14-54MkII vs 12-60 SWD Locked

Started Dec 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
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John King
John King Forum Pro • Posts: 14,941
Re: Splittting Hairs - 14-54MkII vs 14-54 MkI

Gidday Dave

You are quite right ...

However, it does seem that an undue amount of such hair-splitting goes on around here ... .
I just thought I would throw some of what little hair I have left into the fray ... .

If this were the only "fault" with lenses, we would all be living in Paradise, instead of here ...

AFAIAC, if a lens has predictable and even behaviour at all FLs and apertures, and isn't swimming in a sea of extra colour, vignetting and blur in zone 2 and 3 then it should be OK for practical use. Unfortunately, some lenses don't come up to those minimal standards.

IMO, one should avoid f/8 and above with the 14-54, unless one is really pressed. The images get progressively softer from (presumably) diffraction from f/8 onwards. For some images, this doesn't show worth a damn; for others, it simply doesn't matter. The 14-54 is at its best at around f/5.6, IME.
However, if one really needs this sort of deep DoF (usually for a close subject that's deep), then one is far better served by using the f/2 50 macro, as it is far less affected by diffraction. In fact, diffraction softening with this lens is usually not noticeable or objectionable with almost all subjects. I will happily stop mine down to f/11 or f/16 if necessary because of this. It is still sharp enough for everything except people with a lens test fetish ... .

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Regards, john from Melbourne, Australia.
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