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Lenses and Optics

Are Zooms Always Sharper at One Extreme or the Other?

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There is a statement often repeated about zoom lenses, which I have assumed to be generally true, or at least historically true. “All zooms are sharper at one end than the other.” I also hear a lot of people saying they bought Zoom A because it’s sharper than Zoom B. Is that sharper everywhere? Just […]

Lenses and Optics

The Limits of Variation

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A few people were more than a little amused that I, the ultimate pixel-peeper, wrote an article demonstrating that all lenses and all cameras vary a bit; that you can’t find the ultimately sharpest lens. ¬†Each individual copy of a given lens is a little different from the other copies. A single copy will behave […]

Lenses and Optics

Notes on Lens and Camera Variation

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A funny thing happened when I opened Lensrentals and started getting 6 or 10 copies of each lens: I found out they weren’t all the same. Not quite. And each of those copies behaved a bit different on different cameras. I wrote a couple of articles about this: This Lens is Soft and Other Myths […]

History of Photography

Lens Genealogy – Part 2

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For those who missed all the excitement, in Part 1 of this series I discussed that almost all modern SLR lenses derive from one of 6 types of lenses that were basically in use by the 1920s. Part 1 covered the first three lenses: the Symmetrical, Double Gauss, and Petzval lenses. Those three lenses give […]

Equipment

The Rapple 4000 (or Roger designs the perfect camera)

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I had an epiphany of sorts this weekend. I took home the new Schneider 50mm f/2.8 Super Angulon. For those of you not in the loop, this is a 50mm tilt-shift SLR lens made by a company that is best known for it’s Cinema lenses (along with filters, glass, and some other stuff). The point […]

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