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Author Topic: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review  (Read 26126 times)

Rob C

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #60 on: January 05, 2014, 05:16:13 am »

Hi Rob,

Sorry to disapoint, this one is a 150 megapixels stitch. ;)

Cheers,
Bernard



I was afraid that's what you'd say. In essence, then, it hardly matters what you buy if you are going to use each shot to make tiny bits of a greater whole. Something there runs counter to all aspirations for optical progress. In fact I think it a retrogressive idea. Yes, it works, but the how is somehow morally all wrong. Some test lenses by photographing brick walls; this takes the concept of making a photograph down to nothing more than 'a brick at a time' construction.

Rob C

BernardLanguillier

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #61 on: January 05, 2014, 05:26:24 am »


I was afraid that's what you'd say. In essence, then, it hardly matters what you buy if you are going to use each shot to make tiny bits of a greater whole. Something there runs counter to all aspirations for optical progress. In fact I think it a retrogressive idea. Yes, it works, but the how is somehow morally all wrong. Some test lenses by photographing brick walls; this takes the concept of making a photograph down to nothing more than 'a brick at a time' constructiono.

You are a pioneer Rob, stitching had been criticized in many ways before, but nobody had questioned the morality of the deed till now! :)

Now, why do I bother using an Otus if the quality of the lens doesn't matter for stitching? A 1920 pixel wide web image that was downsized without any precaution is not the right medium to assess the difference stitching makes, it starts at 1 meter wide on the best printing devices.

Finally, the train station image I also linked was sharpened differently and is IHMO sharper looking than the temple stitch at that large web resolution. It also exemplifies the technical perfection that can be reached shooting handheld with the Otus/D800/DxO combo.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 05:43:12 am by BernardLanguillier »
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kers

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #62 on: January 05, 2014, 08:36:50 am »

...For what it's worth, I have uploaded several new samples shot with the Otus after the link: ...

hai Bernard,

First of all thank you for posting these Otus samples... with such a lens i really want to have a good look on what it does..

I think it is not easy to show the quality of the Otus with such small images... i can see that they are very crisp indeed but some are over processed in the downrez I think
( at least  to my liking)
example
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/11646020714/in/set-72157639077058796
a very nice image, but here on flickr it looks oversharpened. This happens quickly with super sharp images - other images do not have that problem at all..

One of the images that i find very interesting and really shows something special is this one:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/11730152636/player/dcf6fdfb07
is it taken wide open? 
It shows something that i did not realize before i saw it: if you make panorama's you have a super wide angle that can be used on 1.4  !  Well; in that field Otus is king.

« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 09:55:37 am by kers »
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #63 on: January 05, 2014, 09:23:24 am »

It shows something did not realize before i saw it.: if you make panorama's you have a super wide angle that can be used on 1.4  !  Well; in that field Otus is king.

Hi Pieter,

Indeed. Of course one can also achieve that effect by using a longer focal length (300mm @ f/4.5 or f/5.0 would give similar DOF, although even much higher resolution), but it would require a lot more tiles to stitch and a less comfortable way of shooting and travelling.

I also think that a focal length in the order of 50mm, produces a very nice wide angle stitching experience, both in taking as well as in viewing the result, and the amount of post-processing remains manageable even if combined with HDR.

Cheers,
Bart
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== If you do what you did, you'll get what you got. ==

BernardLanguillier

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #64 on: January 05, 2014, 08:03:50 pm »

One of the images that i find very interesting and really shows something special is this one:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/11730152636/player/dcf6fdfb07
is it taken wide open?  

Nope, this one was taken at f11 if I recall.

I wanted to keep detail in the wood carvings at the back of the stage while also showing enough details of the front of the building.

In terms of details, f1.4 is definitely usable for pano on the Otus, but the one concern is light fall off that it pretty important. DxO corrects this extremely well but is not quite as good as C1 Pro colorwise at base ISO.

My guess is that PTgui pro should be able to correct the light fall off automatically very well with images converted using C1 Pro, but I have not tried this out yet. It can be a challenge in skies.

Cheers,
Bernard

uaiomex

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #65 on: January 05, 2014, 08:27:11 pm »

I downloaded one of those first jpegs released by Zeiss. It was the one showing a  bunch of buildings taken from a considerable height. For sure from another high building.
The image was sharp, very sharp, ok, too sharp. Maybe oversharpened because I could see some artifacting but maybe it was the compression. Anyway, after some comparisons with medium format scanned film jpegs and some downloaded jpegs from DMF, I was disappointed for the "digital" look of the Otus. This said image and some others i've seen over the web have this quality lacking the smoothness of the bigger formats.
Maybe the Otus images may need a totally different sharpening algorythm or Zeiss just reached a "ceiling"
At first I was excited about Otus but because of its too-high price and since I have 2 wonderful Canon TSE lenses (more to come soon according to rumors), I think I'll stick to flat stitching. So easy, so fast, so unexpensive (relative).
Part of my landscape photography is long-exposure. When I finally get a megapixel Canon or after Sony solves the A7r glitches I'll do my own testing. If the TSE glass fails to deliver non stitching quality, then I may consider an Otus lens.
Eduardo  

 
hai Bernard,

First of all thank you for posting these Otus samples... with such a lens i really want to have a good look on what it does..

I think it is not easy to show the quality of the Otus with such small images... i can see that they are very crisp indeed but some are over processed in the downrez I think
( at least  to my liking)
example
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/11646020714/in/set-72157639077058796
a very nice image, but here on flickr it looks oversharpened. This happens quickly with super sharp images - other images do not have that problem at all..

One of the images that i find very interesting and really shows something special is this one:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/11730152636/player/dcf6fdfb07
is it taken wide open? 
It shows something that i did not realize before i saw it: if you make panorama's you have a super wide angle that can be used on 1.4  !  Well; in that field Otus is king.


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allegretto

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #66 on: January 05, 2014, 08:45:27 pm »

For what it's worth, my Canon 24 TS-E on the 6D delivers an image almost as good as my Zeiss 21 on the 6D. As is the case with Zeiss lenses, the color balance is somewhat different than the Canon. Noticeably more neutral, and thus I can see it contributing to the "too sharp" impression. Bet the Otus is similar.

As far as the non-stop phobia about Canon and "not enough Mpxl"... yawn ("when I finally get a megapixel Canon")... you think that even with stitching it's a major issue? Is it an issue with other 20MP-something cameras, or just Canons? There are only two FF cameras with significantly more MP's than a 6D or 5D III. Do people take every photo with one of them? Even Pros who have them?

Is there anything as important as MP count? To me it's much like horsepower. To folks who sit around talking about them, a racecar's HP is the most important spec. To those who actually race them, it's one of many factors.



I downloaded one of those first jpegs released by Zeiss. It was the one showing a  bunch of buildings taken from a considerable height. For sure from another high building.
The image was sharp, very sharp, ok, too sharp. Maybe oversharpened because I could see some artifacting but maybe it was the compression. Anyway, after some comparisons with medium format scanned film jpegs and some downloaded jpegs from DMF, I was disappointed for the "digital" look of the Otus. This said image and some others i've seen over the web have this quality lacking the smoothness of the bigger formats.
Maybe the Otus images may need a totally different sharpening algorythm or Zeiss just reached a "ceiling"
At first I was excited about Otus but because of its too-high price and since I have 2 wonderful Canon TSE lenses (more to come soon according to rumors), I think I'll stick to flat stitching. So easy, so fast, so unexpensive (relative).
Part of my landscape photography is long-exposure. When I finally get a megapixel Canon or after Sony solves the A7r glitches I'll do my own testing. If the TSE glass fails to deliver non stitching quality, then I may consider an Otus lens.
Eduardo  

 
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 08:47:51 pm by allegretto »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #67 on: January 05, 2014, 09:11:58 pm »

As far as the non-stop phobia about Canon and "not enough Mpxl"... yawn ("when I finally get a megapixel Canon")... you think that even with stitching it's a major issue? Is it an issue with other 20MP-something cameras, or just Canons? There are only two FF cameras with significantly more MP's than a 6D or 5D III. Do people take every photo with one of them? Even Pros who have them?

Is there anything as important as MP count? To me it's much like horsepower. To folks who sit around talking about them, a racecar's HP is the most important spec. To those who actually race them, it's one of many factors.

Could that be discussed in another thread please? Or in any of the 231 threads where it already was discussed?  ???

Thanks.

Cheers,
Bernard

allegretto

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #68 on: January 05, 2014, 10:56:37 pm »

Certainly! Didn't mean to hijack your thread... sorry. Felt I was truly addressing the issue of TS-e color vs. Zeiss and my $.02 about why it "looks that way". The other thing was just an offhand response to his offhand response

In any case, you're right, not an issue for me either in fact...


Could that be discussed in another thread please? Or in any of the 231 threads where it already was discussed?  ???

Thanks.

Cheers,
Bernard

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risedal

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review, pictures
« Reply #69 on: January 07, 2014, 02:24:45 pm »

Weather is very bad here in Sweden , took some pictures handheld with my Otus and d800, many at F-1,4
did a short comparison with 2 examples of  Micro-Nikkor 60mm, I got so much inferior results with my MN  despite live view, tripod so I leant a new 60mm out of the box, mine is 2 years old.
Short
there is nothing  better than Otus, my Sigma 35/1,4 remains about Otus but there is something extra with this lens micro contrast

some pictures here and to down load in full resolution

https://picasaweb.google.com/106266083120070292876/ZeissOtusAt14MaybeTheBest5060mmLensEver?authkey=Gv1sRgCOCB46_Bl_ju6gE
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 02:38:10 pm by risedal »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #70 on: January 14, 2014, 04:37:11 pm »

Team,

For what it is worth, I have added 20 new Otus images to the set below:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/72157639077058796/

Most of these were shot handheld. A few additional observations/confirmations:
- The lens is great for night shooting, it handles urban lights very well,
- It is possible to have a fairly high ratio of well focused images using the viewfinder of the D800,
- The very low distortion really helps frame accurately on such images,
- Veiling flare behavior is average at best, it is better to avoid having the sun hit the front element of the lens without being in the image.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: January 14, 2014, 07:14:37 pm by BernardLanguillier »
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Rob C

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #71 on: January 14, 2014, 05:37:08 pm »

Team,

For what it is worth, I have added 20 new Otus images to the set below:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/72157639077058796/

Most of these were shot handheld. A few additional observations/confirmations:
- The lens is great for night shooting, it handles urban lights very well,
- It is possible to have a fairly high ratio of well focused images using the viewfinder of the D800,
- Veiling flare gehavior is average at best, it is better to avoid having the sun hit the front element of the lens without being in the image.

Cheers,
Bernard



Bernard, doesn't it strike you as weird that you can write that and nobody will think it strange?

I don't think it strange, I just think it revealing about the sorry state of today's camera viewfinders. Bring back the split-image screen!. Within a checked screen, please, that works with fast lenses, unlike your old offering, Mr Nikon.

Rob C

BernardLanguillier

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #72 on: January 14, 2014, 07:09:45 pm »

Bernard, doesn't it strike you as weird that you can write that and nobody will think it strange?

I don't think it strange, I just think it revealing about the sorry state of today's camera viewfinders. Bring back the split-image screen!. Within a checked screen, please, that works with fast lenses, unlike your old offering, Mr Nikon.

Rob,

I think most folks around here have accepted long ago that it is challenging to get tack sharp images when manual focusing with DSLRs... The reasons are the following:
- the resolution of sensors is much higher than the detail of most 35mm films,
- we have much higher expectations in terms of sharpness since looking at images at 100% on screen is equivalent to a 1m wide print that we typically never did from 35mm film,
- there is no grain to blur the appreciation of sharpness when reviewing images,
- most lenses are AF and have been optimised for fast AF focusing instead of accurate manual focusing,
- indeed, the DSLR viewfinders are not optimised for manual focus.

So, in that context, being able to reach very sharp results manual focussing/hand helding the D800 and the Otus is a result worth mentioning IMHO. ;)

Now, this comments applies to good light situation, it is more challenging in darker environments.

Cheers,
Bernard

Hulyss

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #73 on: January 14, 2014, 07:30:30 pm »

I really like your photos Bernard. Japan is a very inspiring place for photographer brain.

For manual focus with modern DSLR, about a time we all can manage to tame our lenses. I'm sure of it. But this need time and understanding this sensual relation between our eyes and a given manual lenses.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2014, 07:32:36 pm by Hulyss »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #74 on: January 14, 2014, 08:11:00 pm »

I really like your photos Bernard. Japan is a very inspiring place for photographer brain.

Thanks a lot Hulyss!

Cheers,
Bernard

uaiomex

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #75 on: January 15, 2014, 12:07:14 am »

No, not in the "not enough mp's channel". But since I like to print 24X36" and bigger I'm sure more Mp's than my 6D can provide with flat stitching would be a nice thing to have.
If I could afford to not care about spending ridiculous amounts of money for digital medium format gear, I would bite. But no, there more important priorities in life than mortgaging one, two or three years of my life for this kind of of photo gear. Not worth it to me. If I'd hit the lotto, one of the first things I would do, would be to get me a Rollei Hy6 Mod 2 with the finest lenses and the finest Leaf and Phase One backs.
Oh, so easy to daydream!
Eduardo

For what it's worth, my Canon 24 TS-E on the 6D delivers an image almost as good as my Zeiss 21 on the 6D. As is the case with Zeiss lenses, the color balance is somewhat different than the Canon. Noticeably more neutral, and thus I can see it contributing to the "too sharp" impression. Bet the Otus is similar.

As far as the non-stop phobia about Canon and "not enough Mpxl"... yawn ("when I finally get a megapixel Canon")... you think that even with stitching it's a major issue? Is it an issue with other 20MP-something cameras, or just Canons? There are only two FF cameras with significantly more MP's than a 6D or 5D III. Do people take every photo with one of them? Even Pros who have them?

Is there anything as important as MP count? To me it's much like horsepower. To folks who sit around talking about them, a racecar's HP is the most important spec. To those who actually race them, it's one of many factors.



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Rob C

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #76 on: January 15, 2014, 04:31:12 am »

Rob,

I think most folks around here have accepted long ago that it is challenging to get tack sharp images when manual focusing with DSLRs... The reasons are the following:
- the resolution of sensors is much higher than the detail of most 35mm films,
- we have much higher expectations in terms of sharpness since looking at images at 100% on screen is equivalent to a 1m wide print that we typically never did from 35mm film,
- there is no grain to blur the appreciation of sharpness when reviewing images,
- most lenses are AF and have been optimised for fast AF focusing instead of accurate manual focusing,
- indeed, the DSLR viewfinders are not optimised for manual focus.

So, in that context, being able to reach very sharp results manual focussing/hand helding the D800 and the Otus is a result worth mentioning IMHO. ;)

Now, this comments applies to good light situation, it is more challenging in darker environments.

Cheers,
Bernard



Yes, all of those factors that you quoted might be correct, but I still know that using a split-image screen made the world of difference for me even when I was using film, and so putting the same advantage into the dslr situation could not but help me get better results than I can without it. I have a life-long experience of manual focussing, and its the single af lens that I own that would give me the greatest problems were I to use it in af mode, but it is a focal length that I seldom use anymore - 180mm.

Further, in my case, with manual lenses, only the central af point on the screen works in conjunction with the little green focus-confirmation light. I seldom put the main subject directly in the middle of the frame, and as you know, focussing on one thing and then recomposing isn't geometrically a good solution; you end up with putting the actual point of focus beyond your real subject.

Rob C

Manoli

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #77 on: January 15, 2014, 06:39:46 am »

Further, in my case, with manual lenses, only the central af point on the screen works in conjunction with the little green focus-confirmation light. I seldom put the main subject directly in the middle of the frame, ...

Rob,
Nikon, D700 manual, p82:

"..the viewfinder focus indicator can be used to confirm whether the subject in the selected focus point is in focus (the focus point can be selected from any of the 51 focus points)."

http://www.nikonusa.com/pdf/manuals/dslr/D700_en.pdf

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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #78 on: January 15, 2014, 06:44:15 am »

Rob,
Nikon, D700 manual, p82:

"..the viewfinder focus indicator can be used to confirm whether the subject in the selected focus point is in focus (the focus point can be selected from any of the 51 focus points)."

Yes, but this is not selective enough to distinguish between perfect focus vs so so focus.

On the D800 + Otus, I get a better focus accuracy by eye compared to using the focus indicator.

Cheers,
Bernard

Manoli

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Re: Otus 55mm f1.4 rolling review
« Reply #79 on: January 15, 2014, 07:31:00 am »

Yes, but this is not selective enough to distinguish between perfect focus vs so so focus.
On the D800 + Otus, I get a better focus accuracy by eye compared to using the focus indicator.

Bernard, yes - so do I. But the post was to correct the mistaken
" only the central af point on the screen works in conjunction with the little green focus-confirmation light. " belief.

If Rob, is using the central focus point (for better or worse) only - he can shift it, if he so desires, to any one of the other 51 that Nikon provide.
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