Humor and Sarcasm
My Third Grader Analogy for Lens Reviews and Testing
I make a joke about this sometimes, but I think it’s more and more appropriate. Every day, I see more and more people take some single bit of data published on a lens and extrapolate the entire meaning of the photographic universe from that bit of data. My joke has always gone, “a single lens analysis is like measuring a third-grader and then publishing that third-graders are 157 cm tall.”
Almost every online resource gives you some useful information. At the same time, absolutely every resource only provides you part of the picture (pun intended). Oh, and that includes pictures (another pun intended). So without further ado, I will proceed to make fun of every type of online lens analysis, because they are interesting and fun, but really not worth getting so upset about.
My third grader isn’t very tall.
Mine is amazingly, awesomely tall. You must have a bad copy.
I think your tape measure isn’t lined up correctly.
Just take your third grader out to the park and stop measuring him. If you like the way he acts, you’ve got a good third grader.
Summarized Customer Review
139 people have commented on third-graders.
About 3 feet: 8%
Between 3 and 4 feet: 22%
Between 4 and 5 feet: 41%
Between 5 and 6 feet: 21%
Over 6 feet: 8%
Computer Target Analysis Testing 1
Our third grader is 153 cm tall at the head, 121 cm tall at the shoulder, 61 cm from waist to floor.
Computer Target Analysis Testing 2
Our third grader is 159 cm tall at the head, 128 cm tall at the shoulder, and 68 cm from waist to floor.
Computer Target Analysis Testing 3
Our third grader is 111 cm tall at the head and 115 cm tall at the shoulder, but we think his head may have been tilted.
We measured 10 third graders and they are 3mm tall at the head and 2.7mm tall at the shoulder. Sample variation was unacceptably high, with a range +/- 0.18 mm. Remember our measurements are different because the third graders are at infinity when we measure them. And we aren’t certain if we calculated the sensor glass thickness correctly.
The Digital Picture
Here are pictures of third graders measured on our standard test pattern. You can use our comparison tool to see how they stack up against fourth, fifth or sixth graders.
Imaging Resource / SLRGear
Here is our cool graph of the size of third graders at all the various measurement differences. You can move the slider on the left to see how the proportions change as it grows. You can see that the larger head that is apparent at the start position smooths proportion nicely as time passes.
Things we like:
- Funny most of the time.
- Very weather resistant, actually performs well in a downpour.
- Small and portable, easy to carry around.
- High levels of enthusiasm over almost everything.
Things we don’t like:
- Emotionally labile; difficult to reason with.
- Eats constantly.
- Short attention span, requires a lot of entertainment.
Third graders rate 82.4 on our child rating scale.
Third graders have a beautiful, smooth out-of-focus blur as you can see from the multiple samples below. And since they’re constantly moving, this is important.
Here’s how much a third grader flares if you hold him up in direct sunlight, and over here is how distorted he looks in the corner.
I’ve never actually had a third grader, but here’s what I think of them.
Here are crops of the corners of third graders, compared to corner crops of fourth graders.
Here are amazing pictures of third graders that will make you want one.
Way Too Many Sites
Hey, somebody else reviewed this lens and here’s a screaming controversial extremist headline that says they concluded something that actually they just sort of hinted might be possible.
OK, I’ve had my fun for today. In a couple of days, I’ll put up a post sharing how I use online reviews and tests when I’m deciding about a lens. A subtle hint here; that means I read a lot of reviewers and testers because they are showing lots of things about lenses that my testing doesn’t show, but that I want to know about.
Author: Roger Cicala
I’m Roger and I am the founder of Lensrentals.com. Hailed as one of the optic nerds here, I enjoy shooting collimated light through 30X microscope objectives in my spare time. When I do take real pictures I like using something different: a Medium format, or Pentax K1, or a Sony RX1R.
David Wegiel Jr