Let’s move out from audio topic a bit and switch to photography. It’s well known that not all lenses are created equal. Indeed, they are not equal, both physical and performance. Today, I’m gonna compare 3 Nikon lenses:

  • Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-105mm / 3.5-5.6G ED (kit lens)
  • Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm / 1.8D
  • Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-70mm / 2.8D

It’s interesting to see how they perform in 50 mm, with f/5, 1/13, and ISO-400. Sorry if some cropping are not exactly match.

Please note on below 3 photos that the auto adjustment of Photoshop is used to compensate the brightness/contract/color level. So please ignore any brightness/contract/color different as we should focus on the distortion itself.

Below is the result of 18-105mm. See the lines start to bend at the corner. Not an issue if the main target mostly in the center.

Below is the result of 28-70mm. As one of classic and expensive lens, its performance is quite excellent.

The fix lens off course will become a king in this test. Below is the result of 50mm/1.8 lens at 50mm. Can’t complain, huh?

I magnify to 200% on the center of each lens’ result. Still 50mm provides slightly sharper detail, closely followed by 28-70mm and then 18-105mm. Results are as-is and untouched. No significant distortion noticed as almost all lenses (if not all) could perform excellent on the center part of the photo.

The top-left side of the result at 100%. Different with previous result (center magnification), the top-left magnification could discover significant distortion. The 18-105 produces a quite serious distortion plus a blurry image. The 28-70 produce significantly better, while the fix 50mm lens, as usual comes into first place.

This is only an intermezzo from my regular hobby which is audio, but at least now I know ‘how good’ a kit lens is, and why people adores fix lens.