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Sharp film lenses


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#1 Eugene Lehnert

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 11:51 AM

What lenses are designed to be their sharpest when the aperature is wide open?
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#2 oscar perez

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 12:15 PM

ULTRA PRIMES HAVE NEVER DISSAPOINTED ME. NOT ONLY ARE THEY SHARP THEY ARE FAST AS ALL HELL.

What lenses are designed to be their sharpest when the aperature is wide open?

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#3 Stephen Williams

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 12:49 PM

What lenses are designed to be their sharpest when the aperature is wide open?

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Hi,

Try Cooke S4's. Highly recomended

Stephen
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#4 oscar perez

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 01:08 PM

Cooke are great too but i found them to be romaticly soft.

Hi,

Try Cooke S4's. Highly recomended

Stephen

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#5 Stephen Williams

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 02:18 PM

Cooke are great too but i found them to be romaticly soft.

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Hi,

The Cooke S4's are very sharp, I think you are thinking of the series II/III

Stephen
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#6 Nate Downes

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 02:20 PM

I found a Canon 50mm to do a remarkable job even when opened up to their widest. Also, the newest Zeiss primes are amazing in this regards.
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#7 Max Jacoby

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 12:38 PM

Although I have not tested them yet, you can be sure that the Zeiss Master Primes are the sharpest 35mm lenses available.

The Zeiss Ultra Primes and Superspeeds are sharper than the Cooke S4s. In fact the S4s, even though they have very pleasing contrast are not really sharp lenses. There is never one point that is really in focus with them (unlike Zeiss lenses), which is very annoying if you have a shot that is low in contrast and high-key. In that case the shot looks like its slightly out of focus, a problem that I have noticed several times already on feature films where we had printed dailies.
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#8 Matt Pacini

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 01:10 PM

None of these responses really accurately answers his question.
He asked ""which lenses are designed to be their sharpest when the aperature is wide open"

Sure, there are lenses that are acceptably sharp wide open (or close to it), but there isn't really such a thing as lenses being AT ITS SHARPEST wide open, right?

In fact, (unless some propeller head here knows an exception), isn't every lens ever made, at its SOFTEST wide open?

MP
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#9 Max Jacoby

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 02:32 PM

According to ARRI literature the Master Primes look better at T1.3 than other lenses at T2. Still you are right, simple optical physics dictates that even they get sharper by stopping them down. Cooke S4s for instance look best at T4.

But one should never stop down lenses too much, because the optical performance goes downhill at too small stops.
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#10 Alvin Pingol

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 04:49 PM

Would you say a lens performs its best somewhere around two stops from wide open?
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#11 Tim J Durham

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 05:11 PM

Would you say a lens performs its best somewhere around two stops from wide open?

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This is a "fact" that I have always taken for granted. I don't recall where I first heard it, but it might have been from my photography instructor in college. We were working with 4x5 view cameras at the time, I think they were Schneider-Kreuznach lenses. Anyway, working on that assumption has never let me down.
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#12 Max Jacoby

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 05:14 PM

In general lenses look their best between 2 and 4 stops closed down. That is of course purely technically speaking, from an artistic point of view shooting wide open or stopped all the way down might be desirable.
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#13 Sam Wells

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 10:25 AM

A theoretically aberration free lens would be sharpest at its widest aperture. That lens would be said to be "diffraction limited"

In reality there are trade offs between diffraction limiting and reducing various aberrations - spherical etc. Stopping down can help.

It does seem the latest Zeiss are getting very close to this ideal condition.

-Sam
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#14 Eugene Lehnert

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 04:35 PM

I was at an HD Workshop a long time ago and some Zeiss guys came in they said they were designing an HD lens to be it's sharpest when wide open.

So I was wondering if there was a lens specifically designed to be its sharpest in 35mm motion picture photography.
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#15 Mike Williamson

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 02:34 AM

One of the interesting things that I was told by the DP/rental house owner I rented from recently was that professional motion picture lenses resolve beyond the capacity of film (and digital capture) to record them. He was speaking in reference to Zeiss Superspeeds and Standards, so I would assume that the same is true of the more recent lens series (Primos, Ultraprimes, etc.).

So if professional motion picture lenses are sharper than anything we've got to record the image, the trick is to get the sharpest medium you can afford to capture them on. Practically speaking, the lenses intended to be used with 35mm film are likely designed to the most rigorous specs, again because 35mm is recording the most detailed pictures and will show more flaws than HD, etc.

I have no idea how motion picture lenses would compare with large format still lenses, however.
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#16 J. Lamar King

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 03:52 AM

The problem you could run into here is that even if there were a consensus that Lens X was the sharpest wide open, doesn't mean that the actual Lens X you use is. In this scenario you really need to test from the variety you can get your hands on at your equipment provider and see what you find to be sharpest.
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#17 Max Jacoby

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 07:52 AM

I think that only applies to older lenses, modern lenses are manufactured to such high standards that there is no variation between individual lenses anymore. Any lens is as good as any other there.
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#18 Matt Pacini

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 12:32 PM

I do find it interesting though, that everyone is seemingly obsessed with lens sharpness, then proceed to do things like put diffusion filters over them, shoot through car & house windows, fog rooms to lower contrast, etc.

MP
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#19 J. Lamar King

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 03:18 PM

I think that only applies to older lenses, modern lenses are manufactured to such high standards that there is no variation between individual lenses anymore. Any lens is as good as any other there.

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Probably true, I'm referring to lenses that may be out of whack from misuse and/or poor upkeep.
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#20 Matt Petrosky

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 01:10 AM

I do find it interesting though, that everyone is seemingly obsessed with lens sharpness, then proceed to do things like put diffusion filters over them, shoot through car & house windows, fog rooms to lower contrast, etc.

MP

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Ha ha, so true. I can't begin to count the number of times I've had to net a beautiful set of Zeiss Ultra Primes.
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