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When reading any page in this review, take your own assumptions and goals into account, and relate those to the discussion to verify that the way the test has been done meshes with your own working habits.

For example, shooting JPEG with noise reduction enabled might produce significantly different results than RAW without noise reduction. Or shooting under mercury vapor lights as compared with evenly-balanced 5000°K lighting (daylight).

Testing and assumptions

The assumptions in testing matter a lot, so much so that a test can be perfectly designed and performed, but inapplicable in some cases. Let’s discuss lens tests to illustrate. The same applies to noise and other areas.

Today the popular trend is to assign numeric values to everything: a lens can be assigned rating(s) based on arbitrary assumptions (assume a flat field, test at close range, etc). This yields a very good idea of how a lens performs under specific circumstances on a test target, and so if you shoot test targets the results are eminently useful and scientifically defensible; variables are held constant (assuming focus and focus shift are accounted for). Unfortunately, real world images don’t work that way.

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diglloyd Advanced Photography

diglloyd Advanced Photography includes hundreds of pages of exclusive coverage and high resolution, Retina-grade example pictures detailing Canon and Nikon DSLR bodies and their lenses, with in-depth analysis of sharpness and contrast, color, bokeh, vignetting, distortion, MTF, and flare. Also included is a wealth of in-context technique and workflow insight. Since 2006, diglloyd Advanced Photography is the authoritative review and on-line reference for discerning Canon and Nikon shooters. Subscriptions cost $ per year.

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