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Author Topic: Opinions wanted: sharpest Canon L prime?  (Read 3943 times)

Mjollnir

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Opinions wanted: sharpest Canon L prime?
« on: October 16, 2011, 03:07:50 pm »

My g/f is a dedicated Canon-head. 5DII, several L lenses and a few non-L, and Xmas is coming up.  She's expressed interest in really higher-end primes (she has only the 50 1.8 for a prime) and I'm hearing opinions across the board as to which one is the best glass, but keep coming back to the 135 f/2, based on what I've read.

She's already got what she wants in zooms, and she does landscape and architecture almost exclusively.

Any thought/opinions/experiences?
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nazdravanul

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Re: Opinions wanted: sharpest Canon L prime?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2011, 03:25:23 pm »

Based on what she shoots, a wide angle tilt shift lens (the Canon 24 ts mk2, for example) should definitely be a better fit than a fast long prime.
If that is too expensive, you could always try a Zeiss prime like a 21 2.8 or a 35 f2 . Still a lot better for her application than the 135.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2011, 03:27:58 pm by nazdravanul »
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Mjollnir

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Re: Opinions wanted: sharpest Canon L prime?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2011, 03:36:24 pm »

Based on what she shoots, a wide angle tilt shift lens (the Canon 24 ts mk2, for example) should definitely be a better fit than a fast long prime.
If that is too expensive, you could always try a Zeiss prime like a 21 2.8 or a 35 f2 . Still a lot better for her application than the 135.

Thanks, but she's got a wider angle than that already, and the landscape shooting she does is usually waaaaay up in the Sierra, actually up in the mountains, rather than at the foot of them, so she's very often using longer reaches for the shots she gets. 

Sorry, I should have mentioned that she's interested in longer primes, not wider ones.
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degrub

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Re: Opinions wanted: sharpest Canon L prime?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2011, 03:43:21 pm »

like in the 300 to 600 range ?
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Mjollnir

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Re: Opinions wanted: sharpest Canon L prime?
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2011, 03:45:18 pm »

like in the 300 to 600 range ?

Ha!  I'm sure she'd loooooove that, but I'm not prepared to part with that kind of dosh.
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degrub

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Re: Opinions wanted: sharpest Canon L prime?
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2011, 04:00:11 pm »

so it is a weekend in NYC and a 135mm from B&H ?  8)
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DaveCurtis

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Re: Opinions wanted: sharpest Canon L prime?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2011, 03:54:48 am »

The best prime I own in that region is the Zeiss 100 f2  Makro Planar ZE. The lens is truely world class. No AF of course.

I agree that the 135mm is very good and also the new Canon 100mm Macro is worth a mention.
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David Good

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Re: Opinions wanted: sharpest Canon L prime?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2011, 04:02:17 am »

It really depends on how long she wants to go. Zeiss glass can be very good if manual focusing is not a problem. In the Canon short tele line-up I have used and can recommend the 135/2, 200/2.8 or, for wildlife/birding, the 400/5.6.
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Ellis Vener

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Re: Opinions wanted: sharpest Canon L prime?
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2011, 10:53:57 am »

Ha!  I'm sure she'd loooooove that, but I'm not prepared to part with that kind of dosh.
So there is a  limit to your  love?
I can also recommend either the Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar or the 50mm Makro-Planar.
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Sheldon N

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Re: Opinions wanted: sharpest Canon L prime?
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2011, 11:50:43 am »

I know you asked about primes, but here's an observation.

Does she already own the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II? If she does, there's really not going to be any "sharper" lens in the canon lineup, especially at f/8.  Something like a Zeiss might offer a different rendering, be a little more contrasty w/ more microcontrast, but it's not going to be noticeably sharper.

I've got a couple of the longer L prime lenses and the reason I own them is for the fast aperture, shallow depth of field, and bokeh. From your description of her subject matter, it does not sound like she needs the primes.

If she doesn't own the 70-200 vII and doesn't mind the size weight, I'd recommend that you upgrade her to that. It's an amazing lens.
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MrSmith

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Re: Opinions wanted: sharpest Canon L prime?
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2011, 03:25:44 pm »

90mm ts-e.  the 24mm t-seII is very good but the 90 at it's 5.6-11 sweet spot is better, i have to back off the capture sharpening when processing compared to my other L lenses as it's a cut above the others.
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DeeJay

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Re: Opinions wanted: sharpest Canon L prime?
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2011, 06:56:31 am »

45mm tse is very functional and also a lot of fun. Would make a GREAT present I think.

High end primes I have the 85 1.2L, 50 1.2L and 135 f2L

85 is ridiculously incredible. The 50 is slightly softer but the focal length makes it more an every day lens. It's a brilliant lens. I also have the 135 f2L It's incredibly sharp (some argue it's the sharpest Canon prime), and incredibly priced it's just not as useable in an everyday sense. The bokeh is stunning on all of these and the main reason I own them.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 06:58:19 am by DeeJay »
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Ken Bennett

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Re: Opinions wanted: sharpest Canon L prime?
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2011, 09:20:44 am »

I have to agree with the 70-200/2.8 IS II note (above). If she already owns this lens, then given her main subject matter, I can't think of any Canon primes that would provide a different/better outcome except maybe the 100mm macro, and even that doesn't fit her subject matter unless she wants to shoot more closeups. The 50, 85, and 135 are all awesome lenses, particularly the 85/1.2, but I think they are more useful for other kinds of work than high mountain landscapes.

If she does not own the 70-200 IS version II, well, that's my most used and useful lens, and a substantial upgrade over the original 70-200/2.8 and the I.S. version, both of which I own. The only hesitation I would have is if she owns the 70-200/4 IS, which is also a wonderful lens, and which I find easier to carry and use when out for longer periods of time. If that is the case, then the 135/2 might provide a significant difference in the look and feel of the images when shot wide-open.

What does she have now for longer lenses?
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Mjollnir

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Re: Opinions wanted: sharpest Canon L prime?
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2011, 05:23:23 pm »

I have to agree with the 70-200/2.8 IS II note (above). If she already owns this lens, then given her main subject matter, I can't think of any Canon primes that would provide a different/better outcome except maybe the 100mm macro, and even that doesn't fit her subject matter unless she wants to shoot more closeups. The 50, 85, and 135 are all awesome lenses, particularly the 85/1.2, but I think they are more useful for other kinds of work than high mountain landscapes.

If she does not own the 70-200 IS version II, well, that's my most used and useful lens, and a substantial upgrade over the original 70-200/2.8 and the I.S. version, both of which I own. The only hesitation I would have is if she owns the 70-200/4 IS, which is also a wonderful lens, and which I find easier to carry and use when out for longer periods of time. If that is the case, then the 135/2 might provide a significant difference in the look and feel of the images when shot wide-open.

What does she have now for longer lenses?

That's the main lens she uses, and thanks for all the input, everyone.

This has actually taken a surprise turn, and it works for both of us, since I'm now shooting a Panny GH2, but she's expressed interest in quality 'legacy' lenses, so since they're so cheap (and some of the SO cool and really sharp) I've decided to hunt down a nice sampling of those.

First up (and already acquired) a Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 135mm f/3.5.  The price was, shall we say, somewhat more modest than the Canon 135.  And it's sharpness is INSANE for what the cost was.

Thanks again!
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 09:32:26 am by Mjollnir »
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