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Thread: Reviews

  1. #1
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    Reviews

    Please give them space. Drop some of the more marketing orientated "news" items to do so if you have to.

    Example from 2012 March 17 edition: wide angle lens comparison: talk in the introduction about vignetting being common to lenses in this class but no reference to vignetting in the reviews of the individual lenses. OK, I may have missed anything in the Nikon section as I skipped it very fast, such lenses being of no practical interest to me. I would have thought that a comparison between the full aperture vignetting of the Sigma 12-24mm "full frame" lens in comparison with that shown by the "crop frame" alternatives would be very interesting to those with a crop frame camera wanting a lens like this: is the improvement in performance by chopping of the edge of the design image circle worth the extra cost and weight of this lens?

    Obviously individual people will have different ideas about the weight to be given to vignetting, but hey, give us the information & let us make our own choice, rather than leaving us out in the dark. (Nasty pun, sorry)

    Some of these lenses presumably include a lens hood in the package and some don't. That's important to some of us, as is the lens hood's effectiveness at preventing glare from out-of-frame light sources and the effect that the hood might have on handling (does it have to come off to get the camera + lens back into my bag?). Whether the hood is included and, if not, the extra price for the option should of course be indicated. It isn't.

    Also the resolution charts for the corners only have been printed, leaving me to question how much of the difference was due to lens design and how much to focusing errors.

    Done well, this sort of comparison is exactly the sort of thing that will build the magazine's readership base. But six pages for six fairly complex lenses is IMHO too tight to do the job properly.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Reviews

    I'm fully with you, BJB. Since the sad passing of the late Geoffrey Crawley, AP's lens reviews are not all they were. While I appreciate it must be hard to find a replacement with Mr Crawley's wide ranging and in depth knowledge of so many photographic matters, Prof. Newman has being doing quite a good job in some areas. Perhaps AP should buy him an optical bench, possibly to be shared with WDC!

    I think, given the limitations of the magazine reproduction, a better use of space would be to replace the resolution charts with a simple numerical table until such a time as we can get full MTF graphs again.

  3. #3
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    Re: Reviews

    I spotted a factual error - the opening para on the Nikkor 12-24 F/4G ED-IF states that the lens "is a 35mm-format lens being used on a camera with an APS-C sensor." This is not the case as the lens is a DX lens, which is Nikon nomenclature for PS-C size sensor. Could the reviewer be mixing the lens up with the Nikkor 14-24 F/2.8, which is a very much bigger beast?

    I am also in agreement with Ale Munro that the resolution chart would be better distilled to its numerical data. The printed images are not very helpful. MTF charts are not for everyone but they do give the review an authoritative and objective evidence base.

  4. #4
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    Re: Reviews

    The reviews on tripods in the current issue were pretty thorough I thought. I was somewhat tickled that one manufacturer named one model after myself - "Brian" leading to much chuckling as AP reported that one of Brian's legs could be removed, that I offer a good height (I'm actually 6" 1" too) and "it can't be ignored just how good Brian is..". I did take exception however to a comment that Brian is rather heavy! However, my ball-head is stylish and as for me being made in China, I'll have to check with my Mum!
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  5. #5
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    Re: Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexMonro View Post
    I'm fully with you, BJB. Since the sad passing of the late Geoffrey Crawley, AP's lens reviews are not all they were.
    Which to me is not a bad thing. There's no doubting Geoffrey's technical knowledge and ability, but I found his style far too technical and dry and really hard to read as a result. while many photographers may prefer this technical analysis, those of a more creative bent are more likely to baulk at it, as I did.

    Not only that, but technical data is all well and good and it's the results on the sensor/screen/print that count. A technically lesser lens may produce more aesthetically pleasing results.

    In an ideal world I'd have two reviewers. One, a boffin with the technical data coming out of his or her ears, producing a technical report, and the other a writer and photographer using the lenses in the real world and reviewing them accordingly.
    "Wrong on so many different levels."

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  6. #6
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    Re: Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Barney View Post
    Which to me is not a bad thing. There's no doubting Geoffrey's technical knowledge and ability, but I found his style far too technical and dry and really hard to read as a result. while many photographers may prefer this technical analysis, those of a more creative bent are more likely to baulk at it, as I did.

    Not only that, but technical data is all well and good and it's the results on the sensor/screen/print that count. A technically lesser lens may produce more aesthetically pleasing results.

    In an ideal world I'd have two reviewers. One, a boffin with the technical data coming out of his or her ears, producing a technical report, and the other a writer and photographer using the lenses in the real world and reviewing them accordingly.
    Can't argue with that.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Benchista View Post
    Can't argue with that.
    Are you feeling alright Nick???
    "Wrong on so many different levels."

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  8. #8
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    Re: Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Barney View Post
    Are you feeling alright Nick???
    Fine - despite the fact that I've agreed with almost everything you've written on here in the last few days.
    Nick

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  9. #9
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    Re: Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Benchista View Post
    Fine - despite the fact that I've agreed with almost everything you've written on here in the last few days.
    Perhaps we should be asking, "Who is pretending to be Barney?"
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  10. #10
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    Re: Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Benchista View Post
    Fine - despite the fact that I've agreed with almost everything you've written on here in the last few days.
    That's enough to put anyone off their tea!
    "Wrong on so many different levels."

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  11. #11
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    Re: Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Fen View Post
    Perhaps we should be asking, "Who is pretending to be Barney?"
    I don't know, but if you ever find out can you get them to pay off Barney's credit card and sort out the recycling while they're at it?
    "Wrong on so many different levels."

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  12. #12
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    Re: Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Barney View Post
    Which to me is not a bad thing. There's no doubting Geoffrey's technical knowledge and ability, but I found his style far too technical and dry and really hard to read as a result. while many photographers may prefer this technical analysis, those of a more creative bent are more likely to baulk at it, as I did.
    Welcome back Barney.

    Creative I am not. I do consider myself reasonably technical and agree with you entirely about Mr Crawley's reviews. On occasions I found them unreadable and said as much to Tharg.

    MickLL

  13. #13
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    Re: Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Barney View Post
    Which to me is not a bad thing. There's no doubting Geoffrey's technical knowledge and ability, but I found his style far too technical and dry and really hard to read as a result.

    In an ideal world I'd have two reviewers. One, a boffin with the technical data coming out of his or her ears, producing a technical report, and the other a writer and photographer using the lenses in the real world and reviewing them accordingly.
    I doubt I understood 1 word in 10 of Geoffrey's articles if I'm honest

    And have no idea what an MTF is, let alone how to read a graph.

    I would agree that the experts need to know this stuff, but the point of magazine reviews is IMO for the journos to translate the techno babble into something normal photographers can understand
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  14. #14
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    Question Re: Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Barney View Post
    In an ideal world I'd have two reviewers. One, a boffin with the technical data coming out of his or her ears, producing a technical report, and the other a writer and photographer using the lenses in the real world and reviewing them accordingly.
    An interesting thread ladies and gents, please keep it going The above suggestion (and I will confess my preferred solution) was trailed many years ago with Dr. Stewart Bell. From recollection it was not well received, have times changed?
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  15. #15
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    Re: Reviews

    It obviously takes all types, as I found Geoffry's article eminently readable.
    But then I am ancient myself...... I find I have to read the new boy at least twice to get to understand them, but worth the effort.
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  16. #16
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    Re: Reviews

    I like a mixture so I can skip anything too technical but also delve into something difficult to learn too if I fancy.

    I've commented before though that if two images are put up for comparison, they should appear large on the page or else it is impossible to discern what they are meant to reveal. Far too often an image is shown purporting to show resolution or some defect or whatever and it is just too small.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Reviews

    I must admit to being bamboozled by technical articles and graphs, even though I have mathematics in my blood.

    "I would agree that the experts need to know this stuff, but the point of magazine reviews is IMO for the journos to translate the techno babble into something normal photographers can understand " (quote from PhilW)

    I agree with the quote above. I also think that reviews should be on equipment used in a real-world situation, as a lot of AP's stuff is; there is a (small) place for the technical stuff, graphs, MTF, etc, and I suppose some like to read it, but I usually skip most of it.
    Roy

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  18. #18
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    Re: Reviews

    I must admit to being bamboozled by technical articles and graphs, even though I have mathematics in my blood.
    When done badly (usually with the good intent of making the data easier to understand) they are a complete waste of space. Done properly the results can be very useful.

    Fact of the matter is, some of us use lenses with sensors for which they were not designed - and vice versa - and raw data is what matters for evaluating whether the thing will be of any use or be any better than what we are already using.
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  19. #19
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    Re: Reviews

    About the most important aspect of a test is that it is "Standard" so that even little understood "Science" becomes compareable. It is where something fits between good and bad compared with something else, that everyone can understand.
    69 happy photo years from amateur to professional and back. Caught the bug Young.

  20. #20
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    Re: Reviews

    When reviewing a DSLR it is always the kit lens that is used. Many of us eschew those and spend more on a better lens. I think therefore they should do some of the tests with a really good lens to show what the combined system is capable of. It would also show the differences between a kit lens and a prestige version which is of interest even if we couldn't afford it!!
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