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Author Topic: Canon shooters, is there any Canon normal lens that's sharp?  (Read 10735 times)

budjames

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Canon shooters, is there any Canon normal lens that's sharp?
« on: December 16, 2008, 08:04:42 pm »

I just got back my 1DsMkIII and 24-105 f/4 IS lens that I sent to canon for calibration. The bad news is that there's not much improvement.

Images are just not sharp as I'd expect, even after using a tripod and mirror lock up. I even tried focusing manually, the images are still kind of soft.

I was wandering what other Canon shooters are using to produce sharp images with lens focal lengths in the 24 to 105mm range?

Bud James
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Josh-H

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Canon shooters, is there any Canon normal lens that's sharp?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2008, 09:54:01 pm »

Quote from: budjames
I just got back my 1DsMkIII and 24-105 f/4 IS lens that I sent to canon for calibration. The bad news is that there's not much improvement.

Images are just not sharp as I'd expect, even after using a tripod and mirror lock up. I even tried focusing manually, the images are still kind of soft.

I was wandering what other Canon shooters are using to produce sharp images with lens focal lengths in the 24 to 105mm range?

Bud James

Using the following on my 1DSMK3 and getting excellent results
50mm F1.2L [needed a small amount of lens correction in camera to get spot on tack sharp images]
85mm F1.2L
70-200 F2.8L IS
300mm F2.8L IS

Selling my 16-35mm F2.8L as tested a 24mm F1.4L, 14mm L MKII and a 35mm F1.4L and got significantly sharper results than the zoom. So as soon as someone buys my 16-35mm F2.8L for the price I want - Im going to lash out on these three wide primes.

I havent tried any of the other canon zooms in the 24-105 range - but I doubt they perform as well as the primes. And I think from my experience to date with both the 1DSMK3 and the primes I have used that they really are the way to go for the best results.

Its actually amazing how creative a prime lens makes me shoot as it forces me to move around a lot more.

Thats my 3 cents on the issue - end of rambling...
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Panopeeper

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Canon shooters, is there any Canon normal lens that's sharp?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2008, 10:18:06 pm »

Quote from: budjames
I was wandering what other Canon shooters are using to produce sharp images with lens focal lengths in the 24 to 105mm range?
50mm f/1.4; it is said to be sharper than the f/1.2. However, I am using it only on cropping cameras, I don't know how the edges are be on FF.

The 24-70mm f/2.8 has an excellent reputation *if you get a good copy*.
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Gabor

pss

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Canon shooters, is there any Canon normal lens that's sharp?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2008, 10:32:32 pm »

the new sigma 50mm 1.4 is sharper then the canon primes, the 85 1.8 is very nice, the 100 macro rules....none of the zoom are even worth mentioning....including the so called good ones....any prime will be sharper, but sometimes convenience is key....
i have found that i have had to buy several copies of lenses to find the best one....quality control does not seem to be doing what it should be.....
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Marlyn

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Canon shooters, is there any Canon normal lens that's sharp?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2008, 11:25:45 pm »

For me, the sharpest lenses I have, in approximate order.  (although frankly, there is nothing between the top 3)

 90mm T/S
 300mm f2/8
 50mm  f1.4

Then:
 100mm f2.8 macro
 70-200 f2.8

Then the rest, including a 24-105 f4, and 16-35 f2.8.

I find the 24-105 soft comparitivley to the above, and the 16-35 is crap in comparison (its pretty good, just not in comparrison).
I still want a nice sharp wide angle.   I own the 24mm T/S, and it is good, but not great. (not compared with the 90 T/S anyway).

The other thing is, don't shoot over f10 if possible.   With the pixel pitch of the mkIII, any smaller and your are loosing resolution (and therefore percieved sharpness/acutance etc when viewing at 100%) due to diffraction.      Diffraction starts seriously affecting resolution after this.  It may not be noticeable depending on the subject, but it IS there. (pretty much a fact of physics).  All of the first 3 lenses are definatly sharp enough in themselves, to be diffraction limited.  at f16, things start going mushy, and f22, I reckon halved the effective resolution, if not worse.

I have done a bunch of research and some testing on this recently, to maximise the capture resolution of my 1dsMkIII for my work. (I shoot mainly landscapes).  This has nothing to do with print size etc, but is purely about capturing the best resolution for each shot.


I am confident of capturing, with good technique (Tripod, MLU, etc etc), Sharp, max resolution (i.e. high detail) images with the first 3 lenses on a 1dsMk III at f9-f10.

These are my results,  YMMV, and I may very well be using some terms incorrectly.


Mark.
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David Anderson

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Canon shooters, is there any Canon normal lens that's sharp?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2008, 11:51:08 pm »

Quote from: Panopeeper
50mm f/1.4; it is said to be sharper than the f/1.2.

My 50 1.2 is razor sharp and much better than the 50 1.4 I had, though that was before calibration so it might have needed a tweek.

The 35, 85, 135 & 200 primes are all very sharp as well.

I used the 24-105 on a fishing trip when I had the DsII's and I thought it was pretty good, but a lens with that range will always be a bit of a compromise compared to the primes.
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Jim Pascoe

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Canon shooters, is there any Canon normal lens that's sharp?
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2008, 08:41:11 am »

My experience is

28 f1.8,  very good.
50mm f1.4,  very sharp when stopped down to f2.
135mm f2, very sharp.
70-200 f2.8 IS, very sharp
24-70 f2.8, ok, when stopped down a bit.
24-105 f4, quite good.

This is on a 1ds mk3.  I find the detail from the 50 1.4 is incredible at f2 or so.  Likewise the 135 f2.  All round the 70-200 is my favourite all round lens for its quality and versatility.

Just my opinion!
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Geoff Wittig

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Canon shooters, is there any Canon normal lens that's sharp?
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2008, 09:07:47 am »

Quote from: budjames
I just got back my 1DsMkIII and 24-105 f/4 IS lens that I sent to canon for calibration. The bad news is that there's not much improvement.

Images are just not sharp as I'd expect, even after using a tripod and mirror lock up. I even tried focusing manually, the images are still kind of soft.

I was wandering what other Canon shooters are using to produce sharp images with lens focal lengths in the 24 to 105mm range?

Bud James

I hate to say it, but quality control does appear to be an issue with Canon.
I get consistently excellent sharpness with the 24 - 70 f:2.8 L at apertures from about 5.6, other than some occasional softness in the left upper/lower corners at middle focusing distances. I've also been pretty pleased with the 24 - 105 f:4 L in terms of basic sharpness; carefully focused and composed shots on my 1Ds III can withstand enlargement to 16 x 24" without difficulty. The Achilles heel of this lens is vignetting, which is blatantly obvious in any shot including sky at any aperture wider than about f:10, at least with my copy. Yes, you can correct most of it in ACR, but it makes it very difficult to do quality stitched panos.

The 135 mm f:2 deserves its reputation; it is fabulously sharp at anything from 2.8, and any apparent softness is usually a depth of field issue.
The 85 mm f:1.8 is excellent anywhere below f:2.8, and really good in the center wide open; again, depth of field is the limitation rather than sharpness per se except for the corners near wide open.
I've never owned one of Canon's 50 mm lenses; I recently got Sigma's 50 f:1.4, and apparently I got a "good" copy. Sharpness is really top notch out to the corners from f:2.8 onward, and center sharpness even wide open is great. Having the corners go soft wide-open is generally no problem for portraits. Its only shortcoming that I can see is close-up sharpness; it definitely gets softer, especially in the corners, as you approach the close focusing limit.
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cjmonty

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Canon shooters, is there any Canon normal lens that's sharp?
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2008, 03:34:05 pm »

Im using my second 24-105, and its sharper than the first.  I compared it to my 50/1.4 and the new Zeiss ZE 50/1.4.  They match up pretty equally, and the Zoom is good but trails in overall sharpness by a bit.  This is really a "last 5%" kind of issue- its only apparent pixel-peeping and printing very large.  However, I dont think the zoom is ever sharper than those primes.

I agree about the 50 1/4 being a very sharp lens, and would add my Canon 100/2.8 macro is the sharpest glass Ive got
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Josef Isayo

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Canon shooters, is there any Canon normal lens that's sharp?
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2008, 05:28:38 pm »

You guys with the newer camera should really take the time and calibrate all your lenses with the built adjustment.
It makes a world of difference.

Paul Roark

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Canon shooters, is there any Canon normal lens that's sharp?
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2008, 08:48:16 pm »

50 f2.5 macro, 85 f1.8, 90 f2.8 TS - These are the ones I have that I think are very sharp.

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
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Panopeeper

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Canon shooters, is there any Canon normal lens that's sharp?
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2008, 09:04:26 pm »

Quote from: Geoff Wittig
I hate to say it, but quality control does appear to be an issue with Canon
Canon have the best, most reliable and cheapest QA in the world: tens of thousands of customers.

The big advantage beside costing nothing is, that most of the reject will be kept by the very inspectors without complaints.
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Gabor

dchew

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Canon shooters, is there any Canon normal lens that's sharp?
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2008, 09:38:14 pm »

Lenses I've migrated to:

24f/3.5TS (mine seems to be quite good)
35f/1.4
35f/2.0 (I wish this was better in the corners; I love this size and focal length)
50f/2.5 macro
85f/1.8
135f/2.0
180f/3.5 macro
70-200 f/4 IS

Lenses that usually sit at home:
17-35f/2.8 (old)
20 f/2.8
24 f/2.8 (again, I wish this was better; time for Canon to make a new one)
24-105f/4 IS
28-135 IS
300 f/4 IS

Obviously I don't shoot w/ very long lenses; cash and subject issue.

Dave Chew
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Huib

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Canon shooters, is there any Canon normal lens that's sharp?
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2008, 03:58:57 am »

The big problem with the Canon lenses is the quality control or tolerance. You need to be very lucky to get a good copy. Aspecially with the wide angles.
I don't know if the Nikon lenses have this problem.
Canon has nothing as good as the Nikon 14-24mm. No prime or zoom!
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CJL

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Canon shooters, is there any Canon normal lens that's sharp?
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2008, 07:55:18 am »

My EF 24-105 f4L is one of the sharpest mid-range zooms I've ever used, and I've owned pretty well every mid-range zoom Canon and Nikon have made over the past couple of decades.

The catch is, this is the 6th copy of the 24-105L that I've owned, and some of the others were truly awful.  You really need to try a few samples when shopping, to make sure you get a good one.
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EricWHiss

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Canon shooters, is there any Canon normal lens that's sharp?
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2008, 10:34:33 pm »

When I was shooting canon more I liked the 70-200 f/4 and the 90mm TSE and 100mm macro best and didn't think the 50's were anything special.   These are all good canon lenses and really the 70-200 f/4 and 100mm macro are bargains.  Sadly none of these are normal.   The good news is that there are quite a few lenses that can be adapted to the EOS mount.  If you want a sharp normal lens try the Leica 50mm summicron or summilux, or the Oly zuiko lenses.  I have both Leica's and two zuikos a 50 f/1.4 and a 55 f/1.2 and both are wonderful and the stop down metering and MF isn't that big a deal considering the trade off in IQ. If I had to pick just one, I'd go for the leica 50mm summicron.  Fantastic lens and can be had for $200 on the used market. The zuikos are even cheaper.


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