July 2020 Part 2 — This Month Through Your Adapted Lens

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 5,396
Re: E.Zuiko 100mm f3.5 (for Pen-F system)

Travis Butler wrote:

fferreres wrote:

Could it be our eyes have some aberrations, so our brain is correcting them through a vast and complex neural process, such that when we are presented with the real object already flattened and we inspect it, it doesn’t sound real? I also got the same feeling from my Zuiko Pro 12-40, a really amazing piece with great photos, but then it’s quite good, almost perfectly boring.

The closest thing I've been able to come up with is a combination:

  • I know it's kind of a bugaboo of mine...

And many of us

  • but to me, it seems like lenses with 'clinical' rendering tend to flatten the range of tonal shades,

Lower contrast in detail, even if adequate for the sensor resolution, can easily increase tonal range, as transitions are less jumpy and more spread out (overlapped).

Aberrations can be inducing richer color tonality, even if invented, especially on lenses where the lower correction (some spherical) or loca (different focal length for different colors) leads to different blur circles which indices more color ranges in 3d subjects. The interplay of FL by wavelengths and the present corrections can and should indice effects that are subtle (as these effects combine) but likely richer in color tonality. Not that it is best, but that it is a possibility.

Many people that know a lot more than me and make little mistakes say coating play no role. Or the number of elements. But I have not seen them state it can’t have an impact indirectly. For example, a very fast lens with very advance coatings obviously gets rid of a lot more reflections making transmission higher. But by making glass much faster, likely some wavelengths have more chances to bounce (red?) so at wide apertures destructive interference may be at play that while contrast remains very high, some color of light wide open is reject to a much higher extent.

Whatever it is, it’s likely part real (for good or bad) and part perceptual.

  • leaving out subtle tonal variations and leading to harsher transitions between objects and colors.

Between object, I think is the better LoCA correction, and correction of any spherical. The DOF is very razor thin on a very well corrected optic.

  • Lenses like this can have very high resolution, and even high apparent sharpness, but the rendering feels sterile.

Perceptually, maybe our mind expects from scenes the aberrations that the brains corrects. When we see an image with zero aberrations, our may perceive as fabricated since something is “off” or unreal: the aberrations we come to naturally correct. If we have a huge blind spot we don’t even noticed, there is some chance this plays a role.

  • Also, 'clinical' lenses for me typically have relatively desaturated, flat colors. The sort of neutral cast you'd want for technical documentation, but without any real flavor.

It may be in part delusion, but maybe some modern lenses using tricks to score higher. For example if the external coating blocked NIR and NIV or extremes of the spectrum more aggressively, it could score higher in any MTF test.

This is a possibility because that is the hardest to correct. What is never transmitted doesn’t go into an MTF chart. Also, many newer cameras sealed the AA filter. Thus a very good lens and sensor with Bauer construction now could be having high frequency detail way above the Bayer matrix (4 photosites). Detail could be more available to individual photosites, inducing more sterile colors?

A combination is is seeing ghosts that maybe exist to some extent? We at least can be sure what we like most. All in all, macro lenses are to me more boring in rendering. They happen to be the best corrected ones too. So no wonder even way more perfect optics grow in boringness.

ALSO: Christmas was more fun before we found out more about Santa (our this way to avoid spoilers for any young reader).

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Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/the_prof67/ Warning: Heavy Learning in progress.

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