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Author Topic: LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS  (Read 9424 times)

ashe

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LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS
« on: March 25, 2012, 12:43:31 AM »
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/03/d-resolution-tests

Quote
For the fanboys who don’t like the results: This concludes our test of the Emergency Resolution Testing Service. This was only a test.  If this had been an actual Fanboy emergency you would have been instructed where to tune in your area for official Fanboy disinformation and complete manufacturer sponsored reviews.
For everyone else, there’s no question the D800 can actually get those pixels to show up in the final product (assuming your final product is a big print – they’re going to be wasted posting on your Facebook page). But you’d better have some really good glass in front of it. I don’t think the 28-300 superzooms are going to cut it with this camera.
In the real world, highest possible resolution is nice to know about and talk about, but usually not of critical importance compared to other factors. You’ll be able to make superb images with any decent lens for an 8 X 10 or even 11 X 16 print. But if you’re getting the camera because of the resolution, it makes sense that knowing which lenses will allow all of that resolution to be utilized. Just in case you get that job that needs billboard sized prints.

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LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS
« on: March 25, 2012, 12:43:31 AM »

jrista

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Re: LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2012, 10:55:38 AM »
It doesn't look like there is anything surprising there. The D800 has about 50% more resolution than either 5D II or III, so it stands to reason its going to produce more lp/ph. The results look spot on as well, with optical aberrations dominating before @f/4, and diffraction dominating after @f/4. I'd have liked to see a 7D thrown in the mix, as its sensor actually has a higher spatial resolution than the D800. I wouldn't expect it to get hugely better results @f/4, but assuming the lenses were still capable of more than the sensor, I would expect the 7D to eek out just a bit more performance from the same lenses.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2012, 10:58:39 AM by jrista »
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V8Beast

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Re: LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2012, 12:48:09 PM »
According to this test, if you're a portrait photographer, or someone who shoots at wide open apertures, the 14 megapixel advantage of the D800 over the 5DIII is negligible? I rarely shoot wide open, but I just want to make sure I'm interpreting the data correctly.

Too bad they didn't get to put the 5DIII through the same battery of tests. If I carried through with my D800 purchase, which I'm not at this point, the 70-200 VRII was going to be my primary workhorse lens, so it's interesting to see how poorly the performed compared to the primes. Plus, with long lenses I usually shoot stopped down to f/8 or f/11, negating the D800's resolution even more.   
« Last Edit: March 25, 2012, 01:08:39 PM by V8Beast »

XanuFoto

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Re: LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2012, 01:05:15 PM »
Nikons d800 is sold at a bargain basement price and I don't believe they are making money on it. The idea is to give away the razor free and they make money on the blades. The blades in this case being the lenses needed to resolve 36 mega pixels.

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Re: LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2012, 01:15:50 PM »
According to this test, if you're a portrait photographer, or someone who shoots at wide open apertures, the 14 megapixel advantage of the D800 over the 5DIII is negligible? I rarely shoot wide open, but I just want to make sure I'm interpreting the data correctly.

Too bad they didn't get to put the 5DIII through the same battery of tests. If I carried through with my D800 purchase, which I'm not at this point, the 70-200 VRII was going to be my primary workhorse lens, so it's interesting to see how poorly the performed compared to the primes. Plus, with long lenses I usually shoot stopped down to f/8 or f/11, negating the D800's resolution even more.   

Yes, that would be accurate. "Best" or "maximum" resolution only occurs at one point (the normalization point for optical aberrations and diffraction), which is usually around f/4 these days. Thats why I've argued so hard about resolution in the past, as its a rather misunderstood concept. For common apertures, which tend to be more wide open for portraiture, and more stopped down for things like landscape, macro, and architectural photography, your likely to be well below the lenses maximum potential. I would say the only photography where I might regularly be around f/4 of f/5.6 is wildlife and sometimes bird photography, however more frequently I'm at around f/8 there as well.
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Re: LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2012, 02:04:26 PM »
Even if most people know about using sturdy tripods, mirror lockup and cable release, I am not sure they are aware of exactly how much they need to pay attention as the MPs increase.

This article : http://www.josephholmes.com/news-sharpmediumformat.html talks about 45 MPs on a medium format  system so it details procedure that are a bit extreme (and some irrelevant) for 35mm but still it is an eye opener in some ways. For example, he says to let the mirror come to rest for 6 seconds after it flips up to avoid vibrations. I don't know many photographers who wait even 2 seconds.

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Re: LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2012, 02:25:52 PM »
Even if most people know about using sturdy tripods, mirror lockup and cable release, I am not sure they are aware of exactly how much they need to pay attention as the MPs increase.

This article : http://www.josephholmes.com/news-sharpmediumformat.html talks about 45 MPs on a medium format  system so it details procedure that are a bit extreme (and some irrelevant) for 35mm but still it is an eye opener in some ways. For example, he says to let the mirror come to rest for 6 seconds after it flips up to avoid vibrations. I don't know many photographers who wait even 2 seconds.

There will be some pain at first, but after they learn, it will be second nature.  It is not more difficult than a 7D or other 16mp+ crop.

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Re: LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2012, 02:25:52 PM »

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Re: LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2012, 02:37:57 PM »
Even on a 12 megapixel 5DC, using a tripod, cable release, and mirror lock are a must when using my 70-300L at 200-plus mm focal lengths with longer shutter speeds. I can still get reasonably sharp images without the mirror lock, but for tack sharp images locking up the mirror is a must with longer exposure times. I'd think that people that are so adept at pixel peeping at 100% looking for things like chroma noise would be able to spot this sort of thing.

Technically speaking, when the spatial res. of the sensor the same as or less than the spatial res. of the lens, the more likely you are to get what appears to be a "razor sharp" shot. That apparent sharpness comes at the cost of resolution, though. Sharpness and resolution are disjoint things...one refers to how fine the degree of details can be resolved, while the other refers to the clarity of those details (MTF refers to both of those things at a given contrast ratio, which is what makes MTF valuable.) You can get "sharp" images at any resolution (if you want to get extremely technical, a 1 pixel sensor could take a sharp shot of anything, it just wouldn't be a useful image.)

The real question is whether you can get sharp shots at the resolution of your sensor. Inside of the "band of maximum resolution", which is maybe a 1 2/3rds stop area around the f-stop a lenses resolution peaks at (usually f/4, 173lp/mm, lets call that the ideal aperture), the sensor should always be sharply recording whatever the lens is projecting. Assuming proper exposure and generally following the 1/focalLength rule for camera shake (including the use of IS/VR lenses):

 - Softness below the ideal aperture will usually be due to the lens...optical aberrations like chromatic aberration, longitudinal fringing, spherical aberration, etc.
 - Softness above the ideal aperture will usually be due to diffraction.

At apertures above ideal, you need to get about 2-3 stops beyond the initial DLA of the sensor before that really becomes a problem. If a sensor's DLA is f/8, it wouldn't be until about f/16 or possibly even f/22 that diffraction visibly affects the image. (Even at f/22, diffraction is often likely to have LESS impact on IQ than optical aberrations at say f/2.8 or wider when the ideal aperture is f/4.)

Consistent softness at all apertures can occur when the sensor significantly outresolves the lens. When the sensor outresolves the lens, a single line pair resolved by the lens will usually cover more than just two rows of pixels (or four, in the case of bayer sensors). You can usually realize improved resolution up to the point where the sensor outresolves the lens by about two fold (and even farther, however the cost to produce such a sensor will generally outweigh the cost of a better lens, and a better lens will help you realize greater gain than a better sensor at that point.) You may not, however, continue to experience improved sharpness as you increase sensor resolution. If you keep improving sensor resolution without improving lens resolution, the sensor is going to consistently start resolving enough detail to show the attenuation (...falloff) between line pairs, so instead of high acutance (strong contrast along the edge between a light line and a dark line) you'll get lower acutance (kind of like using a gausian blur along the edge between a light line and a dark line, creating a smooth gray transition rather than a hard edge.) Technically speaking, you are still resolving more detail, its just that beyond a certain point, the detail you are resolving appears less perfect (less sharp) than at a lower resolution.

In the band of maximum resolution, there is still a lot of room to gain more resolution with higher resolution sensors. However at other apertures, and in the corners of lenses, sensors are already outresolving lenses to some degree. At f/22, lens spatial resolution is limited to 68lp/mm MTF50 (good contrast...i.e. decently sharp). The Canon 7D with 4.3 micron pixels (116lp/mm), and the Nikon D800 with 4.8 micron pixels (102lp/mm), are getting closer to outresolving f/22 resolution two fold (136lp/mm), and are likely already outresolving f/2.8 two fold. Possibly even more so, as 900lp/ph with FF in lp/mm would be 900lp/24mm, or 37.5lp/mm. The D800 is capable of 2.8 times that, so its nearly 3x outresolving f/2.8 from the LensRentals test. The reason images might look slightly soft (i.e. not tack sharp) with a high resolution sensor like the D800's or the 7D's is because the sensors are outresolving the lenses at most apertures.

If you expect tack sharp photos strait out of the camera at any aperture (and don't print large), you are actually better off with sensors that have lower resolution. Ideally, a sensor capable of 68lp/mm would be tack sharp all the way from ideal aperture to f/22, and would only doubly outresolve f/2.8 (so it might not be tack sharp, but it should still be sharp enough.) The 5D Classic sensor has a spatial resolution of about 61lp/mm. The 5D II has a spatial resolution of 78lp/mm, the 5D III has a spatial resolution of 80 lp/mm, and the D800 has a spatial resolution of 102lp/mm. I would expect all three 5D cameras to produce what appear to be sharp shots more often than the D800 in hand-held situations. The D800 is more demanding of lenses, and it will be outresolving more apertures to a greater degree than any version of the 5D. I'm not sure I would go so far as to say you need "perfect" technique, however having better skill at hand-held photography, or the use of a tripod, will generally benefit the D800 more so than the 5D III.
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V8Beast

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Re: LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2012, 02:51:55 PM »
The reason images might look slightly soft (i.e. not tack sharp) with a high resolution sensor like the D800's or the 7D's is because the sensors are outresolving the lenses at most apertures.

That makes sense. That said, the guy commenting on the LensRental website was complaining about the measures that must be taken to avoid vibration-induced softness, whether it's due to a long shutter speed, camera shake, mirror vibration, long focal lengths, or all of the above. If you jump up to a high MP sensor as in the D800 and experience softness due to any of those issues, anyone who understands the most elementary of photography techniques should be able to figure out what went wrong. If you can't, why on earth would you buy a $3,000 camera? To criticize Nikon about this, as if they're responsible for someone who gets in over their head with equipment they obviously don't know how to use properly, is just silly.

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Re: LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2012, 04:34:27 PM »
The reason images might look slightly soft (i.e. not tack sharp) with a high resolution sensor like the D800's or the 7D's is because the sensors are outresolving the lenses at most apertures.

That makes sense. That said, the guy commenting on the LensRental website was complaining about the measures that must be taken to avoid vibration-induced softness, whether it's due to a long shutter speed, camera shake, mirror vibration, long focal lengths, or all of the above. If you jump up to a high MP sensor as in the D800 and experience softness due to any of those issues, anyone who understands the most elementary of photography techniques should be able to figure out what went wrong. If you can't, why on earth would you buy a $3,000 camera? To criticize Nikon about this, as if they're responsible for someone who gets in over their head with equipment they obviously don't know how to use properly, is just silly.

One would generally think its elementary, however a lot of people have a lot of money, and its not always pros who buy $3000 cameras. There is a good reason why there is so much misunderstanding about sensor resolution, lens resolution, and image softness on the net (even by some professionals, who may be fantastic photographers, but generally don't understand the underlying technical, physical, and mathematical behavior of the gear they use.)
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Re: LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2012, 04:50:45 PM »
Even on a 12 megapixel 5DC, using a tripod, cable release, and mirror lock are a must when using my 70-300L at 200-plus mm focal lengths with longer shutter speeds. I can still get reasonably sharp images without the mirror lock, but for tack sharp images locking up the mirror is a must with longer exposure times. I'd think that people that are so adept at pixel peeping at 100% looking for things like chroma noise would be able to spot this sort of thing.

Technically speaking, when the spatial res. of the sensor the same as or less than the spatial res. of the lens, the more likely you are to get what appears to be a "razor sharp" shot. That apparent sharpness comes at the cost of resolution, though. Sharpness and resolution are disjoint things...one refers to how fine the degree of details can be resolved, while the other refers to the clarity of those details (MTF refers to both of those things at a given contrast ratio, which is what makes MTF valuable.) You can get "sharp" images at any resolution (if you want to get extremely technical, a 1 pixel sensor could take a sharp shot of anything, it just wouldn't be a useful image.)

The real question is whether you can get sharp shots at the resolution of your sensor. Inside of the "band of maximum resolution", which is maybe a 1 2/3rds stop area around the f-stop a lenses resolution peaks at (usually f/4, 173lp/mm, lets call that the ideal aperture), the sensor should always be sharply recording whatever the lens is projecting. Assuming proper exposure and generally following the 1/focalLength rule for camera shake (including the use of IS/VR lenses):

 - Softness below the ideal aperture will usually be due to the lens...optical aberrations like chromatic aberration, longitudinal fringing, spherical aberration, etc.
 - Softness above the ideal aperture will usually be due to diffraction.

At apertures above ideal, you need to get about 2-3 stops beyond the initial DLA of the sensor before that really becomes a problem. If a sensor's DLA is f/8, it wouldn't be until about f/16 or possibly even f/22 that diffraction visibly affects the image. (Even at f/22, diffraction is often likely to have LESS impact on IQ than optical aberrations at say f/2.8 or wider when the ideal aperture is f/4.)

Consistent softness at all apertures can occur when the sensor significantly outresolves the lens. When the sensor outresolves the lens, a single line pair resolved by the lens will usually cover more than just two rows of pixels (or four, in the case of bayer sensors). You can usually realize improved resolution up to the point where the sensor outresolves the lens by about two fold (and even farther, however the cost to produce such a sensor will generally outweigh the cost of a better lens, and a better lens will help you realize greater gain than a better sensor at that point.) You may not, however, continue to experience improved sharpness as you increase sensor resolution. If you keep improving sensor resolution without improving lens resolution, the sensor is going to consistently start resolving enough detail to show the attenuation (...falloff) between line pairs, so instead of high acutance (strong contrast along the edge between a light line and a dark line) you'll get lower acutance (kind of like using a gausian blur along the edge between a light line and a dark line, creating a smooth gray transition rather than a hard edge.) Technically speaking, you are still resolving more detail, its just that beyond a certain point, the detail you are resolving appears less perfect (less sharp) than at a lower resolution.

In the band of maximum resolution, there is still a lot of room to gain more resolution with higher resolution sensors. However at other apertures, and in the corners of lenses, sensors are already outresolving lenses to some degree. At f/22, lens spatial resolution is limited to 68lp/mm MTF50 (good contrast...i.e. decently sharp). The Canon 7D with 4.3 micron pixels (116lp/mm), and the Nikon D800 with 4.8 micron pixels (102lp/mm), are getting closer to outresolving f/22 resolution two fold (136lp/mm), and are likely already outresolving f/2.8 two fold. Possibly even more so, as 900lp/ph with FF in lp/mm would be 900lp/24mm, or 37.5lp/mm. The D800 is capable of 2.8 times that, so its nearly 3x outresolving f/2.8 from the LensRentals test. The reason images might look slightly soft (i.e. not tack sharp) with a high resolution sensor like the D800's or the 7D's is because the sensors are outresolving the lenses at most apertures.

If you expect tack sharp photos strait out of the camera at any aperture (and don't print large), you are actually better off with sensors that have lower resolution. Ideally, a sensor capable of 68lp/mm would be tack sharp all the way from ideal aperture to f/22, and would only doubly outresolve f/2.8 (so it might not be tack sharp, but it should still be sharp enough.) The 5D Classic sensor has a spatial resolution of about 61lp/mm. The 5D II has a spatial resolution of 78lp/mm, the 5D III has a spatial resolution of 80 lp/mm, and the D800 has a spatial resolution of 102lp/mm. I would expect all three 5D cameras to produce what appear to be sharp shots more often than the D800 in hand-held situations. The D800 is more demanding of lenses, and it will be outresolving more apertures to a greater degree than any version of the 5D. I'm not sure I would go so far as to say you need "perfect" technique, however having better skill at hand-held photography, or the use of a tripod, will generally benefit the D800 more so than the 5D III.

First of all, I would like to thank you for your insightful input here. The level of your knowledge is great and makes me want to qote senator Clay in the Wire (don't know if you have seen it) 'Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit'. That said. How is the 1D X in this equation? In my mind, it is at least partly a successor of the 1Ds III, and the went down on the megapixels.

Given that we are lucky enough to be able to pick your and Neuros brain in here, I would love for you to give some comments on what Canon lenses (both L and non-L) are most compatible with the 5D III and the 1D X (the latter one on what is communicated), as far as resolution capabilities of both body and lens.
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Re: LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2012, 11:05:39 PM »
First of all, I would like to thank you for your insightful input here. The level of your knowledge is great and makes me want to qote senator Clay in the Wire (don't know if you have seen it) 'Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit'. That said. How is the 1D X in this equation? In my mind, it is at least partly a successor of the 1Ds III, and the went down on the megapixels.

Given that we are lucky enough to be able to pick your and Neuros brain in here, I would love for you to give some comments on what Canon lenses (both L and non-L) are most compatible with the 5D III and the 1D X (the latter one on what is communicated), as far as resolution capabilities of both body and lens.

First, thank you for the kind comments. Much appreciated. I like to educate, as I think it helps the community at large. :)

When it comes to Canon lenses, all of them perform very well, and their current L-series lenses from the last several years (lets say since the 5D II was introduced), and particularly Mark II lenses or new entrants (i.e. 8-15mm L fisheye) all perform excellently. Much older L-series lenses are still very good, and usually perform better than any non-L Canon lens (with the exception of a very few...such as the 100mm f/2.8 Macro and maybe the 10-22mm and 17-85mm EF-S lenses).

The main difference between older Canon lenses and newer ones are the types of special lens elements (UD glass, fluorite, aspheric, etc.), the quality of each lens element and the type of multicoating. Newer lenses tend to prefer fluorite elements over UD glass, as fluorite does a better job at reducing dispersion, and allows lenses to use fewer elements overall (reducing weight...swapping two UD elements for one fluorite element in the new 600mm f/4 L is how Canon reduced weight from nearly 12 pounds to just over 8 pounds.) One of the most important improvements of Canon's newest lenses is the multicoating. For decades, canon used Super Spectra multicoating, which was good and pretty standard, but not the best. Newer lenses use Subwavelength Structure Coating, or SWC. This type of coating is a form of nano coating, similar to Nikon's Nano Crystal Coat. The general idea was garnered from the design of moth eyes, which reflect a barely measurable amount of light due to their nano-scale structure. SWC is essentially the same thing, and reduces flare, ghosting and reflections to a bare minimum (in most cases, even if flare presents, its nearly invisible, and can usually be ignored in final images/prints since most viewers won't even notice it.)

If I had to recommend Canon lenses for use with their latest cameras, it would depend on the camera. I think just about any Canon L-series lens will perform superbly with both the 1D X and the 5D III. The 1D X offers a raw spatial resolution of 64lp/mm, and the 5D III offers a raw spatial resolution of 80lp/mm (factors such as microlens quality, low-pass filter, etc. will reduce those numbers slightly). Neither are high enough to worry about the sensor significantly outresolving the lens in most cases. From f/4 to around f/16, its likely the lens will outresolve the sensor to a degree (falling off the more you stop down.) You should get razor-level sharpness from both cameras.

When it comes to the likes of Canon's APS-C cameras, the story is a bit different. All of the current ones use the same 18mp APS-C sensor, which outside of f/4 and f/5.6, is going to be outresolving the lens. The more you open up or stop down, the more those sensors will outresolve. Optical aberrations are a different beast than diffraction, and even though the sensor will outresolve the lens at wide apertures, you'll encounter softness from a whole host of causes. Sometimes, you may actually want that softness...such as spherical aberration in portraiture, as it adds a nice aesthetic aspect (soft focus.) Diffraction presents more readily as classic "softness" or "lack of sharpness", however it is far more regular and mathematical, so its easier to counteract. Basic sharpening is often enough to combat one or two stops of diffraction softening. You won't really gain resolution (you'll gain a smidge), but sharpening will definitely increase acutance (contrast and hardness along the edges/boundaries of detail areas.)

If you are in the market for a 1D X or 5D III, and already have a significant investment in lenses, you should feel satisfied that your new camera will exhibit the best properties of those lenses. If you are not invested in lenses yet, I highly recommend getting only newer lenses, and the newer the better. Mark II versions of lenses, such as the 70-200mm Ls, 16-35mm L, 24-70mm L, the 8-15mm L fisheye, pretty much any one of Canon's newer telephoto L-series lenses, should all have their SWC anti-flare coating. Loss of contrast due to flare or near-nonincident light can significantly impact IQ at any aperture, and reducing flare to a minimum will improve IQ more than pretty much any other lens feature today. Better contrast, improved sharpness, and better color fidelity are the benefits of better anti-flare coating.
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Re: LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2012, 01:54:47 PM »
First of all, I would like to thank you for your insightful input here. The level of your knowledge is great and makes me want to qote senator Clay in the Wire (don't know if you have seen it) 'Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit'. That said. How is the 1D X in this equation? In my mind, it is at least partly a successor of the 1Ds III, and the went down on the megapixels.

Given that we are lucky enough to be able to pick your and Neuros brain in here, I would love for you to give some comments on what Canon lenses (both L and non-L) are most compatible with the 5D III and the 1D X (the latter one on what is communicated), as far as resolution capabilities of both body and lens.


First, thank you for the kind comments. Much appreciated. I like to educate, as I think it helps the community at large. :)

When it comes to Canon lenses, all of them perform very well, and their current L-series lenses from the last several years (lets say since the 5D II was introduced), and particularly Mark II lenses or new entrants (i.e. 8-15mm L fisheye) all perform excellently. Much older L-series lenses are still very good, and usually perform better than any non-L Canon lens (with the exception of a very few...such as the 100mm f/2.8 Macro and maybe the 10-22mm and 17-85mm EF-S lenses).

The main difference between older Canon lenses and newer ones are the types of special lens elements (UD glass, fluorite, aspheric, etc.), the quality of each lens element and the type of multicoating. Newer lenses tend to prefer fluorite elements over UD glass, as fluorite does a better job at reducing dispersion, and allows lenses to use fewer elements overall (reducing weight...swapping two UD elements for one fluorite element in the new 600mm f/4 L is how Canon reduced weight from nearly 12 pounds to just over 8 pounds.) One of the most important improvements of Canon's newest lenses is the multicoating. For decades, canon used Super Spectra multicoating, which was good and pretty standard, but not the best. Newer lenses use Subwavelength Structure Coating, or SWC. This type of coating is a form of nano coating, similar to Nikon's Nano Crystal Coat. The general idea was garnered from the design of moth eyes, which reflect a barely measurable amount of light due to their nano-scale structure. SWC is essentially the same thing, and reduces flare, ghosting and reflections to a bare minimum (in most cases, even if flare presents, its nearly invisible, and can usually be ignored in final images/prints since most viewers won't even notice it.)

If I had to recommend Canon lenses for use with their latest cameras, it would depend on the camera. I think just about any Canon L-series lens will perform superbly with both the 1D X and the 5D III. The 1D X offers a raw spatial resolution of 64lp/mm, and the 5D III offers a raw spatial resolution of 80lp/mm (factors such as microlens quality, low-pass filter, etc. will reduce those numbers slightly). Neither are high enough to worry about the sensor significantly outresolving the lens in most cases. From f/4 to around f/16, its likely the lens will outresolve the sensor to a degree (falling off the more you stop down.) You should get razor-level sharpness from both cameras.

When it comes to the likes of Canon's APS-C cameras, the story is a bit different. All of the current ones use the same 18mp APS-C sensor, which outside of f/4 and f/5.6, is going to be outresolving the lens. The more you open up or stop down, the more those sensors will outresolve. Optical aberrations are a different beast than diffraction, and even though the sensor will outresolve the lens at wide apertures, you'll encounter softness from a whole host of causes. Sometimes, you may actually want that softness...such as spherical aberration in portraiture, as it adds a nice aesthetic aspect (soft focus.) Diffraction presents more readily as classic "softness" or "lack of sharpness", however it is far more regular and mathematical, so its easier to counteract. Basic sharpening is often enough to combat one or two stops of diffraction softening. You won't really gain resolution (you'll gain a smidge), but sharpening will definitely increase acutance (contrast and hardness along the edges/boundaries of detail areas.)

If you are in the market for a 1D X or 5D III, and already have a significant investment in lenses, you should feel satisfied that your new camera will exhibit the best properties of those lenses. If you are not invested in lenses yet, I highly recommend getting only newer lenses, and the newer the better. Mark II versions of lenses, such as the 70-200mm Ls, 16-35mm L, 24-70mm L, the 8-15mm L fisheye, pretty much any one of Canon's newer telephoto L-series lenses, should all have their SWC anti-flare coating. Loss of contrast due to flare or near-nonincident light can significantly impact IQ at any aperture, and reducing flare to a minimum will improve IQ more than pretty much any other lens feature today. Better contrast, improved sharpness, and better color fidelity are the benefits of better anti-flare coating.


Thank you:) I have a couple of 'old' lenses;  50 1.4, and the 135L (which happens to be my favorite). Other I have are the 70-200 F2.8 IS II, 17L TS, 16-35 II, 100 F2.8 Macro HIS, and the 24-105 F4.0L. So its a mix, but I am very happy about it. Thinking about the new 24-70 II, and the MP-E65, and at this very moment I have a friend who is in NY buying the 2x teleconverter at B&H for me, which I will use with the 70-200 and the 135.
1Dx, 5DII w/grip, 3x600 EX RT, ST-E3
Canon: 8-15L, 16-35L II,  24-105L , 70-200L IS II, 17L TS, 135L, 100L, 2x III TC, 40 F2.8 STM, 50 F1.4. Sigma 35 F1.4 Art, Sigma 85 F1.4, Sigma 150-500.
www.500px.com/gerhard1972

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Re: LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2012, 01:54:47 PM »

awinphoto

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Re: LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2012, 02:55:24 PM »
I know using the 7d, which has a higher pixel density of the D800 and closer to the 45MP MF camera mentioned earlier, that to leverage the best out of the camera, I need to use the best lenses I can afford... crap in crap out... So comparing pixel densities, can it be said Canon lenses, especially the L lenses, compared to shooting on the 7D, are better equipped for higher resolution cameras than Nikon's lenses, or am I reading too much into this? 
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

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Re: LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2012, 03:20:06 PM »
I know using the 7d, which has a higher pixel density of the D800 and closer to the 45MP MF camera mentioned earlier, that to leverage the best out of the camera, I need to use the best lenses I can afford... crap in crap out... So comparing pixel densities, can it be said Canon lenses, especially the L lenses, compared to shooting on the 7D, are better equipped for higher resolution cameras than Nikon's lenses, or am I reading too much into this?

Most issues will be solved by better technique.  For sure, a higher mp body will see lens flaws better, but I expect that in most cases, its just a matter of user training and experience to get sharp images.  Its normal to stop down with many lenses to get the sharpest image, there tend to be more flaws at widest aperture settings.
 
Very few lenses produce really sharp images wide open compared to being stopped down.

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Re: LensRentals.com RESOLUTION TESTS
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2012, 03:20:06 PM »