic

2014-07-04 Reviewed: 50-Megapixel Pentax 645z

2014-07-04 Is 50 Megapixels Sharper than 36 Megapixels?

2014-07-02 Pentax 645z: 50 Megapixels Arrives

2014-06-30 Leica M Typ 240 Firmware Update

2014-06-27 “D810 Live View is Good”

2014-06-26 Thoughts on Nikon D810

2014-06-25 Nikon D810 Leaked Specs: Improved Sensor, EFC Shutter

2014-06-25 Nikon Announces D810

2014-05-15 Pentax 645z: Hitting the Bullseye on Which Target?

2013

2013-10-25 Leica M240: Shutter Vibration Appears to Damage Image Sharpness

2013-10-22 Eye Detection in Sony A7R: It’s About Time

2013-10-03 Leica R to M Lens Adapter

2013-07-31 Is the Full Frame DSLR the New Medium Format? What do DSLRs Lack?

2013-07-14 Leica M Typ 240 Usability

2013-06-28 Leica M Typ 240: Unreliable

2013-04-10 Reader Comment: Leica M Typ 240 / M240 Features and Cost

2013-03-30 Spring Green with the Nikon D7100

2013-03-21 Nikon D7100 Initial Impressions

2013-02-17 Focus Accuracy: Focusing Screens for f/1.4 Lenses in Canon, Nikon

2013-01-27 Five Appealing Cameras

2012

2012-12-01 Setting Low Contrast for RAW Histogram vs Live View Focusing

2012-11-27 A CALL TO ACTION: Build Intelligent ETTR Into Digital Cameras

2012-09-18 The New 24-Megapixel Leica M240 from Photokina is a GAME CHANGER for Leica Users

2012-09-17 24-Megapixel CMOS Leica M (Typ 240)

2012-09-14 Shitty Products

2012-08-08 Leica M Rumors — M10 CMOS with Live View and New Lenses?

2012-08-04 Nikon D800E vs Nikon D800 — Which to Choose?

2012-07-22 A Few Thoughts on the Nikon D800E

2012-06-18 Nikon D800 / D800E Live View Tip

2012-05-11 Nikon D800E: RAW File Support Still Pending with Aperture, Lightroom 4

2012-05-09 D800 Live View Evaluation

2012-05-05 Zacuto Z-Finder for Accurate Live View Focus, Image Review, Video

2012-04-08 Reader Comments on Nikon D800 Color Gamut, Focus Accuracy, Live View

2012-03-25 Canon 5D Mark III First Impressions + Reader Comments

2012-03-10 Which 28mm Leica M Lens is Best? 28/2.8 Elmarit or 28/2 Summicron?

2012-03-08 Thoughts on Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 22.3 Megapixels

2012-02-10 My Thoughts on D800/D800E Features

2011

2011-12-21 LCDVF Digital SLR Viewfinder (for Live View focusing, video, viewing LCD in bright light, presbyopia)

2011-12-09 Reader Feedback on Zeiss 50/2 Makro-Planar, Live View

2011-11-21 Supposing a 36 Megapixel Nikon DSLR Arrives... What About Lenses and Technique?

2011-08-20 Reader Comments on Focusing, Live View, Really Right Stuff Tripod

2011-08-18 Reader Feedback on Making Sharp Images — Live View

2011-06-10 Open Letter to Leica — 10 Ways To Improve the M9 Rangefinder

2011-05-23 Sigma Announces 15MP X 3 SD1 DSLR for US $9700

2011-03-26 Reader Feedback on Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Distagon

2010

2010-12-29 Reader comment on Nikon D90 Live View

2010-12-29 Live View vs Autofocus with Nikon 35mm f/1.4G

2010-12-25 Nikon 35mm f/1.4G severe focus error with Nikon D3s

2010-07-12 Correspondence with Erwin Puts on Leica M9 focusing

2009

2009-12-03 Nikon D3s— see-in-the-dark game-changing marvel

2009-10-08 Where is infinity focus?

2009-02-15 Canon 5D Mark II Live View vignetting

2009-02-05 Presbyopia, bright light and Live View

2008

2008-11-10 Comments on Canon 5D Mark II

2008-02-10 Hoodman “HoodLoupe Professional”

2007

2007-08-23 Thoughts on the new Nikon D3

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