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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Critics - Image Sharpness at 100% is Meaningless on 4R Print


Do you rate the quality of your lens by the 100%-size sharpness assessment? That is to say, you blow the image up to its full size, and review its sharpness based on what your eyes tell you. I do that all the time.

And comparatively speaking, its a good gauge of picture quality from your computer screen. Take for example the Nikkor 18-105mm VR kit lens. I must confess it hits most shots spot-on in the sharpness department even at 100%. Move over to the Nikkor 50mm F/1.8 lens. It can hardly match the more expensive kit lens in that. So, in the above context, verdict is, the Nikkor 50mm F/1.8 is not a sharper lens that many people say it is. (Maybe these folks have not used a more capable lens!) BUT, here's the catch of my verdict - if you shoot your Nikkor 50mm F/1.8, at say F/2.8, and get it printed on a standard 4R-sized photo paper via say, an Epson T30, the subject is as sharp as a razor blade!!!

Is this good enough for me? Yes, considering its $100 price tag and the ability to shoot at much lower-light conditions.