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Mark Capurso wrote:
In your opinion, at what aperature does the 24 - 105 L produce the sharpest images?
It is fine at typical mid-range apertures like f/8.
A few further points:
1. One of the great things about digital cameras and software post-processing is that it is very, very easy to conduct your own basic tests on your own lenses. This is a wonderful way to learn the "personality" of your lens more quickly than you would otherwise simply by using it over many months or years. The outlines of a simple test that can answer questions like this is to put the camera on the tripod, use a remote release, use mirror lock-up or shoot in live view, and simply produce a carefully-shot sequence of images at each aperture and at varying focal lengths - and compare!
2. The difference between the "sharpest aperture" (as measured in the center of the frame, perhaps?) and other close by apertures in negligible. For example, I can produce very sharp and quite large prints using the 24-105 on a full frame body and shooting at a range of apertures to as small as f/16. In most cases, factors other than sharpness are more critical to determining your aperture.
3. It is a bit tricky to even say what we mean by sharpest. For example, with some lenses you might get your sharpest center resolution at one aperture, but get slightly better corner resolution at a slightly smaller aperture. Does sharpest mean "highest resolution in the center regardless of corners" or does it mean " best distribution of sharpness across the frame?"