Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
05-25-2011, 12:45 PM   #61
Veteran Member
jsherman999's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 8,228
QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote

I *love* my Tamron 180mm f2.5; love to look through it, love to take pictures with it. I spend a lot of time just looking through it at the scene. The pictures I make with it are, to my eyes, affected by that attachment to it. It "feels" special.
Why?

.

05-25-2011, 12:54 PM   #62
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Midwest
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,407
QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
Why?

.
"feelings" are intangibles. I suspect it has to do with the fact that it was my first piece of very high quality glass. It's got a huge, beautifully coated front element. It's internal focus. It's well balanced. It's heavy and works smoothly. It produces nice bokeh. But most importantly, it's sharp, it's contrasty.

It's worth noting that I have had lenses that felt the same in a tactile sense, but were not sharp, or were not contrasty, or both, and they were *not* special lenses. I remember shaking my head over an old Sigma 300 f4 that was all metal and had huge, beautifully coated elements - and had the contrast of an old dishrag. "It sure feels nice" I said. "Too bad it sucks out loud." And it went in the cabinet to be sold for $69.
05-25-2011, 12:54 PM   #63
Moderator
Site Supporter
Blue's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 17,181
QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
Why?

.
Because.

Its one of those lenses that once most people have held and used one, that tend to not let it go. I am definitely the week link when that baby is on my camera. It is the only lens I currently use in the ~ 200mm range and actually the only tele I have currently in that range. The only lens that I would even consider replacing it with would be the A* 200mm/2.8. I have thought about the DA* 200 a few times but I really can't justify it AND the 180/2.5 at the same time.
05-25-2011, 01:02 PM   #64
Veteran Member
Todd Adamson's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Iowa
Posts: 722
OK, this is totally for fun. Non-scientific. No real possibility for a strong conclusion. But based on this discussion, I had to do this, and I'll probably do more comparisons when I have more time. I just shot two images, two different lenses, of the same boring plant in front of my studio. My standard adjustment for contrast and sharpness was done to both of them, exactly the same. IMO, one of them has pixie dust (I won't say at this point which one, but feel free to offer your opinions) and one does not. I realize you will likely even be biased by the order in which they're presented. I flipped a coin.





05-25-2011, 01:05 PM - 1 Like   #65
Veteran Member
jsherman999's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 8,228
QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Because.

Its one of those lenses that once most people have held and used one, that tend to not let it go. I am definitely the week link when that baby is on my camera. It is the only lens I currently use in the ~ 200mm range and actually the only tele I have currently in that range. The only lens that I would even consider replacing it with would be the A* 200mm/2.8. I have thought about the DA* 200 a few times but I really can't justify it AND the 180/2.5 at the same time.
.

So here's at least two of you - I'm betting there are more also. It seems to be a shared experience.

Would it be safe to say that if many other people had the same experience with this lens, that it would be something partially inherent to the lens, transferable to other people?

And if you were to label that specialness without relying on a paragraph description every single time, like maybe with a two-word phrase - what would that phrase, perhaps, be?

05-25-2011, 01:05 PM   #66
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Midwest
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,407
QuoteOriginally posted by Todd Adamson Quote
OK, this is totally for fun. Non-scientific. No real possibility for a strong conclusion. But based on this discussion, I had to do this, and I'll probably do more comparisons when I have more time. I just shot two images, two different lenses, of the same boring plant in front of my studio. My standard adjustment for contrast and sharpness was done to both of them, exactly the same. IMO, one of them has pixie dust (I won't say at this point which one, but feel free to offer your opinions) and one does not. I realize you will likely even be biased by the order in which they're presented. I flipped a coin.


Wow, nice job! It looks like the first one ('top' one?) had a higher f-number, though. I like the contrast of the first one best, and the bokeh of the second one; it would be a toss-up for me.

Great stuff, though! Thanks for taking the time!
05-25-2011, 01:05 PM   #67
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Midwest
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,407
QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
.

So here's at least two of you - I'm betting there are more also. It seems to be a shared experience.

Would it be safe to say that if many other people had the same experience with this lens, that it would be something partially inherent to the lens, transferable to other people?

And if you were to label that specialness without relying on a paragraph description every single time, like maybe with a two-word phrase - what would that phrase, perhaps, be?

"Great lens"?
05-25-2011, 01:21 PM   #68
Pentaxian
Aegon's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,413
QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
It's been proven that sommeliers like the same wine *better* when they're told it costs more.
The most expensive lens I've ever owned is a Nikon 85/1.4. It was quite good. But no pixie dust. Others disagree.

The second most expensive lens was the FA31, which was also quite good. But no pixie dust that I could see. Others disagree.

The FA77, however, is dripping with pixie dust. Or to use the suggested term, "it is a great lens", which sounds totally average and doesn't convey my point at all. The previous two lenses may well be "great lenses", but they don't have pixie dust. IMO. Others disagree.

05-25-2011, 01:22 PM   #69
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Midwest
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,407
QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Because.

Its one of those lenses that once most people have held and used one, that tend to not let it go. I am definitely the week link when that baby is on my camera. It is the only lens I currently use in the ~ 200mm range and actually the only tele I have currently in that range. The only lens that I would even consider replacing it with would be the A* 200mm/2.8. I have thought about the DA* 200 a few times but I really can't justify it AND the 180/2.5 at the same time.
You rarely see 'em for sale - supposedly only 3000 made. Last one I saw listed on ebay was listed for $899. Mine was the last one I saw in a camera shop, and I bought it in the late 80s - '89, I think; it was a year old rental unit.
05-25-2011, 01:23 PM   #70
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Midwest
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,407
QuoteOriginally posted by Aegon Quote
Others disagree.
This certainly seems to be the central, defining character of "pixie dust". Perhaps that's because it's purely subjective?
05-25-2011, 01:25 PM   #71
Veteran Member
jsherman999's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 8,228
QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
"Great lens"?
And the D-Xenon 100mm f2.8 macro? You called it excellent - but not "special"?

It seems to me as if you do get it, and are in fact describing the same relationship to your Tamron that many people are describing to their FA's, or whatever - you're just resistant to the label. Don't be, it's just a label, one that describes things a bit better than 'great lens', but one you don't have to use if it offends you.

'great lens' really is overused much more, IMO.


.
05-25-2011, 01:42 PM   #72
Pentaxian
builttospill's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Utah, Idaho
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,651
QuoteOriginally posted by Todd Adamson Quote
OK, this is totally for fun. Non-scientific. No real possibility for a strong conclusion. But based on this discussion, I had to do this, and I'll probably do more comparisons when I have more time. I just shot two images, two different lenses, of the same boring plant in front of my studio. My standard adjustment for contrast and sharpness was done to both of them, exactly the same. IMO, one of them has pixie dust (I won't say at this point which one, but feel free to offer your opinions) and one does not. I realize you will likely even be biased by the order in which they're presented. I flipped a coin.
The first one has the magic pixie dust giving the subject in focus a 3d look. The blurry background is much more interesting than in the second photo without magic. The blurry area is certainly smooth, but the first one captivates me much more.
05-25-2011, 01:52 PM   #73
Pentaxian
builttospill's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Utah, Idaho
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,651
QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
Digital processing has, to a certain extent, rendered this moot, as contrast and saturation is easily adjustable with a slider. I can pick up my chromes from the Hassy, lay 'em on a lightbox, and tweak my K-5 images to match in seconds. You couldn't do that with slide film, and that's where these lenses earned their very well deserved reputations. Not print film, where the second solution is so variable. On slide film - Kodachrome, to be exact.
I'm not very good at PP and I don't do a lot of this to my photos, but I politely disagree with you point above. There is no "Pixie Dust" slider in any software I've seen . It's not something you can just add to a photo. I'll use Pentax's soft lenses as an example. You can't get quite the same look in PP; maybe similar with blur, but not the same.

QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
EXACTLY! If you pick up an instrument that you LIKE, that FITS you, you play better; but it's about the relationship between you and the instrument, not some objective, ethereal, intangible characteristic of the instrument. Other people may even think they hear something special about *that* instrument *because* you play better when you're enjoying it. But that doesn't mean, at all, that the final product - the recording, say - is discernible in any way from a similar guitar of similar quality that doesn't fit you as well, nor that anyone else's playing might sound better on that instrument.

That's *exactly* what I'm saying about pixie dust...
I don't think this quite does it for me either. There are many lenses that fit me, but it doesn't mean they have the dust or the magic. An old Takumar just feels right for similar reasons others have stated: weight, build quility, smooth focusing, etc. Add a lens like that to a beautiful camera like the SV, S3, K2 DMD or LX and you have a winner-but it still lacks the magic dust! Case in point-I can learn the sweet spot of a kit lens and take outstanding pictures with it. But using an FA Limited lens in its sweet spot does something more by effectively utilizing the dust.
05-25-2011, 02:02 PM   #74
Veteran Member
Todd Adamson's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Iowa
Posts: 722
Well, now I've spent more of my afternoon screwing around than I should have. What else is new. Got a couple more for you. I'll go ahead and say that one shot of each set was shot with a different camera, a full-frame body, so I am trying to compensate for the difference in DOF and get them as close as possible. I've missed by a little bit in either direction among these samples, so don't let more or less DOF send your guess in a specific direction.





And here's a tough one for ya.



05-25-2011, 02:03 PM   #75
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Midwest
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,407
QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
And the D-Xenon 100mm f2.8 macro? You called it excellent - but not "special"?

It seems to me as if you do get it, and are in fact describing the same relationship to your Tamron that many people are describing to their FA's, or whatever - you're just resistant to the label. Don't be, it's just a label, one that describes things a bit better than 'great lens', but one you don't have to use if it offends you.

'great lens' really is overused much more, IMO.
Well, for one, the D-Xenon can be replaced easily. I can order it from Amazon. Try that with the Tamron.

But the point I made is that it's not visible in the final product. It's about how I feel using it, not some characteristic of the lens that makes it "better" somehow.

If you say 'pixie dust' is "something about a lens that makes me enjoy using it", I'm all in agreement. If you say "pixie dust is something about a lens that make every image look good" I'll respectfully call BS.

I mean I think there are two components: Objective, measurable ones, and subjective intangibles. The intangible ones are preferential or emotional, not characteristics of the lens itself.

For the record, I have a sneaking suspicion that bokeh *could* be quantified, and described algorithmically in such a manner as to predict whether most folks would like it.
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!
dust, k-mount, pentax lens, picture, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Official Pentax Forums "Pixie Dust" Lens List Winnie Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 40 10-24-2016 03:52 AM
Pentax K-7 Dust Alert and Dust Removal Functions brosen Pentax DSLR Discussion 9 02-09-2016 04:43 AM
HowTo: Replace the first lens group in the 31 with that of the 77! Double pixie dust! feilb Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 1 04-01-2011 10:31 AM
Rendering and Pixie Dust GlennG Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 65 02-06-2011 02:21 PM
dust on sensor or dust on lens 41ants Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10 10-08-2009 10:28 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:59 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.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