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Old Oct 11, 2010, 2:26 AM   #1
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Default Why lenses behave so differently?

While I was testing those old lenses, I noticed that some are darker and they all are much darker than the kit lens. Why? Might be an auto WB issue, then why the camera gets that so differently from the new kit lens and the very old lenses?

The effect is more apparent on video - the kit lens's output tend to be much more cold, very unpleasant. From Simon's video, the HD lens is very similar to the kit lens. This makes me very worried to buy these new m4/3 video lenses. No matter how great their focusing systems are for video, I still don't want them, as long as they cannot produce the kind of warm and pleasing image like we see in the Olympus PEN commercial made with PEN.

From top to the bottom: Vivitar 70-210mm, Vivitar Series 1 28-105mm, Tokina 28-70mm and kit. The Tokina is indeed the darkest as I noticed in my other thread.








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Old Oct 11, 2010, 3:39 PM   #2
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I would not doubt variable quality/types of optical coatings produce some, if not most of the differences. Some makers are known for lenses that produce warmer or cooler colors than others. With a company like Vivitar that has never has made their own lenses, you've got as many different color renderings as you have suppliers they have used over time.

Olympus DSLR users have noted similar differences using Sigma 4/3rd's lenses over the Digital Zuikos Olympus makes.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 5:41 PM   #3
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Once you attach a lens to the EPL1 with an adapter (other than the Oly or Pana 4/3 to m4/3 adapters), then all bets are off. The camera can not communicate with the lens as it does with the kit lens, so exposure may or may not be correct and that applies to WB as well. Since you are shooting indoors, I'd set the WB to match the lighting you are under and also make sure that the camera is in A mode. As Greg mentioned, different lenses may produce different color saturation. I have many Pentax PK mount lenses (some Pentax some non-Pentax). When I use them on my G1, I noticed that all Pentax-brand lenses over expose by at least +0.7 compared to the non-Pentax brand lenses. I'd expect the other way around, after all, Pentax lenses should have better coatings than say Sigma or Vivitar. At the same time, my Canon FD lenses, produce some of the best images. So, very hard to do any comparison at all.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 6:35 PM   #4
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I think so too, after some research on lenses, film and DSLR.

Coating is just one aspect, also come into play is invisible lights that are visible to the sensor especially CMOS type. Newer cameras like EPL1 (and Nikon, Panny etc.) deal with them by talking to the lens and do corrections correspondingly. Without this communication, it is God's guess - you can expect any kind of effects.

Auto WB is the first victim, followed by auto exposure, auto focus, CA...

Such communication may break or go wrong between an Olympus camera and Panny lens. For example, the exposure problem with your panny 20mm must be the magic of invisible light that's sensitive to EPL1's sensor and EPL1 dose not know about that and thus does not do the correction.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 6:45 PM   #5
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Even cameras that can communicate with MF lenses (like the Pentax) will find it difficult to expose correctly. I had the Kx for a brief period of time and since I had many PK lenses, I tried them out. First was the MF assist (focus trap), which worked but very inaccurately. Then there was the exposure. I set the camera to SPOT metering and that produced the worse results of the three metering options (go figure). I was shooting almost in micro mode (the subject filled the frame), in which case spot metering should work best. Nope, not in this case. My old Sigma 28mm wide II worked better than the Pentax 50mm f1.7 both in terms of exposure and IQ.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 7:32 PM   #6
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Yeah, CMOS cameras depend on firmware corrections so much, which then depend on critical information from the lenses. Third-party lenses have no guarantee, may perform anywhere from fantastic to garbage, or perfect on these aspects but horrible on those.

I give up on playing with 3rd-party lenses and will just live with the kit lens. For serious videoing, I'll look elsewhere, because Oly lenses do not have OIS which is a must for video and Panny lenses are expensively risky due to above reasons.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 9:22 PM   #7
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You really do not know that, the HD lens on the oly did produce a good video and warm skin tone till the subject walked into colder lighting. Now if Simon had better lighting like where the video started through out the shot. That paleness you are pointing too would not have occur. The 14-140 look like it will perform well, with the lens mega OIS on the olympus.

Also no one has the 75-300, so it is only a guess that it will not perform well with the IS system.

But at the end of the day, the epl-1 with a oly or panny lens take great photo with rich warm color with proper lighting. And does a really nice job at 1600iso for low light shooting. I have put oly 4/3 and m4/3 and panny m4/3 lenses on the epl-1 and they have all perform well, being very sharp and crisp. And rich and warm color if the lighting permits. And that is the main reason with getting one of these cameras. The video are pretty nice as well form my video my wife took of friends and family. That actually match up in tone and color to the photos she shot. So it is nice that we can grab a simple nice video clip when we want.
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