How big a print do you have to make to see a bad lens's faults?

Started Apr 15, 2013 | Discussions thread
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dellaaa Contributing Member • Posts: 862
How big a print do you have to make to see a bad lens's faults?

I have the NEX7 with the the kit and the 16mm plus the two wide adapters.

Both lenses have been much maligned.  To quote the PHOTOZONE review of the 16MM : "However, it seems rather pointless to use it on the NEX 7 - 24 megapixel are way beyond the capabilities of this tiny lens." and " The VCL-ECU1 (0.75x converter) manages to keep the "performance" of the base lens (roughly) but the quality remains unusable except for very casual photography."

I haven't printed anything over 11x14 with these two lenses, but both look fine.  I have pixel peeped these images and they seem OK to my eye.  Here is an example of the 16mm with the fisheye converter, the first with no sharpening the second sharpened with NIK:

16mm with fisheye converter unsharpened

16mm with fisheye converter sharpened

Why are these images unusable? How can a website that publishes this have any credibility?

One observation about Sony's lens design is that they IMHO seem to make lens size a design priority and that the optical recipe in the case of these two lenses (and some others) seems to be a very sharp center and, according to reviews, horrible corners.  How much better would the 16mm lens be if it weren't a pancake?

BTW, the 16mm with the 2 converters which  I believe is unique to the photographic world is, IMHO a brilliant idea.  I would love to see the results of this trio if optical performance were made more a  priority.

So the question becomes just how large a print does one need to make before these horrible lenses show us just how horrible they are?

I have come to the conclusion that you can shoot with just about any camera lens combo these days, just get some decent post software, learn to use it and you will be way ahead of the game.

I will give you, there is a certain satisfaction knowing that the gear that you are using is technically excellent,like the NEX7. Maybe that's why I am defending these lenses, maybe they really are junk.

 dellaaa's gear list:dellaaa's gear list
Canon PowerShot G10 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Fujifilm X-Pro1 Nikon D800 Sigma sd Quattro +3 more
Sony Alpha NEX-7
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