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05-26-2010, 02:22 AM   #46
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" I think sometimes people see a shot which is perfectly focused, sharp, full of color, and has a shallow DOF, and think that is some inherent unique ability of that lens to produce that image, when it depends more on all the other factors."

- unless it was shot with a noctilux 50mm f/1.0 - which is a truly unique lens on RF cameras.

05-29-2010, 02:00 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
Sure, there are lots and lots of bokeh comparisons all over the web. But what I never see are comparisons of the terms that people like to throw around about lens performance like they are tasting wine or something: "microcontrast," "rendering," "3D effect, "color rendition," etc. etc.

I agree with Cosmo. I think sometimes people see a shot which is perfectly focused, sharp, full of color, and has a shallow DOF, and think that is some inherent unique ability of that lens to produce that image, when it depends more on all the other factors.

Again, a modern lens just needs to be sharp and free of distortions. Everything else depends much more on the camera and the data processing algorithms chosen by the camera company. Don't believe that? Take a given lens and mount it to a Pentax, Canon, and Nikon, and take the same picture. Even in RAW, you will see far more differences in how color is rendered, than you will see between lenses.
The thing is that most review sites never show these differences between lenses by posting comparison images. They compare the sharpness and distortion characteristics that you are interested in using graphs and numbers, but they don't show comparisons with color rendering, microcontrast or 3D.

I have taken two shots bellow, first one is Leica R 50mm Simmicron the second shot is taken with Pentax F 50mm f/1.7. Both are simple extract from RAW with no PP of any kind. Do you see any difference in microcontrast and color rendering or is it only a matter of sharpness?

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4048/4650368807_f391fe3270_o.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4008/4650363309_7fc03e2886_o.jpg

I can provide the RAW files if needed.


Being aware of the focal lenght and maximum aperture of the two lenses, there are a few more comparisons between Leica M 35mm Summilux and Pentax 31mm Limited and I hope you can see the difference in microcontrast, 3D effect, color rendition, etc.

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/35s3.jpg
http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/35s1.jpg
http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/35s5.jpg
05-29-2010, 03:01 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Voe Quote
I can't help my self when I look at images taken with Leica lenses. The colors the unique warmth cast, the image detail in every level. Qualities that even my beloved FA Limiteds can't match.
On many occasions I was seeing myself selling every lens and camera I have in order to fund for a Leica M8.2 (or maybe M9).
I feel sometimes that I get confused by having too many lenses. With Leica I would probably have only three (wide, standard and short tele), and it would be enough. It will give me a small and light package with superb quality and less confusion with lenses.

I was wondering is there anyone else on this forum having similar thoughts?
I've had those thoughts many times. I also think most of the Zeiss lenses have the look I prefer over even the Pentax limiteds. But, Zeiss lenses have a premium just for their names and the Pentax limiteds are so close, I don't think I'll ever get a Zeiss. But when ever I see images posted by you and others with Zeiss lenses, I do feel like I am leaving a bit on the table.....so, yeah! I absolutely see what you say of Zeiss lenses and color, and I think lenses have a lot to do with overall rendering as well. (I think we have similar taste for lenses...even that Volna-9 )

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
I will point out that range finders aren't anywhere near as versatile as SLR cameras are, I use a M3,M6 TTL,M7,M8 and a Konica hexar RF. I think the most important ability that a rangefinder has is that you are able to see a greater FOV than the lens will capture, so you are more spatially aware of what is around you.

The M9 isn't a great performaer as far as High iso is concerned, the k7 has a quieter shutter and it is able to be used with studio strobes without you ending up with a synch cable hitting you on your forehead.

sure Leica have some fantastic lenses, I own many of their greatest lenses and I enjoy using them. I'll point out to you that the pentax 43mm f/1.9* matches the summilux 50mm f/1.4 at f/2.8 I'd say the 43's bokeh is superior. In any case the 43 beats the voigtlander ultron 40mm f/1.4 at the same aperture.

*I own the M-mount version in silver, I wish Pentax made the 77mm and the 31mm in Leica M mount, that would certainly make leica photographers sit up and pay attention...
I am so glad I read your reply. It made it easier for me to fight the lust for Zeiss. Thank you.

Last edited by pcarfan; 05-29-2010 at 03:06 PM.
05-29-2010, 09:39 PM   #49
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"I am so glad I read your reply. It made it easier for me to fight the lust for Zeiss. Thank you."

- I haven't mentioned the ziess ikon...Rumor has it they are going to be coming out with a digital version of the ikon, eventually. the Ikon's rangefinder mechanism has a longer baselength; which means it is more precise than the one in Leica rangefinders.

05-29-2010, 10:02 PM   #50
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Well I have Zeiss eyeglasses since they were the only ones that could grind the Rx in such a way that I would not be wearing coke bottles. That said, I have a single Pentax Limited - the 31, and it is outstanding and wonderful. I do not see myself getting a Zeiss lens for my camera, so the Limited is just going to have to make due. I really doubt that my skill level is up to the Limited level, let alone Zeiss and Leica.

05-29-2010, 11:10 PM   #51
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let me just draw a comparison for those with dreams of leica:

i'm a flute player, I have played the flute for nearly 17 years. And in my time I have played a huge assortment of instruments from different makers, from different parts of the world using all manner of exotic materials carbon fibre,Titianuim,Aluminium,different types of Silver and Gold of various alloys and lastly solid Platinum flutes. Each manufacturer claimed to imbue instruments with a particular sound quality; while I don't dispute this, but after playing all these new shiny and incredibly expensive instruments to my ears, and to those of my colleagues the differences between the instruments were fundamentally trivial. The biggest differences between the instruments are really up to the player...not the instrument. Having said that I own a particularity unique flute which was made in 1908 by Rudall Carte. Completely hand made, solid cocus wood with silver keywork; this flute has a unique sound: every flute player who has heard it can instantly recognise this instrument. yet, even the most experienced of ears cannot distinguish between modern instruments made of platinum or a PVC drainpipe*. Even modern wooden flutes cannot match its sound, and with all of my knowledge of acoustics and instrument construction I cannot for the life of me figure out why this instrument sounds the way it does.

The same comparison can be made with Leica and other lenses. We all know that contrast and resolution are opposing qualities in lenses and the trick to making good ones is finding a balance between the two(very Zen I must say). Leica lenses do have a special qualities about them, so does every lens from every manufacturer out there.

However, it isn't a particular lens, sensor/film or camera that makes an image...a good image is a good image...just like a good Performance is a good performance at the concert hall. A good image plucks the strings and resonates with people whether is was shot with a $15,000 f/0.95 noctilux or a $50 super Takumar.


*melbourne university did a test which involved flutes of modern construction made of various materials : 14karat gold,Sterling silver,Brittania silver,24 Karat gold, Grenadilla wood,Platinum,bamboo,Carbon fibre and PVC piping..and in a blind listening test no one could spot any differences in sound quality from any particular instrument.

Last edited by Digitalis; 04-29-2011 at 05:10 AM.
05-30-2010, 05:39 PM   #52
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I happened across this....

05-31-2010, 01:51 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Voe Quote
I can't help my self when I look at images taken with Leica lenses. The colors the unique warmth cast, the image detail in every level. Qualities that even my beloved FA Limiteds can't match.
On many occasions I was seeing myself selling every lens and camera I have in order to fund for a Leica M8.2 (or maybe M9).
I feel sometimes that I get confused by having too many lenses. With Leica I would probably have only three (wide, standard and short tele), and it would be enough. It will give me a small and light package with superb quality and less confusion with lenses.

I was wondering is there anyone else on this forum having similar thoughts?
I might wanna pick up a Panasonic DMC LX-x series just to get a taste of it....

very nice photos indeed from one lens
Flickr: Takahiro Yamamoto's Photostream


Last edited by tokyoso; 05-31-2010 at 03:47 PM.
05-31-2010, 02:06 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Voe Quote


Being aware of the focal lenght and maximum aperture of the two lenses, there are a few more comparisons between Leica M 35mm Summilux and Pentax 31mm Limited and I hope you can see the difference in microcontrast, 3D effect, color rendition, etc.

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/35s3.jpg
http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/35s1.jpg
http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/35s5.jpg
i see that the FA 31 samples are a little (just enough) out of focused... ? or is that just me..
05-31-2010, 02:46 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by Voe Quote
I can't help my self when I look at images taken with Leica lenses. The colors the unique warmth cast, the image detail in every level. Qualities that even my beloved FA Limiteds can't match.
...I was wondering is there anyone else on this forum having similar thoughts?
I have some of best Pentax lenses and have or had few Leica using Leitax. I started collecting Leica lenses because I was curious how they are different from Pentax.

Overall from what I tested:
  • Leica lenses are well build - very similar to K pentax lenses.
  • All of them have built in hood which I love
  • They are not so good as SMC lenses (especially FA and newer) against strong sun
  • They are all give these special leica colors - not so vivid as Pentax

What I've tested till now:
Leica Summicron-R 1:2/35 - I still keep it and like it as wide portrait lens.
Leitz Summicron-R 1:2/50 - I sold it because my Pentax A50/1.2 has all Leica has + is much more faster, only disadventage is lack of build in hood
Leitz 60mm f/2.8 Macro-Elmarit-R - great portrait lens and 1:2 macro - I decided to keep it
Leitz 90mm f/2 Summicron-R - best bokeh machine from my Leica collection, I will keep it together with Vivitar SP1 90/2.5 and FA* 85/1.4
Leitz Elmarit-R 1:2.8/135 - I sold it after comparision with Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135mm which is simply better.
Leitz Elmarit-R 1:2.8/180 - I sold it and I regret now. It is great performer for reasonable price - quite small. I compared it to Voigtlander 180 and kept Leica because of better bokeh and great colors.
Leica Vario-Elmar-R 1:4/80-200 - only Leica zoom in my collection. Zoom build like prime. It has modern coating so works well with strong sun light.
06-03-2010, 06:29 AM   #56
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Hi all, I have an announcement to make.

After a serious consideration and my better half's approval I decided to realise my dream. Unfortunately it will require to painfuly part with all my photographic gear of which the majority don't get much use anyway. For those interested I put all my equipment for sale here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-equipment-sale/103546-sale-s...nses-more.html
06-03-2010, 06:52 AM   #57
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Good luck with Leica, Voe!
06-03-2010, 11:21 AM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by Voe Quote
Hi all, I have an announcement to make.

After a serious consideration and my better half's approval I decided to realise my dream. Unfortunately it will require to painfuly part with all my photographic gear of which the majority don't get much use anyway. For those interested I put all my equipment for sale here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-equipment-sale/103546-sale-s...nses-more.html
Wow. Congratulations, Voe!
06-03-2010, 12:52 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by Voe Quote
I have taken two shots bellow, first one is Leica R 50mm Simmicron the second shot is taken with Pentax F 50mm f/1.7. Both are simple extract from RAW with no PP of any kind. Do you see any difference in microcontrast and color rendering or is it only a matter of sharpness?

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4048/4650368807_f391fe3270_o.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4008/4650363309_7fc03e2886_o.jpg
You're not helping me avoid looking for a Summicron-R to stick on the 1Ds.
06-03-2010, 03:02 PM   #60
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Well, I hope you stick around to tell us about your experience with Leica.

I suspect that merely switching, and merely being broke due to Leica, together are not enough to stem the tide of LBA. If you find a cure that doesn't involve death and leads to happiness, then you'll need to share. My biggest fear is that if I mimic your move, I'd find myself in a new system with the same old desires.

For what it is worth, I'm convinced that there is a visible flavor from Leica lenses and if you like that flavor then you only really have one way to satisfy your curiosity/taste.

Luckily for myself, I find the rendering of Pentax lenses to be closer to magical and further from ordinary such that I'm content where I am for now. I love the FA limiteds, and I really really like the DA limiteds.
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