December 19, 2014, 03:25:44 AM

Author Topic: Help needed: 24-105 f4 L softness and very stiff lens hood mount  (Read 5369 times)

Fleetie

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Re: Help needed: 24-105 f4 L softness and very stiff lens hood mount
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2013, 11:17:56 PM »
Recently I have been gaining new respect for my 24-105mm lens. I've been finding it sharp pretty much down to pixel level at both ends of its zoom range, and wide-open.


I was out with it today (well, yesterday now), and I shot a big public clock face at f/4 and exactly the same at f/8. I could not tell the difference on the LCD at maximum playback magnification, and I couldn't tell between them back home, either.


Also, interestingly (I thought), on a previous trip when I had that lens as my walkabout, I shot an information notice board by the side of a canal. This featured in one area a map with tiny, tiny street names on it; black text on a white background. Conventional wisdom says that SOOC JPGs aren't the best for sharpness, so I took the RAW into DPP and played around with the sharpness sliders. I was unable to improve the legibility of that tiny, tiny text compared to how it was on the SOOC JPG.


Sure, I could make it *look* sharper, i.e. have more edge contrast, by playing with the sliders, but always at the cost of actual legibility. And at any rate, I think the lens, given that it is considered "good, but not super-sharp", did very well indeed.


Maybe I'm blessed with a good copy, or maybe my expectations are not "high enough", but I'd say my copy is sharp to damn-near pixel level (on my 5D3), wide-open, and at both zoom extremes.


It certainly does exhibit CA at the edges of the field, but DPP does a very good job of removing that.


I'm curious about the 24-70 f/2.8 L II though, because of the extra aperture, so I may yet buy one. But the 135 f/2 L is probably next. Oh, and the next EOS M when/if they ever get around to releasing it!!
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 11:20:27 PM by Fleetie »
Canon 5D3  ,  70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II ,  24-105mm f/4 L IS  ,  50mm f/1.4  ,  85mm f/1.8 ,  EF 2x III
Olympus OM2-SP , 50mm f/1.2 , 55mm f/1.2 , 50mm f/1.4 Silvernose , 135mm f/2.8 , 28mm f/2.8

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Re: Help needed: 24-105 f4 L softness and very stiff lens hood mount
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2013, 11:17:56 PM »

roedi

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Re: Help needed: 24-105 f4 L softness and very stiff lens hood mount
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2013, 03:33:54 AM »
Thanks again to all of you!

Despite I agree that my tests are flawed I wonder how one would get better results wide open from the 24-105L than from the 70-300L. At least this isn't what I experienced the last few weeks.

Nevertheless: I'll repeat my tests under optimal conditions (natural light, no filters, everything cleaned, no IS, manual AF etc.) asap and post my results again. I'm quite curious if my concerns regarding this lens really were just based on my flawed first tests or not.


Sporgon

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Re: Help needed: 24-105 f4 L softness and very stiff lens hood mount
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2013, 07:56:58 AM »
The 24-105 is actually sharper than the 70-300 at 100-105mm in the center, according to TDP, 2 copies of the 70-300 tested.

Your test is not good. Compare them in natural light.

You keep quoting TDP. Lets hear from anyone who has both the 24-105 and the 70-300 L and thinks the former is sharper.

Whether the 24-105 manages close in the very centre is largely irrelevant in practical use. Swampler's picture shows the 24-105 at its strongest - with the detail of the subject large within the frame and using a moderate aperture.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Help needed: 24-105 f4 L softness and very stiff lens hood mount
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2013, 12:56:03 PM »
Lets hear from anyone who has both the 24-105 and the 70-300 L and thinks the former is sharper.

You won't hear that from me.  I had two copies of the 24-105L, and I have the 70-300L.  The 70-300L is definitely the sharper of the two when comparing them wide open (and the 24-70/2.8L II and 70-200/2.8L IS II are sharper than both).
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YuengLinger

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Re: Help needed: 24-105 f4 L softness and very stiff lens hood mount
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2013, 02:49:34 PM »
Just thinking about a stiff hood makes me uncomfortable.

Being used to the hood on the 24-105mm, I almost broke the one on my new 24-70mm this weekend--forgot about the button!

Pi

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Re: Help needed: 24-105 f4 L softness and very stiff lens hood mount
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2013, 07:50:55 PM »
The 24-105 is actually sharper than the 70-300 at 100-105mm in the center, according to TDP, 2 copies of the 70-300 tested.

Your test is not good. Compare them in natural light.

You keep quoting TDP.

Oh, I forgot. DXOmark, too.

duydaniel

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Re: Help needed: 24-105 f4 L softness and very stiff lens hood mount
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2013, 06:31:09 PM »
Try this:
http://www.graphics.cornell.edu/~westin/misc/ISO_12233-reschart.pdf

Look at the lines, view at about 500% then step far away from your screen and shoot some photos.

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Re: Help needed: 24-105 f4 L softness and very stiff lens hood mount
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2013, 06:31:09 PM »

roedi

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Re: Help needed: 24-105 f4 L softness and very stiff lens hood mount
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2013, 01:41:43 PM »
So, at last - here's an update. We've had some very bad weather 'round here the last few days so I did't have any opportunity to test the lens with natural light as proposed.

First of all, thank you all for your help and your suggestions. I repeated the process outside (didn't have much time til it started raining again) with the following results:

- first of all: the results were a lot better for the 24-105 under these conditions (seems the 70-300mm didn't suffer as much from the suboptimal conditions last time)
- at the long end the lens is still not excellent, noticeably worse than the 70-300L@100mm and much worse than it is @24 to 35mm.
- at the short end the lens is quite good, even slightly better than the 70-300L
- af ist quite spot-on most of the time

After all I've read, I think this is quite how this lens is expected to perform - so I'm happy and I'll continue shooting other things than resolution targets :D.

And btw: a little skin oil really helped the hood. It's still stiff and not very smooth running, but it is okay for me now.

Here is how I tested:

- Outside, ISO 100 ~1/300s-1/500s, f4
- IS off
- no filter
- Sturdy heavy tripod
- EOS-Utility attached to my laptop, LiveView with maximum magnification
- Distance to Object ~25 times the focal length to keep the target size consistent (target was about the size of the center viewfinder circle)
- Used only the very center to judge the sharpness
- MF and AF (to review the results of my afma settings obtained last time)

- focussed manually using the Liveview on the Laptop and did some Photos.
- with "AF on" I checked if I could improve things by overriding the focus manually (which hardly was the case).
- took some Photos using AF only (for comparison)
- tried to optimize the results using the AF-controls of the EOS-Utility (focus to infinity, phase AF, correct step-wise and count, repeat, feed the result back to afma)

After trying both the manual (operating the af ring by hand) and the AF+EOS-Utility (operating the AF step-wise by software) approach to afma, I think the latter is quite a bit easier/faster to do and yields very similar results.



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Re: Help needed: 24-105 f4 L softness and very stiff lens hood mount
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2013, 01:41:43 PM »