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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 04 Apr 2012 (Wednesday) 19:59
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Sharpest aperature for various lenses.

 
KarlGB77
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Apr 04, 2012 19:59 |  #1

I know that lenses tend to vary on crop bodies and full frame bodies.
I have a 5d2 and t2I.
But the various lenses have their sweet spots.

What do you all find as the sweet spot aperature for various lenses?

Thanks


Canon 5D Mark III, 5D Mark II, T2i (2), 24-105 f4LIS, 17-40 f4L, 70-200f4L IS, 70-200 2.8L IS II, 100 2.8, 85 1.8, 50 1.4, 50 1.8, 15-85 f4-5.6 IS, 60 2.8, 18-55 IS, 55-250 IS, 430 EX II, 580 EX II, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod w/ 498RC2, Calumet 8121 Tripod, Manfrotto 679B Monopod w/ 234 RC2 head

  
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RPCrowe
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Apr 04, 2012 20:10 |  #2

Normally a rule of thumb is that most lens sweet spots will be about two stops down from wide open. However, you really can't go wrong with shooting around f/8.


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x_tan
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Apr 04, 2012 20:11 |  #3

Check here: http://www.photozone.d​e/Reviews/overview (external link)


Canon 5D3 + Zoom (EF 17-40L, 24-105L & 28-300L, 100-400L II) & Prime (24L II, 85L II, 100L, 135L & 200 f/2.8L II; Zeiss 1,4/35)
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KarlGB77
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Apr 04, 2012 21:04 |  #4

I have seen the various reviews on the lenses, but I wanted to know from personal experience what folks thought was Their favorite sweet spots for various lenses.
Say, the 24-105.
What gives YOU the best IQ.
Do you have a go to aperature?

I have the above lens and the 7-200 2.8 II
I also have a 17-40 and a 15-85 for my t2i's.
I have a 85 1.8 and the nifty fifty.
There are a lot of great primes such as the 35, 50, 85 and 135.

What do you folks find as the sweetest of the sweet spot for aperature.

Thanks


Canon 5D Mark III, 5D Mark II, T2i (2), 24-105 f4LIS, 17-40 f4L, 70-200f4L IS, 70-200 2.8L IS II, 100 2.8, 85 1.8, 50 1.4, 50 1.8, 15-85 f4-5.6 IS, 60 2.8, 18-55 IS, 55-250 IS, 430 EX II, 580 EX II, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod w/ 498RC2, Calumet 8121 Tripod, Manfrotto 679B Monopod w/ 234 RC2 head

  
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JimmyDever
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Apr 04, 2012 21:26 |  #5

Agreed. Usually 2 full stops down from wide open. Obviously exceptions to the rule




  
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crn3371
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Apr 04, 2012 22:50 |  #6

A stop or two from wide open gets you in the ballpark. Anything more specific is really just splitting hairs.




  
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frankk
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Apr 04, 2012 23:35 as a reply to  @ crn3371's post |  #7

There's no easy answer. I have the same 5D2/T2i combo. First consideration is the body. The higher the sensor density the more susceptible to diffraction. So the 5d2 starts getting impacted at f8 or above, while the T2i starts getting impacted below f8. Someone with more knowledge than me will correct this...but this is my basic understanding backed by some real-world experience.

Second consideration is the lens. x_tan mentioned photozone. An excellent resource for researching resolving power for the center, edge and corner of different lenses (on different bodies in some cases). You will find that, for some lenses, as aperture increases, center sharpness decreases, but edge sharpness increases, yielding an overall better image. The more you look, the more you'll realized, there's not a standard pattern.

Other lens considerations include idiosyncrasies like field curvature and ability to manage flare.

If I put forth a general rule, I totally agree with most comments here...two stops above the lens's widest aperture is best for the lens and likely fits within the body's sweet spot as well. Just be aware that this is not a simple black-or-white issue.




  
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hollis_f
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Apr 05, 2012 05:33 |  #8

For real measurebators who simply have to know the exact 'sweet spot' for each of their lenses - the latest version ofFoCal Pro (external link) has a utility to measure exactly that - automatically.


Frank Hollis - Retired mass spectroscopist
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titi_67207
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Apr 05, 2012 07:49 |  #9

Great optics have very good performances wide open, really near their "sweet" spot...

Generally 2 or 3 stops are the best in theory but do you need these apertures ? I often shoot wide open for portraits or closed apertures (f11-f16) for landscape or macro, to adapt the depth-of-field / amount of bokeh but not really at the sweet spot (f/5.6 by example) of the lens... of course it's better to know the limits of your optics, but modern "good" optics should give good results at each aperture.

Titi


Canon 5D MkII + Sony A7 + 24x36 & 6x6 B&W film cameras .
CV 15 4.5 III | TS-E 24L II | FE 28 2 | (50+85) 1.4 | 135 2 | 70-200 4.0L | a collection of old Zuikos + FD + Adaptall + AI-s + M42

  
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Kechar
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Apr 05, 2012 07:56 |  #10

When in doubt f8


flickr (external link) KCharron.net (external link) - 5D mark III (gripped) | 24-70 2.8 VC | 85 1.8 | 50 1.4 | 70-200 2.8L
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Lowner
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Apr 05, 2012 09:28 |  #11

The sweetspot will typically be somewhere between f/5.6 and f/11. I always test every new lens using a test target for just this kind of information. I want to know how to use a particular lens to get the very best out of it.


Richard

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gviado
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Apr 05, 2012 09:32 |  #12

"Optimal" aperture according to FoCal 1.3.1 and my Sigma 50mm/5DmkII would be F/5.6


5D MKII - Sigma 35mm f/1.4 - 580ex MKII

  
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KarlGB77
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Apr 05, 2012 11:16 |  #13

Good stuff folks.
I guess it varies from one persons 24-105 to another.

Thanks


Canon 5D Mark III, 5D Mark II, T2i (2), 24-105 f4LIS, 17-40 f4L, 70-200f4L IS, 70-200 2.8L IS II, 100 2.8, 85 1.8, 50 1.4, 50 1.8, 15-85 f4-5.6 IS, 60 2.8, 18-55 IS, 55-250 IS, 430 EX II, 580 EX II, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod w/ 498RC2, Calumet 8121 Tripod, Manfrotto 679B Monopod w/ 234 RC2 head

  
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msowsun
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Apr 05, 2012 11:53 |  #14

KarlGB77 wrote in post #14214619 (external link)
I guess it varies from one persons 24-105 to another.

I don't think it will vary much from lens to lens. Where it can vary is at different focal lengths, and sometimes even at different focus distances. FF vs crop camera can make a difference too.


Mike Sowsun / S110 / SL1 / 80D / EF-S 24mm STM / EF-S 10-18mm STM / EF-S 18-55mm STM / EF-S 15-85mm USM / EF-S 18-135mm USM / EF-S 55-250mm STM / 5D3 / Samyang 14mm 2.8 / EF 40mm 2.8 STM / EF 50mm 1.8 STM / EF 100mm 2.0 USM / EF 100mm 2.8 USM Macro / EF 24-105mm IS / EF 70-200mm 2.8L IS Mk II / EF 1.4x II
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wayne.robbins
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Apr 06, 2012 22:00 |  #15

To me, it depends upon the lens in question. If I am purchasing a fast aperture lens- like a f/2.8, I sure as heck don't want to stop it down to f/5.6 or f/8 to get good results with it- heck- I may as well have gotten a kit lens then.. When I buy a prime- like a f/1.4, again, I don't want to have to shoot it at f/4 for optimal sharpness - it should be, imo, sufficiently sharp either wide open, or within a stop of being wide open.. If it's not, again, my opinion, it should be going back. Otherwise, what's the point? Sorry, rhetorical question there. Just my opinion.
Determining the point where a lens is sufficiently sharp- well, that's just a matter of a few test shots at different apertures. My Sigma 70-200 OS is sufficiently sharp starting around f/3.2.. If I choose to stop it down to f/4 or f/5.6 - for DOF- that's fine, but I should not have to in order to get decent sharpness out of a pricey piece of gear.


EOS 5D III, EOS 7D,EOS Rebel T4i, Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS II, Canon 24-105L, Canon 18-135 IS STM, 1.4x TC III, 2.0x TC III, Σ 50mm f/1.4, Σ 17-50 OS, Σ 70-200 OS, Σ 50-500 OS, Σ 1.4x TC, Σ 2.0x TC, 580EXII(3), Canon SX-40, Canon S100
Fond memories: Rebel T1i, Canon 18-55 IS, Canon 55-250 IS, 18-135 IS (Given to a good home)...

  
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Sharpest aperature for various lenses.
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