Dandrewk: It's amazing how uniformed some posters CHOOSE to be regarding the nature of testing a wide angle lens, close up, on a flat field.
A lot of the absurd barbs seem to be coming from insecure Leica owners. Perhaps if Sony degraded the entire image to get flat field corner sharpness, similar to what Leica does, we could use the RX1 for 5:1 macro shots of stamps. But then, who would use a WA lens for such a chore?
Read all the comments here, ESPECIALLY the ones from the DPR testers themselves. It's basic photography 101. The corners are not unsharp, they are OUT OF FOCUS... which is exactly what should happen in this setup. The same goes with the Leica until Leica forced their correction upon us.
I've had decent luck taking portraits with my RX1 at close distances. These are a bit old, but they are the only ones available to me right now:http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53874579
Stephen787: how is it possible that leica 28mm lens can trash sony 35mm lens with 42 Mpixels. Either the Leica lens is fantastic or this zeiss lens is not sharp enough for the sensor. did the new variable LPF killed the sharpness. This is a great disappointment. I have zero interest in this camera now.
Thanks, Richard. I understand what Rishi is saying. I'm just curious about this idea: if field curvature shifts the plane of focus, and focus/recompose shifts the plane of focus, is it possible that focus/recompose will compensate for field curvature at these near distances? Ideally, the answer is "yes," so you don't have to bother with placing the focus point on an off-center subject.
Rishi, this may be a preposterous notion, but I'm really interested in the possibility that focus and recompose with the RX1 at these closer distances may somehow compensate for field curvature. I use focus/recompose almost exclusively with the RX1, mainly because I find flexible spot to be cumbersome and less accurate than center point AF, and yet I haven't noticed the off-center lack of sharpness shown in your studio tests. It would be an interesting exercise to test this by using center point to focus on the edge of your studio scene, then to recompose and check what the edge sharpness looks like then. Just a suggestion, though I'm sure you have plenty of other tasks to occupy your time.
Since I rarely carry more than one camera with me at a time, and that camera is usually the RX1, yes: I would take a portrait using a 35mm lens within two meters. And if the subject is not centered, shouldn't sharpness away from the center be a consideration, even at that distance? I want to emphasize, though, that this is not an issue I've particularly noticed in my use of the RX1. For someone choosing between the Q and the RX1, though, it clearly may matter.
I've owned the RX1 for nearly three years and consider it to be one of my favorite cameras. That said, the edge blurriness shown on the studio shots is an issue that should not be discounted. The 56" distance at which the studio shots were taken is not at all what I consider "close up," at least not in my use of the RX1. While one could resolve this by placing the focus point on the subject when the subject is not centered (and many of my subjects are not centered), moving the AF point around within the frame of the RX1 is an awkward and slow process. The only reasonable option is focus/recompose, which has its own issues, although it's worked pretty well for me with the RX1. (Maybe the focus shift created by focus/recompose somehow counteracts the focus shift caused by field curvature.) As for the Q "forcing" corrections on us, how could a raw file be corrected to resolve field curvature? I've never heard of a baked-in raw correction that changes the plane of focus.
meanwhile: So just to clarify - Barney, are you saying that the Q looks so much sharper in this test because it sharpens in-camera and bakes that into the raw files? If yes, does that effect the editing latitude of the RX1R II raw vs the Q?
While I'm no optics expert, I don't understand how a correction baked into a raw file could correct for field curvature. The edges of the frame are not in the same plane of focus, and extra sharpening of mush is just going to create oversharpened mush. Rather than the Q auto-correcting the raw file, my guess is that the lens on the Q is corrected for field curvature. Assuming that is true, that would be a big advantage of the Q over the RX1, especially since adjusting the focus point on the RX1 is a cumbersome PITA.
Would this field-curvature blurriness be resolved by placing the focus point on your subject when your subject is at the edge of the frame? And because focus and recompose tends to shift the focus point, would the focus and recompose method resolve the RX1 lens's field curvature issue when center focus is locked on a subject, then the frame is recomposed to place the subject at the edge of the frame?
This looks like a good update for many people, and frankly one I thought we'd never see. Personally, though, I'd prefer the original RX1/R body with the improved AF and 42 MP sensor of the RX1R II. Perhaps the pop-up EVF on the RX1R II will be better, but I've tried the pop-up EVF on the RX100 and found it less than satisfying, and not as nice as the add-on EVF for the RX1 -- which I use 99% of the time. Part of the reason for that is I am a left-eye shooter, and the center raised position of the RX1 EVF works much better for me. Also, while I'm not a big fan of flash, the built-in flash of the RX1 is useful for fill. With the RX1R II, I would probably feel compelled to always carry a small accessory flash that almost surely would be larger than the RX1 EVF.
A brief response to some posters: the RX1 series cameras are not toys. They are excellent picture-taking tools, especially for people (like me) whose preferred lens is a fast 35mm.
I'm baffled by why Sony is putting so much effort into building great full-frame cameras yet is neglecting the issues created by lossy raw compression. It makes no sense to me. Then again, I've been shooting raw since I acquired my first raw-capable camera in 2005, and I've post-processed thousands of RX1 files in the nearly three years I've owned that camera -- and in all that time, I've never noticed artifacts from Sony's lossy compression. This is not to say they are not there, but, for my purposes, they've never "ruined" any of my images. Still, as a long-time dedicated hobbyist, I would prefer to at least have the option for lossless compression, so I can only assume that Sony's obtuse stubbornness is driving away at least some potential customers, especially some professionals. I just can't understand Sony's thinking on this issue.
Vladik: Pretty amazing photo quality. I want one :)
How, I have used the RX1 since January, including in dim-light, high-ISO situations. I've never noticed the banding of which you speak. My internet searching also failed to uncover samples of the banding or even mention of it in any of the many RX1 reviews. If such banding is easily created and undisputed, one would think there would be evidence of it somewhere. But if there is, I can't find it.
How, can you show us an example of this easily-recreated banding?
The writing on the front of the lens looks Photoshopped to me. Between that and the lame specifications, I suspect this is a hoax.
Pablo4: To my eyes, at base ISO (where I shoot 90% of shots) the camera produces mushy RAW pictures. There is definitely some NR going on, or the sensor/lens isn't that great as fanboys would like. Just look at it and compare to the NEX 5N, 7, Olympus XZ-1 or M5. All cameras I had are sharper. Yuck, no thanks.
R. Butler is mistaken. DOF is the same, within small percentages, for all focal lengths given the same aperture, framing, and sensor size. If anything, a wider lens shot close to a target will give slightly greater DOF than a longer lens shot farther away from the target. This can be confirmed by the DOF calculator of your choice. I agree with Zdman that the background and foreground will appear different with different focal lengths, but the DOF will effectively be the same.
"Have you taken the DoF into account? A 35mm must be shot closer to the scene, which gives a shallower DoF. Since the test setup isn't flat, you get larger areas out of focus."
Not true, unless the aperture varies. Given the same aperture, framing (without cropping), and sensor size, the DOF of all focal lengths is the same.
HowaboutRAW: I just handled a Sony RX1 again this afternoon. And I was reminded of a big annoyance: To mount a filter, say simply to protect the lens, one needs to purchase 180usd lens shade/filter mount.
Not cool, how like Leica, and well the RX100 which doesn't have an official filter mounting system. (Yes, I know there's an after market one that can be glued in place.)
HowaboutRAW, the lens on the RX1 has filter threads. No special device comes with the RX1 or needs to be purchased to allow you to mount a filter (or a hood, or a step-up ring, or anything else) with 49mm threads. I have a 49mm threaded filter mounted on mine, and no special equipment was required to accomplish that. And I would say it is extraordinarily unlikely that some RX1s have filter threads, and some don't.
Thanks for the link, dpreview, and for the other valuable information you provide.
Because it strikes me as odd that Canon would make a pancake lens apparently designed for full-frame cameras when their current full-frame cameras are not at all small, is this new lens perhaps an indication that Canon has a compact, full-frame, mirrorless camera (in other words, my ideal camera) in the works?