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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 26 Jul 2013 (Friday) 12:53
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Optimum Aperture for EF 24-105?

 
Roxie2401
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Jul 26, 2013 12:53 |  #1

Recently was in NYC - bright, sunny day, nice clouds - so I thought, "lets go with the max depth of field and shoot f/22. Shots are ok but the ones I shot at f/8 & f/11 seem sharper. This is done on a 5D3 body.

Maybe this is a general lens question and not specific to the EF 24-105, but is there an "optimum" aperture for lenses and it is not necessarily fully stopped down for max depth of field?

I'm sort of a "sharpness" nut - and like my images as sharp as possible, particularily landscape scenes.

Is there a good discussion on this issue for Canon lenses, since I have several and would like to be shooting at the lenses best setting?

Thanks




  
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Invertalon
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Jul 26, 2013 13:14 |  #2

Most lenses are sharpest around 2-stops from wide open... On the 24-105 though, it looks like center sharpness maximizes at around f/5.6 and the corners/edges of the frame at f/8.

Some lenses hit optimum aperture only one stop from wide open, it just depends on the lens.

Could use this tool:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com …omp=0&FLIComp=0​&APIComp=3 (external link)


Or these types of reviews, which show the resolution midway down the page for the 24-105.

http://www.photozone.d​e …-canon_24105_4_5d?start​=1 (external link)


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melauer
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Jul 26, 2013 13:17 |  #3

Yep, sounds about right. There is something called "diffraction limiting (external link)" which causes images at higher apertures to be less sharp. Images taken at f/22 generally won't be very sharp, at least on a high-resolution sensor.

I have seem people claim that closing a lens aperture by two stops from wide open gives the best results. This suggests f/8.

You might also consider looking at this rather detailed interactive chart (external link) on slrgear.com. It shows the blurriness of the 24-105 on a full-frame camera at various apertures and focal lengths. Sure enough, f/8 looks best most of the time, though f/11 seems best at 105mm.




  
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bpalermini
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Jul 26, 2013 13:22 |  #4

I've done some basic testing on mine and at 24mm f8 is sharpest, at 67mm between f5.6 and f8 is the sharpest and at 105mm f5.6 - f11 is the sharpest.

You should do some testing of your lens.


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Roxie2401
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Jul 26, 2013 15:59 |  #5

melauer wrote in post #16155973 (external link)
Yep, sounds about right. There is something called "diffraction limiting (external link)" which causes images at higher apertures to be less sharp. Images taken at f/22 generally won't be very sharp, at least on a high-resolution sensor.

I have seem people claim that closing a lens aperture by two stops from wide open gives the best results. This suggests f/8.

You might also consider looking at this rather detailed interactive chart (external link) on slrgear.com. It shows the blurriness of the 24-105 on a full-frame camera at various apertures and focal lengths. Sure enough, f/8 looks best most of the time, though f/11 seems best at 105mm.


Thanks for the information - I have no idea what I am looking at in the "rather detailed interactive chart" and there doesn't seem to be any description.

On the "deffraction limiting", I can see the difference but when I go to the link for the "following page" it seems the discussion more about the limitation on pixel size in the camera sensor than on the lens.

Guess there is no simple answer - I was sort of hoping for a general rule of thumb that would apply to most lenses - maybe that is two stops down from wide open?




  
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tgara
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Jul 26, 2013 19:23 |  #6

Roxie2401 wrote in post #16156352 (external link)
Guess there is no simple answer - I was sort of hoping for a general rule of thumb that would apply to most lenses - maybe that is two stops down from wide open?

Well, there is a simple answer... if you took physics for engineers in college like I did back in the day. :cool:

As a very general rule of thumb, start with f/8 on any lens if you want sharpest shots. Move up to f/11 or f/16 or down to f/5.6 or f/4 for creative effects, and your shots will still be sharp, assuming you are using a reasonably fast shutter speed and good technique (or a tripod). Again, speaking very generally, stay away from the extreme ends of the f-stop range for sharpest shots.


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sandpiper
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Jul 27, 2013 06:07 as a reply to  @ tgara's post |  #7

Try not to get too hung up on sharpest apertures and diffraction softening though. Yes, you can see a difference when pixel peeping, but after you stop peering close up at a small section of a 5 foot wide image, then apply normal PP and sharpen for output, then view the resulting image at the final size (whether a 10x8 or as a digital image that will fit on a monitor screen) you are unlikely to see any of that slight softening.

If you start picking f/8 all the time, just because it is your sharpest aperture, you will lose out on using one of the more creative controls in photography, your aperture. I don't worry about diffraction etc., I set the aperture which gives me the DOF I want for the shot, that is far more important to me. If I am shooting a portrait with that lens, I will be wide open for subject separation and better background blur. If a landscape, I will likely be well stopped down to get the whole scene in the DOF. I don't care that the whole scene may be fractionally softer, I would much rather that than have all the foreground detail lost completely in out of focus mush.

Sometimes, I just don't have the option of using a wider aperture. Shooting aircraft or motorsports I need slow shutter speeds for propellor blur or background blur. If I need to use 1/80th second, even at ISO 100 that comes out around f/16 on a sunny day and sometimes I have to stop down even more. Again, I won't sacrifice my artistic aim of motion blur for a more static looking image, taken with a faster shutter speed forced on me by using f/8.

It's good to know about sharpest aperture and diffraction, but in practice I feel you need to stop worrying about them and just use the aperture you need for the image you want to create.




  
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NemethR
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Jul 27, 2013 07:06 |  #8

In my Experience best results are between f/5.6 and f/11
f/4 is not bad, but its not super-sharp either.
above f/11 the picture gets less and less sharp.

I used the lens for amlost 1 and a half year, before moving to the 28-70.


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Sirrith
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Jul 27, 2013 07:17 |  #9

Between 5.6-8 usually. But if you're a sharpness nut, then the 24-105 might not be the best lens for you. It isn't renowned for its sharpness.


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reprazent
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Jul 27, 2013 16:30 |  #10

Sirrith wrote in post #16157830 (external link)
It isn't renowned for its sharpness.

you make it sound like the lens is known to deliver blurry oof pictures. and before long everyone is saying it's a kitlens and that it's crap :p


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Optimum Aperture for EF 24-105?
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