Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-05-2016, 07:39 AM - 1 Like   #1
Veteran Member
Dewman's Avatar

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 5,369
I love sharpness.... but, there are times that....

..... sharpness would have detracted from the overall feeling of the image. I have an older Vivitar 28-200mm lens that is very soft, and at one point, I had decided to dispose of it. But, then I happened to take a few shots, thinking I'd give it one last chance to prove it's merits. Well, little did I know that the "softness" of this lens lent itself to some amazing images when used in the right setting.

I had some supermarket flowers sitting on the counter and one night, out of boredom, I decided to drag out the big, old Vivitar and give it a whirl. The softness it provided was wonderful! It now has it's very own slot in the lens case where the other "specialty" lenses reside.


Last edited by Dewman; 03-30-2016 at 02:54 PM.
02-05-2016, 08:14 AM   #2
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2015
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,370
Reminds me of our fellow Pentaxian who dropped his 60-250 a while back and found that the end result (I think he also had an imperfect repair) was very soft focus below about f/8 and very interesting bokeh above that. He eventually got rid of it, I think, but it would have made a great portrait lens. So would this one, by the looks of it, if the soft/dreamy effect is what you're going for.

There are indeed times you don't want sharpness so sharp it cuts the universe in half.
02-05-2016, 08:35 AM   #3
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
blackcloudbrew's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cotati, California USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,336
Fun story and really a case of knowing your tools better.
02-05-2016, 09:09 AM - 2 Likes   #4
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: WV
Posts: 1,495
Sharpness is a bourgeois concept.

02-05-2016, 09:25 AM   #5
Veteran Member
Dewman's Avatar

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 5,369
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
Sharpness is a bourgeois concept.

I've heard that said.... and I'd have to say BS to it! If that is so, WHY are lenses rated, first and foremost, on their sharpness?
02-05-2016, 09:30 AM   #6
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
Quartermaster James's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 653
Then there's always the Sears 135...
02-05-2016, 09:45 AM   #7
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
BigMackCam's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: North-East of England
Posts: 15,988
QuoteOriginally posted by Dewman Quote
WHY are lenses rated, first and foremost, on their sharpness?
Largely because that's what a lot of digital photographers - especially the on-screen, 1:1 reproduction ratio, pixel-peeping variety - think they want or need (it's what I thought I needed initially), rather than appreciating how a lens renders overall. I'll take a lens that produces nice bokeh, suffers few aberrations and has good flare performance over one that is merely ultra-sharp...
02-05-2016, 09:46 AM - 1 Like   #8
Veteran Member
Dewman's Avatar

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 5,369
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Quartermaster James Quote
Then there's always the Sears 135...

I agree 100%! I have that lens and love it when it's called upon to perform it's magic. But, it's rather an "exception to the rule," wouldn't you think? I realize that there are lenses that are listed in their nomenclature as "soft," but I find that almost comical. They go for premium prices when the effect can be achieved with almost all editing programs.


Soft? Out of focus? Blurred? Hmmm...... a lot of food for thought..... and conversation.

02-05-2016, 09:47 AM   #9
Pentaxian




Join Date: May 2014
Location: Linz
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,492
QuoteOriginally posted by Dewman Quote
I've heard that said.... and I'd have to say BS to it! If that is so, WHY are lenses rated, first and foremost, on their sharpness?
Because it's one of the few objective measurable features of a lens (although most measure the sharpness of the whole system (lens+camera/sensor) and not just the lens). The character of a lens is a subjective feature and not really scientific describable.
02-05-2016, 09:48 AM   #10
Veteran Member
Dewman's Avatar

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 5,369
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Largely because that's what a lot of photographers - especially the on-screen, 1:1 reproduction ratio, pixel-peeping variety - think they want or need (it's what I thought I needed initially), rather than appreciating how a lens renders overall. I'll take a lens that produces nice bokeh, few aberrations and has good flare performance over one that is merely ultra-sharp...

Yep, agree wholeheartedly. For a lens to be "top drawer," it's got to be more than just sharp. But, it if has all the other desired attributes and is only a 6 on the sharpness scale, then what?
02-05-2016, 09:53 AM - 1 Like   #11
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2015
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,370
QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Largely because that's what a lot of photographers - especially the on-screen, 1:1 reproduction ratio, pixel-peeping variety - think they want or need
+1.

I know when I want or need that - in my actual clinical work at the laboratory bench. This is when the 35 Limited Macro goes on my camera, because that's what I bought it for.

If I want subjective rendering, especially for portrait-type work, I'll reach for almost anything else first.

(This is not to knock those who use the 35 Macro as an all-round lens - I'm sure it's great for that - but it has a very specific place in my line-up.)
02-05-2016, 09:59 AM   #12
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
BigMackCam's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: North-East of England
Posts: 15,988
QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I know when I want or need that - in my actual clinical work at the laboratory bench. This is when the 35 Limited Macro goes on my camera, because that's what I bought it for.
Exactly. Sharpness has its applications, but it doesn't define whether a lens is good or not - and that's often quite a subjective thing, anyway. The DA35 Macro is a great lens, but I often find myself using the DA35 f/2.4 instead because I prefer the overall rendering for many types of scene...

---------- Post added 02-05-2016 at 05:08 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Dewman Quote
Yep, agree wholeheartedly. For a lens to be "top drawer," it's got to be more than just sharp. But, it if has all the other desired attributes and is only a 6 on the sharpness scale, then what?
Fair point... It would very much depend what I needed that lens for. If critical sharpness was a factor, I'd probably choose a different lens. But, with the exception of a few macro captures here and there, very little of my own photography requires critical sharpness - the overall rendering of a scene is much more important to me. And I'd suggest that goes for many other photographers, whether or not they realise it...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 02-05-2016 at 10:09 AM.
02-05-2016, 10:09 AM   #13
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2015
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,370
QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
The DA35 Macro is a great lens, but I often find myself using the DA35 f/2.4 instead
And I'm very tempted to get it at the price. Trouble is, I'm also very tempted to one day acquire the 31/1.8 FA Limited that I should have bought around this time last year (fool me, I did not know what I was rejecting), and I really only need one thirty-ish millimetre autofocus lens in my kit (the macro lens stays at work). So the 35/2.4 stays out of my collection for the foreseeable future. If I really need a 35mm lens with "subjective rendering", I'll slap on my f/3.5 Super Takumar - I've done macro with it (on bellows, extenders and reversal ring) and I know the sharpness that thing delivers is more than enough for general work.
02-05-2016, 10:16 AM - 1 Like   #14
Pentaxian
redrockcoulee's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Medicine Hat
Posts: 2,212
Many people love Zeiss lenses, for example the lenses on the V system. The Fuji lenses on the Hasselblad auto focus cameras are supposed to be sharper and yet the mystic is not there with them. Sharpness is one very important aspect of a lens, but not the only important aspect and sometimes far from very important. But if a lens is not very sharp it better be very good at something else.

I had a Sigma 400 non Apo and sold it as it was not sharp enough as who wants to only get soft wildlife shots, on the other hand soft focus portrait lenses, pinholes and zone plates can produce absolutely stunning images. The right tool for the job.
02-05-2016, 10:19 AM - 1 Like   #15
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
BigMackCam's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: North-East of England
Posts: 15,988
QuoteOriginally posted by redrockcoulee Quote
Sharpness is one very important aspect of a lens, but not the only important aspect and sometimes far from very important. But if a lens is not very sharp it better be very good at something else.
That sums it up very well!
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!
da35, k-mount, lens, macro, pentax lens, sharpness, slr lens, vivitar
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Are there any AF lenses that don't autofocus on Pentax DSLRs? bladerunner6 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12 09-04-2015 10:35 AM
Are there any hoods on the market for the 50-135 that are cheaper than the Pentax? maxxxx Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 13 03-15-2015 10:44 PM
Nature There are no Hatfields but we got some Macaws daacon Post Your Photos! 9 11-25-2014 03:22 PM
(Story time) It's times like this that I love being a Pentaxian stegosaurus Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10 02-01-2013 12:48 PM
Love that DA 40/2.8 but... Yaron Kidron Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11 06-29-2007 02:05 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:22 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