Suppose I have these two lenses: - Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens - Tamron 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD

And suppose I have used them both on the same full frame camera, in the same tripod setup to take the exact same photo using these exact settings on both lenses - focal 50mm - Aperture F5 - shutter 1/400 - ISO 100

should I get the exact same photo quality in both images because all settings are the same? or there will be a difference in photo quality because of the difference in lenses?


1 Answer 1


The fact that you have the same settings will mean that you will get the same exposure.

Using the same focal length in a tripod will give you the same composition.

Any other aspect of the image quality will be affected by the lenses and their quality. Vignetting, contrast, chromatic aberrations, distortion (not all lenses produce the same distortion at the same focal length)...

This happens because there is not a unique way of building a lens with a given focal length. Manufacturers design their lenses using different numbers of elements (single glasses inside the lens) and group them in different ways, in addition to extra features such as coating layers.

Usually, the less number of elements light has to pass through, the better, as you keep a greater part of the quality of the image. That is the reason why prime lenses tend to be better in image quality terms than any zoom lens at their focal length, and the reason why wide range zoom lenses are more versatile but don't stand out against mroe specific ones.

  • \$\begingroup\$ "Using the same focal length in a tripod will give you the same composition." Not necessarily. Some (many) zoom lenses and even some primes "breathe" differently when focused at shorter distances, so the FoV could be significantly different. Compare the Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II to the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II: At minimum focus distance the Nikon gives a 145mm FoV, while the Canon gives a 196mm FoV when both are set to 200mm. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    May 27, 2018 at 16:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelClark Thanks for the comment. I wasn't aware the difference could be that big in some cases. Anyway, I think the point that there is more to the image quality than the framing is clear. \$\endgroup\$
    – pgg66
    May 27, 2018 at 17:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @pgg66 thanks for your answer. I was wondering if just the aperture what makes a lens cost that much. Now that explains the huge difference in cost. \$\endgroup\$ May 27, 2018 at 17:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AnasAldera You're welcome! Keep in mind that there are other features that can add to the cost of a lens, such as weather sealing or image stabilization, without affecting image quality significantly. Lenses are a very fine work of engineering, and the aperture is just one variable of the equation \$\endgroup\$
    – pgg66
    May 27, 2018 at 21:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Anas On lens cost, see Why do some lenses cost so much? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    May 28, 2018 at 11:49

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