Remeber, Sharpness is not everything !

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
Zvonimir Tosic
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'Sharpness is a bourgeois concept'. — HCB
In reply to leopold, 9 months ago

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Madamina, il catalogo è questo; Delle belle che amò il padron mio; un catalogo egli è che ho fatt'io; Osservate, leggete con me.

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kh1234567890
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Re: the "perfect" lens....
In reply to jimrpdx, 9 months ago

jimrpdx wrote:

My enjoyment of the DA50-200WR is a fine example of this. Love its color & consistently nice bokeh, but definitely not my sharpest weapon.

My favourite lens ! Sharpness isn't everything, but it does help

Full size on Flickr ...

Bali Dancer

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robbo d
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Re: Heie.....18-135
In reply to leopold, 9 months ago

A very good recent example if you didn't see it was Heie's use of the 18-135 on a Finland training camp in ice/snow with that lens only.

1. Travelling light. 2 W.R  3. Flare resistance......Great results for a much maligned lens amongst testers.

So much more about necessity, photo composition, technique, PP.

Nobody is going to look at your photo, if it's good and say, I won't pay money for that because it's not been shot on a Sigma Art series. Hence Lenses built by cameras companies like Pentax are engineered that way for a reason.

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Adam Aitken
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Re: Sharpness is not everything! But it sure doesn't hurt.
In reply to Russell Evans, 9 months ago

Russell Evans wrote:

Cigarguy wrote:

Russell Evans wrote:

Cigarguy wrote:

Therefore I learned to stop down between F5.6-F11 and to shoot with a tripod. As I grew older and was able to afford better lenses and better equipment this habit carried over.

Unfortunately a tripod is not welcomed in a lot of places. Then there is that most of what I want to capture are life events where setting up and taking down a tripod is simply not possible due to time constraints, or simply not done in order to not to be an inconvenience to the people I am with. It's not habit or lack of habit, it is that I'm not going out to shoot alone the majority of the time I'm shooting.

Sure I see your point but a super sharp lens will not take away from any of that.

Using a larger aperture will and having that larger aperture be as sharp as possible is where the meat of the argument is. SR helps of coarse. A sharp lens also means better AF as the AF system is just as dependent on the lens as the sensor output. If you want go a step further and get into the artistic ramifications, is it illogical to say it is easier to compose a photo when you can see the detail in the scene through the viewfinder clearer? Easier when the light isn't all that good? Where does having a sharper lens do harm?

Thank you
Russell

Russell, I was just thinking how the discussion would go, and you've hit on an important feature of a good modern DSLR - AF. I agree a good clear view of what you've focussed on is imperative, especially with longer telephotos. The sharper and faster the better. Bu it is disappointing owning the sharpest lens in the world if the camera back and front focuses or can't keep up with the action. Luckily, the K5s and the K3 are greatly improved in the AF department.

Adam A

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Adam Aitken
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Re: the "perfect" lens....
In reply to kh1234567890, 9 months ago

kh1234567890 wrote:

jimrpdx wrote:

My enjoyment of the DA50-200WR is a fine example of this. Love its color & consistently nice bokeh, but definitely not my sharpest weapon.

My favourite lens ! Sharpness isn't everything, but it does help

Full size on Flickr ...

Bali Dancer

Lovely shot, and yes, the eyes and the costume are captured so well!

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Adam Aitken
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Re: 'Sharpness is a bourgeois concept'. — HCB
In reply to Zvonimir Tosic, 9 months ago

Zvonimir Tosic wrote:

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Madamina, il catalogo è questo; Delle belle che amò il padron mio; un catalogo egli è che ho fatt'io; Osservate, leggete con me.

Hi Zvonimir I'm curious. What did HCB mean by that? And does it still apply today?

AdamA

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brecklundin
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I agree...
In reply to leopold, 9 months ago

leopold wrote:
Interesting story, i have some lenses that i really like. My DA14 is a lens that gets so so review for it's corners sharpness/distorsion/field curvature ... call it like you want, but i really like that lens for shooting at it's minimum focusing distance, it really shines there!

I've long had an eye on that lens myself.  And yes it really does get so-so reviews but I've yet to read a comment from anyone who owns and uses it who does not like it.  I seem to remember on issue is flare control but like your use, close in shots, I doubt flare is often an issue.

I had a lens with my Canon gear, a silly plastic-fantastic EFS55-250.  Originally I used it mostly when lugging around the Sigma 150-500 became a chore.  Soon enough that plastic jewel became one of my favorite lenses for anything other than product shooting.  It was sharp enough, had quite nice subject isolation and the newest (at the time) version of Canon's in-lens stabilization.  I only bought it because it was an inexpensive alternative to their great 70-200/4 but when out in good lighting it gave me almost every shot I wanted.  Just had to know when to put it back in the bag once light became too low.

Today all of the lenses in my gear list have times when I've learned to love them so that is when they get used.

The lens I miss most is one I've sold....TWICE...sigh...but the Sigma 24-60/2.8 for some reason is one of my all time favorite zooms.  I enjoyed it even more on my K20D than Canon gear.  I can envision pairing it with the pending 18-35/1.8 quite nicely.  I think I can get my old Pentax copy back as it's not being used at all but don't want to insult the owner as the price has gone down a bunch.

Right now, I torn about using zooms again...I like that my primes make me think more (see another often neglected factor for a lens...framing, especially in relation to how you are using the beastie...)

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brecklundin
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Oh, FUN that is one NIFTY lens...collapsible, who knew??
In reply to Les Lammers, 9 months ago

Les Lammers wrote:
I bought a used collapsable 50mm Summicron M about 40 years ago for $80 or so. That particular lens had a special rendering that was unique. I still think about it. Sharpness across the frame is a modern thing and way over rated.

Now that is one I never have seen...really cool looking too.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/leica/50mm-summicron-comparison-table.htm

It's the first one in the series it seems.  Have to wander around looking for shots taken with it.

I think more than a few of us user agree that sharpness is not the ultimate factor in a lens for many needs, it's still a factor none the less....but that depends on needs of the photographer.

It's part of the fun that we have lenses of all sort to satisfy each of us and how we want to play.  

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Leandros S
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Argumentationally
In reply to leopold, 9 months ago

leopold wrote:

Just wanted to talk about something that is now too much valued in lens testing and peoples priority when buying a new lens or comparing lenses.

Sure i like sharp lenses but when buying a lens sharpness is not the only thing i look at. The lens need to be sharp enough for my needs and taste. Bokeh, rendering, color rendition and flare are other aspects that i look in a lens. Vignetting, distorsion and CA are not as much of a problem now.

There is no point in owning "THE SHARPEST" lens if all the other charactheristics don't meet my needs or taste !!!

Not forgetting also as a side points ... size and weight.

I have photos taken with my kit lens on my Sony NEX-3 that were accepted by my Stock photo agency and they are quite severe, so when good technic is used and you know the limit of a lens then you can just concentrate on your composition.

That sounds a bit like arguing you can win a formula 1 race with an amphibious vehicle on the one occasion where there's a flash flood.

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Rod McD
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Re: 'Sharpness is a bourgeois concept'. — HCB
In reply to Zvonimir Tosic, 9 months ago

Interesting mix of an outcome of photographic systems with one of class ideology...... Exactly what did he mean? It sounds like BS to me. These days the bourgeois all use their mobile phone cameras and couldn't give a toss about photographic concepts.

I've never seen much positive attributed to HCB about landscape photography or landscape photographers so I'm not going to worry too much about what he had to say about sharpness. I'm happy to say it's not the be all and end all of every photograph, but it's certainly vitally important in many great photographs. (I'm not thinking of HCB's. I'm thinking of people like David Muench or Peter Dombrovskis and their inspirational (to me) large format wilderness photographs).

Regards,

Rod

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timo
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Re: Remeber, Sharpness is not everything !
In reply to leopold, 9 months ago

Lack of sharpness away from the edges is often just fine, as long as the effect is more or less symmetrical - i.e. provided the lens isn't decentred, which is often the issue with cheap zooms.

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