“The ultimate Test of Lenses” now available for crowdfunding

The ultimate Test of Lenses crowdfunding 2 The ultimate Test of Lenses crowdfunding The ultimate Test of Lenses crowdfunding2
I received this email form the people behind the “The Ultimate Test of Lenses” crowdfunding campaign that just started (click on images for larger view):

All the current tests you can read in internet use a camera to test the lenses, but in this way you cannot measure the real performances of the lenses. Our method is different: we test each lens by itself, we use an MTF optical bench, so the performances we measure are real. And our software shows how the performances change according to the different sensor’ size. The interface is very interactive, you choose the aperture, or the focal length, and you see how the performances change. You can compare different lenses, very easily. 

The ultimate Test of Lenses crowdfunding

As an independent laboratory, we do no accept advertising. That guarantees even more our independent judgment. At present we achieved a beta version, and we launched a Crowdfunding to complete our work.

Our laboratory MTF Lenses LAB was born more than 30 years ago and we have online a database of about 450 lenses, that we constantly enlarge.

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  • J.L. Williams

    “All the current tests you can read in internet use a camera to test the lenses”… that must come as a surprise to the guys at LensRentals, which uses both an optical bench and a custom-designed off-axis machine, and (thanks to being a rental house) has the ability to test multiple samples of each lens.

    • duck

      I like how LensRentals reveal multiple results from different lens copies, there is no point testing just one copy.

      • silmasan

        Wish I could always borrow five copies from a store to test and pick the best one. 🙂

        • HD10

          Lens Rental could pick up quite a bundle if its offers to sell lenses which it has tested and certified as being within the top 5 to 10% of the general range of performance for that specific lens model.

          • Piooof

            Right. Now I’d like to know how much variation is due to the lens, and how much is due to changes in operator/environment at the time of the test. That’s why we would first need to know the test-retest variability (with the *same* lens) before drawing any firm conclusion on relative lens quality…

          • silmasan

            That will only make us (who live outside US) wish that LensRentals would establish itself as a multi-region, multi-nation franchise. 🙂

          • Lee

            Roger has talked about this. The amount of time the tests take means that the price premium is more 99% would pay.

          • HD10

            I concur that the cost for this service will be high and will thus be limited to premium higher-priced lenses. The business proposition for undertaking this will be the ability to bring down the cost to a more reasonable level.

      • Gf



    Ohy a new DxFraudMark, this time financed by Canon for a change?

  • Daryl

    The ultimate test is to put my lens on my camera and look critically at the imaging. I’ve had my share of great lenses that were bad samples and worthless.

  • doge

    “the ultimate waste of time”

  • Piooof

    Funny this idea that going back to pure MTF is a progress. The whole idea of testing lens+body is that final results (the only thing really interesting) depend on both, and hinge on a form of compatibility between the optical design of the sensor and that of the lens.
    Several great ‘silver halide era’ lenses were disappointing on DSLR at full aperture because of that (esp. tangential light rays scattered by the sensor microlens array, apparently).

    In fact the only interesting stuff here would be

    1) to have a good idea of quality control for each brand/model (lens-to-lens variation)
    2) to compare the manufacturer’s MTF charts (that you can find everywhere) with independent ones – but a valid comparison would require true experts in MTF measurement.

  • Ievgen Nedrygailov

    Absolutely useless thing in my opinion.

  • Shark

    why not for sensors?
    DXO is a lot of crap that has no real value for photographers.
    it may be interersting for people who like to compare normalized data and have a strange weighting system for the results….but not much more.

    • Piooof

      DxO’s measure of sharpness, vignetting, transmission, or distortion are very valuable, and allow comparison of lenses on YOUR camera body. The only limitation is their testing only one lens sample. You seem to confuse lens tests and sensor tests here.
      Actually, this “lot of crap” is way better than most other “photographers’ tests” done in their garden. And, unsurprisingly, DxO’s results generally agree with those derived with Imatest (at photozone.de, for example).

  • HD10

    There is more to testing and grading lenses than just looking at their MTF. And even here, there is the matter of measuring MTF performance at various focusing distances which is often not considered in the testing. Then there is the matter of lens copy variation which makes a lens test of one lens possibly unrepresentative of other lenses of the same kind.

  • SH*T666

    I´d like to see an official organism in charge of quality control verification. Such big differences in optical quality should not be allowed.

    • dredlew

      Lol, you do understand that nothing, absolutely nothing, can be manufactured to perfection? There are tolerances for every single piece and tool in the process for that reason.

      • Shark

        nano machines can.
        each one exactly like the other…. atom for atom.

        or a simpler example.
        we can build nano tubes who have an exact amount of atoms.

        we can talk about semantics but…. that´s as close as perfection is possible in our universe.

        • dredlew

          Are you for real? How does this apply to anything?

          • Shark

            then don´t write “nothing, absolutely nothing, can be manufactured to perfection”.

            your fault not mine….

          • Piooof

            Well then, if it’s what you mean, I must inform you that even ultraprecision machining cannot go under 0.1 nm. There’s a precision limit in everything, and even a fundamental one, as the Heisenberg principle tells us.

          • dredlew

            What fault? Name me just one (physical) object that can be manufactured (in scale) to perfection.

          • silmasan

            “Perfection”… what a red herring.

          • dredlew

            That’s what SH*T666 is pretty much asking for, while not understanding the technical limits of it.

          • silmasan

            Doesn’t sound like it. The last thing you want when you buy a $2,000 lens is having to send a lemon in to a service center and then have it sent back to you untouched with the claim of “within specs”. The $10,000+ ones, no problem I’m sure, at least service centers anywhere will pay them due respect if a problem should ever arise.

            You’re not talking about $100-200 kit lens, are you?

        • Piooof

          Well I’m afraid lenses are not in the nanometric range. At least the ones I can hold on my hand, and mount on my camera.

          • Shark

            he said “nothing”…. learn to read.

      • SH*T666

        I just said “such big differences should not be allowed”, because differences in quality are too big.

        • dredlew

          Differences exist because of tolerances. Tolerances are needed in order to economically manufacture a product.

          • SH*T666

            Impossible to talk with a deaf wall.

          • silmasan

            haha 😀

            Anyway, thanks to LensRentals I am now more confident to buy a new Sigma lens at $1000 than even a Zeiss Otus at $4000. Their reports on sample variation are always gold.

            Every gearhead should also read their recent article about “Optical Quality Assurance”.

          • dredlew

            Some people apparently think that manufacturing is magic and if things are not right it’s obviously quality control that’s the problem.

            Educate yourself about what mass production is, how it works and what the physical limits are. I’m just tired of reading this “quality control” bs all the time, if you have absolutely no clue what is actually going on.

          • SH*T666

            Educate yourself in reading comprehension. Go to school… again?

  • Shark

    why should i support such nonsense???

    another DXO like website that now tries to sell test results?

    what do i care how a lens performs alone?
    i don´t use a lens alone!

    i use it with a CAMERA… what a suprise, i know.

    so what is important, is the LENS + CAMERA combination.

    look at photozone for example and how crappy some of the sony lenses are tested on a NEX7 body.
    it´s in great part because of the sensor in the nex7.
    the same lenses work much better on a A6000.

    and i bet they only test one or maybe two copies and come to a conclusions.

    with the crappy sony quality management that would be worth nothing anyway.

  • jstevez

    If you need these charts to base your lens purchases you’re in the wrong hobby.

  • Master

    i don´t need them to tell me that all sony lenses below 1000 euro suck.

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