I'm not sure that your conclusion follows from your example.

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Joseph Miller, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. You say the kit lens isn't bad. From that I would infer it is a decent
    lens. However, when you got a better lens, your images had more detail,
    if that is one of the obvious differences you are mentioning. I would
    conclude that the sensor was capable of higher resolution than the kit
    lens could provide. Of course, you can still stick with your bottom
    line if you say the kit lens is not a decent lens. However, I would call
    this lens, from Nikon, quite a decent lens, though nowhere near as good
    as top lenses. You have simply proved that the sensor of the D200 has
    more resolution from edge to edge than the kit lens, that the kit lens
    was limiting the resolution of the pictures you were taking.

    In fact, if one considers edge-to-edge sharpness, I've noticed that many
    "standard" lenses in the Nikon and Canon lists are incapable of taking
    advantage of the full resolution provided by 8-10 MP sensors over the
    entire image when they are wide open, and quite a few even have trouble
    when they are stopped down bit. However, whether this is really a
    serious problem is another question. There is no doubt that the better
    and top lenses from these manufacturers can use all the resolution
    provided by the sensors generally available today and have some left over.

    Karl Winkler wrote:
    it originally came with a kit lens (18-70 f/3.5-4.5)
    Joseph Miller, Feb 22, 2007
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  2. [A complimentary Cc of this posting was sent to
    Joseph Miller
    What you write makes absolutely no sense. "What lens could provide"
    depends on two factors (if you forget anti-shake ;-): the lens, and the
    f-stop used. Looks like you completely ignore the second factor.

    At f/16, almost all lenses will perform similar; and they will
    saturate the ability of 8MP sensor. At f/11, some differences may be
    seen - but to resolve them, you need about 15MP sensor. What happens
    at f/8, f/4, and f/2.8 are three completely different stories.

    Hope this helps,
    Ilya Zakharevich, Feb 23, 2007
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  3. Karl:

    I think we are in complete agreement. The best digital camera sensors
    are very good, and if you put a so-so lens in front of them, you stand a
    good chance of your resolution being limited by the lens, not by the
    sensor. This is especially the case if you use the lens wide open and
    examine the corners carefully, That said, even "standard" lenses in the
    Nikon and Canon catalogues will perform quite well with virtually all
    DSLRs if you just stop them down a bit.

    For example, the normal kit lens with the Canon 400D/xti,a 18-55 EF-S
    lens, gets lots of bad-mouthing on the forums and reviews. From that
    one would assume the sensor performs better than the lens can take
    advantage of. If fact, one sees many posts from people who moved up to
    an "L" lens and go on and on about the increased sharpness. However, I
    downloaded the images on dpreview.com taken with this camera and lens. I
    only found three, the rest being taken with other lenses. With it
    stopped down a bit, it provided fine general performance, and I found
    that a little tweaking in PS could turn them into very sharp images that
    would look excellent on 20x30 inch prints. Sure an L lens would be
    better, but for the extra $70 it costs to get the kit lens with the
    body, it is an incredible lens for the money.

    As an aside, I find that the resolution on images on my Canon SD 700IS
    is generally limited by the sensor pixels, not the lens. That means
    that, with this tiny camera I can get pictures with about as much detail
    as any 6MP out there. 20x30 inch enlargements look extremely good. Of
    course I don't have the flexibility of more capable cameras, but there's
    something very nice about having a camera that goes in one's shirt
    pocket and can produce such high quality pictures.

    Joseph Miller, Feb 23, 2007
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