the quality of lenses (and stuff) on scaled down online images


Mu-43 Veteran
Jan 26, 2010
I must say I'm surprised at the number of people who print pictures. (I must admit the sample set is small and maybe skewed my people who would be on a photo site to begin with.)

This leads me to one of my ponders / thoughts.

A good resolution monitor today would be 1920x1200 - roughly 1080p. Most average people wouldn't have a monitor higher res than that, if that at all. That's just over 2 mega pixels.

In reality, I usually still post images no bigger than 1600x1200, and more often it's only 1200x1024 or 1024x768 which is still pretty large on the screen.

Given the above... and ignoring the case where some one may crop an image to zoom-in... Does all this talk about lens quality really matter that much? To be clear, I'm talking about say the olympus 17mm lens which is allegedly not-so-sharp at say f2.8 v.s. the allegedly sharp panny 20mm at say f2.8. Or, even comparing it to itself, the 17mm at f2.8 v.s. f5.6.

I can see that at a pixel level it maybe sharper, but if I or anyone else scales it down from 12mp to 2mp, have we lost all the difference anyways? (assuming we framed the picture the way we want it and aren't cropping the image)

And I guess more generally speaking, doesn't viewing scaled down photos at 2mp online even out the majority of quality differences between a lot of photographic equipment (lenses, sensor, etc). Haven't we scaled out the chromatic aberation as well (it's usually only off by a few pixels isn't it)?

That's my deep though of the week...

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