Dazzer8888: At last, DPR sends out a pro photography to take some great shots!
I just re-read my comment and thought "what kind of douchebag would write something like that?" and then realized it was me. But Rishi, it is you, Dan, and one or two others who are setting a very high bar for the others on the staff to meet, as noted by kodos and Dazzer 8888. So, please accept my apology for my tactless remarks; time for this old troll to retire to his cave and practice his manners before he lets himself back out.
I think the point is that the rest of the staff is going to have to step up their game because there are a couple of real photographers on your staff now. There's an old saying that paper and pencil are cheaper than film and printing, so start by doing a little previsualization—and make sketches— before going out to take photos. I would also recommend that you all head down to Seattle Central College for a semester or two on composition and drawing because that's generally the weakest aspect of staff shots. A typical DPR picture is done from standing eye level with flat lighting and the main subject in the center of the frame. Also frequently seen are grab shots of fellow staffers with hair askew glaring into the lens. I'm sure Richard Butler is a fine fellow, but you always shoot him when he is looking acutely dyspeptic. Try bringing out the best in subjects, not revealing their weaknesses.Bottom line: It's time to stop sliding by with record shots.
Akpinxit: Sony cameras can only shine if pared with Zeiss lens . Nice lens , but it's bulk might will make it hard to compete with 55mm f1.8 Zeiss Sonar .
Please let's not let the world know what how awesome the Nikkor 105 is. We do not want a repeat of the skyrocketing prices for the 28 1.4 and the 58 1.4 Noct.
Nice work—and can i make one small request. When testing wide angles, could you please include one shot done on a tripod where the camera is dead level on all axes and straight on to something geometric like a modernist building. It would be extremely helpful. Or maybe you already do that, and if you do, maybe indicate it in the file name. Its just hard to judge how rectilinear a lens is when you don't know how the shot went down. And the shots of your big chart somehow don't help me see the distortions. Thanks and keep pushing the frontiers of photo journalism.
babart: Problem being that standard Manfrotto camera plate, which, when the camera body is moved to vertical position, allows the camera to rotate on the mount screw. Especially if it has a heavy-ish lens mounted. In this case, of course, "heavy-ish" might be misleading :).
Manfrotto makes an adjustable anti-twist plate called the 200PLARCH-14. It has a lip that snugs up against the back of the camera to prevents it from rotating. It's probably not as awesome as one from RRS, but it has been working fine for me so far.
fedway: skeptics abound.....technology marches on meanwhile the octogenarian crowd in DPReview say, I want my glass plate camera back - don't need no software correction
You are forgetting that glass plate cameras can be made up to 20x24 inches and larger, which is an almost infinite number of megapixels. And, for the shallow depth of field fanatics here, a plate that size has almost unmeasurably thin DOF.
Smack53: At $599.00 I don't see where many people are going to buy this for the "fun" factor. Seems to me the "target group" doesn't want to spend a lot of money on a new camera, and I would certainly think this would be much more than they would spend.
This is a camera for people who spend a lot of time outdoors and have the disp income̦—recreation is a huge business and new equipment is part of the fun of it ...Birders, people who are going on the "vacation of a lifetime," new parents, people whose kids are really involved in sports, people who love to own the biggest and best gadgets, the spouses of extreme athletes and surfers. I bet half the population of San Diego will get one for Christmas next year.
D1N0: Sony should bring out a compact 18mm super wide, which kan make optimal use of the short flange (but it is probably difficult due to angular vignetting) A FF mirrorless should problay have a somewhat wider flange distance, like 35mm.
Look, all I want to know is why no one can make their full frame lenses as small as Leica's were. That's all i want.
Randy Veeman: I am a bit shocked by the prices. My 85mm F/1.4 was $750. I am sure the argument is the Zeiss name and quality, but a lot of potential buyers are going to be shut out. These do very little for the NEX owners looking for $300-$800 lenses with wider apertures.
Considering that the equivalent 28mm T2.1 Zeiss Compact Prime is $3,900, I think these are a bargain, in a certain way.
ProfHankD: I have nothing against front-mounted converters (well, maybe a little), but DOES THE LENS MODIFY THE FOCAL LENGTH IT REPORTS TO THE CAMERA?
If not, these adapters will mess with IBIS in the A7II and any future Sony bodies with IBIS....
How could they not? It's a big company, someone must have thought of that.
Steen Bay: "Raw images were pushed 6 EV, with some additional shadow lifting to make darker tones visible." (Exposure Latitude, page 11).
A 6 stops base ISO push (+ additional shadow lifting) is a bit extreme IMO, at least if done with a Canon DSLR. All it shows is that Canon cameras can't do that, but it doesn't tell you how much it is possible to push Canon's base ISO shadow with an acceptable result. So please consider to also show in the reviews how less extreme base ISO pushes look, like for example "ISO 100 + 4 stops" and "ISO 100 + 2 stops". Think it would be useful to also show what the cameras can do, instead of just showing what they (Canon) can't do.
Mond: I think you've missed a trick here. There is no point in buying an expensive, all-dancing-with-bells-on camera if the glass you put in front of it is rubbish. A good camera will not get good shots from bad lenses.
Concentrate on getting the best lens and an affordable camera to go behind it and the results will ten times better than the other way around.
You guys are missing the point that lenses are what give your pictures character, they are the translators of 3 dimensional reality into 2. And factors that are testable aren't really that relevant to the art of photography.
For instance, I own the Nikon 135 f/2 DC which has various visible optical flaws—but when you shoot the human face with it, the results are magical. Everyone looks better when shot through this lens, even on my D810. Bottom line: every lens imparts a specific look to a scene and part of being a photographer is picking the right lens for the right situation.
This camera plus a lightweight monopod would be magical out in the field. Yay Nikon!
You must get one in to do some real-world tests against the various mirrorless and DSLR cameras. That would be extremely instructive.
Your boy Dan B shot the shizzle out of that lens, he's a great photographer; you need to let him out of the office more often—he's a picture maker, rather than a picture maker. And even though brick wall shots are extremely annoying, they are very useful for a lens like this. Thanks...
Scottelly: Too bad there are no "real" architectural images in the samples gallery, which really show the capabilities of the lens, with regard to distortion. I wonder if that was done on purpose.
Because architectural photography requires serious intent, a good tripod, and time. Having been on a lot of press trips (though in a different field) I can tell you that you usually would not have the luxury of hunting around for a decent angle, setting up a tripod, getting the camera dead level, setting the camera for mirror lockup and then shooting. The PR people would be silently fuming and the other participants would be openly mocking you. And God forbid you wanted to try a panorama or some stitching. So, I think they did they best that can be expected given the circumstances.
R N: Astrophotography: Some coma testing would be helpful. When you get your hands on a test copy it would be a great idea to do a shootout on starfields. Show us the center and corners wide open on the 24 1.4's : the Sigma Art, the Rokinon/Samyang, the Canon and /or Nikon.
The biggest challenge would be to get to a dark sky. *sigh*
Not to be pedantic about it, but the guys at Lens Rentals have demonstrated over and over that testing one copy of a lens is pointless. If you're not testing a bunch of lenses, you might as well not even bother. Perhaps you could form an alliance with them, pay them to do your testing.
Wedding photographer: Bokeh is boring, but it is quite common for Sigma.
Let me translate from artist into scientist for you: He means that as the image with it's out of focus area rendition travels up his optic nerve into his brain, it doesn't kick off the neuro-chemical cascade that you might describe as "excitement" or "interest." For him, it's just kind of plain old bokeh. Skim milk, if you will. Bokeh, like all lens parameters is fundamentally about what emotions are evoked in the viewer of the photo or video. So what emotion-specific descriptors can be applied to the out of focus areas of this lens? Mysterious? Dangerous? Soothing? Contented? Unassuming? Obviously it remains to be seen when the lens is tested more extensively, but he's given you a great head start by handing you a question to answer, to wit: Does this lens have "boring" bokeh?
Expecting symmetry would be a major error in logic. That would require each lens to be assembled perfectly, which is not realistic in the world of today's MBA-driven consumer electronics and optical companies. Nowadays symmetrical results should be classified in the realm of "happy surprise."
Beautiful photos. Samuel Spencer (and a couple of others) should do all the galleries. But honest to gosh, you people are very tough and brave to be living up there in the land without color. Looking at the galleries, it's nothing but gray, blue-gray, and brown-gray with the occasional red hat or orange sunset. I'd be so depressed I would never leave my bed but there you gals and guys are, soldiering on. Bravo.
But perhaps think about buying a couple of macaws to keep around the office as a reminder of what color looks like.