Thursday, 27 October 2011

What a Difference a Lens Makes

Top: Voigtlander Nokton f1.4 35mm (JPG) / Bottom: Leica Sumicron f2.8 50mm (JPG)

This post is based on a discussion I had recently with Tom about lenses and the different characters they produce. While this is no scientific comparison, it shows quite well how different lenses produce a different and unique character even when used on the same camera. In other words it shows that the lens is more important to the look and character you get than the camera or sensor behind it, then again this will come to no surprise to most people. 

Just as a note, this comparison is just for the character of the lenses and the exposure is not exactly the same, nor is the field of view due to the different focal length. The character however remains the same and is visible irrespective of these differences.

Both top images are straight out of camera JPGs while the bottom pictures are RAW files developed with RAW Therapee and the 'Natural 1' setting and using the Auto WB.

Were I to choose between the pictures I would go for the Leica Sumicron JPG since it has a more dreamy an warm look out of the box without any PP. This does not apply for all situations though where the Leica look can be quite distracting at times.

 Top: Voigtlander Nokton f1.4 35mm (RAW) / Bottom: Leica Sumicron f2.8 50mm (RAW)


  1. Yes, I think for some situations the old 50's summicron does a much better job than a more modern conventional lens. I hope your post won't raise the price of old lenses :)

  2. Sometimes a lens which is technically less perfect can deliver the better photograph with more character.