Old slides v recent slides

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by mjmm, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. mjmm

    mjmm Guest

    I am about to try slide film for the first time since I bought a
    Tamron lens. I used slide film for 30+ years with a couple of SLRs,
    Pentax and Minolta, Since I started using a Pentax MZ50 and later a
    Pentax *ist, both with a Sigma 28-80 lens I have not been satisfied
    with the results. I was reminded of the difference between old and new
    slides, both Kodachrome 64, when I was scanning some of each
    recently. the old slides are noticeably sharper and punchier in the
    preview window than the recent slides, especially of slides taken on
    dull days. The only reason I can think of is that the Sigma lens is
    not as good as the lenses on the old SLRs. Is this likely to be the
    correct explaination?

    mjmm, Sep 20, 2004
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  2. mjmm

    Jeremy Guest

    The Pentax lenses (and probably the Minolta ones, too) from 30 years ago
    were probably prime lenses, and they had excellent optical qualities. While
    zoom lenses may offer more versatility and convenience, you will typically
    see that their image quality (especially in the case of amateur kit lenses)
    is not up to the quality of those great prime lenses of the 60s and 70s.

    If you still have your old lenses, try fitting them to your camera, using an
    adapter if necessary, and see the difference for yourself.

    With regard to the classic Pentax normal lenses, have a look at this

    Jeremy, Sep 21, 2004
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  3. mjmm

    RSD99 Guest

    "mjmm" posted:
    The only reason I can think of is that the Sigma lens is
    not as good as the lenses on the old SLRs. Is this likely to
    be the
    correct explaination?

    Probably. My personal experience is that *many* (if not
    *most* ... or even *all*) Stigma lenses have low contrast,
    and the pictures taken with them appear to have an overall
    haze (flare)

    For that reason ... I haven't used that "brand" for many
    RSD99, Sep 21, 2004
  4. mjmm

    bmoag Guest

    It is difficult to compare slides taken decades apart under different

    However: modern zooms have less contrast than older prime lenses. There is
    no way around the physical properties of light bouncing between the many
    more glass elements of a zoom lens than a prime lens.

    Photoshop cures many ills, real and imagined.
    bmoag, Sep 22, 2004
  5. mjmm

    Wm Gardner Guest

    Not that I am a big Sigma fan but you did mention that some of your
    slides were fairly old.........Kodak did change the Kodachrome formula
    at one point, want to say it was in the late '80s or early '90s (sure
    someone else here will know for sure). Have heard tales of some of the
    hardcore Kodachrome pros (the late Galen Rowell comes immediately to
    mind) buying up all that they could get their hands on and putting it in
    the freezer because they did not like the new stuff as well.

    I have a few Tamron lenses (all in their SP lines) and am pretty happy
    for the most part. Any more all I buy is either the Nikon lens or, if
    price is too big of an issue, the Tamron SP counterpart. Jeremy makes a
    good point though, a high quality prime will generally out perform even
    a high quality zoom.

    BTW- if you want more "punch", you should really try Fuji Velvia. I
    prefer the older ASA 50 stuff most of the time but the 100F is great
    also. The 100F sometimes reminds me of the old Kodachrome stuff I shot
    in the '80s.......

    Hope it helps,
    Wm Gardner, Sep 26, 2004
  6. mjmm

    Jim Nason Guest

    there are so many variables here it is difficult to explain the
    difference. Film technoogy has changed radically as has commercial
    processing. Lens technology has changed radically. Some may pretend
    that older lenses are superior to current lenses, which in some
    specific examples of simple desings is probably true. Look at zoom lens
    technology. The zooms of the 70's and 80's were garbage compared to
    todays zooms and cost 3 to 10 times as much in 1980 dollars. While I
    treasure my Nikkor 105 2.8 prime.... my 80-200 F2.8 blows away any
    zoom and most primes built before 1990. Computers are a wonderful
    thing. I will say that my Nikon 28-85 requires careful exposure and
    attention to stray light. When I consider these factors I get great
    exposures and saturated color. I believe that your Sigma is probably a
    signifcantly netter lens tan the average lens of the 70's/80's .,

    BTW.. when critically comparing slides, get a light box (ie PortaTrace)
    and a good loupe. Examine the slides first and then scan. Scaning is
    not a good way of judging the quality of the slide. I examine my
    slides, and adjust the analog gain depending on shadow density that I
    observe when examing manually. I find this a much more satisfactory
    method than scan and fix.

    Jim Nason, Sep 29, 2004
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