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Old October 16th, 2013, 03:36 AM   #1
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50mm Digital Zoom Test for Randy

Hey Randy

I used my Tamron 17-50 at full zoom on a few outdoor objects and also some indoor up to 15db gain and then did 2X digital zooms of all of them so you can compare the resolution with and without zoom.

Shot at 1080 50P so I had full res frame grabs.

Tell me what you think??

Chris
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Old October 16th, 2013, 04:03 AM   #2
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Re: 50mm Digital Zoom Test for Randy

I"m not Randy but just thought it would be good to say that these test photo's don't show the apparent resolution loss the digital zoom causes + the subjects are not that suitable for a clear view, it would be better if you choose a scene with more fine detail or patterns that are subject to causing moire, also fine print like text on books are a good way to see the difference. Best would be to first shoot the scene without DZ and then use the 2x DZ but move the camera back to get the same frame because then you can compare better.
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Old October 16th, 2013, 07:41 AM   #3
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Re: 50mm Digital Zoom Test for Randy

Hi Noa

I did actually move back when I digitally zoomed in so didn't bother to be technically perfect regarding distance!! I think the only REALLY practical test would be inside a Church locked onto a bride and groom at the altar as that's what Randy wants to use the digital zoom for. Yes, I do agree that arifacts and moire will be amplified but not likely at a wedding ceremony unless the groom has a pinstriped suit!!

I looked carefully at the images side by side and the no digital zoom images are definitely a bit sharper than the digital zoom ones. Putting moire aside I think one might get away with using digital zoom especially if the end result was DVD....A little bit of sharpening in the NLE should suffice.

It certainly would be better if you simply don't have enough zoom apart from using the stock lens. I think I would prefer to use the Tamron 17-50 with some digital zoom and be able to stay at F2.8 rather than introduce noise when the stock lens has to zoom and only can manage F5.6 in a dingy Church!!!
It would be the lesser of two evils I think!!

Chris
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Old October 16th, 2013, 11:36 AM   #4
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Re: 50mm Digital Zoom Test for Randy

Chris,
Thanks for the test! I do seem some softness but I guess you need to consider the situation and reason for using it. Personally the way I think I may go is get a 85 mm at 1.4 for dark churches and use the digital zoom in that case some image loss will probably be that last of my worries:) the use something like a 17-50 no digital zoom at the reception. I can say I would never use digital zoom for higher end projects or ones where you have control over distance and lighting. Judging by those images even though they are a bit soft thats pretty good considering there zoomed all the way in.
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Old October 18th, 2013, 10:58 AM   #5
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Re: 50mm Digital Zoom Test for Randy

I have been playing around with DZ and high gain settings lately because I have been trying to shoot an owl. There is a great horned owl that lands on top of a tall pine tree in my back yard once in a great while. It is an owl so of course it comes at night. Unlike Noa, who says he would never use DZ or 30 DB, I am glad they are there. Obviously we all try not to use them but sometimes they get the shot you could not otherwise get at all. And, I am trying to shoot the owl just for fun.

What I found is under perfect conditions like daylight I think the DZ is not to bad at all. I might use it on some real projects if I had to. When you start combining DZ with gain the image turns to crap in a hurry. I have the owl at 30 DB, DZ and underexposed because I lit him with a flashlight. It is absolute crap, especially when you underexpose. The other night I set the gain at 21 and opened the shutter to 1/30th, much better, of course. I am shooting at f2.8 with a Canon 70-200L.

Randy, your F1.4 and DZ plan for dark churches sounds sounds risky to me. I understand money matters. But, IMHO anyone charging for work and representing themselves as a pro should be properly equipped. It sounds to me like your compromises are setting you up for poor image quality. No offence intended.

Steve
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Old October 18th, 2013, 02:34 PM   #6
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Re: 50mm Digital Zoom Test for Randy

Once you have experienced the etc mode on the panasonic gh3 and g6 which magnifies 2,5 times you"ll find the digital zoom from Sony a joke, the differenc in image quality is big once zoomed in, the DZ from Sony is unique in the fact that you can perform a zoom with a prime lens though.
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Old October 18th, 2013, 04:26 PM   #7
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Re: 50mm Digital Zoom Test for Randy

Steven,
What would be a better plan? Are there any f1.4 lenses out there that are 100 to 200 mm?
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Old October 18th, 2013, 04:37 PM   #8
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Re: 50mm Digital Zoom Test for Randy

Hi Randy,

Just about everybody makes a 70-200 F 2.8 fixed. They are expensive but worth it. There are tons of other lens options without counting on DZ. My point is the digital zoom combined with gain falls apart VERY quickly. The zoom magnifies the noise from the gain. You would be better off at 2.8 and gain when appropriate than you would be at F1.4 + gain + DZ.

Not to mention a magnified F1.4 gives you a scary DOF to shoot three people in a dark church.

Steve
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Old October 18th, 2013, 05:41 PM   #9
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Re: 50mm Digital Zoom Test for Randy

Well it looks nice but I think the weight may be a factor. 2.5 lbs.
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Old October 18th, 2013, 09:10 PM   #10
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Re: 50mm Digital Zoom Test for Randy

Probably 99% of my weddings can be done on my stock zoom!! Maybe you are splitting hairs here. If you do need a big zoom then unless it's an underground dungeon F2.8 will be plenty to handle the interior! My rule is simple ..I go in with the stock zoom at the rehearsal and check out the lighting. AS long as the camera with a sample taken from where I will stand is comfortably under 21db gain then I just use the stock lens. If it wants to shift to 24db around an F4 zoom then most definitely the F2.8 zoom comes out to play.

I seriously doubt whether the Canon 70-200 at F2.8 won't easily handle most Churches and not push too much gain so if you shoot from the back as you say, then you might have to consider the Canon lens as an essential in your kit.

Remember, from where I shoot from in Churches (either aisle or left front pew) 50mm is more than enough zoom for me and it's actually more critical for me to be able to drop back to 17 or 18mm if the priest gets too close!

Chris
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Old October 18th, 2013, 10:37 PM   #11
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Re: 50mm Digital Zoom Test for Randy

Well I think what I may do is just get a Metabones nikon to NEX converter and a 17-50 or something like that and see how much I really need the longer lens if I find myself needing it I may pick one up. although back to my original plan can I assume that with the digital zoom the more you zoom in the softer the image gets? So if I used that 85 mm I would only find myself going all the way in in extreme situations.
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Old October 19th, 2013, 12:05 AM   #12
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Re: 50mm Digital Zoom Test for Randy

Hi Randy

You did mention a while back that you shoot from near the rear of the Church? At worst I'm in the aisle normally at the 2nd pew from the front and to get a tight shot on the couple or on the person doing the readings, 50mm only just makes it so being at the back would need something a LOT bigger I would say.

My biggest issue with shooting further back was people in the pews tended to block my shot especially at Catholic weddings where they do the readings from a lectern/podium on normally the left so I make sure that I'm far enough forward so when I swing the main camera left to get a decent shot of the reader, I don't have the guy who is sitting in the front pew in my shot. With a 17-50 I would say your maximum distance from camera to subject cannot exceed 20' otherwise you will run out of zoom. Being pretty much up front is also the reason why I need the 17mm end of the lens too ...when the couple arrive, front and centre they are often no more than 10' away from me so I need to be pretty wide there.

My other reason for getting up front, apart from being blocked by guests, is if my wireless system DID fail on both lavs, I can still get usable audio from the on-camera mic which would never be possible if I was at the back!! I use a little GoPro at the back to get away from blocked shots and to get an overall Church view or I might even put it on a high stand up front so even photogs cannot block me and I have an alternate view if that happens.

Think carefully before you select a lens and base it on your normal position in a Church ... if I was at the back then something like a 24 -200 would be my choice ... you don't want to have to shoot the whole wedding with a 2X digital zoom especially if the light is low. The 17-50 works great for me as long as I'm up at the front.

Chris
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Old October 20th, 2013, 02:39 PM   #13
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Re: 50mm Digital Zoom Test for Randy

Just considering my options here but what do you think? As Chris has said and I agree the stock lens is fine for 80 to 90 percent of events I do its just in espcially dark churches I need to go to 24 db or higher so I was thinking instead of buying a few different lenses why not just get a metabone speed booster with a 18-200 lens if its 3.5-6 it will be more like 2.8-5.6 right? That extra stops should be all I need.
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Old October 20th, 2013, 02:53 PM   #14
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Re: 50mm Digital Zoom Test for Randy

Sorry Randy,

The primary function of the speed booster is to be a lens adapter. They don't make one that goes from e-mount to e-mount. The fact that you can pick up an extra stop is a secondary benefit. And that is only with the speed booster. They make the same adapter without that benefit for $200.00 less.

Do you own a still camera with lenses for it? For example, a Metabones adapter has allowed me to put an entire collection of Canon lenses I already owned into service on my EA50. What a great benefit.

If you do not already own other lenses you would have to consider purchasing a lens to use the speed booster. Your kit lens won't work. Or, buy e-mount lenses, there is a ton of them. No adapter required.

Steve
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Old October 20th, 2013, 05:23 PM   #15
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Re: 50mm Digital Zoom Test for Randy

Well I was thinking of getting a lens like this.
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Zoom Lens 2191 B&H
or this
Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical IF AF020NII-700
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