Do Lenses Make A Difference? Have A Look

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MrBrightSide
MrBrightSide Contributing Member • Posts: 868
Do Lenses Make A Difference? Have A Look
1

Cinematographers love to assemble very meticulous and very extensive side-by-side comparisons of lenses from different eras and manufacturers and put the resulting videos up on the web. The latest effort is at

https://www.sharegrid.com/learn

You can compare video shot on $30,000 Arri Master Primes to identical scenes shot with Nikon AI, Canon FD, Leica R, as well as current lenses from Schneider, Cooke, Sigma, and just about everyone else.

The producers tested 20 sets of lenses so it's hours of quarantine fun if you're in the right frame of mind.

J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 16,990
Re: Do Lenses Make A Difference? Have A Look

With content like what they have recently, they do not.

MrBrightSide
OP MrBrightSide Contributing Member • Posts: 868
Re: Do Lenses Make A Difference? Have A Look
1

Elaborate. Sounds like you find it not useful.

Also, if you don't want to monkey around with the 4-up viewer, you can watch the individual vids on youtube

Here at https://www.youtube.com/c/ShareGrid/videos

J A C S wrote:

With content like what they have recently, they do not.

J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 16,990
Re: Do Lenses Make A Difference? Have A Look
1

MrBrightSide wrote:

Elaborate. Sounds like you find it not useful.

I have nothing against the tool. I am just saying that the Hollywood movies became so awful that lenses cannot save them. It was an answer to the question in the subject line. Fortunately, the Netflix and such make really good stuff, IMO.

Also, if you don't want to monkey around with the 4-up viewer, you can watch the individual vids on youtube

Here at https://www.youtube.com/c/ShareGrid/videos

J A C S wrote:

With content like what they have recently, they do not.

I remember a thread about bokeh in movies. Some posters said that if was much worse than what most of us consider great bokeh despite those movies having big budgets, etc. In other words, who are we to be so picky... They did post some examples of really poor bokeh. I was saying there that very often, the bokeh beats everything we can do with our lenses, by a lot; and posted examples, too.

One relatively recent movie which impressed me a lot with its lenses and cinematography in general was Birdman. The wide use of WA lenses was very original. Here is an interview with the cinematographer. Of course, no much bokeh there.

MrBrightSide
OP MrBrightSide Contributing Member • Posts: 868
Re: Do Lenses Make A Difference? Have A Look

Birdman was indeed a magnificent achievement. I look forward to the interview. Cinematographer interviews are usually much more interesting than those with directors or actors.

One notable difference between cinematographers and photographers is they spend as much time thinking about how different lenses handle halation as we do about bokeh.   That's you see so many bare lightbulbs in cinematography lens tests. I don't know the whole reason but partly it is the way halation helps reduce contrast, partly how much of a glowy fairytale look they want, partly for the overall beauty of the way the lights themselves look, and the rest I have no idea. But whatever it is, it works much of the time.

One relatively recent movie which impressed me a lot with its lenses and cinematography in general was Birdman. The wide use of WA lenses was very original. Here is an interview with the cinematographer. Of course, no much bokeh there.

57even Forum Pro • Posts: 14,738
Re: Do Lenses Make A Difference? Have A Look
1

MrBrightSide wrote:

Cinematographers love to assemble very meticulous and very extensive side-by-side comparisons of lenses from different eras and manufacturers and put the resulting videos up on the web. The latest effort is at

https://www.sharegrid.com/learn

You can compare video shot on $30,000 Arri Master Primes to identical scenes shot with Nikon AI, Canon FD, Leica R, as well as current lenses from Schneider, Cooke, Sigma, and just about everyone else.

The producers tested 20 sets of lenses so it's hours of quarantine fun if you're in the right frame of mind.

What happens when a cinematographer picks up a camera to do some location shots for a movie...

https://www.nuribilgeceylan.com/photography/turkeycinemascope1.php?sid=1

I saw these at an exhibition in London, and they were stunning.

I find movies to be very educational.

Having said that, in a digital world, the nuances of optics have more to do with certain special characteristics rather than differences in outright performance - most of which are obscured by digital post-production.

Just like two lenses having more or less equal performance but subtle differences in bokeh and veiling glare.

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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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