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Author Topic: Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?  (Read 14825 times)

ArtVandelay12

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Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?
« on: May 20, 2013, 12:00:08 PM »
I already own some Canon gear, but have made the jump to micro 4/3 with the OM-D. I still am interested in full frame so I was considering a 6D to compliment my om-d. I don't need the autofocus of the 5D mkIII, I am just interested in image quality. So I rented a 6D and the 24-105 f4 to see what it was like. I was planning on buying the kit anyway.

When the camera arrived it was a rainy day, and after getting used to it (I've used canon cameras for years so there wasn't much of a learning curve) I decided to try some very informal IQ tests. Using my OM-D and a $150 zoom, 40-150mm, through a rainy window and then the 6D and 24-105 with the window open. I tried to keep settings as similar as possible for both cameras. Both images are straight out of camera RAW's with no editing done whatsoever. Both imported through Lightroom 4.4.

I was surprised to see that the little $150 dollar lens and my OM-D produced a much better image! I know the 24-105 is not the sharpest lens out there by any means, but I don't think the 40-150 is either. Especially through a window.

Any ideas? Problem with the lens? Am I doing something wrong and missed a setting somewhere? I took several pictures with the 6D to make sure I wasn't focusing wrong or anything like that, and even stopped down to f8 and didn't see much difference. I do enjoy shooting with the 6D and it wasn't as big and heavy as I thought it would be, but I don't want to buy it and then have to buy very expensive lenses just to match the performance of my om-d and the 40-150.

I also used the 50mm 1.8 II and noticed it was much sharper which makes me think the 24-105 just isn't very good. Though with the 50mm vs my om-d I couldn't really tell the two apart unless I was shooting wide open and the DOF was obviously different. Still not as big of a IQ difference as I expected.

Other thoughts: Dynamic range is about the same and the color rendition is also great for both cameras. At iso 3200 the om-d starts to fall behind and after that the 6D is a clear winner. I am amazed by the ISO performance of this camera! I like the film grain look of the noise on both the 6D and om-d but 6400 is as high as I go on the om-d. 12800 on the 6D looks great still IMO.

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Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?
« on: May 20, 2013, 12:00:08 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2013, 01:01:17 PM »
First off, decent light negates most of the IQ advantages of a larger sensor.  In daylight, it's usually difficult to tell the difference between FF, APS-C, m4/3, even my PowerShot S100 can produce results on a sunny day that are quite good by comparison to my 1D X, especially when looking at downsampled images.  But when you need to increase the ISO, the differences become very apparent.  Even on bright days, if I need 1/1600 s for birds in flight, the ISO is high enough to see significant differences between the 7D and the 1D X.

Second, the lens.  No, the 24-105L isn't the sharpest lens out there, but it's a Canon L-series and should be giving you excellent IQ.  You state you 'took several pictures with the 6D to make sure I wasn't focusing wrong' but how were you focusing?  If using phase detect AF, the lens may have needed AF Microajustment.  Also, from whom did you rent the body+lens?  Lensrentals.com, for example, is excellent in that they optically test each lens when it's returned from a rental.  Many rental outfits let the next customer do the testing, so if a lens was banged around and has a decentered element, etc., they don't check it out until someone complains. 
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ArtVandelay12

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Re: Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2013, 01:34:21 PM »
First off, decent light negates most of the IQ advantages of a larger sensor.  In daylight, it's usually difficult to tell the difference between FF, APS-C, m4/3, even my PowerShot S100 can produce results on a sunny day that are quite good by comparison to my 1D X, especially when looking at downsampled images.  But when you need to increase the ISO, the differences become very apparent.  Even on bright days, if I need 1/1600 s for birds in flight, the ISO is high enough to see significant differences between the 7D and the 1D X.

Second, the lens.  No, the 24-105L isn't the sharpest lens out there, but it's a Canon L-series and should be giving you excellent IQ.  You state you 'took several pictures with the 6D to make sure I wasn't focusing wrong' but how were you focusing?  If using phase detect AF, the lens may have needed AF Microajustment.  Also, from whom did you rent the body+lens?  Lensrentals.com, for example, is excellent in that they optically test each lens when it's returned from a rental.  Many rental outfits let the next customer do the testing, so if a lens was banged around and has a decentered element, etc., they don't check it out until someone complains. 

First: My thoughts as well. No doubt the 6D can outperform with ISO. I just had some doubts because this is my first time shooting full frame digital, and after reading about people who have gone to FF and how much better it was, made me curious if there actually was as big of a difference as I read.

Second: I was relying on the auto focus. Just tried some manual focusing and I didn't notice much difference with that scene but that is more than likely my own fault. I will try standing some batteries on a table and focus on them to see if it is just a lens issue. I imagine it most likely is.

Maybe I should rent another lens. Any recommendations on a lens to really show what the 6D is capable of, IQ wise? 

bholliman

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Re: Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2013, 02:29:30 PM »

Maybe I should rent another lens. Any recommendations on a lens to really show what the 6D is capable of, IQ wise?

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Universeal

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Re: Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2013, 02:44:29 PM »
I see better detail on 24-105 but the focus is not where you wanted to be so that's why OM-D for you it looks better.

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Re: Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2013, 02:53:15 PM »
but it's a Canon L-series and should be giving you excellent IQ

I wouldn't draw such a straight conclusion (example: 17-40L wide open), for the current lenses I'd say the overall advantage of L is better build quality and (most of the time) sealing, for iq ymmv.

Any ideas? Problem with the lens? Am I doing something wrong and missed a setting somewhere?

As the others have noted, the 6d shot is either out of focus and/or motion blurred (IS never prevents this to 100%). My advice: If you want to test a lens after buying shoot a test chart or at least another similar object with a tripod, and not a live scene out of the window, only then you'll get a real result how the lens performs and what you need to work around - for example use afma or expect corner or wide open softness.

Other thoughts: Dynamic range is about the same and the color rendition is also great for both cameras.

Yes, the dr of the expensive Canon dslrs is still rather mediocre, it's a known issue *if* you happen to shoot high-dr scenes.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2013, 03:04:31 PM »
but it's a Canon L-series and should be giving you excellent IQ

I wouldn't draw such a straight conclusion (example: 17-40L wide open), for the current lenses I'd say the overall advantage of L is better build quality and (most of the time) sealing, for iq ymmv.

Linguistic note:  "It's a Canon L-series and should be giving you excellent IQ," is a statement with two separate clauses, not a dependent clause, as in, "It's a Canon L-series and so should be giving you excellent IQ." 

The 24-105L is a very good lens, espeically stopped down to f/8 which the OP mentions.  Here's a 100% crop with the 24-105L at f/8 on the 5D II (102mm, 1/60 s, ISO 100):
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 03:10:16 PM by neuroanatomist »
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Re: Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2013, 03:04:31 PM »

StepBack

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Re: Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2013, 03:10:15 PM »
If u want to test cameras u'd do well to check out the results on dpreview under different ISO ranges. The 6D is an entry level camera useful for some things but really not a bargain unless u feel u must have a full frame. I would hope its DR is far superior and more important than ISO numbers up into the 5 and 6 digits. Their tests are very useful and u might find that for your circumstances you don't need an ISO over 1600-3200. Most cameras regardless of marketing departments really shouldn't surprise one that they're absolutely useful at low numbers but rather not as u reach the heights of their speculative and questionable tests. Now if a camera was passing its limits below 800 I'd be concerned especially if you need to take shots of bands in clubs as a living. Lighting is the most important thing perhaps to good results and while u are testing specifically high ISO one might find it more useful to compare them under your average shooting conditions because that's when u'll be most often using it. Just because a truck has a speedometer that goes up to 140 doesn't mean to suggest that's a good idea under any circumstances.

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Re: Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2013, 03:11:06 PM »
The white balance is different between the two pictures.  The Oly is warmer and more pleasing to the eye, IMO.  You may need to do auto focus micro-adjustment (AFMA) with the 6D and the 24-105.  If you want to be apples to apples in your comparison shots, you will need to line up things like WB, etc.

But, also look at the detail in the background.  The blur is much better with the 6D.

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Re: Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2013, 03:17:23 PM »
I think this is always a matter of preferences. When I was looking at these my first impression (as so often) is always the background. The photo on the right looks like a P&S or mobile phone with the typical unpleasant background blur full of artifacts.

The one on the left looks overexposed - which (in my experience) is not untypical for recent Canon cameras. I often find myself correcting that on camera. Can't tell what the 6D was focusing on. My other concern is always the "this is from the raw file with no adjustments" statement. Those files are not meant to be un-adjusted. That's like saying "here's the negative; can you see how the dynamic range stinks?" in the old film days. It's not the same as a color slide or so.

So my conclusion based on the background alone would be that the full frame camera would be the winner here with some potential adjusting of AF issues, corrected exposure settings (and a level, sorry). Contrast seems to be an issue here also and I can't find out why that is. Likely not the 24-105 which has very good contrast in my experience.

But again - that's me and my priorities. You may come to an entirely different conclusion for your taste and interests.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 03:26:21 PM by 7enderbender »
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Re: Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2013, 03:56:16 PM »
A few observations, in no particular order:

1. My OM-D, at least with the lenses I own, focuses consistently more accurately than any dslr I’ve used (whether Canon, Nikon or – especially - Pentax): provided it confirms focus, the camera accurately focuses on what I asked it to (barring something like subject movement or, if focus is very shallow, movement by me).  Regardless of aperture (and I realize M43 have an inherent advantage here), not once have I had an unpleasant surprise of the sort I occasionally get with dslrs.  I’ve no idea, obviously, whether that played a part in your comparison – how many times did you repeat the Canon photo? Were you focusing on exactly the same point with each camera?  No lens will look sharp if, for whatever reason, the focus is off (unless it accurately focuses on the wrong thing).

2. Back/front focusing isn’t an issue for mirrorless cameras, but it be the problem with the Canon combination you used ( my 6D and 24-105 are quite cooperative with each other, but yours may not have been).

3. For ergonomic reasons it’s easier to adjust exposure right when using an OM-D; and my OM-D tends to be a bit more reliable in that regard too than the dslrs I’ve used (not that I have any complaints about my 6D).  It looks to me as though the Canon photo is somewhat overexposed (esp. the top of the lamp), which reduces detail and the appearance of sharpness.  Combine that with inaccurate focus and the photo *really* won’t look sharp, no matter what lens you use.

4. Leaving aside whether any focus adjustment was needed or the lens was somehow flawed, you may have ended up with a less good copy of the 24-105.  I get the impression from reading this forum that some are sharper than others.  (I’ll assume you didn’t accidentally turn off the IS!)  I doubt that has anything to do with this particular comparison, though.

5. For some of the reasons already mentioned, and leaving aside whether what you rented is flawed, I and am no longer surprised that one can get better results (at least in some respects) with an OM-D (I was quite skeptical until I rented one).  I own a 6D and an OM-D and use both frequently (sometimes together).

6. (This has nothing to do with your specific complaint.) As you’ve noticed, the OM-D is surprisingly good in low light/high ISOs, but beyond a certain point there’s no contest.  Likewise if you like shallow depth of focus and smooth bokeh (nevertheless, even though there’s less background blurring with the OMD for any given field of view, you can still get superb bokeh, depending on the lenses you use).

7. (This has nothing to do with your complaint either.) In my experience Micro 4/3 lenses tend to be more prone to chromatic aberrations than the better Canon lenses, and you can see that in your comparison where, whatever else may be going on, there’s a little on the OM-D photo at the top of the lamp.

8. As for other lenses to show off the 6D, try a 70-300L (the range more-or-less matches your inexpensive zoom), a Canon 100L, a Canon 135L or a Sigma 35 1.4 and see what you can see, especially if you care about shallow focus and background blur (though with the latter two you won’t have image stabilization – another area where the OM-D spoils you).  And, just for kicks, throw into the mix a couple of the best M43 primes, such as the 75mm 1.8, 60mm macro, 45mm 1.8, 17mm 1.8 (all Olympus), Panasonic/Leica 25mm 1.4.


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Re: Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2013, 04:13:37 PM »
I think this thread brings out a simple painful? truth. That is electronics have developed to the point, that the overwhelming advantage the FF cameras had some years back - is rapidly closing down.

Another truth is that in the digital age - electronics plays a big role - shadowing the role of optics that dominated the film cameras.

So here we see, a small sensor camera + an entry level lens - produce - at least under certain conditions - results that are for all practical purposes - almost identical if not better then a $2500 combo !
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7enderbender

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Re: Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2013, 05:04:19 PM »
I think this thread brings out a simple painful? truth. That is electronics have developed to the point, that the overwhelming advantage the FF cameras had some years back - is rapidly closing down.

Another truth is that in the digital age - electronics plays a big role - shadowing the role of optics that dominated the film cameras.

So here we see, a small sensor camera + an entry level lens - produce - at least under certain conditions - results that are for all practical purposes - almost identical if not better then a $2500 combo !


I'd dispute that. Unless of course "practical purposes" is reduced to how-sharp-can-it-be. My 10 year old Canon PowerShot is tack sharp. I don't find it to be useful for my practical purposes because it offers very little control over the creative process the way I like it. But sharp it is and it focuses any time.

I kept using film for many years because "full frame" sensor cameras (let alone anything bigger) were out of my price range (and no system would fit my FD lens collection anyway). Anything smaller than the old 135 film standard is (in my opinion) limited by physics and not by electronics or optical quality. Even "full frame" feels like a compromise with something like a f/4 lens attached. But again, that may just be me or a handful of other suckers. Doesn't say anything about the quality of output from an artistic standpoint. There are folks who come up with great stuff out of a point and shoot or whatever you give them.
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Re: Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2013, 05:04:19 PM »

Pi

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Re: Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2013, 05:12:31 PM »
Your 6D image is back focused and has shallower DOF.

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Re: Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2013, 05:52:55 PM »
Your 6D image is back focused and has shallower DOF.

Yes, you are DEFINITELY back-focused.
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Re: Unimpressed with 6D + 24-105. Am I doing something wrong?
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2013, 05:52:55 PM »