A note on MTFs for Nikon Users – and a note about dying bookstores

Figure 1 - The தமிழ்: Books Shop from the Wikimedia Commons under creative commons license.  Image by Superbmust, 2012.

Figure 1 – The தமிழ்: Books Shop from the Wikimedia Commons under creative commons license. Image by Superbmust, 2012.

After finishing my last two blogs, I took a more serious look at the MTFs that Nikon provides for its users and realized that a short note was necessary.  The charts that Nikon provides are essentially the same as those provided by Canon except that they only provide the MTF for the lens fully open.  They do not provide curves for the near “sweet spot” or “best performance” setting of f/8.  And if you look at my blog about measuring lens sharpness, you’ll realize that fully open is certainly far from the best performance setting.  There is a sound engineering logic for this choice that we don’t really need to consider.   The most important point to make is that these curves are meant to enable you to critically compare lens within a family or brand.  You also have to remember that there are many other factors to consider, and I will try to discuss some of these in the future.

Most photographers, and certainly most amateur photographers, tend to make a brand decision early on and then are essentially captive within a brand, if for purely financial reasons alone.  That’s why within brand comparisons become important.  My choice of Canon is because when I bought my first DSLR it was the only game in town.  So I have stuck with it and slowly built up my accessories.  I am quite happy with this choice.  I am however, very impressed with the Nikon line and am looking forward to having the opportunity to explore it hands-on.

I should also add that I am much more interested in taking good pictures than I am in the “feature mentality” of photography.  This is why I tend not to read the equipment oriented photomags.  Of course, they serve their purpose, especially when you’re shopping for new equipment.  I am just grateful that book stores have coffee shops; so I do not have to buy these magazines.

Book stores?  For the last several years I have been watching the Nook Section slowly metastasize and consume my local Barnes and Nobles from within.  Now with the news that they are abandoning the Nook Tablet after suffering massive losses in competition against Amazon’s Kindle, one has to wonder whether those of you who like to take photographs of modern social dinosaurs before the go extinct should rush to your large book changes and snap away nostalgic images.

I must apologize to my high school English teacher Mr. Jensen for violating a golden rule of good writing.  I have turned today’s blog on a dime from MTFs to the off-topic of bookstores.  Saturday mornings are meditative stream of consciousness moments.

This entry was posted in Technical Aspects of Photography.