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Archive 2011 · Canon 17-40L VS Canon 50mm II 1.8, the 50mm seems sharper...
  
 
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Canon 17-40L VS Canon 50mm II 1.8, the 50mm seems sharper, is that right?


Any of these are fine performers in your 100% samples.

One odd problem we have today is that people fret and worry about the "sharpness" of their lenses when inspecting them at 100% before applying sharpening. This is, in many ways, obsessive.

If you made a print at the size of your cropped sample, your print would likely be something like 5-7 feet wide. Make many prints that size? And, have you ever inspected an actual 6-foot-wide print at nose-length distance? Do, and you'll see that such prints, even great ones, are not perfectly "sharp" according to the standard applied in your test.

Your lenses are fine. Go out and have fun using them. To make photographs. ;-)

Dan


caringserv wrote:
Question - if I got a good copy of the Canon 17-40L lens or not?
Question - did i get a really good copy of the 50mm II 1.8 or not?

I decided to take pictures on my 60d on a tripod, no flash f8 on both lenses the 17-40L with a wireless remote trigger with mirror lockup and the $99 50mm II 1.8 lens. To my amazement the 50mm 1.8 seems to be a bit sharper.

Are my eyes playing tricks on me?
Perhaps my 17-40L lens is a bad copy or as that as good as it gets and I should be
...Show more



Dec 15, 2011 at 02:59 PM
Richard Nye
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Canon 17-40L VS Canon 50mm II 1.8, the 50mm seems sharper, is that right?


Many people talk about sharpness as if that's the only attribute that's important about a lens. Contrast, colors, bokeh, vignetting, AF speed, IS effectiveness, and build quality are also very important in creating an image. All of these attributes blend together to make a lens particularly good at one or many tasks.

Comparing one lens against another solely by sharpness is like comparing cars based on top-end speed.



Dec 15, 2011 at 03:23 PM
caringserv
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Canon 17-40L VS Canon 50mm II 1.8, the 50mm seems sharper, is that right?


Thanks everyone for all the info! Some good stuff to digest.


Dec 15, 2011 at 06:10 PM
Trevor Sowers
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Canon 17-40L VS Canon 50mm II 1.8, the 50mm seems sharper, is that right?


Richard and gdanmitchell make very good points! I agree whole heartedly.

The Canon 28 f/1.8 is very good but it does have strong and weak points as most lenses do. I think the 28 f/1.8 makes a good companion to the 17-40 rather than a replacement. The 17-40 gives you several useful focal lengths and very good stopped down image quality. When you need to shoot in lower light or if you want to get a shallower DOF then the 28 is right there in your bag. At f/11 I think the 17-40 is actually better than the 28f/1.8 but at f/4 the 28 f/1.8 is fabulous and the 17-40 is meh. Obviously for wider than f/4 we know which lens you will need and there is a HUGE difference between f/4 and f/2.



Dec 16, 2011 at 03:52 AM
 

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Xavier Rival
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Canon 17-40L VS Canon 50mm II 1.8, the 50mm seems sharper, is that right?


Many reasons:
- it is much more challenging to produce a wide angle zoom than a standard prime (one of the easiest lens designs);
- as focal lengths are not the same, there is no fair way to compare them;
- while the outcome of that straight sharpness comparison is not what you would expect, it ignores many features of the lenses, that certainly come into play when marketing the 17-40 as an "L" and not the 50/1.8 (like build quality, which actually may impact how image quality evolves as the lens ages, gets carried and used in possibly rough conditions ---I do not have a 50/1.8, but several of my friends who do have one did actually have to replace them after they fall apart in their backpack while their "L"s were still in one piece and sharp as on day 1).



Dec 16, 2011 at 06:48 AM
dgdg
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Canon 17-40L VS Canon 50mm II 1.8, the 50mm seems sharper, is that right?


I've read in more than one place that canon's 50mm is its "best kept secret". I guess this is a silly thing to say but suppose it implies that this is a fabulous piece of glass with a tiny price. Who cares if it breaks one day, but two or three!
I use it 85% of the time on my 5Dc, zooming with my feet, and absolutely love it. I don't have a wide zoom but from all I have read, these are the most difficult to make. That being said, I recently looked at a prize winning photos link on this forum and most of the shots were with wide zooms. No one seemed to pay attention to sharpness.



Dec 16, 2011 at 01:58 PM
ScooberJake
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Canon 17-40L VS Canon 50mm II 1.8, the 50mm seems sharper, is that right?


I own both of the lenses in question.

Your lenses perform exactly as I would expect. Both are sufficiently sharp at f/8, with the 50 slightly sharper.



Dec 16, 2011 at 05:35 PM
anthonygh
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Canon 17-40L VS Canon 50mm II 1.8, the 50mm seems sharper, is that right?


I use the 17-40L on a 40D for model shoots in a studio...and use the 50mm 1.4 at the same time. The zoom is great for full length...the 50 for head shots and waist up.

The images I get from both lenses are great...really sharp and lovely colours...I easily get A3+ prints from both....and A2 when needed.

I also use both on my 1V film camera in the studio (normally with Ilford PanF)...again, great IQ.

Maybe I am lucky, but the 17 - 40L is a great lens IMO...and I have great prints to back that up. It is particularly suited to FF film and Digital crop bodies from what I can see.

For the record..I shoot with studio strobes...never above ISO200...and stick to f5.6...files processed in LR3 / CS5



Dec 18, 2011 at 03:07 AM
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