As far as the breathing goes maybe you could just give us your opinion and a take 3 still shots 1 at infinity & 1 at about halfway through the focus and 1 at about 4 feet for each lens. This may give an idea of what the breathing of each lens is like?
We all would not be as excited as we are if we didn't know what a big undertaking it is. Thanks for tackling something like this Evin, it will be a great resource.
Some suggestions for testing:
In particular, what does the bokeh look like for things that are too close, and too far away. A good test might be to have a pinpoint of light, both near and far. It gives a pretty good "fingerprint" of what the bokeh will look like. Maybe if you can string some christmas lights, that would be good too.
Yes please test for this! Maybe shoot a scene where there are lots of vertical objects, as a point of reference for the framing. Perhaps you might do this at the same time as a pull focus between two objects (or people) in the scene.
3- Chromatic aberration
For VFX work, CA can be annoying. Not sure what a good test would be, although a test pattern might be easiest (especially one that measures CA over the entire area of the shot).
I know you're against measurebation, but from a practical perspective shooting a test pattern here might be the quickest way to figure out how prone the lens is to CA. Otherwise you might want to shoot some greenscreen, and talent against a superwhite screen.
4- Resolution: Could you maybe print out some text at different point sizes, so people can evaluate resolution based on the legibility (sp?) of the text?
5- Some real world stuff of course.
6- Can the lens make some interesting distortions and/or flaring. i.e. camera flare, and Holga/Lomo photography-type stuff. Ok, so these lenses aren't going to be Holga/Lomo quality, so that'd be a point test. But it might be nice to evaluate the flaring... could be done with some light sources in the framing (and off it), hitting directly into the lens. Maybe practicals like a bare lightbulb.
7- Subjective opinion on the ergonomics of the lens / how smooth the focus + zoom are.
Thank you in advance for doing this btw, I'd be interested in the results.
I am very interested in your lens tests and looking forward to read it too.
I will definately test for...
Sharpness Wide open, two stops down and six stops down (Subjective test with examples and conclusions based on real applications)
Bokeh (Probably only in the faster normal/tele lenses)
CA/Diffraction Limiting (My infinity test should work for this too)
Breathing (Maybe video or animated Gif.)
Build (Can it stop drop and roll?)
Optical abberations/Flare/Contrast/Color or special charachteristics.
Adaptability to cinema style shooting.
The tests will primarily be based on...
A Wide frame (Infinity) outdoors in contrasty afternooon light.
An M*, MCU* or CU* of a perosn lit by a window (Which means diffrent distances for diffrent lenses)
An insert style shot assuming the lens focuses close enough.
*I will choose a size most appropriate to the lens being used, for instance a Meduim shot for 17mm, an Medium Close Up for a 50mm and a Close up for a 135mm.
Thanks for all your suggestions. I'm going to get to work soon.
If any of you lens manufacturers out there have products you wish to be tested I'm putting out the call. I will be warm but accurate.
Thanks Evin for that.
Adding a note about focus ergonomics and smoothness wouldn't take you a lot more time. I unfortunately never used cine lenses, but I found the shortness of focus ring to be the only real downside on still lenses (talking about M2).
Evin, don't you have an EF adapter? According to Wikipedia, James "Jim" Jannard has an EF 1200mm lens. You should borrow it sometime.
Ha ha, now that'd be weird.
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