Lens to lens quality.....

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by PNA, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. PNA

    PNA TPF Noob!

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    Question: Lenses being what they are, how much quality is sacrificed if you factor out construction and speed? Any test available for review?

    As you can see, I’m a Nikon buff.
     
  2. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Sorry, I'm a bit confused by the question here... which lenses?
     
  3. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    Check out the manufacturers MTF charts and reviews on performance. They give you a jist of what to expect. There on online reviews and sample images all over the web. A couple that I have used are from luminous-landscapes.com (more Canon though), fredmiranda, dpreview. Than go to a shop and test them out if you can. That is the real test.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    www.photozone.de has a multitude of lenses which they test for sharpness CA distortion and vignetting. It seems pretty accurate based based on my own image based tests on some lenses in the review.
     
  5. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As with everything man made, we see a piece to piece variance due to manufacturing tolerance and human error in assembly. More so with consumer price brand name lenses and third party glass. (IMHO) The pro quality glass is made and assembled to a higher standard and the purchase price reflects it. Nothing I've stated is earth shattering news to anyone I'm sure. With any lens we can get the proverbial lemon. At times I think I'm the prime lemon squeezer. Luckily never with my camera gear, but if we consider cars and consumer electronics, well that's another story.
     
  6. PNA

    PNA TPF Noob!

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    What I'm really asking is, at 50mm f/8 let's say, will a higher priced lens produce better overall quality than a less expensive one (same manufacture)?

    And, thanks for the web sites and references......
     
  7. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Not necessarily. I mean, are we talking about 50mm primes here? Or including any zoom lens that covers 50mm? A fast zoom is going to cost a lot more than a fast 50 prime, but it probably won't give better quality at 50mm.

    Also consider that a 50mm f/1.2 is going to cost a lot more than a f/1.4 or f/1.8. It won't necessarily produce a better image though, because what you're paying for is primarily the unusually large max aperture, not the overall quality of the images it can produce. Another example would be to compare Canon's 70-200mm f/4 with their f/2.8. The f/2.8 costs more to make, and has the obvious speed advantage, hence it costs a lot more. But if anything, the slower lens here may actually produce better image quality than the faster one.

    It's easy to think in terms of "You get what you pay for"... and you do, but you're not only paying for optical quality. Generally you pay more for good zooms than good primes. Sometimes you pay for build quality and quality control, sometimes you pay for speed, and sometimes you pay for unique features that don't have much to do with the optical quality of the lens.

    In other words higher price is usually an indicator of "better" glass but it's definitely not a guarantee of it... if optical quality is your priority then I wouldn't choose lenses by the highest price alone (unless you have money coming out your ears :lol: ). Some of the better review sites like Photozone are a good way to check the qualities of each lens, and user comments on sites like FredMiranda can be helpful (but are usually far from objective).
     

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