Lens Reviews Help

Introduction

NOTE - This article relates to lens reviews produced using our 'version 1' widget from 2008 to 2010. Click here for a similar article relating to our more recent lens reviews, produced using our 'version 2' widget in collaboration with DxOMark

Our lens test data is presented through our unique interactive 'widget', which is designed to allow you to explore the optical characteristics of a lens and freely compare it to any other. Three display modes are available, which show Sharpness and Chromatic Aberration, Distortion, and Vignetting; test data is presented for all marked focal lengths on the lens.

Unlike some other sites, we don't concentrate purely on sharpness and present other lens qualities almost as an afterthought; we consider chromatic aberration, distortion and vignetting at an equal level. The reason for this is simple, as these other attributes will often have a more destructive effect on perceived image quality than any softness of the lens. Indeed sharpness may be considered the lens equivalent of megapixels, superficially easy to understand and therefore the property most people think of first, but when taken on its own, far from being the whole story.

The main panel of the widget is arranged in three sections; the menus are along the top, the main data display is in the middle, and the user controls and data readout are at the bottom. The desired focal length and aperture can be selected using either the mouse or the cursor keys (up/down to 'zoom', left/right for aperture). Using the cursor keys becomes especially useful when comparing two lenses.

Below the main window are three further buttons, for full screen mode, accessing this 'help' section, and permalink generation.