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Author Topic: Art vs. Otus?  (Read 13672 times)
LKaven
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« Reply #60 on: March 08, 2014, 03:47:13 PM »
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Folks,

Stumbled upon this recently while browsing. Figured you'd be interested if you haven't already seen it. Smiley

Very impressive performance from the Sigma on the chart.  Very.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #61 on: March 08, 2014, 05:35:24 PM »
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Yes, in terms of pure optical performance, Sigma seems currently superior to both Canon and Nikon, and very close to Zeiss.

In terms of price performance ratio, they are very very far ahead of everybody else.

Now, there are othet parameters like durability, environmental resistance,... where we do no know where Sigma stands. I know for a fact that those have an important impact on, at least, Nikon's designs, so are we really comparing apple to apple?

Cheers,
Bernard
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Manoli
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« Reply #62 on: March 08, 2014, 05:44:47 PM »
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Now, there are othet parameters like durability, environmental resistance ...  I know for a fact that those have an important impact on, at least, Nikon's designs, so are we really comparing apple to apple?

An 'impact' in what way, Bernard, apart from durability - could you be more specific ?
M
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #63 on: March 08, 2014, 06:13:33 PM »
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An 'impact' in what way, Bernard, apart from durability - could you be more specific ?
M

An impact on the design of the lens.

You don't make the same design choices if you want your lens to keep 97% io the time 95% of its image quality after a 80cm fall as you do if you completely ignore this aspect.

Same for cold/hot weathet, humidity,...

Designers make design choices to optimize the full set of parameters that the lens will be validated against. I don't know the extend of the negative impact on image quality resulting from to need to factor in durability as a design goal, but my guess is that it is not zero.

How does Sigma manage this, I don't know. All I am saying is that we don't really know the enveloppe for the Sigma recent lenses but we have more visibility on Canon/Nikon designs.

Cheers,
Bernard
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LKaven
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« Reply #64 on: March 08, 2014, 06:14:21 PM »
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I won't answer for Bernard, but I know that I've hesitated to buy Sigma optics in the past because of a perceived reputation for lower quality control and durability as the trade for lower-priced lenses.  Sigma has been remaking their image as an innovative producer of high performing products, and one isn't sure just yet whether all of the elements of quality itself are in place just yet.  Time will tell.  But the optics in the new Art series are looking great.

And last but not least, Nikon has certainly not given information about its autofocus system to any third party lens maker, which means that Sigma's AF system is based on reverse engineering Nikon's.  This could be a problem.  
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Manoli
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« Reply #65 on: March 08, 2014, 07:26:45 PM »
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Same for cold/hot weathet, humidity,...

Well I know what you're referring to there, unfortunately. I hope you got a satisfactory response from Zeiss.

You don't make the same design choices if you want your lens to keep 97% io the time 95% of its image quality after a 80cm fall as you do if you completely ignore this aspect.

OK, I understand now what you're referring to. I haven't seen or held any Sigma yet but I would be very surprised if they matched Nikon in terms of durable construction and motors in any way and certainly neither Zeiss nor Leitz. My suspicion is that Sigma build to a cost, sacrificing the quality of the externals and longevity, to reach a certain price point.

I know that I've hesitated to buy Sigma optics in the past because of a perceived reputation for lower quality control and durability as the trade for lower-priced lenses. ... But the optics in the new Art series are looking great.

Yes, they're an attractive 3rd part alternative - part performance, part price. I doubt that they'll hold their residual value over the long term until the market perception of their products changes. So being 'cheaper' today is only one part of the equation.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #66 on: March 08, 2014, 07:49:59 PM »
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On the other hand, Sigma has not sacrificed the quality feel of the Art series.

My 35mm f1.4 feels very well built.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Manoli
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« Reply #67 on: March 08, 2014, 08:15:54 PM »
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Bernard, I did say 'suspicion'. I haven't tried it so I'm not going to knock it!

On thing I now do, and it's probably a good indicator of the internals, is to switch the lens to M instead of AF. Lenses that have good focus dampening AND DISCONNECT from the AF mechanism are OK to manual focus with. Not great, but OK and probably more resilient to accidental damage.

But I'm just prejudiced, still prefer the Zeiss and Leica manual lenses. Old habits die hard ..

All best
M

[smiley]
« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 08:19:20 PM by Manoli » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #68 on: March 09, 2014, 01:26:19 AM »
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Hi,

That is a guess. I guess construction in Sigma lenses and Zeiss is quite difference. It seems for instance that Sigma has the capability to mould plastic parts with very high precision, higher than what may be feasible with machined metal parts. They talk about one micron. If you produce something in large numbers you can have more advanced machinery and the costs for the machinery can be distributed over a larger number of devices sold.

Roger Ciala over at lens rentals says that metal parts are not really preferable. Plastic parts are easy to replace. If a metal part breaks the whole assembly needs to be readjusted.
"When a plastic mount does break, people tend to freak out a bit because the lens is so obviously broken. From a repair standpoint, though, we love them. It takes 15 minutes to replace a broken plastic mount and the lens is as good as new. Metal mount lenses don’t break like that. Instead internal components and lens elements get shifted and bent. It can take several hours to return one of those to optical alignment."

link: http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/12/assumptions-expectations-and-plastic-mounts

Sigma used to make affordable lenses and they now move up the scale. I don't have an idea about durability and stuff. The Zeiss lenses are of course manual focus, so they only have little electronics while the Sigma lenses are AF.

Best regards
Erik


Well I know what you're referring to there, unfortunately. I hope you got a satisfactory response from Zeiss.

OK, I understand now what you're referring to. I haven't seen or held any Sigma yet but I would be very surprised if they matched Nikon in terms of durable construction and motors in any way and certainly neither Zeiss nor Leitz. My suspicion is that Sigma build to a cost, sacrificing the quality of the externals and longevity, to reach a certain price point.

Yes, they're an attractive 3rd part alternative - part performance, part price. I doubt that they'll hold their residual value over the long term until the market perception of their products changes. So being 'cheaper' today is only one part of the equation.
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Manoli
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« Reply #69 on: March 09, 2014, 07:49:00 AM »
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Eric,

That is a guess.

It would help if you read my post in full. I said 'suspicion' . Suspicion is, by definition, a guess.

It seems for instance that Sigma has the capability to mould plastic parts with very high precision, higher than what may be feasible with machined metal parts. They talk about one micron.

And not just Sigma. Furthermore, you seem to interpret, from my post, that 'plastic' is inferior. Far from it. By choice, many manufacturers prefer it, not just on cost. Aircraft, for example, are now built using composites - at least in part. Tripods are using carbon fibre (good torsional strength), not so good on impact resistance, . Kevlar has good impact resistance, not so good on rigidity etc etc.

If you produce something in large numbers you can have more advanced machinery and the costs for the machinery can be distributed over a larger number of devices sold.

Usually referred to as 'economy of scale'.

Roger Ciala over at lens rentals says that metal parts are not really preferable. Plastic parts are easy to replace.

Yup, from a repair perspective.  I prefer to avoid having to send my lenses for repair – if possible. Not to be construed as meaning that 'plastic' is necessarily inferior to metal. It's not.

The Zeiss lenses are of course manual focus, so they only have little electronics while the Sigma lenses are AF.

Not all - the Zeiss Touit series are AF.

I don't have an idea about durability and stuff.

Which is what the recent posts above were referring to.

All best
M
« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 07:54:43 AM by Manoli » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #70 on: March 09, 2014, 11:14:57 AM »
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Hi M,

It was not my intention to be aggressive. I just feel that Sigma seems to make an all out effort to make top grade lenses. Also they are a relatively small company, producing in Japan, with only photographic equipment in focus. They seem to have a great focus on making excellent lenses at fair prices. I feel that approach deserves some respect.

Also, I see lenses as tools, not investments objects. Nice if I can sell a lens not any more needed, but I am more interested in solving my problems today than selling the lenses tomorrow.

Just to say, I have seven Zeiss lenses and two from Sigma, I am not exactly a Sigma fan.

Best regards
Erik

 

Eric,

It would help if you read my post in full. I said 'suspicion' . Suspicion is, by definition, a guess.

And not just Sigma. Furthermore, you seem to interpret, from my post, that 'plastic' is inferior. Far from it. By choice, many manufacturers prefer it, not just on cost. Aircraft, for example, are now built using composites - at least in part. Tripods are using carbon fibre (good torsional strength), not so good on impact resistance, . Kevlar has good impact resistance, not so good on rigidity etc etc.

Usually referred to as 'economy of scale'.

Yup, from a repair perspective.  I prefer to avoid having to send my lenses for repair – if possible. Not to be construed as meaning that 'plastic' is necessarily inferior to metal. It's not.

Not all - the Zeiss Touit series are AF.

Which is what the recent posts above were referring to.

All best
M
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Michael Erlewine
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« Reply #71 on: March 09, 2014, 11:44:48 AM »
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I echo Erik's remarks in post #70, that many of us don't care who makes it, if it works to our needs. I have many really good lenses available to me, and I seldom use any of the many Nikons, with the exception of some of their exotic industrials. I do close-up and macro work for the most part.

I have been corresponding with Zeiss technicians for months asking after an Otus macro lens. What they tell me is they have to be able to sell 10,000 of them to make it worthwhile, not in their opinion likely with a macro. Perhaps they will change their mind now that they see the demand for the Otus 55mm.

Small companies, like Voigtlander, make excellent lenses. In fact, Voigtlander lenses are made in the same building as most Zeiss lenses, just in another area of the factory, I am told.

The Voigtlander 125mm F/2.5 APO-Lanthar is a wonderful lens, if you can find it, right up there (but not as corrected) with the Zeiss Otus 55mm. I have hoped for years that Nikon would get on the bandwagon and correct their lenses. It is not that they cannot do it.

I have three Printing Nikkors that are highly corrected, plus the El Nikkor APO 105mm lens that is very nice as well, and so on. They can do it if they want to.

I am open to whatever works for me. I tried out (and returned) both the Sigma Merrill DP3 and the Sony A7r cameras. Great strides forward, but still not all of what I need in one package. I would like a pro-Nikon body with a 54MP sensor, and superb EVF,and no AA filter.
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Michael Erlewine
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Manoli
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« Reply #72 on: March 09, 2014, 02:03:03 PM »
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It was not my intention to be aggressive. I just feel that Sigma seems to make an all out effort to make top grade lenses. Also they are a relatively small company, producing in Japan, with only photographic equipment in focus. They seem to have a great focus on making excellent lenses at fair prices. I feel that approach deserves some respect.

Also, I see lenses as tools, not investments objects. Nice if I can sell a lens not any more needed, but I am more interested in solving my problems today than selling the lenses tomorrow.

Just to say, I have seven Zeiss lenses and two from Sigma, I am not exactly a Sigma fan.

Eric,

Nor mine, though sometimes I feel that you misinterpret my posts! I agree with you, that Sigma are definitely upping the 'ante' - I just hope that the build quality will match. I bought the DP3m - great output from such a small package, but I did not enjoy the 'feel' of the camera or the lens. I hope the 'Art' series is a great success and not 'just' because of price.

All best,
Manoli
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #73 on: March 09, 2014, 03:37:37 PM »
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Hi,

Sorry, really not my intention. Thanks for making the point. I will try to keep it mind!

Have a nice day!

Erik

… though sometimes I feel that you misinterpret my posts! …

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Theodoros
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« Reply #74 on: April 11, 2014, 12:15:18 PM »
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At less than a grand and the reviews claiming that it rivals (and in some respects beats) the Otus... http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1677/cat/30 , it looks like a game changer for standard hi-end performance lenses.
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SangRaal
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« Reply #75 on: April 11, 2014, 01:42:17 PM »
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Currently there is only 1 annual source of lens frequency repair/failure data that is from Lens Rental Dot com. Every year that list is headed by the Nikon 70--200f 2.8 zoom closely followed by the similar Canon zoom. It is always interesting to me the many Nikon/Canon non exotic primes higher up on the list than they should be(especially the canon 50 f 1.4). So I'm not sure where all the posters here got their Ideas re: Nikon durability One of the only good reasons for the non purchase of the Sigma lenses in the past has been their awful resale value, but now as our site owner says "...the camera industry is in the dumpster..." and most used lenses are a glut on the market. Don't believe me just try and sell your Zeiss 35/2 or 35/1.4 or Canon or Nikon 35/1.4 or any zeiss Touitt. We now know(as of 6am this AM) the price on the Sigma 50 ART $1,300 / preorder price $949 from both sigma and BH Adorama. So like every other sheep I pre-ordered one.
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NancyP
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« Reply #76 on: April 11, 2014, 03:49:29 PM »
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There's no reason not to be a sheep if you aren't satisfied with your current 50mm option. Now that some bokeh pictures are coming out on the 50mm f/1.4 Art, and the bokeh looks pleasing to me, well, baaaaa (and H). Contrast looks excellent at f/1.4. See images here: http://lcap.tistory.com/entry/Sigma-50mm-f14-dg-hsm-Art-Review
Of course, if you want stealth, go for the Shorty Forty Canon 40mm f/2.8 or equivalent pancake. The Sigma Art is a monster lens.

My current 50-60mm lens selections are all golden oldie manual lenses from 1960s, unearthed from the back of the closet: Mamiya-Sekor 55mm f/1.4, 60mm f/2.8  1:1 macro,  Chinon 55mm f/1.4, Nikkor AIS 50mm f/1.2. They are all planar designs, and have beaucoups de chromatic aberration at f/1.2 to f.2.8. The Nikkor AIS 50mm f/1.2 is fun for the "dreamy" hazy look at f/1.2, and is a good sharp lens at f/4-f/8, so it will do a lot for me, but I admit that I want better wide open correction and better bokeh for some f/1.4 shots.
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JohnBrew
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« Reply #77 on: April 11, 2014, 07:54:14 PM »
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I must say I'm extremely happy with my Zeiss 55 1.4 (can't stand the Otus name, btw). I like the rendering and that is all that counts. So what if another company produces a competitor which is the equal or better? Don't care. I like the tactile handling of the Zeiss - reminds me of my Leica M lenses - there is a quality which transcends AF products (imo).
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #78 on: April 11, 2014, 11:20:10 PM »
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Hello,

Just ordered this new Sigma from B&H with a Nikon mount.

Cheers

Simon
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Simon Harper
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Theodoros
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« Reply #79 on: April 12, 2014, 03:34:58 AM »
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I really don't see why some makers insist on making their "standard" lenses of 50mm FL... Clearly, 50mm being a little on the "tele" side of what "normal" should be, the 55-60mm focal length would change nothing on what people do with a 50mm prime, while at the same time, the lens would "bridge" much better the "gap" between a 35mm prime and the portrait lenses of the 85-105 range... 
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