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Contax N Image Thread
  
 
AhamB
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p.4 #1 · Contax N Image Thread


DocsPics wrote:
N Wins! (just my worthless opinion)


If you're talking about the last comparison, which one is that according to you? Lotusm50 said the lenses are not necessarily in the order that he mentioned them.

I don't see a significant difference in these last 3 shots (except the 3rd one being a bit darker). It's really splitting hairs...



Dec 31, 2009 at 05:19 PM
wayne seltzer
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p.4 #2 · Contax N Image Thread


In the first series I am guessing last one is ZF and the first two are C/Y and N.
In the 2nd series I am guessing the first one is ZF and the 2nd two are C/Y and N.

Anyway, thanks for dong this comparison as it confirms what I thought that they are all very close with the Z* winning by a very slight amount.



Dec 31, 2009 at 06:03 PM
philber
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p.4 #3 · Contax N Image Thread


Lotus, in both cases, I have a clear preference for N2. In the fist set, I find N3 almost as good as 2 and much better than 1. In the second set, I find the differences slighter, and 3 and 1 are comparable, with 2 slightly ahead.
Thanks for taking the time and trouble to do these. It is much appreciated!



Dec 31, 2009 at 06:41 PM
wayne seltzer
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p.4 #4 · Contax N Image Thread


Phil and Steven,
Thanks for your comments and feedback. I was wondering if the lack of pop you were seeing was due to either lens/aperture/iso causes vs. post-processing issues.
When you say pop, are you meaning 3-d where the subject edges are clearly defined?
Or are you meaning the colors and tones look flat, cloudy etc?
When shooting the N50 1.4 at wide open or f2 there is a more dreamy looking result.
Here is a shot from my trip which I took at f8. Does this have pop or no?
TIA.








Dec 31, 2009 at 07:55 PM
wayne seltzer
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p.4 #5 · Contax N Image Thread


Any feedback, guys?


Jan 02, 2010 at 09:19 AM
philber
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p.4 #6 · Contax N Image Thread


My definition of "pop", for what it is worth, is when the main subject is clearly separated from the background and has lifelike "presence". This is the opposite of the Leica drawing style, exquisite though it is, which looks like a painting.
I am not saying that this is universally better, only that I like it, and turn to Zeiss lenses for this reason. Incidentally, I have reviewed my pics, and now think that my Zeiss ZE 50 delivers less "pop" than other ZE lenses I own, such as the 35.
Your last shot has pop IMHO. Not as much as some others, but still very nice. The ones that really did not offer what I thought might have been possible are, for example, your Ducati shots. Again IMHO these might have been spectacular, with a great subject, good light, colours... and yet to my eye they are very nice, but don't really quite "pop".
Hope this helps. [dons full flame-and bullet-protection gear and tries to run despite a beer gut and 50lbs of said protective gear]



Jan 02, 2010 at 09:35 AM
wayne seltzer
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p.4 #7 · Contax N Image Thread


Thanks for your feedback and definition of pop which sounds to me just like the defintion of 3d, of having "the main subject is clearly separated from the background" which I can understand. I agree with you that some lenses give this look more than other zeiss lenses and you need to have the right combinations of distance to subject,distance to background, aperture, and lighting etc. I tend to shoot more to the wide open side for shots of people and like the shots of the Ducati as I am trying to eliminate the background as much as possible. Ever since the 3-d threads were posted I have been more aware of looking at the edges of the subject and seeing whether there is enough DOF to make the subject pop.I think my last shot here of the buddha at f8 has more than enough DOF to clearly define the buddha but does not have as much pop as if I used a larger aperture to blur the background temple some.
BTW, it definitely helps and I welcome all feedback as I wanted to know if it was more a post-processing issue or a lens/DOF/3-d issue. Thanks!



Jan 02, 2010 at 10:30 AM
DocsPics
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p.4 #8 · Contax N Image Thread


I was assuming middle pic being the N. In any case, the middle picture to me has the best contrast and sharpness (looking at the diagonal section of the bark of the big tree in center). Just my eyes, looking at my screen.

(The fact that a chunk of my retirement money lies in the eight converted Ns I own could not have possibly prejudiced my opinion).



AhamB wrote:
If you're talking about the last comparison, which one is that according to you? Lotusm50 said the lenses are not necessarily in the order that he mentioned them.

I don't see a significant difference in these last 3 shots (except the 3rd one being a bit darker). It's really splitting hairs...




Jan 02, 2010 at 10:48 AM
DocsPics
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p.4 #9 · Contax N Image Thread


Wayne,

The image lacks the 3D look or pop for me mostly because it looks just a tad soft. Don't know if you added any sharpening, but that my help. There certainly is enough tonal range in the picture to do the trick.



Jan 02, 2010 at 10:55 AM
wayne seltzer
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p.4 #10 · Contax N Image Thread


Doc,

How is this version, I sharpened the buddha and naga some more.
I realize that sharpening is a subjective thing but I may not be sharpening enough for my web posts.Just don't want to over sharpen though either.







Jan 02, 2010 at 11:36 AM
 

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Lotusm50
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p.4 #11 · Contax N Image Thread


wayne seltzer wrote:
In the first series I am guessing last one is ZF and the first two are C/Y and N.
In the 2nd series I am guessing the first one is ZF and the 2nd two are C/Y and N.

Anyway, thanks for dong this comparison as it confirms what I thought that they are all very close with the Z* winning by a very slight amount.


and

AhamB wrote:
If you're talking about the last comparison, which one is that according to you? Lotusm50 said the lenses are not necessarily in the order that he mentioned them.

I don't see a significant difference in these last 3 shots (except the 3rd one being a bit darker). It's really splitting hairs...


and

philber wrote:
Lotus, in both cases, I have a clear preference for N2. In the fist set, I find N3 almost as good as 2 and much better than 1. In the second set, I find the differences slighter, and 3 and 1 are comparable, with 2 slightly ahead.
Thanks for taking the time and trouble to do these. It is much appreciated!



What strikes me about the responses here is that we don't get a reason for a preference, if one is expressed. Wayne and Aham both indicated that they are all very close. I could not agree more. Outside of perhaps a slight exposure difference ("a bit darker"), they are virtually identical. I think anyone would be hard pressed to give a defensible reason for preferring one over the other - not in terms of sharpness, contrast, rendering, or "pop" (the claimed difference in "pop" being the reason for the comparison) that could possibly be perceived in these samples. Philber, kindred spirit that you are, I just don't understand how you could "clearly" prefer one of these samples over the others.

I am referring here mostly to the second set of the images. The slightly different focus point in the first set makes a difference in how the images appear. Even though the focus distance in them is off my a few millimeters, and then stopped down 3 stops, the differences in focus is apparent (even in the reduced jpg) and now covered by DOF. It makes them look different for reasons unrelated to lens performance. So, we have disregarded them for this comparison. Knowing how difficult it is to manually focus even bright f1.4 lenses with a AF-oriented DSLR (even with the EE-s screen), so many of the comparisons we see (unless done with live-view to confirm focus and the accurate focus achieved is demonstrated in the comparison) most of the home-brew tests trumpeted here and elsewhere are just unreliable and untrustworthy.

There is one clear difference between the 3 images and I am surprised no one mentioned it. It's apparent in both sets of images. The first image in each set is noticeably warmer in tone than the other 2. I think this small difference can be compensated for in post processing. Thinking out loud, I am wondering if this makes a difference in the perception of contrast and sharpness between the samples. Colder colors are often perceived as crisper, which could lead to a judgment about contrast/sharpness.

If I get time and a dose of motivation, I'll re-do a closer focus sample set -- this time ensuring I get the same focus point on each, and perhaps adding some color objects. We'll see.




Jan 02, 2010 at 12:14 PM
wayne seltzer
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p.4 #12 · Contax N Image Thread


Which lens is used in the first shot and is warmer?


Jan 02, 2010 at 12:23 PM
StevenPA
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p.4 #13 · Contax N Image Thread


Lotus, thanks for taking the time to put together some samples, especially the ones outdoors! It's nice to come back from New Years to see a nice comparison put together like this.

It's not too surprising that a bunch of Zeiss 50mm lenses look pretty near identical. We're really splitting hairs choosing between them, and I can't say which pic is which lens or even which one I prefer. Plus, the scene doesn't really lend itself to punchy images in the first place. It's overcast with almost perfectly diffused lighting. Zeiss can't do all the work. The photographer has to put put her or himself into the right situation, and the light has to be right. (None the less, the sample images do add to my understanding, so thanks!)

My comments about images from N lenses not having as much punch as their C/Y counterparts are based on my lengthy experience with the 24-85 and 35-70, as well as not having seen any images from the N100 that truly jump out at me, not like I've seen from the C/Y 100/2.8. Look at the lens designs for the 100mm lenses: totally different. One is a sonnar, the other a planar. Maybe that has something to do with it. The 24-85 versus 35-70 might also be an unfair comparison because they are so different in so many ways, but I'm just comparing focal lengths, and I really did want the 24-85 to replace the 35-70, otherwise I wouldn't have bought it.

I don't have the N50, but it looks like a darn fine lens and identical (for all intents and purposes) to the C/Y version in the pics that Lotus has shown. I do have the C/Y 50/1.4, and stopped down, the pictures have a clarity and presence that I really like. The colours are extremely vivid, and the pinpoint detail (colour differences between adjacent pixels, micro-contrast) is very "present" (presence), and and balances nicely with the macro-contrast of the lens.

Keep the N50 pics coming! I would love my initial reaction to the "lack of N pop" to be proven wrong.



Jan 03, 2010 at 02:53 AM
wayne seltzer
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p.4 #14 · Contax N Image Thread


Steven,
Did my last N 50 image have pop or no?
Can you post a sample of a 50 1.7 shot with pop?
Yes, I believe the Sonnar design has less 3-d pop than a planar design but can still deliver 3-d pop with the right conditions. I am basing this on the ZA 135 1.8 lens.
TIA



Jan 03, 2010 at 03:30 AM
StevenPA
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p.4 #15 · Contax N Image Thread


Wayne,

For me, pop comes from the micro details, and I'm sorry, but I'm not seeing it in your Buddha images. Well, maybe a bit, but I want more from Zeiss. The detail looks a little bit "smudged", like the macro-contrast has been pushed too hard maybe. It is a fine image though, and the colours are very satisfiying. The second rendition, with more sharpening, has a bit too much high-contrast edginess for my taste, and I agree with your cautious approach in over-sharpening web images. It's a tough call, and I'm no master of it. I should have someone teach me the basics because I usually just drag the slider around until I'm relatively happy.

Here are two images that I feel show the kind of fine-detail pop that I like. I wish there a way for me to show you the print of the second one. Sometimes the web doesn't do justice to the images from these fine lenses.

5D, C/Y 50/1.4 (look at the rocks and branches in the foreground; there was a lot of contrast-busting mist coming off the stream, but I think the Zeiss did a good job of picking out the micro-details despite that.)






5D, C/Y 50.14 (maybe oversharpened, I'm terrible at deciding. This is one reason I like images from Zeiss lenses: they are so punchy out of the camera, which keeps me away from the Smart Sharpen filter. )







Jan 03, 2010 at 04:37 AM
philber
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p.4 #16 · Contax N Image Thread


Steven, no doubt about it, these images have "pop" as far as I am concerned. So my hypothesis that maybe the planar 50 was not as "pop-rich as other Zeiss designs is plain wrong. Thanks! And congratulations for two really beautiful images. Where there they shot?


Jan 03, 2010 at 07:39 AM
Lotusm50
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p.4 #17 · Contax N Image Thread


wayne seltzer wrote:
Which lens is used in the first shot and is warmer?



The ZF was the lens in the first images and appears to be slightly warmer in tone. It is subtly warmer, but evident none the less. I wonder if this new warmth is carried through the ZF line relative to the c/y lenses. If I had more of my old c/y lenses I could test. The obvious additional comparisons with comparable c/y lenses would be the 18mm. 21mm, 25mm, 28mm, 35mm, 85mm and the 100mm. (ok, nearly all of them). I checked the Digillyod reviews to see if he compared the ZF's against the earlier c/y lenses. He didn't. He did however, note that color performance across the ZF lens is remarkably consistent, so I would expect this warmth relative to the c/y to continue through the lens line.






Jan 03, 2010 at 02:43 PM
you2
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p.4 #18 · Contax N Image Thread


Which lens was the second and third ? Bit surprise that the first was the zf; though you did mention it was slightly out of focus in the first set.

Lotusm50 wrote:
The ZF was the lens in the first images and appears to be slightly warmer in tone. It is subtly warmer, but evident none the less. I wonder if this new warmth is carried through the ZF line relative to the c/y lenses. If I had more of my old c/y lenses I could test. The obvious additional comparisons with comparable c/y lenses would be the 18mm. 21mm, 25mm, 28mm, 35mm, 85mm and the 100mm. (ok, nearly all of them). I checked the Digillyod reviews to see if he compared the ZF's against the earlier c/y lenses. He didn't. He
...Show more



Jan 03, 2010 at 02:46 PM
StevenPA
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p.4 #19 · Contax N Image Thread


philber wrote:
Steven, no doubt about it, these images have "pop" as far as I am concerned. So my hypothesis that maybe the planar 50 was not as "pop-rich as other Zeiss designs is plain wrong. Thanks! And congratulations for two really beautiful images. Where there they shot?


Philber, Thanks. The images were taken in the Korean highlands on the east coast. Good hiking trip out, and some nice photography.



Jan 04, 2010 at 11:27 AM
Andi Dietrich
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p.4 #20 · Contax N Image Thread


I d love to be able to post some images. I recently bought 2 N lenses and hope to get them about in summer ready to use. I would love to try the N85mm, did anybody do some nice work with it?




Jan 06, 2010 at 12:18 AM
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