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Minolta colours?

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Epic Win View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Epic Win Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Minolta colours?
    Posted: 01 November 2010 at 13:11
Originally posted by teejay teejay wrote:

Based on my experience with the lenses I have owned, I would say that not all Minolta lenses have the same color rendition characteristics, as pointed earlier in this thread.
Here are lenses that are similar in color rendition to my eyes (not extensive- only the ones I have used):
- 35-70/4, 70-210/4, and 135/2.8 (classic Minolta colors, probably 28-85, 24-50, 28-135 and 35-105 behave the same?), later lenses like 24-85 (or 28-105) behave somewhat similarly, with some differences though
- 50/1.7, 50/1,4, reds are much deeper
- 100 macro rs, much higher contrast
- 80-200/2.8, 200/2.8, warmer tones, deeper colors (may apply to other G lenses :35/1,4, 85/1.4, 28-70/2.8, 17-35/3.5...)

To recap what you said with links to samples:

Classic Color: 35-70mm f/4, 70-210mm f/4, 135mm f/2.8, 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 RS, 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5, 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5, 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5, 24-50mm f/4, 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5, 28-135mm f/4-4.5

Deeper Reds: 50mm f/1.4 RS, 50mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.7 RS, 50mm f/1.7

Then you have the deeper color Minoltas 80-200mm f/2.8 HS APO G, 80-200mm f/2.8 APO, 200mm f/2.8 HS APO, 200mm f/2.8 APO

Highest contrast: 100mm f/2.8

I do see a pattern here, specially in the older lenses.
 



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Epic Win View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Epic Win Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 October 2010 at 20:42
Do you think we can have a themed view thread about Minolta color?
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Eclipse View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Eclipse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 October 2010 at 19:48
I'd agree with teejay that the 200/2.8 has warmer- and to my mind more accurate- colour. (I find a lot of lens/sensor colours too cold and brash.)
I reckon that is the best lens I've ever used for colour -and just about everything else too!
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Epic Win View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Epic Win Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 October 2010 at 19:22
teejay, I think the 80-200 HS is actually more neutral than warm.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote teejay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 October 2010 at 18:56
Based on my experience with the lenses I have owned, I would say that not all Minolta lenses have the same color rendition characteristics, as pointed earlier in this thread.
Here are lenses that are similar in color rendition to my eyes (not extensive- only the ones I have used):
- 35-70/4, 70-210/4, and 135/2.8 (classic Minolta colors, probably 28-85, 24-50, 28-135 and 35-105 behave the same?), later lenses like 24-85 (or 28-105) behave somewhat similarly, with some differences though
- 50/1.7, 50/1,4, reds are much deeper
- 100 macro rs, much higher contrast
- 80-200/2.8, 200/2.8, warmer tones, deeper colors (may apply to other G lenses :35/1,4, 85/1.4, 28-70/2.8, 17-35/3.5...)
Sony a77|35/1.8|CZ16-80|HLV42|Minolta 24/2.8|50/1.4|85/1.4|100/2.8mRS|135/2.8|200/2.8|Sigma 10-20
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Eclipse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 October 2010 at 09:22
It's not easy to test a lens' colour/tone on a digital sensor, particularly if you're using AWB. You can compare how different lenses render colour/tone on the same film, though.
When I used only film, I came to the conclusion that Minolta lens colour/tone rendition was the best for me. Colour was accurate, where other lenses tended to be to cold and/or too saturated in colour, and tone was subtler on the Minolta lenses.

I shifted over to use a digital SLR only when, after looking at a lot of tests, I found a body which could render both colour and tone the way I like it- and that was the A900. It hasn't let me down- it can produce very accurate colour, (though AWB isn't always the best way to achieve this) and just as important, some very subtle tone values. If a sensor doesn't record these things right, you can do a lot less than people claim you can in PP. You can pull around what's there up to a point, but if two colours and/or two tones are recorded by the sensor as being the same when they aren't, you can't fix that- there's no way to split them up again.

I would always go for subtle, it's easy to make something more saturated and simpler if that's what you want. But you can't go the other way.
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote snajper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 October 2010 at 21:40
I personally like minolta colours. I found that a lot of modern Sony/Tamron/Sigma lenses these days produce pale (more realistic colours) that I personally didn't like. Therefore I have sold almost all of my non-minolta lenses. My first minolta that I fell in love with was Minolta 50mm F1.7 years ago that made me purchase the rest of lenses in that series.
Beercan, 35-105 new and old, 28-135 are fine example of the lenses that produce that minolta colours.
A580 + too many lenses
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DavidB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 October 2010 at 21:36
Epic Win, those are good questions. It is true that Minolta strived for strong colour consistency across their lens lineup while film was the main recipient of their images. Many photographers valued this immensely, as colour correction with film was a much more laborious task after the shutter was released than it has become with digital imaging.

Other lens manufacturers sought to have absolute sharpness and resolving ability, often at the expense of colour consistency in their lens portfolio.

It appears this is now becoming the case with Sony, and their CZ lenses. Digital imaging has progressed to the point where resolving power in a lens is becoming increasingly important to take advantage of the resolution capabilities of the latest sensors. Colour consistency can now arguably be achieved more easily in post-processing.

Different DSLR bodies will, as you mention with the 7D and a700, have different characters not just between manufacturers now, but between cameras in one manufacturer's own range. Again, these can be adjusted in post-processing to a larger extent, or by changing the shooting profile in the camnera. It's more a matter of getting to know the DSLR.

I am sure others will have more knowledgeable technical opinions to add to this.
davidbannister.zenfolio.com

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Epic Win View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Epic Win Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 October 2010 at 20:46
Bumping this old thread because this is the first hit I located via search. I have some questions of my own. Its been a while since Sony released its DSLRs and lenses (both Sony and Zeiss). Why isn't "Sony colors" or "Zeiss colors" catching up? I have also read that people who used the 7D were not too happy with the Alpha 700's color rendition. Is this a function of in camera calibration (i.e. switch to Sony's vivid mode) or something fundamental (CMOS instead of CCD)?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote zeroone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2009 at 02:40
Solomon and Matt, thanks so much for the links, very helpful, good confirmation of my own experiences and tests.

I will be doing some very specific testing for the A900 as far as optimum lens filter/s to use and colour reproduction in the near future, happy to post the results when done, for now though I can definitely state that using even the 85B filter and suitable WB adjustment makes a huge improvement in noise and clarity. I am wondering how a Flouro filter might go, anyone tried one, I don't have one at present.

The green cast in review is a minor issue I feel if you know that the end result will be perfect, using the preview function on the A900 would give a little work around though for those worried about how the final version might look, as you could take a preview shot and then flick though the appropriate WB setting, in other words look at the saved uniWB and also the regular daylight or what ever to make sure it all pans out OK.

Anyhow thanks again guys...seems we got a bit off topic here, my fault I think, sorry for that.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote solomonXX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2009 at 00:17
Matt, that's exactly the post I referred to in my previous response.

By using the UNI-WB setting, you'll correct the pic to the true WB in any RAW PP software. I've used C1 PRO and found out that the auto WB option is very accurate. So this doesn't really change my shooting methods too much. The only disadvantgage is that now on your camera LCD, pictures are always a little bit greenish.
- Solomon
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alpha_in_exile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 August 2009 at 15:56
Originally posted by zeroone zeroone wrote:

Not sure about the uni WB- didn't find the post about it but I think it is about getting the histogram to show the real RAW exposure levels per channel, so you can better set the exposure to take advantage of the RAW capability. Love to have a look at some links if you can direct me.

See here.

And here's an article on using a magenta filter to improve noise (same basic concept as the warming filter): here.

Personally, I haven't messed with this stuff very much, so I won't offer much comment, aside from saying the theory seems sound. I haven't gone this route yet, partly because switching shooting methods might mess up some work I'm doing now. I would be interested in trying it, sometime.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote zeroone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 August 2009 at 10:38
Hi Solomon

Not sure about the uni WB- didn't find the post about it but I think it is about getting the histogram to show the real RAW exposure levels per channel, so you can better set the exposure to take advantage of the RAW capability. Love to have a look at some links if you can direct me.

In this case what I am doing is different, the light coming through the lens is actually filtered via the 82B filter which is normally used to balance tungsten film for use in daylight. Once this is done the white balance is set to 3200 K to account for the change in colour balance. It sounds odd I know but it actually increases the clarity of the image as the red channel is better exposed at the sensor level and this results in lower noise (quite significantly) and even more naturalistic colour reproduction. I suspect but have not yet fully tested to determine, that there is an ideal filter and WB combination that actually gives the best image quality/noise compromise, I expect it is in the range of 3100-3500K but as said I need further tests and the filters to try it with.

Traditional monochrome filters can also be used to produce files that work better for mono conversion work as well, however the colours will appear odd if you actually want a colour version. In this case you set the WB on about 5300k
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Post Options Post Options   Quote solomonXX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 August 2009 at 02:32
Zeroone,

Your method is very similar to a method called "uni-WB" setting that has been discussed here and DPReview Sony DSLR discussion forum to avoid the red color clipping out with acceptable noise level.

I followed that method and it works! so far all my pics have been taken RAW/cRAW using that uni-WB with neutral style.

Regards,

Originally posted by zeroone zeroone wrote:

Hello Rainer, I feel your comments about the Canon are pretty typical, I have been shooting Canons for years, every Canon DSLR I have had tends to push the magenta/reds too much on skin tones and you are correct in saying it does not respond well to fixing in RAW. It should be pointed put there are big differences between RAW convertors though. This leads to the overemphasis of skin conditions, acne, and any eveness in skin colour particularly on cheeks and noses.

A by-product is that there are certain colours that Canon cameras tend to totally blow out, basically a narrow band of magentas often found in things like womans formal dresses (bridesmaids etc), The problem in some cases is horrific and near impossible to fully correct. Later Canon models are better than earlier ones but its still there.

This has nothing to do with lenses, rather it is a sensor/in camera processing issue. I suspect, though I can't prove it, that it is related to the way that Canon produces files with such low noise, basically I think the exposure of the Red Channel and to a lesser degree the Blue channel are more intense at capture than the Green, this is then levelled out in processing. The green typically is very low noise compared to the other two in all cameras.

The problem is fixable in editing, using selective colour options and tools but remains a pain and wastes me a lot of productive editing time. It surprises me more pro shooters don't complain about this issue.

The Sony A900 displays no issues with over saturated reds or skin tone problems, in fact this make the files very easy to edit, I have just edited a full wedding (yesterday) not one image needed corrective fixing of reds on skin tones.

As an aside I think the trade off on the Sony is much higher noise levels in the red channel noise, (check it out, it is pretty obvious), and here is the real kicker. If you are shooting an A900 and you want a very clean red channel, put an 85B filter on (warming filter) and shoot with the WB on about 3200K,,,,trust me it works. The Sony actually improves it noise level under tungsten light compared to most other cameras. So I guess one could say you are trading off noise for skin tones with the A900, personally I have no problem with that.

But as I said in the end this is not a lens issue, its a camera one.

- Solomon
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