Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/04/28

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Subject: Re: [Leica] leica sharpness
From: Henry Ambrose <>
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2000 14:46:19 -0500

Guy Bennett wrote:
>mark and henry,
>i'm not talking about portraits and whether or not they should be taken
>with super-sharp lenses. in that respect, i'm for whatever makes a more
>interesting image (and i love chuck close!). i'm talking about the quality
>of super-sharp lenses (like the 35 summicron asph or elmarit 24 asph) in
>general shooting, and my opinion is that the sharpness sometimes seems
>don't get me wrong: i appreciate the fact that, wide open in low light,
>those lenses will give fantastic results with excellent definition, hard
>edges and strong contrast. that said, there are times when i don't want
>that, when i'd like a little more softness, and i'm not talking about
>diffusion filters, vaseline or olive oil, but rather the more lyrical
>quality that the current summicron 50 has, or that summarit is also capable
>of giving.
I am all for everyone using the lens they want. No argument. 

Personally I love the fine performance of the new lenses. With the many 
other influences on the final image I want to start SHARP and CONTRASTY.  
I can always soften the result if I don't like it to begin with. I don't 
know of any way to make it sharper. Nor do I know of any way to get the 
old style bokeh without the old lens.

I  guess (maybe) that the bokeh suffers when comparing the new to the old 
designs. (especially if that is someone's favorite characteristic) I 
really enjoy the contrast between sharp and soft and the new lenses have 
waaaay plenty of sharpness to mate with the oof areas, even if those oof 
areas look different from the old lenses.
I am still amazed on a regular basis at the INCREDIBLE results that I 
get. (when I do my part).

My 75 is the older flavor of lens and I love the way it looks. And I love 
the new lenses as well. I think Jim Brick said that we're lucky to have 
the different lenses available now - I think we are in kind of 
photography heaven when we get to pick the look we want!