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I think the suggestion about real world images someone made is a good one, so I've appended the article with 100% crops of an ISO chart shot with one of the highest and one of the lowest resolving lenses.
I think it helps demonstrate that the number differences, while real, seem a lot greater than what you'd notice in the real world.
(I apologize for double posting, but seemed pertinent to both the ongoing threads. Maybe they should merge.)
well, i'm finally back, sort of, what a horror
anyway on topic:
OTOH just with the few copies I tried, I sensed a difference just from random shots, never mind the careful ones, here is best at 70mm f/2.8 center frame vs. worst, I think the difference in micro-contrast is clear, the best 24-70 II just has insane pop, look at how much darker it keeps the fine detailed lines (that said, even the worst at 70mm 2.8 one was still clearly better than even a good copy tamron 28-75 and probably as good as a 70-200 f/4 IS and it had well-balanced edges):
that is best, worst and intermediate out of a handful
and for reference, from a 70-300L (better than 70-200 f4 IS):
and a very good tamron 28-75:
it is easier to see differences if you save the images and then flip, scrolling up and down makes differences less apparent then right next to each other and especially compared to flipping
and keep in mind that it's hardly like lenses are twice as sharp as others so you won't see crazy differences other than maybe edges and corners, especially on FF
200% crops so jpg compression won't affect them to much (saved at max settings in photoshop), best of something like 12 10x zoom liveview manual focusing attempts for each, constant indoor lighting at night, tripod, remote trigger release
Edited on Nov 11, 2012 at 10:37 PM · View previous versions