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Author Topic: Help me choose my future "pro gear"  (Read 15187 times)

PeterAit

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Re: Help me choose my future "pro gear"
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2014, 11:27:07 am »

Use only camera-maker's products. They are almost always the best. This should not even be a question.

No no no no no! That's a mistaken impression that may date from the "bad old days" when the independent lens makers were focused on making inexpensive lenses for people with limited budgets. Things are different today, with some really excellent lenses from the independents, lenses that equal or surpass the camera brands. You probably cannot go too far wrong buying a Canon, Nikon, etc. lens, but with some careful research a Sigma (or whatever) might be just as good or better with a significant $$$ saving.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Help me choose my future "pro gear"
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2014, 11:37:09 am »

Hi,

Sigma seems to make some very nice lenses nowdays and Zeiss are usually not second rate.

Best regards
Erik


No no no no no! That's a mistaken impression that may date from the "bad old days" when the independent lens makers were focused on making inexpensive lenses for people with limited budgets. Things are different today, with some really excellent lenses from the independents, lenses that equal or surpass the camera brands. You probably cannot go too far wrong buying a Canon, Nikon, etc. lens, but with some careful research a Sigma (or whatever) might be just as good or better with a significant $$$ saving.
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melchiorpavone

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Re: Help me choose my future "pro gear"
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2014, 11:39:10 am »

Hi,

Sigma seems to make some very nice lenses nowdays and Zeiss are usually not second rate.

Best regards
Erik



Yes, but the Zeiss lenses are not auto-focus. They are quite a different animal, and I am not talking about them.
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Jim Pascoe

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Re: Help me choose my future "pro gear"
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2014, 12:00:44 pm »

It may be very good, but I am sure it is not the best. But why bother?

The Leica M Typ 240 takes Leica M lenses and R lenses, and many others:

http://www.overgaard.dk/Leica-M-Type-240-aka-Leica-M10-digital-rangefinder-camera-page-30.html

I'm not sure where the Leica fits in with this discussion - but I think you will find that the new Sigma in fact is possibly the best 50mm lens around - for Nikon or Canon anyway.  And your original point about using non camera manufacturer lenses seemed very broad - rather than just aimed at the OP.  Which is why I mentioned that other makes, like Zeiss and Sigma may be just as good if not better.  I also appreciate that the Zeiss lenses are not autofocus - but of course for many types of photography that is not an issue.

Your inference was that a pro would should never use independent maker lenses - that is all I am challenging.  The OP is an aspiring pro and of course as any pro knows you do need good equipment, but the gear is probably the least important bit of making a living.

Jim
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melchiorpavone

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Re: Help me choose my future "pro gear"
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2014, 12:11:29 pm »

I'm not sure where the Leica fits in with this discussion - but I think you will find that the new Sigma in fact is possibly the best 50mm lens around - for Nikon or Canon anyway.  And your original point about using non camera manufacturer lenses seemed very broad - rather than just aimed at the OP.  Which is why I mentioned that other makes, like Zeiss and Sigma may be just as good if not better.  I also appreciate that the Zeiss lenses are not autofocus - but of course for many types of photography that is not an issue.

Your inference was that a pro would should never use independent maker lenses - that is all I am challenging.  The OP is an aspiring pro and of course as any pro knows you do need good equipment, but the gear is probably the least important bit of making a living.

Jim


The main thing that distinguishes camera-makers lenses is durability. The "L" lenses are not always superior optically, but they are generally faster and more durable, by far, than independent lenses. For a pro, equipment cost is only a small fraction of the overall cost of doing business.

The best 50mm lens around is almost certainly the new 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/lenses/a_new_benchmark_in_optical_performance_design_and_mechanical_excellence.shtml
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 12:15:16 pm by melchiorpavone »
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sid51

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Re: Help me choose my future "pro gear"
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2014, 12:19:37 pm »

That's a massive jump and will take time and hands-on to fully get to speed. I'd take a smaller step and buy less, master it in a smaller dose then take another step. Perhaps rent and if it fulfills your need, then buy and don't hesitate to get good used and perhaps one generation behind equipment.

Right now, I have all you lust for and more. On my last journey to Europe and east, I took my essentials--2-D800 bodies, two fisheye lenses, 8mm and 15mm (my client has specific needs for circular images of his work), 17-35 (my 14-24 is just too big and heavy, 24-120, and 70-300.

However, as a back-up, I brought a Panasonic GX7 and two lenses--7-14 and 14-140. Guess what I shot the most with and what saved the day?

Sure, it's great to have an arsenal of the best gear on earth, but once the image hits the web or ink dries on the paper, it's the vision and craft that counts, not the tools used to get it.

Just another point of view to consider.

I understand your point, but we dont have cheap places to rent this stuff here in Brazil, and the cost of new gear like this here is almost 50% more than if i buy it in the USA. So, even if i dont like the gear i get, i can easily sell it here, with a profit. Thats the reason i wanna buy all i can with the money i have.


I think so, yes. That's certainly true for the Canon 70-200/4 versus the other brand 70-200 lenses that I have tried. The Nikon is, if anything, better than the Canon in the f/4 versions of these lenses.

Another thing to consider is size and weight. The f/4 zooms are about half the weight of the f/2.8 zooms. This becomes an issue when carrying three of them, and also when shooting for long periods of time. Over the long term, carrying that much weight can cause all sorts of back and neck problems, just ask any gray-bearded photographer. :) These days you aren't giving up much when choosing the f/4 zooms -- there's not much observable difference in depth of field control between f/2.8 and f/4, and a one-stop boost in ISO isn't that much of a big deal either.

I am gonna test them both when i get there, see if sharpness is equivalent, and decide if the weight will make that big difference in hands.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Help me choose my future "pro gear"
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2014, 12:29:39 pm »

Hi,

This is just an assumption. I am pretty sure that the Zeiss Otus outperforms the APO-Summicron-M ASPH, and the best lens may be the Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO MACRO.

Just to mention, each digital sensor has some optical package in front of it. A lens need to be optimised for the sensor. Leica keeps that package very thin, which is a compromise, but they need to do it to use older lenses.

The Otus 55/1.4 is a Distagon type design, with a large negative front group making for small ray angle and low vignetting, the Sigma Art 55/1.4 has also a quite similar design.

My take is that the APO-Summicron-M ASPH was developed specially for the Leica M Monochrome that has a very wide spectral response, needing correction in both UV and IR, this would not be relevant to other cameras having "Bayer CFA" and sharp cut IR-filters.

Best regards
Erik


The main thing that distinguishes camera-makers lenses is durability. The "L" lenses are not always superior optically, but they are generally faster and more durable, by far, than independent lenses. For a pro, equipment cost is only a small fraction of the overall cost of doing business.

The best 50mm lens around is almost certainly the new 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/lenses/a_new_benchmark_in_optical_performance_design_and_mechanical_excellence.shtml
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melchiorpavone

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Re: Help me choose my future "pro gear"
« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2014, 12:31:51 pm »

Hi,

This is just an assumption. I am pretty sure that the Zeiss Otus outperforms the APO-Summicron-M ASPH.

Best regards
Erik


I am pretty sure it does not.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Help me choose my future "pro gear"
« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2014, 12:32:53 pm »

I am pretty sure it does…

Best regards
Erik

I am pretty sure it does not.
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Erik Kaffehr
 

melchiorpavone

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Re: Help me choose my future "pro gear"
« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2014, 12:35:18 pm »

I am pretty sure it does…

Best regards
Erik


Nope.

The lens is an f/1.4 and a retro-focus design. The APO-Summicron-M ASPH is an f/2 and non-retro-focus design.

That does not mean it is not an outstanding lens, but the APO-Summicron-M ASPH is the best at the moment.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/lenses/a_new_benchmark_in_optical_performance_design_and_mechanical_excellence.shtml
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 12:37:22 pm by melchiorpavone »
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melchiorpavone

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Re: Help me choose my future "pro gear"
« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2014, 12:44:42 pm »

Hi,

Retro-focus designs have less vignetting.
Best regards
Erik


What are you talking about? ALL reflex lenses under 60mm or so are retro-focus designs; they have to be, to clear the mirror. The 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH is a rangefinder lens, and thus does not need a retro-focus design. There is no mirror to clear.

Retro-focus designs are almost always inferior to non-retrofocus designs, all things being equal.

and what are those photos?

This is the first 21mm Super-Angulon-R offered by Leica (1965-1968), the f/3.4 version:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Leicaflex-lens-1-3-4-21-mm-Super-Angulon-R-incl-finder-boxed-11803-/371110266591?nma=true&si=fuFwhnKb9efXyIFgiNC7ohtBaI4%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

It did not allow reflex viewing.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Leicaflex-with-Rare-3-4-21-mm-Super-Angulon-R-incl-finder/371125507802?_trksid=p2047675.c100011.m1850&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D24643%26meid%3D75d1d5b65e04497ab8bd56b195215a87%26pid%3D100011%26prg%3D10413%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D10%26sd%3D371110266591

The second one was an f/4 (1968-1994), and is a retro-focus lens:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/371110266591?lpid=82

the older one was "better", but was withdrawn and replaced with a retro-focus design for obvious reasons.

« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 12:55:54 pm by melchiorpavone »
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Manoli

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Re: Help me choose my future "pro gear"
« Reply #31 on: August 18, 2014, 12:55:14 pm »

I am pretty sure it does not.

I am pretty sure it does…

The short answer is " it depends on which camera it's mounted "

-

Erik,

You're being a naughty boy !
Those screenshots (actually extreme crops) come from a test of the Otus v the Leica 50mm 1.4 Summilux (NOT the 50 APO-Cron) and the Zeiss 55 FE/1.8 all on the Sony A7r.

M


« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 12:59:55 pm by Manoli »
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Help me choose my future "pro gear"
« Reply #32 on: August 18, 2014, 12:58:33 pm »

Hi,

All designs have advantages and disadvantages. Rangefinder lenses can be symmetrical, while more modern lenses generally are telecentric. One of the reasons behind this is the need to keep the ray angle low. Digital sensors don't work well with large ray angles. Leica keeps the optical package in front of the sensor thin, and needs to compensate for lens cast in software.

Most "normal" lenses, that is around 50 mm used to be "double Gauss" designs. Modern normal lenses have adopted a more complex design, more demanding and much larger but achieving a superior quality.

As a side note, if you don't need an f/1.4 lens, don't buy an f/1.4 lens. Keeping aperture down demands a less complex design which in all probability will be better.

Regarding the images I posted, the test is here: http://3d-kraft.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=151:adorable-50s-otus-noctilux-summilux-hyperprime-sonnar&catid=40:camerasandlenses&Itemid=2

I would just add that the best measure of lens quality is MTF and not price tag… MTF may not be perfect but way better than price tag…

Best regards
Erik

What are you talking about? ALL reflex lenses under 60mm or so are retro-focus designs; they have to be, to clear the mirror. The 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH is a rangefinder lens, and thus does not need a retro-focus design. There is no mirror to clear.

and what are those photos?
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melchiorpavone

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Re: Help me choose my future "pro gear"
« Reply #33 on: August 18, 2014, 01:03:19 pm »

Hi,

All designs have advantages and disadvantages. Rangefinder lenses can be symmetrical, while more modern lenses generally are telecentric. One of the reasons behind this is the need to keep the ray angle low. Digital sensors don't work well with large ray angles. Leica keeps the optical package in front of the sensor thin, and needs to compensate for lens cast in software.

Most "normal" lenses, that is around 50 mm used to be "double Gauss" designs. Modern normal lenses have adopted a more complex design, more demanding and much larger but achieving a superior quality.

As a side note, if you don't need an f/1.4 lens, don't buy an f/1.4 lens. Keeping aperture down demands a less complex design which in all probability will be better.

Regarding the images I posted, the test is here: http://3d-kraft.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=151:adorable-50s-otus-noctilux-summilux-hyperprime-sonnar&catid=40:camerasandlenses&Itemid=2

I would just add that the best measure of lens quality is MTF and not price tag… MTF may not be perfect but way better than price tag…

Best regards
Erik


That is not the lens I am referring to.
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Michael N. Meyer

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Re: Help me choose my future "pro gear"
« Reply #35 on: August 18, 2014, 01:39:02 pm »

One important thing to consider is whether or not your existing computer and software can handle the larger files from a D810. You may need to budget for upgrading either or both of those. Also, how are you going to store and archive the large files--do you have enough storage space? When I went from 10mp to 24mp I was shocked at how much more hard drive space I went through.

Another thought: TTL flash is great, but for really interesting work off camera lighting is often better. You could compromise with something like a Quantum Q-Flash that can work in TTL and is also versatile off camera. Or, get a lower model Nikon flash for TTL and a decent monolight. I'd rather have competent strobe equipment available than every lens in Nikon's catalog.

Also, ignore the side argument about the best 50. After a point, "better" just doesn't matter in the real world. The best 50 (or best of any lens) almost certainly won't make you any more money (which is paramount if you want to be and stay a pro) than one infinitesimally less good.

melchiorpavone

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Re: Help me choose my future "pro gear"
« Reply #36 on: August 18, 2014, 01:49:49 pm »

One important thing to consider is whether or not your existing computer and software can handle the larger files from a D810. You may need to budget for upgrading either or both of those. Also, how are you going to store and archive the large files--do you have enough storage space? When I went from 10mp to 24mp I was shocked at how much more hard drive space I went through.

Another thought: TTL flash is great, but for really interesting work off camera lighting is often better. You could compromise with something like a Quantum Q-Flash that can work in TTL and is also versatile off camera. Or, get a lower model Nikon flash for TTL and a decent monolight. I'd rather have competent strobe equipment available than every lens in Nikon's catalog.

Also, ignore the side argument about the best 50. After a point, "better" just doesn't matter in the real world. The best 50 (or best of any lens) almost certainly won't make you any more money (which is paramount if you want to be and stay a pro) than one infinitesimally less good.

Yes, but the better lenses are also more durable, and that is important for pro work. The "ruggedness" of "cheap" independent lenses is where the differences show up.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 01:58:51 pm by melchiorpavone »
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Help me choose my future "pro gear"
« Reply #37 on: August 18, 2014, 01:59:23 pm »

Hi,

Little evidence of that…

As a matter of fact, Diglloyd found that many of the Leica lenses had issues, something like 75% of the lenses having issues. Hard to find a direct reference, but it is pretty clear he had quite a few issues.

The only way to find out is really is the use the stuff.

Best regards
Erik

Yes, but the better lenses are also more durable, and that is important for pro work.
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Erik Kaffehr
 

sid51

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Re: Help me choose my future "pro gear"
« Reply #38 on: August 18, 2014, 02:11:53 pm »

One important thing to consider is whether or not your existing computer and software can handle the larger files from a D810. You may need to budget for upgrading either or both of those. Also, how are you going to store and archive the large files--do you have enough storage space? When I went from 10mp to 24mp I was shocked at how much more hard drive space I went through.

Another thought: TTL flash is great, but for really interesting work off camera lighting is often better. You could compromise with something like a Quantum Q-Flash that can work in TTL and is also versatile off camera. Or, get a lower model Nikon flash for TTL and a decent monolight. I'd rather have competent strobe equipment available than every lens in Nikon's catalog.

Also, ignore the side argument about the best 50. After a point, "better" just doesn't matter in the real world. The best 50 (or best of any lens) almost certainly won't make you any more money (which is paramount if you want to be and stay a pro) than one infinitesimally less good.

I have a pretty nice computer (i am a heavy user/gamer, so i always had decent components) with a huge storage space. This is not a problem for me.

About the lightning gear, i am thinking about buy a decent/durable on-camera flash now, and save some money to buy the off-camera gear i will need later on. I can't afford all right now, and i really dont want to buy cheap/breakable stuff. Also, 90% of the events i shoot happens on outside under very intense sun light.
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kers

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Re: Help me choose my future "pro gear"
« Reply #39 on: August 18, 2014, 05:06:44 pm »

I would a few weeks to see what Nikon announces at Photokina.

They are rumored to announce a new action FF DSLR that may be a good compromise btwn the D4s and the D810.

This being said, the D810 is already amazingly good.

Cheers,
Bernard


and I would like it to be a professional FF  with the design-elements of the V3 ... that will be just in time! and I want to have one!
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