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Archive 2013 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity
  
 
Paul Gardner
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


Everyone seems to be concerned about Bokue with lots of discussion, but I see very little about how well dof is handled and how well the camera resolves at infinite. I see lots of images of landscapes where the trees in the distance have turned to mush! Let have some discussion on resolution at infinity. So far my D800E with a 24mm F1.8G seems to do a reasonable job, but is there anything in a compact camera that works well with good atmosperics?
Regards
Paul



Jan 13, 2013 at 12:07 AM
thedigitalbean
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


Paul, I'm not sure by what you mean by "how well dof is handled". Regarding resolution, my own usage and testing indicates that the lens is not as strong at infinity as it is at medium focus distances.

Here's an example image:

http://akimagery.com/img/s8/v74/p1367524168-5.jpg


The full resolution can be seen here.

This was shot hand held f/5.6 1/500s, ISO 100. Processed in Lightroom and has been carefully sharpened. I'm not blown away by this performance but its not 'mush' either.



Jan 13, 2013 at 07:42 AM
sebboh
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


hmmm, i feel like i've seen better in other samples. was this autofocused or manual focused?


Jan 13, 2013 at 07:50 AM
mpmendenhall
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


Paul Gardner wrote:
but is there anything in a compact camera that works well with good atmosperics?


The Sigma DP2M does well at infinity (I've seen this in my own photos, and noticed others commenting on the same).

Hypothesis: most of the fine detail in distant images comes from the red channel, since shorter wavelengths are scattered more strongly by the atmosphere. Thus, the DP2M Foveon sensor, which measures all 3 color channels at each pixel, will have an increased advantage for distant subjects compared to Bayer-filtered sensor designs, where only 1/4 of the pixels are able to see fine detail.

Example DP2M 100% crop, distant subjects:
http://praetoriusphoto.images.s3.amazonaws.com/fmforums/20121100_dp2m/20120113_distance_crop.jpg



Jan 13, 2013 at 08:34 AM
Paul Gardner
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


TheDigitalBean; Your full res looks very good for the treelines on the midridge. Here is one from my D800E 24mm @ F11 full res. The trees on the far shoreline are well defined but I am still wondering how much better it is possible to improve? Are any of the Manufactures designing lenses for landscapers that are optimized for infinity instead of midrange?

ACR 7.3 detail 100%, Amount 0, radius .5
Warning: Very Large

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2088441/_DSC0264.tif


http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2088441/_DSC0021.tif



Jan 13, 2013 at 12:21 PM
Jochenb
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


The lens on the RX1 is stellar in the closer ranges, but really nothing special at infinty. Thedigitalbeans's example proves this once again. Usable, but not fantastic.
I guess you can't have it all in this tiny package.



Jan 13, 2013 at 12:55 PM
philip_pj
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


Not too bad for a *handheld* shot, is the digitalbean's image posted above. Jochen, I don't think this image posted above proves anything of the sort.

I would never dismiss the performance of any lens with such subject matter based on such a technique.

Hand holding any size camera and expecting high end definition of distant objects is an exercise in futility. Doesn't matter what the s/speed is, you just cannot hold the camera still enough, especially with 24Mp full frame cameras.

For final resolution of the RX1 'lens at infinity' issue, take a shot focused at infinity, at a good mid aperture (f5.6-f8) with the camera solidly mounted on a good tripod (does not need to be heavy, a good mid-weight CF one will do), and use a cable release. I beleive the RX1 has a nice retro threaded shutter button, if not a longish self timer will do.

Pick a scene with plenty of depth on a clear still day with minimal UV haze. Push the tripod downwards from the base of the head, and wait for 10 seconds before tripping the shutter. My guess is it will be very good, given half a chance.

The image above also has a lot of UV haze, low contrast and washed out colour. None will help the apparent definition in the final image.




Jan 13, 2013 at 10:12 PM
Jochenb
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


I don't entirely agree Philip. At shutterspeed 1/500 this should never be an issue with a 35mm lens . I handhold my Zeiss ZE lenses all the time on my 5DII. Ok it's a few MP less, but nothing shocking. Results are good at these shutterspeeds and... look more detailed than the infity shots from the RX1.
It's not just this photo I base my opinion on, because I agree about the UV haze. I've seen so many shots already (even RAW files), all the same looking result.
I don't want to bash the camera (I still consider buying one myself), but things are what they are. The lens just isn't GREAT at infinity.

Edited on Jan 13, 2013 at 10:34 PM · View previous versions



Jan 13, 2013 at 10:32 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


Philip, the RX1 does have a classical threaded shutter release.


Jan 13, 2013 at 10:34 PM
philip_pj
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


It may not be so terrific but you will never know for sure. If have seen some tripod shots, fair enough I say, and I am sure you are correct that it is optimised for close work with the distance serving as 'bokeh fodder'.

I guess I am one who thinks most great lenses are pretty good allrounders, happy to be wrong here...maybe it's the distortion correction at play, I don't know...



Jan 13, 2013 at 11:13 PM
 

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sebboh
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


sebboh wrote:
hmmm, i feel like i've seen better in other samples. was this autofocused or manual focused?


actually now that i've looked at it again it looks like the other shots i've seen on the right side but rather softer on the left side. decentered a smidge perhaps or some other cause?



Jan 14, 2013 at 12:27 AM
thedigitalbean
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


Focus was automatic. Air turbulence or haze doesn't fully explain it. To me the center appears to have higher resolution than the edges. Though hand held, 1/500s of a second is high enough shutter speed such that it should be an issue, especially with no flopping mirror. I have several images taken with farther focus distances and performance isn't as good as it is at closer focus distances.

That said, you can still easily make a 16x20 with files from this camera that I doubt anyone would scoff at.



Jan 14, 2013 at 02:07 AM
thedigitalbean
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


Very few lenses are capable of stellar performance at close focus distances as well as infinity. Some notable ones include the Zeiss 100 MP, the Canon 24 TS-E II, Leica 21 SEM, etc... In general Canon's zooms have tended to favor close focus distances, one reason they get panned by landscape photographers.


Jan 14, 2013 at 02:11 AM
Tariq Gibran
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


Paul Gardner wrote:
Everyone seems to be concerned about Bokue with lots of discussion, but I see very little about how well dof is handled and how well the camera resolves at infinite. I see lots of images of landscapes where the trees in the distance have turned to mush! Let have some discussion on resolution at infinity. So far my D800E with a 24mm F1.8G seems to do a reasonable job, but is there anything in a compact camera that works well with good atmosperics?
Regards
Paul


I'm guessing you mean the 28 1.8G? If so, when I owned that lens and the D800E, I ran a few tests against the Sigma DP1M (which is similar with regard to focal length) and the results were surprising with the DP1M actually outperforming the Nikon D800E+28 1.8G in some areas of the frame. Part of this was down to the 28 1.8G which seemed to have some field curvature when focused at infinity. Given that experience, I think the only current compact camera to suggest would be one of the Sigma DP Merrills - and the DP1M if you need a wide angle. Both of these Sigma's will outperform the RX1 at base ISO, particularly when used for landscape type subject matter.



Jan 14, 2013 at 02:31 AM
wayne seltzer
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


Tariq Gibran wrote:
I'm guessing you mean the 28 1.8G? If so, when I owned that lens and the D800E, I ran a few tests against the Sigma DP1M (which is similar with regard to focal length) and the results were surprising with the DP1M actually outperforming the Nikon D800E+28 1.8G in some areas of the frame. Part of this was down to the 28 1.8G which seemed to have some field curvature when focused at infinity. Given that experience, I think the only current compact camera to suggest would be one of the Sigma DP Merrills - and the DP1M if
...Show more

Tariq, do you have any side by side comparison shots at different distances and apertures between RX1 and DP1M to back up that statement?
Also not all landscape is done at infinity focus.



Jan 14, 2013 at 03:37 AM
philip_pj
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


Resolution involves detail at all levels, and some photographers are interested in the best measurement of it. Handholding will cause a degradation of fine detail, the kind of thing many pay a lot of money for - that shows up in 40lpmm lines in MTF charts. My personal view: if the main subject is over say, 250m away, the camera goes on the tripod.

I would suggest a tripod to assess any expensive system for infinity testing, even if the camera is not designed primarily for such use.

More on this - and an interesting and fair opinion from Erwin Puts, with a lot of graphs:

http://www.imx.nl/photo/technique/technique/page40.html

'Best quality asks for a tripod. Period. Every camera sees a significant drop in performance when being used in handholding conditions. You will not see this at low magnifications, but when you look for fine detail, you will only see fuzzyness.'

2. Inquiring minds might enjoy this rather quirky effort as well, with some excellent diagrams:

http://markins.com/charlie/report4e6.pdf

In some comments, I have seen mention of the effect of Bayer arrays disrupting resolution, Tariq. One of the Merrill's secret weapons maybe.



Jan 14, 2013 at 03:50 AM
Tariq Gibran
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


wayne seltzer wrote:
Tariq, do you have any side by side comparison shots at different distances and apertures between RX1 and DP1M to back up that statement?
Also not all landscape is done at infinity focus.


Just addressing the question of the OP, which was specifically about infinity performance.

No, I don't have tests with the RX1. That said, it does not seem at all likely - and there would be no reason to believe - that the RX1 would be capable of outperforming the D800E, even with the Nikkor 28 1.8G (which is no slouch stopped down between 5.6 and F8). Therefore, it would seem to follow that the DP1M, if capable of at least matching that performance (D800E+28 1.8G), would likewise outperform the RX1. Nothing against the RX1, which would be a much more versatile camera overall than the Sigma DP's.



Jan 14, 2013 at 04:32 AM
Tariq Gibran
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


philip_pj wrote:
In some comments, I have seen mention of the effect of Bayer arrays disrupting resolution, Tariq. One of the Merrill's secret weapons maybe.


I believe that is highly probable, as pointed out by mpmendenhall above and also due to the introduction of false data/ artifacts by the bayer interpolation scheme. It seems to be more of an issue at greater distances. I have noticed over the years that traditional bayer array sensor performance degrades rapidly as subject distance increases and as wider angle lenses are used, particularly when fine, intricate and organic/ irregular detail structures are involved (foliage, tree branches and so on) - more-so than what one would observe with film and the same subject matter. The Merrill/ Foveon sensors behave more like film in this regard.



Jan 14, 2013 at 04:55 AM
thedigitalbean
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


Regarding the DP series, Michael Reichmann over at Luminous Landscape in his RX-1 review stated that in terms of resolving power the DP was better than the RX-1, but that an an overall camera the RX-1 had the edge. I generally trust Reichmann's observations as a photographer so I wouldn't expect the RX-1 to best the Sigma DP series. That said, I've used a Sigma DP series, and OMG, what a freakin' mess with that camera. About the only thing it has going for it is the superb resolving power.


Jan 14, 2013 at 06:01 AM
Paul Gardner
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · RX1 - Resolution and DOF at infinity


Sorry I misquoted the lens. Its a 24mm F1.4G. The Julia Phiffer image was mounted on a tripod at F11 with mirror lockup and shutter release. The Lake Tahoe image was handheld. I very seldom shoot anything but seascapes and mountains, and almost always have my 1DSIII with a Canon 28-300 on it and the D800E with the 24mm F1.4G mounted. BUT I do need something better than my Canon G1X for casual shots. The G1X is a good camera but the ergonomics just don't work well for me and the infinity resolution is also poor. The RX1 does look doable, but the DP series ergonomics just don't catch my interest either. I'll have to rent a DP2M and give it a try.
Regards
Paul.



Jan 14, 2013 at 07:10 AM
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