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Optics Theory - This forum is aimed towards the TECHNICAL side of photographic OPTICS THEORY. There will be some overlap by camera/manufacturer, but this forum is for the heavy duty tech discussions. This is NOT the place to discuss a specific lens or lens line, do that in the appropriate forum. This is the forum to discuss optics or lenses in general, to learn about the tech behind the lenses and images. IF you have a question about a specific lens, post it in the forum about that type of camera, NOT HERE.

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Old 06-18-2018   #41
icebear
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Yeah, well ... outdoor shooting comparision under changing light conditions (clouds). Very solid test.

QUOTE:
[The micro-contrast of the headland is higher on the 200ais image.
Don't see it? Don't care? Not the end of the world. Be Happy]

No, I don't see the headland and I don't care.
And I am happy with the results of my 2/75 asph.
And I don't even know how many elements it has.
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Old 06-18-2018   #42
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Originally Posted by NickTrop View Post
However, the ITV for the Nikon remains 100% with zero loss of information and a 0% ILV. ....If detail information isn't lost -- this lens is off the charts in terms of sharpness, then what information -- 18% of it, IS being lost?
There is no way that Nikon lens is passing 100% of light through it. If you can see that there is glass in the lens (which you can) that is only possible because some of the light hitting the lens is being reflected off the glass. Any light reflected is light not passing through it and therefor it does not have 100% transmission.

A loss of light transmission is loss of brightness. Same as a ND filter, same as stopping down. Depending upon the lens it might also reduce contrast somewhat.

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Old 06-18-2018   #43
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While on the subject of ND fliters. What if I put an 1/3 stop ND filter on the front of lens as normal? 1/3 less light is gathered but I can compensate for that by increasing esposure time or adjusting aperture setting.

But what if one of the internal elements or the rear element was a 1/3 stop ND filter? Is that the same thing?

No! It isn't! Because...

If a 1/3 less light enters the front element than 100% of that 1/3 less light should pass through the rest of the elements in the chain at a consistent value (at least theoretically) and reach the sensor. BUT if I had a fixed 1/3 stop ND filter as a fixed INTERNAL element or REAR element -- it's not the same thing. I can't compensate because it introduces a disparity between the light entering the front element and hitting the sensor. Where this light loss occurs in the chain matters.

And that's what high element glass does. It acts as if your lens had an internal ND filter as one of the elements in the chain you can't compensate for.
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Old 06-18-2018   #44
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Originally Posted by shawn View Post
There is no way that Nikon lens is passing 100% of light through it. If you can see that there is glass in the lens (which you can) that is only possible because some of the light hitting the lens is being reflected off the glass. Any light reflected is light not passing through it and therefor it does not have 100% transmission.

A loss of light transmission is loss of brightness. Same as a ND filter, same as stopping down. Depending upon the lens it might also reduce contrast somewhat.

Shawn
What can I tell ya? I'm surprised by this too -- and wouldn't be shocked if it was an error. Go to DXOmark and see for yourself. The values I posted were a cut-n-paste from their site.
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Old 06-18-2018   #45
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Originally Posted by NickTrop View Post
What can I tell ya? I'm surprised by this too -- and wouldn't be shocked if it was an error. Go to DXOmark and see for yourself. The values I posted were a cut-n-paste from their site.
I understand. But it isn't correct. Either the lenses actual aperture is slightly bigger than specified or there is some other error. Nobody has 100% transmission glass and certainly not in a camera lens that cost a few hundred dollars new.

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Old 06-18-2018   #46
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Originally Posted by NickTrop View Post
While on the subject of ND fliters. What if I put an 1/3 stop ND filter on the front of lens as normal? 1/3 less light is gathered but I can compensate for that by increasing esposure time or adjusting aperture setting.

But what if one of the internal elements or the rear element was a 1/3 stop ND filter? Is that the same thing?

No! It isn't! Because...

If a 1/3 less light enters the front element than 100% of that 1/3 less light should pass through the rest of the elements in the chain at a consistent value (at least theoretically) and reach the sensor. BUT if I had a fixed 1/3 stop ND filter as a fixed INTERNAL element or REAR element -- it's not the same thing. I can't compensate because it introduces a disparity between the light entering the front element and hitting the sensor. Where this light loss occurs in the chain matters.
That isn't correct. Of course you can compensate for a filter added in the middle of a lens. There are lenses that have this. I have a Nikon that does this.

No different then your aperture. It is in the middle of the optic group in your lens. *Any* camera with TTL metering already compensates for this.


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Old 06-18-2018   #47
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Originally Posted by NickTrop View Post
Couple things. Firstly, where did I say "types of information"? I effectively agreed with your characterization of "type of information" and we also agreed that light is a medium. What I am saying as that the informaiton being carried by the light is possibly being lost in high element count lenses where the aperture value is greater by than the t-stop value (such as the Sigma Art), and the additive effect of the loss of "this information" (not "new type of information") COULD BE causing a loss of perceived dimensionality in the image. Secondly, I never said that what I floated was "fact", I suggested it as a "possibility" and was careful with my word choice and reiterated this as "possiblity" on several subsequent posts. Therefore, no "tin foil hat" as nothing was stated as irrefutable fact. "UFOs HAVE landed" -- tin foul hat. "There is ample evidence, seems to me, to leave open the possibility of UFO visitation" -- no tin foil hat. And thanks for the unnecessary line about critical thinking skills. Not necessary, mind you, but the it's always nice to reinforce them.

And, really, what fun would the internet and blogs like this be without its malaperts?
Okay. You said that “tonality” was a type of information carried by light, that was somehow lost when the transmission and f-stop were different. It’s not even a possibility, it’s flat out 100% incorrect.
Your thesis is that when the transmission of a lens is reduced the optical properties drop - we lose tonality. Again, there is not even the slightest chance that this might be even the tiniest bit of a possibility. If your thesis is correct, then every lens shot wide open would have higher contrast and better tonality than the same lens at f/5.6. We know this is totally untrue from MTF curves (which measure contrast and resolution, and therefore tonality), and from experience.
In short, your possibility is not even that, it is merely a rambling presented as a possible truth.
As to your last sentence, spreading misinformation like it is true only serves to dumb down the population. Without it the internet might actually be useful.

The only things you presented that are of value are;
1) Lenses with fewer elements are pleasing to you and many others
2) Modern highly corrected lenses are less pleasing
3) In some modern highly corrected lens the T-stop and F-stop are not the same value. (I would love to see the T-stop of some of the uncoated lenses with 3-4 lenses - I bet that they’re nowhere near the F-stop).

Like I said in my previous post, correlation does not imply causation. But, it would be interesting to explore the points I summarized above in a more scientific or logical way.
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Old 06-18-2018   #48
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Originally Posted by shawn View Post
I understand. But it isn't correct. Either the lenses actual aperture is slightly bigger than specified or there is some other error. Nobody has 100% transmission glass and certainly not in a camera lens that cost a few hundred dollars new.

Shawn
It may be correct, actually. The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G has a 1.5 transmission value, also very high. It could also be a case of rounding on the part of DXO.
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Old 06-18-2018   #49
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Old 06-18-2018   #50
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Originally Posted by NickTrop View Post
It may be correct, actually. The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G has a 1.5 transmission value, also very high. It could also be a case of rounding on the part of DXO.
You can see the glass in the lens. It is reflecting some light. If some of the light is reflecting off the glass you do not have 100% transmission.

BTW, when tested for green channel the Nikon 50mm 1.4d tested at about 91% light transmission.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/33785655


It also tested to have a fairly significant color cast in that the lens transmits different frequencies of light by differing amounts.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/34091681

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Old 06-18-2018   #51
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Old 06-19-2018   #52
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On reflection after more consideration, I think that much of the preference that some people (myself included) have for more simple lenses comes down to the fact that these lenses have a lot more in the way of uncorrected aberrations (spherical aberration especially) which render in an interesting manner by comparison with the cold clinical perfection of modern lenses which are highly corrected.

In fact I quite often add faults into my pictures in post. This includes blur, "glow" vignetting and even some distortion etc. And I do it because the images needed to be less technically good to render in the manner I want. Fake it till you make it!
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Old 06-19-2018   #53
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Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
On reflection after more consideration, I think that much of the preference that some people (myself included) have for more simple lenses comes down to the fact that these lenses have a lot more in the way of uncorrected aberrations (spherical aberration especially) which render in an interesting manner by comparison with the cold clinical perfection of modern lenses which are highly corrected.

In fact I quite often add faults into my pictures in post. This includes blur, "glow" vignetting and even some distortion etc. And I do it because the images needed to be less technically good to render in the manner I want. Fake it till you make it!
This is exactly correct Peter (and has nothing to do with T-stops), however and unfortunately, these traits are harder to measure. And sales and marketing love metrics.
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Old 06-19-2018   #54
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That isn't correct.
I don't see how you can argue this. If thinking of a lens as an input-output device that processes light... if I put an ND filter on the front element, the reduction in light occurs before the light is processed and output. If an ND filtered is included as an internal element, it occurs during -- is a part of-- the process. Not the same thing. Addiing an ND filter is no different than walking into a different room with less light. Many elements within a lens take the light from the room and reduces it as part of the process -- always. Because it's part of the I/O device.

Before the front element it IS the input and ideally should go through the process and exit as output unaltered. Within the process device (lens) light entering the front element is altered during the proces and what exits the process is altered from when it was input.

Different.
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Old 06-19-2018   #55
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Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
For one reason or other we all have our favorite lens; in my case it is the final product: the print. The 'pop' factor is something I like, and I care less about crazy edge to edge sharpness. I even like this lens: a Brownie Hawkeye Flash lens mounted on my 6x7:


Ektar 100 by John Carter, on Flickr

Not much 'pop' but some.
Oh -- this totally has "pop". Biggest pop factor is film plane size, actually. In small format, you have to squeeze pop out of them. This is why I have (and forever shall) pitched all my other gear and only shoot full frame. APS-C and smaller, forget it. Zero pop. Might as well shoot with your cell phone, especially if you're not making prints.

Recently I attended a funeral service. In the collage of the departed in the vestibule right in the center was a 6X6 color I took of the departed in a group shot. Stood out. Had pop. That's the medium format advantage.

Pics that pop. If I was to shoot film again, medium format only.
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Old 06-19-2018   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickTrop View Post
I don't see how you can argue this. If thinking of a lens as an input-output device that processes light... if I put an ND filter on the front element, the reduction in light occurs before the light is processed and output. If an ND filtered is included as an internal element, it occurs during -- is a part of-- the process. Not the same thing. Addiing an ND filter is no different than walking into a different room with less light. Many elements within a lens take the light from the room and reduces it as part of the process -- always. Because it's part of the I/O device.

Before the front element it IS the input and ideally should go through the process and exit as output unaltered. Within the process device (lens) light entering the front element is altered during the proces and what exits the process is altered from when it was input.

Different.
The problem with your reasoning is that light isn’t altered by the lens. If ten identical horizontally polarised photons with a wavelength of 532nm enter the lens and we have 80% transmission then 8 identical horizontally polarised photons with a wavelength of 532nm will exit the lens. The ONLY alteration that occurs is that they change direction. If we put a one stop ND filter in front of the lens then instead of getting 8 photons out we now get 4. They are still travelling in the same direction with the exact same properties as before we put the ND filter on. So we expose for 2x as long and we’re back to 8 photons.

No offence intended, but I don’t think you know enough about the topic, and a better topic to start might have been to ask questions to increase your understanding rather than propose a theory that highlights your lack of it. If you are happy to learn, then ask questions, we are happy to teach.
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Old 06-19-2018   #57
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Low "Micro Contrast" -> High "Micro Contrast"
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Old 06-19-2018   #58
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Shallow depth of field can certainly play a part on this. Lighting is a huge part too. Take two outdoor shots with the same lens. For the second shot use a fill flash to boost your subject 1/2 or a stop above the rest of the scene. There will be way more 3d pop in the second picture, even though the lens (DOF, focus point, perspective and so on) is the same.

Shawn
But the foreground / background separation that comes from having a subject lit brighter than the background isn't a feature of the lens in that case. That's just lighting.
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Old 06-19-2018   #59
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Oh -- this totally has "pop". Biggest pop factor is film plane size, actually. In small format, you have to squeeze pop out of them. This is why I have (and forever shall) pitched all my other gear and only shoot full frame. APS-C and smaller, forget it. Zero pop. Might as well shoot with your cell phone, especially if you're not making prints.

Recently I attended a funeral service. In the collage of the departed in the vestibule right in the center was a 6X6 color I took of the departed in a group shot. Stood out. Had pop. That's the medium format advantage.

Pics that pop. If I was to shoot film again, medium format only.
I think the photo you're referring to is just blurry on the left and right quarters of the image due to field curvature. Only the center is in focus. I don't see much if any separation between near and far portions of the scene.

The thing you notice about medium format having more pop, well that's all dependent on the focal length of the lens. A normal lens on full frame, that's 45-50mm, on 6x6, it's 80mm. Longer focal lengths have a shallower depth of field. It's as simple as that.
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Old 06-19-2018   #60
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There is no way that Nikon lens is passing 100% of light through it. If you can see that there is glass in the lens (which you can) that is only possible because some of the light hitting the lens is being reflected off the glass. Any light reflected is light not passing through it and therefor it does not have 100% transmission.

A loss of light transmission is loss of brightness. Same as a ND filter, same as stopping down. Depending upon the lens it might also reduce contrast somewhat.

Shawn
I agree. 100% light transmission would be impossible. Just the fact you can see the glass with your eyes indicates that some light is being reflected.

I don't think OP has any idea about the history of lenses. So to hinge their argument on the light transmission of modern lenses somehow being worse than older lenses with a much smaller number of elements misses the point entirely. They have it entirely backwards.
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Old 06-19-2018   #61
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Low "Micro Contrast" -> High "Micro Contrast"

Problem solved! Just use the pop-slider.

Seriously though, OP, try to find out if what you mean is micro contrast or not. You mention it along with 3D-pop and multidemensionality which aren't easily discussed because not all of us perceive these things the same way. If it's all down to micro contrast, we know what we're discussing (although its existence has been denied by some folks here...). Then the question if lenses with many elements have less of it still stands. I suspect that there is a correlation with number of glass-air interfaces and maybe the amount of glass per se, but it's probably obscured and overridden by a much stronger relationship with the advance of coatings, lens design and manufacturing precision.
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Old 06-19-2018   #62
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How do you get 'pop' that is the question. But I don't care how, I just like it. I'll continue to use my 'poppers' and be happy that I have them.

This isn't to say that this hasn't been an interesting and informative thread. At least now I have some idea why I like these lenses. Thank you NickTrop.
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Old 06-19-2018   #63
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The human eye's lens is a biconvex singlet with pretty much every optical fault known to physics in short very far from perfect. I believe the preference for lenses with some degree of optical faults stems from the fact that lenses with "defects" seems to be closer to how we perceive the world. The brain does a lot of correction work but it inherently knows about the eyes faults.
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Old 06-19-2018   #64
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The human eye's lens is a biconvex singlet with pretty much every optical fault known to physics in short very far from perfect. I believe the preference for lenses with some degree of optical faults stems from the fact that lenses with "defects" seems to be closer to how we perceive the world. The brain does a lot of correction work but it inherently knows about the eyes faults.
I suspect this is close to the truth. I find today’s modern designed lenses to be too good. They seem to portray a “hyper reality”. Now, that may be how the world really looks, but my eyes don’t see it that way. My preference is for the simpler and less corrected lens designs. They render an image that just looks more “natural” to me.
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Old 06-19-2018   #65
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I suspect this is close to the truth. I find today’s modern designed lenses to be too good. They seem to portray a “hyper reality”. Now, that may be how the world really looks, but my eyes don’t see it that way. My preference is for the simpler and less corrected lens designs. They render an image that just looks more “natural” to me.

You guys realize that we still use those same eyes to look at photographs?

I understand the desire for a photograph to look less real. But the theorizing going on in this thread cracks me up.
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Old 06-19-2018   #66
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But the foreground / background separation that comes from having a subject lit brighter than the background isn't a feature of the lens in that case. That's just lighting.
Yes, lighting plays a big part in 3d pop in an image. Look at the examples in this thread. First one... bushes in bright sun, immediate background in shade. Motorcycle in bright sun, immediate background in shade. Tree rated as only a little pop... similar lighting throughout.

You can also get pop from big differences in color between subject and background.

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Old 06-19-2018   #67
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Yes, lighting plays a big part in 3d pop in an image. Look at the examples in this thread. First one... bushes in bright sun, immediate background in shade. Motorcycle in bright sun, immediate background in shade. Tree rated as only a little pop... similar lighting throughout.

You can also get pop from big differences in color between subject and background.

Shawn
Sure, in painting you learn that colors on opposite sides of the color wheel have greater contrast than those adjacent.

I'd much rather see someone make good use of color and lighting to define the subject. It works well on any format and with any lens.
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Old 06-19-2018   #68
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As an interesting aside this thread kind of reminds me that there has been an ongoing debate about photography (of the is it art or does it just represent reality with absolute verisimilitude kind) since it began. There are those who prefer an artistic interpretation and there are those who demand that photography just "tell the truth". Seems our current crop of lens designers are of the latter kind......
One of my heros of photography is Frank Hurley, an Australian photographer and adventurer who both traveled to the south pole (or tried to) and photographed the Western Front in WW1. In the latter capacity he often got into trouble for his more artistic style and rendering, even on occasions making photographic montages to "capture the deeper truth" about war on the western front. This latter action really got him into strife with the historians who hated the idea. But the public loved it as it did convey the war with a cinematic quality that none of the other hack photographers (you can pick a Hurley photo a mile way when you know his style) could even approach. (As might be expected Hurley later went into movie making). There is no doubt that at times his images were both artistic and even had a rugged beauty. While this is s sideline to this thread it does as I say remind me that there has been an ongoing debate about what photos should be and do - well for as long as photography has been around.







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Old 06-19-2018   #69
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to the OP; what you are looking for and at with regards as to your idea of 'pop' is under corrected spherical aberrations. Yes I totally agree medium format would be your best option in film for this look. I would suggest looking for budget to mid-level TLR and folders around the mid 1950's.
To everyone else still reading I remind that the OP (strongly) favorite lens in the 50mm range is the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-D So the OP taste in lenses is either not very broad or that he prefers a look that most do not. Not a Pentax Takumar 50mm f/1.4, Leica Summicron DR or even a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 S. Nope. He *prefers* the AF-D, widely regarded as 'not one of the best Nikkor 50's' and thats being kind.
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Old 06-19-2018   #70
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It's just theorizing, no one is going to be bloodied.
This thread has been the best thing going for some time, I have learned a lot that may or may not be true.

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I understand the desire for a photograph to look less real. But the theorizing going on in this thread cracks me up.
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Old 06-19-2018   #71
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Are there ingredients, I’ll mention just one here, that are in front of the lens that should be considered? I mean does flat lighting versus controlled lighting that the photographer plans out have anything to do with the images a lens makes?
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Old 06-19-2018   #72
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I have learned a lot that may or may not be true.
Hahahahaha!
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Old 06-19-2018   #73
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Quote:
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You guys realize that we still use those same eyes to look at photographs?

I understand the desire for a photograph to look less real. But the theorizing going on in this thread cracks me up.
You can't compare reality with a 2-dimensional representation of reality, they are two completely different things, the brain knows the difference.
And the wish -at least mine- is to reproduce the things I/we saw and felt.
Seeing is only partially done with the eyes the brain, and other senses play a big role too.
For a time they promoted HD with the catch-phrase sharper than reality, which is impossible, but also correct it is sharper than we humans can see. HDR on modern TV looks often disgusting because it is a heightened reality, same applies to overly sharp lenses IMO.
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Old 06-19-2018   #74
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Here, an intensive YouTube video where a cinematographer during a shoot does a thorough comparison between a few modern Leica C (cinema) lenses and vintage Cooke cinema glass. Things don't bode well for the Leica in a side-by-side comparison, the author claiming the Leica is "good for shooting sheet metal". What was that quote by HBC? Something about it being a "bourgeois concept"?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5febma4_OE
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Old 06-20-2018   #75
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The Cooke S4 is very far from vintage they were introduced in the mid-to late nineties and still are some of the most widely used cine lenses in existence. If you want the real old time Cooke look you have to go with the S2/S3 they have a really beautiful organic look which isn't really suitable for a lot of movies but work wonders when it comes to beauty commercials or if you want the actress to look good. The S4 isn't as clinical sharp as a modern Zeiss lens, the Leica is somewhat in between. But the S4 are damn sharp especially compared to real vintage lenses and would put 99% of all still lenses to shame.
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Old 06-20-2018   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DominikDUK View Post
For a time they promoted HD with the catch-phrase sharper than reality, which is impossible, but also correct it is sharper than we humans can see. HDR on modern TV looks often disgusting because it is a heightened reality, same applies to overly sharp lenses IMO.
New TVs and modern lenses just have too much clarity, like someone who just noticed the clarity slider in Lightroom. Step back!
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Old 06-20-2018   #77
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Originally Posted by NickTrop View Post
Here, an intensive YouTube video where a cinematographer during a shoot does a thorough comparison between a few modern Leica C (cinema) lenses and vintage Cooke cinema glass. Things don't bode well for the Leica in a side-by-side comparison, the author claiming the Leica is "good for shooting sheet metal". What was that quote by HBC? Something about it being a "bourgeois concept"?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5febma4_OE

Well that was interesting. I'll admit they look more different than I would have thought, and the Cooke lenses do produce a look that screams "Hollywood". I see differences mainly in contrast and color rendition. Direct comparisons are flawed though. Between the 21s, the actor and thus focus is at different distances, anyway nothing seems exceptional there to me. The 100, the lighting on the lady's face is very different. Now the output from the 75 Cooke does look exceptionally 3-dimensional to me. In the comparison shots with the Leica lens however, you'll notice that the DOF is less so the hair is OOF, while in the Cooke 75 shots it's in focus. That has been described many times as a fundamental point for the so-called 3D pop by thin DOF: The entire foreground subject must be in focus.

What do you see?
are these cookies lenses with few elements?
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Old 06-20-2018   #78
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The Cooke S4 are not low element count lenses and also have some aspherical Elements. The difference in the video seems to be the result of higher field curvature of the Cookes as opposed to little field curvature with the Leicas. Higher field curvatures creates a stronger illusion of Depth. The color is mostly the result of grading the Leica also seems to be a bit overexposed. It is a T 1.4 lens whereas the Cooke is a T 2 lens. He could have done the test at T2 and the results might have looked a bit different.
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Old 06-20-2018   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noserider View Post
To everyone else still reading I remind that the OP (strongly) favorite lens in the 50mm range is the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-D So the OP taste in lenses is either not very broad or that he prefers a look that most do not. Not a Pentax Takumar 50mm f/1.4, Leica Summicron DR or even a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 S. Nope. He *prefers* the AF-D, widely regarded as 'not one of the best Nikkor 50's' and thats being kind.
But it fits*!

It fits his idea that higher transmission levels and high microcontrast equal "3d pop".

* Well, in reality it doesn't fit, because the transmission level number he picked up from some web site is just an error and the notion that 50/1.4 af-d is a lens with high microcontrast (compared to modern hi resolution lenses) is equally wrong.
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Old 06-20-2018   #80
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Astigmatism, field curvature... Ah... Sigh. No one listens to me... ��
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