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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> Sharpness with Canon 24-70 2.8L
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02/18/2014 08:39:44 AM · #1
Hello friends,

I have Canon 550D and has been using it for almost 3 years now.

I rented an Canon L lens for the first time in life , Canon 24-70 2.8L
That too for my honeymoon trip to Mauritius.

I was very disappointed with sharpness, I was expecting mind blowing images but they were regular stuff.
Frankly I get more sharpness out of 50mm lens.

A guy on the trip told me that full frame lens are NOT good for non-full frame camera.
I used auto focus mostly with "live view".

One thing I can think of is that there are only 9 focus points and may be that doesn't always get covered when shooting with "square" in live view.

Anyone has any experience with in.
In future If I wish to rent out a "L series" lens again, which one should I do.

Thanks in advance :)
02/18/2014 08:59:39 AM · #2
Originally posted by prashant_168:


Frankly I get more sharpness out of 50mm lens.


I don't know much about Canon L lenses i'm afraid but 50mm primes are quite often some of the sharpest lenses anyway because they are so, relatively, simple to make even though they are so cheap. Any zoom is going to be hard pushed to beat them although the top notch ones should get close or equal.
02/18/2014 09:00:50 AM · #3
here is the deal. (if you have ever shot a prime lens, any L zoom wont impress you with anything but the weight)

L glass is better built, sometimes weather sealed and is usually sharp across the lens and especially wide open. they tend to be expensive and heavy because they need larger glass to cover the FF sensor and with regards to zooms more elements keep distortion down.

that said, non L glass has been known to outperform L glass on crops. they are usually cheaper and lighter because they only need to cover a smaller sensor, thye can also do thing that FF lenses cant, see sigmas 18-35/1.8

the tamron 17-50/2.8 non VC is supposed to be one of the sharpest zoom lenses you can get or a crop (and will give you the same effective FOV as the 24-70 does on a crop) and canon 10-22 and 15-85 are both very highly regarded, although not 2.8.

if you really want to see L glass at its finest, rent a 70-200/2.8 IS, i'll bet it blows you away, but mainly because the subject isolation is going to floor you if you shoot it wide open where that lens will still be sharp, unless the glass you are used to where you ned to stop it down a bit.

us full framers buy L glass because we really don't have many other options for zooms or many cases too, telephoto primes.
02/18/2014 10:37:32 AM · #4
If you are comparing the 24-70 and the 50/1.4 at the same f-stop, remember that the 50mm is already stopped down two whole stops from wide open at f/2.8. A prime is normally going to out-perform a zoom, and the higher pixel density of your APS-C sensor makes this difference more visible.
02/18/2014 12:00:24 PM · #5
I'm going to take a step back. Was there anything actually wrong with the pictures? Were they soft? Or were they good, just not any better in than the 50?

If it wasn't defective in some way, you were shooting with one of Canon's best, but you might not be able to see the difference against an already good 50 with a 550D.

If you're having some sort of problem with lack of sharpness, either with this lens or generally, post an image and we'll try to diagnose.
02/18/2014 12:20:40 PM · #6
Plus there's the issue of whether the lens and the body "matched" effectively. Everything's built to a certain tolerance. Let's assume for the sake of argument that both body and lens are built to an allowable tolerance of +/- 3 "units" (whatever "units" might be). Then if you have a body that's at -3 units and a lens at +3, the spread will be a full 6 units the results are going to be less than spectacular: the lens will be front-focusing or back-focusing. Meanwhile, your 50mm f/1.4, already a stellar performer even if it IS non-L, might match much better to your body as well.

Add to this the fact that a rental lens may have taken quite a beating and not be at its best, and eh... who knows?
02/18/2014 01:13:34 PM · #7
If you're looking for sharpness, give the EF-S 60/2.8 a try. Oh and it doubles as a Macro lens as well :) i use to use it for portraits and macros a lot when i had only crop cameras. And yes, it will give the L lenses a run for their money.
02/18/2014 01:20:47 PM · #8
When you have a crop sensor camera, its hard to find an L lens that "wow" you compared to EF-S/DX lenses. There's the 135/2L which is just amazing on FF but a cheaper 85/1.8 will get you very close results on a crop. Similarly the 100/2.8L Macro is one of the sharpest but the non-L 100/2.8 can do same and on a crop you are better served by that 60/2.8 which gives you similar FL and similar sharpness.
02/18/2014 09:48:36 PM · #9
Thanks for all the inputs

Here is one of the sharpest Image

I have just downsized it to 2000X1333

Message edited by author 2014-02-18 21:50:13.
02/19/2014 12:01:26 AM · #10
It looks like it might be a bit back focused. The focus seems sharpest on her right eye. For a close head shot like this, you might want to go to f/4 or even f5.6 to get her whole head in focus. From this close distance, the background will still be blurred. Also remember that wide open is not the sharpest aperture for any lens.

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