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10-21-2013, 04:09 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
Good quality legacy lenses in good condition will still produce better images on better media, regardless of the camera technology used.
This is basically true for modern lenses as well. A quick look-see at the photozone.de lens tests for a particular lens with various sensor resolution bears this out. Almost all lenses will perform somewhat better for a given format with a higher resolution sensor. The exception being a lens whose native resolution is significantly crappy. Any improvement would be nominal in that case.

As for resolution of film images, they used to make something called microfilm. Microfilm pretty much represents the practical limits of silver halide emulsions. Kodak released a product for pictorial photography based on their microfilm product called Technical Pan. Tech Pan required special processing but was capable of providing incredible resolution to the point that it challenged the most capable optics of the day.

Nesster (site member) has a facsimile copy of a Modern Photograph article from 1978 where they attempted to determine the resolution limits using Tech Pan and other high resolution emulsions of the day. Here are the links:

How Sharp Can You Get? | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
How Sharp Can You Get - continued | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Short story is that even with careful technique and the best materials of the time (current age as well), film resolution for 35mm photography topped out at 105 lines/mm with Kodak High Contrast Copy film using a Leitz Summicron 50/2. The SMC Pentax-M 50/1.7 was not far behind at 102 lines/mm.

For comparison, here is a lens test for a recent vintage Summicron-M 50/2 on the Leica M FF, 24 Mpixel, digital rangefinder camera.

Leica APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH. Review & Rating | PCMag.com


Steve

10-21-2013, 04:12 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Joel B Quote
I was reading an article some time ago (can't remember which) that basically stated the best sensor still can't compare to film in resolution.
See comment immediately above.


Steve
10-21-2013, 06:13 PM   #18
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Doesn't the Pentax Q sensor already out resolve some lenses? 12Mp on a 6.17mm x 4.55 mm sensor. Pixel size is just 0.0015425mm X 0.0015166666666667mm.

I would think that the lack of an AA filter could make this worse by making resolution better if you get my drift.

Am I right in thinking that the Q sensor needs lenses that can resolve 100 lp/mm (line pairs per mm) or more, if so not many lenses can.

Chris
10-21-2013, 06:32 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisJ Quote
the Q sensor needs lenses that can resolve 100 lp/mm
I'm not 100% I fully understand this, but that's still wider than the wavelengths of visible light. Anything that diffracts light waves before they contact the photosensitive spot on the sensor, including the AA filter, colour filter grid and microlenses Sensors explained | What Digital Camera, which are all after the optics of the camera lens, reduces the clarity of the picture. As far as the AA filter goes, it interferes with the light waves in order to eliminate the optical illusion of moire patterns. Our eyes are not high resolution imaging devices!

10-23-2013, 08:21 PM   #20
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That was a great discussion! Thanks for enlightening me fellow Pentaxians!
10-23-2013, 08:28 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisJ Quote
Doesn't the Pentax Q sensor already out resolve some lenses? 12Mp on a 6.17mm x 4.55 mm sensor. Pixel size is just 0.0015425mm X 0.0015166666666667mm.

I would think that the lack of an AA filter could make this worse by making resolution better if you get my drift.

Am I right in thinking that the Q sensor needs lenses that can resolve 100 lp/mm (line pairs per mm) or more, if so not many lenses can.

Chris
It seems to show up bad lenses.
10-27-2013, 01:59 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
This is basically true for modern lenses as well. A quick look-see at the photozone.de lens tests for a particular lens with various sensor resolution bears this out. Almost all lenses will perform somewhat better for a given format with a higher resolution sensor. The exception being a lens whose native resolution is significantly crappy. Any improvement would be nominal in that case.

As for resolution of film images, they used to make something called microfilm. Microfilm pretty much represents the practical limits of silver halide emulsions. Kodak released a product for pictorial photography based on their microfilm product called Technical Pan. Tech Pan required special processing but was capable of providing incredible resolution to the point that it challenged the most capable optics of the day.

Nesster (site member) has a facsimile copy of a Modern Photograph article from 1978 where they attempted to determine the resolution limits using Tech Pan and other high resolution emulsions of the day. Here are the links:

How Sharp Can You Get? | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
How Sharp Can You Get - continued | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Short story is that even with careful technique and the best materials of the time (current age as well), film resolution for 35mm photography topped out at 105 lines/mm with Kodak High Contrast Copy film using a Leitz Summicron 50/2. The SMC Pentax-M 50/1.7 was not far behind at 102 lines/mm.

For comparison, here is a lens test for a recent vintage Summicron-M 50/2 on the Leica M FF, 24 Mpixel, digital rangefinder camera.

Leica APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH. Review & Rating | PCMag.com


Steve
So the Summicron on the Leica 24mp sensor produces 160 line/mm? Did I do the math right? 3,843 lines / 24mm sensor height?
10-27-2013, 02:07 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Joel B Quote
I was reading an article some time ago (can't remember which) that basically stated the best sensor still can't compare to film in resolution. So given that, any lens designed for film should be well up to the task!
Hmmm, and an MF user on another forum says his K-x gives him about the same resolution as his 645 and film scanner. Remember, you have to develop film, one little silver crystal on the film has to be enlarged many times it's original size before it becomes useful. Is a developed grain as small as a pixel? I don't know, but it's not an assumption I'd make.

10-27-2013, 03:19 PM   #24
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AFAIK colour negative 35mm film has the equivalent of about 10 megapixels for for ISO 100.

Typically when scanning a negative you will find that going beyond 100 lines per mm (2500 lpi) does not give any further improvement in resolution (though it might sometimes help noise reduction processes).

With black and white film you will probably get higher resolution but I've no idea how much. The extreme low ISO films can also give a significantly higher effective resolution.
10-27-2013, 05:08 PM   #25
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Dftm

QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
Nikon D7100 results: ultra high performance - DxOMark

Using DxO's test of the D7000 (16MP) to the D71000 (24MP):
...."In the best case, sharpness increased by as much as 50-percent over the Nikon D7000." Referring to High End Glass.

"It’s not just the expensive high–grade lenses that benefit from the high-resolution sensor of the D7100, the results for the more accessibly priced models was also impressively high. We measured improvements in sharpness of over 30-percent with some basic kit zoom models and super-zooms."

"A number of zooms see an increase of over 30-percent in overall (averaged) sharpness when used with the Nikon D7100 over its forerunner, the 16Mpix D7000."

"Sigma’s 18-250mm models and the 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 also perform well on the D7100, all three achieving a similar 60-percent gain in sharpness"
The above has been pointed out a lot lately, finally, but there's been so much false and contradictory information out there over the years that I can't blame people for still being confused. Bottom line: For equivalent QE, don't fear the megapixels. Every one of your in-spec lenses will perform better on 24MP vs. 16MP, a least with regard to resolution.

The K-3 is going to make a lot of people happy, no matter what lenses they have. You're going to have to practice very good technique to make the most of it, though, 24MP on aps-c is pushing the limits in a couple ways.

.
10-27-2013, 06:45 PM   #26
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Since DxOMark find even super-zooms getting improvements in sharpness out of the D7100 (which I guess means those lenses are outresolving the sensor), it's easy to understand how some good old Pentax primes and zooms might also outresolve the K-3's sensor.
10-28-2013, 10:27 AM   #27
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There is not ever the possibility that a better sensor will result in worse picture quality. I think what one means when asking whether the sensor will outperform the lens is something else. It is about what is the limiting factor.

The sensor outperforming the lens simply means that any further improvements in the sensor will not improve the picture quality because it is already faithfully recording all that the lens has to offer. It would therefore mean that the glass is not fully exploiting the capabilities of the sensor. It does not mean that the improved sensor will somehow work worse with that lens than an inferior sensor would have.
02-08-2014, 10:57 AM   #28
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WOW! While some of the more technical parts of this discussion is way past what I know about image processing I can glean enough to say thanks for having this discussion.
02-08-2014, 05:26 PM   #29
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K-3 does outresolve some of the lenses I used on it.

SMC DA 21 Limited. It seemed sharp to me when used on K-20D and K-01. Actually on K-01 one could notice more easily that the lens is not all that sharp. When I used it on K-3 is was quite obvious that the lens is rather soft even at 7.1 to 9.0.
SMC DA* 16-50. Same story. The lack in corner sharpness and general softness around 50 mm became far more noticeable than on K-20D and K-01.

On the other hand the images FA 50 1.4 produces look considerably sharper on K-3. So far it is the best performing lens I tried on K-3. SMC DA 35 Limited comes pretty close, but I prefer the output of FA 50 1.4 . Strangely enough the new kit lens (18-55) performs well enough for what it is, outperforming my copy of DA* 16-50 in overall sharpness across most of the range.

Pentax / Ricoh should invest into manufacturing of high end lenses, to match the performance of K-3.
02-10-2014, 05:40 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stone G. Quote
And no photographic lenses are perfect, truly diffraction limited.
Perfection is a relative and subjective thing..and in any case there are some lenses that get tantalizingly close to performing at the diffraction limit - the Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Macro SL2 the Leica 50mm f/2 APO, Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR and Pentax FA*200mm f/4 ED macro come very close to performing at that level. There are also Larger format lenses like the Sektor 43mm f/4.5, Pentax 55mm f/4, Schneider 240mm f/5.6 APO- Symmar

QuoteOriginally posted by Joel B Quote
the best sensor still can't compare to film in resolution
What rubbish, the best sensor money can buy at the moment is used in the Phase one IQ180 - an 80 megapixel digital back featuring a full 645 sensor, 645 film was beaten by full frame 35mm sensors at the 16Mp mark.

QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
colour negative 35mm film has the equivalent of about 10 megapixels for for ISO 100.
You're being a bit generous there - 35mm ISO100 films were beaten by digital at the 6Mp mark IMO.
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