So, I do a bit of fine art reproduction / copy / giclée work, and I'm expecting to do more in the future.
I get great results with the Canon 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro.
More is always better, of course, which is why this question.
Can anybody offer a recommendation of a significantly better lens to use (with a 5DIII)?
At optimum aperture (presumably somewhere in the f/5.6 - f/11 range), it must be visibly (not just measurably) superior in all these categories, in this order of importance:
- Distortion. The CM is virtually distortion-free. Any candidate lens must have no more distortion than the CM.
- Sharpness. The CM at f/8 is very sharp, but I suspect there might be even sharper lenses by now.
- Corner sharpness. The CM is very good in the corners at f/8, but not quite as good as in the center.
- Light falloff. Again, at f/8, this is well controlled with the CM. A candidate lens shouldn't be worse, but my workflow already compensates for less than perfectly even illumination so it's my least important criteria.
I'm confident that the CM is far and away the best lens that Canon offers for this type of work...the question is if there's anything anybody else offers that's even better.
I'm aware of the Zeiss f/2 Makro-Planar, but the distortion comparison at The Digital Picturehttp://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lens-Distortion.aspx?FLI=0&FLIComp=0&Lens=727&Camera=453&LensComp=287
shows, to my eye at least, visibly more distortion for the Zeiss, which makes it a non-starter. (If the difference is more due to lack of proper alignment of the test target in Bryan's comparison, I'll reconsider.)
Given the versatility of the Canon mount with adapters, I'm willing to consider anything that can be physically attached to the camera. Basically everything is on the table, including even medium format lenses. But the Canon 50 CM seems to have the least distortion of any of the competition in Bryan's database, which makes it a very hard act to follow.
So...any suggestions, or is this already as good as it gets?