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| p.1 #12 · 24mm 1.4 II vs 24mm TS-E II around f/8 |
"I kind of miss the term "acutance", which is essentially micro contrast. In the days of film, it could be influenced by choice of developer, so you would see the word used in instructions. Now it can be affected by sharpening. In either case, the resolution had to be there if you wanted details to be visible, so a viewer's impression of sharpness typically was influenced by both resolution and acutance."
I was just comparing two images this afternoon that I shot in the Alabama Hills this summer - one with a three frame stitch with the new 24 T/S and the other with the Mamiya 7 43mm on T-Max 100 and drum scanned at 4000 ppi. The two images have similar framing and are actually very similar in overall detail. The three stitch Canon image is the equivalent of shooting a 36x48 mm sensor with the 6.4 micron pixel pitch.
In the center of the image, the Canon was probably just a tad sharper but the Mamiya had better acutance. The T-Max showed grain in the sky while the 1DsIII files essentially had none. The biggest difference was when you get farther away from the center of the frame. The corners of the Canon, while good (f/11), were still no match at all for the Mamiya wide angle. In the corners, both detail and microcontrast are outstanding and clearly better than the Canon.
I mean they are both very good, and the Canon T/S is probably about as good as you're going to get on 35mm based lenses, but still not quite what the best medium format lenses are capable of pushing out on film. It's the kind of imagery that pushes the limits of the lenses, and I was interested in seeing how close the two performed - very close with the slight edge to the Mamiya. And still, as I've said before, this new 24 is as close as you're going to get to some of the most legendary lenses ever made. That's saying quite a bit.
"I just got a 24 TSE II, and have the original 24/1.4 L. I've never thought of the fast L as a lens for landscape, but now I'm curious and intend to do a comparison at f/8. I'll try to set up something that will reveal fine detail resolution as well as acutance. Probably Jim Colwell (and maybe kevindar) will beat me to it. "
I had the original 24L 1.4 and now have the version 2 lens, but only do to a fluke of Canon not being able to fix a focus issue with the older one. Quite frankly, there was so little difference in resolution between the two lenses that I could not justify the additional cost of the newer lens. The new lens is a very very little bit better in sharpness and never approaches the T/S lens in the corners - not even close. What the new 24L does is practically eliminate the color fringing that plagued the older design. If you used CaptureOne to process your raw files, then the color fringing is not really an issue, but it's still something you have to spend some time on.
I think the new 24L 1.4 is probably just a hair sharper in the center than the T/S lens, f/stop for f/stop, but loses out in the corners to the more even resolution distribution of the tilt-shift. So it really depends on how you're going to use the two lenses. For straight landscape where even the extreme corners are important, there's no beating the tilt-shift. For images where you need the speed and can put the most important subject matter in the middle part of the frame, the fast L is wonderful. There's room for both in your bag, but you need a pretty big bag, especially when you add in the 17 t/s and the 70-200 2.8II as well.