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Most "clinical" lenses


HockeyFan12
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My Panasonic 24-105mm f4 is a bit 'clinical'.

It's not uber-sharp, but pretty sharp and a bit too 'videoy' in my opinion.

I'm not a fan of zooms anyway. Says the chap who recently bought this lens and ordered a Sigma 28-70mm f2.8

I have some more testing to do, but I believe the 1/8th mist will be my friend in this regard.

Also, the Sigma 65mm f2 I am looking at as a prime workhorse is supposed to be sharp, yet have characterful rendering, especially in the OOF areas. I've seen some fantastic results with it using a 1/8th mist so it bodes well...

Ultimately I'd rather have something more sharp than less sharp as it can always be reduced in post whereas if the lens is soft as baby poo in the first place...

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+1 for Sigma Art. They choose a bad name actually. Should have been named Sigma Perfect. or Sigma Clean.

Also, my Panasonic 24-70 f2.8 is pretty damn perfect. But also perfect as in clean, sterile.

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Thanks, everyone. I used to own a 18-35mm f1.8 and I agree. I think it looks good, but very neutral.

What's "clinical" in a bad way. I remember my 18-55mm Canon zoom felt this way. I never believed in the whole "too many elements and the lens is flat" thing until I compared a few cheap Canon zooms (which felt "flat") with old vintage Nikkors (which performed poorly, but had more "depth"). I also compared them with a 18-35mm Sigma Art, and it had good performance and a good look, too. Sort of in between, depending on what you want the best of both worlds.

What's clinical in a bad way?

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13 minutes ago, HockeyFan12 said:

 

 I remember my 18-55mm Canon zoom felt this way.

I like using my 18-55 Canon APSC lens but I use it as a FF Sony E almost throw away (24-55mm coverage).

It is with someone else right now but when i get it back i want to try it at f32 as a macro lens (extension tubes).

Not sure i buy into the "clinical look" thing and maybe to me it is more about a "normal" or usual view (IE close to what the eye sees and with deep DOF) so anything that departs from the "normal" is no longer clinical??   Does that make sense?    Do people ever attribute a clinical look to lenses that completely blur the background Good or bad bokeh)?   Are very wide?  Very long? Tilt/shift?

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5 minutes ago, noone said:

I like using my 18-55 Canon APSC lens but I use it as a FF Sony E almost throw away (24-55mm coverage).

It is with someone else right now but when i get it back i want to try it at f32 as a macro lens (extension tubes).

Not sure i buy into the "clinical look" thing and maybe to me it is more about a "normal" or usual view (IE close to what the eye sees and with deep DOF) so anything that departs from the "normal" is no longer clinical??   Does that make sense?    Do people ever attribute a clinical look to lenses that completely blur the background Good or bad bokeh)?   Are very wide?  Very long? Tilt/shift?

I think so. Master Primes are clinical and I remember incorrectly, it was the 10-18mm Canon zoom that I recall being a good performer but just feeling flat. The 18-35mm Sigma was clinical but felt good. The 55-250mm STM Canon also feels a bit flat to me but is a great performer. Maybe because they're slow zooms. Dunno.

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Clinical in the video sense is basically any lenses that does a fair amount of lens aberration correction either by optics (Leica APO being on the extreme end) to purely software based corrections...many times both.

The new ARRI master primes are a good example of a move to more "corrective" lens design in cinema lenses. 

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i have about 7 or 8 vintage pentax m42, i doubt that i could call any of them clinical. I would  have to say my latest purchase an olympus 12mm f2 would probably be my most " clinical " or modern corrected lens.

Optically i guess my pentax m42 300mm f4 produces a fair amount of purple fringing. With a bit of work, that can be removed or reduced in post for photos.

My interpretation on bad rendering for me,  would be swirly bokeh. Some people go out of their way to purchase lenses that give that look, i just don't find it appealing. As far as i'm aware swirly bokeh seems mostly used for photography.

Which makes me wonder if any of the forum members have shot footage specifically with swirly bokeh in mind ? bit curious about that.

However i dont have an issue with either donut highlights from a mirror lens or oval bokeh / flares from anamorphics, so go figure. 

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11 hours ago, HockeyFan12 said:

Thanks, everyone. I used to own a 18-35mm f1.8 and I agree. I think it looks good, but very neutral.

What's "clinical" in a bad way. I remember my 18-55mm Canon zoom felt this way. I never believed in the whole "too many elements and the lens is flat" thing until I compared a few cheap Canon zooms (which felt "flat") with old vintage Nikkors (which performed poorly, but had more "depth"). I also compared them with a 18-35mm Sigma Art, and it had good performance and a good look, too. Sort of in between, depending on what you want the best of both worlds.

What's clinical in a bad way?

Firstly, I don't think there is clinical in a bad way.  Clinical is the absence of aberations.  Aberrations can be bad, like excessive CA (I suspect this might have the least fans of the aberrations?) but barrel distortion is favoured and sought after.

You also have to be careful conflating depth with other things.  The Takumars are lovely lenses, have beautiful rendering, lovely diffusion from their coatings, but are notably flat and not 3D looking.  In that sense, a more neutral lens might have more depth...

3 hours ago, leslie said:

i have about 7 or 8 vintage pentax m42, i doubt that i could call any of them clinical. I would  have to say my latest purchase an olympus 12mm f2 would probably be my most " clinical " or modern corrected lens.

Optically i guess my pentax m42 300mm f4 produces a fair amount of purple fringing. With a bit of work, that can be removed or reduced in post for photos.

My interpretation on bad rendering for me,  would be swirly bokeh. Some people go out of their way to purchase lenses that give that look, i just don't find it appealing. As far as i'm aware swirly bokeh seems mostly used for photography.

Which makes me wonder if any of the forum members have shot footage specifically with swirly bokeh in mind ? bit curious about that.

However i dont have an issue with either donut highlights from a mirror lens or oval bokeh / flares from anamorphics, so go figure. 

I've never been a fan of swirly bokeh before either, however I think there's an interesting element to it.

Firstly, the aberrations of anamorphic, which some associate with classic cinema or being "cinematic", includes things being compressed horizontally at the left and right edges of frame.  Also, the bokeh is taller than it is wide.  When you take a lens with swirly bokeh, the bokeh on the very left and right of frame has that taller-than-it-is-wide shape, so can be associated with the anamorphic look.  
Of course, it could also be associated with that "I've eaten something very poisonous and I'm about to pass out" look, that personally, I don't find all that appealing and aren't looking to include in my videos.

Secondly, the lenses that swirl are almost always vintage lenses.  Vintage lenses are known for having more diffusion from their less-modern coatings, as well as other pleasing aberrations, so much so that I suspect the love of the swirly bokeh look can't really be isolated from the love of a more vintage look in general.

I've just received my Tiffen Black Pro Mist 1/8 filter and did a quick and very unscientific test comparing my Helios+SB combination on MFT (so getting some but not all of the image circle) with my Voigtlander 42.5mm f0.95 lens, both with and without the BPM filter.  I tested at f0.95, f2 and closed apertures with a very bright point-source light in frame (my phone in torch mode).
First impressions are that the Helios has a stronger diffusion than BPM 1/8, at least towards the edges of frame, the Helios doesn't gain contrast as you stop down but the Voigt does (it has a lot of diffusion wide open and very little by f2).  Overall the BPM filter goes a long way to mimicking the diffusion qualities of the Helios.  Of course, the bokeh, flares, and sun-stars, etc are all completely different.

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My GH5 kit lens, the 12-60 is the only clinical lens I own. The body does distortion and vignetting correction automatically (and sharpness too?). I use it on a gimbal, because it's light. Or I use it for architecture when it's absolutely amazing to have a distortion free image.

For anything else I'll put a lens with "character" and "feeling" on there, particularly when shooting people. 90% of the time that is a speedboosted Tamron 24-70.

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I like swirly bokeh but I think it can get a bit distracting. It's from field curvature I think. The Cooke S1 lenses have it, S2/S3s 32mm and longer do, too. But they have very little CA and I think it's a nice look. 

Signature Primes are interesting because they don't look too "clinical" to me but they look almost perfectly corrected. Sigma Art does feel more "clinical" to me but for the price has an amazing image.

Signature Pries to me perform well and look good. I think Master Primes are supposed to be a bit too "digital" with the Alexa, but I am not familiar with how this combination looks. 

What lenses do you think perform well but look bad?

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18 hours ago, HockeyFan12 said:

What lenses do you think perform well but look bad?

The purpose of any lens used for film-making (as opposed to scientific or measurement purposes) is to look good, so I would suggest that a lens that looks bad is bad.

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