On Shooting Nikon

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Modern digital camera equipment has improved greatly in the last decade.  What brand you shoot doesn’t matter.  There are benefits to larger sensor sizes, but even if you shoot micro-four-thirds you should be able to make great images.  Thom Hogan is a well known reviewer of Nikon equipment and he recently wrote a an article titled Seven Reasons Why I’m Still a Nikon DSLR User.  It’s an interesting read, especially for those trying to decide which system they should invest into.

Sony FE 24-70mm Gets Good Marks at DXOMark

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DXOMark measures more technical aspects of a lens, especially its resolution.  It doesn’t capture everything about a lens, and some lenses that score poorly on DXOMark may have other beautiful characteristics that make them worthwhile beyond just resolution.  That said, DXOMark have reviewed Sony’s 24-70 F2.8 FE and find it to be an excellent lens.

One of the features of this lens that DXOMark doesn’t capture, but is of importance to fashion photographers, is the bokeh of this lens.  Normally 24-70mm lenses are not known for smooth out-of-focus areas but this lens does surprisingly good in this area.  This lens is weaker at the 70mm than the 24mm end, but that’s not unusual for this type of zoom lens.  This lens can replace several primes for you if you can live with the F2.8.

Canon 80D Review by Dustin Abbott

We aren’t in complete agreement with this reviewer. It’s true that Canon’s tend to just work and they have good color science, but Canon has not done anything interesting for too long and Sony (and Nikon who uses some Sony sensors) just have the advantage in terms of dynamic range and image quality. That said, this camera is good enough to produce great images and the skill of the photographer is far more important than today’s tools which are generally more than good enough.

Zeiss 85mm Lenses Compared

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Viktor Pavlovic has released an excellent comparison of the the Zeiss Otus, Milvus, and Planar 85mm lenses.  What we found most interesting was the conclusion that:

Stopped down to f/2.8 and smaller it [Planar] comes actually very close to Otus and Milvus, and most professional photographers won’t shot portraits at wide open aperture anyway.

So whether or not the Otus or Milvus is worth it to you depends on how much you really need to shoot at F1.4 and how much you are willing to deal with the extra cost and physical size and weight of the Milvus and Otus.  Don’t get us wrong, we want both an Otus and Milvus, but we have no doubts that a Planar in the hands of a competent photographer can produce excellent results.

These are of course manual focus lenses and trying to focus them on a Nikon or a Canon body is a pain.  You require a tripod and a loupe and the camera to be in live-view mode to really focus properly.  Mirrorless cameras like the Sony A7 series do better with manual focus lenses but the Otus and the Milvus are huge on the Sony bodies and do not balance well.  So there is no perfect solution to focusing these lenses presently, just compromises on either side of the fence.