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Author Topic: What should my next camera body be?  (Read 19531 times)

aguerra.1993

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What should my next camera body be?
« on: July 21, 2015, 09:57:09 pm »

Hello everyone, I have been shooting landscape for about 3 years on a Canon T3i and a kit 18-55 lens. In the last 2 years was when I really started getting into it. I am ready to upgrade cameras but some things to take into consideration are that I do a lot of traveling, hiking, and backpacking so weight is a factor, and I want to get into shooting star trails and night landscapes so low-light is pretty important to me, as well as a body that is weather-resistant. My primary subject is still landscape photos. The cameras I was taking into consideration were the Pentax K-3/ii for the awesome features it offers landscape and travel photographers, the Fuji X-T1 because it's lightweight and small, or jumping into the fullframe game and getting a Canon 6D. Any help is greatly appreciated, and here is some of my work on my facebook page if you'd like to take a look: https://www.facebook.com/alexguerraphotography?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
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mecrox

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Re: What should my next camera body be?
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2015, 05:13:24 am »

I have a Pentax K3 which is very well featured. I've shot in very wet weather with an appropriate WR lens without issues, so no complaints here. It's also about as large as I'd want to go when travelling or walking in the countryside. However, I'd suggest turning this on its head and looking first at what you love to shoot and whether a particular brand offers items to help you do that. In my experience, this is about buying into a whole system, not into one camera. For example, Pentax autofocus isn't the best - or so folks say - for fast action photography so if my main interest was shooting sports fixtures, for example, I would use Canon or Nikon. As it is, Pentax has worked very well for me here in a rather wet climate but it's all about your interests and whether a brand has the lenses for it and whether they are lenses you like and can afford. Full frame is always tempting, but it would require an outlay of 2-3 times as much for an equivalent set-up and, apart from the cost, I wouldn't be comfortable toting $$$ of equipment through some of the rather rough areas around here. My K3 APS-C is a compromise and quite a discreet one when in urban places. It's a good compromise for me even if not necessarily for the next guy. Another thing to consider is availability at retail and servicing/repair where you live. Anyway, think carefully before changing brands because it is an expensive business and often not necessary at all.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 05:24:30 am by mecrox »
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Dale_Cotton2

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Re: What should my next camera body be?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2015, 10:11:53 am »

You need to provide some more info if you want meaningful responses.

  • What about the T3i and kit lens do you find limiting?
  • Do you shoot raw and post-process?
  • Do you primarily use your image files for printing or for web display? If printing, what printer do you use and what size prints do you target?
  • How much total weight would you ideally like to set as an upper limit for everything photographic that you carry on an outing?
  • Do you have budget constraints? If so, do you have any objection to buying used?

The T3i is far from being a toy camera. In many ways one could make the case that itís better than any small camera available 20 years or more ago for backpacking. Yet professionals like Galen Rowell did just fine with what was available back then.
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NancyP

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Re: What should my next camera body be?
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2015, 10:38:17 am »

OK, I see some class 5 rapids on your website. If shooting an SLR from a rough-water (WW/ocean) kayak is a big deal for you and you aren't interested in bothering with a bulky housing for an SLR, you have exactly one option, Pentax K-series DSLR and water-resistant (WR *) lens. If snaps are all that are needed, you could potentially get one of the waterproof point-and-shoots exclusively for that purpose - image quality isn't great compared to what you use currently.

If you are not shooting in a monsoon, or worse, in a dust storm, you could be perfectly fine with a standard SLR and a rain cover, stashing the SLR in a dry bag x 2 if you are in an all day heavy rain or need to negotiate a tricky ford or ...

The 6D is a great landscape and night photography camera. Astrolandscapes are very nice, and there isn't "pattern noise" at high ISO. It far outclasses my APS-C camera, the 60D - ISO1600 on the 6D looks like ISO400 on the 60D. I use this camera as my standard camera, and my first dSLR, 60D, as a birding or need-the-articulated-screen camera. You can get pretty decent results with the newest APS-C Canon sensor on the 7D2 - see www.clarkvision.com for review and examples. The 7D2 would have the advantage of pretty substantial weather sealing (though not as much as the Pentax), but it is heavier than your T3i or the 6D.

 I don't know anything about the night / astrolandscape performance of the Pentax K-3 II sensor - you might need to go to a Pentax board (www.PentaxForums.com) or an astrophotography board to find a user. Some of the Pentaxes have tweaked their in-camera image stabilization via sensor movement capacity so that you can set the camera to rotate the sensor at sidereal rate to avoid star trailing over long exposures.
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aguerra.1993

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Re: What should my next camera body be?
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2015, 11:17:12 am »

You need to provide some more info if you want meaningful responses.

  • What about the T3i and kit lens do you find limiting?
  • Do you shoot raw and post-process?
  • Do you primarily use your image files for printing or for web display? If printing, what printer do you use and what size prints do you target?
  • How much total weight would you ideally like to set as an upper limit for everything photographic that you carry on an outing?
  • Do you have budget constraints? If so, do you have any objection to buying used?

A big thing I find myself limited by is ISO, I can't really crank it up because noise shows quickly. Another reason is sharpness, which I know is more the lens than anything but some features on the K-3ii like no AA filter, the pixel shift, etc seem like a great thing to have. And if I do end up getting a pair of new lenses, I don't want to have my options limited to crop senspr Canon's because those are the lenses I own. I'm be ready to start a basic system.

I always shoot raw and do processing in lightroom.

My images are usually for myself to enjoy on my laptop or for my Facebook page but ocassioonally I like to print 16x20 and if I can print even larger it'd be nice but not used that frequently.

Do total weight in photographic gear I would like to keep it under 5 lbs. I only carry one lens with me and I have never really missed out shots. Ideally I'd get a slightly longer range lens that is a little wider and a little longer. If there's something like a 16-70 or somewhere in that ballpark it'd be great, and equivalent in FF if I go that route but I'm not opposed to getting a dedicated ultrawide like a 10-20ish and something longer. Most of my shots are on the wider part of my lens.

I don't mind buying used at all. I actually prefer it, it's better for the environment and I can save some money doing it.

From August to December I will be in Arizona and living outdoors and camping at least 65% of the time as I will be working with the Arizona Conservation Corps so I want something a little more rugged and weatherproof than my T3i bbut I'm not getting a camera dedicated for whitewater rafting, it's more paranoia than me actually shooting in rain.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 11:33:59 am by aguerra.1993 »
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PeterAit

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Re: What should my next camera body be?
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2015, 11:24:24 am »

You certainly have lots of cameras to choose from. I will put in a plug for the Olympus EM1, a micro 4/3 camera, 16MP, with an array of really excellent lenses available.
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Rainer SLP

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Re: What should my next camera body be?
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2015, 11:29:51 am »

Maybe this ?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/801232693-USE/canon_0296b002_eos_5d_digital_camera.html

and this ?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/801240428-USE/canon_6470a006_zoom_wide_angle_telephoto_ef.html

Take a look of what B&H offers in the used department many interesting cameras like the 1Ds series, etc. etc.
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spidermike

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Re: What should my next camera body be?
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2015, 11:51:56 am »

If you print big, then there will be little to touch the 6D for low light. This is a very technical review of the 6D for astrophotography:
http://www.clarkvision.com/articles/evaluation-canon-6d/

If you don't print big then the Olympus E-M series have an excellent reputation for dynamic range and low noise. The E-M5 is going for silly money at the moment and you can get some great glass for relatively cheap price.

Even with your current camera there are a few techniques you can use to reduce noise a lot such as lots of short shots and stacking them in specialist software so it may be worth checking those out first before committing a lot of cash.
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Dale_Cotton2

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Re: What should my next camera body be?
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2015, 03:34:12 pm »

Your answers surprised me. Didnít have the feel from your first post that you would be into post and therefore be concerned about noise levels. Combining that with your sensible desire to buy into a system that you can build on, Iím reluctantly going to vote in favour of FF.

There are so many practical upsides to crop sensor systems, that I was reluctant to move to FF myself. Just one very significant advantage to APS-C and 4/3 is getting landscape DOF in the f/7 to f/8 aperture range, instead of f/11+ for FF.

But in counterpoint, Canon, Nikon, and Sony are short-shrifting APS-C and putting their lens dev energy into FF. The good glass from these companies is increasingly to be had at the FF end. Apparently, even Pentax/Ricoh is now no longer denying rumours that they're working on a FF model. So the future product landscape looks to be increasingly polarized toward FF for top-end equipment, with anything smaller being relegated to budget/beginner (of course, with Fuji, Olympus, and Panasonic as hold-outs).

I upgraded from the Nikon D7000 (16 MP APS-C Exmor) to the A7 (24 MP FF Exmor) a year ago. I was already very pleased with the D7000ís IQ, and was not prepared for how large an increase in IQ that change bought me. Now I literally have to shoot north of 800 ISO to see even a slight noise granularity at 100% mag. In theory, you would only ever have to shoot a 24 MP APS-C ó as in the D7200 or A6000 ó opened up by a single stop more than the same shot on a FF to get the same results. But Iím not prepared to believe that at the gut level after this past yearís shooting and editing.

More than once Iíve bought home a card with shots underexposed by a stop or more or overexposed by a stop or more. Either way, the files would have been compromised or ruined had I been shooting with any previous camera Iíve owned. With the A7 itís just a matter of tweaking a few sliders, then Iím scratching my head trying to find where Iíve lost IQ. A Sony evangelist coined the phrase "full frame forgiveness" in reference to this. Amen to that.

I have zero experience with Canon SLRs, so canít speak to whether youíd be quite as amazed by moving to a recent Canon FF as you would a Nikon or Sony one. Canonís FF bodies are anything but petite ó a serious concern for your backpack. But thereís a lot of evidence that Canon is still the system to beat in every regard except, arguably, certain aspects of IQ. A close correspondent in the US has been buying/trying/selling a lot of different APS-C cameras from Canon, Nikon, Fuji, and Sony this past year. He loves the Exmor IQ but hasnít found anything from Nikon or Sony to dethrone Canon for usability, affordable lens excellence, and customer support.

Quite the quandary, so no simple buy-this from me!
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MattBurt

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Re: What should my next camera body be?
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2015, 03:56:03 pm »

I get out hiking, skiing, whitewater, and mountain biking with my Pentax K-3 quite a bit and I really like the camera and the system. The weather sealing is good for peace of mind when you are in harsh conditions but realize you probably can't get away with submerging it.

It's got a bit of heft to it which I like for handling, but it's heavier and bigger than my previous generation K-5. For even more heft the battery grip is great and I use mine pretty often for shooting events.

The AF may be slower than others but it's very usable to me. I've shot quite a few bike races with the K-3 and K-5 and I get a lot of usable images and not many of the bad ones are because of AF issues. Same for skiing, but skiing provides great contrast for an AF system to lock on to so it's probably not that demanding.

If you needed to go lighter and 16 MP was enough the K-5 IIs would be a good option too.

As for FF, I want one, but for my self-powered backcountry needs I doubt I'd bring it as the K-3 is about as big as I'm willing to carry in most cases. For studio and landscape work that I can access via car or a short walk, I'd love a FF and am eagerly awaiting more info about the upcoming Pentax one to see if it might work for me.

The Fuji system looks great too and they just released a new smaller body but it's not weather sealed so the XT-1 is still the one to get there if you need sealing. I have checked one out and it's smaller than my K-3 but not by a lot.
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Rainer SLP

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Re: What should my next camera body be?
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2015, 05:17:51 pm »

Just one very significant advantage to APS-C and 4/3 is getting landscape DOF in the f/7 to f/8 aperture range, instead of f/11+ for FF.

Hi Dale,

Ņ Why so ?
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aguerra.1993

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Re: What should my next camera body be?
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2015, 05:41:15 pm »

I am not opposed to any brands, I don't necessarily prefer Canon over Nikon, the thing that had my mind on the 6D over the D600/610 was that the 6D seems to be better in low light situations from the comparisons I've seen. I actually asked a photographer I know who shot the 6D and 5DMk3 why he had switched to a Sony A7R and he did it for the weight savings and size but he said it wasn't nearly as durable as either one of the Canons. I wish Pentax would release some specs on their FF, that's a camera I am definitely interested in seeing. The 6D is also not that big compared to other FF, about 6 oz more than my T3i, but I know a good lens will add some weight to it. Are there any FF that you can recommend that aren't much more expensive? Are there any crop sensor cameras that have somewhat comparable low light performance and IQ?
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AlterEgo

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Re: What should my next camera body be?
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2015, 05:41:36 pm »

Hi Dale,

Ņ Why so ?


he believes that 16-20-24-28mp @ smaller sensor @ f/8 will be better than 24-36-42-50mp @ bigger sensor @ f/11...  :D
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NancyP

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Re: What should my next camera body be?
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2015, 07:34:58 pm »

Pentax Forums is running a series on astrophotography - presumably featuring the APS-C cameras.

Astrophotography lens sets and general photography lens sets may be different. For a one-lens, lightweight, highly versatile daylight hiking DSLR, I use the 60D plus EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 - you get a great range for landscape photography and get approximately 1:4 for close-up photography at the 85mm end. However, one usually wants to get a fast lens for astrophotography. f/2.8 is ok, f/2 is better, f/1.4 may be fine if you don't mind coma aberration in the corners or non-round stars (due to Earth movement). This means that you might be carrying 2 lenses, a general purpose zoom for day and an ultra-wide prime for night. I am doing mostly afternoon/evening hikes in non-mountainous areas, total elevation change over a day's hike might be less than 400 ft up to 1200 ft up and same down (going over multiple ridges). So, I don't need as much weight restriction as a multiday hiker might.
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Dale_Cotton2

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Re: What should my next camera body be?
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2015, 09:15:31 pm »

Hi Dale,

Ņ Why so ?

Rainer: if I look at lens resolution numbers on test sites like Photozone or DxOMark, lenses typically seem to have better numbers below f/11. Typically, the sweet spot seems to be in the f/4 to f/8 range.

When I shoot with a 4/3rds or APS-C sensor my experience over the years has been that I have all the DOF I need at f/8. But formerly with 135 film and now with FF I feel I'm barely scraping by at f/11, shooting the same sorts of scenes.
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dwswager

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Re: What should my next camera body be?
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2015, 09:35:02 pm »


There are so many practical upsides to crop sensor systems, that I was reluctant to move to FF myself. Just one very significant advantage to APS-C and 4/3 is getting landscape DOF in the f/7 to f/8 aperture range, instead of f/11+ for FF.


This is a balancing act.  At the same pixel count, FF will give less noise than crop sensors.  That is, with the same chip technology, larger pixel sites will give more signal.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: What should my next camera body be?
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2015, 12:53:49 am »

Hi,

Both observations are probably true, as far as I recall from Photozone tests.

On the other hand, 4/3 lenses are often better corrected than 135 lenses, so their performance would peak at larger apertures. So, if optimal aperture on a 135 lens is f/8, it may be that the 4/3 lens performs best at f/5.6 or even f/4. There are very few high end APS-C lenses from Canon/Nikon/Sony. With Fuji it is probably different.

The Otuses seem to peak at f/4, according to DxO-mark.

Just as a side comment, I was comparing a new macro lens from Sony with the Otus 85/1.4.

When using  both lenses at f/4, the Otus is a bit better:



But stopping down the Otus to f/5.6 and keeping the Sony at f/4 makes them to overlap:



With digital photo, post processing plays a major role. Much of the loss due to diffraction caused by stopping down can be regained in sharpening.

Best regards
Erik



Rainer: if I look at lens resolution numbers on test sites like Photozone or DxOMark, lenses typically seem to have better numbers below f/11. Typically, the sweet spot seems to be in the f/4 to f/8 range.

When I shoot with a 4/3rds or APS-C sensor my experience over the years has been that I have all the DOF I need at f/8. But formerly with 135 film and now with FF I feel I'm barely scraping by at f/11, shooting the same sorts of scenes.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: What should my next camera body be?
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2015, 01:04:14 am »

Hi,

Hard to say. If you print and print large, going to "full frame" 24x36 may make sense. My impression is that there are not that many great APS-C lenses from Canon/Nikon/Sony. Full frame lenses are of course usable on APS-C. Fuji has it's focus on APS-C, and has many nice lenses. But, the great lenses are expensive.

Ctein, a great master of photography, said that 4/3 is good enough for A2-size prints (16" x 23" or so). I never had 4/3 but I had 12/16/24 MP APS-C and I would agree that APS-C is good enough for A2 size.

All that said, I must admit that I am a pixel freak and prefer the largest formats I can afford.

Best regards
Erik






Hello everyone, I have been shooting landscape for about 3 years on a Canon T3i and a kit 18-55 lens. In the last 2 years was when I really started getting into it. I am ready to upgrade cameras but some things to take into consideration are that I do a lot of traveling, hiking, and backpacking so weight is a factor, and I want to get into shooting star trails and night landscapes so low-light is pretty important to me, as well as a body that is weather-resistant. My primary subject is still landscape photos. The cameras I was taking into consideration were the Pentax K-3/ii for the awesome features it offers landscape and travel photographers, the Fuji X-T1 because it's lightweight and small, or jumping into the fullframe game and getting a Canon 6D. Any help is greatly appreciated, and here is some of my work on my facebook page if you'd like to take a look: https://www.facebook.com/alexguerraphotography?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
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mecrox

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Re: What should my next camera body be?
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2015, 09:31:47 am »

Pentax Forums is running a series on astrophotography - presumably featuring the APS-C cameras.

Astrophotography lens sets and general photography lens sets may be different. For a one-lens, lightweight, highly versatile daylight hiking DSLR, I use the 60D plus EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 - you get a great range for landscape photography and get approximately 1:4 for close-up photography at the 85mm end. However, one usually wants to get a fast lens for astrophotography. f/2.8 is ok, f/2 is better, f/1.4 may be fine if you don't mind coma aberration in the corners or non-round stars (due to Earth movement). This means that you might be carrying 2 lenses, a general purpose zoom for day and an ultra-wide prime for night. I am doing mostly afternoon/evening hikes in non-mountainous areas, total elevation change over a day's hike might be less than 400 ft up to 1200 ft up and same down (going over multiple ridges). So, I don't need as much weight restriction as a multiday hiker might.

Yes, that would be my choice - an APS-C camera plus something around 16-85mm plus one or two primes (choice depends on intended use). It's an extremely versatile set-up, not too heavy for walking/hiking if you leave one prime at base and small enough to make it easy for travelling abroad, etc. A fast prime can make up for the (relatively) slow zoom if light is low, etc. Some would prefer something with more reach like an 18-135mm but that's maybe larger and not so good for someone who likes wide-angle shots, I suppose. If rugged/WR is needed, then one can choose a brand which offers it. I use Pentax not least for the WR but I am sure Canon, Nikon, Olympus and co offer very similar things. That is all going to produce quality images whether for print or screen and these days the items can be picked up for very reasonable sums, imho.
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Dale_Cotton2

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Re: What should my next camera body be?
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2015, 10:03:17 am »

This is a balancing act.  At the same pixel count, FF will give less noise than crop sensors.  That is, with the same chip technology, larger pixel sites will give more signal.

Thanks! That certainly jives with what I'm seeing.

Consider the case of two cameras with same sensor tech but one APS-C and the other FF. DxOMark happens to show the crop sensor lagging behind the FF by ~1 stop in SNR at a given ISO. If you open up a stop on the crop sensor -- for example, by using f/8 instead of f/11 -- am I going to see the same cleanness in the resulting image files from both?

An example of this, so far as I know, would be the Nikon D7200 vs D750. DxO shows the D7200 at 100 ISO as 42.4 db and the D750 at 200 ISO at 42 db. Of course, this is a change in ISO, not aperture, and the 0.4 db diff isn't peanuts. Not sure how to get at what happens when aperture or shutter speed is changed instead of ISO (considering only noise, not res or DR). Be great if I could consider them roughly equivalent.


The Otuses seem to peak at f/4, according to DxO-mark.

Just as a side comment, I was comparing a new macro lens from Sony with the Otus 85/1.4.

When using  both lenses at f/4, the Otus is a bit better:

But stopping down the Otus to f/5.6 and keeping the Sony at f/4 makes them to overlap:

With digital photo, post processing plays a major role. Much of the loss due to diffraction caused by stopping down can be regained in sharpening.

Nice! Those are beautiful lines at either aperture. If you ever come across a normal zoom that graphs like that, let me know. <g>
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