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05-24-2011, 06:40 AM   #1
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Pixie Dust

Today again I read some claim about 'Pixie Dust' lens - so couldn't resist asking, what's 'Pixie Dust'?

Well, I read enough so some pictures only opinion please - a picture having 'Pixie Dust', and a picture NOT HAVING 'Pixie Dust'

05-24-2011, 06:53 AM   #2
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Here is a whole thread on the topic with many sample images.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/131773-rendering-pixie-dust.html

There aren't many photos showing lack of pixie dust. I suppose any other thread will do.


Page 3 of that thread has a definition that I think is useful:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/131773-renderi...ml#post1371399
QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
"I can just point it at anything and it looks interesting."

Last edited by Aegon; 05-24-2011 at 06:58 AM.
05-24-2011, 07:01 AM   #3
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Thanks. Agenda is slightly different here - show two pics, one with and without 'Pixie Dust'
05-24-2011, 07:34 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
Thanks. Agenda is slightly different here - show two pics, one with and without 'Pixie Dust'
This forum doesn't seem to be the best place to discuss optical quality of lenses, without sad mentally ill posters foaming at the mouth.

Here's a well-thought out private message HoundTooth sent me, apparently on the topic of "what makes a great lens:"

"You, sir (or madam), are the epitome of stupid. Everything that spews forth from your fingers is laced with so much vomit, it's a wonder a human brain formed those thoughts. You suck. And you have a really, really dumb name, too. What did you do, look down and type the first thing your keyboard told you to?

Congratulations on being the very first recipient of a "you suck" message from yours truly." -- HoundTooth.

05-24-2011, 07:56 AM   #5
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yusuf, I think you can see for yourself the images from the FA limited club or this thread: I've been spoiled by the FA 43mm Ltd.... - PentaxForums.com and compare them with results you may see in other Lens club threads, such as the FA or F lens club.

Last edited by Ash; 05-24-2011 at 05:17 PM.
05-24-2011, 02:35 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
yusuf, I think you can see for yourself the images from the FA limtied club or this thread: I've been spoiled by the FA 43mm Ltd.... - PentaxForums.com and compare them with results you may see in other Lens club threads, such as the FA or F lens club.
But if he does not know what "pixie dust" means, how can he see it by comparing different pictures from different users?
I think his request is valid and it would be nice to compare two pictures from the same subject shot with two different lenses. One showing "pixie dust" and one that doesnīt show it.
05-24-2011, 02:41 PM   #7
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Don't forget that there is "Pixie Dust" and the more rare kind, "Left Handed Pixie Dust." I generally define "Pixie Dust" as a magical dust that Pentax adds to the SMC and Ghostless Coating on certain lenses that gives them unscientifically explainable optical powers.


:darkside:

Last edited by Blue; 05-24-2011 at 02:46 PM.
05-24-2011, 05:07 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by kdre Quote
But if he does not know what "pixie dust" means, how can he see it by comparing different pictures from different users?
I think his request is valid and it would be nice to compare two pictures from the same subject shot with two different lenses. One showing "pixie dust" and one that doesnīt show it.
You will not find an objective definition of the term 'pixie dust', other than what Tinkerbell sprinkles around her little fairy kingdom.

There is no mystical power involved, there is just optical brilliance in lens design and quality that as the maker puts it, was meant for real-world shooting rather than for test charts.

The results should speak for themselves. Look at the FA ltd galleries and you may see this X-factor in images created through these lenses that others have attributed to 'pixie dust'.

05-24-2011, 05:17 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
Well, I read enough so some pictures only opinion please - a picture having 'Pixie Dust', and a picture NOT HAVING 'Pixie Dust'
I can't seem to find the pixie dust on/off button on any of my lenses
05-24-2011, 05:29 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
This forum doesn't seem to be the best place to discuss optical quality of lenses, without sad mentally ill posters foaming at the mouth.

Here's a well-thought out private message HoundTooth sent me, apparently on the topic of "what makes a great lens:"

"You, sir (or madam), are the epitome of stupid. Everything that spews forth from your fingers is laced with so much vomit, it's a wonder a human brain formed those thoughts. You suck. And you have a really, really dumb name, too. What did you do, look down and type the first thing your keyboard told you to?

Congratulations on being the very first recipient of a "you suck" message from yours truly." -- HoundTooth.
ROFLWOW!

What did you have to do to get THAT? Call his mother a dirty Nikon shooter?
05-24-2011, 05:31 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
You will not find an objective definition of the term 'pixie dust', other than what Tinkerbell sprinkles around her little fairy kingdom.

There is no mystical power involved, there is just optical brilliance in lens design and quality that as the maker puts it, was meant for real-world shooting rather than for test charts.

The results should speak for themselves. Look at the FA ltd galleries and you may see this X-factor in images created through these lenses that others have attributed to 'pixie dust'.
Personally, I think it's more often "brilliance in image design and quality" put in by the photographer... honestly. jsherman is my case in point.
05-24-2011, 05:57 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
ROFLWOW!

What did you have to do to get THAT? Call his mother a dirty Nikon shooter?
Houndtooth is an (well, I can't actually say what he is because the mods would brig me).
However, for reasons known only to his weirded out small, little mind, he actually went to the effort of stalking me to my home address.
This is creepy beyond belief, and leads me to believe he is a pretty sick whackjob.
He lists his home as Williston Vermont on his profile, but is actually living in some small out of the way corner of Quebec.
Before he got banned the first time he called himself goremanx or some such.
05-24-2011, 06:18 PM   #13
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For me, pixie dust is "just" a lens that can make images that are sharp and detailed within the DOF, and soft and smooth outside the DOF, with nice colours and contrast throughout.

Practically this means the image comes out much nicer than what was seen by the naked eye at the time. I think my DA15, FA31, DA70 & FA77 have it. Those 4 are just remarkable lenses. My 12-24, 21, 40, 17-70, and 55-300 don't, although there's a couple of excellent lenses in that non-pixie dust list. The 50-135 might have it too, I dont know, it's close.
05-24-2011, 06:38 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote

Practically this means the image comes out much nicer than what was seen by the naked eye at the time.
I've never really thought about quantifying it before. I guess I'm just of the belief that I know it when I see it. But I think this actually comes pretty close to how I think of pixie dust.
05-24-2011, 06:39 PM - 1 Like   #15
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I'll make an attempt at with/without, and will agree with Aegon about jsherman's post (the words, I mean, since his pics are no longer there). I am a relative newcomer to Pentax, and a confirmed Nikon shooter. 'Dirty' Nikon shooter, if you wish.

It would be easy to just post some crappy photo for the "without" pic, but I won't do that. I'll show you a couple that I think are really strong, nice photos, but just don't have the dust. First, here's a shot done with the Micro-Nikkor 85PC, a lens of indisputable quality:



And now another Nikon shot, with the Sigma 150/2.8:



I think these are both "nice" shots, but neither really has that extra spark of interestingness, or however you want to describe pixie dust.

Now a couple of recent shots from the FA77, which I have been tripping on the past few days. The shot of the grass in particular (color obviously altered) is a perfect example of "I can just point it at anything and it looks interesting."





Now to be fair, I should post something from my Zeiss 100 Makro-Planar (Nikon mount) which I think yields the same level of "interestingness." I guess if it's not a Pentax lens, it can't be actual pixie dust, but IMO it's just as brilliant. The Zeiss 100 has long been my favorite piece of glass, but the FA77 is threatening to supplant it. The macro capability of the Zeiss (1:2) is perhaps the only thing maintaining its edge.

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