I agree with Philly that this image lacks "pop". Is that a bit of fringing on the plastic bags, top left-hand corner?
backfocus? Was focus on face? The face looks soft, but the orange "350" sign in the back left side looks sharper. For a f4.0 1/80 shot, I would have expected a better technical performance from this lens. I'm not sure why dpreview would post this shot unless it is a representative shot--in which case, it is rather disappointing, in my opinion.
Zoom in and you you'll see the focus is right on the face. However, perceived acuity depends on the contrast between foreground and background.
The orange 350 looks sharper because it has white outlines surrounding the black text.
Well, I looked all around the frame for a sharp focus point, and really didn't find one. You're probably right in that the orange 350 just look sharper. On second look, maybe the round red object to the left is the focus point? I think this lens (maybe just this lens sample?) just doesn't have the micro contrast pop.
If the focus is on the face, it is not very impressive, in my opinion. Just look at the hair. I would have expected more details.
EDIT: forgot to mention, Richard Butler implied that there could be operator error in this photo. That would make much more sense to me. Maybe there was just a little camera shake--even at 1/80 sec?
I think there may have been a fraction of subject movement (the woman changing her facial expression).
The exposure taken just before this one appears to have a touch more sharpness but the subject's eyes are closed and she was leaning forward slightly more, catching the light and therefore exhibiting more contrast.
I think the subject being in the shadows and hence having lower contrast is the main problem.
Thanks, Richard. That makes sense. With that in mind, and your note that the "eyes shut" photo was sharper, I think your comment on overall sharpness of this lens is consistent with what all the review sample photos show. It's not bad--particularly after you apply a bit of sharpening. To me, it's not quite as sharp as the 45mm 1.8 and 20mm 1.7.