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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 03 Dec 2008 (Wednesday) 13:16
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Mini test: Canon EF 24-70 vs. EF-S 18-55 kit lens

 
Pearlallica
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Dec 03, 2008 13:16 |  #1

Test optimzed to 1000px wide monitors. Sorry if it's too large - my monitor is 1920px)

Since comparing the Canon EF 24-70 L to the EF-S 18-55 has been a bit of a curiosity to me, I thought I'd compare the two now since the question was raised in another post.

I took a shot with some challenging dynamic range using the same exposure settings for both lenses. I tried to match the focal length on both lenses, but you'll notice they didn't turn out exactly the same. My testing of the two lenses were fairly straight forward and I didn't go through a series of changed settings or conditions like more patient testers might.

I used a remote shutter, tripod and mirror slap enabled at ISO 200. Images were shot in RAW and all lightroom developer settings were disabled (sharpening, tone correction, etc.). They were exported to photoshop and cropped for closer inspection.

(1) Full images, resized to 500px (width) each.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE



(2) 100% untouched at 1:1 view. Near-center portion is cropped.
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE



(3) 100% untouched at 1:1 view. Near-center portion is cropped.
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE



(4) 100% untouched at 1:1 view. Near-top portion is cropped.
- a view of the blown out background and its effect on the subject matter.
- EF lens on left, EFS lens on right.
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


Conclusion: The results speak for themselves - sharpness, color and contrast are in favor of the Canon EF 24-70 F/2.8 L lens (no surprises!). The EF-S kit lens holds up to its reputation as a good value lens. Some slight distortion is also evident in the EFS shot.

You may want to import the larger images into photoshop as layers (turning off and on) for a better visual comparison.

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Superficialodds
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Dec 03, 2008 13:30 |  #2

Both lenses shot the flowers very well, images are nearly indistinguishable to me.




  
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Pearlallica
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Dec 03, 2008 13:35 |  #3

It's the fault of the test. Colors and light/dark values are limited. Even detail is limited to flower edges since there really aren't a lot of sharp textures to be seen.

It's been said before, but if you print at 5x7 then the lens you really makes little difference (other than for the sake of challenging conditions). I suppose under controlled, studio conditions, this theory holds its strength best. It's funny that after all in the investments I've made in expensive glass, the performance I gain or only appreciated at very large prints which are few and far between the scrapbook pictures most clients order.


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versedmb
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Dec 03, 2008 13:42 |  #4

This test shows how good the new 18-55 IS really is; its a great lens for the money.


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MKVMAX
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Dec 03, 2008 13:52 |  #5

Yeah! Definitely what I was looking for!

Thanks a lot!

The difference is there!


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sheawyatt
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Dec 03, 2008 13:58 |  #6

How does the 18-55 perform at f/2.8?

Oh wait...


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Nick_b
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Dec 03, 2008 14:12 |  #7

sheawyatt wrote in post #6806149 (external link)
How does the 18-55 perform at f/2.8?

Oh wait...

I don't think she was discussing the overall performance of the two lenses. It's just a test shot.


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ommmjido
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Dec 03, 2008 16:07 |  #8

sheawyatt wrote in post #6806149 (external link)
How does the 18-55 perform at f/2.8?

Oh wait...

N/A haha...


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Perry ­ Ge
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Dec 03, 2008 17:24 |  #9

Red flowers are pretty bad test subjects because it's too easy to blow the red channel on Canon DSLRs, so you lose a lot of detail.


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BeritOlam
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Dec 03, 2008 18:44 |  #10

sheawyatt wrote in post #6806149 (external link)
How does the 18-55 perform at f/2.8?
Oh wait...

Aperture snob!!! :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

There's a reason the 18-55 is called a 'consumer' lens and the 24-70 is called a 'pro' lens! ;)

This test demonstrates why most 'consumers' can be perfectly happy with an 18-55 kit lens.


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madhatter04
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Dec 03, 2008 18:57 |  #11

But won't more or less every lens perform well at f/8? ;(
(I'm all for cheaper lenses as my signature states, but...)


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bsawle
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Dec 03, 2008 18:58 |  #12

At F8 most kit lens are eaqual to the L glass.


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_Sim
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Dec 03, 2008 19:02 |  #13

Oh good, I was starting to wonder what everyone was seeing that I wasn't. Looking at the pictures above, I didn't think there were very noticable differences between the pictures... at least not enough to warrant the price difference. But as a few other posters said, it'd be a different story at 2.8.


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Pearlallica
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Dec 03, 2008 19:37 |  #14

perryge wrote in post #6807386 (external link)
Red flowers are pretty bad test subjects because it's too easy to blow the red channel on Canon DSLRs, so you lose a lot of detail.

lol - your point is very much noted for any future tests I try out.

On the EF-S lens, at the focal length I was using, the narrowest aperture that I could use was f/5. I suppose I could have used this setting as a starting point. I was trying to eliminate any low depth of field that may have been produced since the flowers were a little over 2 feet from the lens so that I could produce a fully focused photograph.

I would have liked to go outside and shoot something further away with detail (ie. car) but there's a major snow storm outside, and well you know the rest.


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JeffreyG
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Dec 03, 2008 19:44 |  #15

Pearlallica wrote in post #6808164 (external link)
lol - your point is very much noted for any future tests I try out.

On the EF-S lens, at the focal length I was using, the narrowest aperture that I could use was f/5. I suppose I could have used this setting as a starting point. I was trying to eliminate any low depth of field that may have been produced since the flowers were a little over 2 feet from the lens so that I could produce a fully focused photograph.

I would have liked to go outside and shoot something further away with detail (ie. car) but there's a major snow storm outside, and well you know the rest.

That's OK, you still illustrated useful points. Yes, the L is a little better in the test, but the difference is small. This is what I would expect with both lenses stopped down.

The real 'purpose' in the more expensive lenses is not only that they are generally faster, but they are also better wide open. I would expect a bigger difference between the 'L' and the 18-55 with both wide open, and probably a noticeable difference with both shot at f/5.


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Mini test: Canon EF 24-70 vs. EF-S 18-55 kit lens
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