I don't really find that to be true myself, and tests didn't support that idea to the best of my recollection. Good full aperture performance was often expensive, just for one example. May be more true today than the 70's, 80', and into the 90's. That doesn't mean you need that to take good pictures, or that your pictures will be better for better performing lenses, but that still doesn't make all lenses equal.
Neither of the illustrations are about wide aperture performance. Both are classic examples of small camera, deep focus, decisive moment image making. At the aperture each was likely to have been taken at, most lenses of equivalent focal length would have delivered something similar, or at least not different enough to have made a sharp, contrasty image a poor one. More important to the final result are film and developer choice, and good printing.
Last edited by blockend; 03-11-2014 at 06:55 PM. Click to view previous post history.