Quote Originally Posted by PHOTOTONE View Post
Exactly, coating has nothing to do with a lens ability to render good color photos. Coating only affects the lens resistance to flare and in some cases can increase the contrast.

Color photography started long before lenses were coated.
As someone who has shot a lot of color large format film with a large variety of lenses, I'm going to disagree with the premise that coatings have nothing to do with a lens' ability to render good color photos.

Yes, coatings reduce flare and increase contrast - which is exactly why they are important when shooting with color film. If a lens is flare prone and low in contrast it will rob color images of saturation and make the colors look flat and lifeless. In black and white, development time and temperature can be altered to increase (or decrease) contrast. With color film, if you start deviating from the manufacturer's recommended development times and temperatures, you will get unwanted color shifts

Of course, flare is also a function of lens design. An uncoated lens with few air spaces (such as an uncoated Goerz Dagor) will still have relatively high contrast. However, an uncoated lens with multiple air spaces will be flare prone and low in contrast. Shading the lens helps, but for rich saturated colors (if that's your goal), I recommend at least single coated lens. A multicoated lens will be even more immune to flare and render the most saturated colors.

Used previous generation mulicoated lenses can be had at very reasonable prices these days. So, if your goal is to shoot color, even if you are on a limited budget, I see no reason not to get a multicoated (or at the very least, single coated) lens.

Also, many lenses made before 1940 were not color corrected. Using such lenses with color film can result in color fringing - which can easily show up in 4x enlagements. Again, since plenty of post WWII coated, color corrected lenses are available at very reasonable prices, I see no reason to use something older, uncoated and uncorrected for this particular application.

Kerry Thalmann
Really Big Cameras