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Lens Sharpness

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by Grelton, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Very interesting reading, thanks. :cool: 
  2. ccunningham

    ccunningham Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    It's Ken Rockwell so your mileage may vary. Sometimes I think he's ridiculous, sometimes I think he's got a good point, sometimes in between those two extremes. This is one of those in between ones for me. I can easily see the difference in sharpness between my 25mm and 14 mm lenses outside of the center on even my E-PL2. But unless something sharp needs to be in those areas it doesn't really matter. And maybe not having everything sharp looks better in some cases. So lately I'm just not worrying about getting the most extreme sharpness most of the time. Sharp enough is fine. Except when you really want the most sharpness. I like macros that are super sharp. Unless they look good without being super sharp. So there you go, sometimes it matters, sometimes not.
  3. luiztakei

    luiztakei Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2012
    What do you guys think about the famous quote by Cartier-Bresson?

    "Sharpness is a bourgeois concept" (H. Cartier-Bresson)
  4. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I think he was right on the mark with that sstatement. We had an exhibition of his photographs at our local art gallery around a year ago and the photograph I really liked the most in the exhibition was probably the least sharp photograph, and it was very much less sharp than the majority of his work.

    I think it's worthwhile knowing the background to that quote so here it is:

    `Sharpness is a bourgeois concept.` - Henri Cartier-Bresson - / Naomi /

    Hardly an exhortation to forget about sharpness, especially given the emphasis on it in Newton's photographs. A great line, an in-joke between 2 great photographers, an acknowledgement of the onset of old age. There's a lot in that line and it definitely doesn't imply what it seems to imply when taken out of context in my view.

    And the HCB image I really liked was taken in 1947, well before he uttered those words to Newton.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Yea, Ken Rockwell is like the veritable Curate's Egg - good in parts. His equipment reviews regularly contradict themselves and he has a penchant for outrageous comments that don't stand up to too much scrutiny. However, at least he's honest - this is from his 'About' page:

    This website is my way of giving back to our community. It is a work of fiction, entirely the product of my own imagination. This website is my personal opinion. To use words of Ansel Adams on page 193 of his autobiography, this site is my "aggressive personal opinion," and not a "logical presentation of fact."

    If you want serious and considered reviews, best to look elsewhere (e.g. Bryan Carnathan's Digital Picture site).
  6. luiztakei

    luiztakei Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2012

    Hi, David. Thank you for sharing this story with us! :) 
    • Like Like x 1
  7. blue

    blue Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2010
    Yes for pictures where the whole point is to show a level of detail that we'd normally not see, then sharpness is crucial.

    As a more general point, other factors like camera shake, wrong focus and wrong shutter speed are much more common in taking the edge off a "sharp" picture.
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