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Comparing lens on Canon 70D - Not really happy with EF-S 17-55

fredclips
Contributor

As the title says, I've never been happy with my EF-S 17-55 lens.

It has always sort of 'felt' softer than I would like... I completely understand this might just be me!

This is why I've (finally) done some testing and would very much like the thoughts of others regarding this.

 

In these tests I've tried to use the same settings for each of the lens I used.

All photos have been shot at 

 

Exposure 1/100 at f/5.0

ISO between 100 and 160

All at around the same distance and zoom. (expect the 100mm of course)

Camera was mounted on a tripod and I used a remote trigger. (Image Stablisation turned OFF)

 

I tested the following Lens,

Kit lens EFS 18-55

EF 100mm 2.8 Macro lens. (not the L)

Niffty Fifty

and my large EF-S 17-55 2.8

 

I also took the photos both with and without Liveview. (As the camera focus differently in each)

Several photos were taken at each setting, only the sharpest have been included here.

 

https://www.flickr.com/gp/40776448@N02/JTKkrd

 

Can I ask what others think?

To me the 100mm Macro and the Nifty Fifty are the sharpest by far. Both in and out of Liveview.

The Kit lens looks as I would expect.

 

But the EFS 17-55 just looks unfocused without liveview and I don't feel the liveview is as sharp as the prime lens.

 

Is that correct? I don't know if I'm just expecting a zoom (quality I believe) lens to preform as well as a prime? (even a cheap 50mm?)

 

Thanks all, any feedback would be great.

 

 * I would like to apologize for the subject of the photos!

I failed to get my teenaged daughters, 3 year old, or partner, to sit still long enough to do this correctly.

So it had to be me...

 

17 REPLIES 17

Peter
Authority

Can you upload an untouched image here of the 17-55/2,8 viewfinder? I want to check your focus points in DPP.

 

About the other lenses, yes, 50/1,8 is a good lens.

I think I sort of hoped that the 17-55 at more than 10 times the cost, might be able to match the 50mm!

 

Here is that photo, untouched.

BTW: I did set the camera to only use the centre point for focus. (Trying to eliminate randomness)

 

EFS 17-55 Viewfinder.jpg

What I see the focus is on the eye. If you use 2,8 instead live view vs viewfinder please upload again.

It just happens I do have a couple of those at 2.8

Only did these with the 17-55. Although, in the past, the 50mm and 100mm Macro have looked good around this aperture. 

 

There were also before I locked down my testing, I wasn't using a single centre point for focus.

 

However, the viewfinder image shown here at 2.8 is honestly not unusally. If I'm shooting at 2.8 I always try and just use the viewfinder or the photos are just not sharp at all.

 

(It's not like I haven't taken sharp photos at 2.8. I have with other lens in the past, but they were all primes. It's just that I don't seem to be able to do it with this lens)

 

Viewfinder

EFS 17-55 2 dot 8 Viewfinder.jpg

 

 

 

Liveview (This was too large to post, this is a close up screen shot with the Focus point highlighted)

EFS 17-55 2 dot 8 Liveview_C.jpg

 

 

 

 

I really don't understand your query here.  You are not simply not comparing apples to oranges but apples to horse flies.

 

You just can't compare zooms to primes and than add a macro prime.  Why would anyone be surprised that the kit lens isn't the sharpest?  Oh, BTW, how about adding viewfinder to liveview?

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


@ebiggs1 wrote:

I really don't understand your query here.  You are not simply not comparing apples to oranges but apples to horse flies.

 

You just can't compare zooms to primes and than add a macro prime.  Why would anyone be surprised that the kit lens isn't the sharpest?  Oh, BTW, how about adding viewfinder to liveview?


The kit lens is really just included because I 'could'!

The main point of including the other lens in to prove that the Canon 70D itself can actually be sharp. Which I haven't really experienced while using the EFS 17-55. (Which NOT a kit lens!)

 

I was (perhaps incorrectly) expecting that a lens that costs 9x more than a 50mm prime might be almost as sharp.

(Australian prices are EFS 17-55 = $1149, EF 50mm = $129)

Peter
Authority
Something seems wrong with your 17-55. Live view is always correct, but the viewfinder thingy may need a calibration.
Make a proper test. Put your micro adjustment to 0, put the camera 2 meters away from your target. A QR-code is a perfect object. 55 mm, aperture 2.8 and use live view to focus and take a picture. That picture will be your good one. After that you use your viewfinder. Take a picture. Unfocus and focus and take a picture again.

Question, do you have two micro adjustment values in your 70D? I have it in my 6D but not in my 7D. If you have two values, I have a software you may like. If you only have one value and your lens focus wrong, send it in for calibration.


@Peter wrote:
Something seems wrong with your 17-55. Live view is always correct, but the viewfinder thingy may need a calibration.
Make a proper test. Put your micro adjustment to 0, put the camera 2 meters away from your target. A QR-code is a perfect object. 55 mm, aperture 2.8 and use live view to focus and take a picture. That picture will be your good one. After that you use your viewfinder. Take a picture. Unfocus and focus and take a picture again.

Question, do you have two micro adjustment values in your 70D? I have it in my 6D but not in my 7D. If you have two values, I have a software you may like. If you only have one value and your lens focus wrong, send it in for calibration.

Thanks for that info. I will run the tests later and post the results.

 

Do you think the Liveview quality is ok?

The liveview, even though MUCH better than the viewfinder, doesn't look that great to me.

I could just be expecting too much from it...

But as the lens cost so much (at my budget level) I was hoping for a little more.

 

Peter
Authority
Seems you have two values in W mode and T mode. Do the tests and tell me later.
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