The online Photographer's 7 laws of lenses:
I won't mention any names but:
"Ctein's Axiom indicates that you can detect differences in testing that you cannot see in photographs, and, if you can't see them in photographs, then the differences don't make a lens "better" than another."
“The sharpest lens in the world is a tripod.”
Most especially when you are using the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM on a tripod. BTW, I think I used my T5 and an EF-S 10-22mm lens to take this shot , which was, of course, mounted on a tripod.
[EDIT]. Judging from the tripod foot, this looks like the 100-400mm.
One of the things that I noticed and is important to me is color rendition. Some lenses are better than others and I do notice it in my pictures.
Most lenses have comparable quality and price range may have small differences that can be measured, but barely seen by the eye. I have noticed a bigger difference shooting with and without lens filters, though.
Clear filters work the best. UV, CPL, and ND filters seem to interfere with Auto WB and light metering a little more than I like.
I liked the article and like it's presentation style. As one who does not tend to pixel peep I judge a photo on whether it will work for my purpose: be it on a screen, the web or a print, large or small. If the gear lets me deliver what I am looking for, then I am happy.
The definition of a good picture is a rather nebulous one I think. When one looks at the quality of an image there is a big difference between judging one intended as fine art compared with a portrait, architectural, street or war photography image. They all have different purposes, contexts and constraints.
Many people go on about clarity, distortion etc. as absolutes in judging an image, but then I look at one like Robert Capa's iconic image taken amongst the beach obstacles at Utah Beach, regarded as one of the important images of the 20th Century and if I viewed in in the context of technical performance alone it would have ended up in the bin. Yet the very elements that make it less technically perfect render a sense of the chaos, fear and intensity of the moment. Capa himself said at the time that his hands were shaking, but in the end it is a very celebrated and respected image.
That is what makes photography an art, and one reason why people will inevitably continue to debate image quality.
In the meantime I shall just continue to potter along and take images that make my eyes smile...