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If I want to compare different cameras or lenses, what properties should the photos that I use have? And what should I do in order to get the most information?

I can think of the following, but probably it's just a subset:

  • Good lighting (how do I define that?)
  • Proper exposition and manual settings;
  • Same aperture and field of view (the focal length might differ) - is there a "scientific way to do this?";
  • Scene with good amount of details, colors and contrasts;
  • Use of a tripod (?)

Also, what can I do if I want typical lens flaws (distortion, chromatic aberration) to pop out?

marked as duplicate by mattdm, Philip Kendall, MikeW, Itai, Esa Paulasto Mar 8 '14 at 8:31

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When I do such photos I alway use:

  • a tripod to make sure the photo shows the same especially in the corners
  • M-Mode with fix ISO-Settings to make sure exposure is same (be careful with fluctuating available light)

Often but not alway I use flash and "kill" the available light to avoid light fluctuations.

To analyses distortions I often use checkered paper or other objects with straight lines.

Scene with good amount of details, colors and contrasts

Yes, a good idea. Use test constructions like this or this.

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