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Thursday, 19 October 2017


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So do you trust lens' reviews in amazon? That came as a surprise...

[Not many of them, but the reviews as a whole can be a good rough guide as a broad metric. A lens that gets all 5-star reviews is unlikely to be good and a lens that 50% of people send back is unlikely to be good, and so forth. --Mike]

Don't use zooms- they are subversive!

"Anyway, the nice folks at LensRentals are zooming a 24mm ƒ/1.8 ZA Sonnar to me ...." :-)

You should never have let your 24/1.8 Sonnar go, Mike. Cameras come and go but a good lens is forever.

Wait a minute, didn't you say that?

This will probably be disappointing to some precisely because the 16-70 has a mixed reputation and it would have been hoping for another take on it. In a way, we've gotten it - your experience matches that of others (and test sites). This is one of the frustrating things about the Sony APS-C system. The A6500 is a powerhouse of a camera and, at $1400, needs lenses to match. The 16-70/4 has a great specification, the Zeiss label and a $1000 price tag, so promises to be an excellent lens, but while some applaud its center sharpness and contrast (and, I've read, "3d pop") others are disappointed with its lack of edge sharpness. I've avoided it, despite the fact that the specs would make it a great fit for me, because I'd use it for landscape & scenic photographs where I value edge/corner sharpness.

Well, we've finally found him. The other guy who bought an Acura ILX 2.4 with manual transmission, that is. My brother has the other one. Honestly, Mike, aren't cars getting boring - even as they become more competent? And this is a lifelong gearhead and ex-racer writing. I don't know what I'm going to do when I can no longer avoid "driver assistance" technology in the next car I buy.

I understand the logic of substituting a Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 for the Sony zoom, but is your main intention to compare the Sony A6500 with IS against the Fujifilm XT-2 without? As you know, Fuji offers some image-stabilized lenses (the XF 24mm f/1.4 not being one of them) but no IBIS. How do you plan to avoid the inevitable complaints of you comparing "apples-to-oranges"? May I suggest a well-known quote from Oscar Wilde: "Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative."?

"LensRentals doesn't rent bad samples..."

Not so, unfortunately. A year ago I rented a Sony FE 4/16-35 which was very soft on the entire right edge.

I sent it back, they checked, and it had a tilted element.

They were nice enough to refund my entire rental fee. I didn't try another sample because I wasn't satisfied with other things about the lens.

This year I rented the newly released FE 4/12-24. It turned out to be stellar, and I purchased it directly from LensRentals.

I've always loved prime lenses, but the flexibility in this case of a UWA lens -- for architecture especially -- is too good to pass up.

Technology has improved the optics of zoom lenses, and this one compares more than favorably with the Batis 2/25 and 2.8/18. Quite remarkable,in my opinion.


The best thing about an automatic transmission is that it allows you to left-foot brake. By the judicious use of both brake and throttle at the same time, you can load/unload the suspension to vary the grip of the tires. Techniques like this allow a racecar driver to be fast in a rentalcar 8-0

Putting a trans in Drive, is like putting you camera in P (for professional). In both cases the machine will make good choices, often better than yours, with no effort required on your part.

BTW real gear has a shift lever attached (obligatory S.A. remark).

"The picture above, for instance, is dead sharp in the middle of the shoreline and a bit unsharp on the edges, both north and south."

The camera is not square to the shoreline. Are you sure that this is not, at least in part, DoF?

DoF softening that would never have been noticed in prints of any reasonable size from 35 mm film can show up with high MP sensors viewed at 100%.

As you say, testing can be a tricky business.

[As I say, I just decided to bail and get a lens that the camera's IBIS works with, to better get a handle on that function as I would personally use it. That's all. --Mike]

Except in very, very few circumstances I have always disliked zooms. There are several reasons, but the fact that they can easily complicate the process and produce results that can be hard to interpret if results are sub par is at the top of the list. I did get along, for the most part, with a Tokina 75-150 in OM mount (very sharp) and the Fuji 18-55 2.8/4 is really nice. For a zoom. And yes, I know there are some really good zooms available; I guess I'm just a prime guy.

If you get an OBDII tool and plug it in, it can show you the gear in real time. If you get a laptop-based one you can record the data.

Next time you're car shopping try one with a Dual Clutch Transmission -- they shift faster than you can and display the gear using very large numbers next to the tach. Our car collection (two) has DCT and Manual Transmission cars and I prefer that DCT.


I just bought a Zeiss 24/1.8 to go on my a6300 (from the Amazon link). I am looking forward to your review.

Juan B is a fine photographer and gentleman. I was part of that workshop and speak from firsthand experience.

At those prices for lenses should not all of the ones released for sale be top performers. I constantly read of photographic review sites noting that they received a bad lens. My gosh it's frustrating and yes I did own the same lens for a short time and I was not impressed so it was sent back for a refund. I have not heard of that issue with FUJI, SONY may be kicking butt with their cameras but many of their lenses are just average at best.

God forbid such a thing happen, but if you ever suffer an impairment of the left foot do not hesitate to get that next Miata with the 6-speed automatic transmission. I know, heresy. But it offers full manual control when you want it and shifts faster than any normal human.

Weird how Sony can't seem to get the quality control right on a thousand dollar lens. Luckily, my 16-70 is just fine. Most of the time I'm photographing life, rather than landscapes, but when it does go on a tripod I've seen nothing to complain about.
When I need a prime lens fix I use a 24mm or 35mm Nikon + a cheap adapter. Amazed that I can still focus manually.

A car with manual transmission would be okay in a clutch.

I got a used 3 year old car instead of a new one in large part because the new one only came with a DCT (although a very good one). The DCT car is 'better' in most regards compared with my manual transmission car, but lacks the involvement, and that is much more important to me. This year, the manufacturer has made a manual transmission available again, due to customer demand.

We have some cars with DCT's that my wife drives, and they're OK, but I'd prefer manual. Just watch out for CVT's (constant velocity transmissions). I haven't met one I'd put up with, and you won't get a gear readout because it doesn't have any.

When I shoot with zooms, I shoot differently and take different pictures than when I shoot with primes. Not better, not worse, just differently.

" I don't know what I'm going to do when I can no longer avoid "driver assistance" technology in the next car I buy." I get a kick out of people who are so worried about the new auto technology that will save tens of thousands of lives every year. I have a six-speed stick shift Mazda Miata that is great fun to drive, but when I have a long distance trip to make I go with my 2016 Mazda 6. It has adaptive cruise control that uses multiple sensors to vary speed to keep a safe distance to the car in front. The new technology makes long trips virtually stress free. I embrace it.

Rumors are swirling that Panasonic will very shortly introduce a new high end body ... possibly at the beginning of November. If the testing You are doing right between Fuji and SONY is to help You decide which camera to get next ... then there is another worthy contender just behind the corner ... I would wait :-)

Why do you need to know what gear your car has selected? Mercedes' gearboxes are pretty good. Let them do the spade work while you enjoy the drive.

I think this makes more sense ... these should be comparable lenses. I love my Fuji 23 / 1.4 even though I don't seem to frame all that well with a 35mm equivalent.

Acura makes nice cars, but their model names are unforgivable: ILX, TLX, RLX, RDX, MDX, NSX?
From that list, guess which is the luxury car, the SUV, the sports car.
They've been doing that for years, and a survey showed that it costs them sales.
Just dumb.

Hmzzz, had the same with an Audi A3 with flappy pedal gears and a double clutch gearbox, untill I learned that it shifted with breathtaking precision and let it do the job. I only used them for some downshifts on alpine roads, accelerating (like stonk) out off tight uphill corners. And since these are few and far between in my country, they were actually more or less useless.

Greets, Ed.

Left-foot braking can't be relied on to do what it used to do. In many new(er) cars, touching the brake pedal cuts the throttle. But I understand what you mean. Why don't they show what gear the car is in on the display? There's so much other useless info on there now.

I was a manual shift diehard for years. Now I let my new Golf do the shifting, it seems to mostly know what to do. It even holds the gear going into corners.

Stirling Moss bought daly drivers with automatic transmissions. If they were good enough for him...

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