Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 27 of 27

Thread: where do you folks get lens reviews?

  1. #1
    RoyGBiv
    Guest

    where do you folks get lens reviews?

    So, where do you folks get your lens reviews? I know DPR has some, and I've found SLRgear.com's reviews. What other options have you found that gave good, thorough, quantified, unbiased analysis?


    Edit: just a random comment...I'm rather surprised to see a site where there's more activity in the 4/3rds, Leica and medium format forums than the canikon forums. Wow!

  2. #2
    Senior Member m3photo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,043
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    28

    Re: lens reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyGBiv View Post
    So, where do you folks get your lens reviews?
    I suggest starting here for a complete list:
    http://www.four-thirds.org/en/fourthirds/lense.html
    Fred Miranda's site is quite good but it's more for Canon and Nikon (I guess if you posted your question here they're not the ones you're after):
    http://www.fredmiranda.com/

    As far as all the other lenses you can fit on these cameras, have a good browse through these forums - there are opinions for all ...

  3. #3
    Member kwalsh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    147
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    There is photozone.de which is great for many lenses. Unfortunately their tests are essentially useless for m43 lenses because they go out of their way to specifically do all their tests with out any of the intended lens corrections applied. It really is beyond stupid, sort of like writing a review of Diesel car after putting regular unleaded gasoline in it. All their other tests are well done though.

    Ken

  4. #4
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Southport, Australia
    Posts
    1,429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    I can't understand this

    Quote Originally Posted by kwalsh View Post
    There is photozone.de which is great for many lenses. Unfortunately their tests are essentially useless for m43 lenses because they go out of their way to specifically do all their tests with out any of the intended lens corrections applied. It really is beyond stupid
    so you are saying you would prefer to see the books cooked?

    you know, you can always improve the image made by the lens with stuff yourself (PTLens for instance) but if you get the data cooked well ... you don't know much about the lens then do you?

    perhaps you could explain why seeing the results of software corrected issues being more 'complete'

  5. #5
    Member kwalsh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    147
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    Sigh, endless debate repeated a thousand times a thousand places. I'm not sure what it is going to add to discuss it yet again... But fine, you asked some specific questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    I can't understand this

    so you are saying you would prefer to see the books cooked?
    Problem one, right there, you interpret using a imaging system as it was intended to be used from the start as "cooked". So I know right away whatever I tell you won't change your mind. I will go back to the Diesel car analogy - if Car and Driver tested a Diesel Volkswagon Golf with unleaded gas their results really wouldn't be useful to their readers now would they?

    you know, you can always improve the image made by the lens with stuff yourself (PTLens for instance) but if you get the data cooked well ... you don't know much about the lens then do you?
    If you ignore the designers recommended processing you know even less about its performance, it is like ripping one optical element out of a lens and then testing it and trying to draw conclusions. This digital processing was part of the optics design from the start and is built in and unchangeable in the camera JPG pipeline as well as all commercial RAW converters, you rip it out you are essentially ripping out part of the optics design. It really is like prying the front element off a lens. Your test is now a classic case of garbage in garbage out. It is like the RF front end of cellphone - the analog section and filters were designed to complement the follow up DSP, testing one without the other leads to erroneous results, in fact your cellphone won't work at all.

    perhaps you could explain why seeing the results of software corrected issues being more 'complete'
    Because that was how the system was designed to be used from the very start. Optics design is a game of trade-offs. In film days you could only solve the problem optically. With DSLRs using OVFs you probably better get distortion corrected in the optics or framing is going to be a problem, but you can certainly could leave lateral CA to digital processing and you'd now have more design trade space to optimize other parameters. With an EVF you can leave distortion to post processing.

    Now, what if I *don't* apply the corrections? Well, I measure more CA than the designer intended or most any user will actually see, I measure more distortion than the designer intended or most any user will actually see, I measure *higher* edge sharpness than the designer intended or most any user will see, and in many cases I measure *wider* FOV than the designer intended or most any user will see. All four of these test results are corrupted by not applying the corrections, two results get worse and two get better and these results are *not* what any user using industry leading commercial RAW converters or camera JPEGs will actually see in use nor are they what the designer optimized the lens for. So not how it was designed or used. How on earth is that useful or complete? The only people it is useful to is a tiny fraction of people who use RAW converters that don't support the corrections and then furthermore opt not to correct in PTLens afterwards - that is people who don't understand how the system was designed to work or actively choose not to use it that way. Oh, and people who like pretty block diagrams with everything neatly tucked in labeled boxes instead of being where optimal performance is achieved.

    There, done, I see no point in discussing further. You can find endless discussions of this other places which always fall into two camps. Those who understand and accept that micro-four-thirds has taken a systems approach to their optics design, partitioning the problem into those elements best handled in the optics domain and those best handled in the digital domain. And then there are those who don't for a wide variety of difficult to fathom reasons.

    Ken

    P.S. Apologies if this sounds overly huffy. I spend so much of my career making sure people specify and test complicated processing systems properly that it gets tiresome and I tend to project that frustration on to this tiny aspect of the same thing that has shown up in my hobby! No offense please! The problem is on my end!
    Last edited by kwalsh; 20th November 2009 at 14:05.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    233
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    I would always prefer to see both corrected and uncorrected data/images from 4/3 lenses. I think both are relevant in real-world usage, and both are also relevant when comparing to other lenses.)

  7. #7
    Member kwalsh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    147
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by madmaxmedia View Post
    I would always prefer to see both corrected and uncorrected data/images from 4/3 lenses.
    Well, no argument from me there. Especially CA which Oly cameras don't correct. In reality CA really isn't the problem case. The CA on all the lenses is very mild and folks are used to what minor corrections can do. It is the lack of distortion correction in the testing methodology that I object to. It gives erroneous edge sharpness results from real world use.

    Ken

  8. #8
    Administrator Bob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Prescott, Arizona
    Posts
    4,492
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    367

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    I prefer to do my own lens reviews.
    Too often I find something different in my hands and to my eyes compared to other reviewers.
    -bob

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    233
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    LOL, it was an obvious statement wasn't it? But to me you really need to have both, I am not too religious about the corrected vs. uncorrected debate. I guess I am religious about needing both in a comprehensive review.

    Although if I could only have one, I might possibly side with seeing the corrected data for practical reasons. I understand you can PP output from any lens, but I am lazy to do extensive PP in all my shots (besides basic ACR sliders), and assume that Panasonic engineers have done a thorough job in optimizing overall IQ with their correction algorithms. I think if a lens has really excessive faults such as bad distortion, then the overall IQ is going necessarily to suffer anyway via software correction side effects.

    Quote Originally Posted by kwalsh View Post
    Well, no argument from me there. Especially CA which Oly cameras don't correct. In reality CA really isn't the problem case. The CA on all the lenses is very mild and folks are used to what minor corrections can do. It is the lack of distortion correction in the testing methodology that I object to. It gives erroneous edge sharpness results from real world use.

    Ken

  10. #10
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    919
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    5

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    I doubt if there are any truly bad lenses out there.. and no lens test i have ever seen actually reflect real world usage... which of course will vary with your own personal usage

    we all want the best... but some nerd taking photos of brick walls shouldn't be a criteria to working out what is best for you.

    death to lens tests

    K

  11. #11
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,594
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    Kevin, I thought photography itself is a geeky activity. Brick wall lens testers fit right in.

  12. #12
    RoyGBiv
    Guest

    Re: lens reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by m3photo View Post
    I suggest starting here for a complete list:
    http://www.four-thirds.org/en/fourthirds/lense.html
    Fred Miranda's site is quite good but it's more for Canon and Nikon (I guess if you posted your question here they're not the ones you're after):
    http://www.fredmiranda.com/

    As far as all the other lenses you can fit on these cameras, have a good browse through these forums - there are opinions for all ...
    Thanks for the suggestions folks...and the color commentary.

    You're right...canon& nikon are quite well covered by the sites I've found. I'm looking for more coverage on less common lenses...zeiss, voigtlander, sigma, pentax, etc.

    I actually posted here because it was one of the most posted subforums and with the micro4/3 system being so adapter-friendly, I figure there'd be quite a few people involved who're fairly experimental with their lenses.

    Besides...the leica & medium format subforums (more posts in them)...definitely not able to afford either of those lenses anytime soon.

  13. #13
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Southport, Australia
    Posts
    1,429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    Ken

    Quote Originally Posted by kwalsh View Post
    Sigh, endless debate repeated a thousand times a thousand places. ...
    Ken

    P.S. Apologies if this sounds overly huffy. I spend so much of my career making sure people specify and test complicated processing systems properly ...
    No offense please! The problem is on my end!
    none taken but I agree with your summary. I only asked some questions (which you answered all be it with a dash of vitriol). Thanks for your answer however.

    I too am engaged professionally in areas where issues such as scope creep, misunderstanding software issues, and systems design and testing has been my gig for over 15 years. I'm now managing a project for digital delivery in a library environment with people who just don't get digital issues (including the legal intellectual property people). However I try really hard to not infer too many assumptions into what the questioner assumes and knows and I am a little driven to get to the bottom of the real issues.

    I see this is something which you are not interested in discussing so I'll leave it here and thank you for your detailed reply.

    PS Ken

    if you really don't like getting involved in disucssions as you claim why would you post something as provocative as:
    It really is beyond stupid, sort of like writing a review of Diesel car after putting regular unleaded gasoline in it.
    and not expect some reasonable interested person to ask you to explain your view and want to explore the idea and assumptions further? I note it is interesting you do perform "un cooked" analysis while decrying it as stupid. As it happens I am a defender of making mathematical corrections to the output of systems for the purposes of making the string of compromise in design produce a better final result. Aside from Sashimi I happen to eat my food cooked.
    Last edited by pellicle; 20th November 2009 at 22:50.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    166
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by kwalsh View Post
    There is photozone.de which is great for many lenses. Unfortunately their tests are essentially useless for m43 lenses because they go out of their way to specifically do all their tests with out any of the intended lens corrections applied. It really is beyond stupid, sort of like writing a review of Diesel car after putting regular unleaded gasoline in it. All their other tests are well done though.

    Ken
    Ken, I am wondering where you're getting this impression. Photozone tests both the uncorrected RAW and corrrected camera output, and gives many sample photos with the corrections applied. Then they give a fair impression of both the inherent optical quality and real-world results. For instance, here's the wrap-up of the 14-45 lens:

    In terms of sheer optical performance the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS is not a great lens. However, when looking at the auto-corrected results, and this is where it counts from a user perspective, it's capable of producing quite good results. The center resolution is generally on a excellent level straight from the max. aperture setting. The border quality is still relatively decent between 14mm and 25mm although it's nothing to rave about. At 45mm we've an evenly high quality across the frame. The vignetting is still comparatively pronounced at 14mm @ f/3.5 despite the auto-correction. However, it's not really an issue anymore at other settings. The build quality of the lens is very decent especially for a kit lens. The AF works basically silent, it's surprisingly fast and highly accurate (also thanks to the G1's contrast AF). The "Mega OIS" (image stabilizer) can give you an extra potential equivalent to 2-3 f-stops in field conditions.
    This is absolutely useful information. The only thing they don't do is give m4/3 lenses their usual "star" ratings. I'd rather they do so, but calling their tests useless seems unfair...the above would seem to me to be a highly nuanced, fair assessment, and the other m4/3 reviews are similar.

    What specifically bothers you about them? They really do give you information about both the uncorrected and corrected images.

  15. #15
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,594
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    If it is the "system" performance, all them suck because of slow focus and shutter lag (including focus hunt).

    Had I not started with manual focus lenses, I would not have bother with the G1 for this long.

    It is the liveview, TFT and the EVF that are good about the "system".

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    166
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    I dunno, I think the lenses render well and focus quickly. As a guy who usually uses manual focus rangefinder cameras, the G1 and GF1 seem like little marvels to me. The quarter-second shutter lag isn't ideal, but has not been a problem--the total time focusing and shooting is comparable to the total time focusing and shooting with an M7. Leica wins when it comes to shooting street using hyperfocal distance, but that's to be expected.

    "All of them suck" seems a pretty extreme overstatement.

  17. #17
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Godfrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Near San Jose, California
    Posts
    7,927
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    I prefer to do my own lens reviews.
    Too often I find something different in my hands and to my eyes compared to other reviewers.
    I agree 100%. Some of the most satisfying, best photographs I've produced in the past 40 years were made with lenses that the official pundits condemned as equivalent to a Coke bottle bottom.

    It's better to concentrate on making photographs than worrying whether some geek with a resolution chart has myopia. :-)

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    944
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    16

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    It's better to concentrate on making photographs than worrying whether some geek with a resolution chart has myopia. :-)
    I agree wholeheartedly. One of these afternoons, I am going to start a thread on "intimacy"......no, not the wife or GF.......but that relationship that one has with his or her favorite lens. Because to me, it goes beyond the tech specs into the realm of those intrinsic qualities that are difficult to quantify.

    It somehow becomes something greater than X elements of glass and Y aperture blades.

    It has gotten to the point for me that if I have a lens on my camera that I am in love with, and I see a review of it, I refuse to read it.

    Just don't care at that point.

    Respectfully......Richard

  19. #19
    Member kwalsh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    147
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    if you really don't like getting involved in disucssions as you claim why would you post something as provocative as:

    and not expect some reasonable interested person to ask you to explain your view and want to explore the idea and assumptions further?
    Very, very fair comment/criticism there. Mea culpa!

    Quote Originally Posted by mabelsound View Post
    Ken, I am wondering where you're getting this impression...

    What specifically bothers you about them? They really do give you information about both the uncorrected and corrected images.
    OK, now I am completely and totally perplexed - or else suffering some sort of early onset dementia. As I recall (perhaps wrongly) photozone first tested and posted reviews with their normal processing chain which did apply corrections. Then I'm almost 100% certain they pulled the reviews and used another RAW converter to do the tests with no corrections - which I thought was really useless and I wrote them off. Well now it appears they have put the test data for corrections back up and put in textual comments about how extreme the corrections may or may not be. Which I think is the best of both worlds! Hurray!

    Good news, the photozone tests seem really useful again. Bad news (but altogether too frequent news) I look like a moron...

    Ken

  20. #20
    retnull
    Guest

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich M View Post
    I agree wholeheartedly. One of these afternoons, I am going to start a thread on "intimacy"......no, not the wife or GF.......but that relationship that one has with his or her favorite lens. Because to me, it goes beyond the tech specs into the realm of those intrinsic qualities that are difficult to quantify.
    Yes, there is a realm of true-lens-love that extends beyond rationality. It is almost a prosthetic relation: I love the way the lens sees, so much so that I want to see the world that way myself, as if the lens were my own eyes.

    </half-joking>
    Kurt

  21. #21
    Administrator Bob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Prescott, Arizona
    Posts
    4,492
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    367

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Kevin, I thought photography itself is a geeky activity. Brick wall lens testers fit right in.
    Yeah,
    but first you have to measure and calibrate your brick wall.
    -bob

  22. #22
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,594
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Yeah,
    but first you have to measure and calibrate your brick wall.
    -bob
    Before that, I would check the spirit level in the tripod to make sure the setup is level.

  23. #23
    Administrator Bob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Prescott, Arizona
    Posts
    4,492
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    367

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Before that, I would check the spirit level in the tripod to make sure the setup is level.
    Parallelism of the sensor-plane to the wall is very important, and due to lens aberrations, one cannot trust what is in the image.
    So measuring the parallelism of the two planes is a good start. I have been fretting for years on the best way to accomplish this.
    So to save wear and tear on my nervous system, I just shoot with the damn thing and see how I like it.
    -bob

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Posts
    1,309
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    It's better to concentrate on making photographs than worrying whether some geek with a resolution chart has myopia. :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Yeah,
    but first you have to measure and calibrate your brick wall.
    -bob
    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Before that, I would check the spirit level in the tripod to make sure the setup is level.
    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    (...) death to lens tests
    Heh. I love it when people make jokes about reviews and reviewers. Personally I am very fund of many lenses and I try to fight this habit of buying fast primes in my endless search for the holy grail.

    So, I like lens reviews. Or love them. Making jokes about the poor blokes performing them tells me something... I read many lens reviews at work at slow hours and it gives me a picture of the stuff they tested.

    When I have lured myself into trying a lens I buy it and among the first things I do is to take some series of test images. This includes an USAF chart, tree branches, a book shelf, a maglite bulb in the dark and a few bokeh related images. In a very short time I learn some things about the lens and it mainly saves me from using it in an inappropriate way later when really using the lens. And it gives me some reason to whine as I of course never found the magic lens.

    Godfrey; I have seen many of your lens comparisons and sample images. You don't suffer from myopia or cataract or anything I hope?

    regards,

    /Jonas

  25. #25
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    166
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by kwalsh View Post
    Good news, the photozone tests seem really useful again. Bad news (but altogether too frequent news) I look like a moron...

    Ken
    Nah, you don't! I think you're right, he changed his methodology a couple of times before settling on this.

  26. #26
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,594
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas View Post
    Heh. I love it when people make jokes about reviews and reviewers. Personally I am very fund of many lenses and I try to fight this habit of buying fast primes in my endless search for the holy grail.
    I do not think Bob was making remarks nonchalantly. Nor was I.

    From your summary, in comparison, perhaps I might have invested more time and resources than you in attempting to get at what you describe as the "holy grail".

    The truth (for me) is that grail is non existent.

    I have "perfect" lenses (very many of them) and even the latest "more than perfect" Pana 20/1.7.

    Though tools and techniques are essential for every photographer, photography itself (i mean the "final picture") is more than all of this.

    As the bard said- there is more to photography than it can be dreamt of in any (or all of) lens tests, gear tests and even system tests.

  27. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Posts
    1,309
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: where do you folks get lens reviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    I do not think Bob was making remarks nonchalantly. Nor was I.

    From your summary, in comparison, perhaps I might have invested more time and resources than you in attempting to get at what you describe as the "holy grail".

    The truth (for me) is that grail is non existent.

    I have "perfect" lenses (very many of them) and even the latest "more than perfect" Pana 20/1.7.

    Though tools and techniques are essential for every photographer, photography itself (i mean the "final picture") is more than all of this.

    As the bard said- there is more to photography than it can be dreamt of in any (or all of) lens tests, gear tests and even system tests.
    Then I have to apology. You were probably all dead serious. I'm sorry for reading and phrasing myself in such a sloppy way. What can you expect from anybody looking at lens and camera reviews before buying?

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •