Will the Quality of a Lens soon be irrelevant?


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If you want to enhance the technical quality of your photos, you are predominantly advised to use better lenses. The sensor plays an important role in this matter, but the difference between a good and a bad lens is immediately recognisable as soon as the kit-zoom is exchanged with a top-notch prime. If it were up to a research team at the University of British Columbia, we will soon spend less money for expensive lenses. In future, we will resort to inglorious kit-lenses or cheap fixed focal lengths (light gathering power!) and then vamp up photos on the computer.

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Anyone familiar with the subject matter knows that modern lenses consist of glass elements that are divided into several groups. What the researchers at British Columbia (project “High-Quality Computational Imaging Through Simple Lenses”) are working on, is how to massively enhance photos taken with the plainest lenses (1 glass element!) by means of software. On the first of the two photos above, the one that has not been edited, you can clearly see why it is a good idea to use several glass-elements. The second, the edited one illustrates, on the other hand, how far modern methods of calculation can bump up image quality. It’s hard to believe that a lens consisting of a single glass can yield such results with a little bit of “photoshop magic”. How exactly a blurred photo is turned into a razor-sharp one by mere calculation can be read in the above article or seen in the video below:

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