Flare in photography in the majority of instances is something people strive to avoid – lens coatings, hoods, filters, and a watchful eye are the instruments of choice to avoid flare.
Well and good, but it’s reasonable to expect a little help from the lens at times and many a discussion has taken place about how a lens handles such a situation.
To that end it’s also reasonable to assume if you’re paying thousands of dollars for a lens expectations aren’t a privilege but should become an unqualified expectation – an expectation that should be realized.
Just saw some lens shot comparisons related to flare between the sigma 30 and the Leica 35 Summilux FLE which costs literally thousands more – amazing as it may be the Sigma actually outperformed the Leica when it came to handling flare.
Of course the Sigma isn’t a Leica and you don’t have the bragging rights of the brand with the Sigma – but what’s going on here?
Being a contrarian of sorts it’s about performance rather than name and I can’t envision paying thousands for a lens even if I could, especially if a two hundred dollar lens could out perform it when it comes to flare, though flare shouldn’t be the only consideration when it comes to a lens and Leica lenses don’t have an excellent reputation based on hype.
Shutter activation in a camera is the equivalent of a person blinking their eyes – in a way squinting to bring something into focus is comparable to stepping down aperture or setting a lens to infinity.
Blinking is automatic and doesn’t require a conscious decision, different with activating a shutter, or at least it should be in my opinion.
Activate a shutter or blink your eyes and what you see is what you get, but the cameras eye and range of vision can be manipulated in a way that isn’t entirely natural to the human eye.
Not knowing this ability to manipulate both camera and lens I suspect would be like wearing someone’s else’s glasses, or sunglasses at night, I still don’t get what that’s about – you can see but not in the way you should.
Flare can at times be intentional, sort of an artistic effect, but when it does exist it should be an invited guest and not an intruder.
I know I’ve kind of raved about the Sigma 30mm f2.8 DN Art previously but at the street price and what it delivers I suspect I’ll continue singing it’s praises due to the opportunity it provides people at a much welcomed and belatedly real world price.
I have an old Sigma 600mm f8 mirror lens, a real beast that seems to be a flare magnet, fun to play with at times, or maybe I should say vie with as it definitely has a mind of it’s own.
And while you can coax a surprisingly decent photo out of it on occasion without a lot post editing focus and light are critical as it is very unforgiving.
What it represents to me are the huge differences and disparities to be found in lenses both old and new.
When you purchase a camera the kit lens isn’t free, it’s been factored into the cost of the package, and kit lenses invariably leave a lot to be desired, so I encourage people to go body only and begin with a prime as affordable as Sigma’s 19, 30, and 60mm dn art lenses.
People are generally aware of kit lens performance and if you go that route and then upgrade you may not be able to sell or barter your kit lens. And I agree some kit lenses are better than others, yet I’ve never known anyone who was satisfied enough with their’s to make it their go to lens.
In the below linked review a comment is made that the Sony 35mm f1.8 is coming down the pike and a better lens than the Sigma 30, to me that’s a show me.
Well, the Sony 35 has arrived and while It may be a cost effective quality lens to say when it comes to image quality it’s better than the Sigma is debatable in my opinion beginning with chromatic aberrations and vignetting.
Not panning the Sony 35 as it a good lens that produces sharp color rich quality photos and either would serve you well without having to go on a diet of bread and water.
Both the Sigma and the Sony are well balanced on a NEX – I’m not concerned about how a lens looks on a camera as long as it performs, and I’ve seen some adaptations you might not even dream of – but for those who consider appearance as important or at least on equal footing with functionality both look as though they belong and won’t amuse or shock anyone.
I have a suspicion that as cell phone cameras continue to improve this may spur lens manufacturers to respond with higher quality lower cost lens, and if so then that would be a good thing.