D800 - best budget lenses?

Started Feb 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
noirdesir Forum Pro • Posts: 13,732
Re: D800 - best budget lenses?

bobn2 wrote:

dominikov wrote:

windsprite wrote:

Read the thread. You are wrong, and the OP knows what he is doing.


Julie, I wasn't specifically directing those comments at the OP. I'm talking about anyone who buys this camera and then compromises on glass.

It doesn't make sense.

If you're going to compromise anywhere, it should be with the camera body and not the lenses. Every optical defect will be apparent at 36mp, not to mention technique, lighting, etc. all has to be perfect to make use of it.

Otherwise all you've paid $3000 for is a camera that produces large files.

Actually, you can make exactly the same argument about the lenses. Why buy top lenses without a 36MP camera to put behind them? Use less and every optical quality of the lens will be masked by the low resolution pixellation of the camera. So, if you just have a D700, just buy consumer lenses.

Both arguments are false, because the final optical quality is not either lens or camera, it is the combination of both. Putting a good lens in front of a low resolution camera improves its performance with respect to a worse lens, putting a high resolution camera behind a poor lens improves its resolution with respect to a low resolution camera.

As I said recently, a lot of people carry the notion that resolution is a purely serial phenomena and that the weakest link in the chain determines the overal performance. But that would require resolution (of lenses or sensors) to be a purely on/off behaviour, ie, zero information above a certain resolution and full information below a certain resolution. But the moment you first see a full MTF curve of a lens which plots 'information' (contrast) against resolution, you'll realize that lens performance is far from on/off.

For more on this see this post of mine on serial vs. parallel vs. more complex 'systems':

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