Single coated vs. multicoated vs modern multicoated lenses

Started Jun 15, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Pangloss Senior Member • Posts: 2,298
Single coated vs. multicoated vs modern multicoated lenses

Hi everybody,

I have been trying various lenses and filters on my V1 and one pattern is becoming apparent as my shutter count increases:

- Old single coated lenses result in generally darker images with less overall contrast and slightly muted colors. And you really don't want to use them at their widest aperture, except for very specific purposes, for example to give a certain "old-style look" to your photographs.

- Not so old, multicoated lenses exhibit the same symptoms but to a much lesser degree, except at their widest aperture. At their widest aperture they are not as bad as single-coated lenses, but not as good as they are stopped down just one f-stop. In many cases I suppose it's better to increase ISO by one f-stop rather than using these lenses at their max aperture.

- Modern multi-coated lenses such as the 18.5mm f/1.8 can be used wide-open without any problems, and they have a distinct "clarity" that catches every nuance of light and even the smallest variations in tonality, with great overall contrast.

- The cheap Chinese CCTV lens that I have is much worse than the very old Industar 61 Ukrainian lens, and both are much, much worse than my oldest, least-expensive Nikon lens, the E-series 50mm f/1.8.

- Finally, most of these issues can be worked out in postprocessing, or if you are converting to b&w they are not so relevant and can mostly be ignored. But I am starting to think that for color work and if one wants the best possible out-of-camera JPEGs, modern lenses are the ticket.

- Filters introduce problems of their own and should be used carefully and selectively.

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 Pangloss's gear list:Pangloss's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Nikon D200 Ricoh GXR A12 50mm F2.5 Macro Ricoh GXR GR Lens A12 28mm F2.5 Nikon 1 V1 +4 more
Nikon 1 V1
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