Lenses replaced by software? The end of legacy glass?

Started Jan 4, 2012 | Discussions
chris blaubac
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Lenses replaced by software? The end of legacy glass?
Jan 4, 2012

Just a thought: are we on the brink of an era where software replaces the lens? Already we have Alien Skin bokeh and Topaz lens effects. Is there any point in buying a fast lens anymore if a plugin can create the bokeh instead? Or an old lens for its glow? Any thoughts?

Ed Rizk
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Re: Lenses replaced by software? The end of legacy glass?
In reply to chris blaubac, Jan 4, 2012

Whatever software you use, the best picture going in will be the best picture coming out.
--
Ed Rizk

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RobertSigmund
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Re: Lenses replaced by software? The end of legacy glass?
In reply to Ed Rizk, Jan 4, 2012

Yes, namely that this Bokeh software is ... (censored).
No replacement for a nice fast lens.

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Forrest
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Go a step further: do we need cameras?
In reply to chris blaubac, Jan 4, 2012

chris blaubac wrote:

Just a thought: are we on the brink of an era where software replaces the lens? Already we have Alien Skin bokeh and Topaz lens effects. Is there any point in buying a fast lens anymore if a plugin can create the bokeh instead? Or an old lens for its glow? Any thoughts?

I think there are things that can be captured in the real world, but not, um, guessed at, in a computer. Like what a scene would have looked like at f/1.4 if you shoot it at f/64, but use the same exposure time and shutter speed for both. If we take this idea to the extreme, people might not even need cameras anymore because we have very accurate maps these days.

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hotdog321
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Re: Lenses replaced by software? The end of legacy glass?
In reply to chris blaubac, Jan 4, 2012

I buy fast lenses because I need them to shoot under low light conditions. In 30 years of professional photography, I have not once chosen a lens for bokeh.

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Vlad S
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Re: Lenses replaced by software? The end of legacy glass?
In reply to chris blaubac, Jan 5, 2012

chris blaubac wrote:

Just a thought: are we on the brink of an era where software replaces the lens? Already we have Alien Skin bokeh and Topaz lens effects. Is there any point in buying a fast lens anymore if a plugin can create the bokeh instead? Or an old lens for its glow?

It would be great if we could replace fast lenses with software. At this time software relies on tracing the object that must stay in focus. In some cases it's easier to do than in others, but at any rate it takes some time. If photography is your business, then this time costs you money, at your regular hourly rate, and at some point it'll become cheaper to pay extra for a fast lens, than keep spending extra time for post processing.

Vlad

Edit: I also would not particularly trust the taste of the person applying the effect. I very often see it done in unrealistic and excessive fashion. For example, this shot from Topaz website itself looks totally fake ( http://www.topazlabs.com/lenseffects/#1 ):

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