Image quality in a lens, whether prime or zoom, is influenced by various factors. These include the following:
♦ Lens sharpness. This sharpness should not be just in the center, but in the corners as well. The image should also be sharp, not just when the lens is stopped down, but also when it's wide open.
♦ Lens contrast. This refers to how rich and crisp the contrast range is. Often a factor here is internal flare, and normally the more optics, the greater the flare.
♦ Rectilinear versus lenses with distortion. This refers to how tight the geometries of the image are. All sorts of distortion fit into this area:
• Barrel distortion. The image seems to bulge out from the center.
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