New large sensors limited by the lens in low light?

Started Aug 30, 2011 | Discussions thread
Antisthenes
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Re: New large sensors limited by the lens in low light?
In reply to Graystar, Sep 3, 2011

Graystar wrote:

GregGory wrote:

Considering the new 16Mp m43, and 24MP APS-c sensors. Maybe we haven't reached this limit yet, but I would expect some (especially legacy) lenses wide open cannot resolve these new dense sensors, hence we end up with the higher total noise of the added pixels, but cannot offset it by an equally higher signal (resolution). IOW, we end up with a worse S/N, not due to the sensor technology, but due to the limited resolving power of the lens.

Is this a correct assumption?

No...completely wrong. Other than its ability to transmit light, the lens has nothing to do with the amount of noise. Not considering system noise sources (which modern design has reduced to extremely low levels) the shot noise in an image depends only on the amount of light collected.

I actually think that GregGory's hunch is quite sensible:

As explained above, if the lens' MTF is insufficient to deliver the benefits of decreased Nyquist and HF noise, the balance could tilt towards a degradation of IQ due to increased LF noise.

Note, however, that my impression is that even inexpensive kit lenses still have sufficient optical performance that they are not the factor limiting the noise-dependent IQ, even with a 24MP APS-C sensor.

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