Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-24-2011, 05:11 PM   #1
Site Supporter
slip's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: 2 hours north of toronto ontario canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,515
besides bokeh, what makes a great lens?

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

04-24-2011, 05:54 PM - 1 Like   #2
Veteran Member
paperbag846's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,396
In my humble opinion, a good lens makes photography fun. It lets you forget about the technical stuff and just shoot great photos. I personally think that functionality trumps IQ to a point. As long as IQ is acceptable, an easy-to-use lens is going to let me take the better photographs.
04-24-2011, 05:58 PM   #3
Senior Member




Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 288
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
I think a lot of it is subjective. But there are objective things that everyone likes and tend to group around a certain lens. For example, you (or at least me) don't see everyone raving about the kit lens. It's fine. It takes good pictures (yes I know the photographer does) but then you look at the 50-135 and the DA 70 FA77. Those lenses have a following. They present a look others, lots of others agree on as being good.

Personally I value crispness and clarity above all else. That's just the purist in me because some like lenses to not be as crisp because it makes the subjects "look better" or not as real or whatever. That's just my own little take from readin on here. I think that's why some like the FA77 over the DA70 when the DA70 is supposedly, and I believe so, more clear and crisp, super sharp. FA77 has the "pixie dust." In the end I value sharp over everything.
04-24-2011, 06:09 PM   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
pacerr's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Henry, TN
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,852
Fidelity.

The ability to accurately transmit an image from one side of a complex optical device to the other so that any deviation from that "reality" is by the discretion and manipulation of the photographer.

Only the innate inability of the lens to maintain perfect sharpness throughout the image from edge to edge and from MFD to infinity makes bokeh a characteristic of the optics rather than an expression of selective artistry on the part of the photographer. Same for chromatic fidelity.

H2

04-24-2011, 06:43 PM   #5
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: central Singapore
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 409
QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
In my humble opinion, a good lens makes photography fun. It lets you forget about the technical stuff and just shoot great photos. I personally think that functionality trumps IQ to a point. As long as IQ is acceptable, an easy-to-use lens is going to let me take the better photographs.
I agree with this for most of the time, which is why size and weight are also relevant factors. If you can't be bothered to carry the lens, or you just don't like using it, you won't get the shot, however good the IQ is.

Above a certain threshold the distinctions between one very good lens and another start to be marginal. Diminishing returns. To exploit fully the specific strengths of an excellent lens takes effort.

Therefore effort and determination are just as important as technical factors (bokeh, CA, corner sharpness, contrast, colour, speed, build quality, etc - which order I would rank those in would vary from day to day).
04-24-2011, 06:56 PM   #6
Site Supporter




Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: MT
Posts: 1,075
Varies by your uses...for me, well controlled diffraction at tiny apertures allowing sharper landscape renderings from foreground to infinity. This is one of the FA Limited strengths that nobody ever seems to test. Most street shooters seem to emphasize wide aperatures and bokeh. So solid performance at both ends of the aperature spectrum could be one of the defining characteristics of better lenses.
04-24-2011, 07:12 PM   #7
Site Supporter
robbiec's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Cork, Ireland
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,206
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
The Pentax name on the lens bezel.
A good starting point
I think what adds to a lens' reputation for being great is a certain charactor. An example of a great lens to me is a K55 f/1.8, fantastic build, quick enough and a certain look that belongs only to it. It has charactor, its weak in certain areas for sure but get it in its sweet spot and it delivers a great image with a colour rendition that is unique to it.
The obvious examples of great lenses would be the FA Limited series, they have charactor in abundance, some of the FA*s would spring to mind, the 85 f/1.4 and 200 f/4.0 macro, the former due to being peerless in portraiture and the latter because it is legendary from a pure technical image resolving standpoint but if you look at any image taken with it then you will recognise its charactor straight away, an uber rendition that is just a little beyond any of its peers.
An other lens that has a lot of charactor that springs to mind is the K50 f/1.2, difficult to focus, fairly heavy, but again it has a look unique to itself, it demolishes the other Pentax 50s in my opinion for bokeh, sharpness, the ability to slice our 3D world with the DOF, it is a 'Great' lens.
04-24-2011, 08:33 PM   #8
Site Supporter




Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: North
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,778
To me. Apparent sharpness, which typically is affected by the following.
Contrast, subject separation due to OOF rendering, actual sharpness.

04-24-2011, 10:02 PM   #9
Pentaxian
twitch's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,571
Part of it is having confidence that the lens will deliver shot after shot, one reason why I love my da70 so much, sharp at every aperture and super consistent af accuracy. It's also a joy to use being so small and light.
04-24-2011, 10:20 PM   #10
Veteran Member
Laurentiu Cristofor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: WA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,044
QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
would you call a great lens something that needs next to no pp to get the results you want?
There is no such lens. You can always get better results with PP. It's not the lens that is the problem here, but the DR limitations of the sensor.

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
In my humble opinion, a good lens makes photography fun. It lets you forget about the technical stuff and just shoot great photos.
I agree with this part to the extent in which a good lens has few weaknesses and thus is dependable to achieve whatever you need it to achieve. The opposite of this is a lens whose weaknesses prevent you from using it in certain scenarios and whose best results are always obtained by factoring in these weaknesses and working around them.

A good lens has little distortion, great resolution across the frame, a flat focal field, no chromatic aberrations, resistance to flare and ghosting.
04-24-2011, 10:26 PM   #11
hcc
Pentaxian
hcc's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,482
QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Part of it is having confidence that the lens will deliver shot after shot...
+1 with twitch. And that is why the FA31mm f1.8 Ltd is a great lens.
04-24-2011, 11:37 PM   #12
Banned




Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Williston, VT
Posts: 268
QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
A good lens has little distortion, great resolution across the frame, a flat focal field, no chromatic aberrations, resistance to flare and ghosting.
Spoken like a true measurebator...

I've seen award-winning pictures taken with lenses that are considered door-stops by members of this forum. Each lens has its own qualities, and what some consider "glaring flaws", others call "unique flavor".

I agree with the first reply. What makes a good lens is its ability to make photography fun. Nevermind retina-slicing sharpness (whatever that's supposed to mean), or flat focal fields, or lack of distortion. If a lens allows you to take amazing pictures that you're happy with and please others, then it's a good lens (for you).

And as for this crap:
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
The Pentax name on the lens bezel.
That's just plain narrow-minded.
04-25-2011, 01:00 AM   #13
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,255
QuoteOriginally posted by Hound Tooth Quote
Spoken like a true measurebator...

I've seen award-winning pictures taken with lenses that are considered door-stops by members of this forum. Each lens has its own qualities, and what some consider "glaring flaws", others call "unique flavor".
When you tell your wife her dinner has a "unique flavor," you're being polite...
04-25-2011, 01:35 AM   #14
Pentaxian
hoanpham's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Strand
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,360
Beside the fast glass, bokeh, no PP needed...
For me, it's a lens that allow me to use all apertures with good acceptable IQ, either zoom or prime, easy to focus (MF) or correct focus (AF), relatively fast, good color rending, acceptable flare resistant, relatively little CA/PF, in short: a joy to use, as somebody had said.

The lenses that give me most joy to use are: DA*50-135, 50f1.2/f1.4, K/M85, K/M135, M35, M28, 8-16.
04-25-2011, 06:13 AM   #15
Pentaxian




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Perth Australia
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,511
QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
would you call a great lens something that needs next to no pp to get the results you want?
I want the best possible results, and so everything requires pp Even if a photo is great without pp i could always be better.

I can tell you that 9 aperture blades or more is what makes the bokeh great.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
k-mount, lens, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Misc 100mm f/2.8 Macro WR Bokeh Bokeh Bokeh! iocchelli Post Your Photos! 3 03-20-2011 02:22 AM
Great 3d of 31ltd and 43ltd, Bad of 35/2 bokeh Mystic Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 44 12-16-2009 10:09 PM
What Makes a Great Low Light Lense? Firebird Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 15 09-09-2009 07:54 AM
Manual lens + K20D makes green? imtheguy Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 4 06-15-2009 09:55 AM
A Shiba Inu makes a great model m8o Post Your Photos! 2 06-30-2008 05:58 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:07 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top