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 Post subject: Testing a lense
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:14 pm 
Hello everybody,

Having read lots of reviews and comments about upgrading the 400d lense it's now time to go and try some.

What I am going to do is go to my local shop and ask to shoot a few frames to see what I think. I know the feel of the lense has to be right but when I go to shoot off some frames what should I do. e.g. What focal length, what aperture and what's the best thing to photograph. Then when I get home what should I look for in the results?

I would like a good walkabout lense, leaning towards the 24-105L but not definate yet.

I value all comments from camera labs and look forward to reading the forums it is definately the best photographic site on the net.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
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Location: Germany
Shoot wide open, max 1 stop down as these are the critical areas. Focus from very wide to ultra long as again normally these are the critical lenghts. Add one intermediary focal length.
If you can, shoot bare trees/twiggs from a distance (like this one) against the sky or other bright background. Try to post them centre, border and corner (nice trick to place trees in corners is to shoot with the camera turned 30° clockwise and ccw so the trees go through the diagonal of the pic.
Shoot 800 ISO and short shutter speeds to avoid blur.
Make sure, focus is right (very important)!

Happy shooting...

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Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:30 pm 
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Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
(note - this posted at the same time as Thomas!)

Hi stjohn, thanks for your kind words!

It's a great idea to do what you're doing, although you may be restricted deopending on where the shop will let you test the lens.

In terms of aperture, you can find out a lot about a lens when it's wide open (smallest f number) and when it's at its optimum aperture which is usually f8.

Try to take the same photo using a tripod at the widest aperture and at f8 of a subject which has fine detail in the corners (but make sure it's in focus too as when wide open you'll have a small depth of field).

Then presuming you're using a zoom, repeat at different focal lengths, say at the widest and longest and something in the middle.

You could also take a photo of a plain white wall or blue sky to reveal vignetting (dareniong in the corners), along with a grid pattern (maybe a brick wall or even a computer spreadsheet on an LCD monitor) to test for geometric distortion.

To find out how we test lenses visit this page:

http://www.cameralabs.com/about/testing.shtml

Forum Moderator Thomas has also done many lens tests in the forum and describes his methods in posts like these:

http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1124

Gordon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:41 pm 
Thank you both for your great explanations.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7965
Location: Germany
I understood that your means for testing are a little limited, just "a few frames" outside the shop. If you can have a tripod, all the better. If you cannot find bare trees in the vicinity look for antennae on roof-tops, spoke-wheels on bicycles or other fine structures that are far enough away...

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Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


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