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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 01 Feb 2014 (Saturday) 08:59
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Lens Sharpness, Pixel Peeping & Prints...

 
Talley
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Feb 01, 2014 08:59 |  #1

I have access to alot of lenses. I've used alot. Yes, I have gotten hung up on extreme sharpness... Now that I've been printing like crazy on the Pro-100 I realize one thing.

Took two images with two different lenses. 70-200's one a Canon MK2 and the other my Tamron in sig.

at pixel peeping you can notice slight differences. at 13x19 print at best resolution and pressing the paper up against my skull type of inspection

can't see it.

what gives?... how darn big do I need to print???? I really want to justify the more expensive sharper lens but I need to SEE the difference. How big? 48x80? help me out here guys.... when is sharp just not sharp enough?... for prints?


A7rIII | A7III | 12-24 F4 | 16-35 GM | 28-75 2.8 | 100-400 GM | 12mm 2.8 Fisheye | 35mm 2.8 | 85mm 1.8 | 35A | 85A | 200mm L F2 IS | MC-11
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EOS5DC
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Feb 01, 2014 09:19 |  #2
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I sold the 135L and 200 2.8L for that very same reason; I can't see the difference. Sold them, and the 50 1.8 and 85 1.8 and bought the Sigma 70-200 OS. For less than the cost of the 135L, I have a zoom that covers the entire range. I put my Tamron 28-75 up against a store's Tamron 24-70 VC. To my eyes, the difference was negligible and certainly not worth paying for. I had a 28-135 and sold it because I liked the f/2.8 of the Tamron more than the range of the Canon.

One thing I have noticed is that even mediocre lenses look better on FF. To me, there is more of a difference when moving a lens from APSc to FF, than there is when upgrading a lens, and sticking with APSc. I am slowly working up to selling all of my APSc stuff. The 60mm macro and 10-22 go first. Once those are gone there is really no reason to hang on to the 60D and 15-85.

EDIT:
Oh, I've made one 11x17 print. It was quite unbelievable. T1i/18-135 @ 18mm. L-glass holds no draw for me anymore. Most prints are 8x10, or smaller. I don't see spending L-glass money for what I do.


Bodies: 60D, 6D.
EFs: 15-85, 10-22
EF: 28-75, 35 f/2 IS, Σ70-200 OS, 100-400L
Flash: 580EX II, 430 EX II

  
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Frodge
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Feb 01, 2014 09:34 |  #3

^this.


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“It's kind of fun to do the impossible.” - Walt Disney.
Equipment: Tokina 12-24mm, Canon 40mm 2.8, Tamron 17-50 2.8 XR Di, Canon 18-55mm, Canon 50mm 1.8, Tamron 70-300VC / T3I and 60D

  
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chris_holtmeier
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Feb 01, 2014 09:42 |  #4

If you really want to see extreme sharpness in large prints, try medium format. You can print 30x40 and put your nose to it.



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Ralph ­ III
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Feb 01, 2014 09:52 |  #5

Talley wrote in post #16655033 (external link)
what gives?... how darn big do I need to print???? I really want to justify the more expensive sharper lens but I need to SEE the difference. How big? 48x80? help me out here guys.... when is sharp just not sharp enough?... for prints?

I've thought about starting a thread "My name is Ralph and I'm a pixel peeper".

Talley, you may find yourself even more disappointed in regards to "sharpness" alone because if you run your image through a simple program like Noiseware, it seems you could print them to billboard size. I used to print 20x30in. posters with an "un-sharp" Canon 28-135mm with great results.

I didn't realize it wasn't a sharp lens until I pixel peeped it against a Canon 18-135mm and then later a Canon 15-85mm. Each of those lenses just blew the 28-135mm away in sharpness! Those posters still look great though with only minimal processing. It didn't take as much processing with the Canon 15-85mm though with subsequent posters. However, it takes a poster to see little difference?!

You do have to consider other factors though. Lenses may be comparable in sharpness, or at least not discernible, but some perform much better in other areas such as aberrations, vignetting or f-stop exposure, etc.

I'm actually going through a lens shakeup at the moment and may post some interesting results in a few weeks as I compare a few lenses.

Ralph


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MakisM1
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Feb 01, 2014 10:05 |  #6

EOS5DC wrote in post #16655105 (external link)
...
One thing I have noticed is that even mediocre lenses look better on FF.

Any EF lens will put out 1.6x line pairs sharpness in the frame in FF. That is the most significant and measurable advantage of the FF over the crop. It is the law of optics. This is the 'look' and 'magic' most people see disguised under the difference in FOV between the crop and the FF. They are just too ignorant to articulate so they prefer voodoo and magic.

Talley you keep saying these things and the Talibanic fanboys will tar and feather you...:D

My only 24x36 size print is done with the 60D and the 18-200 and is a night shot. Great resolution and no noise. This was one of my first 500 shots with the 60D when I knew little about RAW, NR and only rudimentary post-processing in GIMP (sharpness, levels).

I think the time when we will start seeing measurable results will be (soon) when we change the paradigm of how we display our photos. I am at the point of sticking a USB in my 40" screen and presenting a slideshow.

Now, when I get the next (4k) screen, it will be down to the level of pixel peeping and I MAY see measurable differences.


Gerry
Canon 5D MkIII/Canon 60D/Canon EF-S 18-200/Canon EF 24-70L USM II/Canon EF 70-200L 2.8 USM II/Canon EF 50 f1.8 II/Σ 8-16/ 430 EXII
OS: Linux Ubuntu/PostProcessing: Darktable/Image Processing: GIMP

  
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DC ­ Fan
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Feb 01, 2014 10:55 |  #7

Talley wrote in post #16655033 (external link)
I have access to alot of lenses. I've used alot. Yes, I have gotten hung up on extreme sharpness... Now that I've been printing like crazy on the Pro-100 I realize one thing.

Took two images with two different lenses. 70-200's one a Canon MK2 and the other my Tamron in sig.

at pixel peeping you can notice slight differences. at 13x19 print at best resolution and pressing the paper up against my skull type of inspection

can't see it.

what gives?... how darn big do I need to print???? I really want to justify the more expensive sharper lens but I need to SEE the difference. How big? 48x80? help me out here guys.... when is sharp just not sharp enough?... for prints?

If you want to generate a print that will display a difference, purchase a Canon imagePROGRAF iPF9400 printer (external link).

Anything smaller than the sixty-inch prints from a iPF9400 will probably not reveal any difference. Of course, you'll need to spend around US $ 11,000 or € 8,000 for the privilege of discovering that printers don't work like LCD screens.




  
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MakisM1
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Feb 01, 2014 11:12 |  #8

DC Fan wrote in post #16655309 (external link)
If you want to generate a print that will display a difference, purchase a Canon imagePROGRAF iPF9400 printer (external link).

Anything smaller than the sixty-inch prints from a iPF9400 will probably not reveal any difference. Of course, you'll need to spend around US $ 11,000 or € 8,000 for the privilege of discovering that printers don't work like LCD screens.

I was comparing my screen's width to the magnification factor to figure out how big a screen I would need for 1:1 full view and came back with 58.8 inches give or take...:D

Funny that...


Gerry
Canon 5D MkIII/Canon 60D/Canon EF-S 18-200/Canon EF 24-70L USM II/Canon EF 70-200L 2.8 USM II/Canon EF 50 f1.8 II/Σ 8-16/ 430 EXII
OS: Linux Ubuntu/PostProcessing: Darktable/Image Processing: GIMP

  
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EOS5DC
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Feb 01, 2014 11:21 |  #9
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chris_holtmeier wrote in post #16655173 (external link)
If you really want to see extreme sharpness in large prints, try medium format. You can print 30x40 and put your nose to it.

Another local hobbyist prints 20x30 all the time; has them done at Walmart. They look fantastic on the wall. Equipment: 7D, 35 2, Tamron 17-50. I am pretty sure you can go WAY bigger than 30x40 with MF.

MakisM1 wrote in post #16655216 (external link)
Any EF lens will put out 1.6x line pairs sharpness in the frame in FF. That is the most significant and measurable advantage of the FF over the crop. It is the law of optics. This is the 'look' and 'magic' most people see disguised under the difference in FOV between the crop and the FF. They are just too ignorant to articulate so they prefer voodoo and magic.

I don't know ignorant from voodoo, but I know my 28-135 on the 60D was not on par with the 15-85. On the 5Dc, it was night and day better. Ditto Tamron 28-75.


Bodies: 60D, 6D.
EFs: 15-85, 10-22
EF: 28-75, 35 f/2 IS, Σ70-200 OS, 100-400L
Flash: 580EX II, 430 EX II

  
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MakisM1
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Feb 01, 2014 11:57 |  #10

EOS5DC wrote in post #16655370 (external link)
Another local hobbyist prints 20x30 all the time; has them done at Walmart. They look fantastic on the wall. Equipment: 7D, 35 2, Tamron 17-50. I am pretty sure you can go WAY bigger than 30x40 with MF.

I don't know ignorant from voodoo, but I know my 28-135 on the 60D was not on par with the 15-85. On the 5Dc, it was night and day better. Ditto Tamron 28-75.

Your EF mount lenses will be 1.6x sharper in the FF. If you could mount the 15-85 on the FF it would be night and day better than the others in the center. Vignetting would be another story...

What is so difficult to understand?

A given lens puts out x number of line pairs per mm on the sensor level. So for a crop it puts out 23x linepairs roughly on the wide side. In a FF it puts out roughly 36x linepairs on the wide side.

The lens does not know or care what sensor is underneath. The sensor doesn't know or care what lens is in front of it. It will take the light and resolve it as best as it can.


Gerry
Canon 5D MkIII/Canon 60D/Canon EF-S 18-200/Canon EF 24-70L USM II/Canon EF 70-200L 2.8 USM II/Canon EF 50 f1.8 II/Σ 8-16/ 430 EXII
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Kolor-Pikker
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Feb 01, 2014 12:19 |  #11

13x19 is only the resolution at which you can almost start to debate differences in sharpness and resolution, try 20" and bigger. This is why so many people are claiming the death of DSLRs and other premium camera types, few can justify printing big enough to see a difference, especially in the age of social media being the end stop for most images. But if you can afford or want to print as big as 40x60", then a 36mp+ camera with a sharp lens would make for a good argument.


5DmkII | 24-70 f/2.8L II | Pentax 645Z | 55/2.8 SDM | 120/4 Macro | 150/2.8 IF
I acquired an expensive camera so I can hang out in forums, annoy wedding photographers during formals and look down on P&S users... all the while telling people it's the photographer, not the camera.

  
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EOS5DC
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Feb 01, 2014 12:58 |  #12
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MakisM1 wrote in post #16655433 (external link)
Your EF mount lenses will be 1.6x sharper in the FF. If you could mount the 15-85 on the FF it would be night and day better than the others in the center. Vignetting would be another story...

What is so difficult to understand?

A given lens puts out x number of line pairs per mm on the sensor level. So for a crop it puts out 23x linepairs roughly on the wide side. In a FF it puts out roughly 36x linepairs on the wide side.

The lens does not know or care what sensor is underneath. The sensor doesn't know or care what lens is in front of it. It will take the light and resolve it as best as it can.

This is a bit confusing. An EF lens is capable of X lines per mm. It is no more capable on FF than APSc. You get more lines because the sensor is bigger; the resolution is still the same X lines per mm. You don't get better resolution. The return comes when blowing up the frame. A FF shot can be blown up 1.6 time bigger than a comparable APSc shot, and still give you the same number of lines per mm. That is the difference. A 4x6 from an APCc body will show similar fine detail to an 8x10 from a FF.

The FF does not capture more lines per mm than APSc; they are identical with the same lens. The FF can just do more with the captured data. I am pretty sure we are saying the same thing with different words.

My 28-135 looked better on FF than on APSc because I had to blow up the APSc shot nearly twice as much to get the same size output.


Bodies: 60D, 6D.
EFs: 15-85, 10-22
EF: 28-75, 35 f/2 IS, Σ70-200 OS, 100-400L
Flash: 580EX II, 430 EX II

  
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MakisM1
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Feb 01, 2014 13:17 |  #13

EOS5DC wrote in post #16655565 (external link)
...An EF lens is capable of X lines per mm. It is no more capable on FF than APSc. You get more lines because the sensor is bigger; the resolution is still the same X lines per mm. You don't get better resolution. ...

Exactly! We tend to view frames as in full view on the monitor for example. Or an 8x10 (let's say 8x12 since we are in the 3:2 format in the 21st century...).

If you allow me to re-phrase not only blowing up but just putting the same photo in any reference frame.

It is more visible of course at a higher magnification, but it holds true throughout.


Gerry
Canon 5D MkIII/Canon 60D/Canon EF-S 18-200/Canon EF 24-70L USM II/Canon EF 70-200L 2.8 USM II/Canon EF 50 f1.8 II/Σ 8-16/ 430 EXII
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EOS5DC
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Feb 01, 2014 14:13 |  #14
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Gerry, if I may, is this a first? Two people actually agreeing with each other in thread? HOODATHUNKIT? (Pretty sure that is a Texas term.)


Bodies: 60D, 6D.
EFs: 15-85, 10-22
EF: 28-75, 35 f/2 IS, Σ70-200 OS, 100-400L
Flash: 580EX II, 430 EX II

  
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Xyclopx
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Feb 01, 2014 14:52 |  #15

Talley wrote in post #16655033 (external link)
what gives?... how darn big do I need to print???? I really want to justify the more expensive sharper lens but I need to SEE the difference. How big? 48x80? help me out here guys.... when is sharp just not sharp enough?... for prints?

yeah, I can't see any differences when printing stuff in my house unless if I am really looking for it. certainly hung up on a wall there's no way anyone would see any difference. so, if your only goal is to print stuff for your own pleasure, it seems clear to me one doesn't need very best lenses, at least sharpness-wise. and that goes for those ultra-high resolution cameras too like the d800. if going straight to print it doesn't make much of a difference, even enlarged quite a bit.

however, in these types of arguments one thing that doesn't get much attention is the ability to crop. the sharper it is from the source, or higher the resolution, the better your crops would be, and the more you can crop. that is a huge advantage for composition or editing. we're not all perfect photographers who get all things right in a shot. when I get home I almost always like to tweak the images a little to maximize effect.

but yeah, if you don't edit, and just take pics to print for your house, you can spend 1/2 as much on equipment.

there are plenty of folks at work that LOVE to print out pics of their baby kids from crappy printers on crappy paper and post them on their cube walls. they'll also post heavily compressed images on facebook of the same kids. I can tell they use slrs with large apertures, but sharpness is totally irrelevant in those uses.


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Lens Sharpness, Pixel Peeping & Prints...
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