Quote Originally Posted by Aristophanes View Post
The way I understand the OP, the problem is "soft" images, the opposite of sharp, not exposure latitude. I'm not sure where metering comes in to the query.

"Wide open" and "soft" are just the physics of optics and functionally unavoidable.

You can pay enormous amounts more $$$ for a lens to marginally improve the results, say for a 1.2 lens. RF lenses may be sharper wide open than an SLR lens, closer to the wider angles and losing the advantage at the tele ends.

IMH experience a 1.2-1.4 lens gets acceptably sharp at 2.8. The speed advantage just buys more headroom especially at f/2.8-4. My Olympus 35RC is as sharp at its wide open f/2.8 as my Yashica Electro GSN at f/2.8, though the latter can shoot as fast as f1.7. It's just that f/1.7 is a touch less sharp.
Not all lenses are created equal and there are lenses that are very sharp at full aperture (even 1.4 and wider).
Yes, they tend to be expensive, but not always. Choosing carefully is always a good thing....

For example, while I wouldn't actually consider the Nikkor 35mm f/2.0 AIS "soft", but if shooting at full aperture is a priority, there are much better lenses out there (as someone else mentioned, I'd look at Zeiss ZF, if staying with Nikon bodies).