How many different interchangeable lenses do you have?

Started 4 months ago | Polls
ProfHankD
OP ProfHankD Veteran Member • Posts: 7,997
Re: How many different interchangeable lenses do you have?

petrochemist wrote:

I'm surprised you allow multiple examples of the same lens if you're after users numbers. They would count to my mind if the duplicates have bee modified in some way (elements removed or flipped) but I'd say that makes them a different lens, with more than just sample variation in their behaviour.

The idea behind that was that if you have and use multiple copies of the same lens model, there must be a reason. It could be sample variation, or it could simply be that one is the "sacrificial beater" and another is the "formal dress lens" -- i.e., one copy you'd take to a beach party and the other you use only for studio work. Anyway, if you have and use more than one, they must seem different to you in some way....

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SQLGuy
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Re: Like the thread about buying experiences…please don’t ask

Travis Butler wrote:

Diacyclops81 wrote:

The category way too damned many should be included. I am not a store, so not over 500….but definitely over 125. Guess I ought to start a thread on how many useless SLR bodies do you have…don’t know how many defunct bodies I have purchased to get a lens included in the deal.

Hah. Absolutely.

I've mentioned it here before... but something I like doing with bodies like that is pairing them up with a spare lens - one of the ones bundled in that you've got several copies of, or one of the cheap junky ones, or something - and give them to a kid who seems like they'd be interested.

Even if they don't develop an interest in photography, a classic mechanical 35mm SLR + lens is still a heck of a toy - and who knows, they might grow up a photographer!

I did something similar recently. In that case it was re-gifting an EOS film body and lens to a "kid" (24 or so), who shoots with a 5DIII and an OM film camera, but didn't realize he could use his 5D lenses for film, too.

For the most part, I try not to accumulate bodies, especially duplicate bodies, that I will not display or use... unless they're deliberately for spare parts.

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Gesture Veteran Member • Posts: 8,677
Re: How many different interchangeable lenses do you have?
1

The poll helps reveal why this is a great forum.  The people and their experience with so many lenses.  Way higher average # than I expected.

Lightshow
Lightshow Veteran Member • Posts: 7,601
Re: How many different interchangeable lenses do you have?

180 lenses in the collection +/- a few, only 20-50 see regular use, and about 10 that see consistent use.

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JimH123 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,126
Re: How many different interchangeable lenses do you have?

About 60. I do have to use a spreadsheet to keep track of them. Most are adapted lenses, and I have far fewer native modern lenses.

A number of collections of lenses that I just love:

- Asahi Pentax Takumar lenses

- Minolta Rokkor lenses

- Minolta AF lenses

- Rokinon/Samyang lenses

- And many other m42 lenses

And I have Full Frame, APS-C and m4/3 bodies to use these on.  And I really, really love the old legacy manual focusing of the lenses.  Modern lenses do not have that same feel.

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Gesture Veteran Member • Posts: 8,677
Re: How many different interchangeable lenses do you have?

Pentax M42 Takumar !!!

In practice, I don't find screw mount lenses any more difficult than finding the line-up dots, etc. on bayonet mount lenses.

MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,011
Do we judge everything by “the looks”

ProfHankD wrote:

petrochemist wrote:

I'm surprised you allow multiple examples of the same lens if you're after users numbers. They would count to my mind if the duplicates have bee modified in some way (elements removed or flipped) but I'd say that makes them a different lens, with more than just sample variation in their behaviour.

The idea behind that was that if you have and use multiple copies of the same lens model, there must be a reason. It could be sample variation, or it could simply be that one is the "sacrificial beater" and another is the "formal dress lens" -- i.e., one copy you'd take to a beach party and the other you use only for studio work. Anyway, if you have and use more than one, they must seem different to you in some way....

Another reason.  I sometimes have bought a lens that I was disappointed in but could be made better.  I like it so re-buy one to get a pristine example.  But I am such a  busy person that I always have more “projects” ahead of me that I can ever possibly deal with.  If my ideas of doing things are always more imagination than capability to deliver then at least I will never die of boredom

But as an example I bought (over time) a set* of Canon 50mm RF lenses in LTM. The f1.2 and f1.4 were in good shape but the f1.8 was badly hazed (but otherwise in excellent physical condition).  On disassembly the inner lens surface next to the aperture was almost opaque and there was no way that it could be cleaned.  It was surface damage - I don’t know whether this was caused by an over-enthusiastic abrasive cleaning effort by a previous owner or was simply coating/lens-surface damage from being stored object lens up and being subjected to vaporisation off the aperture mechanism.  In any case I could not resell it to anyone in good faith, it was not overly expensive in the first case, I am not really a good reseller in the first place, and there is no significant native market for second hand camera gear in Australia (Unlike some other countries - maybe it is the small very dispersed population?).

So I bought another 50/1.8 noting that all Canon S (?) lenses for sale had the caveat (“has some haze - but don’t worry about it”). It was hazed (same place) and would not clean off completely.  So I tried again stipulating that I wanted a clean one - cost more money, but that was not the point really - they all looked good externally. The second one was probably good-enough but the haze returned - it seems to need a clean from time to time.  Even the f1.2 version developed a little haze (same place) but it cleaned up like brand sparkling new.

The second and third f1.8 will need watching.  Must go find them and check.  At least all the three types of Canon S LTM lenses are very easy to work on from the back up to the aperture.   I have a “set” of them f1.2, f1.4, f1.8 in great condition (as noted) and a reasonable spare and another that looks good but it really only “spare parts”.

What causes this?  It seems that the surface under the aperture is attacked by condensing aperture lubricant.  This may or may not be worse if the lens is off camera and stored upright on its mount surface.  The coating/glass on that surface must be soft enough to be destroyed by the lubricant in time.  It only seems to be destructive with the. F1.8 and maybe not all f1.8 lenses as they were made over a long(ish) period of time - nice lens if you can get a good one (and keep it good).

* Alas, the f1.0 version has always been priced beyond my idea of common sense.

Meanwhile I don’t count duplicates - no need to as I have an insane number of lenses already.

I once bought a job lot of eight train wreck Helios 44 lenses so that I could practice “repairing” them.  I had not considered “beyond repair” and thought that a bit of tender loving care would give me some good lenses even if they were a bit battered looking - a sort of grunge-look devil me care sort of thing at the barricades adapted to my “Leica” .....

But the repair maxed out at seriously scratched lens elements and broken screws and pins.  But I did manage to get three or four of them back into half reasonable shape - learned some basic repair skills as well.  They work well in their own scratchy glass sort of way with smooth focusing and good aperture control even if they do look a bit woebegone.  The images have plenty of  “character”.

I have half wondered, in my wicked sort of way, that I should obtain a H-44 with pristine glass and fit it the glass into one of my grunge bodies which was otherwise in great working condition although “ugly look”.  It would tickle my sense of black humour as a sort of up-yours pinprick of our collective lust for the most perfect lens lying in yonder greener pastures .... ..... but for the moment it is just another project in what has always been a long list of competing things to do.  I also have a reluctance to spoil a perfectly good H-44 by swapping out its lenses that were in perfect condition.  Maybe one with a bent filter ring might be a candidate?

Has anyone else fitted perfect glass into a working-well but battered looking lens body?

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Tom Caldwell

MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,011
Collections - lenses versus stamps?

walter g1 wrote:

Not sure. Somewhere between 129-256.

The further I got over “200” the more “not surer” I became.

When I had worked out the FSU lens numbering system I figured that I could have one of each of their LTM lenses (which were very cheap (mostly) at the time. Then I worked out that their “M42” lenses were generally better made .... Then I discovered that the command economy made multitudes of the very best lenses with cheaper material and that the more expensive and rare ones were not necessarily their best ones.  Quite the opposite of the free market economy where the very best ones were expensive and it was the price that made them rare - and so they remain coveted and expensive to this day.

I did work out eventually that there were much more FSU lens types about, but that once we moved from the common ones made in millions the market breadth diminished dramatically and the price went up.  Not necessarily a reliable indication of better lenses.

The simple “interesting to have” idea morphed into a collecting mania and left me with a wide variety of Takumar, Kodak DKL lenses, Pentax Auto-110, Meyer Optik, Canon FL/FD lenses, and a “few” others.  I had a good shot at Takumars except for the really rare ones, and an almost complete set of Kodak DKL and Pentax 110.  But even Meyer Optik was an issue let alone Canon FL/FD -  am I crazy?  I do set some sort of limits ....  At least I was smart enough to get hold of a few lenses like the red-ring Canon FD 50/1.2 at a price that was then a fraction of the asking price today.

As can be seen - I am a timid bottom-feeding set-maker and generally wimp out at acquiring the more expensive rare lenses.  But I suppose that collecting lenses is more interesting than collecting stamps - at least you can get to use them occasionally

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Tom Caldwell

JimH123 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,126
Re: How many different interchangeable lenses do you have?
1

Gesture wrote:

Pentax M42 Takumar !!!

In practice, I don't find screw mount lenses any more difficult than finding the line-up dots, etc. on bayonet mount lenses.

I love those Takumar lenses. And I have them in many different focal lengths, and macro too. I get great results using them. And I like doing it in manual, provided that I'm not trying on moving targets that is.

One more thing, adapters are so cheap that I buy many of them and leave them on the lens so that switching lenses is faster.

That way when switching from a m42 lens to a Rokkor MD lens, there is no need to go to the trouble of switching adapters.

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MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,011
Anyone else own a “Siberia”?

Travis Butler wrote:

Diacyclops81 wrote:

The category way too damned many should be included. I am not a store, so not over 500….but definitely over 125. Guess I ought to start a thread on how many useless SLR bodies do you have…don’t know how many defunct bodies I have purchased to get a lens included in the deal.

Hah. Absolutely.

I've mentioned it here before... but something I like doing with bodies like that is pairing them up with a spare lens - one of the ones bundled in that you've got several copies of, or one of the cheap junky ones, or something - and give them to a kid who seems like they'd be interested.

Even if they don't develop an interest in photography, a classic mechanical 35mm SLR + lens is still a heck of a toy - and who knows, they might grow up a photographer!

I bought a few of these old bodies just so that I could mount some of the lenses on them. Like an early Zenit, older and newer Zorki RF, and EXAKTA body and I even have a Topcon and Altix body.  One of my prizes was a “Siberia” (Paulus fake) - bought from Moscow knowing full well that it was as a fake and just for interests sake.

Someone went to a lot of trouble to take what I have identified as a later Zorki body, in very good condition (the retained serial number is one of the give-aways). Then ground off the Zorki identification, added an excellently engraved “FED” logo, super-size knobs also properly and professionally engraved, modified the lens and made up a suitable and engraved lens cap.

The original “Siberia” series is mythical and was presumably a war-time mash-up made for use with gloved hands. Perhaps indeed the special enlarged knobs were made in limited quantity as after-market products for Russian winter photography enthusiasts and making a faux Siberia was not quite as hard as it might otherwise be imagined.

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Tom Caldwell

Diacyclops81 Regular Member • Posts: 475
Re: Collections - lenses versus stamps?

You have described my affliction well. The morphing from….be interesting to have…to that more or less endless hunt for the hidden gem in nests of the truly mediocre. If you know all the number codes for Vivitars, get your temperature scanned. Watch lens repair youtubes for enjoyment, seek help. Much of the initial lure for me was the absurdly low prices for equipment one could never afford 40-60 years ago. But what led to the GAS was the existence now of mirrorless digital bodies that allow laboratory-like precision in adapting and testing the vintage optics. Old, retired science teachers like me can experiment endlessly. Harmlessly. Pottering. As Wallace Stegner said… killing time til time gets around to killing me.

Ching-Kuang Shene
Ching-Kuang Shene Veteran Member • Posts: 6,350
Re: How many different interchangeable lenses do you have?
1

Hank,

I didn't count the number of lenses that I have or even used in the past few years.  On the other hand, if you allowe to do a weight count, I am sure I could be the champion here, because the two Astro Berlin 800/5 and 1000/6.8 plus the Carl Zeiss Jena Spiegelobjektiv 1000/5.6 and 500/4 and a Carl Zeiss Mirotar 500/4.5 could be worth of 100 to 200 "normal" + "wide angle" lenses. 

CK

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fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 6,943
Re: How many different interchangeable lenses do you have?

ProfHankD wrote:

I'm very curious how many different lenses people in this forum have... because I suspect it's a lot more than "normal people" have. After all, many adapted lenses are much cheaper than new native lenses. So, let's find out.

How many interchangeable lenses do you have?

For this poll, let's count only lenses that YOU HAVE USED within the last few years and still have available for you to use (were not equipment you short-term rented, nor portions of your collection you've since sold off). Count both adapted and "native" mount lenses. If you have multiple copies of a particular lens model, you can count each one; you also can count add-on lenses, such as teleconverters, focal reducers, or front-mounted wide/tell conversion lenses.

Lol Hank, you used powers of 2! I also found it hilarious to find myself not knowing but reassured by the doubling range, no real idea of how totals so it was more what I think it may be. I also found it a complete and total relief not to be in the upper categories and to see a mix, and balanced answers.

I found it interesting that is not more like a poison distribution or very squewed (eg. the number being more linear).

Has anybody really figured out a reason why collect so many lenses? I really like their shape, and the idea of taking photographs, and that each one really does something that is at the same time almost the same, but definitely different.

I have stopped getting more lenses, and don't feel like selling or having getting more bored, but what I do also observe is that I have my prefered lenses that get a lot of fresh air, and some others do no see any.

Hank, is there a way to do a DOF test for lenses? I am a bit obsessed into the different transitions in the OOF PSF very close to the focus plane. If feel a reason to like a lot of lenses is the different rendering of this aspect, of which the very far away parts just an anecdote. I say this, because I think that even looking at ALL the measures/tests we have, like vignetting, MTF, curvture, etc. the character of a lens is completely missed by all this tests. I recall your suggestion to shoot the PSP with a tiny light, maybe shoot different parts of the frame with it.

I think a lot here like some aspect, and the uniqueness of the rendering, in addition to maybe some mechanical and physical aspect, and given we may have all in all about 2000 different very nice lenses, we could aim to do a project to follow exactly the same, controlled protocol, and generate a new dataset that actually says something valuable about these lenses. But would need to have no tinkering, 3D printing, etc. as most of us are not handy enough.

Anyway, I had fun responding to the poll and reading the comments.

ProfHankD
OP ProfHankD Veteran Member • Posts: 7,997
A couple of things, then Frankenlenses
1

Tom Caldwell wrote:

ProfHankD wrote:

petrochemist wrote:

I'm surprised you allow multiple examples of the same lens if you're after users numbers. They would count to my mind if the duplicates have bee modified in some way (elements removed or flipped) but I'd say that makes them a different lens, with more than just sample variation in their behaviour.

The idea behind that was that if you have and use multiple copies of the same lens model, there must be a reason. It could be sample variation, or it could simply be that one is the "sacrificial beater" and another is the "formal dress lens" -- i.e., one copy you'd take to a beach party and the other you use only for studio work. Anyway, if you have and use more than one, they must seem different to you in some way....

Another reason. I sometimes have bought a lens that I was disappointed in but could be made better. I like it so re-buy one to get a pristine example.

Spare parts/backup copy is perfectly reasonable.

... about Canon LTM lenses ... What causes this?

Coatings used on internal surfaces were often quite soft, and the Canon LTM lenses apparently used a coating that fungus found particularly inviting -- a really bad combo.

... I once bought a job lot of eight train wreck Helios 44 lenses so that I could practice “repairing” them. ... I have half wondered, in my wicked sort of way, that I should obtain a H-44 with pristine glass and fit it the glass into one of my grunge bodies which was otherwise in great working condition although “ugly look”. ... Has anyone else fitted perfect glass into a working-well but battered looking lens body?

Lots of folks in the former USSR play mix-n-match with old lens parts to make "Frankenlenses" -- that's a large part of why there are so many "fakes" out there. Unfortunately, we're not talking about carefully-calibrated optics aligned on an optical bench, but "hey, this looks pretty similar to that cracked element." Really beat-up metal parts can be made attractive by extreme polishing -- a trick I first recall seeing some Greek eBay seller doing en masse with M42 Pentax lenses about a decade ago, but since then I've more often seen it on various USSR reworks. The dead giveaways are the "rare zebra version" of lenses that never were zebras -- you simply throw the really beat-up black ring(s) on a lathe, then sand-off just enough finish to get through any nicks and scratches, and finally polish. The other hint this has been done is that the surfaces usually don't end-up perfectly flat, but have a slight curvature. This type of re-working is what makes really messed-up body parts passable as a "like new" collectible.

Personally, I don't really have a problem with salvaging parts from unit-non-functional lenses in these ways... until it comes to advertising them as rare versions in like-new condition. IMHO, they should be proudly described as "upcycled" old lens components in custom, hand re-worked, housings. Knowing how people are, I wouldn't even be surprised if that type of honest marketing of them would sell more at higher prices.

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ProfHankD
OP ProfHankD Veteran Member • Posts: 7,997
Heavy lens use
1

Ching-Kuang Shene wrote:

I didn't count the number of lenses that I have or even used in the past few years.

CK, I fully expected you to be checking that last box even with a serious undercount.

On the other hand, if you allowe to do a weight count, I am sure I could be the champion here, because the two Astro Berlin 800/5 and 1000/6.8 plus the Carl Zeiss Jena Spiegelobjektiv 1000/5.6 and 500/4 and a Carl Zeiss Mirotar 500/4.5 could be worth of 100 to 200 "normal" + "wide angle" lenses.

Telescope-like lenses do get hefty, and you've got a bunch. My longest is a Meade DSX-90 Multi-Coated Maksutov-Cassegrain 1250mm f/13.8, but it's not that heavy. Then again, there things like the 35-pound Sigma 200-500mm f/2.8 APO EX DG... but, although I have looked, somehow I've never seen one on eBay in my price range (which averages under $25/lens ).

The scary thing is that, right now, the 129-256 lens range is the most common answer. That's where I am, but I had no idea there were so many at least as crazy as I am. BTW, my total lens count is in the 257-512 range, but the research I've been doing lately hasn't forced me to use 'em all in the last few years. It's probably fewer than 200 that I've used in the past few years.

I've posted it here before, and it's from when I had fewer lenses than I do now, but here's the last nice shot of my collection:

Some of my lenses, spiraling out to shorter focal lengths (wider view angles)

I really need to come up with a good way to do a more up-to-date shot....

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fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 6,943
Re: Heavy lens use

Is the outermost a french press?

ProfHankD
OP ProfHankD Veteran Member • Posts: 7,997
OT: DoF measurements

fferreres wrote:

Hank, is there a way to do a DOF test for lenses? I am a bit obsessed into the different transitions in the OOF PSF very close to the focus plane.

I think you know that it's my fault that OOF PSF is a thing... normally, PSFs are measured in focus. However, you're right that wacky things happen in the transition. OOF PSF is largely determined by simple geometry, whereas (in-focus) PSF is generally dominated by diffraction effects and aberrations. In gross cases, the OOF PSF is still very significant in DoF -- for example, the doughnut OOF PSF of a mirror lens cause such lenses to have a sharper transition to out-of-focus and less DoF.

The standard way to measure DoF is by photographing a ruler, but reading DoF from the image isn't an automated process. I'll add this to my list of things to think about: is there a simple test that can accurately and automatically generate a DoF scale?

If feel a reason to like a lot of lenses is the different rendering of this aspect, of which the very far away parts just an anecdote. I say this, because I think that even looking at ALL the measures/tests we have, like vignetting, MTF, curvture, etc. the character of a lens is completely missed by all this tests. I recall your suggestion to shoot the PSP with a tiny light, maybe shoot different parts of the frame with it.

The OOF PSF concept is why I started buying too many lenses in the first place. In fact, one of my earliest talks on this is still around as a video of a talk I gave at Microsoft in 2011: The Benefits Of Being Out Of Focus: Making the Most of Lens PSF ....

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ProfHankD
OP ProfHankD Veteran Member • Posts: 7,997
Re: Heavy lens use

fferreres wrote:

Is the outermost a french press?

That's the one everybody misidentifies... often as being a NSFW device. 

It's a Spiratone Bird's Eye adapter. Basically, a parabolic mirror that adjustably mounts in front of your base lens. The glass tube holds everything and is shot through; there's also a close-up lens incorporated because you need to focus on the mirror. Here's an old example of the kind of image it produces straight out of the camera:

Spiraton Bird's Eye shot

I now also have an Egg (very different build, same idea) and several homemade units using Christmas tree ornaments or a silvered lightbulb as the reflector.

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fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 6,943
Re: OT: DoF measurements

ProfHankD wrote:

fferreres wrote:

Hank, is there a way to do a DOF test for lenses? I am a bit obsessed into the different transitions in the OOF PSF very close to the focus plane.

I think you know that it's my fault that OOF PSF is a thing... normally, PSFs are measured in focus. However, you're right that wacky things happen in the transition. OOF PSF is largely determined by simple geometry, whereas (in-focus) PSF is generally dominated by diffraction effects and aberrations. In gross cases, the OOF PSF is still very significant in DoF -- for example, the doughnut OOF PSF of a mirror lens cause such lenses to have a sharper transition to out-of-focus and less DoF.

The standard way to measure DoF is by photographing a ruler, but reading DoF from the image isn't an automated process. I'll add this to my list of things to think about: is there a simple test that can accurately and automatically generate a DoF scale?

Oh my, it;s a boring century when all the ideas are about using computer vision? CV has become very good at recognizing text (or features) in images, and many algorithms may are made a web service or can be downloaded as a trained model. Usually, they can be made to answer what is their confidence level per detected object.

If instead of a ruler we have a soup alphabet, or some abstract even smaller features (eg, cross, minus, plus, etc), maybe even with features of random sizes to test recognition by different frequencies, a software could be made to automate one synthetic perceptual reading without any human input and automatically.

Since the information is shot with the target at an angle, provided it's fully enclosed in the picture, the algorithm could infer the exact angle, and if the ruler is a fixed target size, I'd say A4 as the most common paper size in existence, then it could automatically extract the shooting distance, focal length (at least a range), angle, estimate the actual z-depth in the target and do all the calculations automatically, then straighten the target (like mobile scanners do) undoing perspective, then run the OCR or Computer Vision model, with information about the position of the letters, with K-means could infer the center cluster (sharpest area) or maybe this is much simpler - this case is so that the test could be done without even having to properly focus perfectly on the middle of the sheet.

Then how to generate a chart/scale based on readings of objects and the confidence level. I think it needs to use chracters where some confidence is actually good enough for something like small detail of a camera. Eg, digital numbers could be bad as they are so simple it could have high confidence and be wrong due to how things may align to the sensor)

The principle would be that if it cannot be guessed with any certainty, then the information is lost to blur. A benefit of the test is that I'd be explainable, and be able to be corroborated by humans. If I show you three pictures of a ruler with marked numbers, we'd likely agreed. And if disagree, it's because maybe we thing we can read it, but its just because we ordered the numbers in the ruler and know already what is the next number. That's why I think of a randomized alphabet soup.

If feel a reason to like a lot of lenses is the different rendering of this aspect, of which the very far away parts just an anecdote. I say this, because I think that even looking at ALL the measures/tests we have, like vignetting, MTF, curvture, etc. the character of a lens is completely missed by all this tests. I recall your suggestion to shoot the PSP with a tiny light, maybe shoot different parts of the frame with it.

The OOF PSF concept is why I started buying too many lenses in the first place. In fact, one of my earliest talks on this is still around as a video of a talk I gave at Microsoft in 2011: The Benefits Of Being Out Of Focus: Making the Most of Lens PSF ....

I think it's the most fascinating aspect. While many care only about what's in focus (obsession with the high cotnrast high MTF readings that LensRentals never gets tired of testing) another faction is obsessed by everything but it. But that the mechanism that produces all that's not in focus is the OOF PSF or the shape of light in between completely defocused and perfectly focused.

fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 6,943
Re: Heavy lens use

It'd the first time I see this idea and of course the first reaction when looking at the picture as...a fisheye, but how? It think it's pretty cool, and amazing to that every other week I discover something I didn't think was possible, from stereograms, to these 3D adapters for stereo using mirrors, to this.

Transparent materials and mirrors are just so miraculous and prolific, but that's also because light is so simple and at the same time so elusive a concept, that it may not even be a thing.

When I go camping at the sky is roaring at night, it's a light symphony with violinists from days, years, and billions of years ago, in unison working in my mind who puts it together just to say..."what a cute view". There's nothing but light there, actually, there isn't even light but it happens in the mind. It's just almost pure information.

Thanks for sharing this new clever device. I had not though it could be possible to invert the fov of a fisheye, nor had occurred to me it'd be interesting!

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