APO Lenses vs "Regular" Lenses?


Obscure member
Local time
3:17 AM
Aug 8, 2006
Its an interesting concept;).

Photographers have been debating photographic lenses since the 1850s as evidenced by articles and correspondence in the early photographic press. I use one or two current SOTA lenses but also lenses which date back as far as the 1860s. The 'real' test of their attributes is whether they deliver the images we require from them. Labels are all too often too poorly defined to make them as relevant as we might like. My undergraduate project involved a comparison of cascaded MTF data and actual prints from two different photographic systems. Despite one being from a highly prestigious maker, and having a somewhat higher final MTF curve, the print results were actually indistinguishable, even by image conscious viewers. Since then I have taken care to use decent equipment but rarely obsess over needing 'the latest and best'.

Is it published or can you send it to me? I’m interested.

One thing I like about good lenses is that they look the same until you use them for their best strengths. Most lenses, even modern ones, do poorly when you stress them. Many handle light directly onto the front element poorly. Film lenses weren’t designed to handle reflections from the light detecting surface; film is matte, but sensors are shiny. Film also has a little depth, and sensors do not, and aberrations always are worse away from the field; thus exaggerates aberrations where there is field curvature.

The f1 Noctilux doesn’t flare like this: the Beauty of LIGHT :Photos on film. That’s interesting.



Local time
9:47 AM
May 8, 2011
Is it published or can you send it to me? I’m interested.
I'm not sure that I have retained a copy as it was a long time ago!

But I think that you are right about the 'other' advances such as better flare suppression and minimisation of internal reflections, things that we tend to take for granted until they become intrusive. As ever it's in adverse conditions when modern lenses show just how good they are. I'm simply not convinced that ever more resolution is a goal which needs to be attained. Playing to individual lens strengths is always worthwhile and their weaknesses can be utilised very effectively too.
Last edited by a moderator: