Bokeh comparison between Sigma, Otus and Nikkor 58mm

Started Apr 19, 2014 | Discussions thread
David Whysong Contributing Member • Posts: 585
Re: Bokeh comparison between Sigma, Otus and Nikkor 58mm

TQGroup wrote:

To me, the concept of "lens sharpness" is totally subjective and totally dependent on the situation being shot and the desired result. It is quite different to a lens "potential sharpness".

If that's the case, I have no idea what you mean by sharpness. I have a background as a professional physicist and astronomer, so I usually think of the point-spread function. But MTF works as well. Those are not subjective.

Of course one must understand the conditions or limitations of any test; but that doesn't mean lab results don't have application to practical use.

David, I believe you may have a predisposition towards apparent "ultimate sharpness" and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. May I also say I can understand your position but I do not share it for most of my photography.

Perhaps I can pose you a challenge: what is more important to your photography; image "recording" or image "rendering"?

It has never been completely clear to me what people mean by "rendering." I usually interpret it as primarily bokeh related, but also including color and contrast. But I worry that one might confuse a property of the lens with elements in the scene being photographed.

That said, I think the answer is "both" because these concepts are not independent. Think of "rendering" as being layered on top of "recording."

I want both a sharp plane of focus, AND quality bokeh; hence my lens selection and wish-list.

Subtle color rendering differences are mostly lost on me (I'm not color-blind though). Contrast can be adjusted in-camera which makes it less significant as a lens quality.

For several years I used the 85mm f1.4D exclusively, and I only stopped down beyond f2.8 on rare occasions. I bought the 85mm 1.8G during the recent sale and while the sharpness is nice, I'm not completely sold on its rendering.

These days my main photographic subject is my family. For that, I want nice rendering and not documentary-style photos. Even if the depth of field is very small, I still want the eyes sharp and shining -- and I don't think that precludes nice rendering.


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