What makes a great lens?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Speedliner, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    i was thinking about this the other day. I love looking at the many images posted on the forum. Every once in awhile there is one that has something special about it. It isnt sharpness, though that is part of it. There seems to be a richness to the color....something other than just saturation. Is it contrast, is it clarity?

    We always think of sharpness as a prime definition of a great lens, but there is more to it than that isn't it? What's the quality that makes a lens great?

    Caveat, yes photographer, scene, light, etc.. All have more to do with it, but some lenses seem to get the most out of a shot?
  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    The very best lenses (think 75/1.8, 42.5/1.2 etc) demonstrate a wonderful clarity that lesser lenses don't. They just give us the world as it is without interpretation. OTOH, many consider their look too clinical, preferring older lenses with "character". You won't get a lot of agreement of what makes character, but most of us will see it when it's there. Colour casts, vigneting, edge softness, flare - they can all lift an image from mundane to special - in the hands of someone who knows what they're looking for.
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