Sharpest Lenses

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Randy Given, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. Randy Given

    Randy Given Guest

    In your opinion, what are specific lenses that are "sharpest" in their
    class? At any price. Keep in mind, though, that more expensive is not
    necessarily better (e.g., comparing Nikon 50mm at f1.8, f1.4, and f1.2).
    This includes both prime and zoom lenses.
    Randy Given, Nov 30, 2005
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  2. Randy Given

    [BnH] Guest

    This list can be a VERYY long list :D
    [BnH], Nov 30, 2005
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  3. Canon 135mm f/2.0L


    "I have been a witness, and these pictures are
    my testimony. The events I have recorded should
    not be forgotten and must not be repeated."

    -James Nachtwey-
    John A. Stovall, Nov 30, 2005
  4. Randy Given

    Hunt Guest

    The sharpest lens that I have ever owned was a Nikkor APO-EL 210 f/2.5. It was
    originally designed for NASA, and we used it as a 1:1 dupe enlarger lens. It
    was also designed to be sharpest wide open (not very common). We used it also,
    on an extreme micro 8x10 camera-rig for shooting chip-discs, always using
    strobe, as the lens did not have a built-in shutter. Seems that the price was
    ~US$5000.00 back in about '83. Nothing I've ever seen has even come close to
    this lens, regardless of price.

    Hunt, Nov 30, 2005
  5. Randy Given

    Jack Yeazel Guest

    I got into checking the "sharpness" of lenses some years ago with Air
    Force test targets... However, a different system has come out, and the
    major camera reviewers like Steve's DigiCams, Phil Askey, and especially
    Dave's Imaging Resources use an "ISO" test target...
    ( )

    With the ISO chart, you can use whatever lens or zoom factor and compare
    that with any other camera, because you frame the test target to appear
    exactly at the tips of the top and bottom aiming points...

    This test target is quite expensive, but someone has done a scan that's
    (almost) as good, included in the site above...

    (For me) it's hard to say, if the lens or the CCD is the limiting
    resolution factor... I don't think one can tell...

    The standard ISO test target will only test up to 2,000 Line Widths per
    Picture Height, so Dave has "doubled" the chart size on his test site,
    so that a reading of 1,000 LW/PH is actually 2,000 LW/PH... For
    example, the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark-II, 16.7MP, Pro SLR camera will resolve
    2,200 Vert. and 2,400 Horiz. LW/PH...

    My Canon PowerShot Pro1 8Mp camera only resolves 1,600 to 1,650 LW/PH
    and can be tested on the 'original' chart...

    Jack Yeazel, Dec 2, 2005
  6. [A complimentary Cc of this posting was sent to
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)
    Thanks for the work you've done. However, note that a crucial piece
    of information is missing: which demosaicer was used in the test. As
    dpreview have shown, difference may be as high as 30% difference in
    resolution (for b/w targets).

    Thanks again,
    Ilya Zakharevich, Dec 8, 2005
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