It depends on the lens design.
Some are great, but lose greatness rather rapidly with changing distance.
Others are far less distance/scale dependent.
Some tests do not take that into account.
Photodo, for instance, tested macro-lenses at infinity. Probably because they test all lenses at infinity.
And some people's appreciation of lenses does not either.
For instance, the Zeiss Planar f/3.5 100 mm is widely regarded as the bee's knees of MF optics. Yet its extremely good performance is rather distance dependent. And when not used as an photogrammetry-lens, taking pictures at very large distances, of subjects that from that distance are as good as flat, the 'humble', often poorly regarded f/2.8 80 mm Planar is just as good, or perhaps even better.
Last edited by Q.G.; 09-15-2009 at 02:39 PM. Click to view previous post history.