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Author Topic: 100L vs. 135L  (Read 28266 times)

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: 100L vs. 135L
« Reply #45 on: June 26, 2013, 08:24:16 AM »
Sorry to say, but actual lens sharpness has nothing to see with AFMA. AFMA is to calibrate the precision of the AF camera / lens combination. If a lens is not sharp in AF mode, it's because of the camera / lens combination, it says nothing about the real sharpness of the lens, though it will of course give a sharper image in AF mode when the AFMA is properly adjusted.

 A lens can be extremely sharp and show poor results because of a bad AF adjustment, but the same lens focused manually will show perfect results (unless defective).  If you want to compare lens sharpness, the only way is a solid tripod, a powerful steady light source (or flash) and manual focusing with x10 magnification on live view. If you test your lens in AF, you test the AF ability with one specific lens, not the optical sharpness of the lens.

This should be common knowledge.

A lot of things (that aren't) should be common knowledge.  For example, Consumer Reports knocks a lot of Ford products because of the Sync entertainment system (BMW with it's iDrive before).  My brother in law is the parts manager at a major Ford dealership.  He tells me that the system is almost never defective; it always comes down to people either not knowing how to use their cell phones (for hands free calling) or simply not being familiar with touch screen devices.  No one reads the manual; they just blame the system for "not working right".
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Re: 100L vs. 135L
« Reply #45 on: June 26, 2013, 08:24:16 AM »

GMCPhotographics

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Re: 100L vs. 135L
« Reply #46 on: June 26, 2013, 08:37:56 AM »
That is exactly the point I was (sleepily) trying to make:  I'd guesstimate that 9 in 10 of the folks on forums that say "my copy of lens X is sharper than lens Y, I've tested them both" didn't actually calibrate their AFMA before they did their "testing", and it's awfully rare that anyone mentions that they actually *did* check AFMA beforehand.  The same likely goes for people returning lenses because they got a "bad copy"...

Guys, I'm not in the habit of posting any of my files at 100% on a public forum. I've been using my 85IIL and 135L in a professional manner for nearly six years now. I've used them both on my 5D/5DII and currently 5DIII camera progressions. Since the 5DII became available, I have microadjusted every lens which I currently use. I use Lensalign pro by Colorvision. I've used this to test everything from my Siggi 12-24mm through to a 400mm f2.8 L IS with a 2x TC on it.
My comments about my particular copy of the 85IIL and 135L have been observed on a consistent basis over the last six years. My second photographer's 135L seems a little sharper than mine, but her 85IIL isn't quite as sharp as mine, this is on her own 5DII's which are calibrated to her lenses. It's not MA in these cases but production variance in the optics. It's a good reason why I don't tend to trawl online lens charts becuase each lens is slightly different and most sites only test a few copies at best.
So when I say that my copy of the 85IIL is a tad sharper than my 135L, the emphasis here is on the MY copy. Your milage might vary somewhat.
Judging optical resolution is only one aspect of a lens...we all know how bad the purple fringing is with the 85IIL...and the AF is no ball of fire...or that the drive by wire AF feels a little weird to use...or that it weights almost as much as a 70-200 in a lens which is about 1/4 of the size.
But given the choice, I'd rather use the 85IIL over a 135L.

neuroanatomist

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Re: 100L vs. 135L
« Reply #47 on: June 26, 2013, 08:42:41 AM »
If you want to compare lens sharpness, the only way is a solid tripod, a powerful steady light source (or flash) and manual focusing with x10 magnification on live view.

Actually, the proper way is not to rely on focusing lens at all.  Using live view with 10X magnification to focus initially is fine, But the actual test shots should be captured with focus bracketing using a slider or macro rail to adjust the distance in very small increments.  Then, the sharpest of the resulting bracketed shots should be used.
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symmar22

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Re: 100L vs. 135L
« Reply #48 on: June 26, 2013, 01:24:09 PM »
Agreed,  there are much more scientific ways to test a lens, it should not even be on the camera but mounted on an optical bench. But not everyone has one home ;)

My point was just to say that judging a lens by taking 2 pictures handeld while relying on AF is pointless, you should at least use manual focusing and a solid tripod, to get an idea. This is of course by no mean a scientific method.

As GMCphoto pointed out, resolution is only one part of a lens properties, and not necessarily the most important. I consider all my lenses sharp enough for work, though they don't have the same sharpness. Being into architecture and landscapes, a distortion free lens is for me somehow more important; yes it can be corrected in post, but with a slight loss in frame, and can make precise alignment very difficult. 24mm is my standard lens, the 24-105 is so curved on the sides at 24mm that it makes it almost impossible to align the sides on a straight structure.

Strong chroma can sometimes be difficult to remove completely (15mm fisheye).

Extreme vignetting can bring noise in the picture when post processed (I'm still hesitating to buy the 35mm f2 IS because of its very strong vignetting).

Field curvature is a problem for 2D reproduction.

Finally sharpness is the least problem IMO, unless you end with a bad copy of a lens, it can be easily enhanced; I need to use my wides f11-f16, sometimes f22, though I can see the loss of resolution on the RAW due to diffraction, a bit of sharpening and they look perfect. I never had a complain because a picture was not sharp enough, so this is all relative.

When working, I never select a lens because it's sharper than another one, but because it allows me the focusing distance, angle of view, depth of field or shift capacity I need for a specific situation.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 01:51:48 PM by symmar22 »

CarlTN

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Re: 100L vs. 135L
« Reply #49 on: June 26, 2013, 01:31:16 PM »
That is exactly the point I was (sleepily) trying to make:  I'd guesstimate that 9 in 10 of the folks on forums that say "my copy of lens X is sharper than lens Y, I've tested them both" didn't actually calibrate their AFMA before they did their "testing", and it's awfully rare that anyone mentions that they actually *did* check AFMA beforehand.  The same likely goes for people returning lenses because they got a "bad copy"...

Guys, I'm not in the habit of posting any of my files at 100% on a public forum. I've been using my 85IIL and 135L in a professional manner for nearly six years now. I've used them both on my 5D/5DII and currently 5DIII camera progressions. Since the 5DII became available, I have microadjusted every lens which I currently use. I use Lensalign pro by Colorvision. I've used this to test everything from my Siggi 12-24mm through to a 400mm f2.8 L IS with a 2x TC on it.
My comments about my particular copy of the 85IIL and 135L have been observed on a consistent basis over the last six years. My second photographer's 135L seems a little sharper than mine, but her 85IIL isn't quite as sharp as mine, this is on her own 5DII's which are calibrated to her lenses. It's not MA in these cases but production variance in the optics. It's a good reason why I don't tend to trawl online lens charts becuase each lens is slightly different and most sites only test a few copies at best.
So when I say that my copy of the 85IIL is a tad sharper than my 135L, the emphasis here is on the MY copy. Your milage might vary somewhat.
Judging optical resolution is only one aspect of a lens...we all know how bad the purple fringing is with the 85IIL...and the AF is no ball of fire...or that the drive by wire AF feels a little weird to use...or that it weights almost as much as a 70-200 in a lens which is about 1/4 of the size.
But given the choice, I'd rather use the 85IIL over a 135L.

Interesting, but that preference is really mostly due to the wider field of view, and perspective, from having less focal length...is it not?  No doubt you love the color and bokeh.

I've only rented the 85 f/1.2L once.  I liked it, but overall not as much as my 135L.  Certainly the focus by wire and slowness of AF is not useful.  The sharpness by f/5.6 at infinity doing landscape, exceeded that of my 135.  But below f/5.6, my 135 was sharper...at or near infinity focus.  At closer focus, the plane is so shallow with both lenses, that it really comes down to which bokeh and field of view you prefer, in my opinion.  For doing most portrait work, certainly the wider field of view could work better, it seems to me. 

I do wish there was a zoom, perhaps from 90 to 125mm or 140mm...that would be ideal.  Maybe f/1.4, 1.6. or 1.8.  It would likely be light enough to use (much smaller/lighter than the 200 f/2), but larger/heavier than the 85 f/1.2.  Of course if Canon built it, it would cost $7k.  But they, and all lens makers, are scared to death to build anything with a front element around 90mm.  For some reason they all have to either be 77mm, or else jump to 125mm.  All of you successful pros would be touting it as mind-blowing, and telling the rest of us that we owe it to ourselves to try one...hahaha.

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Re: 100L vs. 135L
« Reply #49 on: June 26, 2013, 01:31:16 PM »