August 22, 2014, 04:30:27 PM

Author Topic: The sharpness curse!  (Read 7703 times)

tron

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1806
    • View Profile
Re: The sharpness curse!
« Reply #45 on: June 24, 2014, 11:24:19 AM »
Disdain for gear does not equal creativity.

Funny how many who belittle enthusiasm for great tools post hundreds of comments in a gear forum!

Be proud to be a gearhead!
+1

canon rumors FORUM

Re: The sharpness curse!
« Reply #45 on: June 24, 2014, 11:24:19 AM »

tron

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1806
    • View Profile
Re: The sharpness curse!
« Reply #46 on: June 24, 2014, 11:29:35 AM »
Sharpness is important and for sharp pictures you need the right gear. But what do you need most for sharp pictures?

* exact focusing,
* optimal aperture,
* either fast shutter speed or heavy tripod,
* clear sunlight or flash,
* if available big format (the bigger the better, film or sensor is unimportant)
* and experience in developing and printing (unimportant whether files or film).

Lens design is only one factor, perhaps a minor one, most important in case of the lens is, that it is perfectly centered and adjusted to the camera.

Don't forget correct exposure and optimal contrast play a part in sharpness. There are plenty of people who don't need or want lenses so sharp but I'd rather have mine sharp and have to soften it in post (which I'll never do) than to need it sharper and not be able to.

Having said that, I do agree with the OP that sharpness is by no means the only characteristic people should be looking at when choosing a lens. There are many more factors that go into that decision and in the end it's up to the individual to decide if it's worth it.
Usually, a sharp lens exhibits other equally desirable characteristics (apart from weight maybe, but for these we have the version II white lenses...).

I read over and over about sharpness not being everything but the Original Posters most of the time do not mention other characteristics that they consider as equally desirable. Only generalizations...
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 11:44:38 AM by tron »

sdsr

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 664
    • View Profile
Re: The sharpness curse!
« Reply #47 on: June 24, 2014, 11:42:52 AM »
Sharpness simply gives us many more options.  Who is sillier--somebody who pays $1k plus for a lens and doesn't care if it's a little blurry or the person who expects sharpness?

Would you buy a car and accept that it pulls to the right?  An oven that doesn't give quite the right temp?  A gun that just misses most of the time?

Oy.

You're rather missing the point, misreading the original post as arguing that sharpness doesn't matter at all; overlooking the fact that most lenses people are likely to buy today are sharp up to a point (how many $1000 lenses would be deemed "a little blurry?"), so that differences tend to be marginal and may not even be noticeable under normal viewing conditions in most uses; and assuming that we all want the same things from the lenses we buy.  The appeal of ultra-sharpness is obvious (I certainly get a kick out of the amazing resolution/detail/sharpness I get on my A7r via various lenses even at 100% viewing), but so is the appeal of certain other qualities in lenses that aren't quite as sharp.  (A better analogy than a car that pulls to the right vs one that doesn't might be a car whose maximum speed is 90 mph vs one whose is 120 mph, where one chooses the former because it is more comfortable, quieter, a nicer shape and has better air conditioning.) 

Which is better for you - which is the the "silly" $1000 purchase - depends on your taste/needs/wants.  (For my part, I would be annoyed if I paid a lot for a lens that had relatively unattractive bokeh and/or intrusive purple fringing.)  There's even a range of Russian lenses (copies of old Zeiss models) valued for a distinctive look, especially wide open, which is the result of characteristics that would likely be deemed flaws by most (one, a Helios something-or-other, managed to find its way into photozone.de, where it was resoundingly thrashed).  Luckily they tend to cost much less than $1000....

YuengLinger

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 208
    • View Profile
Re: The sharpness curse!
« Reply #48 on: June 24, 2014, 12:41:09 PM »
I haven't seen many very sharp lenses for today's DSLR's that fail in other respects.

As for blurry $1000 lenses, you might have missed the original 16-35 2.8 (yes, BLURRY out towards the edges, even at 24mm to 35mm, not just at 16mm)...I do consider the 50L relatively blurry (that is, unacceptably soft) at below 2.8 for the money, and its bokeh can be quite harsh too, plus its real MFD goes to over 4' if focus shift is to be avoided).

As for contrast, since it is an integral part of sharpness, I can't even imagine washed-out type of lens produce super sharp images...Color?  What sharp lens have you seen with lousy color renditions?

So, as others are asking, what is the point of complaining not only about sharpness, but photographers who demand it in premium gear?

I'd simply like more lenses like the 135mm f/2 and the 85mm f/1.2, and the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art...and less lenses with various problems, including soft focus.  No lens is perfect, no kidding, but for my money, the best I can find, thank you--to a point.  No Otus for me.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 01:19:36 PM by YuengLinger »

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2698
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: The sharpness curse!
« Reply #49 on: June 24, 2014, 01:32:13 PM »
Ruined - I've been meaning to reply but life has been busy...but I agree with you completely.  The 50L is one of my favorite lenses and even if it's not as sharp as my 24-70 II or other lenses, that doesn't mean it's soft mush.  The other qualities more than make up for it, but as you point, no one ever reviews those qualities because they aren't so easy to measure. 

Some people spend way too much time and effort posting this and that on the boards and the 50L will never get any love from those people.  For you, me, and the rest of the people that care about more than sharpness, we just need to get out and shoot and show how great our work is, sharpness zealots be damned :)
EOS 1D X, 5DIII, M + EF 24 f/1.4II, 50 f/1.2, 85 f/1.2II, 300 f/2.8 IS II || 16-35 f/4 IS, 24-70 f/2.8II, 70-200 f/2.8II || TS-E 17 f/4, 24 f/3.5II || M 22 f/2, 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS || 1.4x III, 2x III

sdsr

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 664
    • View Profile
Re: The sharpness curse!
« Reply #50 on: June 24, 2014, 03:03:36 PM »

...

So, as others are asking, what is the point of complaining not only about sharpness, but photographers who demand it in premium gear?

I'd simply like more lenses like the 135mm f/2 and the 85mm f/1.2, and the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art...and less lenses with various problems, including soft focus.  No lens is perfect, no kidding, but for my money, the best I can find, thank you--to a point.  No Otus for me.

How many people in this thread, op include, have complained about sharpness or those who need/want it?  As for "the best I can find", well, for some people that includes the 50L; to assume it doesn't or shouldn't begs the question.

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2698
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: The sharpness curse!
« Reply #51 on: June 24, 2014, 03:54:48 PM »

...

So, as others are asking, what is the point of complaining not only about sharpness, but photographers who demand it in premium gear?

I'd simply like more lenses like the 135mm f/2 and the 85mm f/1.2, and the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art...and less lenses with various problems, including soft focus.  No lens is perfect, no kidding, but for my money, the best I can find, thank you--to a point.  No Otus for me.

How many people in this thread, op include, have complained about sharpness or those who need/want it?  As for "the best I can find", well, for some people that includes the 50L; to assume it doesn't or shouldn't begs the question.
The other thing that always seems to be missing from these discussions is that nearly all of us who own the 50L have at least one other lens in the 50mm focal length that is sharper, like the 24-70II.  If we need to shoot a photo that will be printed at a huge size, by all means we'll use the 24-70II, but if we want a unique look for portraits, the 50L is what we love to use.
EOS 1D X, 5DIII, M + EF 24 f/1.4II, 50 f/1.2, 85 f/1.2II, 300 f/2.8 IS II || 16-35 f/4 IS, 24-70 f/2.8II, 70-200 f/2.8II || TS-E 17 f/4, 24 f/3.5II || M 22 f/2, 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS || 1.4x III, 2x III

canon rumors FORUM

Re: The sharpness curse!
« Reply #51 on: June 24, 2014, 03:54:48 PM »

surapon

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2216
  • 80% BY HEART, 15% BY LENSES AND ONLY 5% BY CAMERA
    • View Profile
Re: The sharpness curse!
« Reply #52 on: June 25, 2014, 12:18:09 PM »
Ha, Ha, Ha----to my dear friends.
I love to read this post, but I  have the low level brain in the high tech and  bad perception in my heart.
In my Idea, Sharpness are depend on Young eyes and Old eyes( Like Me), to look at the Photos , when we print it 24 X 36  inches and put on the wall to see = 5-7 feet from the Photos. Yes, My eyes/ Old eyes can not see the Difference from the Photos that created from 100% sharpness Lens( $ 12,000 US Dollars) or from 96% Sharpness Lens ( $450 US Dollars).-------Yes, IF I have 100 Millions US Dollars in my Bank account, And Yes, If one of my dear friend tell me that , He have more money than me = 100 Milolions + 20 Dollars = Richer than me, And He can use that $ 20 Dollars to buy extra 3 Meals of Mcdonald fastfood restaurant---Ha, Ha, Ha, I should cry, because He richer than Me ?----NO WAY.
I wish , I were 21 years old again, and see the effected of great sharp lenses but no money to buy and enjoy them. Well, Yes, Now I am old, and have money to buy any thing that I want, BUT = FOR WHAT ?---My Eyes  so bad, have the Thick eyeglass-my body  are not have a good functions like 44 years ago---Except, I still have a good mouth, which can complaints in every bad things and make the people hate me---Ha, Ha, Ha.
Have a great Wednesday, Sir/ Madam.
See you after I come back from Chicago for Convention/ Exposition of AIA ( the American Institute of Architects) June 26 to 29.
Your Friend, Surapon

mnclayshooter

  • Power Shot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 15
  • I love shooting - clay pigeons and photos!
    • View Profile
Re: The sharpness curse!
« Reply #53 on: June 25, 2014, 01:42:13 PM »
Surapon, I always love reading your posts.  You make some great points.

To expand on a couple you made:

I dare any of you to climb up and see a billboard on the side of the highway up close sometime to see the level of detail you see on them up close.  I think you'll be suprised how big the pixels look on there and just how fuzzy they seem to be when they're 3 feet in front of you rather than 300 feet away.

Just remember your lens is pretty sharp... if used correctly, pretty much regardless of the name/number/designation of the lens - virtually no lens manufacturer of any modest level of repute would sell one that isn't.  Just because there's one out there that might be very slightly sharper on some chart, doesn't make the lens in your hand a pile of junk. 

My sense is that MOST of the reviewers of equipment on here are reading their info off spec pages, rather than actually holding the equipment and going out and using it.  Makes me wonder if I could write spec pages for the London Bridge and try to get someone to buy it... or tell me that the Golden Gate Bridge is better because it's different?

Also consider... if it's your hobby/passion and that's all... you can decide what is an acceptable level for you to participate in that hobby... including the level of investment you're willing to make... will you enjoy taking photos if you don't have the best/sharpest lens out there?  I can't answer that for you.  IF peer pressure is too great, you'll have to make the decision of what to use and what you "need". 

If you plan to make a living off it... you have to make a decision how much overhead cost you want to have vs how much income you're going to make.  Somewhere there's a balance point...(Cost/Benefit ratio) that only you can evaluate for your situation. 

Ask yourself - did you miss a photo because you happened to have the 17-40 instead of your 16-35? more than likely not... did you miss a photo because you happened to have the 17-40 on instead of the 200-400, maybe??? but level of sharpness didn't even come into question in that trade-off did it?  You have to decide how much crap you want to carry around with you... pick a lens or a couple lenses that get the job done and leave the spec writing and reviews to the internet dweebs who get paid every time you click on their page.   

I'd love to drive the biggest and best pickup truck made.. but... I have to settle with the one that is sold when I'm buying it and is on the lot... the one that I can afford, and the one that suits my needs at the time.  Camera equipment is no different.  YMMV.   8)

Canon gear: 6D, G1X, A620, 24-105L, 100-400L, 100mm Macro, 40mm pancake, 430EX II; Non-Canon Gear: Tamron 17-35, Fong lightsphere, MeFoto Globtrekker tripod/head, BlackRapid sport

Viggo

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2020
    • View Profile
Re: The sharpness curse!
« Reply #54 on: June 25, 2014, 03:15:36 PM »
Great pictures through time isn't always about technical stuff, that is a fact and isn't worth discussing.

But, a sharp lens is usually the best it can be in other ways as well. I consider the 200 f2 to be as close to theoretical perfection as it can almost ever be in every possible aspect from AF to IS to the optical attributes. And it is also without any doubt, the lens which creates the coolest feel of my pictures, usually the shots I get from it wouldn't at all look as nice shot with anything else, that's what matters to me.

And speaking of 50's, the shots I get from the astonishing 50 Art is always cooler than anything I got from the 50 L, it's much better in every way, this is all my opinion of course, and that makes the shots better.

All this doesn't mean anything when looking at all the epic shots from the film days and shots that capture moments where the tech means nothing, but they shot the best they had at the time, is it soo bad that we want to do the same, just that now the gear is epically better?

Is the historical images of today shot with "not the best gear" not really...

I have bought cheap tools for a simple job with my car or when building my deck in the back yard, tried them once and returned for proper gear and got the job done faster and better AND had much much more fun.
1dx, 24-70 L II, 50 Art, 200 f2.0 L

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2698
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: The sharpness curse!
« Reply #55 on: June 25, 2014, 03:21:27 PM »
And speaking of 50's, the shots I get from the astonishing 50 Art is always cooler than anything I got from the 50 L, it's much better in every way, this is all my opinion of course, and that makes the shots better.
I agree with your points about the 200L and memorable photos not being the best technically.  Also, I see that you've decided to hang onto the 50A.  Were you able to get the AF dialed in or have you just accepted that it's not perfect?
EOS 1D X, 5DIII, M + EF 24 f/1.4II, 50 f/1.2, 85 f/1.2II, 300 f/2.8 IS II || 16-35 f/4 IS, 24-70 f/2.8II, 70-200 f/2.8II || TS-E 17 f/4, 24 f/3.5II || M 22 f/2, 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS || 1.4x III, 2x III

NancyP

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 245
    • View Profile
Re: The sharpness curse!
« Reply #56 on: June 25, 2014, 03:46:06 PM »
I am having a good time experimenting with vintage lenses on the 6D. Some are good, some less so. I daresay that they aren't as sharp as the modern computer-aided designs, but the color and contrast are good. Nikon AIS 50mm f/1.2, AIS 105mm f/2.5; Mamiya-Sekor (for 135 format) 60mm f/2.8 macro and 55mm f/1.4 lenses are all pleasing with respect to color and contrast. Some of my other closet inhabitants (wide angles) don't look like the 6D mirror will clear the back end of the lens, so have not been tried - but might be interesting on a mirrorless camera. The massive spherical aberration wide open of the 50mm f/1.2 could be regarded as a "feature" instead of a "defect" if one is after a "pictorial" low contrast look.

Viggo

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2020
    • View Profile
Re: The sharpness curse!
« Reply #57 on: June 25, 2014, 03:50:53 PM »
And speaking of 50's, the shots I get from the astonishing 50 Art is always cooler than anything I got from the 50 L, it's much better in every way, this is all my opinion of course, and that makes the shots better.
I agree with your points about the 200L and memorable photos not being the best technically.  Also, I see that you've decided to hang onto the 50A.  Were you able to get the AF dialed in or have you just accepted that it's not perfect?

I have found some workaround methods, and use center when the outer fails, so accepted that it's not perfect, but I have to say, the AF is really good and it's not frustrating and/or annoying. It's probably, along with the 200, my all time favorite lens, and I have owned or tried pretty much everything.
1dx, 24-70 L II, 50 Art, 200 f2.0 L

canon rumors FORUM

Re: The sharpness curse!
« Reply #57 on: June 25, 2014, 03:50:53 PM »

klickflip

  • Canon AE-1
  • ***
  • Posts: 75
    • View Profile
Re: The sharpness curse!
« Reply #58 on: June 25, 2014, 05:46:22 PM »
Ruined - I've been meaning to reply but life has been busy...but I agree with you completely.  The 50L is one of my favorite lenses and even if it's not as sharp as my 24-70 II or other lenses, that doesn't mean it's soft mush.  The other qualities more than make up for it, but as you point, no one ever reviews those qualities because they aren't so easy to measure. 

Some people spend way too much time and effort posting this and that on the boards and the 50L will never get any love from those people.  For you, me, and the rest of the people that care about more than sharpness, we just need to get out and shoot and show how great our work is, sharpness zealots be damned :)

agreed, much more about quality that can't be measured than sharpness, but when 50L is in focus it's sharp, partly depends on your subject matter and Fstop but if I need a series of consistently sharp (in focus ) shots then 85L II is first to turn , then 135L and 35 art dependent on FOV needed. I i have time to work the short then 50L will get beautiful results with more effort.

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2698
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: The sharpness curse!
« Reply #59 on: June 25, 2014, 11:52:34 PM »
I have found some workaround methods, and use center when the outer fails, so accepted that it's not perfect, but I have to say, the AF is really good and it's not frustrating and/or annoying. It's probably, along with the 200, my all time favorite lens, and I have owned or tried pretty much everything.
Viggo, that's good to hear and I'm glad it's worked out so well for you.

agreed, much more about quality that can't be measured than sharpness, but when 50L is in focus it's sharp, partly depends on your subject matter and Fstop but if I need a series of consistently sharp (in focus ) shots then 85L II is first to turn , then 135L and 35 art dependent on FOV needed. I i have time to work the short then 50L will get beautiful results with more effort.
Yes, photos are more than just sharpness and the 50L & 85L just beg to be used at f/1.2 even if the keeper rate is lower :)
EOS 1D X, 5DIII, M + EF 24 f/1.4II, 50 f/1.2, 85 f/1.2II, 300 f/2.8 IS II || 16-35 f/4 IS, 24-70 f/2.8II, 70-200 f/2.8II || TS-E 17 f/4, 24 f/3.5II || M 22 f/2, 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS || 1.4x III, 2x III

canon rumors FORUM

Re: The sharpness curse!
« Reply #59 on: June 25, 2014, 11:52:34 PM »