Upload & Sell: On
This could also be "Is it the lens or the processing? ".
And yes, I know it's both. And yes, I know some will stone me for that.
The photos below were just taken with an old Canon 20D and a Contax c/y 85mm f2.8 with a cheap ebay adapter. All at f4 (the 20D won't shoot if I set smaller apertures,go figure...).
First look at the monitor, they look...ok. One pass of Tonal Contrast filter from Nik Color Efex Pro and...bam! Great contrast,sharpnes and texture. Photo comes alive.
So my point being: We all spend a lot of money in lenses....Show more →
I think it totally depends on the intended audience, the purpose of the image, and the photographer's or artist's, intended style.
For example with me as the audience, the assumed purpose of the image being an FM post showing a few guys on the docs, and the assumed style being what's mostly accepted as good photography on FM:
Your first unedited images are pretty good while the edits are rather poor.
So in the very case you site software being superior for; the lens won. Yet other shots for other audiences and/or other artistic styles the software will win. It's just case by case and additionally a lot also depends on the talent of the software operator as well as the lens in question.
If you do some searching you'll find this topic has been discussed A LOT here in the Alt forum. It almost always concludes with the majority accepting a simple truth: "A hell of a lot can be accomplished in software but the lens is ever-important!"