Why do some lenses have better color?

Started Nov 22, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Matty W
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Why do some lenses have better color?
Nov 22, 2012

I recently got a 24mm f1.4 Rokinon (which is very sharp, better than expected), but its colors are bit muddy. I know of professional shooters who will not use Rokinon/Samyang lenses because of their bad color. Some speak of lenses being more saturated than others. Maybe this one is desaturated a bit, but I don't have the eye to tell.

I always assumed it was due to chromatic aberrations, specifically LoCAs (see how well true apochromatic lenses render out of focus areas and even in focus areas), but those who are knowledgeable about photography informed me that it's due to coating. That's why, specifically, Canon L lenses have better colors than their non-L and off-brand counterparts. And my 70-200mm f2.8 L does have nice color rendering.

Are L lenses also more likely to be apochromatic or is it just the coating? If it's the coating, why don't more manufacturers use better coatings and why doesn't Canon coat more lenses this way? I know Zeiss has a great coating with great color, but it's too bad that this alone is holding my Rokinon back. Or is it even more complicated than just this? I bet chromatic aberration factors in, but I have an L zoom with CA and good color (17-40mm). Maybe it's different kinds of CA?

Thanks everyone! I'm stumped.

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