PHOTOOG Photography writings by Olivier Giroux


Next up : Sigma 85

Summary: very very sharp, middling contrast, the first copy I received had a permanent focus jam.

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  1. Hi, will you include your thoughts and opinion between the zeiss 85mm and this sigma? I find your review technique to be real and meaningful. Thank you.. BTW, will you be getting the nikon 85mm 1.4 g?

    • I will say some things about the 85mm ZF in this review, for sure. If I had to buy an 85mm lens I would get the ZF. That’s my personal opinion, speaking only for me.

      For the 85G, you mean will I get it for review? I doubt it. In truth I think this is it for the 85mm focal length and me for a while.

  2. Hey Oliver, when would you post the review mate? I am waiting eagerly 😀

  3. Hi Oliver,

    Do not let us haste you! This is the most beautiful and awesome happy time of your life (and the most busy one :-)!).

    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!

    We will wait for you, be sure about that 😛

  4. Hey man, take your time! Like mpve said. And yes once again congratulations for the new member in the family. 😀

  5. Hi.
    I know this isn’t related to this post but I’ve been trying to make the nkvid thing work and it does, but I can’t seem to find the recorded files anywhere.
    Could there be some other program I should use for that or what?
    I see that other people have managed to make this work, so i’m a bit puzzeled that I can’t.

    • If I remember correctly (I actually can’t find my source code right now…) it writes the video to what’s called the “current working directory”. Often that will be right next to where the program is.

  6. Hello Olivier,

    I hope you’re fine, long time since no posting. How’s the little one doing?

    I’ve recently noticed DxO Mark assessed some zeiss lenses on d3x, and I really have troubles understanding them.

    Here you can find that comparison summarized.

  7. Hi Florin,

    I have looked at the results and they are amazing! Zeiss is losing the battle from Nikon in all instances. Thinking a bit further:

    I have compared the Zeiss lenses I have with the competitive Nikkor lenses I have on the camera I have (D300). What I see is that Nikon beats Zeiss. If I look at the actual real life results I see exactly the opposite!

    For me this means that the DxO measurements do not correlate very well to real life results and are therefore not very useful (sorry DxO team).

    • Hi mpve,

      It depends on the definition of “better”. We’ve had a pretty long argument about this in the comment stream for my review of the Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G.

      In the original version of the review I wrote that the 24G offered limited resolution but as it turned out I was completely wrong. There was tremendous resolution in the images from this lens but the finest details came out with such low micro-contrast that I didn’t perceive them. My eyes were calibrated to much higher contrast.

      I will take my time digesting the DXO data to see how that might come out of the data.

      In the mean time my review of the 85mm EX is almost done and poor contrast was a big issue for me with this lens, as I think you’ll see in the image samples.



  8. He Olivier, mpve,

    Are you aware of any studies, articles, regarding the differences in resolutions at different contrast situations?

    I find this relevant, as resolution charts really are best case scenarios in terms of contrast, and these results could be quite different in real life conditions.

    By the way, I had the chance of doing some shooting with a D7000 and ZF 21mm, as well as ZF 100mm. Well, I’m bugged. These lenses are outrageous. Coming from cheap nikon plastic, the zeiss are entirely something else.

    I was fascinated how easy was to spot-on the focus on the 21. It seemed much harder with the 100. Also the resolution of the 21 was to die for, corner to corner.

    Now I see comments on how much better in build quality are some Leica lenses compared to the Zeiss, and i really wonder what’s to improve in term of mechanics?

    • Contrast is front and center in the definition of resolution but lenses are always measured in the absolute best environmental conditions. That’s right. In these tests DXO would not be able to assign any value to T* / Nano / SWC coatings. When I think back to my recent experience with the Sigma 85mm, I wouldn’t say that DXO scores for lenses correlate very well to my own appraisal of lenses.

      As for Leica physical implementations being better than Zeiss, it’s surprising but it’s true. The Leica’s have a nicer anodized metal finish that feels better than the black paint that Zeiss uses. They also have more fluid movements, free of any tactile feeling of rubbing/friction but are still very well damped.

  9. Some more CZ lenses have been reviewed by DxO. The trend seems mostly the same, with nikon getting better marks at comparative focal lengths…

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