Why Does It Seem That Lens Sharpness is the ONLY Critical Factor?

Started Mar 7, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Dandrewk Senior Member • Posts: 1,094
Why Does It Seem That Lens Sharpness is the ONLY Critical Factor?
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Doesn't anyone remember "the good old days", i.e. less than 15 years ago, when lens sharpness was objectively measured and lenses were judged almost entirely on micro contrast, color rendition and dynamic range?

Nowadays, it's all lab instruments judging lens sharpness pixel by pixel. Just how much edge to edge sharpness is really critical, or even -noticeable- without zooming in 1:1? Most modern day lenses are extremely sharp compared to their similar priced lenses of 20 years ago. And besides, sharpness is only ONE factor.

How many times on this forum, regarding the FE24-70 F4.0, do we read: "Gosh, just got the lens, took a few photos and they look -spectacular-, but then I zoomed in 200% and noticed it was soft at 24mm, F4.0, at the edges. So I'm returning it."?

I used to shoot 4x5, Schneider lenses using 50 ISO Fuji Velvia. Looking through a standard 4x loupe, WOW, the detail was amazing! Then I looked through a printers loupe (16x?), and darned if the detail started to get fuzzy. What a crappy lens!

Throw away your printer's loupe folks. There's a lot more to lens' quality than edge to edge sharpness.

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