Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/09/02[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]
<sigh> Once again, the 'bokeh' debates. Without getting that grand re-addition to our group, Mr Welch, fired up -- and, gads, sir, but it is GRAND to have you back where you belong! -- let me point out the following, with the understanding that it is not universally accepted. First, I DO have a scad of Canon gear -- and EOS 10s at the nonce with some great lenses and I've had a slew of FD stuff over the years. So I know the breed. Canon lenses are superb. No question. But the optical analysis ought to run a tad deeper. Leica didn't have the funds in the 1920's and 1930's to design lenses which would blow the doors off of Zeiss and Voigtlander products -- they were, after all, the 'new kids' on the block, a small microscope works which had moved only lately into photography. Their lens designer, yclept Max Berek, used a trick to make Leica lenses 'seem' to perform better than they actually do, by emphasizing out-of-focus softness. Thus, the in-focus portion of the image pops out at the viewer, producing the 'Leica glow', as Gianni Rogliatti calls it. This was seen as a cheap trick by the larger houses, but it built a foundation for the magical effect of Leica lenses. And it also explains why older designs do not test well, but produce images which stand out from those of other houses. This changed following Berek's death in the early 1950's. Certainly, Leica lenses produced today test competitively and, in many cases, blow the competition away. But such was not always the case -- and the Leica 'glow' of 1930 has become the 'bokeh' of today. Marc firstname.lastname@example.org FAX: +540/343-7315 Cha robh bas fir gun ghras fir!