Thom 16-85VR and 18-105 DX review is up

Started Feb 16, 2009 | Discussions thread
Thom Hogan Forum Pro • Posts: 13,659
Re: To Thom

BasilG wrote:

It's true that distortion and vignetting are certainly not stellar.
But if found it very good in terms of versatility and I liked the
fact that I got sharp shots without worrying about focal length and
aperture settings. I think that's what made me like it - maybe I'm
too "sharpness-centered" in my evaulation.

Okay, what I'm about to right is not a criticism. I'm not trying to diss anyone here, so please don't take it that way.

However....what I find is that photographers go through stages. Often, "sharpness" is an initial stage when it comes to lenses. After all, if your eyes are sharp, the photo should be, too. (At workshops I talk as much about intentional out-of-focus as intentional in-focus). Next step with lenses is usually recognition of edge to edge effects, which includes differences in sharpness and, of course, vignetting. (At workshops I often spend a lot of time putting vignetting back into images). This is then followed by recognition of pixel level defects (both forms of chromatic aberration, coma, highlight defects, etc.). Eventually, the photographer recognizes that a zoom lens is not just about "cropping" from the same position (the 18-200mm is better than 16-85mm arguments), but in flexibility of position to near objects versus far (perspective).

These stages go on forever ; ).

As some of my students can tell you, I can quickly rattle off 99 plus factors to consider before pressing the shutter release and how they all relate to one another, and I'm pretty sure my long-term students think I spend all my time discovering new ones so that they can never master them all ; ).

The joy is in the process, not in the completion (there IS no completion! ; ).

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Thom Hogan
author, Complete Guides to Nikon bodies (18 and counting)

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