Lens quality; does really improve performance at high iso speed?

Started Aug 29, 2011 | Discussions thread
olyflyer Forum Pro • Posts: 24,195
Re: Lens quality; does really improve performance at high iso speed?

Edo-ardo wrote:

How much does the quality of glass in a lens influence the ISO performance of the camera on the final image output?

I currently own a canon 500d with basic kit lens 18-55, and it often makes me realize how poorly it performs in low light / high ISO conditions.

Does upgrading to a better lens help limit noise, besides of course gaining in color contrast and improved sharpness?

Or eventually the problem, when dealing with high ISO speed and shadowy pix, lays in the camera sensor and processor capabilities, therefore suggesting I should sometime soon consider upgrading to a better model?

Thanks for your contributions and replies

The ISO performance is not affected by the lens but the slower the lens the higher ISO you need to be able to take an image, assuming you are using the lens wide open. That said,...

My experience when I used the Olympus E-500 is the same as yours, with the cheap 14-45 kit zoom my images looked noisier than the same images taken with the high quality 14-54 lens. Of course, in my tests the same ISO and light conditions were used, as well as the same aperture and shutter speed.

I think that the resolution power of the lens or something else has an affect on how the ISO noise appears in the image. I can not explain how this can be the case but this is the way I have seen it. With the 14-45 the images were "grainy" in evenly and well lit, flat areas as well, while with the 14-54 HG lens the images were smooth and clean.

I can't help you with the 500D specific questions, I have a Nikon D300s and the Canon G10 P&S now.

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