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04-01-2007, 07:41 AM   #1
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A professionals way of choosing a lens

There is a very good friend of mine that has just retired from professional photograpy. He was in business for over 50 years doing all forms of shooting. Here is how he would choose a lense. He would go to his store (Lens and repro in NYC) and buy six 6 lenses, Same brand focal length and speed. He would then go back to his studio and proceed to test all of them. Then he would choose the best one for sharpness and return the rest. His theory is this, ALL LENSES ARE NOT EQUAL. Even zeiss lenses would have differences in them. Even though the lens design is the same all lenses for the most part are not. The engineers would design them but not make them. In design they would be optimim but in constuction there would be some variance in one lens in the lens that would make a slight difference in some way.
This makes sense. To me that is why one person has a tack sharp lens and someone else with the same lens doesn't. In today's manufacturing process there is more control in testing but test results of that lens or any lense is given a + or - tolerance factor.
do you think for one moment that a major lense manufacture would pull any lens off the shelf and send it to a magazine for testing and not worry about the results. they pick the best one that tested the best and send those lenses.
they want to sell lenses not get crappy reviews, although sometimes I wonder.

Made a lot of sense to me, I just thought I would pass that on since there was so much discussion on lense sharpness ,contrast, etc. . I will not get mad or insulted if you disagree, but the same to you fella.
Happy shooting, keep the shutter actuations high.


04-01-2007, 08:12 AM   #2
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no doubt - cherrypicking is probably the best way to go about it. The problem lies in having the money to lay out for 6 lenses at one time. Another concern is finding 6 of any one type of pentax lens (most of the new models trickle onto the store shelves in small batches - with many used models it is hard to find one example much less six). I just buy one copy and judge the image that it produces (If I like it and feel that it was worth the money I keep it, if I don't like it I return it). In all honesty I don't think I would have the patience to test 6 lenses (or the eye to pick out the incredibly small differences between lenses).
04-01-2007, 08:28 AM   #3
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I gotta say though - I did have to return a 77ltd once. The focusing was really stiff and "grindy" sounding. The replacement was very smooth (I couldn't see any real difference in the quality of the images they captured though). So you are definately correct in saying that all lenses are not created equal.
04-01-2007, 10:00 AM   #4
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I don't have the luxury of buying out all the lenses at once, but at least my store is friendly enough to let me try out at least two of the same lens in the store at a time when they know I will buy at least one.


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