PhotoLab 5, sharpness and focus

The difference might bee a controlpoint that I placed on the text at the rod I think or the crop.

I’m sure you can see a few improvement areas in these images but the only thing I have was focused on with these images was the focusing accuracy, sharpness and the effects of the different modes of image stabilization.

As a matter of fact I also think you will find a lot of burned shadows in some of my images since I sometimes like to use silhuette effects in my images.

Since I know nothing about what cameras you used to use, I can’t argue with anything you wrote about how much better your mirrorless camera is for you, but it’s nonsense to apply those comparisons to a different brand and model, such as my Nikon Df, D750, or better yet, a D850 which I don’t have - yet.

That it works with your camera/lens does not mean it will do the same on other brands and models, such as my Nikon or Leica. Some of my old Leica lenses are limited by their lens performance, and mounting one on my M8, or M10, or the new M11 will not improve that. Lenses have improved over the last 50 or 100 years. Going from 8, to 100, or 1000, or 10,000 megapixels will not improve on what the lens is capable of, beyond the limitations of the lens.

I think again, this might be true for you, but not at all for me. My old lenses are limited by the lens performance, not by which camera I mount them on. My old lenses on my newer cameras don’t suddenly improve, but if the lens is capable of better results than when it was used on a less capable camera, yes, that will show up. One of my lenses that works fine on my LEICA M8.2 will likely work better on a Leica M11, because of the camera. If this is what you mean, I agree with you.

I agree with you - more pixels can result in a larger and more detailed image, if one is willing to pay for this in other ways. If someone gave me a Leica M11 tomorrow, with the 60 megapixel sensor, I doubt I would be using that capability. (Not to mention I think the raw file would be too large to upload to the DxO Forum.)

I’m not having any issues with auto-focus. My camera locks on even in poor light. Might it be an issue sometime? I dunno. But my Df and both my D750 cameras lock on just fine. Better tracking software like for shooting birds might help, but that’s true regardless of what type of camera is used. I don’t do that kind of photography very much - if I did, I would likely buy a D850, despite the size and weight. But for what I do now, the D750 is fine, and much of the time my Leica is too, but not for follow-focus. Rangefinder cameras were designed for other purposes.

I agree with the first part, more pixels can help in many situations, such as landscapes and bird photography. It’s meaningless for street photography, and then there’s the question of how many megapixels is enough? 24, 50, 60, 100, 500… How many megapixels do we need? As for me, 16 and 24 is plenty, and I used to be satisfied with 8.

No argument here, but PhotoLab DeepPRIME works on any image in raw format, for any camera it knows about, mirrorless, dSLR, or rangefinder.

No argument. My older Nikon DSLR cameras improved with auto-focusing every time a new model came out. My D750 is not as fast at focusing as a D4 or a D750. Five years makes a big difference. It’s the photographer that makes the difference, not the camera. For me, for my whole life, it’s been “use what ya’ got”.

I won’t argue, but I disagree with “without limitations”. Over time, cameras usually keep improving, and we then think about the “limitations” of the previous camera. This applies to all products. As for me, I accept whatever limitations my cameras have, and work around them. A rangefinder camera is totally un-suitable for sports photography, but in college I was out on the field with my Nikon SP photographing football games. I got my photos, and they got printed in the college newspaper.

I did get my chance to try out a Nikon mirrorless yesterday, and I hated it. The viewfinder looked like a tv monitor inside the camera (which it was!), which is nothing for me like seeing “live action with my eyes, not digitized”. There were other things too, like when I started to “pan” with a 24mm lens, and felt I was getting dizzy. I tried it today with a 24mm on my Nikon Df, and all was fine. Between all that stuff and focus by wire, these new cameras are too much of a step down for me. I’m sure they will improve, so I’ll try again, as I’m curious.

Anyway, when you write about how much better your experience was, that’s you, with your camera gear. Obviously you and your mirrorless make a very good match, and that’s great. It’s good that you are so pleased with it.

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Next gen sensors are quadsensors.

Less noise and higher due HDR usage Dynamic Range.
A 80Mp is on the output a 20Mp i suspect.
Cumulated for pixels charge to a cleaner rasterreverence in rawfile.
I am interested in the way this effects processing as DxO does.
Is the rawfile 80Mp or 20Mp? Does it holds quad info or "normal stacked Rgbg bayer " info?
Can i prioritise it’s computing?
Noise vs DR?
Can i use it as native highres single shot? (pixelshift and thus groupshift)

@mikemyers the digital beast is on full speed and charging upon you, you can see it in the…OVF.
At somecpoint the OVF will be only available in highend body’s.
Because mirrorless will be the majority and the mirrorslap will be only be heard in the highend nicemarket and certain pro-body’s.

What I have tried to say with my examples around Sigma 150-500mm is that thare are a few things to be aware of when migrating from DSLR:s to mirrorless. I have read quite a few pretty euforic statements where people downplay the limitations of using old lenses on new superfast mirrorless bodies.

Using my example lens as an example can maybe answer a few questions and set the expectations more right though concerning what to realistically expect when using a lens like mine on for example Nikon Z or Canon R.

As I have seen using my Bigma on my DSLR:s and comparing it with using it on A7IV and even on earlier mirrorless like A7 III has been nothing else than a breakthrough and that is mainly due to the vastly improved autofocusing that now let me locking AF even with F22 in really poor light. So there will be good reasons to believe even the improved autofocus in R5 and R3 will “revive” a lens like Bigma that is made with both EF and Nikons DSLR-mount and that might be good news.

No one is expecting you to get a Bigma to your Nikon but there is a quite realistic risk for those who has one that it won’t perform as good as it will do on the new generation of mirrorless bodies since there is a really realistic scenario that it will perform under par just because the very design of DSLR:s focusing systems. This is by design and the problems are really well known since at least 10 years ago when the manufacturers of DSLR:s, none mentioned and no one forgotten, didn’t manage to calibrate the AF-systems in every body before the shipping.

People also was kind if surprised at that time since it wasn’t the mass market models that were the main problem but models like the high end Canon 1-series and 5D MK II and 7D. I think they even had to upgrade a chip in the Canon 1-model at the time.

I know from asking the biggest retail shops in Stockholm about a year ago what kind of problems they thought was the most common. The answer was focusing problems with Sigma lenses on Nikon and Canon DSLR-bodies.

This is not just about me and my different gear - it’s something more general than so and with my example above anyone that has a Sigma with OS will be able to test by themselves to falsify my and Kurt Mungers results by putting their Sigma 150-500mm with EF-mounts on an adapter and their Canon R-bodies. I’m pretty sure even those guys will see the positive effect of using a lense like that on camera bodies with both better low light performance, better autofocus and a in the case of Canon R also a sensor stabilization Canon DSLR:s never got.

… but of course these improvenents will only be open to people who don’t mind looking into an EVF. If people say no to that they will even say no to the rest.

I can assure you that when I first moved up from a Nikon D200 to the D810, it was every bit as astounding and it was purely the pixel count that made the difference. My recent move from the D810 the the D850 was not as spectacular in terms of obvious difference, but it did mean that I could crop more if absolutely necessary.

I’m not sure what you’re getting at here. All AF systems work at full aperture and the chosen aperture is only activated when the photo is captured.

Heheheh. I could have told you that without trying it out - in fact, I think I did :wink:

Very interesting, but makes sense. At least you just saved me the effort of going to see for myself.

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I’m sorry but I just had to share this. You want more detail and you want mirrorless?

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This general statement is very wrong. Switch your D850 to LiveView, stop down to f/16, look into the lens and tell us what you see when you engage AF. AF on sensor level (not on AF-module level, like all DSLRs do) is usually done by stopping down the lens. Nikon Z stops down lenses to f/5.6, open aperture between f/1.8 and f/5.6 you can see, after that no further stopping down for AF reasons. While the D850 stops down all the way (maybe there’s a setting to avoid that?) that makes sense as it is the best way (without shooting tethered) to control DoF.

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Not being a fan of either EVF or even LiveView, I rarely encounter such limitations. Anyway, in low light conditions, if I were to use LiveView, I would leave the aperture wide open for focusing (manual or BBF) and only close it down just before pressing the shutter.

Joanna, when I described this to the fellow who works at Pitman Photo, he told me “all 24mm lenses will do this”. I had to see for myself, and technically he is right, due to perspective changing as I pan with the 24mm lens. The difference is I’ve had 78 years of doing this with my eyes, and I’m oblivious to the change in perspective, and with my Df, the viewfinder matches what I would see with my eye, so it’s not annoying. On the mirrorless, with the viewfinder image surrounded by black, it gave me a very strange (and annoying) feeling. It’s close to feeling “dizzy”. It’s similar to trick glasses that distort the world as you see through them, which I hate.

I try to keep my left eye open when viewing the camera viewfinder image with my right eye, and both mostly “match”. It could be an empty hole in the camera I’m looking through (and with the Leica, it IS an empty hole that I see through).

Given some time using the mirrorless, I think I’d get used to this, but why? I remember using my 2 1/4" x 2 1/4" twin lens reflex that it took me a while to get used to it. I didn’t like that at the time, but the benefit was huge images captured on the film. I always wanted to buy a Rolleiflex camera, but never could afford one, but if I had one, I would use it for “static” photos, not “action”.

Eventually I want to check out the Nikon Z9. I have no doubt about this - if I was still shooting international radio control car races, I would already have bought one. But today, were I to accept a larger and heavier camera, I would have already bought my own D850. There’s also the matter of my supposedly needing to buy a new set of lenses, while all my lenses would be great on the D850. There’s also the thought that of all my current Nikons, the one that feels “best” in my hands is the Df, despite the technical limitations, not to mention that it has mostly mechanical controls in addition to the menu system.

Focus as you wish, @Joanna I was not criticizing your way of focusing, to me it’s only very obvious that if your standard aperture is f/10, you’ll hardly face any troubles with a D850. f/1.4 or f/1.8, generally all lenses wide open: different story. Sometimes the estimation gambling will land on point, most of the time long sessions to optimize AF microadjustment are necessary to improve that game a bit.

But I think, @Stenis wanted to say that today’s sensor are sensitive enough to focus a stopped down tele lens although I have no idea what could be a reason to stop down an already not very fast 150-600 to f/22.

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On my current Nikons, and my digital Leica, Live view is normally switched off. For my photography, 99% of the time I use the viewfinder, and I no longer “chimp”. The times I do use “LiveView” are usually with the camera on a tripod, or for special occasions when I’m trying to hold my camera as if it was on a tripod.

That’s how I use my cameras, but on a mirrorless, there is no choice but to shoot in LiveView. That being the case, they need to make the camera as useful as they can, and make permanent choices like this accordingly.

With my Fuji, with a flip of a lever, I can switch back and forth between seeing a REAL image, like a hole in the camera I look through, or a digital “live view” image. I see all this in the viewfinder window, no need to look at the back of the camera unless I want to. I’m not going to say one is “better” than the other, but I’ve got a choice.

And I suppose that is because I took the time and effort to determine that, beyond f/10, I was compromising sharpness by introducing diffraction.

The only time I will close down the aperture beyond that is for macro work, although the D850 allows me to take a series of images automatically spaced from front to back that can then be combined using stacking software - something that allows me to stay at f/10, or even wider (f/5 is the ultimate to give me a blur spot diameter of 10µm, which suits the pixel pitch of my 45Mpx sensor.

I would agree with that. The D850 also has a focus peaking facility that shows where the edges are in focus and is fairly much one of the very few uses I make of LiveView.

Beautiful results - stunning!

I’m tempted to put my camera on a tripod, take some scenic images using one of my older lenses on my digital Leica, or maybe my film Leica, and try some of the PhotoLab effects that is supposed to create images similar to what this fellow does.

One thing he does, I usually do now - I used to take dozens of images of something I was interested in, and now I carefully select one image (and perhaps a second for backup). When I come back from a “walkabout” I may have 10 to 20 images that I ingest into my computer, and maybe half make it into my computer file system for keepers.

I’m impressed by what this fellow does, and I keep getting tempted to buy a LF camera, but for me, at this time in my life, I’m not sure I want to deal with it.

I love what he wrote:

  • Simon Williams from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, said he started his eye-catching work after getting fed up with the technological race to get even more pixels and sharper images.

There are times when I need and want those larger and sharper images, but there are also times when that detracts from the image. I think his technique would work great for your photo of the steam powered tractor from last year, and some of my landscape photos from my brother’s property. They capture a “magical” view of the world, obviously different from what we normally see.

Probably true, and the camera manufacturers will smile all the way to the bank, due to the cost savings, and Apple will probably sell even more iPhones.

Me? I suspect I’ll be shooting more film. On the other hand, I’m mostly interested in the high end pro bodies. If Nikon does stop producing the D850, I’ll buy one that I’ve found at KEH.

Most people who buy cameras probably won’t care.

Nikon dslr side this would mean : D5/6 and D850 in the same box (+ Z9 AF ?)
But it seem’s nikon marketting message with Z9 and it’s not mecanical shutter is clear :
we’ve understood full digital system is the way, we’ve been the first to introduce 1/8000 s with titan mecanical shutter, and now we continue to be first in our domain but in digital way (the best electronic shutter in the market).

The focus-stacking of Nikon is only half baken, no, third baken: After finishing the stack, you need to refocus again to start a new one, maybe with a different aperture or different lighting. Panasonic does that much better, after finishing the stack the lens returns to the first distance. So it’s rather easy to repeat the same process, maybe for different subjects in a studio scene.

Also, a well made focus-stacking option would take aperture, closest and farest distance and calculate the number of needed images. Nikon (and Panasonic as well) let you guess the necessary number and will run towards infinity and beyond.

I was really hoping the electronic shutter would be able to go up to 1/32.000 (like Fuji did in their X-T2 and later). But the “real” readout time of the sensor is much longer, so no way to freeze water droplets on a fountain. Maybe they improved it .

All of what you wrote might be valid, for the gear you are talking about. With very few exceptions, the lenses I use on my Nikon are Nikon lenses. I do have a “macro” Sigma lens still, but I don’t use it for general photography. Maybe brand-X lenses will work better on a Nikon Z. Maybe not. For you, it worked out the way it did. Your lenses worked better on your mirrorless. For me, my existing Nikon lenses will never work better. For starters, I need an adapter from F mount to Z mount. My lenses that are focused via a mechanical coupling won’t work at all, as the Z doesn’t have the motor drive to focus those lenses. For my Nikon lenses with a built-in motor, I don’t see any reason why they would work better.

I don’t know about sensor stabilization vs. lens built-in stabilization.

My Leica is technically a “mirrorless” camera, with a manual rangefinder and wonderful mechanicals. It has “limitations”, but those are in ways where the camera was never expected to be able to do - yes, one can mount a 600mm lens, but then one would mount a VISOFLEX. I did buy a VISOFLEX, and I sometimes do use it, but usually I think my D750 would do just as well, if not better, unless I’m shooting infrared, in which case the only camera I own that can do this properly is my M8.

For someone who just wants to take snapshots, the Z cameras will probably cost less, than the comparable dSLR camera - less mechanics, and simpler design. I’m probably just way too picky, and I want to do things “my way”, which has been evolving over time into “Joanna’s way”, as that improved my results.

Curious - rather than discussing whether “A” is better than “B”, why not start posting photos that you are taking, so we’ll all get to see the results you can capture?

I would prefer to see real photographs for illustration, certainly not “marketing messages”. According to marketing, any camera is “the best there is”. :slight_smile: