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Author Topic: Computer designed lenses have ruined photography  (Read 9116 times)  bookmark this topic!
george
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Posts: 34


Computer designed lenses have ruined photography
« on: December 24, 2009, 05:06:12 AM »

Season's greetings .

I just received the 14mmUSML2,8 lens.
First impression :    Perfect
Second impression  : No surprises.

In the "past" , lenses had a personality. Leica-Zeiss-Switar-Kilar-etc.
Those  human mind calculated hand crafted babies, had some special  nuance  to offer.
Every lens had to boast a character.
Corrections depend on many parameters and correcting distortion you lose on color contrast etc.
The different lenses had different priorities as far as their design was concerned
From a shot, you could possibly recognize the lens.



Today's lenses are designed by the computer.
The result is a brave new world of (very good) clones of lenses that are so terribly predictable.
As I mentioned before, the magic of the old lenses where perfection was relative, has come to an end.
Who can match the magic of summicron lenses ?
Tessar ?

Pity....pity !

And what about silver grain compared to pixels.

And where are the Ilford matt papers.....

Pity....

(transistors vice valves ?)
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 10:34:56 AM by george » Logged
bmpress
Senior Member
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Posts: 129


Re: Computer designed lenses have ruined pgotography
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2009, 06:05:32 AM »

Surely you are joking.
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george
Junior Member
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Posts: 34


Re: Computer designed lenses have ruined pgotography
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2009, 06:45:08 AM »

Surely you are joking.

Not really.
Have you tried an Alpa with the 50mm Macroswswiitar ?
Leica Nocti-Summilux ? Macrokillar ? Elmarit 90mm2,8, Summicron 90mm2.0 ?
On Ilforf FP3 ...
Not to mention Noctilux........

I hope there are more who share my opinion .
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klindup
Senior Member
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Posts: 143


Re: Computer designed lenses have ruined pgotography
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2009, 06:57:32 AM »

Whilst I would not say that computer designed lenses had ruined photography, I do agree that grains of silver produce better black and white than pixels.  That said I use my Canon 40D as my main camera.  However there are times when I like to get out with my 2.8 Rolleiflex, Mecablitz Flashgun and Gossen Lightmeter and I do the calculation for fill in flash exposure (including calculating the distance that the flashgun should be from the subject).  I even have a few PF5B flashbulbs left.

Would I want to go back to the old  ways?  No way, but I still have a Leica M3 on my wish list.

Ken Lindup
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george
Junior Member
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Posts: 34


Re: Computer designed lenses have ruined photography
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2009, 10:53:20 AM »

Right Ken

There's no way back to the "silver" era.
But a Rollei 2.8 will always be a masterpiece.

I have a trunkload of M3's, a dozen M lenses including the S.Angulon , Visoflex with Tellyt lenses and some Leicaflexes , some R cameras and a dozen of R lenses.
I use adapters to convert M to R and use R with Canon.
The focusing is messy ....EOS have no split-image viewfinders.
 And dust on the ccd is such a drag.
One has to think twice before changing a lens !

No way back though...

G.
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Bob Atkins
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Posts: 1198


Re: Computer designed lenses have ruined photography
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2009, 11:27:35 AM »

Well, yes, there is a way back. All those old cameras and lenses are still available on the used market and you can still buy film so there's nothing stopping anyone who thinks that "things were better then" from shooting with whatever gear of whatever vintage they prefer. There's no compulsion to use modern digital cameras and computer designed lenses. In fact it's a lot cheaper to stick with the old stuff! Some of the older gear is practically being given away these days.

I'm sure that older cameras and lenses have peronalities just like a 1960s Buick has a personality - but I wouldn't want to have to depend on one for my daily transport.
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marcfs
Full Member
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Posts: 90


Re: Computer designed lenses have ruined photography
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2009, 01:59:10 PM »

There are always a tradeoffs between traditional and new technology, IQ, price, and ease of use.

I wonder how output from new technology compares with output from traditional technology under controlled testing. 

I was blown away when I was at a Clyde Butcher gallery show and saw the incredible black and white work he produces using a combination of current and traditional technology.

And by the way, don’t forget price.  The price of entry level equipment is within reach of virtually everyone.  New Leica lenses seem to be between $2,000 and $3,000.

Cast my vote for technology!

Marc
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srm
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Posts: 4


Re: Computer designed lenses have ruined photography
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2009, 03:03:01 AM »

In fact it's a lot cheaper to stick with the old stuff! Some of the older gear is practically being given away these days.

That's only true when you consider the initial outlay, the running costs of digital are far lower.
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george
Junior Member
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Posts: 34


Re: Computer designed lenses have ruined photography
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2009, 12:59:22 PM »

The running costs of digital photography are far lower, you are right.
But one tends to shoot 10-15 digital pictures to the one with film
You need external drives, you need software you need so much more time to sort out and optimize the shots.And you only have shots that you view on the screen.
The real picture is a 30X40cm print.

But you may say that all this is part of the hobby and I will agree with you...

My point is that the new lenses miss the human decision (or even error) and have a very uniform and predictable (yes, high quality) image that is optimized for pages of National Geographic Magazine.

Perhaps I'm just being too romantic......

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george
Junior Member
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Posts: 34


Re: Computer designed lenses have ruined photography
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2009, 01:30:40 AM »

I notice that most members are passive readers.
Take this article... Over 100 people have read it and less than 1/10 have responded.
Do not expect Bob to do everything.
He sure does a brilliant job  but the forum would get so much more power if more people would dare to share....

Become involved members !
(you can do it !)
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Bob Atkins
Administrator
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Posts: 1198


Re: Computer designed lenses have ruined photography
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2009, 10:29:16 AM »

If you really want something "different" in terms of lenses and you are bored with the "perfection" of modern lens designs (though some would argue that we are still far from perfect), then you can always shift over to the other end of the spectrum and take a look at the LensBaby lenses! They are anything but computer optimized...

http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/reviews/lensbaby_composer_and_optics_kit.html

They are certainly not everyone's "cup of tea", but they do have a small but dedicated following.
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george
Junior Member
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Posts: 34


Re: Computer designed lenses have ruined photography
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2009, 11:02:02 AM »

Very interesting !
Very creative.
Very tempting !

Thank you once again Bob.

George
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george
Junior Member
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Posts: 34


Re: Computer designed lenses have ruined photography
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2010, 03:54:53 AM »

I shot this photo many years ago ,
Leica M3, Summilux 50mm, on Ilford HP3 which I developed on a strong alkaline developer thus pushing the sensitivity of the film to for the time, incredible heights....

The negative is scanned with an Epson 1660  scanner and treated with noise reduction software to reduce the grain.

There's nothing really perfect about it, but the mood cannot be captured with my present gear....

http://www.flickr.com/photos/45552751@N03/4236896236/







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klindup
Senior Member
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Posts: 143


Re: Computer designed lenses have ruined photography
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2010, 04:56:12 AM »

I agree with George, the shot has a certain something that comes with film and silver.  I have tried to take black and white landscape pictures with my EOS that come somewhere to the results I obtained with Kodak's  TriX and just an orange filter on the lens.  On the downside I also remember the nightmare of watermarks on the negatives and dust when using 6x6 negatives.  I do not think it is just nostalgia, I am convinced that when it comes to black and white, digital cannot produce the same results.  It may be something to do with the different printing processes (ink v silver) or it may be just because I have not learned enough about how to use my 40D to best advantage.  What say you Bob, can you get black and white results from digital cameras that equal the best of silver?

Ken
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george
Junior Member
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Posts: 34


Re: Computer designed lenses have ruined photography
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2010, 06:41:03 AM »


Hi Ken,

I would like to post a detail if the previous picture.
Here it is :

http://www.flickr.com/photos/45552751@N03/4237183542/


There is nothing you can do wrong if you shoot raw-color and convert with any software, like Pshop, where you can apply color filters for more dramatic BW.

Cheers,

George

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