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Zeiss Loxia 2/35 - Short Comparison Review


In September 2014 Zeiss presented two new "Loxia" lenses for Sony's A7 full frame E-Mount series. The Loxia 2/35 and 2/50 are dedicated to manual focus shooters looking for high image quality in a compact housing. In this short review I will oppose the Loxia 2/35 to the ZM Biogon 2/35 for M-Mount rangefinder cameras.

If you compare the lens design to the Zeiss ZM Biogon 2/35, you will find a lot of similarities which seemed to induce some discussion on the internet if this is just a recycling of the ZM Biogon elements and design, which produced disillusioning results when adapted to Sony's new A7/A7R full frame series with blurry edges and strong field curvature.

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Otus 1.4/85 - ZEISS's new Flagship sailing from Imaginary to the Real World


About one year ago, ZEISS set a new standard for SLR lenses with its first peer of the Otus family (see my review here). Now the line-up is expanded with an even more impressive member, the Otus Apo Planar T* 1.4/85. As pictures speak louder than words,- I decided to start right into a first impression with a few samples of people taking the center stage before we come to a more in-depth analysis and a little comparison to some other portrait lenses.

The following examples were all shot at F1.4, they are available in higher (some in full) resolution, when you click on the images:




Some factual statements
The Otus line was designed with full-frame DSLRs in mind and so you can get them in two versions: ZE model for Canon EF-mount and ZF.2 model for Nikon F-mount. Thinking of all the features supporting precise and comfortable manual focusing on Sony’s mirror less A7R with its exceptional 36 MP sensor, great EVF magnification, focus peaking etc., for me this combination makes even more sense. This is, how the 1.2 kg masterpiece appears adapted to the Sony A7R (with a highly recommended vertical battery grip attached as well):



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STAMP Festival Night Parade (350 Jahre Altona)

Altona celebrating its 350th birthday with a color- and joyful parade!

In order to see a full frame slideshow please click here.

 

The 0.95 Shootout - Mitakon / Zhongyi Speedmaster 50/0.95 vs. SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95


You may have seen other comparisons of F0.95 or T0.95 lenses on my website already, e.g. the recent "Most adorable 50s, the "Adorable 35s", the "Adorable 25s" and an early "HyperPrime / Noctilux Comparison". Now, as new special lens - the Mitakon / Zhongyi Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 - entered the arena, it's time for another shootout.

First, what's so magic on these lenses? Is it their weight and bulkiness? Of course, not for most of us. Is it their decreasing sharpness or their increasing aberrations when used wide open? May be, a little. In my opinion, what counts are emotions, character and bokeh! It's about seperation, drawing the viewer's attraction to the important things, making them pop out the image, some kind of medium format look. As pictures can better express what I mean, let me give you some examples (you can click on the images to view them in other sizes):


(Mitakon / Zhongyi Speedmaster 50/0.95 @ f/0.95, Photographer: Merlin Ulrich)
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Blue Port / Cruise Days Hamburg 2014


What a party!

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Sony A7S - Queen of the Night - Comparison Review


The new Sony A7S created a lot of buzz with its outstanding low light / high ISO performance. Time for a more in depth analysis and a REAL WORLD comparison to the A7R, which was doing quite well at low light already.

As you might have studied already all kinds of technical specs, at this time I will not bother you with too many details anymore. Just the most relevant facts: Mirrorless E-Mount system camera with full frame sensor, 12 MP "only", ISO 100 ... 102400 (extended: 50...409600), 4K video (requires external recorder), FullHD 1080p with 50 MBit XAVC-S encoding on SDXC memory cards, up to 120 fps at 720p, 8 bit uncompressed output with 4:2:2 subsampling on HDMI, option for completely silent shooting.

Before we look at the video performance, let's start with some ISO samples (click on the images to see higher resolution versions).

ISO 100 (cropped, scaled), lens: SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95 @ T0.95:



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Most adorable 50s - UPDATED: Sigma Art 50/1.4 DG HSM Review


Since a couple of chart based reviews of the new Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4 on a Canon 5D Mk3 claimed, it comes close to the majestic Zeiss Otus 1.4/55, this lens has drawn my attention. If you have read the article about the "Most Adorable 50s", you may remember my conclusion that the Zeiss Otus is currently the reference for me in the range of 50mm lenses, providing results on a 36 MP sensor comparable to current medium format cameras and that the Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 1.8/55 was an "Otus light" for me. Time for another REAL WORLD comparison!

The candidates this time tested on a Sony A7R:
  • Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM (Nikon mount version)
  • Zeiss FE Sonnar T* 55mm f/1.8
  • Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH
  • Zeiss Otus Apo Distagon T* 55mm f/1.4

As pricewise the Sigma Art 50/1.4 and the Zeiss FE 1.8/55 are closest to each other, this test focuses mainly on a direct comparison between these lenses but some aspects are compared in similar settings with the Summilux and the Otus as well.

Although the Sigma Art was designed for DSLR cameras, there are options to use the Canon EF-mount version with autofocus and aperture control also on the mirrorless A7 / A7R using a Metabones Mk III or IV or the A-mount version using a LA-EA4 adapter. The A-mount version is expected to come later this year. The Sigma Art 50/1.4 DG HSM is a complex optical construction with 13 lenses, the aperture has 9 blades and it weighs about 815g.


Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM with lens hood and quiver

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Fitness

Please select fullscreen in the player's button bar for best viewing experience.
(download of full quality 1080p25 24 MBit version available for registered Vimeo users)
Alternatively you may watch the version on YouTube: http://youtu.be/a6Wrx1fNx6g

Fitness-Model: Yasmin

Camera: Sony A7R
Lenses for video:
- Leica Wide Angle Tri Elmar 16-21/4 ASPH
- Voigtlander Nokton 1.2/35 ASPH
- Zeiss FE 1.8/55

For the stills:
- Voigtlander Ultron 1.8/21 ASPH
- Zeiss FE 2.8/35
- Zeiss FE 1.8/55
- Nikon AF-S Nikkor 1.8/85 G
- Sony STF 2.8/135

 
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