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| p.1 #12 · Canon 35mm f/2 IS resolution comparison |
The charts somewhat confirm why I continue to be so happy with the performance of my old 35mm f/2 lens - small and humble, but a fine performer.
Also, the chart demonstrates that charts don't tell the whole story! Something I know very well from using the 35mm f/2 (old model) quite a bit is that the very furthest corners can be a little soft - though usually not enough to even notice. However - and what the chart does not tell us - is that the drop-off in sharpness between the measured center point and the measured corner is not linear. Instead, the 35mm f/2 remains very good until just before the far corners, at which point the decline in sharpness kicks in. Other lenses - some of which I own or have owned - showed a decline in sharpness that is more gradual and starts further into the frame.
Such charts that inform us of performance at two points in the frame (center and corner) provide a lot of interesting information, but there is also a lot that they don't tell us. They are a bit like reporting "the weather in the United States" by telling us what it is like only in Anchorage and in Dallas.
And, as always, we are reassured by this report that there are a whole bunch of 35mm primes for our Canon cameras that produce truly excellent image quality, and that the choice among them is more about things like cost, size, intended use, and so forth... than about the single data point of "sharpness."
(Of course, as always, it is smart to not assign too much significance to the results of a specific test, especially given the history of tests that can be quite different from one another. It is also really important to recognize comments like "A kicks B's butt" for the hyperbole that they represent.)