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Re: filmscanners: OT: Places to ask about lenses?
Rob Geraghty wrote:
>>In optics the rule: "you get what you pay for" has almost 100 % meaning...
> I'm usre this is generally true, although I imagine there's such a thing as
> limiting returns. I find it hard to believe that the price difference
> between the Pentax 50mm f1.7, f2.8 and f1.4 lenses would be obvious in the
> results. I'd like to have at least one lens I *know* is as sharp as I can
Oddly, although I am sure, as Rob says, this is true in the big picture
(a $1000 lens is going to be better than a $100 one), I have found it
really doesn't necessarily hold water in the "macro" view. (A $200 lens
is better than a $100). Canon, for example, has all sort of overlapping
ranges of lenses in terms of both quality lines and focus ranges. Some
lenses which are very reasonably priced, as stellar performers, while
other considerably more expensive lenses are duds.
Sometimes this is just bad design, or even bad manufacture, but
sometimes a simple and inexpensive lens design just happens to be one
which really works well, and has great optical properties.
One apparent example of an inexpensive lens which excels well beyond
it's cost it the autofocus Canon 50 mm 1.7 normal lens.
Of course, beyond optical qualities, other factors are durability over
time, weight, size, smoothness in use, zoom range, optical speed
(minimum/maximum aperture), autofocus speed, autofocus noise level, etc.
If people aren't stuck on having a full zoom range, in general, fixed
focus lenses are better quality and better value. Also, used lenses can
often be good value, if they come with some type of warranty.
Lastly, even a well rated lens can perform badly due to bad quality
control and variability within production.