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05-25-2011, 10:58 PM   #136
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QuoteOriginally posted by v5planet Quote

I meant simply this:
a) a lens is just an object, it is not truly "magical"; but that b) it has real qualities, a combination of difficult to describe optical characteristics that can come together to produce stunning images with greater frequency or at higher levels than similar equipment that is not considered "dusted"; and then, finally, that c) simply owning the equipment is not enough -- you actually have to be a skilled photographer to take advantage of a lens' strengths, just like with any other piece of equipment. There was nothing about being a "True Photographer", whatever that would even mean.
I think this is pretty much what jsherman said, and I agreed was a decent, rational working definition for "pixie dust", if you combine it with a large dose of subjective appreciation of the equipment on the part of the photographer.

05-25-2011, 11:31 PM - 1 Like   #137
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
If I hadda pick lenses from my bag that had "pixie dust", it would be the 50-135:


The FA 35mm f2 AL:

And the Tamron 180mm F2.5 (second one has 1.4x TC):


So what's the verdict? Dusty, or no?
.


All good, but I love this 50-135 shot:



It looks very 'DA' to me, very modern-looking color and contrast. I love the pose, great capture. Very pleasing and satisfying to look at. The rendering of the hand on the staff - it's out of the plane of focus, but the incredible contrast hangs it in there in an interesting, 'sharp' way. I think it's as 'dusted' as the DA's can get!

I still think the 50-135 is the best zoom I've ever personally shot, overall, with the tamron 70-200, Sigma 100-300 f4 and Nikon 70-200 VR I close behind it. (Haven't had a chance to shoot the VR II Nikon.)

Nikon is supposed to have the best zooms hands-down, but it's often amusing to witness a die-hard Nikonian 'discover' the Tokina 50-135 on Nikonians, FM, dpreview, etc.


.

Last edited by jsherman999; 05-25-2011 at 11:36 PM.
05-25-2011, 11:33 PM   #138
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Wow this thread has grown alot since ive been at work!

One thing i did notice whislt power reading the posts, and I have to agree with one of Jays notes-
the FA77 consistently takes great pictures, that it something i have noticed too, and its also one of the main reasons why its my most used lens. It is so consistent at taking fantastic shots!
Hell I even almost used it exclusivly at a wedding I shot a month ago! And if i had to do a wedding with only one lens.... call me crazy but the FA77 would be my choice without a doubt.

I do think that there is more to pixie dust than just consistently, but that certainly is a factor in it.

Out of many lenses I own (only my fav's are listed in my sig), the only ones that I feel have the dust, is the FA43 and FA77. Yes I love the DA15 and it really is a great lens, but I dont think it has any dust.
05-26-2011, 01:15 AM   #139
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
All good, but I love this 50-135 shot:
I love this shot too, but composition, mood etc. are why I like it. It does help that the holy man is sharply rendered, the colours are rich and true, and that the bokeh is superb, but honestly, that shot would have looked good with any half decent lens. The deeply reverent pose, and the framing are what made that shot.

05-26-2011, 01:43 AM   #140
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Pixie dust, enchanted items, magical weapons, and the like, yes they do exist, but only in the mind. The human mind often needs a prop to bolster its belief system, and to act as a catalyst to spur it to its full potential. Faith is a powerful force, and therefore all that is needed is that you fervently believe that the item you have chosen is imbued with magical powers. That very belief will prod you to achieve your fullest potential and open doors that were previously shut to you. Some people are able to will themselves to their full potential, most need that magical prop. So if your belief in pixie dust makes you get off your couch and go taking photos that you otherwise wouldn't have taken, encourage you to explore possibilities that you wouldn't have dared, that pixie dust is very real to you, and it matters not in the least whether anyone else believes in it, or even scoffs at your belief.
05-26-2011, 02:59 AM   #141
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
.


All good, but I love this 50-135 shot:



It looks very 'DA' to me, very modern-looking color and contrast. I love the pose, great capture. Very pleasing and satisfying to look at. The rendering of the hand on the staff - it's out of the plane of focus, but the incredible contrast hangs it in there in an interesting, 'sharp' way. I think it's as 'dusted' as the DA's can get!

I still think the 50-135 is the best zoom I've ever personally shot, overall, with the tamron 70-200, Sigma 100-300 f4 and Nikon 70-200 VR I close behind it. (Haven't had a chance to shoot the VR II Nikon.)

Nikon is supposed to have the best zooms hands-down, but it's often amusing to witness a die-hard Nikonian 'discover' the Tokina 50-135 on Nikonians, FM, dpreview, etc.


.
Holy smokes! that's an incredible image.
05-26-2011, 03:37 AM   #142
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Pixie dust is mostly seen in photos where the lens has been identified, and is known to be a pixie dust lens. ;-)
so true!
if one posts a shot with unidentified lens it's a nice shot, if one posts the same shot labeled: "brickwall with birdshit" by 77ltd it somehow becomes magical
05-26-2011, 03:50 AM   #143
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QuoteOriginally posted by Todd Adamson Quote
Again it's only opinion, but I think in the purple grass shot I posted earlier, the lens really did that. HERE is a link to a small Flickr gallery which has six shots in which I think the lens made an unremarkable scene special.
I give you the purple grass shot, it's stunning shot, but at the same time I don't think it couldn't have been done with other lens...

the rest 5 images are absolutely non remarkable to my eyes, and no matter what lens you'd use they'd be as boring as they are now....

05-26-2011, 03:55 AM   #144
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
I actually decided to take my lenses apart last night to try and measure the actual amount of pixie dust each one had. It turns out that the FA limiteds indeed do have a fair amount of pixie dust in them. The FA31 has 15.6 micrograms, the FA43 had 27.2 micrograms and the FA77 had exactly 18.0 micrograms of pixie dust contained in the glass itself. By contrast, I was only able to find 0.2 micrograms of pixie dust in the DA40/2.8 and less than 0.1 grams in the DA35/macro. My best guess at this point is that the DA limited lenses aren't suppose to have pixie dust in them but perhaps there was some overspray in the factory during the pixie dust application process for the FA limiteds and some pixie dust was accidently deposited onto the DA limited glass before they were assembled. Hopefully tonight I'll have a chance to take the rest of my lenses apart and see if the I can find any other lenses with any pixie dust in them. I suspect I may find a little in the FA*85
thanks Dan, this really made me laugh
05-26-2011, 03:58 AM   #145
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
Pixie dust is the term used to explain the price differential between a fa limited and a da limited.
partially true.
I'd ammend it to:
Pixiedust is the term used to explain the price differential between a fa limiteds and other lenses
05-26-2011, 06:48 AM   #146
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
so true!
if one posts a shot with unidentified lens it's a nice shot, if one posts the same shot labeled: "brickwall with birdshit" by 77ltd it somehow becomes magical
So your assertion is that I can get magical images just by *labelling* them "77ltd"? I don't have to actually BUY one?
05-26-2011, 06:51 AM   #147
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
.


All good, but I love this 50-135 shot:



It looks very 'DA' to me, very modern-looking color and contrast. I love the pose, great capture. Very pleasing and satisfying to look at. The rendering of the hand on the staff - it's out of the plane of focus, but the incredible contrast hangs it in there in an interesting, 'sharp' way. I think it's as 'dusted' as the DA's can get!

I still think the 50-135 is the best zoom I've ever personally shot, overall, with the tamron 70-200, Sigma 100-300 f4 and Nikon 70-200 VR I close behind it. (Haven't had a chance to shoot the VR II Nikon.)

Nikon is supposed to have the best zooms hands-down, but it's often amusing to witness a die-hard Nikonian 'discover' the Tokina 50-135 on Nikonians, FM, dpreview, etc.


.

Thanks for the kind words!

I picked the DA* 50-135 because it comes close to the "everything I point it at becomes interesting (to me)" bar you set. I've never had a zoom so sharp and contrasty, and I'm a sucker for sharp and contrasty. For me, bokeh just has to get out of the way, if those are present, and not be to 'jaggy' or 'busy'. 'creamy' is a plus, but I won't sacrifice sharpness to get it.
05-26-2011, 07:01 AM   #148
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
I give you the purple grass shot, it's stunning shot, but at the same time I don't think it couldn't have been done with other lens...

the rest 5 images are absolutely non remarkable to my eyes, and no matter what lens you'd use they'd be as boring as they are now....
Oh man. Harsh...LOL. Even my vignetted fern?!

I wish I had taken the same grass shot with another lens. I will say that I have taken lots of similar grass shots with other lenses and never got one that I would consider showing off. But the scientist in me knows that proves nothing.
05-26-2011, 07:15 AM   #149
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jsherman999

Beautiful image there!

As far as "pixie dust" lenses, the closest things I have are my Pentax-M 1.4 50mm & my old Tamron SP 60-300 still surprises me with the quality of images it produces. The Tamron has become my "go-to" lens for a lot of stuff. I'm also getting surprisingly excellent results with (don't laugh) a 3M-5CA Russian mirror lens I just bought from another forum member. That thing is sharper than any mirror lens has a right to be.
05-26-2011, 07:16 AM - 1 Like   #150
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jsherman999,

Nice pics, and I've rep'd you. Thanks for posting!

Would you mind sharing the sharpening process you use when down-sizing images for the web?

Thanks
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