Request for all non-pixel-peepers

Started Sep 30, 2010 | Discussions thread
Hammon Photo Regular Member • Posts: 111
Pixel Peeping is like judging a fine wine by looking at the molecules

There are a couple of points I would like to make by this comparison:

1) Most people do not know what they are looking at. Zooming into a 15 to 20 megapixel image, does not always give the results people expect. There are far too many elements that go into an image at the pixel level to use it to evaluate a lens. At least without a VERY control environment, tools and expert testers. These include - the sensor, accuracy of the exposure, subject matter, subject matter and alignment with brier sensor pattern and anti-alias screen, camera usage, etc. The fact of the matter is most people do not know what they are looking at and what contributed to those pixels being the way they are. Many comparisons I have seen posted, were not even exposed the same.

2) There are many factors that make a lens good – Contrast, color contrast, color accuracy, sharpness, over all sharpness, corner IQ, aberrations (chromatic abrasion, pin/barrel distortions, etc.), effects of the iris on DOF, Flare, ghosting, etc. etc. etc. Most of which are not evident at the pixel level.

3) Then there is the whole discussion of the lens and its appropriateness to the shot/shooting style of the photographer. I may lover my 85mm f1.2, but some people would not be able to use it to produce anything they like in the way the shoot.

4) Many lenses (especially expensive lenses) tend to be designed for specific shooting situations, and when used outside that situation will not perform as well. Not all lenses are general purpose lenses.

What I am trying to say, is that many people who drill in to 100% and start comparing lenses often miss the bigger picture (yes pun) and that is how good is the overall image quality (when looking at the full image)? How good does all of these element combined to produce and image. Most examples I have seen posted, even in reputable reviews, are pretty suspect, especially when they place a lot of emphasis on just that comparison. I really think that the best way to test a lens is to shoot it for a while. Try lens rental places or borrow and see what the overall impression is. Yes that might include drilling into 100%, but more looking at the overall image quality and how your shots look.

I rarely look at my images at 100%. My favorite lenses stand out most when I look at the images they make full screen and raw or in final print format. Like a fine wine - final taste is everything.

My 2 Cents,

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