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07-16-2019, 11:49 AM   #16
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Pentax lens designers are still interested in more than stats - the new lenses are modern in terms of edge to edge sharpness and such like, but not at the expense of rendering, bokeh, 3-D pop etc - imo

07-16-2019, 01:50 PM   #17
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This is not a scientific fact, but then not all the things that make a better image (or one you prefer) are described by numbers. Now having said this, my impression is a fine image (gives me an image result I prefer), on film or digital, is often one with fewer lens elements. Examples (for me) are in both Nikon and Pentax, and notably were in the 35, 50mm focal lengths--those being the ones I used in both fast (more elements) and slow (few elements--probably 4 or 5 elements). I also favour the Nikon 55mm micro f/2.8 and prior 3.5 version, and the Pentax 85mm f/2 SMC-M but have no solid experience to compare with same FL and more elements.
07-16-2019, 02:34 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
It is one of those things that photographers go one about, but about which if you have a good definition, you obviously don't know about which you are speaking. FWIW, I have never heard/seen the term applied to a lens before this thread.


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How to Understand the Science of Photography and Technical Terms for Mastering Image Tonality
07-16-2019, 03:07 PM   #19
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Well, there is your answer, assuming one is talking about post-processing of digital images...sort of...but I don't believe the linked resource pertains to your observations in the original post.

At what point is tonality "missing"? What does tonality mean with film photography where the term is used in abundance, usually in reference to a particular film or processing trick being able to render tonal range with aplomb?

At this point, it might be helpful to provide examples of images where tonality has been enhanced by the lens used as well as examples where it is lacking (A-B comparison). This, of course, is difficult and probably why there are none so far on this thread. Part of the problem is that both all manner of tonal rendering are all quite properly termed tonality while the term is often used to express those that the writer considers pleasing or appropriate to subject.


Steve

(...is really fond of the tonality of original Agfa APX 100 souped in Edwal FG-7 1:15...amazing compensating effect with silken low values...)

07-16-2019, 05:09 PM - 1 Like   #20
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Within the light level ranges found on Earth, all lenses transmit all tones with equal performance. No lens can't lose tonality in transmission.

However, a lens can lose some tonality for some kinds of scenes through flare by which high light levels in some parts of the scene fog darker parts of the scene. Compared to classic lenses, modern "sharp" lenses do have more elements (potentially creating more flare). However, modern lenses also have much much better coatings (less flare).

The acid test is if a lens can handle heavily backlit scenes or sun-in-the-frame scenes, then that proves it does not have a flare problem and that that lens is not the cause of any loss of tonality. I've not done any side-by-side tests, but I get the informal sense that modern high-performance lenses tend to be more flare resistant that older lenses.
07-16-2019, 07:09 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
This is not a scientific fact, but then not all the things that make a better image (or one you prefer) are described by numbers. Now having said this, my impression is a fine image (gives me an image result I prefer), on film or digital, is often one with fewer lens elements. Examples (for me) are in both Nikon and Pentax, and notably were in the 35, 50mm focal lengths--those being the ones I used in both fast (more elements) and slow (few elements--probably 4 or 5 elements). I also favour the Nikon 55mm micro f/2.8 and prior 3.5 version, and the Pentax 85mm f/2 SMC-M but have no solid experience to compare with same FL and more elements.
Have you ever tried using a lens with one element?
07-16-2019, 07:31 PM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by scratchpaddy Quote
Have you ever tried using a lens with one element?
I have a friend who regularly shoots with a meniscus lens on his view camera. The results are...errrr...dreamy.


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07-16-2019, 07:36 PM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
Within the light level ranges found on Earth, all lenses transmit all tones with equal performance. No lens can't lose tonality in transmission.
I may be interpreting wrong, but my understanding is that the claim has been made that new designs employ some sort of tone compression magic to artificially bolster boundaries at the expensive of steeper tonal gradients. How this might be done requires the services of a magician, however. As a result, I don't have a clue. (I know...no news there.)


Steve

07-16-2019, 08:08 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
Out of curiosity, is there a lens which performs on the K1 the way the DA21mm performs on APSC bodies? Does the DA40 do that job? The pancakes are really nice, with plenty of contrast and great colors, and are just fun little lenses.
The 40 Ltd would probably be the closest in performance, but it is a longer focal length. I recall that it covers the full 35mm frame. Other lenses to consider would be the FA 35/2 and 31 Ltd. They will both be more expensive though. The 31 is the closest for field of view.
07-17-2019, 02:12 AM   #25
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Speaking about sharpness optimization, ultra correction vs simple design, less elements, here are 2 articles I found talking about that "line of thinking", in which there is one with lots of samples. What do you think?

The flattening of modern lenses or the death of 3d pop ? YANNICK KHONG

2016 Depth vs. Flat Lens Comparisons ? YANNICK KHONG
07-17-2019, 02:34 AM - 1 Like   #26
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As Steve says, I don't think this is a lens issue at all but a style of post processing. Modern lenses do tend to have more contrast and may be have more edge sharpness than older lenses, but that really shouldn't be a problem and in now way affects the colors you can pull out of an image compared to lenses of the past.

If you want to say that it is hard to emulate film effects with CMOS sensors, I would be much more in your camp. Modern sensors do give different looks compared to film -- not necessarily a bad thing -- and even the film packs a lot of RAW processors offer don't really get there, although some are pretty good, but that isn't a lens issue at all.
07-17-2019, 04:35 AM - 2 Likes   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
Speaking about sharpness optimization, ultra correction vs simple design, less elements, here are 2 articles I found talking about that "line of thinking", in which there is one with lots of samples. What do you think?

The flattening of modern lenses or the death of 3d pop ? YANNICK KHONG

2016 Depth vs. Flat Lens Comparisons ? YANNICK KHONG
The second article had useful comparison images but the first article is full of absolutely false, garbage physics ("Glass is a capacitor," "Light adopts a spiral behavior that spins into the lens," "high-element “flatter" count lens photograph reproduces monocular vision," etc.)
07-17-2019, 12:09 PM - 1 Like   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
The second article had useful comparison images but the first article is full of absolutely false, garbage physics ("Glass is a capacitor," "Light adopts a spiral behavior that spins into the lens," "high-element “flatter" count lens photograph reproduces monocular vision," etc.)
Reading your note, I remember that article. It was good for entertainment value at the time and its value as an example of "science talk"* has not diminished with age.


Steve

* A form of psuedoscientific blunder where perfectly reasonable terms are misapplied in an attempt to impress.
07-18-2019, 10:59 AM - 2 Likes   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
The second article had useful comparison images but the first article is full of absolutely false, garbage physics ("Glass is a capacitor," "Light adopts a spiral behavior that spins into the lens," "high-element “flatter" count lens photograph reproduces monocular vision," etc.)
Circular polarized light is fascinating, but I don't think the camera or our eyes can detect it. Mantis shrimp, on the other hand....
07-19-2019, 09:33 AM - 2 Likes   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
Circular polarized light is fascinating, but I don't think the camera or our eyes can detect it. Mantis shrimp, on the other hand....
They are my biggest customers, I absolutely have to cater to the Mantis shrimp market. They like really big 36 MP prints.
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