Colour Saturation and Lenses
It's an obvious matter that some lenses render colours in a less saturated manner than others: old uncoated lenses, for example, not always give as rich colours as modern multicoated ones.
But is it because such lenses increase colour saturation (e.g. by selectively letting certain wavelength corresponding to primary colours go through more easily) or because they avoid the problems, such as flare, that desaturate colours?
I'm suspecting coating and glass type have a lot to do here with the avoidance of problems, in that they reduce parasitic light due to internal reflections, but I wonder if there are other variables at play.
Using film since before it was hip.
"One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal
, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11
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According to the books I’ve read about lens-making, antireflection lens coatings maximize light transmission by minimizing reflection at the air-to-glass transitions. Coatings cannot make the color of light more intense than is to begin with. They only prevent degradation of what’s already present in the light reflected from the scene.
The saturation is due to flare or the absence of it, an extremely well Multi-coated lens will give the best saturation.
Early coatings often tended to be rather cold (in colour terms0 and give a bluish tinge hence the warm up filters that most people used in the 1960's and early 1970's. Some lens coatings were decidedly strong I have a CZJ 150mm Tessar from the early 1950's that gives a distinct blue cast but by the late 1960's the coatings on many German LF lenses (Schneider & Rodsenstock) were close to later MC versions and extremely good.
The term Single coated is a bit of a minomer because often lenses had more than one coating, but these were applied individually. CZJ were using more than one layer by WWII for some applications.
The best lenses are multi coated on eveery glass/air surface but one major lens manufacturer had to scrap their entire range and drop their brand name from lenses after a disasterous series of poorly coated lenses went on sale, suprisingly that was Hoya. Hoya and Tokina have common ownership and a completely new redesigned range of lenses was released under the Tokina brand name
20 years ago , I met a person for buying a Leica II , he had two summitars , one coated other non. I selected the first one and later I bought the second one also. There was no difference and worked excellent , I dont give a damn to public legends and non coated lens performs excellent.
When it comes to your color question , I cant tell you the colors I like but Internationally common media was National Geographic Magazine and I love their colors starting from 1970s and end with late 1980s.
Strong color saturation was a Fuji invention for race with Kodak and its the grandfather of todays HDR people. I totally refuse all of this s..it.
For lenses it is Color MTF curve are the responsible for all. Its a graphic reveals the lens records what , how .Japanese lens makers are developing new lenses every year like a chicken and no time to engineer them like an art. They are tourist cameras who bankrupt to visit Disneyland and photograph with goofy.
Leica Summilux costed designers 10 years to finish it.
You cant read too much about color MTF and all these stuff developed in house of camera makers
With color reversal films, slight overexposure reduces color saturation, slight underexposure increases it. Great stress, slight.
Originally Posted by Michel Hardy-Vallée
In my experience with lenses in shutter, shutters that run slow are more of a problem for color saturation, at least for reversal films, than lenses' coating or lack thereof. I have, though, used a couple of single-coated lenses that were flary and needed careful use of hoods to reduce the effect of light sources outside the frame on color saturation. Prime examples are 150/9 and 210/9 Konica Hexanon GRIIs. Both single-coated, both problematic with difficult lighting. I keep the 210 GRII in the closet, use a 210/7.7 Beryl-S instead; it isn't quite as sharp near wide open but gives much better color saturation. Oh, yeah, Beryl-S = Dagor and it is single-coated.
Mustafa, once upon a time lens design was done with hand calculations. Now fast digital computers are used. They're much much faster than people, and because of this are better at optimization. You're too young to have done large calculations manually, but when I was a young graduate student I burned out several electromechanical calculators. They died in clouds of blue smoke.
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I respect your abilities and experiences.
If you want to calculate a lens with computer as much as for ideal conditions it takes more than 1000 years for Summicron 50.
Think you have 14 surfaces with each surface is precise as 0.99999 and you have 7 distances , 7 thickness each of them 5 digit sensitive , 35 glasses each have 5 digit sensivity
Let us calculate , multiply 11111 x11111x11111x11111x11111 , least 35 times and you are the expert how big the problem is ?
The problem is to find a mathematical way to shortcut this problem. Only few companies have ability and will to do that , thats why Leica sells his last lens for 6000 euros.
The problem is to find a mathematical way to shortcut this problem. Only few companies have ability and will to do that , thats why Leica sells his last lens for 6000 euros
Absolute nonsense. Lens design programs have been around since the early 1950s. Good ones are commercially available.
As for Leica, until recently they were mired in the dark ages. For all I know they still are. Zeiss and Nikon had smarter management, didn't tie their lens divisions to the camera business. Leica had a fine merchant lensmaking operation in Canada, sold it. Leica was run for many years by (choose at least one) short-sighted fools or fools who thought they knew than their customes what the customers should want.
In a way, they're like Rolex. If you want a timepiece that keeps good time, buy a Casio or Seiko. If you want an instrument of intimidation, buy a Rolex. Except that nowadays Leicas aren't intimidating.
Did you do the calculation ?
Why you pay to Rolex ? Because they support hundreds of organisation world class and worldwide. And they are handsome. Leica dont do this but offer the best engineering. You have to support it . Look for Seikos inventions , they are completely idiot , they make an analog watch , time kept by a computer. Leica is not Rolex but Vacheron Constantin or Patek Philippe.
When you give 1 million to Patek , it uses 900 handmade parts and conduct 31 different works together including your homes location 365 days stars map. Its a amazing engineering and all the money goes to keep them in business and good work.
Leica does the same , it calculates deeper in mathematics and grow new solutions, like their glass research. You have to support it.
I have not 6000 euros for new Leica but Leica user more than 20 years and it pays back every penny you give it.
I think its hot and humidified
Perhaps it's interesting that around the time Multi-coating became common the contrast of colour films changed as well with newer emulsions and processes like C41 and E6, also K25/64.
I think exposure needs to be taken out of the equation Dan, it's long been used for controlling colour saturation particularly with Kodachromes regardless of lenses being coated r not. Also I've found newer Copal shutters often run slower than Compurs of any age (that aren't sticky). I have tested my Compurs and some Copals and even a 1913 compur is still remarkably accurate.
Yes had Leica were in hard troubles some years ago but since 2009 they have been seeing great success again. I appreciate that very much because all Leicas are still offering the classic exposure-dial aperture-ring user concept that most japanese manufacturers have abandoned.
I thought about buying an R8 some years ago but instead went medium format. The Leica lenses really have a look of their own. I think Mustafa is right when he says that japanese manufacturers today release new lenses every year but most of them are only mediocre. For example, I was really shocked when I saw the heavy distortion of some of the new lenses for the Fuji X Pro1, and this is a rangefinder! On the other hand I think how carefully Zeiss had eliminated distortion in many of their lenses to nearly zero in the past. Fuji does it electronically now, but without the camera software, these lenses would be hardly enjoyable.