If you’ve ever wondered how to assess the sharpness of a lens or perhaps read an MTF chart and been curious as to how it’s made, check out this short video that quickly runs you through the basics.
If words like modular transfer function, sagittal, meridional, and field curvature seem a bit daunting, don’t worry. Ted Forbes does an excellent job of breaking down how lenses function and how their characteristics can be measured objectively in order to be assessed and compared.
Lens performance is an incredibly subjective field, and many photographers will prefer images from lenses that have arguably worse MTF charts, simply because of how a lens’s characteristics might lend themselves to what a photographer is trying to achieve. And as Forbes notes, photographers can be very passionate about their gear, so his video is prefaced by a couple of disclaimers in the hope that he doesn’t upset anyone.
If this video didn’t sufficiently tickle the geek in you, be sure to check out the blog over at Lens Rentals, such as this article by the company’s founder, Roger Cicala, that compares the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art, the Tamron 35mm f/1.4 SP Di USD, and the Zeiss Milvus ZE 35mm f/1.4. Grab your pocket protector and enjoy.
How important is lens sharpness to you? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.