Zeiss 35mm f/2 or f/1.4 for Landscaping
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AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 5030
Country: United States

I seemed to remember a page from Canon, but maybe it was this one: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/understanding-mtf.shtml
Looks like I remembered things incorrectly. Probably a brain fart of mine... sorry about that.

If 10lp/mm is "relatively large scale detail", does that mean that 40lp/mm is the contrast of structures that are smaller than even a pixel of, say a 5Dmk2 or D3x? I'm just trying to figure out at what magnification we're supposed to visualize the different scales corresponding to 10/20/40 lp/mm. Does Dr. Nasse mean a projected slide or an unmagnified slide in that example?

Lots of questions.



mpmendenhall
Registered: Aug 09, 2008
Total Posts: 2034
Country: United States

While we're comparing lens MTFs for great 35mm landscape lenses, let's not forget the Zeiss "honorary prime" Vario Sonnar 35-70/3.4 (at 35mm, f8):





for stopped-down use, this lens is certainly capable of giving the other 35mm Zeiss primes a run for money (for a lot less money, too).


mpmendenhall
Registered: Aug 09, 2008
Total Posts: 2034
Country: United States

AhamB wrote:
If 10lp/mm is "relatively large scale detail", does that mean that 40lp/mm is the contrast of structures that are smaller than even a pixel of, say a 5Dmk2 or D3x? I'm just trying to figure out at what magnification we're supposed to visualize the different scales corresponding to 10/20/40 lp/mm. Does Dr. Nasse mean a projected slide or an unmagnified slide in that example?


A 5DII image is about 6000 pixels over the 36mm wide format, giving a maximum theoretical "pixel-level" resolution of (6000/36)/2 ~ 83 line pairs/mm (extra factor of 2 because of line pairs). Thus the 40lp/mm is definitely visible at the pixel level, and an 80lp/mm curve would be at the edge of what is visible. The 10 lp/mm curve corresponds to a 10*2*36 = 720 pixel wide image, e.g. the 10lp/mm features are clearly visible on a small "web-sized" image.



wayne seltzer
Registered: Dec 22, 2007
Total Posts: 4159
Country: United States

As I have said before in the zeiss 35/1.4 comparison threads a little while ago, which zeiss 35 you choose is a very personal decision as no one lens is perfect and they all have their strengths and weaknesses.I have the ZF 35/2 and the C/Y 35/1.4 and Ajay was very nice in letting me shoot with his ZE 35/1.4 one day.
For landscape, although the new ZE 35/1.4 has better CA control and more saturated colors, I do not like the amount of FC which you can see in LC's landscape type shots. This is a personal decision and others might not be bothered by it. IMO, the negatives of extra weight and cost and FC of the new 35/1.4 outweigh the slight benefits over the 35/2 for landscape. I would (and may sometime in the future) get the new 35/1.4 for beauty style portraits and for narrow DOF flower/garden shots at which it is designed to perform well at and has a unique drawing style for.
Since I got my ZE 21, I find I am using the 35/2 less and less for landscape as I now prefer to stitch multiple 50/2 MP shots to get a FOV similar to the 35/2 which I think is better than 35/2.



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 5030
Country: United States

Thanks, Michael. That seems to make sense.



denoir
Registered: Feb 11, 2010
Total Posts: 4212
Country: Sweden

Michael covered it well. I'll only add two things - first that AA filters typically lower the resolving power a bit. The second one is that it matters how you resize an image. Even a primitive bicubic resize uses information from neighboring pixels and you get some benefit from the higher contrast in the fine detail. With a proper sharpening technique you can get a lot of the fine detail to be visible even in a resized format.

Let's take a look at an example. This was shot with the 25/2.8 Biogon, a lens with high contrast in the fine detail.

We start off with a 100% crop:






As you can see there is plenty of contrast all the way to the pixel level.

First we do a bicubic resize in Photoshop (the green arrow shows where the crop above was taken):






As you can see we've lost the detail. We're perhaps around 17 lp/mm after a cubic resize to 18 Megapixel without an AA filter.

If we instead apply a multi-step sharpen:







..we see that we have recovered a lot of the original detail. The texture of the surface has a similar look to the original one.

A lesser lens would have not given us enough contrast in the fine detail to work with in the first place so no amount of sharpening could have fixed it. We would have ended up with a less detailed texture. I value this quality highly in a landscape lens and it's really not the 35/2's strong side.


magiclight
Registered: Oct 14, 2009
Total Posts: 323
Country: New Zealand

wayne seltzer wrote:
Since I got my ZE 21, I find I am using the 35/2 less and less for landscape as I now prefer to stitch multiple 50/2 MP shots to get a FOV similar to the 35/2 which I think is better than 35/2.


Wayne,

My thoughts exactly. After looking at high freq. landscape images taken with my 50MP, I notice that my 35/2 just lacks the same fine detail. I like the saturation and contrast but for some landscape shots I'm rather disappointed. Perhaps I too should start looking at stitching my 50MP.



philip_pj
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 3103
Country: Australia

The MTF for the 50MP and the 35/2 sure back that opinion up. The 40 lpmm lines hug each other and stay over 70% out to 15mm image height, with most of that near 80% - and it does that with ultra high macro contrast (high 10 lpmm). For MTF haters, the English text for that is: this is serious resolution territory. The MPs are the stellar lenses in the ZN line, for these 'traditional' uses, and they are both a good leap forward from the the Contax days.

The 35/2 chart, does give up a stop in the chart so can be expected to improve a little from f4, but it gives a still very good meander around the 60% line. I see better in the lighter, more flexible 35-70/3.4 at 35mm/f8, the aperture at which landscapes are generally best shot. Horses for courses, the ZN35/2 is no nag, but there are better options for this rather specific application.



Smridevan
Registered: Jul 19, 2011
Total Posts: 391
Country: United States

Has anyone compared the bokeh between the 35/2 and 35/1.4? It would be nice to see the difference.



arthury
Registered: Sep 01, 2004
Total Posts: 11
Country: United States

denoir wrote:
Yes, well, at least in the central part of the image. All MTF charts below are for either f/4 or f/5.6.

black = 35/1.4 ZE
blue = 35/2 ZE








As you can see, from the 40 lp/mm lines the 35/1.4 has an advantage near the center of the frame but the 35/2 overtakes it somewhere around 8 mm.

Of course, the 21 Distagon outclasses them both:

black = 35/1.4 ZE
blue = 35/2 ZE
red = 21/2.8 ZE







The green vertical lines mark the short edge, long edge and corners of the image.
[...]


How did you merge MTF diagrams from two lenses into a single graph?


carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15827
Country: Germany



arthury wrote:
denoir wrote:
Yes, well, at least in the central part of the image. All MTF charts below are for either f/4 or f/5.6.

black = 35/1.4 ZE
blue = 35/2 ZE








As you can see, from the 40 lp/mm lines the 35/1.4 has an advantage near the center of the frame but the 35/2 overtakes it somewhere around 8 mm.

Of course, the 21 Distagon outclasses them both:

black = 35/1.4 ZE
blue = 35/2 ZE
red = 21/2.8 ZE







The green vertical lines mark the short edge, long edge and corners of the image.
[...]


How did you merge MTF diagrams from two lenses into a single graph?


The previous post is 3 years old...


wfrank
Registered: Feb 09, 2011
Total Posts: 2969
Country: Sweden

If you make them equal size (right, thats obvious.. :-) and place one on top of the other in PS layers you should be able to play with layer blending options.



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