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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 11 Aug 2010 (Wednesday) 19:29
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Sharpest prime less than 85mm?

 
CH_Devin
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Aug 11, 2010 19:29 |  #1

I recently shot a wedding with the 135L and loved it! It was ridiculously sharp wide open and focuses super fsat. The only problem with the lens I find is that it is too long for most situations. I own a 7D, so I switched off to my 17-55; and it did not satisfy like the 135 did. I am 95% considering switching to primes fully. I brought along my 70-200 2.8IS for the wedding and did not once mount it on my camera. I chose the 135L 100% of the time. I owned the 85 1.2 before; and even though it is tack sharp, it focuses too slowly for walking and other active situations. Now I need to find out which lenses are just as sharp, if not sharper, than the 135L and focuses just as quickly in low light? Thanks for any help.


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996gt2
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Aug 11, 2010 19:33 |  #2

The sharpest prime under 85mm is probably the Zeiss 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar

However, if you fast AF and sharpness wide open, the EF 85mm f/1.8 is probably your best bet. The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 HSM is quite sharp wide open as well, but you'll have to find a good copy that focuses properly. I'd skip the Canon 50mm f/1.2L, since the AF isn't very quick (lots of glass to move around!) and the lens has some bad focus shift problems inherent in its design.


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Jardiniboy
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Aug 11, 2010 20:20 |  #3

35L


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toxic
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Aug 11, 2010 20:30 |  #4

996gt2 wrote in post #10704423 (external link)
The sharpest prime under 85mm is probably the Zeiss 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar

However, if you fast AF and sharpness wide open, the EF 85mm f/1.8 is probably your best bet. The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 HSM is quite sharp wide open as well, but you'll have to find a good copy that focuses properly. I'd skip the Canon 50mm f/1.2L, since the AF isn't very quick (lots of glass to move around!) and the lens has some bad focus shift problems inherent in its design.

The 50L focuses faster than the Sigma. Also, the focus shift occurs only at certain f-stops at certain distances, and it might not even be noticeable. I don't have an issue with mine.

The sharpest is the 60 macro because it's slow and it's a macro. After that, 85/1.8 and 35/1.4, if you want sharpness wide-open.




  
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nightcat
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Aug 11, 2010 21:16 |  #5

60mm 2.8 macro. believe it!




  
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tkbslc
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Aug 11, 2010 23:15 |  #6

If you want it to be like your 135L, you are going to need to stick with the L line.

24mm f1.4L, 35mm f1.4L, 50mm f1.2L or if you are on less of a budget, the Sigma 50mm f1.4 and Sigma 30mm f1.4 are pretty close for about 1/3 the money.


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Lostboy77
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Aug 11, 2010 23:21 as a reply to  @ tkbslc's post |  #7

If you are willing to stop it down to 2.8, the nifty fifty is tack sharp. Come to think of it, the 35/2 is right there with is as well. With that being said, I'd still have to agree with those saying the 60macro. Quite simply one of the sharpest lenses across its whole range that Canon makes . . . and the colors are notably great as well.


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tkbslc
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Aug 11, 2010 23:22 |  #8

Lostboy77 wrote in post #10705659 (external link)
If you are willing to stop it down to 2.8, the nifty fifty is tack sharp. Come to think of it, the 35/2 is right there with is as well.

Not compared to anything else that has been mentioned in this thread. Good, yes, but not mind blowing like the 135L.


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Mike ­ K
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Aug 11, 2010 23:42 |  #9

996gt2 wrote in post #10704423 (external link)
The sharpest prime under 85mm is probably the Zeiss 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar

I have the Zeiss 50 makro planar and indeed it is very sharp with excellent color and contrast. At the widest apertures it is softer in the extreme corners, but in landscape use I have never noticed this.
However equally sharp, contrasty and having that Zeiss color rendition is the legendary Zeiss Distagon 21 f2.8. For a UWA lens on full frame this is really a contender for sharpest wide prime due to its corner sharpness at wide apertures.
Some think the Nikon 14-24 G (using a Nikon G to Canon EOS adapter) is the equal or better than the Zeiss 21 for corner to corner sharpness.

On the Canon brand the sharpest prime under 85mm is the Canon 24 TSE II f3.5. Very close to the same detail of the Zeiss 21 without the Zeiss color rendition. However the lack of distortion and CA (unshifted & untilted) is a strong IQ feature. I also have the Zeiss 21 and 24 TSE.

These are all MF lenses, was it important to be an AF? there is the Canon 24 II f1.4, but its a notch down in performance from the lenses above.
Mike K


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Yaamon
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Aug 12, 2010 00:39 |  #10

I know the 135L is a great lens but how do you shoot a entire wedding with a 135L.

How do you get the wedding party with a crop sensor? I presume you were not the pro photographer?


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Rsyx
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Aug 12, 2010 00:45 |  #11

Yaamon wrote in post #10706009 (external link)
I know the 135L is a great lens but how do you shoot a entire wedding with a 135L.

How do you get the wedding party with a crop sensor? I presume you were not the pro photographer?

OP said that he switched to 17-55 when necessary. ;)

Other than that, if you're looking for something in the 35-85 range, my vote goes to the ZE 2/35 or the ZE 2/50 MP. Very sharp lenses and especially the 35mm comes at a very reasonable price.


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Ross_Curtis
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Aug 12, 2010 01:57 |  #12

I'd highly recommend the 24L II, on a crop body it gives a superb FOV.

For me the 24L and 135L are a brilliant combo. I've owned the 85 1.8 for two years and have used it only a handful of times.


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Kolor-Pikker
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Aug 12, 2010 03:14 |  #13

Mike K wrote in post #10705772 (external link)
I have the Zeiss 50 makro planar and indeed it is very sharp with excellent color and contrast. At the widest apertures it is softer in the extreme corners, but in landscape use I have never noticed this.
However equally sharp, contrasty and having that Zeiss color rendition is the legendary Zeiss Distagon 21 f2.8. For a UWA lens on full frame this is really a contender for sharpest wide prime due to its corner sharpness at wide apertures.
Some think the Nikon 14-24 G (using a Nikon G to Canon EOS adapter) is the equal or better than the Zeiss 21 for corner to corner sharpness.

On the Canon brand the sharpest prime under 85mm is the Canon 24 TSE II f3.5. Very close to the same detail of the Zeiss 21 without the Zeiss color rendition. However the lack of distortion and CA (unshifted & untilted) is a strong IQ feature. I also have the Zeiss 21 and 24 TSE.

These are all MF lenses, was it important to be an AF? there is the Canon 24 II f1.4, but its a notch down in performance from the lenses above.
Mike K

I think he needs AF, though the sharpest lenses in Canon mount below 85mm are all manual focus, the 24L II does actually come very close to the TS-E at equivelent apertures.
So it's probably down to a 24LII or a 35L, either one will be great. Just go to a shop if there's one nearby and try both out to see which perspective looks better.


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sebr
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Aug 12, 2010 05:00 |  #14

tkbslc wrote in post #10705624 (external link)
If you want it to be like your 135L, you are going to need to stick with the L line.

I second that!


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bkdc
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Aug 12, 2010 05:11 as a reply to  @ sebr's post |  #15

You won't find it. The longer the focal length, the easier it is to design a tack sharp lens corner to corner. All of Canon's prime lenses above 100mm have a reputation for superb sharpness. The light has to bend less when working their way through these lenses.

The sharpest prime less than 85mm with an aperture of f1.4 or better is probably the 35L (for sharpness wide open) or the 24L II (for sharpness when stopped down slightly).


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Sharpest prime less than 85mm?
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