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+1 @ top athletes having excellent vision/spatial relationship abilities (vs the general populace).
Reminds me of baseball players talking about being able to "see the ball". Some struggle with how quickly they can see the ball once it comes out of the pitchers hand, others pick it up very quickly. The variance in visual acuity/perception @ spatial cues exists even among top athletes ... how much greater variance is there between they as a group and people who are not accustomed to watching things whiz by their head at 90mph.
Put a random group of people in the outfield to catch fly balls ... and you'll see again a wide range of how well people respond to spatial relationships. Not everyone has developed their vision to levels necessary to be a great hitter, outfielder, pilot or race car driver. That isn't to say they can't improve such with practice and training ... i.e. "use it or lose it" and the significant capabilities that exist within the realm of our brain/sense can be pretty astounding at times.
If you'd have told me that a person could have the ability to tactile detect a .001" vs. .002" variance, I'd have said you were full of it. Of course that was before I spent years routinely working with such tolerances. And to those who think a .001 variance isn't necessary, try doing an alignment to .0001 on a hard-cooupled motor/turbo-compressor. If you only aligned to .002, it would result in a very expensive failure.
While, it is impossible to predict how well a person can hone their individual capabilities by using them, it is reasonable to correlate that those (as a group) who use them in a more narrow capacity (i.e. less critical application) will not be as well honed as those who utilize them in extensively more challenging and critical applications.
The point here is that the range of variation in visual perceptiveness is pretty wide despite the concept that everyone would like to think they have really good vision ... till you step into the batter's box and get schooled to realize otherwise. Kinda like how everyone thinks they are good drivers based on their own self-perception.
Personally, my visual acuity has reduced somewhat over the years. I used to be able to see (with correction) to 20/10, yet now can only get to around 20/15. With normal being 20/20 I have always seen things that many others don't see (insert bad joke here ) or more accurately, before they do... until they perform closer inspection. I'm a pain to most optometrists because they think they're done when they dial me in to 20/20, but for me 20/20 is unacceptable.
As to the "3D-ishness" of a Zeiss, or the "clarity" of a Leica or the "colors" of a Rokkor ... there will always be individual variance in the level of discernment that exists among people. Some see it quite readily, others learn to see the diffs, while some never do and remain perpetual naysayers ... ardently claiming non-existence or myth. But if no differences exist, why would Leica/Zeiss put forth such an effort to produce as they do. That, and check the mfr on your optometrist equipment next time ... I doubt it'll say Canon or Nikon, but instead you may find it marked Leica.
Personally, I couldn't tell the difference between a lemon and a Leica when I first joined this board a few years back ... but that didn't mean the difference didn't exist, only that I couldn't discern it at that time. Lens design and the degree that it "matters" will always be debatable, largely predicated upon individual levels of discernment and needs of a given application.
Does one need a Zeiss or a Leica or a Rokkor to make a great photograph ... hardly. But for those who are discerning to the differences that inherent lens designs afford to the drawing styles produced by different lenses, it can make a difference to them. The degree of "well corrected" comes in to play for some as well. For others, not so much.
I find it folly for me to expect someone who uses a jackhammer all day to be able to tune a piano by ear at night ... until they truly desire to begin/resume refining their senses to that level of discernment, i.e. "use it or lose it". Imo, so it is with "3D-ishness" or "clarity" as well, some pick up on the subtle cues and differences an inherent lens design produces, others don't.
Edited on Apr 30, 2013 at 02:59 PM · View previous versions