Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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There's quite a lot of different photographic flaws that you can test for. For each of these tests you may get different results at the widest angle compared to the longest zoom. Autofocus - Try setting up a high-contrast subject like a black & white test card and use autofocus from different distances while the camera is on a tripod to take shots. ...


I would put it through a series of situations: Low light/Noise Handling - take a shot in relative darkness to see how the camera handles noise and a slow shutter speed. High contrast - take a shot with a big difference in light and shade to test the dynamic range. Detail - take a shot of something with fine detail to test the resolution and sharpness. ...


I use DxOMark to compare technical lens data. They use a standard test process to measure and compare the following lens parameters: Resolution Transmission Distortion Vignetting Chromatic aberration These data points are taken at different focal lengths (for zoom lenses), at different apertures and are tested on a variety of camera bodies. ...


You asked about basic testing of a used D90 but I have commented for DSLRs in general. Much but not all will apply to a D90 and most will be useful in most cases. If you can devise a high reliability way of doing this you can make money from it. Alas, modern DSLR camera are complex electromechanical mechanisms which have many potential ways of going ...


I think your first stop should be at Imatest, which offers many different suites of tests widely used by large commercial & industrial customers. That said they also cater for the individual, check out in particular the Imatest Master. The downside is the purchase price (although there seems to be trial version available) and you may need extra test ...


There's a few ways to go with this. First, you need a point of comparison, or a baseline to say what is "working" or "good enough" or "problem free". This might be something like: As good as other Olympus TG-2 cameras, i.e. is it function at it's own spec? As good as another specific camera, i.e. is it functioning as well as its peers? Reliably achieves ...


Producing and comparing MTF's is not really as easy as it may seem. Different manufacturers use different contexts, sensors are often tested in a different context than lenses, and direct apples to apples comparisons can be difficult. That said, the way Canon MTF charts work is fairly strait forward. The 10lp/mm MTFs are intended to measure sharpness at a ...


I would recommend you to raise the ISO to lower the shutter speed. The old rule which says "Match shutter speed and focal lenght" come in handy here. So for a 90mm lens, you should aim to have a shutter speed of (crop factor x focal length), in this case, 90 x 1.5 ~ 135 => shutter speed around 1/135 or shorter. Since the lens also lack stabilization, this ...


It will be difficult under such circumstances to do anything but a cursory inspection. The best advice would be to know the lens you are going to buy and it's particular quirks. Ideally, the seller could send you a picture taken with the actual lens in advance, so you could see for yourself, barring that, if you could bring a camera and a laptop, and try ...


Take a look at a sample test on They have standardized test results available for distortion, vignetting & CA and MTF charts. (Although these might be generated by test suite)

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