I'm all Eyes- Let's see how Lens Signature affects Photographs

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by ray ., Nov 29, 2005.

  1. There is much talk here about lens choice, collecting lenses,
    collecting more than one lens of the same focal length, etc...
    because it supposedly has some significant affect on the photographs
    you make.

    So, please post some example comparisons to show me how your lens
    choice affects your work, within the realm of good quality glass
    lenses (not Holga or Stylus but between different Leica lenses, or
    VC, Nikkor, Canon, etc for SLR or rangefinder cameras using film.)
    I'd think that your example would have to be the same scene, light,
    exposure etc to see the comparison. One example from one lens won't
    cut it, we need at least 2 examples with different lenses to compare
    them with each other.

    Talking about prints isn't what this is about. This is an internet
    photo site, and if you're going to communicate something with
    photography, or convince people of something about photography, you
    should, almost without exception- unless you're a professional
    critic- be posting photos on screen somewhere along the line.

    Let's see 'em and tell how the lens makes the photo a different
    animal depending on what you used... And I know it's subjective,
    but if your photograph doesn't communicate something in the first
    place, it's pointless to post it. I don't want dead dry sample
    tests of a wall that shows the potential affect if the photograph
    had had some creativity injected into it. I want to be moved, or
    impressed, or at least see something out of the ordinary, or well
    crafted, or with a compelling subject that works better with one
    lens and is lacking somehow using another.

    There are quite a few people making claims for lens signature, so
    there ought to be more than a couple who can come through on this
    one with some tangible evidence and example...
     
  2. Your language below makes demands of people here, as if they owe you something in life.
    "So, please post some example comparisons to show ME how your lens choice affects your work..."
    "...if you're going to communicate something with photography, or convince people of something about photography, you should, almost without exception- unless you're a professional critic- be posting photos on screen somewhere along the line."
    "...if your photograph doesn't communicate something in the first place, it's pointless to post it..."
    "...I want to be moved, or impressed, or at least see something out of the ordinary, or well crafted, or with a compelling subject that works better with one lens and is lacking somehow using another."

    A bit more humility would get you more mileage, I think.
    Even then, I wonder if anyone should respond with pictures to justify what they know or believe to someone else, just because that someone has thrown down the gauntlet.
    Lets put it this way. I spent the $$, I like my lenses for what they do (if not, I'd have sold them already), so why should I need to justify or show to anyone else why I like my lenses, it's my $$ after all. I don't need to convince anyone else, I'm not trying to argue with them that my choice of lens is better than theirs, or trying to sell them my lens.
     
  3. Actually, I did something like this on another forum-but somehow I don't feel compelled
    to repeat it here. Besides, the differences were obvious. Different details, even different
    interpretations of color on B&W film.
     
  4. To argue the opposite - that brand name doesn't matter and that it's about the subject, the light, the moment --
    Here is one with with Canon 50mm f/1.4 (current vers) and one with a Leica 50 f/2.0 Summicron-M. But I'm not saying which is which.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Too easy.

    Both the above photos were taken with "Kents."
     
  6. The coy answer to your question is that a photograph on a website cannot possibly display the level of detail and subtlety of color that one would see in a real print. Therefore, one cannot adequately demonstrate a lens signature by just putting it up on this forum.

    A personal, introspective answer to your question is that having used Leica, Contax, Nikkor and Canon lenses I cannot for the life of me tell the difference. Maybe with a magnifying glass I could, but until I see someone in a museum looking at photographs with a loupe I am not going to bother. I can tell the difference between a shot with a medium format camera though, and definitely large format.
     
  7. Top photo is the Canon, bottom photo is the Cron - wide open.
     
  8. Wai-Leong, I'll respond to you. I agree with you totally :)

    Kent's photos are deciphered correctly.
     
  9. Wai-Leong Lee, you chose to comment on the question or how it was asked and not answer it, so your answer is pretty much beside the point, or a non-answer as far as I'm concerned. Your comment about doing what you want with your own $$ could use some humility as well... but whatever.

    I wonder how many other non-answers will crop up here. Expect quite a few when people can't back up their argument.

    Thanks for the positive input, Kent, and others who may follow.
     
  10. John Layton, how does the difference, assuming you identified them correctly, signficantly change the mood or message of the photos? They both look like good photos to me, and the eye and attitude of the photographer is consistent in both.
     
  11. You've contradicted yourself already Ray. I thought the object was to see if a lens had a signature or not-regardless of "mood or message"? Some lenses are more different than others. Some are indistinguishable and maybe even, indistinguished. We've seen on this forum, harsh bokeh, degrees of flare/"glow", Noctilux effects, different shaped flares, etc. I'm clearly cheating here, going to another format, but this was taken with an obviously uncoated Schneider Xenar on a 6x9 cm foldin Wirgin. The print is wonderful. I'm not sure if I would like it as much if I'd taken it with the better Voigtlander 6x9 Apo-Lanthar that I traded for a Pentax years before.
    00EM34-26738084.jpg
     
  12. I like and use Leica glass, but I'm not real subtle. The only lens I have ever used that had a "signature" that I could always see was a Nikkor 300mm f4.5 IF ED (20 years ago). That lens had the most distinctive colour rendition and was a superb partner for Ektachrome for outdoor portraits (!).

    Beyond that I'm simply not smart enough or discerning enough to be able to reliably tell the difference between different lenses. That is different to saying that I can see differences and that I know what I like - both of those things are true.

    Regards

    Mike
     
  13. "I wonder how many other non-answers will crop up here. Expect quite a few when people can't back up their argument."

    Who's arguing? If you don't believe there's a difference, then so be it. There is no need for me to attempt to show you incontrovertible evidence that Lens A is different from Lens B. You're not a judge, I don't have to present evidence to you. Neither do you have to show evidence to me that Lens A is no different/better than Lens B.

    What I mean is, live and let live. Logically there must be a difference between A and B, although the magnitude of the difference varies. Arguments come about when one party tries to say that A is better than B because A costs 5x more, while the other tries to prove that B is not better than A or that the difference between B and A is not worth 5x the price, etc.

    Why go down that kind of route?
     
  14. I'm not questioning whether there are differences. I'm
    questioning how much the differences mean beyond one looks
    a little different than the other. So if Nachtwey or Salgado or Kent
    or Al Kaplan broke their lens and had to borrow a substitute-
    would anyone really notice that much when looking at their
    photographs, or would the photographs essentially be the
    same?
     
  15. I think I can see a difference between my lenses but I'm not positive it makes a big difference. The difference, however, is there.

    I did a photoshoot about 2 years ago of a family reunion. I shot D30 with 24/1.4 and M6TTL with 50cron. The result was some mediocre photos but very well received by the family. When I got the film back and compared the shots on a computer monitor side by side, I have not seen a huge difference in quality. The film shots seemed to have more depth and richness in them. The family however preferred the digital shots. Go figure.

    I've had the pleasure over the years to shoot with Canon EF 50mm 1.8, Canon EF 50mm 1.4, Konica Hexanon 57mm 1.2, Konica Hexanon 50mm 1.8, Konica Hexanon 50mm 1.4, Leica Summicron 50mm, and Nikon 50mm 1.dontremember. Of those shots I could say the Konica Hexanon 57mm 1.2 had the most discernible 'signature'. I miss that lens. <br>

    Hexanon 57mm 1.2 <br>
    <img src="http://www.widereach.net/rodina/images/2003/smwolfsneck2.jpg">
    <br>
    <img src="http://www.widereach.net/rodina/images/2003/smwolfsneck1.jpg">
    <br>
     
  16. Wai-Leong, you sound very upset and unhappy, why? I'd like to *visually* see these claimed
    differences as well. If you don't want to, that's fine - there are other threads you might want
    to participate on.
     
  17. I'm not unhappy. I just didn't like the way he asked things.
     
  18. OK, my apologies for being too strident in the wording of my
    question, if that's what you felt.

    I'm challenging the legitimacy of what's talked about here over
    and over again, and I asked for some back-up to that point of
    view. If people don't at some point show some examples, then
    that provides confirmation to my assumptions, and maybe some
    others assumptions are overturned. Or if they do show
    examples, maybe my assumptions will fall through and I'll learn
    something. Either way, it seems a good question.
     
  19. By the way, Brad, the differences are there. If you took a Noctilux and a Cron to shoot, even at the same F2 aperture, you'd see one is sharper than the other, one has different bokeh than the other. Of course, if you shoot at F1, the bokeh of the Noctilux is totally different from that of the Cron at F2.

    Ditto for the 35 cron, esp. the bokeh king. It's certainly different from the 35 ASPH.

    There are sufficient examples of both in the Photonet archives, and also around the web (eg at the Leica gallery). You can search them out.

    As always, the question is whether the differences matter. For content purposes, of course not-- eg. whether the picture of execution in the streets of Saigon was taken by a Cron or a Noct, the impact would have been no different. Actually, even if it was taken with a cheap 50/1.8 Canon or Nikon prime, the feeling it evokes would still be the same.
     
  20. Wai-Leong, I think Ray was looking for photos, not descriptions. Do you have any photos to show?
     
  21. Yes, both you and Ray could check out Sean Reid's extensive review at http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/lenses/fastlensreview.shtml.

    There's some newspaper shots, but he also has flower shots and shots of his daughter in a cafe, comparing a wide variety of fast lenses side by side.

    You can see some differences in the way the same scene is rendered with different lenses, and Sean's conclusion is that different lenses paint pictures differently (just like different brushes would paint a picture differently), and he makes the point that you should choose the right lens to communicate the feeling you want.
     
  22. Apparently we're a great bunch here as no one appears to be spending their past time shooting lenses side by side and glaring at the bokeh. Seems like the members here shoot their pics and discuss the intangibles with fun.
     
  23. It's obvious that it's way too much bother for some people to use the search function on photonet to find numerous examples comparing the signature and bokeh of lenses. Plenty of examples have appeared in this forum in the past. They'd rather have others do their research and hand them the examples on a silver platter.
     
  24. Ray says...I'm challenging the legitimacy of what's talked about here over and over again. Ray...you're digging yourself deeper in a hole. The purpose of this forum, any forum really, is to build community and help each other not to show how smart you are and to challenge each other's leigitimacy. WYFYIAHTFTTDISTSD...
     
  25. So, so far looks as if it doesn't amount to a hill of beans, these
    lens types. Kind of like if you Armoraled your tires. Nobody
    notices it but you. You're still the same guy when you show up at
    someone's house, same guy to people you're in the car with-
    either way. Except that if they do know you put that stuff on your
    tires they'll figure you're either a little cracked or they know they've
    got a motorhead mate.

    Non-answer Al Kaplan, nice going. Your clever banter has no
    relation to what's what with the topic.

    Purpose of a community forum where learning about
    photography takes place is to try to get at least some of it right.
     
  26. Ray's question is valid, if offerred rather robustly, which is
    irrelevant because the question is important.

    Lenses are different. When they are very different, it is easy to
    say that one is obviously of lower quality than the other. When
    they are very close, and the differences are only discerned with a
    loupe, its easy to say there is no difference, but everything in
    between exists and is sometimes perceptible.

    I admit that I sometimes use the term "character" to describe a
    lens which may have a bit more flare and a bit lower contrast
    than another lens, but still yields very satisfying results,
    especially if I got the lense cheap. Taken too far, this
    rationalization for a lens of good "value" allows one to assume a
    bad lens is capable of the same results in extreme conditions
    like wide open with direct light sources. Then one would be
    deceiving himself as much as waxing on about how each lens
    uses its own "brush" or other over the top ca-ca.

    Sorry I don't have examples to show, but just consider that
    sometimes a little flare, as in a background window, might be
    pleasing, and might not have occurred with the best aspheric
    lens. Its overly simple, but that might be called character, if the
    lens was able to still have good detail in a foreground subject
    without a total reduction of contrast all over.
     
  27. If people don't at some point show some examples, then that provides confirmation to my assumptions...
    A sensation only victory may bestow upon us. Bravo Ray, you win.
     
  28. Ray,

    I think the best example of differences of lens signature, oof or bokeh in the leica forum
    are Mike Dixon's photos. I don't know if you remember or around then when he shot
    mostly with the two M3 with the 75lux, 50 dr cron, 50 preasph lux but they are quite
    different than his more recent canon dslr photos. Perhaps the format changes ( 1.6 crop )
    and he shoots more wides now but I doubt he changed his lighting / style enough to
    attribute to the noticeable different look from his earlier M shots to his recent digital
    photos in Korea.
     
  29. I read the whole thread, but all my brain heard was 'wank wank wank'.
     
  30. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "It's obvious that it's way too much bother for some people to use the search function on photonet to find numerous examples comparing the signature and bokeh of lenses. Plenty of examples have appeared in this forum in the past. They'd rather have others do their research and hand them the examples on a silver platter."

    help us out with a few links then Al? most naturally would to prove their point.
     
  31. Aren't Mike's pics now completely different in approach, style,
    and subject matter? I think so.
     
  32. Plenty of examples have appeared in this forum in the past
    Some links would be helpful, because except for Doug Herr I don't recall anything being shown that really meant much.
     
  33. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    i know, how about a few mail me lenses, including a canon adapter ring, so i can shoot them all controlled on a dslr? must be a few beater lenses out there collecting dust?
     
  34. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Kent, Rene B, Carsten Brockerman (where is that fellow?), Rich Shilver (excuse the spelling?) are also great Leicamen
     
  35. Trying to follow Al's lead I just searched on "lens signature" but all I could find were discussions with no pictures. When I looked at a lot of the contributors they didn't have any portfolios or pictures. I admit I skip a lot of the gear threads but I don't remember any pictures showing different lens characteristics. <BR><BR>Al if you say there are a lot could you point to a few?
     
  36. It's obvious that it's way too much bother for some people to use the search function on photonet to find numerous examples comparing the signature and bokeh of lenses.
    You'd think a guy with 40 years of "leica experience" might have a few photos to offer up. Oh well, too much bother I guess...
     
  37. http://www.photo.net/photo/3343499

    The Miccosukee photo was with a first model (8 element) 35/2 Summicron.

    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0098au

    The third photo in this thread, Nathan Benn holding my daughter Elena, was made using the original model of the 35/1.4 Summilux.
     
  38. When shooting an "out of the ordinary , or well crafted,..." image,
    as Ray asks for, the thing on the mind might not be to prove a
    character difference once the choice of lenses is made based
    on past, more subjective experience. The lack of immediately
    available examples (although there may yet be some I don't
    know of) is not proof that the idea that lenses have different
    character is wrong. Although it can be taken too far, one only
    need admit that lenses differ in various characteristics in
    different ways to acknowledge that the differing combinations will
    yield different results that could be characterized as fingerprints
    or character. Am I wrong? Isn't this obvious?
     
  39. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    one of g's old posts is in there too. how appropriate...

    "grant .aug 11, 2004; 09:23 p.m.
    did someone say monkee...?"

    lmao
     
  40. Try the "Current (1979) 50 Summicron vs. 1969" thread (which is currently right above this one) if that's not too much trouble. If that's not too much trouble.
     
  41. Al - I like the first shot the best. But the two shots are under such different lighting conditions that it's hard to compare. I think you almost need to shoot resolution charts on a tripod with same lighting to really compare lenses. At least for resolution and contrast. Some of the more abstract characteristics: boke, signature, glow are harder to pin down.
     
  42. >>>Aren't Mike's pics now completely different in approach, style, and subject matter? I
    think so.<<<

    I don't think he COMPLETELY changed but if you say so...then it MUST be true i suppose.
     
  43. Al, that first photo kicks ass, wish you'd do or show more like
    that... but I agree with Kent the 2nd looks to be under much
    different lighting conditions.
     
  44. rj

    rj

    This is a Sally Mann quote from a ViewCamera article where she is talking about some of the circa 1800 portrait lenses she used for her Deep South series. "It took me years of searching" she says, "to find ones with just the right degree of destitude: separation of the lens elements, fatal crackling along the edges where the glue has separated, and, with real luck, a felicitous mildew pattern." Here are some of the images from her series.

    http://www.houkgallery.com/mann-deepsouth/mann_1.html

    Now, if you can't see how the lens played an integral role in these images, you're blind, or have a serious case of gloucoma.

    There is a thread going on today where Rob F. posted this link:

    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00CLtV

    Check out the differences in those 50mm lenses especially the flare test. These differences with the lenses will translate to photos that you deem to be moving enough.

    There is a reason when filming "Saving Private Ryan" Spielberg used period correct lenses and even went as far as using steel wool to take the coatings off newer lenses to get the flaring effect that he strived for.

    The lenses that I use on my leica were all made before 1970 and have a distinct look, much different than my current Pentax stuff. Looking for lenses with distinct signatures or looks or characteristics takes time and some thinking, nobody is saying these lenses have to be the supreme offerings from the optical companies, nor have to cost a lot (my leica 135mm elmar cost 75 bucks) but the qualities, characteristics or looks are there.

    I'll tell you what I'm going to do, since neither you nor your little cohort brad sent me an address to send prints to: I'm going to go out tomorrow with my leica and my pentax, shoot some color print film(which I don't normally shoot) in each camera. I shoot my 90 elmarit for the leica and my 77 limited for the pentax since they are both teles and can show somewhat similar focal lengths. I am going to get the rolls scanned at walmart and get a cd made, I will post them tomorrow night sometime and hopefully the difference can still be seen on the lame jpeg that photo.net sticks us with, you know, since you don't want to look at real photography - prints. I'll try to make them moving enough. I should caution, I live in a rural area, so I guess they won't be considered the street shots, hope you can forgive me for not being creative enough.
     
  45. bhk

    bhk

    Simple. If Salgado's Leica broke and he had to make an image with a P&S it would probably
    still be a great image - he has a strong way of seeing and that translates into the image
    regardless of the tools he's using.

    At the same time, if he had had the lens he prefers the photograph would likely be improved.
    But you have to appreciate subtlety to recognize the improvement. There is a difference
    between good and great, excellent and outstanding.
     
  46. RJ, something as extreme as those lenses Sally Mann is using
    is not what I was talking about- recall I'm not questioning the
    difference Holga vs Leica or Nikkor, in the example I gave.
     
  47. Ok, here are 3 summicron 50's, 1 Nikon 80-200, 1 a Fujinon MF 6x9, 1 a Swedish camera/
    lens and 2 different scanners and none are as good/crisp/cleaer as Kent's. You pic em. I'll
    have to go into thegarage to dig out old Nikon 50 1.8 negs.

    <img src="http://d6d2h4gfvy8t8.cloudfront.net/3051018-lg.jpg">
    <img src="http://d6d2h4gfvy8t8.cloudfront.net/3257860-md.jpg">
    <img src="http://d6d2h4gfvy8t8.cloudfront.net/797632-lg.jpg">
    <img src="http://d6d2h4gfvy8t8.cloudfront.net/3344239-lg.jpg">
    <img src="http://d6d2h4gfvy8t8.cloudfront.net/1536946-lg.jpg">
    <img src="http://d6d2h4gfvy8t8.cloudfront.net/3734832-lg.jpg">
     
  48. Now, if you can't see how the lens played an integral role in these images, ...
    As I said when you brought that up a few days ago, when you're at her level the nuances count. When you're shooting travel pix of statues, or your dog, car, or backyard it makes no difference. If you don't have a compelling image to begin with; ie one that sings with emotion and great light, the lens won't make it wonderful. As a result, the lens is not playing an integral role.
    ...hope you can forgive me for not being creative enough.
    Well, as I said above, if you start off with a not interesting subject in ordinary light, the lens isn't going to help. Make an image like Kent's above, something that's worthy of getting into.
    since neither you nor your little cohort brad sent me an address
    You look really small when you toss out tiny insults like that. Grow up.
     
  49. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    oh and Barry, forgot him, and others no doubt, in my 11:06 p.m. post. sorry man...
     
  50. Hey Barry - I'm gonna have to come to Santa Monica on a Sunday and buy you a guiness. Looking at that beauty playing whistle reminds me that one of my very oldest buddies makes some very fine whistles up in Ashland.
    Reyburn Whistles--
     
  51. Ray, Thanks for your comment on the Miccosukee photo. I get lazy at times. I really need to print up more of my old stuff. I spent a lot of time on the Miccosukee and Seminole reservations in the early 70's and shot a lot of film with my Leicas. Everything from horseback riding with the cattle herds on the Brighton Reservation I still have the negatives. I've got a bunch of Kodachrome II's kicking around too. It was a whole way of life completely gone now, thanks to the wealth brought by first tax free cigarette sales and then by bingo halls and casinos.
     
  52. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....
     
  53. OK, Ray, you got me to bite on this subject other day, but I'll bite again, even though there was no response to what I thought was a reasoned explanation of my true experience. So, to start with, I'll repeat a portion of that posting:

    quote begins - "Back in the days when I hung a 35mm camera over my shoulder every waking hour of every day, I took photos of many ordinary street scenes I came upon. The scenes were ordinary; it was the quality of the light that I was usually stalking - a hard, crystalline light in which objects jump out at you like cutouts.

    One day my local camera store took a Leicaflex SL in trade and shoved it in my face that afternoon, hoping they'd make a sale. I put my Nikon down, put a roll of Plus-X in the Leicaflex and went outside and shot the roll up. That night I developed the film and made a couple of prints. The next morning I went to the camera shop and put the put the Leicaflex on layaway. It took me 3 months to pay it off, and I lusted for it every day of that 3 months. Why? The quality of the images from the 50mm Summicron at f/8, that's why. Crystalline edges and textures, but creamy tones all at the same time. The Nikkors I'd been using (50mm f/2 and 35mm f/2.8) were muddier by comparison, less sharp at hard contrast edges, and didn't contain the microcontrast in finely textured areas. As Ray says, "Maybe I'm missing something." Well, I'd have saved some money over the years (or had a larger lens collection) if I was not able to see the difference, and some people can't, but if you can see the difference, you really appreciate the qualities these lenses can bring to some styles of photography. So believe me, it is possible to be an equipment freak AND be into the art of your imagery. When the two come together, it can be very satisfying. BTW, I believe the 40mm Summicron has the same qualities as the 50mm Summicron R, although I'd have to do a tripod-based test to sense the resolution difference, I believe." - quote ends

    It would make no sense for me to post scans of those negatives, as the qualities we're talking about here simply do not show up on a computer monitor screen. They show up in an 11x14 print. And yes, displaying images on a monitor has become an important part of the photography world. But it has not replaced the print component of that world.

    In that other thread you made some comments that are the beginning of an enquiry that is worth pursuing. You said, "I've never understood why people are so focused on lens characteristics. Maybe I'm missing something." and you said, "Photography isn't about lenses really, is it?" Here's my response to you. If this were a master/teacher situation (I'm NOT the master here, this is just an example) your master would congratulate you on asking good questions. And would then guide you in discovering the answers to these questions yourself. The master would not provide proof to you of the answer that you might ultimately find. It is your job to refine your questions, devise a method of discovering the answers to those questions, and then to do the work that answers those questions with a truth that is YOUR TRUTH. Photo.net comrades can assist in explaining the personal truths they have discovered for themselves, and they might offer suggestions as to how you might discover your own truth. But it is not their job to do your seeing for you. Only you can do that. And you should not tell others they what they see does not exist. Your answer is out there. If you are asking people to help you find it, great. But if you are demanding that others defend a vision that they have proven to their own satisfaction is true, you simply will come away satisfied.
     
  54. Duh, last sentence should end "you will simply NOT come away satisfied."
     
  55. BTW, are any of the previous photos "significantly affected" (isn't effected more accurate
    Ray?) by the
    lens or camera type used here?

    Well, I like showing photos, being a show-off. What about these from a 50mm Screw
    mount Elmar compared to 50 4th version Summicron, does the look of them really have a
    significant effect on the photo?? Well they do, but you be the judge as to whether its
    "significant".

    <img src="http://d6d2h4gfvy8t8.cloudfront.net/3692853-md.jpg">
    Elmer

    <<img src="http://d6d2h4gfvy8t8.cloudfront.net/3323772-md.jpg">
    Cron

    <img src="http://d6d2h4gfvy8t8.cloudfront.net/3796742-md.jpg">
    Elmer indoor

    <img src="http://d6d2h4gfvy8t8.cloudfront.net/3284415-md.jpg">
    Summicron indoor
     
  56. Kent she was there last Sunday. But yes please come up this Sunday, I'll be there. Wear a red
    dot or something, I'll be playing guitar ;)
     
  57. Nice pix Barry. As an observer though, I can't say I prefer one pic over another due to lens
    type - different subjects, feel, emotion, story, etc - that's what effects me. How about you?

    BTW, looks like I'll be in Santa Monica in January - be great to hook up...
     
  58. ky2

    ky2

    "the eye and attitude of the photographer" -- Ray

    For a brief moment Ray, you've found the light.
     
  59. Here's another way of asking this question. Does a Stradavarius violin make have significant
    effect on music played on it compared to another quality violin?
     
  60. I don't have side-by-side photos of my typical subjects with identical lighting because my subjects move too quickly, and the time I can devote to photoraphy is scarce enough that I only use it on subjects that interest me.
    <P>
    Despite not having side-by-side test photos with a limited number of uncontrolled variables, one can get a feel for a lens' character after seeing the results from the lens x100, just as one might get a sense of what a film can do simply from using it frequently:
    <P>
    The 280 f/4 APO is flat-out amazing with exceptional image detail and color saturation, and reasonbly good bokeh:
    <BR>
    <IMG SRC="http://www.wildlightphoto.com/birds/tetraonidae/blgr02.jpg">
    <BR>
    <IMG SRC="http://www.wildlightphoto.com/birds/phasianidae/rnph01.jpg">
    <BR>
    <IMG SRC="http://www.wildlightphoto.com/birds/accipitridae/haha00.jpg">
    <P>
    The 280 f/4.8 for Visoflex or Televit gives me good detail and creamy-smooth bokeh but is lacking in color saturation:
    <BR>
    <IMG SRC="http://www.wildlightphoto.com/birds/fringillidae/brfi00.jpg">
    <BR>
    <IMG SRC="http://www.wildlightphoto.com/birds/hirundinidae/clsw00.jpg">
    <P>
    The late 250mm Telyt-R gives good image detail and color saturation but bokeh can be an issue (mostly hidden here but check the lower right corner):<BR>
    <IMG SRC="http://www.wildlightphoto.com/birds/thrushes/mobl00.jpg">
    <P>
     
  61. I don't know the answer to that but I'm pretty sure I used "affect"
    the right way, Barry. ;) "Effect" is a noun unless you're using it as
    in "to effect change" (to bring about). "Affect" is to influence.
     
  62. PS - of the three lenses I posted examples from, guess which one I'm still using?
     
  63. I had this link bookmarked (no Leica though, and w/fill flash). I'm not claiming anything, so help yourself.
     
  64. Beauties, Doug. For someone at your level of craftsmanship, I
    can see how your equipment choices may make a subtle
    difference.
     
  65. Brad, these pics no, other than the pic with the whistle player which does display to me,
    what I think that cron I use does with light and the way it picks up light flowing over
    surfaces and yet can be almost over sharp with b/w film. To the extent that the photo is
    built on that it can make a difference. Not better mind you, just its own. But then I see
    one of yours or Kent's or Steve's and I'm blown away by the light or color, vision and
    mood. Lenses are just tools, the tools don't make you skilled tool users. Its like having
    the finest sharpshooting rifle, if you don't know how to shoot, you might as well have a
    shot gun.

    Then you see someone like Doug Herr who's work actually reflects the differences. Damn
    it Doug, I've said so many nice things about you I'm going to have to break down and buy
    one of them photos of yours ;).

    BTW Brad, give me a shout when you come down for sure.
     
  66. Dear Ray,

    You may consider this a non-answer but equally you may not.

    I have three computers and three monitors, and the differences between these more than mask the differences between the lenses I use. And when I switched from a Coolscan II to a Konica Minolta 5400-II that made another difference. That's just on the web. As the author of dozens of books and hundreds of magazine articles, I know that photomechanical reproduction makes even more difference.

    Like most people, I don't normally shoot the same subject with 2 different lenses. Why would I? Why would anybody? And if I do, it will be just a test shot: I'm not going to waste time on lens tests when I'm taking real pictures.

    Sometimes I see a 'glow'; sometimes I don't. A lot depends on lighting and inherent subject contrast; then there's film and (for mono) development, paper, enlarger...

    Over time, most people do notice a 'signature' or trend (contrast, bokeh, etc.) with each lens but it's normally pretty secondary to the picture. One of my all-time favourites was taken with a 50/3.5 Elmar on a IIIa and I've taken bad, dull stuff with the 75/2 Summicron on an MP(I've also taken some of my best shots with it too).

    What does it matter, anyway? Use what you're happy with, use what you can afford, above all use what you've got. Take pictures.

    I'd also second those who took exception to your somewhat hectoring tone. Why SHOULD anyone do this, merely in order to satisfy your curiosity? But you have already accepted that.

    Finally, in the 'put up or shut up' department there are pictures in my website, www.rogerandfrances.com, and I want to replace many of those in the Gallery (which was one of the earliest bits) because they are scanned at too low a resolution or over-compressed. As I say, the scanner/monitor/JPEG compression 'signature' mmeans far more than the lens 'signature'.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  67. One taken with Bessa R3A + Summicron 50mm and one taken with Sigma consumer zoom....
    00EMF8-26741184.jpg
     
  68. Again, one with Summicron 50mm (4th pre-asph Canadian if it matters) and one with Sigma consumer zoom.... [​IMG]
     
  69. One with Contax (CZ) Planar 50mm and one with Summicron 50mm....
    00EMFX-26741284.jpg
     
  70. Nice cathedral shots, Trevor, especially the last one. Where
    were those taken from?
     
  71. So, Doug communicates with well established "Chops" that there can be, and are, differences in lens signatures. If some people can't take advantage of those differences it doesn't alter the fact that they are there... which was the original question was it not? Other than that, what's the point? ... and speaking of "points made" ... "Talking about prints isn't what this is about. This is an internet photo site, and if you're going to communicate something with photography... " Valid point IF shooting news shots to be transmitted. But that isn't what most people here do. At least I don't. Everything I sell is in print form or high res files. Ads, catalog shots, outdoor, and thousands of 8X10 or larger wedding prints. Haven't sold a wedding client one single "all electronic" web image yet. IMO, the premise of comparing lens signatures using the second lowest form of reproduction on Earth (cell phone images being the lowest), is ludicrous. If the point is that some shooters claiming lens attributes help define their work aren't good enough shooters in the first place (strongly implied) , then just come out and say that, and more importantly, include why you feel you have the "Chops" to say it ... which, using your own criteria, should include your own work proving you are a superior photographer. Tangible evidence and examples please, I want to be moved and impressed.
    00EMFc-26741484.jpg
     
  72. Portsmouth Cathedral in High St. Old Portsmouth UK
     
  73. The reason I dont specify which lens/which pic is that it does not matter to me. If pushed I would say my all time favourite for a 'look' is the Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm but I could not explain why. The little film photography I do nowadays is with Contax/Zeiss. I am happy most of the time with Nikon digital/Nikon & Sigma EX glass.
     
  74. Oh yes, Ray you preferred the Zeiss version of the cathedral pic.
     
  75. In the first two sets of pics (man on pier & monks in abbey) the second shot of each set was the Sigma shot.
     
  76. Fabulous words and very well expressed, Marc Williams!
     
  77. If the point is that some shooters claiming lens attributes help define their work aren't good enough shooters in the first place (strongly implied) , then just come out and say that, and more importantly, include why you feel you have the "Chops" to say it
    It's evident, take a look here once in awhile. But maybe you wouldn't know, since you "quit" the forum way back when. You've seen my work, or if you forgot, go to chaospress.com. You can pick a fight if you want but I think my points are legitimate, if not "proveable." Good discussion here, maybe someone learned something. So kma.
    btw, what is that ugly commercial pic you posted? I hope you made some cash with it, because it sucks. Big time.
     
  78. Ray., What is the point of your post? If you are frustrated with the images posted here, perhaps you can consider a few things:

    a. Suggest improvements, preferrably (because it is an internet forum) with examples of your own and some details of techniques from your expertise.

    b. Go somewhere else where you find some images of your liking.

    In any event, try to polish up your wordings, would you? I hope you do not interact with folks around you in person (if you happen to have any folks around you..)in the same way.
     
  79. In saying, "btw, what is that ugly commercial pic you posted? I hope you made some cash with it, because it sucks. Big time." This was not said of my work, so I'm taking this personally, but your statement has now told me all I need to know about you. I will not be be responding to any more or your posts, Ray.
     
  80. I can't seem to type the word "not" today, which is missing in my last post - "I'm NOT taking this personally."
     
  81. "...supposedly has some significant affect on the photographs you make..."

    I can't speak for Ray, but the above quote from his original proposal/question is the heart of the matter. SIGNIFICANT, and all the banter I ever see written here about lens characteristics, affect is a phrase implying that the lens is more important than the photographer. The complaints that the phrase "it's the photographer not the equipment" is overused to combat these claims of lens is more significant, along with the claim that it is the lens that is more significant in the final result...........that is the question.

    Now, in my thinking, whatever is the most significant is primary. The above samples, especially Doug's, proves what is primary in the final result of a picture. THE PHOTOGRAPER! That makes his skill and his ability the most SIGNIFICANT single item that results in the end result of extremely good photography. The lens choice is the "extra" dab will do ya..........so to say. A crappy photographer with great glass will produce crappy pics. Is it the glass or the photographer that makes the difference here.........of course, it's the photographer. It is always the photographer that makes the most significant difference in the end result of the picture.....film only helps, sensor choice only helps, glass only helps,........the photographer dominates the end result.

    That is what I have always said on this subject. Per centage wise the lens is only maybe 5% of the final result, the photographer is in the 80% bracket.............just look at the difference between Doug's pics......none of them are "bad"....I'd be proud to have any of them as my own photography...........most of that is Doug! not the lens choice.

    Equipment does matter.........the truth is, is that it doesn't matter all that much....and it only matters in the hands of someone who can take a decent pic in the first place....and even then, it is of a miniscule significance compared to the ability of the photographer.

    Now, to the photographer's above..........Doug and Marc especially....who ARE good at what they do, and good glass in there hands does add to the pic...........I'd just like to say, remember this. You are talking, and I think you know this, about the last 5% of the "quality" of the pic. The law of diminishing returns is sort of applicable in this matter. the first 95% is relatively inexpensive to achieve...it's moderately priced hardware and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in getting there but it's relatively easy to do if one applies themselves religiously. That last 5%, just like in manufacturing of the product, is unproportionally expensive for the return in results. That's where great glass is. It might be 95% of your lens budget, but it's only 5% of the difference in the final product...........significant?..........hardly. Desirable, from someone who can do the first 95% easily.........yes. That is what I fight against here. Let these photographers accomplish that first 95% before they need to spend all that money to get just a little bit better. If they are donw there only producing 20% quality work, that extra 5% that great glass can give them is nothing. Let them spend the money and time on getting the othe 75% of great pics accomplished before they commit the money to only 5% of the final outcome.

    It's the photographer...........not the equipment.......heh.......just had to get that in.
    Somebody who can't take a decent pic...........well, don't waste your money until you get "significantly" better.
     
  82. If the point is that some shooters claiming lens attributes help define their work aren't good enough shooters in the first place (strongly implied) , then just come out and say that, ...
    I as well as Ray have said that - nothing implied - was that not clear? But more accurately, it's not so much about not being a good enough shooter, but not making (or at least showing) strong enough photos in the first place; where subtle lens differences can be used to advantage in strengthening a photograph. You've seem to have lost that point, still thinking that we insist there are NO differences. Please try and be accurate when attributing views of others on subjects.
    On your photo above, even though I've seen it a few times here, I'm not sure what point you're trying to drive - I agree with Ray though. Like a handful of your photos posted recently, such as the first two (the third one is great) of yours on the Back to the Future thread, it feels overcooked in ps - maybe a softer hand on sharpening would be better.
     
  83. Tom makes excellent points - that's what it's all about. Doug's photos are great examples of
    where lens characteristics can amplify and differentiate. Content and talent first though...
     
  84. Pro motion picture lenses have fantasticly smooth bokeh. They also cost a bloody fortune. Until it was stolen a dozen years ago I had a 150/2.3 Astro Tachar. It was gorgeous for tight head shots on both the Visoflex IIs and Praktisix. I also had 100/2 Angenieux adapted for Leicaflex that I sold when I got out of shooting Leica reflex. It had held its value, too!
     
  85. "Now, to the photographer's above..........Doug and Marc especially....who ARE good at what they do, and good glass in there hands does add to the pic"

    "It's the photographer...........not the equipment.......heh.......just had to get that in. Somebody who can't take a decent pic...........well, don't waste your money until you get "significantly" better."

    Wow Thomas, now there has to be some kind of photographic capability means test, before someone can buy an expensive lens? You may be just a tad judgemental on this one!!
     
  86. {Andrew Robertson Prolific Poster, nov 29, 2005; 10:54 p.m.
    I read the whole thread, but all my brain heard was 'wank wank wank'.}

    Both hands on the keyboard mate. Clear that up straight away.
     
  87. Wow Thomas, now there has to be some kind of photographic capability means test, before someone can buy an expensive lens?
    Where did he say that? Sheesh...
    Tom's advice is sound, and is no-doubt similar to what a photography instructor would recommend.
     
  88. I like to use expensive lenses just in case I take an un-crappy photo by accident. It hasn't happend yet, but fortune favors the prepared . . . .
     
  89. Matt -- my sentiments, exactly! -:)
     
  90. Brad, people don't need advise on what is an appropriate amount to spend on a lens. It smacks of elitism.
     
  91. No it doesn't. It's good advice from a very experienced photographer. Knowing Tom, he's
    hardly an "elitest." Perhaps you're proposing experienced shooters shouldn't offer sound
    advice?
     
  92. For example, I might (erroneously) come to the conclusion a canon 1DSM2 would be the
    perfect camera for street photography - after all, it's canon's best digi. Hopefully, someone
    with more experience would weigh-in on that. Hardly elitism.
     
  93. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    When I was 12 or 13-ish I spent all my hard earned paper route money on a year old Honda CR 125 to go racing. I'd been riding since age 8 but it took a heck of alot money to discover that I was no near the capablities of that motorcross bike. I could have sucked just as much on a three year old bike at a fraction of the cost and still had the same lap times.

    Thomas, as Brad indicates, has sound wisdom. Three quarters of the material posted here could be done on a pentax k1000.
     
  94. I think that the point of Thomas is clear and absolutely correct. Good lenses make a significant difference only on good photographers. It is not only a question of money when bying a lens or a camera, it is also a question if someone "deserves" a certain piece of equipment.

    And in analogy with photography..... If someone does not drive well, driving a ferrari will not make him a better driver .... maybe it will make him vain. A race driver driving a volkswagen can bypass easily most people driving ferraris.
     
  95. Brad, Eric, Thomas, don't want to belabour this point other than to add, that if someone wants to advise someone on which is the better performing lens, or what certain attributes of a lens are, that is one thing.....and probably useful advise.

    Advising someone on what quality of lens is appropriate for their level of expertise, is extremely presumptious.
     
  96. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "Advising someone on what quality of lens is appropriate for their level of expertise, is extremely presumptious."

    I'd agree David. But I didn't gather that from Thomas's words. If one wants to make average images with above average optics and argue the glass plays an integral roll, then I guess threads like this will continue to go around in circles.

    Do you have any idea how ridiculious I feel taking average street shots with a 5k D2x so I can post 700 pixel wide shots here?
     
  97. Eric, last year I saw an "Afghan Girl" print at an exhibition. As we all know, this is one of the better known images of our time. We have all seen it reproduced in all forms of media.

    I was just blown away by the quality of the print, and of course the image itself. It is a stunning example of lens characteristics playing an integral part in the overall image. The only thing that is truly sharp (or more appropriately...in focus) are her eyes, everything else is varying degrees of OOF. 105 Nikkor BTW :)

    What impressed me is that it had so much more impact seeing the print, as opposed to all the reproductions I have seen elsewhere.
     
  98. Ahh, back from the Dentist where the root canal was more fun than the Leica Forum. Agreement: yes it's the photographer most of all. Don't know if I'd quantify gear contribution at 5% or whatever, depends on what you're trying to accomplish. However, information about lens characteristics (like Doug provides on his web site) has been invaluable to many folks when making decisions to achieve a certain look or feel. Like Peter A, I favor very fast lenses, very few of which are inexpensive IF they perform really well wide open. Nothing to do with elitism, just needed for the way I like to shoot wedding photography ... capturing ambient backgrounds instead of a wall of black so common with older style wedding work. Now I sure the Hell am not going to go out and shoot some subject with different glass to meet Ray's demands... or anyone else's. I have all the free work I can handle. But can share a few observations based on actually shooting: Canon wide angle lenses feature pronounced barrel distortion compared to Leica or Contax lenses of the same focal length. The Canon glass presents a problem when shooting a church interior, producing bowlegged columns. Not a problem when using a Zeiss 25/2.8 or 28/2 Distogon on the same camera. My Canon 50/1.4 had nicer Bokeh than my Zeiss/Contax 50/1.4N ... but the Zeiss was sharper wide open. The R 35/1.4 has a more pleasant Bokeh in front & back than my Canon 35/1.4 My older R80/1.4 had a pleasing sort of glow to it compared to my R90/2APO ... so each could be used for different applications if someone owned both. Attached portrait of Grosse Pointe matrons for a fund raiser was better suited to the pleasant characteristics of the 80 than the flawlessly sharp 90 would be ... a creative decision involving glass used. And so on and so on. There are myriad examples of different lens characteristics and "signatures" from lenses of the same focal length that could be cited.
    00EMVA-26746684.jpg
     
  99. Here's a portrait using Zeiss glass so sharp it requires a Softar to tame it for portrait work of anyone over 10 years old. I deliberately used it straight for this shot to convey strength and character of this specific person.
    00EMVR-26746884.jpg
     
  100. This one is from a Zeiss 85/1.2 which exhibits crisper contrast and more vivid color saturation that the Leica R/80/1.4 but not as crisp and vivid as the R90/2.
    00EMVU-26746984.jpg
     
  101. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "Canon wide angle lenses feature pronounced barrel distortion compared to Leica or Contax lenses of the same focal length."

    Marc, you forgot Nikon, for some reason...

    David, how big was the "Afghan Girl" print? I'd like to see that one too. And the current portrait of her as well.
     
  102. Lastly, here's an example of a Canon 24/1.4L demonstrating the barrel distortion I find unacceptable for certain shots. If I know I'll be facing such shots, I bring along the tiny Zeiss 25/2.8 with a EOS adapter. At the time, this specific shot is what prompted me to get the 25 for future work.
    00EMVj-26747084.jpg
     
  103. "Zeiss 350/4"
    Marc, is this a 645 lens?
     
  104. Eric, 11x14 min. 16x20 max., probable close to life size.

    Part of the Magnum Exhibition in Toronto.
     
  105. BTW, the barrel distortion of the 24 f1.4L is evident even when cropped on an APS-C sensor
    like the 20D. "L" lens or no, it's not equal to Leica glass even when used as a "38mm" lens.
     
  106. Marc, it's like talking to the lamp post. These people don't see it and they never will. Why they come here to troll the Leica Forum is the big mystery. But they do, and we just have to live with it.
     
  107. "Marc is a perfect example of the typical consumer."

    ...and you seem a perfect example of the typical internet troll.

    Back under your bridge now!
     
  108. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    David, I wish the village of Vancouver had decent shows...demographics too small i suppose.
     
  109. "Vivid color saturation has more to do with film choice or photoshop these days then any lens ever will"
    Color saturation is much more than being vivid. It's also a matter of vivid along with gradation. It's true that high-saturation film or Photoshop controls can make dull colors bright but this will not do anything for color gradation. My experience is that when you rely on film or photoshop instead of the lens for color saturation you're not going to get smooth color gradation along with your vivid colors.
     
  110. Eric, every year in TO, there is the Contact show that typically has over 100 different exhibits all over the city. It is for the whole month of May, and is well worth a look if your ever in town.
     
  111. Dave, very true. Information gets lost at each step of the process, so for the best results it's best to start with as much quality as possible. Photoshop can only interpolate image detail, and neither film nor photoshop can correctly interpolate color saturation without making the picture look fake. If your lens delivers the full range of colors to the film or sensor the steps inbetween full gray and full saturation are going to be there as well. If you rely on film or photoshop to reach full saturation you're going to get gaps in your histograms indicating poor gradation.
     
  112. Kevin, think that $1600 lens you're selling is going to make a
    rat's ass bit of difference from a $300 VC lens for 95% of what's
    posted on this forum?
     
  113. Ray, you've just got to get out more, there's a whole world out there that isn't limited to 511 pixels.
     
  114. Great round of shots.

    I'm staying out of this, as it's a pointless argument, but having met Marc and seen what he can do, I certainly defer to his experience with these lenses.

    Marc, BTW, I ended up with an M7 with a 35/2 ASPH, and though it may pain Brad and my buddy Ray to hear this, it IS a fantastic lens opened or stopped down. And no, it doesn't make a hill of beans difference in my shooting, I just like it.
     
  115. With a few exceptions this has been a very good discussion. I hope it continues. If Marc is a 'typical consumer' then I am the Duke of Edinburgh!

    Ray, Marc, Eric, Brad and Douglas are some of our 'heavyweight' image makers with enough collective skill and experience across diverse subject matter (portraits, weddings, nature, wildlife, street ) to make me want to bookmark this thread. Most of these guys earn a living from photography, exhibit and publish so they are worth learning from. None of them are 'typical consumers'. (If anything I am the typical consumer in this crowd.)
     
  116. I only wish PN could prevail upon some of these guys to publish some PN 'masterclasses' for us all. If their 'differences' could be dropped for long enough to co-operate on such a project. (And I don't mean for the Leica forum, I mean for everyone.)
     
  117. All hostility aside for a moment Ray, no, it wouldn't. That's why I'm selling it, BTW. Since I'm
    using that focal length primarily as a "snapshot" lens, it's freedom from distortion, absence of
    chromatic abberation and nearly perfect resistance to flare don't mean that much to me. So
    it's not worth the extra money over and above a VC lens. I'm perfectly willing to admit,
    however, that those traits might be JUST what another photographer needs if he or she has
    the skills to match.
     
  118. It does not matter if someone is the Queen of England or whatever, if he/she is not capable of expressing her/his thoughts clearly and in a civilised manner they become featherweights and out they go in to the trash bin.

    On topic:

    Is the overwhelming majority here (heavy weight or otherwise) claiming that all the high priced Leica gear is just crap and VC or Pentax or Sigma gear is better suited for the majority of the folks here? And should we do away with films also?
     
  119. Doug, yes that was with the 350/4 for the 645. I've pared down a lot of gear and
    unfortunately, that lens went with the entire Contax 645 kit and Kodak digital back. Like
    Peter A., I'm zeroing in on having less stuff and going for a 22 meg digital back on a
    Hasselblad. Purely a business decision.

    I also agree with you about the color gradations. Good observation and way of describing
    it. Gets more evident when you take a shot up bigger or severely crop. Color fringing on
    less corrected lenses really starts becoming apparent then also.

    Don't worry Al. If the only outlet some folks have is the web and tiny compressed jpegs,
    and they use that to evaluate image quality, then it's like discussing radio waves with an
    isolated Bushman. Last year I sold over 1500 8"X10" prints, and about 150 11"X14"s. I
    sold zero 500 pixel web images. None. You do the math.
     
  120. Nice portrait Marc. I know what you mean about the Zeiss glass for portraits. I solved the problem by getting a 120mm Imagon. Now, there's a piece of glass that can make difference that can be easily seen when compared to a 120mm Makro Planar...
     
  121. I ended up with an M7 with a 35/2 ASPH, and though it may pain Brad and my buddy Ray to hear this, it IS a fantastic lens opened or stopped down. And no, it doesn't make a hill of beans difference in my shooting,
    Hey Andy, doesn't pain me at all. The point Ray is trying to make, and which I and a few others agree, is that small nuances in lens rendition don't drive the strength of a photo for the average shooter here. BTW, your stuff is super - you're far from the average shooter, so if it makes no difference to you... And it makes no difference to me. Dave Mirra nailed it - quality of light and other factors drive the end end result more than anything else.
    What I don't understand, is why people post pics online to make or prove a point about a lens or camera, and then in the same breath say, "Well, it's just a web pic, you need to see a real print to see the difference." Um, why post it then???
     
  122. ...Tell you what, Ray, why don't YOU buy my lens, try shooting with it for a couple of weeks,
    and if you can't see any difference between it and a VC 25, then I'll refund all your money
    including shipping costs....
     
  123. And as Dave points out, printers are 8 bit devices. 16 bits of numeric precision is good for
    intermediate steps in the processing chain, but it all gets rounded to 8 bits going out. How
    the rounding is done is another matter and could be worth a few paragraphs. Suffice it to say,
    numeric values that correspond to changes in hue (from the three R,G, and B components)
    that are on the edge of being expressed as, say, 118.500 (where you need to take care and
    have a method for rounding up or down), will on the average over thousands or millions of
    pixels, be the proper value. You will not see the difference at either the pixel, or macro level.
     
  124. Does anyone here seriously think that small nuances in lens rendition drive the strength of a photo?

    Maybe they just prefer to use certain lenses because of small nuances in image rendering, build quality, heritage etc. etc.

    The latter doesn't seem unreasonable.
     
  125. "Does anyone here seriously think that small nuances in lens rendition drive the strength of a photo?"
    I doubt it. What's more likely is that most of us realize we're discussing the last 5% of a picture's quality. On this subject I used a Canon FD 400mm f/2.8 L for about a year and numerous people wrote privately and commented just from the web images that my photos made with this lens lack the sparkle they normally expect in my photos.
     
  126. If the point is as Brad articulated (4:07 pm post), wouldn't it be productive if the *heavyweights* jump in and offer constructive criticism, useful technical tips and try to lift the levels up instead of blurting out grunts and swear words in general? If they do not have that inclination or the patience, they are better served by logging off from an offensive site.

    Doug Herr is an excellent example of how constructive an accomplished and a mature photographer can offer useful insights based on their own experience.
     
  127. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    i wish Al would stop calling people trolls while the adults are having a decent discussion.

    if half of us are talking about conventional prints with magical qualities of lenses, why isn't anyone talking about enlarger lenses? seems resonable...

    i think i caught what Brad just said. if you can display the benifits of a lens from an 8 bit ink jet print, you should be able to do so on a monitor? we don't have to post 511 pixels here. we know how to post twice that size and is sufficient for any issue we are talking about?

    thanks Trevor. and thanks for contributing images here as well.
     
  128. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    does anyone else wish PN had spell check? :)
     
  129. eh, screw the spell check. This debate was interesting but for the life of me I can not understand why some of you guys (on both sides of the issue) get so emotional about a stupid lens?

    There are goaltenders in the NHL who make millions of dollars, who are bizarely superstitious. Their rituals and decisions have nothing to do with their performance on the ice yet they still do it.

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/columns/top10/superstition.html
     
  130. FWIW, my favourite lens is an old Tessar on a Rollei Automat.
    Do I think it helps me make images that I couldn't make with another camera? Of course not. Do I think the images it renders differ from those made with different, but similar lenses? Yes, of course.
    IMO, for many types of photography, gear is unlikely to limit the creative process. I've seen breathtaking images on the flikr website made with a Pentax Optio with a cheap video wide angle attachment on the wrong way around. Equally, I have occasionally seen some pretty ropey stuff taken with gear that cost more than my car did.
    But on the whole I suspect (and hope) those that think that gear is everything are in the minority (I appreciate Doug's comments about the final 5%).
     
  131. Now whose opinion should one take more seriously, Doug and Marc, who actually use Leica, or Brad who doesn't. Let me think... :)
     
  132. interpolation is always treated as such a 'nasty' word .. disruptive of the universe, and totally falsifying any sense of the real. the truth is, is that the odds are much better than one might think, that the assumption that creating a value based on surrounding values is not voodoo-magic and not only reasonable, but certainly acceptable at the pixel-interpolative level.

    this argument isn't about differences between a Noctilux at f1.0 and a Canon 50mm f1.8 stopped down. the differences are obvious and well within the bounds of artistic expression. claiming an image jumps off the page, sets Photoshop on fire, glows, and etches itself upon ones retina ... all due to Leica being stamped upon the lens-barrel, is the purported mythology yet to be substantiated and asked to be delivered here.

    the beauty of experience, though somewhat difficult to admit, is that as we become better photographers, we generally come to the harsh realization that it not our equipment that constrains our photographic successes.
     
  133. Thomas Sullivan should be credited with the 'final 5%' comment (and I agree with him).
     
  134. "Eliot Rosen Photo.net Patron, nov 30, 2005; 04:55 p.m.
    Now whose opinion should one take more seriously, Doug and Marc, who actually use Leica, or Brad who doesn't. Let me think... :) "

    I don't think Leica use or Non Leica use is a criteria for which accomplished photographers we take seriously or not.

    It is a criteria for keeping the thread on topic inasmuch as the Leica look AND the 'look' of non Leica lenses are being discussed in the Leica forum. But you cannot argue that someone can only be taken seriously as a photographer if they use Leica!
     
  135. 'Thomas Sullivan should be credited with the 'final 5%' comment (and I agree with him).'
    'Oops-- credit to both. I haven't read the full thread.
     
  136. "I don't think Leica use or Non Leica use is a criteria for which accomplished photographers we take seriously or not."

    It is certainly a criterion I consider important when discussing whether or not Leica lenses have special characteristics that picture quality.
     
  137. Eliot, maybe you have difficulty reading - but Doug and I (and Tom and Andy) are saying the
    same thing...
     
  138. sorry, should read "that affect picture quality".
     
  139. Maybe Eliot can weigh in with some of his photos and experience.
     
  140. For the compliment, I appreciate it. I haven't posted or participate very much lately, especially in this forum.

    Just today I finished preparing a set of 20 prints on Arches Infinity paper, printed on my Designjet. They were for a project exhibition, and were chosen from a set of photos I've been shooting for the past four years. One of the themes I was emphasizing was a certain uniform perspective and scale. Out of curiosity I tried to recall what lenses they were shot with. Ray's point is obviously correct:

    2 with 35/2.8 Canon FD circa 1980's, approximate cost $80 or so.

    10 with 40/2 Zuiko pancake circa 1985, approximate cost when new $80, price now $400-$800.

    2 with Canon 28/2.8 EF (for effective focal length of 42mm when used on a Canon 20D), circa 2004, approximate cost $200.

    6 with Leica 35/2 ASPH circa 2005, approximate cost $1500.

    A modest observation: at daylight exposures, f/4-11 or so, you can today take sharp, clear, and exhibition-quality photographs with a 20 year old Canon AE1 with a lens that costs less than a used Leica lens hood. That doesn't mean I can't see a difference between a modest Canon FD and a Leica, because I can, especially in a 13x19 print made on good equipment. But the reason I tend to like using the Leica more than my trusty old Oly OM has little to do with the quality of the lens, which is wildly expensive in a quality/price ratio.
     
  141. Eliot, Ray's initial thread posting invited people to discuss Leica, VC, Nikkor, Canon for rangefinder and SLR etc..

    Marc himself discussed Leica, Contax and Canon. Lets not reign things in too tightly. It's too big and interesting a debate to get proscriptive about what we should and shouldn't mention.
     
  142. How about this? If it looks good, it is good. If it doesn't, it isn't.
     
  143. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    I really like what Daniel just said;

    "the beauty of experience, though somewhat difficult to admit, is that as we become better photographers, we generally come to the harsh realization that it not our equipment that constrains our photographic successes."

    I couldn't give a toss what Brad uses. His eye and his results, like Ray's, are stunning. Not only do both put more care into their craft than half the people here with 10x the amount of money invested in gear, their results are often 10x better as well. Tact aside, if either one of them wants to inteligently discuss a topic of such merrit, let them I say.
     
  144. " if half of us are talking about conventional prints with magical qualities of lenses, why isn't anyone talking about enlarger lenses? seems resonable..."

    Very valid point, Eric. Some of the better printers used/use very stable/well aligned enlargers and optics with excellent qualities like the S-Orthoplanar and APO El-Nikkors. Such lenses were several times the price of a Noct lens.

    Someone earlier mentioned that printing paper is capable of recording even lesser resolution than the film. Not true. If a proper lens is used, paper is very capable of recording more than what most films are capable of.

    Nowadays, the same goes for the scanners. Better/stable scanners are capable of recording what is on film than the lesser ones which tend to equate lens there is.
     
  145. Very nice rant Eric, but this is the Leica Photography Forum. Mutual admiration society aside, don't you think there should be some connection to Leica? Otherwise, why have such a forum?
     
  146. Eric~ I have discussed enlarging lenses, probably in the proper forum.
    Do a search. I'm too lazy. I've discussed variable contrast filters too, amongst other things.
     
  147. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Thanks Elliot, but i didn't mean for it sound like a rant. Just sick of hearing the default statement that Brad's opinion is null and void becasue of what he shoots with. I'm confident that if I mailed him a film camera and some provia and hp5 hardly anyone would notice. And if he did state as such, that it was shot on an m6/35 4th genration, would all of a sudden his opinion be worth more? I doubt it.
     
  148. lb-

    lb-

    the main reason I like using Leica M equipment is that it's much easier to smoke while I
    shoot than with a large DSLR.

    I've recently started using a TLR as it's even better. I'm going to rig an ashtry to the
    rolleiflex.

    You don't reallly start to see the unique characteristics of a lens until it's got a few years
    worth of tar and nicotine on the front element.
     
  149. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Al, it may be of a surprise to you, but i wasn't addressing you. Vivek seems to be the only one following along, or finding relevence in my thoughts and finding them worth reading.

    The whole thread is about lens qualities at the camera end of things and how it's important for printing conventionally and yet no one has talked about the second lens and it's vital importance in the food chain in order to do so.
     
  150. Here is an old thread from Sam Liu, comparing results from a Q17 and M7 through a Minolta DS II scanner.

    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00CrpX

    Here is a link to the thread with all of Sam's posts last year.
    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00D1lC
     
  151. My only point is that he is unqualified to talk about the characteristics of Leica lenses, as a non-user. Having been a Leica user for many years, I personally think some Leica lenses really are a cut above, but I can't prove it because Leica is all I use. But I wouldn't attempt to try to convince anyone based on scanned images on a cimputer screen. I shoot mainly slow speed slide film and project the images to a large size. Under these conditions, some of the Leica images are really breathtaking. Looking at peoples pictures on a computer screen is just not a good way to judge lens quality. That just doesn't seem to compute with some people.
     
  152. Eliot. A crude 'edit, find' has shown the word Leica is used 50 times so far. (51 now)

    That is not counting those have mentioned their Leica (52) lenses by their focal length or their name (Summicron, Telyt, 35/2 ASPH etc etc.)

    Surely that is 'on topic' enough? Leica (53) does not exist in a vacuum and this thread invites people to compare and discuss. Lets not get too Talibanic otherwise even Marc would only have been able to mention his Leica (54) lenses and could not have offered interesting comparisons regarding sharpness, distortion, bokeh etc with other brands.
     
  153. Heh, aint this fun? The gang's all here just like the old days.. ;)
     
  154. Hey, I can fit 999 angels on the head of a pin, can you beat that? :)
     
  155. I have seen Hasselblad images projected to enormous size that you feel you could actually 'walk into' them because of their sheer quality.

    I have seen 12x16 (and smaller) B&W prints that are 'breathtaking' taken with Nikon, Olympus, Hasselblad and Rollei and Leica and others.

    We have all seen that Afghanistan presentation posted a couple of days ago and been impressed despite the fact that it was seen via our PC screen.

    Eliot, have you never expressed how much you enjoyed other people's Leica pics displayed here on the LF at 511 pix or thereabouts? Did you never ever say that you could tell the difference even on a PC screen?
     
  156. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Peter, I'm gutted. That's funny. and make it Italian Vogue...costs so much here...

    Elliot, Brad has never said the qualities doesn't exist. He's said he's almost never seen them here and would like to. Big difference imo.
     
  157. btw - what does Brad shoot with ?
     
  158. Gawd. It's time for a picture. And for Eliot and me it is time for a glass of water. For you Eliot (Taken with Leica Summicron 50mm).... [​IMG]
     
  159. Trevor, there are plenty of pictures I enjoy on a computer screen, including yours, which I like very much. It's just that a computer screen is not a very good way of comparing lens quality, in most circumstances. I agree that there are some things you can tell from such images, such as how prone a particular lens is to flare. There are some recent examples showing images taken of the same scene at the same time by two lenses, one of which shows significant flaring (50/2 Summicron) and one of which does not (50/1 Noctilux). You can also tell something about general contrast by looking at how the lens handles point sources of light, and in suitable instances you can say something about linear distortion at the edge of the field.

    But I find that to really compare lenses, you need significantly more enlargement or, better yet, projection of slides. It's amazing how much more you can tell with a suitable level of enlargement. Looking at images on a computer screen I can mostly tell whether I like the image, subject matter, composition, more than I can tell about lens qualities. It doesn't mean that lens quality is unimportant, just that you have not chosen the proper venue to showcase the capabilities of the particular lens.
     
  160. Yashicamat :)
    <p>
    <img src="http://www.widereach.net/rodina/images/pnshots/woodpileonsnow.jpg">
     
  161. A computer screen is fine for judging a photograph. Just stand 25% farther back from the
    screen than you would from a print. Your eyes don't have enough resolution to tell the
    difference at a certain distance, anyway.
     
  162. lb-

    lb-

    yashicamat 124 is a favorite portrait camera. Wide open it's very flattering. OOF bits are decent too.
    00EMht-26749684.jpg
     
  163. Rene, Most of your shots are very good but the snow shots are totally devoid of any features (regardless of digital, 35mm or 6x6). These are not easy to display as digital files. You may want to check around with what you do with contrast and USM (kills the fine structures in snow). We have not had any snow here yet but it will be here soon.
     
  164. Rene's shot does need a little help.
     
  165. heh. Thanks guys. The snow is devoid because the highlights were totally blown on that shot ;-). I just wanted to post something other than Leica, other than what I have posted here before and... umm something other.
     
  166. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

  167. disclaimer: not my shot
    <p>
    <img src="http://www.widereach.net/rodina/images/pnshots/puke.jpg">
     
  168. Ray, I'd suggest the next time you start a post like this you pose the question as though
    you actually give a damn about getting an answer. An otherwise good question isn't going
    to generate any worthwhile answers when you ask it with a rather obvious chip on your
    shoulder.

    "I'm all eyes" is a variation of "I'm all ears" and that expression normally means the speaker
    is not only waiting for an explanation, but imagines that they hold the authority to
    demand one. Not the attitude to open a discussion with, is it?

    BTW, I agree with the general point you're trying to make but, again, the attitude ain't
    winning any converts to your point of view.
     
  169. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    ah man, that brings back memories...thnx Rene...
     
  170. My experience with Nikkor 28/2.8AF-D: not the sharpest wide angle from Nikon, the 24 should be better according to some people (according to others the 28 is better except close range).

    It has a hard bokeh. I wouldn't say it ruined my pictures, but sure it didn't help. I try to avoid to put it now in conditions where it can appear again, if possible.

    In this sense I adapt to my lens and try to make the best out of it (which to me is better than wasting 1000Euros on Leica glass). If I drop my lens and need to buy something else, I guess I would need some time until I can adapt again. There would be some more flaws, some more experiments and then a slightly different style.
     
  171. Thanks Eric. I allways wanted to use this image, perhaps like the pancake bunny...

    Anyway, it has been swell boys. Thanks for keeping me company during my server installs. I'm done now. I'm taking my camera and heading out the door. I've got 1.5 hours to kill before I have to pickup my teenage son at a bus stop. I hope I get a shot or two in the meantime....
     
  172. jtk

    jtk

    Waste of bandwidth.
     
  173. A few clarifications: "Does Marc need the best of the best to shoot weddings? Of course not because the market doesn't demand such high quality when it comes to weddings. By a wide margin, the money shots in weddings are the setup ones." Dave, since I don't market my weddings conventionally, nor do I sell hardly any set-up shots, and a high % of my clients are artists, writers, art directors, designers and illustrators with extremely high quality expectations ... you are incorrect on every point. You may well be correct in the generalization that I do not represent the majority of the professional wedding market ... which is in decline at the lower and middle levels due to digital "consumerzation". "Douglas on the other hand knows what he needs to get a certain image, and has stuck with that for a long time." Absolutely true and accurate ... for Doug who specializes in wildlife work. I'm more diversified... shoot weddings with a Canon digital system for color, and a M system for B&W. If you knew anything at all about that business you'd know it is essential to have at least 2 of everything. Also shoot commercial work for national accounts which require MF digital capture ( updated Hassey system which I've used for 20 years)... or a view camera for tilts and shifts. Not my requirements, but the requirements of the jobs at hand. You and others seem to me to have a myopic view of the vast diversity under the umbrella called photography ... where some specialize and others diversify.
    00EMje-26749884.jpg
     
  174. My wedding style is "Romantic Photojournalism" and I select the gear to assist in that candid mission. This shot made from 40 yards away, cropped and made into a 16X20 print ... the compressed web file just doesn't convey the 3D quality apparent in the print.
    00EMjz-26750184.jpg
     
  175. Isn't hurling a Canadian sport? Nice Renee (as I flush my beer down the jacks).
     
  176. Pete, your perspective that must come from looking up at us, is spot on. Sounds exactly like one of my photo teachers, a great commercial photographer. He'd big on process and finding the photo and then taking a photo from being a good photo to making it a great photo. (BTW,I'm open to any advice along the way). There's still great photos to be made in walking around, if you can see them and have the skill to get what you want in a reletively uncontrolled enviornment. I like Magnum style photography, I also like Avedon, La Chapelle etc.
    Regardless, if you don't develope the skills to get what you want, the lens signiture won't matter much now will it. Also believe, and I think Marc demonstrated this well, that it is more at the commercial and fine art level that these lens choices began to come into meaningful play.
     
  177. Well, with all of that, I think I may have been moved, or at least
    impressed by Marc's work at some time, but I guess I'll have to
    settle for "well crafted" from him on this thread...
     
  178. Phenominal thread. Some really nice shots, especially from Doug, Trevor and Marc.
     
  179. Kent, your 2nd photo, that's the killer shot on the whole thread. Damn that's great... First
    one's nice as well, but the eye contact on the second keeps you looking.
     
  180. Ray, thanks for the entertainment.


    I don't think one can see how the photos are affected with different lenses unless one wants to...in short.

    At the end of the day, it's not important anyway.
     
  181. Ray you're a tough nut to crack. Marc and Doug, who have unimpeachable and well deserved respect on this forum, show you differentiations in lens signatures and all you can do is throw the words "well crafted" and "craftsmanship" at them by way of acknowledgement of what they have shown you.

    Probably way too late to bring this up but I'm gonna try anyway Both our own "Ian", and a fellow named Nigel Nagarajan-who I "met" through this forum, have posted some brilliant, luminous, glowing pictures of people--South Asian people in both cases--taken with Canon EOS equipment. There definitely seems to be--on my screen- a unique "glow" in these pics.

    Anyone still around who cares to comment?
     
  182. Peter, many thanks for your truly entertaining and laughable post 'Peter A; Prolific Poster, nov 30, 2005; 05:51 p.m.'. Without question the most amusement I have witnessed in this forum since the Al Kaplan vs Edmo debacle. If it is meant in jest then your sarcasm shines, if you are utterly serious about this then your ignorance bewilders.
    Interestingly you praise Vogue a part of the publishing industry whose 'tools' include Adobe software products for everything from comps and layouts to imaging and produced 'hacks' using Macs and not PC's as you say.
    While yet on the other hand you scoff Magnum who use the likes of Jim Megargee and Brian Young for their analog printing needs.
    Speaking of Young and Megargee it should also be noted that they are the 'end means' in the 'ttotal workflow' for the likes of such 'fluke artists' as Gene Richards, Chris Anderson, Larry Towell, Bruce Davidson, Andrew Gottlieb, Susan Meiselas, James Nacthwey, Eli Reed, Gordon Parks, Clifford Ross, Uimonen Ilkka , David Turnley, Shelby Lee Adams, Leonard Freed, Cornell Capa to name a few.
    'stop staring at Magnum site every day and pinning for the nostalgia of the 50's most of you people are so stuck in the past...'
    Naturally you must be referring to Majoli, D'Agata, Parke and their contemporaries, all born too late to partake in being 'stuck in the past'.
    Sincerely,
    WTF
    ps: As far as what Marc Williams is doing, anyone capable of setting a 28mm lens to f8 and holding the camera in one hand while a flash in the other is capable of producing the same look.
     
  183. I'll go for Kent's first shot, I think it's a classic. Actually, would
    love to have a print of it, so I could, uh.... check out the lens
    signature on that puppy. ;)
     
  184. Ray you're a tough nut to crack. Marc and Doug, who have unimpeachable...
    Ray has made special note of Doug's photos, several times. Such as:
    Beauties, Doug. For someone at your level of craftsmanship, I can see how your equipment choices may make a subtle difference.
     
  185. by the time you shot through f8, souped, dodged and burned and toned, you probably still can see the first letter of the signature.
    00EMqG-26753284.jpg
     
  186. and the lens in question probably won't give a dam* what you think of it.
     
  187. if you want signature, sign on the lens.
     
  188. A real shame grant and edmo couldn't join in.
     
  189. Peter, my sincerest apology for it appears that even I am guilty of living in the past.
     
  190. "Heh, aint this fun? The gang's all here just like the old days.. ;)"

    Awww, I'm hurt you'd say that when I'm not here ;(
     
  191. Peter, Edmo is a really talented photographer with lots of fans. I haven't seen any recently posted work of his. Check the archives. Al is an enigma, but some people seem to like him for some odd reason or another.
     
  192. Brad I still say that the statement by Ray that you have quoted is somewhat begrudging. Clearly his question has been answered and I don't see a clear acknowledgement.

    It's been a wonderful thread though and I thank him for it.
     
  193. All very cozy now. it seems the blind side on the Leica forum is dying out..yawn, thanx RAy it
    did turn out to stir up some juice..good job.. I Like Kent's 2nd, 1st is ok, but the 2nd is
    special. Out.
     
  194. Stuart Richardson has this kind of thing on his website for those who might be interested.
     
  195. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Here they are doing just fine without us...Set the timer on the slider to < the five seconds they set as a default or you'll have a b-day watching them.
     
  196. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    i'll remind ya why it posted it...to show Barry that he's not the only one with a gaggle of sirens. amazing how similiar they look....
     
  197. Kent, do you develop your own negs? They are impecabble(sp). Superb metering i might add.

    I thought you shot those with canons(kiddin).
     
  198. More accurately to Ray's question, anyone can shoot wide opened with the same lens. What you'd see is the signature of the shooter and less of the same lens when put side to side.

    me thinks.
     
  199. for example, if you look at Pete's wide opened shots to Kent's 5.6tish, you can see clearly that the former likes chics and the latter prefers kids/men. One is color-pro and the other is a imo b/w master.
    I'd like to see some of Kent's wide open(shots).
     
  200. Nah, not for me, I'm just a knat splatting on the windshield of photography "progress"....hey I
    wish Ray would get his arse off the couch and post some photos, haven't seen any from him
    for a while..come on Raymond help us out here..
     
  201. No can do just now, but thanks..
     
  202. [​IMG]
    i think most of you guys just like arguing.
    lens signature is just a term for good qualities (or bad) in a lens. it's not anything magical, it's just a way of saying some lenses are different than others. smoother, sharper, softer, flare resistant, higher saturation, lower distortion, etc.
    the reason you don't see it in most photos on this forum is because you're so distracted by the other "qualities" of the pics, which out weigh the lens signature. almost everyone seems to agree on this point; lens signature is usually not exploited, it's not used to make the photo better, in most cases it's drowned out by more prominent aspects like content, light, processing, etc.
    So, whether lens signature is important or not is completely subjective, like so many other things in photography, but whether it exists or not is indisputable.
     
  203. Nice shot Kippling. Nice signature too.
     
  204. Eric, thank you for posting the link to their pictures it is most invigorating to see their work again. Of particular note I found it rather surprising that Edmo has begun working in color and it even appears to be digital. Though his color work bears the same dark and lonely feel that his black and white work had. It would be most interesting to peer inside his head to learn what demons and spirits reside there. To me at least I have found his work as intriguing rather than that of an explanatory narrative nature.
    I found his recent subway work particularly enjoyable.
    Grant on the other hand, while I have enjoyed his photography came off as a crass and vulgar individual with a demented demeanor and a mental capacity that would rival those of the dead rats that he shoots. I feel as if I can speak for the forum when I say "Good riddance".
    Respectfully,
    WTF
     
  205. This must be why f64 is needed for LF.
    00EN6q-26763084.jpg
     
  206. Am I the "AK with the fairies"? wtf?

    William Todd:

    Dead on wrt Grant, except that I always thought his photography was deeply unintelligent and a product of cropped portions of thousands of senseless and thoughtless NY shots. As To Ed L, great eye.
     
  207. Well, if we assume that I'm the "AK" off with the fairies, no problem! I'm assuming you mean "gay". They tend to be intelligent, polite, knowledgeable about the arts, and have disposeable income available to purchase prints. They can be good friends and great clients. They also don't try to steal your women...LOL

    On the other hand, if it was meant as an insult, shame on you! Naughty, naughty. Go stand in the corner until you learn some manners, young man!
     
  208. Ray, Brad, Barry, Travis and others: I'm flabbergasted and honored you like these 2. I like them but thought you guys did not. Yes Travis I process my own B&W and no I haven't figured out how Beau gets the beautiful luminescence and creaminess with his TX but I'm working on it. <BR><BR>To end any mystery regarding which is which and contrary to what a few of you guessed: my first shot is 50/2 Summicron (current version) and second (Edward at 75) is wide open from the Canon 50/1.4 (current version). I'm sure those who argue that lens signature is really important knew that.
     
  209. From what I hear, you can get into trouble for giving away the names of CIA agents there,
    scooter. I'm settling back into Dublin and a new life/sucky weather/computer/camera
    system, but I do lurk, and hope to be back regularly soon. It HAS become very gear oriented
    around here (which I think was Rays point) , but I enjoyed this thread. More non specific
    discussions would be cool. Hope you're all well, you certainly haven't mellowed.
     
  210. Tom, are you in Dublin, IRL? If so, there's some great places to shoot. If you like or have developed a taste for the music there's some good musical bars there. Are you liking Dublin? Besides the pissing rain?
     
  211. OT - "I found his recent subway work particularly enjoyable."(link on WTF's 12/1 9:49 post)

    WTF-looked at the sight and came away with these thoughts. The photos are as usual interseting,great photos individually with great visual impact as edmo is known to do. His use of light and dark is as always, really beautifully expressive and moody, but I have to say, these, although well crafted, have the look of too much PS to me, I can't put my finger on it but I think it has to do with when you overprocess in image editing, there is a certain loss of information that ends up making the photo look more like a graphic than photographic and the look more a product of filters. These have that wierd processed look. To me, it lessens the impact of them. I'm sure most will disagree with me.
     
  212. "no I haven't figured out how Beau gets the beautiful luminescence and creaminess with his TX but I'm working on it."

    Kent, on seeing those picture of yours I was going to ask you how you did it.

    For what it's worth, and to be on-topic, I recognized the "signature" of Kent's top pic because I use that lens so much, and I think the "signature" of his other pic, while it's a great shot, is a little too brittle and the blur not graduated enough for my taste. I agree with everybody that says the character of the lens is not central to a photo's meaning, other than in extreme cases, and that one lens is rarely "better" than another in any empirically demonstrable way. But they all really do make pictures a little differently, so it's all about finding a lens that makes your subjects look the way you have in mind. It's really no more complicated than that; I can never understand people who harp on how "this brand is better because it resolves x lines per millimeter" or those that say "there is no difference".
     
  213. OT -Amended response.

    Actually not believing what I was saying, I looked again and realized, I may have judged too hastily. I need to see them on good monitor as my work monitor basically sux and that may be what I was percieving. Its just with a second look they look better to me.
     
  214. Good point Beau, but then again I've never had a lens I couldn't make something with, even if it was plastic. You're more control oriented and fine tuned though...
     
  215. Hello Ray.

    Good quality glass�there you have answered your question. Sort of adds to the photo�don�t you think. Not sure it does much for Tri X.

    Is the signature important? Well, yes, it can make or break a photo�.it�s about light and how a lens perceives and performs .

    Good post ,Rayshine. Sort of like has anybody found the holy grail? Yes, it was found in a council house(where poor working folks live) in Grimsby England�true not a joke.

    Bottom line it�s about the photo everything else is just an after thought.
     
  216. ?????? software problems.

    Lots of very interesting photos...nice change from the usual lens cap issues.
     
  217. Barry- I'm from here originally, and just moved back after 12+ years away, still (re)finding
    my "Dublin legs". Pete, is it wise for a man who owns a farm to be talking about puckered up
    sheep? ;)
     
  218. Yeah, lots of "Emperor's new Clothes" stuff going on here. Basically propagated by nose-
    in-the-air elitist who scurry for the cover of "Magnum", or some accomplished shooter
    with purpose to their work, in defense of their own weakly derivative attempts at
    that style of photography. Sort of the equivalent of fondling, in that their entire output has
    no other purpose other than "pinning for the nostalgia" as aptly put earlier.

    It seems a few vociferous "God's gift to photography" STILL dominate this forum with
    deliberately demeaning bluntness leveled at those just out to enjoy a little photography, or
    make a buck.

    Like this arrogant reply to me eariler ...

    "You've seen my work, or if you forgot go to chaospress.com

    A statement loaded with truth ...

    Yes, I have seen your work ... decades before you did it, and saw it done well.

    And yes, you are right, I did forget ... because it is quite forgettable.

    Time to puff up boys, and come blow my house down. I could care less because I do not
    see the Emperor's New Clothes" ... just a gang of derivative windbags in their underwear.

    Back to having fun with photography ; -)
     
  219. Peter - I almost spit my wine laughing so hard. And thank you for then nixing the good riddance remark.
     
  220. About that "good riddance" comment:
    Without belaboring tiresome questions and claims/counterclaims about conduct/language/personality, etc., I believe Grant can take a darned good photograph.
     
  221. Marc, I don't have the inclination to search and link to your
    crybaby speech leaving the forum a couple years ago, but thank
    you for your grand re-entrance. All the stars come out of
    retirement eventually... I do respect you as a working class
    photographer (that's a compliment), though I see nothing of
    particular quality on this thread. I care little what you think of what
    I do. What you seem not to realize is that you're as arrogant and
    as big a windbag as anyone....

    I'm glad though that someone like you is around to defend the
    poor guys who make mediocre snaps with $5- $10K worth of
    equipment. Very generous of you.
     
  222. What you seem not to realize is that you're as arrogant and as big a windbag as anyone....
    Bingo!
    Almost every photographer here, from the very good to the average just post photos. No explanations, caveats, or excuses why their pix might not look good on the web. Also, with the majority, I have no idea what they do for a living, what their job title is, how well off they are, no knowledge of their credentials, how much high-end gear they have, etc - it's their photos that talk. Personally, I like that, simple and down to earth. Mystery is good - too much personal information, usually offered as a defense or a self pat on the back, not good. Photos should be enough. I think those that need to periodically waive their credentials around suffer form some sort of insecurity.
     
  223. Marc, you summed things up quite nicely. I guess you and I are missing the boat with our B&W work. From now on we should print up some of the out of focus "wind-on" frames from the beginning of the roll and tell our clients that it's "great art". Magnum photographers? Maybe you guys should get to know some, have a coffee and chat, learn how they shoot, and not just base your opinions on the relatively few images chosen by the editors of various publications. Actually there's a link earlier in this thread to a photo I made of the guy who just stepped down as head of Magnum's New York office, before his career with National Geographic, way back when he was still in college. Before that, while still in high school he used to use my darkroom and shot with a Pentax. By the time this photo was taken he had some Leica M's and lenses. Keep smiling!
     
  224. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Al, I guess you missed Brad's last sentence b4 you posted? Amazingly brilliant timing that solidifies his pov...
     
  225. Started to think I wanted to pipe in, but realized had nothing to add but this. I have to
    hand it to Ray for launching this thread. I've talked to and met Ray a couple of times we
    talked about stuff, went out shooting. Sometimes when he starts off a thread this way,
    very challanging and even hostile sounding, where he basically comes wading in like he's
    picking a fight. I get a little pissed because its not my style and I can't believe he really is
    that intellectually adamant and I think he is purposefully pushing peoples buttons just to
    stir the pot. I think Ray, my friend, you enjoy it. But by god, no other person on this or the
    S & D forum can get people to look at their comfortable assumptions so well. Even though
    these discussions usually, as this one is, end up polarizing and the usual sniping, this is
    actually the best thread this forum has seen since lemos and edmo left, there's been some
    good pictures, and a bit of craic, and I've seen people post I havn't for a while, so i'm
    dedicating my next pint to Ray! Fair play to you. I say go for it even if it creates some
    discomfort, that's just sleeping parts awakening.

    BTW, I support what Pete said, this place is WAY lessened by losing Grant, Edmo and those
    of that posse that split. I'd trade their direct substance over polite triviality any day even
    though I may only be capable of the latter myself, I can at least learn something.
     
  226. The camera was one of the most incredible inventions ever to
    come down the pike. It revolutionized society. What was it? A
    box with a hole to let light in. That's it. The essence of what is
    photographic. Everything after was refinement. Pinhole,
    daguerreotype, Holga, Leica, view camera, digital- they're all
    amazing. Magical. What gets talked about here often loses
    sight of that. When people post photos that don't celebrate what
    is photographic it's lost sight of. People get caught up in the
    nuances of gear. That's OK. But look at what photography is in
    its essence. It is not gear. Maybe to some it is. But to those of
    us who love photography, meaning photographs and the
    essentials of what makes up a photograph- light, subject, time-
    any piece of equipment that does the job well and up to modern
    standards is more than good enough to create magic. And it's
    not about money, or who you know.
     
  227. OT - BTW edmo's subway series seen on my Leica Summicron Monitor, is really great. My old,
    monitor at work didn't do them well. If you want to see how someone uses light, camera,
    subject matter in an interesting and powerful way. Check it out. See WTF's thread above for
    the link.
     
  228. "Photos should be enough."

    So where are they from the people throwing around words like "Sucks" ?

    The photos here were suppose to be part of the lens signature discussion, not a request
    for a critique.

    That specific subject triggered the opinion that the web may be to blunt of an instrument
    to demonstrate such a subtile aspect of photography ... which is just dismissed out of
    hand as "excuses" ... and done so with high minded photo content snobbery that rivals
    equipment snobbery.

    And you are surprised and appalled when "Sucks" and KMA are met with like reply?
     
  229. Marc, I read your first comment on this thread as a dismissive
    attack on me, but I know you're a good guy and a good
    photographer, so let's quit, and agree to disagree.

    Quite a few people here have expressed the viewpoint this has
    been a good discussion, and lots of people have gotten involved,
    messy as it sometimes gets. That's good for the forum and to
    the point of why it should be here as far as I can see.

    It's really way late, I've gotta hit the hay. Peace.
     
  230. Agreed Ray. Where I do see eye to eye with you is urging folks to improve, which is your
    intent I think. Maybe you're fed up with pounding your head against a brick wall on that
    subject. But IMO I don't think you can insult someone into it.

    Best way I think is exactly what Travis just did with his "celebration" thread. But to each his
    own.
     
  231. "You've seen my work, or if you forgot go to chaospress.com"
    Interestingly, if one had forgotten your work than your work is not exceptionally moving or especially memorable to begin with.
    In my most humble judgment both Mark and Ray should direct their focus on improving their own work to the levels of Trevor or Kent.
    Sincerely,
    WTF
     
  232. Eric~, yes it was odd that Brad and I posted at the same minute. I'll address Brad's points. Credentials count in the marketplace. Connections, who you know, get you assignments as much as portfolio. In many cases without them you'd never get anyone to even look at your work. "People skills" are important too in the real world. I can't imagine Marc or myself talking with an editor or art director and calling him an ass, or telling him that his latest work sucked, even if I thought so. There are ways to work your opinions into the conversation without being so confrontational. Getting constantly insulted on the Leica Forum by people who never use Leicas and brag that they only use digital? Insane.

    I'm not an equipment junky or a fondler. Since I started getting Social Security checks I've pared down to my mostly well used (hardly pristine) rangefinder Leicas. No more 4x5, no more Hasselblad, no more Leica R kit. I did buy that used Bessa L with the 15mm Heliar and I've been having great fun with it. I think I paid about $425 including shipping.

    And I'm not an equipment junky and never was. I know a lot about equipment because it can be useful information in the real world. In the past year or so I've probably used that cheap little camera and lens for over 90% of my shooting. When I do shoot an assignment I get requests for those 15mm shots. Hey, I'm having fun! Those self-portraits have been extremely popular with people, both locally and and here on the Leica Forum. I get encouraged to keep doing it. People keep ordering signed prints too. For some strange reason the more that you, Brad, and your cohorts put me down and make fun of the project the more interest it generates and brings me still more orders. I thank you.

    Still, I'm debating whether or not to just pull out of here and leave you "street shooters" to your mutual admiration society. If you were really such great shooters the Street Forum might be
    full of great shots and you trolls wouldn't be sniping here. The Street Forum is a pretty much dead place these days. Or maybe I should just print up a bunch of my street shots and pack the forum with some examples of stuff that was shot on assignment and saw publication? You guys can't produce under pressure so you squak and put down those that have paid their dues.

    One other point. I seem to have a hell of a lot of pictures of famous people shot years before they became famous. Many were teenagers when I photographed them first time around. If you and Brad and your buds would like I'd be more than happy to do some photos of you. Maybe you'll have the same experience! Become famous!
     
  233. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "Or maybe I should just print up a bunch of my street shots and pack the forum with some examples of stuff that was shot on assignment and saw publication?"

    I'd just like you to print up the pics that you owe me from the bulk film exchange. I did say take your time, but this is ridiculous.
     
  234. I'll address Brad's points. Credentials count in the marketplace.
    Al, you were not the one I was referring to in my post! But upon reflection, I can see how you might see that it would. Something about the shoe fitting...
    Sure, credentials count in the market place. But this isn't the marketplace - it's just a bunch of (mostly) guys that shoot and like to show pix.
    Getting constantly insulted on the Leica Forum by people who never use Leicas and brag that they only use digital? Insane.
    Nobody is personally insulting you. Just commenting on poor photography, some bad science, and taking issue with comments about digital you make that are factually not true. And nobody is "bashing leica." Just a lot of the common ideas that seem to swirl around the notion that only leica cams and lenses (and film) can return great results and that digital is substandard. The recent Afghan pix thread should debunk that. I can see how people who propagate those notions might feel personally assaulted - after all their belief system is being challenged.
    Perhaps you should reflect upon why you're the only one that feels attacked. There are plenty of shooters here that use a leica and get great pix. Why is it they don't feel assaulted. Look within...
    ...leave you "street shooters" to your mutual admiration society.
    Any examples of mutual admiration to offer? I don't offer many compliments, but when I do, they're genuine. Seems lately, the ones that I've made have been given to a few of those dastardly "leica shooters." Damn, I hate it when that happens. Curses...
     
  235. van gogh didn't live in your version of the "real world," Al, but
    funny, his work is around long after those who did in his day are
    long forgotten.

    My real world is that I have friends who genuinely get something
    out of my work. Not everything is about money, and people don't
    have to be giving money for there to be value.

    Do you think for instance that Jessica Simpson is a better singer
    than KD Lang? Who's making the most money?
     
  236. I'd like to thank all of you who have sent me emails and called me about this thread, and askied me to stay here on photo.net. I heard that there was at least one suspension because of nastiness on this thread. I guess I'll stick it out. Thanks, guys!
     
  237. Really Al, who was being nasty? Seems one of your buddies was booted last week, though.
     
  238. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    You're fans are all of a sudden to shy to post their words of priase here and instead call you personally? Hmmm...

    Guess you're selectively reading again and skimmed over my 10:35 a.m. post? No biggie, you're released from the deal and I wont bring it up further.
     
  239. "I guess I'll stick it out. Thanks, guys!"

    Whatever you're "sticking out," please put it away.
     
  240. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    Threads like these are great for at least one reason. They invariably morph into a kind of buffet table for the likes of poeple like me. Kind of like a piece of meat at the top of a stick in a pail of water to kill bees. Stats: 1 person suspended; 1 person banned. :)
     
  241. Wasn't there a thread here recently discussing passive agression? Do you think any of that would apply here?

    Al, I don't know you, have no beef with you. I've seen a few photos from you that I like, mostly from the 60's that showed me you were taking some great photos and obviously know what you are doing. I've also seen a bunch of photos that have been scanned for you by your friend/s, that frankly I didn't think were worthy of you, and I said so at the time, not in a challanging rancerous manner, or at least I hope so. Despite that, a whole cotierre of Leica Forum indiviuals were patting you on the back for what to me seemed sub-standard work obviously not up to your darkroom standards. But these remarks don't apply just to you. It happens quite frequently, there's a lot of "My first Summicron children by the park photos" followed by, "great stuff,that lens really performs" when in reality, its a generally obviously poorly exposed, composed and executed photo with very little interest. Maybe that's the type of forum carry-on that leads some folks who really love photographs to believe that people may be focused on the wrong thing with the leica equipment/fetish deal. Its the obvious disconnect that people are pointing out..

    If people want to meaningfully discuss lens qualities, then they need to put up good examples, at least properly exposed and, properly scanned and adjusted photographs to discuss. If the photo shows also a photographic eye, all the better, and if you can show how a lens helped achieve a good photos finished look, then there ya go. I realize I open myself to some sort of elitist charge. I don't say I'm a great photographer, but I will say, for the great majority of my photos, they are more or less properly exposed and post processed as I want them to be and if not then there's some other, in my mind, good reason to post it. If it doesn't meet some minimum standard that I set for myself, than I don't post it.
     
  242. Wow, this is more entertaining than...well, maybe work I guess.
    <P>
    I can think of a few things more important than "lens signature" for me:
    <P>
    * A compelling subject
    <P>
    * An interesting composition
    <P>
    * Proper exposure (I hate under exposed color negs)
    <P>
    * Holding my damn camera steady
    <P>
    * Not shooting when I'm drunk
    <P>
    Of course having said that, I can always pick out the difference between my Summicron and my Holga (well almost always).
     
  243. "First Summicron children" sounds almost anthropological, Barry -:)
     
  244. A suspension over this thread? Jeez. Nothing here would have raised an eyebrow during any
    of the good Jay and/or Grant blow-ups. Has it been that dull lately?
     
  245. Who was suspended/booted?
     
  246. Too much time alone with that cron I guess...heh
     
  247. I'm still with Ray.Other than specific aspects of a specific lens for a specific intent, i don't see
    summicrons,summiluxes, "L"s, "FD"s,distagons,tri-elmars,variogons,biogons making ANY
    difference to most of the photographs shown here. they are what they are because of
    photographic intent (at all levels of ability), not because a of some "jewell-like" len's
    "signature".I can't quite believe that someone who wants to make good photographs could
    put a camera to their eye with the primary motivation of "can't wait to see the creamy
    midtones at f2 with this baby....". Cos if you are, it's not gonna be very rewarding for you. Or
    it is.I have no idea anymore. Jesus we SO need a photo competition round here. Travis? ;)
     
  248. Agreed Tom, but I know I will gladly use a cron 50 wide open because I know that I'll get a
    nice background and the subject will pop if I do it right and the lighting etc is there. That's
    all. Its really no big deal.
     
  249. The best lens is the one used with competence and sensitivity. It resides in the mind and heart of the photographer. $10,000 worth of Leitz can yield a pile of crapola, and a cheapo Diana used with intelligence can yield a masterpiece. How many angels can dance on an air bubble of a Tessar? Who cares?
     
  250. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "...and a cheapo Diana used with intelligence can yield a masterpiece."

    which reminds me, did anyone see Sam's wedding shots? A Russian (?) couple saw his holga work here on PN, flew to NYC to get married and contacted Sam to have him shoot it in his style. Very cool pics. There was a pint in this thread where I ment to bring it up.
     
  251. Eric, do you have a link? I would love to see them.
     
  252. r s

    r s

    Tony wrote:
    "Threads like these are great for at least one reason. They invariably morph into a kind of buffet table for the likes of poeple like me. Kind of like a piece of meat at the top of a stick in a pail of water to kill bees. Stats: 1 person suspended; 1 person banned. :)"

    Tony, why is that a great thing? Buffet table? Smiley face after the statistics on how many got banned? Are you saying it's FUN or a GOOD thing to suspend and ban people?
     
  253. Many thanks SP.
     
  254. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    Rich and Kevin: I'm sorry that my post wasn't taken very well by you. In hindsight, I realize I should have kept quiet about it! Kevin, just doing my job. Rich, nope, I don't get my kicks that way.
     
  255. Wow, this is more entertaining than.......

    Well, we all now know quality lenses have a signature.

    Great photos can be taken with any lens but a bit of quality can add.

    Digital gives a boost to an average lens...center sweet spot.

    P/S is the great balance for digital.

    A Leica lens or 24 million pixels does not create a better photographer.

    Gear snobbery pixel count is the sadness of photography.

    Just a few thoughts.

    There, some help for the sad.
     
  256. No worries, Tony, I was just curious. :)
     
  257. I must have missed something. the original question begged to show a definable and observable difference between a well-composed/exposed frame from a Leica lens and one from a similar offering from Canon, Nikon, Minolta, Pentax -- the SLR old-school. or at least, that is how I interpreted the post. seems no one offered anything of import, nor convinced anyone that the thesis was flawed. three-hundred postings later, and we are all still beholden to our original assertions, and unmoved by anything contrary.

    I think this is good -- we are moving forward and understanding more what makes a photograph sing, or scream, and coming to know the fundamental reasons why a lesser-photograph remains mute.
     
  258. Every time I flip through "The Americans," I'm always just a little steamed
    Frank didn't pay more attention to his gear. With better sharpness and contrast he could have
    snagged some really great images.
     
  259. no one offered as there's nothing to offer...and no need to convince. Ray already know the answer before he posted this.
     
  260. Brad, maybe Frank did look out for sharper lenses but then his book couldn't wait!
     
  261. Brad, Frank's "Americans" was widely hailed as a milestone in photojournalism at the time. It wasn't "fashionable"
    back then to print contrasty B&W photos. Look at the work of Bruce Davidson, David Douglas Duncan, Henri Cartier-Bresson, or other notables of that era. If you ever get the chance, look at original prints, not book illustrations, and especially not computer screen images. Photographers shot B&W film with silver prints in mind, and the guy with the process camera tried his damndest with bump and flash exposures to capture the full scale on the screened Kodalith half-tone negative. But his target was to come as close as possible to the print he was working from. Any "creative" manipulation ("post processing") at that stage and he'd be looking for a new job.
     
  262. Every time I flip through "The Americans," I'm always just a little steamed Frank didn't pay more attention to his gear. With better sharpness and contrast he could have snagged some really great images. - Brad
    I'm sure Frank would be heartened to hear that. A little more attention to gear and we'd have had a winner . . . .
     
  263. I think Brad was being a tad ironic about Frank's 'gear'.
     
  264. Thanks, Trevor. I just examined my irony ear and, sure enough, wax buildup. Pretty thick wax, too. Cheers, Brad.
     
  265. Petey, you must not have considered your keyboard gear though,
    yer letrets aer all jmublde. :p
     
  266. Al, it appears that you are not very familiar with Davidsons work.

    WTF
     
  267. I read somewhere too where Robert Frank was into expensive
    motorcycles, golf, and wild women...

    heh, jus't ribbin' you. ;) :)
     
  268. Now, do I get some kind of lottery sized cash award for starting the longest thread ever known to Leica forum? I think so. Tony?
    You say sharp stick in the eye? What??
    btw who got banned?
     
  269. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    yeah, who got banned? It would be nice to know what sort of behavior is out of bounds and such?

    someone caled someone a sl*t way back, maybe they got booted? and they should with that mouth.
     
  270. Recommend Robert Frank's Storylines if for no other reason than that he's included the proof sheets for most of the shots in The Americans.
     
  271. I sort of remember that slut comment, but at the time I thought it
    was a joke, mimicking that old Saturday Night Live line "Jane,
    you ignorant slut!"
     
  272. This is the world's longest thread, or seems to be. On a pretty highspeed DSL connection, it's taking maybe 40 seconds for the whole thing to load. Feel sorry for people reading this on dialup.
    If you're a Robert Frank fan (or even if you're not, maybe), I still say that one of his best books is Black, White and Things, if you can get hold of it.
    I recall reading somewhere that he worked throughout that period with a Leica body and a Contax lens. Don't remember if he chose that lens for its speed or for its price, but one thing is sure: Frank determined what equipment he needed and could afford - it wasn't much - and then he did the crucial thing - he began.
     
  273. Ils sont fous, ces Leicaistes.

    More seriously, I direct your attention to Bob Monaghan's blind "tell me which lens was used to make this shot" tests. He's a devil, that Bob.
     
  274. Come on people, those differences do show up in print but not in 100k 500 pixel wide web images.
     
  275. rj

    rj

    Ilkka,
    Careful, with words like those you might just be considered a fondler, whatever that is. ;-)
     
  276. Come on people, those differences do show up in print but not in 100k 500 pixel wide web images.
    What specific differences are you referring to?
     
  277. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    the ones that the enlarger lens is responsible for?
     
  278. Ah, OK, the more lenses the better...
     
  279. Enlarging lens? What enlarging lens? Real photographers get the image on the silver gelatin coated photographic paper using pure psychic energy. The whole enlarger/lens thing is just a ruse to mislead the digital mavens trolling the Leica Forum. You really gotta hand it to the marketing boys At Leitz though! Way back before World War II, in the midst of the Great Depression, half a century before digital, they had no trouble selling vastly overpriced Valoy enlargers when everybody secretly knew that they were just useless window dressing for the darkroom.
     
  280. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    oh yeah of course. probably printed through schneider as well cuz leica was...not first choice in the dark...
     
  281. C'mon Brad, don't make me think you're just being a jerk. These Leica lenses ARE good, and wide open they're great. One thing the fondlers don't talk about is the color rendition you get from them. I own a pair of the most modern pieces of glass they sell, and as far as color goes it's phenomenal. In harsh sunlight where my Zuiko glass washes out a bit, the 50/1.4 keeps a better grip on color, so does the 35/2 (both aspherical). They're clinically sharp without being harsh. When you nail the focus right in a neg, you can tell the difference in prints at 13x19 or 16x24, my preferred sizes. Look, I am not a lens junkie, and have shot with a lot of different glass (in addition to Olympus OM stuff I shot with Canon FD, Canon EOS, and Contax G lenses, among others), and no it really doesn't make any difference what lens you use whether a shot succeeds or not, but there really is a bit of quality you can pick up on a print IF you focused and exposed right to begin with. Ignore the dopey fondlers around here and see if you can borrow an M and a prime-- with your eye and your interests I think you would be intrigued with the results if you shot 10 rolls with a 35 summicron.
     
  282. Andy must be a new convert. A couple years ago he was
    anti-Leica, a non-believer. What's next? Brad?

    btw Andy, what'd ya do with your Canon DSLR?
     
  283. Still have the 20D and still like it. What happened? I got a new printer that can go bigger than 13x19. No matter what you do, the 8MP Canon poops out any bigger than 13x19, at least to my taste. Also I had sold my Contax G a few years ago and was missing the 45mm prime. I also found I was shooting almost exclusively with the 40mm Zuiko pancake when I shot film, and that lens is only really good at f/4 and above.

    So here's what happened. A local store had a tempting offer for a body and 35/2 Summicron, so on a whim I got it, mostly because I knew that guys like you and Beau were producing some mighty fine looking images with similar kit. I was never tempted to get an M body without AE, because I thought then and think now it's ridiculous to shoot in the street without it. So there is no Leica but the M7 that I would consider for serious shooting.

    I took it out for an afternoon and shot six rolls in Detroit. I printed up a half dozen of the best looking ones and, as I said to Brad above, could definitely see something extra in those prints. I repeated the experience shooting the local Elvisfest the following week. Plus I ended up enjoying the feel of the body and found the focusing and loading to be a no-brainer. So, while in some ways the M is a goofy anachronism, it works just fine for me, much to my surprise. I've shot a lot of film with it over the past year and feel that I am getting pretty good results.

    BTW, I don't think I was "anti-Leica". I thought that using 50 year old M3's without a meter to do any kind of serious photography was stupid. Still do. I thought much of the discussion here was gear fondler stupid talk. Still do. I am more convinced than ever that strapping any lens longer than 75mm to the M is stupid because you can't see what you're focusing on. And the thing is hopeless around any real kind of movement. But within its narrow little comfort zone it works real well. That's my take anyways.
     
  284. Thanks for the offer Andy, but I'm extremely happy with what I have and the results I get. I never said there is no difference in lenses, just that content, nice light, and post processing drive the result more than a "lens signature." Average content, average light, and average post-processing snapped through a lens with pedigreed signature still yields an average print. The power, flexibility, and expressive nature of digital for me far outweigh any incremental improvement available through lens signature.
     
  285. A built in meter is nice "just because it's there", but I'd rather work with incident readings, especially when I'm working close with shorter focal lengths. You still have to factor in light direction, lightness or darkness of the subject, the relationship to the background, etc. when choosing an exposure, and after you've been shooting long enough you get to the point where the meter mostly always agrees with what your eye and your brain already told your fingers to do when they set the aperture and shutter speed. Yet if somebody asked you your settings you'd have to stop and think a moment...

    Brad is right about digital post processing allowing you to mimic a lot of what lens signature gives you. Still, bokeh in out of focus areas will vary with the optics. The movie guys are all too aware of that, and want smooth bokeh so cuts between lenses aren't jarring on screen. For the rest of us maybe it's just a gut feeling, maybe we just feel better about using a lens that worked well in that lighting the last time around. Of course those of us stubbornly clinging to wet processed silver gelatin prints from conventional negatives have less options in "post processing" than doing it all digital. Maybe if I was 23 instead of 63 I'd be jumping right in there, but I still spend a lot of time printing old images. I have all my negatives going back to 1961. Shooting film today doesn't feel in the least bit like it's restricting my crativity. For some reason people will pay a big premium over ink jet for those old fashioned silver prints, so why not sell them what they want? If anything, all this back-and-forth banter has only increased interest in silver prints. I mailed out seven more signed prints this morning.
     
  286. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "Brad is right about digital post processing allowing you to mimic a lot of what lens signature gives you."

    this why you Al, are a first class poo disturber, a troll. Brad never said this. Either you do it intentionally or you have a short circuit somewhere.

    Great responce Andy.
     
  287. Brad is right about digital post processing allowing you to mimic a lot of what lens signature gives you.
    As Eric said, that's not what I said, and it's certainly not a strategy in my post processing. But I'm all ears, tell me how you mimic len signature in post.
     
  288. Touche! That's why we pick lenses for their signature! Well, it's been fun but I've got prints to make, and a shoot scheduled later.
     
  289. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    great, I look forward to my Hendrix prints finally showing up then.
     
  290. I think that we should keep this thread on at least until new year. Maybe we should start posting new subjects in the thread so we will not get bored ...
     
  291. listen to Brad. this isn't 1965 and the Chevrolet Corvair isn't car of the year. lens signature ... sure, why not? better or just a difference? is it swamped by post-processing, from enlarging-lens and paper contributions to ten-second Photoshop operations that 'dramatically' influence the mood and texture the photographer desires? yes.<br><br>

    quit thinking 'Leica magic' and more on the idea in your mind you want to express.<br><br>

    daniel taylor<br>
    San Juan Island, Wa. USA<br>
    www.doublereef.net
     
  292. Well, it's been fun but I've got prints to make, and a shoot scheduled later.
    Any photos to share from that "shoot?" Hopefully enahanced with some lens signature.
     
  293. Nah, no sense wasting it on the unappreciative. Click on your name and see some fantastic pictures! I only really care if my clients like them. They write the checks.
     
  294. It is common for those that are farthest from God, to boast themselves most of their being near to the Church.
    Mathew Henry
     
  295. What was your shoot? Some 60 year old councilman groping
    his secretary at a Christmas luncheon?
     
  296. Hey guys, my dad had me reading Stephen Potter's books when I was maybe ten years old. Give it a try.
     
  297. What's wrong with Harry Potter?
     
  298. Ah Stephen Potter....

    "Donsmanship. The art of criticizing without actually listening"
     
  299. More Stephen Potter....

    "If you have nothing to say, or rather something extremely stupid and obvious, say it, but in a 'plonking' tone of voice - i.e. roundly, but hollowly and dogmatically."
     
  300. Shakespeare is rather apt in this instance Al...

    For 'tis the sport to have the engineer

    Hoist with his own petar
     
  301. Pete you don't get out of it that easily.

    You decided to climb in the barrel so that makes you one of the monkeys.
     
  302. From here Al is not a personality type. He is an 'abstract' to me like you all are.

    He is print on a screen as we all are. All of these threads are glorified Turing tests (or Chinese room tests) and Al and all the other characters are just abstracts. As abstract as Roy's "lens signatures" and your monkeys and all the galaxy of genuine contributors (and the trolls) as well.

    You and I are just heiroglyphs on the internet. Unless we should ever meet.

    Ray's thread was interesting in this regard because he gets near to the essence of the Turing test...

    "with communication only by symbols, gives a way of separating intelligence from other human characteristics"

    Ray just chose to use the subject of 'lens characteristics' to flush out the intelligent.

    He asked...

    "I want to be moved, or impressed, or at least see something out of the ordinary, or well crafted, or with a compelling subject.."

    The symbols were to be pictures. We have mostly chosen words. (I posted some comparison pics but I dont if they fitted Ray's criteria) So we have failed and yes Pete is right. The rest was a barrel of monkeys. We have not satisfied Ray but we have satisfied the Turing test.
     
  303. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    i'm up way too late...
     
  304. Peter, words and photographs have something in common they are as reliable or interesting as the person that uses them. The problem with the words is not in the outside (real) world. The problem is here in the internet that everyone has only them to express their views. As in internet we have no identity and we are abstracts (as Trevor said) our words usually not only carry our opinion but also an identity. And the more insecure someone is, more he tries to force a character or an image in a text that should only carry a simple opinion. So we are starting with a simple thread which is self-evident (that lenses matter, but the photographer is more important) and we end with a monster-thread.....
    00EQDw-26840084.jpg
     
  305. <br>
    a critical element too ...
     
  306. Nah, no sense wasting it on the unappreciative.
    Looks like no pix from Al's recent "shoots." Without seeing any, one is left to assume they take on a look similar to his recent self-portrait body of work. No argument on characterizing that as a signature.
     
  307. Brad, I've been doing this long enough that I don't feel like I have to justify my life or my photography to anyone, let alone an uppity digital troll who shows up on the Leica Forum just to create dissent. A lot of what I've shot for money would be of little interest, or create ethical problems with the clients should it be posted here. I've photographed medical procedures, childbirths, accident victims, accident scenes. Oft times those things are best shot on film and I'm under oath that they weren't, as you put it, "post processed".

    Or are you just upset, nay JEALOUS, that another thread today features my name in connection with the 15mm lens? Goodbye Brad! Get a life.
     
  308. Al, why so insecure? A digital troll? No, just someone who loves photography. No one is
    asking you to justify your life. Why not post some photos in the spirit in which Ray's
    original post was offered? You're coming off very angry about this.

    Again, this thread is not digital vs film, as you apparently want it so badly to be. It's about
    lens
    nuances. Digital cameras require lenses as well, by the way.

    Try and understand that "post processing" isn't unique to the digital domain, but applies
    to film as soon as you do something as simple as burning and dodging. Go forward with
    an open mind and you might learn something in the process. But, on the other hand, your
    statement that you've "been doing this long enough" speaks volumes on how receptive you
    might be.
     
  309. Guy guy guys, you're supposed to argue on the new thread! Isn't
    "Get a life" a personal attack?

    In respect for technical quality and competence, I have to say
    seeing other people post pics with the VC 15mm on that thread
    made me realize it's a pretty capable performer, something your
    self-portraits were a long way from doing, Al.
     
  310. ...eeing other people post pics with the VC 15mm on that thread made me realize it's a pretty capable performer, something your self-portraits were a long way from doing, Al.
    I rest my case: Good (or bad) content, good (or bad) light, and good (or bad) post- processing swamp out any benefits a lens' signature might provide.
     
  311. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "Isn't "Get a life" a personal attack?"

    so is troll.

    Do you think I could say, "AL, get a life, troll!" and get away with it without a time out in the corner for a month? And they want subscriptions over this? No wonder everyone is over on flickr...without being badgered for for a bit of chump change.

    Hi Tony...I'm not sure why you like this, man.
     
  312. I never claimed the self-portraits were great art, Ray. I never intended to keep going with it after the first few. They are popular, and I've sold a bunch of them.
     

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