Jump to content

The Leica Forum uses cookies. Read the privacy statement for more info. To remove this message, please click the button to the right:    OK, understood.

- - - - -

High contrast 35mm focal length lenses

  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 sksaito


    Erfahrener Benutzer

  • Members
  • 103 posts
  • City / Ort:Hawaii

Posted 14 January 2013 - 17:04

Advertisement (Gone after free registration)
I'm new to film and I've been trying to research online which M mount or screw mount classic or modern lenses of 35mm focal length give a HIGH contrast look. I was getting confused and lazy so I wrote this thread just to see what are some favorites preferred by the esteemed forum members. Thank you!

#2 kokoshawnuff


    Erfahrener Benutzer

  • Members
  • 916 posts
  • City / Ort:Los Angeles

Posted 14 January 2013 - 20:22

Modern lenses with aspheric elements will typically give the most contrast...so the Summicron 35 asph and the Summilux asph would be a place to start looking, but the Summarit 35 which isn't aspherical gives good contrast and is a lot cheaper.

But if you're shooting film, and you experiment with processing and emulsions, you can get good contrast using almost any lens
  • sksaito said thank you to this

#3 250swb


    Sponsoring Member

  • Premium Member
  • 7,569 posts
  • LocationPeak District, United Kingdom

Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:03

High contrast when referred to in lenses is a relative term because contrast is mainly determined by choice of film or during post processing, not the lens itself.

A low contrast lens can produce a high contrast print just as much as a higher contrast lens can produce a lower contrast image (although it is more difficult going in that direction). And the reference to 'higher contrast' in a lens is usually about the mid tone or micro contrast in more modern lenses with more efficient coatings and corrections, not necessarilly the overall contrast.

So rather than search for lenses to give you a 'HIGH' contrast look, instead search for film and processing options because these are the deciding factors.

  • dave_d and sksaito said thank you to this

#4 sksaito


    Erfahrener Benutzer

  • Members
  • 103 posts
  • City / Ort:Hawaii

Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:49

Thank you all for the education. I'm slowly using film more than digital and learning.

#5 CalArts 99

CalArts 99

    Erfahrener Benutzer

  • Members
  • 1,347 posts

Posted 15 January 2013 - 22:06

Just to add to what's already been said, there's this adage that's been around since day one: "exposure controls density and development controls contrast."

You also should take into consideration your own workflow. If you are scanning B+W film then you will normally be better off with a lower contrast negative to start with. You can change the contrast in PS. This also gives you the advantage of having a lower contrast negative with a smoother tonal range to use. You can set your black and white points as you see fit. A high contrast negative tends to be more difficult to work with.

Even if your workflow is 100% analog, you might want to be careful of too much contrast in the negative and instead rely on using filters with multigraded papers (or select a higher contrast graded paper.)

With color film it's a bit different since C-41 and E6 processing is not the same as B+W, but you can choose to use color films that possess different contrasts (like Ektar versus Portra, or Provia versus Velvia, etc..)
  • sksaito said thank you to this

0 user(s) are reading this topic