DxOMark : Ricoh GR lens Vs Nikon coolpix A lens

Started Jun 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
RussellInCincinnati
Senior MemberPosts: 3,197
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thanks for Nikon A/Ricoh GR lens comparison
In reply to Ray Sachs, Jun 13, 2013

Ray Sachs: ...the Nikon lens tested very slightly better overall than the Ricoh, just as the sensor tested very slightly better, but I don't see ANY of it...really can't see ANYTHING between them except for these lens corner issues...not meaningfully.

This could not be clearer. It's even easier for me to interpret lens test charts now, thanks again. Saw the DPreview charts with corner targets comparing the Ricoh GR to the Nikon Coolpix A (test fragment shown below, Ricoh GR on top, Nikon below). Sure you can see that the corners are rendered differently in the super-magnified test chart world, with more visible bars to count with the Ricoh.

But can also see how annoyingly moire-prone the Ricoh is on top (if you're even thinking about finest detail in the first place), and how there's plenty of detail for corner purposes in the Nikon test chart.

And thinking how impossible it would be for me to want look for or depend on perfect corner clarity at F/2.8. It would only be by accident, since can't remember a single photo taken, ever, in decades, for business or pleasure, where corner resolution was "important" (itself so improbable), where didn't take also take great pains to make sure the aperture used was much smaller than F/2.8 for depth of field reasons.

Once you get done sharpening an image (where with zone sharpening it's trivial to make the acutance of an area look better, even if there's not too much finest detail), and thinking about how many of my own well-framed F/2.8 photos in the last 10 years had something that was real important to render with icy clarity in the extreme corners (somewhere between zero and zero), was suspecting and you've confirmed that there's not a dime's worth of practical difference between the Nikon Coolpix A lens and the Ricoh GR's, at least in the corner resolution department.

Hmm, that is probably part of the brilliance of many lens designs, reflected in big iron such as the Zeiss/Alpha 24-70/2.8 zoom down to little lenses like the Nikon Coolpix A's. Why not let the F/2.8 corners frizz a little bit, where no demanding user is going to expect or achieve focus perfection anyway, in order to get many, many other more desirable qualities such as central clarity, overall contrast/flare resistance, cost/size/weight, zoom action, bokeh (often screwed up by aspherical elements that are chasing corner resolution), lateral and axial color correction, purple fringing resistance, freedom from focus shift, etc etc etc.

Ricoh GR F/2.8 on top, Nikon Coolpix A F/2.8 below, both extreme corners ridiculously magnified.

Hmm, did find an un-memorable photo in my files where possibly fine corner details could be noticed/appreciated (by a person who would certainly not be fun to be caught in an elevator with). But sure enough, took that once-in-a-blue-moon image at F/11 for that very possibility. Put another way, there would have been zero possibility of the corners of this scene being clear, with the rest of the image right too, at F/2.8, no matter what quality of lens was used (here a $50 dollar plastic Sony Alpha kit zoom).

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