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02-03-2008, 10:41 AM   #16
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I think that sharpness is overrated. Since it is the easiest factor to quantify it is very popular in the forums and review sites. Of course, it is important but it shouldnt be the only aspect to consider when buying a lens.

02-19-2008, 12:26 PM   #17
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I agree on that point Gruoso. However, the lenses are not only praised for their nice sharpness, but for their great colour rendering, and bokeh too.

Although the pictures by Asahiflex' 77mm display most and fore all a cold day. Maybe that's how it was in reality, but I would have liked a little more saturation / warm - deep colours in them.

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02-19-2008, 12:33 PM   #18
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colour rendering qualities in the world of digital photo rendering sensors, RAW format data, and advanced image processing software, is really a moot point when it comes to lens selection, in my opinion.

for the digital world, the only thing i value is sharpness and the distortionless/distorionful qualities of the image.

field of view is irrelevant, speed is also subjective (while i like a fast lens, i rarely shoot below 2.8)


unless you dont like to sit and fiddle with post processing, all of these "rendering" qualities are secondary to sharpness.
02-19-2008, 03:44 PM   #19
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Gooshin I'll respectfully have to disagree with your assertion. Don't know how long you've been shooting but there is certainly more to it than sharpness or distortion control.

02-19-2008, 05:15 PM   #20
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arrived

My 77ltd just arrived about an hour ago. I hurriedly tried to get some shots off before the light left, and shot a lot wide open, so I wasn't after maximum sharpness, and I took almost no time to compose, and I'm a rank amateur to boot... but if I were to find one word to describe this lens, it would be 'otherworldy'.

Picasa Web Albums - Jay - 77ltd






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02-19-2008, 05:38 PM   #21
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I have to agree with you creampuff

QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Gooshin I'll respectfully have to disagree with your assertion. Don't know how long you've been shooting but there is certainly more to it than sharpness or distortion control.
My 77 has an almost unique "3D" quality to it. Yes it's sharp, but I got it for the 3D feel, the bokeh, and about 100 other non quantifiable qualities. Does your subject "pop" out at you? Do you like the bokeh (so inportant in portraits). What's the contrast like? How does it focus? What are the other ergonomics? There is soooo much more than sharpness to consider.

NaCl(only one of many criteria)H2O
02-19-2008, 06:49 PM   #22
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it is clear who here is of the old film school of thought and who of the digital

ive had people comment on my photographs saying how they look HDR or 3D, all i did was play around in photoshop a bit.

when you have zero room for editing, i will agree that the best possible glass will give you the best possible results

but with the digital age, even stuff like bokeh could be manipulated through layers and blur filters.

its more work, no doubt, but i'm just saying.
02-19-2008, 08:26 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
it is clear who here is of the old film school of thought and who of the digital

ive had people comment on my photographs saying how they look HDR or 3D, all i did was play around in photoshop a bit.

when you have zero room for editing, i will agree that the best possible glass will give you the best possible results

but with the digital age, even stuff like bokeh could be manipulated through layers and blur filters.

its more work, no doubt, but i'm just saying.

Well, I have to say you're demonstratably wrong there, gooshin - I've never shot film, unless you count cheap film point & shoots years ago. Never SLR film, just digital.

And I can say that, at least to me, it's very obvious that certain lenses have qualities beyond sharpness/resolution. My SMC-M 85mm f/2 and my new 77 ltd share similar beauty/3d/bokeh, but even they are different from each other. My DA* 50-135 has incredible resolution, yet it doesn't quite match my 85mm for the 3d-ness, the fullness of the colors and the things the 85 does with shadows.

It's something I can see, but I'm also pretty convinced that it's quantifiable - it's just that it would probably take a masters-thesis level paper on optics to actually 'quantify' what we're talking about here in layman's terms.

Here's an analogy for you - if you go to a magazine rack and page through Audiophile or some similar high-end audio magazine, you'll see many articles quantifying with tables, charts, and graphs the unique sounds of these $15,000 stereos they're reviewing - but the best way for an audio layman to really know what they're talking about is to stand in front of the speakers and feel the music - I've had the pleasure, and the difference between one of those stereo systems and your garden variety $1000 stereo is night and day.

Now, if you were just comparing watts per channel, or top volume, or some basic measure that manufacturers of $1000 stereos keep pushing at you, you may wonder how a $15,000 stereo could really be any better than a $1000 stereo, if the specs are so similar. But they are better - in quantifiable ways, as recorded in Audiophile, and in the ways you and I would describe them - 3D sound, shimmering highs, gut-trembling bass even at low volume, etc.

The problem is that we don't have an Audiophile equivalent for the optics industry that can marry the quantifiable to the tactile, so we're stuck with language only.



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02-19-2008, 10:11 PM   #24
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Every lens is different, and to say that sharpness and control of distortion solely form the barometer for rating a lens doesn't do this fact any justice. Rendering qualities make an image very much alive as everything else does. A lot of it purely subjective, but I assure you there's more to look out for when choosing lenses than just sharpness and distortion control. That simplifies things too much to the point that you may be missing out on a lot of good glass that may be better alternatives what you already own at the same focal length.
02-20-2008, 02:43 AM   #25
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Let me add some pics I've shot with the SMC-K 85mm f1.8 on a K10D body.

All pics were shot in RAW and developed in ACR with only minor corrections:
pic1: exposure -0.5, recovery 75, cropping
pic2: no corrections, no cropping
pic3: no corrections, cropping
pic4: no corrections, cropping
pic5: recovery 5, cropping

I do think the pictures speak their own language in terms of sharpness, bokeh and especially color rendition. I was about to sell this lens, but these pics changed my mind (at least for now).
Attached Images
         
02-20-2008, 08:43 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
Well, I have to say you're demonstratably wrong there, gooshin - I've never shot film, unless you count cheap film point & shoots years ago. Never SLR film, just digital.

And I can say that, at least to me, it's very obvious that certain lenses have qualities beyond sharpness/resolution. My SMC-M 85mm f/2 and my new 77 ltd share similar beauty/3d/bokeh, but even they are different from each other. My DA* 50-135 has incredible resolution, yet it doesn't quite match my 85mm for the 3d-ness, the fullness of the colors and the things the 85 does with shadows.

It's something I can see, but I'm also pretty convinced that it's quantifiable - it's just that it would probably take a masters-thesis level paper on optics to actually 'quantify' what we're talking about here in layman's terms.

Here's an analogy for you - if you go to a magazine rack and page through Audiophile or some similar high-end audio magazine, you'll see many articles quantifying with tables, charts, and graphs the unique sounds of these $15,000 stereos they're reviewing - but the best way for an audio layman to really know what they're talking about is to stand in front of the speakers and feel the music - I've had the pleasure, and the difference between one of those stereo systems and your garden variety $1000 stereo is night and day.

Now, if you were just comparing watts per channel, or top volume, or some basic measure that manufacturers of $1000 stereos keep pushing at you, you may wonder how a $15,000 stereo could really be any better than a $1000 stereo, if the specs are so similar. But they are better - in quantifiable ways, as recorded in Audiophile, and in the ways you and I would describe them - 3D sound, shimmering highs, gut-trembling bass even at low volume, etc.

The problem is that we don't have an Audiophile equivalent for the optics industry that can marry the quantifiable to the tactile, so we're stuck with language only.



.
again, i am not disagreeing with you on the merits of owning great glass

i'm just saying that today, things like color rendition are not as important as they were some other time ago.

crappy lens makes all my blues look funny? well then, lets just play around with the blue hue/saturation /vibrance sliders

picture a little barrel distorted, not a problem lets fire up photoshop and tweak it around a bit

latteral CA, ohh noes, lets go to the CA correction slider and tweak it a bit.


the point of photography is to create an image.

before you had only one way of going about it, and those that did more than your basic darkroom stuff were one in a million, the quality of your hardware impacted the quality of your results

in the digital age that is changing, that is all.


and stereo systems are different, you cant maintain a clear signal with crappy components, there is no plan B, there is no photoshop for music.
02-20-2008, 10:52 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote

the point of photography is to create an image.

before you had only one way of going about it, and those that did more than your basic darkroom stuff were one in a million, the quality of your hardware impacted the quality of your results

in the digital age that is changing, that is all.


and stereo systems are different, you cant maintain a clear signal with crappy components, there is no plan B, there is no photoshop for music.
Well, now you're in my wheelhouse so I'll comment. The point of photography *for you* is to create an image. There is more than one point to "photography" (broadly defined).

Your metaphor is ignoring the real workflows involved in music. Consider photography:

1. "see" something with your eyes
2. combine body and lens
3. capture image
4. manipulate image
5. display image

You are arguing that #4 has become more important in digital, and obviates the need for #2 and #3 to be "as good as they can be." But it also depends on how you display the image.

Now consider music:

1. hear something in your head/soul
2. combine instruments and recording equipment
3. capture sounds
4. manipulate sounds
5. reproduce sounds

The stereo analogy only focuses on #5. The reality is that digital has also made #2-4 very different than before. And there is in fact photoshop for music. Protools/Logic/Live/etc and any hundreds of different plugins, etc.

The complicating factor is that often we're not just talking about "capturing an image" or "capturing a sound", but rather creating art. And the end result then has to be interpreted by the end user. In general people try to maximize the quality in #2 of the workflow so that they have the most possibilities to work with. Of course limitations are often the sparks of creativity, and tons of great art has been produced "lo fi." But by and large, most people will want to use the best possible tools for "creation" and "capture" so that they have the widest possible range of ways to go during "manipulation."
02-20-2008, 11:00 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote

1. "see" something with your eyes
2. combine body and lens
3. capture image
4. manipulate image
5. display image
between steps 1 and 2 is another step, purchase necessary tools, lets call this "1b"

money spent on said tools (depending on skill, but lets leave that out of the equation for now) will impact quality, and reduce the time spent at #4.

others will argue, but i'm a firm believer that a better tool makes for better results.

however with the advancement of "image manipulation tools", number "1b" becomes less relevant.

therefore stone age lenses that still pull a grand or more, in my eyes, are nothing more than collectors items, i can compensate the use of cheaper equipment with image manipulation software and achieve wonderful results.

altho it would be reaally nice to have that lens, but thats because i have a collectors personality
02-20-2008, 11:41 AM   #29
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I have to agree with Gooshin in selecting glasses for digital SLR these days. Color rendition/signature is important for film users. For digital users, it's not as much. Considering the current technology of Bayer sensor, which has less dynamic range compared to film, good glasses might not behave as they would with film. Or even accurate color can't achieve at time due to the sensor limitation(thus the much heated debate between Foveon and Bayer).

For film, if you're not happy with certain brand, you can simply go out and get another brand instead. With digital, you can't swap the sensor. So, if you already have the film you want, all which matter would be the lenses.

Admittedly, if you go wild with photoshop, then the IQ will degrade substantially, and thus might not be desirable.

As for the shooting style, photography is not just limited to taking accurate picture. Like any other art forms, it's how the photographer views the scene and tries to convey his mood to the viewers.

From other posts, I know Gooshin tend to manipulate the end result, instead of keeping the original look. I respect his style, even though it's different from mine. Photoshop is just another tool to be used to further our artistic creativity. It's not the sole or the most important one, however.

Art is subjective after all.


QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
again, i am not disagreeing with you on the merits of owning great glass

i'm just saying that today, things like color rendition are not as important as they were some other time ago.

crappy lens makes all my blues look funny? well then, lets just play around with the blue hue/saturation /vibrance sliders

picture a little barrel distorted, not a problem lets fire up photoshop and tweak it around a bit

latteral CA, ohh noes, lets go to the CA correction slider and tweak it a bit.


the point of photography is to create an image.

before you had only one way of going about it, and those that did more than your basic darkroom stuff were one in a million, the quality of your hardware impacted the quality of your results

in the digital age that is changing, that is all.


and stereo systems are different, you cant maintain a clear signal with crappy components, there is no plan B, there is no photoshop for music.
02-20-2008, 11:59 AM   #30
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I would argue that colour rendition is not irrelevent. I will have to step outside pentax for my argument, I apologize.

Minolta has "G" glass as their top-of-the-line glass. It is often considered to render colours and contrast in a more subdued way than, say Zeiss glass which is reputed to very sharp and high contrast. I'd almost equate it to an HDR, where apparent contrast can be lower, but there is more information displayed. Strangely enough, sometimes results straight out of the camera with G glass don't look great...they don't have that punchy contrast and apparent sharpness of the zeiss counterparts. But upon closer inspection, what you get, for example, is better gradations of sky and skin tones with just as much resolving power as the zeiss counterparts. The major difference between the two is the colour.

Can this be fixed in post? Sort of. It's easier than it was, but as mentioned you can only work with the information that your sensor captures. IMHO one lens can definitely have "higher colour resolution" than another, and so colour is a legitemate variable in evaluating a lens.

Another comparison is often made with Sigma lenses, which sometimes do not have the same colour rendering of their branded counterparts. If your sigma renders greens a little duller, reds a little too hot, and blues with a tint of magenta, I would wager that many seasoned photo editors would lack either the time or the skill to bring the photo back to the equivalent photo taken by a lens that renders the colours "properly".

Cheers,
D

**PS: I recently picked up an M42 85/1.8 (same as the K-mount) and it is a wonderful lens. Some CA near wide open, but wonderful colours...lol...

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