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04-22-2021, 12:51 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Lens Club v Lens Reviews

You've decided on the focal length you want and waded back and forth through the relevant lens club and finally decided on the version of the lens that's going to make you the greatest photographer ever, even if means remortgaging the house and a divorce and then you think "wonder what the reviews say" so you wander over and read every review and you start getting worried because this guy says this and another says something else and it starts to look like your choice might not be the best so you start sweating bricks are you really going to buy the right one.

Of course this is all subjective and the images you see on screen may not reveal everything you want to know, there has to be some scientific base for comparing lenses that the forum could run. Back in the day when film was king the magazines used to be able to give detailed test results so you could actually have an idea how sharp a lens was in comparison to a known standard, which if I remember correctly was the Zeiss Planar on a selected film.

I do realise that film resolution is one thing and digital another, made all the more complex by the disparity between sensors, screen resolutions, processing programs and you name it.

Following several weeks of sleepless nights you abandon the whole idea and decide to stick with what you have, at least it stops the "what's the matter with you now, you've been going round like a bear with a sore head........................".

04-22-2021, 01:02 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Two really big factors to keep in mind when you "journey down this rabbit hole", as I often do:

There is most certainly sample variation among lenses (helps you not put too much stock in a single review)
~and~
Keeping your sensor format in mind (APS vs FF), only reviews using the same or greater resolution than you are using are relevant (helps you weed out irrelevant reviews)
04-22-2021, 01:05 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by PenPusher Quote
and finally decided on the version of the lens that's going to make you the greatest photographer ever
I realise you are using artistic licence here, but many make the implied mistake. A great lens will not improve the pictures of a mediocre photographer.
04-22-2021, 01:10 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I want to see photos taken with the lens in question, along with the reviews...

I'll go to flickr and look up photos there, plus our own photo archive here....

04-22-2021, 01:17 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
A great lens will not improve the pictures of a mediocre photographer.
What?, don't say that!. It has too how else can I improve without making an effort .

QuoteOriginally posted by PenPusher Quote
Following several weeks of sleepless nights you abandon the whole idea and decide to stick with what you have
I tend to divert to another lens, rinse and repeat.
04-22-2021, 01:55 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kevin B123 Quote
What?, don't say that!. It has too how else can I improve without making an effort .
The trick there is not in buying lenses, instead you need to buy the latest and greatest Sony or Canon mirrorless body, or possibly one of those phones with the 108MP sensor or a fruit for a logo. With those the kit lens you get will out perform anything you currently own
04-22-2021, 02:28 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
I realise you are using artistic licence here, but many make the implied mistake. A great lens will not improve the pictures of a mediocre photographer.
I heartily agree with you, but if I see the Ricoh teasers of the K-3 III, but also the old Pentax flyers that I used to have they try to lure to the camera shop more or less promising that you will make better pictures if you buy that new lens or camera. All the company's do this. A sidestep: If you read an advertisement from Microsoft about their new Office suite they tell you about all the new features that make you "more productive". But instead of doing your work better you get trapped in all the possibilities the program offers. We all know that it is the woman or man behind the camera that makes the picture and the composition and that the camera and lens are just a means to making the picture. But it is easier to state that you need a new lens to make better pictures than to state that you think that you are a lousy photographer!
04-22-2021, 02:55 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by PenPusher Quote
You've decided on the focal length you want and waded back and forth through the relevant lens club and finally decided on the version of the lens that's going to make you the greatest photographer ever, even if means remortgaging the house and a divorce and then you think "wonder what the reviews say" so you wander over and read every review and you start getting worried because this guy says this and another says something else and it starts to look like your choice might not be the best so you start sweating bricks are you really going to buy the right one.

Of course this is all subjective and the images you see on screen may not reveal everything you want to know, there has to be some scientific base for comparing lenses that the forum could run. Back in the day when film was king the magazines used to be able to give detailed test results so you could actually have an idea how sharp a lens was in comparison to a known standard, which if I remember correctly was the Zeiss Planar on a selected film.

I do realise that film resolution is one thing and digital another, made all the more complex by the disparity between sensors, screen resolutions, processing programs and you name it.

Following several weeks of sleepless nights you abandon the whole idea and decide to stick with what you have, at least it stops the "what's the matter with you now, you've been going round like a bear with a sore head........................".
From time to time I get told I'm over-thinking it. Do you think this is what you're doing?

Is lens perfection what you seek? There's some validity to that if you need 100% accuracy I guess, but none of my lenses are perfect. Which includes all seven of my Zeiss lenses.

The way I've looked at it is focal length. What appeals to me from researching subjects and images of that subject etc. I then narrow that down to the important bits: what appeals to me and what do I want to do with the lens.

So long as I can capture the images I like I don't care about the imperfections. Sure, my Zeiss Makro Planar 2/100 turns highlights at F2 into a sea of purple fringing, but I'm aware of that and adapt what I'm trying to do to minimise/avoid the problem.

If photography kept me awake at night I don't think I'd be doing it.

Find the lenses you like and just enjoy creating I reckon, but good luck with working it all out.

Tas

04-22-2021, 03:08 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
I realise you are using artistic licence here, but many make the implied mistake. A great lens will not improve the pictures of a mediocre photographer.
With great lens even mediocre photographer may produce good picture from time to time. Just shoot a lot and be selective.
04-22-2021, 03:13 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by PenPusher Quote
Following several weeks of sleepless nights you abandon the whole idea and decide to stick with what you have, at least it stops the "what's the matter with you now, you've been going round like a bear with a sore head........................".
That sounds like "analysis paralysis."
04-22-2021, 05:13 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by PenPusher Quote

Following several weeks of sleepless nights you abandon the whole idea and decide to stick with what you have, at least it stops the "what's the matter with you now, you've been going round like a bear with a sore head........................".
You sound like my wife buying a loaf of bread. I can usually walk through the whole grocery and come back before she decides. I do research a lens purchase quite a bit, but take reviews with a grain of salt. "Pro" reviews get a little goofy an over exaggerate any "perceived" flaws, and obviously they are biased even if they don't mean to be. User reviews are also biased, many will glow about a new lens to justify their own purchase, but there are no standards for user reviews. You will pick up a lot here just reading different threads, you will learn to respect the opinions of some users more than others. Use that and sample images on Pentax Forums, and go to Flickr and see more real samples.
04-22-2021, 06:12 PM   #12
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I found if I read enough reviews (several from several different sources) I can get an idea of what the general consensus of others' opinions are, but I am the one making the decision so what I think matters most.
04-22-2021, 08:28 PM   #13
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This is how I use the reviews.

1. Weathered old bat of a user or gushing new owner. - new buyer bias can be very high as well as experience/in-experience
2. Is the reviewer the "I'm the greatest photog there is and I need a lens that matches my impeccable standards" type, or a down to Earth real world shooter, or an armchair theorist who never posts any photos.
3. Look at the reasons why the lens was marked up/down
04-22-2021, 08:57 PM   #14
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This is a modern lens for a detailed cityscape - well it was, in 1958. Taken with a Kodak Retina 50mm f2.8 rangefinder on Kodak film. I suppose a 60 year newer lens will put this to shame from what I gather.

[IMG][/IMG]
04-22-2021, 09:27 PM   #15
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Sometimes having the sharpest lens turns out to be less important. Ansel Adams once de-focused a sharp negative so the worm holes in the leaves wouldn't be so obvious. The most important thing is knowing how to get the result you want.
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