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Now what.... digital lenses & CMOS?
Old 01-06-2004, 05:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Just when I thought when I thought it was safe to breakdown and buy a Fuji S2 so I could take advantage of my great Tamron (Nikon) lenses, I run into a photographer friend who has gone digital (Canon 10D) and he's telling me that in order to get the best results in digital, I need digital lenses, not my current lenses. He goes into this long explanation about the light hitting the chip at an angle, etc, and how the image is brighter with the digital lenses. I was a bit tired and missed some of this, so I was wondering if anyone had a good explanation of what he was talking about, as I have never heard of this. I have heard of lenses for digital cameras, but I thought it was all about shorter lenses to compensation for the magnification factor.

Also, he swears the CMOS chip in the Canon cameras is better for skin tone than the CCD chip in the others. I had heard this one before, but still no understanding of why, or if its just a matter of taste. He's got me thinking if I have to buy the lenses, I might as well go Canon for the CMOS too.

Thanks,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio


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remember...
Old 01-06-2004, 06:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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advice is worth exactly what you pay for it....

CMOS vs. CCD...yeah canon cmos in the 10D is a little warmer/richer than the CCD in the 1D...but with photoshop being used on everything nowadays what difference is there really?

the digital lense stuff is bunk...
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Lenses
Old 01-06-2004, 09:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Tamron's web page, a lot of fine write ups on why DI lenses work well

Tamron's web page with a little schtick about Digital SLR's and lenses

Tamron will be at the next Photo 101 with a fine selection of lenses such as the DI series for attendees to play with


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Shot with tamron 28-75 2.8 DI lens
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mostly marketing hype
Old 01-06-2004, 01:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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In film emulsions, the molecules that are light sensitive don't really care from which angle the light strikes them--head on, at an angle, or bouncing back from the film base (halation) all affect the molecules to the same degree. Digital sensors, on the other hand, may not record light that strikes at an angle which is too oblique (e.g. with a wide angle lens which has its inner element close to the film, light from one side of the element would strike the film/sensor on the other side at an acute angle). In practice, users of full-frame digicams (e.g. Canon 1Ds--which would be most likely to show a problem due to the bigger sensor) haven't reported problems with light falloff that's any worse than what they'd get with film. With a reduced size sensor (like that in the Fuji S2), it would be even less of a concern.

Don't worry, be happy, enjoy your current lenses on your S2.
 
 
Re: Now what.... digital lenses & CMOS?
Old 01-06-2004, 01:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i hope your friend isn't talking about the canon's new EF-S digital lenses -- cause they don't even fit the 10D. they only mount onto the digi rebel and future digital slr's that canon will make.


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Re: Now what.... digital lenses & CMOS?
Old 01-06-2004, 03:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well Canon uses a CMOS sensor on the 10D and 1DS but the 1D (in the middle) uses a CCD sensor. I have heard that the CCD can atrack more elctrostatic dust. It will be interesting to see when the new/revised 1D comes out (within the next few months) if they stay with the CCD or swicth to a CMOS.

I have also heard and talked with people who have had seen quality differences with the same lens between a film camera and a digital camera.

And while skin tones and other things can be adjusted in Photoshop, you can't improve the clarity-qualities...
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Re: Now what.... digital lenses & CMOS?
Old 01-06-2004, 04:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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In some ways your friend is right and in many ways wrong. Actually you might see a slight improvement in the quality of images with digital since the less than full sized chips are using light from the center of your lenses (one of the good things about the 1.5x factor) and thats where the least distortions are.

One problem/advantage you will have is that all your lenses are now 1.3~1.5x higher magnification, depending on which camera you go with. That could be an advantage with your longer lenses, your 70~210 f2.8 is now roughly a 100~300 f2.8. On the negative side your 24mm is now equivelent to a 35 and if you shoot a lot of wide angle you'll be looking to fill in on the bottom with new lenses. THAT's where the new digital lenses come in to your advantage.

Since you talk about skin color I'll add my two cents. Everyone has their own tastes when it comes to skin color. I went with the Nikon D100 for that reason. I find the Fuji skin tones either too pink or two orange depending on user settings. The Canon is perhaps better with a bias towards yellow skin tones. The D100 isn't perfect but it fit my tastes the best. I'd compare some prints made with each camera to ones you have now and see which camera matches the skin tones/colors best. Be aware that camera settings. Photoshop and printer can add to the differences. One other thing before you decide to buy. (I should mention I managed a couple camera stores for 27 years). Take a REALLY good look at the viewfnders between cameras. It's like looking down a tunnel compared to your film cameras. I always told customers to hold the two cameras they were interested in vertically with their pentaprisms facing each other so the eyepieces are easy to switch back and forth from. Look through them, back and forth quickly so your eye doesn't have time to adapt and you will see a lot of differences with brightness, clarity, color, and ease of reading the display info. That should help you make your decision.

In the past I've advised people here to rent before you buy. You need to work with a camera at least one full day to learn all it's strengths and weaknesses. I'd also recommend looking at a used D1X which you should be able to pick one up for a good price. That sucker is heavy after a day of handholding it shooting but it's NICE!!!

Let me know what you get, Andy. You've got my email address.

Bob Jensen

P.S. Did you get those emails about the models I sent you? I've been referring models to you. Hope that's ok. I'm out of the picture right now due to illness and I'm not sure when I'll be back to 100%, if ever. So I send the girls who ask me to shoot to someone I trust, you.
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Hype and BS
Old 01-06-2004, 05:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Andy -

I'm a chemist by training, and work with electronics and optics regularly. But I'm not a graphic artist, professional photographer, nor optical expert. Here's my opinions:

Reading the Tamron link Jason provided, I conclude that the so-called "digital lenses" are simply lenses designed using digital technology - i.e., computer programs. As have virtually all lenses for the past twenty-thirty years. Maybe more sophisticated programs, but there's really nothing absolutely unique about the lens making it superior to a non-"digital lens", at least insofar as I can glean from the info on that site.

Optically, you may find the Canon lenses somewhat better than the Tamron in practice. While I've read that there are differences in tone and in limiting resolution, one rarely shoots Macbeth checkers and resolution targets. I suspect that the availability of the USM on the Canon is probably a more important factor than the actual resolution, given the high quality of either.

The angle of the light and the brightness of the image sounds more like a lens coatings issue than anything else.

As for color tone and CMOS vs. CCD - well, the relative sensitivity of the sensor to light of different colors IS different for different technologies. But, given the color-adjusting abilities of digital technologies, I don't think this should be the deciding factor.

In short, if you've got a real investment in Nikon glass, don't switch to Canon thinking the glass is better. On the hand, I am given to understand that many people consider the Canon software superior to Nikon's, both in terms of digital imaging AND - and IMO more importantly - in terms of focusing and exposure determination.

Good luck, sir.
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Andy, one more thought...
Old 01-06-2004, 09:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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when your friend was referring to skin and the chip, was it about color or overall appearance. Several elements come into play that very few people ever discuss, nor appreciate for that matter, that has tremendous affect on the application of ccd or cmos chip technology. A cmos chip produces a much softer image than an equal ccd, overall, which can be very complimenting to skin. A ccd on the other hand is much more acute and can sometimes create too sharp an image, bringing the detail of pores and wrinkles to the forefront whereas they are hidden in the natural softness of the cmos technology.

And, if that isn't enough, there is the size of the pixels themselves, smaller means less sharpness and quality. A six micron pixel is minimal whereas a 9 micron is much better - and the 12 micron is best - and I personally will not go below a 9 micron pixel chip and 14 bit depth simply because I live for the detail. I need an absolute standard of performance that supports both skin and product brilliance as if I were shooting 4x5 film.

So, there is a bit more information about the war of the chips and lenses. BTW, better glass, better quality of an image going to the chip, no matter which type.

Robert

The image on the right is the original capture from my 11mp Eyelike digital back [CCD] on a Mamiya 645, 14 bit capture, 2672x4000 pixels = 8.9 x 13.3 inch @ 300ppi. The inset from the original is at 100% (1 to 1 pixel ratio), note the detail; this image is right out of camera without sharpening or adjusting.



This is the set after I did some Photoshop work.

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Re: Thanks to all....
Old 01-07-2004, 03:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks to all who replied, and those who might still reply. I'll need some more time to digest all this, so I may come back with more questions.

Robert - I did have one question.... Did you say you like the smaller Micron chips, and if so, did I understand that 12 microns is smaller than 6 microns?

Thanks,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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