A reminder for some memebers as to what the F stop is all about.

Started Jan 26, 2014 | Discussions thread
Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 43,009
Re: Question:
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philosomatographer wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

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Would the "success" of that photo suffered if it had been instead taken at 83mm, 1/2000, f/2.8, ISO 200 with a 50-200 / 2.8-3.5 instead of the 83mm, 1/4000, f/2, ISO 200 with the 35-100 / 2 that you used?

If so, then that's why some choose larger formats. If not, why not use the smaller, lighter, and less expensive zoom that has a much greater focal range? Is it for the 35-50mm end of the zoom?

That's a fair question indeed. You know what? I don't think the success of the photo has much to do with the gear at all - I'd like to take most of the credit.

And yet, the title of your post was:

*THIS* is what f/2.0 is all about...

Could i have made this exact photo with a 70-200mm f/4 on a 5D MkIII? Sure. It would not be as sharp and contrasty across the frame - it really wouldn't...

Well, until we see the photos, we only have your "good word" on that.

...but that doesn't matter. We're talking minor differences here that don't impact the content of a photo.

On that point, I most certainly agree.

The 50-200 is not in the same class as the 35-100 - and I think the frustration of being limited to a rather deep field of focus would outweigh any optical signature, unlike with the 35-100. The 50-200 is a "practical, budget-friendly" lens, the 35-100 is an uncompromising showpiece of a lens.

The same can be said of FF vs smaller formats.

I'd like to think - and this is borne out of my experience using many systems - that there is something utterly special about the flawless rendering, insane microcontrast, out-of-focus transition etc of the ZD 35-100mm at f/2.0. I have yet to see it matched by another 70-200mm lens at f/4.0, but we're talking about the very edge of the performance envelope here, and it's only visible when you pixel-peep or look at large prints.

I am always amused by those who claim that you have to see the prints to see the differences that would be invisible on a computer monitor.

I have to add that you really don't have to tell me about "that's why some use larger formats" - I use much larger formats than what you do on an almost daily basis. It's purely a matter of liking this range of lenses, because they are optically special for the kind of work that I like to produce.

Anyone can claim that the lenses they are using are "optically special".  Indeed, I've heard people say that about compacts, even.

They harmonise nicely with the look I get from my Leica M lenses on film. The grain of the E-5 sensor even helps

If you want to say that you enjoy using your E5 and SHG lenses, and are pleased with the photos they produce, I would never argue against it.  If you want to go further and say that you prefer the output of the E5 and your SHG lenses to any other system, I would never argue against it.  Indeed, I've heard people make the same types of comments about the original 5D vs its successors.

It's when you imply that the E5 and SHG lenses are "better than" any other system out there as a blanket statement that I take exception.

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