Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/01/18

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Subject: Re: [Leica] "cold" lens rendition (was: R Hard to Focus)
From: Alan Ball <>
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 08:19:20 +0100


In what way is Blake Ziegler, AFAIK marketing director for Contax USA,
the "father of the G2" ? He manages a sales force, he does not give
birth to cameras...

Regarding the topic: every manufacturer proclaims his lenses are
'neutral'. And thanks to modern coating techniques, most of them are as
near neutral as one can get. Any "cast" will be very minimal. Minimal to
the point where it will be very difficult (impossible ?) to detect. Lens
tests do benchmark colour rendition: I believe they do not come to your

I have slides shot through glass from Leica, Zeiss/Contax, Pentax,
Nikon, Ricoh, Minox and others: no way can I detect a "cast" signing any
of those origins. I can detect Kodachrome from Velvia on colour
rendition, but I cannot detect the lens manufacturer. I can see blueish
tints in snow scenes, red casts in tungstene light, greenish tints in
portraits shot in a forest, and all that can be spectacular or subtle
depending on the light conditions. There are zillions of light
conditions: one needs lab conditions to compare colour rendition of

Whatever contemporary lens I use will not influence that. An appropriate
filter will. Contrast management will vary from lens design to lens
design, and, thus, performance in rendition of shadows will probably
vary. But not colour rendition as such.

Choose your film, choose your filtration (at shooting and/or pinting
stages): these are the factors. Lens manufacturer is not a factor here.
Not anymore.


Eric Welch wrote:
> I meant Zeiss Contax lenses. That is, actually confirmed to me by Blake
> Ziegler, the father of the Contax G2, and head honcho at Contax USA. All
> Contax G and SLR lenses are "neutral" by his definition, and Leica is
> warmer. I agree with him, but for me Leica is neutral and Zeiss is blue.
> All depends on what one considers neutral. :-)
> Eric Welch
> St. Joseph, MO
> You'll get what's coming to you ... Unless mailed