November 23, 2014, 11:31:54 AM

Author Topic: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?  (Read 33220 times)

AlanF

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2013, 11:40:53 AM »
Well...the sharpest lens I have and have used without any doubt is the new Canon EF 300mm F/2.8L IS II.  Hell, it is even sharp with a 2x III converter on it. 
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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2013, 11:40:53 AM »

florianbieler.de

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2013, 12:02:05 PM »
According to traumflieger.de (a very well known german page for anything gear) the sharpest lenses are in that order:

180mm Macro
200mm 2.0L
400mm 2.8L
Sigma 105mm Macro
Canon 300mm 2.8L

Tokina 100mm Macro, Canon 100mm Macro and 70-200 2.8 are not far beyond. So mainly the longer focal lengths are the sharpest with the two exception 8-15mm Fisheye and 24-70 II.
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RS2021

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2013, 12:04:07 PM »
And there we go again...a shameless parade of "what I own (or wish I owned) is the best, sharpest, and the inevitable answer to what you need" pronouncements... ;)
“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept” - Henri Cartier-Bresson

RS2021

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2013, 12:16:43 PM »
Take a look here:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx

It's an useful comparison chart!

Cool tool -thank you for sharing! I will show that to him.

The digital picture.com site is a great tool yes, and certainly one of the most systematic and complete ones...

But remember, while very useful, the image crops are still based on one (and occationally two copies of the lenses). As Roger from lensrentals repeatedly demonstrates, there is a "spread" in sharpness for any given lens...some are notorious for variation if you were to sample 20 copies of the lens, others are tightly bunched up with little variation. Keep that in mind as you browse the t-d-p site....it is still a great resource.

My copy of the simple 24-105L is very sharp and contrasty...yet I hear some are unhappy with their copies...two possibilities: they are either pixel peeping "measurebators" who simply will not be happy with most lenses, or, their copy is truly a lemon, in which case there is still some hope to land a good copy. :)

This is *not* to suggest that 24-105 is the sharpest lens ever, for it isn't, just a way to exemplify the copy-variation issue. In my lens line-up, if forced to choose something, I will have to go with 135L at the top and 70-200 f2.8II as a close second. I also own the f4 version, which to my eye at least is equally sharp. I don't own any of the large white super-tele primes, but from what I hear they are all quite sharp. 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 12:45:15 PM by Ray2021 »
“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept” - Henri Cartier-Bresson

dafrank

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2013, 12:44:31 PM »
My sharpest lenses, as I rate them, in very rough order (much depends on taking aperture, distance, etc., and I might easily switch the order a bit on any given day) from the very sharpest to extremely sharp, are:

1) Canon 90mm f/2.8 TS
2) Canon 300mm f/2.8 IS
3) Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro (non IS)
4) Canon 85mm f/1.2 vII
5) Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS vII
6) Canon 50mm f/2.5 macro

All the other lenses I own are very good, but these especially stand out in the sharpness department.

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David

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bdunbar79

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2013, 12:48:22 PM »
The sharpest ones I've shot with are the 200 f/2L, followed by the 135L.
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DCM1024

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2013, 01:02:16 PM »
Thank you so much for all the great responses. I have bookmarked this thread for future reference. Due to the purchase of several kits, we ended up with three! 24-105s plus the EF-s 17-55, so some selling and purchasing of new tools is definitely in order. We do like the 24-105, and it can be surprisingly sharp itself. I have a photo of a bride (head and shoulder) where you can see the fine vellus hair on her shoulder. At this time, we use primarily zooms for convenience, but I could see that changing as I mature as a photographer. I can tell you that spending a year photographing weddings has already changed me - I have gone from shooting primarily aperture or shutter priority to manual as I now know where I want my settings to be. Thank you all again. Debbie

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2013, 01:02:16 PM »

East Wind Photography

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2013, 01:41:11 PM »
Generally speaking any of the prime L series lenses will be sharper than any of the zooms.  One exception may be the new 24-70 mkii.

The 100 2.8L Macro IS is a fantastic lens.  I've used it for landscape work but it really shines as a macro lens.  The IS is not very good at really close macro distances so it may be just as good to turn it off and use high shutter or tripod in macro mode.  The sharpness is astounding.  You will have a lot of fun with it.

LostArk

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2013, 01:42:22 PM »
Canon's sharpest lens:

300mm f/2.8 IS II

Canon's sharpest lens at f/2:

200mm f/2L IS

Canon's sharpest lens at f/1.4:

85L


ChilledXpress

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2013, 02:11:11 PM »
Well...the sharpest lens I have and have used without any doubt is the new Canon EF 300mm F/2.8L IS II.  Hell, it is even sharp with a 2x III converter on it. 
+1

+1 Indeed !!!!

Lawliet

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2013, 02:42:43 PM »
just a way to exemplify the copy-variation issue. 

And then there are the circumstancial factors. AFMA ever so slightly off? Traces of camera shake or subject movement? Field curvature (or photographers sense of volume) put the focal plane not where its supposed to be? With the big whites air(both turbulence/seeing and dust) can get the limiting factor quite easily.

sdsr

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2013, 02:51:17 PM »
"Sharpness" as used to describe a photo is very dependent on contrast. But there are some sobering comparisons on the link provided, which my personal experiences agree with.

First, the 400 f2.8 IS MkII is sharper at f5.6 than the 200 f2 at f5.6, but then the 50 f1.4 is sharper than both of them at f5.6 too, it is also sharper than the 100 IS L Macro at f5.6. Of all the lenses I own, and that includes the 100 L Macro and a 300 f2.8 IS, and have used (which covers most of them) the 50 f1.4 at f5.6 is the sharpest. However it is rarely the "best" lens to use in any given situation!

Now that might upset the sensibilities of some here, but just look at an independent comparison.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=115&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=6&LensComp=674&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=3

Sure, but (1) the differences between the two in that example are slight and probably wouldn't be noticeable when shooting actual three dimensional things (of course, that's true of lots of other similar comparisons too); and (2) with different samples of either or both lenses the results of the comparison could be quite different - look at the rather wide range by which lenses vary from copy to copy in the various examples/comparisons available at lensrentals.com, for instance.  (The first 70-300L I bought was seldom even barely sharper than my 70-300 non-L and even less sharp at 300mm, so I returned it; the second was sharper, but the first one was sharp enough that without the direct comparison I probably wouldn't have realized there was any reason to return it.)  Plus, some lenses seem happier on some cameras than on others.

RS2021

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2013, 04:28:21 PM »
Sharpness is sometimes overated... and sometimes counter productive.  And it cannot make up for an unimaginative artist with a super sharp lens...

I only put that down first as I wanted to share Kirk Tuck's wonderful quote from his blog:

"Never before have so many boring photographs been so damn sharp."

It made me smile and think.
“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept” - Henri Cartier-Bresson

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2013, 04:28:21 PM »

PavelR

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2013, 05:29:42 PM »
Canon's sharpest lens:

300mm f/2.8 IS II

Canon's sharpest lens at f/2:

200mm f/2L IS

Canon's sharpest lens at f/1.4:

85L
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Axilrod

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2013, 05:13:20 PM »
Primes - 24LII, 85LII, 100L, 135L, and pretty much all the superteles (Also Zeiss ZE 25mm f/2 & ZE 100mm f/2 Makro)
Zooms - 24-70 II, 70-200 f/2.8 IS II
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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2013, 05:13:20 PM »