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Archive 2012 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?
  
 
RogerC11
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p.1 #1 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


I often here how people say how a lens "renders an image" vs another lens. But what exactly does that mean? Is it bokeh, sharpness, color/contrast, a combination of these elements? There are some instances where one will say lens A is as sharp as lens B, but lens A renders a better image. Is "rendering" just another mythical characteristic as 3D pop? Can someone please explain this?


Aug 09, 2012 at 05:31 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #2 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


"Rendering" is a vague and subjective term, sometimes used by people who want to sound erudite, that has no specific, objective meaning at all. It perhaps can be used to mean that a person thinks they like a lens for a whole range of possible reasons.

Don't worry about it! :-)

Dan

Edited on Aug 11, 2012 at 06:39 PM · View previous versions



Aug 09, 2012 at 05:39 AM
trumpet_guy
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p.1 #3 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


Just be glad you aren't in the Alternative board; they talk there about how a lens
"draws."

Actually, I like the Alternative board, but both "drawing" and "rendering" are just
about the particular look of images taking with a given lens as compared with
another lens or lenses.

I tend to think that what accounts for this is predominantly due to a lens maker's
coatings, approach to sharpness in the focus plan vs. bokeh appearance, and contrast
characteristics. A combination of these elements tends to give a stamp of similarity
to the look of images from, say, Leica glass that is different from Zeiss glass, for
example.

While the rendering/drawing is certainly secondary to the photographer's skill in
working with the lighting of the image, the rendering of a lens can impart a certain
stamp on an image that is kind of a signature. It's just one more reason it's fun
to be a gearhead.

Tim



Aug 09, 2012 at 05:42 AM
snapsy
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p.1 #4 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


It usually means you'll spend about $1,000 more than you need to


Aug 09, 2012 at 05:45 AM
mttran
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p.1 #5 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


Save all your beer bottles from now on....maybe it works just like any "L"


Aug 09, 2012 at 06:10 AM
coranda
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p.1 #6 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


gdanmitchell wrote:
"Rendering" is a vague and subjective term, sometimes used by people who want to sound erudite, that has no specific, objective meaning at all. I perhaps can be used to mean that a person thinks they like a lens for a whole range of possible reasons.

Don't worry about it! :-)

Dan


I don't think of it as vague or subjective, nor does it have any subtle technical meaning. According to the OED it just means express, represent, repeat. I think the reason it has crept into photography is that it is regularly used in computer graphics where the idea of how realistic the "rendered" image appears is a much more relevant concept.

It seems to get often get used in photography to simply mean what the image looks like - and I agree that, in that sense, it is both vague and subjective.

EDIT: I suppose that, technically, you could argue that a lens doesn't render an image. That's the job of the screen/sensor - although I think that argument is getting needlessly metaphysical (and pretentious).



Aug 09, 2012 at 07:05 AM
PhilDrinkwater
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p.1 #7 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


I would tend to read "render" as "interpret" in this use. It's the way that the lens can make a scene look. Lenses which are capable of a low DOF will make the largest difference to the "rendering" of a scene.

As someone else said though, it's a subjective term and one which doesn't really mean anything...



Aug 09, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Monito
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p.1 #8 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


A lot of so-called "rendering" has to do with bokeh, since sharp is sharp but bokeh has character.


Aug 09, 2012 at 11:47 AM
kewlcanon
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p.1 #9 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


It actually sketches .


Aug 09, 2012 at 12:46 PM
nixland
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p.1 #10 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


Monito wrote:
A lot of so-called "rendering" has to do with bokeh, since sharp is sharp but bokeh has character.


Yeah, usually it's more about bokeh ..

#1 Top : Sony 135 STF, Bottom : Canon 135L














Aug 09, 2012 at 12:57 PM
 

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Monito
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p.1 #11 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


Thanks for posting comparisons. Looks like the Sony and Canon were shot at different apertures. Depth of field is noticeably smaller in the Canon shot. Were they both full-frame sensors or both the same size? Any cropping to make the image parts the same size? Any change of distance?




Aug 09, 2012 at 02:52 PM
nixland
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p.1 #12 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


You're welcome.
Sony was shot at f/2.8 while Canon at f/2, with 5DII. Same distance, no cropping.

The Sony lens design was copied from earlier Minolta STF lens, they have special optic in the middle which was design to get a super smooth bokeh. I modified the Sony to EOS mount.
But the smooth bokeh not always looks pleasant in the eye. On some condition it could looks dizzy because it's too smooth and unnatural.
I use the 135L most of the time and use the STF occasionally. And I believe Sony users also prefer the ZA 135/1.8 than the STF (which is a manual focusing lens).



Monito wrote:
Thanks for posting comparisons. Looks like the Sony and Canon were shot at different apertures. Depth of field is noticeably smaller in the Canon shot. Were they both full-frame sensors or both the same size? Any cropping to make the image parts the same size? Any change of distance?





Aug 09, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Monito
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p.1 #13 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


Canon also has a Soft Focus 135 mm lens that is actually very sharp when the soft is turn off (there are two other degrees of softness).



Aug 09, 2012 at 05:01 PM
molson
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p.1 #14 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


gdanmitchell wrote:
"Rendering" is a vague and subjective term, sometimes used by people who want to sound erudite, that has no specific, objective meaning at all.




Only to blind people...



Aug 09, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Monito
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p.1 #15 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


gdanmitchell wrote:
"Rendering" is a vague and subjective term, sometimes used by people who want to sound erudite, that has no specific, objective meaning at all.


molson wrote:
Only to blind people...


You were blind to the words "specific" and "objective". There is no objective impartial measurement for "rendering". There is no exact or specific definition. People frequently disagree about the "rendering" of this lens or that lens.

"Rendering is a vague and subjective term". +1



Aug 09, 2012 at 05:11 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #16 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


It may be vague and subjective, but i seem to remember threads on the Alt forum where people were able to identify specific manufacturer "rendering" in blind tests.


Aug 09, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #17 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


I view it as a catch all term for all the small differences in how a lens represents the final image.

This includes bokeh, color accuracy, sharpness, macro and micro contrast, smoothness of transition from in-focus areas to out of focus areas. Smoothness and color of skin tones, etc.

Each lens will have subtle differences in how it 'renders' each of the above things...put together, and you sort of get the signature of how the lens draws, if you will. Sometimes technical flaws can actually make the lens more appealing to some people, and it's completely subjective. As I've used more and more lenses and such, I find that a very clinical rendering (things are sharp, medium contrast, no major flaws, unexceptional bokeh and quick transition from in focus to out of focus), while technically 'good' can sometimes be very boring. Others may completely disagree with those things.

So, when someone says they prefer the rendering from one lens vs another, they are just saying that they like how those image quality elements come together in that lens. For instance, the Sigma 50 f/1.4 and Canon 50 f/1.4 are similar in sharpness, the Canon has more accurate color (Sigma is warmer), and the Sigma has smoother bokeh. However, put all the things together, and I personally find the Sigma 50 to have a much nicer rendering for what I shoot. It's got that beautiful transition from in focus to out of focus..nothing is harsh, yet there's still nice crisp resolution.

Of my current gear the same could be said between the panasonic 20mm f/1.7 and the Leica 25mm f/1.4. Both are very sharp, but the 20mm is generally boring with busier bokeh, while the 25/1.4 has smoother bokeh and a presence that is hard to describe, but you know it when you see it.



Aug 09, 2012 at 05:19 PM
ggreene
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p.1 #18 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


The "look" of that Helios lens is quite nice.


Aug 09, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #19 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


Rendering/render is simply a synonym for performance. And, on these boards, it normally refers to certain details of lens performance. The same word is used ad nauseam on audio forums too. In high school English classes they teach us to use synonyms to vary the color and tone of our sentences without changing the essential meaning. Makes for more interesting and expressive writing. Therefore, to help keep the FM readership from hurling or nodding off, please randomly substitute kickass, rips, sick, da shit, burns rubber or similar synonyms for render/rendering.


Aug 09, 2012 at 05:58 PM
SKumar25
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p.1 #20 · What exactly does a lens' "rendering" mean?


My definition is very much in line with Jman's.

Jman13 wrote:
I view it as a catch all term for all the small differences in how a lens represents the final image.

This includes bokeh, color accuracy, sharpness, macro and micro contrast, smoothness of transition from in-focus areas to out of focus areas. Smoothness and color of skin tones, etc.

Each lens will have subtle differences in how it 'renders' each of the above things...put together, and you sort of get the signature of how the lens draws, if you will. Sometimes technical flaws can actually make the lens more appealing to some people, and it's completely subjective. As I've used more
...Show more



Aug 09, 2012 at 08:58 PM
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