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 Post subject: Measuring Contrast
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:07 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
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Location: Germany
Hi Gordon,

I rarely find you comment on the contrast of your test subjects.
I personally found it very important when I entered the world of digital imaging with my Sony T1. It was a nice camera but the contrast under less than optimal circumstances was bad. The effect was certainly coming from the limited space around the special lens construction in the T1 to absorb stray light - a construction that many compact cameras today share. The irritating thing being that the stray light not only led to lower contrast but also cast a blueish hue (coming mostly from the sky).

The issue was much improved, when I bought the Sony P200 with a "tubular" lens construction - although this camera was prone to dust entering through the tube segments. The difference in contrast between the T1 and the P200 could easily be seen when comparing shots out of a window. Really dark parts in the room never were even close to the ideal (0,0,0) with the T1 - more like (13/12/14), while the P200 came down to something like (3/4/4) , which is much, much better!

Couldn't you add some sort of contrast test? Like some shot through a black frame against a standard lighted background? I think it would be quite revealing esp. for compacts but even for DSLR lenses...

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Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:59 am 
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Hi Thomas, contrast results are something I'd like to include, and we do in fact have MTF charts and software to analyse them. But it is quite an intensive process, and the question, as with all editorial publications, is where to draw the line.

We could for example double our number of tests, but halve our output. Or conversely halve the testing and double our output. It's a balance which every publication has to find.

I'm certainly not ruling it out for the future though, and certainly if the contrast is particularly good or bad on a lens we will always mention it.

Gordon


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