Nikon 1.8g's vs Sigma 1.4 Art Series

Started Aug 16, 2014 | Discussions thread
anotherMike Veteran Member • Posts: 8,567
Re: Nikon 1.8g's vs Sigma 1.4 Art Series, the 3D-look and real photos

Heavy Edit to my original reply...

I think what each photographer photographs has a huge bearing on this topic. Personally, I prefer in a general sense to have lenses that are more faithful to the scene as opposed to dramatically imposing their own coloration upon the scene, or more likely, erring by subtraction (lack of sharpness, lack of microcontrast, lack of veiling flare control) as it give more data to work with in post. I don't see post processing as inherently evil; like printing was back in the "old days", it's a skill, and just like printing, there are people who are okay at it, some who are good at it, fewer who are really good at it, and a select few who are excellent at it. While I love digital and love the era I'm in now compared to film (I would never go back), I can see at the same time that this whole topic of  post work is the bane of digital and many (particularly older, more set-in-their-ways) photographers struggle and prefer film because the post work is built in. Todays digital shooter has to be solid on two grounds; the artistic and the technical, or hire someone to do the technical, which many do. Not for everyone. The problems with post processing are that too many go over - the tools have so much power. Just like music, dance and other arts, it's not the intense/fierce/strong stuff that is hard, but rather the maturity to know the gradations between subtle and extreme, and particularly the ability to do the subtle. Good post processing is understanding your output medium (work for print always appears slightly over-sharpened on screen as you have to compensate for dot gain and bleed, etc) and knowing what level or strength of manipulation works best, always keeping subtle in mind.

Now, with lenses, some characteristics can't be emulated in post; bokeh is certainly one of those aspects, and it's far better to have a lens that does bokeh correctly than try to fake it in post, and there one may have to accept tradeoffs in lens performance to get to that bokeh. But at the same time, if one is trying to "jump formats" (my term for a DSLR user trying to get larger format results), having a lens that is more faithful to the scene is a plus while a lens that suffers and has several subtractive attributes but rocks in bokeh will prevent them from getting there.

But in general, I just don't see the point of only going for "character" lenses that suffer in the basics of optic design (due to age of when they were designed) just because one dislikes the modern look of images, other than if your work is strongly bokeh oriented. Get better at post is my usual recommendation - it's an area every single one of us can always grow in, myself included.


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