3D Pop Lenses - Are Older Better?

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
MediaArchivist Veteran Member • Posts: 4,322

I love when a topic goes off on a tangent, thus as long as we're already there...

lilBuddha wrote:

If you go to a harmonica forum, there will be people who swear the material the harmonica is made from makes a difference in the sound. The science, acoustics and the few objective tests that have been done, indicate otherwise.

I know quite a few guitar players that swear by particular strings, pickups, bridges, and tuning pegs. When faced with an emergency (e.g. a string breaks and they have to use a different brand) they play on but I can't hear a difference in the sound they are producing. But there is a difference, but I don't think it is something that can be measured. A a particular string has a "feel" when being played, and by that I mean literally the fingers' feel of the string as it is pressed against a fret and strummed or plucked. A musician gets used to that feel, and doesn't have to think about it. Give that same musician a different guitar, and they can still play it, and perhaps note by note produce the same sound as before. But because it feels different, they end up concentrating on things they normally don't. This affects their play, in terms of how aggressive they might attack a passage, or bar, or note. It adds fatigue, and (can) make the performance less pleasurable for the performer— despite the audience not hearing a difference.

Still, many players swear there is a difference. And there is. Because they know which material they are using and they think it should make a difference so it does.

Could there be an analogue to this with camera gear, and in particular lenses? Certainly AF does not directly affect IQ, but AF performance and nuance can influence the photographer and thus indirectly affect the finished product (or rather, which shots become the finished product).

Nothing will convince them that they themselves are the sum total of that difference.

Exactly! Two different harmonicas might "feel" different to play, thus it is the musician that is making the difference (assuming that a harmonica robot would make the harmonicas sound identical since a robot does not care about "lip feel"). I have found a number of my lenses have curved focal planes (sometimes mis-labeled as "soft corners"). I can get my subject nice and sharp on the edges using either these lenses or better corrected lenses with flat focal planes. It affects how I frame a shot and whether or not I am comfortable with certain angles. You would not notice a difference between shots taken with either lens, but for me there was a difference while taking the shot.

I think there is something to old vs new vis-a-vis lenses. Newer lenses tend (operative word: tend) to have flatter focal planes. This is often (operative word: often) achieved via aspherical elements, "exotic" elements, or simply more elements. IMHO these efforts are what lead to a lens being described as "clinical," in large part due to the bokeh not being nearly as nice. A good example of this would be the older Sigma 50/1.4 EX and the new(er) Sigma 50/1.4 Art. The older model is simpler; elements/groups are 8/6 vs 13/8, and there are no "special low dispersion" elements. The newer model excels at tests of flat things (really excels— Sigma nailed it). Yet... from all the samples I have seen, I'm keeping my old EX. Note: IMHO the 35/1.4 Art is both super sharp andhas much better bokeh than the 50. No, I can't prove it

3D pop is the same thing.

I've yet to read a consistent definition of "3D pop," either technical or perceptual. I do not suggest that any of the above has any bearing on 3D pop. It might not even have anything to do with harmonicas.

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