Does anyone have super-soft extreme corners on their 16-35GM?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
poipoipoi_2016 Contributing Member • Posts: 597
Does anyone have super-soft extreme corners on their 16-35GM?

I was poking over some trip pictures and noticed that my extreme upper right corner was quite soft at f/2.8.

Nothing too terrible, but nothing you'd print past about 18*12

Is that normal and expected or is that something I should have looked at/start using my 20/1.8 more?

Half the reviews seem to say "This lens is tack sharp at f/2.8 corner to corner" and half say "Yeah, corners are f/2.8 are rough".

Did a test brick image

But you can see it in actual pictures I like as well

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JohnNEX Senior Member • Posts: 2,175
Re: Does anyone have super-soft extreme corners on their 16-35GM?
1

Some points:

1. All posted 'test shots' will inevitably get the response, "you did the test wrong". In this case, its not clear that the camera was precisely perpendicular to the wall. The right side looks further away than the left.

2. That said, I do not really doubt your results. The top right looks a bit weak.

3. No lens is 'tack sharp wide open from corner to corner'. For lenses longer than around 100mm sharpness can be reasonably even across the frame, but definitely not for WA lenses. Yes, there is no shortage of people who will happily claim that their lens is an amazing copy which is 'tack sharp wide open from corner to corner'. They are either willfully deluding themselves or lying or have an idiosyncratic definition of 'tack sharp'.

4. The 16-35 GM is not tack sharp in the corners. From testing sites, corner sharpness will be around two thirds of centre sharpness. See here for a summary of many tests. The 16-35 GM is about as good as you can get at the wide end.

5. LensRentals also finds that sharpness is much lower at the corners. They conclude, however, that the 16-35 GM is an excellent lens, which performs best at the wide end (like most 16-35mm lenses).

6. You should do a proper test for decentering. Follow the instructions here .

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onfocus Regular Member • Posts: 131
Re: Does anyone have super-soft extreme corners on their 16-35GM?
4

Having tested about 7 copies from various production batches up to date, I can say with confidence that the 16-35 GM does not deserve the G Master title in terms of edge sharpness. Depending on the copy tested edge sharpness will be good (but not stellar) at one focal length only, which might be at 16mm, 24mm, or 35mm. 35mm will most always have tilt defect (left or right side defocused), though. Sony lens production quality.

I really tried hard to replace my Sigma ART DG DN 14-24/2.8 with a 16-35/2.8 GM due to the more useful focal range and filter friendliness, but failed and gave up. The Sigma smokes the GM even at F2.8 in the corners and is much more consistent to highest sharpness levels across its focal range, and across the frame from center, midfield to the edges.

The Sigma ART DG DN 14-24/2.8 is currently the best WW zoom money can buy and beats or levels also top WW primes.

lattesweden
lattesweden Veteran Member • Posts: 3,416
Re: Does anyone have super-soft extreme corners on their 16-35GM?
1

onfocus wrote:

Having tested about 7 copies from various production batches up to date, I can say with confidence that the 16-35 GM does not deserve the G Master title in terms of edge sharpness. Depending on the copy tested edge sharpness will be good (but not stellar) at one focal length only, which might be at 16mm, 24mm, or 35mm. 35mm will most always have tilt defect (left or right side defocused), though. Sony lens production quality.

I really tried hard to replace my Sigma ART DG DN 14-24/2.8 with a 16-35/2.8 GM due to the more useful focal range and filter friendliness, but failed and gave up. The Sigma smokes the GM even at F2.8 in the corners and is much more consistent to highest sharpness levels across its focal range, and across the frame from center, midfield to the edges.

The Sigma ART DG DN 14-24/2.8 is currently the best WW zoom money can buy and beats or levels also top WW primes.

Interesting, the Sigma does look nice in some images I have seen. How is it with flaring when shot into the sun?

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tonyz1 Contributing Member • Posts: 504
Pretty good
3

lattesweden wrote:

onfocus wrote:

Having tested about 7 copies from various production batches up to date, I can say with confidence that the 16-35 GM does not deserve the G Master title in terms of edge sharpness. Depending on the copy tested edge sharpness will be good (but not stellar) at one focal length only, which might be at 16mm, 24mm, or 35mm. 35mm will most always have tilt defect (left or right side defocused), though. Sony lens production quality.

I really tried hard to replace my Sigma ART DG DN 14-24/2.8 with a 16-35/2.8 GM due to the more useful focal range and filter friendliness, but failed and gave up. The Sigma smokes the GM even at F2.8 in the corners and is much more consistent to highest sharpness levels across its focal range, and across the frame from center, midfield to the edges.

The Sigma ART DG DN 14-24/2.8 is currently the best WW zoom money can buy and beats or levels also top WW primes.

Interesting, the Sigma does look nice in some images I have seen. How is it with flaring when shot into the sun?

About on par with similar photos I've taken with Zeiss Loxia and Batis lenses.

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travelinbri_74
travelinbri_74 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,782
Re: Does anyone have super-soft extreme corners on their 16-35GM?

Interesting, while it is true that no lens is as sharp in the corners as on the edges - and that the Sigma 14-24 is widely recognized as sharper than the Sony 16-35/2.8 GM (a lens I own as well) - that example with the bridge looks particularly rough at 100%.

Here is a small version of a picture I took with the same lens at 16. It is not a particularly interesting picture, but I wanted to quickly grab something at 16 and a relatively small aperture to compare performance. I went through a few and while the extreme corners certainly don't match the center, it does seem your copy had an issue in the example above.

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Jeff2013
Jeff2013 Senior Member • Posts: 2,911
Re: Does anyone have super-soft extreme corners on their 16-35GM?

lattesweden wrote:

onfocus wrote:

Having tested about 7 copies from various production batches up to date, I can say with confidence that the 16-35 GM does not deserve the G Master title in terms of edge sharpness. Depending on the copy tested edge sharpness will be good (but not stellar) at one focal length only, which might be at 16mm, 24mm, or 35mm. 35mm will most always have tilt defect (left or right side defocused), though. Sony lens production quality.

I really tried hard to replace my Sigma ART DG DN 14-24/2.8 with a 16-35/2.8 GM due to the more useful focal range and filter friendliness, but failed and gave up. The Sigma smokes the GM even at F2.8 in the corners and is much more consistent to highest sharpness levels across its focal range, and across the frame from center, midfield to the edges.

The Sigma ART DG DN 14-24/2.8 is currently the best WW zoom money can buy and beats or levels also top WW primes.

Interesting, the Sigma does look nice in some images I have seen. How is it with flaring when shot into the sun?

I'm thinking about replacing my GM 16-35mm with the Sigma 14-24mm DN.

I would like to realize the Sigma's IQ advantages. Part of my logic, is that the GM lens is weak at 35mm... the Sigma is strong at 24mm, so I could likely crop the Sigma 24mm on my A7RIV to get 36mm and be no worse than using the Sony lens at 35mm. With the GM lens weakness at 35mm, results would be marginal by cropping that FL to 49mm, so it is something I would rarely do. I base much of my analysis on the LensRental's MTF graphs for these two lenses (and their analysis is for the DG version, knowing that the DN version is even better!).

Hopefully, my logic is reasonably sound. We'll see.

Further note - the lens-critical folks over at Fred Miranda absolutely wax-poetic about the Sigma lens.

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onfocus Regular Member • Posts: 131
Re: Does anyone have super-soft extreme corners on their 16-35GM?

I believe the poor performance at 35mm only affected the first production batches, which was revealed by the LensRental test and probably got quickly fixed by Sony after the issue went public, except for the tilt issue.

Depending on the copy, center sharpness can actually reach prime quality already at F2.8 - equal or better than say the FE 35/2.8 ZA. Problem 1 are usually the borders, which are the weakest of the zoom range. Problem 2 is that most copies I tested were tilted at 35mm, so even midfield sharpness suffered either left or right.

Jeff2013 wrote:

lattesweden wrote:

onfocus wrote:

Having tested about 7 copies from various production batches up to date, I can say with confidence that the 16-35 GM does not deserve the G Master title in terms of edge sharpness. Depending on the copy tested edge sharpness will be good (but not stellar) at one focal length only, which might be at 16mm, 24mm, or 35mm. 35mm will most always have tilt defect (left or right side defocused), though. Sony lens production quality.

I really tried hard to replace my Sigma ART DG DN 14-24/2.8 with a 16-35/2.8 GM due to the more useful focal range and filter friendliness, but failed and gave up. The Sigma smokes the GM even at F2.8 in the corners and is much more consistent to highest sharpness levels across its focal range, and across the frame from center, midfield to the edges.

The Sigma ART DG DN 14-24/2.8 is currently the best WW zoom money can buy and beats or levels also top WW primes.

Interesting, the Sigma does look nice in some images I have seen. How is it with flaring when shot into the sun?

I'm thinking about replacing my GM 16-35mm with the Sigma 14-24mm DN.

I would like to realize the Sigma's IQ advantages. Part of my logic, is that the GM lens is weak at 35mm... the Sigma is strong at 24mm, so I could likely crop the Sigma 24mm on my A7RIV to get 36mm and be no worse than using the Sony lens at 35mm. With the GM lens weakness at 35mm, results would be marginal by cropping that FL to 49mm, so it is something I would rarely do. I base much of my analysis on the LensRental's MTF graphs for these two lenses (and their analysis is for the DG version, knowing that the DN version is even better!).

Hopefully, my logic is reasonably sound. We'll see.

Further note - the lens-critical folks over at Fred Miranda absolutely wax-poetic about the Sigma lens.

tonyz1 Contributing Member • Posts: 504
Re: Does anyone have super-soft extreme corners on their 16-35GM?

Jeff2013 wrote:

I'm thinking about replacing my GM 16-35mm with the Sigma 14-24mm DN.

I would like to realize the Sigma's IQ advantages. Part of my logic, is that the GM lens is weak at 35mm... the Sigma is strong at 24mm, so I could likely crop the Sigma 24mm on my A7RIV to get 36mm and be no worse than using the Sony lens at 35mm. With the GM lens weakness at 35mm, results would be marginal by cropping that FL to 49mm, so it is something I would rarely do. I base much of my analysis on the LensRental's MTF graphs for these two lenses (and their analysis is for the DG version, knowing that the DN version is even better!).

Hopefully, my logic is reasonably sound. We'll see.

Further note - the lens-critical folks over at Fred Miranda absolutely wax-poetic about the Sigma lens.

The Sigma is clearly better than the 16-35mm in their shared focal lengths but if you want a "16-35mm,"  I'd rather have the true 35mm of the 16-35mm over 24mm in crop mode - to me it's just not the same - I am using an A7R III however.

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OP poipoipoi_2016 Contributing Member • Posts: 597
Re: Does anyone have super-soft extreme corners on their 16-35GM?

tonyz1 wrote:

Jeff2013 wrote:

I'm thinking about replacing my GM 16-35mm with the Sigma 14-24mm DN.

I would like to realize the Sigma's IQ advantages. Part of my logic, is that the GM lens is weak at 35mm... the Sigma is strong at 24mm, so I could likely crop the Sigma 24mm on my A7RIV to get 36mm and be no worse than using the Sony lens at 35mm. With the GM lens weakness at 35mm, results would be marginal by cropping that FL to 49mm, so it is something I would rarely do. I base much of my analysis on the LensRental's MTF graphs for these two lenses (and their analysis is for the DG version, knowing that the DN version is even better!).

Hopefully, my logic is reasonably sound. We'll see.

Further note - the lens-critical folks over at Fred Miranda absolutely wax-poetic about the Sigma lens.

The Sigma is clearly better than the 16-35mm in their shared focal lengths but if you want a "16-35mm," I'd rather have the true 35mm of the 16-35mm over 24mm in crop mode - to me it's just not the same - I am using an A7R III however.

Yeah, I think mine developed a tilt.  The corner was never perfect, but it was definitely acceptably bad.  Because the GM's versatility is so much better than the Sigma (especially at ISO 1000 handheld night shots lol).

I don't need it until Labor Day, so I sent it in for a estimate for a fix.  We'll see how that goes.

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Jeff2013
Jeff2013 Senior Member • Posts: 2,911
Re: Does anyone ve super-soft extreme corners on their 16-35GM?

I have one of the original releases, so that might explain a few things..

onfocus wrote:

I believe the poor performance at 35mm only affected the first production batches, which was revealed by the LensRental test and probably got quickly fixed by Sony after the issue went public, except for the tilt issue.

Depending on the copy, center sharpness can actually reach prime quality already at F2.8 - equal or better than say the FE 35/2.8 ZA. Problem 1 are usually the borders, which are the weakest of the zoom range. Problem 2 is that most copies I tested were tilted at 35mm, so even midfield sharpness suffered either left or right.

Jeff2013 wrote:

lattesweden wrote:

onfocus wrote:

Having tested about 7 copies from various production batches up to date, I can say with confidence that the 16-35 GM does not deserve the G Master title in terms of edge sharpness. Depending on the copy tested edge sharpness will be good (but not stellar) at one focal length only, which might be at 16mm, 24mm, or 35mm. 35mm will most always have tilt defect (left or right side defocused), though. Sony lens production quality.

I really tried hard to replace my Sigma ART DG DN 14-24/2.8 with a 16-35/2.8 GM due to the more useful focal range and filter friendliness, but failed and gave up. The Sigma smokes the GM even at F2.8 in the corners and is much more consistent to highest sharpness levels across its focal range, and across the frame from center, midfield to the edges.

The Sigma ART DG DN 14-24/2.8 is currently the best WW zoom money can buy and beats or levels also top WW primes.

Interesting, the Sigma does look nice in some images I have seen. How is it with flaring when shot into the sun?

I'm thinking about replacing my GM 16-35mm with the Sigma 14-24mm DN.

I would like to realize the Sigma's IQ advantages. Part of my logic, is that the GM lens is weak at 35mm... the Sigma is strong at 24mm, so I could likely crop the Sigma 24mm on my A7RIV to get 36mm and be no worse than using the Sony lens at 35mm. With the GM lens weakness at 35mm, results would be marginal by cropping that FL to 49mm, so it is something I would rarely do. I base much of my analysis on the LensRental's MTF graphs for these two lenses (and their analysis is for the DG version, knowing that the DN version is even better!).

Hopefully, my logic is reasonably sound. We'll see.

Further note - the lens-critical folks over at Fred Miranda absolutely wax-poetic about the Sigma lens.

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PWPhotography Forum Pro • Posts: 10,502
Re: Does anyone have super-soft extreme corners on their 16-35GM?
3

I am quite happy in my copy. It's sharp cross entire FL range.

full size

full size

full size

full size

For me these factors are deceive,

1) Much ideal and useful FL range that it's the default lens on my camera 1, A7r IV and don't need swap lens very often. Tamron FE 28-75 default on camera 2, A7r III. Then I have a few prime lenses - CV 12, CV 21, 40 Nokton, Loxia 85 can kick in. Also I carry 100-400 GM now even in landscape type trips.

2) Don't like super UWA with unproportional forefront and severe distortion. 16mm usually is wide enough without much distortion.

3) Very important factor that I can use regular filters and 100x100 filter hold system. I have two Breakthrough 82mm x4 ND filters (6-stop and 3-stop that can stack together), and Kase K8 thin 100mm holder system that also can use together with BT ND filters, and can be used on all other lenses via step-down adapters. 12-24 G or Sigma 14-24 needs a special 150mm holder system that is very bulky and very expensive with all filters, and still the holder is proprietary only to this lens.

4) For occasional 12mm UWA, I use Voigtlander FE 12/5.6 that has much more pleasing 10-point sunstar and better micro-contrast to my eyes. I don't need any FL between 12 and 16mm.

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Lan Senior Member • Posts: 1,871
Re: Does anyone have super-soft extreme corners on their 16-35GM?
4

poipoipoi_2016 wrote:

But you can see it in actual pictures I like as well

If you look at this one closely, particularly on the left hand side, you'll notice that all features are doubled; which suggests that the problem in this shot is camera shake, and not the lens. Here's a 100% crop of this shot take from the bottom left hand corner:

Note that every detail in the bottom left hand corner has a second copy, that's a clear indication of camera shake.

tonyz1 Contributing Member • Posts: 504
Re: Does anyone have super-soft extreme corners on their 16-35GM?

Lan wrote:

poipoipoi_2016 wrote:

But you can see it in actual pictures I like as well

If you look at this one closely, particularly on the left hand side, you'll notice that all features are doubled; which suggests that the problem in this shot is camera shake, and not the lens. Here's a 100% crop of this shot take from the bottom left hand corner:

Note that every detail in the bottom left hand corner has a second copy, that's a clear indication of camera shake.

I think you're putting too much weight into the second photo that is a 30 sec capture. The first one clearly shows de-centering - center is sharp and corners are weaker especially the left one.

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Lan Senior Member • Posts: 1,871
Re: Does anyone have super-soft extreme corners on their 16-35GM?

tonyz1 wrote:

Lan wrote:

If you look at this one closely, particularly on the left hand side, you'll notice that all features are doubled; which suggests that the problem in this shot is camera shake, and not the lens. Here's a 100% crop of this shot take from the bottom left hand corner:

I think you're putting too much weight into the second photo that is a 30 sec capture. The first one clearly shows de-centering - center is sharp and corners are weaker especially the left one.

The shot you're referring to may be slightly de-centred, but the key thing it shows me is that the lens has some noticeable field curvature. As you know field curvature is a design trait, rather than a copy variation issue. I'd like to see what happens if the lens was focused for a corner, rather than the centre?

Dan_168 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,323
Re: Does anyone have super-soft extreme corners on their 16-35GM?

onfocus wrote:

I really tried hard to replace my Sigma ART DG DN 14-24/2.8 with a 16-35/2.8 GM due to the more useful focal range and filter friendliness, but failed and gave up. The Sigma smokes the GM even at F2.8 in the corners and is much more consistent to highest sharpness levels across its focal range, and across the frame from center, midfield to the edges.

The Sigma ART DG DN 14-24/2.8 is currently the best WW zoom money can buy and beats or levels also top WW primes.

Totally agree, that sucker is just as sharp as their 14 1.8 prime. if I am in a market for a wide zoom, that will be the FIRSR choice, but I already have a bunch of Art primes so I will just skip this zoom, but I will recommend this over the 16-35GM to anyone who is looking for a high quality zoom.

Trollmannx Veteran Member • Posts: 6,467
Re: Does anyone have super-soft extreme corners on their 16-35GM?
1

tonyz1 wrote:

Lan wrote:

poipoipoi_2016 wrote:

But you can see it in actual pictures I like as well

If you look at this one closely, particularly on the left hand side, you'll notice that all features are doubled; which suggests that the problem in this shot is camera shake, and not the lens. Here's a 100% crop of this shot take from the bottom left hand corner:

Note that every detail in the bottom left hand corner has a second copy, that's a clear indication of camera shake.

I think you're putting too much weight into the second photo that is a 30 sec capture. The first one clearly shows de-centering - center is sharp and corners are weaker especially the left one.

This corner is also closer so the added softness seems to be a DOF issue.

The 2.8/24-70 GM lens has some field curvature which is part of the design. Decentering is another issue which is not related to field curvature at all.

Buying a zoom lens and hoping for the same rendering as the very best primes at all focal lenghts is like expecting a miracle - can hope, will never happen...

Yes - the 2.8/24-70 GM is a very good lens, made for heavy use.

Is it perfect? No, not at all. But at least is does not easily get knocked out of collimation after some use like some of the cheaper lenses around.

PWPhotography Forum Pro • Posts: 10,502
Re: Does anyone have super-soft extreme corners on their 16-35GM?

Dan_168 wrote:

onfocus wrote:

I really tried hard to replace my Sigma ART DG DN 14-24/2.8 with a 16-35/2.8 GM due to the more useful focal range and filter friendliness, but failed and gave up. The Sigma smokes the GM even at F2.8 in the corners and is much more consistent to highest sharpness levels across its focal range, and across the frame from center, midfield to the edges.

The Sigma ART DG DN 14-24/2.8 is currently the best WW zoom money can buy and beats or levels also top WW primes.

Totally agree, that sucker is just as sharp as their 14 1.8 prime. if I am in a market for a wide zoom, that will be the FIRSR choice, but I already have a bunch of Art primes so I will just skip this zoom, but I will recommend this over the 16-35GM to anyone who is looking for a high quality zoom.

https://www.albertdros.com/post/sigma-14-24-for-sony-e-real-world-review

According to Albert Dros and quoted below,

And I guess you’re wondering how it compares to the Sony 16-35 GM? Well, I did my very best to put them side by side on a number of occasions. But I really had a hard time finding differences in sharpness. The 16-35GM was sometimes a little bit sharper in the center, but less sharp on the edges. But it was really close. I’d say that these lenses are very close to each other regarding sharpness.

So neck to neck in sharpness.  For me 16-35 GM is a better choice and I'd still pickup even today 1) much more versatile and useful FL range; 2) can use regular filters and 100mm holder system; 3) lighter; 4) Sony brand and better resale value.

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Maxxum Fan Regular Member • Posts: 452
Re: Pretty good

tonyz1 wrote:

lattesweden wrote:

onfocus wrote:

Having tested about 7 copies from various production batches up to date, I can say with confidence that the 16-35 GM does not deserve the G Master title in terms of edge sharpness. Depending on the copy tested edge sharpness will be good (but not stellar) at one focal length only, which might be at 16mm, 24mm, or 35mm. 35mm will most always have tilt defect (left or right side defocused), though. Sony lens production quality.

I really tried hard to replace my Sigma ART DG DN 14-24/2.8 with a 16-35/2.8 GM due to the more useful focal range and filter friendliness, but failed and gave up. The Sigma smokes the GM even at F2.8 in the corners and is much more consistent to highest sharpness levels across its focal range, and across the frame from center, midfield to the edges.

The Sigma ART DG DN 14-24/2.8 is currently the best WW zoom money can buy and beats or levels also top WW primes.

Interesting, the Sigma does look nice in some images I have seen. How is it with flaring when shot into the sun?

About on par with similar photos I've taken with Zeiss Loxia and Batis lenses.

Lot of over sharpening there dude!

Usually a sign a lens isn't what it should be

tonyz1 Contributing Member • Posts: 504
Still Pretty good

Maxxum Fan wrote:

Lot of over sharpening there dude!

Usually a sign a lens isn't what it should be

Same photo without any edit settings and only shadows lighted.

Also, https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1639619

Nice try troll...

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