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09-06-2013, 08:51 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Rant about bad PF reviews

I love the reviews here; they are often informative, and reveal the character - strengths and flaws - of the lens in real world environments (as opposed to the labs of PZ, because who buys a lens only to shoot a paper lined with grids?).

But the one thing that annoys me is when someone composed a review almost entirely out of "I wish this lens wasn't this lens". What do I mean by that?

"I wish it had a shorter focal distance"; "I don't understand why Pentax would make this range"; "I wish this zoom were really a prime"; "I wish this 31 were really a 55"; "It would be great if this fisheye wasn't a fisheye"; "I wish this telephoto were a fisheye"; etc...

I get sometimes a con of a lens might be its slow nature (like the 15mm); but to write an ENTIRE post about the 15mm being slow? You know that the moment you pick it up.

It is just infuriating when people write only about all the things the lens isn't when they should have known that to begin with. It might be a shocking suggestion, but read the information on the lens before you use it - it's right there, on the box, on the lens, on the paperwork. Don't penalize the lens for what it isn't - just write about what it is and how it handles the job it was designed to do.

ps - not sure if this is the correct sub forum to put this in; if not, I'd ask the moderators to move it.

09-06-2013, 09:10 AM   #2
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Welcome to the internet :P
09-06-2013, 09:14 AM   #3
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I take everything with a grain of salt. If the review was thoughtfully composed with evidence to back it up regardless if pos+ or neg-, I'll pay more attention to that and give it more credibility.
09-06-2013, 09:16 AM   #4
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Yeah. Like the ratings on manual lenses:

Cons: Manual.

Everyone knows it's a manual lens. If it is rated negative for being manual why not get the AF version (if there are) instead?

09-06-2013, 09:16 AM   #5
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I deal with Amazon customers. They are the same way.
09-06-2013, 09:16 AM   #6
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A similar issue arises when giving a numerical grade to a lens.
Do you grade it absolutely, or do you grade it relative to what it is?

So do you downgrade the DA 15 for "only" having f/4,
or do you disregard the apparent slowness because it's a Limited lens that needs to be small,
or because it's a wide-angle lens that can be shot handheld at 1/15th second or longer?
09-06-2013, 09:29 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I read the reviews a lot, especially before I buy. I go through all of them and look for recurring themes and ignore the stupid stuff. I tend to ignore the numbers too.
09-06-2013, 09:44 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Action Jackson Quote
I take everything with a grain of salt. If the review was thoughtfully composed with evidence to back it up regardless if pos+ or neg-, I'll pay more attention to that and give it more credibility.
I used to able to do this. Since my wife has been watching my salt intake, it gets more difficult. I need to take my Kindle Fire under the blanket to read the reviews in peace. I really miss the good potato chips too.

Seriously, I couldn't agree more. Reading thoroughly and keeping in mind WHY you want a particular lens, as others have said, is key. While I'm trying to get my collection to the higher rating numbers it's definitely not what drives me all of the time.

Jeff


Last edited by jamarley; 09-06-2013 at 09:51 AM. Reason: added text
09-06-2013, 10:46 AM   #9
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Actually, those bad reviews don't bother me that much because you can tell straight away to ignore it.

What is worse is when someone raves about something, giving it a 10, and it's not so obvious that they've never really experienced anything better. I could give some examples, especially when it comes to manual lenses, of lenses that just aren't that great but someone's really excited about them. That is why I'm not going to write any lens reviews until I've at least tried some Limited lenses, so I can have a better understanding of what a 10 really is.

Also, I have to say that some lenses are probably better than people give them credit for. The pixel-peepers might sneer at a lens that is not sharp enough in the corners, but the lens might still have beautiful rendering, color and contrast. It also seems like some people reviewing something already have pre-conceived notions about it before they even tried it (this or that coating or lack thereof, for example).

And you can't discount the fact that a great photographer can make a mediocre lens on an OK camera give stunning results. I've seen that recently when seeing some pics taken with a K20D and a non-SMC Takumar budget zoom. I know I couldn't have taken pics as good as those, if I had a K-5 IIs and a Limited prime. In fact, I just found them:





If you go by the reviews of that lens, you'd think it's a paper weight.
09-06-2013, 10:53 AM   #10
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I don't know. I agree that it is silly to comment a lot about the "usefulness" of a particular focal length, except to say why you haven't connected with a particular lens. I would say something like that when comparing the DA *55 and the FA 77 (I like the 55mm focal length better than the 77mm focal length). Speed of a lens, softness wide open need to be mentioned at least in passing.

Sometimes, a lens will not have the greatest of specs and still be a joy to shoot. Perfect example is the DA 15 limited, where it is slow, a little soft wide open, but still has almost magical rendering as compared to similar lenses.
09-06-2013, 10:53 AM   #11
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Actually, those bad reviews don't bother me that much because you can tell straight away to ignore it.

What is worse is when someone raves about something, sometimes even giving it a 10, and it's not so obvious that they've never really experienced anything better. I could give some examples, especially when it comes to manual lenses, of lenses that just aren't that great but someone's really excited about them. That is why I'm not going to write any lens reviews until I've at least tried some Limited lenses, so I can have a better understanding of what a 10 really is.

Also, I have to say that some lenses are probably better than people give them credit for. The pixel-peepers might sneer at a lens that is not sharp enough in the corners, but the lens might still have beautiful rendering, color and contrast. It also seems like some people reviewing something already have pre-conceived notions about it before they even tried it (this or that coating or lack thereof, for example).

And you can't discount the fact that a great photographer can make a mediocre lens on an OK camera give stunning results. I've seen that recently when seeing some pics taken with a K20D and a non-SMC Takumar budget zoom. I know I couldn't have taken pics as good as those, if I had a K-5 IIs and a Limited prime. In fact, I just found them:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25926212@N03/7182838967

Angelito | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

If you go by the reviews of that lens, you'd think it's a paper weight.

Edit: for some reason my images didn't work, so I put links instead.
09-06-2013, 01:31 PM   #12
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Pentax DA* 60-250 which was rated as a 1 !!
Shows here: SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

I never thought this lens would "deserve" a 1 !!

So, I believe that the reviews are very useful for anyone looking to buy a specific lens, and get some feedback from actual users, but the comments (whether positive or negative) must be cautiously considered.

JP
09-06-2013, 01:39 PM   #13
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jpzk - I think that this review you pointed out is a misuse of the reviews database, and possibly some trolling on the part of the user. It should be deleted.

Maybe reviews should have a "report" option? I'd certainly report that review, for the stupidity of it.
09-06-2013, 01:44 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Pentax DA* 60-250 which was rated as a 1 !!
Shows here: SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

I never thought this lens would "deserve" a 1 !!

So, I believe that the reviews are very useful for anyone looking to buy a specific lens, and get some feedback from actual users, but the comments (whether positive or negative) must be cautiously considered.

JP
Should any lens deserve a 1? I doubt any currently in production lenses should. Seemed like the reviewer's problem was not the lens itself, but what wasn't available from Pentax (a 200-400mm lens). Silly to down grade a decent lens, just because another lens isn't available.
09-06-2013, 02:19 PM   #15
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There ARE a coupl'a moderators --

First, check the personal profile of the submitter and the list of equipment.

Second, check the number of legitimate posts and activity over a period of time.

Third, agree that ?? number of valid complaints, combined with the above checks, could result in flagging the questionable review with a cautionary note or an out right deletion of the post.

Perhaps a PM challenge of some reviews would result in either a retraction or reasonable supporting information. (Some well meaning folks also simply feel they must provide some sort of negative response for the CON entry and don't know what else to say.)

Negation's become a tough call in this politically correct world but some one's got to wield a veto vote to make intentional abuse go away. If the reviews are most useful to the less informed, then administrative steps to protect the validity of the reviews is appropriate and would result in more credibility for all.

H2
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