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Laowa (Venus) 105mm f2 STF


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#1 Brightcolours

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 11:14 AM

Soon to be officially announced portrait lens with apodization filter (think Sony 135mm 2f.8 t4.5 STF,  Fuji XF 56mm f1.2 R APD):

TB25dhMjXXXXXcPXXXXXXXXXXXX_!!2389857399

 

TB2WcXYjXXXXXaOXXXXXXXXXXXX_!!2389857399

TB2ck41jXXXXXX9XXXXXXXXXXXX_!!2389857399

http://www.chassimag...c,247127.0.html

 

Looks pretty good....



#2 Klaus

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 01:04 PM

And soon in this theater ... ;-)


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#3 dave's clichés

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 02:08 PM

 I'm afraid I have to show my ignorance.........

 

...............what's a apodization filter..................and do I need one?

 

OK I've found it, a high refractive index element which gives an increased smooth focus transition for soft OOF bokeh.

 

  Yeah I need and want one of those!.... -_-

 

 

 

  Oh and Klaus/BC/Airydiscus.......how about a "simple for idiots" explanation on interpreting resolution charts...... please?



#4 Klaus

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 02:37 PM

There's no universal truth how to read the results ... but an 'idiot's approach' would be as follows':

 

Say you have 2000 LW/PH.

3:2 screen ration 

2000 * 3/2 = 3000 LW/PW

 

2000x3000 = 6mp local resolution (equivalent pixel density at the center/border or corner).

Now see that in relation to the sensor.

If you got a 6mp sensor that would be superb. If you got a 50mp sensor ... then not so much.

 

Very simplified (Brandon would kill me for the above)


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#5 JoJu

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 03:27 PM

Dave, apodization filters are an instrument to get a smoother bokeh, see: https://en.wikipedia...iki/Apodization (there's also something about airy discs, so probably you get a "far beyond Wiki" lecture from master Airydiscus himself  :rolleyes:

 

No matter what magic this thing can do with bokeh, I did bit of googling and I own the Laowa 15/4 macro, so I just throw in some thoughts:

 

A bunch of macro-enthusiasts is not the same as a bunch of high level optical designers, right? At the end they make and sell working lenses, that's now the third to come and will get buyers because it's exotic and promises lots of great features: macro lens and super bokehlicious portrait glass, reasonably fast. But after that? No AF, of course. No EXIF data because mechanics don't talk with electronics. Aperture goes down to f/32 and after f/8 every macro lens with a focus stack device and/or app will deliver better results, DoF-wise.

 

http://www.venuslens.net doens't list it yet, 3 days after "announcement" - that's Laowa's representation site and sometimes unavailable for whatever reasons. I won't go again into the debate "Chinese manufactures ignore European trading laws". But the Laowa lens, once broken, will cost you some trouble to repair. To be fair, if Nikon needs a month to fix a 300/4 PF E, within that time Laowa could do just the same.

 

Read the technical facts carefully, if you manage to find them. What's not in them, it will not be on board - for instance, the 15/4 macro doesn't even have an automatic diaphragm... I did some shots with the 15 mm macro and with LiveView I don't need to bother much about missing automatic diaphragm - but how often did I make a full session of portraits in LiveView? Never, if I recall properly.

 

A Nikon AF 105mm f/2.0 D DC does have that, plus AF and the minimum focus distance is just about the same and the price [Edit]: is about 35% more than the Micro Nikkor version and my estimated end-price after importing that Laowa to Europe [/Edit]. If I'm looking of such a special portrait lens, I would strictly go genuine!

 

Btw. there's also a Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 R APD doing the same trick and costing about 45% more than the already nice non-APD. Thanks, I'm passing.


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#6 dave's clichés

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 04:17 PM

There's no universal truth how to read the results ... but an 'idiot's approach' would be as follows':

 

Say you have 2000 LW/PH.

3:2 screen ration 

2000 * 3/2 = 3000 LW/PW

 

2000x3000 = 6mp local resolution (equivalent pixel density at the center/border or corner).

Now see that in relation to the sensor.

If you got a 6mp sensor that would be superb. If you got a 50mp sensor ... then not so much.

 

Very simplified (Brandon would kill me for the above)

OK Klaus thanks!



#7 dave's clichés

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 04:30 PM

Dave, apodization filters are an instrument to get a smoother bokeh, see: https://en.wikipedia...iki/Apodization (there's also something about airy discs, so probably you get a "far beyond Wiki" lecture from master Airydiscus himself  :rolleyes:

 

No matter what magic this thing can do with bokeh, I did bit of googling and I own the Laowa 15/4 macro, so I just throw in some thoughts:

 

A bunch of macro-enthusiasts is not the same as a bunch of high level optical designers, right? At the end they make and sell working lenses, that's now the third to come and will get buyers because it's exotic and promises lots of great features: macro lens and super bokehlicious portrait glass, reasonably fast. But after that? No AF, of course. No EXIF data because mechanics don't talk with electronics. Aperture goes down to f/32 and after f/8 every macro lens with a focus stack device and/or app will deliver better results, DoF-wise.

 

http://www.venuslens.net doens't list it yet, 3 days after "announcement" - that's Laowa's representation site and sometimes unavailable for whatever reasons. I won't go again into the debate "Chinese manufactures ignore European trading laws". But the Laowa lens, once broken, will cost you some trouble to repair. To be fair, if Nikon needs a month to fix a 300/4 PF E, within that time Laowa could do just the same.

 

Read the technical facts carefully, if you manage to find them. What's not in them, it will not be on board - for instance, the 15/4 macro doesn't even have an automatic diaphragm... I did some shots with the 15 mm macro and with LiveView I don't need to bother much about missing automatic diaphragm - but how often did I make a full session of portraits in LiveView? Never, if I recall properly.

 

A Nikon AF 105mm f/2.0 D DC does have that, plus AF and the minimum focus distance is just about the same and the price . If I'm looking of such a special portrait lens, I would strictly go genuine!

 

Btw. there's also a Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 R APD doing the same trick and costing about 45% more than the already nice non-APD. Thanks, I'm passing.

Thanks JoJu for the link:

 

     OK ,so is this element semi opaque ....is it graduated opaque.... at the edges......are we talking a reduction in T stops here?

 

 Airydiscus......where art thou?

    Manual focus and no camera communication is one thing, but no automatic diaphragm would be just a step beyond frustration, like that 2:1 macro! 



#8 Brightcolours

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 04:46 PM

 

  Oh and Klaus/BC/Airydiscus.......how about a "simple for idiots" explanation on interpreting resolution charts...... please?

Uhmm... Simple (as far as I understand it then):

 

TB2WcXYjXXXXXaOXXXXXXXXXXXX_!!2389857399

You see a grid, horizontally going from 0 to ~21..5 mm.

That represents the 135 format film/sensor, from center (0) to corner:

film = 36x24mm. Diagonal is 36^2 + 24^2 = 1872. square root from 1872 = ~43mm. Half the diagonal is then ~ 21.5mm.

 

Vertical represents the performance. 1 is when separation between black and white lines used to measure the lens is perfect, 0 represents no separation at all, just an even grey mess.

 

10 lines per mm (line pairs (b + w) per mm) is used to measure contrast, 30 lines per mm to measure sharpness, basically.

The solid lines are "Radial" or "sagittal" lines, they go parallel with the radius. The dotted lines are "Meridian" or "tangential" lines, they go at right angles to the radius.

 

We can see that this lens is pretty sharp, especially if this is from measuring wide open. We also can see that the lens is pretty contrasty.

 

When the sagittal and meridian measurement lines are close together, that shows pretty good performance with certain aberrations/distortions like astigmatism, and also shows the lens probably having smooth bokeh.

In this case, the lines are pretty close together, so we can expect pretty good bokeh (which the sample images concur).

 

We also can see that the lens performs better at the center than at the corners, but when we compare this MTF chart with those of other lenses, we can also conclude that the corner performance is pretty good for this lens.


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#9 Brightcolours

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 04:49 PM

Thanks JoJu for the link:

 

     OK ,so is this element semi opaque ....is it graduated opaque.... at the edges......are we talking a reduction in T stops here?

 

 Airydiscus......where art thou?

    Manual focus and no camera communication is one thing, but no automatic diaphragm would be just a step beyond frustration, like that 2:1 macro! 

Yes, that is why there is such a big difference between f-value and T-value. The apodiation element is the cause.

 

No automatic aperture is not a big deal with this lens, as it will mostly be used wide open or close to wide open. Just like it is no big deal with my adapted 55mm f1.2 lenses for instance. The purpose of the lens is portraits with shallow DOF and smooth bokeh.


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#10 JoJu

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 05:48 PM

One can really discuss if AF on portraits is a major necessity and I think it all comes down at how dynamic a setting in a portrait session changes. In a studio, with ready lit background and the "portrait chair" one could weld the focus ring ... Out in the wild, photographer and model tend to move. I'm not certain AF will always be better than manual focus - by the way, "better" is what? More precise? Quicker? An aid like optical glasses for people with eye problems? The older I get the more I tend to trust a good AF, especially at night.

 

As Laowa stated, phase detection AF is useless, we have to look at contrast detection (that's how Fuji's autofocusing their APD version ;) ) which brings up the question - is that a DSLR lens?

 

"Shooting wide open all time" is a statement I will not even remotely discuss. What sounds ridiculous to me might just be the thing for somebody else. Now, the Nikon lens is a quite dated version, no update in sight, and the Fuji... I could get one as a left over for 150 francs less but even then, I don't intend to spend more than 1k on a DX-only thing. I don't see this lens as something the market was longing for ages.


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#11 dave's clichés

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 04:15 AM

Yes, that is why there is such a big difference between f-value and T-value. The apodiation element is the cause.

 

No automatic aperture is not a big deal with this lens, as it will mostly be used wide open or close to wide open. Just like it is no big deal with my adapted 55mm f1.2 lenses for instance. The purpose of the lens is portraits with shallow DOF and smooth bokeh.

Thanks BC!

                   Does the Nikon AF105mm DC (defocus control)  lens use the same principle and how does the adjustment ring work?  Personally I would much rather get a S/H copy of that lens as it has it all, it's one of Nikon's sharpest and best built all metal lenses and a built in lens-hood.



#12 dave's clichés

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 05:01 AM

One can really discuss if AF on portraits is a major necessity and I think it all comes down at how dynamic a setting in a portrait session changes. In a studio, with ready lit background and the "portrait chair" one could weld the focus ring ... Out in the wild, photographer and model tend to move. I'm not certain AF will always be better than manual focus - by the way, "better" is what? More precise? Quicker? An aid like optical glasses for people with eye problems? The older I get the more I tend to trust a good AF, especially at night.

 

As Laowa stated, phase detection AF is useless, we have to look at contrast detection (that's how Fuji's autofocusing their APD version ;) ) which brings up the question - is that a DSLR lens?

 

"Shooting wide open all time" is a statement I will not even remotely discuss. What sounds ridiculous to me might just be the thing for somebody else. Now, the Nikon lens is a quite dated version, no update in sight, and the Fuji... I could get one as a left over for 150 francs less but even then, I don't intend to spend more than 1k on a DX-only thing. I don't see this lens as something the market was longing for ages.

Manual focus is fine in a studio where the subject isn't moving, but at wide apertures how you get good eye focus on "live life" is beyond me, but then I've got more glasses than spec savers! :rolleyes: ....

 

  Talking of all manual....

  My first SLR was a "Zenith 3M"...... bought new for £13 19s 6d, it had the industar 50mm F3.5 uncoated lens in the "39mm leica mount".....I think 3M stood for "three times manual".......no mirror return and manual diaphragm........ now that was really painful, the 70% viewfinder was dim and even darker at the edges (non fresnel) and you absolutely had to focus wide open....then you had to take the camera from the eye and brace yourself  holding the focusing ring still while you fought with the stiff no click narow aperture ring mounted on the focus ring itself to stop down........if you were lucky the subject hadn't gone home, you could then click the shutter..........kershlock.....and everything went black!....it brought a new dimension to the word clunky.....took good pictures though.....Wow I had an SLR!..... I thought it was the bees knees..... see here!

 

I couldn't afford the case.

 

 They made 760,000 of them, incredible, not so cheap either

 

http://www.ebay.fr/s...e&_nkw=zenit-3m

 

 

 

 

 Photographic reminiscences.......waving a sixty watt light bulb over the negative clipped to my Johnson enlarging box to make postcard prints.......

 

http://www.ebay.fr/i...m-/231431504829

 

 

.............. and the Johnson exposure calculator... then 4s 6d......available here...

 

http://www.ebay.co.u...sure-calculator

 

  Those were the days!............hummm.....err...or were they?

 

  What we take for granted now!

 

     ...I digress where was I?

 

  Oh yes, how's the Fuji project going JoJu?



#13 Klaus

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 07:17 AM

OK Klaus thanks!

Oh, I think you meant the manufacturer MTFs ...  :D


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#14 Brightcolours

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 07:19 AM

Thanks BC!

                   Does the Nikon AF105mm DC (defocus control)  lens use the same principle and how does the adjustment ring work?  Personally I would much rather get a S/H copy of that lens as it has it all, it's one of Nikon's sharpest and best built all metal lenses and a built in lens-hood.

No, Nokkir's DC lens does not use a similar technique. It moves an element to either make the background or the foreground bokeh smoother. And it allows you to muck things up by setting the DC ring to a setting for a different aperture, making everything blurry.



#15 dave's clichés

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 07:27 AM

No, Nokkir's DC lens does not use a similar technique. It moves an element to either make the background or the foreground bokeh smoother. And it allows you to muck things up by setting the DC ring to a setting for a different aperture, making everything blurry.

 Ah right,  it's another 6 element count lens. 



#16 Studor13

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 09:25 AM

In a former life I trained to fly a tandem paraglider (on the fondue side of where Joju lives) and when I was buying the glider I asked the guy how fast it flew. He said "Look, I don't bother anymore with whether they fly 23, 24, 25, 26km/h anymore. I just say that they are not particularly fast, fast or quite fast. When you are actually flying, there are a whole lot of factors involved. The absolute top speed has very little to do with whether or not you are going to land the thing safely with your passenger".

 

I think the same thing can be said about lenses. Somewhat sharp, sharp, and seriously sharp. What else do you need to know?

 

As for them105mm f2 DC, I find that it is not as sharp wide open as the 105mm f2.5 AIS wide open. However, at f3.2 to f8 the 105mm DC is seriously sharp. And great bokeh to boot!


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#17 JoJu

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 11:21 AM

  Oh yes, how's the Fuji project going JoJu?

 

Quietly, but with lots of surprises. I'm just at home and recovering from a surgery. Before that, I got a metabones adapter for Nikon lenses on the Fuji. Great thing, manual focus aid is extremely helpful. So, for 105 mm macro and 40 mm macro and 85/1.4 there's now a second harbor to dock in. Great. Of course, the little body behind a 150-600 looks odd and needs very patient subjects.

 

But the best part is yet to come. Fuji announced together with the really new X-Pro2 a simple update of the X-E2 and is not calling it X-E3 (because that one might be seen on photokina or not), but just X-E2s. Now, instead of buying that body with some helpful upgrades. I just can download the new firmware for the X-E2 and get the same features (although I kind of hesitate to applaud too early). Is that possible? electronic shutter up to 1/32.000, from 49 focus points up to 77, new tracking mode, face and eye detection, together with a new menu layout, no further need to use the "macro" button because it happens automatically - why not? But an increase in AF sensitivity from 2.5 EV to 0.5 EV? Without new hardware?

 

How cool is that? Did we Nikon users ever got a real cool new feature just by firmware update? Honestly, I don't remember more than bugfixes.



#18 dave's clichés

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 12:12 PM

Quietly, but with lots of surprises. I'm just at home and recovering from a surgery. Before that, I got a metabones adapter for Nikon lenses on the Fuji. Great thing, manual focus aid is extremely helpful. So, for 105 mm macro and 40 mm macro and 85/1.4 there's now a second harbor to dock in. Great. Of course, the little body behind a 150-600 looks odd and needs very patient subjects.

 

But the best part is yet to come. Fuji announced together with the really new X-Pro2 a simple update of the X-E2 and is not calling it X-E3 (because that one might be seen on photokina or not), but just X-E2s. Now, instead of buying that body with some helpful upgrades. I just can download the new firmware for the X-E2 and get the same features (although I kind of hesitate to applaud too early). Is that possible? electronic shutter up to 1/32.000, from 49 focus points up to 77, new tracking mode, face and eye detection, together with a new menu layout, no further need to use the "macro" button because it happens automatically - why not? But an increase in AF sensitivity from 2.5 EV to 0.5 EV? Without new hardware?

 

How cool is that? Did we Nikon users ever got a real cool new feature just by firmware update? Honestly, I don't remember more than bugfixes.

   That is indeed cool, with Nikon to get all that you have to buy three new models, same as Pentax they give you a new FW but it's just so you can buy a new lens.

     How about the AF and it's performance? which was kinda what started the ball rolling!



#19 JoJu

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 01:20 PM

Well, it's not "flawless under all conditions", of course. I mean the body costs like 1/5 of a D810. But since manual focus in stills is so easy, I do that a lot. The lenses I got were in the first row of lens releases from Fuji, therefore no miracles in focus speed, but lots of keepers in terms of accuracy.

 

Here's what owners of X-E2 will get on February 4th: http://www.fujifilm....es/page_08.html

 

dave, if you like to have a glance: click



#20 Rover

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 01:33 PM

The blue stripe makes it look like an Olympus lens.






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