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Author Topic: Seriously considering upgrading my E1  (Read 14629 times)
BJL
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« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2006, 04:01:59 PM »
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BJL,
I don't see any contradiction. Olympus started off with a bunch of lenses that had better MTF at 60 lp/mm than most Canon lenses at 40 lp/mm, yet over all image quality (including noise levels) has always appeared to be slightly worse (in the reviews I've read, anyway) than the closest Canon equivalent. I've attributed this slightly lack-lustre performance to the inadequacy of the sensor rather than the lenses which by all accounts are exceptionally fine.
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The contradiction is this: first you said that it is pointless for Olympus to emphasis high resolution lenses, then you acknowledge that improvments on both lens and sensor resolution will improve overall resolution so that improvnig lens resolution does have a point.


Secondly, you seem to be confusing two different measures of resolution: lp/mm and lines per picture height (or "effective print resolution" or "effective pixels worth of resolution"). I have seen tests which show that E-500 JPEG's have slightly less lines per picture height of resolution than the 20D but significantly more than in its price peers with 6MP sensors.
a. That is consistent with the smaller sensor still having somewhat higher resolution in lp/mm than the Canon 8MP sensors, and certainly that the Nikon/Sony/Fuji 6MP competition, due to the different sensor heights, which would be enough to justify the goal of lenses with higher lp/mm resolution.
b. Converting E-500 RAW files with other RAW converters increases resolution: apparently the in-camera processing is conservative about resolution in relation to other processing goals.

Thirdly, Olympus likely aims at higher pixels counts in the fairly near future, so it would be stupid to design and sell lenses now that cannot keep up with the higher resolution of new models coming in the near future.

Lenses are probably going to have longer lifetimes than DSLR bodies, so should out-resolve current DSLR bodies!
« Last Edit: July 10, 2006, 04:03:08 PM by BJL » Logged
Scott_H
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« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2006, 06:09:40 PM »
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In response to some of the original questions...  

There are a couple of things that might help with autofocus.   Although, in my opinion, Olympus is a little behind in that regard.

It is possible to improve autofocus, particularly in low light, by using an Olympus flash in the hotshoe.  You can set the flash so it will not fire, but the flash focus lights will still light up and help with autofocus.  Of course, for your style of shooting that might be a little distracing.  I have not tried it myself, but it is supposed to help.  I am failry certain it works with the FL-50, and probably the FL-40.

The extra battery pack is supposed to help with autofocus too, and there are probably some inexpensive ones on ebay right now.

None of which helps with the sze of the viewfinder or the high iso capability.  There may be an E-3 this fall and there may not.  If there is it will probably be expensive, and the viewfinder will probably not be any larger.  There are a lot of rumours going around that Olympus will release an intermediate range and a high end range, like they have with their lenses, but they are just rumours.  Time will tell I suppose.

Personally I have been thinking about switching to Nikon.  I like the smaller format, mostly I like doing telephoto pictures, so it is a pretty good fit for me.  I am somewhat frustrated by the lack of an affordable telephoto longer than 200 mm, or a long macro lens though.  I know Sigma..., but that announcement was months ago, and no release dates have been announced yet.

I just bought a 50-500, and a 1.4 convertor though.  I figure if Olympus does drop the ball, Panasonic could still pick it up an run with it.  If not, my investment is still pretty low.
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Ray
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« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2006, 06:58:52 PM »
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first you said that it is pointless for Olympus to emphasis high resolution lenses


BJL,
My wording was a little strong, but not that strong. I was trying to convey the idea that it is not efficient to have too much disparity between the performance of the lens and the performance of the sensor and that the 5mp E-1 seems to have started out that way. It has always seemed to me a pity that Olympus was not able to take the market by storm by developing a sensor that was as state-of-art as its lenses.

Of course, in the fullness of time that might change   .
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Ray
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« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2006, 07:08:44 PM »
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I just bought a 50-500, and a 1.4 convertor though. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=70296\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'd be interested in seeing some test shots, Scott, at 500mm with and without extender.
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Scott_H
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« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2006, 08:45:39 PM »
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Meh, sorry Ray, I meant 50-200.  I'm thinking about a 50-500 (if it ever becomes available) but I think autofocus is going to be a struggle without a convertor.  

The other thing that can help with autofocus is to make sure that you have the latest version of firmware (1.4 I think).  That I know makes a difference.
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situgrrl
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« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2006, 09:48:33 AM »
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I really need a new camera now after my Olympus was stolen this weekend.  I'm not yet sure whether insurance will cover due to circumstances of the theft.  The police are obviously involved.

I'll keep my fingers crossed!  In the meantime, lens suggestions for a 20D?  Yeah, I know, what a dull, predictable question!  I've not really had time to look at the moment - too busy with police, insurance, crying etc etc.  I need a 28mm equiv to around 135 ish.  The 17-40 L seems ubiqitous, is their a faster Sigma or Tokina alternative?  I'm thinking a couple of cheap second hand primes might sort the top end.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2006, 09:55:07 AM »
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I believe there is a tamron 17-50 f2.8.  There is also a canon 17-55 f2.8 IS for oodles more coin.

The 17-85 isn't bad but it is VERY dark and suffers optically (for a variety of reasons) from 17 to about 24.

The 85 f1.8 is well liked.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2006, 11:21:20 AM »
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Very amusing nonsense, Jonathan. F22 is not crap. It's just diffraction limited rather than aberration limited. The best lens imaginable (the perfect lens) cannot produce more than 45 lp/mm on a camera such as the 1Ds. The 20D can produce around 60 lp/mm with an ordinary lens. Get your facts straight. An ordinary, current Canon lens can deliver 50 lp/mm at 50% MTF at f16, and probably 60 lp/mm at 40% MTF.

I never said f/22 was crap. What I said was a lens that performs best resolution-wise at f/22 is crap. A good lens (say one that delivers highest resolution at f/4 instead of f/22) can deliver 50% MTF at significantly higher LP/mm than one performing best at f/22. As to getting my facts straight, try shooting with a 135/2L prime lens at a variety of different apertures, and you'll discover just how ridiculous your premises are. My 135/2L, 100/2, and 70-200/2.8L IS (when stopped down just a bit) are the only lenses I own that are capable of matching the resolution of the sensor in my 1Ds. With all of the others (35-350L, 17-40/4L, 50/1.8, and to a much lesser extent, the 24-70/2.8L), the lens distortions are the primary resolution limiting factor. If you have not made comparison tests with a good sharp prime lens, you have no real understanding of what kind of resolution your sensor is capable of, and I suggest you quit making such unfounded and ignorant statements. I've shot over 110,000 frames with the 1Ds, the 1D-MkII, and the lenses I've mentioned. I have my facts straight, you do not. And until you shoot some frames with a 135/2L or similarly sharp prime lens, you have no basis on which to support any of your arguments or the confusions you've derived from them.
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situgrrl
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« Reply #28 on: July 11, 2006, 11:58:13 AM »
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I'll write the 17-85 off on that since I can't live without a good wide angle!

Tamron lens mentioned hasn't yet been released (well, Warehouse Express say price TBC) but there is a sigma one for 279.99.  Does anyone have an opinion on this lens?

Primes I'm considering are the 50mm 1.4, 85 1.8 and 100 or 135 2.8.  The alternative to these is the Sigma 70-200 2.8 but it leaves me a fairly huge hole in my range.

Since the E1 has been discontinued, the insurance have told me to go to Jessops and have them advise me to an equivilent; do you think that they will agree a Nikon D200 is similar?

Thanks people!
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #29 on: July 11, 2006, 02:02:46 PM »
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Bribe them.
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Scott_H
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« Reply #30 on: July 11, 2006, 07:32:32 PM »
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The MSRP of the E-1 was about the same as the D200 when it first came out, maybe a little more.  You might be able to make an argument there.  You could pick up an E-1 for a song right now, but it might be a good opportunity to make a break.

The only question is whether you might want full frame at some point.  If the E-1 viewfinder seems small, an APS one still won't be as big as full frame.  I'm not sure if Nikon intends to go full frame in the future or not.  If you buy a 30D now, you could use the lenses later on a full frame Canon body.
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Ray
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« Reply #31 on: July 11, 2006, 08:46:24 PM »
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My 135/2L, 100/2, and 70-200/2.8L IS (when stopped down just a bit) are the only lenses I own that are capable of matching the resolution of the sensor in my 1Ds.


And the resolution of your 1Ds is...? 45 lp/mm? 48 lp/mm? Maybe 50 lp/mm? Wow!

C'mon, Jonathan. I wasn't born yesterday. We all know that expensive prime lenses with a Photodo rating above 4 produce images with greater accutance that 'appear' sharper than images from average zooms, but resolution is a different matter. It's measured in line pairs per mm and the expensive prime lens generally improves resolution only marginally, that is by just a few lp/mm. As regards absolute resolution, it's generally the sensor that is the limiting factor, not the lens. When I tested many of my lenses with the D60 a few years ago, comparing an average zoom like the 28-135 IS with clearly better lenses such as the despised 50/1.8 and the highly regarded TS-E 90mm, I was struck by how little the absolute resolution varied. As I recall, the only lens that produced significantly less resolution than the others was my el cheapo Sigma 20/1.8 at full aperture. Even that lens when stopped down to f8 produced almost identical resolution to other lenses.

The TS-E 90 by the way would be at least as good as your 70-200/2.8 at 90mm.
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situgrrl
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« Reply #32 on: July 12, 2006, 04:28:31 AM »
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My thinking is that the D200 costs similar to what I have on the sales reciept, I'll never blag them for a 5D.  Almost certainly I'll get Canon gear because of future viewfinder upgrades (I don't need full frame for the res but for the composition and focussing!) and better noise characteristics at high ISO....oh, and the 3 month wait for delivery on Nikon at the moment - it's the Edinburgh festival in a few weeks and I need some gear!
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Frere Jacques
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« Reply #33 on: July 12, 2006, 08:52:00 AM »
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You should be able to get a 30d and a lense for the price of a D200 body. I am not sure if availability is any better for Canon over Nikon though. The D200 is great to work with, though & I get great results in low light with a 50/1.4. But if you need something now, go Canon.

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My thinking is that the D200 costs similar to what I have on the sales reciept, I'll never blag them for a 5D.  Almost certainly I'll get Canon gear because of future viewfinder upgrades (I don't need full frame for the res but for the composition and focussing!) and better noise characteristics at high ISO....oh, and the 3 month wait for delivery on Nikon at the moment - it's the Edinburgh festival in a few weeks and I need some gear!
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BJL
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« Reply #34 on: July 13, 2006, 08:49:16 AM »
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I was trying to convey the idea that it is not efficient to have too much disparity between the performance of the lens and the performance of the sensor and that the 5mp E-1 seems to have started out that way.
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OK then, that makes more sense. But again, given that Olympus and Kodak always planned to go well beyond 5MP (Kodak talked about 10MP+ on its early 4/3 web site), having extra lens resolution beyond the needs of 5MP seems like reasonable advanced planning.
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Ray
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« Reply #35 on: July 13, 2006, 11:19:50 PM »
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But again, given that Olympus and Kodak always planned to go well beyond 5MP (Kodak talked about 10MP+ on its early 4/3 web site), having extra lens resolution beyond the needs of 5MP seems like reasonable advanced planning.
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Yes, but only reasonable. There's no 'killer' application. The lenses are no good by themselves. By the time Olympus develops a sensor that can extract the most from their lenses, Canon will have moved on to sensors with even greater pixel density and possibly (hopefully) improved lenses. Now that Sinar and Rodenstock have demonstrated that it's possible to produce a lens for an even larger format than FF 35mm, with the specs of a small format Zuiko lens, the future is not looking rosy for the 4/3rds system as a viable competitor to 35mm.
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Scott_H
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« Reply #36 on: July 14, 2006, 06:50:30 AM »
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I don't think Olympus is going to develop a sensor.  I think they will probably buy one from someone else, and I think with Panasonic participating they will be able to that.
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Ray
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« Reply #37 on: July 14, 2006, 07:44:36 AM »
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I don't think Olympus is going to develop a sensor.  I think they will probably buy one from someone else, and I think with Panasonic participating they will be able to that.
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You might be right, but when I say 'develop', I don't mean 'manufacture', but have input in the design process and collaborate with whoever does the manufacturing. The 4/3rds sensor is not a standard size, is it?
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #38 on: July 14, 2006, 10:45:40 AM »
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And the resolution of your 1Ds is...? 45 lp/mm? 48 lp/mm? Maybe 50 lp/mm? Wow!

C'mon, Jonathan. I wasn't born yesterday. We all know that expensive prime lenses with a Photodo rating above 4 produce images with greater accutance that 'appear' sharper than images from average zooms, but resolution is a different matter. It's measured in line pairs per mm and the expensive prime lens generally improves resolution only marginally, that is by just a few lp/mm. As regards absolute resolution, it's generally the sensor that is the limiting factor, not the lens.

I wasn't born yesterday, either. The sensor resolution of the D60 is about 45 lp/mm, which in conjunction with the 1.6x crop factor, isn't going to tax the capabilities of cheap glass all that hard (since it's only using the "sweet spot" of the lens). So your D60 tests aren't particularly relevant.

OTOH, the sensor resolution of the 1Ds is just a bit over 56 lp/mm, And you're forgetting that it's not just the lp/mm, it's the MTF at that lp/mm that makes the difference. Unfortunately, the MTF data for lens performance at 56 lp/mm isn't available, but I damn well guarantee that the 135/2L is going to have a significantly higher MTF at 56 lp/mm than a 100-400L + 1.4xTC.

I strongly suggest you redo your lens comparison tests with your 5D, which has a sensor resolution of 60 lp/mm. Make sure you include some decent primes. If you're basing your perception of sensor resolution off the results you're getting with the 100-400L + 1.4X TC, I guarantee you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much better results you can get with better glass.
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BJL
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« Reply #39 on: July 14, 2006, 04:04:42 PM »
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By the time Olympus develops a sensor that can extract the most from their lenses, Canon will have moved on to sensors with even greater pixel density and possibly (hopefully) improved lenses.
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Oh no, Ray's crystal ball is back, and yet again it predicts Olympus failing to adequately improve its products, while Canon succeeds in overcoming its current limitations. In case you haven't noticed, 4/3 and EF-S are currently at about the same effective resolution.

My crystal ball is currently down, awaiting input from Photokina-related announcements.
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