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Understanding Lens Performance

Interpreting comparisons is not a trivial exercise; it’s not enough to just take two crops and compare them; an entire mental assessment must be made based on the entire frame.

Here are just some of the issues, assuming that a rigorous test protocol is followed to begin with. And even so, results should be cross-checked by shooting more than once (I did).

Sample variations

Len samples can very significantly. See Brand-new Blur. After years of experience, I’ve learned to recognized lens faults that aren’t inherent to the design, but special attention must be paid here.

Field curvature

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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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