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FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve ...
  
 
snapsy
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p.7 #1 · p.7 #1 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


chez wrote:
Guy, I totally agree with you as can be seen by the low ratings of all the 24-70 lenses yet these lenses put bread and butter on many plates of photigraphers that make a living off the images they sell. These lenses are the go to lenses for the majority of events photogs. If you would believe in the clinical tests and scores...you would think these lenses would be no better than coke bottles.


Most pro-grade (or at least pro-priced) lenses can produce great results in many circumstances. However that doesn't mean the lenses don't have weak points (Sony 24-70 f/4 @ 24mm in the edges for example) or that there aren't measurable differences (both MTF and "real-world") between different designs of the same class of lenses. I think opinions about lenses and 'opinions about opinions about lenses' become muddled when we start mixing objective metrics vs subjective observations. Both certainly have value when we seek to evaluate lenses and each is free to decide which carries more weight but pitting the two against each other doesn't serve much practical purpose IMO.



Feb 05, 2017 at 05:34 PM
GMPhotography
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p.7 #2 · p.7 #2 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


Pitting lenses against other brands serves very little value unless your switching brands possibly. But if your shooting any brand you should be looking at the same brand of glass per say as that's your best option. Sure alternate glass matters but camera brand really don't when your trying to mount a Leica lens on a Nikon let's say. But t these lens comparisons serve really very little purpose unless your some brand loyalist and spent your money and you want to defend it till hell freezes over. Complete waste of energy IMHO but that's where this thread is really at. Lenses should be based on its use within the system your shooting in. All this stuff between brands is 99 percent click bait.


Feb 05, 2017 at 05:43 PM
GMPhotography
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p.7 #3 · p.7 #3 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


In all honesty the 3 24-70 main camera brand lenses are all very good anyway and a lot of folks buy the heck out of them. I'm actually glad they are all good. You never know if you have to rent something in a pinch but nice knowing you can rent something that gets the work done. Are they the best lenses to buy as zooms, well that is going to depend on preferences and use case for each shooter. I like them and use them but I do prefer primes and that may just be old school thinking too.

We could really say they same for the 70-200 lenses these are bread and butter lenses for the OEMs so really there will be no dogs here.

Edited on Feb 05, 2017 at 05:52 PM · View previous versions



Feb 05, 2017 at 05:46 PM
snapsy
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p.7 #4 · p.7 #4 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


GMPhotography wrote:
Pitting lenses against other brands serves very little value unless your switching brands possibly. But if your shooting any brand you should be looking at the same brand of glass per say as that's your best option. Sure alternate glass matters but camera brand really don't when your trying to mount a Leica lens on a Nikon let's say. But t these lens comparisons serve really very little purpose unless your some brand loyalist and spent your money and you want to defend it till hell freezes over. Complete waste of energy IMHO but that's where this thread is really
...Show more

I agree. I think the comparisons across brands occurs a lot in the Sony forum because many Sony E-Mount shooters have other systems as well, owing both to the newness of system but more specifically because so many brands of lenses can be adapted to E-Mount bodies for lots of shooting scenarios, so they naturally lend themselves to competing with each other.



Feb 05, 2017 at 05:50 PM
GMPhotography
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p.7 #5 · p.7 #5 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


I do understand some of that for sure. But the my brand is better than your brand stuff . I have no use for

snapsy wrote:
I agree. I think the comparisons across brands occurs a lot in the Sony forum because many Sony E-Mount shooters have other systems as well, owing both to the newness of system but more specifically because so many brands of lenses can be adapted to E-Mount bodies for lots of shooting scenarios, so they naturally lend themselves to competing with each other.




Feb 05, 2017 at 06:16 PM
Brandon Dube
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p.7 #6 · p.7 #6 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


John Koerner wrote:



It's odd to mix terms like "objective, measure," etc with "precision-crafted" which is heavily leaning on artisanal.

Lenscore's methodology is pretty terrible, in my opinion.

"The score is calibrated based on the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G measurements, i.e. the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G is the reference with a score of 1000 in each category." This is a good lens, but it's a random pick. If their scoring algorithm is linear, the reference doesn't much matter. If it's nonlinear, this matters a lot.

You will find that image quality metrics like MTF, RMS Wavefront Error, Encircled Energy, 100% spot size, RMS spot size, etc, are purely numeric. Good and standardized metrics do not need calibration to a random lens. Lenscore made up their own and doesn't use any standard techniques.

Their tools aren't really high tech and they certainly aren't standard. They have some kind of large sensor, a beam expander, and a big room.

The beam expander is said to be apochromatic, but this is often not enough for metrology. Is it diffraction limited? How much axial color is there between the 3 wavelengths of equal focus? The microscope objectives in MTF benches are usually corrected for 5 wavelengths instead of 3. It's really important you are measuring the lens and not your tool. Did the "high quality swiss manufacture" of the beam expander test it before shipping it? Do they have any idea if the beam expander is diffraction limited? Does it have a sufficiently large etendue to handle all the lenses they try to test on it?

They say their testing takes many hours, two days for a zoom. For some reference, our standard 4 rotation measurement at Olaf takes around 10 minutes per lens and we have to wait for the collimator arm to swing around. They're using targets, which takes mere moments. I would imagine they have a large line detector from a spectrophotometer and have to wait for it to scan. There aren't any commercially available 200MP sensors, and certainly 0 from the era when CCDs dominated.

This practice certainly isn't standardized. What is standardized is ISO 12233 and ISO 11421 for MTF (resolution).

Most commercial MTF benches aren't conformant to ISO 11421, which requires a temperature measurement that means they can't be certified without adding a $100 thermometer.

I wouldn't take lenscore as gospel. They are probably worse than DxO. Both make up numbers, but Lenscore makes up more numbers and blows more smoke.



Feb 05, 2017 at 06:28 PM
GMPhotography
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p.7 #7 · p.7 #7 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


Brandon thank you I rest my case. Sounds like bad science to me.


Feb 05, 2017 at 07:13 PM
John Koerner
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p.7 #8 · p.7 #8 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


Brandon Dube wrote:
I wouldn't take lenscore as gospel. They are probably worse than DxO. Both make up numbers, but Lenscore makes up more numbers and blows more smoke.



Me? I don't take the "probable speculations" of someone who doesn't actually know what LenScore's methods are as gospel

With regard to performance, and back on topic (Sigma's strong showing) ... I am not sure if anyone noticed, but DPReview also made its own comments on a recent post regarding the Sigma 85mm 1.4 Art A New King is Crowned:

"DxO just published its score for the Nikon mount Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM A. Drumroll please: it received the highest score ever for a lens on DxO, a 50 when mounted to a D810 and a 51 when mounted to the D800E. What's even more impressive is that it actually scored a perfect 36 P-Mpix for image sharpness on a D810, which has a 36MP sensor."

LensRentals comes up with a similar conclusion:

"From an MTF standpoint, its better than any other 85 except the Otus, and it makes a very respectable showing against that fine lens."

LenScore also crowns the 85mm king, by its own standards. These are 3 widely-used and respected testing facilities, each using differing methods, all coming up with the same conclusions.

If people still want to believe their own subjective opinions matter more than 3 independent analysts, they can continue to do so. Good luck with that.

So let's see what the Nikkor 70-200 FL ED scores on all of them.



Feb 05, 2017 at 07:25 PM
Charlie N
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p.7 #9 · p.7 #9 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


snapsy wrote:
Most pro-grade (or at least pro-priced) lenses can produce great results in many circumstances. However that doesn't mean the lenses don't have weak points (Sony 24-70 f/4 @ 24mm in the edges for example) or that there aren't measurable differences (both MTF and "real-world") between different designs of the same class of lenses. I think opinions about lenses and 'opinions about opinions about lenses' become muddled when we start mixing objective metrics vs subjective observations. Both certainly have value when we seek to evaluate lenses and each is free to decide which carries more weight but pitting the two against
...Show more
For landscapes, I can agree, however lenses that specialize in background blur, there's a lot subjective. Ide take cleaner bokeh over ultimate sharpness numbers.



Feb 05, 2017 at 07:27 PM
Charlie N
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p.7 #10 · p.7 #10 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


John Koerner wrote:
Me? I don't take the "probable speculations" of someone who doesn't actually know what LenScore's methods are as gospel

With regard to performance, and back on topic (Sigma's strong showing) ... I am not sure if anyone noticed, but DPReview also made its own comments on a recent post regarding the Sigma 85mm 1.4 Art A New King is Crowned:

"DxO just published its score for the Nikon mount Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM A. Drumroll please: it received the highest score ever for a lens on DxO, a 50 when mounted to a D810 and a 51 when mounted."

LensRentals comes up with a similar conclusion:

"From an MTF standpoint, its better than any other 85 except the Otus, and it makes a very respectable showing against that fine lens."

LenScore also crowns the 85mm king, by its own standards. These are 3 widely-used and respected testing facilities, each using differing methods, all coming up with the same conclusions.

If people still want to believe their own subjective opinions matter more than 3 independent analysts, they can continue to do so. Good luck with that.

So let's see what the Nikkor 70-200 FL ED scores on all of them.
...Show more

Yet the sigma art still has a bit of cat's eye bokeh, and bokeh balls can be distracting



Feb 05, 2017 at 07:30 PM
 

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Parariss
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p.7 #11 · p.7 #11 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


Adjusting the topic a bit, I'm still curious about the unusually large *disparity* between the testing results of the different sources. You'd expect different results from different methodologies, but this time we have everything from 'sharpest ever' to 'not good' to 'is something wrong with my test kit?' Pretty wild.

Maybe poor testing variances simply finally yielded a wide spread. On the other hand, a while back we had speculation that maybe the lens performed less well at infinity but really well at intended working distances. How might we test that theory, apples-to-apples? Other theories?



Feb 05, 2017 at 08:08 PM
Brandon Dube
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p.7 #12 · p.7 #12 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


John Koerner wrote:
Me? I don't take the "probable speculations" of someone who doesn't actually know what LenScore's methods are as gospel

With regard to performance, and back on topic (Sigma's strong showing) ... I am not sure if anyone noticed, but DPReview also made its own comments on a recent post regarding the Sigma 85mm 1.4 Art A New King is Crowned:

"DxO just published its score for the Nikon mount Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM A. Drumroll please: it received the highest score ever for a lens on DxO, a 50 when mounted to a D810 and a 51 when mounted."

LensRentals comes up with a similar conclusion:

"From an MTF standpoint, its better than any other 85 except the Otus, and it makes a very respectable showing against that fine lens."

LenScore also crowns the 85mm king, by its own standards. These are 3 widely-used and respected testing facilities, each using differing methods, all coming up with the same conclusions.

If people still want to believe their own subjective opinions matter more than 3 independent analysts, they can continue to do so. Good luck with that.

So let's see what the Nikkor 70-200 FL ED scores on all of them.
...Show more

Sure, I don't know what Lenscore is doing. They're a black box like DxO. I think their intentions are better than DxO, but they certainly aren't experts at what they're doing. But I do know a good amount about metrology, particularly testing lenses.

They certainly didn't develop their own sensor. There aren't any commercially 200MP chips, but there are 16,000px long line detectors for large format spectrophotometers. Here's a CMOS one from tesladyne: http://www.teledynedalsa.com/imaging/products/cameras/line-scan/linea/LA-CM-16K05A/ A 4:5 scan with one of those is 208MP.

They certainly are using charts or other targets of some kind and not a collimator-based test like an MTF bench. Otherwise they would not be testing at multiple distances. Then you can deduce they have some large room to accommodate these charts/targets/whatever.

I came to optics by way of photography. Terms like "microcontrast" are du jour among photography but I've never met an optical engineer that doesn't do photography who has heard them. They don't have an agreed upon and well-defined meaning. It is important when you measure things that everything is unambiguous. They do not define (define, not explain) what they mean by microcontrast which makes it a useless measurement. This applies tor a lot of their other measurements, like flare. Flare has its own ISO standard, 9358.

Their bokeh explanation basically says "we want the lens to be mathematically perfect, it scores well if it is." What does mathematically perfect mean? Does it mean a perfectly even circle? If the lens is vignetted it should produce a lemon-like shape, that bokeh is still "mathematically perfect." What if there's dust on the lens - you'll see the diffraction pattern of the particles in the bokeh unless the lens is thoroughly cleaned. How do they deal with that?

You quote the LR blog, which the company I am involved with (Olaf Optical Testing) uses to put out measurements. For that project, I personally have measured around 1,200 lenses - 10x as many as Lenscore. I also wrote the software, and developed a lot of the testing procedures.

I keep a list of the posts Roger has made here, http://www.retrorefractions.com/lens-variance



Feb 05, 2017 at 08:55 PM
John Koerner
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p.7 #13 · p.7 #13 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


Brandon Dube wrote:
Sure, I don't know what Lenscore is doing. They're a black box like DxO. I think their intentions are better than DxO, but they certainly aren't experts at what they're doing. But I do know a good amount about metrology, particularly testing lenses.

They certainly didn't develop their own sensor. There aren't any commercially 200MP chips, but there are 16,000px long line detectors for large format spectrophotometers. Here's a CMOS one from tesladyne: http://www.teledynedalsa.com/imaging/products/cameras/line-scan/linea/LA-CM-16K05A/ A 4:5 scan with one of those is 208MP.

They certainly are using charts or other targets of some kind and not a collimator-based test like an
...Show more

Thanks for the clarification.

Doesn't your system only test resolution? At one focal length (infinity) and over a wide variety of sensors?

Testing 10 different examples has its advantages ... but testing only at infinity, and over whatever sensor happens to be in the camera, creates disparity and ambiguity.

I think testing over 1 common sensor, as a variety of focal lengths, creates more uniform results as to the LENS quality.

Again, both your sites seem to say the same thing at the end ... so there's not much to disagree about.

If two different methods arrive at the same conclusion, the conclusion is probably the way to go.



Feb 05, 2017 at 09:26 PM
Brandon Dube
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p.7 #14 · p.7 #14 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


John Koerner wrote:
Thanks for the clarification.

Doesn't your system only test resolution? At one focal length (infinity) and over a wide variety of sensors?

Testing 10 different examples has its advantages ... but testing only at infinity, and over whatever sensor happens to be in the camera, creates disparity and ambiguity.

I think testing over 1 common sensor, as a variety of focal lengths, creates more uniform results as to the LENS quality.

Again, both your sites seem to say the same thing at the end ... so there's not much to disagree about.

If two different methods arrive at the same conclusion, the conclusion is
...Show more


We use one of these, http://www.trioptics.com/products/mtf/rd-line/hr/

We can test other things, but we focus on MTF. "Contrast" "Microcontrast" and "Resolution" can all be defined in terms of MTF.

We test at 3 focal lengths for zooms, one for primes. One object distance (infinity) is reported. We also have a finite conjugate addon. We have measured a large number of lenses with it. I do not remember if we have ever posted any of the data.

The sensor is part of the MTF bench. There is no camera from Sony, Canon, Nikon, etc, involved. The case of Sony is a small exception, where the lens is electronically attached to a sony camera (which is not used for imaging) in order to power the focusing elements.

We test with a variety of coverglasses, and give the best MTF we have for any lens we test. At times (e.g. Otus 85) we later acquire a coverglass that is a closer match to a particular camera, retest, and get better MTF.



Feb 05, 2017 at 09:53 PM
TheEmrys
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p.7 #15 · p.7 #15 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


Sure wish this thread were still about the FE 70-200/2.8...


Feb 05, 2017 at 09:56 PM
John Koerner
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p.7 #16 · p.7 #16 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


Brandon Dube wrote:
We use one of these, http://www.trioptics.com/products/mtf/rd-line/hr/

We can test other things, but we focus on MTF. "Contrast" "Microcontrast" and "Resolution" can all be defined in terms of MTF.

We test at 3 focal lengths for zooms, one for primes. One object distance (infinity) is reported. We also have a finite conjugate addon. We have measured a large number of lenses with it. I do not remember if we have ever posted any of the data.

The sensor is part of the MTF bench. There is no camera from Sony, Canon, Nikon, etc, involved. The case of Sony is a small exception, where
...Show more

Thanks for taking the time to post this information.



Feb 06, 2017 at 02:59 AM
virtualrain
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p.7 #17 · p.7 #17 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


TheEmrys wrote:
Sure wish this thread were still about the FE 70-200/2.8...


+1. Are there any other recent reviews out there?

Has Tony Northrup published his take on this lens? I recall hearing he was impressed.

I'm surprised there's so little discussion or photos being shared... not just on this forum but anywhere. I'd really like to see a detailed comparison of the lens with and without the 2x TC on an A7RII.

EDIT... there's a good twin thread to this over on DPReview. It seems Roger and team at LensRentals are actually helping Sony test this lens at the moment and of course they can't say much about it. I read that to mean that Sony is not happy with the performance of this lens or they weren't happy with Rogers initial testing. Either way it sounds like more results will eventually materialize. And maybe there is something not right with this lens. I'm going to be watching this closely.



Feb 06, 2017 at 07:39 AM
Parariss
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p.7 #18 · p.7 #18 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


Link? I'm not seeing a current thread on this lens.

virtualrain wrote:
+1. Are there any other recent reviews out there?

Has Tony Northrup published his take on this lens? I recall hearing he was impressed.

I'm surprised there's so little discussion or photos being shared... not just on this forum but anywhere. I'd really like to see a detailed comparison of the lens with and without the 2x TC on an A7RII.

EDIT... there's a good twin thread to this over on DPReview. It seems Roger and team at LensRentals are actually helping Sony test this lens at the moment and of course they can't say much about it. I read
...Show more



Feb 06, 2017 at 02:22 PM
virtualrain
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p.7 #19 · p.7 #19 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


Parariss wrote:
Link? I'm not seeing a current thread on this lens.



https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4108720




Feb 06, 2017 at 03:38 PM
Parariss
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p.7 #20 · p.7 #20 · FE 70-200/2.8 GM: Sharpest and best low-light zoom weve tested


Thanks. I'd seen the earlier part of that thread, but it had gotten pushed down the stack by other posts in the last week. However, I hadn't seen Roger's latter comment that he was doing an ad hoc test for Sony, itself. Kudos to Sony for their interest in quality improvement.

(See Roger's own post on page 4, if you want to save time.)


virtualrain wrote:
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4108720





Feb 06, 2017 at 05:38 PM
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