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Archive 2008 · Canons sharpest lens?
  
 
moondigger
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p.3 #1 · Canons sharpest lens?


PetKal reminded me that I forgot to list the 300/4L (non-IS version). No longer available new, but razor sharp and available on the used market for under $750 in reasonable condition. I'll edit the previous post to include it...

Edited on May 08, 2008 at 12:51 PM



May 08, 2008 at 12:48 PM
Brody LeBlanc
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p.3 #2 · Canons sharpest lens?


short of the big guns, my sharpest lenses that i've used are the 35L and the 85L though the 85mm f1.8 was no slouch in terms of sharpness. I think a lot of it comes down to certain copies being good and certain copies being not as good. for example, i owned two 24mm f1.4L's but the first one was pretty much no good... however the second one i owned could hold it's own against the 35L (and my 35L, in my opinion, is very sharp.) but really, to buy a lens based on how sharp it is, not what FL it is is sort of dumb. I mean, if you need the sharpest lens, but you won't use that FL then don't buy it. For example, most people say that the 200mm f1.8L is the sharpest lens in the Canon line up, but I can't imagine ever using a lens like that. I hardly do anything past 85mm... so in other words, i'd be wasting $4000 if I bought something like the 200mm f1.8. So the best thing to really do is just find out what sort of lens you need (35L for wide angle, 50L for standard, 85L for portaits, 135L for indoor and events, 200L 300L 400L for teles.) and outside of these options, there are of course the ziess, leica, and oly options. if you think you opened a can of worms by asking what L lens is the sharpest, just wait until you asked what lens (regardless of the maker) is the sharpest.


May 08, 2008 at 12:53 PM
mfurman
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p.3 #3 · Canons sharpest lens?


Chris Beaumont:
why not buy the one that fits the focal length you use most ?


I can adjust my shooting to a focal length of a lens, I trust (I guess I do not use super wide and very long tele). Even with zooms (I do not have any at the moment), I used to use them at their best focal length, most of the time. In other words, I can completely relate to the question "which lens is the sharpest".



May 08, 2008 at 01:00 PM
Fadden
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p.3 #4 · Canons sharpest lens?


Brody LeBlanc wrote:
but really, to buy a lens based on how sharp it is, not what FL it is is sort of dumb. I mean, if you need the sharpest lens, but you won't use that FL then don't buy it.


I was already looking at the 85 1.8 cuz I'd have good use of it when it gets to FL and sharpness but I wanted to know what options I had that I yet had not thought of...



May 08, 2008 at 01:37 PM
bogatyr
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p.3 #5 · Canons sharpest lens?


Fadden wrote:
the title says it all

I can't afford L lenses but I can afford one L lens
So if I'm gonna buy one it better be SHARP

Edited by Fadden on May 08, 2008 at 06:42 AM GMT


My vote goes to two lenses, in no particular order.

The one is EF 200mm 2.8 II:












































The other is the EF 300mm 2.8 IS:































I am at a loss to understand why the 200/2.8 II is not mentioned by others. I have both the 135 2.0 and the 200 2.8 II, and the latter is a tiny bit sharper. It also has less CA than the 135. However, the 135 is best indoors because it has 2.0 and thereby one stop more speed. For absolute sharpness the 200 2.8 II and 300 2.8 IS are both a little ahead when all are set to 2.8.

Bogatyr



May 08, 2008 at 02:09 PM
moondigger
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p.3 #6 · Canons sharpest lens?


bogatyr wrote:
I am at a loss to understand why the 200/2.8 II is not mentioned by others.


I mentioned it in my list... though I left off the "II" designation, I meant both versions.



May 08, 2008 at 02:14 PM
bogatyr
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p.3 #7 · Canons sharpest lens?


ocean7 wrote:
I'd say 135/2L or 300/3.8L.


Since you say this, Have you tried the EF 200 2.8 II?

In my opinion, the 200/2.8 II delivers extreme performance. It is an extraordinary lens which does not cost a fortune, and I am under the impression that it is being underestimated. See my other post.

Bogatyr



May 08, 2008 at 02:17 PM
nathanlake
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p.3 #8 · Canons sharpest lens?


If you really have a money restriction, and you are looking for sharpness, I suggest you not buy L lenses.

1. Buy good non-L lenses (85 1.8 is an example)
2. Buy a tripod
3. Spend some money on classes to improve your technique (both PP and behind the camera)

These three things will give you an overall better picture result AND cost you less than getting into the L race which it sounds like you can't affort.

Edited on May 08, 2008 at 02:33 PM



May 08, 2008 at 02:32 PM
dennysb
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p.3 #9 · Canons sharpest lens?


From my collection of L lenses the 180L Macro is the sharpest


May 08, 2008 at 03:14 PM
SimonK
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p.3 #10 · Canons sharpest lens?


In terms of MTF characteristics the 300 2.8 and 400 2.8, 500 4 and 600 4, beat everything else to death with a very sharp stick - save arguably the 200 1.8 which I've never used.

More affordably, and echoing what others have said - I have to say that my 135L suprises me every time I use it, with the 200Lii and 85Lii close behind.

There are of course some very good NON-L lenses, 85 1.8, 100 macro, 50 1.4 etc etc.. The best advice I can give is to pick your length, pick ur budget, and enjoy the images that result.


S.

Edited on May 08, 2008 at 03:21 PM



May 08, 2008 at 03:20 PM
 

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humaniverse
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p.3 #11 · Canons sharpest lens?


24L center is shaper than 35L. It has same sharpness as 135L. I tested. photozone.de graph also tells same.

Just reminder: Amateur worries about sharpness. Photographer worries about light.



May 08, 2008 at 03:26 PM
Richard Nye
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p.3 #12 · Canons sharpest lens?


Buying a lens because it's sharp is not the best criteria IMHO. Buying a lens becuause it creates images that "pop" in the focal length you need is a much better criteria. Sharpness is one criteria, but contrast, color and bokeh are very important too in creating images that really stand out.

That being said, a lot of lenses mention above meet these criteria. It really comes down to the focal length that meets your needs.

No one has mentioned zoom lenses, but the 70-200 f/4 IS is a very good lens and reasonably priced too.



May 08, 2008 at 03:27 PM
PetKal
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p.3 #13 · Canons sharpest lens?


humaniverse wrote:
24L center is shaper than 35L.


Certainly true with my copies of those lenses.



May 08, 2008 at 03:31 PM
WesM63
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p.3 #14 · Canons sharpest lens?


The only L lens I have is the 70-200 F/4 USM. non IS. It is amazingly sharp. Then again it is also my first L lens, so i don't know how well this stacks up, but here is a 100% crop of my puppy at 200mm F/4 on a XTi.





May 08, 2008 at 04:19 PM
rebelxtnewbie
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p.3 #15 · Canons sharpest lens?


yauyi wrote:
+1, Canon sharpest lens ever made on earth!


Yes but the 400 2.8 IS may give it a run for it's money.

I don't know which one is the sharpest but from my experience:

These are SUPER Sharp and contrasty wide open (not in any order)
300 2.8 IS
400 2.8 IS

Very Sharp
500 f/4 IS
100 2.8 Macro
70-200 f/4 IS
135 f/2
17-55 2.8 IS

Sharp
70-200 2.8 IS or non-IS
70-200 f/4 non-IS
24-70 2.8
200 2.8
24-105 f/4
16-35 2.8 II

Usuable but a stop down will do the trick!
50 1.8
50 1.4

Needs several stops to get it sharp
18-55 Kit

Edited on May 08, 2008 at 04:39 PM



May 08, 2008 at 04:39 PM
rebelxtnewbie
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p.3 #16 · Canons sharpest lens?


humaniverse wrote:
24L center is shaper than 35L. It has same sharpness as 135L. I tested. photozone.de graph also tells same.

Just reminder: Amateur worries about sharpness. Photographer worries about light.


and Artist make due with what they have



May 08, 2008 at 04:41 PM
EyeBrock
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p.3 #17 · Canons sharpest lens?


double post

Edited by EyeBrock on May 08, 2008 at 11:53 AM GMT

Edited on May 08, 2008 at 04:53 PM



May 08, 2008 at 04:51 PM
EyeBrock
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p.3 #18 · Canons sharpest lens?


JaneG wrote:
Hi

What does stop being English mean?

Jane


Mike knows......



May 08, 2008 at 04:53 PM
jeremy_clay
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p.3 #19 · Canons sharpest lens?


Always overlooked and incredible - 135 2.8 SF prime.


May 08, 2008 at 04:59 PM
moondigger
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p.3 #20 · Canons sharpest lens?


jeremy_clay wrote:
Always overlooked and incredible - 135 2.8 SF prime.


Agree the 135/2.8 is grossly underrated around here. At the center of the frame, I think it's a near match for the 135/2L, but at the sides it drops off in sharpness. On a crop camera it's simply outstanding; on a full-frame camera it's 'merely' great. At less than $300, it's a steal.



May 08, 2008 at 05:02 PM
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