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Thread: Some tests rank-ordering a variety of classic and modern LF lenses

  1. #21

    Re: Some tests rank-ordering a variety of classic and modern LF lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    There's a lot more to it than that. Yes, extreme sharpness might be the priority if I want to use the same lens in my 8x10 kit for roll film holder shots destined for a much higher degree of print magnification. But high contrast can sometimes be a detriment, especially to color transparency work. I'm sure the usual mosquito will bzzzz in to contradict anything I say, but whatever ..... "Quality" involves a lot of subjectives, which are very difficult to "rank" unless everybody thinks and composes photos in exactly the same manner; and thank goodness, we don't. Don't get me wrong; I once specialized in extremely sharp large Cibachrome prints. But that's just one side of the coin.
    Hi, Drew: I concur with everything you note in the above post. It's a matter of the right tool for the job. My starting point is high sharpness and good acutance in a relatively flare-free lens, but that's just a starting point.

    I would not want my portrait taken at this stage of life with such a lens and I will likely still prefer some of those medium-resolution uncoated Protar VIIa lenses when I need to have deep shadow detail boosted out of Zone 1-2 in a black and white landscape.
    Last edited by Joseph Kashi; 6-Dec-2019 at 19:44.

  2. #22
    the Docter is in Arne Croell's Avatar
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    Re: Some tests rank-ordering a variety of classic and modern LF lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Kashi View Post
    The reason that I took my personal results and started this thread was because I have noticed over the years that there's not much in the way of even basic comparative LF lens data on the web since Perez and Thalmann twenty years ago, although there's much strongly expressed opinion. I look forward to others providing more comprehensive and more precise data to the LF community in the future. ...
    Tooting my own horn here, but I have done a few tests years ago, found on my web site: http://www.arnecroell.com/lenstests.pdf

    It is also linked in Dan Frommís list of lens resources here on the LF forum lens page.

  3. #23

    Re: Some tests rank-ordering a variety of classic and modern LF lenses

    Hi, Arne:

    Now that you mention it, I do recall seeing this very helpful set of test results some time back. My error and my apologies - I probably should have recalled it. I don't want to think about why I forgot your tests .. .....
    Last edited by Joseph Kashi; 6-Dec-2019 at 19:43.

  4. #24

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    Re: Some tests rank-ordering a variety of classic and modern LF lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    There's a lot more to it than that. Yes, extreme sharpness might be the priority if I want to use the same lens in my 8x10 kit for roll film holder shots destined for a much higher degree of print magnification. But high contrast can sometimes be a detriment, especially to color transparency work. I'm sure the usual mosquito will bzzzz in to contradict anything I say, but whatever ..... "Quality" involves a lot of subjectives, which are very difficult to "rank" unless everybody thinks and composes photos in exactly the same manner; and thank goodness, we don't. Don't get me wrong; I once specialized in extremely sharp large Cibachrome prints. But that's just one side of the coin.
    Lens testing is one of the most misunderstood aspects of photography. To be really meaningful, tests should be 'targeted' in that they should be designed to provide data which is useful for the application in which they are to be used. In my experience this is rarely the case because applications are rarely defined tightly enough. So we end up trying to quantify a very complex set of characteristics in far too simplistic ways. And then as the quoted post, states there are the 'subjectives'. So any test results should be heavily caveated. That said, lists like those from the OP often seem to have particular lenses nearer the top so there are certainly trends which must say something.

    FWIW I used to MTF test lenses many years ago. My experience was that the higher the trace on the graph, the happier to customer. Whether this actually relates to anything else depends on variables such as the customer's understanding of what the graph meant in practice for what they were doing.

    And rather bizarrely, one photo which I sell as a greetings card was taken on an 1860s lens. I suspect that it sells because it is a pretty shot which buyers cannot easily produce for themselves.

    Things are more complex that simply being the 'best', 'worst' or 'acceptable', etc., etc..

  5. #25

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    Re: Some tests rank-ordering a variety of classic and modern LF lenses

    See LFF post:
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...58#post1527758

    Image results from any lens test and acceptance-ranking of lens tested is quite subjective and VERY complex. To over simplify lens rankings by resolution and contrast alone tells only a fraction of what the personality of any individual lens might be. Getting to know and understand any individual lens is to develop a relationship with that lens to know if you're both agreeable and will enjoy each others company making images.


    Bernice

  6. #26
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Some tests rank-ordering a variety of classic and modern LF lenses

    The perfect is the enemy of the good. Great job, Joseph!
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  7. #27
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Some tests rank-ordering a variety of classic and modern LF lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Image results from any lens test and acceptance-ranking of lens tested is quite subjective and VERY complex. To over simplify lens rankings by resolution and contrast alone tells only a fraction of what the personality of any individual lens might be. Getting to know and understand any individual lens is to develop a relationship with that lens to know if you're both agreeable and will enjoy each others company making images.
    Agreed. Raw resolution is only one factor, but often still an important one, and it's the one that impresses most people, perhaps because it's the one that can be expressed by a simple number. For those of us who contact print, a lens of even modest resolution can render more detail than the eye can see.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

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