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  1. #31

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    Floating elements are a good thing. They can make macro lenses perform just as well at infinity. In fact, many photographers buy macro lenses with floating elements and not the standards of the same FL. The down side is Macro lenses have smaller max apertures... at least the last time I checked they did. The point is that optical resolution is maximized and distortion is minimized from their closest focusing distance through to infinity focus. When I had my 55 Micro Nkkor I didn't own a 50 prime because I didn't need the speed. That lens was NICE!!

  2. #32

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    Floating elements are not just good in macro lenses. They help maintain image quality in all lenses that have difficulty doing so otherwise over the range they are supposed to be used in.

    Many macro lenses are of a design that isn't very 'scale sensitive', i.e. they work great over a very wide range of distances. And they may not be in need (if at all) of floating elements as much as some other lenses, like retrofocus wide angle lenses and zoom lenses (zooming itself is achieved by 'floating' elements, but image quality suffers. It can be kept up by 'floating' more elements.)

    The original question, i believe, was whether it was worth to spend the extra cash needed to get an FLE version of a focal length also available as a non-FLE, 'normal', lens.
    The answer to that depends on how good the non-FLE is. The gain in performance achieved by adding floating elements in the design may be small. It may also be quite significant.

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by darinwc View Post
    Some wide-angle lenses like the olympus 21mm f2 were designed with floating elements.

    I thought that by using lenses with such great depth of field, you could get just about everything in focus.
    Do you think it is really necessary for wide-angle lenses?
    How much depth of field depends on what aperture you are willing to live with. I have the lens in question in my hand. At f16, the minimum aperture for this lens, I could set a hyperfocal setting that would allow everything from infinity down to approximately 1/2 meter to be in focus, at f8 it would be infinity to about 2/3 meter, and at f4 it would be infinity to about 2 meters.

    This lens will focus down to about 8 inches or .2 meters. The close focus ability of this lens is where the floating element design really shines.

  4. #34
    clayne's Avatar
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    Anything that helps a wide-angle lens at close range is a good thing. If you're using wide-angle lenses correctly, you're getting as close as possible that still allows the proper elements in the scene. The worst use of a wide-angle is to stand back and "get it all in."

    I didn't know Olympus made a 21/2.0. That must be quite a nice lens. I stand by my Nikkor 20/2.8 but wouldn't mind an extra stop.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  5. #35
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    What clayne said. Best use of a wide is often up real close and if the lens is retrofocus, a floating element can make a big difference to the quality.

    Anecdote: I sold my RZ 50/4.5 (it's like a 24/2.2 on 35mm) because at close range the quality was significantly worse than I could get from any 35mm system. However the 50/4.5 ULD (with floating element) is meant to be really something special, sharp to the corners at high magnification.

  6. #36
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    As with many other lens questions, it can only be answered on a case by case basis and not by generalising...

    I have many wides with CRC that offeer brilöliant performance both near and far, but also some without CRC which offer similar performance.

    Is CRC useless on the lenses it's used on? Probably not. Would the lenses without CRC be better close up if they had it? Maybe(???)
    But a good or great lens remains that, with or without CRC.

    The goal is to choose the better lens (better for the purpose you neeed it for).
    The presence or not of CRC is like counting the number of elements in the design: You can't generalise!
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

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