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Thread: What is "micro-contrast"?

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    What is "micro-contrast"?

    Work has kept me tied to my computer for a couple straight weeks so I haven't had a lot of opportunity for shooting with my new 75 Lux. However, I do carry it around the yard when taking the dog out for her relief. I take endless pictures of her and the view from my back porch (which I won't bore you with) and continue to see amazing things in the files. I'd like to understand what I'm seeing a little better.

    One of the most impressive things about the M8 files is the amount of detail and apparent depth of information that stands up extremely well to aggressive processing (curve adjustments, sharpening, etc.). I have heard the term "micro-contrast" used but I'm not sure exactly what it means or what attribute of the lens or camera is responsible for it. Is it the glass itself? The coatings? The arrangement of the elements? Lack of a thicker AA filter on the sensor? All of the above?

    There's an entire universe of information about lenses that I haven't grasped as yet. I may never fully comprehend the intricacies of lens design. But I am curious about this aspect.

    Your thoughts greatly appreciated.

    Tim

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    Re: What is "micro-contrast"?

    Tim - you can find some info here provided by Jack Flesher and Doug Herr:

    http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-an...?msg_id=006YLu

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: What is "micro-contrast"?

    Excellent! Thanks CMB.

    That does a fine job of explaining the concepts of macro and micro contrast. What's missing is the underlying reason, from a manufacturing standpoint, that the Leica glass seems to perform so well.

    This is old stuff for many of you I'm sure, thanks for your patience.

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    Subscriber robsteve's Avatar
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    Re: What is "micro-contrast"?

    I think the better quality from Leica lenses comes from not only better manufacturing, but they also start with better designs. Mr Puts refers to the two working hand in hand. In other words, to have better lens designs needs tighter tolerances in manufacturing to achieve the image quality the better designs are capable of.

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: What is "micro-contrast"?

    Thanks robsteve. I'm thinking I should know a little more about Herr Puts. His name gets mentioned a lot.

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    Subscriber robsteve's Avatar
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    Re: What is "micro-contrast"?

    Mr Puts web site is at the link below. He also has a book that is quite detailed about leica lenses and lens design called "he Leica Lens Compendium" It was printed by Hove books, but is also available as a download at the site below.


    http://www.imx.nl/photo/

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