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Fujifilm GFX-100 is Confoundingly Complicated

Get Fujifilm GFX-100 at B&H Photo.

For the first time ever in 11 years of reviewing cameras, I do not feel I can use a camera (GFX-100) without a significant risk of problems/mistakes that would ruin the shoot. The Fujifilm GFX-100 has so many buttons, many tiny, that are easily pressed just by holding or handling the camera, each of which can make a serious change to shooting parameters.

It is the anti-Hasselblad X1D!

As just one example, the front dial was pre-set to change the ISO and it wraps around, making it easy to go from ISO 50 to ISO 32000 without even noticing. Yikes.

Looks like a long read of the manual, which is on par with the average in not really explaining much. It will take hours to sort it all out.

I’m sure I’ll sort it out satisfactorily but there is something badly thought out about the whole idea of so many actively risky buttons sprinkled around the camera in seemingly random positions, all of which one has to actively reprogram or deprogram or at least memorize and remember not to touch. I could not for example figure out how to set aperture priority, meaning that I succeeded eventually, but the logic of how I got there escapes me.

Add in baked-in JPEG-centric settings in the Q menu (totally useless to my raw shooting), and it feels incoherent.

So I am having to methodically go through and deprogram all sorts of things. It's a tedious unnecessary task had it been designed better. The Fujifilm GFX-50S did not have this issue. I don't see this design helping anyone; it's cognitive and haptic overload to make use of all the buttons.

Fujifilm GFX-100 rear view showing most of the numerous buttons

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A Big Thank You to Those Who Took Action in Response to Last Night’s Email + Reducing Ad Clutter

I’ve long desired to reduce the ad clutter on this site. Note that since subscriber pages have few to no ads* , we’re talking almost entirely about this blog, which is free to all.

Last night I sent an email titled “request from Lloyd Chambers at diglloyd.com, plus 🔥 Sony A7R IV ordering” to all subscribers.

My appreciation and big thank you to those who responded, and especially to those who purchased the Sony A7R IV. B&H tells me it was a 4-year best sales day—the test worked beautifully. I did that test for a reason!

* A very few subscriber pages have products shown as a convenience out of the way at the very end of the page after all the review content. Out of the way, but handy..

Win-Win-Win

Contact me with feedback.

Would you partner with me to reduce ad clutter by accepting just a few promotional emails? Emails that you act on—clicking through at least, and buying when the product matches plans*.

I’m talking about once or twice a month (on average), with emails especially targeting the release of significant and desirable new products—curated stuff I choose by hand. And/or products that I have found personally excellent and valuable.

Here’s why accepting a few promotional emails can be a win for you, me, and B&H Photo:

  • Reducing ad presence helps readers and subscribers because I can spend more time publishing content, since I would spend less time dealing with ads.
  • Reduced ad presence is a better experience for all.
  • B&H has generously loaned me gear for over a decade now—more important than ever given the huge costs of the latest gear. Prioritized loaners are critical to me covering the gear you all want to hear about. B&H deserves your patronage.

If I can rely on some level of purchasing through these occasional promotional emails, then ads for B&H Photo can take a back seat. Regular blog readers who are not subscribers would be encouraged to join the list.

I would offer some level of control over the emails (on or off to start), but who would want to decline while enjoying the benefits when the vast majority of subscribers are partnering to make the experience better for all?

For now, the OWC (MacSales.com) ads are critical and I am not in a position to make changes there, but the same model might be possible—TBD. My ultimate goal is fewer ads, more content front and center.

* B&H Photo ships overseas, but I realize that some overseas subscribers don’t find this convenient in many countries (customs clearance in particular). Still, just by clicking through and at least considering it, overseas readers can contribute to the benefit of having fewer ads.

EASY and FAST way to steer towards fewer ads

Buy using diglloyd.com links/ads as follows:

1. Go to diglloyd.com
2. Click through any link or ad to B&H Photo (or OWC).

- One click-through on any link to B&H attributes sales to diglloyd.com in that browser session. - No need to click through over and over, unless you quit the browser.
- High-priced items count the most, as total dollar amount is the most important metric.
- click-throughs even without purchase show interest too!
- Does NOT work: adding yourself to a B&H mailing list, and ordering through email link in email from B&H. Love


MacPerformanceGuide.com

Sony A7R IV Takes the Floor

I am sure Sony planned the Sony A7R IV announcement for my drive home from Yosemite followed by my dentist visit for four new front crowns—busy day yesterday! Sony must have an 'in' with someone in Scott’s Simulation.

It’s nice to have real teeth again (six were broken during my Dec 30 bike crash).

I will have a lot to say about the Sony A7R IV in coming days and in my in-depth review. There is much to like, and yet the most important feature of the Sony A7R IV (for me) looks to be dead on arrival for practical use.

I can’t foresee any company overtaking Sony at this point. Mirrorless is Sony. Sony is mirrorless. All the other me-too'ers are there to keep the Sony juggernaut going. Sony dominates the sensor business too. Fujifilm has wisely staked out the medium format area with Hasselblad a distant second. The DSLR is dead.

Meanwhile, the Fujifilm GFX-100 is here and I have a backlog on Canon EOS R and the Voigtlander FE NOKTON 21mm f/1.4 Aspheric. I will interleave coverage of the two latter items into my coverage of the GFX-100.

Sony A7R IV — high demand, pre-order for priority

Due to ship on September 12, we’re 8 weeks away from when I can start reviewing.

Demand is likely to be very high, so pre-order ASAP.

If my information is correct, you should be able to preorder the 🔥 Sony A7R IV at B&H Photo starting 10 AM Eastern Time July 18.

Thank you very much for ordering via diglloyd.com ads/links to B&H. More on that win-win below.

Help me help you

I need your help.

B&H Photo has generously loaned gear to me for over a decade. Loaner gear is critical to my reviews. But B&H needs something in return: sales originating from diglloyd.com.

When sales from diglloyd.com fall off, I must divert time to ads/promotion, which takes time away from my review coverage and blog. Such as this afternoon, when I would have much preferred writing all about the new Sony A7R IV.

I don't like too many ads—they clutter things and distract. If readers can make a habit of buying through links to B&H Photo, over time I hope to reduce the clutter.

EASY and FAST way to help me and you: buy using diglloyd.com links/ads

1. Go to diglloyd.com
2. Click through any link or ad to B&H Photo (or OWC).

- One click-through on any link to B&H attributes sales to diglloyd.com in that browser session. - No need to click through over and over, unless you quit the browser.
- High-priced items count the most, as total dollar amount is the most important metric.
- click-throughs even without purchase show interest too!
- Does NOT work: adding yourself to a B&H mailing list, and ordering through email link in email from B&H. Love

Amazon for other stuff? Bookmark https://www.amazon.com/?tag=diglloyd-20

Thanks!

Awesome Deal on Fully Loaded Mid 2018 MacBook Pro — Save $2100

This is the machine I would have lusted over for myself until a few months ago. Well, it doesn’t have the Vega 16 or Vega 20 GPU, but I discount the GPU as of much value for my work. The internal 4TB SSD solves all sorts of travel headaches for storage.

MacBook Pro 15-inch 2.9 GHz Intel-Core i9 six core, 32GB memory, 4TB SSD, Radeon Pro 560X

There is a newer model now, the key difference being that the 2019 model has a 2.4 GHz 8-core versus the 2.9 GHz six-core CPU.

Lundy Canyon Resident Beaver Made it Through Winter + Sow and Cub (black bear)

I’ll be home tomorrow with a bunch of material—I got enough and enough variety in spite of being laid low by a back problem for 3 days—can hike again now.

The resident beaver (there are others up and down too) made it through the winter.

I saw a nice healthy sow (female bear) as I drove in at dusk... she stood up on hind legs to check me out when I got out of the car. A beautiful orange colored black bear (not black at all). Coloration looked more like a grizzly than a black bear but fortunately there are only black bears in California.

A bit later while driving out, I spotted a furball of a bear cub. I decided not to photography there that evening, not so much because I was worried about safety for myself, but I prefer the windows and doors on my van intact rather than lying on the ground torn away. I would advise anyone visiting Lundy Canyon to take appropriate precautions because sooner or later bears discover what an ice chest means. There are no bear boxes at the Lundy Canyon trailhead.

Kudos to Canon’s superb focusing in low light. The Canon EOS R just nails it and the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L is everything I might hope for in a lens.

f1.2 @ 1/80 sec, ISO 50; 2019-07-15 19:57:19
Canon EOS R + RF85mm F1.2 L USM

[low-res image for bot]

The tweaked back was OK 4 days later.

f1.8 @ 1/2200 sec, ISO 20; 2019-07-10 18:12:12 [altitude 7381 ft / 2250 m]
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

[low-res image for bot]

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Three Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM Aperture Series: Lee Vining Creek Through Meadow + Young Pine Amid Its Ancestors + Mt Dana, Earth Shadow Rising (Canon 5Ds R)

This series looks at far distance performance of the Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM.

The 200/1.8L ceased production around the time DSLRs emerged. Its predecessor, the Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM, is 1/3 stop slower and might have better performance in various ways.

So how does the 200/1.8L hold up at 50 megapixels, a challenge never envisioned when the lens was designed?

Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM Aperture Series: Lee Vining Creek Through Meadow

Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM Aperture Series: Young Pine Amid Its Ancestors

Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM Aperture Series: Mt Dana, Earth Shadow Rising

Includes images up to full camera resolution.

f1.8 @ 1/200 sec, ISO 100; 2019-07-12 18:49:31
[location “Lee Vining Creek”, altitude 9500 ft / 2896 m, 60°F / 15°C, LACA corrected, Enhance Details]
Canon EOS 5DS R + Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM

[low-res image for bot]
f2.8 @ 1/6 sec, ISO 50; 2019-07-12 19:54:28
[location “Mt Dana from Saddlebag Lake area”, altitude 10000 ft / 3048 m, 60°F / 15°C, USM{8,50,0}, Enhance Details, LACA corrected]
Canon EOS 5DS R + Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM

[low-res image for bot]
f4 @ 1/25 sec, ISO 100; 2019-07-12 19:08:27
[location “Saddlebag Lake area”, altitude 9950 ft / 3033 m, 60°F / 15°C, LACA corrected, Enhance Details]
Canon EOS 5DS R + Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM

[low-res image for bot]

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Snow Levels in Sierra Nevada Appear to Be a Record

With a quite cool May and June and heavy dumps of snow in May, the winter of 2018/2019 might not have brought record snowfall, but to all appearances the July snowpack is the greatest I’ve ever seen it. Below is Mt Dana, still with a hefty covering of snow.

I had planned to hike Glacier Canyon (the canyon at left of this image) today, but a sciatica-like reaction following a long and late hike has been very painful and left me unable to ponder hiking more than a few hundred yards at best. Things just seized up in my lower left back, perhaps no surprise given ongoing issues with it. I’m not looking forward to carrying the Fujifilm GFX-100 around. [Update July 14: as far as I can tell, super tight muscle/tendons are key aspects one of the side effects lingering from antiobiotic use in March/April, so I did two things to address the tightness (cycling and muscle relaxant) and am back to baseline and can walk around again]

f5.6 @ 0.6 sec, ISO 50; 2019-07-12 19:54:41
[location “Mt Dana seen from Saddlebag Lake area”, altitude 9960 ft / 3036 m, 60°F / 15°C, LACA corrected]
Canon EOS 5DS R + Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM

[low-res image for bot]
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Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L Aperture Series: Lingering July Ice on Exfoliating Granite (Canon EOS R)

This series evaluates the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L at far distance on the 30-megapixel Canon EOS R, looking for sharpness, field curvature, color correction.

Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L Lingering July Ice on Exfoliating Granite

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/1.2 to f/5.6.

f1.2 @ 1/8000 sec, ISO 100; 2019-07-11 19:50:21
[location “Tenaya Canyon”, altitude 7400 ft / 2256 m, 70°F / 21°C, vignetting corrected, polarizer=Zeiss, Enhance Details]
Canon EOS R + RF85mm F1.2 L USM

[low-res image for bot]

Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L: Evaluating White Balance and Tint When Stopping Down

With most if not all f/1.2 and f/1.4 lenses, there can be a significant shift in color when stopping down. The effect can vary with the sensor/camera, being particularly noticeable with the Nikon D850 for example. See the three examples in my review of the Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art.

This page looks at white balance and tint shifts from f/1.2 through f/5.6 with the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L.

Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L White Balance and Tint Across Apertures

These white balance and tint results differ substantially from the results show in Canon EOS R White Balance and Tint in Adobe Camera Raw. In that article, I noted a “whacky white balance and tint”. It appears that Adobe fixed a bug.

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Reader Comment: Zeiss Loxia 21/2.4 and Voigtlander FE 21/1.4:

Sebastian TR writes:

Voigtlander FE 21mm f/1.4 Aspherical

Just wanted to say, have really been enjoying your mirrorless lens comparisons of late - in particular the Sony FE mount - absolutely fantastic resource you have built up (and are building up!).

I originally used your article a year ago before a trip to Japan to help purchase the Zeiss Loxa 21/2.4 and it has been spectacular - really pleased with the decision helped by your article! :)

Just reading about this new Voigtlander - seems to be getting quite a few well received reviews! After this particular comparison, just a couple of questions:

1) Have heard a fair bit about sample variation on Loxias in addition to field curvature effecting things - assume your copy is good / still the same from the original review? Also if due to the field curvature on the loxia - assume this explains why it's not performing as good with this "oblique" perspective / focus point? ( although left @ 2.8 seems to be quite different on the lox

2)The loxia shots look to be taken with a bit less available light / reflective ambient light - just wondering if that could make a difference in lens performance , and explain part of the difference ? Also noticing on the right side (the sandstone bricks) seem to have a bit better highlight rolloff on the Zeiss 21 - wondering if that is a colour rendering thing or again the ambient light changing shifting tone?

3) Would love to see / get your thoughts on how the Loxia compares to the Voigtlander in regards to chromatic aberration , colour control and flare?* *(often use the Loxia for film work as well as photography - so these elements are just as important as resolution / micro contrast to me :)

Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8

Sorry for the long read ! - just really interested & yet have been very happy with the loxia 21 ! I still wish Zeiss would bring out a premium FE / Mirrorless line - perhaps APO 1.8 / 2.0 high performance yet fairly compact primes... one can dream eh! :)

Thanks again & keep up the fantastic work !

DIGLLOYD: I have seen no sample issues with any Zeiss Loxia lenses—highly unusual. However, there is always some variation and no process is perfect.

Lighting with comparisons vs evaluation: I always take this into account and I specifically address field curvature in my MemChu oblique comparison.

All wide angles have some field curvature. Frequently it is pveripheral forward field curvature for wide angle lenses but it can be the reverse, or wave-type field curvature (more common in fast lenses).

I’ll bea addressing these questions above more as I shoot in the field—I’m in the Eastern Sierra as I write this.


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Canon EOS R + Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L

Just mounted the Canon RF 85m f/1.2L on the Canon EOS R. What a high quality flange on both—notably more solid than the L-mount Leica lenses on the Panasonic S1R which have a slight slop (the Panasonic Lumix S PRO 50/1.4 did not, and one other reader reported the same mount slop with Leica SL lenses).

The Canon RF 85/1.2L is huge and clearly built for performance as the priority—none a trace of the Nikon NIKKOR Z compromises. Canon RF lenses (at least the 50/1.2L, 85/1.2L, 28-70/2) feel like serious pro gear. Not one Nikon NIKKOR Z lens can say the same.

If the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L is any indication, I expect the 85/1.2L to be the world’s best. But what a boat anchor, as in sheer neck-yanking weight. However lovely the images might be, this is a serious chore to heft this thing.

Dr S, this is NOT a rig for you.

Still, Canon should deliver a high megapixel mirrorless camera out, imaging performance should prove out Canon’s distinctive “size and weight be damned, it’s the optical quality” strategy. Which might ultimately sway me to Canon once that body arrives.

I also have on hand the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L and the Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro STM. The 35/1.8 macro ships without the Canon EW-52 lens hood, which is outrageous because the front lens element is right there out in front, quite exposed.


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Voigtlander FE Nokton 21mm f/1.4 Aspherical Aperture Series: Rodin Courtyard (Sony A7R III)

This aperture series assesses the Voigtlander Nokton 21mm f/1.4 Aspherical at night from f/1.4 through f/9, looking for sharpness and control of secondary color and overall image rendition, including sunstars and point spread function.

In diglloyd Mirrorless:

Voigtlander FE Nokton 21mm f/1.4 Aspherical Aperture Series: Rodin Courtyard

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/1.4 to f/9. Savor the full resolution images by scrolling around, preferably on an iMac 5K or Apple Pro Display XDR.

If you are OK witih manual focus get this lens, right now! (and please use my link). This is the best 21mm f/1.4 I have ever seen, mirrorless or DSLR.

f2 @ 4.0 sec, ISO 50; 2019-07-03 21:30:21
[+40 shadows, Enhance Details, push 0.33 stops, -37 highlights, LACA corrected]
Sony A7R III + Voigtlander FE NOKTON 21mm f/1.4 Aspherical

[low-res image for bot]
Zeiss Loxia for Sony Mirrorless
$1349 SAVE $150 = 10.0% ZEISS 21mm f/2.8 Loxia in Lenses: Mirrorless
$1169 SAVE $130 = 10.0% ZEISS 25mm f/2.4 Loxia in Lenses: Mirrorless
$1169 SAVE $130 = 10.0% ZEISS 35mm f/2 Loxia in Lenses: Mirrorless
$854 SAVE $95 = 10.0% ZEISS 50mm f/2 Loxia in Lenses: Mirrorless
$1259 SAVE $140 = 10.0% ZEISS 85mm f/2.4 Loxia in Lenses: Mirrorless

Reader Comment: Panasonic S1R “re-think my kit and jump head-long to a new system?”

Dr S writes:

Panasonic S1R

Yesterday was my first opportunity to hold the Panasonic S1R at my local brick and mortar. Despite being invested in Sony and Nikon I made the effort to hold and feel the newest kid on the block because of your glowing comments on multi-shot hi-res mode that yields such wonderful images. Would my visit cause me to re-think my kit and jump head-long to a new system?

The answer, after handing, is a resounding no. Why? Weight and size! For my aging bones (and I am not that old) and my chronic back problems, the S1r is a behemoth. I left the heavy DSLRs awhile ago for the smaller mirrorless and my torso has been happy since. You have shown over time that excellent imagery can come from Sony and Nikon mirrorless with the appropriate lenses, this fact being punctuated with your most recent review of the Voigtlander FE 21mm f/1.4.

Sony is not going to stand idly by and not come out with newer bodies with enhanced image capabilities. And if it is not ultra hi-res as Panasonic has produced, it will still be much more than adequate for me. I cannot speak nor presume to speak for others. Indeed, there is a segment that requires Phase One, Fuji, MF for their work.

However there is large segment out there that don't. I am one of them. And in that group (assuming it exists) smaller, extremely capable mirrorless systems will be the ones I gravitate to. As you stated, I hope Sony issues a firmware that enhances resolution. However, if they have the tech to do so, they may incorporate that into a newer model for the sake of sales. Indeed, they need the appearance of being at the top of the mirrorless FF heap.

DIGLLOYD: the size doesn’t bother me that much (the Sony A7R III is too small), but the weight while not a show-stopper for field use given the unrivalled imaging potential, is nonetheless highly unattractive downside for field usage. OTOH, the S1R feels like the best built mirrorless on the market.

Since Sony’s pixel shift is incompetent for field usage, I do not have much that Sony will achieve the results that Panasonic has with the Multi-Shot High-Res mode, but I hope to be pleasantly surprised. But so far, Sony sees computational photography as shitty toy apps in its dilettante Play Memories store.

As to “excellent imagery”—not so much with Sony and Nikon and Canon, as shown in the pixel shift vs single-shot examples I posted yesterday—the context even just on Sony vs itself shows how crappy image quality really is.

See my in-depth review of the Panasonic S1R in L-mount mirrorless.Subscribe now


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Voigtlander FE Nokton 21mm f/1.4 Aspherical Aperture Series: Red Electric Cart — should knock your socks off (Sony A7R III)

This aperture series assesses the Voigtlander Nokton 21mm f/1.4 Aspherical at night from f/1.4 through f/4, looking for sharpness and control of secondary color and overall image rendition.

In diglloyd Mirrorless:

Voigtlander FE Nokton 21mm f/1.4 Aspherical Aperture Series: Red Electric Cart

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/1.4 to f/4. Savor the full resolution images by scrolling around, preferably on an iMac 5K or Apple Pro Display XDR—on those displays they should knock your socks off.

Yes, you want this lens, right now! This is the best 21mm f/1.4 I have ever seen. Well, probably the best 21mm lens of any speed (DSLR or mirrorless) that I have seen.

It’s frustrating as hell not having Multi-Shot HighRes mode or a 100MP sensor. The Sony A7R III is making me chafe with frustration, being fresh off high grade 125MP images from the Panasonic S1R. Where’s my firmware update for the A7R III already, Sony?

f1.4 @ 13.0 sec, ISO 50; 2019-07-03 21:16:12
[+100 shadows, Enhance Details, push 0.45 stops, LACA corrected]
Sony A7R III + Voigtlander FE NOKTON 21mm f/1.4 Aspherical

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Shootout: Voigtlander FE Nokton 21mm f/1.4 Aspherical vs Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8: MemChu Oblique

This shootout compares the Voigtlander Nokton 21mm f/1.4 Aspherical to the Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 on a near-to-far scene from f/1.4 through f/11.

This scene with its oblique viewpoint was chosen to ferret out differences at the edges at far and near areas, in case field curvature might otherwise disadvantage one lens.

In diglloyd Mirrorless:

Shootout: Voigtlander FE Nokton 21mm f/1.4 Aspherical vs Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8: MemChu Oblique

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/1.4 to f/11, plus crops.

Yes, you do want this lens, right now!

Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Aspherical about $1199

f2.8 @ 1/400 sec, ISO 50; 2019-07-03 19:48:40 [LACA corrected, Enhance Details]
Sony A7R III + Voigtlander NOKTON 21mm F1.4 Aspherical

[low-res image for bot]

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Reader Comment: Canon EOS R “has brought the fun and results back”

Brian S writes:

Leica 180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R

Sensors + focus assist have finally allowed the performance of lenses such as the Leica 180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R to reach their potential. I bought the lens back in 2009 based on your review.

It's so fun to shoot with now.

I enjoyed with the Canon 5D "Classic" with an alternative focus screen, although the 12MP sensor didn't take advantage of it. When I upgraded to the Canon 5D Mark III the manual focus lens fun ended due to no interchangeable focus screens.

The Canon EOS R has brought the fun and results back. The rendering and bokeh on this lens are so amazing... especially considering how much smaller it is than the Canon 200mm f/2L IS which is the only lens that brings similar results, in my experience.

DIGLLOYD: Yay!

Of course these comments apply to Sony mirrorless and Nikon mirrorless and L-mount mirrorless also.

Mirrorless has made shooting DSLR lenses so much more reliable too—focus can pretty much be guaranteed via magnified Live View and even unmagnified it is probably bettr than today’s horrible DSLR focusing screens.

Regrettably, I had to sell most of my Leica R lenses to raise funds. But I still have the Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-R ASPH and the Leica 100mm f/2.8 API-Elmarit-R.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Or as good as an approximation as the Supreme Court will allow.

Thank you to all those who served in the armed forces, then and now.

Doesn’t look like any fireworks pictures for me—I have the Voigtlander FE 21mm f/1.4 Aspheric, but close-range access like at Shoreline Ampitheatre doesn’t work—no real cameras allowed.

f1.4 @ 1.3 sec, ISO 64; 2019-05-05 19:33:59 [Enhance Details]
NIKON D850 + Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar

[low-res image for bot]
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Apple Pro Display XDR: the Best Viewing Experience in History for Images?

Print may be favored by some, but not me. It’s my repeatedly-confirmed view that those arguing for prints have seen properly presented images on an iMac 5K—when I test for validitu, the response has always been “haven’t actually seen it”, or similar. I present all my work in Retina resolution on this site—it’s beautiful to behold that way.

The 6K Apple Pro Display XDR delivers a drool-worthy combination of resolution and screen size with true professional grade peformance While the future promises 16K, 6K is what is practical for now.

The Apple Pro Display XDR along with the 2019 Mac Pro form a truly high end professional-grade solution. See the overview and specifications:

  • Retina 6K Display
  • State-of-the-art calibration and a sophisticated algorithm ensure that you get the highest-quality color possible
  • 32-inch (diagonal) IPS LCD display with oxide TFT technology
  • Resolution: 6016 by 3384 pixels (20.4 megapixels) at 218 pixels per inch, aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Brightness: 1000 nits sustained (full screen), 1600 nits peak
  • Contrast ratio: 1,000,000:1
  • Color: P3 wide color gamut, 10-bit depth for 1.073 billion colors
  • Viewing angle: Superwide angle with high-fidelity color and contrast at 89º left, 89º right, 89º up, 89º down Fully laminated; 1.65% reflectivity
  • 2D backlighting system using 576 full array local dimming zones, Apple-designed timing controller (TCON) chip engineered to precisely control high-speed modulation of both 20.4 million LCD pixels and 576 LEDs in backlight for seamless synchronization
  • True Tone technology with dual ambient light sensor (ALS) design to ensure an accurate viewing experience in any ambient lighting condition
  • Reference modes: HDR Video (P3-ST 2084) HDTV Video (BT.709-BT.1886) NTSC Video (BT.601 SMPTE-C) PAL and SECAM Video (BT.601 EBU) Digital Cinema (P3-DCI) Digital Cinema (P3-D65) Design and Print (P3-D50) Photography (P3-D65) Internet and Web (sRGB)

I doubt I’ll be able to afford one, at US$5999 ($4999 + $1000 for optional Pro Stand)—WOW.

The Apple Pro Display XDR has the same downsides for photographers as does the iMac 5K: it will not be a good choice for evaluating image sharpness, due to too-high pixel density, see: Too-High Pixel Density on 5K and 8K Displays Impedes Image Assessment.

But I sure want one—the Apple iMac 5K has by far been the most pleasurable viewing experience ever for my images. Still, I rely on the NEC PA302W for editing decisions.

Panasonic S1R / Panasonic S1 Lands with a Thud — Competes poorly Against Medium Format (Updated with Reader Comments)

The Panasonic S1R has arrived with all the desirability of a bloated carp floating in the lake during a bass-fishing tournament.

While I love its Multi-Shot High-Res mode (the best camera feature in years for landscape and similar), few seem to take note. In spite of my in depth reporting on it showing how incredible the image quality is, which is about much more than resolution.

There is so much brand fatigue that no one wants to risk a bet on a new mirrorless platform. Fear is a powerful persuader, and with real legitimacy in this case—fear of investing in a dead end system—Sony has won the mirrorless game as I suggested several years ago given the CaNikon sloth.

Sony presumably will presumably drive the fish truck to the lake soon, and dump several kinds of trophy bass in.

Panasonic S1R blunders into medium format pricing territory, pricing is about the same as 50 megapixel medium format, and with a path to 100 megapixels (Fujifilm medium format). So the lenses carry forward to more and better, including when 100MP costs half what it does now.

I don't have access to sales figures, but I’d be very interested in knowing how many S1R camera bodies have sold versus Nikon Z7 / Canon EOS R / Sony A7R III. Note the aggressive rebates by Canon, Nikon, Sony, and still no rebates for the S1R, aside from a modest trade-in program.

Gordon S writes:

I am not sure about the market but your reports on Hi-rez pushed me over the edge - I got a Panasonic S1R a few months ago when the SanJose camera had a trade in event ( plus the extra 400 bucks for trade in). Could not be happier and recently got the Leica 75mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH ( Sold off my Leica Sl and 24-90). I love it ! Hoping to get the Leica 35mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH but it seems to made of “unobtainium” :) Typical Leica BS - hard to make, blah blah blah.

Keep up the great work - While the masses are not always you have made lifetime supporters of your work!

DIGLLOYD: the 35/2 APO should be very nice, but I've been waiting for a loaner, like everyone else.

A big thank you to everyone who uses links on my site to buy from B&H Photo.


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