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It's a cracking lens Grommit


Hi I'm your typical 'grumpy old git' who takes the odd snap now and again. Don't come here much and really don't give a 'monkey's' about what camera you have or don't have or whether you like or dislike my photos.

On the other hand if you want to say hi and chat about photographs please do!

PS If you get an award from me it isn't necessarily a good thing!
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It's a cracking lens Grommit

8 Dec 2008 6:18PM   Views : 654 Unique : 488

More and more often I read something in the forums along the lines of 'it's a cracking lens'. Presumably spouted because the poster owns or has just bought the said lens and feels that he (usually a he) must justify his purchase.

Well 9 times out of 10 the 'cracking lens' is just the usual consumer/prosumer mediocrity that the manufacturers keep making you think you must have and your photos will be much better. Hint; if you want better photos buy a 50mm basic prime lens and start to use your eyes and feet.

Now I can only speak as I find and being a Canon user I'm at a disadvantage already as it seems impossible to buy a consistent version of any lens. Their quality control appears to be awful. Going on my version (which I sold) the Canon 24-105mmm f4 L lens is not a cracking lens it is a very average lens. In fact I've not yet found a Canon zoom that comes anywhere near cracking.

Also I've not yet found any wide angle Canon lens I would describe as 'cracking' although I'm looking forward to trying the new Zeiss lens with a Canon mount. Question: if Canon lenses are so good why is there a market for a Zeiss version?

You want 'cracking' well my second hand 200mm f1.8 prime is a cracking lens; but it'll set you back best part of 2K if you can find one. My 50mm f1.8 'nifty fifty' could, if it was built better, be described as a cracking lens. Some of the longer L prime lenses are cracking lenses but by no stretch of the imagination can most lenses be described as cracking; they are just 'less crap' than the kit lenses.

So lets stop kidding others that a particular lens is 'cracking' especially when often the poster wouldn't know a 'cracking'lens if he fell over one.


conrad 16 10.9k 116
9 Dec 2008 3:40PM
Harsh words, John. Although I'm sure that from your perspective you find them to be true.

Personally I think you can't always judge other people's statements by your standards - their expectations of a lens could be very different from yours, and what they think is a "cracking lens", could be rubbish according to you. When I praise my lenses, you might be thinking of something better in your collection and wonder why the heck I'm recommending something that offers so much less quality than what you have. My best lens is the Canon EF 200mm 2.8 L (Mk I) - but I'm slightly jealous of your 1.8. It's all relative, isn't it.

As for there being a market for Zeiss lenses made for Canon cameras - I think that says more about the customers who buy those Zeiss lenses than about the lenses Canon produce. Zeiss have quite the reputation, and even some who don't own a prestigious camera but a Canon, might like to put a prestigious lens on it. And maybe Zeiss do offer more quality than Canon - I don't know. But I probably wouldn't be able to see the difference...
SteveCharles 18 2.3k 18 England
11 Dec 2008 1:54PM
A good post. Maybe you should have used it as a forum thread! I've probably used the phrase myself (sorry!), but do agree with what you say. Most of us don't get to use much equipment other than what we purchase for ourselves, and only comment from our limited experience, and usually haven't shot with an alternative version of the lens we are talking about - there's no reference point. Of course, people are usually looking within a budget, and I would normally tell someone a particular lens is 'cracking' for the money.

For my Nikon D200, I bought a 17-55 2.8, the top of the range standard DX zoom. It is a nice lens, but I often wondered whether it was as good as it should be. I stopped using it for a lot of interior work, due to the barrel distortion. Now I'm using full frame (D700), I'm back to primes. The 50 1.8 really is a cracking lens! And my favourite (which is unfortunately at the menders after a drop) is the 35 f2. So much so, I may change it for a Zeiss version - why not have the best version available of your favourite length? The way I see Zeiss, is that while Nikon, Canon etc. all make good lenses, Zeiss specialise in brilliant lenses - as long as you can do without zoom, AF, IS, brand attachment...

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