XF 16-80mm f4 - poor definition at 16 mm across the frame

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
thxbb12 Senior Member • Posts: 2,031
Re: XF 16-80mm f4 - poor definition at 16 mm across the frame

Mebyon K wrote:

I will give the same reply as I posted in another thread. With lenses, particularly zoom lenses, there is no free lunch. A wide zoom range and high optical quality are mutually exclusive.

If high optical quality is the main criteria then the highest zoom ratio for medium focal lengths is 3:1, such as 70-200. For wide angles and long focal lengths the maximum ratio is 2:1 such as a 12-24 or 200-400. This is why Canon and Nikon do not exceed these ratios in their lenses designed and built for professional use.

I am fully aware that most camera makers exceed these ratios by using electronic correction by the camera, which brings its own problems, but when the optical performance is examined without those corrections being applied it is obvious that the optical performance is compromised in some way.

It's not always mutually exclusive, if one is ready to pay the price.

A good counter example to the zoom ratio argument is the Olympus 12-100 f4. It's 8.3x zoom, yet it's optically superb and much better than most zooms with a much lower zoom ratio.

The thing is, pretty much all lenses with high zoom ratios tend to be sold as "cheap" superzooms because manufacturers believe that most prosumers are not interested in high quality, high zoom ratio lenses.

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