Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/08/23

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Lens test
From: John Brownlow <>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 14:23:20 -0400

on 23/8/00 1:57 pm, Dan Cardish at wrote:

> Sharpness mean nothing.  Every beginning photo student knows this.

Oh, right. I thought it was one of the key factors, along with flare
suppression, rendition, bokeh etc. Thanks for putting me right. As usual
your insight amazes. Erwin, you better go take Cardish's optics 101, you
hear? Anyhow, do go on.

>  My
> Minolta-out resolves my Summilux at every opening and can easily produce
> sharper looking prints even the size of football fields.   But are the
> photographer 'better'?  I don't know.  I think over all that my Summilux
> produces a superior photograph.   But generally I like the Minolta and it
> does an excellent job, I use it regularly, and it deserves much more than a
> "leica is better, 'nuff said" comment.
> When you shoot at f1.4, who the hell cares about sharpess when 95% of the
> image area will be out of focus and when the end result for
> photojournalists will in more cases than nought end up in a newspaper with
> their 50 line half tones or whatever and where a coke bottle bottom is
> probably overkill.

Some of us actually produce big prints from our 1.4 images. The 5% that's in
focus is very important, as is the bokeh. The argument that if most of the
image is o.o.f. then the sharpness of the remainder doesn't matter is a
really peculiar one, as is the bizarre idea that image quality isn't
important for photojournalists.

How impressed do you think the picture desk will be with your coke bottle

We're on different planets I think.

Your lens tests are pretty much the equivalent of driving four different
cars at 40 miles an hour down a straight smooth road without changing gear
or braking and then declaring there is nothing to choose  between them apart
from the trim.

- -- 
Johnny Deadman