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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 22 Sep 2008 (Monday) 12:51
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((( Sharpest F-stop ( Aperture )- for all lenses )))

204 posts
Joined Jul 2005
Sep 22, 2008 12:51 |  #1

I want all of you to help me to make this small table about Sharpest f-stop ( Aperture ) for all the canon lenses .

this will be helpful to find Sharpest F-stop for any lens , just like (Depth of field) table

if you have infomation about Sharpest F-stop ( Aperture ) of any lens bellow , just tell me and I am gonna edit the list below

for example : EF 24-105 f/4 ISL ------- f/5.6 ( this is only example Maybe it`s wrong )

and if I forgot a lens just tell me and it will be add bellow

EF-S 10-22
EF-S 18-55
EF-S 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 IS
EF 16-35 f/2.8L
EF 16-35 f/2.8L II
EF 17-40 f/4L
EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS
EF-S 17-85 IS ------ f ( 11 )
EF-S 18-200
EF 24-70 f/2.8L
EF 24-85 f/3.5-4.5 USM
EF 24-105 f/4 ISL
EF 28-70 f/2.8 L
28-105mm II USM ------- f ( 11 )
EF 28-135 IS ------- f ( 8 )
EF 28-300mm L
35-135mm USM - ------- f ( 8 )
EF-S 55-250 f/4-5.6 IS
EF 70-210 f/3.5-4.5 USM
EF 70-200 f/4L
EF 70-200 f/4L IS
EF 70-200 w/ 1.4x TCs
EF 70-200 f/2.8L NON-IS
EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS
EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM -------- ( 11 )
EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM DO
EF 75-300 f/4-5.6 USM
EF 80-200 f/2.8L
EF 100-300 f/4.5-5.6 USM
EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM
EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye
TS-E 24 f/3.5L
TS-E 45 f/2.8
TS-E 90
MP-E 65
EF 14 f/2.8 L
EF 20 f/2.8
EF 24 f/1.4 L
EF 24 f/2.8 ----- f ( 2.8 )
EF 28 f/1.8 USM
EF 28 f/2.8
EF 35 f/1.4 L
EF 35f/2
EF 50 f/1.8 ------- f ( 8 )
EF 50 f/1.4 USM
EF 50 f/1.2 L
EF 50 f/2.5 Macro
EF-S 60 f/2.8 USM
EF 85 f/1.2L
EF 85 f/1.8 USM
EF 100 f/2.0 USM
EF 100 f/2.8 USM Macro
EF 135 f/2.8 SF
EF 135 f/2.8 SF
EF 135 f/2L
EF 180 f/3.5 L Macro
EF 200 f/2.8L USM
EF 200 f/1.8L
EF 200 f/2 L IS USM
EF 300 f/4L IS USM
EF 300 f/2.8L IS USM
EF 300 f/2.8L USM
EF 400 f/5.6L USM
EF 400 f/2.8L IS USM
EF 500mm f/4L IS
EF 600mm f/4L IS


8mm F/3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye
10mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM Fisheye
15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye
14mm f/2.8 EX HSM
20mm f/1.8
28mm f/1.8 EX DG Macro
30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM
50mm f/1.4 EX HSM
50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro
70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro
105 f/2.8 EX DG Macro
150 f/2.8 EX DG APO HSM Macro
180 f/3.5 EX DG Macro
10-20 f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM
12-24 EX DG
15-30 f/3.5-4.5 EX DG
17-35mm F2.8-4 EX DG HSM
17-70 f/2.8-4.5 DC
18-50 f/2.8 EX DC
18-200 OS
18-200 non-OS
24-60 f/2.8 EX DG
24-70 f/2.8 EX DG
28-105 f/3.5-5.6 IF
28-300 f/3.5-6.3 DG Macro
50-150 f/2.8 EX DC HSM
50-500 EX DG HSM
55-200 f/4-5.6 DC
70-200mm f/2.8 EX HSM
70-200 f/2.8 II EX DG APO Macro HSM
70-300 APO DG Macro
80-400 EX DG OS
100-300 f/4 EX HSM
120-300 f/2.8 EX HSM
120-400 f/4.5-5.6 OS DG HSM
150-500 f/5-6.3 OS DG HSM


SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro
SP 17-35 XR Di
SP 17-50 f/2.8 XR Di-II
AF 18-200 f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II
AF 19-35 f/3.5-4.5
SP 28-75 f/2.8 XR Di
AF 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di
AF 28-300 f/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC
SP AF 70-200 f/2.8 Di
AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD macro 1:2
SP 200-500 Di

AT-X 107 AF DX Fish-Eye 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5
AT-X 116 PRO DX 11-16 f/2.8
AT-X 124 AF PRO DX 12-24 f/4
AT-X 165 PRO DX 16-50 f/2.8
AT-X 535 PRO DX 50-135 f/2.8
AT-X 840 AF D 80-400 f/4.5-5.6
AT-X M100 AF PRO D 100 f/2.8 Macro

canon 40D / sx200 /canon 28-135 is / canon 55-250 / canon 50 1.8 / sigma 105 / sigma 70-300/iphone4 /ipad2
Buying a camera doesn't make you a Photographer. It makes you a camera owner...

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Cream of the Crop
8,831 posts
Likes: 10
Joined Sep 2005
Location: CT
Sep 22, 2008 12:59 |  #2

I think aperture should be driven more by DOF than by sharpness. I mean, my 24L might be sharpest at f/2.8, but if I need f/1.8 than what does it matter? Just a thought...

connecticut wedding photographer (external link)

242 posts
Joined Aug 2008
Location: Canada (Mississauga)
Sep 22, 2008 13:01 |  #3 (external link)
has a nice grid that shows how sharp each lens is at different apertures

Canon g10

Cream of the Crop
10,247 posts
Likes: 3
Joined Feb 2008
Location: Philly 'burbs
Sep 22, 2008 13:05 |  #4

+1.....Most of the time when I'm indoors with my 30mm/85mm primes, I NEED f/1.4-1.8. I'd take a non-subject-blurred shot at the expense of some sharpness (where I go W-I-D-E aperture to get my shutter speeds up in low-light/no flash)

timnosenzo wrote in post #6358573 (external link)
I think aperture should be driven more by DOF than by sharpness. I mean, my 24L might be sharpest at f/2.8, but if I need f/1.8 than what does it matter? Just a thought...

1,676 posts
Joined Mar 2008
Location: College Station, TX
Sep 22, 2008 13:14 |  #5

From my limited experience:

50mm f/1.8 II - sharpest at f/8
28-105mm II USM - sharpest at f/11
28-135mm IS USM - sharpest at f/8
35-135mm USM - sharpest at f/8

30D | X-Pro1 | X10 | Q
EF-S 18-55mm IS | XF 35mm f/1.4 R | Q 5-15mm f/2.8-4.5

3,416 posts
Joined Oct 2007
Location: Alexandria, VA
Sep 22, 2008 13:16 as a reply to  @ DDWD10's post |  #6

most of these are either going to be f/5.6 or f/8.

5D3 | Z21 | 35L | 50L | 85L | 135L

Senior Member
608 posts
Likes: 6
Joined Feb 2005
Location: New Mexico, USA
Sep 22, 2008 13:20 |  #7

This is all subjective, but my three lenses seem to be sharpest at:

10-22 EFS (f/8-9)
17-85 EFS (f/11)
70-300 EF (not DO) (f/11)

The "sharpest" aperture probably varies with the zoom focal length setting.

Canon 80D, 70D, 60D, Canon 10-22EFs, 15-85EFS IS, Sigma 18-300, 70-300L IS, Canon 60mm EFs Macro, Rokinon 8mm fisheye, Rokinon 85/1.4, 550EX flash, Olympus TG2 underwater P&S
Postprocessing: DxO11, DxO Viewpoint 3, Paint Shop Pro X9
Speak softly and carry a big zoom.

Cream of the Crop
14,060 posts
Likes: 6
Joined Jan 2008
Location: Montreal, Canada
Sep 22, 2008 13:36 |  #8

I will bet that the overwhelming rersponse will be between f8-11....

Bohdan - I may be, and probably am, completely wrong.
Gear List

Montreal Concert, Event and Portrait Photographer (external link)
Flickr (external link)

"I like dog butts"
1,926 posts
Joined Dec 2007
Location: Vancouver B.C.
Sep 22, 2008 13:38 |  #9

Motto for the old Speed Graphic Photojournalists: F8 and be there.

Anatidaephobia - The Fear That You are Being Watched by a Duck.

They have pills for that now you know.
54,014 posts
Likes: 1555
Joined Aug 2006
Location: Deep in the heart of Texas
Sep 22, 2008 13:47 |  #10

Unless someone has gone off and done a comparison at different apertures under controlled conditions all you’re going to get is subjective data. Not that subjective data is not valid, but it can vary from person to person and subject to subject. I sure would like to see the data though.

Not sure why, but call me JJ.
I used to hate math but then I realised decimals have a point.
::Flickr:: (external link)

1,501 posts
Joined May 2003
Location: N.E coast of UK
Sep 22, 2008 13:50 as a reply to  @ gjl711's post |  #11

Usually about 2 stops down from maximum aperture will give the best edge to edge sharpness... (external link)
Equipment​ormation/equipment.htm​l (external link)​/equipment.htm (external link)

I'm having size issues, does this get worse with age?
18,041 posts
Gallery: 4 photos
Likes: 99
Joined Dec 2006
Location: Royersford, PA
Sep 22, 2008 14:07 |  #12

Sharpness is a perception.

Here's a pretty good writeup:​s/sharpness.shtml (external link)

Sam - TF Says Ishmael​ (external link) 
Want your title changed?Dream On! (external link)


Senior Member
348 posts
Joined Feb 2007
Location: UK
Sep 22, 2008 15:05 |  #13

Every singgle Lens will be ever so slightly different too, depending on manufacturing tolerances etc etc I guess

Canon 30D
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 mkII
Canon EF 28-105mm f3.5-5.6 USM mkII
Canon EF-s 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 II
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L :lol:

Cream of the Crop
6,592 posts
Likes: 4
Joined Jan 2007
Location: Netherlands, EU
Sep 22, 2008 15:53 |  #14

7up wrote in post #6358526 (external link)

EF-S 10-22 F/5.6 - F/8
EF-S 18-55 F/8 - F/11
EF 17-40 f/4L F/5.6-F/8
EF 24-105 f/4 ISL F/5.6-F/11
EF 70-200 f/4L F/4-F/8
EF 70-200 f/4L IS F/4-F/11
EF 70-200 F/4L w/ 1.4x TCs F/8-F/11
EF 70-200 F/4L IS w/ 1.4x TCs F/8-F/11
EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 USM L IS F/8-F/11
TS-E 24 f/3.5L F/5.6-F/11
TS-E 45 f/2.8 F/4-F/11
TS-E 90 F/2.8-F/11
MP-E 65 F/2.8-F/11
EF 24 f/1.4 L F/2-F/8
EF 28 f/1.8 USM F/2.8-F/8
EF 50 f/1.4 USM F/4-F/8
EF 50 f/1.2 L F/2-F/8
EF 50 f/2.5 Macro F/4-F/8
EF 50 F/1.8 Mk I F/4-F/8
EF 50 F/1.8 Mk II F/4-F/8
EF-S 60 f/2.8 USM F/2.8-F/8
EF 85 f/1.2L F/2-F/11
EF 85 f/1.8 USM F/4-F/8
EF 100 f/2.8 USM Macro F/4-F/8


SP 200-500 Di F/8

AT-X 107 AF DX Fish-Eye 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 F/5.6-F/8
AT-X M35 PRO DX 35 f/2.8 Macro F/4-F/8

My additions.

Kind regards, Wim

5D Mk II & EOS 5 (analog) with a gaggle of primes & a solitary zoom, OM-D E-M1 Mk II, Pen-F & Panasonic GM5 with 11 primes, 8 zooms, 3 Metabones adapters/speedboosters​, and an accessory plague

Yogesh ­ Sarkar
Senior Member
460 posts
Likes: 4
Joined May 2008
Location: India
Sep 22, 2008 16:02 |  #15

These might help, Selecting the Sharpest Aperture (external link), Making Sharp Images (external link) and Lens Sharpness (external link)

My Travel and Photography Blog (external link) | My Facebook Page (external link) | My Portfolio (external link)
Gear: Canon EOS 60D, 1000D, Tokina 11-16 f2.8 II, Tamron 17-50 f2.8, 55-250IS, 50 f1.8, 430EX-II, Yongnuo: YN560 IV, YN-560 III, RF-603 II

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((( Sharpest F-stop ( Aperture )- for all lenses )))
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
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