How to test for sharpest lens??

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by dEARlEADER, May 7, 2008.

  1. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    I'm picking up a Sigma 10-20 from my local store

    I have read some internet comments about people getting soft copies...

    My store has a few of them...

    Is there any reasonable way to test for sharpest using the onscreen of my D60?? this is about all I can do... is take a picture with each sample outside the store...

    Any techniques that someone can recommend?
     
  2. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    Can you bring your camera there?
     
  3. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    yup.... and the guy is good... he'll open every box and allow me to take a shot with them....

    i just don't know if it's possible to discern any difference using a small 3 inch monitor.... and without side by side comparisons.....
     
  4. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    Does he have a TV there? It won't be exact but you can proof with that and a TV. I do it to verify focus. Sharpness is another story but you'd have rough idea. Bring a laptop.

    Take a couple pictures go home...check pictures...decide.
     
  5. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    There's no way to compare with your on-screen camera. Nikon LCD screens are probably the best in the business, but nothing will beat looking at things on a much larger computer screen. Just make sure you can return it if you're not happy, or sending it back to Sigma for recalibration usually seems to work out fine too. To do a good focus test though, you need to find an area where you have a very large flat field. The beginning of a treeline is a good bet, or the side of a brick building where the bricks have a fair amount of detail that you'd be able to make out and not bland glossy painted over stuff.
     
  6. Judge Sharpe

    Judge Sharpe TPF Noob!

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    The best way is to use a resolution target pattern- one should be available on line- take a picture of the pattern with each lens, and compare with a loup. Sharpness is not the end all of lenses though- check ease of use, light gathering and transmission, general overall quality. Most sigma lens will be so close that I doubt you will be able to tell the difference.
    Judge Sharpe
     
  7. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    ya... it's not focus i'm concerned about... it's sharpness... apparently they can be soft in random spots... only bottom left on one..... top left on another... others are good everywhere...

    i dunno... it's a tossup between this and the supposed better built and sharper Tokina 12-24.... the 2mm on the Sigma is killing me...

    it is also killing me that wide lenses are hot like crazy right now.... i can't even find a used tokina 12-24 on ebay.... and the sigma's are running marginally under retail.... i'd rather just buy new if all i'm gonna save is $100 ....
     
  8. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    Well that's the problem with Sigma lenses. I have a ton of respect for Sigma, but the quality and consistency just isn't there. Personally I don't have the time nor the patience to deal with lenses with quality issues and doing their jobs for them. Between the Sigma and Tokina, I'd get the Tokina and manually focus. I have their new 11-16mm f/2.8 on pre-order. Or if you can wait, there's a Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 coming out sometime, but who knows when. If you really want to go super wide, get the Nikon 10.5 DX fisheye 160-degree horizontal view (180 diagonal) vs only 100-degrees horizontal for the Sigma. It's a great little lens, and not all that much more than the Sigma, and f/2.8 too. With some of the software out there, you can convert fisheye images any way you want including back to rectilinear where you'll get about 110-degrees of viewing which is wider than that Sigma. Want to get something like 12 or 18mm? Easy, you've got the 10MP sensor on the D60 so just crop a little. There's plenty of excess resolution to do that with.

    Or just save a little more and get the Nikkor 12-24 AF-S. There's LOTS of those up for sale right now on NikonCafe.com and probably some of the other forums. I've seen Tokina 12-24's up for sale too, $350-400. NikonCafe, FredMiranda, Nikonians, etc, just look around there first, not ebay.
     
  9. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    not sure i'm into fiddling with the fish eye..... i'm not heavy into post....

    I too was also considering waiting for the Tokina 11-16mm...... Rockwell says it sharper then his Nikkor.... looks like a smart buy.... not shipping to canada til june....and after all the special orders are filled.. most likely not til august or september... thats a whole summer of missed shots.... I'm a classic Noob.... I need my gear NOW!... I might just grab the Sigma and sell it when 11-16mm hype settles down...
     

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