Thom Hogan's Sweet & Sour

Discussion in 'Articles of Interest' started by nerwin, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    .....but I will be biased on this, I own a 50 a 24-120 and a d5600, so basically my kit is (rhymes with kit)


     
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  2. cgw

    cgw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I seldom read Hogan since I stopped buying Nikon gear a couple of years ago. No interest in shoveling any more $$$ into a DSLR system I've no plans to upgrade or expand. Thom's long made the mistake of passing off his opinions as Solomonic wisdom on anything photo related. Perhaps he's cranking out stuff like this in response to falling traffic.
     
  3. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    the optics are kinda weak compared to some of the Canon ones... the 1.8g is cheap, and the bokeh is too.
     
  4. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Hey, it's not impossible to get some decent bokeh out of it. I certainly have.

    But it doesn't always thrill me. My 70-200 f/4 creates bokeh that destroys my 50 1.8G.

    I'd love to get a 58 1.4G, such a unique lens. But way of my league...and um..budget. lol.
     
  5. mrca

    mrca No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hogan is just another computer geek. Says the 105 is wonderful. Check the angry photographer who actually TAKES pictures of things other than test patterns. Or is it the kickbacks Hogan gets? Why buy a 105? Sharpness and angle of view only? No, it has terrible bokeh, something an artist appreciates, not a numbers cruncher. Poor micro-contrast that you can't create in post and color saturation, cats eye plus swirly bokeh. I love his analogy of a wino only caring about the alcohol content, not the nuances of fine wine. Does it have high resolution is the alcohol content criteria for geeks. I was looking forward to an update to my beloved 135 2.0 dc but after the 105 replacement, I'm not hopeful.
     
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  6. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I have to kind of agree. I seen some images from it and I wasn't impressed at all. I thought it was just the photog more so than the lens. I was under the impression it was a great piece of glass but this video kind of says what I seen. That guy is pretty funny. He sure gets a lot of thumbs down.
     
  7. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I've seen some beautiful photos taken with that lens.

    I guess it's really all personal preference and opinion. Some people like it, some people don't. That's the way it is and that's why there are choices.
     
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  8. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    once you work back the 55 pages of amazing images, please tell me why that lens sucks again: Nikon 105mm f/1.4E ED Image Thread


    I have yet to take a look at any of these images, and then sigh slowly, deeply, and angerly to myself and shake my head and only to go home to an empty bedroom at night because of viewing these shots... but then again, i tend to have original thoughts and dont need to say shocking things on the internet to make friends/money.


    look at the cat's eye bokeh in the right edge. lens rating: 4/10
    http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/ufiles/07/1570707.jpg

    ugh, the swirl bokeh behind them. 4/10:
    http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/ufiles/58/1541158.jpg

    poor microcontract on the wood bench. 4/10:
    https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4498/38169189022_0734e4855d_b.jpg

    asian subject from a Chinese made lens. 2/10:
    https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-Rsg4TV2/0/86edbe72/XL/i-Rsg4TV2-XL.jpg


    judging from these images, and averaging my ratings, i give this lens a 3.5/10. do not want.


    I just saved you all $2200.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
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  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Sorry, but the astounding image quality of the 105mm f/1.4 VR lens from Nikon is blatantly obvious to me. As a long-time Nikkor lens owner and shooter, I have to disagree with you that the 135mm f/2 AF-D D.C. is all that impressive compared to EITHER the 200mm f/2 VR or to the 105/1.4 VR. Both of those lenses offer better, prettier, more-impressive images than the aged 135/2 Defocus Control.

    I bought a nice copy of the 135/2 D.C. Nikkor from a super well-known photojournalist who used and carried the lens for the better part of a decade. I bought it back in 2004 or so, and owned it until 2017. I shot many, many images with it. It was a nice lens, and very "bright"...it had excellent T-stop...it was a great lens in dimmer lighting conditions, but it was not nearly as stellar as the 200/2-VR from 2004, and it was not "quite" as good as the Canon 135/2-L that I bought in the mid-2000's. The 105/2 AF-D Defocus Control was another overrated Nikkor prime...I had that one for 12 years, finally sold it....never was truly all that satisfied with it.

    The 105/1.4 has a degree of background defocus potential and high contrast and BITING sharpness that the 200/2 VR has, and which the 105 DC and the 135 DC lenses simply cannot quite measure up to. Yes, the 105 DC and the 135 DC are NICE lenses...but they have some real issues that have been addressed by the newer lens designs. As to the sheer beauty of the images, the 200/2 VR creates perhaps the prettiest images ever made, by any lens from any lens maker. BUT it's soooooo huge, and sooo poorly-balanced, that it almost demands a monopod for almost any shoot that lasts more than five minutes.

    The idea that Hogan cannot tell a good lens is ridiculous. The 105/1.4 VR is an astounding lens design....the images it creates have a VERY definite visual "stamp" on them when the lens is used at wide apertures. The fact is, we have a person here who's enamored of an older, modest-spec'd Nikkor, a 135/2, which is a nice performer...but, there's DEFINITELY a major, major difference between the newer, high-tech, super-performance lenses like the 200/2 VR, and the 105/1.4 VR lenses...

    Thom Hogan is not "just another computer geek"...I think it's way,way,wayyyy off-base to slam him in that manner; he's a very,very,very critical and demanding lens evaluator and a photographer and a writer. He's actually one of the more well-recognized authorities on Nikon cameras, flashes, and lenses. He is not a "computer geek". That's just a malicious, undeserved put-down of the guy.

    If one REALLY wants to understand what the 105/1.4 VR lens is allllll about, spend some time looking at the images it makes. It is a lens that puts a visual impression on the images it makes. A lens that creates a visual impression is what many people want these days, and it's what the 85/1.4 AF-D, 105 DC,135DC, 200/2 VR, and 58/1.4, among other lenses, are/were designed to do. But to say that the 105/1.4 VR is a less than world-class lens design is disingenuous. Very much so. It is one of the most-incredible optical designs Nikon has released since the 200/2-VR. And it offers very similar bokeh as the 200/2 VR offers, but in a less-costly,MUCH smaller, and MUCH more hand-holdable, easier-to-carry lens size.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
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  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Since so many will not click on off-site links, a brief excerpt of a few of the lenses he's "sweet" on:

    "
    • 58mm f/1.4G — This is the lens that started the current regime of redesigns, and a lot of controversy on the net. Sure, point it at a test chart at somewhat close distances—which is what all the tests you see on the Internet do—and the numbers don't seem very great. Put it on a camera and point it at a subject. Well, I'm still very sweet on that. This is a great portrait lens on a D500.
    • 70-200mm f/2.8E — Someone was on top of their game designing the optics for this lens. Night and day difference over the older lenses, particularly on the high pixel count bodies. Since you can still get the 70-200mm f/2.8G, is this new one worth the extra US$700? Absolutely, positively yes.
    • 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E AF-P — This one surprises me every time I put it on a body. Either I have an exceptional sample, or Nikon just managed to considerably improve a lens we pretty much all had in our kits at some point and basically liked. It also helps that it's not an expensive lens, which makes it sweeter.
    • 105mm f/1.4 — This lens is not perfect, until it is. There's some focus shift, the corners can get a little problematic wide open, you need to beware the longitudinal chromatic aberration. And yet...if I need 105mm this is the very first lens I reach for. Heck, I reach for it when I need 85mm or 135mm. Like the 58mm f/1.4, above, there's something magical about the way this lens renders when used well."
     
  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Let me try to correct a huge misc-characterization that's been promulgated within this thread, the assertion that Thom Hogan is a "test chart" guy, or a computer geek only, and that he rates lenses according to test chart scores...because he does NOT do that. He does the exact OPPOSITE, in fact, and he has repeatedly pointed out over the last couple of years that a number of new Nikon lens designs SHOOT better pictures than the test chart results might seem to indicate.

    Hogan is hugely results-oriented as far as evaluating lenses. He's bought and used more recent lenses than anybody I personally know of in the Nikon world. He's been at it for a long time too. I've only owned about 150 Nikon lens models. I buy two or three or sometimes five or even six lenses in a year, and have for 30-plus years...I've bought the SAME models more than once...I've bought five 35mm lenses, eight 135mm's, four or five 200mm's, three 180's, eight or more 50's, and models from the 60's,70's,80's,90's, and the 21st century....zooms too...and like Hogan, like mrca, I know that TEST charts are not the be-all,end-all of lens performance. I do "get" lens love, lens allegiance, lens dislike, etc.etc.. Some lenses are difficult to love! 35/1.4 Ai-S is an example: HUGE field curvature make its pictures at wide f/stops and close-range look very weird (Frank uses one and loves it!)

    There are a number of third-party lenses on the market that have exceptionally high test-chart performance, but that also have rather harsh lens drawing qualities...weird bokeh characteristics...very clinical and "hard" rendering....but again, very HIGH test chart scores. A lens design is a compromise of a bunch of different characteristics. Looking at actual pictures from different lenses can usually show how a lens design does in the real world, and that's where Hogan is most decidedly NOT a "test chart" guy. Saying that he is a test chart guy is simply not accurate.

    Hogan does write in a Solomonic manner, and has repeatedly, over years' worth of time, put himself in a position where his confidence in his own vision has set himself up as an easy target for ridicule. The idea of "kickbacks"?Uhhh, no. He's right up front about his sourcing for lenses he reviews (personal purchase on every review I've read) AND he also divulges the source of his minor click-through payments on purchases people make. And guess what? People actually BUY some of the highly-rated products from links that are on his sites.

    I would like to own he 105/1.4 VR...it's a great lens design, but I dislike BIG, heavy lenses these days. I have bought and sold a number of lenses that were just too BIG or heavy for my taste. When I shot more,like every single day, I was more open to massive lenses.These days? I prefer smaller, less-obtrustive lenses, even if the performance might be less than state of the art.

    Anyway...I'm still intrigued by the idea of a high-performance yet relatively inexpensive 70-300 AF-P zoom..and the 300mm f/4 Phase Fresnel lens...oh....man...it's soooo small! About the size of the Canon 135mm f/2-L prime with hood... and soooo beautifully built....I've owned two 300/4,two 300/4.5,and two 300/2.8 models from the 70's,80's,and the 2000's era..I LOVES ME a 300 prime...I passed on a used $900 sample of the 300mm f/4 Phase Fresnel a few months ago and am kicking myself!
     
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  12. espresso2x

    espresso2x No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I Agree!
     

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