which lens has the most 3D POP?
/forum/topic/983034/2

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RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 17906
Country: United States

dasrocket wrote:
"clone out the sheep" haha good one


Very clever ...



CampX
Registered: Dec 21, 2005
Total Posts: 812
Country: Canada

To my un-trained eye, I am finding that my Helios 44M-6 has a certain POP to it. It is razor sharp. When my 400mm F5.6L isn't on my 7D, there is a very good chance the Helios is there for everything else......

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5264/5626793934_24d1141580_b.jpg

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5029/5626207869_15e21eaed6_b.jpg



denoir
Registered: Feb 11, 2010
Total Posts: 4222
Country: Sweden

This is rather typical - there is a broad agreement on what '3D' is in principle but when it comes to actual pictures there is usually total disagreement. There are two images in this thread that I personally think show 3D rendering - and it's Anden's shot above and Makten's second shot on the previous page. Possible candidates are also Ataboy's portrait and Makten's first shot.

Here are two shots with the Zeiss 50/1.4 Planar explicitly taken with the purpose of testing the 3D effect. The first one was shot at f/1.4 and the second one at f/5.6.


http://peltarion.eu/img/zeiss/zeiss50-169.jpg

http://peltarion.eu/img/zeiss/zeiss50-170.jpg



ken.vs.ryu
Registered: Apr 24, 2005
Total Posts: 3824
Country: N/A

edk should post his zeiss135/1.8 pics.



cputeq
Registered: Jun 25, 2008
Total Posts: 6043
Country: United States

I haven't done any case studies on the matter or scientific mumbo jumbo, but to me, on 3-D-ness, it's pretty easy.

1) You need an appropriate subject, subject-to-camera distance, etc. I believe the whole 3-D aspect of an image is because it roughly estimates what our eyes and brain would 'render' were we that close (or far away) from the scene.

2) The proper amount of background blur. Too much and it's going to look fake, look digital, look like something we wouldn't see. Not enough, and you're not going to get a good sense of depth. Plus, it's got to be good blur - lots of rough bokeh edges, cat eye effects, etc. are going to jar the viewer and remind them it's not real.

3) Micro-contrast - specifically, good contrast (including edge contrast) in the subject, because our eyes naturally see more detail and contrast up close than far away. This is also going to help separate the foreground objects from things behind it.

4) The right photo to begin with - some just work more than others. For instance, I've not yet ever seen a strongly backlit 3-D looking photo. Most everything that I see as 3-Dy is side-lit or with diffused light.



espressogeek
Registered: Jul 17, 2006
Total Posts: 561
Country: United States

I've used a Zeiss 60/3.5 and 180/4 on a Hasselblad with a P21 and that setup had some crazy 3d pop to it.



Tariq Gibran
Registered: Oct 01, 2006
Total Posts: 12901
Country: United States

I don't know about the most, but after recently testing a Leica R Summicron 50, I was surprised at the level of 3D quality that lens exhibits around F4. It seems to have high micro-contrast yet at the same time exhibits tonal and color subtlety. I think the complexity of this combination contributes to the 3D effect. Anyway, surprised by the performance of this lens at F4 -and beyond - though I don't find it that impressive wide open.



j.liam
Registered: Dec 13, 2009
Total Posts: 2299
Country: United States

Tariq Gibran wrote:
.... I was surprised at the level of 3D quality that lens exhibits around F4. It seems to have high micro-contrast yet at the same time exhibits tonal and color subtlety. I think the complexity of this combination contributes to the 3D effect....


Noticed the identical qualities in the 28 R Elmarit v.2 but @ f/2.8 as well.



wfrank
Registered: Feb 09, 2011
Total Posts: 3217
Country: Sweden

So, reading through this thread and admiring the images - I think I understand that 3D is a function of super-sharpness and super-micro contrast (which is delivered via good PP technique into web-sized images found here).

Background blur (preferably of the gaussian type) together with a short DOF helps, but is not the key.

So, being an engineer-type-of-person and a believer in the natural sciences I also think I understand that the first factor (sharpness) is reasonably measured by/via MTF-curves - ie a function of resolution. But the second one, micro contrast, is there a measure for that?



j.liam
Registered: Dec 13, 2009
Total Posts: 2299
Country: United States

It's also a function, I believe, of the transition from in-focus to OOF. If its quick and the OOF objects in the immediate vicinity are rendered with varying degrees of blur, the 3D illusion is enhanced.



Sp12
Registered: Apr 08, 2011
Total Posts: 741
Country: United States

You're looking for accutance and resolution.



Tariq Gibran
Registered: Oct 01, 2006
Total Posts: 12901
Country: United States

j.liam wrote:
Tariq Gibran wrote:
.... I was surprised at the level of 3D quality that lens exhibits around F4. It seems to have high micro-contrast yet at the same time exhibits tonal and color subtlety. I think the complexity of this combination contributes to the 3D effect....


Noticed the identical qualities in the 28 R Elmarit v.2 but @ f/2.8 as well.


Yep, I also saw it with that lens in the brief time I owned it.



cputeq
Registered: Jun 25, 2008
Total Posts: 6043
Country: United States

wfrank wrote... I also think I understand that the first factor (sharpness) is reasonably measured by/via MTF-curves - ie a function of resolution.

MTF is part of the equation, but start throwing in field curvature in lenses and then the nature of the subject, and MTF might as well go out the window.

MTF is good for planar subjects and can get you in the ballpark of "sharpness" but is by no means the whole story.




---- Sheesh, I'm starting to sound like a Zeiss zealot and I don't even have my 35/2 in yet



j.liam
Registered: Dec 13, 2009
Total Posts: 2299
Country: United States

Tariq Gibran wrote:
j.liam wrote:
Tariq Gibran wrote:
.... I was surprised at the level of 3D quality that lens exhibits around F4. It seems to have high micro-contrast yet at the same time exhibits tonal and color subtlety. I think the complexity of this combination contributes to the 3D effect....


Noticed the identical qualities in the 28 R Elmarit v.2 but @ f/2.8 as well.


Yep, I also saw it with that lens in the brief time I owned it.


In this characteristic, it is very different than the Nikkor 28/2 I own. I also prefer it to the ZF 28/2 I briefly owned. Shame that you sold yours...



Tariq Gibran
Registered: Oct 01, 2006
Total Posts: 12901
Country: United States

j.liam wrote:
Tariq Gibran wrote:
j.liam wrote:
Tariq Gibran wrote:
.... I was surprised at the level of 3D quality that lens exhibits around F4. It seems to have high micro-contrast yet at the same time exhibits tonal and color subtlety. I think the complexity of this combination contributes to the 3D effect....


Noticed the identical qualities in the 28 R Elmarit v.2 but @ f/2.8 as well.


Yep, I also saw it with that lens in the brief time I owned it.


In this characteristic, it is very different than the Nikkor 28/2 I own. I also prefer it to the ZF 28/2 I briefly owned. Shame that you sold yours...


The one I received had a very rough spot in the focusing just before infinity so I had to return it for a refund. At the moment I'm "making do" with a CY 28 2.8 which performs extremely well stopped down but I know the Leica is a better lens (as it should be for what they go for!).



j.liam
Registered: Dec 13, 2009
Total Posts: 2299
Country: United States

Tariq Gibran wrote:
The one I received had a very rough spot in the focusing just before infinity so I had to return it for a refund. At the moment I'm "making do" with a CY 28 2.8 which performs extremely well stopped down but I know the Leica is a better lens (as it should be for what they go for!).


I am told by a local Leica dealer in NYC that of late, videographers and cinematographers have been snapping up the very best of Leica R's, hence the recent rarity and astronomical prices. And to no small extent, because of the 3D-rendering characteristics.



wfrank
Registered: Feb 09, 2011
Total Posts: 3217
Country: Sweden

cputeq wrote:
MTF is part of the equation, but start throwing in field curvature in lenses and then the nature of the subject, and MTF might as well go out the window.

MTF is good for planar subjects and can get you in the ballpark of "sharpness" but is by no means the whole story.



Yep, that's why I threw in micro contrast. On planar subjects things like field curvature/bokeh rendering etc cannot be a factor.

Check Andens image, 100% planar. I dont know if it's 3D, but I believe it's an unusually "poppy" image of a flat subject.

SP12 suggests acutance which - checking wikipedia - looks an awful lot like PS filters USM or SM, i.e. (expressed simplified) gradually adds nonexisting light/dark edges to dark/light subject borders on a pixel-level.

This is - to my knowledge - not that far away from micro contrast, just applied in another scale. An increase in micro contrast increases the difference in adjacent areas light-/darkness.

The important difference is that whereas acutance artificially adds information to an image - micro contrast dont. Micro contrast strengthens what's already there. The latter is what I see many people associate with the optical behavior of e.g. Zeiss lenses.

For the record, Zeiss lenses do not "strengthen" anything, just interprets reality better according to the lords here in the alt group ;-)



philip_pj
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 4170
Country: Australia

It's a moveable feast and a work in progress, but my thinking on the (unfortunately important) subject is that there are two kinds of lens 3D:
(i) very high image centre macro and micro contrast and a rapid drop in these factors from around 12-15mm away from image centre, sometimes accompanied by field curvature in wider lenses (or other aberrations in others), where it is most likely to be found; and
(ii) flat, high parallel lines for 40 lpmm line pairs across the frame with at least very good macro contrast (5,10 lpmm lines).

The first, as seen often in Leica R lenses, provides the viewer with a wide gradient of lens performance across the frame and induces 3D.

The second, the Zeiss 'formula' but seen in Leica's finer tele/macro lenses, ensures a high impression of sharpness through constant lens performance across the frame with very high and even shaping (contour definition) of small objects (high spatial frequencies).

The Summicron R 50 MTF chart shows the first kind of '3D', almost all modern ZE/F Zeiss lenses and many CY lenses are of the second. Puts has this to say on the effect in the 50mm Summ R:

"Image quality falls off towards the corners, i.e. if the image quality
across the whole negative area is really crucial, one should
consider the Macro-Elmarit-R 60mm f/2.8." Indeed.

The much-vaunted 28/2.8 Elmarit-R suffers some mid aperture (f5.6) wobbles but is otherwise a fine performing lens at f8 as well as wide open if corner performance is not high on the agenda.

It is not helpful to include other extraneous factors for the OP's question, which asks about *lens* 3D - these include post processing (sharpening/midtone enhancement), sensor resolution and OOF. Otherwise all lenses would show 3D. [The *rate of OOF transition* is much more interesting to study in this context.] The same argument applies to choice of subject matter - leading lines, vignetting and other well-used photographic cliches.

It also helps if we exclude the interaction of colour handling as colour tonal separation is another critical factor in 3D perception, and depends on the contribution of sensor resolution, CFAs, etc. also.

When it comes to high spatial frequencies - near to the limit of what one can see in an image, *micro-contrast is resolution*. Think of the tiny thin grey lines in a resolution chart - the reason a 'high resolving' lens can see and show them and a lesser lens cannot is the ability to transfer ('modulate' in MTF terms) that separation of detail (as measured by contrast) in the object faithfully to the image.

If you cannot resolve the contrast, you cannot show it in the image - and no amount of sophisticated sharpening will recreate what a better lens provides, because at the limit there is no 'edge' to sharpen in a lesser resolving lens.

High micro-contrast images can easily appear unnatural due to the 'forced' small object rendition - the lens appears to see better than human vision, especially in even light. Almost too much texture...



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 16163
Country: Germany

Hmm, well, interesting post, but I disagree with several items. First of all, and this is a minor semantic quibble, the two types you list aren't lens 3D types, but rather characteristics of lenses which you propose can produce 3D images. Minor, but important.

Secondly, I disagree with your characterization of Leicas as falling off towards the corners, Modern Leicas are some of the most solid performers in this regard. If you want to restrict this characterization to older Leicas, then I would agree somewhat. I also disagree with Zeiss lenses having high sharpness across the frame. This depends very much on the specific lens, but even some of the top Zeiss ZF/ZE lenses have dramatic fall-off towards the corners. Saying that Leica lenses are about optical perfection, sometimes at the cost of some personality and rendering style, and Zeiss images are about the rendering style, sometimes at the cost of optical performance, is much closer to the truth.

I agree 100% that the discussion of 3D pop would need to include the topic of DoF falloff rate. I disagree that processing is not relevant, simply because the OP asked about lenses. Any discussion of 3D needs to include processing. Not all lenses can take the same processing, and so the final result comes from lens+processing appropriate for that lens. I also disagree that colour considerations are not important. The spatial/textural rendering of a lens depends very much on its ability to render subtle colour differences visible, and this is why so many Canon lenses have no 3D, among other things (such as missing micro-contrast).

Finally, perhaps you could post a 50 Cron shot with lots of 3D? I used to own this lens, and loved it to bits, but I don't recall seeing any 3D from it.

--

What I feel is direly missing from this discussion is a definition of 3D. All previous threads fell flat on their inability to have the participants agree what 3D is, in theory and in photos. Most people are merely referring to a sense of depth, usually foreground and background planes, when they say 3D. The vast majority even. I find that more is needed. But as long as we want to discuss something in detail, we need to agree on what we are discussing, no?



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 5253
Country: United States

philip_pj wrote:
When it comes to high spatial frequencies - near to the limit of what one can see in an image, *micro-contrast is resolution*. Think of the tiny thin grey lines in a resolution chart - the reason a 'high resolving' lens can see and show them and a lesser lens cannot is the ability to transfer ('modulate' in MTF terms) that separation of detail (as measured by contrast) in the object faithfully to the image.


By now I'm no longer sure what the correct meaning of the term microcontrast is. I thought it was like this (for a full-frame lens):

30-40 lp/mm: resolution of finest detail
20 lp/mm: microcontrast or local contrast of image features bigger than the finest detail
10 lp/mm: macrocontrast or global contrast

Canon has a webpage with an explanation of their MTF charts saying basically what I have written above. I added some of my own interpretation of what microcontrast should mean, but I'm not entirely sure if my thinking is correct. AFAIK, acutance means edge contrast, which probably would fall into the category of 30lp/mm? I'd think lower lp/mm would indicate the contrast of features larger than just edges.



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