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Thread: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

  1. #1

    Default This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    scroll down to the section called "Bokeh" for both of the following links

    http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff...2eosff?start=1
    http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff...8is_5d?start=1

    i'm very impress by what the zeiss lens delivered
    by comparing the statue , you can see that the zeiss lens manage to capture alot of fine detail. even though it is a 1:2 macro lens as compared to the canon's 1:1 macro lens

    i've head about zeiss supporters talking about how good zeiss lens are
    and i've heard people used the term "micro contrast"
    is this something only zeiss lens can deliver while other lens cant?
    For passion or prestige? A trend or a niche?

  2. #2

    Default Re: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    No lah!

    I think its just the lighting and exposure are different.

  3. #3

    Default Re: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    Quote Originally Posted by renzokuken View Post
    i've head about zeiss supporters talking about how good zeiss lens are
    and i've heard people used the term "micro contrast"
    is this something only zeiss lens can deliver while other lens cant?
    It's the coating. Zeiss lenses will usually sacrifice a little bit in bokeh in exchange for far sharper detail. I remember comparing the Minolta 85mm G against the Zeiss 85mm. The Minolta G was a bit softer, with great bokeh. The Zeiss had slightly lower bokeh, but the sharpness was stunning. A lot of it comes down to the additional micro-contrast the T* coating achieves, which just helps things "pop" a bit more too.
    Alpha

  4. #4
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    Default Re: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    IMO, Zeiss lenses do deliver crisper edge definition, finer texture, vibrant colours, better flare control which probably contributes to a more consistent 3D pop. You do get this 3D pop with other lenses occasionally but it may be less predictable.

    Another brand that I have come across that can produce good resolution is Leica R lenses. It has less edge definition, smoother bokeh but the built quality is superb.

    The Canon lenses do lack some punch if you put the images side by side (at least those that I owned). But it has AF, IS, USM, etc. So it is really tough choosing one over the other. Have fun.

  5. #5

    Default Re: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    it's not even the same exposure........

    another guy gets poisoned by the promise of money buying him more skill when it is impossible.

    just so you know, whatever "microcontrast" pangsai, you can easily tweak it with photoshop with the proper knowhow.

  6. #6

    Default Re: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    look ma, the canon image now has more details.

    i am poisoned now... i shall go and buy...... PHOTOSHOP


  7. #7

    Default Re: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    look ma, the canon image now has more details.

    i am poisoned now... i shall go and buy...... PHOTOSHOP
    Ha ha, brilliant!

  8. #8

    Default Re: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    it's not even the same exposure........

    another guy gets poisoned by the promise of money buying him more skill when it is impossible.

    just so you know, whatever "microcontrast" pangsai, you can easily tweak it with photoshop with the proper knowhow.
    dude not everyone here who ask , wants to buy
    i'm still a student
    and am a novice, i can barely buy a $200 tripod, not in a million years would i even dream of buying a zeiss lens

    i'm learning the various technical terms, like mircro-contrast
    and posted this thread to find out why there are die hard zeiss supporters
    if you wish to mock at a novice

    go ahead
    if you're really better off this way and this is how you build up on your ego, go ahead, after all everyone walk different paths
    Last edited by renzokuken; 17th May 2010 at 10:21 PM.
    For passion or prestige? A trend or a niche?

  9. #9

    Default Re: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    Quote Originally Posted by ManWearPants View Post
    IMO, Zeiss lenses do deliver crisper edge definition, finer texture, vibrant colours, better flare control which probably contributes to a more consistent 3D pop. You do get this 3D pop with other lenses occasionally but it may be less predictable.

    Another brand that I have come across that can produce good resolution is Leica R lenses. It has less edge definition, smoother bokeh but the built quality is superb.

    The Canon lenses do lack some punch if you put the images side by side (at least those that I owned). But it has AF, IS, USM, etc. So it is really tough choosing one over the other. Have fun.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    It's the coating. Zeiss lenses will usually sacrifice a little bit in bokeh in exchange for far sharper detail. I remember comparing the Minolta 85mm G against the Zeiss 85mm. The Minolta G was a bit softer, with great bokeh. The Zeiss had slightly lower bokeh, but the sharpness was stunning. A lot of it comes down to the additional micro-contrast the T* coating achieves, which just helps things "pop" a bit more too.
    thanks for explaining the coatings to me,
    frankly i didn't know what makes zeiss lens that special that make people keep asking for more without all the "high tech" stuff like IS, USM etc
    now i have a better understanding why there are so many different alphabets for the different lenses
    Last edited by renzokuken; 17th May 2010 at 10:23 PM.
    For passion or prestige? A trend or a niche?

  10. #10

    Default Re: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    Quote Originally Posted by renzokuken View Post

    go ahead
    if you're really better off this way and this is how you build up on your ego, go ahead, after all everyone walk different paths


    why so sensitive?

    you know very well what you were thinking when you wrote stuff like:

    "by comparing the statue , you can see that the zeiss lens manage to capture alot of fine detail."

    "is this something only zeiss lens can deliver while other lens cant?"

    nothing wrong with drooling over gear, just drool over the right things, at the right time. for example, canon 85mm f/1.2L is pretty damn sharp in the centre wide open. not many lenses can perform that way, which can justify its exorbitant price compared to the other 85mm lenses canon has. of course expensive lens will offer more over cheaper lenses. but if you are seeing "microcontrast" where there is none, then there is nothing wrong with correcting that.

    of course, if you want to see what you want to see, then you can ignore my post and walk the different path of comparing two different exposures' details to each other...
    Last edited by night86mare; 17th May 2010 at 10:28 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    Quote Originally Posted by renzokuken View Post
    This is what they mean by micro-contrast?
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...contrast.shtml

    http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-an...?msg_id=006YLu

    Bear in mind, 'Zeiss' cover a humongous range of lenses made over many decades at various plants all over the world. Zeiss collectors could probably tell you a lot more, including pointing out the not so stellar designs.

    On the other hand, I was told that if you speak to a Schneider or Rodenstock user, you might hear of how Zeiss has their T* lenses' contrast 'too strong' (like Canon's Ls) and actually blocks up detail especially in deep shadow areas.

    I was also told that Zeiss lenses, while contrasty, have lesser 3D 'pop' or poorer color rendition than Leitz lenses.

    Don't get me wrong. I've used the CYCZ T* Zeiss lenses on assignments, both the German and Japan made ones, and was always assured, and got stunning results.

    If you're really, really interested in lens design, it's best to read and research as much as you can, especially into the history of lenses and subsequent development. Politics, war and business concerns played as much a part of a marquee's growth, or demise, as the validity of the designs themselves.

    If you're just interested in lens performance, look around for more in-depth reviews with open eyes.

    I'm not a lens collector, so I won't know about these things.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    Quote Originally Posted by renzokuken View Post
    ...
    i'm learning the various technical terms, like mircro-contrast
    and posted this thread to find out why there are die hard zeiss supporters
    if you wish to mock at a novice
    ...
    I suggest you learn how to effectively use a high-pass filter.

    Student? Get a course in computer vision.

    More interesting (and challenging) than dumping good money for a lens that IMO isn't THAT great.

    FYI, there are reviews that compared a Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 lens with it's Nikon equivalent and the Nikon lens was "proved" to be better (and more affordable). I found the tests somewhat more scientific than the conclusion you're trying to draw from the images on photozone...

  13. #13

    Default Re: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    Quote Originally Posted by renzokuken View Post
    dude not everyone here who ask , wants to buy
    i'm still a student
    and am a novice, i can barely buy a $200 tripod, not in a million years would i even dream of buying a zeiss lens

    i'm learning the various technical terms, like mircro-contrast
    and posted this thread to find out why there are die hard zeiss supporters
    if you wish to mock at a novice

    go ahead
    if you're really better off this way and this is how you build up on your ego, go ahead, after all everyone walk different paths
    Relax....
    He actually went over the and looked at your links and corrected a misconception/mis-interpretation of the photos presented. (All in jest)

    Or would you rather someone lap up to your conclusions (wrongly in this case).

  14. #14

    Default Re: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post


    why so sensitive?

    you know very well what you were thinking when you wrote stuff like:

    "by comparing the statue , you can see that the zeiss lens manage to capture alot of fine detail."

    "is this something only zeiss lens can deliver while other lens cant?"

    nothing wrong with drooling over gear, just drool over the right things, at the right time. for example, canon 85mm f/1.2L is pretty damn sharp in the centre wide open. not many lenses can perform that way, which can justify its exorbitant price compared to the other 85mm lenses canon has. of course expensive lens will offer more over cheaper lenses. but if you are seeing "microcontrast" where there is none, then there is nothing wrong with correcting that.

    of course, if you want to see what you want to see, then you can ignore my post and walk the different path of comparing two different exposures' details to each other...
    ok thanks dude
    was in a fowl mood
    sorry
    For passion or prestige? A trend or a niche?

  15. #15

    Default Re: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    Quote Originally Posted by aspenx View Post
    I suggest you learn how to effectively use a high-pass filter.

    Student? Get a course in computer vision.

    More interesting (and challenging) than dumping good money for a lens that IMO isn't THAT great.

    FYI, there are reviews that compared a Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 lens with it's Nikon equivalent and the Nikon lens was "proved" to be better (and more affordable). I found the tests somewhat more scientific than the conclusion you're trying to draw from the images on photozone...
    i agree that my conclusion in the first post is not scientific
    anyway high -pass filter
    are you talking about this? >>>http://www.oceanoptics.com/products/filters.asp
    Last edited by renzokuken; 19th May 2010 at 01:15 AM.
    For passion or prestige? A trend or a niche?

  16. #16

    Default Re: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...contrast.shtml

    http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-an...?msg_id=006YLu

    Bear in mind, 'Zeiss' cover a humongous range of lenses made over many decades at various plants all over the world. Zeiss collectors could probably tell you a lot more, including pointing out the not so stellar designs.

    On the other hand, I was told that if you speak to a Schneider or Rodenstock user, you might hear of how Zeiss has their T* lenses' contrast 'too strong' (like Canon's Ls) and actually blocks up detail especially in deep shadow areas.

    I was also told that Zeiss lenses, while contrasty, have lesser 3D 'pop' or poorer color rendition than Leitz lenses.

    Don't get me wrong. I've used the CYCZ T* Zeiss lenses on assignments, both the German and Japan made ones, and was always assured, and got stunning results.

    If you're really, really interested in lens design, it's best to read and research as much as you can, especially into the history of lenses and subsequent development. Politics, war and business concerns played as much a part of a marquee's growth, or demise, as the validity of the designs themselves.

    If you're just interested in lens performance, look around for more in-depth reviews with open eyes.

    I'm not a lens collector, so I won't know about these things.
    Zeiss lens naming can be quite complicated with all those acronyms and "*" stuff
    and yet on top of that , there are different mounts for different camera system

    the explanation below from your link helped me a lot

    You've got it just about right... Here is a (over)simplified explanation:

    Macro contrast is the ability of a lens to render black areas very black and white areas very white. A lens with poor macro contrast will scatter (or flare) light from the bright areas to the dark areas, hence rendering the dark area lighter and the light area darker. In the dark area, there will be no texture present, just a slight density present in the negative where it should be clear (black is reproduced as clear in the negative). The light area is likewise slightly darker due to the flare, because some of the light has been robbed from it and sent into the dark areas of the image.

    Micro contrast is the ability of the lens to differentiate between adjacent areas of the image that differ only very slightly from one another in contrast - hence rendering very fine textural detail in both the highlight and shadow areas of the image. Due to excessive flare, poor macro contrast can thus adversly affect micro contrast as well as creating the aforementioned problems in an image.
    thanks
    For passion or prestige? A trend or a niche?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    Quote Originally Posted by renzokuken View Post
    i agree that my conclusion in the first post is not scientific
    anyway high -pass filter
    are you talking about this? >>>http://www.oceanoptics.com/products/filters.asp
    No. The high-pass filter was to be read together with the "computer vision" part. Although technically the basic principle is the same behind the ocean optics filters, the purpose is different.

    A high-pass filter (in pp, which I mean) can somewhat bring out micro-contrast. When overdone, it will bring out the noise though... The key is in finding the right window size and intensity. Some portrait photographers use it to bring out the details in the model's eyes and brows.

    Of course, it is no substitute to a good lens and good technique but it's much more accessible than acquiring expensive lenses which may or may not make such a big difference in IQ to you when you actually try them out.

  18. #18

    Default Re: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    actually when you compare among the primes of similar price.. it's quite hard to pick one from another.
    and with PostProcessing and posted at websize, I would say it's impossible to tell one brand from another.
    all have good micro contrast, not just zeiss T* coating.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    Quote Originally Posted by ManWearPants View Post
    I choose to differ from general consensus that one lens do not differ from another. The same brand of lenses already differ from each other , compare a non-L to L lens, not to mention lenses of different brands. Of course you can use software to create any image you want. You don't even need a camera. Just copy and paste, then use the air brush to add in details. This is what a graphic designer will do. You are a photographer. The resolution and characteristics of lenses are different. If not why would people want to spend so much on quality lenses. A 50/1.8 will do nicely for everyone. Web images are compressed and relatively low resolution. Try to print in A3 and larger and see what each lens has to offer.
    Don't intend to sound condescending but from looking at TS's signature, it is highly probable the he has just started owning his own DSLR and lens.

    At this stage of entering photography, I believe the general consensus is that TS should be concentrating on making the best of what he has before delving into picking apart the differences between lens. Seeing that he got overly excited from a non-objective conjecture spoke volumes too.

    Of course, I don't think anyone will disagree with you about every lens being different from each other. Personally, in my eyes the Canon 50mm f/1.8 (mark 2 or something? the one that can be had for $100+) is far lacking in quality when compared to it's Nikon equivalent. Don't even need to talk about Canon's L or Nikon's nano-coating etc. The two most basic lenses are already very different. As somebody who had also spent a lot of time poring through reviews at a early stage (like the TS), I can somewhat say that it was a waste of time for me. It was only after taking more photos, trying out more things and ways that I started to be able to discern the differences. Reading those reviews then only led me to have preconceptions of how a certain lens should perform based on the reviewers' opinions and wasn't helpful to me at all.

    If TS is indeed going to print A3 and stuff, naturally he should be looking at better tools like what you have pointed out. Just a question of whether that is the case at the moment.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: This is what they mean by micro-contrast?

    I have removed my earlier post as I do not wish to start a debate on Canon good Zeiss bad or vice versa. I agree that picture speaks volumes. So go through images posted and form your own opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by aspenx View Post
    Don't intend to sound condescending but from looking at TS's signature, it is highly probable the he has just started owning his own DSLR and lens.

    At this stage of entering photography, I believe the general consensus is that TS should be concentrating on making the best of what he has before delving into picking apart the differences between lens. Seeing that he got overly excited from a non-objective conjecture spoke volumes too.

    Of course, I don't think anyone will disagree with you about every lens being different from each other. Personally, in my eyes the Canon 50mm f/1.8 (mark 2 or something? the one that can be had for $100+) is far lacking in quality when compared to it's Nikon equivalent. Don't even need to talk about Canon's L or Nikon's nano-coating etc. The two most basic lenses are already very different. As somebody who had also spent a lot of time poring through reviews at a early stage (like the TS), I can somewhat say that it was a waste of time for me. It was only after taking more photos, trying out more things and ways that I started to be able to discern the differences. Reading those reviews then only led me to have preconceptions of how a certain lens should perform based on the reviewers' opinions and wasn't helpful to me at all.

    If TS is indeed going to print A3 and stuff, naturally he should be looking at better tools like what you have pointed out. Just a question of whether that is the case at the moment.
    Last edited by ManWearPants; 20th May 2010 at 01:13 AM.

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