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Buying a lens is like opening a box of chocolates
  • Among many lens models claiming same max aperture, there are differences in light gathering. Also huge performance difference at max aperture. Different lenses breath differently. Supposedly same lenses actually vary in optical performance. It's like picking a tomato from a grocery store. They are all different.

    When one asks me about a particular lens, I have no idea. Just take lots of pics and start pixel peeping before it's too late to return. If one has lots of money and he buys lots of gears, he would have to spend many hours on examining new gears. Spending creates lots of work. Thank gawd I'm not rich :)
  • 6 Replies sorted by
  • >Among many lens models claiming same max aperture, there are differences in light gathering.

    Absolutely agree.

    >Among many lens models claiming same max aperture, there are differences in light gathering.

    Absolutely agree. T is different from F, in other words. Plus sometimes F is stated incorrectly due to marketologs.

    >Also huge performance difference at max aperture.

    Absolutely agree. Overall I am tired typing. So, it'll be AA.

    >Different lenses breath differently.

    AA

    >Supposedly same lenses actually vary in optical performance. It's like picking a tomato from a grocery store. They are all different.

    AA.
    And getting used lens is like picking tomato from "Special sale" pile where you'll be sometimes lucky, but sometimes it'll burst right into your face.

    >They are all different.

    AA.
    And this is all fun is about.
  • I've been attempting to gather a matched set of Nikon AI lenses. I've bought and sold a dozen or so while doing this and even ones that are from similar batches are slightly different. It's not enough to really care about in practice but you can tell if you really look hard. I've definitely noticed that the F stops are slightly different on each lens and the DOF on each lens is slightly different.

    I'm primarily doing this because the director I've been working with has mentioned a few times that the different shots we've done look different depending on the lenses used so now I'm at least trying to get everything as close as possible while not spending a fortune on a real cine lens set.
  • >so now I'm at least trying to get everything as close as possible while not spending a fortune on a real cine lens set.

    This is really good idea.
    How about special topic so we could point guys to color patches at ebay, and they'll shoot it under natural (or incandesent) light and manual WB? So, we'll have approximate color profiles of each lens.

    One more think. I didn't find it yet, but I saw Zeiss CP review stating that lenses are not really so well matched (despite advertising), and you need to adjust settings in reality (but they are matched quite good compared to many other sets, of course).

    I also suggest to look at Pentax glass with SMC coating. As I think that SMC is best coating on old lenses, it is also more constant among different lenses compared to other brands. But I did not performed real tests yet.

  • I also suggest to look at Pentax glass with SMC coating.
    ////////////

    I am also a big fan of the SMC Pentax. I like the look and at least with mine, the focusing seems so smooth.
  • Hmmm SMC...
  • I have a 50mm 1.8 Pentax with SMC and a Nikon 1.4 50mm. At f2 and smaller, the Pentax looks a tiny bit nicer in colour than the Nikon, to me anyway, although the Nikon has a slight edge in detail and (of course) a wider max aperture. I also years ago bought an Ozeck 28mm 2.8 with what looks to me like a similar coating to the Pentax. It was a random find in a charity shop and cost about £6 (GBP) but only just got an adapter for it to fit the GH2. The Pentax is lovely, but the Ozeck is really, really gorgeous. It makes images that look good enough to eat! It's hard to put in words but...wow! It just does something to produce rich, warm colours and the image has the most amazing "rounded" quality. Get one if you can - they are really cheap on eBay.

    But still... if you want accuracy, amazing detail, and of course auto-focus and stabilization, the Panasonic 14-140 is hard to beat. I do find myself going to the manual lenses where I want to do low-light, or just want a more friendly look to the image.