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Author Topic: Quest for the perfect copy?  (Read 3831 times)

surapon

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Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2013, 05:02:48 PM »
THANKSSS, Dear mackguyver.
Now I understand now, You use the Horizontal lines of Mortar and the vertical lines of the Bricks and mortar to test the Lens Quality at the adges/ Corners  of the Photos.
THANKS again.
Ha, Ha, Ha---Sir, I on the Black list Now, And if next month, You not see my post any more = I am Dead----Ha, Ha, Ha.
Happy Holiday.
Surapon
Just don't change your last name to Snowden and you should be okay :)

And yes, the bricks work pretty well.  I set my camera perfectly level, then take photos at all full stop apertures.  I bring them into my photo programs and compare the sharpness across the frame and apertures.  Sometimes I'll do a white wall test as well, but generally the bricks work well and then I shoot in the wild from there. 

I'm sure it's not as good as Neuro's ISO charts, but it works for me.

Definitely.  For example, my 135mm f/2L needed +3 on my 7D, –11 on my 5DII, and needs no adjustment on my 1D X.

I'd definitely recommend getting FoCal - compared to the investment in two 5DIIIs and several lenses, it's a small cost that can help maximize camera performance.
Same experience here and FoCal is definitely worth the money, especially with fast glass (f/1.2-f/2.8), particularly with the f/1.2 lenses where + or - 1 AFMA unit can make or break focus.



Ha, Ha, Ha "  "Just don't change your last name to Snowden and you should be okay :)"----0----That make sense for me----Ha,

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Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2013, 05:02:48 PM »

docsmith

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Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2013, 05:58:49 PM »
I wonder if some of the apparently OCD behavior with questing for the perfect lens has to do with passionate photographers well out of their spending comfort zone.

Or are there really so many bad copies of great lenses?

My context, I am one of the people having had issues with the 24-70 II.  I had eight ( 8 ) copies that I returned.  So, I have a little perspective on the sample variation of this "elite" lens. 

Regarding the first part, I can only speak for myself and I was comfortable with the amount I spent.  Matter of fact, I was ecstatic to be getting that lens for the $1,699 price (actually closer to $1,550 after all the different points, etc).  But I wanted that lens to be in my kit has a main stay for years to come.  So I did test it vigorously.

My tally was: 4 sent back for the "clicking" sound.  Three were very loud, one slightly less so, but I did not need to hold it to my ear to hear the clicking on any of them.  I contacted Canon, they advised I return the lens.  But these returns were really out of fear of the unknown.  Why is it clicking?  What will happen in the future?  Some people say the clicking goes away....but that sounds like either metal fatigue or wearing off small parts to me.  Long term impacts?  To me the clicking sounded like metal being compressed and released, like something was over torqued during assembly.  Hard to tell, but people on the forum said it was atypical...canon said it was atypical.  So 4 copies went back.  I tested one of them optically, the first, and it was optically great.  I didn't optically test the other three.

Copies 3 & 7.  Both these copies were incredibly sharp at 24 mm, especially copy 7 (sharpest at 24 mm of all the lenses I tested).  But they both had issues at 70 mm.  In addition to being significantly softer than the other copies I optically tested at 70 mm, there was an odd AFMA issue where I had different AFMA values at different apertures.  I still do not understand why and have been worried it was me, my camera, my tests, etc.  But I did multiple tests using Focal, and the tests were pretty consistent.  In addition, I lined up more real world tests for Copy 3 and I could see the center focal plane shift depending upon the aperture. 

Copies 4 & 8 I almost kept.  Copy 4 was probably the best copy.  It wasn't the sharpest of the copies at any focal length, but it was close enough.  More important it was consistently good.  But it had a small bubble in the front element.  Despite that, I did almost keep copy 4.  I couldn't get the bubble to optically interfere with any shot that I took.  The deciding factor for me was resale value.  While I plan to keep this lens for years to come, plans change.  And I know me, I would probably have been right up front and advertised that the lens had a bubble in the front element, likely killing my resale value, if I was to ever sell it.  I thought about sending it to Canon to replace the front element, but that introduced a huge unknown factor for me.

Copy 8.  I almost kept this one as well.  But, by 8 copies, I was pretty sour on this wave of lenses coming from Canon.    Copy 8 was pretty solid.  It was actually better than Copy 4 at 24 mm and 70 mm from f 4 through f/11.  Which was fantastic.  But from f/2.8 to f/4 the IQ was noticeably worse.  By noticeably, at 70 mm the Focal score was ~25% lower.  At 24 mm the Focal score was ~15% lower.  Worse yet, I printed off online copies of the ISO 12233 chart and I could see the difference in the center IQ. The edges were very comparable.  Like I said, I almost kept this copy.  But, through this testing, I have come to appreciate my 24-105 f/4 as I was always comparing the varies copies of the 24-70 II to it.  My 24-105 f/4 actually seems to be a very good copy and had only slightly lower performance than the various  24-70 II copies from f/4 to f/11.  So it got down to I am willing to spend the money for a 24-70 f/2.8 II that was sharp overall, but it needed to be sharp from f2.8-f4, because I already have sharp covered from f/4-f/11 with my 24-105.  This was true for copy 1 (but it had clicking) or copy 4 (but it had a bubble in the front element), but not copy 8.

So all 8 copies have now gone back.  So, was I OCD?  I am an engineer.  I am always a little OCD.  But I would have happily settled for a reasonable copy of the 24-70 II.  I tried two sources (amazon and adorama), had lenses made from Sept 12 through June 13, and had 8 copies that had at least 4 different types of issues.  I am sure there are good copies of this lens out there.  But my experience tells me that I should give Canon awhile to fix whatever issues they have going on before I try to buy this lens again.

BTW.  I also jumped on the 70-200 f/2.8 II sale ($1,799, closer to $1,675 after all points).  It isn't perfect, but it is good enough.  I also tested several of my other lenses as I went through this process.  They tested out fine.  The 24-70 II is the only lens I have ever returned.  And it just so happens I have returned it 8 times. 

So my conclusion...to speak to your final question, unfortunately, IMO there are a number of bad copies of the 24-70 II out there right now. 
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 06:20:29 PM by docsmith »

alexturton

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Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2013, 06:19:51 PM »
Reading the latest thread discussing the advantages of the 24-105mm versus those of the 24-70mm 2.8 II, I saw, as usual, a lot of talk about copy variation.

Couple months back while shopping for a 24-70mm and an 85mm 1.2 II, on the retail sites I also saw the usual talk about trying and trying to get a good copy.

It really makes me uneasy to know that so many lenses are getting shipped back and forth to the places I want to buy from.  Is it Canon I should be concerned about or are there a significant number of OCD types going nuts looking for perfect lenses?

In fact, I myself actually returned an ef 35mm 1.4 to a big retailer because the front element was full of finger prints.  Ironically, the one I got in its place was perfect at a distance but wretched up close and to about 7 feet at less than f/2.0--plus the purple fringing was way beyond what I expected.  I didn't really figure this out in the first 30 days, so I sent it to Canon CPS and was told all was in spec.  I sold it at a slight loss and bought a Sigma 35mm 1.4 instead--and from the same big retailer.  No problems with it whatsoever after an MF adjust of +3.

Back to the 24-70mm II and the 85mm 1.2 II--bought 'em and love 'em.  Neither needs any MF adjust.  These I bought at a different retailer, one that specializes in photography, because from my experience, this retailer takes a lot more care with padding items for shipping.

When I first started buying expensive gear, I also got nuts.  But experience and perspective have helped me realize that the pixel-peeping issues I was concerned about are not influencing the quality of my work.

In poker, there is an expression:  Don't play at stakes you can't comfortably afford because you will play badly.

I wonder if some of the apparently OCD behavior with questing for the perfect lens has to do with passionate photographers well out of their spending comfort zone.

Or are there really so many bad copies of great lenses?

For me it is making sure I get my monies worth. If I spend £1000 on a lens to replace a £100 kit lens, I want to make sure it is as perfect as possible to ensure my purchase was justified.
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unfocused

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Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2013, 08:17:13 PM »
...are there a significant number of OCD types going nuts looking for perfect lenses?

Five minutes on this forum should give you the answer to that question.
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Jack Douglas

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Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2013, 01:24:46 AM »
...are there a significant number of OCD types going nuts looking for perfect lenses?

Five minutes on this forum should give you the answer to that question.

Part of the reason I read CR is for a chuckle, well done.  ;)

Jack
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AlanF

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Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2013, 02:39:29 AM »
...are there a significant number of OCD types going nuts looking for perfect lenses?

Five minutes on this forum should give you the answer to that question.

Part of the reason I read CR is for a chuckle, well done.  ;)

Jack

It is also very reassuring to discover that you are almost normal by comparison.
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keithcooper

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Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2013, 06:18:17 AM »
...are there a significant number of OCD types going nuts looking for perfect lenses?

Five minutes on this forum should give you the answer to that question.
One reason I don't write many lens reviews ;-) ... and when I do, they have a lot of warnings of what not to expect (i.e. lots of numbers/measurements/charts)

I know from my email, that lens reviews and colour management are two subjects that I'll always get a lot of 'detail' questions about.

They are both areas where it is possible to expend a lot of time and money chasing 'something'.  I'm aware of the 'something' but choose that old engineering adage that 'Perfection is the enemy of excellence' ;-)



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Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2013, 06:18:17 AM »

docsmith

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Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2013, 06:34:44 AM »
...are there a significant number of OCD types going nuts looking for perfect lenses?

Five minutes on this forum should give you the answer to that question.

 ;D :D

Too true.....

Canon1

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Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2013, 07:16:46 AM »
FoCal has an interesting compilation of data on their website from user submitted testing of equipment.

While there is not a ton of data points there for every lens/camera combo it does indicate that some lenses have really high copy variation and some do not.  For all of the grief that the new 24-70ii is getting, the limited data from FoCal indicates that this lens is pretty good from copy to copy. 

No offense to all you engineers out there, but you folks are the people who seem to have the most problems with all camera bodies and lenses.  I have a couple of very good shooting friends who are 30+ year career engineers and they are constantly complaining about gear.  I don't think there is anything wrong with this, its just to illustrate that some people have much lower tolerance for variation (and engineers are so analytical by nature) while others do not sweat some of the issues. 

I believe that ever since lenses have been built there has been copy variation.  It's just now that we have more sophisticated means of analyzing gear available to the general public that it is now becoming a common concern to the photo masses. 

Check out this link from FoCal:
http://www.reikan.co.uk/focalweb/index.php/online-tools/lenscamera-information/

Compare the 24-70ii with the 100-400 (a lens that has had a notorious copy variation reputation).

This is not gospel, but kind of a neat tool that will hopefully continue to improve as more data points are collected.

P.S. - I just bought a new 24-70ii.  It is simply awesome.  It is sharper then my 24-105 all the way to the corners and all the way from f2.8-f11.  Just awesome!!!

P.S.S - compare the 24-70ii with the 24-105 on the focal chart.  This would indicate that the 24-105 had more copy variation then the 24-70ii.  No one gripes about bad copies on the 24-105.  Maybe because at the price point a  little variation is more tolerable?

Happy shooting. 

neuroanatomist

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Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2013, 07:51:29 AM »
For all of the grief that the new 24-70ii is getting, the limited data from FoCal indicates that this lens is pretty good from copy to copy. 

Most of the grief with the 24-70 II isn't about the optical performance, it's about the clicking zoom ring - and obviously, that doesn't show up on a FoCal test report. 
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docsmith

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Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2013, 10:09:48 AM »
P.S. - I just bought a new 24-70ii.  It is simply awesome.  It is sharper then my 24-105 all the way to the corners and all the way from f2.8-f11.  Just awesome!!!


That is very good to hear.  I really am happy for you, if not a little jealous.

But I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss what is being reported   For comparison, my 24-105 was sharper at 70 mm from f/4 through f/11 than copies 3 & 7 of the 24-70 II I received.  Would you have spent $1,700 for a lens that was less sharp than one currently in your bag?   

I had reviewed the Reikan data.  My aperture sharpness tests for Copy 4 look almost exactly like the average data from Reikan for the 5DIII....but it had a bubble in the front element.  Copy 8 looks very similar except imagine from f/4 to f/2.8 the graph plummeting to ~0.75.  If you had multiple aperture sharpness tests all doing that and could see Reikans data, would you have kept those lenses?

Of course, those are rhetorical questions.  I am comfortable with what I did.

But Reikan's data, along with the various comments I've seen, are part of the reason that I think that there is a recent production line issues and that there are very good copies of this lens out there.  I will be interested to see if the Reikan values change as more data is gathered.  I will be more interested to hear reports, such as yours, of people getting good copies of the lens.  I may try to buy the lens again after a few months, depending on the price.


Canon1

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Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2013, 07:34:22 AM »

But Reikan's data, along with the various comments I've seen, are part of the reason that I think that there is a recent production line issues and that there are very good copies of this lens out there.  I will be interested to see if the Reikan values change as more data is gathered.  I will be more interested to hear reports, such as yours, of people getting good copies of the lens.  I may try to buy the lens again after a few months, depending on the price.

It would be great to see more data to see if the current trend there holds.

How long ago did you try out all of these lenses? 

dgatwood

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Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2013, 07:53:59 AM »
P.S. - I just bought a new 24-70ii.  It is simply awesome.  It is sharper then my 24-105 all the way to the corners and all the way from f2.8-f11.  Just awesome!!!


That is very good to hear.  I really am happy for you, if not a little jealous.

But I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss what is being reported   For comparison, my 24-105 was sharper at 70 mm from f/4 through f/11 than copies 3 & 7 of the 24-70 II I received.  Would you have spent $1,700 for a lens that was less sharp than one currently in your bag?   

Particularly a much-maligned lens like the 24-105.  You know, I'd heard rumors that Canon was going to make a couple of good, sharp copies of that lens.  Apparently, you got one, and I got the other.  :D  :o  :D


But Reikan's data, along with the various comments I've seen, are part of the reason that I think that there is a recent production line issues and that there are very good copies of this lens out there.  I will be interested to see if the Reikan values change as more data is gathered.  I will be more interested to hear reports, such as yours, of people getting good copies of the lens.  I may try to buy the lens again after a few months, depending on the price.

Depending on where you got it, there's a good chance that some of yours were customer returns, still going through the "Send it to two or three customers before you give up, in case someone is willing to live with the flaws" treatment.  Some of them might even be the same lens (unless you checked the serial numbers).
« Last Edit: December 28, 2013, 07:56:11 AM by dgatwood »

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Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2013, 07:53:59 AM »

docsmith

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Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2013, 06:33:16 PM »
@Canon1---I sent back my last three copies a week ago.  I bought my first copy in mid- to late-October.  I evaluated Copies 1-4 over November and 5-8 in December.

@dgatwood---All I can say is that I find my 24-105 to be pretty darn sharp.  From my tests I can say that I am not as disappointed with softness from 70-105 mm as others have said.  I can see some softness, but it really isn't that bad.  Distortion at 24 mm is pretty severe.....but it has worked pretty darn well for me.  So I can't complain.


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Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2013, 08:16:58 PM »
I just purchased the 24-70 II from B&H Photo on Friday.  The first one that I received via UPS from the online warehouse in Brooklyn had already been opened by someone else and there were finger prints all over and lint on the lens.  Moreover, the box had a barcode sticker on the side from B&H that said "RA on 12/19/2013" which definitely meant that someone had returned the lens.  This lens had the ticking sound when zooming down from 70mm to 24mm (serial number 062).

Luckily, I live in Manhattan and I went to B&H to exchange the lens.  At the store in Manhattan, the B&H employee pulled up two brand new, unopened lenses.  I could tell that they were unopened because there were no fingerprints or lint and they both had the lens lock on by Canon factory default (the first returned lens that I received had the lens lock disengaged which further indicated that it had been returned and re-shipped out to me).  The boxes were also in pristine condition with no B&H RA stickers on them.  The two lenses that I looked at in the store had serial numbers of 062 (ticking audible) and 042 (no ticking!).  The B&H employee was very patient and even said that he was used to these ticking and clicking sounds on some Canon lenses.  The 042 copy that I ended up with is perfect - no ticking or clicking, smooth as my other L zoom lenses.

I wanted to post here to let you know that I did receive a returned, obviously handled lens when I ordered online from the Brooklyn warehouse.  It was the first time that I ordered from the website.  Every other time, I have purchased the items in person and I have previously received perfect gear from both B&H and Adorama.  I believe the warehouses (Brookyln for B&H and New Jersey for Adorama) might function a bit differently from the physical stores in Manhattan.  I don't know if my experience was unusual but I thought I would post my experience here.

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Re: Quest for the perfect copy?
« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2013, 08:16:58 PM »