Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/12/28

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Subject: Re: [Leica] SHARPNESS
From: Eric Welch <>
Date: Mon, 28 Dec 1998 17:31:47 -0600

At 02:05 PM 12/28/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Donít care much that the Reckmeyer article is sixty years old, nor what anyone
>in particular may think of, or about, Mr. Romney- it is, simply, the NBS chart
>and instructions for its use that is of primary concern here.

Something that old is going to miss the imaging standards that exist at
camera manufacturers now. This is just a glorified wall chart, I'm
guessing. Anything anybody is going to do at home is going to be
questionable in theory as well as practice.

>Everybody gets better, gray area fades and contrast gets brighter.

Nope. What would happen is that some people would continue the incorrect
notion that sharpness is the most important, or the single factor, that
determines lens quality. It isn't and it doesn't. So what purpose would it
serve? I'm much more likely to trust my sifting through all the reactions
people have on this list to their own lenses (not single samples, but a
group sample) and extrapolate from that.

For example. Who here has ever said the 19mm 2.8 Elmarit R (current second
generation) is a dog of a lens? Nobody. Everyone who has used it are
singularly uniform in it's praise. And this reaction is born out totally by
formal tests by people who have much more elaborate equipment than the
above test requires. So we have those tests, and universal praise amongst
users. No sharpness test is going to change my opinion of this lens.
Besides, I already own it. What good is testing it now with some chart? I
see what it does on film, and that's more important than any test that
tests one performance characteristic.

Need I drone on? Nope.
- -- 

Eric Welch
St. Joseph, MO

 98% of all statistics are useless.