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Author Topic: ZD and wideangle  (Read 6534 times)
KAP
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« on: December 01, 2006, 01:34:28 PM »
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I'm looking for users opinions of the ZD, particularly regarding using it with the 35mm lens. I'm using Canon 1DsmkII and I'm wondering about the ZD. Are the edges better than the mush I'm getting with the Canon on wide lenses?
Generaly how is the ZD performing, I think most users have gone from Nikon/Canon to the ZD what have been the plus and minus points i.e. was it worth it?

Thanks,
Kevin.
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Quentin
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2006, 03:55:02 PM »
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I'm looking for users opinions of the ZD, particularly regarding using it with the 35mm lens. I'm using Canon 1DsmkII and I'm wondering about the ZD. Are the edges better than the mush I'm getting with the Canon on wide lenses?
Generaly how is the ZD performing, I think most users have gone from Nikon/Canon to the ZD what have been the plus and minus points i.e. was it worth it?

Thanks,
Kevin.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88103\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Kevin,

Sorry to be following around forums     This is probably the best place for ZD feedback.

In any event, I have the 35mm and ZD and apart from a little CA occasionally, its very good, with good edge performance.  I quite fancy the new 28mm as well.

Is it worth it?  You bet.  I use Silkypix to decode the raw files, and tend to stick to 50-80 ISO as noise becomes an issue above 100 ISO.  Zero noise at 50 ISO.  A portable 4x5 replacement for any shots up to A2 print size.   You really should give it a go.  Robert White sell the ZD at a good price.  

Quentin
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2006, 05:50:51 PM »
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I'm looking for users opinions of the ZD, particularly regarding using it with the 35mm lens. I'm using Canon 1DsmkII and I'm wondering about the ZD. Are the edges better than the mush I'm getting with the Canon on wide lenses?
Generaly how is the ZD performing, I think most users have gone from Nikon/Canon to the ZD what have been the plus and minus points i.e. was it worth it?
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Hi Kevin,

I agree with Quentin's comment.

I use the 35 mm to shoot landscape on a ZD, and my range of f stop is between f12 and f18, but I am satisfied with the results.

The edge to edge sharpness is probably not quite as outstanding as that of a D2x with the 12-24 DX, but that is probably best in class. I'll let Canon users comment.

Here is a full scale sampe taken with the 35 mm (8 MB):

[a href=\"http://static.flickr.com/102/300915665_6578fe44ec_o.jpg]http://static.flickr.com/102/300915665_6578fe44ec_o.jpg[/url]

This image was converted with Raw Developper 1.5 on Mac. RD provides more control on sharpness/noise than Silkypix 3.0. I have found the best results in print (Epson 4000 at A2 on Hanhemhule photorag 308) to be obtained when some noise remains in the image with more emphasis on the non-digitalness of the image.

I have started to stitch with the ZD also, and the results I am seeing in print at A2 with 4 ZD images stitched together are in the same class/superior to what I see with Imacon scanned 4*5. Stability of the camera can be an issue though.

For landscape applications in cold weather, the ZD's battery life will probably be a bit of an issue though. When shooting in the Japanese Alps last week at temps aroud -7 degrees, I could only get about 4 GB of data with one battery (about 100 images). This includes exposures as long as 1 or 2 seconds and pretty heavy use of the LCD.

In terms of ease of use, the D2x is clearly very superior to the ZD, but then again it is best in class also. The digital part of the ZD is where the "problem" shows most. This being said, my ZD still has the old firmware, the new one could improve on some of these points:

- the LCD preview takes ages to show up on the ZD,
- there is basically no zoom capability,
- the screen is pretty small, but I found it usable in the outdoors, even in 3000 m mid day bright alpine light (need to shade the screen though),
- no RGB histogram,
- limited buffer which can become a problem when shooting panoramas with many images. I had a CF corruption the one time I reached the buffer capacity. This could be recovered using PhotoRescue on PC,
- since there is no standard L bracket for the ZD, I had to ask Kirk to do something special for me. It works but it lacks rigidity a bit in portrait mode,

On the other hand:

- the AF is very accurate, even with the 300 mm f4.5
- the viewfinder of the Mamiya is clear and large, although the gap with the Nikon D2x is not as huge as I would have expected,
- it is much easier to manually focus the 35 mm that it is to focus the Nikkor 12-24 since there is less DoF with the Mamiya. Then again, focussing at the right distance becomes a lot more important that it is with the D2x that has virtually infinite DoF,
- the image quality is great, with a sharpness per pixel that is superior to that of the D2x (itself pretty good when compared to the 1ds2 for instance). Going more into the details, there is clearly more noise than on the Nikon, but the detail and DR are clearly superior,
- the 4*3 aspect ratio is interesting, and I find that I crop less than I used to with the Nikon. This is a major difference to be aware of,
- all the controls are easy to access, and the camera CAN be used with gloves (Black Diamond ice climbing gloves).

I might write a short review of the ZD a la Michael focussing on my landscape experience. I'll see with Michael if he is interested in publishing that or not.

Cheers,
Bernard
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mcfoto
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2006, 10:07:39 PM »
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I'm looking for users opinions of the ZD, particularly regarding using it with the 35mm lens. I'm using Canon 1DsmkII and I'm wondering about the ZD. Are the edges better than the mush I'm getting with the Canon on wide lenses?
Generaly how is the ZD performing, I think most users have gone from Nikon/Canon to the ZD what have been the plus and minus points i.e. was it worth it?

Thanks,
Kevin.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88103\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Quote
 

Hi
I just purchased a 35mm about a month ago and love it, I have been using it for personal work. I have shot wide open but have not analized the files. One thing I have noticed in comparison to the 5D with my 17-35 2.8L lens is that the Canon lens venettes on the corners   while I have not seen these on the processed ZD files. It is an easy to use wide angle with an AF switch on the lens. The one advantage you get with the 35mm (MFD) on digital regardless if you are using the ZD, Aptus, Phase or Sinar is that you are not using the full diameter of the lens coverage because of the 1.15x coverage. That is the challenge with the Canon wide lenses as it is 1:1. I use both the ZD and Aptus 22 with my Mamiya lenses and at iso 50-100 the Canon 5D cannot compete at the lower iso's. Take the 5D to iso 400-3200 and the Canon wins. The one advantage is Mamiya lenses are cheaper than Canon L series at the moment.
Thanks Denis
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nik
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2006, 04:20:11 AM »
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My take regarding the ZD,

The Good
-----------

Colour is better than canon, you have to mess with it much LESS in your RAW app.
Image Quality is excellent for this price point
Removable filter
ISO 50 - no noise
Handling and weight distribution
Viewfinder is big and bright, but not 100%, but you can certainly *SEE*
lenses are cheaper and lighter than the H1's
autofocus
mirror lock up button on camera


The Bad
----------

Screen is small
Menu system is too simple, needs more funtionality
Limited zoom funtionality
4-way swing button needs to be replaced with a wheel/button combo
45mm lens vignettes and color shifts at F14 >

The Ugly
----------

Anything above ISO 100
Histogram only available immediately after exposure. It can't be called up during preview
Buttons are sometimes unresponsive, you have to press hard to get a result
Buffer is small, making the camera slow to work with (but faster than polaroid)
Limited software supporting RAW (MEF). No CaptureOne or Aperture support as yet


I would expect an update to this camera sometime soon, addressing the buffer, noise and RAW file support in C1.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2006, 01:31:36 PM »
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My take regarding the ZD,

Histogram only available immediately after exposure. It can't be called up during preview
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88219\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I am definitely able to see histogram when reviewing images anytime after exposure. Pressing the info key together with the joystick in the north/south direction enables you to cycle through various view of each image, histogram is one of them.

Cheers,
Bernard
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nik
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2006, 08:41:20 AM »
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I am definitely able to see histogram when reviewing images anytime after exposure. Pressing the info key together with the joystick in the north/south direction enables you to cycle through various view of each image, histogram is one of them.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Bernard, thanks for that  You mentioned earlier that there is no zoom capability, did you mean 'none at all' or immediately after exposure? I can zoom during review.

-Nik
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KAP
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2006, 12:06:29 PM »
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Thanks all.
I think you have convinced me it's worth a look.
A couple more questions, the noise thing above 100 iso, how bad, is it unusable or just not upto Canon.
I also read somewhere about mirror vibration, is this a problem? I'm shooting from aircraft, I used Pentax 67 for many years, I was told you can't hand hold that because of the mirror, but I did.
How many raw can you shoot before the buffer fills and how long to wait before the next shot?


Thanks again,

Kevin.
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ddolde
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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2006, 12:26:21 PM »
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I'd rather wait for the Canon 1Ds Mark III which should be better and cost much less.  
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Quentin
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2006, 12:29:30 PM »
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I'd rather wait for the Canon 1Ds Mark III which should be better and cost much less. 
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No doubt the Canon will be good, as and when it is released, but it cannot overcome the issues with the smaller sensor.  It is unlikely ever to match MF camera performance in terms of absoute low-ISO image quality.

Quentin
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2006, 12:34:34 PM »
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Thanks all.
I think you have convinced me it's worth a look.
A couple more questions, the noise thing above 100 iso, how bad, is it unusable or just not upto Canon.
I also read somewhere about mirror vibration, is this a problem? I'm shooting from aircraft, I used Pentax 67 for many years, I was told you can't hand hold that because of the mirror, but I did.
How many raw can you shoot before the buffer fills and how long to wait before the next shot?
Thanks again,

Kevin.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88434\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Kevin,

You can use higher ISO, but its just a tad better than high ISO Kodak dslr standards.  I have used 400 ISO but it was pretty noisy.  200 ISO is reasonable.

Mirror vibration is not a problem at 1/125 sec or above, but there is a solution in the form of the mirror-up button on the camera.  It is very easy to use this even hand-held (hit the mirror up button with your left forefinger just before you take the shot).    

Like anything this expensive, you really should try one out.  Robert White had a try before you buy scheme running recently.

Quentin
« Last Edit: December 03, 2006, 12:35:18 PM by Quentin » Logged

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KAP
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2006, 01:13:26 PM »
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I'd rather wait for the Canon 1Ds Mark III which should be better and cost much less. 
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It doesn't matter how good the next Canon camera is, the wides are rubbish. i need detail at the edges, I've yet to see a wide on a Canon that can deliver. So having more pixels will only be more pixels of mush.
Here's a taster of the subjects I shoot, you will be able to see why I need a degree of detail at the edges and at wide aperture, like I used to get with MF film [a href=\"http://homepage.mac.com/kevin_allen/Aerial%20London/]http://homepage.mac.com/kevin_allen/Aerial%20London/[/url]
Price to a certain extent  isn't the issue, saving a few thousand to not deliver what is needed is quite expensive.

Kevin.
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ddolde
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2006, 01:44:43 PM »
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It doesn't matter how good the next Canon camera is, the wides are rubbish. i need detail at the edges, I've yet to see a wide on a Canon that can deliver. So having more pixels will only be more pixels of mush.

You are assuming a lot here.  They new Canon may have a Foveon type sensor.  Canon may release new lenses...and on and on.  Also there are other lenses that may be used on the Canon besides those made by Canon.

At any rate the ZD has a lof of flaws for the price.
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2006, 01:57:25 PM »
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Kevin, If you're in the west-end, why not swing by Teamwork, they have the one I've frequently been renting. The only problem is that they don't do wider than 45mm,  they have the 55-110 too. I tried renting a 35mm from various others but no-one seems to rent one.

Quentin is right, try it. Also, the mirror lock up is a doddle to use, I used it handheld often. The buffer can do 3 shots from what I remember, then you wait a while (but less than a minute) before it's available.

Regarding canon, I'd hope they release a great wide-angle prime lens along with the successor to the Mk II.

-Nik
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2006, 02:59:51 PM »
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It doesn't matter how good the next Canon camera is, the wides are rubbish. i need detail at the edges, I've yet to see a wide on a Canon that can deliver. So having more pixels will only be more pixels of mush.
Here's a taster of the subjects I shoot, you will be able to see why I need a degree of detail at the edges and at wide aperture, like I used to get with MF film http://homepage.mac.com/kevin_allen/Aerial%20London/
Price to a certain extent  isn't the issue, saving a few thousand to not deliver what is needed is quite expensive.

Kevin.
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Get someone to lend you a 21mm Zeiss Distagon with a Canon adapter. You may be surprised. André Oldani of Alpa once told me that this is the only 35mm lens that can give an Alpa a run for its money. If you take me with you on the plane, I'll bring you the lens myself for the test

Edmund
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mcfoto
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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2006, 04:02:58 PM »
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Quote from: nik,Dec 3 2006, 02:57 PM
The buffer can do 3 shots from what I remember, then you wait a while (but less than a minute) before it's available.

Quote

Hi
The ZD buffer can handle 10 shots @ 1.2 fs until it is full. If you are shooting and then recomposing you will not reach the buffer as the camera is processing as you shoot. For 90% of what I shoot with this camera the buffer is not an issue. I also have the zoom set at 17x after I view an image.
Thanks Denis
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KAP
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« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2006, 04:03:28 PM »
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You are assuming a lot here.  They new Canon may have a Foveon type sensor.  Canon may release new lenses...and on and on.
At any rate the ZD has a lof of flaws for the price.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88446\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm assuming a lot!!!!
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KAP
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« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2006, 04:14:33 PM »
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Get someone to lend you a 21mm Zeiss Distagon with a Canon adapter. You may be surprised. André Oldani of Alpa once told me that this is the only 35mm lens that can give an Alpa a run for its money. If you take me with you on the plane, I'll bring you the lens myself for the test

Edmund
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I do a lot of lens changes and work quite fast when shooting London (time is money). Having an adapter and changing shooting mode just does not appeal.
I saw Andre's images posted somewhere once, I was very impressed with the wide results.
Where do I get a Zeiss 21mm from? and which type, no doubt Zeiss made more than one model.

Kevin.
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KAP
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« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2006, 04:23:28 PM »
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Kevin, If you're in the west-end, why not swing by Teamwork, they have the one I've frequently been renting. The only problem is that they don't do wider than 45mm,  they have the 55-110 too. I tried renting a 35mm from various others but no-one seems to rent one.

Quentin is right, try it. Also, the mirror lock up is a doddle to use, I used it handheld often. The buffer can do 3 shots from what I remember, then you wait a while (but less than a minute) before it's available.

Regarding canon, I'd hope they release a great wide-angle prime lens along with the successor to the Mk II.

-Nik
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88450\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I'm not often in London, frequently over it. Hey maybe if they could leave it on the top of Canary Wharf....per 'haps not.
I'm sure I will need to try something, I'm scarred of trying th H3D with a 28mm in case I like it.
The 3 shot buffer sounds a bit sad on the Mamiya, is the zoom any good, I realy like the Canon 70-200mm I find that sharp, even wide.

Thanks,

Kevin.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2006, 04:33:05 PM »
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You are assuming a lot here.  They new Canon may have a Foveon type sensor.  Canon may release new lenses...and on and on.  Also there are other lenses that may be used on the Canon besides those made by Canon.

At any rate the ZD has a lof of flaws for the price.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88446\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, the ZD is a working camera available today (outside North America that is), that fact isn't based on any assumption. I will have taken thousands of images with it by the time a next gen Canon/Nikon is available.

Canon has never been able to produce a decent ultra-wide lens and there is no public information available today that makes me think that they even acknowledge this issue. If anything, Nikon is the best candidate for delivering something able to compete with the ZD on the wide end, and that will probably be one year from now.

The ZD isn't perfect, but then the other MFDB backs aren't perfect either, and they cost twice as much for an image quality that I find to be extremelly close based on the (few) full size samples I could find on the net.

There has always been a premium for shooting with what is close to the best, and that premium has been reduced a lot thanks to the ZD.

Regards,
Bernard
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