One day I was happily googling about Otus to find out who are the other users out there that are happily sharing their experiences when I came across articles written by a guy called Yannick about how modern lenses are “bad” in comparison to older and lesser element lenses.
I am just going to cut to the conclusion here to avoid wasting anyone’s time or to stir up confusion.
1. Microcontrast is a ghost
Some folks swear by it that they had seen one and others have never. I tried very hard to see and read his description of the problems in his controlled test with no success.
After going thru a few listed examples and seeing nothing, I believe some folks are just seeing problems that don’t exist and are led by those same descriptions.
2. The modern image lacks highlight and tones in those examples.
The truth is lenses with more elements passes slightly lesser brightness. So maybe what u saw being compared is just a slightly lower exposure due to the extra elements and by no means lowering down the “tone’s”
For example I raised the exposure on the Sigma Art (right) by 0.39 in ps on a screenshot of Yannick’s sample and trying seeing the diff now? If anything, the right one is superior.
3. He grew wiser as he aged but those earlier assertions was left there tripping anyone reading them
If you read his latest blog, you still see that he starts to use more modern lenses now or that Fujifilm raw is superior or whatever. Lenses like Tamron 45 1.8vc listed in his recommendation page . Those elements are far more than the 6 that was praised so much on.
I have the 50 1.4d Nikkor and it was a nasty lens when it comes to certain background’s bokeh for portraits type of shoot.
But well, we are human and we all make mistakes. I shudder on some of the things I wrote on this blog years back or even images that I thought was “worth sharing”.
If anything his blog have beautiful images when he is not busy tracking microcontrast and I believe he is a very talented photog.
In summary. Don’t get caught up in it. Those modern lenses you have are awesome. Now go out and start shooting.
2 thoughts on “Are Modern Lenses With More Elements Inferior?”
I prefer my 1970s lenses that are all glass and metal. Even if they’re not quite as sharp as the high-tolerance computer-designed lenses with plastic elements, they have something much more important: soul.
Only the entry level lenses have plastic moulded elements. As for soul or character I believe it’s a very subjective property of the lens output.
Some may view them as flaws or imperfection, but art is never about perfection
LikeLiked by 1 person