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Author Topic: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?  (Read 32189 times)

RGF

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2013, 01:00:46 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. 

Second might be the new 600mm F/4L IS II, followed by the 200mm F/1.8L or 70-200mm F/2.8L IS II or 85mm F/1.2L II.  My 24mm F/3.5L TS-E II was also really sharp...sorry I had to let it go; just found I did not use the tilt and shift features all that much.

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Jason

I have not tried the new version II super teles, but my 300 F2.8 is great. 

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2013, 01:00:46 PM »

Dylan777

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #31 on: February 25, 2013, 01:49:14 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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CarlTN

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #32 on: February 25, 2013, 02:14:49 PM »
My impressions are from use, and from tweaking the files at 100% in post.  I have no test equipment.

Probably the sharpest picture I have ever taken, was with an 85mm f/1.2 L, a landscape image at infinity focus (done manually via live view), closed to f/5.6.  But at wider than about f/2.5, it wasn't all that sharp at any focus distance, and had severe vignetting even on my crop camera.  Contrast was very good, color was nice with a lot of richness toward the violet end.

I've owned the 135mm f/2 for almost 4 years, it is extremely sharp even wide open on a crop camera.  Some say it's not all that sharp, but it's possible there is some sample variation.  It also has bokeh at least as good as the 85mmL, and with none of the "bokeh fringing" the 85 had (at least the one I tried.)  It's possible the 135's bokeh is as good or better than the 50 f/1.2, I can only guess...obviously it's not as extreme in its shallow-ness.

I've rented the 500 f/4L (first generation), and the current generation 200mm f/2L.  That 500 was not very sharp at all on my crop camera (no matter how I adjusted focus, or even if I focused manually via live view at 10x, on a tripod, on a motionless target...and was apparent via the live view's video feed, before I even snapped the shutter while the mirror was up).  The rental place tested it, and found nothing wrong. 

By contrast, the 200 f/2L was extremely sharp even on a monopod with its fabulous IS, and had better color than any other lens I've had experience with (including the 85L).  The colors, well they looked like they were shot with a medium format camera!  "Global contrast" was slightly more than my 135, which puts it at extreme.  It didn't usually blow out highlights, though, so my camera's metering was still able to function well with it.

I've also tried the 300 f/4L and the 400 f/5.6L.  The 400 was a lot sharper than I thought it would be...it was on par with the 200 and my 135.  The 300 f/4L is certainly more than sharp enough at its price point...and I'm actually currently considering buying either it, or a zoom.  I will never buy a long telephoto without IS.

The Zeiss 100mm Makro Planar f/2 that I tried, was extremely sharp via my crop camera, had extremely smooth bokeh (on par with my 135, if not exceeding it), and a color with very rich (almost over ripe) reds, but this was still pleasing and very usable.  I wish I owned one.  Some say it is the sharpest lens in the world, or was.

The Zeiss 35mm f/2 that I tried, was the sharpest wider angle lens I have ever tried.  The color balance was very neutral, and the contrast was so extreme that its highlights overwhelmed my camera's metering, so I always had to under-expose a bit.

Another very sharp lens I've owned since Fall 2011, is the (Cosina) Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4 Nokton SLii, in Nikon mount, with a Canon adaptor.  I refer you to photozone.de's test/review, and you tell me which they found to be sharper overall, the Canon 50mm f/1.4, or this one?  (They don't admit it in their summation, but their test results speak for themselves...compare them side-by-side).  It has some slight bokeh fringing at wider apertures, but is still very sharp wide open.  Closed down a bit, it has to be one of the sharpest lenses ever made.  It has almost no vignetting even wide open on a crop camera, and is extremely sharp to the corners, wide open...on a crop camera.  No other f/1.4 lens I have ever tried, was capable of this.  The color rendition is quite magical, in my opinion.  Greens and reds are especially rich.  The bokeh isn't the smoothest, but it's smooth enough for me.

I recall a magazine article, I think it was in "Digital Photo Pro" 2 or 3 years ago, where they recounted the sharpest lenses of all time.  The sharpest they found, was a Leica 100 f/2.8 macro, which I believe ended production in the 1990's.  From what I have read, the Leica lens I would love to own (and somehow use on an SLR without chopping it in half), is the 75mm f/2 Summicron Aspherical.

beckstoy

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #33 on: February 25, 2013, 02:22:45 PM »
I own lots of lenses, but just recently got the 70-200mm f2.8 IS II USM.  It seems sharper than my primes, even at f2.8!

BIG fan of that one...
5DM3, EF 50 f1.4, EF 24-70 f2.8 II, EF 70-200 f2.8 USM IS II, EF 24-104 f4, Siggy 12-24 f3.5

TexasBadger

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #34 on: February 25, 2013, 02:40:30 PM »
Of all of the lennses I own, the 135 f/2L is the sharpest.
5DC, 5D3, Elan7, G12, 28 1.8, 50 1.8 II, 85 1.8 USM, 135 2.0 L, 24-70 2.8 L, 70-200 2.8 L, 560 EX, 580 EX II (2) --- all Canon.

Gert Arijs

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2013, 03:07:29 PM »
I'm a bit surprised: The 180mm macro L was one of the softest lenses I ever tried. I assume that was just a very bad lens and the rest is much better.
My sharpest must be the 100mm f/2.0 I think...
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CarlTN

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2013, 03:55:32 PM »
Of all of the lennses I own, the 135 f/2L is the sharpest.

Hi Texas, which camera bodies have you used your 135 on?

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2013, 03:55:32 PM »

kennykodak

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #37 on: February 25, 2013, 04:26:05 PM »
I own lots of lenses, but just recently got the 70-200mm f2.8 IS II USM.  It seems sharper than my primes, even at f2.8!

BIG fan of that one...

i got to agree with you on this.

Joes Dad

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #38 on: February 25, 2013, 04:29:11 PM »
I do not yet have experience with the Mark II big whites mentioned by some in reply, so with that caveat, in my experience/view:

(1) 200 f/2.0L (clear winner)
(2) 85 f/1.2L
(3) 70-200 f/2.8L II
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500 f/4L | 300 f/2.8L | 200 f/2.0L | 70-200 f/2.8L II | 16-35 f/2.8L II | 24-70 f/2.8L | 24-105 f/4L | 50 f/1.2L | 85 f/1.2L II | 100 f/2.8L M IS | MP-E 65 f/2.8 | TS-E 24 f/3.5L II | 24 f/1.4L | 14 f/2.8L | 40 f/2.8

BrandonKing96

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2013, 05:44:31 PM »
Of what I've used and seen- the 24-70 II, 70-200 f/2.8 IS II, 85L II, and the 135L are the sharpest I've seen!
Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 60D; EF-S 10-22; EF 70-200 f/4L IS; EF 24-70 f/2.8L II; 580EX II.  Soon to add: 50 1.2L, 135 f/2L, 8-15L

eml58

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #40 on: February 25, 2013, 07:16:08 PM »
I own & use the following Canon Lenses;
14f/2.8L II, 15f/2.8, 35f/1.4L, 50f/1.2L, 85f/1.2L II, 100f/2.8L IS, 135f/2L, 200f/2L, 300f/2.8L II, 400f/2.8L II, 600f/4L II.
8-15f/4 L, 26-35f/2.8L II, 24-70f/2.8L II, 70-200f/2.8L II.
17f/4 TSE II, 24/f3.5 TSE II

The sharpest without doubt in my own use is the 300f/2.8L Version II, simply an amazing Lens.
The 100f/2.8L IS Macro would be next, I use it mainly for Underwater use in a Seacam Housing, but this is a sharp sharp Lens.
85f/1.2 L II is damn good, but the slow focus system takes some patience, although I've noticed now on my 1Dx it is much faster on the focus, even more so than on the 5DMK3.
The 600 & 400 Version II Lenses are great.

Zooms ?? The 24-70 is good, the 70-200 is very good, the 16-35 is So So, the 8-15 @ 15 is really good. You are not going to get the best sharpness from a Zoom when compared to a Prime, but there are benefits of course so it's a trade off.

The 17 & 24 TSE are exceptionally sharp, but they come with a learning curve that most wouldn't want to work on, they are rewarding though in the right situation.
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ppix

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Re: My 200 f/1.8 plus a 1.4x And a 2.0x sharpness samples
« Reply #41 on: February 25, 2013, 07:54:04 PM »
The 200 f/1.8 is amazingly sharp even with a 1.4x II and 2.0x II stacked in front of it on my 1D Mark III :





Or with just a 2.0x attached moving at 100+ MPH:



John
« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 08:01:01 PM by ppix »

Andy_Hodapp

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #42 on: February 25, 2013, 08:09:39 PM »
Might get some hate for this but my Sigma 105mm F/2.8 Macro EX DG is so sharp.  I got it used on ebay for $300 and way outperforms my 17-40 and my 50mm 1.8.  Here are some of the photos I've gotten out of the lens, well worth the $300, though I have to admit, the autofocus is pretty bad, it worked alright on my Canon T1i but when I upgraded to the Canon 5D MKII, the autofocus works even worse.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/66627224@N02/8276147216/#in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/66627224@N02/8210395424/#in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/66627224@N02/8107624722/#in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/66627224@N02/8101755629/#in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/66627224@N02/8355912864/#in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/66627224@N02/8354838679/#in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/66627224@N02/8355902460/#in/photostream
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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #42 on: February 25, 2013, 08:09:39 PM »

bdunbar79

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #43 on: February 25, 2013, 08:40:44 PM »
I own & use the following Canon Lenses;
14f/2.8L II, 15f/2.8, 35f/1.4L, 50f/1.2L, 85f/1.2L II, 100f/2.8L IS, 135f/2L, 200f/2L, 300f/2.8L II, 400f/2.8L II, 600f/4L II.
8-15f/4 L, 26-35f/2.8L II, 24-70f/2.8L II, 70-200f/2.8L II.
17f/4 TSE II, 24/f3.5 TSE II

The sharpest without doubt in my own use is the 300f/2.8L Version II, simply an amazing Lens.
The 100f/2.8L IS Macro would be next, I use it mainly for Underwater use in a Seacam Housing, but this is a sharp sharp Lens.
85f/1.2 L II is damn good, but the slow focus system takes some patience, although I've noticed now on my 1Dx it is much faster on the focus, even more so than on the 5DMK3.
The 600 & 400 Version II Lenses are great.

Zooms ?? The 24-70 is good, the 70-200 is very good, the 16-35 is So So, the 8-15 @ 15 is really good. You are not going to get the best sharpness from a Zoom when compared to a Prime, but there are benefits of course so it's a trade off.

The 17 & 24 TSE are exceptionally sharp, but they come with a learning curve that most wouldn't want to work on, they are rewarding though in the right situation.

Actually, not quite correct anymore.  Canon's 24-70L II and 70-200L II IS are sharper than some of the primes in those respective ranges.
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pwp

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #44 on: February 25, 2013, 08:52:12 PM »
In my bag the sharpness award goes to the 135 f/2, then the 300 f/2.8is. Both are amazing.

-PW

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Re: What are Canon's sharpest lenses?
« Reply #44 on: February 25, 2013, 08:52:12 PM »