Category Archives: Zeiss

View from the Merced

El Capitan and the Valley from the Merced River

El Capitan and the Valley from the Merced River

Although May is a great time of the year for exceptional waterfalls it is not the best time for sunsets.  The angle of the light at sunset just does not hit Half Dome rights from the iconic locations such as Glacier Point and Washburn Point.  Similarly Tunnel view sunsets are weak compared to later in the year. This is one of two evenings where the light on El Capitan made it worth photographing.  (Photographed May 2016 during my Yosemite & Monolake workshop.)

Also posted in Mirrorless, Photographs, Photography, Sony A7R, Workshops

Lucy Vincent Beach – Martha’s Vineyard

 

Lucy Vincent Beach Sunset

Lucy Vincent Beach Sunset. Exposure triad ISO 400, f/25, 60 sec.

Concluded a great photo workshop in Martha’s Vineyard yesterday.  A great group of photographers, and some great locations on the island.  Inclement weather did not prevent us from photographing the opportunities that were presented.  This image is one of my favorites where the last rays of the sun just kissed the rock on the shore at Lucy Vincent Beach.  We stayed on to do some light painting and astro photography before winding up for the night.  (More images to follow)

The Night Sky at Lucy Vincent Beach. 14mm, Exposure Triad ISO 1250, f/2.8, 20 sec

The Night Sky at Lucy Vincent Beach. 14mm, Exposure Triad ISO 1250, f/2.8, 20 sec.

 

Also posted in Lens, Mirrorless, Night Photography, Noise Reduction, Photographs, Photography, Sony A7R, Workshops

Zeiss Batis 2.8/18 Lens for Sony E-Mount Announced

batis2818_productThe ZEISS Batis 2.8/18 expands the Batis range of lenses with a super wide-angle lens. For the Sony α system with E-mount the new lens, which features a diagonal angular field of 99 degrees, is currently the shortest full-frame fixed focal length with autofocus. The new ZEISS Batis 2.8/18 with innovative OLED display to show focus distance and depth of field is also impressive thanks to its high image quality across the entire image field. The lens will be available from May 2016.

Features for discerning users 
The super wide-angle camera lens has 11 lens elements in ten groups and draws on the ZEISS Distagon optical design. Four of the lens elements are aspheric on both sides and seven are made from special types of glass. The Floating Elements design permits constantly high image performance in the focal plane – from the minimum object distance to infinity.
The lens will be available from May 2016. The suggested retail price is US$1,499
Also posted in Accessories, Lens, Mirrorless, News, Photography, Sony A7R, Video

ND Filters’ Color Cast comparison – Vü 10 stop Sion, Lee 10 stop (Big Stopper) & Formatt Hitech 8 stop

The Lee Big Stopper was introduced in 2010 to compete with the Hitech 10 stop filter that was known to have flare and other issues. Subsequently Hitech reengineered their 10 stop filter and emulated some of Lee’s design features. In particular the the light blocking gasket.  Soon Lee introduced the Little Stopper while Hitech developed a wider range of solid ND filters the Pro Stop line from 6 to 10 stops and in multiple sizes.  Most recently I was introduced to the Vü system and hence this test as a comparison. I will do a full review of the Vü system in the near future.

As I own the Lee Big sStopper and the Hitech 8 stop with the Hitech holder (I do prefer the Hitech to the Lee holder) I was keen to understand the differences in the way high f-stop ND filters impart a color cast when used. Hence this test.  Please click on the images to see a larger version.

The set up was fairly simple.  Using a Sony A7R II and a Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 lens set at f/2.0 and a base ISO of 50, shutter speed 1/125 sec.  The light source was two Elinchrome studio strobes positioned to give a 1/3 stop exposure variation at the edges.  The camera was focused on a white foam-core board with a X-Rite Color Checker Passport clamped to the upper right corner.  Camera white balance set for flash rather than a custom white balance (5450 Kelvin) and an “as shot” tint of +9.  I wanted to allow for any variation in the white of the foam-core board that is typically not 100% white be adjusted in post.

The test exposure was made and the white balance adjusted in post using Lightroom – this is the image below.  White balance adjustment yielded a temperature of 4750 Kelvin and a tint of -1:

Control Shot

Next the strobes were adjusted to full power providing 8 additional stops of light.  The ISO was adjusted to increase sensitivity by two stops while the aperture of the lens was kept at a constant f/2.0 for all the exposures. Each filter was tested for color cast only.

The Lee Big Stopper (10 stop ND)

The Lee Big Stopper (10 stop ND) was mounted and the image as shown below was captured. This is as a screen shot so as to show the RGB histogram.  The info panel shows the reading from the center of the captured image.  Values are R=219, G=229, B=243

Lee 10stop at corner

Color Values measured in the center

 

In this next image the Info Panel shows RGB values from the lower third of the image. Values are R=187, G=203, B=222

Lee 10stop at center

Color Values measured in the lower right quadrant

Next the image was white balanced in Lightroom WB to 8600 Kelvin and tint +43. Compensated for the color of the board and the lights the calculated readings are 7900 Kelvin and a +35 Tint adjustment.

Lee 10 stop WB to 8600 and tint +43

Lee 10 stop WB to 8600 Kelvin and tint +43

The Lee Big Stopper exhibits a heavy blue cast in both the center and the edges.

Formatt Hitech 8 stop ND filter

As I do not have a 10 stop Formatt Hitech filter, I chose to do the same test with the 8 stop that I own. As with the Lee filter before, here the info panel shows the reading from the center of the captured image.  Values are R=234, G=238, B=236

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 5.05.05 PM

Format 8 stop – Color Values measured in the center

In this next image the Info Panel shows RGB values from the lower third of the image. Values are R=209, G=220, B=212

Format 8 stop - Color Values measured in the center

Format 8 stop – Color Values measured in the lower right quadrant

Next the image was white balanced in Lightroom WB to 5750 Kelvin and tint +52. Compensated for the color of the board and the lights the calculated readings are 5050 Kelvin and a +44 Tint adjustment.

Formatt 8 stop WB to 5750 and tint +52

Formatt 8 stop WB to 5750 Kelvin and tint +52

The Formatt HiTech 8 stop exhibits a heavy green cast at the edges but is more neutral in the center.

Vü Sion Q 10 stop Neutral Density Filter

The Vü Sion 10 stop ND filter mounted using The Vü professional filter holder (more abut this in a future post) and the same test was performed. As before the image captured is shown as a screen shot showing the RGB histogram.  The info panel shows the reading from the center of the captured image.  Values are R=235, G=235, B=239

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 5.15.29 PM

Vu Sion 10 stop – Color Values measured in the center

In this next image the Info Panel shows RGB values from the lower third of the image. Values are R=211, G=214, B=219

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 5.15.44 PM

Vu Sion 10 stop – Color Values measured in the lower right quadrant

Next the image was white balanced in Lightroom WB to 5800 Kelvin and tint +13. Compensated for the color of the board and the lights the calculated readings are 5000 Kelvin and a +5 Tint adjustment.

VU 10 stop wb adjusted 5800 tint +13

VU Sion 10 stop WB adjusted 5800 and tint +13

The Vü Sion 10 stop is very neutral in the center an has a negligible shift at the edges.

In conclusion I am very impressed with the Vü Sion 10 stop and is near neutral rendering.  My full review of this system is forthcoming.

 

Hunts Photo is offering my students and workshop participants a 20% discount on all Vu filters and holders! All you  have to do is call 781-662-8822 and ask for Alan Samiljan and tell him you are one of my students.  He will give you the discount. UPS Ground shipping is free in the Lower 48 and there is no sales tax except for orders shipped to MA, RI or ME.

 

Also posted in Accessories, Blur, Lighting, Motion, Photographs, Photography, Product Reviews, Sony A7R, Strobes, Tips

Battle of the Barges – Boston Sept 5, 2015

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Blue Hour before the Fireworks Display

After a very long time the Battle of the Barges returned to Boston.  Piers Park would have been the ideal location but the crowds were overwhelming. Alternate East Boston location provided good views of the North End Barge.

Please click on the image for a larger version.

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The barges are in place

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Also posted in Mirrorless, Motion, Night Photography, Noise Reduction, Sony A7R Tagged , , |

Iceland August 2015 – Day 4 and a Resolution Test

 

Today was a travel day to the highlands with a few stops en route.

Here are a few images and an experiment seeking detail.

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Blue glacial water through lava ravine

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Water Study

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Colors of the highlands

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Harunfoss Pano

This image above was taken as an 8 image pano and stitched in Photoshop.  The resulting image is 23,881 pixels by 7680 pixels.  This equates to an image 100 by 32 inches (approx) at 240 dpi.  There is a farm in the distance that I have applied a red stroke to in the image below (this has been reduced to 500 by 1600 pixels.  Please do click on the image below for a larger rendition. Equipment: Zeiss Planar 50mm f/1.4 at f8, Sony A7R ISO 200, 1.6 sec using a 6 stop HiTech ND filter.

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I cut and pasted this stroked area onto a new image layer in Photo shop. The crop is about 1936 by 479 pixels. The crop section is below – please click on this for the full scale view.

The cropped region

The cropped region

The new mirrorless sensors are amazing.

Also posted in Mirrorless, Photography, Sony A7R, Workshops