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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk
Thread started 13 Nov 2017 (Monday) 03:15
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The Death of Beautiful Rendition and 3D Pop on Modern Lenses

 
ejenner
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Joined Nov 2011
Denver, CO
Nov 16, 2017 19:43 |  #16

Honestly I still think certain aspects of a 'look' are overstated by some people who like to be 'hipster-ish'. However, there is a certain look to some lenses for sure. Just like there is a look to most film that I've never seen replicated by presets.

However, IMO it definitely depends on both the lens and the subject. There are images with 'pop', I don't think there are lenses with 'pop' - i.e. lenses that can make any image 'pop'. Same with 3D rendition. I reckon given just the right subject I can probably take a shot with the 70-200 f4 IS and make it 'pop'. But for most subjects, it's a whole lot harder than with a 135L.

I've seen some really amazing photos with old lenses. But for most applications those lenses where s**t.

I definitely agree that sharpness is not everything. I know some people use 50+MP, but the number of people her making 3ft prints is pretty darn small.

I must admit I wouldn't mink my 135L being a bit sharper wide open, but if that meant it looked like the 70-200 II, then no thanks.


Edward Jenner
5DIII, 7DII, M6, GX1 II,M11-22, Sig15mm FE,16-35 F4,TS-E 17,Sig 18-250 OS Macro,M18-150,24-105,T45 1.8VC,70-200 f4 IS,70-200 2.8 vII,Sig 85 1.4,100L,135L,400DOII.
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Mathmans
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Joined Apr 2014
Nov 17, 2017 02:50 as a reply to ejenner's post |  #17

I occasionally visit Photography Life site and I mostly find it interesting and informative. But I don't like his judging articles and judging statements in comments section below articles.
Let me ask all of you; who is Nasim Mansurov to judge?
A lot of photographers still shoot with old manual primes and they say they're better then those sterile modern lenses.
I don't know if that's true because I don't own old primes to compare, but I won't make fun of them.




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sjones
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Chicago
Nov 17, 2017 07:00 |  #18

Lenses render differently in various ways, unless someone wants to make an argument that all lenses since the beginning produce the exact same results. How one will receive these differences, assuming they’re even noticeable or relevant outside of a direct A/B comparison, will of course depend on the individual.

And as noted above, how these characteristic notably manifest will often depend on the type of photo taken. I have a 1934 lens that, due to flare (a technical fault), actually creates, for me, a desirable ‘glow’ around certain elements. However, this effect is not always present, as one might guess.

So while the article’s facetious statement has its points, it is equally foolish for one to buy the most modern and expensive lenses, employing the latest technologies, while simultaneously dismissing the fact that older lens (largely as a consequence of technological evolution) perform differently. And the benefits (if any) of these differences are subject to subjective interpretation.

As I’ve stated before, my favorite period in photography roughly stems from the 1930s to the 1960s, and not because of the lenses used. But this said, those lenses used were, nevertheless, more than sufficient for the applications that mattered to me.


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mystik610
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Houston, TX
Nov 17, 2017 11:23 |  #19

I think he makes a valid point TBH, though it isn't really a black and white trade-off. On one extreme, I agree that Sigma lenses though very sharp, have a very clinical and at times harsh rendering. Sony's GM lenses are a it on the opposite spectrum for a modern lens....really pleasing rendering for portraits, but can look really flat at times though they are very sharp. But there are lenses that strike a good balance between microcontrast and pop while having pleasing rendering. Zeiss glass comes to mind.


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airfrogusmc
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Joined May 2007
Oak Park, Illinois
Post has been edited 24 days ago by airfrogusmc.
Nov 17, 2017 12:10 |  #20

Leica lenses are still designed by humans and it's that experience of how to design a lens that renders a certain way exists because of a long legacy of designs and not by a computerized formula.

A lot of Leica lenses are not only about sharpness but just as much about the way they render.




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bobbyz
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Bay Area, CA
Post has been last edited 24 days ago by bobbyz. 2 edits done in total.
Nov 17, 2017 15:38 |  #21

Me likes Fuji lenses.:) Canon side, 85L, 135L and 200mm f2 L have the pop.


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Chet
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Nov 17, 2017 15:44 |  #22

Guess I have to purchase some adapters for my older lenses and check this phenomena out.


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Phoenixkh
a mere speck
Joined May 2011
Gainesville, Florida
Nov 17, 2017 16:55 |  #23

I guess I'm one of the sheep who likes the way photographs I take with both my 100-400L ii and 70-200 f/2.8 ll look.

I don't print much but on my monitor, I can get my photos to have that pop with a little PP. I don't overdo it... I hate that look... but add a little contrast, some sharpening in some cases, I can get them to satisfy my old eyes. ;)

I've never used any of the great Canon primes including the super telephoto lenses. I might have a completely different opinion if I ever have the chance.


Kim (the male variety) Canon 1D IV | 6Dc | 16-35 f/4 IS | 24-105 f/4 IS |100L IS macro | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II | 100-400Lii | 50 f/1.8 STM | Canon 1.4X III
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mdvaden
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Beaverton, Oregon
Post has been last edited 22 days ago by mdvaden. 2 edits done in total.
Nov 19, 2017 01:45 |  #24

I find the article interesting with some good points to think about. Although I'll start first thing with the cat photo and say the author sounds off-track. The cat looks that way due to the depth of field and the angle it's turned. I've seen similar from modern lenses.

What he expresses reminds me of something a reviewer Dustin Abbott stated about Tamron's new 85mm. Abbott said the Tamron had a "soul" and reminded of his vintage lenses. Even equating the new Tamron with Zeiss in some regards. In fact, that's one reason I chose the new Tamron over the Sigma Art or Zeiss a couple months ago when I ordered the 2nd 85mm to compliment my Canon 85mm 1.2

I once had an 1960's Canon 55mm FL that I wish was still around, adapted to my Canon DSLR. It wasn't sharp, but rendered flowers in a way my new lenses don't. It's not that it was better, just that it was different. Otherwise, I find that many new lenses make the outdoors more life-like for me, particularly forests where I shoot.

So I think the author started a good topic to let simmer a while.


vadenphotography.comexternal link . . . and . . . Coast Redwoods Main Pageexternal link

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Hokie ­ Jim
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Joined Jan 2016
Hillsborough, NC
Post has been edited 20 days ago by Hokie Jim.
Nov 21, 2017 15:20 |  #25

mdvaden wrote in post #18499538 (external link)
I find the article interesting with some good points to think about. Although I'll start first thing with the cat photo and say the author sounds off-track. The cat looks that way due to the depth of field and the angle it's turned. I've seen similar from modern lenses.

What he expresses reminds me of something a reviewer Dustin Abbott stated about Tamron's new 85mm. Abbott said the Tamron had a "soul" and reminded of his vintage lenses. Even equating the new Tamron with Zeiss in some regards. In fact, that's one reason I chose the new Tamron over the Sigma Art or Zeiss a couple months ago when I ordered the 2nd 85mm to compliment my Canon 85mm 1.2

I once had an 1960's Canon 55mm FL that I wish was still around, adapted to my Canon DSLR. It wasn't sharp, but rendered flowers in a way my new lenses don't. It's not that it was better, just that it was different. Otherwise, I find that many new lenses make the outdoors more life-like for me, particularly forests where I shoot.

So I think the author started a good topic to let simmer a while.

I thought about something similar to that when I was 50mm shopping. Something like a Zeiss Planar is technically a bad lens, with no floating element, focus shift, soft wide open, etc...whereas the Distagons aren't. Then again, a lot of that stuff can be done in post - whereas if the data wasn't captured to begin with, there's only so much you can do with it after the fact.


The machine does not isolate man from the great problems of nature but plunges him more deeply into them. - Antoine de Saint Exupéry
Canon 6D | 16-35 f/4L IS | Zeiss Milvus 50 f/1.4 | 70-200 f/2.8L IS II | 580EXII | Gitzo 1410MK2/RRS BH-55

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davesrose
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Atlanta, GA
Post has been last edited 20 days ago by davesrose. 6 edits done in total.
Nov 21, 2017 20:01 |  #26

How a lens "renders" is something that's ultimately subjective instead of objective. Personally, I find more "3D pop" with my recent L lenses compared to older non L/ FD lenses. IMO, the main strength of old MF lenses like FD lenses is that they're optically OK, but are spectacular at manual focusing (long focus pulls, and real DOF scales). Part of a modern lens's rendition is more sharpness and part of it is a definite color balance. There is an art to lens making, and all the big brands still have people manually polishing lens elements to certain specifications in their pro series. The author makes the same false argument that I've heard from others: the fewer the lens elements, the better sharpness should be (even if it's supposed to be hyperbole in this case). Lens makers are including more elements to offer IS, eliminate aberrations, and to better focus the light. When it comes to sharpness and color rendition, the author's example photos don't show a distinct advantage for modern vs classic lens. One "objectively" better comparison is with a zoom lens vs old prime: and he likes the prime because it has more vignetting. Personally, I'd rather not be a property of my lens but something I chose to add in post.

Edit: Here's the first field test I had with the 24-70mm 2.8L II. The color rendition, sharpness, and contrast is what sold me with it over a similar Tamron (which I find has good sharpness, but not the same contrast). The foreground is pretty much SOOC, I de-saturated and vignetted the background:

IMAGE: https://photos.smugmug.com/DragonCon-2014/i-BjZSswn/0/11d1bd18/L/dragonconparade104_14910523400_o-L.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://davesrose.smug​mug.com/DragonCon-2014/i-BjZSswn/A] (external link)

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