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Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?
  
 
TheEyesHaveIt
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


Hi all,

Recently acquired an A7RII and picked up the Loxia 21 and 35. I've used my Leica Q with manual focus quite a bit, so I thought I was good to go, but I'm noticing that I'm not quite nailing tack sharp focus always consistently (specifically when focusing on infinity for landscapes). Before I give up and return these to get a Batis, any tips I should try? I have focus peaking on at high and use the 12x zoom setting as well. I especially see center softness with the 35 at 2.0.

Thank you!



Sep 17, 2017 at 09:37 PM
DavidBM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


TheEyesHaveIt wrote:
Hi all,

Recently acquired an A7RII and picked up the Loxia 21 and 35. I've used my Leica Q with manual focus quite a bit, so I thought I was good to go, but I'm noticing that I'm not quite nailing tack sharp focus always consistently (specifically when focusing on infinity for landscapes). Before I give up and return these to get a Batis, any tips I should try? I have focus peaking on at high and use the 12x zoom setting as well. I especially see center softness with the 35 at 2.0.

Thank you!


I'm surprised you have trouble focusing L21; it's very contrasty.
But I'd consider focusing the L35 at f2.8 or taking aperture; there are many good things about this lens but it has a lot of spherical abberation wide open that make it a bit tougher to focus at f2.



Sep 17, 2017 at 10:04 PM
TheEyesHaveIt
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


Maybe I'm demanding too much, but you can see below that I missed focus on the L21 and the L35, but nailed it at different apertures (focusing on the steeple). Just trying to figure out how to ensure I'm more consistent at any aperture.






Sep 17, 2017 at 10:13 PM
kaioyang
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


Hmm are these two lenses known to achieve tack sharp focus with your other bodies or you got this all as a whole package? My loxia 21 is tack sharp wide open in the middle. Also setting peaking at high means you're getting a large range of bright peaks but in fact it may not be focused. I'd try setting peaking to low.

Also, try without peaking and only use 12x focus magnification. Do you see it sharp or not? BTW don't forget to use timer shutter and if on tripod switch off steadyshot.



Sep 17, 2017 at 10:26 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


TheEyesHaveIt wrote:
Hi all,

Recently acquired an A7RII and picked up the Loxia 21 and 35. I've used my Leica Q with manual focus quite a bit, so I thought I was good to go, but I'm noticing that I'm not quite nailing tack sharp focus always consistently (specifically when focusing on infinity for landscapes). Before I give up and return these to get a Batis, any tips I should try? I have focus peaking on at high and use the 12x zoom setting as well. I especially see center softness with the 35 at 2.0.

Thank you!


Focus peaking set to "high" may be giving you false positives. I would rely on the 12.5x mag. and turn peaking off. (or set it to "low")
My Loxia 35/2 'infinity' is achieved right in middle of first infinity circle symbol and my Loxia 21/2.8's just a tiny tad before the hard stop. These are the best settings for sharpness across the field for my copies and it may be the same for yours.
Keep in mind that these two lenses have pronounced field curvature.



Sep 17, 2017 at 11:07 PM
DavidBM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


TheEyesHaveIt wrote:

Maybe I'm demanding too much, but you can see below that I missed focus on the L21 and the L35, but nailed it at different apertures (focusing on the steeple). Just trying to figure out how to ensure I'm more consistent at any aperture.





On a different and minor matter: are the names of the lenses in EXIF how they come out of the camera, or did you change them with an EXIF editor?

Because on my A7rII with latest FW, they still say E21mm f2.8 and E 35mm f2.8 or some such...
So maybe there is new firmware for the Zeiss lenses.



Sep 17, 2017 at 11:22 PM
TheEyesHaveIt
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


This is how they came out of the camera. I'll see if there is a way to check if firmware is up to date.


Sep 17, 2017 at 11:37 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


DavidBM wrote:
On a different and minor matter: are the names of the lenses in EXIF how they come out of the camera, or did you change them with an EXIF editor?

Because on my A7rII with latest FW, they still say E21mm f2.8 and E 35mm f2.8 or some such...
So maybe there is new firmware for the Zeiss lenses.


Same here: "E 21mm F2.8" and "E 35mm F2" for my Loxias.



Sep 17, 2017 at 11:48 PM
digital_AM
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


I open up the aperture and focus at my intended target. Then stop down the aperture to f8 or higher. I've been having some good results with this. Focus peaking is to set to low. I use focus magnify.


Sep 18, 2017 at 12:13 AM
digital_AM
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


Hope it's ok to ask this here. On the Loxia 35, is it normal to have the corners a little soft even at f11? My bottom left corner is noticeably softer than the rest. Is this something Zeiss can fix?


Sep 18, 2017 at 12:15 AM
 

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DavidBM
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


digital_AM wrote:
Hope it's ok to ask this here. On the Loxia 35, is it normal to have the corners a little soft even at f11? My bottom left corner is noticeably softer than the rest. Is this something Zeiss can fix?


On my copy there is no improvement after f9 and it is very sharp into the corners, and a tiny bit less so in the last mm or so of the corners but still good. It's symmetrical.

If you have one corner that is much less sharp than the others in a way which annoys you then your copy is a bit decentred (or has some other issue with the same effect; skew can produce a weak corner too). People have had very little luck having any kind of repair with any lens that suffers from decentering or skew. Your best bet is to try to return it.



Sep 18, 2017 at 12:42 AM
TheEyesHaveIt
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


Thanks all. I have confirmed that the lenses don't seem to exhibit any decentering and the Loxia 21 has pretty even sharpness across the frame even at 2.8. The Loxia 35 is pretty bad in the corners at 2 until about 5.6, which I believe is expected. Center sharpness also increases from 2.8 onwards. Very sharp across the frame from F8 and up.

Turning off peaking and just using 12x magnification has been proving to be more consistent for me. I guess I don't trust the peaking!

Also, my Loxia version seems to be 0.2 according to the camera. I don't see any place to get an updated firmware or which one is the latest?



Sep 18, 2017 at 12:52 AM
jhinkey
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


Peaking is notoriously inconsistent to exactly nail focus on high MP sensors, even on wide angles where you mythically don't need to focus all that well. I've had no trouble getting tack sharp images using 100% viewing in the EVF on my A7RII.

I do use peaking with the 135/2 APO Zeiss as it's so sharp wide open that the peaking tends to only be active in the very thin DOF this lens has. Peaking needs contrasty subjects to work well, so if the lens is soft, it's stopped down too much (or not enough) or the scene doesn't have a lot of fine detail contrast to it then it can fail spectacularly. There are also focus peaking settings that you can use to adjust its sensitivity to suite your taste.



Sep 18, 2017 at 12:59 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


TheEyesHaveIt wrote:
Thanks all. I have confirmed that the lenses don't seem to exhibit any decentering and the Loxia 21 has pretty even sharpness across the frame even at 2.8. The Loxia 35 is pretty bad in the corners at 2 until about 5.6, which I believe is expected. Center sharpness also increases from 2.8 onwards. Very sharp across the frame from F8 and up.

Turning off peaking and just using 12x magnification has been proving to be more consistent for me. I guess I don't trust the peaking!

Also, my Loxia version seems to be 0.2 according to the camera. I don't see
...Show more

Intriguing. I also have lens v0.2 but the EXIF lens name is different than yours.

See the difference in lightroom:





Your Loxia 35






My Loxia 35




Sep 18, 2017 at 01:03 AM
digital_AM
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


Thank you David for the feedback.

DavidBM wrote:
On my copy there is no improvement after f9 and it is very sharp into the corners, and a tiny bit less so in the last mm or so of the corners but still good. It's symmetrical.

If you have one corner that is much less sharp than the others in a way which annoys you then your copy is a bit decentred (or has some other issue with the same effect; skew can produce a weak corner too). People have had very little luck having any kind of repair with any lens that suffers from decentering or skew. Your best
...Show more



Sep 18, 2017 at 01:04 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


digital_AM wrote:
Thank you David for the feedback.



I've tested many copies of the Loxia 35/2. I've had some copies where the extreme edges only became very good at f/10 and others at f/9.
My latest copy performs a little different and the very corners already look very good at f/7.1. There is small improvement at f/8 but none at f/9.





Extreme corners of the frame (Loxia 35/2)




Sep 18, 2017 at 01:12 AM
DavidBM
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


TheEyesHaveIt wrote:
Thanks all. I have confirmed that the lenses don't seem to exhibit any decentering and the Loxia 21 has pretty even sharpness across the frame even at 2.8. The Loxia 35 is pretty bad in the corners at 2 until about 5.6, which I believe is expected. Center sharpness also increases from 2.8 onwards. Very sharp across the frame from F8 and up.

Turning off peaking and just using 12x magnification has been proving to be more consistent for me. I guess I don't trust the peaking!

Also, my Loxia version seems to be 0.2 according to the camera. I don't see
...Show more

In some sense I think peaking can be trusted; but the problem is people think it's a simple automatic thing: focus where there's most colour. But actually 'reading' what the peaking is saying takes a lot of practice: you need to sort of know where to expect the plane of focus, and be able to distinguish cases where you would expect peaking because of bright transitions OOF and cases where it really is responding to focus and not other sources of contrast.

This all sounds harder than it is: it's not so much intellectually learning these things, but just spending a lot of time looking through a lens with peaking on...



Sep 18, 2017 at 01:39 AM
DavidBM
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


Fred Miranda wrote:
I've tested many copies of the Loxia 35/2. I've had some copies where the extreme edges only became very good at f/10 and others at f/9.
My latest copy performs a little different and the very corners already look very good at f/7.1. There is small improvement at f/8 but none at f/9.


Cool! I must try mine at f7.1. I never have done a controlled test at that aperture: I've gone straight from f5.6 to f9 (9 rather than 8 because of the widespread view that that is what you need). I think we might hope for a tiny bit more contrast at f7.1 than 9...



Sep 18, 2017 at 01:41 AM
DavidBM
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


Fred Miranda wrote:
Intriguing. I also have lens v0.2 but the EXIF lens name is different than yours.

See the difference in lightroom:


My version no for the 2/35 is 0.1; but that doesn't explain it because Fred has 0.2 and presumably the latest A7rII firmware and is sill getting the E 35mm etc name. Weird!



Sep 18, 2017 at 01:45 AM
tzhang4284
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Tips for nailing focus with Loxia?


Is it possible to update the Loxia firmware without sending it to Zeiss?


Sep 18, 2017 at 01:49 AM
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