Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 8   Go Down

Author Topic: Macro Lens Comparison (for Wildlife Photography)  (Read 40892 times)

Michael Erlewine

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1027
    • MacroStop.com
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #40 on: January 08, 2016, 06:17:41 pm »

There are a couple of ways to get something close to certainty with APO lenses. One is their function. Lenses like Printing Nikkors, which were used to scan 35mm (and other) color film to make transfers, had to be perfect. The lenses cost about $12K each. Same with some other industrial lenses. Look to their function and know that there was little room to skimp in that. Where you run into trouble is with some well-known manufacturer makes a lens for general use and dubs it “APO.”

Best of all, use a lens. I learned about APO not by reading about them or measuring anything, but (of all things) looking through them and examining their photo results. I had been pursuing “sharpness,” and being upset that lenses like the 50mm and 100mm Zeiss Makro-Planars, which I expected to be terrific, were sharp, but their correction left something to be desired that even I could see the difference.

Then, with the Voiglander 125mm APO, I could see such a vast difference. That is how I have learned. And when I first posted that the answer to sharpness in a lens had to involve how well-corrected they were, but I was Pooh-poohed for a year or two, until others came around, like Lloyd Chambers. But I have also learned that (for me) lenses like the $5K Coastal Optics 60mm were made for forensics and in fact were flat and great for copy work, but too clinical for me.

So, the APO question goes circle and comes back to examining whether there are some “flaws” that exist in an APO lens that give it a certain character. When, the Otus lenses came along, the sheer quality of the lenses amounted to character all by itself. I am still sorting that out now, to decide whether that purity also lacks character…again…IMO and for my work.
Logged
MichaelErlewine.smugmug.com. Founder MacroStop.com, MichaelErlewine.com, YouTube.com/user/merlewine

John Koerner

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 866
  • "Fortune favors the bold." Virgil
    • John Koerner Photography
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #41 on: January 08, 2016, 06:19:03 pm »

(Taken from My Blog Post)
Supporting Reviews:
  • LensTip Review: "The Sigma performance is simply beyond reproach. Already at the maximum relative aperture you get a very high MTF50 value, reaching 41 lpmm. On stopping down the aperture to f/4.0 the results increase to an almost record breaking level of 45 lpmm ... I haven’t tested such a sharp full frame instrument for a long time – let this sentence substitute a summary here! ... The Sigma 180 mm f/2.8 APO Macro EX DG OS HSM is a sensational lens, practically faultless ...there are so many arguments in (the Sigma's) favour that it would make me resign from other brand name lenses."
    ~
  • Gorm Teper Review: "All in all, this is one of the rare third party lenses which not only keeps up with the professional offerings from Canon and Nikon, but actually outclasses comparable lenses. The Sigma 180mm offers more features, as good or better optics, and offers better value, with relatively few draw backs."
    ~
  • P.C. Magazine Review: "If you're in the market for a macro lens and want one with a longer focal length, you should give strong consideration to the Sigma APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM. It's extremely sharp, is optically stabilized, and the focus limiter function allows it to focus quickly enough to double as a standard telephoto optic. We like it better than the Canon EF 180mm Macro f/3.5L USM, which is priced in the same ballpark but lacks image stabilization ... our Editors' Choice award is for exemplary products and, even though the (Sigma) is a bit on the pricey side, we feel the extra sharpness it delivers is worth the cost."
    ~
  • What Digital Camera.com: "In summary, Sigma’s 180mm f/2.8 lens is a costly choice for everyday use but a bargain for macro-photography. But there is more to any lens than its price-tag alone and Sigma has produced here a lens of exquisite quality that is not only feature-packed but also capable of yielding both impeccable image quality and beautiful pictures. This is not merely one of the best lenses to have been tested in WDC’s reviews, it could even be THE best lens tested so far."
Neither Photozone, Digital Picture, nor DxO have reviewed it yet.

Those who have, have been pretty verbose in singing its praise ...

Jack
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 06:23:38 pm by John Koerner »
Logged

John Koerner

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 866
  • "Fortune favors the bold." Virgil
    • John Koerner Photography
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #42 on: January 08, 2016, 06:23:59 pm »

Links fixed.
Logged

Michael Erlewine

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1027
    • MacroStop.com
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #43 on: January 08, 2016, 06:28:19 pm »

We are all different. What I "like" is a lens that is sharp wide open, and fast too. Since I often stack focus, a wide-angle, fast lens that is sharp wide open allows me to paint focus where I want it and allow the rest to be in bokeh. As for reviews, I have never benefited that much from them. I just buy the lens, try it, and send it back. I have sent all kinds of mirrorless cameras back so far, etc.

I trust certain lensmen like Lloyd Chambers, Thom Hogan, Bjørn Rørslett, and others. Anyway, that's how I do it.

The Sigma 180mm Macro looks good, probably not as good wide open as I would like. I may pick up a copy for live-action work with critters. Right now I am testing out a half dozen or more lenses. I like the lens folks here, but many are on NikonGear, which has been revived, so I get some reviews there.
Logged
MichaelErlewine.smugmug.com. Founder MacroStop.com, MichaelErlewine.com, YouTube.com/user/merlewine

John Koerner

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 866
  • "Fortune favors the bold." Virgil
    • John Koerner Photography
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #44 on: January 08, 2016, 06:34:38 pm »

The term apochromatic is not strictly defined as discussed here (article dealing mainly with telescope lenses). A starting point is Abbe's original defintion:

Abbe's definition of apochromatism was the following. Apochromat: an
objective corrected parfocally for three widely spaced wavelengths and
corrected for spherical aberration and coma for two widely separated
wavelengths.


In retrospect, I don't we can use the LoCA and LatCA values from LensScore to judge if a lens is apochromatic. They do not state how many wavelengths they have measured and the CA values do not take spherical aberration into account.

The original apochromats were microscopic objectives made by Carl Zeiss and these used fluorite (a very low dispersion medium) and Abbe worked for Zeiss. Many current camera lenses use fluorite or extra low dispersion glass to reduce chromatic aberration and spherical elements reduce spherical aberration. The Canon lens that you cite uses ultra low dispersion glass as disclosed here. Many current lens makers appear to use the term apochromatic for marketing purposes, knowing that they can get away with it due to the lack of a uniform definition of apochromatic.

I think Zeiss uses the term apochromatic in the more strict sense--after all they invented the term. Among the leading optical companies Nikon, Olympus, Zeiss and Leitz (the microscope division of Leitz is now separate from the camera division) make microscope lenses in three main quality designations: achromatic, fluorite (semi-apochromatic) and apochromatic and these categories are well accepted, and the apochromats are highly prized for critical work. Apo is not used for marketing and an apochromatic designation for a microscope lens indicates the highest correction. With Zeiss photographic lenses, an apo designation is also meaningful.

I agree with you and Michael that there are trade-offs among the desirable properties of the ideal lens, and one should choose the lens most suitable for the intended purpose.

Regards,

Bill


Thank you for taking the time to clarify.
Logged

Tony Jay

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2965
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #45 on: January 08, 2016, 06:38:36 pm »

Getting slightly off topic but I feel for safety's sake this needs emphasis:
Not all snakes are the same.
Vipers (things like rattlesnakes and adders) can often be approached and photographed as John Koerner describes, however Elapids (Cobras, Mambas, all Australian venomous snakes, sea snakes) are generally much larger (longer, not wider) snakes that also move much faster and will not, as a rule, just lie there and pose.
Generally the only way to shoot these types of snakes is to be prepared to move quickly yourself, and to a point, head the snake off. This poses a degree of risk as it is likely that the snake will perceive your actions as a potential threat.
The general rule is that a snake can strike a distance about a third of its length. Some elapids will do about half their body length. Consider a 10-14 foot Mamba that can do that as well as move very quickly over the ground caution is well justified.
(The Black Mamba, in fact, is now widely regarded as the most dangerous snake on the planet. This is a combination of size(14 foot full grown), fang length (50 mm), disposition (nervous and quick to take offence), and finally venom potency and venom volume (most metrics put the venom potency at about 13th most potent however the potential volume of envenomation and the small likelihood of a dry bite render that distinction moot.))

The bottom line is to know your animals before trying to photograph them.
I grew up on a farm in Africa and various species of Elapids and Vipers were commonly encountered.
I now live in Australia where the most venomous snakes (all Elapids) in the world reside and a walk in the bush around where I live I commonly encounter Taipans, Brown snakes, and Red-bellied Blacks.
I currently only have a halfway worthwhile image of a single Australian venomous snake despite usually having a camera with me when I come across these snakes.
I do not fear these snakes, but I do have a healthy respect for them, and given the characteristics of these snakes already outlined and the nature of the bush where I find them, not to mention that I do not move as quickly as I did when I was twenty, most times the risks of trying to shoot images far outweighs the benefits (getting the shot).

Linking to the thread, in my part of the world I would recommend using macro lenses with longer focal lengths (180 mm would be ideal) when trying to photograph Australian or Old World Elapids.

Tony Jay
Logged

John Koerner

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 866
  • "Fortune favors the bold." Virgil
    • John Koerner Photography
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #46 on: January 08, 2016, 06:45:43 pm »

We are all different. What I "like" is a lens that is sharp wide open, and fast too. Since I often stack focus, a wide-angle, fast lens that is sharp wide open allows me to paint focus where I want it and allow the rest to be in bokeh. As for reviews, I have never benefited that much from them. I just buy the lens, try it, and send it back. I have sent all kinds of mirrorless cameras back so far, etc.

I trust certain lensmen like Lloyd Chambers, Thom Hogan, Bjørn Rørslett, and others. Anyway, that's how I do it.

The Sigma 180mm Macro looks good, probably not as good wide open as I would like.

Of the reviews I posted, I encourage you to read LensTip and Gorm Teper's

Regarding your concern RE; image quality wide-open, LensTip says, "Already at the maximum relative aperture you get a very high MTF50 value, reaching 41 lpmm. On stopping down the aperture to f/4.0 the results increase to an almost record breaking level of 45 lpmm."

Gorm Teper provides some excellent imagery taken with the lens.

Regarding Lloyd Chambers, he compared it to the Leica. (I don't subscribe, so I don't know what he says.

Jack
Logged

John Koerner

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 866
  • "Fortune favors the bold." Virgil
    • John Koerner Photography
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #47 on: January 08, 2016, 06:50:23 pm »

Getting slightly off topic but I feel for safety's sake this needs emphasis:
Not all snakes are the same.
Vipers (things like rattlesnakes and adders) can often be approached and photographed as John Koerner describes, however Elapids (Cobras, Mambas, all Australian venomous snakes, sea snakes) are generally much larger (longer, not wider) snakes that also move much faster and will not, as a rule, just lie there and pose.
Generally the only way to shoot these types of snakes is to be prepared to move quickly yourself, and to a point, head the snake off. This poses a degree of risk as it is likely that the snake will perceive your actions as a potential threat.
The general rule is that a snake can strike a distance about a third of its length. Some elapids will do about half their body length. Consider a 10-14 foot Mamba that can do that as well as move very quickly over the ground caution is well justified.
(The Black Mamba, in fact, is now widely regarded as the most dangerous snake on the planet. This is a combination of size(14 foot full grown), fang length (50 mm), disposition (nervous and quick to take offence), and finally venom potency and venom volume (most metrics put the venom potency at about 13th most potent however the potential volume of envenomation and the small likelihood of a dry bite render that distinction moot.))

The bottom line is to know your animals before trying to photograph them.
I grew up on a farm in Africa and various species of Elapids and Vipers were commonly encountered.
I now live in Australia where the most venomous snakes (all Elapids) in the world reside and a walk in the bush around where I live I commonly encounter Taipans, Brown snakes, and Red-bellied Blacks.
I currently only have a halfway worthwhile image of a single Australian venomous snake despite usually having a camera with me when I come across these snakes.
I do not fear these snakes, but I do have a healthy respect for them, and given the characteristics of these snakes already outlined and the nature of the bush where I find them, not to mention that I do not move as quickly as I did when I was twenty, most times the risks of trying to shoot images far outweighs the benefits (getting the shot).

Linking to the thread, in my part of the world I would recommend using macro lenses with longer focal lengths (180 mm would be ideal) when trying to photograph Australian or Old World Elapids.

Tony Jay


Point well taken, Tony.

I have been finding and handling rattlesnakes since I was 12 years old.

No American snake "scares me" (except the ones I don't see).

I know exactly how to approach, how close to approach, etc.

The pygmy rattler I was 18" away from was itself 18" long ... I was in zero danger.
Second, they're a "non-lethal" snake anyway.

Would I get 18" away from a 12' black mamba?! :o

HELL NO!!! ;D
Logged

Michael Erlewine

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1027
    • MacroStop.com
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #48 on: January 08, 2016, 08:22:46 pm »

Indeed, that is an excursion....

As a trained herpetologist, there were no mambas or cobras.  I used to collect really large diamondbacks in south Texas, some about six feet long, with a girth as big as a cantaloupe. My specialty, however, was salamanders.
Logged
MichaelErlewine.smugmug.com. Founder MacroStop.com, MichaelErlewine.com, YouTube.com/user/merlewine

jwstl

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 149
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #49 on: January 08, 2016, 10:20:41 pm »

There is an elder Sigma 150 mm which is a good, but not super lens.

It's the Sigma 180 f/2.8 APO which is getting across-the-board reviews as the superb lens.

There's also an older Sigma 180 f/3.5 Macro. It's good but not in the same league as the newer 180 2.8.
Logged

ErikKaffehr

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11311
    • Echophoto
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #50 on: January 08, 2016, 10:56:55 pm »

Hi,

I subscribe…

He did compare the Sigma 180/2.8 APO Macro with the Leica 180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R, Voigtlander 180mm f/4 APO Lanthar and the Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II.

He gives a mixed picture. Leica is sharpest at full aperture but is the lest well corrected for chromatic aberrations in his comparison. Now, to put things in perspective, all lenses are very good. This is at close up distance. At long distance the Leica dominates.

All lenses show focus shift when stopping down.

Best regards
Erik


Of the reviews I posted, I encourage you to read LensTip and Gorm Teper's

Regarding your concern RE; image quality wide-open, LensTip says, "Already at the maximum relative aperture you get a very high MTF50 value, reaching 41 lpmm. On stopping down the aperture to f/4.0 the results increase to an almost record breaking level of 45 lpmm."

Gorm Teper provides some excellent imagery taken with the lens.

Regarding Lloyd Chambers, he compared it to the Leica. (I don't subscribe, so I don't know what he says.

Jack
Logged
Erik Kaffehr
 

Michael Erlewine

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1027
    • MacroStop.com
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #51 on: January 09, 2016, 03:27:37 am »

Hi,

I subscribe…

He did compare the Sigma 180/2.8 APO Macro with the Leica 180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R, Voigtlander 180mm f/4 APO Lanthar and the Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II.

He gives a mixed picture. Leica is sharpest at full aperture but is the lest well corrected for chromatic aberrations in his comparison. Now, to put things in perspective, all lenses are very good. This is at close up distance. At long distance the Leica dominates.

All lenses show focus shift when stopping down.

Best regards
Erik


Thanks, but to my mind those are strange bedfellows. Most of us with Nikon know the Nikon 70-200s, a good lens but not for macro. The Voigtlander 180mm f/4 APO is a lens that Chambers only recently became fond of. I have been asking him to look at the Voigtlander 125 for years, and even offered to send him one, but he felt it was too much of a specialty lens. Not any real interest on his part, although the 125mm is a superior lens. The Voigtlander 180mm APO (which I also have) is a lens that has a minimum distance of almost 4 feet; not much on close-up. The Elmarit-R Leicas are good lenses. I have the 100mm Macro (with close-up attachment) and it is very nice, but hard to use on a Nikon because you have to open up the aperture to see to focus and then stop down, not much fun.

When I get some extra money I will have to pick up the Sigma 180mm macro, but my guess is it is not that well corrected, not sharp wide open, and, of course, big and heavy. I wish Zeiss would make an Otus copy of the Voigtlander 125mm. They used to be made in the same building. And I also would like to see an Otus 15mm Full-frame fisheye lens.

Here is a shot taken with the Nikon D800E and the Voigtlander 125mm APO.



« Last Edit: January 09, 2016, 03:46:53 am by Michael Erlewine »
Logged
MichaelErlewine.smugmug.com. Founder MacroStop.com, MichaelErlewine.com, YouTube.com/user/merlewine

John Koerner

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 866
  • "Fortune favors the bold." Virgil
    • John Koerner Photography
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #52 on: January 10, 2016, 08:49:11 am »

Hi,

I subscribe…

He did compare the Sigma 180/2.8 APO Macro with the Leica 180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R, Voigtlander 180mm f/4 APO Lanthar and the Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II.

A rather bizarre comparison :o

I guess he compares them as telephoto lenses?

At macro distances (1:1) the Leica can't even compete.

The very fact he considers the Leica 180 "the finest short telephoto" indicates he expected good things from the Sigma.



He gives a mixed picture. Leica is sharpest at full aperture but is the lest well corrected for chromatic aberrations in his comparison. Now, to put things in perspective, all lenses are very good. This is at close up distance. At long distance the Leica dominates.

Well, this is as it should be: the Sigma should be better at close-ups; the Leica at long distances.



All lenses show focus shift when stopping down.
Best regards
Erik

Proving nothing is perfect :)

Thanks for your comments,

Jack
Logged

John Koerner

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 866
  • "Fortune favors the bold." Virgil
    • John Koerner Photography
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #53 on: January 10, 2016, 08:53:12 am »

There's also an older Sigma 180 f/3.5 Macro. It's good but not in the same league as the newer 180 2.8.

True.

I neglected to add the Tamron 180.

I intentionally left out the Sigma 150, and won't bother with the elder Sigma 180 either, but I should probably add the Tamron 180.

Thanks for the correction.
Logged

Michael Erlewine

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1027
    • MacroStop.com
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #54 on: January 10, 2016, 09:17:23 am »

IMO, when we make a case for a particular lens, it usually comes down to our particular working style. Therefore I feel it is difficult to make a general statement, because my list of features would be slightly different, not better, but better for me. If we look at the lens scores from Lenscore.org, comparing all lenses, we find the Zeiss Otus 85mm at the #1 position, the Zeiss Otus 55mm at #4 position, the Zeiss 135mm at 19th , and the Sigma 180-Macro at 38th… when it comes to resolving power. I think that John’s caveat is that he is talking about 1:1 macro lenses, not anything less than that. That kind of exclusion is not helpful to me. I do some macro work, but find I like more context, thus close-up, less that 1:1 is what I do most of.

Since I respect John’s work, he does flag my attention to give the Sigma 180 macro another look. And I know how it feels to really be enthusiastic about a lens. I felt the same way about the Voigtlander 125mm f.2.5 APO-Lanthar for many years, until the new Zeiss Otus-type lenses came along, at which point I found out I am not loyal to any brand, but only to performance. I then bent over backward to attempt to use the Otus-like Zeiss for close-up. I include a photo I posted years ago that expresses my opinion from back then. LOL

So, I will look to pick up a Sigma 180mm macro, although I don’t believe it is that sharp, doubt that it is corrected as well as I like (the Zeiss Otus series), and is heavy. I don’t care about the heaviness, but I do about the other points, because I shoot wide-open with fast lenses.... and I paint or stack focus.

Anyway, thanks John for laying it all out for us. You got my attention. I might use it instead of the Micro Nikkor 105mm VR macro for shooting live critters, but I doubt I would use it for much else. Maybe I will.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 09:26:45 am by Michael Erlewine »
Logged
MichaelErlewine.smugmug.com. Founder MacroStop.com, MichaelErlewine.com, YouTube.com/user/merlewine

John Koerner

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 866
  • "Fortune favors the bold." Virgil
    • John Koerner Photography
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #55 on: January 10, 2016, 10:10:27 am »

IMO, when we make a case for a particular lens, it usually comes down to our particular working style. Therefore I feel it is difficult to make a general statement, because my list of features would be slightly different, not better, but better for me. If we look at the lens scores from Lenscore.org, comparing all lenses, we find the Zeiss Otus 85mm at the #1 position, the Zeiss Otus 55mm at #4 position, the Zeiss 135mm at 19th , and the Sigma 180-Macro at 38th… when it comes to resolving power. I think that John’s caveat is that he is talking about 1:1 macro lenses, not anything less than that. That kind of exclusion is not helpful to me. I do some macro work, but find I like more context, thus close-up, less that 1:1 is what I do most of.

Yes, Michael, I agree: we are enthusiastic about what helps our particular working style.

As mentioned in the beginning, I really enjoyed your article on the Voigtlander, but felt it was better-suited to studio-type work.

Out on a nature hike, as a macro enthusiast, I wanted more options, thus I had two caveats for my rating system: 1) 1:1 true macro lens; 2) overall versatility.

I included only modern, commercially-available lenses in the discussion.



Since I respect John’s work, he does flag my attention to give the Sigma 180 macro another look. And I know how it feels to really be enthusiastic about a lens. I felt the same way about the Voigtlander 125mm f.2.5 APO-Lanthar for many years, until the new Zeiss Otus-type lenses came along, at which point I found out I am not loyal to any brand, but only to performance. I then bent over backward to attempt to use the Otus-like Zeiss for close-up. I include a photo I posted years ago that expresses my opinion from back then. LOL

Thank you. And I have a Voigtlander 125mm f.2.5 under "watch" at Ebay as we speak :)

I do stack/studio-type work sometimes too (usually with some spider that is impossible to photograph "naturally"), and I believe everything you said about this piece might bring me better results, esp the 680° of focus throw for ultra-precise increments. Am also considering a Stack Shot which automates the process.

I also agree about not being loyal to any brand. I scrapped 3 out of 4 Canon lenses for the Sigma: it is simply better at everything. (I did keep the MPE 65 mm however ...)

I have also been patiently waiting for Canon to upgrade the 7D ... and they failed to do so adequately IMO ... and with Nikon coming out with the D500, someone has finally come out with the "perfect" APS-C camera (literally, with everything I want), and so I will be the growing list of Nikon users by spring.



So, I will look to pick up a Sigma 180mm macro, although I don’t believe it is that sharp, doubt that it is corrected as well as I like (the Zeiss Otus series), and is heavy. I don’t care about the heaviness, but I do about the other points, because I shoot wide-open with fast lenses.... and I paint or stack focus.

I would be very interested in reading your opinion on the subject, especially with the incredible experience you have with virtually every macro lens that's been put out. No lens is perfect, and we select based on the strengths that are perfect for us; but I am sure you will find it superior for its intended purpose.



Anyway, thanks John for laying it all out for us. You got my attention. I might use it instead of the Micro Nikkor 105mm VR macro for shooting live critters, but I doubt I would use it for much else. Maybe I will.

You're welcome, and a big thank you in return for the incredible amount of information you've put out there for us all to learn from as well.

I bookmarked your article here, months ago, and I have definitely bookmarked your online resources as well.

Cheers.
Logged

Michael Erlewine

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1027
    • MacroStop.com
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #56 on: January 10, 2016, 10:36:57 am »

John. Thanks for the notes. The only thing I have say is that the CV-125 (Cosina/Voigtlander 125mm APO) lens is perfect for outdoor and for my work outdoors. It is fast, 1:1, very sharp, well-corrected, and so on. It is a manual-focus lens, but unless I am shooting flying insects, or whatever, I never use auto-focus.

I have used the CV-125 for many years outdoors with great results. So it would be helpful, when you make a statement like: "I really enjoyed your article on the Voigtlander, but felt it was better-suited to studio-type work," if you actually had used the CV-125 lens outdoors, in which case you would probably not make that statement, unless (of course) you have this fixed set of parameters for what you consider a macro lens, in which case I would urge you to point it out. If the Zeiss Otus-style lenses were not available, my opinion is that the CV-125 is by far the best all-purpose macro lens on the planet... at least that I have seen, and I have seen a bunch.

But just like you stipulate (if you do) the need for auto-focus, so I stipulate (to myself) that I need a very well-corrected lens for my work. As I have mentioned in previous posts that the wonderful Zeiss Makro-Planar macro lenses (100mm, 500mm) are quite sharp, but not well corrected, so i can't use them. But for many, many people they are the cat's meow, as they say. 

Here is one of hundreds of thousands of outdoor shots I have made with the CV-125.
Logged
MichaelErlewine.smugmug.com. Founder MacroStop.com, MichaelErlewine.com, YouTube.com/user/merlewine

John Koerner

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 866
  • "Fortune favors the bold." Virgil
    • John Koerner Photography
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #57 on: January 10, 2016, 11:02:58 am »

John. Thanks for the notes. The only thing I have say is that the CV-125 (Cosina/Voigtlander 125mm APO) lens is perfect for outdoor and for my work outdoors. It is fast, 1:1, very sharp, well-corrected, and so on. It is a manual-focus lens, but unless I am shooting flying insects, or whatever, I never use auto-focus.

I almost never auto-focus either. I also use a tripod and almost never hand-hold.

However, there are times where I have no choice but to do both.

When doing so (hand-holding without a tripod), I prefer to have the availability of these key features (IS/AF), if needed, than to miss a shot because I don't have these features at all.



I have used the CV-125 for many years outdoors with great results. So it would be helpful, when you make a statement like: "I really enjoyed your article on the Voigtlander, but felt it was better-suited to studio-type work," if you actually had used the CV-125 lens outdoors, in which case you would probably not make that statement, unless (of course) you have this fixed set of parameters for what you consider a macro lens, in which case I would urge you to point it out. If the Zeiss Otus-style lenses were not available, my opinion is that the CV-125 is by far the best all-purpose macro lens on the planet... at least that I have seen, and I have seen a bunch.

I make the statement because I have simply failed to get shots (trying to MF) that I was able to get using AF. (Typically, these are butterflies on "high alert" ... flitting from flower-to-flower. They land, they sip, they fly off. In cases like this, I have little time to precision focus. I try my best to compose the shot, hit AF, fire. If I tried also to really zero-in on the focus, the butterfly will be gone before I get there.)

If it is a lazy butterfly, and just sits there with its wings open, then I can take my time, use Live View, etc. However, many species simply will not allow you that kind of time. Therefore, if I am hiking and see such a creature, I like the ability to switch to AF/IS, than to "wish I had it" for that situation ...



But just like you stipulate (if you do) the need for auto-focus, so I stipulate (to myself) that I need a very well-corrected lens for my work. As I have mentioned in previous posts that the wonderful Zeiss Makro-Planar macro lenses (100mm, 500mm) are quite sharp, but not well corrected, so i can't use them. But for many, many people they are the cat's meow, as they say.

I mention a similar passage in my article (wonderful, but no 1:1, no AF, no MF) ...

I am willing to forgo a bit of resolution, etc. (albeit not too much) ... and have a much wider list of options ... than to have an edge in some categories (but lose other options altogether).

Versatility is what I am after, without losing any appreciable trait at all.



Here is one of hundreds of thousands of outdoor shots I have made with the CV-125.

Very nice!

Here is a shot I got of a Zebra Swallowtail in Florida ... thanks to having AF (albeit slower than the Sigma) on the old Canon 180mm.

It was still fast enough to let me get this (and a couple other) shots, before it flew off altogether.

While the Voigtlander I am sure is a vastly-superior piece of glass to the Canon 180, had I been forced to crank on a 680° manual-focus ring to get the shot, I doubt I could have got a shot at all.



Jack
Logged

Michael Erlewine

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1027
    • MacroStop.com
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #58 on: January 10, 2016, 11:25:32 am »


While the Voigtlander I am sure is a vastly-superior piece of glass to the Canon 180, had I been forced to crank on a 680° manual-focus ring to get the shot, I doubt I could have got a shot at all.

Jack

Of course, you know best with your own work, but just because we can't do something does not mean that no one can, right? You point out in your quote that you could not do it. But others certainly can.

Just look at the incredible hand-held manual-focus work of LordV over on the Fred Miranda Macro Forum.

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=807056

Anyway, nice article...good discussion. Now to go and shoot some photos in my indoor studio, in the midst of a raging snowstorm.




Logged
MichaelErlewine.smugmug.com. Founder MacroStop.com, MichaelErlewine.com, YouTube.com/user/merlewine

John Koerner

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 866
  • "Fortune favors the bold." Virgil
    • John Koerner Photography
Re: Macro Lens Comparison
« Reply #59 on: January 10, 2016, 11:33:40 am »

Of course, you know best with your own work, but just because we can't do something does not mean that no one can, right? You point out in your quote that you could not do it. But others certainly can.

Again, it depends on the subject.

I can hand-hold and MF on certain subjects ... while others do not allow for it.



ust look at the incredible hand-held manual-focus work of LordV over on the Fred Miranda Macro Forum.

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=807056

That is the Photography-on-the-Net Forum :P

I agree, Lord V does some wonderful work.

However, again, look at his subjects.

He baits bees and takes intimate shots of immobile flowers; therefore (in essence) these are studio shots, not impromptu nature shots.

The flies and whatnot he's photographing are sitting motionless on leaves in his garden.

Big difference between wildlife photography and the convenience of setting up a studio/garden.



Anyway, nice article...good discussion. Now to go and shoot some photos in my indoor studio, in the midst of a raging snowstorm.

Agreed :)

Jack
Logged
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 8   Go Up