Recently, I took to task a professional photographer for using a "prosumer" lens, and there was some defense of that photographer in their use of that prosumer lens. If you've ever shot with a prime lens versus a pro zoom, versus a prosumer variable aperture zoom, versus an off-brand zoom, and so on, you've likely seen a difference in quality, and variances in sharpness at the various apertures, which is one of the things I really like about the Popular Photography lens tests (read more here) so I can learn the sweet spot for each lens I own from a scientific standpoint.
Gizmodo has a great Article - Giz Explains: Why Lenses Are the Real Key to Stunning Photos (2/26/09) and there is this informative video about how a lens is actually made:
The Gizmodo article notes "The lens is, after all, your camera's eyeball—the image sensor or film can only record what comes in through the lens. It's what defines the picture's perspective, clarity and way more", which is why using the best lens (which almost always means 'most expensive') can assist in your producing better images.
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