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Author Topic: D3X versus MkIII, regarding lens choices  (Read 6631 times)
NickJB
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« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2009, 01:00:09 PM »
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Quote from: EPd
Given what your needs are you seem to be the perfect candidate for Sony Alpha 900 with Carl Zeiss zooms and 85mm/135mm ultrafast glass and Minolta/Sony G lenses to fill the other needs. The look of all this glass is unique and helps discern from the competition that will be using Canikon 90% of the time. All your lenses will have image stabilisation and everything you mention to be needing will be available at very high quality, on par with Nikon or even exceeding it. (On the wide end Canon cannot really compete.) Have a look at this sample from Minolta 35mm f1.4 G lens, shot with available light at iso 400 and aperture f2.2:

[attachment=12911:Minolta_35mm_1.4_G.jpg]

I'll take a further look at the Sony and Zeiss glass, but I've heard differing opinions on the Zeiss lenses - mainly about at least some of the lenses being 3rd party built, by the same company that made the old Vivitar lenses. Of course the D3X is really just the Sony A900 in a different body........

I'm leaning towards the Canon, with a medium and 70-200mm zooms, but primes at the wide end rather than a zoom - maybe even Nikons or Zeiss.

All this talk of top quality lenses is just making me lust after the H3D more and more..... I was looking at some shots taken with the 28mm on the H3D 39 the other day - just stunning quality. Hopefully the 35mm manufacturers will start to move their attention from the pixel wars now and start to put more R&D into lens development to take advantage of the new sensors. That's where I could see Nikon making inroads into the Canon market again.

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NickJB
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« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2009, 03:30:58 PM »
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Quote from: EPd
Seems like you are somewhat poorly informed. Zeiss glass in Minolta/Sony A-mount is made under direct supervision of Zeiss, by Zeiss trained people, with special Zeiss equipment and Zeiss quality control. Such lenses have two serial numbers: a Zeiss number for the glass and a Sony number for the entire product. These Zeiss designs have been made newly and are exclusively available to Sony. So they are not the same as some designs available  in other mounts and of course they are AF/IS. Of the cheaper Sony lenses there are some that appear to be the same as Tamron, but these are not interesting to you, based on your demands. The lenses you would need are apparently all made by Sony -former Minolta- in their own factory. Minolta used to have their own glass production which allowed them to design very exclusive lenses, like the 35mm from which I showed you a picture.

Regarding the quality of the Hasselblad 28mm: it is not an extraordinary design at all. It's just that Hasselblad has incorporated specific digital corrections through software. If you want really outstanding glass for medium format then you should look at Zeiss lenses as they were made for Contax or Rolleiflex, or have a look at Schneider lenses for Rolleiflex if you want to be in lens-heaven.

Interesting. That's the thing with the web, lots of information out there, but trying to sort the wheat from the chaff is not easy. And forget the days of having a nice leisurely chat about equipment with your local friendly photo dealer, they're all on the phone doing eBay and web sales.......
You are probably right about the Zeiss glass (I really don't know), but for me the problem is how much time do I invest in researching out the equipment and then sourcing a couple of pieces to test, when I know that both Nikon and Canon have equipment used and tested by pros around the world. Nikon and Canon are the industry standards, just as Hassy and Phase One are standards in MF, Sinar in LF and Profoto in lighting. That's why I think the Sony's will become a much stronger brand worth considering (for me) in a couple of years time. Personally, I'm not ready to be an early adopter, it doesn't work with my business model (which requires access to rentals and backup gear thru CPS etc). When this recession turns around, maybe I'll get one as a backup camera to test, but not right now.
Contax lenses, oh yeah. I loved the Contax 645 and a Phase back set-up. Beautiful. For me some of the best lenses for that intangible feel in MF are still the RZ's though - technically people can crap all over them, but they have a feel on film that is - IMO - unmatched. It's such a pity they can't be used with a digital back without losing that quality (which needs to be seen frame edge to frame edge), but that's a whole other discussion........
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2009, 06:36:10 PM »
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Well,

The Zeiss ZF lens line is built by Cosina with QA from Zeiss. Lloyd Chambers has some extensive testing on them and he likes them mostly. He has seen a significant sample variation on ZF-lens line. The ZA lenses for Sony come with a QC tag signed of by a gentleman working for Zeiss. I happen to have two of those lenses the 16-80/3.5-4.5 Vario Sonnar for APS-C and the 24-70/2.8ZA, both are good lenses but need to be stopped down for good corner sharpness. Sharpness in the central part is OK at all apertures. Both ZA lenses have some issues with corner sharpness at the shortest focal length.

If you compare MTF curves provided by Hasselblad for the H and V series it is quite obvious that the Fuji-lenses for H cameras have better MTF than the Zeiss lenses for the V series. All that data is available on Hasselblad's site.

Regarding lenses they are sort of individual. Makes may have certain characteristics but lenses vary, some designs are very good and others less so. There are some design traits common to certain lenses like the relatively high central sharpnessof the Zeiss lenses.

I have some samples of some of my lenses on PBase: http://www.pbase.com/ekr/a900_test

These pictures were shot quite soon after I bought my A900 and before I made microfocus adjustment.

BTW, Michael Reichmann who is the owner of Luminous-Landscape is using the A900 as a long term test equipment and seems to be quite satisfied with both camera and lenses.

Here are some comprehensive tests of lenses for the Sony Alpha: http://www.newcamerareview.com/lens_reviews_id21.html


Best regards
Erik




Quote from: EPd
Seems like you are somewhat poorly informed. Zeiss glass in Minolta/Sony A-mount is made under direct supervision of Zeiss, by Zeiss trained people, with special Zeiss equipment and Zeiss quality control. Such lenses have two serial numbers: a Zeiss number for the glass and a Sony number for the entire product. These Zeiss designs have been made newly and are exclusively available to Sony. So they are not the same as some designs available  in other mounts and of course they are AF/IS. Of the cheaper Sony lenses there are some that appear to be the same as Tamron, but these are not interesting to you, based on your demands. The lenses you would need are apparently all made by Sony -former Minolta- in their own factory. Minolta used to have their own glass production which allowed them to design very exclusive lenses, like the 35mm from which I showed you a picture.

Regarding the quality of the Hasselblad 28mm: it is not an extraordinary design at all. It's just that Hasselblad has incorporated specific digital corrections through software. If you want really outstanding glass for medium format then you should look at Zeiss lenses as they were made for Contax or Rolleiflex, or have a look at Schneider lenses for Rolleiflex if you want to be in lens-heaven.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 07:06:13 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

Plekto
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« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2009, 07:15:06 PM »
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Quote
but for me the problem is how much time do I invest in researching out the equipment and then sourcing a couple of pieces to test, when I know that both Nikon and Canon have equipment used and tested by pros around the world. Nikon and Canon are the industry standards, just as Hassy and Phase One are standards in MF, Sinar in LF and Profoto in lighting.

I'd consider Minolta to the also part of the industry standard.  Or at least it was.  Sony took over Minolta pretty much in name only and the same factories are making the cameras and lenses.  Their real problem, though, was no full-frame camera for the last 3-4 years, so it kind of stalled their use for pro work, since the generation of older lenses couldn't be used very well.  It was really a waiting game by pros to see if/when a full frame model would be made.  Which Minolta/Sony pretty much lost.  They just waited too long and almost everyone bought a Canon or Nikon.

But it's still a viable third choice.   I guess It's like in MF - I'd also add Leaf and a couple of others as serious contenders as well.  And sometimes there are good values to be had.  At $2199(body only), the A900 is also not so bad a deal.  It's at least worth taking the time to consider.   Either you love it or it'll reinforce your decision about one of the other two.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 07:16:04 PM by Plekto » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2009, 07:22:03 PM »
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Hi,

Nikon was DX only for a long time, makes sense that designed their optics for the sensors they had. But than they suddenly decided they needed FX after all. With Canon you also have the option of going with the 5DII. Having two bodies may be nice in some situations, especially if one of them fails.

There are a lot of lens test, unfortunately not that many on full frame.

There are some reservations about the 16-35/2.8L, it seems that corner performance is far from optimal on the short end, if pixel peeping in the corners is not your cup of tea it simply may not matter for you.

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: NickJB
It's interesting that price was mentioned, regarding Canon. I just did a rough price comparison of a D3X with 2.8 zoom lenses (shooting people and editorial, a necessity as well as a visual style choice) from 14 to 200mm for the Nikon and 17-200 for the Canon, plus the fastest 85mm portrait lens they have (all priced non imports at B+H) and the Canon came in at $13,210 and the Nikon at $14,630. Quite a difference. The Canon would have been even cheaper, but the Canon 85mm 1.2 was $1870 versus the Nikon 85mm 1.4D at $1230. That was of course with the Mk III at $7G and the D3X at $8G
(if you're interested, that was choosing in the Canon line up - all L series 2.8's  - 16-35 ; 24-70 ; 70-200 (plus the 85 1.2) / Nikon line up - all G ED 2.8's - 14-24 ; 24-70 ; 70-200 (plus the 85 1.4)).

In 35mm I've been always been a Nikon user and I much prefer their hand feel to the Canons, plus the SB on camera flash units are unbeatable, but with things like NX software (way too slow for any high volume pro application) and having to pay for Camera Control Pro just to tether the camera, it might be time to jump ship.

The Nikon 70-200 lens is another major issue. Why release a camera like the D3X and not have a pro 70-200 2.8 available for it? I've used it with the D2X and it was fabulous, but I've heard horrible things about it on the full frame sensor.

So, if I'm going to go Canon and want to stick with 2.8 or faster (which I do) for zooms, would there be any other lenses I should look at apart from the L series 16-35 ; 24-70 ; 70-200?

Thanks for your help guys. Much appreciated!

nick
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2009, 09:31:57 AM »
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Interesting that's he's seeing the 1ds mkIII viefinder misalignment, I thought that had been fixed in newer models?
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2009, 01:36:09 AM »
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Thanks!

As you said, interesting!

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: EPd
If you can read German, here is a direct comparison of the D3x, 1DsIII and A900, all three with their respective 24-70 2.8 zooms:

http://www.photoscala.de/Artikel/Flaggschiffe-im-Vergleich

Interesting read.
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Brammers
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« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2009, 11:09:57 AM »
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This should clear up the 'who makes the ZAs' question.  Sony Japan videos of lenses being assembled at the Sony EMCS Corp facility.  We see the 24-70 ZA in those videos, I would guess the others come from the same place.

http://www.sony.jp/dslr/products/tech-lab/...ml#Content_Area
(Click 'Plant Tour' and then get clicking through all the links)

This still leaves open the question of where the actual components are made, but does this matter?  Maybe to some.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 11:13:35 AM by Brammers » Logged
jjj
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« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2009, 12:28:09 PM »
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Quote from: Josh-H
Quote from: Geoff Wittig

 The 16-35 f:2.8 II is a lot better, but still no match for Nikon's 14-24.
Agreed - but then again.. the Canon 24mm F1.4L MKII makes the Nikon 14-24 look like mush.

All depends on what sort of quality you want vs. convenience.
Speaking of convenience, a point that is usually overlooked in the 14-24+24-70 Vs 16-35+24-70 comparison is the the fact that if you shoot at 20-30mm a lot [as I do], then the Nikon combination will be more annoying to use, as you will be constantly be swapping back and for between two lens.  
A sharper 16-35 would be nice, as would a F1.8 aperture.
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Tradition is the Backbone of the Spineless.   Futt Futt Futt Photography
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« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2009, 09:42:18 AM »
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It is quite common that the 16-35II gets bashed a bit for its corner performance.
The strong curvature of field is unfortunate for lens tests, for people it actually helps to keep distortion of heads and so on under control. If you use it for reportage or the wedding kind of stuff you are going to be happy with it. It' s sharper, weights less and focuses faster than the Nikon equivalent and is probably more useful than the exc.14-24mm. For people stuff I very much doubt that there is anything better out there than the Canon lens.
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NickJB
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« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2009, 03:55:57 PM »
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Thanks to everyone for their input. Very useful. I decided to go the 5D Mk II route with the 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 lenses. I'll probably add a couple of primes as needed.
Reason for my choice - price, availability of rental lenses, CPS, potential additional income from video, ease of reselling equipment once economy turns around and I can get into MF DB's - or I can keep equipment because a decent 35mm option is always useful. I mean, $2700 US for a semi-pro quality 21 Mp camera?? Canon are almost giving away the camera if you buy their lenses......
If it wasn't for the huge investment required for the D3X and the added price of Nikon glass, I would have gone that route. But really, I was spending that much money, I'd rather invest in MF - probably the H3D.

Thanks again for everyones input. Just because I didn't go with your recommendation doesn't mean it's not a legitimate choice for your business or needs and that I didn't consider it.

Cheers!

nick
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Tyler Mallory
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« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2009, 02:45:34 PM »
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Quote from: Geoff Wittig
You can save a bunch of money without giving up too much quality by going with Canon's dirt-cheap 85 mm f:1.8; it's not officially an L-lens, but it's extremely sharp and very light. Wide open it goes soft in the corners, but that's actually a nice look for a portrait lens.


I second that opinion. Nice sized and very responsive. Has a good look wide open, though I get some color fringing around highlights from time to time.
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