Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The real life - Full Resolution of the SEL50F18 in the real world / Maximale Auflösung des SEL50F18 in der Realität

After so much tests illustrating how the SEL50F18 performs technically, here some shots showing what this translates to when using this camera & lens in the real world.
Have fun!
Download links to the original size pictures are given below!!
Picture 1 Original size
Picture 2 original size
Picture 3 original size

Nach sovielen rein technischen Tests um zu demonstrieren wie das Objektiv SEL50F18 sich absolut gesehen verhält, hier ein paar Bilder die zeigen was die Kamera&Objektiv in der Realität leisten können.
Viel Spass!
Download Links zu den Bildern in voller Auflösung sind oben.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bokeh SEL50F18 - Fish and Cars / Fische und Autos

A gloomy, cold day but a local flee market specialized in selling garden-related stuff allowed for at least some picture-taking. Unfortunately, later in the day someone stole the purse, fortunately again someone else found it in another village by the roadside so at least all the papers/cards are back.
The pictures were shot with the SEL50F18 and might be illustrative for Bokeh.

Ein trüber, kalter Tag, aber in der Gegend fand ein Flohmarkt statt, der sich auf alles was mit Gartengestaltung zu tun hat spezialisiert hat. Das gab wenigstens ein paar Motive. Leider wurde später der Geldbeutel gestohlen, glücklicherweise fand den jemand anderes in einem anderen Dorf und brachte uns den frei Haus vorbei! So haben wir wenigstens alle Papiere und Karten wieder.
Die Bilder sind mit dem Sony SEL50F18 gemacht und könnten interessant sein um das Bokeh zu sehen.

4 shot Brenizer

Toy Cars / Spielzeugautos

4 shots Brenizer

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ulm library / Bücherei

The Ulm library is quite famous since it resembles a glass covered pyramid in the midst of medival buildings. The inside is quite nice, too. This was my second attempt, this time I carried a tripod with me.

Die Ulmer Bücherei ist ziemlich bekannt für ihr Aussehen, da die Aussenansicht diejenige einer mit Glas bedeckten Pyramide ist. Innen ist es aber auch sehr nett. Dies war mein zweiter Versuch, diesmal hatte ich aber ein Stativ mit.

Photomerge 3 shots.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Nature & a new victim

To compensate the gear-related previous posts, some pictures to illustrate that some lenses require close to zero sharpening. The new family member is an unknowing victim for being photographed.

Um ein Gegengewicht zu schaffen zu den Ausrüstungs-lastigen Beiträgen, hier ein paar Bilder um zu zeigen, dass manche Objektive kaum nachträgliches Schärfen erfordern. Das neue Familienmitglied ist ein unwissendes Opfer für die Fotografierleidenschaft.

Tank pylon / Panzersperre

Pride / Stolz

Friday, April 6, 2012

Printing BIG / Mal so richtig GROSS drucken

I recently took up a 50% discount offer from my favorite printing lab to try out how some shots work out at big size. I could "bath" in these prints :-)

Ich habe vor kurzem den 50%-Rabatt auf Posterdrucke von SAAL Fotodruck genutzt um auszuprobieren wie manche meiner Fotos in groß wirken. Kurz gesagt, ich könnte darin baden :-)

Pixel-peepers delight: The lens test SEL50F18 SEL18-55 FD50/1.4 FD24 FD35 FD100 FD80-200

EDIT: Added a comparison shot of the SEL50 and FD 50/1.4 with same exposure compensation values.

After intensive discussions arose in DPREVIEW revolving about my previous rather simple comparison FD50/1.4 versus the new SEL50F18, I decided to use the rainy weather as an excuse for the Ultimate Lens Test Comparison Sony Versus Canon FD :-)

I tested the Sony 18-55 at 18, 24, 35 and 51 mm, the Sony SEL50F18, and the Canon FD lenses 24/2.8, 35/2.8, 50/1.4, 100/2.8 and 80-200/4.

Spoiler or "Executive summary" if you like :-)

  • SEL18-55 Kit lens is ok from 18-35. Stop down 2 stops for best performance. Good results at 50mm require f8.
  • SEL50F18 has better contrast than the FD50/1.4, about the same center sharpness but corner sharpness of the FD50/1.4 wide-open as well as vignetting is better. Both lenses are excellent and yield good results already at f2.0.
  • FD24/2.8 has better center sharpness than the kit lens (about one stop), but corner sharpness is much worse for the FD24 for this camera-subject distance!
  • FD35/2.8 is an excellent lens even wide open, but the kit zoom still yields good results at this focal length, too.
  • FD100/2.8 is good wideopen, stopped down one or two stops even better.
  • FD80-200/4 is well usable wideopen at f4, gets better at f5.6.
The test setup looked like this:


The Nex 5N was tripod mounted, AWB, OSS off, target distance for most lenses between 1 and 2 meters, A-mode. Camera-internal lens compensation was on. AF touchfocus was used for the SEL lenses. 2 seconds self-timer was used. The comparisons are 100% cropped from OOC JPG files unless otherwise noted. The crops are from the center and from the left lower corner.

Since the Canon FD 50 metered for a shorter shutter speed but looked incamera darker, I used an exposure compensation of +0.3 EV for all FD lenses. However, when comparing the OOC JPG files on the computer monitor, the FD pictures are brighter. Please keep this in mind because brighter also means smaller, more pronounced letters and bars which APPEAR sharper but aren't necessarily so. See the following text on RAW comparison for the SEL50F18 versus FD50/1.4, where I preformed a re-run only for this lens comparison:

SEL50F18 versus Sony 18-55 kit lens versus Canon FD 50/1.4

To assess the effect of the brightness compensation as well as incamera lens compensation for the Sony lenses, I took the raw files of the FD 50 at 1.4,2 & 2.8 as well as the Sony 50 at 1.8, 2 and 2.8 and increased the brightness in ACR for both until the right limit was hit. During raw processing it is visible that the dynamic range=contrast of the SEL is higher because when highlight clipping starts, the SEL still has "lowlight" clipping within the picture, but the FD50 doesn't. However, this might also possibly be due to stronger corner vignetting of the SEL50F18 wide-open.

This RAW comparison shows that contrast for the SEL is higher both at 1.8 and 2, whereas sharpness is about the same at 2.0 for both FD and SEL. Beginning with f2.8, center sharpness of the SEL is slightly better than that of the FD50. However, corner sharpness is visibly better for the FD lens and corner vignetting is lower. I once read that the FD50/1.4 was used in photographic reproduction and archiving equipment. The very neutral characteristics of this lens seem to confirm this.
Download the RAW comparison 100% JPG file
EDIT: To cut a long road short, I just re-shot both SEL50F18 and FD50/1.4 lenses at f2 and f2.8 with exposure compensation set to zero and copied the center and corner crops into the file below (click to enlarge). The message remains the same: 
SEL has somewhat better contrast, the FD is sharper in the corners, both lenses are great:


The JPG comparison with the kit lens shows that both primes have the same center sharpness at f2 that the kit only reaches at f8. Corner sharpness of the kit at f5.6 is about the same as for the SEL at f4 as for the FD at f2. As demonstrated in the RAW comparison, the effect of the higher brightness of the FD exposures can mislead, so take the JPG comparisons SEL50 versus FD50 with a grain of salt.
Download the JPG center comparison JPG file
Download the JPG corner comparison JPG file

SEL18-55 kit lens at 18 mm

Center sharpness is ok at 3.5, very good at 5.6. Corner sharpness gets good at 5.6.
Download the SEL18-55 at 18mm JPG file

SEL18-55 kit lens versus FD 24/2.8

Center sharpness of the kit lens at 24mm lags about 1 aperture stop behind the FD24. However, corner shaprness of the kit lens is at least 2 aperture stops better than the FD24. Corner sharpness of the FD lens at this distance is visibly mediocre!
Maybe this is due to the close focusing distance where the simpler design of the FD lens has its difficulties.
So it could be expected that for landscape use, this effect may not be that visible.
Download the SEl18-55 versus FD24/2.8 JPG file

SEL18-55 kit lens versus FD 35/2.8

The FD35/2.8 is at least two aperture stops better in terms of center and corner sharpness.
However, overall sharpness of the kit lens at 5.6 is already good.It is just that the FD35 is
an exceptionally sharp lens. Considering the low price & weight of the FD35/2.8, it is a lens to buy if you like this focal length.
Download the SEL18-55 versus FD35/2.8 file

FD100/2.8 and FD80-200/4

The FD100 is good at 2.8, very good at 4 and peaks at 5.6-11 both for center and corner sharpness.
The 80-200/4 zoom lens is good at 4 wide open and very good at 5.6 on. This is a lens which can be used
wide open or stopped down 1 aperture stop.
Download the FD100/2.8 versus FD80-200/4 JPG comparison file

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Nex 5N: Using radio triggers for off-camera flash / Funktrigger zum entfesselten Blitzen

The Nex 5N is so good at low-light, that I haven't mounted the flash on the camera for a long time. In its place, the EVF sits. But if I do want to flash, I much prefer to use a powerful flash offcamera that is directed to bounce.

For this purpose, I have bought a Yongnuo 560. This flash can be optically triggered by the on-board Nex flash, which I dial down to -2 and sometimes I also wrap a folded white tissue over it, fixed by a rubber band. Setting exposure is in M mode.

However, under certain rare conditions (flash very far away, very strong ambient light, onboard flash dimmed very much), the optical trigger may not work reliably. For this purpose, I bought a set of Yongnuo RF-603C radio flash triggers, only to find out that these triggers require a wake-up signal from the Canon camera it is intended for. The same applies for the Nikon version. I did not give up at this stage but instead found a very simple modification that will change on of the RF603C to the permanent role of transmitter. It can then also be used as camera-independent test trigger for your flashes.

For the Nex-7, this equipment is all you would ever need. For the 5N, you first have to get an optical trigger to trigger in turn the RF603C. I used a self-built optical trigger circuit found in the Web,but you can also buy inexpensive versions online. I won't go into the details, since I have described them in much detail in some threads in DPREVIEW forum:

No liability assumed!

Die Sony Nex 5N ist so rauscharm, dass ich den Blitz schon lange nicht mehr aufgesteckt habe. An seiner Stelle sitzt sowieso der EVF. Aber wenn ich mal blitze, dann bevorzuge ich es, einen leistungsstarken entfesselten Blitz zu benutzen, den ich indirekt belichten lasse über die Decke oder Wände.

Für diesen Zweck habe ich einen Yongnuo YN560 gekauft. Dieser Blitz kann trotz des Vorblitzes optisch vom Kamerablitz der 5N ausgelöst werden. Den Kamerablitz regle ich dafür auf -2 herunter und befestige ein gefaltetes Taschentuch per Gummiband um den Blitz. Belichtung wird manuell in M eingestellt.

Unter bestimmten, seltenen Bedingungen kann es jedoch vorkommen, dass der optische Auslöser nicht zuverlässig arbeitet (Blitz sehr weit weg, sehr helle Umgebung, Kamerablitz stark gedämpft). Dafür habe ich mir ein Paar Yongnuo RF-603C Funkauslöser für Blitze gekauft. Leider habe ich erst danach festgestellt, dass diese Auslöser auf ein Aufwachsignal der Canon-Kamera warten. Das entsprechende gilt für die Nikonversion. Anstatt aufzugeben, habe ich eine sehr simple Veränderung gefunden, welche einen der Trigger in die permanente Rolle des Senders versetzt. Danach kann er sogar als Kamera-unabhängiger Testauslöser für die Blitze genutzt werden.

Für die glücklichen Besitzer einer Nex-7 ist es damit erledigt. Bei der Nex 5N muss man dagegen zuerst einen optischen Trigger dazu bekommen, den RF603C auszulösen. Ich habe das mit einem optischen Trigger nach Bauanleitung aus dem Web gemacht. Es gibt aber auch günstige Trigger online im Internet. Auf die Details werde ich hier nicht eingehen, da ich diese bereits im DPREVIEW-Forum ausführlich beschrieben habe:

Ausschliesslich auf eigenes Risiko zu nutzen!