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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 18 Nov 2013 (Monday) 01:26
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My 70-200 2.8 II @ 70mm is sharper than my 24-70 II? Huh?

 
Xyclopx
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Nov 18, 2013 01:26 |  #1

Hi,

Okay, I know better than to ask this as pixel-peeping lenses always causes me far more trouble in the end, but now that I did I just gotta ask for your experience...

I just tested both lenses @ 70mm, pointed to a far off tree. Both @ 2.8. It appears to me both are stupid sharp, but the 70-200 is clearly a tiny tad sharper (I can see little tiny buds next to the leaves! more clearly).

As for the 24-70, I'm pretty sure I got a decent copy. I had 2 lenses at the same time (due to BH and Adorama running specials a little out of sync.) I tested both with test charts and I took the one that was very slightly sharper in the corners, though overall they were almost indistinguishable.

Lensrentals says that the 24-70 should be a little bit sharper:

http://www.lensrentals​.com …-f2-8-ii-resolution-tests (external link)

Generally I trust their tests.

So, what gives? Do you guys have the same experience?

EDIT: So I did some more googling and found:

http://www.lensrentals​.com …non-24-70-mk-ii-variation (external link)

According to this posting, Roger states that "If you pick one of our 24-70s and one of our 70-200s at random, there’s almost a 40% chance the 70-200 will have the same, or better, resolution."

Sigh... I really shouldn't have pixel-peeped. Never learn my lesson. Well, I suppose that since I tested 2 copies of the 24-70 and found them nearly identical, I would say that my copy is probably somewhere around average. Maybe I just got a super good copy of the 70-200!


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SamFrench
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Nov 18, 2013 03:10 |  #2

Are you happy with the photos you take? Isn't that the end goal?




  
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Xyclopx
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Nov 18, 2013 03:13 |  #3

SamFrench wrote in post #16460119 (external link)
Are you happy with the photos you take? Isn't that the end goal?

Yes. Pictures are great. Both lenses are stupid sharp. But that's not the point. This isn't about photography as an art. It's about whether the $4000 spent in lenses got me what i paid for.


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pyrojim
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Nov 18, 2013 03:39 as a reply to  @ Xyclopx's post |  #4

The 70-200mm IS2 is just that good.

Additionally going from 24mm to 70mm is very hard, and the glass bits that make a 24mm lens have some fairly radical curvature - even slight variation is going to show up. Making a 200mm lens is the very easy part.

The only thing that I've found to be sharper than the 70-200mm IS2 are the mamiya RZ lenses I use with a digital back(with no anti aliasing filter)...


Think about that for a few minutes. Then put the test charts away :)


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OneJZsupra
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Nov 18, 2013 03:46 |  #5

I imagine that they are both still awesome and wouldn't care too much.


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Nov 18, 2013 07:06 |  #6

I really don't understand the problem; both are "stupid sharp", right? Consider yourself lucky that the 70-200 is a tad sharper so you can crop images more; generally you don't need to crop 24-70 shots for "reach" reasons


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MakisM1
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Nov 18, 2013 09:17 |  #7

I own them both, they are both 'stupid sharp'...

My sense is that the EF 24-70 MkII is a bit stupider eeh.. sharper overall

BUT

it doesn't have the superb IS of the EF 70-200 MkII, so it can occasionally miss... by a country mile...

The EF 24-70 MkII seems to be more sensitive to the surrounding contrast. When I first got my second copy (my first was faulty), I was shooting a building in the distance in broad daylight through a (substantial) hole in the foliage outside my house. The 24-70 couldn't acquire focus to save its life. All I got was sharp green leaves. My EFS 18-200 at 70 would acquire focus instantly, and so did the Great White Father...

Also, the micro contrast is more even say than the EFS 18-200. This may appear as less sharpness, but it is really less artifacting:

100% crop comparison:

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david ­ lacey
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Nov 18, 2013 09:30 as a reply to  @ MakisM1's post |  #8

I cant really see a problem if any lens is as sharp as my 70-200 mk2 then it is a great lens for sharpness. Lets be honest we fiddle around with this crap waaaaayyyyyy to much and should be taking more pictures.




  
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SamFrench
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Nov 18, 2013 09:34 |  #9

I can fully appreciate one wanting to make sure that they got their money's worth from a product based on their own criteria. I can also appreciate that the more expensive product does not necessarily signify that it's the best or most appropriate or most desirable product to use in all cases. Each individual user must evaluate based on their determined criteria. Sometimes these sets of criteria and expectations are realistic and sometimes they might lean towards the unrealistic.




  
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Xyclopx
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Nov 18, 2013 10:45 |  #10

MakisM1 wrote in post #16460650 (external link)
The EF 24-70 MkII seems to be more sensitive to the surrounding contrast. When I first got my second copy (my first was faulty), I was shooting a building in the distance in broad daylight through a (substantial) hole in the foliage outside my house. The 24-70 couldn't acquire focus to save its life. All I got was sharp green leaves. My EFS 18-200 at 70 would acquire focus instantly, and so did the Great White Father...

Also, the micro contrast is more even say than the EFS 18-200. This may appear as less sharpness, but it is really less artifacting:

hi MakisM1,

can you explain this a little more? in your examples it does seem to me that the other lens has more contrast and is sharper--but you're saying that it actually isn't? also, i'm really surprised that a super zoom performs as good if not better than the $2300 24-70 ii. how is that possible?


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Invertalon
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Nov 18, 2013 11:16 |  #11

Keep in mind you are closer with the 70-200 II at 70mm than the 24-70 II at 70mm... It has longer focal length, which is very easily seen when using side by side. If I had to estimate, they are 5mm apart or so.

So details are closer and will appear sharper with the 70-200 II. You have to back up some with that lens to compare apples to apples.

In my experience with both, they are extremely close. Unless you notice significant difference, don't worry about it.


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DanAnCan
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Nov 18, 2013 11:19 |  #12

Remember that the 70-200ii is also ~6 years older than the 24-70ii.. Both very sharp, great lenses... They should be SIMILAR in terms of IQ.. Kinda miss my 70-200!


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Nov 18, 2013 11:50 |  #13

Most zoom lenses seem to get a bit softer near the long end of their zoom range, and that's where he's shooting the 24-70. Since they're both "stupid sharp", it doesn't really matter which is as sharp as a brand new razor, and which is as sharp as a razor that has been used one time, does it?


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Nov 18, 2013 12:38 |  #14

Xyclopx wrote in post #16460871 (external link)
hi MakisM1,

can you explain this a little more? in your examples it does seem to me that the other lens has more contrast and is sharper--but you're saying that it actually isn't? also, i'm really surprised that a super zoom performs as good if not better than the $2300 24-70 ii. how is that possible?

The superzoom shows more contrast, however, the contrast isn't actually there in reality... Both the EF 24-70 and the EF 70-200 show an unmistakable clarity that the EF-S 18-200 lacks. Although it appears just as sharp...

I think it is impressive that the EF-S 18-200 can hold its own against the vaunted L-lenses... Is it as good? No. It has the issues that you saw, plus Chromatic Aberration, plus Comma distortion. The most important... It doesn't have f2.8 throughout the range...

But the superzoom is good enough to take it for a 8 week tour to Greece, staying in rather cheap hotels with no safes and taking it to the beach. If it got stolen (along with the camera) it would be a loss, but not as bad of a loss as it would be if I took my Ls with me...

Am I paranoid? Perhaps... overcautious... most places are probably trustworthy enough but I don't know which ones are not...


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bobrmr
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Nov 18, 2013 20:52 |  #15

i think that's one of the many reasons the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II is such a popular lens. So flexible and the IQ is just amazing...




  
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My 70-200 2.8 II @ 70mm is sharper than my 24-70 II? Huh?
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