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  1. #61
    cliveh's Avatar
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    I have a 50mm f2 collapsible Summicron on my GIII, which is OK, but for my money the 3.5 50mm Elmar and 1.4 50mm Summilux have superb characteristics that I have never found on other lenses. But then I haven't used every lens.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  2. #62
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I'll take this thread back a level or two.

    When I began photography my first SLR's a Zenit E follewed by A Practikamat (the first SLR with TTL metering it beat the Spotmatic into production) the lenses were coated, no issues with contrast. I had no problems either with Meyer & Sloigor optics/

    It was only when I went up market and bought Sigma and later Hoya lenses that I experiences lens flare and they were Multicoated. That meant I made sure subsequent lenses were well coated and flare resistant. At the same time I was using coated Schneider LF lens for work again no problems but as I bought newer lenses I only bought multicoated except for my Leica M£ & Summicron.

    Years (as in 3 decades) later I acquired my fisrt uncoated lens (a 135mm Tessar) and was pleasantly surprised by the quality but it did lack the micro contrasts I was used to, subsequently I bought a pair of T coated 50's 150mm Tessar cells of this or the LF forum and began using them instead that made all the difference.

    What I'm saying is you have to get to know your own lenses, I used an early uncoated Triotar on a Rolleicord for portraits and it gave wonderful results on colour films but it was never the best Zeiss lens.

    There's so many variables and I've a 1913 165mm f6.3 Tessar that will out perform some Tessar & type designs made many decades later and are coated. Many older lenses with poor contrast have isssues, the difference in final images between a good un-coated lens and a coated or MC lens is discernible if comparing images shot alongside each other but not necessarily obvious otherwise, and the difference between a good coated lens and an MC lens is even harder to spot.

    The bottom line is uncoated lenses are old, if the glass is mint or in good condition you stand a chance of getting great images, but they age differently, sme may be hazy, others scratched, and the design it self may help enormously.

    Ian

  3. #63
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    Ian,

    You are defining everything with contrast. Do you put this on to the table with MTF or Phase ? If we give wrong impression to the people , this goes wrong way. Phase contribution to the image is faraway greater , MTF is the one of the two variable at OTF. Real important one is the phase variable. If you use the highest possible MTF graphed , sharp lens , if the phase sucks , your image turn to an alien , like Japanese lenses. You can design a ultra high contrast lens - like my Fuji - but with a coma or vignetting , these are basic aberrations , it goes down.

    MIT presented a research to input an image , extract its high frequency details , nonlinear analysis and than put the function work on an other image. This is some explanation.

    Your novar must have a problem , Triotar is the real gentleman , never distracts the eye , lots of line detail and tones are legendary.

    How we can define a legendary term , I am looking for a optics test lab at china and order few lens to be tested for phase.

    Other interest area is to simulate the aberrations one by one and as a combinations derived from these tests on images and learn what is Leica and Zeiss were doing and how .

    I think I will send the first lens after Christmas.

  4. #64
    Diapositivo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klainmeister View Post
    I do know this: with BW I find the difference to be not quite as apparent (adjust development, printing, etc) but with chromes I hugely can see a difference. One has a punch and the other looks dull, and when it's all said and done, I could compare the same scene with same conditions and film and clearly tell which one had better glass/coatings in relation to contrast. A side effect of a higher contrast lens is apparent sharpness too. Whether or not it's actually sharper isn't the issue, but the perceived sharpness because of the high contrast lens will definitely stand out.
    With chromes you cannot control black point. With prints you can. Besides, the overall contrast of a chrome is higher than that of a print, so differences show more. When printing the black point can be rendered as desired by the printer and up to a certain extent the "overall contrast" of a "low-contrast lens" can be recovered. For "overall contrast" I mean the absolute difference between black point and white point. The "low-contrast lens", at that point, will show an image with a deep black but not much detail in the shadows. The "high-contrast lens" will have the same black point, but more details in the shadow.

    With slides, the low-contrast lens will not reach the level of "blackness of the blacks" of the other lens. That will immediately appear as a "less lively" image to the eye when the two are compared. Colours will appear less saturated. In my experience perception of colour saturation is well dependent from overall contrast. The distance between black and white point determines how "lively" an image is.

    As said, the soft-contrast lens (or at least the non-coated lens) will probably also lack some acutance, or "micro-contrast", which is perceived as "sharpness".

    The simple, real-life test mentioned in this thread could be made, perhaps, by taking pictures with the same camera, same light conditions, same exposure, different lenses and slide film, and then measuring the difference between higher density and lower density points, which gives the "overall contrast".
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
    Stock images at Imagebroker: http://www.imagebroker.com/#/search/ib_fbr

  5. #65
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustafa Umut Sarac View Post
    Ian,

    You are defining everything with contrast. Do you put this on to the table with MTF or Phase ? If we give wrong impression to the people , this goes wrong way. Phase contribution to the image is faraway greater , MTF is the one of the two variable at OTF. Real important one is the phase variable. If you use the highest possible MTF graphed , sharp lens , if the phase sucks , your image turn to an alien , like Japanese lenses. You can design a ultra high contrast lens - like my Fuji - but with a coma or vignetting , these are basic aberrations , it goes down.

    MIT presented a research to input an image , extract its high frequency details , nonlinear analysis and than put the function work on an other image. This is some explanation.

    Your novar must have a problem , Triotar is the real gentleman , never distracts the eye , lots of line detail and tones are legendary.

    How we can define a legendary term , I am looking for a optics test lab at china and order few lens to be tested for phase.

    Other interest area is to simulate the aberrations one by one and as a combinations derived from these tests on images and learn what is Leica and Zeiss were doing and how .

    I think I will send the first lens after Christmas.
    It is fun to know why something works but regardless of the numbers, tables, and the like; if a lens produces nice work in practical situations, that's all that really matters to me.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    Just because a lens is coated, does not mean you can get away without a proper lenshood.

    Your experience is just what I would expect, comparing a 1950s single coated lens to a new multicoated lens.
    I just wanted to say: regarding this Summicron and Nikkor test, that I did have a lens hood for my Nikkor lens, but my friend did not have one for the Leica lens. So we felt it only fair to shoot the pics without the Nikon hood. I've always used lens hoods for my lenses, as it really does make a difference in the pics most of the time. I also try to use metal screw on hoods, as they have the added bonus of protecting the front of the lens from impact dings.

  7. #67
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diapositivo View Post
    With chromes you cannot control black point.


    Push/pull, plus/minus development?
    The contrast range of chromes is easily adjustable in development. The practice and principle here is classic zone system, simply developing for a specific final result. It is no stretch to factor the effects of the lens into this.

    Exposure settings?
    Where we place our subjects on the curve, including our black point, is a choice not a given.

    Artificial lighting?
    Popping in a bit of flash on a subject allows us to reduce exposure settings overall, darkening the background as much as we please.

    Creative use of flare?
    By protecting or exposing the lens to stray light.

    My point is simply that it is rare in photography not to have options for controlling our results.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #68
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Push/pull, plus/minus development?
    But with transparency film, you only get one go at it. You can make a print as many times as you like until you are happy with it.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  9. #69
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    But with transparency film, you only get one go at it. You can make a print as many times as you like until you are happy with it.

    Steve.
    Sure, that's true for a given frame and even one of the reasons I prefer negatives myself.

    It's not true systemically though.

    The point I'm making is simply that shooting chromes requires that decisions and experimentation be made at different points in the process. Chrome shooting is more camera centric.

    For example bracketing or shooting a second sheet/roll of film that can be developed differently is a normal part of the process chrome shooters use. With experience that can fully replace the print variation option that negative shooters have.

    It's really just a choice about what work process we prefer, not about not being able to adjust.
    Last edited by markbarendt; 11-15-2012 at 04:09 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Grammer
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  10. #70
    SFC
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    My apologies for not wading through every answer to see if I'm duplicating anyone.

    In my experience, an image with low contrast requires a contrast boost after the scan. And whenever contrast is boosted, flaws and artifacts start to emerge. The most obvious will be increased grain, dust, and scratches. So an image may have great detail, such as a collapsible Summicron that I used to have, but I'd rather have a higher-contrast lens and high contrast film for scanning. That's why I miss Plus-X, which needed very little boost after scanning.

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