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Thread: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    This thread turned out to be very interesting. Thanks everybody.
    If you indulge me, here is an image of sunflowers I happen to like.

    Question: How would you characterize the lens and its performance the image was shot with? TIA.

    Last edited by k-hawinkler; 18th October 2015 at 15:34.
    With best regards, K-H.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Sony lens, K-H.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Sony lens, K-H.
    Thanks Vivek. I will leave the question open for awhile to give others a shot at it. This should be fun.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    This thread turned out to be very interesting. Thanks everybody.
    If you indulge me, here is an image of sunflowers I happen to like.

    Question: How would you characterize the lens and its performance the image was shot with? TIA.

    I like it: low LoCA, no purple fringing or veiling haze, the brown head pops out of the yellow petals, pleasant bokeh (the out of focus sunflower, second from the right, is very painterly)

    I think if we really want to solve this riddle, a "character" lens and a "clinical" lens should be used to take a variety of scenarios and laid side-by-side for comparison (just like the recent M9 CCD vs. M240 CMOS).

    But then it might not be fun anymore. Myth and legend is half of the excitement.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by hiepphotog View Post
    And your Noctilux does not? I guess that's why labeling a lens as "clinical" gives such a bad connotation. Somehow the less perfect seems to give you endless possibility. The truth is, they all can only work for certain vision/idea/artistic values. If all you want is a lens with shallow DOF, dreamy look, aberrations-laden, etc., certainly the 50 APO would not fill that role.

    Now if you say you have more creativity options with the Noctilux because it can open up to 0.95, I would agree.
    Of course the Noctilux limits my options. Who would ever think otherwise?

    That is part of being an artist. Making creative choices.

    And a lens that is 'too clinical' often does not readily lend itself to certain artistic choices. Artistic choices that I may really like.

    Go ahead, Defenders of the Otii, tell me once more that clinical perfection is better because it can do so much more. Well, it doesn't always do what I want.

    I am going to go fondle my Nikon 135 DC. Your Zeiss 135/2 doesn't scare me.

    -Bill

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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    It might be a Meyer Trioplan, a lens that I am working with lately and that I like very much. A lowly triplet. (I hope I am not a spoilsport)

    Btw, the debate on boring perfection and exciting imperfection is not really confined to digital. In the largeformatphotography forum a number of photographers express their dislike for the boring perfect German plasmats as contrasted with older designs. I have used a Rapid Rectilinear lens (a mid xix century design) and it has more than adequate sharpness and a quite nice tonal rendition. At least at still life distances, haven't tried it for landscapes.

    Finally, I am not convinced that PP can simulate everything. It might be true in line of principle but I still have to see a convincing simulation of an ambrotype. Or of a GAF 500, for that.

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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by rhern213 View Post
    I think it's a term Canikon fanboys made up after they found E-mount lenses were better than theirs, and they have no other evidence to criticize them.
    You are wrong. It is a term made up looonng time ago about lenses too sharp/cold/grittybokeh. Some zeiss lenses are too clinical, either on Canon or Nikon body. Too clinical might be because some lenses have hard time to make a perfect transition between in focus and out of focus areas. The zeiss otus, for example, is master in this, as well as some Le´ca glasses (not all): they are not clinical at all. The Sigma Art lenses are clinical.

    Quote Originally Posted by f64 View Post
    Finally, I am not convinced that PP can simulate everything.
    PP actually CAN simulate everything. I can show you some virtual landscapes I'm codding... you won't notice they are made out of calculations. Even sea or rivers. The scary thing is that it is limitless. Some applications are so powerful that only imagination can be a brake (and computing power also).
    Last edited by Hulyss Bowman; 18th October 2015 at 17:18.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by ohnri View Post
    Of course the Noctilux limits my options. Who would ever think otherwise?

    That is part of being an artist. Making creative choices.

    And a lens that is 'too clinical' often does not readily lend itself to certain artistic choices. Artistic choices that I may really like.

    Go ahead, Defenders of the Otii, tell me once more that clinical perfection is better because it can do so much more. Well, it doesn't always do what I want.

    I am going to go fondle my Nikon 135 DC. Your Zeiss 135/2 doesn't scare me.

    -Bill
    Bill, I think none here is saying the well-corrected lens is superior for all artistic scenarios. I think it's the "character" side that somehow implies that the technically better lens is not a good choice. Just quote you again :"a lens that is 'too clinical' often does not readily lend itself to certain artistic choices." I think it should read "a lens that is 'too clinical' often does not readily lend itself to my artistic choices." I doubt that there is a universal, pre-defined, accepted by the majority list of certain artistic choices that "too clinical" lenses would not fit.

    Let's just compromise and say it's all down to personal preference. For me, I'm happy that I don't have to think of a way to fix that purple fringing on my model's hairs without making it unnatural, or to fix that mid-zone resolution drop in a landscape. I'm also happy that whatever effect I put on a picture via post-processing, I can replicate the same look in another if I want to.

    Overall, I like the predictability of my tools.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hulyss Bowman View Post
    PP actually CAN simulate everything. I can show you some virtual landscapes I'm codding... you won't notice they are made out of calculations. Even sea or rivers. The scary thing is that it is limitless. Some applications are so powerful that only imagination can be a brake.
    I was not clear. I meant that just because you can do it, it does not mean it's simple. Visual rendering has gone a long way, but you are using complex programs: a whole different world from dumb me manually PostProcessing. Or, let's say, nobody has yet come up with a good program for that.
    Last edited by f64; 18th October 2015 at 17:26. Reason: Trying to be more precise
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by f64 View Post
    I was not clear. I meant that just because you can do it, it does not mean it's simple. Visual rendering has gone a long way, but you are using complex programs: a whole different world from dumb me manually PostProcessing. Or, let's say, nobody has yet come up with a good program for that.
    Ho yes, it is not simple and the programs aren't easy to use. For pure photography there is a vast choice of software and plug-ins but none are perfect, so far. I prefer the rendering of some specific sensors/lens combinations than relying on pp to obtain what I want.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hulyss Bowman View Post
    You are wrong. It is a term made up looonng time ago about lenses too sharp/cold/grittybokeh. Some zeiss lenses are too clinical, either on Canon or Nikon body. Too clinical might be because some lenses have hard time to make a perfect transition between in focus and out of focus areas. The zeiss otus, for example, is master in this, as well as some Le´ca glasses (not all): they are not clinical at all. The Sigma Art lenses are clinical.
    So we are getting it all wrong then . Would you define too sharp, cold, gritty bokeh, perfect transition between in focus and out of focus? I guess it's another problem that the term is not clearly defined. For me, whenever I heard of the term "clinical," I think of a corner-to-corner sharp @ WO lens with a good to excellent aberration correction.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Clinical = Lack of character.

    If all lenses start to be telecentric and "corner-to-corner sharp @ WO lens with a good to excellent aberration correction", then yes, all will be clinical.

    Planar or heliar designs aren't clinical. Distagon is clinical.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hulyss Bowman View Post
    Clinical = Lack of character.

    If all lenses start to be telecentric and "corner-to-corner sharp @ WO lens with a good to excellent aberration correction", then yes, all will be clinical.

    Planar or heliar designs aren't clinical. Distagon is clinical.
    But then Zeiss Otus is the very "corner-to-corner sharp @ WO lens with a good to excellent aberration correction." And you said it's not clinical.

    Also, it's hard to just base on the design name to swiftly label a lens as clinical or not. I know from my own experience that the Distagon 28/2 "Hollywood" is full of characters , same as the Distagon 35/1.4. I have not heard anyone saying those two are clinical.

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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Wasn't there somebody who said "i cannot define pornography, but I can tell it is when I see it"?

    Apart from this, I find Hulyss definition (too sharp, gritty bokeh, bad transitions to oof) quite clear, even if one cannot measure it. But measuring things has become an obsession, and often people measure things that are not so important just because it is easy to measure them.

    Let me peddle tube amplifiers again. Tube amplifiers are audibly but not measurably more "musical" than solid state (at least for classical music). Yet they were almost wiped out because solid state has a lower measurable distortion.

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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hulyss Bowman View Post
    Clinical = Lack of character.
    Thanks. That doesn't define anything.
    You simply replaced one word with three.
    Could you please define those three words then? TIA.
    I mean in terms of well defined quantities from optics.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Smile Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    3 different magnifications (distances), uncropped frames. FE 55/1.8 on the clunker A7R, the Hague. No vaseline was used or needed.

    Untitled by Vivek Iyer, on Flickr

    Untitled by Vivek Iyer, on Flickr

    Untitled by Vivek Iyer, on Flickr
    But I do see lipstick on the straw.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hulyss Bowman View Post



    PP actually CAN simulate everything. I can show you some virtual landscapes I'm codding... you won't notice they are made out of calculations. Even sea or rivers. The scary thing is that it is limitless. Some applications are so powerful that only imagination can be a brake (and computing power also).
    I am going to come down on the other side of this one.

    Even highly connected super computers are unable to simulate any molecule much more complicated than a hydrogen atom.

    In the art world, I have yet to see any PP representation of oil painting that is even somewhat convincing.

    In photography, it is probably a closer call if someone has unlimited time, skill and computing power. But since I have none of those I will just use my lenses based on my artistic choices and get the results I like that way.

    -Bill
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by f64 View Post
    Wasn't there somebody who said "i cannot define pornography, but I can tell it is when I see it"?

    Apart from this, I find Hulyss definition (too sharp, gritty bokeh, bad transitions to oof) quite clear, even if one cannot measure it. But measuring things has become an obsession, and often people measure things that are not so important just because it is easy to measure them.

    Let me peddle tube amplifiers again. Tube amplifiers are audibly but not measurably more "musical" than solid state (at least for classical music). Yet they were almost wiped out because solid state has a lower measurable distortion.
    Well the term "clinical" gets tossed around willy nilly that I'm not sure it is used correctly. A very sharp lens like the Otus doesn't have gritty bokeh to me. And the consensus for bad transitions to oof is too abrupt transition? (happened to associate with the known 3D effect in some Leica/Zeiss lenses). Is it the combination of all those characters or just one would suffice?
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by hiepphotog View Post
    Bill, I think none here is saying the well-corrected lens is superior for all artistic scenarios. I think it's the "character" side that somehow implies that the technically better lens is not a good choice. Just quote you again :"a lens that is 'too clinical' often does not readily lend itself to certain artistic choices." I think it should read "a lens that is 'too clinical' often does not readily lend itself to my artistic choices." I doubt that there is a universal, pre-defined, accepted by the majority list of certain artistic choices that "too clinical" lenses would not fit.

    Let's just compromise and say it's all down to personal preference. For me, I'm happy that I don't have to think of a way to fix that purple fringing on my model's hairs without making it unnatural, or to fix that mid-zone resolution drop in a landscape. I'm also happy that whatever effect I put on a picture via post-processing, I can replicate the same look in another if I want to.

    Overall, I like the predictability of my tools.
    And I am happy that you are happy.

    I also like the predictability of my tools.

    Otherwise, they are not so much tools as random number generators.

    -Bill

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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    This thread turned out to be very interesting. Thanks everybody.
    If you indulge me, here is an image of sunflowers I happen to like.

    Question: How would you characterize the lens and its performance the image was shot with? TIA.

    WATE
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    In line with Vivek and K-H are doing, what would you guys say about this lens?

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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by hiepphotog View Post
    In line with Vivek and K-H are doing, what would you guys say about this lens?

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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by hiepphotog View Post
    In line with Vivek and K-H are doing, what would you guys say about this lens?

    I agree with Algrove that the bokeh looks nervous to the point that it's initially distracting from the subject. Just my subjective opinion though.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    I also agree with you guys, but what would you say about this lens in term of clinicality? Would it fall under the desirable "character" lens? Or is it the undesirable "clinical"? Or is it in the purgatory zone (neither here nor there)?

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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by hiepphotog View Post
    I also agree with you guys, but what would you say about this lens in term of clinicality? Would it fall under the desirable "character" lens? Or is it the undesirable "clinical"? Or is it in the purgatory zone (neither here nor there)?
    It certainly has character but not all characters are good. I'd say for me this lens would work better in greyscale images.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by hiepphotog View Post
    In line with Vivek and K-H are doing, what would you guys say about this lens?



    Why not, I'll take a stab at it. The fence in the center seems in focus. The colors are fine.
    The bokeh seems a tad on the nervous side, but its not psychedelic.
    Without knowing how it was processed it's hard to judge how to improve the image in post.
    Impossible to judge edge performance.
    In the upper part of the image I see 3 horizontal lines, one in the blue to the right, two in the green to the left.
    Could be power lines.

    Well, I don't think in terms of desirable or undesirable traits.
    If I had this lens I would try to figure out if and for what use it would excel.
    With best regards, K-H.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Okay flower shot Sony 55 , fence shot either a noctilux or the voightlander 35 1.4.

    Okay the flower shot if shot at 1.4 or 1.8 it's done with a more modern lens like the 55. It's still very sharp at its focus point but it does fall of very nicely. But overall it's well corrected which leaves out let's say a Leica R 80 lux which you could never get that contrast wide open or sharpness which leads to me a more modern optic. Fence shot is a tough one but the bokeh is to nervous. Might be a complex lens design creating the nervousness. Now watch me be off. Lol

    Now can I go back to the 300 dollar bottle of Scotch in the other thread .
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    OK K-H
    Don't tell me you used the APO 75/2!
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    OK K-H
    Don't tell me you used the APO 75/2!

    Thanks Lou. I am writing the solution to the riddle right now and will post it in a few minutes.
    With best regards, K-H.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    It's getting very late here, but I cannot sleep without knowing the answer.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    Why not, I'll take a stab at it. The fence in the center seems in focus. The colors are fine.
    The bokeh seems a tad on the nervous side, but its not psychedelic.
    Without knowing how it was processed it's hard to judge how to improve the image in post.
    Impossible to judge edge performance.
    In the upper part of the image I see 3 horizontal lines, one in the blue to the right, two in the green to the left.
    Could be power lines.

    Well, I don't think in terms of desirable or undesirable traits.
    If I had this lens I would try to figure out if and for what use it would excel.
    Thank you K-H for the detailed response. I bolded the text that would sum up my view toward lenses.

    This is a test shot (no PP at all because of this) in a series which I shot to learn about the lens bokeh and sharpness profile at different apertures and distances. Smooth bokeh ain't its strong point at any aperture or distance . But it happened to be one of my favorite. Whenever I picked it up, I wanted to go out and shoot.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Okay flower shot Sony 55 , fence shot either a noctilux or the voightlander 35 1.4.

    Okay the flower shot if shot at 1.4 or 1.8 it's done with a more modern lens like the 55. It's still very sharp at its focus point but it does fall of very nicely. But overall it's well corrected which leaves out let's say a Leica R 80 lux which you could never get that contrast wide open or sharpness which leads to me a more modern optic. Fence shot is a tough one but the bokeh is to nervous. Might be a complex lens design creating the nervousness. Now watch me be off. Lol

    Now can I go back to the 300 dollar bottle of Scotch in the other thread .
    Guy, I thought we are playing the describing a lens character game, not naming the lens . That would be quite a hard task.

    In light of this, I would like to guess the lens is the Sony G 90 Macro. Since we have all this talks about this lens being "clinical," I think K-H would want to show a more artistic side of the lens.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    This thread turned out to be very interesting. Thanks everybody.
    If you indulge me, here is an image of sunflowers I happen to like.

    Question: How would you characterize the lens and its performance the image was shot with? TIA.


    Thanks everybody for playing along. What you are describing and reacting to is an uncropped but slightly processed image with Capture One Pro.
    It was shot WO with Nikon D800E and Leitz Telyt V 280/4.8 version III. I have two of these lenses, one was made in 1974, the other in 1975.
    I also have a version II of this lens from 1965, but it doesn't perform quite as well.

    Here

    Telyt V 280/4.8 version III. Some observations - Customer Forum - Leica Forum

    you can find an extensive discussion of this lens type we had in 2011.
    In particular there is also a discussion about my own lenses and the problems they had when I bought them.
    These Telyts certainly have their flaws.
    I think one has to use them very judiciously to get the best out of them.
    But they certainly get their use and I have no intention of selling them.

    Now that I think about this, I really should put them to use on my A7r/2 cameras as well.

    Thanks again for being good sports!
    With best regards, K-H.
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  34. #84
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Hi,

    When folks say that old Leica lenses don't play well with digital, there is a lot to it. There are a couple of reasons for that, but the most important is that most Leica lenses are compact designs, placing the output pupil close to the sensor plane.

    This caused no great problems with film, but causes a lot of issues with digital sensors. There are essentially three problems:

    • Vignetting at the pixel level, the pixels tend to be deep
    • Crosstalk, the light illuminates neighbouring pixels, too
    • Astigmatism caused by the cover glass


    It is interesting to see how Leica has approached these issues on digital.

    • Added bar codes to the lenses to better handle vignetting and colour casts. These codes can be read from the EXIF-s and softare corrections can be applied.
    • The cover glass was made very thin (0.5 mm), causing problems with weak IR filtration on the M8, on the M9 it was made thicker and the IR-filter got stronger.
    • Leica tasked CMOSIS with developing a new sensor having shallow pixel pits and an specially design microlens array to better handle lenses with large beam angles.

    Newer lenses are calculated to take the cover glass into account, of course.

    3dkraft has shown this example using the Zeiss Biogon 2/35 on a Sony A7R:


    Same shot using a Loxia 2/35 on the same A7R gave this image:


    The Biogon and the Loxia share construction but the Loxia was modified to play well with digital sensors. Both images are from corners and at maximum aperture. The article is here.

    So it is not about just lens quality but also about specific demands on the lens caused by new imaging technology.

    Best regards
    Erik







    Quote Originally Posted by thompsonkirk View Post
    "Old fondler lenses don't do well on modern Leica digitals. Even Leica have moved away from those and have been designing better lenses."

    Rarely do I want to reply 'that's just wrong,' but I guess I'll try it.

    IMO if you made the point correctly it would be that Leica is now making lenses that optimize for higher resolution and contrast, period. But this doesn't for a moment imply that older fondler/Mandler lenses "don't do well on modern Leica digitals."

    It only means that modern sensors and older fondler/Mandler lenses, when combined, offer the advantages/disadvantages of lower resolution, lower contrast, and other things you don't happen to value.

    Kirk

    Attachment 113325

    Homage to August Sander; MM with Mandler lens – not quite as old as these two guys

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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by ohnri View Post
    Plenty of lenses produce various effects that are difficult, time consuming or impossible to reproduce with PP.

    Not to mention the serendipity which often occurs when using such lenses.

    Clinically perfect lenses limit you to a subset of possible artistic outcomes.

    Not to mention, PP is allowed no matter what lens is used. When I use my Noctilux, pushing the shutter is generally a prelude to PP as well even though I am starting from a vastly different place than if I use my 50/2 Summicron.

    Step away from my 50 DR, I refuse to acknowledge superiority of your Uber Zeiss.

    -Bill
    I don't agree : I think that a neutral lens (what you name "clinical") would offer more flexibility than one with character : the character is there, not easy to make it disappear in PP.

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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by ohnri View Post
    I am going to come down on the other side of this one.

    Even highly connected super computers are unable to simulate any molecule much more complicated than a hydrogen atom.

    In the art world, I have yet to see any PP representation of oil painting that is even somewhat convincing.

    In photography, it is probably a closer call if someone has unlimited time, skill and computing power. But since I have none of those I will just use my lenses based on my artistic choices and get the results I like that way.

    -Bill
    Personally, I think that art is strongly influenced by the tools used. It doesn't make much sense trying to mimick oil painting with a digital camera or postprocessing. Innovative art is the one that takes full advantage if the new tools, not the one that tries to mimick the past.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    To me, a lens with "Character" is one that delivers a pleasing result out of camera in terms of rendering. This might include aberrations that profesisonal chart readers frown upon, but as long as I am not shooting flat test charts, this matters very little to me.

    I have also found that most lenses with "Character" deliver images that might not be bleeding sharp out of the box, but sharpen/ cleanup pretty nicely in post. My favorite example is the Mamiya 50mm shift. I Don't need any image to be sharper than this.



    (R. Click -> View image for 2048 px size)

    The converse to this theory is that a "Clinical" lens can be "Softened" to look like it has character. Well, "Softening" has nothing to do with character. At least, not to me. The softening is only a side effect, but the rendering is what matters. Also, "Softening" alone doesn't define a lens with character. The Nikon 70-300 G for an example, is a BAD lens that incidentally, is very soft.

    But the biggest difference of them all is that a lens with character makes me want to shoot more with it, while a clinically sharp lens stays in the bag until I really NEED it (Like my Nikkor 70-400 f/4).
    Last edited by synn; 19th October 2015 at 01:07.
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    Senior Member Hulyss Bowman's Avatar
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    Thanks. That doesn't define anything.
    You simply replaced one word with three.
    Could you please define those three words then? TIA.
    I mean in terms of well defined quantities from optics.
    No need to tanks me, I can't be more clear. Like humans, lenses can have character or not. How many women I know are too perfect and, vastly because of that, not attractive ? Some of my models are just pure jewels, physically and mentally speaking. Everything is proportioned, teeth are perfect, attitude is perfect... all is perfect. When all is perfect it start to be boring. It is why my best models aren't models, they are girls I spotted in the street, never attended to be model or whatever. Girls with some awkwardness, some imperfections, with sometimes surprising character. Those are my choice especially for creative work, like lenses, you see ? So at the end some "perfect" women can be pissed off because I do not choose them over a "normal" woman. Some "perfect" models doesn't even react, just facing a perfect smile. Some "perfect" models, too formatted by agencies might develop a sort of melancholia, very contained but perceptible. Here I can work and can break her back to emotions.

    So clinical/surgical lenses are exactly bound to human counterpart. Going into samples or calculations isn't needed but just need to open those freaking eyes and sometimes guts, to FEEL something instead of mesurbating it

    Someone who always clean, classify, calculate, organize is UTTERLY boring and depressing. A lens who always render the same, who correct every optical phenomenons, who have no "character" (what can be called "imperfections" by today or DxO standards...) is UTTERLY boring and depressing.

    My choice will always go for non perfect people over perfect people. Same for lenses.

    Kind regards - Hulyss - hulyssbowman.com
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Oo
    Quote Originally Posted by Hulyss Bowman View Post
    No need to tanks me, I can't be more clear. Like humans, lenses can have character or not. How many women I know are too perfect and, vastly because of that, not attractive ? Some of my models are just pure jewels, physically and mentally speaking. Everything is proportioned, teeth are perfect, attitude is perfect... all is perfect. When all is perfect it start to be boring. It is why my best models aren't models, they are girls I spotted in the street, never attended to be model or whatever. Girls with some awkwardness, some imperfections, with sometimes surprising character. Those are my choice especially for creative work, like lenses, you see ? So at the end some "perfect" women can be pissed off because I do not choose them over a "normal" woman. Some "perfect" models doesn't even react, just facing a perfect smile. Some "perfect" models, too formatted by agencies might develop a sort of melancholia, very contained but perceptible. Here I can work and can break her back to emotions.

    So clinical/surgical lenses are exactly bound to human counterpart. No need going into samples or calculations but just need to open those freaking eyes and sometimes guts, to FEEL something instead of mesurbating it

    Thanks for your post. I don't think I expressed a preference, certainly didn't mean to, for what you call clinical or character lenses. In fact I like to use all kinds of lenses. Frankly, I simply asked for a definition so that this discussion is based on solid ground and not quicksand.

    I definitely can understand your reaction to perfection. I have a similar reaction when it comes to music. I prefer recordings of life performances with their imperfections rather than perfected studio recordings.

    Nevertheless, it would be useful IMHO if this community could agree on a definition of a term that gets thrown around all the time.

    Thanks again for stating your view so clearly.

    Now, is there anybody willing to propose a draft definition for "Clinical" that we then could iterate and hopefully come to a common use of the term?

    BTW, I like the image. Thanks.
    With best regards, K-H.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    But I do see lipstick on the straw.
    That caught my eye and I am glad that the lens/camera combo could capture it.

  41. #91
    Senior Member Hulyss Bowman's Avatar
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    I do not think we will ever agree for a definition of "clinical/surgical" in term of optical design. I mentioned Heliar and planar design because they are not telecentric designs and thus, induce some "flaws" on digital sensor. Like politic we might try to do a sort of serious pool and then make a GetDPI lexical dictionary. The majority will win. I think we are enough with big experience to make such a glossary.

    I spoke only on my POV, as I mostly shoot living things. For nature and architecture, a surgical lens is better, IMHO. The problem is some bizarre ppl even start to classify the level of clinicalness inside the already existing family of clinical lenses.

    Edit: To start with, we can start to say that the more a lens is telecentric and the more she contain aspherical/FLD/SLD elements, the more she is supposedly "clinical". My opinion is it have a lot to do with lens design and optical formula (obviously ).

    So my primo definition might be : The more the corrected, the more the clinical.
    Kind regards - Hulyss - hulyssbowman.com
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Generally, I find that modern lenses are highly corrected and therefore, more clinical. However, as Hulyss says, this is a highly personal matter and it is unlikely that there can be a universal definition. For some, that clinical perfection IS character. For others, like me and Hulyss, the "Flaws" are what makes the images special.

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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    I suggest to anyone who feels a "clinically perfect" image can't be post-processed to mimic an image from a "character lens" do a bit more homework. There's a lot more latitude than simple softening an image. There are many excellent LR/PS plugins that can make subtle adjustments based on a myriad of options. All of this can be done without having the image scream "MANIPULATED!".

    Yes, there is a learning curve, and if you aren't technically inclined you may struggle a bit. But after awhile it becomes second nature, and I've gotten good at knowing what needs to be done when I first view the image.

    All of these steps merely manipulate image data that is -already there-. A lens that has certain characteristics that may be seen as "flawed" (for lack of a better word) can NEVER be "fixed", because you can't fix what isn't there in the first place.

    Photography is all about the photographer, and has been from the start. The digital age hasn't changed that, but it has changed -everything- that happens after the shutter is released.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Think of it as the difference between a David Gilmour solo and a Michael Angelo Batio solo.

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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hulyss Bowman View Post
    I do not think we will ever agree for a definition of "clinical/surgical" in term of optical design. I mentioned Heliar and planar design because they are not telecentric designs and thus, induce some "flaws" on digital sensor. Like politic we might try to do a sort of serious pool and then make a GetDPI lexical dictionary. The majority will win. I think we are enough with big experience to make such a glossary.

    I spoke only on my POV, as I mostly shoot living things. For nature and architecture, a surgical lens is better, IMHO. The problem is some bizarre ppl even start to classify the level of clinicalness inside the already existing family of clinical lenses.

    Edit: To start with, we can start to say that the more a lens is telecentric and the more she contain aspherical/FLD/SLD elements, the more she is supposedly "clinical". My opinion is it have a lot to do with lens design and optical formula (obviously ).

    So my primo definition might be : The more the corrected, the more the clinical.
    Thanks again. I agree with that. I think it's a good start. I am thinking we may spell out next at some level of detail what those imperfections are that got corrected almost to perfection, like all kinds of aberrations, distortions, etc. Thanks again.

    Anybody else wants to chime in? Please do. TIA.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    I agree with Hulyss, but also think the term clinical has too many variables, maybe it's not that a specific lens is too clinical, maybe it's the scene that doesn't suit the rendering. All lenses have a different signature that's what attracts us to one or another, it can't possibly be universal as we all see and desire different things from our equipment and our images.

    I think as photographers we are also not necessarily the best judges of what works in an image, we can sometimes be caught up in the technical, the sharpness, rendering, things like that and forget about the image as a whole, the content and what inspires us. For example, it's very personal but I happen too really like the way Hulyss for one, shoots his images, they tend to be warm, inviting and I would like the images regardless of the lens he uses, I actually can't look at some other images, some "street" for example, there is nothing I personally like about them, I don't care what lens is used or what camera, the subjects are so far away from what I like that it's irrelevant. I guess that is what drives what we produce or strive to produce in images.

    One thing I think is also overlooked is consistency, I like the fact that it doesn't matter which lens I chose from my lineup, they all render extremely close to each other, I am just picking the angle of view rather than picking a style I like when I chose a lens, that's important to me but may not be a consideration at all to others.

    Anyway, there are enough lenses around in different mounts for us to chose what we like and avoid what we don't.

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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    I do not agree with that ("definition") . By extension of that ("definition"), Petzval lens design should been the preferred one during the film era. It was not.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Let me try: A photographer will (or might) call a lens clinical when it gives a rendering that doesn't emotionally express what he had in mind when taking the picture due to the fact it's "too clean" or "too perfect".

    Since this is an opinion and subject to personal taste this cannot be exactly defined, measured or tested.

    It's the same with bokeh. You can have harsh bokeh, swirly bokeh, nervous bokeh, smooth bokeh and most people will recognize these in a picture.
    However there is no definition of bad or good bokeh, since this depends on the preference and taste of the observer.

    So the parallel to the degree of clinicalness (new word?) is similar, you can recognize a clinical capture from one with a lens with more aberrations, however whether that is good or bad is a matter of taste and is entirely up to the observer (incl. the photographer) and will even be different for different subjects.
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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    I do not agree with that ("definition") . By extension of that ("definition"), Petzval lens design should been the preferred one during the film era. It was not.
    Thanks Vivek. What would your definition of clinical look like? TIA.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Mild Rant - What the $%&^ Does "Lens is Too Clinical" Mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    Thanks Vivek. What would your definition of clinical look like? TIA.
    Something that is non photography related (also the term "sterile").
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