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Author Topic: A900 Update  (Read 32657 times)
Ray
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« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2008, 08:40:58 PM »
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So far as I know the only lens in the ballpark of the 14-28 is the oly 7-14.  Unfortunately it doesn't fit on a 20+mp FF body.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=222789\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It looks as though that might be the case. If Nikon were to announce soon its own 24mp DSLR at a price competitive with the the A900 and 5D MkII, I might opt for the Nikon for the sake of that Nikkor 14-24/2.8.... if the Nikon were also to include video   .

Good job I'm in no hurry.
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aaykay
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« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2008, 09:44:27 PM »
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It makes me wonder just how much better the latest crop of ultra-high-end lenses are compared with lenses of yesteryear that scored 4 and above out of 5 on the Photodo MTF tests; lenses such as the standard Minolta 50/1.4, the Sigma 24/2.8 (one of the better lenses from Sigma) and the Tamron SP 90/2.8 which is also one of the better lenses in the Tamron range.

From what I hear, the Minolta/Sony 50mm f/1.4, the 85mm f/1.4 Zeiss, the 135mm f/1.8 Zeiss, the 24-70 f/2.8 Zeiss and the 16-35 f/2.8 Zeiss, performed outstandingly (excellent++) on the A900.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2008, 05:00:40 AM by aaykay » Logged
aaykay
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« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2008, 09:52:37 PM »
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... it's not clear at this stage if it would be better than the Canon 16-35 MkII on a 5D MkII.

The same beta-testers (Nikon D3/D700 shooter included) had both the Zeiss 16-35 f/2.8, the Nikon 14-24 f/2.8,  and also the Canon 16-35 f/2.8II (and 17-40 f/4L).....corner-to-corner, the Zeiss was SHARP (as I would have expected), with the 16-24 range going with a razor thin margin to the Zeiss, vis-a-vis the Nikon 14-24.

Again, remember the 16-35 f/2.8 Zeiss, is NOT a production version and such pre-production versions can be expected to be tweaked further.
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Ray
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« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2008, 10:05:20 PM »
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Again, remember the 16-35 f/2.8 Zeiss, is NOT a production version and such pre-production versions can be expected to be tweaked further.
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Let's hope this is the case. Did you read this thread? [a href=\"http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=27853]http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=27853[/url]
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aaykay
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« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2008, 10:12:47 PM »
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I find myself very exited about the next few years because I think we will continue to see several new and improved lenses due to the image quality the current DSLR's are capable of. 

I think any of the Full-frame premium lenses, designed/built over the past couple of years, have been benchtested to perform well on ultra-high pixel density (Digital) Full-frame sensors - specifically the ones coming out of the armoury of sensor makers like Sony or Canon.  

The "Digital" aspect needs to be stressed, due to the different requirements of the lenses optimized for a digital sensor, as opposed to a film-era design.

During the A900 press conference, Yoichi San, the guy in charge of the Sony/Alpha Camera division's engineering group, stressed the point (with graphs etc) that showed that the latest crop of Zeiss and "G" lenses can out-resolve  Full-frame sensors having over THRICE the resolution of the 24.6MP A900 sensor.   So unless they cross that threshold, these lenses should be more than sufficient, even though the prior film-era lenses may have to be shelved.

I think this is one of Sony's key competitive advantages (along with the Zeiss AF lenses in the range), over other competitors having a lot more wider range of film-era lenses, since most of the Sony lenses are optimized for (and built/designed) around high-pixel density digital FF sensors.  The Nikon 24-70 f/2.8, the 14-24 f/2.8 etc are obviously new designs from the Nikon range and almost certainly Canon would be updating their range too.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2008, 10:48:26 PM »
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Again, remember the 16-35 f/2.8 Zeiss, is NOT a production version and such pre-production versions can be expected to be tweaked further.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=222806\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

In my opinion it is the exact opposite. Pre-production lenses are typically better since they are designed by higher precision equipment in small series. The key challenge for high quality lenses is to maintain that accuracy accross a massive production line.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Thomas Krüger
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« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2008, 02:35:27 AM »
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The Minolta User Club has now a new website focussed on the Sony system with infos around the Sony DSLR's:

http://www.photoclubalpha.com
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aaykay
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« Reply #27 on: September 20, 2008, 04:17:59 AM »
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Let's hope this is the case. Did you read this thread? http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=27853
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=222808\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, I read that thread.  That poster (David K), seems to have shot a picture with a prototype (one of the SEVERAL prototypes) and even more controversially, seems to have even published it.  He actually was allowed into the Sony introduction event in Edinburgh, after snagging a press-pass.

This lens would not even be produced (after finalizing and fine-tuning the performance of the prototypes), for several months (retail release date being January, 2009).  

I would say he did a grave faux paus in publishing samples from the specific prototype, he managed to lay his paws on !  If I am Sony, I would not let this fellow into any future event of mine !
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aaykay
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« Reply #28 on: September 20, 2008, 04:22:31 AM »
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In my opinion it is the exact opposite. Pre-production lenses are typically better since they are designed by higher precision equipment in small series. The key challenge for high quality lenses is to maintain that accuracy accross a massive production line.

Cheers,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=222813\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Actually, this was not even a pre-production sample.  This was one of SEVERAL prototypes, shot through a drab hotel glass window.  In other words, the "properties" of the lens are yet to even be finalized, since the production versions would only be released in January, 2009.  

Surprised that Sony has not controlled their pre-public event better, with tighter agreements with the participants.  
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aaykay
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« Reply #29 on: September 20, 2008, 09:16:44 AM »
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The Minolta User Club has now a new website focussed on the Sony system with infos around the Sony DSLR's:

http://www.photoclubalpha.com
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, the above mentioned site has some good information and is managed by David K.  

A similar US-based site is [a href=\"http://www.alphamountworld.com]http://www.alphamountworld.com[/url], managed by Carl Garrard.

But the very BEST site for anything related to the Alpha/Sony mount, bar none, is http://www.dyxum.com.  

dyxum has specifications and detailed reviews of every lens, every camera body and every flash ever sold in the Sony/Alpha mount, with thousands of user reviews on all of them.  dyxum also has links to all other Alpha related sites.

It also has a VERY well moderated forum, with moderators from the US, from the UK, from New Zealand, from Australia, from Sweden, from Poland etc., and is a VERY well managed and respectful community of Alpha-mount users.  Registration is also free.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2008, 09:19:20 AM by aaykay » Logged
Fine_Art
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« Reply #30 on: September 20, 2008, 12:26:18 PM »
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Just thought you'd like to know that now the ACR4.6 beta is public I can process A900 files alongside 1Ds3 files.

Based on a very quick look today I'd say that the Sony files still falls slightly behind the Canon on sharpness and smoothness of tone. You have to look closely but the Canon is simply 'crisper' whilst the Sony has this odd granularity in smooth areas, not really noise, just a subtle lumpiness in areas where the Canon shows flat tone.

I'll look at some other files in a while, maybe when I get some time over the w/e.

The attached file is a screenshot with both images processed the same in ACR4.6. It may well be that the Sony file (on the right) can be 'massaged' to match the Canon.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=222555\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thats a software problem not a hardware problem. The A900 is supposed to have a NR off setting. Sensor pixels dont clump.

I would expect ACR to make a better interpretation of the Canon over the unreleased Sony at this point. The question is why would ACR create lumps from pixel data? Noise I can understand. Not lumpy pictures. ACR did the same to the A700 which gave it a bad rap when it was new. They cleaned that up.

The latest Sony firmware on the A700 is supposed to make a big improvement as well. That technology should be in the A900 firmware.
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Ray
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« Reply #31 on: September 20, 2008, 06:21:19 PM »
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Yes, I read that thread.  That poster (David K), seems to have shot a picture with a prototype (one of the SEVERAL prototypes) and even more controversially, seems to have even published it.  He actually was allowed into the Sony introduction event in Edinburgh, after snagging a press-pass.

This lens would not even be produced (after finalizing and fine-tuning the performance of the prototypes), for several months (retail release date being January, 2009). 

I would say he did a grave faux paus in publishing samples from the specific prototype, he managed to lay his paws on !  If I am Sony, I would not let this fellow into any future event of mine !
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The situation is looking very promising regarding both new lenses and new camera offerings.

I notice at dpreview that Carl Zeiss has launched a new version of its famous 21mm Distagon with a Canon mount, available also at the end of the year. Seems like this is going to be an expensive Christmas for camera enthusiasts.

With HD movie capability on the 5D2, that new Epson HD projector (TW-5000 or 7500) with a claimed dynamic contrast ratio of 75,000:1 might also prove to be irresistable.

I get the impression that the Distagon 21/2.8 is unbeatable for corner to corner sharpness. It's certainly noticeably better than the Nikkor 14-24 at 21mm, using a 1Ds3. Check out this review at 16:9 [a href=\"http://www.16-9.net/lens_tests/nikon1424_21mm/nikon1424_21mm1.html]http://www.16-9.net/lens_tests/nikon1424_2...1424_21mm1.html[/url]

If the Sony 16-35/2.8 proves to be no better than the Nikon 14-24/2.8, then it's likely I will be leaning very heavily towards the 5D2 with Distagon 21/2.8 prime, especially considering the HD video capability of the 5D2, which I would definitely use.

On the other hand, these wide-angle lenses do not have IS or autofocussing (the new Distagon by design and the Nikkor 14-24 no doubt disabled when fitted to a Canon). The anti-shake sensor of the A900, especially if there really can be as much as a 4 stop latitude, is very appealing.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #32 on: September 20, 2008, 10:17:46 PM »
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Their additional verdict: At ISO 1600, the A900 has less noise than the Nikon D3. At ISO 6400, the D3 wins.  Of course they did imatest/DXO tests etc., and printed the results at A2 size, while considering their scoring.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=222755\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That's really great news. We can all only benefit from the A900 being a top level entry!

Cheers,
Bernard
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aaykay
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« Reply #33 on: September 20, 2008, 10:25:21 PM »
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I notice at dpreview that Carl Zeiss has launched a new version of its famous 21mm Distagon with a Canon mount, available also at the end of the year. Seems like this is going to be an expensive Christmas for camera enthusiasts.

Yes, the introduction of the legendary 21mm Distagon will be a great thing for the Canon users, who have not had a truly great wide-angle available, that was natively made for the mount.  As long as you don't mind working with MF, I think it would be an excellent choice and obviously if the objective is shooting landscapes, having AF may not be a big priority.  

Whether the A900 or the 5DII, the resolution from either of these is just mindblowing and truly require great lenses to really take advantage of.  

Based on JPEG samples from both products, I would strongly lean towards shooting RAW-only with either of these, if the objective is to get the best results from them.  I personally only shoot RAW.

Incidentally, here is a hand-held ISO 1600 shot from the A900, using the Carl Zeiss 135mm f/1.8, shot at f/1.8, 1/60s:

« Last Edit: September 20, 2008, 10:28:42 PM by aaykay » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #34 on: September 20, 2008, 10:50:49 PM »
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Incidentally, here is a hand-held ISO 1600 shot from the A900, using the Carl Zeiss 135mm f/1.8, shot at f/1.8, 1/60s:

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=222965\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Very nice, is she a friend of yours?

Cheers,
Bernard
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aaykay
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« Reply #35 on: September 21, 2008, 07:28:43 PM »
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Very nice, is she a friend of yours?

Cheers,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=222967\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ha, ha not really.  This image was posted on dpreview and I just linked to it.  
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Deep
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« Reply #36 on: September 21, 2008, 11:14:37 PM »
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From what I hear, the Minolta/Sony 50mm f/1.4, the 85mm f/1.4 Zeiss, the 135mm f/1.8 Zeiss, the 24-70 f/2.8 Zeiss and the 16-35 f/2.8 Zeiss, performed outstandingly (excellent++) on the A900.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=222805\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I haven't tried all these lenses on the A900 but did try the 85/1.4 and 24-70/2.8 on Saturday.  Having pixel-peeped and printed the results I can confirm that no one is exaggerating their quality.  Incidentally, the Sony branded 70-200 I tried produces stunning results on the 900, both at the wide and long ends.  I only tried it wide open, so was quite surprised.

Don.
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Don
Nick Rains
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« Reply #37 on: September 21, 2008, 11:32:58 PM »
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It looks as though that might be the case. If Nikon were to announce soon its own 24mp DSLR at a price competitive with the the A900 and 5D MkII, I might opt for the Nikon for the sake of that Nikkor 14-24/2.8.... if the Nikon were also to include video   .

Good job I'm in no hurry.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=222791\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Y'know what, I used the 14-24 Nikon in a D3 review last month and was rather underwhelmed by it. It had much better corners than other equivalent lenses but the sharpness at f5.6 - 11 was no different to my 17-40, at least not noticeably so in real world shooting.

I've seen the tests and read the threads but my own experience was slightly different. I suppose 'my mileage varied'.
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Nick Rains
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Ray
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« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2008, 12:46:43 AM »
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Y'know what, I used the 14-24 Nikon in a D3 review last month and was rather underwhelmed by it. It had much better corners than other equivalent lenses but the sharpness at f5.6 - 11 was no different to my 17-40, at least not noticeably so in real world shooting.

I've seen the tests and read the threads but my own experience was slightly different. I suppose 'my mileage varied'.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=223171\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Your experience could be due to QC variation, Nick. However, the new Zeiss 21mm Distagon for the Canon might be a better option.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #39 on: September 22, 2008, 04:12:44 AM »
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Hi,

The shot on DPReview is taken with 24-70/2.8 at f/8.0, I would still argue that it is significantly less sharp at the edge then at the center. Just follow the rails from the center to the right and left edges.


http://a.img-dpreview.com/gallery/sony_a90...dsc01990_dw.jpg

Erik

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Yes, I read that thread.  That poster (David K), seems to have shot a picture with a prototype (one of the SEVERAL prototypes) and even more controversially, seems to have even published it.  He actually was allowed into the Sony introduction event in Edinburgh, after snagging a press-pass.

This lens would not even be produced (after finalizing and fine-tuning the performance of the prototypes), for several months (retail release date being January, 2009). 

I would say he did a grave faux paus in publishing samples from the specific prototype, he managed to lay his paws on !  If I am Sony, I would not let this fellow into any future event of mine !
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=222841\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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