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You Won’t Believe Your Eyes... Zeiss Milvus 135mm f/2 Aperture Series on Nikon D850 Monochrome: Pine Creek Mining Buildings (up to 183 megapixels)

This aperture series from f/2 through f/8 evaluates the performance of the Zeiss Milvus 135mm f/2 at medium-far distance on the 45 megapixel Nikon D850 monochrome, with stunning results—you won’t believe your eyes.

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 135mm f/2 Aperture Series on Nikon D850 Monochrome: Pine Creek Mining Buildings

Images up to full camera resolution, all frames at 183 megapixels upscaled using Gigapixel AI.

I am not shooting a secret 183 megapixel camera. Just a Nikon D850 monochrome. Images like these surpass in detail and tonality and low noise anything I’ve ever shot on any camera of any resolution. Well I have not shot (yet) the PhaseOne IQ180 or its monochrome sibling, so I’ll exclude those for now.

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.

AFAIK, the Nikon D850 has no PDAF pixels to wreck the image quality with horrible PDAF banding as with the prematurely-shipped Fujifilm GFX100, which cannot hide PDAF banding even in color images in some cases, as I showed in my review. I’m quite certain that the Nikon D850 monochrome as I’m shooting and processing it has lower noise and higher detail than the GFX100—and with no PDAF banding.

If you are a fan if black and white imagery, I’d urge you to have Dan at maxmax.com convert a Nikon D850 for you, because the days of cameras without quality-wrecking PDAF pixels are coming to an end. I am available on a consulting basis for questions beyond what I cover in my review.

f4 @ 0.5 sec electronic shutter, ISO 31; 2019-10-03 17:11:14
NIKON D850 monochrome + Zeiss Milvus 135mm f/2 + filter B+W Dark Red 091
ENV: Pine Creek Tungsten Mine, altitude 8400 ft / 2560 m, 50°F / 10°C
RAW: pull 1.4 stops, +40 Shadows, +40 Whites

[low-res image for bot]

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