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02-25-2013, 06:03 AM   #31
sTi
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I think one really has to differentiate between

1) compositional "tricks" that make an inherently 2D image look 3D-like (=> subject to background distance, vanishing lines etc.)

and

2) lens characteristics that help to render an image more 3D-like (=> micro contrast, quality of bokeh (smoothness in general, quality of transition from sharp to unsharp areas) etc.)

Both are interesting topics in themselves, of course
My guess is that lenses are described as 3D-like because they offer superb micro contrast & color separation combined with creamy, but still "interesting" bokeh.

Example: i find that e.g. the DA*55 has a very nice transition area between the area that is in focus and the areas just before and behind this. It is hard to describe the phenomenon in words, but the effect is IMO that it gives the focused area a special prominence (or "pop") that is missing with some other lenses that are not optimized for that sort of thing...


Last edited by sTi; 02-25-2013 at 06:17 AM.
02-25-2013, 10:35 PM   #32
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tougefc, it might just be me, but in the pirate picture are you using off camera lighting? I get the feeling you've got a strobe off camera to the right and that is probably one of the things giving this picture some of it's pop.
02-26-2013, 02:34 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by crossmr Quote
tougefc, it might just be me, but in the pirate picture are you using off camera lighting? I get the feeling you've got a strobe off camera to the right and that is probably one of the things giving this picture some of it's pop.
Yes he is.. I remember asking him how big his 'studio' was after seeing this shot as it looks like an indoor shot. ;-)
02-26-2013, 08:05 PM - 1 Like   #34
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As others have mentioned, I think that the 3D effect comes from a subject in sharp focus with a deep background that gradually and smoothly goes into a slightly soft focus. I think that this type of look mimics the way we actually see things with our eyes, so maybe that's why it looks 3D.

Directional lighting of the subject is also important, since it helps to "lift" the subject up off the background. Tougefc has demonstrated this in many of his pictures, as he is very gifted at using off-camera flash.

Here's a picture I took for my department's homepage using my Sigma 30mm. I think it has some of the "3D" look to it. The aperture was set at f2, and lighting was provided by the setting sun off to the left.




Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 02-27-2013 at 08:33 PM.
02-27-2013, 04:28 AM   #35
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This page about lens contrast might be helpful to the OP
Understanding Lens Contrast
and this thread about the Fa*85 f1.4, a stellar lens imo, has some good examples of images with a 3D quality

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/103108-fa-85mm...my-mind-9.html
02-27-2013, 04:51 AM   #36
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To me, the lens is only one part of the combination. If you want "3D"-esque pics, one has to compose them that way and it's not easy in the real world.

To me, these from my collection are among some of the "3D" shots. It's not always about just creating the bokeh. The bokeh has to be aligned properly with various elements of the composition. I have many shots with bokeh and they don't look 3D and some without much bokeh that look more 3D than others.





This one is a FF in dark conditions fail, but nonetheless, exhibits some 3D that comes about from mostly the composition and settings rather than the inherent quality of the lens:

02-27-2013, 05:05 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
To me, the lens is only one part of the combination. If you want "3D"-esque pics, one has to compose them that way and it's not easy in the real world.

To me, these from my collection are among some of the "3D" shots. It's not always about just creating the bokeh. The bokeh has to be aligned properly with various elements of the composition. I have many shots with bokeh and they don't look 3D and some without much bokeh that look more 3D than others.





This one is a FF in dark conditions fail, but nonetheless, exhibits some 3D that comes about from mostly the composition and settings rather than the inherent quality of the lens:
The last shot qualifies as 3D but I'm having a hard time 'seeing' the others. Nice shot!
02-27-2013, 06:08 AM   #38
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I think it also depends on how it's displayed. My idea of "3D" mostly has to do with the differences in the spatial arrangements of things and the greatest difference, in certain aspects, and exactly nailing the lens settings and various characteristics.

I think the upper two work when they are viewed in their larger formats.

02-27-2013, 06:47 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by scratchpaddy Quote
What makes a lens "3-D"
Get the subject, clear from the background and ideally the subject needs to be super sharp and the opposite for the background.
02-27-2013, 09:27 AM   #40
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While a pop-up flash 'flattens' the shot, oblique lighting brings the subject into relief. Where the lens helps is with micro contrast so the eye can see the nuances of the depth of the subject. It is more lighting than good optics.
02-27-2013, 09:41 AM   #41
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3D enough?

with DA21



with FA31

02-27-2013, 09:47 AM   #42
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hmm.. I feel the background is dropping off way too quick in those ones.. doesn't quite give the same effect. You almost want a very linear progression from the sharp subject to the background which would mean things in the picture to help with the pop .
02-28-2013, 04:50 AM   #43
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In my experience and understanding, the "3D effect" pertains to a given object within the picture - typically the main subject - where the object appears to be exceptionally 3 dimensional (and hence unusually lifelike, since that's how we see things in real life - in 3D).

It does not seem necessarily related to the focal length of a lens, as I see the effect in the FA43 and FA77, and also in photos taken by others using the FA31 - that covers a range from wideangle to mild tele!

Whereas the degree to which a subject can "stand-out" from an out-of-focus background is another matter - perhaps what is termed as "pop". But 3D is different. It does not require any interaction with the background, rather it is seen in how the lens renders the object itself. Looking at the picture of the fruit posted by Pontax, I see the 3D effect at the in-focus portion of the fruit, and to a greater extent, the dark green leaf just to the right hand side.

When revewing pictures taken with the FA43, I have many times caught myself thinking: "That object looks more 3D than in real-life!"

Some may question how this can be, but that's been my experience, and it's not only once that I've gotten this impression.

I would liken the 3D effect to looking at an object through a magnifying glass - but without the magnification, of course. As I'm sure we've all experienced, things seen through a magnifying glass seem to look somehow different than when seen with the naked eye alone - they seem to attain a certain "exaggerated dimensionality" to them. This is not a perfect analogy, and I'm not suggesting that the 3D effect in the FA Limiteds is caused by geometric distortions like in the case of the magnifying glass. But the 3D effect is in some ways similar in feeling.

As to the cause of the effect, I really do not know - I suspect it could be due to a combination of the deliberate design of the lens (as in the case of Jun Hirakawa and the FA Limiteds, mentioned earlier in the thread) - and quite possibly also the capability of the lens to accurately render micro-contrast and very fine, subtle detail.

An analogy exists in the hi-fi world. Hi-fi components are often prized for their ability to cast (or 'render') a convincing "image" of the musicians performing, right there in front of the listener. In the hi-fi world, this phenomenon is referred to as "holographic imaging" - the musicians seem so real it's like they are almost there, as if in a holograph. In auditioning hi-fi equipment (and watching out fot this effect), I have found that this often occurs when the equipment in question is able to faithfully render extremely fine sonic detail. Other factors are required also, of course, but that seems to be one of the key ones.

It seems to me to be the case also with lenses. The more a lens can faithfully preserve the finest of details and tonal shades, the better chance it should have of recreating a convincing image, one that looks truly life-like. The reason is that the way our eyes/ears/mind recognise things is by the subtle little details. Therefore, the more we can preserve those fine details, the more our mind is convinced that it is a very lifelike reproduction of the real thing.

Having said that, Hirakawa's deliberate design intentions for a curved focal plane, partial correction in certain axes etc., may very well be a contributing factor too, in the case of the FA Limiteds.

Last edited by KDAFA; 02-28-2013 at 05:17 AM.
02-28-2013, 05:08 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yamakasi Quote
3D enough?
Sorry, no. This is subject isolation, and nice bokeh, but there are no intermediate nearly-out-of-focus elements to give the true 3D feel.

I'm with Bossa. This photo from post #36 really has it in my opinion, but the other two don't.

Edgar_in_Indy's police car has it too.

Last edited by Sandy Hancock; 02-28-2013 at 05:19 AM.
02-28-2013, 06:36 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yamakasi Quote
3D enough?

with DA21



with FA31
No, that's bokeh only. Yuo need to make it pop out, which bokeh isn't the only determinant of. Hell, you can make things pop out without bokeh.
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