Michael Johnston Reviews the DA 35mm Ltd Macro on K20D

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by miserere_mei, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. I already raved about how happy I was that MJ would be writing a monthly column here on p-net:


    I was so pleased I even thought it would be weekly :) but we'll have to make do with monthly.

    So here is this month's column, which I thought I would bring to your attention as it deals with the 35mm Ltd:


    It seems everyone that has this lens is extremely happy with it, and MJ and fellow co-reviewer Carl Weese are no

    PS: I just locked my credit card in my office drawer and swallowed the key. You might want to do something similar.
  2. He's KILLING me! How much do I want this lens now??? It sounds SO GREAT. Ah - (plunges head in ice bath). No, still want it. (Repeat, again and again).
  3. I just watched my credit card spontaneously explode Saturday after ordering the Sigma 10-20mm. It didn't have a chance. My wife ran the rest through the blender and changed the password on my Paypal account.

    Good looking lens. I don't need it! Repeat three times whenever LBA strikes.
  4. The question in my mind, is how does the 35macro compare to the 50macro. I've been kicking around the idea of getting the 50mm - but if the 35mm is on par, It may be another option...

    too many lenses, and not enough money (or time)...
  5. jtk


    It's likely that 50 macro and 35 macro perform identically except for focal length. I doubt anything could beat the 35's performance.

    I'm used to the 35's near-50 equivalent because I used 50 heavily with manual Nikon and Canon SLRs...but I never bothered to photograph bugs, rarely flowers.

    If I was a bug/flower guy I'd go for the 100/2.8 rather than the 50, simply for the convenience of working from a greater distance.

    The 35/2.8 hunts a lot more than 21 and 70 DA in low light...that's its one shortcoming IMO...probably has to do with the long helical.
  6. I wouldn't want to 35mm for macro either, but would appreciate the close-focusing capabilities. The standard 45cm
    minimum focusing distance on the average 50mm lens just isn't good enough for me (on film). 1:2 or 1:3 macro
    would be enough for me on a 35mm for digital. But hey, it's not like I can afford any of this anyway! :)

    As a side note, I wonder if Hin has read this article. This could make his LBA gland explode. Poor guy...
  7. Hin's on vacation, and let's hope he doesn't read it. He's got enough LBA issues - I worry that he'll spend his 401k, his kid's college savings, and sell his house and car (maybe on ebay) all because of the lens shopping frenzy.

    I thought the 3 month Hiatus would have helped him - but he's even worse than before... I wonder if he'll come back with a new camera and lenses from hongkong.

  8. Mis, I am with you. If the DA 40mm could just get to 1:4 macro, it would never come off my camera. Instead it's at 1:9 or so, and I am still searching for the perfect (for me) walk-around lens.

    I read some of the postings on Pentax Forums, and the don't sound quite as thrilled about this lens as Mr. Johnston. I'll hold off for a little longer. And keep selling extra gear, although it won't add up to limited money any time soon.
  9. The DA35 Ltd is likely to trounce the D-FA 50 in build quality and possibly AF speed as well if the D-FA 100 (which I assume has similar build) is any indication. I don't find the build of the D-FA 100 completely convincing considering the cost of the lens.

    More than once I have I ended up switching to a close-focusing zoom like DA 16-45 when the FA43 or FA28 couldn't focus close enough.
  10. Any idea on Price? Sounds awesome...
  11. $389 or less from prodigital2000 in Canada on eekbay, where I got mine. Came with a bonus Cokin MC UV filter. I love it but agree that it hunts a bit much in low light compared to others. the focal length for me is great- I also liked 50s on 35mm. I also agree that the 100mm is preferable for flower/bug macro but I really like the close-focusing ability of this lens for other things. In my Aug issues of photography magazines, it's advertised for around US$649 at a few retailers but I suspect that is coming down rapidly with competition etc.
  12. It's a nice little macro lens. Currently my default daylight lugaround lens of choice. One thing I like about it
    is that I don't really have to care about it... No need for any of that "best to stop it down a bit because it's
    a bit crap wide open" stuff.

    My only real criticism of it (so far...) is that it's so sharp from edge to edge that it can make some photos
    look a little too dry and technical. In some ways, I prefer the subtle "yep, this was taken with a lens..." look
    of the
    Sigma 30/1.4... Depends on the scene/pic.

    Didn't think much of that particular review, TBH... It reminded me a little too much of those wordy, overstated
    reviews that are characteristic of high-end hi-fi magazines... A nice enough read, but I find it very difficult
    to have much faith in equipment reviews of that nature. Put it this way, if I didn't actually own this lens
    myself, I'd have been reading those words with my BS detector flashing merrily away there...

    Still, at least Mr Johnston was honest enough to admit that he's basically a lens-licking nutter... :)
  13. Oh, and I found Carl Weese's comments on manual focusing with this lens a bit odd... He criticises other lenses in that piece, but fails to mention that manual focusing with the DA 35 is a hyper-sensitive affair at anything other than very close distances.

    One look at the pic of the lens at the bottom of the review will tell you why... :)
  14. I'll make a little note.

    While I have enjoyed using the 35mm DA Macro, it will soon be on it's way back home.

    My conclusion, using it with the K20D (or K10D or ist D), is that it's a good macro lens, and a good general
    lens, however, since it's designed for macro, the focusing scales are useless for general shooting. This means
    it's AF or ground glass focusing only. No range finder cheating for any of you old school focusers.

    However, in no way am I giving this lens negative remarks/reviews. It's quite a good lens, and the macros I took
    even at f/22 were strikingly sharp.

    The next biggest issue I found was that I don't find a ton of use for a 35mm Macro. It's simply a bit too short.
    My working distance for that frog shot I posted a few weeks ago was just a few inches, and I was lucky the frog
    thought I was one of his siblings who was kissed by a princess and turned into a prince. Otherwise, I'd have
    prefered a 90+mm macro (or even a 50mm macro).

    So when it goes to it's home, i will be gladly using 3 lenses in it's replacement.

    1) 35mm T&S (actually amazingly sharp, I'm still blown away that a $300 Russian castoff can be perhaps my
    sharpest, least distortion filled lens)...which can be used with a TC, and using the tilt to give both extreme
    macro and extreme DOF. I don't know if my 35mm T&S is quite as flat of a field as the 35mm DA but for half the
    price and 2x the utility, I'd have to say I probably won't miss much.

    2) 28mm KA/K I have two of these one is a K and one a KA. Both are manual focus, and handle prefocusing quite
    well with the well marked, and well damped focus rings and DOF scales. I've shot thousands of images on film with
    my trusty 28mm KA and I believe the 42mm normal FOV will suit it nicely as a digital prime.

    3) (last but certainly not least) 43mm FA...I think when I don't take the 35mm T&S, I will most likely take both
    a 28mm and the 43mm. See other peoples comments on the 43mm for more info, I'm sure they've all used it more than
  15. Paul Wilkins: "A nice enough read, but I find it very difficult to have much faith in equipment reviews of that nature."
    Whereas I am just the opposite. Two real photographers talking in detail about real photography and showing real photographs is what I want out of an article. MTF tests etc. can be left to the machines. This article was extremely well written and enjoyable. More please!
    Justin Serpico: "The next biggest issue I found was that I don't find a ton of use for a 35mm Macro. It's simply a bit too short."
    For me it is too long. I would prefer it at the perfect normal length of 28mm for digital. I am not hung up on it being a 1:1 macro...I well realise I will rarely use it like that. But being able to focus arbitrarily close is a show-stoppingly useful feature. For bug macros there's always the Vivi Series 1 105mm.
    I wonder how much I will even bother with the FA43 now? It's both uncomfortably long and puts me at too much of a distance to my subjects. I prefer the FA77 for that. Suppose I'll keep it for a future full-frame camera. :)
    This is a great lens!
  16. Well, it's just a 35mm macro lens... Sure, it's well-made and has decent optics, but I think it's very easy to get
    carried away with our nice new toys sometimes... Seems to me that MJ has done that here. That's fine, but at
    the end of the day a lens - even a nice one - is just a lens...

    For me, whether it's "too long" or "too" short depends entirely on what I'm taking a picture of... It could be 15mm or
    50mm for all I care, TBH. I'd just use it accordingly. The main thing for me is that it's reasonably light, reasonably
    fast, and focuses a lot closer than any other lens I have. It's other optical/mechanical qualities are somewhat
    secondary to these issues as far as I'm concerned.

    Anyway, there are plenty of people on here who consistently take very nice pictures without this particular lens, so I
    really don't think they're missing out too much by not owning it... But if it suits someone's needs, sure, it's certainly
    a good quality lens. No need to make a meal out of saying that though, surely...?
  17. jtk


    On K20D the distinction between 35/2.8 (and 21 and 70) vs any zoom is like 35mm vs MF, at the very least.

    35/2.8 is fabulously high resolution, corner-to corner....maybe more relevant to K20D than K10D because the newer camera actually can record a LOT more detail.

    It's bizarre to think a lens is "too sharp," as someone above suggested. But if that's your taste, use a Holga or a zoom.

    35/2.8 focuses very nicely manually with prism finder, maybe less so with the lesser finders due to their lower light transmission..

    AND, it DOES grab-focus/prefocus by feeling (no peeking at lens barrel) quite well if you take a moment to get familiar with it. It actually does approximate an un-tabbed 50mm Summicron on an M in that respect.

    The only way it absolutely doesn't rival (or beat) a 50/2 Summicron is "bokeh," which is more amusing with longer lenses, and more amusing when they have Leica's haze issues. I'm going to add an adhesive focus grabbing "tab" to mine to make it more like a tabbed Leica lens...a bit of industrial stick-on velcro tape.
  18. Actually, making a meal out of writing like he does is clearly precisely what MJ's trying to do... ;)

    Hope it works out for him - I quite enjoy reading his thoughts on this and that - but when it comes to equipment reviews it's always worth hearing a wider selection of opinions... Especially if you're the too-quick-with-the-credit-card type, don't you think...? :)
  19. John, compared to the other lenses I own, manual focusing with the 35 Ltd on subjects a couple of meters or so
    away is far more fiddly, simply because it has a very small angle of rotation between 1m and infinity.

    This isn't a big issue, TBH, because it seems that autofocus works pretty well (usually...) with this lens, but it's
    certainly worth bearing in mind if manual focusing is of interest and the close-focus capability isn't the main priority.
  20. I don't really have a problem with exhuberant writing on equipment reviews.

    Actually I find it refreshing to see enthusiast reviews more so than technical data reviews from a bench.

    Lets face it, really world and lab bench shooting are a bit different.

    That said, the 35mm is a nice lens, it's well built, low distortion, sharp, fairly fast, and 1:1 macro.

    It's not super compact, but it's not too big.

    If your using it simply for "close focusing" and not macro then I'm sure it's fine. But then the 21mm focuses to 6in, the 10-20mm focuses to 9in, and if I remember correctly my old 35mm FA focused to about 9 inches. So you could save the cost of a 1:1 macro and go with any of the above, as well as quite a few other primes for general close focusing.

    Not having great vision, I don't snap focus well. So without long throw, and solid DOF markings I'm not going to be doing a whole lot of manual focus these days.
  21. And no, it's not "bizarre" at all to think that a lens can be too sharp... Depends entirely on the pic, but for me this one certainly has been at times. I've deliberately softened several pics taken with this lens (in PP), because the sharpness has detracted from the photo, at least for my personal tastes. Which may or may not be different to other people's, but OK, that's not my problem... :)
  22. I think one issue is that it seems to outresolve my K100D's 6MP sensor, which leads to pixel-sharp pics... And for me, that's sometimes a bit too sharp, especially for portraits and other scenes where I want a softer look.

    It's certainly an appreciated characteristic in scenic shots, though, such as the first and last shots in this set that I posted a link to recently:


    It did a pretty nice job capturing the details of those bank note eyes too.
  23. Paul, I'd looked at these pics before, by I only just noticed the naked dude in the first and last one... Is the 35 Ltd so sharp it can cut through clothing??? :-D
  24. Never tried, but I guess certain edges on the lens mount could possibly work with a light summer dress...

    Probably easier just to wait for people to get undressed though, TBH.
  25. For those of you seeking a more scientific review of this lens, try this:

  26. Cheers, R.T... I saw nothing to disagree with there. I guess the K10D used for that test shows up any slight corner
    softness more clearly than my K100D.

    He got the slight-but-noticeable vignetting at f/2.8 bit right, BTW... Unlike Carl Weese ("no noticeable vignetting even
    wide-open") I can see it quite easily in some shots, including MJ's wide-open sunset shot in his own review... :) It
    doesn't bother me in the slightest, TBH, but it is there and it is visible, as I pointed out here:


    I dunno, perhaps these "real photographers" have dodgy eyes... :) Or maybe they don't really know what they're
    looking for/at when reviewing lenses... :)

    Would be fun to get MJ and KS together to argue whether it's an "optical paragon" or if it's "undoubtedly a high
    quality lens but it does not excel"...

  27. Hmm, as a Canon DSLR owner too it's interesting (for me...) that the Photozone review mentions a Tokina variant
    of the DA 35 for Canon/Nikon folk. Seems to be this one:


    Strangely, this Tokina lens weighs 340g, whereas the Pentax version weighs only 215g... It's a little odd to me
    that they should
    differ quite so much in this respect, if they're really the same lens, optically.

    Just thought I'd point this lens out for any other Pentax users that also have Canon/Nikon gear... Perhaps the
    Tokina is a cheaper option...?
  28. Ah, just thinking, perhaps the difference in weight is (partly) due to the AF motor being in the lens for Canon/Nikon mounts...?
  29. Also, I am pretty sure that Tokina does not make this lens in a k-mount.

    It is Pentax that makes the Tokina in a k-mount. :)
  30. I'm really not sure who makes what these days... Seems Tokina and Pentax have some kind of "special relationship" going on, business-wise, so all I know at the end of the day is what name they decide to put on the stuff... :) As long as it fits and works, that'll do me...

    BTW, I'm not sure which lens trim looks worse... It's a close call between the green Pentax ring and the gold Tokina bling... :)
  31. "undoubtedly a high quality lens but it does not excel"

    It seems the lens performs above critical performance level at every respect that is objectively measurable. Perhaps, the lens is not sufficiently flat for macro, they thought? Or, some vignetting at wide open is a bit too much for the price?

    At any rate, although I have a keeper in a comparable focal length, I am being tempted by the DA 35mm after reading this thread. Hopefully, I won't succumb to the temptation before I get something I need.
  32. I am still unsure as to this lenses suitability for anything except close-ups. Manual focusing is impossible on objects further than 2 metres. I hate relying on AF especially as there are enough situations that throw it off. The rendering of objects at or near infinity seems less impressive than work like the flower I posted above. I need to work with this lens more.
  33. Robin, I truly am grateful I didn't have a mouthful of coffee when I read your line "I am still unsure as to this lenses suitability for anything except close-ups"--my keyboard might never have been clean again. If you own this lens and can't get good infinity performance out of it, something's very, very wrong. As I read your comment, which literally made me laugh out loud in astonishment, I had at my elbow a 13x19-inch print of a lake scene I made last night. I still have pretty good near-field vision, but I need a magnifying glass to see the fine detail in this print, which is very crisp and clear. I assure you the 35mm DA Macro is perfectly adequate for things other than closeups. But to get past that statement and address your concern, I do use the K20D exclusively with the "Pentax Magnifying Eyepiece" (Pentax part # O-ME53). Carl uses one as well (in fact, the one I'm using is his backup, which he sent me when Pentax sent me the K20D). Such devices don't always work as advertised, but in this case it's a good accessory that does work very well and might help you with your focusing issues. I haven't had mine off the camera since I got it, and I no longer even notice it's there. All best, Mike
  34. "Unlike Carl Weese ("no noticeable vignetting even wide-open") I can see it quite easily in some shots, including MJ's wide-open sunset shot in his own review... :)" Paul, As many photo writers point out till they're blue in the face, it's necessary to read reviews with a "believe what I say not what the illustrations might show" mentality. In this case you're making a very common error. When you point the camera at a sunset, the sunset is the brightest place in the sky and the sky really does get darker the farther away from the light source (sunset) it is. If you disbelieve this, simply look at the whole sky in such a situation, from directly toward the sun to the opposite direction. Contrary to what some "experts" will tell you, skies are almost never good subjects for vignetting trials, and my sunset shot not only isn't decent proof for any claim about physical falloff in the lens, it isn't even evidence. I like vignetting. I used to introduce it in darkroom prints by edge-burning, and I often add it to digital pictures on purpose in post-processing. In the picture below, for instance, the falloff on the right is natural, and I added some on the left for balance. (Others might not like it, but it's not their picture.) So I can certainly see how different people might have different standards for falloff. All lenses have some falloff, however slight. Given the controls we have for ameliorating it in digital, the falloff of the 35 DA Macro wide open is minimal for its angle of view and trivial from a practical standpoint. But whether you're fond of it or allergic to it, don't judge it from sunset shots. All best, Mike
  35. Hey Mike:

    Glad I could at least provide a moment of amusement. :) As I said i will be working with this lens more, and of
    course I would love it to be an amazing performer. I mean, I bought it and all, so I have an obvious investment
    in it being wonderful. But it has to earn its keep against the DA16-45, which I have done some very good
    landscapes with -- a lens I think punches way above its weight.

    I tried a magnifying eyepiece, one from Nikon. Didn't like it as it got in the way of me seeing the full frame
    (or at least as much as the viewfinder allows). Oh yes, I wear glasses. Also tried a fresnel screen but that was
    annoying too. Instead I have become rather good at focusing with the K100D as it comes off the assembly line. I
    do use a good number of manual lenses, the Vivi Series 1 105mm foremost amongst them.

    Please note I am not (yet) using the K20D. Perhaps the DA35 works better with that camera. Perhaps there is
    indeed something wrong with my lens. You never know. I hope to find out through further real-world shooting.
  36. Well, or the benefit of this forum - and for a laugh, obviously :) - I just took some (more...) quick'n'dirty
    test shots with the DA 35 Ltd at F/2.8 and f/5.6... Somehow I don't think you'll need me to tell you which is which:


    Hmm, what a spooky coincidence it is that I can see such a similar degree of vignetting in your sunshot shot,
    Mike... :)

    Do you like my fridge magnet, BTW...? :)
  37. Oops, a "for" somehow became an "or" there... :) Thank #%&! I'm not a writer, eh...? :)
  38. Paul,
    So your theory is what, that because you can detect it, it's a problem? The falloff with this lens is about half a stop in the extreme corners wide open. That's well controlled for a lens with this angle of view, easy to correct in processing, not objectionable (do I need to think of more ways to say this?)--and won't be noticeable to most viewers with pictorial subjects. That's my opinion. If you need less falloff for some reason, I would suggest a longer lens, or stopping down.

  39. "Paul, So your theory is what, that because you can detect it, it's a problem?"

    No, my own views on whether it's a "problem" or "objectionable" or not are very clearly stated earlier in this
    thread, and in an earlier thread of mine that I've provided a link to above. Read them.

    My point is that the following text is clearly a considerably more fair and accurate description of the
    of this lens than "no noticeable vignetting even wide-open":

    "Typical for many dedicated APS-C lens the vignetting is somewhat more pronounced. At f/2.8 you can expect a
    decrease in corner brightness of ~0.8EV which can be visible in critical scenes. The problem is very reduced at
    f/4 and pretty much negligible from f/5.6 onwards."

    Your original review is clearly misleading with respect to certain aspects of this lens, and I feel that it's
    only fair
    to the readers of this forum to point that
    out. It would be most unfortunate if someone were to part with their hard-earned cash for this lens on the basis of
    either (a) any over-enthusiastic oversight on your part, or (b) the waffling words of an incompetent BS merchant.
  40. Paul W: "It would be most unfortunate if someone were to part with their hard-earned cash for this lens on the basis of either (a) any over-enthusiastic oversight..., or (b) the waffling words of an incompetent BS merchant."

    I could not agree more!

    So Paul... given that you are a Canon user (too) and your observations and opinions are the result of pairing the lens to an obsolete K100D, NOT a K20D as desired by OP in the title of this post, may I ask which are you on your scale? a, b, both (or more...)
  41. Michael, I very much doubt that the choice of a K100D or K20D (or K10D, in the Photozone case...) has a significant impact on the vignetting or manual focusing characteristics of this lens... :)

    Of course, if you can provide reasonably convincing evidence to the contrary, I'm sure we'll all be glad to see it... :)
  42. The beginning of this thread was interesting and a good discussion of a great lens by those that joined in. The
    end of the thread has become downright boorish. If I were Mike J. I wouldn't bother to respond (you can't satisfy
    everyone and there never has been a perfect lens from any supplier). There have been numerous positive threads
    regarding the fine qualities of this lens on this forum and even more so on PF as evidenced by this thread:

    There will always be a stick in the mud who grasps at some small so-called 'flaw' and sticks to that 'issue' like
    glue to defend a firm position. I mean really how often do any of us regularly shoot wide open and particularly
    with a designated macro lens. For most of us it's a special effect use or that dark scene backup position we only
    use when absolutely necessary

    The thing that seems to be now lost is this is a Macro lens that doubles as a great multi-purpose lens. Macro
    lenses are shot in macro mode at small apertures 97% of the time and at middle apertures for almost every other
    situation. If the shooter has such a specialized wide open need, there are other much faster lenses designed
    specifically for that use. A carpenter doesn't use a saw when a hammer is needed.

    Give it a rest Paul.
  43. Paul,
    On further reflection, I've decided that you're absolutely right. With considerable urgency, therefore, I advise you to sell your 35mm DA Macro immediately. It is an inferior lens with insurmountable flaws, and it is painfully obvious to me and everyone else that you will never be able to take a good picture with it. I suggest you de-accession it while all the false, perfidious, lying, error-ridden positive reviews of it are still swirling around the internet, because if you act quickly some deluded fool will probably pay you good money for it, and you'll emerge from your harrowing experience relatively unscathed financially. Then, you can put the money toward the purchase of a lens that actually works. At which point you will be able to take pictures of your fridge magnets again at any aperture, as God intended, and all will once more be right with your world.


    Mike J.
  44. Mike J...

    Your "Catherine 1" image looks like a 3-D hologram on my monitor. I'd ask you how you did it, but I’m afraid I might scare myself to death, if I learned how.

    Too spooky...
  45. Michael,
    Right, I had to barter a non-corporeal aspect of my being to a fellow in red tights with weensy little red horns on. You wouldn't want to know.

    Seriously, you're talking about the JPEG on TOP? I had a hard time getting the color close in the little JPEG. You should see the pigment print on Photo Rag. Gorgeous. But it's just lighting, I'm afraid. No tricks, thus no tips.

    Mike J.
  46. Mike J: "I had to barter a non-corporeal aspect of my being to a fellow in red tights with weensy little red horns on. "

    Hmmm... I might be a country boy and you can kid around with me, but I know better. Only someone really special to the subject could care enough to pull off that pic....

    She is a perfect angel!


    BTW: I like the smaller version (above) much better than the larger one on TOP. The compactness and broader tonal range in the smaller version gives the image a magical presence… a special glow…
  47. Mike, it was brought to my attention that you've (rather predictably, it has to be said) given your opinions on
    some of the issues I've raised in this thread on your little blog...

    Apologies for any offence taken on your part, but I can assure you (and other members of this forum...) that I
    very rarely say anything derogatory about anyone unless I genuinely believe it to be true, given the evidence
    presented to me.

    Well, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this matter. I'm happy to leave it at that.
  48. Hello everyone,

    First of all, I need to say that I appreciate very much the Mike Johnston/Carl Wieese article.
    Following the hot discussions about the reviews of the DA 35 mm Macro, I did a small website with a user test - as a poll - to investigate what is the meaning of the MTF numbers out of the test charts.

    It's six shots of the same scene with six different apertures. The goal is to discover wich photo is equivalent to which aperture.

    Below, one example:


    There are five more comparisons like this;

    To do the full test follow this link.

    Possibly, you will be surprised as I am.

    Enjoy !!!

    Salviano Jr
    Rio de Janeiro
  49. An admin note to the folks that are disagreeing with Mike and his article.

    If you want to disagree with an editorial article on photo.net, we're happy to have you do so, even strongly. But keep your commentary to the article itself and facts within and not direct it at the person writing the article.

    If you genuinely have an issue with a writer, moderator, admin staff member, or other user on photo.net, our forums are not the place to air that laundry. While spirited debate is interesting and educational, namecalling is not. Please do not engage in it in the future.
  50. Pint understood and taken Josh. My apologies to Paul for some unwarranted choice of words. We do all, after all have a right to our opinions.
  51. Mr. Wilkins,
    You're quite the gentleman. On the one hand you say you're apologizing, but on the other, you turn right around
    and assure me that all your belittling and insulting comments made previously were sincere. You even throw in a
    few more for good measure.

    I guess you win, then.

    I have to say, you have vividly reminded me--and it's true that I had forgotten--why I stopped writing about
    lenses years ago. In any event, I have decided to change my plans with regard to my new column here on Photo.net.
    I had originally intended to make it a series of lens reviews, spiced with more general articles about lenses and
    optics. The next column was going to be about the Zeiss 28mm f/2 ZF/ZK, and the one after that about the new
    Nikkor 24-70mm; I had planned an article about purple fringing and another about the history of coatings. But for
    reasons that I just cannot fathom, lenses are as difficult to discuss without exciting fanaticism as politics and
    religion are. Some vicious, nattering little dispute that resists reasonableness is inevitably a
    consequence--there is always someone lying in wait who insists on turning a molehill into a mountain or
    vice-versa. Acknowledging that such people might have a different perspective, or cautiously qualifying every
    other statement, or modifying what was originally said by stating plain facts more carefully, seems never to have
    any dampening effect on the ardor of their disapprobation. Even humor seldom disarms.

    I'm quite sure you, and those like you (you are certainly not unique), enjoy arguing. I simply don't. So, no more
    lens articles from me on Photo.net. I'll find other things to write about, and if they excite the kind of
    absolutism and recalcitrance that articles about lenses do, then at least the column following can be about a
    different topic altogether and I can leave the previous one behind.

    Mike Johnston
  52. As this thread has spiraled into off-topic irrelevance, I am closing it.

    To those involved, please heed my words above.

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