Are poor lenses just as good on full frame cameras as good lenses?

Started Nov 18, 2008 | Discussions thread
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ben sensler
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Are poor lenses just as good on full frame cameras as good lenses?
Nov 18, 2008

There has been a lot of speculation about how good a lens needs to be to exploit the resolution potential of a full frame sensor. If you shoot only landscapes, maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe a $100 lens will do just as well as a $1,000 lens.

The argument goes like this: At landscape apertures (f8 and smaller), all lenses (according to the tests I've looked at and according to my own experience) are more or less equally sharp. Extra money might buy you better resolution than cheap lenses provide but only at wide apertures where cheap lenses typically are not very sharp. Since landscapes generally require small apertures for depth of field and since landscape photographers generally shoot from tripods, who needs L lenses? If cheapo lenses set at f8 and smaller aren't sharp enough to exploit a full frame sensor, then expensive lenses would not be sharp enough either. Never mind even more equalizing apertures like f16 of f22 where it would be inconceivable that an expensive lens would outperform a cheap lens

Is this argument valid or am I in denial about the need to spring for expensive (and heavy) glass?

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