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04-25-2011, 06:17 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
I am not sure I will ever afford a * pentax lens but was wondering what makes a great lens besides background blur and speed?
ence?
would you call a great lens something that needs next to no pp to get the results you want?
trust me, I am not complaining about the cost of lenses or trying to justify a cheaper lens, but was just curious what others think.
believe me, I would be the first in line for a * lens if I had the chance.

all opinions welcomed!!

thanks
To me is affordability for the purpose you want to do with the lens within the perceived good IQ standard of different individual. Must define what you want out of it, then decide how much you can afford. Then determine what is your IQ standard. If you find a lens meeting all this 3 criteria, it is a good lens. Most of the time you wont notice those so call technical limitation of the lens with 4x6 (4R) prints. Only if you purposely looking for fault of the lens design, then of course, no lens is perfect.

04-25-2011, 07:17 AM   #17
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Sharpness, contrast, and colour are highly prised.

* lenses generally seem to be characterised by:
- f-stop / speed
- the use of special elements or optical design / IQ
- materials & construction

Personally, what makes a great lens is how they feel (ergonomics) and the ease in which they help me get the shot I wanted. I've grown attachment to some really bad lenses over the years. All because I got that amazing image with it one time. Each lens has different strengths and weakness. You need to spend time finding out what they are and then be able to use that knowledge to your advantage. I know I've used some of the * lenses and gone away wondering what all the fuss is about. But, that's the thing. Without developing a working knowledge of a particular lens - it's hard to use it effectively.
04-25-2011, 10:23 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
When you tell your wife her dinner has a "unique flavor," you're being polite...
a) I make dinner
b) I haven't won any awards from my dinner-making skills
c) That's a stupid comparison that makes no sense
04-25-2011, 10:28 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
And your reply is just plain uneducated.
Right... no other lens in the world can possibly be any good. All the other manufacturers got it all wrong. Only Pentax has seen the light.

That's a brilliant argument, by the way. Attack your opponent's assumed education level, but by no means try and justify your point. You'd make a great politician.

I thought you quit this place, anyways? Are you flip-flopping?

04-25-2011, 10:33 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hound Tooth Quote
a) I make dinner
b) I haven't won any awards from my dinner-making skills
c) That's a stupid comparison that makes no sense
Is (c) referring to (b) or one of your other posts? I applaud your honesty.
04-25-2011, 10:39 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
Is (c) referring to (b) or one of your other posts? I applaud your honesty.
No, it's referring to your post where you somehow manage to compare a gastronomic construction with a light-focusing device. That was a really dumb comparison. As far as metaphors go, it was right there at the bottom of a rusty barrel full of other nasty metaphors. A lot of those worthless metaphors sharing the bottom of the same barrel have been made by Wheatfield over the years.

It's unfortunate that you couldn't figure out what c) was referring to on your own. I'll try typing slower next time, maybe that'll help.

I realize that you only made that comparison in an effort to ridicule someone without knowing anything about him, all while adding nothing of substance to the discussion. But still, it was a stinker even for that purpose. Congratulations.

Last edited by Hound Tooth; 04-25-2011 at 10:55 AM.
04-25-2011, 10:58 AM   #22
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Gents can we please get back on topic? This has the potential to be an interesting thread if we are allowed to progress beyond the childish tit for tat posts by a minority.
The question is: Besides bokeh, what makes a great Lens?
04-25-2011, 11:15 AM   #23
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Reasonable center and corner sharpness, little/no distortion and good colour rendering. Things that give you more time to shoot rather than spending time PP.

04-25-2011, 11:21 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by robbiec Quote
Gents can we please get back on topic? This has the potential to be an interesting thread if we are allowed to progress beyond the childish tit for tat posts by a minority.
The question is: Besides bokeh, what makes a great Lens?
Sure! And I've got another answer: pixie dust
04-25-2011, 11:45 AM   #25
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Who said 'whatever lens makes photography fun'? That's it, right there.

You have to feel a connection with the equipment to get the most out of it. That means feeling comfortable using it, and for me equates to good build quality/ergonomics and small size. Your mileage may vary, but this is part of what lets me connect with my gear. Connection to the equipment might mean something very different to someone else, but the connection itself is important.

I spent 6 months shooting exclusively with the DA 35 Limited. This is an expensive lens with qualities that would make most measurebators quite happy. Then I picked up an old, beat up Takumar 50/1.4 for ~100 bucks and immediately started cranking out photos I felt were superior to most anything I had done with the DA 35. Why? I connected with the focal length and the feel of MF and manual aperture selection.
04-25-2011, 12:35 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
And your reply is just plain uneducated.


I think the thing is, that most lenses made these days are pretty good, historically speaking. The fact that the kit lens is better than a lot of olden-day primes in many technical aspects (other than aperture speed) is pretty amazing.

There is always better, but it won't be a heads and shoulders difference. That's why I would pick something that "feels" good.

I use the same criteria for musical equipment (feel over sound), and it helps me make better music. I think the human component to this trumps the technical component.
04-25-2011, 12:39 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hound Tooth Quote
No, it's referring to your post where you somehow manage to compare a gastronomic construction with a light-focusing device. That was a really dumb comparison. As far as metaphors go, it was right there at the bottom of a rusty barrel full of other nasty metaphors. A lot of those worthless metaphors sharing the bottom of the same barrel have been made by Wheatfield over the years.

It's unfortunate that you couldn't figure out what c) was referring to on your own. I'll try typing slower next time, maybe that'll help.

I realize that you only made that comparison in an effort to ridicule someone without knowing anything about him, all while adding nothing of substance to the discussion. But still, it was a stinker even for that purpose. Congratulations.
Cool story, bro.
04-25-2011, 12:59 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
There is always better, but it won't be a heads and shoulders difference. That's why I would pick something that "feels" good.
In his textbook on photography, Ansel Adams recommends to buy a lens of high optical quality. A Joe Blow on the internet tells me to spend potentially thousands of dollars on something that "feels" good. Hmm....
04-25-2011, 01:03 PM   #29
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Agreed with V5 and paperbag above. My S-M-C Tak 28/3.5 is probably the runt of my lenses. Slow aperture, visible barrel distortion, meh corner sharpness, CAs... but I love using it, when I do use it, just cause taks feel great to focus and the shots I get are so satisfying due to its natural focal length on crop.

On the other hand, my DA40/2.8 I used to have was great. Smooth bokeh, very sharp, but similar experience as V5 - it just got boring to me; it was simply not an interesting lens to use, despite its on-paper perfectness. And so I traded for an FA43 - bokeh a bit weird at times, my copy has asymmetrical blades, but...it's not nearly as sterile of a lens.

Like the SMC-Tak 28/3.5, there're measurable shortcomings, but it's great to use regardless. They're great lenses simply because they feel great to use, to me. If given the choice between a tak that was technically poor, vs a lens built like the kit ones but was, on paper, perfect, I'd choose the tak every time.

It's kinda like going HCB on photography, too, to choose inferior lenses but still feel "right" to you. And also, that's where the "you" part comes in - like every other art form, photography is reliant on the artist and not the tools for results. And the results don't have to ace an MTF chart to be great.


Also, what's with this cool story bro bs? I'm the 17 year old here, guys. Seriously.
04-25-2011, 01:12 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by jaieger Quote
Agreed with V5 and paperbag above. My S-M-C Tak 28/3.5 is probably the runt of my lenses. Slow aperture, visible barrel distortion, meh corner sharpness, CAs... but I love using it, when I do use it, just cause taks feel great to focus and the shots I get are so satisfying due to its natural focal length on crop.

On the other hand, my DA40/2.8 I used to have was great. Smooth bokeh, very sharp, but similar experience as V5 - it just got boring to me; it was simply not an interesting lens to use, despite its on-paper perfectness. And so I traded for an FA43 - bokeh a bit weird at times, my copy has asymmetrical blades, but...it's not nearly as sterile of a lens.

Like the SMC-Tak 28/3.5, there're measurable shortcomings, but it's great to use regardless. They're great lenses simply because they feel great to use, to me. If given the choice between a tak that was technically poor, vs a lens built like the kit ones but was, on paper, perfect, I'd choose the tak every time.

It's kinda like going HCB on photography, too, to choose inferior lenses but still feel "right" to you. And also, that's where the "you" part comes in - like every other art form, photography is reliant on the artist and not the tools for results. And the results don't have to ace an MTF chart to be great.
All you are saying is that lenses of different focal lengths may potentially be suitable in different situations. I don't think anybody is disputing this, nor is anybody bashing lomography here.
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