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10-17-2011, 11:16 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
Perhaps said qualities are not measurable because they are imaginary.
Many people speak of bokeh, rendering, build quality, and pixie dust. I never do, though. Not sure you can measure any of those qualities. I'm sure they exist though - the voices in my head tell me so.

10-17-2011, 11:54 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Many people speak of bokeh, rendering, build quality, and pixie dust. I never do, though. Not sure you can measure any of those qualities. I'm sure they exist though - the voices in my head tell me so.
Those are pixie dust indeed (except build quality, which you can feel and describe easily), but there are other measurable issues that you do not want from a lens:

- chromatic aberrations
- flare
- distortion
- vignetting

And some construction details can be meaningful:

- aperture shape

Still, sharpness is the most important aspect because all optical issues impact the perception of sharpness in one way or another.
10-17-2011, 12:08 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
You are correct sir - tried to edit the title but can't.

I was (still am) in a bit of a frenzy with this LBA stuff and can hardly think straight......
Updated the thread subject/title for you.
10-17-2011, 12:39 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
Perhaps said qualities are not measurable because they are imaginary.
Imaginary is not the same as nonexistent. Draw an X-Y graph. The x-axis is called REAL, the y-axis is called IMAGINARY, and any point on the graph is a COMPLEX number. I'll suggest that the 'imaginary' qualities of lenses are just as tangible as their 'real' qualities, but can't be measured by the same means -- they're on a different axis, a different scale. Together, they are 'complex'.

Further, even the desired 'real' qualities of a lens differ with applications. For example, on another thread arose the subject of XR-Heligon lenses. These Xray-machine lenses are ultra-fast (often f/0.5-1.1) heavy chunks of glass designed for extreme sharpness at one focal plane and within tight spectral limits. Beyond those parameters, as when camera-mounted, their images are weird -- and appealing to many, with 'complex' qualities.

IMHO the rhetorical reduction of desirable lens qualities to a few measurable criteria is a form of 'flattening' photography, ignoring the vast diversity of real-world usage. One-size-fits-all just doesn't work.


Last edited by RioRico; 10-17-2011 at 01:09 PM.
10-17-2011, 01:00 PM   #35
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Thanks Rio - excellent points. There are a number of natural phenomena that we cannot explain, measure or appreciate in isolation, and yet make up vastly important aspects of life - such as photography.

Even in such man-made items as high-end lenses, there are qualities about how incident light is handled that even lens designers won't fully understand, but just know exist - and are able to harness this into their designs.
10-17-2011, 03:13 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Langille Quote
Updated the thread subject/title for you.
Thank you Marc!

Even though I suppose my thread here is kind of redundant as there seem to be many "LBA" threads, I am really enjoying all the commentary here.

At least I now know that I am not alone!!
10-18-2011, 08:14 AM   #37
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Your first truly sharp glass will set you free, oh and deplete your pocketbook. My first truly sharp exposure was the Tamron 90/2.8. I think from there, my next jump to the pro glass was the DA* 16-50 and 50-135 and the FA* 85/1.4 which was truly breathtaking.

Now... well my bank account is empty for the next year; but I've got sharp glass!
10-18-2011, 09:01 AM   #38
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This is why I am never going to even try an expensive lens.

I'm putting my hopes on shooting DNG and processing with future generations of Photoshop so it looks like I had a better lens

10-18-2011, 10:31 AM   #39
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When I jumped upto a DSLR and decided on the K-5 so it can last me a few years, my "kit" 18-135 I ordered did not show up when my camera did.. so the former shop owner sold me his mint 43mm ltd for a decent price and I've been ruined & LBA struck since! I continually pick up odds and ends hoping some can produce anything close.. but I'm still searching.. and spending.. time to just save for the 31 or 77 ltd I think..
10-18-2011, 04:22 PM   #40
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@Chex, you're done. You'll need to start saving.
10-18-2011, 09:29 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chex Quote
When I jumped upto a DSLR and decided on the K-5 so it can last me a few years, my "kit" 18-135 I ordered did not show up when my camera did.. so the former shop owner sold me his mint 43mm ltd for a decent price and I've been ruined & LBA struck since! I continually pick up odds and ends hoping some can produce anything close.. but I'm still searching.. and spending.. time to just save for the 31 or 77 ltd I think..
I hear the 77 is great, but when I had a 31 it didn't measure up to my 43. In other words, good luck!
10-19-2011, 07:38 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Northern Soul Quote
I'm putting my hopes on shooting DNG and processing with future generations of Photoshop so it looks like I had a better lens
Photoshop is great in bringing out things that are in the data. It's not so good at adding things to your image that aren't there.

Really, just try an FA or DA LTD, or a DA* lens. Heck just try a DFA 100/2.8 WR Macro. It's cheap, wicked sharp, and it's a macro lens that can dual as a portrait lens; your photography and pocketbook will never be the same.
10-19-2011, 02:40 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
@Chex, you're done. You'll need to start saving.
I know, I know.. just need a new way of making more money faster!
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