Can lens or camera have a 'clinical' rendering?

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
57even Forum Pro • Posts: 14,725
Re: Can lens or camera have a 'clinical' rendering?

Erik Kaffehr wrote:

57even wrote:

I abhor the use of the word 'rendering'. It's just one of those terms photographers drop into conversations to sound authoritative, but doesn't mean anything as far as I can tell, other than "I think it looks.... "

As for 'clinical' then it usually means someone else has a better lens and they need to find some way to be condescending about it.

I just want my equipment to be predictable and do it's job. The way my images look is up to me, not the camera.

I see your point...

But, we have a subject that the optical system projects on the sensor. I would think that rendering is a pretty adequate word for it.

Sorry Eric, I wasn't objecting to your use of the term as such, only the context in which it is almost invariably used to impart a nebulous opinion with an air of cast iron authority.

Of which the opinion you heard is a prime example.

We have all sorts of useful ways to characterise the performance of lenses these days. Lenstip and Optical Limits are a good example. If someone can't be more explicit in their opinion, then I have little use for it.

Moreover, in the digital world, I am less convinced that the rendering of a lens is of any real importance. The bokeh, certainly. You can almost fingerprint a lens from it's bokeh. Flare perhaps, as ghosting is a notable issue with some lenses.

So many other characteristics that are often assigned to 'rendering' are in fact the product of in-camera processing, or the default raw-conversion profile.

I am almost happier when people talk about micro-contrast.

When people talk about clinical rendering I am reminded of a hi-fi designer I used to know who won several awards for his amplifiers. He was deeply scathing of hi-fi buffs, most of whom attributed all kinds of glowing praise to their $20k amp that were in fact the result of distortion.

In his opinion, his job was to recreate the recording as accurately as he could, thus honouring the intentions of those that recorded it. So he regarded the term 'clinical' as a compliment.

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"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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