A simple experiment about lenses affecting color...

Started Jan 8, 2020 | Discussions thread
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Erik Kaffehr
Erik Kaffehr Veteran Member • Posts: 7,053
A simple experiment about lenses affecting color...


Some discussions recently about lenses affecting color.

It is indeed possible to measure spectral transmission of lenses, but it may take some knowledge, some gear to set up and yield results that are not easy to interpret.

I made a simple experiment setting up a very simple subject consisting of a ColorChecker passport and nothing else, illuminating it with a a single diffused studio flash.

The subject was shot with four different lenses:

  • Canon 24-105/4 L with an UV filter
  • Sigma 24-105/4 Art with an UV filter
  • Carl Zeiss (Contax) Sonnar 35-135/3.3-4.5 zoom without filter
  • Carl Zeiss (Hasselblad) Planar 100/3.5 without a filter

Here are the results:

Using the same WB settings

In all cases the Canon  24-105/4 L was used as reference, represented by upper left triangle in all images. From left to right: Sigma 24-105/4 Art, Contax 35-135/3.3-4.5 Sonnar, Hasselblad Planae 100/3.5 CF.

The same exposures as data.

In this case, white balance was adjusted on second brightest gray patch for each picture.

And here are the numbers... Canon and Sigma zooms with UV filters are very close. But older lens designs without UV-filters are also pretty close.

So, do different lenses render color differently? I would say they don't.
What this demo ignores is flare. In outdoor situations we may have a lot of veiling flare and that may affect our images.

Best regards


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Erik Kaffehr
Website: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net
Magic uses to disappear in controlled experiments…
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