It's still Friday, barely, so I can squeeze in another post before the weekend is officially here and I have to switch gears.
By far the best writer on lenses on the entire Internet these days is Roger Cicala, aided and abetted by his assistant wizards and the rest of the merry gang at LensRentals.com. Well, Roger has outdone himself now: "Some reviewer somewhere tested a single copy of a zoom lens and gave it their highest rating ever. Some people actually argued online about that, and then asked my opinion about that argument...." As he goes on to explain, he wrote a post describing why such verdicts are meaningless. The post is called "Things You Didn’t Want to Know About Zoom Lenses."
It's excellent. If you like lenses you might want to block out some time over the weekend to read it.
I've said some of the same things and reached similar conclusions over the years, but I've never, ever had anything close to the testing chops Roger has available to him every day. It's kind of thrilling (in a geeky way) to see Roger support his conclusions so thoroughly.
Roger and I had a similar conversation on the same topic privately a while back, when I asked him if he would cherry pick the best example of a certain zoom lens for me. His answer contained some tasty quotes but was offered mostly with nondisclosure mode "ON"—but now, he's published the public version, with charts galore.
Great stuff, not to be missed by lens lovers anywhere. Kudos to R.C.
Have a great weekend! Thanks again for all the support this week. See you on Monday.
(Thanks to Jeffrey Schimberg)
Original contents copyright 2017 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Mahn England: "Mike, you wrote: 'If you like lenses....' Who do you think we are? Photographers love lenses. I've an excellent collection of images of the bookshelf in my study taken with various lenses at various focal lengths and various apertures. I need to get a life."
Mike replies: No, actually you need to read Roger's article! :-)
Robert Roaldi: "Thank you for that link. A pleasure to read."
Dave_lumb: "Roger writes, 'So I completely understand when the artist tells me that all testing in the world doesn’t influence his choice of equipment at all. I accept when he or she says a lens is perfect for them. That’s the bottom line.' Was there any need to read any further than that?"
Mike replies: I've said much the same thing too, but (naturally) at (ahem!) greater length, for instance in "All Lens Tests Are Wrong" from The 37th Frame, October, 2001.
Joseph Vavak: "I go back and forth on primes vs. zooms, but always seem to end back with a 24–70-ish lens for 90% of what I do. The primes may be sharper, but I am lazy about changing lenses frequently. Out-and-out sharpness is not the most important quality to me. I like a well-behaved lens that has manageable distortion and has sharpness that is relatively even across the frame. And it can't be ginormous. I've settled on the Canon 24–70mm ƒ/4 and am very happy with it. Not too large, even sharpness, nice colors and contrast."
Robin: "Testing has its place, but as this article shows, it needs to be put in context. Personally, I never found a zoom I liked and so gave up using them, maybe seven or 10 years ago. This makes life so much simpler and photography more fun. Soon after, I also stopped craving new lenses. Perhaps because I found a few that were good enough for everything I needed. That would never have happened with a zoom."