Good point. So again, I think we can agree that the review in discussion was both inadequate and unnecessary. To give a subjective review (with no detailed measurements, which would have been useful to compare to the many other similar tests done recently or eons ago) of a lens that has been out for over 6 years, seems kind of pointless to me. Kind of a "johnny come lately"...and not all that congruent with a "gear head" website.
You speak as if people aren't coming into photography every day, and aren't looking at old lenses as if they're new; because they are new to them. I'm glad I don't provide measurements, they're not something I care to look at in my work, subjectively quantifying a lens on it's own merits and how it works for me and how it can potentially work for others. If it can and does take great images then that's good enough for most people out there.
Thankfully, there are many helpful people who are better at measuring and analyzing charts than they are at getting out at taking photographs. Providing a great critical component to the forums here. And for people that need to add up specs to decide their purchase that information is available all over the place, and since you can't argue MTF charts and data patterns why would I be so redundant as to re-publish them here? As you said, several epochs have passed since this lens was released and tested. But not everyone has spent eight years shooting with it. I have, and no chart is going to tell you how well it handles, over several bodies, in the field, working for clients, in different countries, only "Johnny" has that kind of experience.
Agree agree agree. The reviewer isn't trying to rank the lens or definitively win an argument. He's wading into the clearly gray world of a lens's value proposition. It has pros, it has cons, and it can excel in certain situations.
Data is lovely, but reviews like Justin's (or those by Bryan Carnathan at TDP) fill in the other end of using gear -- they provide a photographer's
perspective and not just data. How many people buy lenses solely on the data sheets from PhotoZone or DXO? Hopefully not many.
If it wasn't for the human experience, we'd all buy glass on meat-and-potatoes metrics like FL / cost / sharpness / max aperture. But photographer's reviews get to composition, handling, and the experience of using the product. Is the lock switch annoying to use in practice? Just how correctable is that distortion in post? Sure, it's a lovely low-profile 24-105 lens hood, but does it only truly work on the wide end? How much trouble is it to use a manual lens in that application? Just how heavy is the 70-200 to shoot with all day? These things matter to me, b/c a large purchase needs to be vetted on a number of fronts to avoid buyer's remorse, user's
That's why any prospective lens buyer needs to look at those writing up lenses as a potential 'mutual fund of information'. You use Justin & TDP for overall considerations and user experience, use Roger Cicala for resolution data, and use PZ for peripheral considerations like vignetting, CA, etc. Then you make a decision to buy and are never surprised by what you're getting.
I enjoy Justin's work here on CR. They provide a human element to all this gear we obsess about.