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PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots

  
 
Blueshound
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


I've now been able to pick up the new lens from a local dealer, a pleasant surprise. They had just received one, and no idea when they could expect more.

I'm going out later to test for centering and tilted elements, but initially I thought I'd put it on a tripod and do some quick frames in my listening / movie room. If this had been a clients' project that I was shooting for portfolio, I would have taken more time with views, straight lines, and so on, but here I just wanted some reasonable first experience with the lens. (A note on the shoemaker's children: no private theater that I've ever consulted on for a client has been this plain!)

Imported into Lightroom Classic, no sliders moved around except for Sharpen at 40, with mask at 30. Then exported to Jpegs in LR, no additional sharpening for reduction. Color exported to sRGB. LR & ACR now have default profiles for the lens, and that was what was used.

Camera settings were ISO 100, mechanical shutter, manual focus & exposure. Room lights adjusted to accommodate the exposure for reasonable balance. Focal length was 18mm, as it just suited the scene. There is a back row of seats, and then roughly six more feet to the rear wall, not seen in these images.

Manual focus was on the top of the right-center seat, where the light is hitting. With every aperture change, the lens was manually refocused. I can readily see the perceived depth of field slowly fall off toward the front wall, but it appears to be gradual, and the transition fairly smooth. Were these images for any long-term use, I would have focus stacked them.

With not much time spent in scrutiny on my BenQ 32" calibrated monitor, it's difficult to see a whole lot of sharpness difference between f4, f5.6 & f8. Guy may be correct when he suggests that the lens may be just starting into diffraction at f8. I've not looked at the RAW files without the profile correction for distortion & vignetting, partly because I just don't care, as I would always have the correction turned on in actual use. CA correction was turned off.

I'm attempting to share files from a Flickr album not made public, so I'm hoping these are visible. If not, let me know, and I'll figure something else out. Worst case, here is a share link for the album itself.

https://www.flickr.com/gp/blueshound/6KA949

Brian

f4
f4_DSC0535 by Brian Gammon, on Flickr

f5.6
f5.6_DSC0536 by Brian Gammon, on Flickr

f8
f8_DSC0537 by Brian Gammon, on Flickr




Jun 23, 2022 at 04:14 PM
Blueshound
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


Because the prior files had very little sharpening, I've worked up a version using my current fav sharpening app, Topaz Sharpen AI. A caution: I almost never use the recommended settings, and generally reduce them to some significant degree, depending upon the image.

Hopefully the image below will be viewable.

For anyone who would like to look at the 4K rez file in Flickr, here is a share link:
https://www.flickr.com/gp/blueshound/A308pd

Brian

f5.6_Sharpen AI_DSC0536 by Brian Gammon, on Flickr



Jun 23, 2022 at 06:47 PM
Blueshound
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


Another pic from walk-around doing test shots in Victoria yesterday. This is the lobby of the Fairmont Empress hotel, hand-held from the walkway above, at f5, ISO 160 and 16.5mm. It has been moderately edited, including some sharpening. Call it realization of potential - the lens seems quite sharp to me, even before sharpening.

I've now also finished my tests for centering or tilted elements. I'm satisfied that this copy is very good, so it's certainly not going back. At this weight and size, I'm a happy camper.

I've also realized that using Flickr to resize images for purposes of posting undermines sharpness, so I'll also provide a share link below, for anyone who wishes to see the full res Jpeg (9604px wide from the A7RIV), without down-sizing to insert here.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/blueshound/52174666628/in/album-72177720300041324/lightbox/

Brian

Fairmont Empress Lobby PZ 16-35 f4_9604px by Brian Gammon, on Flickr



Jun 26, 2022 at 01:02 PM
ftllens
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


This lens looking more and more attractive


Jun 26, 2022 at 01:16 PM
Blueshound
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


This is another local test scene. As with the prior image post, the imbedded image is reduced in size, the Flickr share link below is to the full A7RIV resolution version online. 16mm, f5.6 .

https://www.flickr.com/gp/blueshound/8rYBNP

Brian

Beacon Landing Signage Test 16mm by Brian Gammon, on Flickr



Jun 26, 2022 at 06:18 PM
Marshall Alsup
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


Good stuff, thanks for posting. Yours looks better than mine I think. I took mine out yesterday for some testing and found the top left is quite soft. After some testing I think it is slightly decentered. My testing also agrees with your finding that its sharp from f/4 and doesn't get that much sharper as you stop it down.

Next week I'm going to the Olympic National Park and I'm hoping to use it while there to get a better feel for it. If after that real world testing, I find the top left is still distracting I'll probably exchange it.

I can post a sample but I'm not sure if it would be appropriate in your thread Brian.



Jun 26, 2022 at 08:43 PM
Blueshound
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


Feel free to post anything you'd like, Marshall. We are all simply sharing relevant info with anyone who is interested.
And thanks for commenting.
Brian

Marshall Alsup wrote:
Good stuff, thanks for posting. Yours looks better than mine I think. I took mine out yesterday for some testing and found the top left is quite soft. After some testing I think it is slightly decentered. My testing also agrees with your finding that its sharp from f/4 and doesn't get that much sharper as you stop it down.

Next week I'm going to the Olympic National Park and I'm hoping to use it while there to get a better feel for it. If after that real world testing, I find the top left is still distracting I'll
...Show more



Jun 26, 2022 at 08:58 PM
Marshall Alsup
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


Blueshound wrote:
Feel free to post anything you'd like, Marshall. We are all simply sharing relevant info with anyone who is interested.
And thanks for commenting.
Brian



Thank you, I appreciate these early threads very much when I'm looking at a new lens.

I'm very exited about the lens because my Nikon 16-35 was my most used lens before I switched to Sony. I love the size and weight of this new lens. Anyway, yesterday I went to do a little testing and in most of the shots I noticed the upper left corner was a little worse than the rest of the corners. I'll show a very non-scientific shot below which was part of a time lapse sequence, so not the best numbers for testing.

Please pardon the ugly light. Since I was just out playing with the new lens I didn't have the best conditions.

As I mentioned above, I'm hoping next week to do more real-world testing when I visit the Olympic National Park.


This is .6s @f/10 (was part of a time lapse if you're wondering about those numbers).


Center 100% crop, looks pretty good to me


Top left 100% crop and is a little disappointing. This is at f/10, but I saw this kind of behavior at f/4, f/5.6 and f/8 also.


Today I did a quick decentering test and the corners are that different from each other. Here is an example of the same cell tower in all 4 corners at 16mm. Top left is only slightly worse in this test.



Jun 26, 2022 at 10:54 PM
hasenbein
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


Those corners all don't look good... did you focus on the corners to achieve optimal sharpness in them?? If yes, I don't see a reason to upgrade from my Zony 16-35...


Jun 27, 2022 at 12:06 AM
Marshall Alsup
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


hasenbein wrote:
Those corners all don't look good... did you focus on the corners to achieve optimal sharpness in them?? If yes, I don't see a reason to upgrade from my Zony 16-35...


Hi, I focused with the cell tower in the middle and then recomposed to put it in each corner without refocusing. I essentially follow this exact process.

From what I've seen on YT, this lens is an upgrade to the Zony 16-35. Check Gordan Liang's review from about 9:20 where he does a direct comparison between the two:





Jun 27, 2022 at 01:21 AM
 


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hasenbein
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


You did it wrong, sorry. One has to really focus on each corner in order to achieve the maximal sharpness of each corner. Only then - if one corner has less achievable maximum sharpness - decentering can be diagnosed.

Recomposing has NO place whatsoever in sharpness tests (and isn't recommended anyway in these days of cameras which have full-sensor AF coverage).



Jun 27, 2022 at 02:36 AM
Blueshound
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


Recomposing the center image, once manually focused there, is not a sharpness test. It is a centering test. You are not looking for the corners to appear as sharp as the same object placed in the center frame, you are only looking to see whether the relative sharpness of the object in the center is more or less comparable in all four corners.

I would think that refocusing on each corner would have the potential to at least partially conceal decentering (or tilt), but I'm not Roger Cicala or Fred Miranda.

Brian



Jun 27, 2022 at 07:38 AM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


I never focus on the corners. Reason being is that is not something you would normally do for real. Yes it would help maybe on decentering for a test only. I use the Big Bronco wall and see how each corner comes up and than I can tell if one or more corners is off. I also do a infinity type test and see where the mid range comes out to see if you have a flat field of view . Fred does some things different than I do but every time we wind up testing the same lens( given good copies) we usually concur with each other the same results seem to happen. Couple ways to really test a lens. Big Bronco on very wides is actually a infinity test and other times it is not so I do both. Typically I get the same results once I go do a big view test. Biggest thing is making sure you are well centered of course and also you have a good copy. My PZ 16-35 looks to be a very good copy and the new 50g I just got is very very sharp. I do think after the test I did the PZ 16-35 is really really good through the whole range at 5.6 and not sure you could expect any better from a lens of this type and even at F4 its outstanding. Mine is a keeper and so far I have not read of any copy variance, so that's a good thing but still you should at least test for that just in case before your return runs out. I get the 24mmG today and I may run a quick test since im traveling for about a month.

BTW F10 your hitting diffraction so I would not rely too much on those results



Jun 27, 2022 at 07:59 AM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


Here is my test on the PZ 16-35. Ive tested hundreds of lenses with this wall even back to my Medium Format days.

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1761990



Jun 27, 2022 at 08:09 AM
Marshall Alsup
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


Good discussion all. Thanks for the feedback. And thanks Brian for letting me also post in the thread with my results.


Jun 27, 2022 at 12:09 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


Marshall Alsup wrote:
Good discussion all. Thanks for the feedback. And thanks Brian for letting me also post in the thread with my results.


We are all about good data. As a past Photo Instructor there is nothing better than helping out



Jun 27, 2022 at 12:15 PM
Blueshound
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


My typical use of wide angle lenses has important objects, or portion of scene, somewhere between the foreground or middle distance. It is virtually never in the far distance, e.g. at infinity focus.

For this reason I tend to do centering & tilted elements tests using a visual element that is anywhere from a few yards from me, to elements that are, at most, in the mid-distance, e.g. 100 feet perhaps.

I'm not suggesting that this is technically ideal, it just represents how I intend to use the lens.

I've now completed enough tests that I'm comfortable that I have a good copy, and I'm content to keep it (ecstatic, in fact!).

My thoughts, relative to this one sample:

1. The lens is very sharp at all focal lengths, even surprisingly so wide open, at f4. Given good shooting technique, the images have bite without needing excessive sharpening. The lens shines at f5.6 and f6.3.

2. 16mm is the weakest focal length, however still very sharp compared to my 12-24/4, and gets better from there. It's not that the 12-24 is at all bad, and it was much superior to my older FE 16-35/4 at the edges and corners, it's just that the new lens is better. (I have no experience with the 16-35GM, too heavy for my preferences). It will be interesting to have 35mm as an option with this sharpness potential, without needing a prime. If you lean toward very out of focus backgrounds, you probably need faster primes. I don't.

3. To my surprise, the corners and edges are not terribly far off the center in sharpness, better than I expected, and bearing a closer relationship than any zoom that I have experience with. Very reasonable at f4, varying a bit with shooting distance and the scene, but improving still further by f5.6 - f6.3.
There are others here on FM who have much more experience testing wider varieties of upscale lenses than I, so bear that in mind.

4. The colors and general contrast look very good to me. Micro contrast will not compete with the Loxia lenses. Reds, yellows and golds may not quite pop like they do in Zeiss, Loxia or Batis lenses.

5. I think the Adobe profile may not be quite perfect for distortion, but still quite good.

6. I'm getting used to the zoom ring quickly, but I'd note that if you need to shoot at a specific focal length, best to check twice. Some of my test shots show up in LR at 16.5mm. Pilot error, methinks.

7. I'm using the lens on an A7RIV, and I'm happy with the pairing. This will now give me an effective focal range of 16 to 52mm, with the crop in easy on a Custom Memory button.

Brian

Edited on Jun 27, 2022 at 12:55 PM · View previous versions



Jun 27, 2022 at 12:40 PM
DaveFP
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


Blueshound wrote:
Recomposing the center image, once manually focused there, is not a sharpness test. It is a centering test. You are not looking for the corners to appear as sharp as the same object placed in the center frame, you are only looking to see whether the relative sharpness of the object in the center is more or less comparable in all four corners.

I would think that refocusing on each corner would have the potential to at least partially conceal decentering (or tilt), but I'm not Roger Cicala or Fred Miranda.

Brian


Actually you are looking to see if the four corners are comparable to each other.

Generally they will not match the center (as you know).




Jun 27, 2022 at 12:40 PM
Blueshound
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


Yes, thanks for the clarification Dave.

Brian



Jun 27, 2022 at 12:49 PM
patotts
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · PZ 16-35 f4 Initial Shots


I'm on travel but my copy is waiting for me at home. I sure hope it is a good one, I get home Wednesday night and then leave for a 3-week trip where I plan to bring this lens.


Jun 27, 2022 at 05:28 PM
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