NEX7 and Zeiss 24mm emount for landscape

Started Apr 13, 2012 | Discussions
steven_k
Regular MemberPosts: 457Gear list
Like?
NEX7 and Zeiss 24mm emount for landscape
Apr 13, 2012

I am renting the zeiss 24mm lens to try with my NEX7 for landscape work and I am not to impressed with it's performance when shooting at infinity, corners do not hold the sharpness that the center holds.
I did my test at F5.6 on a tripod 2 second delay.
Is this somewhat normal for this lens?

I don't own the kit lens, Though I wonder how it would compare at 24mm, F5.6 at infinity focus.

Any suggestions for a 35mm equiv. lens for the nex7?

Steven

Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5 Sony Alpha NEX-7
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
edwardaneal
Senior MemberPosts: 9,101Gear list
Like?
Re: NEX7 and Zeiss 24mm emount for landscape
In reply to steven_k, Apr 13, 2012

I am not personally familiar with the 24, but you might want to try a few things before you give up on it. Some lenses seem to do a bit better if you focus past infinity - the Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 is well known for this, also some lenses do better if you focus infront of infinity. at f/5.6 with a 24mm lens on an APS-c camera you should be able to set the focus at 16.8 feet and get everything from around 8 feet out to infinity in focus according to the online DOF calculator

letting the camera simply focus on infinity wastes a huge amount of your DOF. normally about half of your DOF falls behing the point of focus and half falls in front of the focus point. if you actually focus on the furthest point all of the DOF that would normally fall behind the focus point is wasted simply because there isnt anything behind the focus point that needs to be in focus

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

If you are not pleased with the 24 you might want to try the Sigma 30mm f/2.8. It is a great lens I find mine to be sharp corner to corner even wide open and I have not noticed any corner issues at any focus distance.

Hope this helps

 edwardaneal's gear list:edwardaneal's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN Carl Zeiss Touit 1.8/32
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
headofdestiny
Veteran MemberPosts: 9,222Gear list
Like?
Re: NEX7 and Zeiss 24mm emount for landscape
In reply to steven_k, Apr 13, 2012

It seems to me that, while the edges remain sharp on the 24, the extreme corners aren't razor sharp, but they don't seem that bad. I'll have to test it more myself, as the lens is new to me.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Gary H
Senior MemberPosts: 1,702Gear list
Like?
Re: NEX7 and Zeiss 24mm emount for landscape
In reply to steven_k, Apr 13, 2012
 Gary H's gear list:Gary H's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Fujifilm X100S Canon EOS-1D Mark III Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony Alpha NEX-6 +10 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
headofdestiny
Veteran MemberPosts: 9,222Gear list
Like?
Re: NEX7 and Zeiss 24mm emount for landscape
In reply to Gary H, Apr 13, 2012

Gary H wrote:

Summilux vs. Zeiss comparison:

scroll down..

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/sony_nex_7_rolling_review.shtml#24

Those look relatively legit to me, although MR has made pretty bad mistakes in the past with his tests. Either way, neither of his crops are extreme corners, so it depends how picky we're getting.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
steven_k
Regular MemberPosts: 457Gear list
Like?
Re: NEX7 and Zeiss 24mm emount for landscape
In reply to edwardaneal, Apr 13, 2012

Ed

I actually tried exactly what you mention bellow and basically got very similar results.

Don't get me wrong, my results are "bad" it's just my expectation for a Zeiss $1000 lens would have been better.

Steve

edwardaneal wrote:

I am not personally familiar with the 24, but you might want to try a few things before you give up on it. Some lenses seem to do a bit better if you focus past infinity - the Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 is well known for this, also some lenses do better if you focus infront of infinity. at f/5.6 with a 24mm lens on an APS-c camera you should be able to set the focus at 16.8 feet and get everything from around 8 feet out to infinity in focus according to the online DOF calculator

letting the camera simply focus on infinity wastes a huge amount of your DOF. normally about half of your DOF falls behing the point of focus and half falls in front of the focus point. if you actually focus on the furthest point all of the DOF that would normally fall behind the focus point is wasted simply because there isnt anything behind the focus point that needs to be in focus

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

If you are not pleased with the 24 you might want to try the Sigma 30mm f/2.8. It is a great lens I find mine to be sharp corner to corner even wide open and I have not noticed any corner issues at any focus distance.

Hope this helps

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
headofdestiny
Veteran MemberPosts: 9,222Gear list
Like?
Re: NEX7 and Zeiss 24mm emount for landscape
In reply to steven_k, Apr 13, 2012

steven_k wrote:
Ed

I actually tried exactly what you mention bellow and basically got very similar results.

Don't get me wrong, my results are "bad" it's just my expectation for a Zeiss $1000 lens would have been better.

Steve

edwardaneal wrote:

I am not personally familiar with the 24, but you might want to try a few things before you give up on it. Some lenses seem to do a bit better if you focus past infinity - the Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 is well known for this, also some lenses do better if you focus infront of infinity. at f/5.6 with a 24mm lens on an APS-c camera you should be able to set the focus at 16.8 feet and get everything from around 8 feet out to infinity in focus according to the online DOF calculator

letting the camera simply focus on infinity wastes a huge amount of your DOF. normally about half of your DOF falls behing the point of focus and half falls in front of the focus point. if you actually focus on the furthest point all of the DOF that would normally fall behind the focus point is wasted simply because there isnt anything behind the focus point that needs to be in focus

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

If you are not pleased with the 24 you might want to try the Sigma 30mm f/2.8. It is a great lens I find mine to be sharp corner to corner even wide open and I have not noticed any corner issues at any focus distance.

Hope this helps

The 24 is known to have corners that get a little softer at infinity, but it still is pretty good compared to a lot of other lenses at that focal length. Even some Zeiss ZE/ZF lenses aren't clinically sharp in the corners.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
headofdestiny
Veteran MemberPosts: 9,222Gear list
Like?
Re: NEX7 and Zeiss 24mm emount for landscape
In reply to edwardaneal, Apr 13, 2012

edwardaneal wrote:

I am not personally familiar with the 24, but you might want to try a few things before you give up on it. Some lenses seem to do a bit better if you focus past infinity - the Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 is well known for this, also some lenses do better if you focus infront of infinity. at f/5.6 with a 24mm lens on an APS-c camera you should be able to set the focus at 16.8 feet and get everything from around 8 feet out to infinity in focus according to the online DOF calculator

letting the camera simply focus on infinity wastes a huge amount of your DOF. normally about half of your DOF falls behing the point of focus and half falls in front of the focus point. if you actually focus on the furthest point all of the DOF that would normally fall behind the focus point is wasted simply because there isnt anything behind the focus point that needs to be in focus

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

If you are not pleased with the 24 you might want to try the Sigma 30mm f/2.8. It is a great lens I find mine to be sharp corner to corner even wide open and I have not noticed any corner issues at any focus distance.

Hope this helps

FWIW, some professional landscape photographers prefer the Merklinger method of focusing at infinity, which looks at what the smallest resolvable object in the object plane is, rather than looking at the circle of confusion at the image plane, because hyper focal distance gets less and less optimal as our sensors get higher res. You basically focus to infinity and stop down so that your physical aperture size is smaller than any detail that you'd like to resolve. Works well for some.

link: http://www.trenholm.org/hmmerk/DOFR.html

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
blue_skies
Senior MemberPosts: 6,873Gear list
Like?
Re: NEX7 and Zeiss 24mm emount for landscape
In reply to steven_k, Apr 13, 2012

steven_k wrote:

I am renting the zeiss 24mm lens to try with my NEX7 for landscape work and I am not to impressed with it's performance when shooting at infinity, corners do not hold the sharpness that the center holds.
I did my test at F5.6 on a tripod 2 second delay.
Is this somewhat normal for this lens?

I don't own the kit lens, Though I wonder how it would compare at 24mm, F5.6 at infinity focus.

Any suggestions for a 35mm equiv. lens for the nex7?

Steven

Field curvature and DOF?

As any wide angle, field curvature is inherent, and most wide angle lenses are not superfast, for this and other reasons. The Zeiss, at f/1.8, is a notable exception.

As you did not post the images, it is hard to compare.

I have several comparison shots, and the Zeiss very sharp at the edges, and very predictable, even wide open.

I suggest to use http://www.dofmaster.com to calculate your DOF based on your framing and distance, and then figure out if the edges are within the DOF range or not.

Also, use DMF manual focusing to assure that the focus is exactly where you want it to be, based on DOF calculations.

In landscape shots, you do NOT want to focus on infinity. Rather, you want to focus at the hyperfocal distance, so you get the maximum DOF and sharpness in the picture. You might even get away by focusing on the edges, and find everything to be in focus. Even AF might work, if the horizon is not too far away.

Edges can be sharp or fuzzy for many reasons. It is not always the lens, it can be the photographer, focus point, field curvature, image composition, and so on, there are many factors.

The 24mm is not 'edge-perfect', but it is very respectable, especially at f/5.6.

Lastly, pixel peeping and complaining is not the same as pixel peeping and comparing with another know good lens. This will help you see which is the better lens. The Zeiss comes out on top everytime you compare it with other, high quality, lenses. There have been many threads with test shots here in past.

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

 blue_skies's gear list:blue_skies's gear list
Canon PowerShot S95 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony Alpha 7 Sony a6000 +30 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
steven_k
Regular MemberPosts: 457Gear list
Like?
Re: NEX7 and Zeiss 24mm emount for landscape
In reply to headofdestiny, Apr 13, 2012

headofdestiny wrote:

FWIW, some professional landscape photographers prefer the Merklinger method of focusing at infinity, which looks at what the smallest resolvable object in the object plane is, rather than looking at the circle of confusion at the image plane, because hyper focal distance gets less and less optimal as our sensors get higher res. You basically focus to infinity and stop down so that your physical aperture size is smaller than any detail that you'd like to resolve. Works well for some.

link: http://www.trenholm.org/hmmerk/DOFR.html

I have read this article in he past and normally apply hi simple theory on focus on the farthest area you want critical focus and then simply stop down and suffer from diffraction.

I was just hoping for the NEX 7 there was going to be a good 35mm equiv. lens for distant landscape work but I have let to find one. I am going to compare my cv 25 today to the Zeiss 24, even though the cv25 does have the purple corners on the nex7 I will try corner fix. Oh and btw I also have the new sigma 19 and 30mm lenses which do perform in some aspects better then the Zeiss go figure. Of course they do not have as good of color as the Zeiss, ie the Zeiss look, but the corners don't fall apart as bad.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
steven_k
Regular MemberPosts: 457Gear list
Like?
Re: NEX7 and Zeiss 24mm emount for landscape
In reply to blue_skies, Apr 13, 2012

blue_skies wrote

Field curvature and DOF?

I think it more field curvature that's causing me the issue.
I like to take pictures of big scenes and they are alway far in the distance.

As any wide angle, field curvature is inherent, and most wide angle lenses are not superfast, for this and other reasons. The Zeiss, at f/1.8, is a notable exception.

As you did not post the images, it is hard to compare.

I will post some in a while.

I have several comparison shots, and the Zeiss very sharp at the edges, and very predictable, even wide open.

I have seen very good results to frm the Zeiss lens, but none of them are images where the subject is far away, again field curvature

I suggest to use http://www.dofmaster.com to calculate your DOF based on your framing and distance, and then figure out if the edges are within the DOF range or not.

Tried it did not help at all, if anything my distant subject in the case big mountains were now OOF, not sharp.

Also

In landscape shots, you do NOT want to focus on infinity. Rather, you want to focus at the hyperfocal distance, so you get the maximum DOF and sharpness in the picture. You might even get away by focusing on the edges, and find everything to be in focus. Even AF might work, if the horizon is not too far away.

I will try focusing on the side

Edges can be sharp or fuzzy for many reasons. It is not always the lens, it can be the photographer, focus point, field curvature, image composition, and so on, there are many factors.

The 24mm is not 'edge-perfect', but it is very respectable, especially at f/5.6.

Agreed

Lastly, pixel peeping and complaining is not the same as pixel peeping and comparing with another know good lens. This will help you see which is the better lens. The Zeiss comes out on top everytime you compare it with other, high quality, lenses. There have been many threads with test shots here in past.

Unfortunately i am comparing to shooting both MF digital and a M9 the same kind of scene. I know the NEX 7 is no Leica or a Leaf 33mp back on a tech view camera but I guess My expectation was a little higher. My results with my nex7 have been very good when using lens 35mm and above.
In summary, I think it is the field curvature is what I am fighting.

Steven

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
headofdestiny
Veteran MemberPosts: 9,222Gear list
Like?
Re: NEX7 and Zeiss 24mm emount for landscape
In reply to steven_k, Apr 13, 2012

The 24/1.8 does seem a bit more aimed at reportage, rather than landscape shooting, like many fast wides. An f2.8 version of the lens would probably have a flatter field. Interestingly, the mtfs for this lens are listed for f8, which is a smaller aperture than normal, so maybe that aperture would be a little better at the edges.

As was mentioned earlier, you may want to focus on the corners. The nice wide effect of field curvatures is that it can give some dimension when you have more objects throughout the image field.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
steven_k
Regular MemberPosts: 457Gear list
Like?
Re: NEX7 and Zeiss 24mm emount for landscape
In reply to steven_k, Apr 13, 2012

OK here is the image from yesterday.
Tripod, F5.6 second delay, Manual focus on mountains in the background.
PP LR4, 20 clarity, and I do a decon. USM 40, .7, 100

If I had focused on the trees on the side, the mountains in the background would for sure go soft.
Not sure if F8 would help.

Again let me state it's not terrible, yet I was hopping for better and yes it seems this lens was designed more for reportage use, not landscape.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
loicc
Regular MemberPosts: 491Gear list
Like?
Re: NEX7 and Zeiss 24mm emount for landscape
In reply to blue_skies, Apr 13, 2012

I made this one with focus on the bridge.

All the frame is in focus at f:8. The right corner crop shows a very slight sharpness fall but.
I' m not picky enough for returning the lens just because of it.

 loicc's gear list:loicc's gear list
Nikon D2H Sony Alpha NEX-7 Nikon AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Mark Weston
Contributing MemberPosts: 917Gear list
Like?
nice shots loicc
In reply to loicc, Apr 13, 2012

I am considering bringing a tripod with me on my next trip to Paris to attempt some night shots like yours.

http://www.markwweston.com

 Mark Weston's gear list:Mark Weston's gear list
Canon PowerShot S90 Sony RX1 G1 X II
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads