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Thread: Buying Lens

  1. #1
    Member doremonx's Avatar
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    Default Buying Lens

    I often see from the forum that someone commented that he got a "sharp copy" of certain lens. Some said the "copy he got is not that sharp, going back for an exchange".

    I believe not all are built the same, probably some quality issues. However, what is the guideline for accepting a particular lens and what is the guideline that will be allowed for an exchange?

    I know this may be personal judgement (sharp to you is not sharp enough for me, or vice versa) but would appreciate some general comments here. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Buying Lens

    erm, before going to buy a lens, logically, one should do some research first. now what does research here mean?

    1) browse through reviews. but take reviews with a pinch of salt. they may not always be accurate or objective.

    2) search pbase for samples of photos taken with the lens that you are looking for.

    just by doing the abovementioned, you should get a picture of how sharp a lens should be. granted you may not get to see 100% crops, but atleast you have an idea.

    so when you go buy your lens, you can choose to bring a laptop down to test on the spot, or just zoom in using your camera's lcd monitor. take at different apertures and see if it is sharp or not.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Buying Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by doremonx
    I often see from the forum that someone commented that he got a "sharp copy" of certain lens. Some said the "copy he got is not that sharp, going back for an exchange".

    I believe not all are built the same, probably some quality issues. However, what is the guideline for accepting a particular lens and what is the guideline that will be allowed for an exchange?

    I know this may be personal judgement (sharp to you is not sharp enough for me, or vice versa) but would appreciate some general comments here. Thanks.
    Sharpness has a long history ever since people started using glass to capture light. If u use german optics before, you know what is sharp. Comparing the same brand with different lens usually don't give you much insight and the price does not tells you much. I have a 70-200 f2.8L, its not as sharp as my 50 f1.8. Just like after driving a BMW, go try a toyota, you will really know what is sleek!

    We must admit that digital photography is an much easier platform to enjoy photography. Just like manual film cam is succeeded by AF cam and now digi cam takes over.

    I've spoken to many digi-only photographers and they are seriously lacking in a lot of photographic knowledge, basic ones but are knowledgeable of those digital jargons....opposite of myself even though I shoot digi also.

    In films, sharpness is something that can only be achieved at that very moment when the shutter button is down. And that makes the print or slides especially important because you do not do anymore post processing. We used to spend every cents on good glass and agrue about whether to put a UV filter on lenses will further distort the quality of the photo taken etc. We are that particular. Am I right film users?

    With a lot of post processing required, digitized photos allows people to acquire more skills to help on their photos to make them more interesting and creative. This, has many practical uses which is why they are fast becoming the new toy for hobbyist and working pros.

    We use to submit only slides (which has a much lesser tolerant for exposure mistakes) for mags and press and with a simple 8x lupe, every thing that doesn't say sharp is a waste effort that get store back to the dry cabi for many years to come. Sharpness does matter in a way.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Buying Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Maltese
    In films, sharpness is something that can only be achieved at that very moment when the shutter button is down. And that makes the print or slides especially important because you do not do anymore post processing. We used to spend every cents on good glass and agrue about whether to put a UV filter on lenses will further distort the quality of the photo taken etc. We are that particular. Am I right film users?
    You are right! I shoot digital very much the same way as shooting film, therefore, I put optics as the top priority. I'm not a very post processing person, so I shoot mostly JPEG and the selected ones just go straight to the lab as it is. I used to make my own colour prints but it seems that with digital, I can't do that anymore unless I succumb to using inkjets.
    Last edited by lsisaxon; 20th February 2006 at 12:49 PM.

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