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The ultimate 14mm lens for full frame (24x36mm) DSLRs?

Michael Fontana

pro member
Bart, Asher
here's the rail ...




Basically, its allows to have the cam 40 cm out of the window glass, while the blue material stands on the windowsill, the other end of the rail beeing fixed at my normal tripod.
It's very usefull when shooting from dormers, similar to these:



Most of these are much more tiny, so you can't put the cam and panohead into them inside the small window; however its possible to fix the rail first and add the cam and panohead outside the window later... needs a bit of care, though ;-)

It works quite well if the rail is strong enough; my version bumped quite a lot in the wind; so better use a strong, profiled rail. The first time I did a real test, at the 3 rd level, i feared for the cam, having no chord attached to it...
The rail has 120 cm in lengths, and the position of the bearing on the windowsill - the blue material - and the tripod fix is easely movable, as they are fixed with slot-nuts.

It's lightweighted, fits in my tripod bag, and cheap, if you don't count the time...

Compared to a normal tripodshot, inside the window, its about 50 cm of difference which avoids to have either the window's sides or parth of the roof in the image. As a example, the above roof-image was done with a 28 mm only on FF, handheld and taken from the windows position; but at the right side, there starts already the window's frame...

>Yes, there are situations where single exposures (instead of stitched) are easier, and then the lens FOV needs to be adequate to cover a wide angle.<

Yep, useless to stich for a image being printed small only...

>Don't forget to hang on to the camera strap! Better safe than sorry.<
I need to get one of my small climbing rope's...

There might not be the vers 2-Adaptor in August....

Yep, Asher, its that G to EOS-one.
Beeing a alpy boy, I know my limits, concentration is the keyword.
 

nicolas claris

OPF Co-founder/Administrator
Finaly!

Waiting since last November, I got yesterday, thanks to my local dealer, a brand new Canon 14 for testing… I'll have to bring it back monday…

My purpose is to do some comparing tests with my Sigma 12-24.

I did of course, before any testing, make some carefull adjustments with Bart's microadjustment method.

So I followed his precious advise (by PM):

Normally one should calibrate a zoom lens (the Sigma 12-24) at the longer focal length, because at the shorter end one probably has more depth of field anyway, so most differences in AF microadjustment at the short end are usually covered. If one exclusively uses a specific (short) focal length of the zoom range, then I would calibrate for that (with the risk of being inaccurate at longer focal lengths).

For an AF test of a specific focal length, such as 14mm, one could re-calibrate the lens at that identical same focal length as the fixed 14mm lens. However, that only calibrates AF performance (and the focus confirmation light/beep), and will still be difficult (due to the large DOF) to repeat (due to mechanical tolerances).
OK, I don't have the Nikkor, so I won't be able to compare with it… anyway it would not be possible as the adapter to mount on 1Ds3 is still not availlable… How could I compare with shots made with a 5D. The 1Ds3 does push the limits of every lens…

The first findings are:
microadjustments:
Sigma = +15
Canon = -3
But these are only for better combination lens/body, nothing to do with good/bad quality of any of them…

See here the Bart's microadjustment screen, shot with the Canon 14
Be sure to see it at 100% on your screen…

The Sigma, after long life with me will have to find a new owner…
at all ƒ settings the Canon is far better:
- no vignetting even at ƒ2.8 (Sigma is only ƒ5 capable and signifiacntly vignetting until ƒ11 is reached)
- I made some shots with tripod, using systematically the manual central AF point only. ƒ 5 - ƒ 8 - ƒ 11:
The Canon is by far much more sharp and all corners even still a little blurr.
In some situations the local contrasts are much better with the Canon
The only bad point is CA… Can get rid of it easily with PTlens or ACR, CS3 or LR, but it is far more than with the Sigma…

Let's not forget that the Canon is about twice the price of the Sigma! I can get the Canon here for 1900 Euros ex VAT… Ouch!

I will post some samples soon…
 
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Michael Fontana

pro member
Bonsoir Nicolas

good luck with your new baby!

I agree on everything, as pointed out yesterday:
we (you and me) are not sitting in the same boat - as far as the requirements of the lenses are concerned; I'm shooting nonmoving objects from tripod for 99%....

Nikon-G to EOS-adaptor:
The version 1 is available, but Bart and me, we've been somehow speculating on the version 2 - with the lever - for the selection of the F-stop. But as my lens will arrive in a week, and I want to test it, plus calibrating the UW-distortion with Lenscorrector, I' ll need a bit of time, prior to use it in the job. Plus holidays in the alps....so I consider going for the vers. 1, now; yes Bart, your question was right ;-)

I made a test for the lens calibration of the 14-24 with a 5D-Raw:
in the 19 - 21 mm-range, there's literraly no distortion at all - I had to zoom in to 100 % in PS for seeing it!
Of course at 16 mm, there will be some, but moderate....
 

nicolas claris

OPF Co-founder/Administrator
Bonsoir Michael,
I do agree also with you on our different boats, but comparing experiences are still good for everyone! :)

As far as I remember, the Nikkor adapter doesn't permit AF… am'I right on this?

I still don't have made the check for the new baby…

So, below is a view from a window (mine), a kind of reference and clin d'œil to you Michael!



The details at 100% crops are seenable there (to protect OPF bandwidth…)
Sorry in advance, but my appartment is to high and I can't see anything but sky over the roof tops! (a kind of clin d'œil to Cem and his SF beautifull mMoon shot;-)
 
As far as I remember, the Nikkor adapter doesn't permit AF… am'I right on this?
That's correct, focus and exposure (AF stop down) are manual only. For studied situations like land/city-scapes and architecture that's not a real limitation (LifeView also helps, histogram and all), but for dynamic shooting scenarios it might be uncomfortable (although manual focus is no real issue given the DOF with such ultra-wide angle lenses).

So, below is a view from a window (mine), a kind of reference and clin d'œil to you Michael!

[...]

The details at 100% crops are seenable there (to protect OPF bandwidth…)
That certainly looks like an improvement, even with the CA. With some additional CA processing things will even improve further. At the diffraction sweetspot near f/8 on the 1Ds3, corner performance leaves little to be desired, so narrower apertures would only be needed for further increased DOF (at the expense of microdetail at the pixel level).

Thanks for the feedback, now we'll have to add some Nikon shots to get a feeling for how they compare.

Bart
 
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Michael Fontana

pro member
Mais bien sûr, Nicolas
we do compare experiences!

Hey, you have fine wheater, meanwhile we suffer subtropic clouds, here!
Actually, I had been in Bordeaux, a good while ago, and remember the church - isn't the container harbour at the right?

The 14 mm in your test is a no brainer, compared to the Sigma - better corner sharpness and it resolves more details - but the Sigma is clearly out of axis!

Just compare the center-left and the center-right of both lenses:

meanwhile at center-right, they' re close, (the sigma might even be a notch better) at center-left you ll see a big diffrence.

>As far as I remember, the Nikkor adapter doesn't permit AF… am'I right on this?<

It's not AF, but AF-confirm. Kinda manual, but beeps, when you' re in focus:
>....The adapter is an emulation of Canon EF auto-focus lens and has the electronics to communicate with the EOS camera....<

For a yacht-type of photography, I probably would prefer a canon lens, due to its easier handling in quick-shoot situations. You might notice, that on the Nikon 14-24 adapted on Canon the f-stop is set manually....

Meanwhile for my typ of shooting, quick-shooting is not crucial; I'm already used to the manual Zeiss lenses - even whithout AF-confirm, as that didn't existed, when I bought the Zeiss - so I use a loupe on the viewer, after composing the image.
 

Michael Fontana

pro member
Other than you, Nicolas, I don't use the wides so ultrawide, most of the archishots are done in the 25 - 35 mm-range.

But rarely, I need the UW: then it would be in the 17 - 23 mm-range, so a 14 mm prime would be useless, meanwhile the nikonzoom will fit perfectly, having the 14 - 16 mm-range as a bonus.

It fits perfectly in my lens set-up, as from 25 - 50, I've the Zeiss primes.

A little bit off topic; alternativly to the 14 - 24, I could use the 16-35 II.
The other day, I tested a copy of it in different light conditions, and was amazed, how flat it was: a noticeble, but not a big step from the 17-40.

When I compared it with some nikon 14-24-raws, there was a big difference!
Ok, the shooting situations weren't identical, but still!
 

nicolas claris

OPF Co-founder/Administrator
- but the Sigma is clearly out of axis!

Just compare the center-left and the center-right of both lenses:

meanwhile at center-right, they' re close, (the sigma might even be a notch better) at center-left you ll see a big diffrence.
Hello Michael
what do you mean? An internal misalignement or shooting misalignement?

If it is the latter, look, they are very close (and btw see the difference in vignetting):

Here is the ƒ8 Canon 14 shot:



And here is the ƒ8 Sigma 12-24 @ 14 shot:



The alignement is not perfect, but not that far!
 
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nicolas claris

OPF Co-founder/Administrator
Hey, you have fine wheater, meanwhile we suffer subtropic clouds, here!
Actually, I had been in Bordeaux, a good while ago, and remember the church - isn't the container harbour at the right?
We had some good rain to, but I ordered a nice sky for the test… It seems that for once Eole and Neptune has kindly replied to my request!

This view of Bordeaux (BTW I hope you came here before we "knew" each other;-) is opposite to the harbor, we're looking South.

But you are forgiven, there are so many churches in Bordeaux!
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi Nicolas,

I am so impressed with that Canon lens! I wonder whether you might be able to get hold of the Nikon ultra-wide angle zoom soon. That would be interesting to see in the same test!

Asher
 
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nicolas claris

OPF Co-founder/Administrator
Bonjour Asher

the problem is that I need AF for the outdoor at sea) shots, sometimes I have to hold myself with one hand and the camera in the other, needs a 3rd one to turn the focus ring but my Mum refused to provide me with it!

OTOH when doing interior shots:
- if I'm in a hurry, the Canon will do well (better than the Sigma… which was not so bad)
- if I have time I'll stitch images shot with the 24-70 or… the SINAR! (provided that I can keep it…)
- If I could have such a wide on the HY6 body, I wouldn't invest in the Canon 14…
 

Michael Fontana

pro member
Hello Michael
what do you mean? An internal misalignement or shooting misalignement?
........
Bonjour Nicolas

it's about a internal (lens) misalignement. You see it best in the 100%-crops at your site, I downloaded them and compared them side by side:

- look at both center right-crops - with the church.
- compare the center left ones, called "_45R0608_Canon_C1_CenterLeft.jpg"

It looks like a misalignement of a lens element: in a correct lens alignement, both of the sigmas's side's should perform quite equally; the church-crop (of the Sigma) beeing fine and being pretty similar to the Canon, meanwhile the center-left is showing a big difference.

It's pretty obvious that one lens element isn't either
- parellel to the sensor plane (kinda tilt) or
- not centered very well (shifted to the right or left).

Got it?

Bordeaux, that was many years ago, when hichhiking ;-) via Lyon, Dordogne, to Bordeaux, its beach a few k's outside town... Arcachon (??) and leading to Barcelone.
 

Michael Fontana

pro member
Nicolas

your "interior options" make sense..

my preferred stitching lens for interiors is the distagon 28; going wider often doesn't makes sense; beeing vertically at the panohead, it still offers 65 deg in the height and allows a easy, single-row 3-frames-stitch.

Apart from stitching, I want that "singleshot" WA too.
 

Michael Fontana

pro member
Asher

its the 2.8/28 at the 1 Ds-II.

While the or some 5 D's might have isssues with some alt glas, the 1 Ds-2 is fine on everything that is adaptable.

Still the distagon 28 requires a rather thinner adapter, than a lets say 35 mm.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Asher

its the 2.8/28 at the 1 Ds-II.

While the or some 5 D's might have isssues with some alt glas, the 1 Ds-2 is fine on everything that is adaptable.

Still the distagon 28 requires a rather thinner adapter, than a lets say 35 mm.
Michael,

Which adapter do you use? My Cameraquest adapter does not work with the 28mm Distagon on the 5D! I have not tried it on my 1D2 but I will.

For the 28mm f 2.8, how is that for stitching? Do you have to correct for the moustache or whatever distortion there is first?

Asher
 

Michael Fontana

pro member
Ok, I couldn' t resist and borrowed a Nikon FF, the D-3 with my copy of the 14-24:

It's handheld, at 200 ASA, just outside the store, therefore not to scientific, but it will give a idea about the lens image quality. The NEFs werde converted in C1, with its generic profile, and have the standart sharpening, in the converter only. Then from the tiffs; i made some screenshots, converted them unsharpend to sRGB, and pretty strong save for web:

Full image, at 14 mm and f-stop about 7!:




now, the extreme top left corner, it shows some CA. The CA doesn't shows up at all with the incamera-jpgs, as well as in some other shots, with similar contrast. So I don' t really understand it. Maybe the jpgs are CA-corrected within the internal cam-software.

You might notice, that a copy of the 16-35 -II, I tested two weeks ago, had much worse CA through all all fields.

 

Michael Fontana

pro member
Adding the foot from the extreme below-left-corner; the tiffs show colorwise a strictly neutral tar, so the tar's color shifts arises from the save to web. :





Adding a close-to-center crop, 100 % in PS, as the other crops, no CA visible at 100%, even atsome overexposed image aereas :

 

Michael Fontana

pro member
Michael,

Which adapter do you use? My Cameraquest adapter does not work with the 28mm Distagon on the 5D! I have not tried it on my 1D2 but I will.

For the 28mm f 2.8, how is that for stitching? Do you have to correct for the moustache or whatever distortion there is first?

Asher

Good evening Asher

The adaptor is frome happypagehk, aka Rudolph, and he struggled at the beginning, some 2 - 3 yeras ago, to get it thinn enough. Recently, happypagehk added AF-confirm and exif-info, aka the focal lenghts, which is good for single frame lens corrections.

The 28 dist is a nearly ideal lens for stitching, if you don't want to spend to much time on it, as it's sharp, contrasted and macrodetailed enough for even high-rez, later. A while ago, I made a print, 140 x 80 cm out of it, just perfect. It was a nasty white in white interior, so a single frame with a 17 mm would have been not very good.

3 vertical shots frm the dist 28/FF provides a image with 65 deg in height and 120 in width; beeing comparable to a single 17 mm-frame, but wider and much better IQ.

Using a wider lens usually doesn't makes a real sense, as the 120 deg in width already are the limits for a flat, rectilinear pano. Meanwhile the VFOV of 65 degs is already nice, therefore stitching the dist 28 in a single row, 3 frames only, is fine and fast.

no distortion corrections prior to stitch, with PTGui. AFAIK, the distagon 28 doesn't has a mustache distortion - the 21 mm has one for sure.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Good evening Asher

The adaptor is frome happypagehk, aka Rudolph, and he struggled at the beginning, some 2 - 3 yeras ago, to get it thinn enough. Recently, happypagehk added AF-confirm and exif-info, aka the focal lenghts, which is good for single frame lens corrections.

The 28 dist is a nearly ideal lens for stitching, if you don't want to spend to much time on it, as it's sharp, contrasted and macrodetailed enough for even high-rez, later. A while ago, I made a print, 140 x 80 cm out of it, just perfect. It was a nasty white in white interior, so a single frame with a 17 mm would have been not very good.
Maybe it's the fact that mine 28mm distagon is f2.0. So the rear of the lens may be longer than the f2.5 distagon. Anyway, the mirror hits the lens on the 5D.

Asher
 

nicolas claris

OPF Co-founder/Administrator
DeBirs 100 Sport Yacht (100 feet/30 metres long)

Shot in Cannes from helicopter last Monday (Sept. 15)
1Ds Mk3 - Canon EF 14mm f/2.8 L II USM.
ISO 100 - 1/250s - ƒ11

 
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Michael Fontana

pro member
Hi Nicolas

gives me the allusion beeing in a James Bond-movie; the yacht nearly touching you...

Asher: no, its not the f2 which doesn't works; but the 5D, which is hard to use with other lenses, due to as maller mirrorbox.

okay finally some samples from the Nikon 14-24 on the 1 Ds-2:

Just handheld, for a quick and dirty test, just vaporised webjpgs, made out of screenshots in the converter, therefore the 100%-crop shows on my widegamut-screen some pinkish and blueish casts, which aren't visible otherwise:

The frame; @ 14 mm:





now a 100%crop, from the upper right corner:

 

Michael Fontana

pro member
Now at 18 mm, you might notice the very little distortion:


these screenshots are from tiffs... and - unlike the 14 mm examples - taken on a tripod and sharpend a bit:

The frame:





and two crops from the left side:





.... the lower right corner:



That looks bloody good -
doesn' it, Bart ;-)
 

nicolas claris

OPF Co-founder/Administrator
Hi Michael
Yes, iooks obviously very good.

But are you sure that the last crop posted is the lower right corner? ;-) for me it looks the lower left corner…
 
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