After the website that helps you chose the best lens for you, here’s another interesting lens-related tool. It’s named Lens vs. Lens and it helps you when you can’t decide between two (or more) lenses. It compares the photos taken with different lenses, at various focal lengths and apertures. So, if you’re indecisive, it can be a helpful tool to have all the sample photos in one place for comparison. I believe it has both good and bad sides, and I’m curious to hear what you think.
Lens vs. Lens allows you to compare the lens of the same focal length by different manufacturers or different types of lenses from the same manufacturer. It features six major camera companies: Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Leica, Olympus, and Sony.
Once you choose the lenses to compare, you can refine the search by choosing the aperture and focal length at which the photos are taken.
The app then shows and compares photos from Flickr by reading their EXIF data. As I mentioned, I believe there are both good and bad sides, and I’d like to go through each of them.
First and foremost, this tool doesn’t take editing into consideration. Raw photos can differ significantly from the final product if they are post-processed. So, the results are not exactly realistic.
Then, it makes more sense to compare sharpness, color, and other factors when you photograph the same scene with different lenses. For example, if you compare a portrait taken with a high-end prime and a landscape with a kit lens, it doesn’t really help determine the differences.
Then, there are no third-party lenses to compare, like Sigma or Tamron. But considering their increasing popularity, they will hopefully be available within the app, too.
Another disadvantage is that, because of some lenses’ limitations, you can’t have a comparison between the same focal length and aperture. With lenses that have a variable aperture (like 18-55mm kit lenses), you can’t set the search at, for example, 50mm and f/3.5. On the other hand, you can do it with a prime 50mm.
Despite the disadvantages, I believe this app has some strong good sides as well. First and most obvious – it compares the prices. It’s handy and straightforward, and to be fair – the price is sometimes the decisive factor.
Another advantage is that I believe this app is great for beginners who are buying the first lens or looking for an upgrade from the kit lens. Although the choice might be more accurate with some more technical and precise comparison, just remember yourself as a beginner. Did you follow DxO Mark’s charts and grades? Most of the beginners I know (including myself) didn’t. Sample images and image comparison are much more comprehensive ways of making a decision, at least in the beginning.
So, Lens vs. Lens may not be too realistic in comparison on one hand. But on the other, you can see sample images and compare process. Also, you can pay attention to the same type of images and make a comparison. All in all, I think there are definitely people who could benefit from this app, and I hope it will get developed further. What do you think?