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FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve ...
  
 
chez
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Jonathan F wrote:
Use the Nikon 70-200mm VR II on a Commlite Nikon to Sony AF adapter and I'll bet we'll see a higher score if used on an A7R II.


Maybe...but you loose a lot of flexibility...especially in AF.




Jan 25, 2017 at 02:29 AM
TheEmrys
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


This is a really common characteristic of Sony's recent lenses. I am surprised it doesn't get more attention. The 55/1.8 is a t/1.8. The 35/2.8 is a t/2.8. Sony has figured out something in their manufacturing process that is pretty remarkable.

snapsy wrote:
A t-stop of f/2.9 for an f/2.8 lens is rather impressive, if not suspect Hard to imagine so little light loss through all those elements.




Jan 25, 2017 at 03:30 AM
Lee Saxon
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


To answer the question of why this disagrees so much with Roger don't overlook that the Nikon tested here is the VR2 whereas Roger was testing against the new FL VR.

Chris_88 wrote:
I get the idea behind stress-testing lenses at infinity, but sometimes I wonder whether we myself included focus to much on that data point.


My personal opinion: we don't. Rather we focus highly on the "repeatable camera-independent bench test of multiple copies by trustworthy guy" data point, and it just happens that's done at infinity.

chez wrote:
Maybe...but you loose a lot of flexibility...especially in AF.


Yeah, but the question isn't one of real-world practicality but of whether DXO compared apples to oranges.

TheEmrys wrote:
This is a really common characteristic of Sony's recent lenses. I am surprised it doesn't get more attention. The 55/1.8 is a t/1.8. The 35/2.8 is a t/2.8. Sony has figured out something in their manufacturing process that is pretty remarkable.


100% transmission is physically impossible regardless of manufacturing process. I suppose it's possible the loss is so small that it's less than 0.1 and so is hidden by rounding, but my completely undeducated and baseless guess is that it's instead an artifact of vignetting correction / lens profiles that Sony bakes into the raw files without telling us.



Jan 25, 2017 at 03:40 AM
Brandon Dube
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


AGeoJO wrote:
Fred, I realize that the infinity setting will be pretty much considered as "a stress test" or tough (for lack of a better word I can think of at this moment) on lenses but why are we testing lenses at infinity if we use them for real life images at distances shorter than infinity? Even for far away distances in landscape photography, the infinity setting is quite not reached.


In the context of lens design, infinity is just "very far." For a 70mm lens, infinity is maybe 7m, 200mm - 20m. Obviously the depth of field is not that large, but the aberrations between the 7m focusing position and true infinity are not very different and this has been the common wisdom for 100 years or so.

Infinity isn't a stress test so much as it is the default. Lenses usually take pictures of things far away. Infinity is convenient for conceptual and mathematical reasons.



Jan 25, 2017 at 04:34 AM
Brandon Dube
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


ecarlino wrote:
actually, the only reason for testing at infinity has something to do with the bench not being able to do it any other way with Sony lenses (lensrentals has a write-up somewhere on that).

as with all testing, the results need to be taken in context and collectively with other tests and user-feedback and most importantly looking at shots on this forum and flickr (if you can find decent photographers there).

i like to look at 1000s of shots (or a dozen from Joshua and i can "tell") and develop a sense for (a) how good is it at its "best", (b)
...Show more

We can test with object distances of infinity, or "kissing the front element" to about 1.5m away. There is nothing different about a sony lens in that regard.

Infinity is only at all egregious for a macro lens. For all other lenses it is the most appropriate test distance if you will only use one.



Jan 25, 2017 at 04:37 AM
Holger
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested




100% transmission is physically impossible regardless of manufacturing process. I suppose it's possible the loss is so small that it's less than 0.1 and so is hidden by rounding, but my completely undeducated and baseless guess is that it's instead an artifact of vignetting correction / lens profiles that Sony bakes into the raw files without telling us.


My suspicion, too.



Jan 25, 2017 at 06:11 AM
Matt Grum
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Brandon Dube wrote:
Infinity is only at all egregious for a macro lens. For all other lenses it is the most appropriate test distance if you will only use one.


In that case we're down to two possible explanations, copy variability (i.e. DXO received a lens at the very peak of the bell curve) or an error (either systematic or a one-off bobo) in testing.

Roger has been extremely transparent with regards to the lens rentals testing methodology, including a reshoot using test targets at closer distances, so I'm more inclined to believe there is something wrong with the DXO test.

At the end of the day no test is fully representative, it's just one piece of information that you can use to help you make a decision, example photos and user experiences being others.



Jan 25, 2017 at 10:36 AM
DavidBM
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Matt Grum wrote:
In that case we're down to two possible explanations, copy variability (i.e. DXO received a lens at the very peak of the bell curve) or an error (either systematic or a one-off bobo) in testing.

Roger has been extremely transparent with regards to the lens rentals testing methodology, including a reshoot using test targets at closer distances, so I'm more inclined to believe there is something wrong with the DXO test.

At the end of the day no test is fully representative, it's just one piece of information that you can use to help you make a decision, example photos and
...Show more

Or the very thing that Roger mentioned and which is one of the reasons why he didn't officially publish his MTFs: that the two motor system with compensation on the this lens makes the focus at infinity first method they currently use unreliable, and the target is then focussed by movement, not allowing fine tuning of element positions. by the two motors.

And the reshoot is just one sample, not the usual ten, and it's clearly an asymmetric sample.



Jan 25, 2017 at 11:22 AM
Phillip Reeve
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Why does anyone take DxO's lenstesting serious? Their testing prodcedures are a black box which spits out one MP number but sharpness depends on aperture, distance from the center, zoom setting, distance, field curvature and a few other minor factors. And that one number often does not correlate with what everybody else sees.

Every test procedure has it's shortcomings but the more serious sites are transparent about their procedures and I can take them into consideration when forming an opinion.

Edited on Jan 25, 2017 at 05:57 PM · View previous versions



Jan 25, 2017 at 11:38 AM
RCicala
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


There are a couple of things that bear discussion I think, but the DxO data is welcome.

First, the infinity vs close discussion is pertinent. And in this range (70-200mm) DxO would be testing at reasonable shooting distances 12 to 20 feet. As was mentioned earlier, it hasn't mattered much except for macros and wide-angles (because chart-testing those is really, really close, 3-5 feet), and it really shouldn't matter in a lens with a compensating element like this, but you never know.

Second, there are two reasons I didn't officially publish the 70-200 MTFs when we first did them: concern about the twin motor system on the bench (I'm pretty much over that) and concern that the very early copies we had might have been a bit off optically. The unavailability of this lens for a while made me think that was a fast horse.

I'm looking forward to doing a batch of newer copies on the bench, it should clear up my questions. In the meantime, I think DxOs test is definitely good news. And I know from lengthy discussions with Sony these results are more in line with what their expectations were. (FWIW, Sony doesn't blow much smoke at me, we have a pretty open relationship, even when I piss them off.)

Honestly, what I would love to do is set Imatest back up in our lab and do a close comparison vs MTF bench. But there's no way I'll ever get time to do that.

Edited on Jan 25, 2017 at 12:21 PM · View previous versions



Jan 25, 2017 at 11:45 AM
 

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Jannik Peters
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


RCicala wrote:
Honestly, what I would love to do is set Imatest back up in our lab and do a close comparison vs MTF bench. But there's no way I'll ever get time to do that.


Unfortunately, but I can understand that point. That comparison would be extremely exciting in my opinion and it could shake the whole review-world.



Jan 25, 2017 at 12:05 PM
Chris_88
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


bjornthun wrote:
The cause of that is some curvature of field at long distances in the Sony 90 FE, but a bit of care when focusing at long distances and that is taken care of. I have kept my Sony 90 FE, and I suppose new owners of the Sony 70-200 GM will too.

Btw. the Sony 90 FE is a wonderful macro lens.


I don't doubt that. I have bought a mint FE 90 to replace my fungus-infected Minolta 100 Macro. Now, the Minolta was brutally sharp and had that classic Minolta color rendition, but the coatings showed their age when the sun was inside or close to the frame. I'm looking forward to shooting flowers with the 90 2.8 later this year to see how it compares to the old Minolta.



Jan 25, 2017 at 02:08 PM
ecarlino
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Brandon Dube wrote:
We can test with object distances of infinity, or "kissing the front element" to about 1.5m away. There is nothing different about a sony lens in that regard.

Infinity is only at all egregious for a macro lens. For all other lenses it is the most appropriate test distance if you will only use one.


here is the article i was thinking of when i wrote that earlier post:
https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2015/10/sony-e-mount-lens-sharpness-bench-tests/

it's not so much that "Sony" lens have something particular about them that requires testing @ infinity, (b/c the bench normally tests @ infinity) - there was some 'tricks' you guys had to perform to get Sony lenses to focus at infinity while not mounted on a camera. sorry i wasn't entirely clear/accurate.



Jan 25, 2017 at 03:08 PM
GMPhotography
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Here is some runway i shot a couple weeks ago . All shot in crop mode. This lens is far better than the F4 version in my mind




  ILCE-7RM2    Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS (SEL70200GM) lens    198mm    f/5.0    1/320s    1600 ISO    0.0 EV  






  ILCE-7RM2    Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS (SEL70200GM) lens    184mm    f/5.0    1/320s    1250 ISO    0.0 EV  






  ILCE-7RM2    Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS (SEL70200GM) lens    140mm    f/4.5    1/250s    1250 ISO    0.0 EV  






  ILCE-7RM2    Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS (SEL70200GM) lens    195mm    f/5.0    1/320s    1250 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jan 25, 2017 at 03:17 PM
ke3vg
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Fred, I have been using this lens for couple of months and so far < I am very impressed. I thought Sony FE 70-200 F/4 was sharp but this one is better than that! About the bokeh, it is very pleasing, not as good as 85MM GM but close enough for portrait work.

I have only 3 complaints so far;
1. It took for ever to receive that lens, almost 5 months.
2. Some time it is overly sharp and make me do more work in light room to clean up the skin impurities of the subject.
3. Substantially heavier than my F/4 lens.

Please, keep in mind that ,this statements are not based on scientific test but rather subjective. Anyway, I like the lens and despite all other good or bad review , it is a keeper for me.

Mukesh




Jan 25, 2017 at 03:43 PM
MikeEvangelist
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


GMPhotography wrote:
Here is some runway i shot a couple weeks ago . All shot in crop mode. This lens is far better than the F4 version in my mind


Guy, Did you use a 6500 on that shoot as well? Curious how that worked out.



Jan 25, 2017 at 03:52 PM
GMPhotography
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


I did not shoot any runway with it. Some grab shots but I never got a real chance to use it much.


Jan 25, 2017 at 04:07 PM
ecarlino
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Great shots Guy - how did you find the AF tracking w/ moving targets?


Jan 25, 2017 at 04:10 PM
GMPhotography
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


Very good best in class with tracking and AF. Sure could be faster but it kept up. We shot anywhere from 5-8 per kid walking the runway which is 32 ft long .


Jan 25, 2017 at 04:29 PM
Jonathan F
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom we’ve tested


chez wrote:
Maybe...but you loose a lot of flexibility...especially in AF.



I've tried the 70-200mm 2.8 VR I on my A7 II using the same adapter and it works well enough, but I wouldn't use it for any fast action. Perfectly useable for portrait work and other static objects.

Saying that, in terms of pure metrics it would be interested to see how the Nikon glass would rate on the A7R II sensor.



Jan 25, 2017 at 04:36 PM
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