how much do you trust review sites? (and which most?)

How much do you depend on review sites?

  • Totally. To me reading them is eye-opening about a certain lens

    Votes: 2 2.1%
  • Quite a lot - Good websites give you clear graph and figures you can depend on

    Votes: 36 38.3%
  • Averagely. Reviews must just give you a hint on how it works

    Votes: 38 40.4%
  • Very few

    Votes: 12 12.8%
  • Not at all / Other

    Votes: 6 6.4%

  • Total voters
    94
Joined
Mar 23, 2007
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Collecchio, northern Italy
Good evening

I was wondering - just for the sake of it - how much review sites "affect" your purchases. In my own experience, I spent much more time on them in the past than now. Now a quick read about two or three of them is enough to understand if a lens is "good" for me or not (always keeping in consideration sample variation) and lately I prefer to look real pictures rather than numbers, graphs and figures, but I have a colleague who's very fussy about dxomark, dpreview and other sites and goes very in deep with the measures and scores they provide. It can names this lens has that rendition at 135mm or is better at 200 or not bad at 70mm (lately he got a Sigma 70-200 OS HSM for half its price and now it's trying to see if it was a good idea or not LOL)

By the way, seriously, how much you depend on them? Which one would you rate more dependable (and nice to read) on the whole?
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
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Aberdeen, WA USA
I voted "Quite a lot" because (Trusted) review sites are the first place I go to narrow
down the possibilities... Once I have it down to 2 or 3 I then pay attention to real life
user experiences/sample images, unless of course I can actually try the lens/lenses myself...

My two favorite lens review sites:

LensTip.com
http://www.lenstip.com/lenses_reviews.html

Photozone.de
http://www.photozone.de/all-tests
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2007
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BC
Real Name
Paul
I would consider this particular sub-forum a review site and used it quite a bit when deciding on whether or not to pick up a used 70-300VR.
 
Joined
May 3, 2007
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Location
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Perhaps a more interesting question: how much weight do you give to measurements versus example photos? Some "test" sites are really just "subjective review" sites (Ken Rockwell, Moose Peterson, etc). Other "test" sites provide quite detailed and technical measurements (DXO, Photozone, etc). Others are some blend of the two.

I tend to look at a couple of the measurement-centric sites to get an idea of the theoretical limits of a lens. I then have a couple of favorite "blended" sites where I can look at example photos and read the opinions of people who know how to evaluate a lens based on the photos it produces. And, finally, I usually land back here where I can count on both discussion and examples from people whose work I know and whose opinions I value.
 
Joined
Aug 17, 2008
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Location
Hollywood, USA
I use review sites when I'm in the market to get a quick feel for what I would like, but mostly I just read them for pleasure. Interesting to hear about various pieces of equipment, even if I never have a reason to own any of it.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
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Location
Netherlands
I don't really judge lenses by "studio performances" I'd rather have a lens that's a tad less sharp (not soft!) and focusses spot on ten times better than a sharp as a knife lens that focusses less consistent.

I mostly read real-life reviews which are based on everyday situations and how it handles that.

Wedding photographers that use gear quite a lot and don't give it a royal treatment write decent/good reviews in my opinion. They actually use it day in day out. I bought my Sigma 85mm over a 85 1.4D because I read Ryan Brenizer's review back when I was looking for a 85mm lens.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
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Los Angeles, CA
Depends on who's reviewing it. Moose, Thom and Kenny are the ones I don't listen to, just way too much gushing over new gear. I'll probably include Mansurovs on that list too, although he's not that bad. Don't like Froknowsphoto.. way too much talking. The ones I pay attention to are Dxomark and Photozone.de. DPreview is pretty good too (the website reviews, not the user base) and of course ACTUAL users here in the Cafe. :wink:
 
Joined
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New York City
Depends on who's reviewing it. Moose, Thom and Kenny are the ones I don't listen to, just way too much gushing over new gear. I'll probably include Mansurovs on that list too, although he's not that bad. Don't like Froknowsphoto.. way too much talking. The ones I pay attention to are Dxomark and Photozone.de. DPreview is pretty good too (the website reviews, not the user base) and of course ACTUAL users here in the Cafe. :wink:

I would think if you're avoiding Thom Hogan and Moose Peterson because of "way too much gushing over new gear," then you'd certainly avoid this site for the same reason. :tongue:
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2013
Messages
195
Location
Arizona
I enjoy the a mix of everybody to form an initial picture, then rent the gear to make my own conclusions, however I rarely rent anything and change my mind after the rending phase. the only time I did such thing was the 16-35 f/4 lens. I rented it thinking I wanted it, then realized it was pointless for me.
 
Joined
Jan 4, 2008
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New York City
I tend to trust the review sites more than the court of public opinion that follows fashion (ie- camera and lens fora, bulletin boards and social media sites). I like Thom Hogan, Bjorn Rorslett and Photozone.
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2010
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Portage, IN
I have had good results with ken Rockwell and thom hogans. What I do is look t more then one source and look for overlap.
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2008
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GA
I would think if you're avoiding Thom Hogan and Moose Peterson because of "way too much gushing over new gear," then you'd certainly avoid this site for the same reason. :tongue:

Agreed, I try not to form an opinion based on one review nor do I read reviews where bias is apparent. Nothing worse that "i love this lens" type of reviews...this tells me nothing.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2007
Messages
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Location
Los Angeles, California
I don't specifically TRUST any review site, I like to base my judgments off a conglomeration of all their info. I do appreciate the depth of examination that LensTip performs, I just wish they tested more lenses, more quickly!
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
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Location
Aberdeen, WA USA
I don't specifically TRUST any review site, I like to base my judgments off a conglomeration of all their info. I do appreciate the depth of examination that LensTip performs, I just wish they tested more lenses, more quickly!

Yes, LensTip is one of my favorites but I too wish they would test more lenses...

Here are another couple good sources, especially for finding info on older manual focus
Nikon lenses:

http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/index.html

Bjørn Rørslett
http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_surv.html
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
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Location
Miami, Florida
I'll read just about any review I can find, although mostly I'm looking for critical comments that might flag problems with a lens when using it under real-world conditions. In other words, the reviews are more informational--what problems to expect--rather than aids to help make a decision (although if the reviews are universally bad, I might give serious thought to passing on a lens). To help make a decision, I give a great deal more weight to verbal opinions from other photographers I know who have actually used the lens.
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2011
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Location
Indianapolis, IN
I will take any review available but I take it with a grain of salt. I like magazine reviews but they never say when something sucks. User reviews are where its at for me. If 70 out of 100 people have a bad experence with an Item, I will look elesewhere...but if 10 out of 100 have a bad experence i will continue to research it etc.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
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Location
Kalamazoo, MI
The review sites I've used most in the past are Lloyd Chambers for the Zeiss lenses, Roger Cicala from Lensrentals, and Ron Scheffler, a working photographer from Canada. Lloyd's site is a paid membership, Roger's site is a blog tied to his business, and Ron's site is a blog with some click-ads that are nonobtrusive. Roger is unique because he can test several copies of each lens on the Imatest machine, and he gives the findings the weight they deserve. Lloyd and Ron do very in-depth reviews of lenses that are comparative with other lenses, used in the field as I tend to use them. Best of all, there is no numerical rating scale, it's more a discussion of the attributes of lenses. In conjunction with available manufacturer-provided measured MTF plots, I can get a good sense of what a lens will deliver from these guys. I really dislike number rankings because it's an attempt to quantify one person's opinion based on what they deem important.

The other place I go is the Fred Miranda Alt Forum, where there are tons of very knowledgeable and experienced people who weigh in on gear with less fanboyism than you see on most sites.
 

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