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Macros with a rodenstock heligon 95mm F/0.95 and questions
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 5:35 am    Post subject: Macros with a rodenstock heligon 95mm F/0.95 and questions Reply with quote

Hi Everyone:

For these macros I used a Sony A7ii and a modified rodenstock heligon 95mm F/0.95, as well as a couple of extension tubes. This was my first outing for macros with this lens so it was kind of experimental. I shot raw. Comments welcomed.

I also have a couple of questions. I like the dreamy look. But I noticed there was significant posterization with most of the shots, which was even visible (although much less so) in the raw files. I couldn't figure out whether it was because of the lens properties, or the lack of illumination in the background? It was certainly more visible in the jpgs particularly after I bumped up the brightness. The lens itself has a lot of aberrations so maybe it is a combination of the two issues. Any thoughts?

I had stopped up the aperture a bit (otherwise everything would be surrounded by an aura and lack sharpness), but at a certain point significant vignetting appeared. Is that because of the obstruction from the extension tubes?

Thanks for your comments,

-Charles



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi. Looks like a fun lens to play with. It is my understanding that when it comes to the posterization issue it has to do with the Sony lossy compressed raw format that also can be seen on my A7 model 1. However it's usually not that bad and to minimize the effect use raw format, not jpeg. And don't post process white balance, saturation, brightness or contrast much. A high contrast lens does not challenge the camera like yours with so many smooth gradation so you can blame a part of it on the lens. But in my opinion the camera should be made to handle it.

It's too bad that Sony doesn't have lossless compression. They do have uncompressed raw now on newer models but with huge files.


PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

blotafton wrote:
Hi. Looks like a fun lens to play with. It is my understanding that when it comes to the posterization issue it has to do with the Sony lossy compressed raw format that also can be seen on my A7 model 1. However it's usually not that bad and to minimize the effect use raw format, not jpeg. And don't post process white balance, saturation, brightness or contrast much. A high contrast lens does not challenge the camera like yours with so many smooth gradation so you can blame a part of it on the lens. But in my opinion the camera should be made to handle it.

It's too bad that Sony doesn't have lossless compression. They do have uncompressed raw now on newer models but with huge files.


Thanks. I am using uncompressed raw files with my Sony. In fact, I was using uncompressed raw to avoid such issues. Should I use my A7riii? Would that eliminate this issue? I don't see why it would. Uncompressed is uncompressed.

Thanks!

-Charles


PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

charley5 wrote:
blotafton wrote:
Hi. Looks like a fun lens to play with. It is my understanding that when it comes to the posterization issue it has to do with the Sony lossy compressed raw format that also can be seen on my A7 model 1. However it's usually not that bad and to minimize the effect use raw format, not jpeg. And don't post process white balance, saturation, brightness or contrast much. A high contrast lens does not challenge the camera like yours with so many smooth gradation so you can blame a part of it on the lens. But in my opinion the camera should be made to handle it.

It's too bad that Sony doesn't have lossless compression. They do have uncompressed raw now on newer models but with huge files.


Thanks. I am using uncompressed raw files with my Sony. In fact, I was using uncompressed raw to avoid such issues. Should I use my A7riii? Would that eliminate this issue? I don't see why it would. Uncompressed is uncompressed.

Thanks!

-Charles


You can try with the A7RIII. Also try to nail the exposure and white balance in camera and see if that helps. And see if you can detect the posterization in the raw files before jpeg conversion. If it is not there then the jpeg conversion is the issue.


PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Macros with a rodenstock heligon 95mm F/0.95 and questio Reply with quote

charley5 wrote:
Hi Everyone:

For these macros I used a Sony A7ii and a modified rodenstock heligon 95mm F/0.95, as well as a couple of extension tubes. This was my first outing for macros with this lens so it was kind of experimental. I shot raw. Comments welcomed.

I also have a couple of questions. I like the dreamy look. But I noticed there was significant posterization with most of the shots, which was even visible (although much less so) in the raw files. I couldn't figure out whether it was because of the lens properties, or the lack of illumination in the background? It was certainly more visible in the jpgs particularly after I bumped up the brightness. The lens itself has a lot of aberrations so maybe it is a combination of the two issues. Any thoughts?

I had stopped up the aperture a bit (otherwise everything would be surrounded by an aura and lack sharpness), but at a certain point significant vignetting appeared. Is that because of the obstruction from the extension tubes?

Thanks for your comments,

-Charles




A couple photos with the gradient banding are ISO 50 at 1/400. Did you use a flash?


PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

blotafton wrote:
charley5 wrote:
blotafton wrote:
Hi. Looks like a fun lens to play with. It is my understanding that when it comes to the posterization issue it has to do with the Sony lossy compressed raw format that also can be seen on my A7 model 1. However it's usually not that bad and to minimize the effect use raw format, not jpeg. And don't post process white balance, saturation, brightness or contrast much. A high contrast lens does not challenge the camera like yours with so many smooth gradation so you can blame a part of it on the lens. But in my opinion the camera should be made to handle it.

It's too bad that Sony doesn't have lossless compression. They do have uncompressed raw now on newer models but with huge files.


Thanks. I am using uncompressed raw files with my Sony. In fact, I was using uncompressed raw to avoid such issues. Should I use my A7riii? Would that eliminate this issue? I don't see why it would. Uncompressed is uncompressed.

Thanks!

-Charles


You can try with the A7RIII. Also try to nail the exposure and white balance in camera and see if that helps. And see if you can detect the posterization in the raw files before jpeg conversion. If it is not there then the jpeg conversion is the issue.


I can definitely detect posterization in my raw file. So it isn't just a conversion issue. I wonder if the very low contrast of the lens is partly responsible, and a larger file size with the A7Riii will compensate somewhat?


PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:24 am    Post subject: Re: Macros with a rodenstock heligon 95mm F/0.95 and questio Reply with quote

Blazer0ne wrote:
charley5 wrote:
Hi Everyone:

For these macros I used a Sony A7ii and a modified rodenstock heligon 95mm F/0.95, as well as a couple of extension tubes. This was my first outing for macros with this lens so it was kind of experimental. I shot raw. Comments welcomed.

I also have a couple of questions. I like the dreamy look. But I noticed there was significant posterization with most of the shots, which was even visible (although much less so) in the raw files. I couldn't figure out whether it was because of the lens properties, or the lack of illumination in the background? It was certainly more visible in the jpgs particularly after I bumped up the brightness. The lens itself has a lot of aberrations so maybe it is a combination of the two issues. Any thoughts?

I had stopped up the aperture a bit (otherwise everything would be surrounded by an aura and lack sharpness), but at a certain point significant vignetting appeared. Is that because of the obstruction from the extension tubes?

Thanks for your comments,

-Charles




A couple photos with the gradient banding are ISO 50 at 1/400. Did you use a flash?


Nope, I didn't use a flash. I wonder if it is just the way the lens reflects light? Some of these projection lenses yield funky bokeh (auras, fringing, etc), especially in more illuminated areas.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 4:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Macros with a rodenstock heligon 95mm F/0.95 and questio Reply with quote

charley5 wrote:
Blazer0ne wrote:
charley5 wrote:
Hi Everyone:

For these macros I used a Sony A7ii and a modified rodenstock heligon 95mm F/0.95, as well as a couple of extension tubes. This was my first outing for macros with this lens so it was kind of experimental. I shot raw. Comments welcomed.

I also have a couple of questions. I like the dreamy look. But I noticed there was significant posterization with most of the shots, which was even visible (although much less so) in the raw files. I couldn't figure out whether it was because of the lens properties, or the lack of illumination in the background? It was certainly more visible in the jpgs particularly after I bumped up the brightness. The lens itself has a lot of aberrations so maybe it is a combination of the two issues. Any thoughts?

I had stopped up the aperture a bit (otherwise everything would be surrounded by an aura and lack sharpness), but at a certain point significant vignetting appeared. Is that because of the obstruction from the extension tubes?

Thanks for your comments,

-Charles




A couple photos with the gradient banding are ISO 50 at 1/400. Did you use a flash?


Nope, I didn't use a flash. I wonder if it is just the way the lens reflects light? Some of these projection lenses yield funky bokeh (auras, fringing, etc), especially in more illuminated areas.


I also agree it could be tuned out with proper white balance. In many cases as well color space (srgb or adobe), picture profile (landscape, neutral, vivid, etc) selection, or use of mixed lighting sources.

To me it looks like a gamut, LUT or grey balance issue. Also, if your photo is full of gradients, that is actually a lot of color steps and any inconsistencies become much more visible (eg crushed, posterized) such as viewing an IT8 color test chart.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Macros with a rodenstock heligon 95mm F/0.95 and questio Reply with quote

Blazer0ne wrote:
charley5 wrote:
Blazer0ne wrote:
charley5 wrote:
Hi Everyone:

For these macros I used a Sony A7ii and a modified rodenstock heligon 95mm F/0.95, as well as a couple of extension tubes. This was my first outing for macros with this lens so it was kind of experimental. I shot raw. Comments welcomed.

I also have a couple of questions. I like the dreamy look. But I noticed there was significant posterization with most of the shots, which was even visible (although much less so) in the raw files. I couldn't figure out whether it was because of the lens properties, or the lack of illumination in the background? It was certainly more visible in the jpgs particularly after I bumped up the brightness. The lens itself has a lot of aberrations so maybe it is a combination of the two issues. Any thoughts?

I had stopped up the aperture a bit (otherwise everything would be surrounded by an aura and lack sharpness), but at a certain point significant vignetting appeared. Is that because of the obstruction from the extension tubes?

Thanks for your comments,

-Charles




A couple photos with the gradient banding are ISO 50 at 1/400. Did you use a flash?


Nope, I didn't use a flash. I wonder if it is just the way the lens reflects light? Some of these projection lenses yield funky bokeh (auras, fringing, etc), especially in more illuminated areas.


I also agree it could be tuned out with proper white balance. In many cases as well color space (srgb or adobe), picture profile (landscape, neutral, vivid, etc) selection, or use of mixed lighting sources.

To me it looks like a gamut, LUT or grey balance issue. Also, if your photo is full of gradients, that is actually a lot of color steps and any inconsistencies become much more visible (eg crushed, posterized) such as viewing an IT8 color test chart.


I am actually getting a bit more understanding from the situation. There is no banding when I convert to 16 bit tif files, even if I aggressively post process. Any time I convert from tif to jpg the banding becomes obvious. So it seems obvious that this is a jpg conversion issue. I am wondering whether the bigger files of the A7riii will help with this problem because they register more information?

-Charles


PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Macros with a rodenstock heligon 95mm F/0.95 and questio Reply with quote

charley5 wrote:
Blazer0ne wrote:
charley5 wrote:
Blazer0ne wrote:
charley5 wrote:
Hi Everyone:

For these macros I used a Sony A7ii and a modified rodenstock heligon 95mm F/0.95, as well as a couple of extension tubes. This was my first outing for macros with this lens so it was kind of experimental. I shot raw. Comments welcomed.

I also have a couple of questions. I like the dreamy look. But I noticed there was significant posterization with most of the shots, which was even visible (although much less so) in the raw files. I couldn't figure out whether it was because of the lens properties, or the lack of illumination in the background? It was certainly more visible in the jpgs particularly after I bumped up the brightness. The lens itself has a lot of aberrations so maybe it is a combination of the two issues. Any thoughts?

I had stopped up the aperture a bit (otherwise everything would be surrounded by an aura and lack sharpness), but at a certain point significant vignetting appeared. Is that because of the obstruction from the extension tubes?

Thanks for your comments,

-Charles




A couple photos with the gradient banding are ISO 50 at 1/400. Did you use a flash?


Nope, I didn't use a flash. I wonder if it is just the way the lens reflects light? Some of these projection lenses yield funky bokeh (auras, fringing, etc), especially in more illuminated areas.


I also agree it could be tuned out with proper white balance. In many cases as well color space (srgb or adobe), picture profile (landscape, neutral, vivid, etc) selection, or use of mixed lighting sources.

To me it looks like a gamut, LUT or grey balance issue. Also, if your photo is full of gradients, that is actually a lot of color steps and any inconsistencies become much more visible (eg crushed, posterized) such as viewing an IT8 color test chart.


I am actually getting a bit more understanding from the situation. There is no banding when I convert to 16 bit tif files, even if I aggressively post process. Any time I convert from tif to jpg the banding becomes obvious. So it seems obvious that this is a jpg conversion issue. I am wondering whether the bigger files of the A7riii will help with this problem because they register more information?

-Charles


I have also struggled with this type of situation anytime there are fine tones involved. It really is a balance. I think this is what everyone means when it comes to color science.

Some applications will apply a user selected ICC profile when deciding where to relocate colors that don't map 1 for 1 to (8bit) upon export to JPG or user workspace.

If there are sensitive areas at the gamut edge of those color spaces then profiles can remap colors to unpleasant places. In that two different shades of blue might map to the same weird purple shade when downsampled. If that color is part of a gradient step it will be very obvious to the viewer.

Is that happening in the camera and then just amplified at 8bit or exclusively at the file conversion? I see it often on the Sony a6300 as well.


PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Macros with a rodenstock heligon 95mm F/0.95 and questio Reply with quote

Blazer0ne wrote:
charley5 wrote:
Blazer0ne wrote:
charley5 wrote:
Blazer0ne wrote:
charley5 wrote:
Hi Everyone:

For these macros I used a Sony A7ii and a modified rodenstock heligon 95mm F/0.95, as well as a couple of extension tubes. This was my first outing for macros with this lens so it was kind of experimental. I shot raw. Comments welcomed.

I also have a couple of questions. I like the dreamy look. But I noticed there was significant posterization with most of the shots, which was even visible (although much less so) in the raw files. I couldn't figure out whether it was because of the lens properties, or the lack of illumination in the background? It was certainly more visible in the jpgs particularly after I bumped up the brightness. The lens itself has a lot of aberrations so maybe it is a combination of the two issues. Any thoughts?

I had stopped up the aperture a bit (otherwise everything would be surrounded by an aura and lack sharpness), but at a certain point significant vignetting appeared. Is that because of the obstruction from the extension tubes?

Thanks for your comments,

-Charles




A couple photos with the gradient banding are ISO 50 at 1/400. Did you use a flash?


Nope, I didn't use a flash. I wonder if it is just the way the lens reflects light? Some of these projection lenses yield funky bokeh (auras, fringing, etc), especially in more illuminated areas.


I also agree it could be tuned out with proper white balance. In many cases as well color space (srgb or adobe), picture profile (landscape, neutral, vivid, etc) selection, or use of mixed lighting sources.

To me it looks like a gamut, LUT or grey balance issue. Also, if your photo is full of gradients, that is actually a lot of color steps and any inconsistencies become much more visible (eg crushed, posterized) such as viewing an IT8 color test chart.


I am actually getting a bit more understanding from the situation. There is no banding when I convert to 16 bit tif files, even if I aggressively post process. Any time I convert from tif to jpg the banding becomes obvious. So it seems obvious that this is a jpg conversion issue. I am wondering whether the bigger files of the A7riii will help with this problem because they register more information?

-Charles


I have also struggled with this type of situation anytime there are fine tones involved. It really is a balance. I think this is what everyone means when it comes to color science.

Some applications will apply a user selected ICC profile when deciding where to relocate colors that don't map 1 for 1 to (8bit) upon export to JPG or user workspace.

If there are sensitive areas at the gamut edge of those color spaces then profiles can remap colors to unpleasant places. In that two different shades of blue might map to the same weird purple shade when downsampled. If that color is part of a gradient step it will be very obvious to the viewer.

Is that happening in the camera and then just amplified at 8bit or exclusively at the file conversion? I see it often on the Sony a6300 as well.



Exclusively in jpg conversion, and the color space makes no difference. The tif files show no artifacts.

It might actually be a camera issue. Here is what someone said about Sony cameras. How accurate this is I have no idea!

Contrary to some ubiquitous false information floating out there the Sony sensor is especially bad at standing up to increasing exposure in post processing when it comes to midtones - because the A/D conversion applied by Sony is exclusively geared towards detail retention at low signal levels (shadow recovery) to the detriment of truthfully capturing midtones and highlights. The posterization you can end up is the result of the Sony sensor dropping precision as "you don't need to resolve the noise that is inevitable".

-Charles


PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can't detect posterization or anything else in a raw file because it is not an image file. How are you converting it to an image file? Are you using 16 bit? I'm using a Sony A7RII with lenses similar to this one and have never seen any kind of posterization, using PS in 16 bit.

As to the vignetting. I'm guessing that yes, it has to do with the extension tubes. it would be present also when the aperture is wide open, but so diffused as not to be visible. However that lens, AFAIK, never came with a diaphragm. If it was added after the fact, it could also be caused by the position of the iris within the lens. If the vignetting worsens (actually covers a larger area instead of just sharpening) as you stop down, it would be the iris position.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kymarto wrote:
You can't detect posterization or anything else in a raw file because it is not an image file. How are you converting it to an image file? Are you using 16 bit? I'm using a Sony A7RII with lenses similar to this one and have never seen any kind of posterization, using PS in 16 bit.

As to the vignetting. I'm guessing that yes, it has to do with the extension tubes. it would be present also when the aperture is wide open, but so diffused as not to be visible. However that lens, AFAIK, never came with a diaphragm. If it was added after the fact, it could also be caused by the position of the iris within the lens. If the vignetting worsens (actually covers a larger area instead of just sharpening) as you stop down, it would be the iris position.


Hi. Thanks for clarifying the vignetting issue. As I mentioned, the issue of banding only comes up when I convert to an 8-bit jpg, but not to a 16-bit tif file. I am noticing that it is less evident when the exposure is correct in the first place rather than being under-exposed and also when the conversion to jpg is the last step in post-processing. Actually, now that I figured out the maximal exposure settings and only convert to jpg at the end the banding is getting much better although still slightly evident.

-Charles


PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

charley5 wrote:
kymarto wrote:
You can't detect posterization or anything else in a raw file because it is not an image file. How are you converting it to an image file? Are you using 16 bit? I'm using a Sony A7RII with lenses similar to this one and have never seen any kind of posterization, using PS in 16 bit.

As to the vignetting. I'm guessing that yes, it has to do with the extension tubes. it would be present also when the aperture is wide open, but so diffused as not to be visible. However that lens, AFAIK, never came with a diaphragm. If it was added after the fact, it could also be caused by the position of the iris within the lens. If the vignetting worsens (actually covers a larger area instead of just sharpening) as you stop down, it would be the iris position.


Hi. Thanks for clarifying the vignetting issue. As I mentioned, the issue of banding only comes up when I convert to an 8-bit jpg, but not to a 16-bit tif file. I am noticing that it is less evident when the exposure is correct in the first place rather than being under-exposed and also when the conversion to jpg is the last step in post-processing. Actually, now that I figured out the maximal exposure settings and only convert to jpg at the end the banding is getting much better although still slightly evident.

-Charles


In what program are you converting to jpg? I have never seen banding in an 8 bit file that has not been post processed. It is certainly possible though, in areas where the gradient between colors is very shallow, but very rare in my experience.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kymarto wrote:
charley5 wrote:
kymarto wrote:
You can't detect posterization or anything else in a raw file because it is not an image file. How are you converting it to an image file? Are you using 16 bit? I'm using a Sony A7RII with lenses similar to this one and have never seen any kind of posterization, using PS in 16 bit.

As to the vignetting. I'm guessing that yes, it has to do with the extension tubes. it would be present also when the aperture is wide open, but so diffused as not to be visible. However that lens, AFAIK, never came with a diaphragm. If it was added after the fact, it could also be caused by the position of the iris within the lens. If the vignetting worsens (actually covers a larger area instead of just sharpening) as you stop down, it would be the iris position.


Hi. Thanks for clarifying the vignetting issue. As I mentioned, the issue of banding only comes up when I convert to an 8-bit jpg, but not to a 16-bit tif file. I am noticing that it is less evident when the exposure is correct in the first place rather than being under-exposed and also when the conversion to jpg is the last step in post-processing. Actually, now that I figured out the maximal exposure settings and only convert to jpg at the end the banding is getting much better although still slightly evident.

-Charles


In what program are you converting to jpg? I have never seen banding in an 8 bit file that has not been post processed. It is certainly possible though, in areas where the gradient between colors is very shallow, but very rare in my experience.


I was converting directly to jpg in LR, but initially there was some sharpening and noise reduction going on. At this point I am converting to jpg with PS after my tif files are post-processed and that has helped significantly. I think I will convert exclusively to tiff and use these as my primary working files with such macro shots, and then maybe use the jpgs only for online presentation.