When it comes to lenses, there always seems to be a balancing act between sharpness and cost. It’s really tough to find that tipping point; thankfully, you don’t have to. YouTuber Christopher Frost does some of my favorite lens testing out there, and he has put together his top ten list of the sharpest lenses under $1,400.
While sharpness is not everything when it comes to a camera lens, having a consolidated list like this is extremely helpful when buying lenses, ensuring that, at the very least, you can avoid a dud or two. There are a few surprising items on this list; for example, there are no Canon lenses on Christopher’s top ten and a surprising number of Samyang lenses, which were often seen as cheap, good enough beginner lenses just a few years ago that have really come into their own as a real player.
While the number one spot, the Sigma 135mm f/1.8 Art, isn’t that much of a surprise, the fact that the Tamron 70-200mm is so sharp while still being so affordable is shocking, showing just how far third party manufacturers have stepped up to the plate quality-wise. I can think of a few different photographers off the top of my head who shoot with next-to-no first-party lenses, and this just goes to show that they are no longer just good enough, but true competitors.
Were there any surprises on the list for you? Were you expecting to see a lens that didn’t show up?