What is this article talking about??

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by jyc860923, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    Anyone read this? The Problem with Modern Lenses

    Seriously, I get that modern lenses must be less flawed in design but what's so wrong with that, and where does the "line of realism" come from? Is the 3D pop a real thing?

    I've always thought that there should be a scientific explanation such as the FL/Aperture you choose, the subject distance and simply the positioning of your model, but this is something new to me.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
  2. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    It's a lovely diagram, isn't it? And as far as I can tell it all came out of his own head.

    Notice how each corner represents a contrast to each of the other corners in some way. The 3D corner lists lower element count, more depth rendition, and a lighter lens as characteristics and the optical correction corner lists various corrections, greater corner sharpness, a higher element count and a heavier lens as its characteristics. Unfortunately there seems to be no agreement by experts or authorities that a lower element count gives more depth rendition and that a higher element count diminishes depth rendition. It is the opinion of the author that there is a link between the number of elements in the lens and those characteristics but note that he doesn't cite any evidence supporting his claim. In fact the only link to any related information he provides is to another of his articles and it is also similarly lacking in independent supporting evidence. He also fails to provide any information about his own background or any qualifications that would equip him to make such assessments. He is obviously expressing a strongly held personal opinion but he does not provide us with any compelling reason to believe that his opinion is actually based in fact.

    And notice how he asserts how the combination of an emphasis on edge sharpness, resolution at maximum aperture, and bokeh (which isn't just "blurred circles of confusion") turns a lens into something specialised for low light photography but many lenses have a maximum aperture of f/4 or smaller which doesn't equip them well for low light photography and even the faster lenses which are well suited to low light photography perform better when stopped down and they are less suited to low light photography when used stopped down.

    Different lenses certainly do have different characteristics but the rendering characteristics he talks about aren't as rigidly associated with the physical lens design characteristics as he asserts in my view. He obviously prefers lenses of less modern design than a lot of current design but I think there's no basis for assuming that all of the aspects of lens performance he dislikes can be laid solely at the feet of modern lens design. What I think can be said is that new materials such as special glasses, and new techniques for making elements with different characteristics, has allowed designers to correct for problems which previously could not be corrected for, and what people expect from a lens has also tended to change as lenses started to exhibit new characteristics. Not everyone has liked the changes in the way lenses render the scene and some people strongly prefer the rendering of older lenses. Other people actually do prefer the rendering of modern lenses, and preferences aren't the sort of things that are right or wrong, or good or bad. They simply are what an individual likes, like whether the individual prefers coffee or tea or dark chocolate or light chocolate. This guy prefers the results he gets with older design lenses but not everyone agrees with him and there's definitely no basis that I am aware of for assuming that what he prefers is the best result for everyone.

    Buy the lenses that give you the sort of result you want. If those happen to be the lenses he likes, then fine, buy those lenses. If the lenses that give you the sort of result you like are the ones he hates, then that's fine too and you should buy the lenses he hates. It's your photography and you're the person who should be in charge of making the decisions about what sort of result you like and how to get it. Following someone else's ideas on what is best is fine if it gives you the results you want, but it's the wrong thing to do if it doesn't deliver the results you want.
    • Agree Agree x 1
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  3. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    It's been talked about here lots. It's just a junk article. Pseudo-science and muddled thinking. Just ignore it.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  4. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 10, 2016
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Rob Campbell
    I've read this guy's stuff in the past and think it's total bullshit. Previously, he's talked about the number of elements reducing the apparent 3D quality of the image. A Zeiss Otus is, by his rationale, not very good.

    Petapixel giving him place on their site reinforces why I don't pay attention to them.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    I feel like a fool to have tried to figure out what he meant, and Petapixel actually publishes his story, ouch!
  6. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    Thanks guys for clearing up this mess for me. It's a pity he didn't wait till 1st Apr. to publish that.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    PetaPixel must be desperate for something to post on their site, or posted it a click bait. I couldn't read the whole diatribe because his premise is so full of flaws and I only have so much of my life that I'll waste on assessing crap.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Well, it definitely earned PetaPixel a lot of clicks. There are about 400 comments below it ripping the article to shreds (and one deluded guy fiercely defending him for the other 50 comments). Warms my heart, it does.
  9. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Kirk Tuck cited him in one of his recent blog posts as well. That certainly lowered my opinion of him a notch or two.

  10. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    So I have lost count now. Is this the 3rd discussion started here about that article? :)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Yes, unless I missed one ;)
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