Are newer lenses too clinical?

Ken
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Are newer lenses too clinical?

Post by Ken »

There's just something about my quality vintage glass from Nikon and Contax-Zeiss. New lenses are clinically sharp, but sharpness it's the only thing that makes a pleasing image. Is this trend towards sharper and sharper images going to keep continuing? I feel like we're losing that 3D pop, and never images just seem flat.
VT3M

Re: Are newer lenses too clinical?

Post by VT3M »

The perception of whether newer camera lenses are "too clinically sharp" or lack the "character and 3D pop" of vintage lenses can vary from person to person and depends on individual preferences and shooting styles. Here are some considerations:

Sharpness: Newer lenses are often designed to be extremely sharp, which can be beneficial for many types of photography, such as landscape, product, or portrait photography where you want every detail to be crisp and clear. However, some photographers prefer the slightly softer and dreamier look of vintage lenses, which can add a certain mood and character to their images.

Character and 3D Pop: Vintage lenses can indeed impart a unique character to images. They may produce subtle optical imperfections like lens flare, chromatic aberrations, or vignetting, which can create a distinct visual style. Some photographers appreciate these imperfections as they can add depth and character to their photos, giving them the desired "3D pop."

Bokeh: The quality of background blur (bokeh) can differ between lenses. Some vintage lenses are known for their unique bokeh rendering, which can be smoother and more pleasing to some photographers than the bokeh produced by modern lenses.

Coatings and Flare Control: Newer lenses often have advanced coatings and better flare control, reducing the likelihood of unwanted artifacts caused by lens flare. Vintage lenses, on the other hand, might produce more pronounced and attractive flare patterns that some photographers find appealing.

Lens Design and Purpose: Newer lenses are often designed for specific purposes, like correcting distortion, minimizing chromatic aberrations, and achieving high sharpness. Vintage lenses may have been designed in an era when different priorities and manufacturing techniques were prevalent.

Artistic Choice: The choice between using newer or vintage lenses ultimately comes down to personal artistic preferences. Some photographers intentionally seek out vintage lenses to achieve a particular look, while others prefer the clinical sharpness and control offered by modern optics.

whether newer lenses are "too clinically sharp" or lack the "character and 3D pop" of vintage lenses is subjective and depends on your creative goals and preferences. Both types of lenses have their merits, and the choice between them should be based on the specific visual style you want to achieve for your photography. Many photographers even blend the use of modern and vintage lenses to create a unique and diverse portfolio of work.
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