Lenses with character
Like most photographers I have gradually replaced my lenses over the years as finances improved in pursuit of sharpness and wide apertures. But is it now time to stop? Does it really matter if lens A is a bit softer at f1.8 at the edges than lens B? I remember buying the Nikon 105mm f2.8 Macro lens, and then seeing articles in magazines saying the Sigma equivalent is sharper, or the Tamron is better value, and so on. It worried me at the time, but now I am glad I purchased what I did. It does everything I want, it is nicely balanced when attached to my camera. So does it matter that other lenses have a few lines of better resolution at the edges? Not for me. I have now become comfortable with the notion that lenses have character. Work with their character, rather than wishing they were faster, sharper, better AF or whatever. I now actively search for lenses with character, which is why my recent purchases have been Lensbabys. Manual focus, manual exposure, soft edges, edge diffraction, imperfections. Yes, I've still got my sharp lenses. But my photography has a much more creative feel to it when the Lensbabys are in use - a leap into the unknown in many cases, and a magical result when it all works.