What is lens character?

Started Jun 6, 2013 | Discussions thread
lkv11
Regular MemberPosts: 370
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Re: What is lens character?
In reply to GaryR60, Jun 6, 2013

GaryR60 wrote:

lkv11 wrote:

I've done a search on all the forums, but I didn't see any topics about this. So what is lens character? Are we talking about everything together from colour reproduction, sharpness, bokeh, contrast, flare, etc.

I've heard this expression tossed about most frequently when someone is describing expensive lens like the Zeiss 24mm F1.8 for instance. I do not hear people mention lens character when describing a poor quality lens. So are expensive lens the only ones with character? Is it used by some reviewers to justify paying a higher price for such lenses?

Some other questions I have are:

1) Is having character a good thing?

2) If a lens has a certain character, it should be identifiable from the pictures it takes should it not? Therefore, can someone distinguish the pictures taken from that lens in a series of pictures taken from other lenses?

3) Is lens character consistent across it's entire focal range, or aperture range? Or is image quality differences (i.e. sharpness as an example) a characteristic of lens character?

4) What are desirable lens character?

I think I have some idea of what it is, however, like most abstract terms, it seems vague and hard to pin down to measureable qualities.

I've actually never heard anyone use this term with regard to lenses before. Are you sure you don't mean characteristics?

From one review I was recently reading, the Zeiss 24mm F1.8 lens was described as having a "very smooth classic character with good color and contrast."

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2011/10/23/the-sony-nex-7-digital-camera-review-by-steve-huff/

This statement made me curious as to what the reviewer really meant?

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