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04-11-2011, 04:25 PM   #1
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do we fuss to much?

I appreciate that a great lens is better then just a good lens. But when it all comes down to it, if you don't pixel peek and only use your monitor for your photos, doesn't printing reduce most the advantage an expensive lens has over a cheaper one?
A printer can only reveal so many colors and detail, the rest is an overkill if it can't be revealed?
My wife has a kit lens and I have the sigma 17-70 which cost 3x as much but when it comes to printing, the advantage of a better lens is very narrow unless you always enlarge your prints, then only when you get above 8x10 do you see a difference, but she has 6mp vs. my 10mp which is in the equation also
anyone agree?
can you see a markable difference on print as you do on your computer monitor?

just looking for a debate about the merits of a high performance lens vs bang for the buck lens

any opinions welcome!!

cheers and thanks

04-11-2011, 05:18 PM   #2
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We can talk all day about rendering, "pixie dust," 3D effects, and on and on and on . . . but more expensive glass really can get you some tangible benefits regardless of print size. Among them:

Faster aperture

Better flare resistance

Better contrast

More resistance to chromatic aberration and various geometric distortions

Better sharpness and resolution (particularly important when you're cropping aggressively)

That's just off the top of my head. Of course, even expensive lenses don't always perform WELL on some of these measures, but sometimes they do!

All that having been said, I agree an $800 lens isn't necessarily 4x better than a $200 lens. Diminishing returns certainly do come into effect.
04-11-2011, 05:43 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
do we fuss to much?
We probably do..and the same when it comes to minor scratches, dust etc...
But it's kind of part of the fun of gear talk...and when you're paying a fair amount of money you may be willing to spend a litle more to have a tad more features and the possibility to enlarge as big as possible.
This said you can usually find reasoned valuations that are fair to the quality of all lenses...Before i bought my Kx one of the things i liked about it it's that it came with a decent kit lens, better than those of other brands, when you read about it it's considered a fine lens.
If you are on a budget you will find good reviews, and people who are willing to be objective and consider the options in the light of what's needed and what can be afforded.
04-11-2011, 06:00 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
At f/8, all lenses are pretty much equal.
That just nipped my LBA in the bud!

04-11-2011, 06:47 PM   #5
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I'm wondering this myself.

I don't recall that in the film era, there was as much visible sample variation in lenses as what we're talking about on the forum now, but of course there was no forum then for people to complain to each other. I had several brands of lenses and sets of lenses, and I can definitely say that with the best tools I had available to me at the time (basically a 10x loupe), I was never disappointed in the optical results in any of my pictures. I would occasionally make up to 11x16" prints, and they were obviously... sharp. Of course I sometimes missed focus or jiggled the camera, but none of the lenses were an issue as best as I could tell. Now with my two brands of lenses and 6mp and 10mp bodies, I've had to replace two lenses due to manufacturing defects and have another that has some very visible issues, out of 5 lenses. I can see these problems easily on my 6mp camera, and they're even more visible on my 10mp, so I can only imagine how obvious they would be with higher mp bodies.

I also don't understand the front/back focus issues that we have now, so serious that newer cameras have features built-in to overcome the problems. It seems that having to adjust the camera for each lens today would be like having to shim focusing screens every time we changed lenses in the old days, and of course nobody ever did that, even though we commonly used much faster lenses than most people do today. Focusing the cameras manually today is understandably much more difficult than it was in the past, but I don't understand why a camera today shouldn't be able to focus itself with at least as much accuracy as we could achieve manually in the old days.

Paul
04-11-2011, 08:57 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
At f/8, all lenses are pretty much equal.
The advantages of more expensive lenses show up in more difficult conditions.
Hmmm....maybe for similar lenses. I can certainly tell my da*300 shots from my da55-300 shots all day long. But I tend to print 13x19 so maybe I can cash in all my expensive glass and just print 4x6?

Crushing someone's LBA is just wrong!
04-11-2011, 08:58 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
At f/8, all lenses are pretty much equal.
The advantages of more expensive lenses show up in more difficult conditions.
My FA 28-80mm kit lens is soft wide open, mostly soft at f/8. It's not equal to the 35-70mm or DA40mm at any aperture.
QuoteQuote:
That just nipped my LBA in the bud!
The recent price hikes did it for me. Wanted the FA 43 but it went from 570 to 750 in 1 day.
04-11-2011, 08:59 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by A-z Quote
That just nipped my LBA in the bud!
Yup he's right, I'm selling my all primes and going back to my Sigma 17-70

04-11-2011, 09:50 PM   #9
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But let's face it, we actually want to be able to shoot with thinner DoF than what f/8 provides. Otherwise it wouldn't matter. But I still believe my FA 31 and 43 renders just about anything better than my kit lens at those focal lengths at f/8...
04-12-2011, 12:00 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
to shoot with thinner DoF than what f/8 provides
and bokeh too.
the lovely bokeh melt me down...
04-12-2011, 12:57 AM   #11
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Yes, bokeh is also a lens characteristic that is very difficult to emulate in PP, but makes a big difference in OOF rendering.
04-12-2011, 01:24 AM   #12
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Sure, it's just that all of my critical photography (so far) has been indoor with controlled lighting where I can shoot at f8 or f11, and my 16-45 is producing great results.

Every time I take the camera out is just for fun and I never print from these shots as its always, always shared online.

Totally true about bokeh and OOF, for sure - it's just that I can use my M50 1.7 and M135 instead of lusting after their auto focus equivalents. One of the main reasons I went with pentax in the first place is the ability to use old, cheap glass, and yet I find myself stocking up on new expensive stuff!

Bloody love my 12-24 though and there's no cheap equivalent for that. Oh, and the 16-45 is definitely better than the 18-55 (sharper and more 'zing', both on screen and printed out)
Hmmm, maybe a little DA40 would be handy too... Damn you LBA!!

Last edited by A-z; 04-12-2011 at 01:53 AM.
04-12-2011, 01:51 AM   #13
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You will never see how good a lens is on a computer screen. A top notch print is where a good lens and a bad lens becomes apparent. There aren't that many bad lenses.

The internet fuels LBA. Have at it if that is your thing.
04-12-2011, 01:55 AM   #14
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I have old lenses, and enjoy them very much. It's hard to not-buying an AF lens, but I try my best. I do print photo books for storage, the larger the better. In my case, everyone appreciates and enjoy the books. I think books are better use of money than buying newer AF lenses ;-)
04-12-2011, 04:05 AM   #15
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Original Poster
thanks guys there are some very interesting opinions. the thing I do know is if you are shooting sports, you need a fast lens which usually cost big bucks for the best results.

more opinions welcomed!


thanks
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