A77: why long lenses seem to be so out resolved?

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JimmyMelbourne
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A77: why long lenses seem to be so out resolved?
8 months ago

Just curious regarding these results on telephoto lenses on the A77. Just curious why the best lens on this list, the sony 70 - 200 g, only achieves 10 P-MPix?

Are these scores to be trusted? Just trying to understand why a77 is so demanding. Even other 24 Megapixel cameras from other brands do not seem to be so demanding of their longer lenses.

http://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/Best-lenses-for-the-24M-Pix-Sony-SLT-A77-Primes-and-Zooms/Best-Telephoto-zooms-for-the-SLT-A77

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craig66
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Re: A77: why long lenses seem to be so out resolved?
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, 8 months ago

Sometimes the simplest explanation is quite possibly the best explanation. Maybe because the Canon, Nikon and Tamron VC 70-200 f2.8 lenses are better lenses than the Sony 70-200.

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JimmyMelbourne
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Re: A77: why long lenses seem to be so out resolved?
In reply to craig66, 8 months ago

Yes, but look at all of the lenses. All of the G lenses are resulting in low numbers. We know the 70 - 400 g is a top end lens. Is there something about the A77 sensor and camera configuration that is affecting how these lenses perform?

I think if we had tamron and sigma 70 - 200 equivalent lenses tested on the a77 they would also return low numbers.

The sony 70 - 200 g is actually fairly closely rated against the sigma and tamron lenses on other camera manufacturer cameras (when looking at the PMpx number)

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JimmyMelbourne
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Re: A77: why long lenses seem to be so out resolved?
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, 8 months ago

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

Yes, but look at all of the lenses. All of the G lenses are resulting in low numbers. We know the 70 - 400 g is a top end lens. Is there something about the A77 sensor and camera configuration that is affecting how these lenses perform?

I think if we had tamron and sigma 70 - 200 equivalent lenses tested on the a77 they would also return low numbers.

The sony 70 - 200 g is actually fairly closely rated against the sigma and tamron lenses on other camera manufacturer cameras (when looking at the PMpx number)

I should qualify the tamron seems to surpass the other two on the same 24 Mpix sensor, but it does seem the Nikon camera has higher values across the board than the a77 so it might not be a fair comparison due to the diferent camera configuration and variables.

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/70-200mm-F2.8-EX-DG-OS-HSM-Nikon-on-Nikon-D7100-versus-Sony-70-200mm-F2-8-G-on-Sony-SLT-Alpha-77-versus-Tamron-SP-70-200mm-F28-Di-VC-USD-Nikon-on-Nikon-D7100___320_865_246_734_1028_865

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craig66
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Re: A77: why long lenses seem to be so out resolved?
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, 8 months ago

Tamron 150-600 vs Sony 70-400 vs Nikon 80-400

There's a bit of give and take but there's not much to separate them in the overlapping focal length.

In the case of these long zooms, I guess most people are more interested in the long end. It's more useful to look at the detailed measurements than the headline pmpix.

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craig66
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Re: A77: why long lenses seem to be so out resolved?
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, 8 months ago

but it does seem the Nikon camera has higher values across the board than the a77 so it might not be a fair comparison due to the diferent camera configuration and variables.

The D7100 has no anti-alias filter which might make some difference.

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Chris Malcolm
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Re: A77: why long lenses seem to be so out resolved?
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, 8 months ago

There's something very odd about some of DxO's tests of lenses on cameras. For example, on the A99 the Sony 50mm f/1.4 gets almost exactly the same scores (slightly better in fact) as the old Konica-Minolta 50mm f/1.4. That's to be expected, since those two lenses are supposed to be optically identical but with improved coatings on the Sony 50mm.

Whereas on the A77 the K-M 50mm gets much the same result as on the A99, being one of the sharpest primes, but the Sony 50mm is way below it as one of the poorest primes. That's an extremely large difference!

I get the impression from other learned looking discussions of other paradoxical DxO results, that DxO give interesting & useful results when they get it right, but they do sometimes get it very oddly wrong. If a DXO camera & lens combination gives rather odd results, I wouldn't trust it without independent support.

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Michel J
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Re: A77: why long lenses seem to be so out resolved?
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, 8 months ago

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

Just curious regarding these results on telephoto lenses on the A77. Just curious why the best lens on this list, the sony 70 - 200 g, only achieves 10 P-MPix?

Are these scores to be trusted? Just trying to understand why a77 is so demanding. Even other 24 Megapixel cameras from other brands do not seem to be so demanding of their longer lenses.

http://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/Best-lenses-for-the-24M-Pix-Sony-SLT-A77-Primes-and-Zooms/Best-Telephoto-zooms-for-the-SLT-A77

We sure can't believe, it's just an overall IQ in a combo for itself (specific lens attached to a specific camera)!

We have to make our own interpretations because, voluntarily or not, tests lie! It have some proof of that.

We have to make cross-checking between different sources to be sure. But it's virtually impossible to find exactly same combos and same tests protocols at the same time!

So at this point, the question is not 'if' tests lies but 'why' some lenses are really underrated /or overrated?

The best should be to make our own tests (when it's possible)

Last but not least, why dPr periodically change his "Studio Scene comparison", which hinders us to be able of making comparisons over time!

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Michel J
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Michel J
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Re: A77: why long lenses seem to be so out resolved?
In reply to craig66, 8 months ago

craig66 wrote:

but it does seem the Nikon camera has higher values across the board than the a77 so it might not be a fair comparison due to the diferent camera configuration and variables.

The D7100 has no anti-alias filter which might make some difference.

If so, why the D7100 resolve 3000LPH when the A77 with same 24MP sensor resolve 3400LPH. And why it's the D7100 which have a better resolution power in p-MP than the A77 for a same lens?

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Michel J
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Ralf B
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AC DC have a song for DXO based pixel peepping
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, 8 months ago

Cos I'm
p-MP
I'm Dynamite
p-MP
And I'll win the fight
p-MP
I'm a power-load
p-MP
Watch me Explode . . .

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JimmyMelbourne
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Re: AC DC have a song for DXO based pixel peepping
In reply to Ralf B, 8 months ago

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JimmyMelbourne
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Re: A77: why long lenses seem to be so out resolved?
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, 8 months ago

Im considering selling all my longer lenses including the sony 70 200 g. The reality is I do not use them enough to warrant the cash sitting there doing nothing. This is why I have been looking at the performance of the 70 200 g and whether it is worth keeping or not. This is also due to the evidence that these longer lenses are all not providing the resolution that would warrant the investment when considering aps-c cameras in A Mount.

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VirtualMirage
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Re: A77: why long lenses seem to be so out resolved?
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, 8 months ago

I hate to say you are looking at it the wrong way, but you are.

You are claiming that long lenses on the A77 get out resolved when comparing to similar resolution sensors the competition uses, yet you are comparing different lenses. Apples and Oranges.

We will never know how a Sony 70-200 or 70-400 would perform on a Nikon or Canon, so you can't claim the issue is with the A77.  When you put the same lens on the lower resolution sensors, you don't see a dramatic increase in performance.  At best you will see equal performance and at worst poorer performance.  When a lower resolution sensor score the same with a lens as a higher resolution sensor, then you can conclude that the sensor is out resolving the lens and the lens is at its limitation.

You will be better off comparing the same lens across all sensors to get a better idea as to what to expect.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem DxO accounts for possible poor manufacturing tolerances on lenses (a goody copy versus a bad copy).  One example of this is comparing the Sigma 24-70 across the Sony, Nikon, and Canon.  The Sony performs poorly compared to how it performs on Nikon and Canon, yet all three are identical lenses in design (same optical formula).  At the very least, you should see similar optical characteristics despite higher or lower resolutions.  An example would be corner sharpness and the transition from center to corner sharpness.

The Nikon and Sony sensors share the same crop, thus use the same portion of the lens, so they should exhibit similar characteristics.  When compared wide open, they don't in this respect.  The Canon is a tighter crop and users a smaller portion of the lens, 1.6x versus 1.5x.  So its characteristics should look like a slightly magnified version of the Nikon and Sony charts.  While it, too, varies a bit, it at least looks more similar to the Nikon in characteristics than the Sony does.  From all three, you could assume that the Nikon was using the best copy of the lens of the three, with the Canon taking a close second, and the Sony a distant third.  Even the vignetting isn't the same.  This is a sign that a copy that wasn't calibrated very well was used.

So to wrap it up, take the numbers with a grain of salt (especially when comparing different brands of lenses).  Manufacturing tolerances and the quality of the copy chosen can have an affect too.

P.S.

I would like to add that the Sony 70-400 doesn't perform as bad as you think against the competition.  The Nikon 80-400 scores about the same as it does.  Same goes for Canon's closest competing lens, the 100-400.

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Paul

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nandbytes
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Re: A77: why long lenses seem to be so out resolved?
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, 8 months ago

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

Im considering selling all my longer lenses including the sony 70 200 g. The reality is I do not use them enough to warrant the cash sitting there doing nothing. This is why I have been looking at the performance of the 70 200 g and whether it is worth keeping or not. This is also due to the evidence that these longer lenses are all not providing the resolution that would warrant the investment when considering aps-c cameras in A Mount.

If you are selling the sony 70-200 let me know for how much.

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JimmyMelbourne
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Re: A77: why long lenses seem to be so out resolved?
In reply to VirtualMirage, 8 months ago

Hi Paul

I certainly understand and appreciate what you have written, and also share this view. The only reason I raise this is we see a lot of longer zoom lenses that have been tested on the a77 rating low. If it was a case of one or two bad lens design, i can appreciate that, but when we see across the board low scores specific to the a77, it makes me wonder why, and if there is something specific to the a77 that may lead to this trend. Hence my original post.

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JimmyMelbourne
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Re: A77: why long lenses seem to be so out resolved?
In reply to nandbytes, 8 months ago

nandbytes wrote:

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

Im considering selling all my longer lenses including the sony 70 200 g. The reality is I do not use them enough to warrant the cash sitting there doing nothing. This is why I have been looking at the performance of the 70 200 g and whether it is worth keeping or not. This is also due to the evidence that these longer lenses are all not providing the resolution that would warrant the investment when considering aps-c cameras in A Mount.

If you are selling the sony 70-200 let me know for how much.

Will do mate, I really need to use it more to know if its something I want to keep. With some lenses I personally feel i hit my capability as a photographer, and time i can invest into it. I could probably get away with just owning the 16 - 50, 50 1.4 SSM, and 18 - 250, 85 1.4, 11-16 and be covered for all occasions based on what I currently do with my cameras. The rest I could potentially sell and put my toe into E mount for a try.

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VirtualMirage
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Re: A77: why long lenses seem to be so out resolved?
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, 8 months ago

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

Hi Paul

I certainly understand and appreciate what you have written, and also share this view. The only reason I raise this is we see a lot of longer zoom lenses that have been tested on the a77 rating low. If it was a case of one or two bad lens design, i can appreciate that, but when we see across the board low scores specific to the a77, it makes me wonder why, and if there is something specific to the a77 that may lead to this trend. Hence my original post.

But it isn't the A77. Look at the same lenses on other camera models, Sony including. You don't see any of the other models scoring higher than the A77, do you? See here:

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-70-200mm-F2-8-G-on-Sony-SLT-Alpha-77-versus-Sony-70-200mm-F2-8-G-on-Sony-Alpha-550-versus-Sony-70-200mm-F2-8-G-on-Sony-Alpha-700___246_734_246_624_246_562

The A77 is 24MP, the A550 is 14.2MP, and the A700 is 12MP.

Now let's compare the same lens with the A77, A900, and A99:

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-70-200mm-F2-8-G-on-Sony-SLT-Alpha-77-versus-Sony-70-200mm-F2-8-G-on-Sony-Alpha-900-versus-Sony-70-200mm-F2-8-G-on-Sony-SLT-Alpha-99___246_734_246_371_246_831

The conclusion to come to that is it is the lens is more of a limiting factor than the sensor.

Here's the Sigma 35mm F/1.4 A HSM on the A77, D7100 (no OLPF), and D5200 (with OLPF) (all 24MP):

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sigma-35mm-F14-DG-HSM-A-Sony-on-Sony-SLT-Alpha-77-versus-Sigma-35mm-F14-DG-HSM-A-Nikon-on-Nikon-D7100-versus-Sigma-35mm-F14-DG-HSM-A-Nikon-on-Nikon-D5200___1060_734_1057_865_1057_850

Remember that the strength of the aliasing filter can affect perceived sharpness.

The only thing that I keep noticing on DxO's site is the tests tend to consistently show the Sony's as being weak in the corners. And that isn't with just the A77, it is with all the Sony APS-C sensors. I can see that being more problematic with the E-mount cameras and having such a short flange distance, requiring some optimized micro lenses on the sensor, but not so much the A-mount. It makes me question how and what DxO is testing and if they do sample variation. Until I can see other sites or testers verify this, I cannot conclude that DxO's results are 100% correct. They do give us a good start and give us an idea of some expectation, but that is about it. Error tolerances, testing methods, equipment used, etc. are all factors that can sway their results where the same lens on the multiple cameras could score close to each other.

So again, you are looking at it from the wrong perspective and assume the problem is the A77. What you really need to be asking are the following:

  • Why do the DxO tests consistently show the Sony APS-C sensors testing worse in the corners when comparing results of the same lens across multiple 1.5x APS-C sensors?
  • Why do the DxO tests consistently show the Sony APS-C sensors testing better in light transmission when comparing results of the same lens across multiple 1.5x APS-C sensors?
  • Why do the DxO tests consistently show the Sony APS-C sensors testing better in vignetting when comparing results of the same lens across multiple 1.5x APS-C sensors?
  • If the above holds true, does Sony do something different with their sensor microlenses that hurts corner sharpness in exchange for improved vignetting and light transmission?
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JimmyMelbourne
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Re: A77: why long lenses seem to be so out resolved?
In reply to VirtualMirage, 8 months ago

VirtualMirage wrote:

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

Hi Paul

I certainly understand and appreciate what you have written, and also share this view. The only reason I raise this is we see a lot of longer zoom lenses that have been tested on the a77 rating low. If it was a case of one or two bad lens design, i can appreciate that, but when we see across the board low scores specific to the a77, it makes me wonder why, and if there is something specific to the a77 that may lead to this trend. Hence my original post.

But it isn't the A77. Look at the same lenses on other camera models, Sony including. You don't see any of the other models scoring higher than the A77, do you? See here:

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-70-200mm-F2-8-G-on-Sony-SLT-Alpha-77-versus-Sony-70-200mm-F2-8-G-on-Sony-Alpha-550-versus-Sony-70-200mm-F2-8-G-on-Sony-Alpha-700___246_734_246_624_246_562

For some reason this link does not work for me.

The A77 is 24MP, the A550 is 14.2MP, and the A700 is 12MP.

Now let's compare the same lens with the A77, A900, and A99:

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-70-200mm-F2-8-G-on-Sony-SLT-Alpha-77-versus-Sony-70-200mm-F2-8-G-on-Sony-Alpha-900-versus-Sony-70-200mm-F2-8-G-on-Sony-SLT-Alpha-99___246_734_246_371_246_831

This link is OK.

The conclusion to come to that is it is the lens is more of a limiting factor than the sensor.

I know this is the primary principle, and this is the underlying principle that DXO is trying to prove with their numbers.

So basically what it all means to me is that we have 24 meg APS-C sensors, but will never realise their full potential. We may as well be shooting with zoom lenses and 10 Megapixel sensors that work better together. Or alternatively shoot primes to get the closest match as possible.

Here's the Sigma 35mm F/1.4 A HSM on the A77, D7100 (no OLPF), and D5200 (with OLPF) (all 24MP):

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sigma-35mm-F14-DG-HSM-A-Sony-on-Sony-SLT-Alpha-77-versus-Sigma-35mm-F14-DG-HSM-A-Nikon-on-Nikon-D7100-versus-Sigma-35mm-F14-DG-HSM-A-Nikon-on-Nikon-D5200___1060_734_1057_865_1057_850

This link does not work either.

Remember that the strength of the aliasing filter can affect perceived sharpness.

The only thing that I keep noticing on DxO's site is the tests tend to consistently show the Sony's as being weak in the corners. And that isn't with just the A77, it is with all the Sony APS-C sensors. I can see that being more problematic with the E-mount cameras and having such a short flange distance, requiring some optimized micro lenses on the sensor, but not so much the A-mount. It makes me question how and what DxO is testing and if they do sample variation. Until I can see other sites or testers verify this, I cannot conclude that DxO's results are 100% correct. They do give us a good start and give us an idea of some expectation, but that is about it. Error tolerances, testing methods, equipment used, etc. are all factors that can sway their results where the same lens on the multiple cameras could score close to each other.

So again, you are looking at it from the wrong perspective and assume the problem is the A77.

I am not assuming something is wrong with the a77. I am testing whether the 24 Megapixel sensor and camera implementation is contributing to the lack of resolution a lens can achieve with this sensor, particularly what was implemented in the a77. When we place a lens on a camera, the sensor is not the only hard variable. There is other hardware, firmware that come into play.

As mentioned, I understand the reason for the numbers, what DXO is trying to achieve by comparing lenses and their resolvability on certain sensors. What this process does not factor in is the variability on the camera side. Then again as you have mentioned it does not account for variation in lens quality control either.

What you really need to be asking are the following:

  • Why do the DxO tests consistently show the Sony APS-C sensors testing worse in the corners when comparing results of the same lens across multiple 1.5x APS-C sensors?
  • Why do the DxO tests consistently show the Sony APS-C sensors testing better in light transmission when comparing results of the same lens across multiple 1.5x APS-C sensors?
  • Why do the DxO tests consistently show the Sony APS-C sensors testing better in vignetting when comparing results of the same lens across multiple 1.5x APS-C sensors?
  • If the above holds true, does Sony do something different with their sensor microlenses that hurts corner sharpness in exchange for improved vignetting and light transmission?
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EvilOne
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Re: A77: why long lenses seem to be so out resolved?
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, 8 months ago

so much is wrong.... so much is wrong

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nandbytes
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Re: A77: why long lenses seem to be so out resolved?
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, 8 months ago

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

nandbytes wrote:

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

Im considering selling all my longer lenses including the sony 70 200 g. The reality is I do not use them enough to warrant the cash sitting there doing nothing. This is why I have been looking at the performance of the 70 200 g and whether it is worth keeping or not. This is also due to the evidence that these longer lenses are all not providing the resolution that would warrant the investment when considering aps-c cameras in A Mount.

If you are selling the sony 70-200 let me know for how much.

Will do mate, I really need to use it more to know if its something I want to keep. With some lenses I personally feel i hit my capability as a photographer, and time i can invest into it. I could probably get away with just owning the 16 - 50, 50 1.4 SSM, and 18 - 250, 85 1.4, 11-16 and be covered for all occasions based on what I currently do with my cameras. The rest I could potentially sell and put my toe into E mount for a try.

I am actually thinking of going down Fuji route. Don't really like lenses on nex or their price. But the price of A6000 is tempting.

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