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Jaw-Dropping Sharpness with Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 Aperture Series on Nikon D850 Monochrome: Pine Creek Mining Buildings (up to 181 megapixels)

This aperture series from f/1.4 through f/4 evaluates the performance of the Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 at medium-far distance on the 45 megapixel Nikon D850 monochrome.

The Nikon D850 monochrome is a Nikon D850 with its color filter array (CFA) removed by maxmax.com. NEF files converted to monochrome DNG via LibRaw Monochrome2DNG and “Method B”, then processed using Adobe Camera Raw. Doing so avoids any demosaicing and thus retains full spatial resolution.

In diglloyd Zeiss DSLR Lenses:

Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 Aperture Series on Nikon D850 Monochrome: Pine Creek Mining Buildings

Images up to full camera resolution, plus f/4 frame at 183 megapixels upscaled using Gigapixel AI. The detail is just stunning—on an iMac 5K your eyes will insist that the image was shot on a 181MP sensor.

I would have shot the Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar but it takes 86mm filters, and without color filters over the lens, there is on way to differentiate a blue from a green from a red from a yellow. So I am shooting (mostly) only the lenses to which I can apply filtration.

The monochrome sensor and its freedom from debayering reveal the native performance of the lens without any intervening software behaviors. And I seem to have mastered the exposure and raw conversion side of things. The quality is breathtaking. I am now actively pondering how to acquire a D850m of my own.

There is just no getting around the fact that a true monochrome sensor kicks the crap out of a Bayer matrix sensor (far more detail, far less noise), and because the D850m sensor is “only” 45 megapixels, diffraction losses are negligible, even out to f/8. I'll put this sharpness up against the Fujifilm GFX100 any time. Of course, it is monochrome, not color.

f4 @ 74.0 sec electronic shutter, ISO 31; 2019-10-03 18:53:08
NIKON D850 monochrome + Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 + filter B+W Dark Red 091
ENV: Pine Creek Tungsten Mine, altitude 8400 ft / 2560 m, 50°F / 10°C
RAW: pull 0.4 stops, USM {10,50,0}

[low-res image for bot]
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