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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 09 Jun 2009 (Tuesday) 00:54
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how is the canon 70-200mm image quality vs primes?

 
CyberDyneSystems
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Jun 09, 2009 11:44 |  #16

dc5itr888 wrote in post #8075620 (external link)
Reason I ask is because I just rented the Canon 70-200mm F2.8 IS and after a hour of playing with it...I honestly cant see a difference between that compared to my 50mm F1.4 Prime

The 70-200mm f/2.8L IS was the first zoom I ever used that ha me saying, "this zoom is prime-like"

I've had the pleasure of using three zooms now that seem to offer total prime-like IQ,
The said 70-200mm
and two SIGMAs..
The 120-300mm and the 300-800mm.


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joe ­ mama
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Jun 09, 2009 11:58 |  #17
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Jannie
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Jun 09, 2009 12:17 |  #18

Well for one, the zoom offers you more focal length options
It has IS
Ideally in a perfect world, every one of my lenses offers the same Image Quality but gives me options such as different looks/coverage/reach/b​okeh.

Personally I've no use for a 50mm lens, but the 70-200 2.8 is virtually my greatest friend of all my lenses. I can and do use it more often than any two or three other lenses.

Last night I was shooting a review/rehearsal for an upcoming musical show. My job was to get what I can get for promotion. The 7-200 2.8 worked 90% of the time and I shot 22Gigs of pictures, all in the ISO range of 1600-6400 with the 6400 being used the most. I'd say 75% of the photos were shot in the focal length ranges of 135mm to 280mm (yes I had to use a 1.4x extender on the zoom). The rest of the time I used mostly my 24-70, mostly in the range between 24 and 35mm.

The difference here between any 50mm and the 70-200 2.8 is that I would have been pretty much unable to function last night with just a 50mm.

It's like should you buy a station wagon or pickup - depends what you want to do with it.

I expect every lens I have in my kit to have dependable Image Quality, I can't see any reason for owning any lens that isn't exceptional, that's why they make so many good ones.

And yes I've seen photos from some really, really good 50mm 1.4 Canon lenses, images that would be on par with any others so that's not really the issue if you're deciding whether to buy the zoom or not.


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Jun 09, 2009 20:17 |  #19

There's a difference between "noticeable" and "measurable". Honestly, my 70-200/2.8IS delivers the goods every time I use it, as did my former 50/1.4 and 85/1.8 primes. Or at least they do/did when I do my job and get the framing, subject-background distance, etc. right.

Since I don't measurebate or even LOOK at 100% crops, I let the primes go in order to afford a second camera (5D). I rented and fell in love with a 135L over the last week, but I have to say when I was trying to do a kid's portrait shoot I switched back to the 70-200 for the flexibility. Both I and the kid's mom are more than happy with the results, so even though I've wanted the 135 for a long time I don't think I am going to buy one.


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Mike55
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Jun 10, 2009 03:46 |  #20

dc5itr888 wrote in post #8076097 (external link)
thats what i thought to believe...but read numerous threads here and on FM that the image quality on the canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS is so great that its A LOT better than regular NON L primes such as the 50mm f1.4

No. primes will win in IQ most of the time, even non L primes against L zooms.


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bohdank
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Jun 10, 2009 06:47 |  #21

With fear of being branded a heretic along with being a devout pixel peeper my 70-200 f4 IS is sharp enough with no lack of color/contrast at f4 that I am not looking for anything sharper.


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Jun 10, 2009 09:35 |  #22

Mike55 wrote in post #8082466 (external link)
No. primes will win in IQ most of the time, even non L primes against L zooms.

Old outdated fallacy now! Was once true in the early days of zoom design where computer optimization of the design was not yet commonplace. I just went to photozone.de and randomly chose two zooms and two primes to compare MTF (Center/Edge values shown)...

24-105 at f/4, f/4 MTF = 1972C/1727E (wide open...a handicap against all other lenses in this sample!); but at f/5.6 MTF improves to 2023/1804

70-200 f/2.8, 135mm f/4 MTF = 1994C/1981E

100mm f/2, f/4 MTF = 1963C/1916E

85mm f/1.8, f/4 MTF = 1967C/1930E


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C2S
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Jun 10, 2009 10:52 |  #23

Old outdated fallacy now! Was once true in the early days of zoom design where computer optimization of the design was not yet commonplace.

That's good to hear, but unfortunately things like maximum aperture, weight and price remain... otherwise, it would be great to have just one superzoom of unmatched quality and features. The lens makers might not agree, though. :D


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Wilt
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Jun 10, 2009 10:56 |  #24

C2S wrote in post #8083918 (external link)
That's good to hear, but unfortunately things like maximum aperture, weight and price remain... otherwise, it would be great to have just one superzoom of unmatched quality and features. The lens makers might not agree, though. :D

Yes, zooms bulkier and heavier than single fixed focal lens. OTOH you would need multiple FFL in the bag, so the camera is lighter but the bag is heavier! :)

The thread is about IQ, nonetheless, which is why I consulted the MTF values and reported them to support the fact that 'prime IQ' > 'zoom IQ' is not necessarily true.


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Mike55
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Jun 10, 2009 14:09 |  #25

Wilt wrote in post #8083494 (external link)
Old outdated fallacy now! Was once true in the early days of zoom design where computer optimization of the design was not yet commonplace. I just went to photozone.de and randomly chose two zooms and two primes to compare MTF (Center/Edge values shown)...

24-105 at f/4, f/4 MTF = 1972C/1727E (wide open...a handicap against all other lenses in this sample!); but at f/5.6 MTF improves to 2023/1804

70-200 f/2.8, 135mm f/4 MTF = 1994C/1981E

100mm f/2, f/4 MTF = 1963C/1916E

85mm f/1.8, f/4 MTF = 1967C/1930E

Your own test just a couple days ago proved that the prime is still king. The 100 2.8 photo is remarkably superior to the others.


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Jun 10, 2009 14:12 |  #26

Mike55 wrote in post #8085160 (external link)
Your own test just a couple days ago proved that the prime is still king. The 100 2.8 photo is remarkably superior to the others.

Lowest contrast of the lenses tested = 'superior'? I have a hard time accepting that.
https://photography-on-the.net …hp?p=8067300&po​stcount=40

look at the black patch on the MacBeth chart, photo 2

On what other criteria did you find it to outperform?


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Jun 10, 2009 14:19 |  #27

bohdank wrote in post #8082822 (external link)
With fear of being branded a heretic along with being a devout pixel peeper my 70-200 f4 IS is sharp enough with no lack of color/contrast at f4 that I am not looking for anything sharper.

No heretic,. I think your spot on.


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Mike55
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Jun 10, 2009 14:38 |  #28

Wilt wrote in post #8085189 (external link)
Lowest contrast of the lenses tested = 'superior'? I have a hard time accepting that.
https://photography-on-the.net …hp?p=8067300&po​stcount=40

look at the black patch on the MacBeth chart, photo 2

On what other criteria did you find it to outperform?

https://photography-on-the.net …hread.php?t=704​944&page=4

Look at the crops. I guessed #2 was the 100 2.8 because it's simply far superior to the rest.

Page with crops:

https://photography-on-the.net …hread.php?t=704​944&page=5

Sharpness, color, "pop". So did other posters. :)


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Wilt
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Jun 10, 2009 14:47 |  #29

Mike55 wrote in post #8085342 (external link)
https://photography-on-the.net …hread.php?t=704​944&page=4

Look at the crops. I guessed #2 was the 100 2.8 because it's simply far superior to the rest.

Page with crops:

https://photography-on-the.net …hread.php?t=704​944&page=5

Sharpness, color, "pop". So did other posters. :)

I guess your eyes are superior to mine (mine are 58 ), because I don't see it 'pop' more. If I look at the pistle/stamen of the yellow flowers the 70-200 seems to pop more at me in the crops. The magenta flowers appear to have better definition in the centers on the 100mm crop. But as I have stated numerous times, the focus points were not carefully controlled since this was not a focus or DOF test. With such variation between shots, I still cannot accept a valid conclusion about sharpness or pop can be concluded. It is wishful thinking perhaps.


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lungdoc
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Jun 10, 2009 14:58 |  #30

Much more relevant to compare with 200 2.8, 100mm f/2 or f/2.8 macro or 85mm f/1.8 than with a 50mm lens. Having said that I think one would be hard pressed to find meaningful superiority of sharpness with the primes; assuming good copies of each lens.


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how is the canon 70-200mm image quality vs primes?
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