Big set of charts of lens sharpness scores from

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
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JohnNEX Senior Member • Posts: 1,139
Big set of charts of lens sharpness scores from

If you think that MTF and sharpness tests are worthless then please do not read further.

As many of you know, there are several lens review sites which include some kind of 'sharpness' tests, often MTF charts.

Unfortunately, most of these sites are not consistent with the testing, particularly with the camera used. Most also do not test FE lenses on APS-C cameras. now has a good range of lenses, including FE lenses, tested on an NEX-7. Its hardly the latest camera in the Sony APS-C line-up, but its 24 MP and stands up just fine for stills IQ [insert comment about tri-navi].

The charts below summarise all of the MTF test data on the reviews of these lenses (I typed it in over the course of an episode of The Vicar of Dibley). They mostly speak for themselves.

I am not claiming that these tests are the definitive measures of the quality of these lenses, or that they do not suffer from sample variation, and your copy of the lens is probably much better than the one they tested here. This data should be viewed as one part of the suite of information out there on the quality of the lenses. I just figured that the data would could work nicely if presented in one set of charts.

The site includes a highly controversial test of the Sony-Zeiss 16-70mm lens. We do not need another discussion of how great/bad the lens is. I included it in the charts for completeness. I have done another thread on those two lenses, where it is clear that got a bad 'copy' of the lens (despite Sony claiming it was within specifications), so take the results shown here for that lens with a grain of salt. In fact, take all of the results with a grain of salt. Sharpness does not mean that much for a whole lot of photography (but sometimes it does matter). I am certainly not a sharpness addict but I do love a bit of data analysis and charting!

I've shown comparisons at the centre and edge. also shows a mid-range as well, which I have not included here.

There is not much here that is surprising. The zooms can often keep up with the primes in the centre but not the edge. The Sony 18-105 tested very well here (other sites' results are not quite as good). The 19mm Sigma is a bit underwhelming (that is consistent with my experience too). The 60mm Sigma is stellar, however, and the 30mm Sigma also very capable, although a bit slow at f/2.8 (there is no test of the 30/1.4). The 10-18mm performed well against the 12mm Touit. The Sony 35/1.8 is a very solid all-round performer across the frame but doesn't get the love you might expect. The Sony 50/1.8 was a little weak on sharpness, which is surprising because its just about my favourite lens and certainly sharp enough for me. Photos from this lens just seem to always look good, which just goes to show that sharpness isn't everything. The FE 55 and 90 lenses are superb, particularly at the edges, but that will hardly be a shock to anyone, and the charts at least let you see how the others compare against them as the benchmark.

Anyway, enjoy ...

 JohnNEX's gear list:JohnNEX's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony a6500 Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS +6 more
Sony Alpha NEX-7
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