Lenses with the micro contrast magic ?

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Marco Cinnirella
Marco Cinnirella Veteran Member • Posts: 6,479
Lenses with the micro contrast magic ?

So I have been following with some amusement debates floating around the blogosphere and on YouTube etc vis-a-vis whether micro-contrast exists, whether it's measurable, whether it is better with lenses that have fewer elements (and therefore usually older, simpler lenses) etc, etc. Every system seems to have it's share of supposed high micro-contrast 'magic' lenses that don't necessarily look amazing on MTF charts but deliver amazing '3D pop'. All very subjective I know, but rather than encourage a hot debate about this, I was just going to invite my colleagues here on this forum to put forward your a-mount candidates for 'magic' lenses with '3D pop' and micro-contrast that deliver amazing images that perhaps on paper they shouldn't necessarily do?

I'll start off - how about the venerable Minolta 80-200 HS G ? Might not be king on any MTF charts but delivers images wide open at f2.8 with incredible depth to them.

And how about the Sony Carl Zeiss 135mm f1.8 ? Not sure how complex the opitcal design is but it delivers images with a wow factor.

And in terms of third party optics, I love the micro contrast on my Sigma ART 35mm f1.4 on the a99ii. Note this is in direct contradiction to some of the recent blogs about micro contrast, where it's claimed none of the Sigma ART lenses possess 'the magic' !

Any other contenders? Could be third party, legacy Minolta/KM, manual focus, but let's keep it to native a-mount - sorry, no G Master e-mount lenses allowed

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"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence." Ansel Adams.

 Marco Cinnirella's gear list:Marco Cinnirella's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Sony Alpha a99 Fujifilm X-T1 Sony a99 II Fujifilm FinePix X100 +2 more
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