Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

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Looking for new camera system with changing lenses (DSLR or SLD) I find DxOMark also has rating for lenses:

What do the results numbers mean?

Can they be compared between systems?

It is strange that the top 10 lenses are either Nikon or Nikon mount? (See link)

Does that mean Nikon have best lenses or is the unit of measure different?

If the unit is different, how to compare? Is there conversion factor?

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Some discussion has gone on here: You also should read the about page at DxOMark: – dpollitt May 28 '12 at 23:19
Saw those. More about cameras, not so much for lenses. Thanks though! – Zak May 29 '12 at 14:02
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Taking your points in order:

  1. The DxOMark is apparently a weighted average of a number of measurements under one, rather specific set of conditions.
  2. The scores are about as comparable across systems as within a system. In other words, if you have (say) a Nikon and a Pentax that use the same Sony sensor, comparing lens scores between the two will probably work reasonably well. Sensor resolution will affect the score, however, whether the brand is the same or not.
  3. The top 10 being in Nikon mount probably says more about cameras than lenses -- it's basically saying the D4 provides excellent results under the relatively low-light conditions they use for the DxOMark score. Half those scores, however, are from third party lenses that are probably similar between mounts.

Bottom line: Despite the name, the top-ranked results probably aren't saying much about lens quality at all. They're mostly saying that the D4 is well suited to the conditions under which they've chosen to test.

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I think the scores are not compareble between systems - or even within a system - take the top rated lens, the Nikkor AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED with an excellent rating of 35 on the list page. now switch body from the D4 to something less top-of-the-line, let's take the D7000 for example - the score dropped to a 21 and that puts it almost exactly at the middle of the graph. - I think the scores are only meaningful if you look at scores for a single body. – Nir May 29 '12 at 10:02
@Nir: That fits with what I said -- the brand on the body doesn't matter. The sensor inside does. A Nikon and a Pentax with the same sensor can be compared, but two Nikons with different sensors can't. – Jerry Coffin May 29 '12 at 14:41

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