Upgrade the memory of your 2019 iMac up to 128GB

Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 OIS Aperture Series @ 135mm: Mosaic (Panasonic S1R, High-Res)

Get Panasonic S1R at B&H Photo.

This page looks at performance of the Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 OIS at 135mm on a demanding planar (flat) target at medium distance. This particular subject lays bare all lens weaknesses, but particularly micro contrast across the frame.

In diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 OIS Aperture Series @ 135mm: Mosaic (Panasonic S1R, HighRes)

Presented at up to 93 megapixels (1.414X linear reduction from 187MP) using an approach similar to that documented in Workflow for Multi-Shot High-Res Mode Images in Adobe Camera Raw.

f4 @ 1/13 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-05-22 20:02:45
[Enhance Details, LACA corrected, distortion corrected]
Panasonic S1R + LUMIX S 70-200/F4 @ 135mm

[low-res image for bot]

 

Organic Lab Tested Full Spectrum CBD

20% off every day with coupon code diglloyd20 at NuLeafNaturals.com

100% organic non-GMO, no additives or preservatives, lab tested for purity and quality.

Nikon Z7 Eye AF: Does it Focus on Eye or Eyelashes?

Terence M writes:

For what it’s worth, a YouTube review using a 105mm F/1.4 close up at F/1.4 the Eye AF focused on the eyelash instead of the iris and the eye was out of focus.

Maybe you could find a 85mm F/1.4 or 105mm F/1.4 for your review?

DIGLOYD: my first tests with the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S show that the Z7 has a strong preference for eyelash and eyebrow focus, which suggests that Eye AF is a failure on the Nikon Z7. I tested at 70mm primarily.

I need to test the Z7 some more, but I am not hopeful. Between Eye AF on the Nikon Z7 and Eye AF on the Sony A7R III and Eye AF on the Panasonic S1R, I now have several hundred portraits with out of focus eyes, and I feel discouraged in wasting my time further. It all seems like one big lie shared by all the vendors. The emperor has sharp eyes—just look at those lashes!

If a camera cannot focus sharply on the iris of the eye at f/2.8, then it is a disaster at f/1.4, which has half the depth of field of f/2.8.


Upgrade the memory of your 2019 iMac up to 128GB

Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL: Stopping Down Gets Worse at f/2.8 and f/4.

So yesterday I shot the Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL rigorously, and by chance got the most beautiful lighting I had seen in years.

What does the Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL do? Degrade excellence at f/2 into softness at f/2.8, more softness at f/4, recover (almost) at f/5.6 to f/2 quality. Looks like a very bad focus shift, but I now have to go prove that out, to rule out other oddball potential causes (operator error is NOT one, as I have already confirmed).

But one thing is clear: the size (magnification) of the image shrinks slightly with each stop, which means focus is shifting rearward (towards the distance). In past testing this has always meant optical focus shift, with the exception of the electronic focus-changing glitches with the Fujifilm GFX-50S and the Fujifilm GF 120mm f/4—and in that case there was no consistent pattern. A consistent pattern as with the Leica 90/2 SL has always meant strong focus shift.

It’s not a single series thing, but repeatable, though not always obvious or clear—could it have something to do with Multi-Shot High-Res mode, where the losses are plain to see? Either it’s a major focus shift or some weird mechanical or electronic glitch. I am furious that my work is toast, in terms of showing what the lens can do. If it’s optical, then I deem the lens useless. If not... I don’t yet know.

The Leica 90/2 SL can deliver truly outstanding images, but this behavior has me frustrated beyond printable words. And maybe the portrait focusing errors can be explained in part too, if it is indeed optical focus shift—that would surely screw the pooch for portraiture, as was the case.

I now have to research the problem and figure it out. I assume its 75mm sibling will behavesimilarly.

Given the atrocious field curvature and focus shift of the “reference lens”* Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH, maybe it’s just normal (see Sharpness Losses from Field Curvature at Distance: Grassy Meadow and other series).

Could the Leica SL build in some kind of compensation for severe focus shift that the Panasonic S1R does not? If so, it must be new because it did not when I last tested the Leica SL. Compensation is NOT a solution for many shooting scenarios: how does one focus in dim conditions except at full aperture? That’s one of my most common use cases!

* “Reference lens” is Leica-speak for “a lens demonstrating pronounced field curvature and focus shift that would make any other manufacturer would blush”.

James K writes:

You are in photo hell. One way of providing some insight into the mystery would be to shoot the Leica 50mm f/1.4 on the Leica SL and see if it behaves the same as on the Panasonic. If it does not exhibit the extreme focus shift on the SL you will have determined that there is a software issue. The idea of the common L mount might not be working with lenses using compensation programs to address optical flaws.

DIGLOYD: Leica gear has been the most problematic of all camera systems over the years.

I don’t intend to borrow the Leica SL as it’s pointless at this juncture—I’m not into 24 megapixels and crappy ergonomics/haptics, so it’s a non-starter camera as far as I’m concerned. I’ll have to run some more tests and I now also have the Leica 75mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH along with the 90/2.

Fujifilm GFX-100S Announced, Review Planned (updated with comments)

Busy day, and so I am behind, but I have a new crown for the disintegrated molar.

Fujifilm has announced the Fujifilm GFX-100S. That’s exciting—100 megapixels in a single shot “reasonably” priced camera.

But where is pixel shift and Multi-Shot High-Res mode? Bummer.

I’ll keep a hopeful outlook but traditionally “more pixels” means ”more hassles”, and Fujifilm looks to be upholding that principle: the ergonomics/haptics look really awful on the new brick-with-buttons. I see design by engineers here, not design for photography. It looks like the Fujifilm GFX-50R, whose ergonomics and haptics became quite irritating in the cold last winter. Anyone use a left hand for operating a camera? I do, a lot on Nikon cameras. Fujifilm should get a clue that people have two hands (usually). Ditto for other brands, not just picking on Fujifilm.

As I discussed in my four-part series Maximize Image Quality with Shot Discipline articles at Medium Format Magazine, perfect shot execution and outstanding lenses are going to be needed for the extremely high pixel density of a 100 megapixel 44 X 33mm sensor. Along with focus stacking.

The one Fujifilm sample landscape shot with the GF 23/4 is laughably bad— it is very blurry and would not hold up at 50 megapixels and could be done with far superior results using a 35mm camera. Indeed my December shooting with the Fujifilm GF 23mm f/4 shows poor results at 50 megapixels in the outer zones. Fujifilm also has no clue how to make a good image from raw (technically speaking), judging by the image quality on its web site for the climbing photo. If that’s an out-of-camera JPEG, I want no part of it.

Manufacturers try very hard to make themselves look bad at product intro. So I am looking past that—I am looking forward to shooting the Fujifilm GFX-100S in raw to see what it can do. My concern is that some of the Fujifilm GF lenses are scarcely up to the task of 50 megapixels (23/4 and the 32-64mm zoom). Not in the central areas, but edges and corners are a serious letdown. Try harder, Fujifilm. I don’t want a $1200 lens on a $10K camera giving me 1/3 resolution at the edges. And I worry about the focus shift I have already documented, and any camera glitches that alter focus.

Bottom line though is image quality. Carrying a big brick can be worth it if the images are the reward as the Hasselblad H6D-100C showed me, and the GFX-100S is much more manageable. It is primarily on the basis of image quality that I will be evaluating it. Then again, the Panasonic S1R with the right lens and appropriate subject can work wonders beyond 100 megapixels.

Fujifilm GFX-100S
Fujifilm GFX-100S

James K writes:

The Fuji GFX-100S looks like a brick. With pixel shift or Multi-Shot High-Res mode they could have had a more appealing camera.

The smell of a Sony with a Global Shutter is in the wind. This Fall and Winter will tell the tale. The Sony Bear might leave the others like picked clean bones in Yellowstone with no meat for the wolves.

DIGLLOYD: no one should count Sony out, and it makes me hesitate to buy anything right now. Still, if I were just shooting landscape, the appeal of high-grade Zeiss or other lenses on the Panasonic S1R with Multi-Shot High-Res mode is compelling.

Jason W writes:

Enhance Details might not be killer app for the GFX 100S the way it was for the 50R/S. As you point out, many of the GF lenses will fail to out-resolve the sensor which means there just won't be much for Enhance Details to do in terms of recovering aliased detail. The difference may end up truly being nothing.

DIGLLOYD: some of the Fujifilm GF lenses are very sharp and all are sharp in the center, and thus color moiré and spurious detail issues might remain in the strong areas. But for several of the lenses, weak outer zones coupled with the damaging effects of distortion correction means capture of “higher resolution blur”.

However, I saw little benefit when processing Hasselblad H6D-100C and probably because of what Jason mentions: the lenses not being good enough to cause the usual optical issues—and the Fujifilm GFX-100S has far smaller pixels which means its lenses have to be better than the Hasselblad HCD lenses to incur isseus.

Which Camera System 📷 is Best?
Which Lenses to Choose?🌈


Avoid costly mistakes and get the ideal system for your needs: diglloyd photographic consulting.

L-Mount Lenses in my Review Pipeline: Leica 75mm f/2 SL, Leica 90mm f/2 SL, Panasonic 70-200mm f/4

Here or arriving soon are three L-Mount lenses, to be tested on the Panasonic S1R:

Leica 75mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH

Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH

Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 OIS

I’ll also be doing more with the Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar, the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, and the Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM and Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM. Whew!

It’s hard to do so much so quickly, so there will be some similar material from each, but I do hope to get out in the field in the next week or so, for a change of pace.


Our trusted photo rental store

Two Fun Days at the Dentist: Root Canal #1 and a Crown

I might slow down a bit over the next few days, tomorrow and the next day.

As a result of my Dec 30, 2018 bike crash, my molar (tooth #30) has disintegrated in half, necessitating a root canal followed by a crown. The break is just high enough that maybe I won’t have to also see a periodontist to carve off gum tissue also. Plenty of other teeth (five) also need crowns from crash damage. Oh, and I need my wisdom teeth removed.

I’m told that a root canal is no big deal but for some reason it makes me nervous.

Dental work is not my favorite thing, and the total costs with orthodontia (coming off in 3 weeks) and wisdom teeth approaches $18K. I never thought that the dental work would greatly exceed the medical expenses. Well, it’s a damn site better than a broken neck.

Update: 5 hours in the dentist’s chair (root canal one day, crown the next) resulted in a perfect crown to replace the disintegrated lower molar. Amazing what scanning and 3D sculpting of porcelain can do. Five more crowns to go, and orthodontia off then a retainer. But it’s better than a broken neck.

OWC Easy SSD Upgrade Guide
MacBook Pro and MacBook Air
iMac, Mac Pro, MacMini, more!

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 28mm, 35mm, 50mm: Mosaic (Nikon Z7)

Get Nikon Z system at B&H Photo.

See also the assessment of distortion and its implications for sharpness after distortion correction in Distortion @ 24mm, 28mm for Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S.

I wanted to thoroughly document behavior over the zoom range of the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S because it is a key lens in the lineup that Nikon is offering. That is now done for 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm on this demanding target.

These series looks at the performance of the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S from f/2.8 through f/8 at 28mm, 35mm, 50mm on a highly demanding detailed planar (flat) target.

In diglloyd Mirrorless:

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 24mm: Mosaic

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 28mm: Mosaic

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 35mm: Mosaic

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 50mm: Mosaic

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 70mm: Mosaic

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/2.8 through f/8, plus crops.

f2.8 @ 1/15 sec, ISO 64; 2019-05-09 19:55:51
[Enhance Details, vignetting corrected, distortion corrected, LACA corrected]
NIKON Z7 + Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S @ 35mm

[low-res image for bot]

Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH Examples: Portraits using Panasonic S1R Eye AF

Get Panasonic S1R at B&H Photo.

This page puts the Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH to use for portraits on the Panasonic S1R using Eye AF focusing mode. A reflector was used for fill lighting. The 90/2 performs beautifully, but Eye AF was a sad story.

In diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH Examples: Portraits with Panasonic S1R Eye AF

Images at up to full camera resolution. Some images are pairs of apertures for comparison.

As in previous portrait attempts, I had trouble with the Panasonic S1R Eye AF. Too often the S1R Eye AF focuses on eyelashes or nose in front of the iris. Many shots were discarded from this page with about 12 usable shots out of 40, 2 or 3 ruined by motion blur and the rest ruined by the failing of Eye AF. I was thus left with only a small fraction of the best poses.

f2 @ 1/250 sec handheld, ISO 50; 2019-05-20 17:53:31
[Enhance Details, LACA corrected, distortion corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH

[low-res image for bot]

 


Get up to 16x more storage and 2x the speeds of the original drive

Panasonic S1R Eye AF: Hit and Miss at Its Best

Get Panasonic S1R at B&H Photo.

When you get the shot you want and the camera screwed the pooch with incompetent Eye AF, what does it feel like? Like a total waste of time and anger at shots lost.

Below, there are sharp eyebrows, lips and nose, but blurry iris of the eye. How hard can it be with a high-grade 90mm f/2 lens to nail focus on the iris of the eye? Half (at least) of my shots did not nail focus on the iris of the eye and of the other half, half of those succeeded only because of depth of field.

Eye Sensor AF = ON
Shutter AF = ON
AF Mode = Face/Eye/Body/Animal Detect
AF-S

I watch the focus indicator thing light up in the right area and all looks right when pressing the shutter. Am I missing something and it’s RTFM? I can’t see how.

How could any pro put up with this dogshit Eye AF? Screwing up the wrong job might mean screwing up a reputation which could mean career over. Better use f/8 and pray. Or buy Sony, assuming its Eye AF still works.

f2 @ 1/400 sec, ISO 50; 2019-05-20 17:52:57 [Enhance Details]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH

[low-res image for bot]

NYC pro photographer James K writes:

What’s up doc?

You are a fussy guy. What do you want for around $8000? You want a camera that actually does Eye Auto Focus. Imagine explaining to a beauty client that it “was the cameras fault”. Next photographer please.

Sometimes in life “there are no second chances.” There are at least ten guys around the corner happy to take your place at the table. Somebody has to shake the tree and it seems that job has fallen to you. Thank the Photo Gods. Keep up the good work.

DIGLLOYD: and there is the rest of my life and hers that this shot might never happen again—life is not a dress rehearsal. Personal or professional, most opportunities never come again. I might photograph my daughter today or tomorrow, but it might be months before I do so again—she’s busy and not always cooperative. A camera that f****s it up is on my shit list, at least for that feature.

As to reviewing a lens, having to shoot and reshoot so I can get (at best) 1 in 3 perfectly focused images, and of those, hope and pray that some of the best expressions and poses are included.

What I don’t follow is how camera companies seem to monitor sites like mine—surely they’d like to address such issues, ideally by explaining the voodoo setting that I apparently forgot to turn on in order to make things work well, or by fixing the software algorithms if I am doing everything right. I suppose they just watch Twitter and Facebook and Instagram? I don’t have any contacts at Panasonic, and I’m not about to waste my time on Beginner Tech Support.

Below, a 2nd Eye AF failure. Most of the images in my shoot were ruined in this manner—sharpness on the eyebrows or nose, blurry eye or eyes. How hard can it be to get one eye sharp at this range at 90mm at f/2?!

f2 @ 1/250 sec handheld, ISO 50; 2019-05-20 17:53:17 [distortion corrected, LACA corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 90mm f/2 APO-Summicron-SL ASPH

[low-res image for bot]

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 24mm: Mosaic (Nikon Z7)

Get Nikon Z system at B&H Photo.

See also the assessment of distortion and its implications for sharpness after distortion correction in Distortion @ 24mm, 28mm for Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S.

This series looks at the performance of the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S from f/2.8 through f/8 at 24mm on a highly demanding detailed planar (flat) target.

In diglloyd Mirrorless:

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 24mm: Mosaic

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/2.8 through f/8, plus crops.

Notably better results than at 70mm.

f2.8 @ 1/20 sec, ISO 64; 2019-05-09 19:54:54
[LACA corrected, Enhance Details, vignetting corrected, distortion corrected, USM{6,60,0}]
NIKON Z7 + Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S @ 24mm

[low-res image for bot]

Best Deals, Updated Weekly

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 70mm: Mosaic (Nikon Z7)

Get Nikon Z system at B&H Photo.

See also the assessment of distortion and its implications for sharpness after distortion correction in Distortion @ 70mm, 50mm, 35mm for Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S.

This series looks at the performance of the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S from f/2.8 through f/8 at 70mm on a highly demanding detailed planar (flat) target.

In diglloyd Mirrorless:

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Aperture Series @ 70mm: Mosaic

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/2.8 through f/8, plus crops.

I’m not impressed, and had hoped for more.

f2.8 @ 1/15 sec, ISO 64; 2019-05-09 19:55:31
[Enhance Details, vignetting corrected, distortion corrected, LACA corrected]
NIKON Z7 + Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S @ 70mm

[low-res image for bot]

Shootout: Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM vs Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 (Mosaic, Sony A7R III)

Get Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM at B&H Photo.

This page compares the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM to the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 from f/1.4 through f/8 on a demanding planar (flat) target with extremely fine details.

In diglloyd Mirrorless:

Shootout: Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM vs Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 (Mosaic)

Includes images up to full camera resolution with crops and extensive analysis.

There are interesting (and confounding) differences between these two lenses; anyone contemplating either should take note.

f2 @ 1/10 sec IS=off, ISO 50; 2019-05-17 20:06:14
[Enhance Details, vignetting corrected, LACA corrected]
Sony A7R III + Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM

[low-res image for bot]
Make an Old Dog Run Like a Young Puppy
with an OWC SSD

SATA, USB3, Thunderbolt, internal upgrades and PCIe SSD options for Mac or PC.
View All OWC SSDs...

Shootout: Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM vs Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art (Mosaic, Sony A7R III)

Get Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM at B&H Photo.

This page compares the Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM to the Sigma FE 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art from f/1.8 through f/8 on a demanding planar (flat) target with extremely fine details. Focus shift and field curvature are assessed along with sharpness through the aperture series.

In diglloyd Mirrorless:

Shootout: Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM vs Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art (Mosaic, Sony A7R III)

Includes images up to full camera resolution with crops and extensive analysis.

There are important differences between these two lenses; anyone contemplating either should take note.

f1.8 @ 1/200 sec IS=off, ISO 50; 2019-05-17 19:10:08
[Enhance Details, vignetting corrected, LACA corrected]
Sony A7R III + Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM

[low-res image for bot]

Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM Aperture Series: Burghers and Rising Moon (Sony A7R III)

See my Sony mirrorless wishlist.

This aperture series from f/1.4 through f/11 explores the performance of the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM on a near-to-far composition with reflective subjects at varying distances. Sharpness, depth of field, focus shift and color correction are examined.

In my review of the Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM in diglloyd Mirrorless:

Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM Aperture Series: Burghers and Rising Moon

Images up to full camera resolution.

f4 @ 15.0 sec, ISO 50; 2019-05-17 20:54:07
[vignetting corrected, Enhance Details, LACA corrected]
Sony A7R III + Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM

[low-res image for bot]

 

OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock
Ideal for any Mac with Thunderbolt 3


Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports
USB 3 • USB-C
Gigabit Ethernet
5K and 4K display support plus Mini Display Port
Analog sound in/out and Optical sound out

Works on any Mac with Thunderbolt 3

Has Sony Broken Eye AF with the Latest Firmware Update?

See my Sony mirrorless wishlist.

Update: see reader comments after original post further below. I’ll need to retest, paying attention to the new requirements for how to use it, which have changed. I have not confirmed what is found in this post on Sony Eye AF behavior by Brian Smith. There are several variables involved, a key one being the size of the AF spot, but also whether Eye AF is used with a custom button or via shutter press—crazy confusing and why Sony does not have a white paper explaining all this I dunno. I’ll have to explore and test this all.

This is what Sony has to say on Eye AF in the overview. It pretty much looks like one should use wide-AF area when using Eye AF. The instruction manual as I downloaded it today is terrible—I cannot even find anything on Eye AF in it (page 37 mentions focus area but no mention of Eye AF).

Reliable eye tracking, in all conditions

Catch the eye for superb portraiture. Eye AF uses Sony’s remarkable wide AF area and accurate eye detection to open up unimagined freedom of composition, so you can explore creative expression like never before(1).

Enhanced Real-time Eye AF(1)

A subject's eyes can be detected as soon as the shutter button is half-pressed, then tracked continuously in AF-C mode with outstanding accuracy.

Choose your subject's left eye or right eye(1)

Now you can choose Left Eye, Right Eye, or Auto from the menu in advance, leaving you free to pay more attention to composition. These selections can be assigned to custom buttons, allowing you to quickly toggle between choices while mid-shoot.

(1) Eye AF may not always work as intended, depending on the shooting scene and conditions. Function availability and detection performance may vary by models (software version). Tracking available only in AF-C mode.

There is a thread about Sony Eye AF at dpreview.com which raises some interesting questions.

Original post plus comments

I updated the firmware on my Sony A7R III a few days ago and then configured the camera for Face/Eye AF (it is disturbing that Eye AF is now lumped together with "face", the two being radically different when working at wider apertures or close range), and "human".

The next day I shot 14 portrait images with the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM at close range. Of those one (1) image had a sharp iris of the eye. The other 13 were all junk-focused—very blurry iris of the eye, with sharp eyelashes and eyebrows or similar. The subject had eyeglasses on, if that somehow matters.

Possibly I am doing something wrong, but how? If the camera is set for Eye AF and "human" what else am I supposed to do?

If it’s configured correctly, I now have to rate Sony Eye AF as total garbage.

Reader David B writes:

Its changed configuration in various ways.

If you have it set it to time face/eye and you are not using wide area, if will only work under the movable focus point you have chosen (unless you go with wide area) You don’t have to find the eye if you have it set this way; you just have to move the AF point over, roughly, the area where you want eyes found. By setting focus to wide area for these purposes it will find eyes everywhere. Using an AF override button may make sense if you want to use it this way.

It’s possible to set it so that it has the previous behaviour, working when you press a dedicated button only... previously, Eye AF was assigned to a button, and it only looked for eyes while the button was pressed. With the new firmware, by default - if it’s turned on - it scans for eyes continuously and will focus on them with a half press of the shutter. If you prefer the old behaviour (and I do for some purposes) it can be turned on.

DIGLLOYD: nice of Sony to do a terrible job explaining it. I will have to retest. It’s all well and good with a programmable button on GM lenses, but on others, switching between Eye AF on/off also means changing the size of the focus area—what a hassle. When I shot initially as per above, I used the smallest focus spot and put it near the eye, which might explain why only 1 of 14 images had a sharp eye—if the camera doesn’t look outside the spot it’s not going to find an eye.

Terence M writes:

I was planned on doing the firmware update next week on my Sony A7RIII but since your recent comments on the updated Eye AF, its on hold. Any plan to test the Eye AF with a portrait lens?

DIGLLOYD: yes, when I can corral a suitable 'victim'.

Reader Dr S writes:

Could you be clear about what settings you use when you do your Eye AF on the Sony? After reading your comment about issues w/FW 3.00 or .01 I tested my upgraded cam w/few lenses.

One could put the cam on a tripod, VR off, and eye'AF AF-S or AF-C. So far I have tested without a tripod but with solid technique (yeah right!) to minimize camera shake and a very steady model. I have found with hand-holding the hit rate w/Af-S is abysmal but high with AF-C. Again please either tell me or direct me to a link on your site that describes your "portraiture" technique.

Thanks and your daughter must be getting pretty tired being your model. My wife quit long ago.

I responded saying:

I have always use AF-S with Sony with high hit rate (until current firmware). Eye AF ought to lock on and a fraction of a second later the picture is taken, so AF-C should not be needed. But if you say it is so, perhaps it is. Sony has not updated their manual and I could not even find Eye AF in the one I downloaded 2 days ago.

1. Place the (fairly large) focusing spot on the subject face

2. Half press the button, watch the camera indicate it found the eye

3. expose.

There should be no special technique needed!

Dr S continues:

Yup.... prior to the FW upgrade I used AF-S with a high, almost uncanny hit rate. New FW sucks.

Got out my old A7r2 and it behaved quite well in AF-S. Sony's got to fix it! They had a winner and the workaround w/AF-C doesn't cut it. I wonder what will happen when the Z7 is upgraded. Film at 11!

DIGLLOYD: I guess I'll have to set it to AF-C and see what happens. But that's a disaster when doing mixed shooting; can't be consantly switching 3 or 4 settings to configure back/forth.

Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM Aperture Series: Quadrangle Shadows and Rising Moon (Sony A7R III)

See my Sony mirrorless wishlist.

This aperture series from f/1.4 through f/11 explores the performance of the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM on a near-to-far composition typical of landscape shooting. The point spread function and sagittal coma flare behavior are also explored.

In my review of the Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM in diglloyd Mirrorless:

Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM Aperture Series: Quadrangle Shadows and Rising Moon

Images up to full camera resolution.

The about $1398 Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM is a very fine lens—clearly designed from scratch for Sony mirrorless—highly recommended along with the jaw-dropping about $1898 Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM.

f1.4 @ 2.0 sec IS=off, ISO 50; 2019-05-17 20:48:19
[Enhance Details, push 0.6 stops, LACA corrected, "long exposure noise reduction NOT used"]
Sony A7R III + Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM

[low-res image for bot]

 


Get up to 16x more storage and 2x the speeds of the original drive

Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar at 187 Megapixels: Church Mosaic Straight-On (Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res Mode)

Get Zeiss Otus at B&H Photo.

Here, the Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar is put to the ultimate test using the 187 megapixel Multi-Shot High-Res mode on the Panasonic S1R. This scene is difficult enough at sensor resolution, so this is a severe test of a lens performance headroom.

I’ve added a second example to the first one. In diglloyd Zeiss DSLR Lenses:

Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar Examples: Multi-Shot High-Res Mode (Panasonic S1R)

Includes images at up to 47, 93 125, 187 megapixels.

As with the previous example, the detail level is astonishing, even at full resolution. Subtleties smeared away for the past decade shooting this target at lower resolution pop out: individual tiles have their own distinct color, nor is there any detectable noise. The grout itself is cleanly delineated. Defects within each tiny tile can be seen. There is no reason that the 187 megapixel version could not be used directly for a print.

If high resolution is a priority (along with superior color purity, ultra low noise, freedom from digital artifacts), it is hard to justify buying a conventional Sony mirrorless or Nikon mirrorless or Canon mirrorless camera as there is just no comparison. This is way WAY better than all but the most exotic medium format cameras. Of course, lots of photography has other priorities, handholding being the most obvious. But for sheer awesome imaging power with a suitable subject, no other 35mm camera can touch the Panasonic S1R with a high-grade lens.

f8 @ 1/8 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 50; 2019-05-17 19:30:41 [LACA corrected, Enhance Details]
Panasonic S1R + Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar

[low-res image for bot]

Full MTF Series for Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar

Get Zeiss Otus at B&H Photo.

I have published a full MTF series for the Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar: {f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16}, along with my commentary on performance. Aperture f/1.4 is on balance nearly as good as f/8—dang!

Based on my field usage, its incredible flat-field resolving power, strict control of all aberrations, the Otus 100 is now my reference lens.

In diglloyd Zeiss DSLR Lenses:

MTF for Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar

Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar
NEW!
Nikon F or Canon FE mount, use with lens adapter on Sony, Panasonic, Canon, Nikon mirrorless.

Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar at 187 Megapixels: Church Mosaic (Panasonic S1R Multi-Shot High-Res Mode)

Get Zeiss Otus at B&H Photo.

Only a very few lenses can faithfully render this mosaic to full sensor resolution (42/45/47/50 megapixel cameras as of 2019), with many “cheater” lens designs utilizing software distortion correction that makes that impossible.

Here, the Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar is put to the ultimate test using the 187 megapixel Multi-Shot High-Res mode on the Panasonic S1R. This scene is difficult enough at sensor resolution, so this is a severe test of a lens performance headroom.

In diglloyd Zeiss DSLR Lenses:

Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar Example: Multi-Shot High-Res Mode (Panasonic S1R)

Includes images at up to 47, 93 125, 187 megapixels.

This is the finest capture I have ever made of this mosaic. The detail, color nuance and freedom from noise are astonishing.

f5.6 @ 1/13 sec Multi-Shot HighRes, ISO 100; 2019-05-17 20:02:22 [USM{8,50,0}, LACA corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 APO-Sonnar

[low-res image for bot]
OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual 16TB
Up to 24TB

FAST USB 3.1 gen 1 interface +
eSATA + RAID stripe or mirror or independent drives.

First Look at Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM, Examples

See my Sony mirrorless wishlist.

These initial examples were shot handheld (without IBIS) to look at sharpness and bokeh and overall rendering style near MOD (Minimum Object Distance) of the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM.

In my review of the Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM in diglloyd Mirrorless:

Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM Examples: Close-Range Shooting

Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM: Violet Fringing and Secondary Color Bokeh, Point Spread Function

Images up to full camera resolution. Some images have dual aperture toggles for comparison.

f2 @ 1/320 sec handheld, ISO 100; 2019-05-17 09:26:52
[vignetting corrected, Enhance Details, LACA corrected]
Sony A7R III + Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM

[low-res image for bot]

 


Upgrade the memory of your 2019 iMac up to 128GB

How Much Does the GPU Matter for Adobe Camera Raw Enhance Details?

MPG Lloyd tested the 2019 iMac 5K 3.6 GHz Intel Core i9 8-core / 128GB / 2TB / Radeon Vega 48. Purchase with 8GB memory, then add 64GB or 128GB OWC memory. See recommended Macs for photographers and videographers.

These tests made possible by loaner gear from B&H Photo and OWC, so please buy your gear at B&H Photo and OWC/MacSales.com using any link from this site or MacPerformanceGuide.com, ditto for OWC/MacSales.com. See also 2019 iMac 5K: Recommended Models and Accessories.

Unsure which Mac to get or how to configure it? Consult with Lloyd.

In my review of the 2019 iMac 5K I cover a lot of photography-related performance metrics.

Added today is an update showing just how the 2019 iMac 5K with two different GPU choices fares against the iMac Pro, with thoughts as to whether the upgraded GPU is worth it for photographers.

Nikon Z7

 

Nikon Recalls Some Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z6 Cameras for Vibration Reduction Issues

See my Nikon mirrorless wishlist at B&H Photo.

The Technical Service Advisory for Users of the Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 Cameras confirms what one reader reported to me and which I experienced myself with one Nikon Z7 body.

Nikon Z7

Technical Service Advisory for Users of the Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 Cameras

MAY 16, 2019

Thank you for choosing Nikon for your photographic needs.

Issue

While Nikon has taken great measures to assure the high quality expected of Nikon products, it has come to our attention that the vibration reduction (VR) feature in some Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 cameras may not function fully. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Resolution

Nikon has resolved this by making available corrective service for affected Z 6 and Z 7 cameras free of charge, including the cost of shipping an affected Z 6 and Z 7 camera to Nikon as well as its return, even if your Z 6 or Z 7 camera warranty has expired.

Identifying Affected Products and Requesting Service

To determine whether your camera is one of those affected, please click the appropriate Check Serial Number button below...

Nikon Z7 Firmware Update Brings Eye AF

Get Nikon Z7 at B&H Photo.

Given the unacceptable hit rate of Panasonic S1R Eye AF, I’m not assuming that Nikon Eye AF is as good as Sony Eye AF. It’s got to have a 95% hit rate on the iris of the eye, not the frustrating “eyelash focus” of the Panasonic S1R.

In general I trust Nikon to take its time to do things right, but I’m in favor of “trust but verify” for companies that have done a reliable job before.

Nikon’s description of the Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z6 firmware update 2.0 below.

Nikon Z7

Firmware 2.0: Eye-Detection AF & More

Superior image quality is the foundation of the Nikon Z series. Now, the all-new Firmware 2.0 upgrade builds upon that foundation with key feature enhancements developed in direct response to user feedback. Among the exciting improvements are the highly-anticipated Eye-Detection AF feature for still shooting, improved AF performance in low light and AE tracking capability in continuous high-speed (extended) mode. Firmware 2.0 ushers in the next era of a camera system designed to never stop evolving.

Eye-Detection AF

  • Continuously tracks eyes, even when subjects move within the frame
  • Works in AF-S and AF-C focus modes.
  • Intelligently recognizes the eyes of multiple people in the frame, giving you the freedom to choose which person and eye to focus on.
  • Remains locked on the eyes even when face is partially or temporarily obstructed .
  • Built on a legacy of Nikon autofocus and facial recognition innovations.

Even Better AF Performance in Low Light

  • Faster, more accurate focusing indoors and for night portraits.
  • Reduces the need to switch to Low-Light AF mode to acquire focus.

AE Tracking in Continuous H+ (extended) Shooting

  • Auto Exposure (AE) continues to track in every shot throughout the entire burst sequence

Panasonic Lumix S PRO 50mm f/1.4 Portrait Examples (Panasonic S1R)

Get Panasonic Lumix S Pro 50mm f/1.4 at B&H Photo.

This page puts the Panasonic Lumix S PRO 50mm f/1.4 to use for portraits on the Panasonic S1R using Eye AF focusing mode. A reflector was used for fill lighting.

In diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Examples: Portraits using Eye AF (Panasonic S1R)

Includes images up to full camera resolution, presented in both color and black and white.

I have fewer images to show here because I shot fewer, and the Panasonic Eye AF let me down again. I give Sony Eye AF an "A" and Panasonic Eye AF a "D+".

f1.4 @ 1/2000 sec, ISO 100; 2019-05-11 15:02:12
[Enhance Details, LACA corrected, distortion corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Panasonic Lumix S PRO 50mm f/1.4

[low-res image for bot]

Upgrade the memory of your 2018 Mac mini up to 64GB

Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH Portrait Examples (Panasonic S1R)

Get L-Mount lenses at B&H Photo.

This page puts the Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH to use for portraits on the Panasonic S1R using Eye AF focusing mode. A reflector was used for fill lighting. To my eyes, it appears that the 50/1.4 SL has been expressly designed for beautiful portraiture.

In diglloyd L-Mount Mirrorless:

Examples: Portraits using Eye AF in Color and Monochrome (Panasonic S1R)

Includes images up to full camera resolution. Most images presented in both color and black and white.

f4 @ 1/250 sec, ISO 100; 2019-05-11 15:00:07
[Enhance Details, LACA corrected, distortion corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-SL ASPH

[low-res image for bot]
Which Camera System 📷 is Best?
Which Lenses to Choose?🌈


Avoid costly mistakes and get the ideal system for your needs: diglloyd photographic consulting.

Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM Portrait Examples (Sony A7R III)

Get Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM at B&H Photo.

This page puts the Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM to use for portraits on the Sony A7R III using Eye AF focusing mode. A reflector was used for fill lighting.

In diglloyd Mirrorless:

Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM Examples: Portraits

Includes images up to full camera resolution. Most images presented in both color and black and white.

I daresay that some women might find the Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM too sharp! The detail capture is stunning. At about $1898 it’s a great value.

f1.8 @ 1/3200 sec, ISO 100; 2019-05-11 15:03:58
Sony A7R III + Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM

[low-res image for bot]
f4 @ 1/800 sec handheld, ISO 100; 2019-05-11 14:45:53 [Enhance Details]
Sony A7R III + Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM

[low-res image for bot]
f4.5 @ 1/800 sec handheld, ISO 100; 2019-05-11 15:05:25 [Enhance Details]
Sony A7R III + Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM

[low-res image for bot]

Save the tax, we pay you back, instantly!

diglloyd Inc. | FTC Disclosure | PRIVACY POLICY | Trademarks | Terms of Use
Contact | About Lloyd Chambers | Consulting | Photo Tours
RSS Feeds | Twitter
Copyright © 2019 diglloyd Inc, all rights reserved.