Does lens quality matter?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by keller, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. keller

    keller New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    So I go to the camera store, and see a Canon lens for $1000, and a Sigma lens for only $50, and a Kiron for only $100.

    Now, obviously the Canon lens are better, but does it matter? What does lens quality affect? Say I take a photo of a green grass hill with a Canon lens, then a Sigma lens. Will there be much difference in the photos?
     
  2. Torus34

    Torus34 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,030
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Tottenville, Staten Island, NYC USA
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +4 / 0
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    Composition and lighting will have a much greater effect on the impact of the final photo than lens quality, within reasonable limits. There is a real difference between a disposable camera's lens and a good 'prime' lens. You can easily see it in the final print. Even so, it is possible to make a great photograph with a disposable.
     
  3. markc

    markc New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Rochester, NY Velocity: Unknown
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +6 / 0
    My Photos Are NOT OK to Edit
    There's also construction quality to worry about. I wouldn't expect a beginner to see what a pro lens does differently as far as image quality goes, but once a person becomes good enough, it can become important. I personally don't shoot with any of the "L" glass (Canon's pro line), but I did go for the better primes below that. I chose the 50mm/1.4 over the 1.8 because it has better bokeh (the quality of the out-of-focus area in an image). There are also things like chromatic and spectral aberations, flair, barrel distortion, etc. that a pro lens will have less of.

    My advice is to try to get a decent lens so that you won't have to upgrade all that soon, but don't break the bank. In the above example, the 50mm/f1.8 is a decent enough (and cheap enough) lens that it's fine for most people. I shoot with a lot of shallow DOF, so the bokeh of the 1.4 lens (which I could see was different) was worth the extra money to me.
     
  4. keller

    keller New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    But with the lens, apart from the durability, how does it affect the photo? Would it alter the colour and accuracy of the photo, or how easily it focuses?
     
  5. darich

    darich New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Near Lanark, Scotland
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    My Photos Are NOT OK to Edit
    My Canon lenses are f2.8 and cost approx £1000 each. You can buy the 70-200 with f4 for several hundred pounds less. So you're paying more money for a faster lens.

    I think it has higher quality glass and definitely has a wider aperture which is constant throughout the entire focal range. I can shoot at 200mm and f2.8 - that's what I paid the big money for. Colour or accuracy maybe affected but i think you'd need a computer to measure it because the difference would be so small.

    It may well focus faster due to having a different type or method of focusing than a cheaper lens.
     
  6. selmerdave

    selmerdave New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0
    Keller, image quality is not the only factor in the price of a lens. There are not many lenses that will beat in terms of image quality the standard 50mm/f1.8 from the major manufacturers, and those are not pricey lenses. With the higher prices you pay for certain specific capabilites that a given lens has, some of which involve considerable comlexity of manufacture. So obviously you don't spend >$1k on a 200mm/f2.0 unless you NEED specifically a long telephoto with that big an aperature. Shooting at f8 there is likely little difference from say a 200mm/f4 (MUCH less $$$), and in fact many times the smaller maximum aperature lens is superior due to its simpler construction. But there are shots you could take with a 200/2 that you could never take with a 50/1.8.

    Dave
     
  7. Chamelion 6

    Chamelion 6 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Texas
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    The short answer is yes.

    Where it gets fuzzy is when you start trying to qualify why. For example... The ability of the lens to distinguish between two points of light, resolution, is an important quality but not one you're going to see in every photo. In fact it's a quality you may never realize is missing till you compare it to a shot with a better lens.

    I don't believe that a better lens is, by itself, going to make you produce higher quality photos, there are just too many variables, but I believe the better the lens, the better your chances of getting a good quality shot are. The harsher the circumstances you're shooting under, the more that high end lens is going to benefit.
     
  8. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    27,039
    Likes Received:
    6,892
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +7,438 / 10
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    It can/will affect all of those areas. As has already been mentioned, construction quality is probably the most visible difference between high-end glass and consumer lenses, however there are many other areas where the differences can be seen as well:

    -Colour reproduction, contrast and saturation: the differences here are less noticable now than they were in years past due to the fact that even consumer lenses are made with precision equipment and have multiple coatings, but the higher-end glass will usually have at least slightly better results.

    -Flare control: Good glass will almost always deal much better with things like flare and CA. As an example, my 70-300 (~$450) suffers horribly from purple fringing, but on my 70-200 ($2000) it's virtually non-existant even in the worst conditions.

    -Focusing: High-end glass will generally focus much more crisply than consumer-grade glass, although this is also a factor of the body, and high-end bodies usually have better focus systems.
     
  9. o hey tyler

    o hey tyler Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Messages:
    9,744
    Likes Received:
    2,701
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    I wasn't born in your seven days
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +2,701 / 0
    My Photos Are NOT OK to Edit
    I don't think the OP will return to see your responses, guys.
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    29,776
    Likes Received:
    10,390
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    USA
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +10,883 / 4
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    Good one Tyler!!!! 123 has been digging uop three-, four- and even five-year-old threads all morning long....


    Seems like 123 is a necromancer:

    Necromancer

    partial quote: the Necromancer "...has a supernatural ability to bring long-dead forum discussion threads back to life. After having been flogged to death the thread may have been deceased for many years, and bringing it back may have scant relevance to the current topic, yet Necromancer will unexpectedly exhume the thread’s rotting corpse, and strike horror in the forum as its grotesque form lurches into the discussion. The monster, instantly recognized by all who knew it in life, seems at first to breathe and have a pulse, but, alas, it is beyond Necromancer’s skill to fully restore the thread’s original vitality."
     
  11. jason324

    jason324 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NY
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +23 / 0
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    Great question, and I must say lens quality makes an enormous difference!

    1st you have build quality: weather proofing, zoom is smooth, focus is smooth, can take a fall better?

    Then you have optical quality, and that really is what it's all about. Good glass cost a lot more than cheap glass due to the manufacturing process/ accuracy.
    The optical quality is where the sharpness, contrast, and accuracy comes from, in conjuction with the camera sensor of course.

    Then there is Speed "fast glass". The f/2.8 and faster lenses require more of that expensive glass, so there more $$.

    Then there is features such as image stabilization which is an amazing technology that again costs money.

    So basically you get what you pay for as the cost is justified IMO for the quality product.
    That being said, you can still take killer images with cheap lenses and cameras!! What the pricey lens Cannot do is make a bad photographer a good one. The lens has nothing to do with that;) in the real world though, the quality equipment cuts back on post processing big time!!

    Best,
    Jay



    Then you have optical quality
     
  12. ann

    ann Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Messages:
    4,263
    Likes Received:
    189
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +189 / 0
    My Photos Are NOT OK to Edit
    Derrel, your terrific.
     
  13. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    27,039
    Likes Received:
    6,892
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +7,438 / 10
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    :er: Looks like I done got got.
     
  14. DirtyDFeckers

    DirtyDFeckers New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Messages:
    488
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0
    My Photos Are OK to Edit
    :lol::lmao::lol::lmao::lol::lmao:
     
  15. ann

    ann Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Messages:
    4,263
    Likes Received:
    189
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +189 / 0
    My Photos Are NOT OK to Edit
    This 123 individual has Landed in the Beyond Basic section big time.

    What is even funnier , for me at least, they have been thanked 3 times. Am trying to understand what is accomplished by doing this?
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
do lens matter
,
do lenses matter
,

does camera lens matter

,

does lens affect picture quality

,

does lens matter

,

does lens quality matter

,
does the camera matter or the lens
,
does the quality of photo developers matter
,
how can a camera lens affect the picture taking quality
,
photography does lens matter