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leighton w wrote:
Looks a little soft on the edges? yes...no?
I've never understood why a wide open lens should be critiqued on whether it is sharp corner to corner. Perhaps at a time with ASA 400 was deemed fast, there was a greater need to shoot wide open and corner to corner sharpness was of greater significance. But with today's cameras, the only reason to shoot wide open is because the photographer is attempting to isolate a portion of a scene. In that situation, I'm after bokeh at the edges not sharpness. In fact, I'll frame the scene so I get the maximum blur everywhere but the area I want to be sharp. If I'm concerned about corner to corner sharpness AND the scene I'm shooting permits me to gain that, I'll stop down. Apart from flat walls, one is rarely put into the position where such matters need to be considered. Landscape photographers who are seeking maximum depth of field are definitely stopping down their cameras. I spoke with my friend George who said he shoots at either f/11 or f/16. He also said there is not a single shot in his archive taken with the lens wide open.
I direct this as much to John as to you Leighton, recalling his comments on the performance of the Zeiss 100 on his D800. If I'm not seeking corner to corner sharpness, I'm not inclined to discount a lens because it doesn't achieve perfection in that regard. I'd rather evaluate a lens in terms of its utility to me and not some standard. I understand the more technically inclined among us enjoy making those kinds of evaluations as fully as I enjoy working with an image in post to get out of it the most I can.
I feel the same way about contrast produced by a lens. I can manage that very easily in post. Our digital tools are so incredible that a great many deficits can be overcome.