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I remember that article, Mike - along with another, from a little earlier, on lens sharpness.

Recalling the main points in both of them always manages to calm me down when I start obsessing about some lens or other that I probably can't afford and almost certainly don't need.

It is like growing roses. You have to own them to know them.Shoot in the conditions that you regularly find yourself in.Then, look at your results.Are you pleased?
I hate lens flare.It ruins the best pic of the series.When I discover that my lens is no good because it flares,then I sell it.After that,I see someone on a forum showing pics with that lens,albeit not the exact one that I sold,with marvelous example pics.It goes to show,there are sample variations and every lens looks good when the sun is not blasting.
The one year ownership rule makes a lot of sense.Even then,you might not realize all of the different f-stops in your tests, nor every different situation.Lenses are fun.I read lens reviews then I make up my mind if a lens is for me.I always stay with the manufacturer's offerings for quality.The exception?I bought a 500mm F6.3 Rokinon mirror lens for my Nikons.What a hoot at the beach!

Huzzah to you for this article. You've articulated many of the points I've long felt. Getting hung up in reviews, tests, and pages upon pages of internet praise or derision can make one's head spin. In the end, the proof is in the photo not in the pixels peeped or prints louped. Like you said, if the photos from a particular lens work, then it's a good lens. I learned a while ago that one has to trust one's own gut. I have lenses that others would not consider sexy or "good." However, I like what the do for me. I know what to expect from each of my lenses, and I know when I want to use them as well as for what purpose. I have also purchased lenses that I've returned simply because they didn't feel right. The photographs I made with them didn't sing in the way I wanted. Conversely, I've tried lenses of which I was skeptical...yet after seeing the results I knew I had keepers. In the end, it's all about the gut and the photos.

There's a lot to understand when it comes to buying a lens. There are lot of factors to consider, but a professional will know what they are looking for, if they have done their research.

Thanks for this great article!
Allow me to add that clenching experiences into number (8.5/10 pts. etc.) might not be very sensible, but it is the quickest way to formulate an impression a lens made. ;)

The bird photo is really cool. very great sharing.

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