Blur from optical behavior or subject-related issue..
Newest blog posts
2016-09-19 Olympus 25mm f/1.2 PRO
2016-07-26 Perception and Imaging
Digital capture technology is discrete, and not the same as film..
Focusing is more complicated than it first appears..
Focusing accuracy and errors..
Controlling the zone of sharp detail..
- Depth of Field As a Creative Tool
- Circle Of Confusion
- What are F-stop and T-stop?
- Format-Equivalent Depth of Field and F-Stop
- Case Study: Format-Equivalent F-Stop: Micro Four Thirds vs 35mm Full Frame (Pellegrino)
- Case Study: Format-Equivalent F-Stop: APS-C vs 35mm Full Frame (Pellegrino)
- Depth of Field at the Periphery
- Delay in Depth of Field by Double Image Bokeh
- Delay in Depth of Field by Color Divergence
- What is Acceptably Sharp?
- Practical Tips
- Example: Sensor Size and Focal Length (Bottles)
- Photo Techniques Nov/Dec 2009 (PDF)
Increasing Depth of Field by means other than stopping down..
- Depth of Field: Bypassing the Limits Using a Tilt Lens
- Focusing for Optimal Tilt Placement
- Example: Using a Tilt Lens for Product/Tabletop Photography (D800E, Pellegrino)
- Example: Using a Tilt Lens to Isolate a Subject (D800E, Pellegrino)
- Example: Using a Tilt Lens for a Landscape Scene
- Example: Focus Stacking For Infinite DOF (Wagon)
Bypass the limits on depth of field and diffraction..
Best practices for shooting stacking frames..
Examples of Focus Stacking..
- Example: Near-Macro Focus Stacking (Shimano Cassette)
- Example: 3-Frame Stack (Warm and Cool Aspen, Nikon D810)
- Example: Medium-Far Range (Two Bristlecone Logs on Hillside)
- Example: Stacking at 135mm (Unicorn and Cathedral Peaks)
- Example: Near Far at 28mm (Hardy Pine View of Unicorn and Cathedral Peaks)
- Example: Vista at 85mm (View North in Blue Dusk from Pothole Dome)
- Example: Handheld (Dana Lake)
- Example: Close Range to Distance at 18mm (Backlit Boulders)
- Example: Subject Movement (9050 Pine Creek Rd Waterfall)
- Example: Extreme Range Perfection (Weathered Bristlecones)
- Example: Dual Not-Quite-Enough Examples (Bristlecones Near to Far)
- Example: Shallow Stack for Sharpness in Narrow Zone (Blue Engine on Green Machine)
- Example: Two-Frame Stack (Spuller Lake, Zeiss Loxia 35/2)
- Example: Two-Frame Stack (Huge Boulder, Sony 85/1.4 GM)
- Example: Getting Close to 50 Megapixels in Real Photography (Spotted Boulder, Canon 5Ds R)
- Example: Getting Close to 50 Megapixels in Real Photography (Lundy Beaver Pond, Canon 5Ds R)
Getting peak performance from your lens.
Focus shift with a variety of lenses..
Understanding Longitudinal (Axial) chromatic aberration (LOCA)..
Sigma/Foveon true-color sensor in a DSLR body..
The best becomes better..
Improvements on the workhorse D800E..
36 megapixels in a compact full-frame DSLR..
Full-frame 24 megapixel DSLR..
Which speed zoom for the Nikon D800/D800E?.
Nikon’s bread and butter telephoto zoom.
Ultra fast 200mm with gorgeous bokeh and high resolving power..
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..
Nikon vs Canon: Noise and Sharpness.
In-depth review of the Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II including flare, distortion, field curvature, resolution charts, numerous field examples and comparison to the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G. The Canon EF 14/2.8L II is a superb lens, but with some peculiarities which may enhance or degrade its appeal for different uses. The review is as much a “user guide” as a review; even if you use this lens it’s well worth your time to read this review..
Medium telephoto tilt/shift lens.
Ultra wide tilt/shift lens.
Medium telephoto tilt/shift macro focusing lens.
Escape the banale postcard look by shooting landscapes at f/1.4 or f/0.95..
Approaches to making fresh new images..
36-megapixel full-frame DSLR with SuperRes Pixel Shift Mode..
APS-C wide angle lens equivalent to 22mm on full-frame..
APS-C normal lens equivalent to 53mm on full-frame..
APS-C slightly tele normal lens equivalent to 60mm on full-frame..
Canon’s compact high-performance 24mm prime..
Canon’s tiny and lovely pancake lens..
Is Canon’s f/1.2 lens really better than an inexpensive f/1.4 or f/1.8?.
Superwide optimized zoom lens..
A whopping 4/3 stop faster than other lenses in its range..
Sigma’s fast high performance wide angle..
Sigma’s fast and affordable moderate excellent wide angle..
Sigma’s fast high performance normal lens..
Sigma’s best portrait lens..
Sigma’s fast telephoto APO macro lenses..
Wide angle tilt/shift lens at 28mm..
Nikon’s High performance normal lens.
Nikon’s workhorse 200mm macro lens, and not just sharp at close-ups!.
Nikon’s fast ultra wide angle..
- Shooting at Dusk: f/1.8 vs f/2.8 (D810, Egg Erratic)
- Aperture Series: Green and Orange Pumpkins (D810)
- Aperture Series: Glacial Erratics in Blue Skylight, Westering Sunstar (D810)
- Aperture Series: Glacial Erratic To Peak (D810)
- Aperture Series: Pine Creek Sun Wedge (D810)
- Aperture Series: Sparkling Lake (D810)
An ultra-fast older design still offers appeal on modern digital..
A superlative multi-spectral lens with perfect color correction..
Extreme wide angle zoom..
Canon’s compact image stabilized wide angle zoom..
Canon’s premium mid-range zooms..
State of the art design in a fast 35mm lens..
Relatively inexpensive alternative to the pro 35/1.4G..
State of the art design in a fast 85mm lens..
Nikon’s best-ever f/1.4 lens?.
Compact and lightweight travel-friendly telephoto..
A review of Canon’s 200mm f/2L mini super telephoto. Not just for sports, it makes a great landscape lens..
Exploring the 16mm fisheye for landscape photography, and correcting fisheye distortion..
Nikon’s ultra wide angle zoom and the Nikon 14mm f/2.8, critical focus shift behavior..
Medium format Zeiss glass in Hartblei precision tilt/shift lens barrels!.
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..
Attention to details: a big upgrade over the A7R..
Fast and gorgeous moderate wide angle Zeiss design..
Fast high performance normal lens of Zeiss design..
Compact moderate wide angle for Sony mirrorless..
Compact normal lens for full-frame Sony mirrorless..
Top-grade medium telephoto..
Razor sharp medium telephoto with apodization filter..
Native-mount macro length designed by Zeiss..
Extreme wide angle zoom..
Comapact ultra-wide zoom for Sony full frame mirrorless..
Premiere mid-range zoom for Sony full frame mirrorless.
Wide mid-range zoom targeted at video shooters..
Manual focus apodized lens for ultra smooth focus..
Ultra wide angle lens adapted from DSLR, native E-mount, all manual..
The best compact big-sensor digital camera yet?.
Razor sharp 28mm lens on APS-C sensor and outstanding usability and features..
Diminutive full-frame camera with 35mm f/2 fixed lens..
Full frame camera in an ultra-compact body with or without anti-aliasing filter..
Stunningly high image quality in a 20MP point and wide range zoom..
General things to know about Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds..
A high performance mid-range zoom..
Fast portrait lens..
Native Micro Four Thirds macro lens..
Beautiful bokeh, long reach fast speed, compact lens..
Super telephoto with superb bokeh and color correction..
A fisheye with great contrast and high resolving power..
A weak sibling covers the wide end.
A fast and lovely 'normal' lens (50mm equiv) for Micro 4/3..
Fast, bright and highly corrected medium telephoto..
High performance super telephoto..
Superb ergonomic design in a compact camera..
- Aperture Series 12mm f/2 (Bicycle)
- 12mm Comparison: Olympus SHG 7-14mm f/4 — Olympus 12mm f/2 — Panasonic 7-14mm f/4 and 12-35mm f/2.8 (Garage Bikes)
- 20mm Comparison: Olympus SHG 14-35/2 — Panasonic 20/1.7 and 12-35/2.8 — Canon 40/2.8 STM (Garage Bikes)
- Compared: Olympus 50/2 Macro — Panasonic/Leica 45/2.8 Macro — Olympus 45/1.8 (Dolls)
Updated model with hi-res sensor shift mode..
Can smaller sensor cameras compete with larger ones on any basis?.
- Olympus E-M5 + 25/1.4 ASPH vs Canon 1D X + 50/1.8 II (Dolls)
- Shootout: E-M5 + 20mm vs Canon 5D Mark III + 40mm vs Sony RX100
- Shootout: Sigma DP2 Merrill vs Sony RX100 (Dolls)
- Shootout: Sony RX1 vs Sigma DP2 Merrill vs Fujifilm X-E1 (MTB)
- Shootout: Sony NEX-7 vs Nikon D7100 (Blue Doll, Pellegrino)
- Shootout: Sigma DP1 Merrill vs Ricoh GR vs Fujifilm X-E1 (Bristlecone Graveyard)
Panasonic G-1 especially compared to the Olympus E-P1. Intriguing results with RAW vs in-camera JPEG. RAW file included for your own analysis..
Fujifilm’s kit zoom for the X-E1.
A bright short telephoto lens..
24 or 16 megapixels in a compact body with APS-C sensor..
Value camera: 24 megapixel APS-C sensor with EVF and vibration-free shutter..
Use DSLR lenses at ~native focal length, and gain a stop of speed..
- Metabones SpeedBooster for Sony NEX
- SpeedBooster + Zeiss 21/2.8 Distagon (NEX-6, MTB)
- SpeedBooster + Zeiss 35/1.4 Distagon (NEX-6, MTB)
- SpeedBooster + Canon 40/2.8 STM (NEX-6, MTB)
- SpeedBooster + Zeiss 50/2 Makro-Planar (NEX-6, MTB)
- SpeedBooster + Canon 85/1.2L II (NEX-6, MTB)
- SpeedBooster + Canon 85/1.8 (NEX-6, MTB)
Outstanding ultra wide angle performer..
Outstanding wide angle, superb performer..
Manual focus moderate wide angle for full-frame mirrorless..
Manual focus normal lens for full-frame mirrorless..
- Depth of Field Table for Zeiss Loxia 50/2 Planar
- Aperture Series: Pine Creek Sunlit Morning (Sony A7R)
- Aperture Series: Bristlecone, Earth Shadow Rises (Sony A7R)
- Aperture Series: Glaciated High Meadow (Sony A7R)
- Dual Aperture Series: Saddlebag Lake Pines (Sony A7R)
- Aperture Series: Sunstar through Green Aspen (Sony A7R II)
Manual focus telephoto lens for full-frame mirrorless..
Zeiss autofocus lenses Sony full-frame mirrorless..
Autofocus extreme wide angle for Sony full-frame mirrorless..
Autofocus wide angle for Sony full-frame mirrorless..
Autofocus portrait lens for Sony full-frame mirrorless..
- Portrait Examples (Sony A7R)
- Examples: White Mountains (Sony A7R)
- On a Tripod With SteadyShot / Image Stabilization = Damaged Sharpness (Sony A7R, Through the Boulders)
- Aperture Series: Sculptured Elegance (Sony A7R)
- Aperture Series: Yellow Flowers by Waterfall (Sony A7R II)
- Aperture Series: Golden Reflection (Sony A7R II)
Ultra wide angle lens for Sony NEX or Fujifilm X..
Normal lens for Sony NEX or Fujifilm X..
Moderate telephoto macro lens for Sony NEX or Fujifilm X. Useful on full frame too!.
- More than APS-C Coverage? (Sony A7R)
- Aperture Series: Old Coins at 1:1.5 (Sony A6000)
- Aperture Series: Glistening Rocks (Sony A7R)
- Aperture Series: Leaf Closeup at ~1:5 (Sony A7R)
- Aperture Series: Green Plants at 1:10 (Sony A7R)
- Aperture Series: Flowing Water, Wet Dark Rocks, Green Grass (Sony A7R, 4 X 5 Crop)
- Aperture Series: Forest Floor Debris (Sony A7R APS-C)
- Aperture Series: Boulders Up Creek, Depth of Field (Sony A7R, APS-C)
- Aperture Series: Fern, Wide-Open vs ƒ/5.6 (Sony A7R, APS-C)
Leica’s 28-70mm APS-C compact camera..
21mm f/5.6 equivalent FOV lens..
28mm f/2.8 equivalent lens on APS-C sensor..
45mm f/2.8 equivalent lens on APS-C sensor..
75mm f/2.8 equivalent lens on APS-C sensor..
- Examples (DP3M, Around The Neighborhood)
- Examples (DP3M, White Mountains)
- Aperture Series DP3 Merrill (Tulips)
- Aperture Series DP3 Merrill (DeChambeau Barn)
- Aperture Series DP3 Merrill (Boulder with Forked Stick)
- Aperture Series DP3 Merrill (Beaver Pond Rotting Trees)
- Aperture Series DP3 Merrill (Creek Enters Beaver Pond)
Fujifilm skips full-frame to go from APS-C to to medium format..
Ultra high speed telephoto equivalent to 90mm f/1.6..
High performance macro photography on medium format, equivalent to 99mm f/3.3..
Mirrorless large format with leaf shutter lenses..
Medium format telephoto lens, 74mm equivalent..
A price/performance breakthrough?.
50-Megapixel Medium Format DSLR with Live View.
High end image quality, but what about lenses?.
A variety of 645 lens tests on the 645D.
Ultra wide angle lens for Pentax 645..
Moderate wide angle lens for Pentax 645..
Medium telephoto macro lens for Pentax 645 digital and film..
How does Hasselblad’s 3rd generation medium format entry measure up?.
Lens performance at 80 megapixels..
- Rolleiflex Hy6 Mod2 Medium Format Camera System
- Aperture Series: Water Worn Boulders (Schneider 50/2.8 Super Angulon PQS)
- Aperture Series: Creek Meanders Through Boulders (Schneider 50/2.8 Super Angulon PQS)
- Aperture Series: Up the Creek (Rolleiflex AFD 80mm f/2.8 Apogon PQS)
- Aperture Series: Glistening Rocks (Rollei APO-Symmar 90mm f/4 Makro PQS)
- Aperture Series: Down Creek (Zeiss 110/2 Planar PQ)
How does Leica’s medium format entry measure up in ergonomics, image quality, etc?.
Examples and comparison from the various lenses.
All-arounder zoom for Leica S.
Milvus garb for the venerable 15/2.8 Distagon, with improved lens coating..
Outstanding build and optical quality in a normal lens..
Outstanding build and optical quality in a medium tele..
The classic 100/2 Makro-Planar improved..
Sharpness and rendering..
Ultra high performance in an extreme wild wide angle lens..
- Depth of Field Table
- Case Study: Focus Bracketing for Best Sharpness (Bristlecone)
- Depth of Field with Steep Perspectives
- Depth of Field Aperture Series (Mossy Log Over Creek)
- Vignetting/Depth of Field Aperture Series (Church Interior)
- Close-Range Aperture Series (Tioga Pine)
- Aperture Series: Backlit Bristlecone Pine (Leica M Typ 240)
- Aperture Series: Radio Towers (D800E)
- Aperture Series: Confluence of Branched Creek with Sedges and Boulders (Sony A7)
- Aperture Series: Pine Creek Stormy Light (Nikon D810)
- Examples (Ad-Hoc, Nikon D3x)
- Examples: Lundy Canyon, Early Winter
- Examples (Purissima Creek Redwoods, Nikon D3x)
- Examples (Yosemite, Nikon D800E)
- Examples (White Mountains, Canon 5D Mark III)
- Comparison to Nikon 14-24 (Cabin, Nikon D800E)
A brilliant, but also colorful character..
Brilliant imaging, even wide open, but with a few quirks. (Review in progress) .
- Examples Climbing Mt Dana in Yosemite
- Examples (close-up)
- Rendering Style at f/2.8, f/4, f/8: Aspen Thicket
- Examples: Lundy Canyon, Brilliance at the Big Beaver Pond
- Studying f/2.8, f/5.6, f/9: Blue Dusk Settles On Lundy Beaver Pond
- Aperture Series: Pine Creek Tungsten Mine Buildings / Waterfall (D800E)
- Aperture Series: Eroding Ancient Bristlecone Pine (D800E)
- Aperture Series: Wyman Cabin Trashed Interior (Canon 5DS R)
- vs Leica 21mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH (Leica M Typ 240)
Ultra high performance with a fast aperture..
A gem with unusual close-focus..
An artist’s drawing tool..
Strokes of a master..
Brilliant imaging in a compact package..
Comparing the two 50mm options near and far, more comparisons coming..
Versatility in a “normal” lens and macro too!.
Fast high performance APO wide angle..
Ultra high performance apochromatic normal lens, first in the Otus line..
Rendering style, bokeh and beauty..
- Focusing on the Eyes for Portraiture
- Aperture Series: Fruit Still Life (Leica M Typ 240)
- Aperture Series: Merlin MTB (D800E)
- Aperture Series: Bristlecone Beauty (D800E)
- Aperture Series: Lace-Curtained Cabin Window (D800E)
- Aperture Series: Glacial Blue, Winter’s Icy Hint (D810)
- Aperture Series: White Mountain Peak Summit Building (Canon 5DS R)
- Aperture Series: Moots at Barcroft (Canon 5DS R)
Ultra high performance apochromatic medium telephoto, overview and technical..
Rendering style, bokeh and 'transparency' without peer..
- Portraits (Nikon D810)
- Aperture Series: Atlas Permaguard (Nikon D810)
- Aperture Series: Early Yellow Aspen (Nikon D810)
- Aperture Series: Beaver Dam View Across Lake (Nikon D810)
- Aperture Series: Huge Silver Mining Gears at Dusk (Nikon D810)
- Aperture Series: DeChambeau Yellow Wagon (Nikon D810)
- Aperture Series vs Nikon 85/1.4G: Boreal Skiing Slope at Night (Nikon D850)
Peering into shadows at night with the very best..
King of bokeh! Corner-to-corner sharpness, world class..
Beautiful bokeh, razor sharp, superb color correction..
- Making Close-Range Portraits
- Aperture Series (D800E, Dolls)
- Macro Quality at 1:4 (D800E, Doll Seated)
- Aperture Series: Blue Doll / Pellegrino (Canon 5D Mark III)
- Aperture Series: Glacial Erratics in Tuolumne River (Nikon D800E)
- Aperture Series: Yellow Aspen at Meadow’s Edge, Blue Dawn (Canon 5DS R)
- Examples (D800E, Hakone Garden, Garden)
- Performance on 56-megapixel DSLR Pixel Density + MTF (D7100, Dolls)
Articles written for Lenspire.ZEISS.com..
- Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance, PART ONE: The Challenges
- Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance PART TWO: Tips and Best Practices for Sharply Focused Images
- Depth of Field Challenges: Bypass the Limits with Focus Stacking, Near or Far, Macro or Landscape
- Getting Started with Focus Stacking
- Harnessing Wide Angle Lenses: Perspective and Impact
- Macro and Close-up Shooting, Especially Outdoors
- Zoom Lens or Prime? Moderate Wide Angles (25mm, 28mm, 35mm)
- Zoom Lens or Prime? 50mm and 55mm
- Micro Contrast and the Zeiss 'Pop'
- Zeiss Fills Out the Milvus DSLR Lens Lineup with the 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2M, 100/2M
[ARCHIVE, see Making Sharp Images]. Exploring depth of field..
The limits of resolution are governed by physics..
Also known as shading..
Questions and answers on photography and computers and more..
Photography Hints and Tips..
Zeiss ZF.2 and Zeiss ZE Lenses For Canon and Nikon.
Q&A on the 15/2.8 Distagon with Dr. Hubert Nasse.
Relative sharpness and performance across cameras..
Relative sharpness and performance vs APS-C cameras..
24-megapixel CMOS monochrome sensor..
24-megapixel interchangeable lenses, high-res EVF..
All-arounder zoom with dubious optical compromises..
Leica’s ultra wide angle zoom lens..
Leica’s widest prime lens..
Leica’s fastest and widest lens..
Leica’s best-performing 21mm..
Leica’s fast wide angle..
Leica’s best-performing 24mm, and with a flat field..
Leica’s widest lens utilizing built-in frame lines..
Leica’s smallest and lightest M lens with superlative performance..
Leica’s superlative and most natural lens for the M..
World’s fastest 50mm full-frame lens..
Understanding the Rendering Style of the Noctilux..
Leica’s superlative normal lens..
The world’s best 50mm lens is outstanding, but with some limits..
Leica’s medium tele for Leica M..
Leica’s budget 75mm medium telephoto..
Compact lens for portraiture or similar..
Superb all-around macro and general-purpose lens..
World’s best mid-range telephoto lens..
Compact and ultra high performance long telephoto..
Moderate speed high contrast ultra-wide..
Fast and ultra high performance moderate wide angle rangefinder lens..
Compact high performance medium telephoto..
Blog posts, reverse chronological
2016-09-19 Olympus 25mm f/1.2 PRO
2016-07-26 Perception and Imaging
2015-10-22 The Irrational Aim of f/1.4 Lenses
2014-05-18 Using Tilt (Swing) to Isolate a Subject
2014-05-03 Depth of Field with Real Lenses
2013-09-15 Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4 R
2013-07-24 Micro Four Thirds vs APS-C: Aspect Ratio
2013-07-24 Micro Four Thirds vs APS-C: Lens Size
2013-07-24 Micro Four Thirds vs APS-C: Summary
2012-05-16 Reader Asks: Depth of Field
2012-04-26 Optimal Aperture for Nikon D800
2012-03-07 Diffraction, Sharpness and Nikon D800E
2010-06-03 Depth of field with a fast lens in daylight
2010-04-12 Carl Zeiss on “Depth of Field and Bokeh”
2008-11-11 Tip of the day: Depth of field
2008-10-21 Selective depth of field
2008-09-03 Question of the Day: 18mm, 25mm, 28mm?
2008-06-26 Depth of field, diffraction, and megapixels
2008-05-03 Depth of field
2007-12-25 Zeiss ZF 28/2 Distagon—depth of field
2007-02-17 Depth of field
2006-07-20 Depth of field and megapixels