Too sharp lenses?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
KLO82 Senior Member • Posts: 1,191
Re: Too sharp lenses?

Don't know about photography, but in the world of cinema they often say that some lenses are too sharp for shooting actors/ people, and they have demand for lenses which are kinder to human face. In moviemaking, too sharp is synonymous to (broadcast) video aka "digital" look and they try to avoid that. 4k videos are usually much sharper than 4k movies.

Have you seen the press release of the newly introduced Sumire primes from Canon? In the press release they wrote: "Pronounced“Soo-mee-ray,” the word is of Japanese origin and is associated with a floral gentleness and beauty. Sumire Prime Lenses offer a unique artistically pleasing look with gentle and beautiful skin tones and smooth bokeh, designed for use with large-sensor cinema cameras, including 35mm full-frame cameras such as the EOS C700FF Cinema Camera. In addition to bright T-stops and Canon’s renowned warm-color imagery, a unique optical design introduces a nuanced look as the lens aperture approaches its maximum setting - subtly modifying the textural renderings of the human face closeup. “Sumire in Japan is the name of a flower, and like the petals of a flower, our lenses are most beautiful when fully opened. This is the inspiration behind the Sumire look,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “The feedback from cinematographers is crucial and their voices have beenheard loud and clear – they asked Canon to introduce a set of PL-mount cinema prime lenses. We went a step further and our new Sumire Prime Lenses produce the beautifully cinematic and unique images professionals desire."

What all those words mean is, the lenses have very high degree of uncorrected spherical aberrations when used at wide apertures, which gives very soft look. This was done intentionally to beautify people in front of the camera. Once stopped down a bit, these lenses are as sharp as regular prime lenses. You can see the example of the softness of these lenses compared to regular Canon cine primes here.

Also in the press release of Panavision Primo V lenses, Panavision wrote: " “Cinematographers tell us that the hyper-sharp sensors in today’s digital cameras can result in images that are harsh and lack personality,” says Panavision’s VP of Optical Engineering Dan Sasaki. “That’s one reason why there’s so much emphasis on glass these days. The Primo V lenses bring the smooth, organic flavor of Primo lenses to the high fidelity digital image. Our philosophy is to take what cinematographers love about the Primos, and update them for the digital world.” " In other words these lenses were made to look a bit less sharp.

 KLO82's gear list:KLO82's gear list
Canon EOS 550D Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM +1 more
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