Are differences in lenses only seen at 100%?

Started Feb 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
Ray Ritchie
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Re: Are differences in lenses only seen at 100%?
In reply to tamasine, Feb 8, 2013

Probably you'd have to start by asking, "100% of what?"

If you're talking about starting from a D800 image (7360x4912) or a D600 image (6016x4016) and downsizing to 1920x1200, then I strongly doubt how often you'd be able to see substantial difference between, say, a 24-70 f/2.8 and a 24-85 f/3.5-4.5VR. Here, for example, is a D800 image taken with the 24-85VR lens, downsized to 2016x1134 (yes, it's cropped, but for esthetic reasons, rather than technical - the lower corners are intact):

Ceiling mural, The Vatican

Technical data: 40mm, f/4.5, ISO 1600, and 1/60 sec.

And here's a full-size image from the same lens at the same location:

Mosaic, St. Peter's Basilica, The Vatican

Technical data: 46mm, f/4.5, ISO 1600, 1/100 sec.

I don't have the 24-70 yet, so can't share comparable images from that one, but the quality of the 24-85VR images both downsized to full screen-size and viewed at full D800 resolution leads me to believe the differences between this and other lenses are unlikely to be noticeable at very much less than full resolution. I'm sure there will be some specific cases (most likely around 24mm) where you can find some differences at, say, half or full resolution, but I don't think you'll see them at 1920x1200.

If you'd like to look at further examples, you can visit my Italy gallery on Flickr, where there are probably at least 90 images from the 24-85 f/3.5-4.5VR; many of them are available at resolutions of 1200 to 1800 pixels on the long side. The gallery can be found here:

Italy

Ray
My blog: http://www.rritchie.com/wordpress

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