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EXCERPT page containing first few paragraphs. 2023-03-29 19:12:27

Know Your Goals

It’s often not just about sharpness when testing a lens; there are often other concerns that make one lens better than another for any particular use. Therefore, testing might be about multiple factors besides sharpness, or even ignore sharpness altogether.

All lenses have design goals and compromises that make them more or less suitable for any particular purpose. The lens that pulls together high sharpness and contrast, low distortion, low vignetting, great flare control and color balance is the one most of us lust after, but something always has to be compromised. Size and weight are always compromised, because if lens size could be doubled, we could all have much better lenses— but ones that would weigh 2-3X as much and cost far more.

Which lens is better?

A frequent question received in email is “Which lens is better?”.

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Diglloyd Making Sharp Images articulates years of best practices and how-to, painstakingly learned over a decade of camera and lens evaluation.

Save yourself those years of trial and error by jump-starting your photographic technical execution when making the image. The best lens or camera is handicapped if the photographer fails to master perfect shot discipline. High-resolution digital cameras are unforgiving of errors, at least if one wants the best possible results.

  • Eases into photographic challenges with an introductory section.
  • Covers aspects of digital sensor technology that relate to getting the best image quality.
  • Technique section discusses every aspect of making a sharp image handheld or on a tripod.
  • Depth of field and how to bypass depth of field limitations via focus stacking.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • MTF, field curvature, focus shift: insight into the limitations of lab tests and why imaging performance is far more complex than it appears.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • How to test a lens for a “bad sample”.

Intrigued? See Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance, PART ONE: The Challenges, or (one topic of many) field curvature.

Same sharpness, but different contrast (f/5.6 vs f/22)
Beware of spurious resolution e.g., the “100” bars; detail is not necessarily real

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