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Roger Hicks
11-19-2008, 07:35
Of course there is no such thing as a 'magic' lens -- but there are some lenses that suit an individual photographer's vision well enough to justify using the word.

Do we need to define 'magic'? No. It is enough that a particular lens gives us results we especially like.

But why do some people deny it? After all, it's a very different thing to say "The Noctilux is not magic for me" or even "I don't see the magic in others' Noctilux shots", as compared with "Anyone who says the Noctilux is magic for them is an idiot." For 'Noctilux' by all means substitute '50/1.2 Canon' or '38/4.5 Biogon' or '58/1.4 Nikkor' or '150/6.3 Tessar' or any other lens.

Any views on why some people seem to believe only in magic, while others refuse to believe in it at all? How about an intermediate view, that it's a 'lift', but not decisive?

Cheers,

Roger

bmattock
11-19-2008, 07:50
The magic, if such there be, is in the person's perception of the item, not the item itself.

Not unlike beauty; it is in the eye of the beholder.

xayraa33
11-19-2008, 07:57
Magic can happen when all the conditions are right.
sometimes a lens can play a part in this, and sometimes it does not.

Roger Hicks
11-19-2008, 08:00
There are some lenses that have a charm and character to them - some just don't work -- if there weren't magic, we'd all be using the $10 fuji point and shoot

Oh, dear. You may have summed up the argument so perfectly that there is not a lot else to say!

After that, it's a magic/wallet ratio: it doesn't matter how magic a lens is if you can't afford it.

I have often canvassed the view of a 'quality plateau'. Up to that level, better lenses will give you better pictures. Above that level, it's down to you.

On the other hand, I can't help feeling that for a given level of skill, some lenses may flatter you more than others. It's just that they're rare. Out of all the 50mm lenses I've ever used, for example, I'd label only the 50/1.5 C-Sonnar and 50/1 Noctilux 'magic' for me, though Frances's 50/2.5 Summarit is also pretty amazing and if I used it more I might revise my opinion. I cheerfully concede that others may feel differently.

Cheers,

Roger

Roger Hicks
11-19-2008, 08:05
The magic, if such there be, is in the person's perception of the item, not the item itself.

Dear Bill,

Not so much the item, surely, as the pictures it delivers.

Reviewing several 'magic' lenses, I expected to be a lot less impressed than I was. Indeed, my pre-judgement was that I'd probably dismiss them. In other words, my appreciation of 'magic' was generated by what I saw, not by my expectations.

You could of course argue that because they so far exceeded my expectations, I overestimated them; but I don't think so.

Cheers,

Roger

Roger Hicks
11-19-2008, 08:09
Magic can happen when all the conditions are right.
sometimes a lens can play a part in this, and sometimes it does not.

Incontrovertibly true, but even so, I'd suggest that some lenses seem to play a disproportionate role in everything coming together. I'd hastily add that this is far from saying that they are ideal for everything: I'd hate to have ONLY a Noctilux, for example, and I don't think it would even be my first choice as a 50mm.

Cheers,

Roger

charjohncarter
11-19-2008, 08:56
I believe is 'Magic,' even when it comes to lenses. Unfortunately, my magic comes from lenses that are at least a couple of sigmas (standard deviation) from normal, and even then don't make it into the phylum chordata. Nothing to me has less 'magic' than a modern computer generated lenses.

TimF
11-19-2008, 11:52
A magic lens for me is the old pre-aspheric 35mm Summilux. Yes, it's flary and soft wide open, and suffers from coma, but there's an indefinable 3D quality to the images that come from it that somehow makes up for all that.

ClaremontPhoto
11-19-2008, 11:58
I know a great and talented photographer who uses a Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim camera most of the time.

They cost about £4 new old stock, and he gets magic photos with them.

Spider67
11-19-2008, 12:05
Some magic moments came with the VC 24/4 as it proved very versatile (portrait, street. architecture).
Then there was magic when I saw the first pictures taken with a Canon Serenar 50/1.8

Roger Hicks
11-19-2008, 12:11
I know a great and talented photographer who uses a Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim camera most of the time.

They cost about 4 new old stock, and he gets magic photos with them.

Dear Jon,

That's pretty much the point I was trying to make. 'Magic' is a combination of lens and photographer. When it suits someone's vision, it's 'magic' -- whether it's 4 for the Vivitar or 3000 for a Noctilux.

It just strikes me as perverse to deny that a particular lens is 'magic' for someone else, just because it's not 'magic' for you. It also seems unnecessary to analyze where the 'magic' lies. After all, if you can analyze it, it's not really 'magic', and besides, who cares, as long as it works for you? I know you're not arguing with any of this, but some people seem to.

At most, I'll warn others 'It might not be for you', or ask them 'Are you sure it's worth the money', but if they get magic pictures, it's worth whatever they can afford.

Cheers,

R.

ClaremontPhoto
11-19-2008, 12:33
Roger:


We agree.

Give some random guy on RFF a Leica MP with a Noctilux, and give HC-B a Canon Sureshot.

Take them both to Paris and...

JonasYip
11-19-2008, 12:49
My "magic" lens turns out to be a lens I made myself out of a magnifying glass from a 99-cent store. Indeed, my recent exhibit was shot almost entirely with this flare-y, aberration-filled, aperture-less piece of plastic. It's worked so well for me that I went back to the 99-cent store and stocked up on that particular magnifying glass.

I've also had a Noctilux, and it wasn't magic for me. Good thing, since I'm not about to stock up on those...

j

bmattock
11-19-2008, 13:16
Dear Bill,

Not so much the item, surely, as the pictures it delivers.

Reviewing several 'magic' lenses, I expected to be a lot less impressed than I was. Indeed, my pre-judgement was that I'd probably dismiss them. In other words, my appreciation of 'magic' was generated by what I saw, not by my expectations.

You could of course argue that because they so far exceeded my expectations, I overestimated them; but I don't think so.

Cheers,

Roger

I must disagree. When reviewing photographs without regard to the lens used, one cannot know (nor does one presumably care) what lens was used, or what magic qualities it might possess. In such cases, if there is 'magic' at all, I'd have to say it is in the photograph, as that is all you have.

However, when reviewing photographs made by this lens or that, when one sees what one believes to be a 'magic' quality to photographs made with lens "A" versus lens "B," then one is, perforce, speaking of the lens, since one is imbuing it with these qualities to have produced such a print.

So if magic is in a lens, then I repeat it is in the eyes of the beholder. To be more precise, perhaps I should have said that it is the eye of the beholder who knows, or believes they know, which lens made which photograph.

But I give myself away by that statement, so I may as well come clean.

Once on RFF, many moons ago, I posted some lens tests I had done of LTM lenses of various types and varieties.

I made a mistake with identifying one set of images, which I stated had been taken with a certain lens - they had not. It was unintentional. Many who viewed my images exclaimed over the superlative and obvious traits of that special lens - and I agreed - but later I discovered that the photos had instead been taken with a completely different lens than I had first supposed.

Was the lens still 'magic' even though it was not the brand I said it was? Or was it magic because others believed me when I said what brand it was, and they had strong beliefs about what they would see, which they then did see?

Well, I didn't do it on purpose, but the end result was that I lost some amount of confidence in 'magic' lenses.

Roger Hicks
11-19-2008, 13:50
I must disagree. When reviewing photographs without regard to the lens used, one cannot know (nor does one presumably care) what lens was used, or what magic qualities it might possess. In such cases, if there is 'magic' at all, I'd have to say it is in the photograph, as that is all you have.

However, when reviewing photographs made by this lens or that, when one sees what one believes to be a 'magic' quality to photographs made with lens "A" versus lens "B," then one is, perforce, speaking of the lens, since one is imbuing it with these qualities to have produced such a print.

So if magic is in a lens, then I repeat it is in the eyes of the beholder. To be more precise, perhaps I should have said that it is the eye of the beholder who knows, or believes they know, which lens made which photograph.

But I give myself away by that statement, so I may as well come clean.

Once on RFF, many moons ago, I posted some lens tests I had done of LTM lenses of various types and varieties.

I made a mistake with identifying one set of images, which I stated had been taken with a certain lens - they had not. It was unintentional. Many who viewed my images exclaimed over the superlative and obvious traits of that special lens - and I agreed - but later I discovered that the photos had instead been taken with a completely different lens than I had first supposed.

Was the lens still 'magic' even though it was not the brand I said it was? Or was it magic because others believed me when I said what brand it was, and they had strong beliefs about what they would see, which they then did see?

Well, I didn't do it on purpose, but the end result was that I lost some amount of confidence in 'magic' lenses.

Dear Bill,

Fair enough. Of course you are right that the 'magic' inheres in the pictures, but given that the lens is an essential part of the picture-making process, you are also right that it is a quality attributed to the lens.

But what if someone else consistently picks out and praises those of your pictures that were shot with a particular lens, purely on their image quality, without any knowledge of which lens you used? It has happened to me to an uncanny extent with one of my 'magic' lenses, the 38/4.5 Biogon.

For me, a 'magic' lens is one where the pictures taken with it attract a disproportionately high degree of praise. If (say) 1% of your pictures with Lens A are praised, and 30% of your pictures with lens B, on a blind test, then I don't have too much compunction about labeling that lens 'Magic'.

Cheers,

R.

Henryah
11-19-2008, 14:07
Regardless of the fact that my skill in photography and technology has increased over the years, I still consider it magic when the subject matter jumps into the camera.

charjohncarter
11-19-2008, 14:09
sonofdanang, perhaps I should have said, 'computer assisted lens design with parameters set by engineers that have a set of goals that our not the same as mine.' In the place of 'computer generated lenses.'

yanidel
11-19-2008, 14:13
Taking the subject from another point of view, magic is sometimes shown in movies as people vanishing and background effects. So one can draw an analogy between blurred backgrounds which is not a realistic representation of what we see with a magic phenomena. So to vulgarize, any effects generated by the lens that is not the pure reflection of what we see can be considered as "magic". So if you add to that that some lenses fare, other have soft corners or vignetting, we can consider it as "magic" being opposed to "the real view". Given all of that, my magic lens is the Industar-69 which gives weird but very special results on the M8 ;) Yes, my magic lens is worth only $20!

bmattock
11-19-2008, 15:21
But what if someone else consistently picks out and praises those of your pictures that were shot with a particular lens, purely on their image quality, without any knowledge of which lens you used?

That would certainly change my outlook. So far, it hasn't happened. It is also possible that I just don't possess any high-quality lenses. I am very cheap, you know.

charjohncarter
11-19-2008, 15:30
JonasYip, I like your images and your sites, very much. It isn't too hard to pick the magnifier lens images. Are they 35mm or something else? They are probably computer generated magnifying lenses, but still, I may visit the 99 cent store near me. Thanks!

Peter Klein
11-19-2008, 16:17
I think "magic" is just a buzzword for a lens characteristic that is different from what we see in most pictures, and that we find pleasing. Usually it's about optical flaws that look pretty to us. The problem is that one person's pretty is another person's poison, hence the arguments.

Me, I love the DR Summicron. It's very sharp, but it's also got this nice way of slightly bleeding very bright highlights into adjacent dark areas. "Glow," if you will.

Another "magic" lens for me is the Summitar at f/2, especially in color with colored lights in the background.

Would you believe I love the humble Jupiter-8 at f/2.8 and 4? At those stops, it's a magic time machine--it makes things look like the 1930s. It's a Sonnar thing.

--Peter

Gabriel M.A.
11-19-2008, 16:25
The magic, if such there be, is in the person's perception of the item, not the item itself.

Kung-Fu Panda fan, eh? Yeah, the Secret Ingredient for noodle soup is in you!

charjohncarter
11-19-2008, 16:27
sonofdanang, por nada, you are 100% correct: fuzzy semantics, misunderstandings, misinterpretations and incorrect connotations are what cause problems in this goofy world. I, respectfully, stand corrected.

helenhill
11-19-2008, 16:29
Magic to me......
the 35 Summaron & the 21 SA

Best-H
:)

bmattock
11-19-2008, 17:06
Kung-Fu Panda fan, eh? Yeah, the Secret Ingredient for noodle soup is in you!

Sorry, missing the reference here.

Gumby
11-19-2008, 17:29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kung_Fu_Panda

bmattock
11-19-2008, 19:05
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kung_Fu_Panda

Ah, you'll have to forgive me. I don't watch TV.

Gabriel M.A.
11-19-2008, 19:16
Sorry, missing the reference here.

http://ru.truveo.com/Kung-Fu-Panda-Video-Clip-Secret-Ingredient-Soup/id/2242725985

Gabriel M.A.
11-19-2008, 19:20
Ah, you'll have to forgive me. I don't watch TV.

::sigh:: ... I guess in Git'er-Done terms, you can say that it boils down to saying: "it's all in your head!"

Silly people with their cultural references. :bang:

charjohncarter
11-19-2008, 19:31
I don't watch TV either. But I do know that one lens can make you happy and other ones make you wonder why to bought them, regardless of price and brand name.

JonasYip
11-19-2008, 21:22
JonasYip, I like your images and your sites, very much. It isn't too hard to pick the magnifier lens images. Are they 35mm or something else? They are probably computer generated magnifying lenses, but still, I may visit the 99 cent store near me. Thanks!


Thanks! I used 35mm print film for those, on SLRs (FM2n or FM3) since I need to see in order to "focus". But I only used film because my "DX" DSLRS would have cropped off all of the weird fuzzy stuff near the edges.. the good stuff. But now that I have a FF sensor I use that instead...

j

Ronald_H
11-19-2008, 21:30
Magic is a very subjective term. But the 40mm f1.7 lens in the Canonet GIII QL17 gives me results that really thrill me for something I bought for 20 Euros. Why don't they put lenses like that on today's compacts???

http://members.chello.nl/~r.hogenboom/temp/aImage390.jpg

ClaremontPhoto
11-19-2008, 21:55
I often use the term 'magic light' and can see a coherence among photos made in that light more than I can identify just which lens I used for them.

aizan
11-19-2008, 22:05
i have so few lenses, they all seem magical to me.

laurentb
11-19-2008, 22:45
I have a few lenses, but the sharpest ones don't have the magic of some older ones.

My favorites are the Tessar on my Rolleiflex, and the equivalent Yashinon on the Yashica Mat.

dee
11-29-2008, 15:13
Sometimes something just clicks .
In trying out my ex-USSR lenses on the M 8 , without much hope , I found that a really clean Fed collapsible created a kind of '' crisp sparkle ''. I can't expalin it , can't descibe it ,can't justify it .
it's probably not acceptably '' sharp '' , could not possibly match any modern lens , but it's consisitent , and , the proof for me , is that I keep coming back to it !

cam
12-06-2008, 03:07
love = magic

if you love a lens (for whatever subjective reason), you will bond with it and use it more.

you will get to know its strength, its weaknesses, and work with those unconsciously to make your photographs. my magic lens may be different from yours, but i believe the way you feel about your lens does show in the final image. i frankly don't care much whether people feel as strong as i do about a particular lens -- only that they feel that strongly about some lens. if a lens is merely a tool, not something you feel passionately about, it usually shows in the pictures. then again, falling for a lens (particularly fast ones) can lead you to take the most boring pics imaginable, simply because you're enthralled with the footprint. this is fine (guilty of this myself -- i just don't show anyone) as long as you know that....

i believe in magic!

but i believe it's you that makes it so....

P. Lynn Miller
12-06-2008, 03:41
A magic lens...

Yes and no...
The Nikkor 105mm f2.5 is just such a lens, is it magic...
Probably not, but in capable hands it can deliver magic photographs.

While I firmly believe that it is ultimately up to the photographer...
and the camera/lens plays a minor role...
There is no denying that some tools 'bond' better than others...
just ask a master carver about his favorite chisels.
He could carve a rose with any chisel, but 'his' chisels of choice...
Just feel better, more a part of his hand...
So it comes more easily and naturally to make a masterpiece.

So it is with cameras, some cameras bond better to different people...
While the magic photograph could have been made with any camera or lens,
The bond between the camera and photographer can determine the ease and confidence
With which the photographer can make photographs.

This is not new, talk to any master of a trade or skill...
From race car drivers to jet pilots to riflemen to chefs and butchers...
Each and every one will have his 'magic' tool.

cam
02-09-2009, 22:59
i am reviving this thread because i got magic last night.

i believed in it before, but now i am simply stunned. believe is too weak a word.... the Noctilux is capable of pulling shadows from near, if not absolute, blackness. how does it do this?

magic is all i can think.

magic!

maddoc
02-09-2009, 23:40
[quote=cam;990472the Noctilux is capable of pulling shadows from near, if not absolute, blackness. how does it do this?

[/quote]

That, pulling shadows from near blackness and drawing texture from structures in deep shadows, is the "special" thing about the Noctilux. :)

Welcome to the "club" ! :D;)

Cheers,

Gabor

Migracer
02-10-2009, 13:51
The magic lens is a rare individual. It does not run through every one of a particular model of make. The magic is when all the elements are just right enough and the barrel has no burs to misalign the lens for that grove, the glass for each element has few natural imperfection, the coatings were better than tolerance. That is the Magic. This magic runs through all mechanical things, the engine that runs smoother and makes more power yet uses less fuel. The fan that moves smoother and quieter. You get my drift. If you have the ability and enough parts to choose from, you too can make a Magic lens.

40oz
02-10-2009, 15:27
I've had a couple lenses that took better pictures than anything else I own. It's obvious when I look at the shots. The 40mm Rokkor-M that came with my Minolta CL, my Kiev-mount Jupiter-3, the old Fuji P&S digital I gave my friend when I got a new "better" one.

The reason I'd call it magic is because there is no defining characteristic I could point to that makes me like those images more. They just are what they are. I'd assume the Rokkor and Jupiter are the result of engineers making a few samples fitting the formula with small compromises here and there, and choosing the one that takes the best pictures. The images the cheap Fuji took were probably a happy accident resulting from unintended consequeces of cut-rate production. (Or maybe I'm selling some Fuji lens designer short.)

Regardless, it's obvious to me that some lenses just take better pictures than others. It doesn't matter if everyone can see it, it's consistent and obvious to me. Some people can't see certain colors or hear certain frequencies. Why assume that a lack of awareness is proof something doesn't exist?

nikon_sam
02-10-2009, 16:49
At this point in time the Magic comes through a Yashica Mat 124, Neopan 400, Rodinal 1:50 and Agfa Classic FB paper...
This has been working for me for the past year or so...
I've had the camera for many years but hadn't been happy with the results so it hung in the closet, recently I pick up a MF SLR and then started feeding it some Neopan...Later it made it's way to the TLR...just to try it out...you know...
Then while reading a bunch of post in here about Rodinal I started with that (after many, many years of D-76)...and at last while at Samy's Camera I was shopping for some photo paper I came across a box of Agfa Classic FB Matte...
Eventually the camera (Yashica Mat) and film came together...The film and Rodinal finally got the right developing time and then the paper worked its way into the picture...
I now look for things to shoot with this combo and I know the Magic will be there...

cam
02-10-2009, 23:59
i love this thread!

it's so fascinating to see what magic means to people, something different to each and every one, and all completely valid.

magic is personal; yet magic is universal. and it makes me feel good that people still believe. thank you for your eloquence.

sometimes i wonder if a person choses the camera, film, lenses that he or she uses or if it's the other way around?

dee
02-11-2009, 00:31
I still miss an old Vivitar 100 mm f 2.8 ... forget sharpness - just a touch in the centre - but had a misty glow somehow ... one of those areas where it is totally wrong - but who cares +

Roger Hicks
02-11-2009, 23:53
I've had a couple lenses that took better pictures than anything else I own. It's obvious when I look at the shots. The 40mm Rokkor-M that came with my Minolta CL, my Kiev-mount Jupiter-3, the old Fuji P&S digital I gave my friend when I got a new "better" one.

The reason I'd call it magic is because there is no defining characteristic I could point to that makes me like those images more. They just are what they are. . . .

Regardless, it's obvious to me that some lenses just take better pictures than others. It doesn't matter if everyone can see it, it's consistent and obvious to me. Some people can't see certain colors or hear certain frequencies. Why assume that a lack of awareness is proof something doesn't exist?

Beautifully put!

Cheers,

R!

Turtle
02-12-2009, 02:07
My Rolleicord Va with its Xenar was wonderful open wide. I stupidly sold it, but then again it was not my sort of camera as much as I loved the results on the rare occassions I used it.

As for magic now, I own no lenses that make me think something 'magic' is going on; however, I have lots of lenses that perform faultlessly (and perform brilliantly in an all round sense) and allow me to take the pictures I want with confidence. That said, I think a lot depends on your style. If you are into soft, flary images with a glow there is no point using a Mamiya 7 or ZM lenses. I use the latter and they do what I ask of them every single time without fail and far better than I had any right to expect. That might not be magic, but it sure helps me produce images that put a smile on my face. The resolution of the Mamiya lenses might qualify for magic. Eye popping stuff with detail that seems endless. Thats no end in itsellf, but it still makes me look through the loup in amazement at what has been captured far away from the lens.

If you like edge to edge performance and have not tried the ZM lenses, you might just think they are magical. Wide open and sharp edge to edge (and blindingly so a stop or two down) it beggars belief. Some say clinical, but I dont find that with traditional B&W materials at all.

ClaremontPhoto
02-12-2009, 02:40
Every once in a while I see 'magic light' which will make any location look good no matter what the lens.

End of the day.

After rain.

Whatever, when you see that light you know it.

kshapero
02-12-2009, 02:49
Most of the Magic I see nowadays is in B&W.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3055/3263372360_71f05ed556.jpg?v=0

Roger Hicks
02-12-2009, 03:18
Turtle: Couldn't agree more about 'magic' results from cameras you don't find easy to use. If a camera gets between me and a picture -- I need another camera. Point also taken about 'magic' for different styles: I'm not much into soft-focus reportage, for example. I'm sure it can be done: it's just that I can't do it, at least reliably.

Jon: Again, a perfect summary of one style of 'magic'.

kshapero: Ah, yes, but B+W is magic much more often than colour. Getting magic out of colour is another matter...

Cheers,

R.

colker
02-12-2009, 03:34
my photoshop is magic...:angel:

historicist
02-12-2009, 16:30
The Summicron 50mm was the first lens I owned that have me the feeling that it was something more than just any old 50mm F2. Now my favourite lenses are probably the Planars on my Rolleiflexes, but the only lens I own that I would describe as magical is the Nikon 45mm AIP - somehow not perfect yet perfect at the same time:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/historicist/1827041455/sizes/o/http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2204/1827041455_09731fa890_o_d.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/historicist/1827041455/sizes/o/

Soeren
02-12-2009, 22:25
My "first lenskit" was a 24mm Sigma, my trusty 50mm AFD and a macro 105mm Sigma. For years I did everything with mostly the 24mm and the macro lens and the results were great. For some reason I got convinced the sigmas was mediocre and I sold them. Some how I have had a lot of trouble finding my own feet since. Maybe a 25mm Zeiss will help me do that :)
Kind regards

Hiding_Pup
02-16-2009, 16:15
I read somewhere that Stardivari crushed rubies to make the varnish for his violins and everyone thought it was hokum and put it down to some weird, alchemical eccentricity. Years later, new technologies discovered that the rubies added a certain, unique resonance after all.

So, maybe lens magic is lens properties we don't know how to measure?

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy :-)

Let me add the humble Vivitar 35mm f1.9 NAI to the list.

Turtle
02-16-2009, 19:37
I read somewhere that Stardivari crushed rubies to make the varnish for his violins and everyone thought it was hokum and put it down to some weird, alchemical eccentricity. Years later, new technologies discovered that the rubies added a certain, unique resonance after all.

So, maybe lens magic is lens properties we don't know how to measure?

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy :-)

Let me add the humble Vivitar 35mm f1.9 NAI to the list.

Presumably he used jewelers rouge (crushed gems)? If so, this is commonly used in many applications and is great stuff for polishing. I also presume the resonanance came from the way the material had been abraded by the rouge and the surface texture that was left, rather than some magical crystaline energy transferred from the crystals :D? If the former, science can explain it as you suggest.

That gives me an idea! I will sell 'energised' crystals which if dangled near a lens will 'energise and reconfigure the silicon structures within, imparting 'crysalline clarity and resonance' to images shot with treated lenses' :D

Roger Hicks
02-20-2009, 23:23
That gives me an idea! I will sell 'energised' crystals which if dangled near a lens will 'energise and reconfigure the silicon structures within, imparting 'crysalline clarity and resonance' to images shot with treated lenses' :D

The trouble is, people would buy 'em!

Great idea, though. Especially if the energized crystals come from inaccessible Afghan mountains -- next best thing to Tibet!

Cheers,

R.

Migracer
02-22-2009, 07:51
Roger,

I completely agree with you assessment.

Hiding_Pup
02-26-2009, 15:47
That gives me an idea! I will sell 'energised' crystals which if dangled near a lens will 'energise and reconfigure the silicon structures within, imparting 'crysalline clarity and resonance' to images shot with treated lenses' :D

What a foolish idea! Everyone knows that crystals only affect the sensor, not the lens. They lower the amount of ambient radiation around the sensor, thereby improving the signal to noise ratio. That's why you can get crystals for your cell phone:

http://www.emfblues.com/CellPhoneProtect.html

Bob Ross
03-24-2009, 19:04
This is a fascinating thread. Magic is is the explanation for when you get unexplainable results. Sometimes trying to explan it, erodes it and sometime it leads to deeper unexplained stuff. My approach here is to point out that while we see whith our eyes, our mind converts that raw data into a mental picture. I think each of us is wired differently (or have a different raw developer?)
I think the magic is found/felt when our lens/camera is in sync with our mind's eye and the photographic results closely match the mind's eye representation. That could be focal length, field of view, DOF and perspective. Each of us may have a favorite focal length/FOV and rendering, which probably compares favorably to our mind's eye. When it syncs, our creativity flows more freely and the photographic results seem (or are) magic.
For me that usually is found with short teles, which may be why I have so many in each format.:rolleyes:
Bob

Al Kaplan
03-24-2009, 19:19
Bob, I agree that each of us sees in a unique way, and until you discover what that is you might get really good at imitating the styles of others (not always a bad thing) but you won't find out what your style of photography can be. It's more than just angle of view. It covers choice of subject matter, composition, types of lighting you prefer, etc.

I've been an ultra-wide photographer since I bought a 19mm Canon back in 1968 and I prefer soft directional light from the side. I like working in close with my subjects and working with the so-called wide angle distortion rather than trying to avoid it. That overall theme has been pretty consistant over the years. That's my magic.

Bob Ross
03-26-2009, 08:58
Bob, I agree that each of us sees in a unique way, and until you discover what that is you might get really good at imitating the styles of others (not always a bad thing) but you won't find out what your style of photography can be. It's more than just angle of view. It covers choice of subject matter, composition, types of lighting you prefer, etc.

I've been an ultra-wide photographer since I bought a 19mm Canon back in 1968 and I prefer soft directional light from the side. I like working in close with my subjects and working with the so-called wide angle distortion rather than trying to avoid it. That overall theme has been pretty consistant over the years. That's my magic.

Hi Al,
Imitating the styles of others might invite the magic of coincidence. Since this is Roger's forum, my Roger-coinci-dink was from opening an issue of Shutterbug back in the 90s and seeing a picture indentical to one of mine. It was a shot from along the central California coast. He use a 35 Lux and I did it with a 35 Cron V4 on an M5. Even the light was similar. Those 35s do have a magic in them.
When I do extra-wide angle, I reach for an SLR, because I have to see the actual distortion that I am adding to the image, so I am not doing an automatic translation of an inner vision of the scene. Evidently my inner visual representaion isn't defaulting to wide angle:rolleyes: Wide angle also usually gives deep DOF and I think my inner visual representations may tend to isolate the elements of interest as a narower DOF would do. Our magic lens may also come with a corresponding magic f/stop. :) I also think that the kind of viewfinder may influence where the magic may occur.
Fun subject.
Bob

Roger Vadim
03-30-2009, 23:15
Zeiss Jena Sonnar 2/50 mm T* from around 1948 or so... don't know whats happening there... everything looks timeless with it. Wish to have a similar lens for my Nikon SLR, because its contax mount and my kiev has such a dim finder. but then, maybe thats part of the magic, you see more in the picture than what you've seen before.
Anybody knows a lens similar to those old sonnars in a more contemporary mount?
michael