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Author Topic: PDN PhotoPlus 2013 Expo Coverage (Updated with Article)  (Read 9239 times)
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2013, 01:05:18 AM »
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Hi,

Well, it has been very hard to find any difference between shots with Sony Alpha 900 and Sony Alpha 99 although one has a DR of 12.3EV and the other is around 14EV (according to DxO). I have shot digital since 2005 and had early Minolta, most Sony's and also a Phase One. Also I love high contrast.

Still I have not found a lot of images that were exceeding the dynamic range of my cameras, and I found very few cases where HDR shots came out better than well processed raw images. It took me a few of months of testing to find an image where the DR advantage of the Alpha 99 was clearly seen, that was a dupe of a very contrasty Velvia slide in a totally dark room. If the room was light enough so I could see the camera the difference disappeared. [because surround light is reflected on surface of the slide].

Another factor is that in most situation there is some lens flare, that limits contrast at the image plane.

That said, I feel the P45+ is a bit problematic with noisy shadows.

Leica M lenses are not retrofocus designs and they will probably have issues with lens cast, and will also loose sharpness as the optical package in fron of the sensor is optimized for lenses with lower ray angle. Theory says that and also most test reports.

This is an image from the Alpha 900 (12.3 EV DR)


Raw histogram: see below.

I would think the A7/A7r is an excellent camera, I may even consider it myself. It works probably very well with a lot of lenses, but many folks want to put Leica glass on it, and many of those lenses don't work that well with modern sensors. Sony cameras are built for Sony lenses. Offset microlenses are optimized for Sony lenses, IR-filter is probably thick. The OLP-filter on the A7r is replaced with optical glass of equivalent thickness. That gives astigmatism on "Biogon" type designs.

All Leica glass is not created equal, by the way. Todays optics are quite good actually, at least the better ones and a high resolution lens shows all weaknesses a lens may have. Check this article: http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/leica-m-240-with-35mm-f1-4-fle---some-observations


I think that all those things are worth consideration before spending your money.

I would also suggest that this article is offering some insight: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/63-lot-of-info-in-a-digital-image

Best regards
Erik

Ps. Main reason I shoot the 1$ bill is that it's available to most people, so anyone can reproduce that part of my testimage. Some folks survive on something like five $US a day, but I guess those folks have other concerns the DR on the A7r.

Overrated ? Dynamic range is one of the D800's hallmarks and the Sony is supposed to improve on that (though I doubt it will be by a full stop). Considering the only alternative for shooting wide angle retrofocus leica lenses is with a 13.3 Evs $7000 Leica 240, the a7r is a pretty big deal. Stitching 36MP images from Canon TS lenses, holding the camera vertically and doing full resolution 70MP+ panorama sweeps with leica glass... Probably ok ? You've shot one dollar bill too many Wink


« Last Edit: October 29, 2013, 01:36:31 AM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

Ken R
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« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2013, 07:15:16 AM »
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Overrated ? Dynamic range is one of the D800's hallmarks and the Sony is supposed to improve on that (though I doubt it will be by a full stop). Considering the only alternative for shooting wide angle retrofocus leica lenses is with a 13.3 Evs $7000 Leica 240, the a7r is a pretty big deal. Stitching 36MP images from Canon TS lenses, holding the camera vertically and doing full resolution 70MP+ panorama sweeps with leica glass... Probably ok ? You've shot one dollar bill too many Wink



Yes, the Sony is a very big deal indeed! Smiley It is like a mini Digital back and FPS unit. It obviously does not substitute a technical camera, specially the ones that allow a lot of movements but still, it is a much more light, compact and affordable alternative. I saw big prints from the A7R and it does not beat the 60 and 80mp digital backs obviously but image quality is at least equivalent to the D800E.

« Last Edit: October 29, 2013, 07:19:48 AM by Ken R » Logged
KLaban
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« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2013, 07:58:48 AM »
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Leica M lenses are not retrofocus designs and they will probably have issues with lens cast, and will also loose sharpness as the optical package in fron of the sensor is optimized for lenses with lower ray angle. Theory says that and also most test reports.

All Leica glass is not created equal, by the way. Todays optics are quite good actually, at least the better ones and a high resolution lens shows all weaknesses a lens may have. Check this article: http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/leica-m-240-with-35mm-f1-4-fle---some-observations

The Summilux-M 35/f1.4 ASPH can exhibit curvature of field which can be exacerbated by focusing errors. The curvature of field can also be used to advantage.

Its my experience when using the lens on the M240 that precise focus is better achieved using the rangefinder rather than the EVF which has a tendency towards ambiguity. Its important when capturing planar subjects that the correct aperture is used. The lens is very adaptable depending on how it is used. Its a lens that needs to be understood to get the most out of it.

As an aside, I doubt the Sony A7r will get the best out of the M series wide lenses.
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eronald
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« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2013, 09:25:32 AM »
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Erik,

 Thanks for your post.
 The Ted Ashley article is very interesting; in the end one wonders whether a tricky (Leica) or clean (Sony/Zeiss) lens is more fun to shoot with - I guess it depends on whether one likes surprises.
  I know I'm not the sharpest knife in the box these days, but I'm a bit puzzled - these sensors all have huge DR, and then in practice I have noisy shadows all over my shots. Oh, wait, they have huge DR but in practice miscalibration deprives you of the bottom bits of DR, as different readouts read hotter, and of course only guys with tripods shoot at base ISO these days.
  By the way, I do wonder why these cameras with stabilisers don't use the stabiliser to do multi-rez shots with Bayer offset pixels, like the hassies.

Edmund

Hi,

Well, it has been very hard to find any difference between shots with Sony Alpha 900 and Sony Alpha 99 although one has a DR of 12.3EV and the other is around 14EV (according to DxO). I have shot digital since 2005 and had early Minolta, most Sony's and also a Phase One. Also I love high contrast.

Still I have not found a lot of images that were exceeding the dynamic range of my cameras, and I found very few cases where HDR shots came out better than well processed raw images. It took me a few of months of testing to find an image where the DR advantage of the Alpha 99 was clearly seen, that was a dupe of a very contrasty Velvia slide in a totally dark room. If the room was light enough so I could see the camera the difference disappeared. [because surround light is reflected on surface of the slide].

Another factor is that in most situation there is some lens flare, that limits contrast at the image plane.

That said, I feel the P45+ is a bit problematic with noisy shadows.

Leica M lenses are not retrofocus designs and they will probably have issues with lens cast, and will also loose sharpness as the optical package in fron of the sensor is optimized for lenses with lower ray angle. Theory says that and also most test reports.

This is an image from the Alpha 900 (12.3 EV DR)


Raw histogram: see below.

I would think the A7/A7r is an excellent camera, I may even consider it myself. It works probably very well with a lot of lenses, but many folks want to put Leica glass on it, and many of those lenses don't work that well with modern sensors. Sony cameras are built for Sony lenses. Offset microlenses are optimized for Sony lenses, IR-filter is probably thick. The OLP-filter on the A7r is replaced with optical glass of equivalent thickness. That gives astigmatism on "Biogon" type designs.

All Leica glass is not created equal, by the way. Todays optics are quite good actually, at least the better ones and a high resolution lens shows all weaknesses a lens may have. Check this article: http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/leica-m-240-with-35mm-f1-4-fle---some-observations


I think that all those things are worth consideration before spending your money.

I would also suggest that this article is offering some insight: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/63-lot-of-info-in-a-digital-image

Best regards
Erik

Ps. Main reason I shoot the 1$ bill is that it's available to most people, so anyone can reproduce that part of my testimage. Some folks survive on something like five $US a day, but I guess those folks have other concerns the DR on the A7r.

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Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
Ken R
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« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2013, 09:35:40 AM »
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Erik,

 Thanks for your post.
 The Ted Ashley article is very interesting; in the end one wonders whether a tricky (Leica) or clean (Sony/Zeiss) lens is more fun to shoot with - I guess it depends on whether one likes surprises.
  I know I'm not the sharpest knife in the box these days, but I'm a bit puzzled - these sensors all have huge DR, and then in practice I have noisy shadows all over my shots. Oh, wait, they have huge DR but in practice miscalibration deprives you of the bottom bits of DR, as different readouts read hotter, and of course only guys with tripods shoot at base ISO these days.
  By the way, I do wonder why these cameras with stabilisers don't use the stabiliser to do multi-rez shots with Bayer offset pixels, like the hassies.

Edmund


Interesting concept. I am sure the mfgs. can make it work.

The huge DR advantage of the Sony/Nikon sensors is basically gone by iso 800 and beyond. At base iso it is highest obviously. I think that those sensors might be taking a readout at iso 800 even when at base iso so that way it is like a built in zero noise technique. That would explain how clean the deep shadow recovery is. Who knows, but it is somewhat odd that the high dr advantage does not extend all the way throughout the iso range.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2013, 10:31:03 AM »
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The huge DR advantage of the Sony/Nikon sensors is basically gone by iso 800 and beyond.

Hi Ken,

That's correct. ISO 800 or 1600, and then underexpose with a push in Raw conversion post-processing. That will retain specular highlights and their color as a bonus, and it's usually in these situations where higher ISOs are warranted that the highlights can be important for capturing the atmosphere of the scene.

Since (photon shot) noise (especially at low light levels) is also a given, it's important for color demosaicing to not add more noise than useful.

Multishot techniques also stress the requirement for stable lightsources, and calibrated sensor-arrays, potentially adding another source of 'noise'.

Cheers,
Bart
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BJL
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« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2013, 10:52:05 AM »
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How many cameras apart from the D4 support XQD?
AFAIK, the score is 1 still camera using XQD, none using CFast, so it is clearly too early to conclude anything from that data.
Does anyone know about adoption in video cameras, which might be the main target for anything beyond SD?
Why is the physical XQD format different from CF?
Why should it not be? Neither CFast nor XQD offer any backward compatibility with CF, so if anything, having the same form factor might increase the risk of someone pushing the wrong type of card into a slot.

The trade-offs I see are:
QXD: smaller than CF or CFast, so better suited to small cameras (in particular small cameras that offer high quality, high bit-rate video) or fitting dual card slots in
CFast: same size as CF, so with the potential for higher maximum storage capacity than QXD.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2013, 05:37:26 PM by BJL » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2013, 10:56:02 AM »
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Hi,

It depends on what you compare with. Canons and D4 amplify the signal when going to high ISO, so readout noise goes down when ISO is increased. At base ISO readout noise is pretty high.

Sony sensors and others use on chip converters that have low readout noise. Those sensors are essentially "ISO-less", increasing ISO is essentially just underexposure. So the DR curves for most cameras merge at high ISOs.

Best regards
Erik

Interesting concept. I am sure the mfgs. can make it work.

The huge DR advantage of the Sony/Nikon sensors is basically gone by iso 800 and beyond. At base iso it is highest obviously. I think that those sensors might be taking a readout at iso 800 even when at base iso so that way it is like a built in zero noise technique. That would explain how clean the deep shadow recovery is. Who knows, but it is somewhat odd that the high dr advantage does not extend all the way throughout the iso range.
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Mike Sellers
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« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2013, 10:56:33 AM »
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When are we going to see medium format with image stabilization? Now that would be something!
Mike
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Paul Ozzello
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« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2013, 11:24:34 AM »
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Leica M lenses are not retrofocus designs and they will probably have issues with lens cast, and will also loose sharpness as the optical package in fron of the sensor is optimized for lenses with lower ray angle. Theory says that and also most test reports.
Aren't most wide-angle Leica-M lenses since the late 80s retrofocus designs ? They certainly aren't symmetrical like the older super angulons or biogons.

I'm not going to debate with you the merit of additional dynamic range when you barely notice a 1 Evs difference between two sensors when you compare them using a scene with 20+ Evs.

I am simply pointing out that the Sony a7r sensor is different than the d800 with a supposed increase in dynamic range and microlenses to improve corner performance of wide-angle lenses (many articles on the internet incorrectly state the cameras are sharing the same sensor). Contrary to what many people are assuming, the two photographers I have spoken with 'claim' wide angle lens performance on the A7R to be at least on par with the Leica 240, and Brian Smith (with a Sony bias) is saying on his blog he's never seen more life like colors from any other digital camera. For now it's mostly hearsay but it's a lot to get excited about and I doubt the camera will be a dud.

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jerome_m
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« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2013, 12:22:48 PM »
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When are we going to see medium format with image stabilization? Now that would be something!

Pentax has a stabilized lens for the 645D.
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KLaban
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« Reply #31 on: October 29, 2013, 12:31:11 PM »
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Contrary to what many people are assuming, the two photographers I have spoken with 'claim' wide angle lens performance on the A7R to be at least on par with the Leica 240...

...which would be at odds with Michael Reichmann who seems to be very impressed with Sony's recent offerings but who described anything wider than 35mm on the A7r as "iffy".
« Last Edit: October 29, 2013, 12:33:30 PM by KLaban » Logged

Paul Ozzello
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« Reply #32 on: October 29, 2013, 01:05:27 PM »
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Quote
Using Leica M and Nikon Lenses
For some photographers (myself included) putting Leica M mount lenses on the Sony A7R may be reason enough to break out a bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne and celebrate. Using an M to E adapter (I have a Metabones), virtually every Leica M lenses that I own works well on the A7R. Some of the ultra-wide and very wides do vignette, so be aware of this. There is no software correction for this, because we're mixing and matching. With other systems where the lens and camera are from the same company there's a lot of magic that can be done in firmware.

I had neither the time nor the full selection of lenses to test in detail what works and what doesn't, but I think it fair to say that most retrofocus design Leica M lenses will work on the A7R. When you consider that this camera has a high resolution EVF, focus peaking, intelligent Auto-ISO so manual aperture lenses can be used in a semi-automated manner, and of course a 36 Megapixel sensor, this is hot stuff indeed.

In my opinion, anyone who owns a set of (or even a few) high quality M series Leica optics should seriously look at the Sony A7R. They make for a killer combination, and the Sony costs less then a third of an M240 camera. Just test that the lenses that you plan on using work as you expect before taking the plunge.

I also tried several of my Nikon lenses using a Novoflex adaptor (with aperture control ring) and they too worked just fine, including the superb 14-24mm Nikkor. There is some chromatic aberration visible on some lenses at some apertures, but a trip to the Lens Correction tab in Lightroom or Camera Raw / Photoshop makes short work of this.

Overall, I can not recommend the A7R highly enough for anyone looking to find a new body for their Leica lenses, and who find the price of an M240 a bridge too far, as I did last year. And for those of you with M8, M9 or M240 bodies, the A7R makes a relatively inexpensive second body as well

Sounds better than 'iffy' Smiley

Apparently shooting an LLC does a good job for some of the ultra wides with magenta cast - and there's Cornerfix .

Doesn't the M 240 also have a problem with some of the ultra wides and biogon types ?
« Last Edit: October 29, 2013, 01:08:02 PM by Paul Ozzello » Logged

KLaban
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« Reply #33 on: October 29, 2013, 01:26:35 PM »
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Sounds better than 'iffy' Smiley

My testing showed good results with M lenses starting at 35mm. Wider lenses are iffy. It very much depends on the lens' design.

Michael


Apparently shooting an LLC does a good job for some of the ultra wides with magenta cast - and there's Cornerfix .

Life is too short.

Doesn't the M 240 also have a problem with some of the ultra wides and biogon types ?

With FW 2.0.0.11 the Leica M ultra wides are just fine.

There have been disappointments in the past, but I hope the A7r delivers. Time will tell.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #34 on: October 29, 2013, 02:06:52 PM »
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Hi,

Just be happy if Leica lenses work on the Alpha 7r, but I would wait for more testing done.

Regarding the image I posted, it has a DR of about 12 EV (excluding the sun), nowhere like 20 EV. That is the reason I included the raw data.

I don't argue that DR is not important, I just say it is overrated. I have been fortunate enough to have cameras at the top of the DR league, but I have seen lots of great images taken with humble Canons and Hasselblads ;-)

I have nothing against the Alpha 7r and I figure it is somewhat better than the Alpha 99 I have regarding DR and obviously much better in resolution.

Best regards
Erik





Aren't most wide-angle Leica-M lenses since the late 80s retrofocus designs ? They certainly aren't symmetrical like the older super angulons or biogons.

I'm not going to debate with you the merit of additional dynamic range when you barely notice a 1 Evs difference between two sensors when you compare them using a scene with 20+ Evs.



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Paul Ozzello
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« Reply #35 on: October 29, 2013, 02:38:15 PM »
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Life is too short.



Can't argue with that Smiley
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Mike Sellers
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« Reply #36 on: October 29, 2013, 02:56:15 PM »
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Man I didn`t know that so thanks for the heads up! I just looked at the specs for the 90 macro-any other lenses with IS yet?
Mike
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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #37 on: October 29, 2013, 06:29:33 PM »
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Man I didn`t know that so thanks for the heads up! I just looked at the specs for the 90 macro-any other lenses with IS yet?
Mike

I would love to see them come out with more lenses (and more bodies) but as of right now it really doesn't seem very clear what Pentax (Ricoh) will be doing with the 645D system...
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