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Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM
  
 
DavidBM
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM


Fred Miranda wrote:
Roger didn't post the numbers and variation graphs for this lens but it does not look good. (At 70mm, 135mm and especially 200mm)...so all over the range. It's the worse GM as far as variation goes.
Unfortunately one may have to try a few copies before getting a good one....

I can't share the numbers but maybe he will in a future article on lens variation.

As far as resolution at different distances, it's possible this lens performs worse at infinity compared to other distances.


FWIW DXO, who test at closer distances, found their copy about the sharpest zoom lens ever.

Now for all the caveats with DXO (knowing how to use their data being the primary one, because their headline numbers are such meaningless unspecified averages) I am inclined to think this means at least one copy is class leading at short distances. But how easy it is to get such a copy is one thing, and where you want it perform best depends on what you shoot.



Sep 03, 2017 at 11:31 PM
Parariss
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM



Phillip Reeve wrote:
As I understand it he is sure in his focus and results by now. He only leaves the possibility that it performs better at shorter distances but some time ago I tried to find full resolution samples which contradicted his results and didn't find any. In the end it is still a solid lens but not as sharp as the comoetition.


Is there an objective/quantitative way to test the short distance focus theory?



Sep 03, 2017 at 11:38 PM
DavidBM
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM


Parariss wrote:
Is there an objective/quantitative way to test the short distance focus theory?


Yes. Compare results of IMATEST style testing done well. Photozone does it well, though I'm not sure they have tested this lens. So does Lenstip. So does DXO (though they make things hard for themselves by burying the data behind a meaningless wall of headline numbers). As I said in my post above, it does look as though DXO had one copy that was sharper than the competition at their closer test distance. Though given the variation with this lens, it may be hard to find another. Of course, much of the variation for all we know may (or may not) be at infinity, because that's all the variation we have evidence for (from Roger Circala, who hasn't published it but has alluded to it)



Sep 03, 2017 at 11:45 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM


Parariss wrote:
Is there an objective/quantitative way to test the short distance focus theory?


There probably is. For some lenses Zeiss does do bench test MTFs for shorter distances (they report them for the Otus 85 for example), but it would probably take a lot to get such tests set up and working well and I doubt that Lens Rentals is going to do all that work especially when they aren't compensated for it.



Sep 03, 2017 at 11:46 PM
photomadnz
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM


Heres a quick shot with my unwilling model. Wide open at 200mm focus on right eye (As viewed)... https://www.dropbox.com/s/8bqd3949ibfziuq/_DSC8431.ARW?dl=0

Edited on Sep 04, 2017 at 08:02 AM · View previous versions



Sep 04, 2017 at 12:29 AM
Luvwine
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM


photomadnz wrote:
Heres a quick shot with my unwilling model. Wide open at 200mm focus on right eye (As viewed)... https://www.dropbox.com/s/8bqd3949ibfziuq/_DSC8431.ARW?dl=0


You need a prettier model. No offense, but this one is a dog!



Sep 04, 2017 at 01:16 AM
Brandon Dube
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM


Steve Spencer wrote:
Actually, I don't think Lens Rentals has ever published variation data on the FE 70-200 f/2.8 GM. The one copy they tested they said was middle of the road and they did say most lenses had issues, but I suspect there still might be a lot of copy to copy variation in performance at each focal length. Roger has noted that he is not 100% sure that he is getting best focus with this lens because there are 2 different focussing groups. It seems very likely the tests are fine, but he can't be sure. Perhaps that is why
...Show more

We've tested almost a hundred of them now. No difference over time or anything else.



Sep 04, 2017 at 02:58 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM


Brandon Dube wrote:
We've tested almost a hundred of them now. No difference over time or anything else.


But of course there is copy to copy variation. The extent of the copy to copy variation we don't know except second hand because the data haven't been published yet. Brandon would you care to comment on the focussing issue (i.e., the potential for the two focussing groups to affect the ability to get proper infinity focussing that Roger mentioned once in a comment on the blog). Has that issue been put to bed in your mind? What is your take on it?



Sep 04, 2017 at 03:07 AM
Brandon Dube
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM


DavidBM wrote:
Yes. Compare results of IMATEST style testing done well. Photozone does it well, though I'm not sure they have tested this lens. So does Lenstip. So does DXO (though they make things hard for themselves by burying the data behind a meaningless wall of headline numbers). As I said in my post above, it does look as though DXO had one copy that was sharper than the competition at their closer test distance. Though given the variation with this lens, it may be hard to find another. Of course, much of the variation for all we know may (or may
...Show more

Slanted edge SYSTEM MTF measurements are not directly comparable to slit LENS MTF measurements.



Sep 04, 2017 at 03:08 AM
DavidBM
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM


Brandon Dube wrote:
Slanted edge SYSTEM MTF measurements are not directly comparable to slit LENS MTF measurements.


Indeed. I wasn't suggesting that anyone should compare across different sites, there are other incompatibilities too (for example Photozone refocuses at different points in the image, taking field curvature out of the equation)



Sep 04, 2017 at 03:14 AM
 

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Brandon Dube
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM


Steve Spencer wrote:
But of course there is copy to copy variation. The extent of the copy to copy variation we don't know except second hand because the data haven't been published yet. Brandon would you care to comment on the focussing issue (i.e., the potential for the two focussing groups to affect the ability to get proper infinity focussing that Roger mentioned once in a comment on the blog). Has that issue been put to bed in your mind? What is your take on it?


I mean, I know the extent. the 70-200 GM has joined the 35 Zony and 90 G as test cases for the next-gen variance number computation because they're all so catastrophically inconsistent.

I commented on the focus motors, and other potential sources of variation and difficulty in construction here: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1501614/2#14130008



Sep 04, 2017 at 03:36 AM
Jman13
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM


Who knew this would be so controversial!

Two things:

1) I don't shoot lens charts...I just shoot and evaluate what I'm seeing....I didn't want for sharpness at all during my shooting. Things were very crisp, very nice. Softened a bit at the edges, but still quite good.

2) I tested it with the A9, so only 24MP.



Sep 04, 2017 at 04:36 AM
genji
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM


Jman13 wrote:
Who knew this would be so controversial!

Two things:

1) I don't shoot lens charts...I just shoot and evaluate what I'm seeing....I didn't want for sharpness at all during my shooting. Things were very crisp, very nice. Softened a bit at the edges, but still quite good.

2) I tested it with the A9, so only 24MP.


I would have thought that "zoom" + "lens test" + "copy variation" + "expensive" + "Sony" were exactly the ingredients required to make it controversial.



Sep 04, 2017 at 06:42 AM
Chris_88
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM


The 70-200 GM Is an interesting lens. For all the criticism it's received, the admittedly very talented regulars who own it, have posted plenty of impressive shots with it here.

On a side note, I sometimes wonder whether we don't expect too much from reviewers. Roger and Co. have access to all the lenses, whereas Jordan did not. I don't think it's fair to blame him for that. Writing decent reviews takes a lot of time and effort, and individual reviewers are unlikely to have the capacity to rent/test multiple 70-200's, let alone on the same camera.

In the end, if you really need/want a 70-200 2.8, you have plenty of choices: If a 70-200 2.8 lens is the be all and end all for you, you might get a Nikon cam and the 70-200 FL. If you don't want to go down that road, you could adapt the Canon 70-200 II, which was better at some things, and worse in others than the GM, if I remember correctly. However, if you need/want a native 70-200 2.8 for your a7/a9 series camera, the GM is the (only) way to go, and the performance (advantage) of the 70-200 FL holds little significance.



Sep 04, 2017 at 12:39 PM
snapsy
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM


Chris_88 wrote:
The 70-200 GM Is an interesting lens. For all the criticism it's received, the admittedly very talented regulars who own it, have posted plenty of impressive shots with it here.

On a side note, I sometimes wonder whether we don't expect too much from reviewers. Roger and Co. have access to all the lenses, whereas Jordan did not. I don't think it's fair to blame him for that. Writing decent reviews takes a lot of time and effort, and individual reviewers are unlikely to have the capacity to rent/test multiple 70-200's, let alone on the same camera.

In the end,
...Show more

Those are all good points. I think the elephant in the room that hasn't been discussed here is price. If the lens was $1600/USD then expectations wouldn't be so severe. But for $2600/USD I think the expectations are warranted.



Sep 04, 2017 at 01:06 PM
DavidBM
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM


Chris_88 wrote:
The 70-200 GM Is an interesting lens. For all the criticism it's received, the admittedly very talented regulars who own it, have posted plenty of impressive shots with it here.

On a side note, I sometimes wonder whether we don't expect too much from reviewers. Roger and Co. have access to all the lenses, whereas Jordan did not. I don't think it's fair to blame him for that. Writing decent reviews takes a lot of time and effort, and individual reviewers are unlikely to have the capacity to rent/test multiple 70-200's, let alone on the same camera.

In the end,
...Show more

Yes; this is a gear forum, but sometimes we need to remind ourselves about the relative unimportance of bragging rights. A typical copy of this lens may not perform quite to the level of the latest Nikon 70-200, which makes us sad because Sony users like to think that their lenses are best in class, which they sometimes are. But it's about as good or better THAN EVERY OTHER 70-200 IN HISTORY. If you are a Sony user who wants a fast 70-200 it'll serve you very well indeed.

Which is not to deny that it's interesting to read Brandon's account of why it doesn't perform to the astonishing levels promised by the published MTF. Hopefully Sony have learned some things - the better performance relative to published of the 100-400 suggests they might have.



Sep 04, 2017 at 01:13 PM
Luvwine
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM


genji wrote:
I would have thought that "zoom" + "lens test" + "copy variation" + "expensive" + "Sony" were exactly the ingredients required to make it controversial.


---------------------------------------------

snapsy wrote:
Those are all good points. I think the elephant in the room that hasn't been discussed here is price. If the lens was $1600/USD then expectations wouldn't be so severe. But for $2600/USD I think the expectations are warranted.


Well, that and Sony calling its GM 70-200 "incomparable" and publishing MTF charts that do not match reality.



Sep 04, 2017 at 02:37 PM
RCicala
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM


Oh, I do despise testing this lens. But because I get so misquoted about it, let me throw out a couple of things.

1) It's about as good as the Canon 70-200 f/28 IS II at 70mm and 135mm. At 200mm it's not quite as sharp in the center, and has more copy-to-copy variation. But it's not awful, it's still good.

2) Neither of the above are nearly as good as the Nikon ED. Nothing else is either.

3) The Sony has higher sample variation at 200mm than most other 70-200 f/2.8s, including the Canon, which itself isn't that great at 200mm as far as sample variation.





4) All our results are at infinity and without a camera. DxO and Imatest results test it at closer focusing distances. But they also test with a camera. If you believe (like I do) that Sony cameras are better then it stands to reason that the Sony system would test better, since they're testing the system, not just the lens. I think this explains a lot of why DxO finds every new Sony lens "The best we've ever tested

We've never tested any lens as thoroughly as we've tested the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM. Why? Because Sony said we had to be wrong. We weren't; they were. By the time we had proved that to my satisfaction I was so sick of that lens I wished I'd never seen one. This colors my comments, I put it out there because I always want to identify when I might not be impartial.












Sep 04, 2017 at 06:12 PM
GMPhotography
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM


Thanks Roger and I don't like to be negative but at 200 mm has been my issue when I rented it from you folks, not that you have bad ones don't get me wrong but at 193mm it did better at F4 and after shooting close to 15 thousand images with it, I got some nice results at 193mm in crop mode. Maybe it's my luck on this lens. So I don't want to be a qualifying answer on this lens. I have had my share of bad luck with Sony and than I got some real winners out of the gate like the 85 1.8, 12-24. I've been doing this so long it's just the nature of the beast in the industry. I don't let it get to me

RCicala wrote:
Oh, I do despise testing this lens. But because I get so misquoted about it, let me throw out a couple of things.

1) It's about as good as the Canon 70-200 f/28 IS II at 70mm and 135mm. At 200mm it's not quite as sharp in the center, and has more copy-to-copy variation. But it's not awful, it's still good.

2) Neither of the above are nearly as good as the Nikon ED. Nothing else is either.

3) The Sony has higher sample variation at 200mm than most other 70-200 f/2.8s, including the Canon, which itself isn't that great
...Show more



Sep 04, 2017 at 06:19 PM
Wanny
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Jordan at Admiring Light reviews Sony FE 70-200f/2.8 GM


I've rented this lens twice, and both times at 200 2.8 its been tack sharp. I guess I've just gotten lucky


Sep 04, 2017 at 06:45 PM
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