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The decline and fall of Reflex.

audio2design

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Why do you think a new F mount 80-400 is on the way when every few months F mount lenses are being discontinued and no new F mount lenses are being announced?

Why do you think I implied there was a new one on the way? :) It was an answer to why the new lenses are more expensive.
 

LTig

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Nikon is introducing the Z9. Meanwhile the F-Mount 80-400 is discontinued. Has anyone noticed that many Z mount lenses are more expensive than their F mount counterparts?
I think the Z lenses need to be sharper than their old F brethren because the sensor resolution increases seemingly without end. That may explain a higher price.
 

Newman

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Exactly. They are seriously upping their game for S-line lenses over the oldtimer models.

Example: I hope nobody thinks that the new 50 mm ƒ/1.8 lens is the size it is because they couldn’t make it any smaller? Compare it to the old 50 mm ƒ/1.8 lens and understand that the size difference is reflected in a quality difference. The price is just what it needs to be, not some marketing attempt to try to rip people off for going mirrorless.
 

audio2design

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Exactly. They are seriously upping their game for S-line lenses over the oldtimer models.

Example: I hope nobody thinks that the new 50 mm ƒ/1.8 lens is the size it is because they couldn’t make it any smaller? Compare it to the old 50 mm ƒ/1.8 lens and understand that the size difference is reflected in a quality difference. The price is just what it needs to be, not some marketing attempt to try to rip people off for going mirrorless.

The 50/1.8 (or 1.4) have never been a great lens from Nikon. There were essentially consumer lenses and the price matched.

The 50mm/1.8 for Z is a professional quality lens. It finally caught up to where Zeiss(Sony) and Sigma were 5 years previously in this format.

For the performance, the price is actually quite good.
 

Chromatischism

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Nikon is introducing the Z9. Meanwhile the F-Mount 80-400 is discontinued. Has anyone noticed that many Z mount lenses are more expensive than their F mount counterparts?
Some, but not all. The 105mm Macro came out lower than expected.

But consider that the Z lenses are superior in optics, focus speed and focus noise, so the tech is there to justify the price.
 

Blumlein 88

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I wonder if we can reach a point where the photo quality is so good there is no benefit for more like we have for consumer DACs?

Maybe like diffraction limited optics in good telescopes.
 

Chromatischism

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Exactly. They are seriously upping their game for S-line lenses over the oldtimer models.

Example: I hope nobody thinks that the new 50 mm ƒ/1.8 lens is the size it is because they couldn’t make it any smaller? Compare it to the old 50 mm ƒ/1.8 lens and understand that the size difference is reflected in a quality difference. The price is just what it needs to be, not some marketing attempt to try to rip people off for going mirrorless.
Yeah. The Z 50 1.8 S was designed for a performance target, with some consideration to price, rather than the other way around like the old days. Still have the F 50 1.8 G and like it, but boy does my Z 85 1.8 S run circles around it wide open. Different goals.
 

Newman

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However, one senior opined if he waited for mirrorless to be perfect he would never get a chance to have one.
If he had waited for DSLR to be perfect he still wouldn’t have bought a DSLR either, nor an SLR!

IMO this thread is really just a ‘late adopter chat line’ for therapeutic purposes.

It’s not about the technologies and their merits: it is about human nature and the fact that we all sit on a Bell curve of new product adoption, all the way from the earliest-adopters who check the rumour sites hourly for 12 months and hit the pre-order button in a frenzy of damp clothing as soon as B&H put a placeholder up for a newly-announced product; to most of us who lie near the peak of the Bell curve and wait for the real-world reviews and maybe for the second-generation product release; and all the way to the over-my-dead-body late adoptors who can’t stop emphasising the old product’s few advantages and how much more important they are than the spin-driven claimed advantages of the new.

Really, it’s not the products, it’s the people, and it’s not their needs, it’s their personalities. This applies to professionals too.

cheers
 

nerdstrike

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I wonder if we can reach a point where the photo quality is so good there is no benefit for more like we have for consumer DACs?

Maybe like diffraction limited optics in good telescopes.
No... optics are full of trade-offs a bit like speakers. The Amir equivalent in that domain is probably Roger Cicala. His blogs are really interesting.

Examples: Zeiss Otus 85mm, super good, super heavy, super expensive. Nikon 85mm 1.8g, pretty good, acceptable price, modest weight. You fix one thing, you lose another. You want zoom? Now you have more fuzziness and vignette, and wobbly plane of focus. I think we can find better compromises through material science, and engineering refinement.

In general, sensors are much closer to their practical optimum and are being fitted with far higher resolutions than the optics can reasonably resolve. The trade off there is more about sensor reset and readout speed to negate rolling shutter. We can improve the data processing, but the quantum efficiency of sensors is already impressive.
 

rdenney

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If he had waited for DSLR to be perfect he still wouldn’t have bought a DSLR either, nor an SLR!

IMO this thread is really just a ‘late adopter chat line’ for therapeutic purposes.

It’s not about the technologies and their merits: it is about human nature and the fact that we all sit on a Bell curve of new product adoption, all the way from the earliest-adopters who check the rumour sites hourly for 12 months and hit the pre-order button in a frenzy of damp clothing as soon as B&H put a placeholder up for a newly-announced product; to most of us who lie near the peak of the Bell curve and wait for the real-world reviews and maybe for the second-generation product release; and all the way to the over-my-dead-body late adoptors who can’t stop emphasising the old product’s few advantages and how much more important they are than the spin-driven claimed advantages of the new.

Really, it’s not the products, it’s the people, and it’s not their needs, it’s their personalities. This applies to professionals too.

cheers
Yes, it’s about people and their use cases. There will always be demand for higher image quality, just as people will trade a DAC with a SINAD of 120 dB for one with 122 dB, and still listen to it through crappy speakers. People demand sensors with 40, 50, or more megapixels and the show their images at one megapixel on Instagram. And then want lenses that resolve to a 2-micron pixel so they can enlarge their photo from small sensor to iPad Pro screen size. It’s BS.

I make larger prints than most people and I have high standards of sharpness. I’m one of those people who uses large-format film (4x5 inches) to get a little more sense of endlessly scalable detail in a decent-size print—I actually make prints that show the benefits of 50 megapixels. I can do that with my Pentax 645z and lenses made 25 years ago for the prior film version of that camera (which I also own), the 645NII. The big sensor means lens faults don’t have to be enlarged as much.

I have a system today that can do that with any of 15 or 18 lenses. I can and have carried that weatherproof camera on 10-plus-mile hikes in mountains and not thought it too bulky or heavy for what it does or the experience I get of looking at an optical focus screen with no lag, no need for focus peaking, no loss of image depth, no need to remove or change my glasses while using it, and a shutter the releases when I push the damn button.

So, why do I need to adopt anything?

We are “improvement” addicts, but without any resulting high.

Rick “being abandoned by a market responding to faddists who buy specs and don’t even know what their needs-focused requirements are” Denney
 
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Ron Texas

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Thank you @rdenney for injecting some sanity into this discussion. The difference in experience between optical viewfinders and electronic is the major factor keeping me away from mirrorless. There are many statements responding to my last post which I take issue with on a factual basis, but it's not worth the effort to respond.
 
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audio2design

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I can and have carried that weatherproof camera on 10-plus-mile hikes in mountains and not thought it too bulky or heavy for what it does or the experience I get of looking at an optical focus screen with no lag, no need for focus peaking, no loss of image depth, no need to remove or change my glasses while using it, and a shutter the releases when I push the damn button.

I am not as surefooted as I once was, and years of sports has abused my knees so I do appreciate the high image quality in a light package that also allows me to keep my tripod weight way down :) I never print beyond 36" wide though, so many pixels are wasted for me typically, but hard to argue with light gathering. I wish the software technology in my Pixel phone was in my DSLR.

No so pro tip. If you use a light tripod, bring a piece of rope. I will find a handy piece of branch, etc. and hang it from the tripod when I need additional stability.
 

rdenney

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I am not as surefooted as I once was, and years of sports has abused my knees so I do appreciate the high image quality in a light package that also allows me to keep my tripod weight way down :) I never print beyond 36" wide though, so many pixels are wasted for me typically, but hard to argue with light gathering. I wish the software technology in my Pixel phone was in my DSLR.

No so pro tip. If you use a light tripod, bring a piece of rope. I will find a handy piece of branch, etc. and hang it from the tripod when I need additional stability.
Heh. That's why I often hike with the 645z instead of the 4x5 Sinar. I used to hike with a 4x5 Calumet--even heavier than a Sinar F (which is actually not that bad for a monorail camera). As Ansel Adams said, I bring the biggest camera I can carry.

What gets me are people who never hike, never get far from their car, or hardly ever get into the field, who extol the virtues of light weight. It's a bit like arguing about differential lockers on off-road vehicles for people who never venture off-road.

Personally, I find a heavy camera is more stable in my hands. My Gitzo tripod with carbon-composite legs was expensive and it is light and very effective--that's where I saved weight.

Rick "maybe a few workouts with dumbbells would help" Denney
 

audio2design

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Heh. That's why I often hike with the 645z instead of the 4x5 Sinar. I used to hike with a 4x5 Calumet--even heavier than a Sinar F (which is actually not that bad for a monorail camera). As Ansel Adams said, I bring the biggest camera I can carry.

The newer lenses are really pushing the resolution up for the FF Nikons and Sony to the level you are probably getting with the 645Z or at least within 20%. You are probably carrying 2x the weight and a lot more size. Pentax is due for an update, but I wonder if their market is growing or shrinking. I would expect the latter.
 

Chromatischism

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No... optics are full of trade-offs a bit like speakers. The Amir equivalent in that domain is probably Roger Cicala. His blogs are really interesting.
I hadn't thought about it like that, but yeah. There's Roger providing high-quality measurements and it's a great service to the community. He has the benefit of testing multiple samples to get an idea of sample variance as well which Amir can't practically do.

In the optical world there wasn't as much of a dearth of measurements and proliferation of subjectivism as in audio (the ears are easier to fool I think), but there are still some elements of that.

His 70-200 roundup was good but needs an update: https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2019/07/just-the-mtf-charts-70-200mm-f2-8-zooms/
 

rdenney

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The newer lenses are really pushing the resolution up for the FF Nikons and Sony to the level you are probably getting with the 645Z or at least within 20%. You are probably carrying 2x the weight and a lot more size. Pentax is due for an update, but I wonder if their market is growing or shrinking. I would expect the latter.
I suspect so. But that's my complaint. The 645z is a great camera by any measure--controls, ergonomics, balance, usability, image processing--all of it. It's better in every usability dimension, for my requirements, compared to the Hasselblad and Fuji competitors. (The Leica S2, well, that's something else, but it's also four times the price). I have shot many paid gigs using Mamiya, Rollei, Hasselblad, Canon, and Nikon equipment, and the Pentax delivers the whole package.

But don't compare it with full-frame cameras, of which I own two. For one, it does not use an AA filter, so images are sharper at the pixel level if one can avoid moire. And the sensor itself is superb--used by Fuji, Leica, and Hasselblad, and very well implemented by Pentax. The main difference there is color clarity. There's more than a 20% difference by far, despite that the Pentax is now quite long in the tooth in technological terms.

Now, to the lenses. Many of the lenses are old. Many require one to stop them down to f/8 or f/11 to get the most out of them. Guess what? Pros do that anyway, simply because they need the depth of field. I made a group photo at a conference using the 45-85 zoom, and autofocus zoom originally designed for the 645NII that I bought in about 2005. The group included 80 people, and I could read their nametags clearly. I have continued to be astonished by the image quality compared to even the Canon 5Dsr, with its 50MP sensor. The lenses for smaller cameras that deliver the same image quality cost thousands each. Pentax's current lenses are even more expensive, but their older lenses work so well that the difference is marginal. I think that as much as anything earns Pentax great praise, but is probably also part of the commercial problem they are having with the camera--it is not driving lens sales. (I have the new 55/2.8 and 28-45 zoom, both of which are as good as any lenses I've ever used for any camera, bar none. And I have these lenses from the film era: 35, 75, 120 macro, 150/2.8, 200/4, 300/4, 400/5.6, 45-85, and 80-160. All of them can support print sizes in feet with no loss of the illusion of endless detail. Are they as good as a Schneider Symmar or Super Angulon, or a Rodenstock Sironar, on 4x5? It would take very large prints to see the difference. The 28-45 was by far the most expensive of these. I did not pay more than $700 for any of the others, and many I bought for $200 or less. With Fuji, I'd have to adapt these Pentax lenses to have as much versatility in the kit, but the lenses work better with the Pentax camera and it's a better implementation of the sensor anyway.

Pentax made those lenses for pros back in the day, when Asahi was as much an optical powerhouse as anyone. They were not cheap relative to the market when they were new, but they are abundant now.

Also, I'm leery of Fuji--they give up on their product lifecycles sooner than Pentax, orphaning a lot of what people have bought. Pentax has supported the 645 lens mount since 1982. The Fuji lenses for their medium-format digital mirrorless camera are expensive and fit no other camera.

But that can't survive a foolish market enamored with oversized point-n-shoots. What I wish is that markets supported diversity like they once did, instead of everyone having to jump on the same bandwagon.

Rick "who chose the Pentax over a Canon 5Dsr after a comparison that favored the Pentax abundantly" Denney
 

Newman

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Never seen anyone digress so wildly when the actual topic is "how hard can it be to deal with EVF, it's really your own attitude not the EVF itself".

New "storytellers are their own worst enemies" man
 
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Ron Texas

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@rdenney Nikon's discontinuing of F mount lenses is no doubt sales related. I don't expect any replacements. However, used Nikkor F mount lenses with a focusing motor in the lens are not cheap. These can be used on Z mount bodies in autofocus mode with an adaptor.
 

audio2design

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@rdenney


I think you will find the newest BSi sensors in full frame have every bit as much dynamic range and color range as your Pentax. It is pretty impressive how many electrons they are squeezing into those pixels.

The new S series F mount lenses are delivering phenomenal resolution and little distortion and they are not that pricey. That 50/1.8 discussed above gets close to the limit for $600. Nikon will be hard pressed to do follow on acts. Ditto the Sony/Zeiss lenses and the off Sigma. Phenomenal resolution in primes <$1500 and still very good in narrow zooms. But no, no $200 lenses, but everything is image stabilized :)
 

rdenney

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Never seen anyone digress so wildly when the actual topic is "how hard can it be to deal with EVF, it's really your own attitude not the EVF itself".

New "storytellers are their own worst enemies" man

That was asked and answered about a thousand posts ago. But I answered it again—lag, smear, the requirement to use my trifocals (optical eyepieces focus at infinity, and some EVF’s do have that), lack of EVF dynamic range, insufficient brightness in direct sunlight, battery-eating power consumption, poor resolution that demands electronic focus indicators like focus-peaking, and so on. There are times when it is really useful. But for most applications, I see better through a proper optical finder. Not all optical finders are great, particularly on small cameras. But medium-format pro cameras are usually bright and expansive.

My Pentax has live view and I use it when needed. I’m glad it’s there. But most of the time it would just be in my way.

Is there any reason why a person is obligated to accept new products when they don’t fulfill the same requirements? I find the notion that such people are merely obsolete and pig-headed a bit offensive, actually. My camera was not made to be a throwaway like my phone was and I don’t throw stuff away that still fulfills its purpose admirably.

Stories mean experience, and people with experience are allowed to draw some conclusions.

Rick “sure the new nikons are very nice for what they are” Denney
 
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