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09-04-2008, 01:06 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
That aside, however, I'd like to think (believe) that there is an "ideal" all-around lens out there for everyone. In reading up on the new Nikon D90 and the 18-105VR "kit" lens, I wonder if that just might be it, at least for Nikon folks,
FHPhotog
Any point and shoot camera will do a good job anyway. No need to get a Nikon camera with a zoom lens. Check out JPG Magazine where these people all have a perfect camera and lens!


Last edited by roentarre; 09-04-2008 at 01:25 AM.
09-04-2008, 01:57 AM   #17
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I kept "cycling" through lenses, and now I have some R6000 lenses that make me happy (around $700 i'd guess). But then some dude comes around to my place, and borrows my old 18-55 kit lens, and he outperforms my work in 15 minutes...

Im telling you, the glass helps, but it's not everything. There is definitely no perfect lens, what we need to adjust is our attitudes and teqniques
09-04-2008, 02:24 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by deudeu Quote
There is no such thing as perfection...
That's perfect
09-04-2008, 02:33 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by nulla Quote
...Neither of our theories though do much in holding off LBA
Hold off LBA?
That's sacrilege

09-04-2008, 09:03 AM   #20
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Be careful buying the best equipment. When the photos still suck, there's only one thing left to blame.

(I'm not saying anyone's pictures are bad. I'm speaking in generalities.)
09-04-2008, 09:29 AM   #21
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Lens quality matters.. So ,i say go for the best if you got the money.. if you don't, than there is no need to speak about lenses you can not buy...

"Look what he achieved with a 20$ lens" is a whole different story.. That achievement ain't happenin cause he uses a 20$ lens. It is because he is so good at this thing that even that cheap-ass lens couldn't make it look bad enough..
09-04-2008, 10:04 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
I'd love to see some something to quantify the accepted wisdom that primes are better,
FHPhotog
You've read the objective reviews and you aren't convinced. In the thread you started at DPR, dozens of people, some very experienced, stepped up to say that primes generally have better IQ than zooms. But you think they're all simply deluded? Frankly I don't think anyone could convince you of anything.
09-04-2008, 11:23 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
First have a double Bombay Saphire matrini
Second, nail the list of all the lens candidates to the cat's claw acacia
Third, set fire to the tree (alwasy hated that thing)
Fourth, go back in the house and have another martini...
FHPhotog

wait a minute --- what time is it in Arizona??? oh never mind --- I forgot it is 5 o'clock somewhere

kman

09-04-2008, 11:35 AM   #24
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OP response #3-10

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
You've read the objective reviews and you aren't convinced. In the thread you started at DPR, dozens of people, some very experienced, stepped up to say that primes generally have better IQ than zooms. But you think they're all simply deluded? Frankly I don't think anyone could convince you of anything.
Well, Dan, I certainly won't be convinced by a response like this. Why defend the delivered wisdom of the unnamed "dozens of people"? Why not ask yourself one question: does the pursuit of lens excellence get in the way of the good in terms of the pictures one takes?

Let's be clear, I never said quality didn't matter, or contested that primes have better image quality than zooms; most folks agree primes quality produces better images and have the data to back it up. What I wanted to know was, does the cost of that modest gain of image quality justify costs that are x2, x3 or more than the average zoom? The "experts" say yes, but I'm spending my time and money, not the experts'.

I didn't know, so asked this question and took some sample images using one variable (f-stop) to see for myself. Look at https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/36084-50-f-1-4...ele-zooms.html) with your attitudes and the expert opinions aside, and come to your own conclusion.

My conclusion is the primes don't justify the cost in terms of general improved image quality... not bokeah, not in DOf, not in the subjective "feel" of the lens, just in cost-benefit.

Asking doens't make me a philistine in the land of Pentax, just a guy with a question. Maybe a better question is, does the cost of Pentax primes justify the cost, or are there other, less expensive primes out there that deliver near-Pentax quality without the Pentax cost... but I'll leave that one for somebody else to ask and try to answer...
FHP
09-04-2008, 12:39 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
First have a double Bombay Saphire matrini
You nailed it: Bombay Sapphire is the perfect gin. But the perfect martini I have only had once in a bar in Toronto. It was insanely good and only cost twice what a normal martini costs. If I could have taken a shot through the lens that was the empty glass it would have been a perfect picture.
09-04-2008, 01:14 PM   #26
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perfection is them who can't handle reality

"The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light..." --Matthew Arnold
"Finality is death. Perfection is finality. Nothing is perfect. There are lumps in it." --James Stephens

IMHO the perfect lens is the one that lets you get or make the picture you want. For many situations, my old Sony DSC-V1 5mpx PnS with its 7-28mm (equiv. to 34-136) f/2.8-4.0 Zeiss zoom is the perfect camera with the perfect lens. I'm on my third V1 in five years (wore out the other two) and it's still in my pocket most of the time.

So why spend a zillion bucks on the K20D and 80-odd lenses? (More, actually, but many have been and will be weeded out.) Am I seeking perfection, finality, death? (Oh I hope not!) Am I just obsessively accumulating FSU (Russian) and German and Japanese glass, with a little Korean and Murkan thrown in? Do I ever expect to find the PERFECT lens(es) for the camera?

Partly it's obsession. Partly it's a desire to fondle solid objects, the tactile delight of hefty glass-metal-plastic lumps. Partly it's curiosity, wondering how they compare to each other, price-performance-wise. Mainly (I tell myself) it's a desire to have, if not the perfect lens, at least the best possible small kit(s) that I can afford and haul around. And partly it's stubbornness, tracking down elusive gems.

As I mentioned on some forum recently, a creative person can work with any tool. Jerry Uelsmann produced transcendent photos with an Argus C3. Pueblo potters make world-class ceramics with mud, weeds, and cowturds -- no wheels, no kilns. I sound pretty good playing a cigar-box slide guitar. Better tools are nice -- I sound even better when bottlenecking on a steel-body Dobro tricone. If I had a digital Hassy with lenses costing the annual budget of Delaware, I'd likely produce some interesting pictures, although that kit would be rather bulky for grab-shots on the street, which is my forte. Which are the 'perfect' tools?
09-04-2008, 01:42 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
You nailed it: Bombay Sapphire is the perfect gin. But the perfect martini I have only had once in a bar in Toronto. It was insanely good and only cost twice what a normal martini costs.
What is it about Toronto and martinis, one of the best and most expensive (though it was large) I've had was also in Toronto. However, in the spirit of this thread I have to note that ordinary Bombay is as good gin as Sapphire, if you stop down a bit and taking bokeh into account.



I've wrestled with these sorts of questions for a while, in audio, record collecting, and photography and equipment collecting. Here's a couple of bits I'd like to add to the conversation.

Measurements tell a story, but they don't tell the whole story. And, you get what you measure... we've all seen that in action in large organizations, no? Technical measurements perhaps correlate with visually significant characteristics better in cameras than they do in audio... However, as in audio, the actual connection of technical perfection to aesthetic experience is taken on faith. You believe it (and therefore get what you measure) or you do not. Has anyone shown scientific evidence that a particular resolution/contrast transfer function in a lens, when coupled to a particular sensing medium and processed via specific, standardized algorithms, invariably results in an image that can be judged 'better' in all conditions and dimensions that 'better' can take?

I've seen first hand the differences in lens quality, zoom, prime, cheapo prime, cheapo zoom. I've educated myself - for myself, and yeah a little bit to be able to speak with some authority on the matter. For me, the differences that exist are positive: sometimes I want to use a lens with different transfer characteristics because I want a specific look. But I also know which lenses to reach for when I want to approach that fractal resolution within resolution look.

In this context, the zoom lens produces fully acceptable, even excellent photographs. Does the fact that my 43 is 'better' than my 16-45, and quite obviously so, mean photos with the 43 are invariably 'better' than those with the 16-45? No, not at all. They are different, but they communicate and they connect emotionally, and you can tell who's who and what's what. Definitely not a martini glass bottom vs. the Hubble of lenses.

The thing us ignorant consumers do is this: we make a fetish out of equipment, and ranking that equipment. After all, there isn't a good way to rank / measure the actual output (our photographs), so we displace this quality onto the hardware. With the marketing industry's full encouragement, I may add. We therefore obsess with this being better than that - besides displacing aesthetic self-determination, we're displacing pack pecking order onto the hardware - we are giving outlet to innate needs otherwise dangerous to display.

We yearn for the 'inside info' and search for security in having the 'best', or the 'unknown bang for the buck' or whatever it is... And there are always writers or speakers who manage to entice us to believe in their opinions as better ones. We, who have to manage compromise and inadequacy in our real lives, can live out our Walter Mitty existence as lens photographer of exquisite taste (as measured by the esteem our equipment has).

Building a couple of amps cured me from some of this crap in audio. I no longer had to look at the things as black (or silver) boxes, and examine quality via the examination of the output. In other words, I began to see the compromises and balancing required by the designer (not the consumer), and appreciate even more the importance of emotional engagement with the whole process.

Yeah, I'd love a fantastic amp or certain loudspeakers, and a K20D or K40D when it comes out, and the 'best' lenses, and a complete vintage leica, no make that Hassy system... but I don't need them for what I'm about.
09-04-2008, 02:16 PM   #28
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"perfect" is just a question of ideals.
09-04-2008, 02:30 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
What is it about Toronto and martinis, one of the best and most expensive (though it was large) I've had was also in Toronto.
Toronto has the highest quality and variety of affordable food and drink I have yet encountered. For example I remember reading a much-lauded chef from Hong Kong who said that Toronto had better Chinese food than China. One factor was quality of ingredients, another was the critical level of diners.

QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
However, in the spirit of this thread I have to note that ordinary Bombay is as good gin as Sapphire, if you stop down a bit and taking bokeh into account.
The bokeh gets really smooth after about the second one.
09-04-2008, 02:38 PM   #30
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