Is there any site where I can compare the same image taken with different lenses? I know on dpreview they have something like that for cameras, but is there anywhere I can find the same kind of comparison for lenses?

BTW, I am interested in cheap/mid-range lenses.


Bryan provides images of test charts on his website the digital picture. You can find them under Tools -> Lens Image Quality

You can pick any two lenses and compare them at different apertures and focal lengths (if applicable). Not all lenses are tested on every camera, so you might get some bias from the differences between the two different cameras used, but the overall comparison should still hold.

  • Those aren't really images in the sense that I think the OP means. They are secondary pictures of portions of images displayed and zoomed in to certain specific portions on the camera's LCD screen. And Bryan doesn't test any "cheap" lenses outside the Canon universe. He does test a few high end lenses for other systems. – Michael C Sep 3 '15 at 23:12

The answer is fundamentally no — not because there's never been a site that's tried to do something like this, but because when you're at the nit-picky level, the huge amount of variation from lens to lens makes any such site which does not test hundreds of lenses misleading at best — and at the practical level, the difference between these low-cost lenses is really insignificant. Use them with appropriate light and don't stress them out with bright light sources in the frame or intense contrast, and all modern lenses are all quite good.

If you're looking to decide between two lenses with very different functionality (say, widely different focal length), you don't need to compare images of the same scene, so I'm assuming that you're looking to choose between two similar lenses. For that, I recommend reading as many different reviews as you can find, and looking through sample pictures for similar situations, particularly ones which match the shooting you're doing. (Take a look at What image-quality characteristics make a lens good or bad? for some advice on particular things to look for and when they might show up.) Again keep in mind that sample results will vary, so the more different sources, the better.

If you can, it's also nice to actually use a particular lens to see if it meets what you're looking for. I haven't tried it, but I find LensRentals's Keeper program appealing — you start by renting, and then if you like it, you pay a market-reasonable amount to keep it. That way, you can do your own comparison for what really matters to you, and you're testing what you'll actually get, not looking at a sample which may be from an outlier.

  • I had not heard of the keeper program; that's pretty neat! +1 – dpollitt Sep 5 '15 at 19:54

nikon has a simulator on their website.

It is really helpful when you are stuck in choosing exactly how much zoom you want.


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