Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: erpman on March 29, 2012, 04:59:36 am

Title: Lenses for D800e
Post by: erpman on March 29, 2012, 04:59:36 am
Hi Folks!

So Im getting the D800e, and Im trying to figure out which lenses to get. The challenge is to find good enough optical quality on a budget. A little about my shooting style:

1) I shoot natural landscapes, often quite close up, and I want everything sharp, all the time. Therefore Im working with small apertures. I could care less about lens speed, and actually need the option of f/22, especially on 50mm and above. I have a good post-processing/sharpening routine, so diffraction is well under control.

2) I print very large, up to several meters, for gallery exhibitions. I want maximum sharpness and IQ, therefore...

3) ...Ive mostly been stitching, sometimes two-row panoramas consisting of up to 20 shots on 5dmkII. The plan now is to reduce the number of images down to 2-6 in single row panos, and rather use wider lenses. This gives the advantage of larger DOF without having to stop down that much.

4) I dont need AF but do need some degree of weather sealing.

5) So the most important aspects for me are: Supreme overall sharpness on f5.6-8 and smaller, low distortion, low CA, and good resistance to flare.

Ive already settled for the samyang/rokinon 35mm f1.4. (http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Camera-Lens-Database/Samyang/35mm-F1.4-AS-UMC-Nikon/%28camera%29/485) I think this will be the one Ill be shooting the most with.

Then I need a good 50mm. I understand that this is a bit more tricky. Initially I decided on the small 50mm 1.8D since it has f/22, but Im leaning more and more toward the 50mm 1.4G. If you know of any 50mm which is on level with these and has f22 its much appreciated.

Next, I want a 24mm. The nikon 1.4g is out of my price range. Ive been looking at the samyang, and it looks promising. But some alternatives that have better corner sharpness than the nikon 2.8D are welcome.

For tele, I want a zoom since its practical in the landscape. It allows you to fine tune composition without having to move so much. Obviously the nikon 70-200vr II is the preferred one, but i cant afford it. The tamron 70-200 f. 2.8 macro is an option, although it has some issues. There are tons of this type of lenses, so bring em on.

Remember, manual focus is not a problem!

Here is my webpage if you want to see the type of work that I do: http://www.erikfriisreitan.com (http://www.erikfriisreitan.com)
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: MarkL on March 29, 2012, 05:09:09 am
If you stitch so many frames do you really need lenses that wide? I stitch about 9-12 D700 frames and my most used lens is an 85mm. I would seriously look into helicon focus and focus stack rather than using lenses at f/22 especially with the D800E. I do this with my landscapes and never stop down past f/8 to maintain sharpness.

Take a look at zeiss ZF lenses.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: marcmccalmont on March 29, 2012, 05:44:58 am
I settled on 2 lenses for the 800E ( I already had the Nikkor 14-24 2.8 that I used on my 5DII)
Leica R 80-200 f4.0 with leitax adapter and Leica R 28-90 f2.8-4.5 (a cheaper option Leica R 35-70 f4.0)
I would be shooting between f4.0 and f8.0 if you need more DOF I second helicon focus or blending in PS
Marc
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: erpman on March 29, 2012, 06:13:04 am
Ive tried helicon, and Im not comfortable with it. Its too messy and unpredictable for landscape use. To me its more important to produce a large print with a minimum of interpolation. With this much resolution and proper deconvolution sharpening in raw conversion, diffraction at say f16-f18 is in my experience not a big issue. Sometimes it can actually be an advantage, since the softening evens out the difference between in-focus and out of focus areas. It might be different with the d800s smaller pixel pitch though.

I wouldnt say that 2-6 images in a stitch is a lot, compared to the 20+ that I do now. Hence the need for wider lenses and the opportunity of stopping down less.

Zeiss... I dunno, neither the 50mms or the 25mm have decent enough corner sharpness. Thats more important to me than extreme center sharpness. Even sharpness across the frame makes stitching easier.

How about medium format lenses with an adapter (zrk)? Anyone have experience with this?

Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: erpman on March 29, 2012, 06:22:49 am
marcmccalmont: Tell me more about the leica lenses you mentioned. Are there any reviews or tests of them online? How much functionality do you get with the adapter? (metering, aperture control etc)
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: JohnBrew on March 29, 2012, 07:29:48 am
Also have 800E on order and I do mostly landscapes. I already have Zeiss 50 Makro and 85 1.4G and am not really planning on getting anything else, however I do feel a 135 DC beckoning. Also have a few Ai, Ais lenses which are proving good in tests done by some Europeans.

Oh, on second thought, I am anxiously awaiting the new 28 to be available!
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: BernardLanguillier on March 29, 2012, 08:56:38 am
I would recommend the Zeiss 100mm f2.0.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: Peter McLennan on March 29, 2012, 11:34:50 am
My 55mm F3.5 Micro Nikkor offers remarkable spatial and colour resolution at a bargain price.  Frequently less than $200 on KEH.  It stitches effortlessly.  Since the lens "breathes" little, focus blends are easy, too.  I call it my "Science Grade" lens. : )

I was so amazed when I first began using mine on my D300's, I immediately bought another as a backup.  They'll both be very happy on my just-ordered D800, I'm sure.

Just be sure to get the AIS version.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: marcmccalmont on March 29, 2012, 01:06:19 pm
marcmccalmont: Tell me more about the leica lenses you mentioned. Are there any reviews or tests of them online? How much functionality do you get with the adapter? (metering, aperture control etc)
Google Erwin Putt and leitax you get metering and focus confirmation
these zooms are as good as primes
Marc
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: ckimmerle on March 29, 2012, 01:19:49 pm

1) I shoot natural landscapes, often quite close up, and I want everything sharp, all the time. Therefore Im working with small apertures. I could care less about lens speed, and actually need the option of f/22, especially on 50mm and above. I have a good post-processing/sharpening routine, so diffraction is well under control.


At f/22 diffraction is NOT under control, no matter how much post-processing you do. Lost information is lost, period. You may be able to use sharpening to help give the allusion of a bit more detail, but it will NEVER repair the damage caused by diffraction. With most Nikon lenses, peak performance is about f/5.6 with very good performance up to F/11.

Really, though, you need to think about WHY you want a D800. If it's for the resolution, then why on earth would you set the aperture so small that the lens resolution is less than the sensor's? Seems a bit of a waste.

If you have problem with DOF, then think about the PC-E lenses. They're about $2000 each, but they have excellent performance and will solve a lot of the problems with DOF. The only issue will be the 24mm PC-E, which can only be put on one way due to the overhanging flash. If it's anything like the D7000, though, it's not a big deal.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: erpman on March 29, 2012, 02:02:33 pm
At f/22 diffraction is NOT under control, no matter how much post-processing you do. Lost information is lost, period. You may be able to use sharpening to help give the allusion of a bit more detail, but it will NEVER repair the damage caused by diffraction. With most Nikon lenses, peak performance is about f/5.6 with very good performance up to F/11.

Really, though, you need to think about WHY you want a D800. If it's for the resolution, then why on earth would you set the aperture so small that the lens resolution is less than the sensor's? Seems a bit of a waste.

I didnt say that I regularly shoot at f22, just that I want the opportunity to go above f16 on occasion. Ive done extensive testing to figure out where the limits for my gear and processing go, and trust me when I say that I know what Im doing when going over f11. I will test the d800 with regard to this. Diffraction is a small issue when you consider that the image resolution you get from stitching can reach 140mp. The relative blurring caused by diffraction is marginal in this context.

Although a real and important phenomenon people obsess way too much about diffraction it. In real life, print that is, its not a big deal. If you check the first print on my web-page its done on f18...looks sharp enough to me...

Im actually wondering about just getting the 24-70mm f.2.8 and stick with it for the time being, I heard it does better than some primes.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: Christoph C. Feldhaim on March 29, 2012, 05:19:43 pm
A pixel of the D800 has a pitch of 4.88.
The diagonal of a square of 4 pixels is (2*4.88)*sqrt(2)=13.4.
13.4 corresponds to an f-stop of 13.4/1.35=9.9 at green light.
So - at F11 you already have a size of the first diameter of the diffraction disc which is big enough to swallow 4 pixels.
This means every single light ray is blurred to 4 pixels!
This alone will drop the effective resolution of a 36 MP image of the D800 to something below 9 Megapixels.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on March 29, 2012, 06:34:41 pm
At f/22 diffraction is NOT under control, no matter how much post-processing you do. Lost information is lost, period.  You may be able to use sharpening to help give the allusion of a bit more detail, but it will NEVER repair the damage caused by diffraction.

Hi Chuck,

Sorry to burst a bubble, but it is possible (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=45038.msg378541#msg378541) to restore a lot of the original information, in theory even all of it (if it weren't for noise, unknown deconvolution parameters, and limited precision of the calculations). Now, whether the OP also employs the deconvolution technique needed remains unanswered because he didn't specify what he does.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: erpman on March 29, 2012, 07:33:13 pm
Hi Chuck,

Sorry to burst a bubble, but it is possible (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=45038.msg378541#msg378541) to restore a lot of the original information, in theory even all of it (if it weren't for noise, unknown deconvolution parameters, and limited precision of the calculations). Now, whether the OP also employs the deconvolution technique needed remains unanswered because he didn't specify what he does.

Cheers,
Bart

I use Richardson-Lucy Deconvolution in RawDeveloper. I still maintain that its what meets the eye that counts though.

But anyway, the 24-70 2.8 looks promising, will it hold up to the resolution of the d800, assuming that we stay below f.11?
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: stever on March 29, 2012, 08:27:56 pm
Lloyd Chambers diglloyd.com and lensrentals.com have lens lists (they may be the same).  if you're going to realize the capabilities of the D800E, anything less than the Nikon 70-200 is a waste of money  -- pretty much goes for any budget lenses
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: BernardLanguillier on March 29, 2012, 11:04:23 pm
Lloyd Chambers diglloyd.com and lensrentals.com have lens lists (they may be the same).  if you're going to realize the capabilities of the D800E, anything less than the Nikon 70-200 is a waste of money  -- pretty much goes for any budget lenses

It depends on the intended usage though. For example, at f8 and 200mm, the gap between the 70-200 f2.8 and the 70-300 f4-5.6 is small enough that the slighest technical mishap will hide the difference in real world shooting.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: LKaven on March 29, 2012, 11:49:56 pm
But anyway, the 24-70 2.8 looks promising, will it hold up to the resolution of the d800, assuming that we stay below f.11?

Yes, absolutely.  It's solid corner-to-corner on the D800.  The 24mm of the 14-24mm is better than the 24mm of the 24-70.  Less distortion.  I don't know how much you like to go ultra-wide, but the 14-24 is a slice of heaven.  It's a little unwieldy as far as using filters, but it's the sharpest ultra-wide made.  Just killing on the D800.  Very low depreciation on it too.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: ckimmerle on March 29, 2012, 11:57:38 pm
Sorry to burst a bubble, but it is possible (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=45038.msg378541#msg378541) to restore a lot of the original information, in theory even all of it (if it weren't for noise, unknown deconvolution parameters, and limited precision of the calculations).

Sure you can bring some information back, as I inferred, but to expect to recover all is ludicrous, even with deconvolution sharpening, which I do use. As you said, there are many more variables other than diffraction. There is simply no substitute for getting the most information possible at the time of capture.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: erpman on March 30, 2012, 06:19:09 am
It seems that Im gonna start out with the 24-70mm and then build from there, perhaps add a 50mm. I will anyway need a general purpose lens with AF that can take a beating for doing work in more harsh weather conditions where you cant set up a tripod and work slowly. The 24-70 seems good enough for slow work too, and down the line this bad boy (http://www.komamura.co.jp/e/VCCpro/index.html) looks very tempting ;D
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: billy on March 30, 2012, 01:01:11 pm
I am also going to get the Nikon d800e and am trying to find a great 50mm for it. I only need one lens and prefer this type of prime. What autofucos options do I have? Is nikon's 50mm 1.4 any good? It is not on Nikon's preferred lens list. Are there 3rd party options? are there converters for canon lens to fit on nikon? any contax AF lenses that would work? I am only interested in high quality lens fyi. If i cant find an AF lens I would go with the zeiss zf 50mm.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: marcmccalmont on March 30, 2012, 02:16:53 pm
I would look at DxO Mark rankings
Marc
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: erpman on March 30, 2012, 03:29:09 pm
Of the nikon AFs the 1.4G appears to be the best one overall. But as you say, its not on their recommended list. Ken Rockwell claims that the 55mm 2.8 AF micro is the sharpest one produced by nikon.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: bjanes on March 30, 2012, 04:17:47 pm
Of the nikon AFs the 1.4G appears to be the best one overall. But as you say, its not on their recommended list. Ken Rockwell claims that the 55mm 2.8 AF micro is the sharpest one produced by nikon.

I am perplexed as to how Nikon compiled that list. The AFS f/4 24-120 VR is on the list, but it has not received good reviews from photozone.de, Lloyd Chambers (pay site), and others. It performs well in the center of the field in the lower focal length range, but the corners are soft and it has marked distortion and light fall-off. Digilloyd says it performance is very poor at 120 mm and does not consider it a professional grade lens, although it is priced as one. It's too bad, since it would otherwise be a good walk around lens. I have ordered the 800E, but I will stay away from the 24-120 VR. I already have the AFS 60mm f/2.8, which is on the list and I have found to be a very sharp lens with good contrast, both for closeups and distance. If you don't need auto-focus, the Zeiss Makro Planar 100 f/2 is very highly recommended; I have considered buying it, but it is rather pricey and I already have the 105 MicroNikkor 2.8D.

Regards,

Bill

Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: JeffKohn on March 30, 2012, 04:43:45 pm
Quote
So - at F11 you already have a size of the first diameter of the diffraction disc which is big enough to swallow 4 pixels.
This means every single light ray is blurred to 4 pixels!
This alone will drop the effective resolution of a 36 MP image of the D800 to something below 9 Megapixels.
Your theoretical calculations vastly overstate the real-world effect of diffraction. I'm not saying that diffraction is a non-issue, but to say that it reduces high-res cameras to an effective 9mp at f/11 is just silly.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: Christoph C. Feldhaim on March 30, 2012, 04:50:21 pm
Your theoretical calculations vastly overstate the real-world effect of diffraction. I'm not saying that diffraction is a non-issue, but to say that it reduces high-res cameras to an effective 9mp at f/11 is just silly.

I'd be happy if you could show me where the flaw in my thinking is.
Since my thoughts are deductive in nature from given facts there must be a flaw if you find them silly.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: jeremypayne on March 30, 2012, 04:57:56 pm
You may find this interesting ... scroll to the bottom:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/resolution.shtml

Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: Christoph C. Feldhaim on March 30, 2012, 05:28:44 pm
You may find this interesting ... scroll to the bottom:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/resolution.shtml



Quote from: "The article http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/resolution.shtml"
You have all the data at hand, but take the green-yellow light and f/8-f/11 aperture values as a reference. It represents a realistic, not too demanding case. Consider a 35mm system with a lens at f/11. At best, the maximum resolution you will get is equivalent to 16 MP, even if your camera has 22 or 25 MP.

Seems I wasn't too far off with my 9 Megapixels, though it was a bit too pessimistic.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: billy on March 30, 2012, 06:09:10 pm
Of the nikon AFs the 1.4G appears to be the best one overall. But as you say, its not on their recommended list. Ken Rockwell claims that the 55mm 2.8 AF micro is the sharpest one produced by nikon.

thanks. are you referring to this lens? ( http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/585343-USA/Nikon_2180_AF_S_Nikkor_50mm_f_1_4G.html )  it is not in stock at BH Photo.

I would not consider the 55mm 2.8AF micro for my type of work, it is too slow.

Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: erpman on March 30, 2012, 07:25:51 pm
Thats the one. The lens-comparison function at DxoMark (http://www.dxomark.com/index.php) is really comprehensive and useful. Take all the 50mms and run them up against each other, see which one suits your needs. The 2.8 is not fast, thats true, but it is sharp. I borrowed one once for macro work and it was a joy to use.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: erpman on March 30, 2012, 07:40:10 pm
I'd be happy if you could show me where the flaw in my thinking is.
Since my thoughts are deductive in nature from given facts there must be a flaw if you find them silly.

The flaw in this particular context is that youre not taking into account that stitching 20 frames from a tele-lens increases resolution dramatically, thereby reducing the degree of interpolation/reduction in print resolution necessary to blow up the image. Theoretically you can print 2x3m at 300dpi without interpolating when stitching (as long as you have a good computer). Therefore, the diffraction at a given pixel, when seen in context of the huge size/resolution and viewing distance of the final print, is negligible.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: Christoph C. Feldhaim on March 30, 2012, 07:51:23 pm
The flaw in this particular context is that youre not taking into account that stitching 20 frames from a tele-lens increases resolution dramatically, thereby reducing the degree of interpolation/reduction in print resolution necessary to blow up the image. Theoretically you can print 2x3m at 300dpi without interpolating when stitching (as long as you have a good computer). Therefore, the diffraction at a given pixel, when seen in context of the huge size/resolution and viewing distance of the final print, is negligible.

Sure.
I simply fail to understand why one would need a 36 MP camera when using F11 or F22 most of the time.
Will record a lot of data junk ...
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on March 30, 2012, 07:59:16 pm
I simply fail to understand why one would need a 36 MP camera when using F11 or F22 most of the time.
Will record a lot of data junk ...

Hi Christoph,

While I agree it (a high samping density sensor array and lots of diffraction blur) is not the most logical combination, it still works reasonably well at lower ISO settings in combination with deconvolution sharpening. The diffraction pattern produces pixels with a weighted average response with weighted contributions from surrounding pixels. That oversampled diffraction pattern can be relatively (compared to defocus) well restored to the central pixel's contribution alone.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: Christoph C. Feldhaim on March 30, 2012, 08:10:37 pm
Hi Christoph,

While I agree it (a high samping density sensor array and lots of diffraction blur) is not the most logical combination, it still works reasonably well at lower ISO settings in combination with deconvolution sharpening. The diffraction pattern produces pixels with a weighted average response with weighted contributions from surrounding pixels. That oversampled diffraction pattern can be relatively (compared to defocus) well restored to the central pixel's contribution alone.

Cheers,
Bart

Hi Bart,
How much would you estimate could be restored then? I even tend to shoot not above f8 to preserve detail in the area of focus with my Mama 7. I don't care too much about out of focus areas, since for me the blur from oof areas is part of every photograph. But sometimes I would like to use the higher f stops too.

Cheers
Chris
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: erpman on March 30, 2012, 08:12:20 pm
Sure.
I simply fail to understand why one would need a 36 MP camera when using F11 or F22 most of the time.
Will record a lot of data junk ...

You just fail to see how diffraction relates to print resolution in this context. Sure, f.22 looks horrible on a single frame on any sensor but thats not what were discussing. When you quadruple the resolution and sharpen properly, the loss of detail due to diffraction is vastly overtrumped any day. With 36m you can also stitch, but with fewer images and a wider lens=more dof=larger aperture=less diffraction. Print size=the same.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on March 31, 2012, 07:27:01 am
How much would you estimate could be restored then?

Hi Chris,

It depends on the image quality (noise, and optical residual aberrations).

Ideally one would create a proper model of the lens' point spread function (PSF) at the given apertures, for a given sensor design. A good PSF approximation can be created by shooting a test chart (e.g. like this (http://www.openphotographyforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13217)) which also has slanted edges. Those slanted edges allow to synthesize a pretty good PSF. One then needs to use software that can use such a custom PSF as input (I use ImagesPlus for problem images).

Lacking that, we can do a less accurate attempt by using an iterative approximation with a program like RawTherapee which offers 'Richardson-Lucy' deconvolution as a sharpening method. Other possibilities are deconvolution sharpening plugins like FocusMagic (which unfortunately is lacking support for 64-bit applications), or TopazLabs' "Infocus" (which needs to be improved a bit to reduce artifacts).

If you post a crop of an image at 2 different apertures, say f/5.6 and f/16 (or f/22), I'm sure there will be a few readers who want to give it a try and see what can be restored. If you want to have a better result, then shooting a target is required, from which I could make a PSF to be used.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: bwana on March 31, 2012, 08:11:39 am
it seems the zeiss 25mmm f2 has some of the highest mtf in the charts.
http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/nikon/lenses/wide-angle/zeiss-zf.2-25mm-f2-for-nikon
hwever, the 21mm is often cited as legendary (must be for other qualities)
http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/nikon/lenses/wide-angle/zeiss-zf.2-21mm-f2.8-for-nikon

would these not be better than the 14-24 zoom nikkor? and certainly a lot less stitching than using the 100 mm(though some distortion correction in pp)
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: bwana on March 31, 2012, 08:24:55 am
A pixel of the D800 has a pitch of 4.88.
The diagonal of a square of 4 pixels is (2*4.88)*sqrt(2)=13.4.
13.4 corresponds to an f-stop of 13.4/1.35=9.9 at green light.
So - at F11 you already have a size of the first diameter of the diffraction disc which is big enough to swallow 4 pixels.
This means every single light ray is blurred to 4 pixels!
This alone will drop the effective resolution of a 36 MP image of the D800 to something below 9 Megapixels.

if you consider a light ray as a single bit of information, then a 4 pixel patch on the sensor is this information bit.
but consider that each pixel is the sum of the corners 4 adjacent patches-the information bits overlap.
and each information bit is the result of a different light 'ray'- so the overlapping information bits are sightly different.

i think we can calculate the unique and accurate value of individual pixels by solving a set set of simultaneous equations-
consider each pixel on the sensor as a unique variable. 4 pixels(a,b,c,d for example) are grouped into an equation (a+b+c+d=light value)
there are as many equations as there are pixels.
therefore there is a unique solution using matrix algebra that solves for the values of the individual pixels.

at least that's how i would solve the diffraction problem. is this solution flawed? has it been done?
solving 36 million equations in 36 million variables should not be too hard-computer graphics cards and cpus operate in gigahertz frequencies (billions and billions as Carl Sagan said about stars)

PS: sorry for a reply to an off topic fork that started in this thread but a lot of people seem to be participating in it. if you feel a different thread is needed, let me know and i will do so.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: Christoph C. Feldhaim on March 31, 2012, 08:37:47 am
You just fail to see how diffraction relates to print resolution in this context. Sure, f.22 looks horrible on a single frame on any sensor but thats not what were discussing. When you quadruple the resolution and sharpen properly, the loss of detail due to diffraction is vastly overtrumped any day. With 36m you can also stitch, but with fewer images and a wider lens=more dof=larger aperture=less diffraction. Print size=the same.

Well, larger aperture (F-Stop below F11) surely counters my argument, but that was not what I was going to tell.
So we have:
Case 1: High resolution (D800), wider lens and lower F-Stops, or
Case 2: Lower resolution Camera (D3 or so), narrower tele lens, higher F-Stop and more  stitches.

Cheers
~Chris
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: Christoph C. Feldhaim on March 31, 2012, 08:39:05 am
Hi Chris,

It depends on the image quality (noise, and optical residual aberrations).

Ideally one would create a proper model of the lens' point spread function (PSF) at the given apertures, for a given sensor design. A good PSF approximation can be created by shooting a test chart (e.g. like this (http://www.openphotographyforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13217)) which also has slanted edges. Those slanted edges allow to synthesize a pretty good PSF. One then needs to use software that can use such a custom PSF as input (I use ImagesPlus for problem images).

Lacking that, we can do a less accurate attempt by using an iterative approximation with a program like RawTherapee which offers 'Richardson-Lucy' deconvolution as a sharpening method. Other possibilities are deconvolution sharpening plugins like FocusMagic (which unfortunately is lacking support for 64-bit applications), or TopazLabs' "Infocus" (which needs to be improved a bit to reduce artifacts).

If you post a crop of an image at 2 different apertures, say f/5.6 and f/16 (or f/22), I'm sure there will be a few readers who want to give it a try and see what can be restored. If you want to have a better result, then shooting a target is required, from which I could make a PSF to be used.

Cheers,
Bart

Hey thanks !
I always like reading your explanations.
Target printed.
Rest will follow

Cheers
~Chris

if you consider a light ray as a single bit of information, then a 4 pixel patch on the sensor is this information bit.
but consider that each pixel is the sum of the corners 4 adjacent patches-the information bits overlap.
and each information bit is the result of a different light 'ray'- so the overlapping information bits are sightly different.

i think we can calculate the unique and accurate value of individual pixels by solving a set set of simultaneous equations-
consider each pixel on the sensor as a unique variable. 4 pixels(a,b,c,d for example) are grouped into an equation (a+b+c+d=light value)
there are as many equations as there are pixels.
therefore there is a unique solution using matrix algebra that solves for the values of the individual pixels.

at least that's how i would solve the diffraction problem. is this solution flawed? has it been done?
solving 36 million equations in 36 million variables should not be too hard-computer graphics cards and cpus operate in gigahertz frequencies (billions and billions as Carl Sagan said about stars)

PS: sorry for a reply to an off topic fork that started in this thread but a lot of people seem to be participating in it. if you feel a different thread is needed, let me know and i will do so.


Its not a linear problem I believe due to the nature of the PSFs, thats why matrices would be limited here if I guess right.
If I'm  not mistaken the reversal problem is done differently by the deconvolution algorithms  - I believe Bart could explain it much better than I ever could how it works mathematically.

Cheers
~Chris
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: erpman on March 31, 2012, 08:49:25 am
Hi Chris,

It depends on the image quality (noise, and optical residual aberrations).

Ideally one would create a proper model of the lens' point spread function (PSF) at the given apertures, for a given sensor design. A good PSF approximation can be created by shooting a test chart (e.g. like this (http://www.openphotographyforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13217)) which also has slanted edges. Those slanted edges allow to synthesize a pretty good PSF. One then needs to use software that can use such a custom PSF as input (I use ImagesPlus for problem images).

Lacking that, we can do a less accurate attempt by using an iterative approximation with a program like RawTherapee which offers 'Richardson-Lucy' deconvolution as a sharpening method. Other possibilities are deconvolution sharpening plugins like FocusMagic (which unfortunately is lacking support for 64-bit applications), or TopazLabs' "Infocus" (which needs to be improved a bit to reduce artifacts).

If you post a crop of an image at 2 different apertures, say f/5.6 and f/16 (or f/22), I'm sure there will be a few readers who want to give it a try and see what can be restored. If you want to have a better result, then shooting a target is required, from which I could make a PSF to be used.

Cheers,
Bart


I took the liberty of playing around with one of my own. This is shot at canon 5dmkII with canon 70-200 f4 L @160mm @f16. The red square marks the area of the two 100% crops. They are processed in RawDeveloper with just a slight WB and contrast adjustment. One has no sharpening, the other has been sharpened with R/L Deconvolution at radius .60 and 25 iterations. The third one has gotten additional sharpening in Photoshop.

The one without sharpening is definitely soft, and some softness is of course because of the AA filter in 5dmkII. I am however fairly happy with the quality of the sharpened one (RLD and RLD/ps), especially when constitutes a couple of centimeters in an image that prints about 1x1,5m at 300dpi without interpolation in PS.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: Petrus on March 31, 2012, 01:12:55 pm
I took the liberty of playing around with one of my own. This is shot at canon 5dmkII with canon 70-200 f4 L @160mm @f16. The red square marks the area of the two 100% crops. They are processed in RawDeveloper with just a slight WB and contrast adjustment. One has no sharpening, the other has been sharpened with R/L Deconvolution at radius .60 and 25 iterations. The third one has gotten additional sharpening in Photoshop.

The one without sharpening is definitely soft, and some softness is of course because of the AA filter in 5dmkII.

5DII starts do loose resolution at f:8 and smaller, so diffraction softens the picture much more than the AA filter. @f:16 5DII resolves only about 7 MPix (green, less at red, more at blue)
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: jgbowerman on April 06, 2012, 11:51:04 am
I'm confused! My style is to shoot landscapes with outstanding DOF. I have a rough understanding of diffraction softening, but without focus stacking, DOF will suffer at f/8 and larger apertures in many landscape compositions (unless the scene is relatively flat and one is using a tilt-shift lens). I shoot f11 and even f16, depending on the composition (distance of nearest object to the lens), and when it comes to Cannon iPF prints, I am 100% pleased with apparent sharpness throughout the image. I shoot with a D700 and Nikon PC 45/2.8. I did a workshop with Alain Briot a couple of years ago, and he shoots f22 all the time, claiming he cannot see the difference in his prints as goes sharpness when compared to using larger apertures where he observes sacrificed DOF. He simply focuses 1/3 of the distance into any given composition and claims excellent DOF with outstanding print sharpness using the smallest aperture shooting with Hassy glass and a medium format digiback. Is my print quality suffering at f11 through f16 using high quality glass on an FX DSLR?

I have pre-ordered a D800E and I'm expecting to receive shipment on a Hartblei SuperRotator 40/4 in a few weeks.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: kers on April 06, 2012, 12:05:55 pm
I am also going to get the Nikon d800e and am trying to find a great 50mm for it. I only need one lens and prefer this type of prime. What autofucos options do I have? Is nikon's 50mm 1.4 any good? It is not on Nikon's preferred lens list. Are there 3rd party options? are there converters for canon lens to fit on nikon? any contax AF lenses that would work? I am only interested in high quality lens fyi. If i cant find an AF lens I would go with the zeiss zf 50mm.
I wish Nikon had made a 50mm lens with the quality of their other 1,4 primes...
I just bought the nikon 1,8G 50mm to replace my 50mm 1,4G- That sounds odd and it is. Nikon made a mistake by making a 50mm1,4G too cheap. The other 1,4 primes are over 1000 but the 50mm is 300 that is the problem.
The 1,8g lens is cheaper has a faster autofocus and because of its asferic lens element has more clarity and a bit more sharpness wide open.
But both could be better i think. I hope they will come with a new 50mm noct version with nanocoating.
The alternative today is probably the zeiss d2 50mm;  the coating is better but not autofocus. The 1,4 Zeiss is also good at 5,6 but wide open it has an ugly unsharpness- I replaced it for my 50mm nikkor1,4G....
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: erpman on April 09, 2012, 05:34:53 am
I'm confused! My style is to shoot landscapes with outstanding DOF. I have a rough understanding of diffraction softening, but without focus stacking, DOF will suffer at f/8 and larger apertures in many landscape compositions (unless the scene is relatively flat and one is using a tilt-shift lens). I shoot f11 and even f16, depending on the composition (distance of nearest object to the lens), and when it comes to Cannon iPF prints, I am 100% pleased with apparent sharpness throughout the image. I shoot with a D700 and Nikon PC 45/2.8. I did a workshop with Alain Briot a couple of years ago, and he shoots f22 all the time, claiming he cannot see the difference in his prints as goes sharpness when compared to using larger apertures where he observes sacrificed DOF. He simply focuses 1/3 of the distance into any given composition and claims excellent DOF with outstanding print sharpness using the smallest aperture shooting with Hassy glass and a medium format digiback. Is my print quality suffering at f11 through f16 using high quality glass on an FX DSLR?

I have pre-ordered a D800E and I'm expecting to receive shipment on a Hartblei SuperRotator 40/4 in a few weeks.

I say: If you want DoF youre gonna have to live with diffraction. I will gladly sacrifice some resolution to avoid ugly out of focus areas where there isnt supposed to be any. In print, its no big deal if you have a proper sharpening routine. Look at the examples I posted, whether they are 6mp or whatever people claim, I say the sharpened ones are pretty detailed. If this is actual resolution or perceived resolution, who cares???

I also contend that you loose a lot more sharpness and image quality if you have to interpolate a small file from a smaller resolution sensor say to 300% vs interpolating a large resolution sensor file to 150% (or not at all). Interpolation does much more damage to the image than a bit of diffraction.

That being said, Im not saying stop down more than necessary, do proper calculations to figure out how far down you need to go, using for example a DOF calculator on your iPhone.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: mcbroomf on April 09, 2012, 05:44:01 am
Back to lens discussion for a moment.

You said you were concerned over a lens corner sharpness.  Why so if you always stitch (and corners alway overlap)? 

This may open up a few more lens options.. for example the ZF 25/2.8 Zeiss
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: Tony Jay on April 09, 2012, 05:55:41 am
A couple of counterpoints need to be mentioned here:

Comparing diffraction issues between MFDB and 35mm equivalent sensors is not comparing apples with apples. Do your homework - sensel pitch is important in determining when diffraction may becomes an issue.

I don't know this for certain but, does this Hasselblad sensor have an anti-aliasing filter or not? If not, then the diffraction produced at f22 may still produce a very acceptable perceived sharpness that a 35 mm equivalent sensor, especially a 36MP sensor should it have the anti-aliasing filter, will not.

I fully agree that how one perceives the print, or whatever end-point mode of presentation is used, should be the final arbitrater of sharpness but assuming that what Alan Briot can achieve with his equipment will be the same with everyone else and their equipment requires a little more scrutiny.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: erpman on April 09, 2012, 06:16:56 am
Back to lens discussion for a moment.

You said you were concerned over a lens corner sharpness.  Why so if you always stitch (and corners alway overlap)? 

This may open up a few more lens options.. for example the ZF 25/2.8 Zeiss

I see your point, and I certainly wouldnt mind shooting with the mighty 25/2.8 Zeiss. There are however two problems: 1) I want to reduce the number of images in a stitch, and do single-row panoramas with the camera mounted in portrait mode. Then the upper and lower parts of the image will be the ones closest to the edges of the image circle, and therefore, sub-par areas of the lens will still be making up relatively large parts of the image. 2) Since stitchers cant discern between sharp and blurry areas, weird artifacts can occur in the joints between images if the difference between center and corner sharpness is too large.

Problem 1) might be mitigated by allowing for a little cropping, since its usually just the extreme corners that suffer. But is there a way around problem 2)? Are there stitchers that can select only the sharpest areas of the images with consistency?

Looking at this mtf-graph (http://www.lenstip.com/331.4-Lens_review-Carl_Zeiss_Distagon_T*_25_mm_f_2.0_ZE_ZF.2_Image_resolution.html) the zeiss does have a good balance between center and corner at f/8, which is mostly where Ill be using a lens that wide, this makes it very interesting. Thanks for the tip!
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: mcbroomf on April 09, 2012, 07:32:43 am
I don't know how stitching software works so I can't answer 2), but if you overlap enough then corners are simply eliminated from the final pic.
How much do you overlap?  I typically go for 25% or so, so with a lens stopped down to F11 or even more any residual corner softness (due to lens issues.. depending on the lens of course) should be eliminated, just leaving DOF softness.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: JohnBrew on April 09, 2012, 07:35:08 am
erpman, don't get your lenses mixed up. You say you wouldn't mind shooting a Zeiss 25/2.8 but the MTF graph you refer to is for a 25/2.0. They are very different lenses with different characteristics. But maybe you already know that and just made a typo  :)
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: OldRoy on April 09, 2012, 07:46:08 am
I don't know how stitching software works so I can't answer 2), but if you overlap enough then corners are simply eliminated from the final pic.
How much do you overlap?  I typically go for 25% or so, so with a lens stopped down to F11 or even more any residual corner softness (due to lens issues.. depending on the lens of course) should be eliminated, just leaving DOF softness.
In any case, assuming you have sufficient overlap, you can always use alpha-channel masking to prevent the stitching software from including any areas that aren't desirable.
Roy
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: jgbowerman on April 09, 2012, 10:06:38 am
Thanks for the feedback, erpman and Tony

I assume Briot's digiback did not have an AA filter, and the 45MP digiback he used likely had a pixel size of ~6 microns. The D800 pixel size is ~4.9 microns. I appreciate the medium format systems will likely perform better at smaller apertures given the larger pixel size when compared to something in the ballpark of a DSLR FX like the D800. I once read the ideal pixel size is around 6 microns based on work done by Leica when the S2 was released. I have not read much about pixel size relative to diffraction softening. Pixel size discussions are more often about high ISO noise reduction. With the D800 pushing pixel size limitations to the extreme, diffraction issues could become more evident based on what I am reading and the reason why I was compelled to join this discussion. From what I am gathering, for purposes of printing and maintaining DOF, I'll be fine shooting apertures as small as f16, but I'll do my best to shoot wider when appropriate.

This brings me back to the subject of lenses, I also appreciate DOF is something much easier to accomplish with wider lenses. I don't like getting too wide... over the years I have found my "sweet spot" is shooting around 40 to 45MM focal lengths. Subsequently, I began getting rid of my zoom lenses for landscape work in an effort towards improving print quality... no more ugly chromatic aberrations and serious lens flare issues! I stuck with Zeiss glass for Nikon (even if it is made in Japan, the quality of build is superior to Nikon's). Then I tried Nikon's 45MM PC-E and I was hooked with the convenience of fine tuning landscape compositions without having to move the tripod in difficult terrain by using the shift movements. I also gained the opportunity to produce better files for stitching if desired, although I have yet to take much advantage of stitching and most of my landscape work does no lend itself to tilting. Another advantage or the tilt-shift lenses is they serve reasonably well for macro. For me, tilt-shift lenses offer the most in terms creative possibilities, I'll never outgrow all of the options one can explore.

Although the Nikon 45MM PC-E glass is outstanding, the build quality has something to be desired... it is too loose with tilt and shift movements, subsequently I desired a better build quality. Nikon brags about how their PC-E lenses have rubber O-rings, but what good is the O-ring with loose fitting tilt and shift movements? While cost is a serious limiting consideration for 99% of us, it is clearly evident that we get what we pay for when it comes to lens quality.

Eventually, my search for the perfect lens settled on Hartblei Superrotators. Their 40MM model is perfect for my style of shooting, the glass is German made ("TRUE" Carl Zeiss glass) even if the barrel and assembly is Ukrainian. I put the Hartblei 4/40 IF TS Superrotator on my wish list two years ago. When the D800E was released, I figured it was time to bite the bullet and buy one. Stefan has my hard-earned money and I'll soon have one of his lenses.
Title: Re: Lenses for D800e
Post by: erpman on April 09, 2012, 10:48:36 am
JohnBrew: Thanks for that reminder, I did have them mixed up  :) Checked the other zeiss on dxoMark and it does seem better than the 24-70 from f8 onwards.

Mcbroomf: Yeah, I go for something like 25% and looking at the field maps at dxoMark its clear that this is more than enough to avoid blurry corners. I assumed that blurriness would be more even spread out along the short sides of the frame.

OldRoy: I guess since the idea is to just stitch 3-7 frames, there wont be such a huge amount of overlaps and the job of fine-tuning the stitch should be within a reasonable workload. Exactly how do you use apha-channel masking when stitching in PS?