This series from f/2 through f/11 looks at a host of lens behaviors using a strongly backlit subject in deep shadow. The ability of a lens to maintain contrast in the face of such backlighting is critical to being able to make a faux HDR image using the inherent dynamic range of the camera. The Fujifilm GFX has the requisite dynamic range, but the lens plays the key role in keeping black areas black.
Also looked at here are sharpness and depth of field gains and color correction on out of focus foreground and background.
Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2 Aperture Series: Detour at Dusk
Includes images up to full resolution from f/2 - f/11.
Roy P writes:
Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH
I’m still looking for a good 28mm fast prime I can use with my Sony A7x cameras as a street photography lens. The Otus is just too big and heavy. The Sony 28mm image quality is underwhelming. The Nikon 28mm AI-S is REALLY bad, brutally exposed by FF sensors with 24MP or resolution.
Right now, the Batis 25 is my 28mm lens. Not exactly extreme hardship, but I’d love to find a lens like the Leica 28/1.4. I don’t know why Zeiss hasn’t already come out with a few f/1.4 primes as part of the Loxia series. hey will never be as small as the Leica M lenses, but they should still be quite compact. I think there’s a market for a set of FE f/1.4 lenses that parallel the Leica M line up (21, 24, 28, 35, 50). Is that an input you could pass on to your friends at Zeiss?
Talking about Leica M, I have been hanging on to my 50 lux and 50 APO, but on the Sony cameras, even using the lens profile in LR, I can’t totally eliminate vignetting. In fact, it’s so bad that it takes a slider setting of 30 to as much as 60 on the Vignetting slider in LR to fix it, and sometimes, even at 60, you can’t fully eliminate it.
Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon
I even briefly considered the Leica M10, but I just couldn’t bring myself to pay $8,110 for a usable 24MP camera – body, add on grip, goofy add on EVF that is still crappy, Thumb support, and pack of three plastic protectors for the LCD back, because Leica is too cheap to put the gorilla glass on its cameras that every $300 smart phone comes with as a standard feature. Not to mention all the usability issues you pointed out.
I hate the Leica SL for its crappy design, but if I used it only as a digital back for my remaining M lenses, maybe the user interface is less of an issue. But I still can’t see myself paying so much for a 24MP camera with a sensor inferior to the original Sony A7 from 2013.
Just out of curiosity: do you know if the M lenses work any better on the SL than they do on Sony A7x bodies?
DIGLLOYD: taking the the last point first, Leica M lenses are far superior on the Leica SL as compared to Sony mirrorless ; the SL was designed with M lenses in mind. While the SL does not offer quite as good results as the Leica M240 or Leica M10 (it lacks the needed micro lenses), Leica M and Zeiss ZM lenses all work great on the SL because there is no fundamental mismatch on sensor cover glass (that mismatch is the problem with M lenses on Sony). For example, the Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon delivers gorgeous images on the Leica SL.
I greatly dislike the Leica SL design also, but some people think it’s just brickly.
As for a 28mm for Leica M, I own the Leica 28mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M ASPH and Leica 28mm f/2 Summicron-M ASPH both, but the one lens I’d love to have and that I would trade both for would be the Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH —I consider it Leica’s finest Summilux and perhaps the best all around wide angle, setting aside the Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon which I put at the top of the heap.
The Leica M10 is badly overpriced (body + EVF + batteries + etc all adds up to a huge cost).
Bottom line is that Leica could have a great offering for many folks by taking the M series forward with the EVF of the SL (drop the rangefinder) and a ~36 megapixel sensor. But they just don’t do it. And it would cost $10K. Sigh.
As for input to Zeiss, I have given it many times. They make their own marketing and design decisions, and don’t adopt strategies that I think would be successful . Plus Sony has been very aggressive about rolling out lenses—not sure what kind of volume would accrue to Zeiss versus the R&D costs.
Roy P writes:
It looks like the Nikon 28mm f/1.4 isn’t quite in the same league as the Nikon 105mm f/1.4. Am I right?
Looks like the Fujifilm medium format isn’t quite ready for prime time.
DIGLLOYD: it is far more difficult to achieve performance across the field in a 28mm f/1.4 than with a 105mm f/1.4, and Nikon has chosen to keep the lens size small and price moderate, if about $2k can be considered moderate! The relatively small lens sie makes it even more of a challenge. In the central 1/2 of the frame, the Nikon 28/1.4 is outstanding even wide open. Outside that area it needs stopping down. It has beautiful rendering and I like the lens, but it is not an Otus across the imaging field.
It is far more difficult to keep performance high at 28mm than with a 105mm. As the Otus 28 demonstrates: the Otus 28/1.4 has significantly less good MTF wide open than the Otus 55/1.4 MTF or Otus 85/1.4 MTF . Those are not just graphs and numbers, but visible in their effects in real images. The lower MTF at f/1.4 at 28mm is not a coincidence—in a 28/1.4, correcting aberrations is like herding cats. So it's apples and oranges to compare 28mm and 105mm performance—the expectations must be in line with reality.
In reference to Fujifilm medium format , Roy is referring to the focus instability I have observed with every Fujifilm GF lens (such as the Yellow Bike glitch), except perhaps the GF 23mm f/4 , but a 23mm f/4 hides such behaviors better. I have little doubt that it too will misbehave since I deem it a Fujifilm GFX elecrronic brain-fart bug which I first observed with Fujifilm X five years or so ago—a genetic defect. The GFX sensor is fantastic, so this behavior is terribly disappointing, but it won’t bother or even be noticed by many people since they’ll shoot one frame at f/8 or f/11 or whatever and be oblivious to small errors.
Yair T writes:
When trying to watch pictures on your site the speed of the downloading an image is very slow And many times it simply takes very long time. It never happened to me with your site on the past and it is like this for few days. I tested multiple times at different hours , download speed is very low. Please advise.
DIGLLOYD: slow download speed sure is frustrating.
All three of my web sites are hosted on my own server in a secured-with-guard data center in Sunnyvale, CA on a dedicated/guaranteed 100 megabit link by Etheric Networks (they do mainly wireless, but my server is in a wired high security server room). I go to no small expense to do this so my subscribers enjoy a quality experience. Uptime of that server has been 99.99% for three years, the only downtime when my firewall went wonky one day.
Occassionally more than one user is hitting my server simultaneously with high bandwidth requirements, but in monitoring my server, the bandwidth is 95% unused on average. So I don't think it is a contention issue.
I tested speed this morning with the 50 megapixel GFX images I posted recently; I'm seeing 4 to 5 megabytes per second (32 to 40 megabits per second) real throughput down to my personal computer using my 75 megabit Comcast Business Internet link. That speed from my web site is faster than virtually all large commercial web sites that I use with that same Comcast link. About the only site that is consistently fast is Apple, which will saturate my link. So I’m not sure what to say on this matter except that I cannot see any problem on my end. I also see 2 to 3 megabytes per second from my site over LTE via my cell phone personal hot spot.
The 50-megapixel image aperture series with 10 to 14 megabyte images per aperture are coming down in 8 to 15 seconds for the entire series of 4/5/6 images. That’s an end-to-end test and is very fast by comparison with commercial web sites I use.
Many ISPs claim speed; many do not actually have it—bandwidth tests are misleading, done to dedicated test servers on backbone links. So I look at only real-world speed. For example, I tried doubling my Comcast Business Internet link speed. It helped in a few cases (like multi-gigabyte Apple downloads), but 99% of the web sites I use ran no faster.