I’ve always advised people when it comes to camera lenses not to rely on internet reviews as gospel since such reviews are in many ways subjective – they serve a purpose but shouldn’t be seen as absolutes.
What works for one person may not for other,what one person finds acceptable another may not.
If possible pre purchase a person should borrow a friends copy or perhaps rent a lens.
Most camera stores will allow a grace return period, you buy it, don’t like, no harm no foul, return it.
A friend who shares the same opinion as I sent the below link – in reading it I couldn’t help but nod my head at the part about if you want to go with reviews give a greater credibility to the most recent ones rather than those that appear pre or immediately following release – the reasons for that should be obvious.
If you read the article you will see what I mean.
Now I don’t know anything about Lensrentals or Roger Cicala for that matter but I believe he makes some very valid points worth consideration.
In addition I’ve always felt “unboxing” videos are a complete waste of bandwidth – what information do you actually gain by watching someone take a lens out of box and roll it over and over?
The thrill or whatever it is is vicarious at best – you aren’t the one unboxing, it isn’t in your hands, there is zero tactile experience, and personally I don’t care what a lens or tool looks like only how it performs.
Isn’t that some part of the equation when it comes to a lens – how it feels, the personal experience of fiddling with focus or aperture adjustments, the heft of it?
There are a few lenses I’ve droned on about in the blog, but I also mention that in doing so I’m expressing a personal opinion and encourage people to do the math for themselves.
It isn’t possible to ask in this venue by a show of hands how many people have purchased a lens based singularly on reviews only to be disappointed – if it were possible I’m sure there would be more than few.
People may search and strive for perfection, but the truth is perfection is elusive, and like beauty resides in the eye of the beholder – so it can only follow that perfection is subjective depending on individual perspective.
Some may feel as though the Mona Lisa is a masterpiece and others a whatever – some may favor a particular brand of camera and lenses while others opt for a different brand.
Is this a matter of right and wrong or personal taste and what works for a person?
I personally believe mirrorless cameras are becoming to dslrs what dslrs were to film cameras and readily acknowledge more than a few would be willing to dispute that.
Yet the fact that Hasselblad has recently released a mirrorless medium format camera to me at least lends credibility to my belief and resistance may be as futile as the film buffs original resistance to digital cameras, time will tell.
There is a tremendous amount of hype associated with photography just as there is with any other industry.
Everything from a “king of bokeh” to the latest absolute must have camera, lens, and accessories that will ramp up the users game – maybe so in some instances and maybe not in others.
But the bottom line is that the majority of shooters don’t have sponsors, they don’t have a lens sent to them to review or write a “pre release” review without ever actually had the lens in hand.
Nor do they have a lot of disposable income, so it becomes in some ways a buyer beware proposition – a do the math yourself situation and that’s all I’m basically saying.
Now I’ve been toying with a Zeiss touit lens the last few days courtesy of a friend, reviews alternately rave about this lens as being five stars, some comments going so far as to proclaim it perfection, but I’ve also seen reviews that low balled it.
Low ball ratings that seemed more appropriate for a kit lens, and this is definitely not a kit lens.
Do I covet this lens? I suppose that’s as good a word as any to use, but it isn’t based on reviews, rather my personal experience.
How would I rate it? Too soon to tell but I will say thus far I’m impressed.
Is it a lens I would recommend? Yes I would while encouraging others to do the math.
One persons perspective or experience doesn’t automatically trump another’s – you either like something and it serves your purpose or you don’t, it’s as simple as that.
Some people like asparagus, I tend to view it as being radioactive – am I wrong, are they, or is it merely a matter of personal taste? I’d say the latter.