October 02, 2014, 12:32:50 AM

Author Topic: Recommend websites for lens reviews  (Read 6597 times)

neuroanatomist

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Re: Recommend websites for lens reviews
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2013, 07:55:22 AM »
I expect most photographers would still find f-stops useful.

Well, I suppose we could say mm/mm, but that's a bit cumbersome.  I think he knew about ratios, though.  But I suspect there are a fair number of photographers who don't know that the f/number is one.
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Re: Recommend websites for lens reviews
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2013, 07:55:22 AM »

cid

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Re: Recommend websites for lens reviews
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2013, 10:17:38 AM »
... An old physics teacher always used to say, "No units, no answer."  ...
Interesting comment in a photography forum -- I expect most photographers would still find f-stops useful. Of course you would think a physicist would still find Pi useful too. Curious. Perhaps a side effect of a teacher grading too many student papers?

Pi is useful, but it's only irrational number representing commonly used constant (let's say ratio). When you want to express something using Pi, you have to add some units. e.g. circle area Pi*R^2 where R is measured in mm or cm or feet or miles, without that you simply don't know how big the circle is  ;)
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AprilForever

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Re: Recommend websites for lens reviews
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2013, 11:33:40 AM »
Hi,

I'm looking for a good lens review website.

One site that I really like is DPReview (http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews?sort=brand), in particular their sharpness charts (example: http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/canon_100_2p8_is_usm_c16/4). However, they have a very limited database, only 11 Canon lenses as of now.

I also like The Digital Picture (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-Lens-Reviews.aspx) and Ken Rockwell (http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/lenses/), but they tend to be more on the subjective side of reviews: not a lot of numbers and charts to compare across. Nothing wrong with that, but not exactly what I'm looking for.

DxOMark (http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Camera-Lens-Ratings) has a pretty extensive database, and although some of their reviews can be very controversial here, I have no reason to believe they are not doing a proper job. However, I find most of their charts using colors instead of lines and numbers difficult to compare objectively. Also, sometimes I don't understand their testing criteria.

For instance, the 85/1.8 vs. the 100/2 on the 5DIII: http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Compare-Camera-Lenses/Compare-lenses/%28lens1%29/241/%28brand%29/Canon/%28camera1%29/0/%28lens2%29/798/%28brand2%29/Canon/%28camera2%29/0

The 85 is sharper (15 vs 14), has better transmission (2 vs 2.2) and less aberration (3 vs 5). The 100 has slightly less distortion (0.3% vs 0.4%) and vignetting (1.4 vs 1.6). Pretty similar numbers, I'd say. Yet, the 100 has a score of 30 while the 85 gets only 26. And I don't understand why they always seem to say that all lenses are best wide open ("Best at f=100mm & f/2", "Best at f=85mm & f/1.8")

Another example, Sigma 18-35/1.8 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 on the 7D: http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Compare-Camera-Lenses/Compare-lenses/%28lens1%29/1141/%28lens2%29/1056/%28brand1%29/Sigma/%28camera1%29/0/%28brand2%29/Sigma/%28camera2%29/619

The 35 has better transmission (1.6 vs 1.8 ), distortion (0.2% vs 0.3%), vignetting (0.8 vs 1.1), and aberration (5 vs 7). The 18-35 is only slightly sharper (13 vs 12), yet the 18-35 has a score of 24 and the 35 only 22. I don't understand their numbers.

Also, highly regarded lenses, like the EF-S 10-22 or the 16-35/2.8L, have some relatively poor numbers on DxOMark.

My ideal site would be like DPReview with a database the size of DxOMark :-) What do you recommend?

The problem with DXO is that art is a subjective matter. Just because a lens scores oddly there, or even badly, does not mean it is a bad lens. Their numbers are meaningless to me, and I suspect in any real world setting, more or less. Also, the DXO scores do not take into consideration something unbelievably important yet often overlooked: the system. A nice lens which does not work with your system or methods will not help much.
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Solar B

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Re: Recommend websites for lens reviews
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2013, 12:20:43 AM »
... I think he knew about ratios, though.  But I suspect there are a fair number of photographers who don't know that the f/number is one.

What is the f/number?

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Re: Recommend websites for lens reviews
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2013, 12:42:25 AM »
Slrgear.com and photozone.
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Re: Recommend websites for lens reviews
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2013, 12:51:25 AM »
... I think he knew about ratios, though.  But I suspect there are a fair number of photographers who don't know that the f/number is one.

What is the f/number?

f is short for focal length. So f/2 would be - focal length divided by 2. So if you're focal length is 50mm your aperture is .... (Complete the answer and you've got it!)

In other words it a way to express the size of the aperture in relation to the focal length. A ratio. Since not all lenses are the same size it wouldn't help to just say 22mm. You would be left wondering if that is wide or narrow and you would have to figure that part out yourself! It's easier to have a ratio that says "it's half as wide as the focal length" or it's a quarter etc etc.

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Re: Recommend websites for lens reviews
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2013, 12:56:07 AM »
... I think he knew about ratios, though.  But I suspect there are a fair number of photographers who don't know that the f/number is one.

What is the f/number?

f is short for focal length. So f/2 would be - focal length divided by 2. So if you're focal length is 50mm your aperture is .... (Complete the answer and you've got it!)

In other words it a way to express the size of the aperture in relation to the focal length. A ratio. Since not all lenses are the same size it wouldn't help to just say 22mm. You would be left wondering if that is wide or narrow and you would have to figure that part out yourself! It's easier to have a ratio that says "it's half as wide as the focal length" or it's a quarter etc etc.

And from this it becomes immediately apparent why bright glass gets really big when the focal lengths get longer ;)
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Re: Recommend websites for lens reviews
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2013, 12:56:07 AM »

AcutancePhotography

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Re: Recommend websites for lens reviews
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2013, 12:13:46 PM »
Maybe 0.84 sweezleblats better, approximately.

Why not?

As long as definition of sweeleblats is stated, there is a set methodology for determining sweezleblats, and the same methodology used to evaluate the different lenses, it should serve well in comparing lenses.

Because, I believe that is what we are looking for.  Not an absolute figure, but one that can be used for comparison.  Our lens purchasing decisions are often a matter of comparison.  I want a lens that is "better" than some other lens.  Better being up to the consumer. When reading lens review sites, I am more concerned with repeatability and consistancy in their evaluations.  Sweezleblats will work out great as long as I am comparing sweezleblats to sweeleblats. :)
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Re: Recommend websites for lens reviews
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2013, 01:35:18 PM »
http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/index.php

http://www.lenstip.com/
+1 along with Photozone.de

They are all quantitative but not comprehensive.
But, TDP is my first port of call because it is so comprehensive.  All those sites are unbiased.
+2 on these sites, particularly LensTip because they torture test the optics so well.

All three sites are limited in real-world applications, however, and just because a lens isn't the sharpest or vignettes too much, etc. doesn't mean it's a crap lens.  The 50 f/1.2, for instance, does lousy on the "test bench" but can take some amazing photos because it has great contrast, color, flare resistance, and amazing bokeh. 

Also, ultrawides and macros don't seem to perform too well with these flat wall chart tests, but do extremely well in real-world shooting.

Lastly, avoid Ken Rockwell for serious advice, though some of his stuff is (unintentionally) hilarious.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 01:36:50 PM by mackguyver »

mackguyver

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Re: Recommend websites for lens reviews
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2013, 01:38:21 PM »
Lastly, avoid Ken Rockwell for serious advice, though some of his stuff is (unintentionally) hilarious.
P.S. or intentionally (?) hilarious: http://www.kenrockwell.com/ri/WhereDoBabiesComeFrom.htm

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Re: Recommend websites for lens reviews
« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2013, 01:55:43 PM »
Lastly, avoid Ken Rockwell for serious advice, though some of his stuff is (unintentionally) hilarious.
P.S. or intentionally (?) hilarious: http://www.kenrockwell.com/ri/WhereDoBabiesComeFrom.htm

Thanks, that's his best review yet, and exactly at the right level.  ::)
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Re: Recommend websites for lens reviews
« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2013, 02:55:30 PM »
I like photozone.de, and the digital picture.


Hi,

I'm looking for a good lens review website.

One site that I really like is DPReview (http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews?sort=brand), in particular their sharpness charts (example: http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/canon_100_2p8_is_usm_c16/4). However, they have a very limited database, only 11 Canon lenses as of now.

I also like The Digital Picture (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-Lens-Reviews.aspx) and Ken Rockwell (http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/lenses/), but they tend to be more on the subjective side of reviews: not a lot of numbers and charts to compare across. Nothing wrong with that, but not exactly what I'm looking for.

DxOMark (http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Camera-Lens-Ratings) has a pretty extensive database, and although some of their reviews can be very controversial here, I have no reason to believe they are not doing a proper job. However, I find most of their charts using colors instead of lines and numbers difficult to compare objectively. Also, sometimes I don't understand their testing criteria.

For instance, the 85/1.8 vs. the 100/2 on the 5DIII: http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Compare-Camera-Lenses/Compare-lenses/%28lens1%29/241/%28brand%29/Canon/%28camera1%29/0/%28lens2%29/798/%28brand2%29/Canon/%28camera2%29/0

The 85 is sharper (15 vs 14), has better transmission (2 vs 2.2) and less aberration (3 vs 5). The 100 has slightly less distortion (0.3% vs 0.4%) and vignetting (1.4 vs 1.6). Pretty similar numbers, I'd say. Yet, the 100 has a score of 30 while the 85 gets only 26. And I don't understand why they always seem to say that all lenses are best wide open ("Best at f=100mm & f/2", "Best at f=85mm & f/1.8")

Another example, Sigma 18-35/1.8 vs. Sigma 35/1.4 on the 7D: http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Compare-Camera-Lenses/Compare-lenses/%28lens1%29/1141/%28lens2%29/1056/%28brand1%29/Sigma/%28camera1%29/0/%28brand2%29/Sigma/%28camera2%29/619

The 35 has better transmission (1.6 vs 1.8 ), distortion (0.2% vs 0.3%), vignetting (0.8 vs 1.1), and aberration (5 vs 7). The 18-35 is only slightly sharper (13 vs 12), yet the 18-35 has a score of 24 and the 35 only 22. I don't understand their numbers.

Also, highly regarded lenses, like the EF-S 10-22 or the 16-35/2.8L, have some relatively poor numbers on DxOMark.

My ideal site would be like DPReview with a database the size of DxOMark :-) What do you recommend?

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Re: Recommend websites for lens reviews
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2013, 09:45:26 PM »
My faves are already all listed here, but here goes:

Slrgear.com for the cool 3D graphs by focal length and aperture.  Technical nirvana, but usually short and impassionate.
The Digital Picture is good if you don't need measured results.  Very verbose with a lot of good opinion, from a guy who knows how to use the gear.
DPReview isn't my choice because they don't review enough, often enough, and they are also owned by a major retailer of lenses, which detracts from their credence in my mind.
Ken Rockwell is good for entertainment purposes and alternate views... and surprisingly, he has the best tech details of any reviews consistently... what type of autofocus, how many blades in the aperture, is it par focal, does it breathe, etc.
Lastly, I find good merit in Amazon's customer reviews... the default sorting is by voting, IE, the first review listed is deemed the most helpful.
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Re: Recommend websites for lens reviews
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2013, 09:45:26 PM »

mwh1964

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Re: Recommend websites for lens reviews
« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2013, 10:24:01 PM »
Actually, I like Ken Rockwell, photozone.de, the-digital-picture.com but also find the comments on CR very use. The best however, is to try out the gear out for your self in the circumstances that your are going to use the gear in. Best of luck finding what you need.
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Re: Recommend websites for lens reviews
« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2013, 12:37:26 AM »
Well that cleared things up for me.  I'll run it by my sweetie and see how she feels about some of it, but I'm thinking no.

Lastly, avoid Ken Rockwell for serious advice, though some of his stuff is (unintentionally) hilarious.
P.S. or intentionally (?) hilarious: http://www.kenrockwell.com/ri/WhereDoBabiesComeFrom.htm

Thanks, that's his best review yet, and exactly at the right level.  ::)
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Re: Recommend websites for lens reviews
« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2013, 12:37:26 AM »