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03-17-2015, 07:00 PM   #61
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Just so no one is mislead conceptually when considering microcontrast (formerly known simply as lens contrast) and sharpness (formerly known as resolution) - the two are integral, not only connected scientifically, but in how we perceive images. And, historically, you had various approaches from the competing lens makers. If buyers of the older lenses didn't care about contrast (or microcontrast), well, Leica wouldn't have had a market. Their engineers emphasized contrast over resolution. Indeed, an emphasis on microcontrast does tend to require more costly designs. Many less expensive lenses have fairly good resolution ratings (MTF charts), but do not look sharp due to relatively poor overall contrast. The whole topic does not correlate strongly between modern and older optical designs. To some extent, quality coatings enhance contrast (but not resolution), but that's about as far as the correlation goes.

03-17-2015, 07:35 PM   #62
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I still say save your money and get a more expensive lens in the fist place. It will save you money in the long run. Go ahead, ask me how I know this.
03-17-2015, 08:02 PM   #63
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price is no guarantee of quality, in any kind of purchase.
03-17-2015, 08:06 PM   #64
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But I can tell you that 600 dollar Sigma 8-16 will out perform that... wait, you're not going to get something else that wide.

My experience has been that I should have saved my money in the beginning and not bought a Quantaray 70-300, and both Sigma and Tamron 28-300 lenses. I've found that some of the old manual lenses I've cycled through can't hold a candle to most of what I have now. The main reason I have my Sigma 70-300 now is for IR stuff, because decent filters aren't cheap.

03-17-2015, 08:16 PM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
price is no guarantee of quality, in any kind of purchase.
This is generally true of new things more than used to a degree. The market effect has a tendency to over value something only for a while - the emperor has no clothes effect doesn't last forever. There are factors beyond quality that also come in like rarity - so your point is valid with the caveat of -" but often it is indicative..."
03-17-2015, 08:23 PM   #66
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lol, well, i can tell you that an $800 sigma 4.5mm lens will outperform that... wait, you're not going to get something else that wide.

thinking that you could get decent picture quality out of a 28-300mm focal length range isn't about money.

my 60-300mm adaptall lens would probably mop the floor with those lenses... again, money isn't everything.

---------- Post added 03-17-2015 at 08:30 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
This is generally true of new things more than used to a degree.
The Ten Most Ridiculously Overpriced Used Cars

sorry, couldn't resist

i was trying to think of legacy glass that's worth more used than what it cost new... leica??

wait... honest abe's ad(pp, 1982), pentax smcp(?) 24/2.8, $148... keh has a ln+ smc-a 24/2.8 for over $300? probably just barely covers inflation.
https://books.google.com/books?id=LCyqyh2vkkIC&pg=RA1-PA134&lpg=RA1-PA134&dq...gazine&f=false

Last edited by osv; 03-17-2015 at 08:41 PM.
03-17-2015, 08:36 PM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
lol, well, i can tell you that an $800 sigma 4.5mm lens will outperform that... wait, you're not going to get something else that wide.

thinking that you could get decent picture quality out of a 28-300mm focal length range isn't about money.

my 60-300mm adaptall lens would probably mop the floor with those lenses... again, money isn't everything.
I was new at it and had to learn the hard way. I am not even sure what I'd do with something wider than 8mm, but over all I find my my kit as of now is satisfying, though I want longer reach and may add in the 1.4 tc and if Sigma really does release the 150-600 sport I will get that too. That was another thing I had to try a few times to learn better, 2x teleconverters...

Anyway, I've generally found that by getting more expensive glass, but haggling like mad to get it cheaper, saves money for me in the long run because I've went through plenty of manual primes and either sold or given them away, the zooms I mentioned, and whatever I could get for cheap to fill in perceived holes in my lineup. My experience has been cheap wasn't all that good for me.
03-17-2015, 08:39 PM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
i was trying to think of legacy glass that's worth more used than what it cost new... leica??
A* 85 f/1.4
I own one but I acquired mine a long long long time ago before they were out of production.


Rarity can certainly drive up cost above what the quality demands. But the combination of both is what makes for crazy high prices. My point wasn't that used is cheaper than new - but that in the used market with the exception of rare items the quality tends to win out over the long haul.

03-17-2015, 09:07 PM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
Anyway, I've generally found that by getting more expensive glass, but haggling like mad to get it cheaper, saves money for me in the long run because I've went through plenty of manual primes and either sold or given them away, the zooms I mentioned, and whatever I could get for cheap to fill in perceived holes in my lineup. My experience has been cheap wasn't all that good for me.
i actually have to agree with this to some extent, if for no other reason than the technology has improved some things considerably.

i recently went through several of the korean 35/1.4 lenses on the a7r, and the flat fields were stunning... f/1.4 on a couple of 'em was fairly clean all the way to the edges, no way that any legacy glass could compare to that, i suspect... it blew away all of my old 50/1.4 taks, and an fdn 50/1.4 that i also have, wrt clean sides, and other things as well.

but there were too many out of focus areas, showing up at different apertures... the quality control sucked.

on the other hand, sony has a new ziess 35/1.4 fe-mount lens coming out, but the test shots that a couple of people have posted were hugely disappointing... $1600(?) for decentered glass? really?

Digital Cameras, Sony A7 II Digital Camera Test Image

someone else shot a cityscape at multiple apertures, but none of the pics were usable, imho... they are all mis-focused? or a lens problem??
https://s3.amazonaws.com/masters.galleries.dpreview.com/3155422.jpg?X-Amz-Ex...3d80b6e931596f
03-18-2015, 04:25 AM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
i actually have to agree with this to some extent, if for no other reason than the technology has improved some things considerably.

i recently went through several of the korean 35/1.4 lenses on the a7r, and the flat fields were stunning... f/1.4 on a couple of 'em was fairly clean all the way to the edges, no way that any legacy glass could compare to that, i suspect... it blew away all of my old 50/1.4 taks, and an fdn 50/1.4 that i also have, wrt clean sides, and other things as well.

but there were too many out of focus areas, showing up at different apertures... the quality control sucked.

on the other hand, sony has a new ziess 35/1.4 fe-mount lens coming out, but the test shots that a couple of people have posted were hugely disappointing... $1600(?) for decentered glass? really?

Digital Cameras, Sony A7 II Digital Camera Test Image

someone else shot a cityscape at multiple apertures, but none of the pics were usable, imho... they are all mis-focused? or a lens problem??
https://s3.amazonaws.com/masters.galleries.dpreview.com/3155422.jpg?X-Amz-Ex...3d80b6e931596f
That would be disappointing to say the least.
03-18-2015, 07:49 AM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
I still say save your money and get a more expensive lens in the fist place. It will save you money in the long run. Go ahead, ask me how I know this.
You make a good point, but in this case, we are not talking about rubbish lenses like the older off-brand 28-300 variety. It is entirely possible to take pro quality pictures with both a Tokina 17mm and a Pentax 16-45 - and a Sigma 24mm 2.8 as well. Also Tamrons (17 3.5, 24 2.5) and Vivitar (19 3.8) can do a great job when stopped down.

Otherwise, you might as well say, "I'm not even going to bother taking pictures until I can afford a D810 with a Nikkor 14-24, nothing else comes close in quality". We all gotta start somewhere and I think there's been many good suggestions in this thread.
03-18-2015, 11:35 AM   #72
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Also, regarding the Tokina 17 vs Pentax 16-45 "fight". I was going to post this last night but an internet outage meant I lost the post I spent a while writing... so I'll try again.

First, I wanted to say that both lenses seem to be capable of professional results if you get a good copy. They are not slouches in the optics department.

The 16-45mm is one of the best zooms when it comes to edge to edge sharpness, according to multiple sources. I'd like to point to fellow pentaxforums member NorthCoastGreg's review: Pentax DA 16-45 f4 | Lens Reviews | The Northcoast Photographer

The picture that ScooterMaxiJim posted of the 16-45, that manntax said proved that the edges were soft - the lower edges simply aren't totally in focus, at least that's what I am seeing.

According to photozone.de, the 16-45 extreme corners should be in the "very good" range from f5.6 to f11, and almost there even at f4:



photozone.de was also the site that said in their review of the Tokina RMC that it's not really worth going for the old prime when the 16-45mm performs better.

And apparently ephotozine's copy of the 16-45mm was even better:



All their parameters exceeded at f8 corner to corner! Shown results at the 16mm end.

Now to the argument from ScooterMaxiJim that the Tokina 17 isn't as center sharp, that I believe is an issue of the AT-X version, which has a different optical formula (with aspherical elements) compared to the SL and RMC versions (and Vivitar MC). The infamous Ken Rockwell said in his website that he believed his SL copy was sharper than his AT-X copy. The photozone.de tests of both lenses also seem to point out quite a big difference in sharpness in the center:

Tokina AT-X 17 (Canon 1.6x APSC):



Tokina RMC 17 (Pentax 1.5x APSC):



Manntax said the distortion of the 16-45 is unnaceptable. It's measured at 2.52 (photozone.de) and 1.36 (Imatest, mentioned in the ephotozine review). Compare that with 2.49 for the Tokina 17mm RMC (photozone.de) and the 16mm matches the Tokina at 17mm, and probably exceeds the Tokina when you zoom to 17mm. So much for the 16-45mm being inferior distortion-wise.

So, I think that in the end, both lenses are equally capable, even if they render differently. The 16-45mm, with autofocus and all the extra focal range, and the flare resistant coatings that also improve color and contrast in difficult light situations, therefore represents a better value in the just-under-200-dollars price range - so that is what I will likely go for next. IMHO, YMMV and all that.
03-18-2015, 11:42 AM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
So, I think that in the end, both lenses are equally capable, even if they render differently. The 16-45mm, with autofocus and all the extra focal range, and the flare resistant coatings that also improve color and contrast in difficult light situations, therefore represents a better value in the just-under-200-dollars price range - so that is what I will likely go for next. IMHO, YMMV and all that. Report Post Like ChristianRock's Post
Impressive work you've done there - it all looks very nice on these charts. Provided all these are truth - 16-45 indeed appears to be excellent and perhaps I was looking at bad examples when browsing full res images online. Tokina RMC (not AT-X ) on the other hand is in my personal experience indeed a fabulous glass and no wonder why they are sough after.

I agree however that if flexibility and flare resistance are important then 16-45 is nobrainer - again assuming these charts are correct and one hits good copy.
03-18-2015, 11:54 AM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by manntax Quote
Impressive work you've done there - it all looks very nice on these charts. Provided all these are truth - 16-45 indeed appears to be excellent and perhaps I was looking at bad examples when browsing full res images online. Tokina RMC (not AT-X ) on the other hand is in my personal experience indeed a fabulous glass and no wonder why they are sough after.

I agree however that if flexibility and flare resistance are important then 16-45 is nobrainer - again assuming these charts are correct and one hits good copy.
Yet I still look at Tokina 17mm pictures and faint, wanting one

Like I said in an earlier post, the pictures from it are very aesthetically pleasing. Someone said somewhere that the non-aspherical lenses are more pleasing to the eye even if they're not as perfect technically. So I don't blame you for loving your 17. If I were you I'd hold on to it, the only exception would be if you would ever want to turn it over to me

As things stand, I'll still probably get the 16-45 first...

But when I look at a picture like this one: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bastian_k/9595983715/in/pool-tokinarmc17
and I blow it up on my 24 inch monitor, it seems to render images as well if not better than the DA 15... again, provided the sun isn't anywhere near the frame.

Last edited by ChristianRock; 03-18-2015 at 12:03 PM.
03-18-2015, 01:07 PM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
But when I look at a picture like this one: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bastian_k/9595983715/in/pool-tokinarmc17 and I blow it up on my 24 inch monitor, it seems to render images as well if not better than the DA 15... again, provided the sun isn't anywhere near the frame.
The guy clearly has a good copy of that Tokina - great shot !!

QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
If I were you I'd hold on to it, the only exception would be if you would ever want to turn it over to me
No way I could part with mine - took me too much effort to select it from 3 that went through my hands

but good luck hunting - there are bargains to be had all the time !
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