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06-11-2015, 08:11 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by RMabo Quote
A digital sensor has a flat surface where analogue film has a curved surface
Film is also flat, or held flat for exposure. But the emulsion side of film is generally non-reflective. Also it doesn't particularly matter and what angle the light hits it. Whereas digital sensors are essentially a series of tiny buckets with microlenses on top and so (in theory anyway) they will do better when the light is heading straight at them in order to successfully capture the photons.

06-11-2015, 09:30 AM - 2 Likes   #32
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Modern zooms...

QuoteOriginally posted by zoolander Quote
I have found that the modern lenses are better than older film era lenses ....... for digital. But I haven't been into photography long enough to have had a good array of film era lenses and modern era lenses. So much so I'm planning to get rid of some of them. Though I do have a Sigma 50mm 1.4 which is a "digital era" lens, and is not that special. I would really need to give it another chance, but if it sucks its gone.

My DA* 16-50mm 2.8 is sharper at 50mm compared to my FA 50mm 1.4. The 16-50 is a better lens, but the FA 50mm 1.4 has taken some very nice pictures and I enjoy using it for narrow dept of field photography.

Lens designs are changing due to the artistic needs of pro photographers. Today they want lenses that are sharp wide open etc. Over the years photographers wanted better and better performance.

Digital optimized means the lens is generally sharper, to cope with the higher resolution of the mega mega pixel crop bodies. The airy discs now have to suit the finer pixel pitch.

Should all film era lenses be put on the shelf to collect dust ....... I don't think so. Some of mine are really nice, but of course I would prefer if they were modern and optimized for digital.

I think opinions on this matter will vary, so what I would do is go on search for a lens on flickr, and see what people are producing out in the field. If you like what you see, then pick up a copy.

I've seen film era lenses which seem very interesting, and I might give them a try. But they have to do something real special.

But as a rule of thumb, the modern lenses are much better.
...are better than this?



FA* 28-70 at f5.6. Handheld, available light. And the verdict here is that this lens sucks on digital...

Cheers,
Cameron
06-11-2015, 09:59 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
I find it interesting that someone is able to attribute this to a film/digital lens difference and not a post-processing difference (including possible in-camera settings) or specific lighting conditions, or any other factors.

This kind of evaluation is easier on the internet I guess, especially with an image 560 pixels high.
Funny you say that. The first thing I thought when I saw that picture is that the lighting environment didn't look overly conducive to producing a contrasty image to begin with.

---------- Post added 06-11-15 at 01:13 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by zoolander Quote
But as a rule of thumb, the modern lenses are much better.
One thing I find interesting is that reviews for FA and F series primes (and many A/M/K primes) are almost exclusively very good to excellent. I think it is safe to assume that 99% of the reviewers were evaluating these lenses on digital bodies. Maybe they lack the modern day coatings but there is little doubt that they are quality lenses.
06-11-2015, 10:35 AM - 1 Like   #34
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My only problem with A* F* and FA* glass is they are still so darn expensive.

Tess wanted an FA*300 ƒ4.5. For the price difference between that and the DA*300 ƒ4, I'd rather have the faster lens. I've completely given up on the ƒ4.5 after watching for years, and have resigned myself to the fact when we make that purchase, it will be the DA*300ƒ4 or the DA* 200 ƒ2.8

I really like new stuff with warranties and ability to exchange for a better copy if you get a dud. I'll pay for that.


Last edited by normhead; 06-11-2015 at 10:43 AM.
06-11-2015, 01:01 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cambo Quote
...are better than this?



FA* 28-70 at f5.6. Handheld, available light. And the verdict here is that this lens sucks on digital...

Cheers,
Cameron
Nice portrait, Cameron!

Not much to complain about there.
06-11-2015, 01:50 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cambo Quote
...are better than this?



FA* 28-70 at f5.6. Handheld, available light. And the verdict here is that this lens sucks on digital...

Cheers,
Cameron
Well done!

I think the pixel peepers who dream of printing 40"x60" murals would ask you to pixel-peep onto the eyes, though.
06-11-2015, 01:53 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by vagabond79 Quote
I came across a thread on dpreview where one guy claimed the following regarding an image taken with the F*300mm f/4.5 lens:

"You can see a little bit of evidence that it's a film lens, but the sharpness is definitely there.

You can see lowered contrast around picture elements. Apparently digital sensors reflect light back onto the lens more than film does, and it's corrected on DA lenses by an added coating on the rear element - and elsewhere I suppose."


The image in question can be seen here.

I've never heard this and was wondering if anybody else had any info on the subject.

Thanks.
Quality lenses rarely become obsolete, but advances in coatings, optical designs, and mechanical design generally give modern lenses an edge. For example, you won't find silent AF in a film-era Pentax lens, and you'll likely get more fringing.

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06-11-2015, 02:02 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Tess wanted an FA*300 4.5
And you didn't get the lovely Tess what she wanted... your a hard man to your woman.

06-11-2015, 05:58 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
And you didn't get the lovely Tess what she wanted... your a hard man to your woman.
She's cheaper than I am, she thought the price I was wiling to pay was fair. She's the same as me, if it's going to be over $900 we'll pay $1100 and buy new. I like old glass, but I don't value any lens over a slower version of the same lens. And I'm really tempted by the 200 ƒ2.8, because, it's even faster.
06-11-2015, 06:14 PM   #40
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The FA43 - a 1997 release - is damned near an 'older lens from the film era' (but I am well aware you mean 60's and 70's MF lenses).

Carefully selected, the best of the classic old lenses are actually quite capable on digital, IMHO (barring the fringing issues mentioned above). Critics often mistake lenses designed for an older aesthetic, which emphasized soft edges and a sharp center to bring the subject 'forward' in the frame, as inferiority in our current 'corner-to-corner- sharpness-obsessed world.
06-11-2015, 06:23 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
The FA43 - a 1997 release - is damned near an 'older lens from the film era' (but I am well aware you mean 60's and 70's MF lenses).

Carefully selected, the best of the classic old lenses are actually quite capable on digital, IMHO (barring the fringing issues mentioned above). Critics often mistake lenses designed for an older aesthetic, which emphasized soft edges and a sharp center to bring the subject 'forward' in the frame, as inferiority in our current 'corner-to-corner- sharpness-obsessed world.
I emphatically agree. The following list of Takumars are superb on digital - SUPERB.

ST 24/3.5
SMC 35/2
Auto-Tak 35/2.3
ST 50/1.4 (all variants)
SMC 50/1.4
Auto-tak 55/1.8 (zebra - count the aperture blades)
ST 85/1.9
SMC 85/1.8
SMC 135/2.5 (version 2)
Tak 200/3.5

I haven't tried but expect the Tak 58/2 to be excellent
06-11-2015, 06:28 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Critics often mistake lenses designed for an older aesthetic, which emphasized soft edges and a sharp center to bring the subject 'forward' in the frame, as inferiority in our current 'corner-to-corner- sharpness-obsessed world.
Was that an aesthetic or a competition? Both, I guess. I think that the Germans were corner-to-corner guys (and the undisputed lens making masters), and then after the war as the Japanese were becoming the next big thing, they wanted to show they were the best so they went for absolute maximum sharpness to best the German lenses, but to get it they sacrificed the corners somewhat.
06-11-2015, 07:54 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Was that an aesthetic or a competition? Both, I guess. I think that the Germans were corner-to-corner guys (and the undisputed lens making masters), and then after the war as the Japanese were becoming the next big thing, they wanted to show they were the best so they went for absolute maximum sharpness to best the German lenses, but to get it they sacrificed the corners somewhat.
Huh.

I guess I'm a generation too young to really know the answer.
06-11-2015, 08:53 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Huh.

I guess I'm a generation too young to really know the answer.
I am at least a few generations too young. That's what I was told, however, and my German vs Japanese lenses from the 60s fit that pattern, and I'm not talking about the highest end Zeiss glass here. The German lenses do tend to have a uniform crispness across the frame (which I like because I rarely put "the subject" in the center), but of course there was some outright copying of designs too. I do think the Japanese were trying to prove something though, and they did...
06-11-2015, 09:18 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
I am at least a few generations too young. That's what I was told, however,
I have my doubts, vonBaloney.

AFAIK, most lenses (whichever country of origin) are based on half a dozen or so old designs (often Zeiss) and tend to begin sharp in the centre, then improve at the edges and corners when stopped down.
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