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  1. #1
    Senior Member

    lens quality question

    is a really good quality lens like a fixed 50mm or a 50-140, etc, going to be able to take a picture of that can be enlarged enough to where it would surpass that of a really cheap super telephoto lens like 1300mm?

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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Bikerbrent's Avatar

    Re: lens quality question

    I am not sure you can go from 50mm to 1300mm, but good lens images can be enlarged more than ones from crappy lenses. For example, I used to own a Tamron 200-400mm which is a really crappy lens. I took a picture of a sailboat at 400 mm with this lens and it was pretty bad. I took the same picture with my Nikon 18-200mm and enlarged to 400mm equivalent, it was a better picture than the Tamron one. Then I took the same picture with my Nikon 80-200mm, and it totally blew the Tamron picture away. Primary reason I no longer own this Tamron lens.
    Brent: Poway, CA
    D7200, D200, F100
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    Nikon 50 AF f1.8
    Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro
    Nikon SB800

  3. #3
    Senior Member

    Re: lens quality question

    lens quality question
    heres an example, i have this $70 lens, 650-1300mm, yes, 70$ new lol it came with a doubler to make it a supposed 2600mm, heres a few pics from the lens, do you think i could have taken the same image with a 18-140mm and enlarged to the same quality if not better?

    first pic stock lens 18-140 at 18mm
    pic 2 at 140mm
    pic 3 at 2600mm
    (obviously 3 is better than 2 zoomed in but im sure i could have chosen better settings to improve quality)

    Last edited by Karn; 01-22-2019 at 04:57 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member

    lens quality question

    Enlarged photo quality is dependent upon camera pixel count, the higher the pixels the larger the viewable area or print size. With higher pixel count sensors the demand for quality lenses goes up. Lower pixel count sensors are more forgiving of "lessor" quality lenses.

    Indeed, more money will buy you better quality glass but there's a diminishing ROI. If photography is your livelihood and purchases can be written off as tax deductions AND the quality of your prints determines if you make your next car payment then $2,000 lenses are a must. For the majority of hobbyist, like myself, who might print a couple of photos over the course of a year but regularly view photos on a PC, tablet or phone, the consumer lenses do just fine. The reason is simple, the PC display that most people view images on these days is around 1mb, I don't know anyone who can view a 1mb photo and tell me that the image they're viewing was taken with a sub $2,000 lens.

    To add to the above, 10mb to 16mb is what you see in a printed magazine and again, your PC display of photos is around 1mb. Also of note, the 2018 photo of the year for N-Photo magazine was taken with a (obsolete) D200.
    Last edited by Call_me_Tom; 01-22-2019 at 01:24 PM.
    A bunch of Nikon stuff

  5. #5
    Senior Member

    Re: lens quality question

    I've done experiments with my Nikon 28-300 v. a Nikon 70-200, and the 200 blown up a little is just as good as the 300 at full zoom. But it's very close. Pitting the 200 against my Tamzooka at 600 is not close at all. 600 wins hands down.

    I don't think a 50mm prime could ever be blown up and look as good as any shot from a 1300.

  6. #6
    Happy to be Canadian
    Super Mod
    Marcel's Avatar

    Re: lens quality question

    It all depends on what quality you are willing to accept. What the images will be used for. I find these long cheap zooms very soft, but that's me.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member
    spb_stan's Avatar

    Re: lens quality question

    These photos are not showing any lens problem, since they are very noisy and detail lost due to poor Exposure triad settings. Why shoot at 1/8000? It required detail and contrast-robbing 20,000 ISO.Try shooting again with f/5.6 as before but100 ISO. At 20,000 ISO your signal to noise ratio can't be any more than 10 db or so when the same camera can capture 10 stops of Dynamic Range.No lens can give much better at those settings but any lens would look a lot better if shoot at base ISO. Because the modern camera can go so high in ISO there is almost no excuse to use such values

  8. #8
    Senior Member

    Re: lens quality question

    Cheap camera and cheap lens analogy
    Cheap Camera = Cheap Golf Club
    Cheap Lens = Cheap Shafts

    If you are good enough to tell/feel/benefit from the difference than quality matters.

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