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01-16-2013, 07:57 PM   #1
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Comparing DA 35mm f2.4 with DA-L 18-55mm

Is it just me or do I just not notice any improvement at all? Even pixel peeping to the best of my ability leaves me inconclusive.

I believe it is focused on her right hand. On tripod with both using f4.5, iso 100 and 4 second exposure.

I actually think I got worse results using the prime with the spice rack layout.

(1) IMGP0026 = Kit lens
(2) IMGP0027 = Prime lens
(3) IMGP0017 = Kit lens
(4) IMGP0019 = Prime lens

I still like having the extra f-stops, but I thought the IQ would jump up at least a little bit.

*The uploaded photos are quite a bit lower in quality than the ones in my lightroom :x

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01-16-2013, 08:03 PM   #2
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What's up with the yucky bokeh in #2?

As far as the comparison goes, you should try not to move the camera from one test photo to the other. Also, you probably won't see much of a difference (for web-sized images) until distortion, flare, and vignetting start playing a role.

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01-16-2013, 08:35 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
What's up with the yucky bokeh in #2?

As far as the comparison goes, you should try not to move the camera from one test photo to the other. Also, you probably won't see much of a difference (for web-sized images) until distortion, flare, and vignetting start playing a role.
Well, it was stopped down to f4.5, so...
And yeah, it's pretty much impossible to draw any conclusions using web-sized images. Try to show us some 100% crops
01-16-2013, 08:40 PM   #4
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I only notice the dirty sensor

01-17-2013, 02:59 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by calculator01 Quote
I only notice the dirty sensor
Or dirty wall?
01-17-2013, 03:02 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by teylix Quote
Is it just me or do I just not notice any improvement at all?
The kit lens does have its sweet spot around 35mm.
01-17-2013, 05:47 PM   #7
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*cough* ... wall has a few spots. dont judge me :P

I can notice it's slightly better in the prime lens.

First picture (29) is the kit lens
Second picture (28) is the prime lens.

Edit: Since max image on site is 1200x800.. I did a 1200x800 crop rectangle... is that pretty much 100% crop?

Trying to figure out how to do it easily in lightroom but apparently there is no easy way.
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01-17-2013, 06:06 PM   #8
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lets just save you some testing and tell you that the prime lens gives sharper results, has faster AF, better flare resistance, fewer chromatic aberration and faster max aperture. Keep in mind that when you have a studio type setup and control the light and focus and everything, the differences will be minized. Even an iphone will give good results if you put it on a tripod and use a good light and manual mode and do some swanky post processing.
The other thing is, the DA 35mm is the cheapest prime and if you buy one, it costs around the same as the kit lens. So while there is a difference, its not as big as it would be with a top-tier prime.

The only other explanation might be that you either got a really amazing copy of the kit lens or a poor copy of the DA 35mm. Use whichever you will enjoy more, but prime lenses really shine when you know what you are doing and shoot raw. Oh, and they also make you think about the composition/framing differently, which can help a photographer grow.

01-17-2013, 06:25 PM   #9
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teylix - you do make an important point. In good shooting conditions, stopped down a bit, avoiding the extremes of the zoom range, viewing at the size most people view at (screen or A4 print max.), there will be little visible difference between pics from the 18-55 and from more expensive lenses. Which is why most people will be perfectly happy with the kit zooms. Quite rightly too. It's when shooting or viewing conditions are more challenging that the difference emerge.

And I bet if you applied just a dab of sharpening to your 18-55 sample it would be even harder to tell the difference, particularly without viewing the two images side-by-side.
01-17-2013, 07:38 PM   #10
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There isn't, in Lightroom. I usually just crop to whatever factor seems correct.

The second image is a lot sharper, btw. Look at the colorful people in the bowl to the left.
01-17-2013, 10:22 PM   #11
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The difference will be greater in the corners than the center. The centers will be pretty close around f8, the corners never quite get there. If you end up with photos showing that the kit lens is better, the focus is probably slightly different with each lens, Focus is really tricky to match. Since you're on a tripod, try using CDAF (live view).
01-18-2013, 12:59 AM - 3 Likes   #12
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With the 35/2.4, you're not paying extra for big improvements in stopped-down performance, you're paying for a usable f/2.4 in a smaller package. I will say though, that I find the 18-55 underrated. It's a fine lens in its sweet spot, and still quite usable outside, for instance at 18mm:


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