I am a physicist by training, a retired software expert, and an amateur photographer. I found a way of combining these interests when I stumbled upon Norman Koren's IMATEST program.
Basically, Imatest can read a JPEG or TIFF file produced by a digital camera, and calculate from it various objective measures of the performance of the camera or lens. I have been using it to assess the performance of my recently-acquired Canon EOS 5D 12 megapixel full-frame SLR digital camera and its associated L-series lenses, and my old Canon PowerShot G2.
So far, I have concentrated on measuring the dynamic range of the 5D and the light falloff (vignetting) of its lenses. These pages report my results.
This is an ongoing project...
Peter Facey, Winchester, England