Photography and Art

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Surprising Lens Test Results

As you may know, the folks at DxO have added tests of lens/camera combinations at their site. They test various things like resolution, transmission, vignetting and chromatic aberration and assign a weighted composite score. It's a lot of fun to look at the various combinations to see if there are any surprises. And, indeed there is a major surprise. If we limit our search to Canon lenses, the top performing lens with a score of 30 is the 85mm f/1.8 lens. This comes as no surprise given its reputation despite it not being an "L" quality lens.

Here's the major surprise: coming in at number FOUR with a score of 27 is the lowly 50mm f/1.8 II lens. This lens costs less than $100 US at B&H! It has a plastic lens mount. What a bargoon! I don't think you can buy a cheaper lens that that.

The "L" version of the 85mm lens comes in at number three with a score of 27. The "L" version of the 50mm lens comes in at number six with a score of 25.

The best zoom lenses are the 28-70 mm f/2.8 L lens (not the newer 24-70 mm version) with a score of 28 and the 70-200 mm f/2.8 L with a score of 26.

Just goes to show that you don't always get what you pay for!

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