Photokina 2016 – rolling coverage

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21 Responses

  1. Petr says:

    Hi Victor,
    can you please ask about Leica Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6 , when you visit Leica booth.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Petr,
      since you are first to ask, I will definitely go for it. Is there anything specific you would like to know?

      • Petr says:

        Hi Victor,
        since its F5.6 lens it should be small, sharp and well corrected lens for street photography.
        The question is when it will be available and price.

        Thank you and enjoy Photokina.


        • Hi Petr,
          I went to Leica stand but they didn’t have 28/5.6 yet. Leica representative first didn’t know what I am talking about, than he said – “Aaa soo” and than he told me that he doesn’t know much about it, except that it is very small and very sharp edge to edge. No price info yet, but he said that it should be released next week, so I keep crossing my fingers for you.
          Cheers, Viktor

  2. Alex says:

    Hi Viktor! What’s your impression of AF and MF implementation of the new Sony 50 macro? Would be nice to compare it’s behavior to 55 or 50/1.8.

    • Hi Alex,
      AF was responsive, I wouldn’t call it super fast but similar to 55/1.8. I didn’t try MF, good point. Will try tomorrow if I manage to get back to Sony.
      The lens however looks very sharp at least in the center (I can’t really test it there on the alligned flat target) in both macro and medium distance form f/2.8. It’s similar size to 55/1.8 but feels cheaper if one can say that. It has focus limiter.

      • Alex says:

        Thank you, Viktor, for your comments!
        * Being close to 55 in terms of AF is quite an achievement, I’d rather be careful with the statement. Does the focus travel through the range each time you refocus, like the original 50/1.8 did before s/w upgrade (don’t know how it is after)? Try to click the focus limiter too, please. If in DMF, try to prefocus manually and then press the shutter — does it find the focus quicker or searches for it again?
        * Another point is LoCA (color bokeh). The test images prove remarkable correction for LoCA at macro range. It would be great to test it at the normal portrait distances too!
        Have a nice time there!

        • Sorry Alex, I confused 55 for 50/1.8. I tried lens today more thoroughly and the focus speed depends on the selected range limiter. In the full range, lens will take quite a bit to re-focus from the MFD to infinity, but it is still relatively acceptable. There is limited range from 0,3-0,16m which is actually quite a big range in macro world. Focus there is pleasingly sharp. Finally there is 0,3 – infinity range, in which canera focus fairly fast. I tried to capture some video for you, but it will take time to process it. I also captured few images at medium and longer distances and will post them soon.

  3. Petr says:

    Hi Viktor,
    can you please ask at Adobe booth if they are going to implement focus tweeking from dual pixel tech introduced in Canon 5D mkIV in Lightroom?

    Thank you and enjoy the day 3 at Photokina.


    P.S. Did you had a chance to have a look on Sirui camera bags?

    • Hi Petr, on Adobe booth they told me to check last update (releazed two days ago), but they weren’t sure if the dual pixel functionality was added. On Canon booth they told me that only DPP can manage it. I captured few files to try it myself when getting back home, so I’ll let you know.
      I visited Sirui and asked about bags for you. They don’t have prices yet, but bags looks nicely made, mainly from some sort of vulcanized canvas (I am sure it has much fancier name). There were many other bag producers so it would take all day to go through the offer though…

  4. Micah says:

    Hi victor, first – thanks for blogging! Loved your milvus/classic/otus comparison! Ive been on fence about getting milvus 85 for about a year now (or however long its been since that lens was released), but ive been waiting for this loxia to come out because milvus on a7 body is clunky and would probably require monopod or tripod, while loxia ergonomics is best photography experience ive had (w/ loxia 50). The hesitation on the milvus is exactly what u said… im worried it would stay in the bag because it would be a pain to use. So, if loxia 85 fits my needs id much rather get it.

    The big question i have is on 3d rendering. Zeiss flickr album loxia 85 portraits look flat (though still very nice), however, your portrait of nice zeiss lady appears to have good dimension/3d rendering.

    As someone that has used otus/milvus/classic and loxia, where would you put the loxia’s ability to create the impression of dimension and 3d appearance? I dont need a scientific, objective assessment. Asking for your opinion here 🙂

    • viktor says:

      Hi Micah,
      in my experience – that famous 3D effect depends on a few things – micro contrast, lighting and composition. Important lens propriety is also ability to preserve high contrast in back-lit situations. Most effective 3D will apply withe a light coming from small angle from the side or back (3/4) of yor subject. If the kens loose the contrast, the edges of your subject (body or face outline) will dissolve in the background and image will be flat. If lens can preserve high contrast, you have good chances to achieve 3D look. Finally, there is purple fringing that will affect edges. While it can be almost invisible, this aberration will cause softer edges, even if you try to remove its color. To your question – I believe that any of 3 Zeiss 85 – Milvus, Batis and Loxia will have same ability to create 3D effect with Otus being better (no CA) and classic Plannar being slightly weaker (more SA). What will differ is isolation potential – achievable amount of the blur at same situation (f/1.4, f/1.8 and f/2.4). In other words, if you find good composition (background, subject and related distances, good color separation and good light) any of above mentioned lenses will create 3D look, but with Milvus or Batis, you’ll be able to isolate your subject slightly more (3D might look alightly deeper, if you kniw what I mean).
      Hope it helps,

  5. Micah says:

    Hi Viktor,

    Thanks for the great reply! Do you have a visual reference for the small angle, side or back, 3/4s light position? Is this basically a hair/rim light you are refering to or something else?

  6. Micah says:

    Really dig the first image of the boy (def has 3d look to me) and the bride is awesome!

    While the samples are appreciated, i should have been more specific and asked for a diagram… though i think i can figure out where light was based on the images. Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions thoroughly!

    • Hi Micah,
      I don’t have diagram, but it is really simple – shot early morning or late afternoon when sun is close to the horizon and try to get sun beside and just slightly from behind of your subject (Between 1 and 3 O’clock). You will need to bounce or fill some light in the front.
      While setup is easy, exposure is not and it will depend on many, many variables (colors, luminance, tonal gradations, content, structure etc.). That is creative part and there is no right or wrong (well, you know what I mean :-)), but relation between main light, fill light and exposure settings will have big impact on the resulting image and 3D look.
      I can strongly suggest the book “Light – Science and Magic” if you haven’t read it, it is my bible since my first steps in the photography.
      While I might seem to underestimate importance of the lens for 3D effect, it’s just the opposite – lenses with high micro contrast and good preservation of the contrast in back lit scenes, as well as the lenses with well corrected CA, will make the effect easier to achieve and more powerful. Some lenses however might have disruptive bokeh (sphero-chromatism, LoCA, undercorrected or overcorrected SA, aspherical circles – onion rings, etc.) so even if they are sharp with good micro contrast, 3D effect can be hard to achieve in some situations (with lot of highlights in the background e.g.)
      However, if the light is flat or too harsh, even the best lens can rarely render 3D look. (In my experience)

  7. Micah says:

    Hi Viktor, two more questions for you

    1. Were you close to MFD for portrait of nice zeiss lady? Trying to get a feel for bokeh quantity of loxia 85.

    2. I have read your comparison with 85 classic. I use mobile device while on the road and i’m having difficulty seeing if lens is “sharp enough.” Reportatedly, wide open lens is fairly soft. However, i dont need ultimate resolution in portrait optic. I do need good detail in eyelashes though. For reference, i use lieca r 135 f2.8, and with (recently acquired 🙂 studio strobes i have more than enough detail in optic older than me. Can you provide in focus eye crops with 85 classic, or speak to its ability to render detail in eyelashes wide open? What about at 1.8 and 2.0? I know you said from 2.8 it is hard to distinguish between lenses so not concerned there.


    • Hi Micah,
      I don’t have “Classic 85/1.4” it was borrowed from my friend, so I can’t make sample images for you, sorry. From the old test, I can comment – that because of slightly more pronounced spherical aberration, classic 85/1.4 has a “softer” feeling of wide open rendering. Will you see details in the eyelashes will depend on your distance to the subject, light (quality and direction) and viewing distance (or magnification). I wouldn’t be afraid of lack of detail though, slightest focus shift (imperfect focus) of mighty Otus will cause bigger detail loss than optical quality difference might indicate. Just take a look at the bunch of great portraits taken with Classic 85/1.4 and don’t worry… Image with Loxia (Zeiss lady) was taken at close to MFD distance, but there was still a little space. I see the bokeh of Loxia very similar to Milvus 85/1.4, of course – stopped dawn to f/2.5.

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