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Author Topic: Now that sensors have stabilised, will lenses be the next area of focus?  (Read 12371 times)
hjulenissen
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« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2013, 08:35:13 AM »
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If you have to put a lens under the "microscope" before you can "see" the flaws what real world practical relevance does such a test have for most photographers?
Perhaps any difference that makes no real world practical difference, at least to most photographers, is no difference.

Here's a novel idea - snap on a lens take some pictures and see if you are satisfied with the results.
I expect my lenses to last 10 years +. I expect my cameras to "last" less than 5 years. Therefore it is relevant to have some insight into how any given lens will perform on the kind of cameras that is on the market 5-10 years from now.

-h
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2013, 10:14:03 AM »
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Ray,

Interesting read: http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/03/quick-take-on-the-new-nikon-80-400-vr

Best regards
Erik


Hi h,
I'm mainly interested in the MTF results of lenses for purchasing decisions. Those Photodo MTF results were a great buying guide. If I already own and use the lenses, I know their strengths and weaknesses.
My main concern when I buy a new lens is that I can expect it to be better than what I already have, at least in some respects.

For example, ever since buying a Nikon D7000 about 18 months ago I've been searching for a telephoto zoom with Nikon mount and VR (OS or VC) that at least matches the performance of my Canon 100-400. The three main contenders were the old Nikkor 80-400 VR, the Sigma 150-500 OS and the latest version of the Sigma 55-500 which now has OS.

I find it somewhat ridiculous that in this modern age of sophisticated technological development I can't find any reliable MTF results that compare all four lenses, including the Canon 100-400 which is my benchmark.
I can eliminate the old Nikkor 80-400 because there's so much anecdotal evidence that the Canon is the better lens. Both lenses have been around for a long time.
I can eliminate the Sigma 150-500 OS, but with less confidence because there are no comparisons at either Photozone or DXO. That leaves the Sigma 55-500 OS which, anecdotally, seems to be more highly regarded than the 150-500 and is also more expensive than the 150-500, which tends to imply it should be sharper.

Of course, now that Nikon has upgraded its 80-400, that would seem to be the logical choice for me. However, the Sigma 55-500 is about $1,000 cheaper and has a more useful range of focal lengths. I'd really like to know, for example, whether the new Nikkor at 400mm can produce the same or better detail than the Sigma at 500mm. If it can, and is also sharper than the Sigma at other focal lengths down to 80mm, then the matter is settled. I'd be prepared to pay the extra $1,000 and save a few hundred grams in weight, which is also a consideration for me.

Cheers!

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Rob C
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« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2013, 12:04:28 PM »
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I hear so many tales of product variation, folk having to buy multiple lenses in order to get anything like a decent copy. Seems particularly prevalent for the 135 format.

Perhaps the next area of focus should be quality control?
 



+100% !

That's become such a real fear to me, living out in the island boondocks and having experienced the expensive horror of trying to rid myself of a lousy, new 2.8/24mm-70mm G Nikkor that all I've bought since has been second-hand AIS lenses from a period when Nikkor was a guarantee of professional quality.

Rob C
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louoates
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« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2013, 12:19:22 PM »
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I'm looking forward to the world of glassless lenses. What we have now is so analog.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2013, 12:32:31 PM »
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I hear so many tales of product variation, folk having to buy multiple lenses in order to get anything like a decent copy. Seems particularly prevalent for the 135 format.

Because pixel peeping at such small feature sizes will reveal even the slightest deviation.

Quote
Perhaps the next area of focus should be quality control?

That would be nice, but even nicer is self calibrating equipment because that could avoid price increases caused by tighter QC limits.

Cheers,
Bart
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Isaac
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« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2013, 02:24:25 PM »
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but even nicer is self calibrating equipment

Yes, tuning to the variation is much more practical than demanding perfection in manufacturing.
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2013, 02:33:39 PM »
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That would be nice, but even nicer is self calibrating equipment because that could avoid price increases caused by tighter QC limits.
I agree that in-camera corrections are economic solutions for some problems, and that they should be less tedious (and error-prone) for the user. But I think that such solutions will only ever cover a minor subset of the QC-issues that can affect lenses. If a lense is either sharp on the right-hand side or the left-hand side but not both at the same time, no camera correction will fix it.

-h
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Rob C
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« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2013, 03:22:20 PM »
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I agree that in-camera corrections are economic solutions for some problems, and that they should be less tedious (and error-prone) for the user. But I think that such solutions will only ever cover a minor subset of the QC-issues that can affect lenses. If a lense is either sharp on the right-hand side or the left-hand side but not both at the same time, no camera correction will fix it.

-h


Absolutely; there are no cheap solutions, just cheap patches.

Rob C
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Ray
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« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2013, 01:21:16 AM »
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Hi Erik,
Thanks a lot for that link to a comparison amongst the old Nikkor 80-400, the new Nikkor 80-400, and the Sigma 50-500.

Not only is the new Nikkor AF-S shown as being significantly better than the Sigma at 400mm, one can see the consistently downward trend in the Sigma's MTF response between 80mm and 400mm, a downward trend which one presumes would contine to 500mm and which would therefore tend to indicate that the Sigma at 500mm would have an even more significantly lower MTF than the AF-S Nikkor at 400mm.

Although Lensrentals haven't shown the results for the Sigma at 500mm, I wouldn't be surprised if the image from new Nikkor at 400mm, when cropped and interpolated to a 500mm equivalent FoV, were at least as detailed as the Sigma at 500mm.

Nor would I be surprised if the Nikkor AF-S 80-400 with 1.4x converter were to produce a noticeably more detailed result than the Sigma at 500mm.

Interestingly, both lenses are about equal at 200mm. In fact the Sigma's edge performance is slightly better than the AF-S Nikkor at 200mm, but I suppose QC variations amongst different copies of the lenses could change that outcome.

If these results are typical of what one can expect, I won't bother checking out the Sigma. Thanks again.

Cheers!

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Rhossydd
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« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2013, 03:43:47 AM »
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Where do I get to see the photographs that show the value of all this technical jargon and manufacturing 'progress' that's being bandied about?
Try getting off the bar stool and going to see some proper work, not just cheap fashion magazines.

The technical standard of prints at last year's landscape photographer of the year in the UK was outstanding. The very few shots from film were pretty obvious from their lower quality.
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Rob C
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« Reply #30 on: March 23, 2013, 04:25:09 AM »
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Try getting off the bar stool and going to see some proper work, not just cheap fashion magazines.

The technical standard of prints at last year's landscape photographer of the year in the UK was outstanding. The very few shots from film were pretty obvious from their lower quality.



a. I don't use the stools, if at all avoidable, but do enjoy the outdoor tables if it's warm;

b. I do visit shows - if they happen locally - and have yet to be thrilled by one. I have no intention of flying off to the UK to see anything. I have already seen too many giant enlargements of landscapes in too many hospital corridors in my life to want to see more. Photographs are never worth the trouble unless you are a groupie/'collector', but that's a whole different thing;

c. you opine that the film shots were inferior - that may well be the case, and then again not: film and digital are different and I'd rather see grain than squares.

d. I had imagined this thread was a debate about something other than film v. digital capture;

e. in case you missed my point, it was that some of the people who obsess about the technicalities of equipment are often the very same people who fail to post anything remotely interesting by way of illustration of the product of all that wondrous gear...

Rob C
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #31 on: March 23, 2013, 05:22:27 AM »
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e. in case you missed my point, it was that some of the people who obsess about the technicalities of equipment are often the very same people who fail to post anything remotely interesting by way of illustration of the product of all that wondrous gear...
You said "Where do I get to see the photographs that show the value of all this technical jargon and manufacturing 'progress' that's being bandied about?".
The photos are out there, but you might have to get off your backside to see them.

I don't see 'squares' on the sort of prints I'm talking about, but at the same size I do see grain and unpleasant colour rendition from film prints.

The real point here is that photographers caring about the quality of their kit is nothing new, but it drives the advance of performance and that IS seen on photographer's work.
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Ray
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« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2013, 07:06:54 AM »
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e. in case you missed my point, it was that some of the people who obsess about the technicalities of equipment are often the very same people who fail to post anything remotely interesting by way of illustration of the product of all that wondrous gear...


That may be true, Rob, but we should not forget that the development of camera technology over the past century and more has taken place only as a result of people obsessing about the technicalities of the results.

We all know that a camera by itself, no matter how high its resolution, does not make a work of art. However, cameras are not primarily tools for art, depending on  how you define the word 'art'. They are mostly used for recording personal events (snapshots), entertainment, special interests such as mushrooms or wildlife or travelling or advertising, fashion, pornography etc, reporting news, and for forensic and scientific purposes. Where would astronomy be without the power of modern imaging devices?

I would say that a major part of the fascination of hi tech, high resolution cameras, is simply the fact they can record in such fine detail what the eye can at best barely discern, and what the mind can poorly remember. This applies particularly to macro photography and the telephoto shots people take of birds and wildlife.

The power of a good lens in combination with a high-resolving sensor is a wonderful thing, Rob.  Grin
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Isaac
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« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2013, 11:38:16 AM »
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we should not forget that the development of camera technology over the past century and more has taken place only as a result of people obsessing about the technicalities of the results.

Indeed.
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Rob C
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« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2013, 12:16:13 PM »
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Indeed.



And here I was, thinking it was all about money and market share!

Silly me - it was all altruistic all the time! I should have realised that the moment I observed so many people writing about having to return so many duff bits of equipment: it's just an illlustration of how much they care about us in those boardrooms: they want the buying experience to continue and continue, just like in the Barabarella movie mentioned in another thread... why make one purchase when you can keep on rebuying the same thing over and over again? Spread the joy!

;-)

Rob C
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Ray
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« Reply #35 on: March 23, 2013, 09:24:49 PM »
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And here I was, thinking it was all about money and market share!

Silly me - it was all altruistic all the time! I should have realised that the moment I observed so many people writing about having to return so many duff bits of equipment: it's just an illlustration of how much they care about us in those boardrooms: they want the buying experience to continue and continue, just like in the Barabarella movie mentioned in another thread... why make one purchase when you can keep on rebuying the same thing over and over again? Spread the joy!

;-)

Rob C

Speaking for myself, I only ever buy the same thing after having consumed it or used it, or after giving it as a present, or sometimes after selling it. Everything else I buy is always different, like a D800E is different from a D700, and a D7100 is different from a D7000.
Now where would we be without consumerism, Rob? May I suggest, the simple, but awful life of the hunter/gatherer. Would you prefer that, Rob?  Grin
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Rob C
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« Reply #36 on: March 24, 2013, 05:43:32 AM »
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Speaking for myself, I only ever buy the same thing after having consumed it or used it, or after giving it as a present, or sometimes after selling it. Everything else I buy is always different, like a D800E is different from a D700, and a D7100 is different from a D7000.
Now where would we be without consumerism, Rob? May I suggest, the simple, but awful life of the hunter/gatherer. Would you prefer that, Rob?  Grin



Ray, there is nothing in my makeup that indicates I could thrive or survive in such a milieu. What there is in my makeup is a desire for what I buy to be what is says on the box. Now that's neither a revolutionary nor reactionary view: for those who doubt it or simply know no better, that's how it actually used to be, just a few years ago.

And insofar as the buying of equipment is concerned, I never bought what didn't have a real, immediate purpose. Doing otherwise would have made no sense. Clearly, the idea of things making sense is now an anachronism, as is the concept of need.

Rob C
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Corvus
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« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2013, 07:29:01 AM »
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Now where would we be without consumerism Grin

Well, we may have a planet we are not eventually turning into a gigantic strip mine
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Ray
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« Reply #38 on: March 24, 2013, 08:27:53 PM »
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Well, we may have a planet we are not eventually turning into a gigantic strip mine

Not even nearly close! This is an excellent example of how emotional impressions of a situation gained through sensationalised news reporting and documentaries, are at odds with the facts.

Here's an extract from the following site: http://www.miningfacts.org/Economy/How-Does-Large-Scale-Mining-Affect-Agriculture/

"The total amount of land used in mining is relatively small compared with agriculture. For example, in the United States, agriculture uses 52% of land area whereas mining disturbs 0.02-0.1% of land. In Canada, 0.01% of land has been used for mining compared with 7% of land used for agriculture. In Peru, although 12% of the total land is under mining concessions, only 0.08% of the country’s total land is being mined. In Brazil, less than 0.45% of the total land is under mining concessions (Geologist Paulo Riveiro de Santana, Ombudsman, Department Nacional de Produção Mineral, personal communication December, 2011) and in Australia mining sites disturbed less than 0.26% of total land mass."

What's perhaps surprising here is that in Australia, which relies upon mining activities for a good proportion if its wealth, exporting billions of tons of iron ore and coal, and other minerals to China and other parts of the world, the total area of our land surface taken up by mining activities is a mere 0.26%.
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Corvus
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« Reply #39 on: March 25, 2013, 02:48:02 AM »
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"Not even nearly close!"

I assumed "strip mining" would be understood metaphorically not literally - apparently not.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 03:02:33 AM by Corvus » Logged
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