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04-08-2021, 11:15 PM   #16
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No there are certainly unsharp lenses. Here's an example of possibly the worst lens I ever owned, some generic 135mm (sears branded I believe).



But you can find unsharp lenses with other good characteristics which can compensate. Like for example this Tak 55 f1.8



04-09-2021, 02:59 AM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
The best way to evaluate sharpness is using subject matter that is solidly unmoving, has well-defined edges and containing some clear fine detail. Some statuary, an ornate streetlight in daytime, are two such examples.
Indeed, the K20 is capable of producing eminently sharp pictures. Its problem has become its "color palette", producing a little too intense blues. All images taken with a K20 (out of the mothballs in 2020) + HD DA 55-300 mm f/4-5.8 ED WR, a remarkable "remake" of the old DA 55-300 mm zoom, leaning on the window frame of my Mazda to stabilize the camera and lens combo.












Last edited by RICHARD L.; 04-21-2021 at 02:24 PM.
04-09-2021, 07:29 AM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
I do not find any of your examples as particularly sharp. I was a regular K20D user for a number of years, passing up the then new K-7 to get a new leftover one at half price with a 5 year Pentax warranty. I have numerous results from it demonstrating impressive sharpness, and using top-quality lenses, both zoom (like the DA* 50-135mm f/2.8) and prime like your F 50mm f/1.7 or my FA 77mm f/1.8 and others. I still have it and use it on occasion when I want its extra-rich color capability. But now my main camera is the KP.

A definite problem here is you cannot expect reliable maximum sharpness when shooting live subjects with a shutter speed of 1/90s and even more so at 1/45s on top of that with a handheld zoom lens of 80-200mm. The one from the Samyang lens looks perhaps better, but the photo appears for the most part not in focus, perhaps from using a very large aperture, which will of course greatly reduce DOF.

The best way to evaluate sharpness is using subject matter that is solidly unmoving, has well-defined edges and containing some clear fine detail. Some statuary, an ornate streetlight in daytime, are two such examples. Then still use a high enough shutter speed for handheld shots to bring sharp results. if using a tripod, watch out for wind shake.
Thanks for your comment. I am seeing that my inability to perceive sharpness may be a bigger contributor to my dilemma than I thought. In my pictures' defense, I thought they were crazy sharp when I was pixel peeping because I could pick out all the little hairs and whiskers in my subjects' faces. Maybe when I resize the pictures all the detail gets lost? You are correct that the bodies of my cats were often out of focus, due to me using a shallow depth of field in almost all pictures.

---------- Post added 04-09-21 at 11:40 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ZombieArmy Quote
No there are certainly unsharp lenses. Here's an example of possibly the worst lens I ever owned, some generic 135mm (sears branded I believe).



But you can find unsharp lenses with other good characteristics which can compensate. Like for example this Tak 55 f1.8


I think your comment proves the point that a lot of lenses are sharp enough! Your Sears 135mm definitely doesn't look super sharp, but in that photo its lack of sharpness matters little. You caught the center woman's expression clearly and to me that expression gives the photo a lot of dynamism.


In your second photo, I am perplexed because I can see a lot of detail in the willow leaves, so to me the photo looks sharp. Nonetheless, if the photo is lacking in sharpness I think it actually contributes to the great atmosphere of the photo.

---------- Post added 04-09-21 at 11:47 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by RICHARD L. Quote
Indeed, the K20 is capable of producing eminently sharp pictures. Its problem has become its "color palette", producing a little too intense blues. All images taken with a K20 (out of the mothballs in 2020) + HD DA 55-300 mm f/4-5.8 ED WR, a remarkable "remake" of the old DA 55-300 mm zoom, leaning on the window frame of my Mazda to stabilize the camera and lens combo.
Those photos are crazy sharp! I could see myself feeling the same tinge of pain if I had your HD DA 55-300. I don't know if the intense blues of your K20D are actually a problem though. The intensity of the colors and the sharpness really make the buildings pop out of the screen.
04-09-2021, 09:14 AM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by koolimy Quote
Those photos are crazy sharp! I could see myself feeling the same tinge of pain if I had your HD DA 55-300
Proof of the imaging quality of this particular new HD DA 55-300 mm lens is that it remains sharp even on a K3 @ 24 Mpx. Sometimes a lens performs well on a lower resolution sensor (14,7 Mpx for a K20 and 16 Mpx for a K5, for example) but doesn't fare too well on a higher resolution recording medium. This HD lens performs brilliantly on any APSc sensor.








Last edited by RICHARD L.; 04-21-2021 at 02:25 PM.
04-10-2021, 12:00 AM   #20
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The Ricoh Riconar 55mm f/2.2 is said to be particularly soft. There are use cases such as portraiture where it can be a good thing but in general it's not ideal.

That said, there is one on sale in my valley for just over USD10. My LBA is getting the better of me. Shall I add this bad boy to my collection?




Riconar 55mm 1:2.2 Lens Reviews - Ricoh Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
04-10-2021, 08:30 AM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wasp Quote
The Ricoh Riconar 55mm f/2.2 is said to be particularly soft. There are use cases such as portraiture where it can be a good thing but in general it's not ideal.

That said, there is one on sale in my valley for just over USD10. My LBA is getting the better of me. Shall I add this bad boy to my collection?




Riconar 55mm 1:2.2 Lens Reviews - Ricoh Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
At $10, do you really have to think? LOL
04-13-2021, 01:30 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wasp Quote
That said, there is one on sale in my valley for just over USD10. My LBA is getting the better of me. Shall I add this bad boy to my collection?
At $10 assuming it is in reasonably good condition (not beat to hell) that is hard to say no to. I picked up the 135/2.5 Bayonet Takumar (the K-mount consumer non multicoated lens) for $26 out the door on a whim because I wanted to see how it performed for astro shooting. A functional lens for $10 in my mind means it is worth the entertainment value of just trying it out if nothing else.
04-19-2021, 12:24 PM   #23
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All lenses are definitely not equal. visually you may not be able to tell much difference, depending on the photo and the lighting. Wide open is different than say at f8 so lenses have variable performance and really depends what you are looking for. Weight become another issue when going for very sharp lenses that have apertures at f1.4 or lower. also some lenses are real sharp at the center but not so much at the edges. I am very happy with the sharpness of my Sigma DC 17-50mm f2.8 lens.

04-20-2021, 04:15 PM   #24
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If a photograph's subject is in perfect focus, shot with practically any modern lens, it'll be sharp enough, even for print. At wide apertures? No. Far corners? No.....but for plenty of serious photography, yeah, once you nail focus, youre in great shape

Last edited by Waffles; 04-21-2021 at 09:38 AM.
04-21-2021, 07:51 AM   #25
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Update: My search for a lens that is not sharp continues! Similar to MossyRocks I recently bought the much maligned Takumar Bayonet 135mm F2.5 on a whim and as with my previous lenses, I found that if I nail the focus it is very sharp. The following photo was taken wide open and at ISO 400 so there might be a little loss of detail but to me it is perfectly sharp.
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04-21-2021, 08:31 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by koolimy Quote
to me it is perfectly sharp.
Well done. Keep it up !

Regards

Last edited by RICHARD L.; 04-21-2021 at 02:25 PM.
04-21-2021, 10:45 AM   #27
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I had the absolute worst copy of the DA 18-55mm WR once. Didn't even notice it until after a trip when there was absolutely nothing in sharp focus.
04-21-2021, 11:09 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by jct us101 Quote
I had the absolute worst copy of the DA 18-55mm WR once. Didn't even notice it until after a trip when there was absolutely nothing in sharp focus.
Sure that's sharpness? My 18-55 will never focus properly, I basically have to manual focus. Which is fine cause all I ever use it for is rain and landscapes.

I consider the lens sharp at f8-f11.
04-21-2021, 12:02 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by koolimy Quote
Much to my astonishment (and dismay, LOL) I found that both lenses were as sharp as my Samyang, even wide open! It was a huge shock since each were less than 1/10 the price of the Samyang, and one was an old zoom lens.
A bit off-topic, but making an f/1.4 lens is more expensive than making a slower lens (all other things being equal). Another thing is that there are a lot of old 50/1.7 lenses out there, so they're sold for less than they would cost to manufacture today. It is very hard to beat the quality-to-dollar ratio of an old fast fifty.

To contribute somewhat on-topic - as has been said, there definitely are unsharp lenses out there. However, whether or not they are noticeably unsharp depends on a lot of factors. Posting reduced-size images on Facebook (or here on PF) doesn't require a lot. Showing the image on a large 4k screen will be more revealing.
04-21-2021, 12:07 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by koolimy Quote
Update: My search for a lens that is not sharp continues! Similar to MossyRocks I recently bought the much maligned Takumar Bayonet 135mm F2.5 on a whim and as with my previous lenses, I found that if I nail the focus it is very sharp. The following photo was taken wide open and at ISO 400 so there might be a little loss of detail but to me it is perfectly sharp.
That may have been an old opinion of the lens but I think the general consensus these days is the tak bayonet is actually sharper than the older model lenses like original Tak or M135 3.5.

I know mine is exceptionally sharp, especially when stopped down to f4. Sharper than the M200 f4 cropped to be a 200mm actually.
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