My friend Jack took this view of Green Bay's Lambeau Field yesterday from the roof deck of the brand new South End Zone, which adds 7,000 new seats to the old stadium. Last year, he would have needed a hot air balloon to get this view.
Here's a larger version, and here's the story. Note the crops showing the ball in the air, as a demonstration of the Leica S2's resolution. And that's with a 24mm (19mm equivalent angle of view*) lens!
The Packers beat the Washington Generals 128-3, and Aaron Rodgers' QB rating was 286. He threw for 680 yards**, tying a Packers record.
*The S2 has a 45x30mm sensor, so the crop factor is ~.8x.
**These numbers might not be 100% accurate. As I've mentioned before, I have a poor memory for numbers.
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Jason Sewell: "Great shot. But there appears to be slight up/down motion blur. Or is this a lens issue?"
Mike replies: As always with the Web, you have to keep in mind that you're not seeing the actual picture--you're seeing a small JPEG of it through several generations of web software. I'm sure what you're seeing is some kind of digital artifact, given how sharp the extreme crop is:
And even that is several generations away from the original!
Ctein comments: Normally pixel-peeping is an inappropriate way to look at a photograph, but you can't say Mike didn't invite it in this case! Hell, made it well-nigh irresistible. [Grin]
Anyways…there's definitely an asymmetry in the sharpness. It could be partly a depth of field issue as semilog suggests, as the picture is sharpest at the bottom (closest) and gradually loses definition towards the top (further away). You wouldn't think depth of field would be an issue at this distance with an ultra-wide-angle lens, but when you're pixel peeping at this level (at 100% size, it's almost a 3.5x5' photograph on my screen) DoF can be astonishingly shallow.
I'm thinking that's not it entirely. There's a peculiar doubling of the fine detail in the big screen at the top of the stadium. Quite evident in the lettering. It looks just a little bit like camera shake. Does the Leica S2 have a vertical-traveling focal plane shutter? If so, it's entirely possible to have a photograph where a bit of camera shake affects the top of the photograph but not the bottom (or vice versa).
But…I'm thinking that's not it entirely, either. Because if you look at the trees near to the screen, behind it, they are pretty blurry, but look a little further to the left or the right and they become quite sharp. (And towards the extreme edges get a little smeary, but that's normal in ultrawide angle lens, especially with this degree of pixel peeping. Remember—3.5x5' print! That's feet, not inches.)
So, my vote? What semilog says: toss in turbulence/thermals in the atmosphere. It can produce effects just like this, that vary from spot to spot in the picture. Normally you only see them with telephoto lenses, which magnify the effect. But normally you're not pixel-peeping on such a high-resolution image.
I'm pretty certain what you're seeing is not a lens quality issue. Decentering in a lens can produce an asymmetric image in pretty complex patterns, but the superb quality at the bottom of the photograph—tack-sharp along the lower edge and no noticeable smearing until you get to the extreme corners and there it's quite symmetric—argue against that. Decentered lenses can look good on one side of a photograph and bad on the other, but not this good.
My two cents' worth.
Andy Kowalczyk: "Yes, the color balance is atrocious. The entire stadium is overwrought with Green and Yellow. A superb football picture demands a color palette rich in Navy Blue and Orange! —Andy Kowalczyk, Chicago."