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Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?

"Just a quibble, but do we know which version of the 24-70 f/2.8 was used?"

 

It really doesn't matter as either version is a better lens than the 24-105mm f4.  I have used all three and like I said the 24-105mm is a, "best buy".  Not best lens.

I have not bought the newer version of the 24-70mm but I probably will.  It is good but not a great deal better than the one I have used for years.

You would not need all the fingers on one hand to count all the camera/lens combos that best a 5D Mk III with the 24-70mm f2.8 Mk II.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎12-12-2012

Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?

[ Edited ]

Thanks for all of the comments folks!

I see that some people said that the 6d photo looks sharper than the 5d one. As I mentioned, I had to reduce the size of the 5d photo to get it to upload to this forum and that has degraded the image. So here are links to the photos directly on flickr where you should be able to see all of the exposure data and perhaps see the actual images and EXIF data:

6d with 24-105L
https://www.flickr.com/photos/84183643@N04/15859922137/

5dM3 with 24-70 2.8
https://www.flickr.com/photos/84183643@N04/15423412574/

Yes, the photos were taken in different locations at different times with different exposures and in different light. I definitely understand that. What I'm trying to get at is the quality of the images. To me the 5d's just look at lot sharper and "real" to me. My friend and I travel a lot together and I've compared hundreds of our shots, and his all have more of that real quality that mine don't have. Mine just seem softer and less "live" and "real" in comparison. Perhaps "sharpness" is not technically the correct term to use, but to me that's what I see. There's a certain quality that all of his shots have that mine do not and that's what I'm trying to get at--if I need to get a different lens, a different camera, make some adjustments, have the lens/camera calibrated, etc.


RE: "Have you done AFMA on the lens?"

No, I have heard about it but am not sure how to do it myself or if I should have a professional do it.

 


RE: "Do you get better results with any other lenses?"

I've only shot on this camera with the 24-15L and a 70-300 USM which I know is a lesser lens and you can tell that in the images.

RE: "What shooting mode is this? Could the camera have set your shutter speed too low and you are getting subject or camera blur as a result?"
P mode, 1/160, f7.1, ISO 100, -2/3 exposure. I assume 1/160 would be fast enough to eliminate any shake--plus the lens's IS.

 

RE: "What AF point are you using? I virtually always pick one AF point (usually the center one) and place it over the eye of one of the subjects. I only use all active points and allow the camera to pick if I am shooting stopped down enough to have lots of depth of field (f/8 or higher) in case the camera picks the wrong AF points."

For the 6d, AF was set to multi. The focus point on my right shoulder. F7.1 should give it enough DOF to be sharp on us.

 

 

RE: "What AF mode? I never shoot in anything other than the largest resolution. Especially if any cropping will be dome."

I shot in medium fine size and RAW. I'm not really zooming in on the photos in my comparisons, I'm just looking at the photos at normal size on my monitor so I don't think the image size should make any difference, but correct me if I'm wrong.


RE: ebiggs1 - "The 24-70mm f2.8 is one of the best lenses made and the 24-105mm f4 is a good buy, being kind here!"
and
"It really doesn't matter as either version is a better lens than the 24-105mm f4.  I have used all three and like I said the 24-105mm is a, "best buy".  Not best lens."

Is that a known fact or your opinion? (Not ask that in a smart-alec way, just wondering :-)
If the 24-105L is really not that good of a lens I can accept that. Maybe that's the issue? The reviews of the lens here say it's really good and people say the sharpness is really good too, which is part of the reason that I'm unsure if the lens is the issur or not.
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/ef_lens_lineup/ef_24_105mm_f_4l_is_usm#Revie...

I'm not zooming in to infinity in examining the photos, I'm just looking at them on the monitor, and in the past in printed photos it was very obvious too that my friend's rig takes much better photos. But again, I'm trying to figure out if it's the lens or the camera.

From the Flickr links, maybe you folks will find something hidden in the EXIM data that's I'm doing wrong.

Thanks for your help!

 

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Reputable Contributor
Posts: 842
Registered: ‎03-06-2013

Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?

I don't think it's the camera. In your sample, the 6D photo was taken when light was harsh, thus you will see a lot of contrast and make image looks less pleasing. In contrast, the 5D image light was softer (near sunset). None of the photo was out of focus or having focus issue so I don't think AFMA is going to help much. Just my opinion, but I think it comes down to processing techniques and lighting issue.

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Weekend Travelers Blog | Eastern Sierra Fall Color Guide
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?

[ Edited ]
The 24-70 mk 2 will be a better lens but the 24-105 is reviewed well. Most reviewers had a hard time picking between it and the old mk 1 version of the 24-70 and the difference wasn't IQ but rather it was the IS and better focal range on one vs the wider aperture of the other. The new 24-70 is considerably better but the 24-105 is not suddenly garbage.

I think an upgrade someday might be good but maybe not necessarily your first upgrade priority. Instead of replacing not standard zoom with another one, do consider whether you might do better picking up a fast prime. (35 or 50mm) or maybe a stellar mid range zoom like the 70-200 f/2.8 mk 2. They will blow you away in iq and low light performance, color rendering, bokeh, etc. and you would be adding versatility to your lens collection by getting a different lens in there. Not saying that is the answer for you personally, just saying it is something to think about before laying out the cash.

One other thing you can do to add contrast/color (pop) to shots with sun reflection or glare in them is to always use the lens hood. Perhaps you already do.
Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
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Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?

RE: ebiggs1 - "The 24-70mm f2.8 is one of the best lenses made and the 24-105mm f4 is a good buy, being kind here!"
and
"It really doesn't matter as either version is a better lens than the 24-105mm f4.  I have used all three and like I said the 24-105mm is a, "best buy".  Not best lens."

 

Brad,

I own both the 24-70mm f2.8 and the 24-105mm f4 and I have used the new version of the 24-70mm f2.8 extensively.  The first two I have had for years, the latter I am still deciding on whether, at this stage of my life, to drop another two grand on a new lens.

Don't get me wrong here, the improvement and/or difference is not monumental but it is significant.

 

I will take exception with Scotty and tell you the 24-70mm f2.8 Mk II is a fantastic lens and maybe the best there is, period.

In order they would be 24-105mm, version 1 of the24-70mm and the best, version 2 of the 24-70mm.

 

Are you going to need a great enlargement to see?  That is for you to decide.

 

There are some other choices out there, too, if you wish.  The Tamron offering (24-70mm f2.8) is darn close to the best that Canon has and it is half the price.  It would be right below (very close) the version 2 Canon in my rating above.

 

The notion that IS makes the lens better is pure fantasy.  IS makes you better, not the lens.  A non-IS lens can and sometimes bests the IS version.

 

I also disagree with the statement that primes are better that the 24-70mm f2.8 II.  A given prime, possibly, but certainly not all primes.  The Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art comes to mind.

 

I can't put it any clearer, the EF 24-70mm f2.8 L II is a very hard lens to beat with anybodies lenses.  Wow, I am talking myself into getting one!

 

You may have other photos to make your conclusion but you can't make a positive one from the examples you shown here.

Will your photos be better with the 24-70mm f2.8, again in a word, yes.  Will they be worth a two thousand dollar lens?  You tell me.

 

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?


@ebiggs1 wrote:

 

I also disagree with the statement that primes are better that the 24-70mm f2.8 II.  A given prime, possibly, but certainly not all primes.  The Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art comes to mind.


Any fast prime beats the 24-70 II when you need faster than 2.8. 

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎12-12-2012

Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?

Probably the first thing I should say is that perhaps "sharpness" was the wrong word to use judging by all the comments saything that the 24-105's image is very sharp. Sharpness is the word that comes to my mind as being a big difference but maybe there are different, more precise words (that I'm not using) to describe what it is I see as a difference.

 

That being said, there is some quality that I consistently like in my buddy's photos with his 5d m3 & 24-70 2.8L that I don't see in my photos with my 6d & 24-105 f4L (having compared hundreds of our photos over 2 years.) Obviously I don't know how to put it into words though. To me, his look more realistic and mine look softer and more subdued.

One thing I thought of...does the 5d m3 have a better jpg processor than the 6d does? Maybe that could be a part of it?

 

I shoot in RAW and jpeg and I have photoshop and lightroom, but I have never had success getting my RAW photos to look as good as the jpegs straight from my camera. Obviously I could use some lessons in lightrooom and photoshop.

 

And also, I shoot 5000+ vacation and travel photos a year I can't see spending dozens of hours processing photos in RAW to get them into a good-looking and usable jpeg format, so for that reason I use the jpeg out of the camera or manipulate a few jpegs with lightroom/photoshop if I'm going to blow them up to 20x30 or something. And again, my buddy's jpegs straight from his 5d m3 look good enough for me without the hassle of RAW processing--so that is my benchmark at this point.

 

***Does anyone happen to know if the 24-70 f4.0L w/ IS has an equal or very similar IQ to the 24-70 2.8L?

IS is more important to me than the extra stop, as I take a lot of handheld travel photos as night/low light.

 

I think that I'm going to rent another 24-105L and compare it to my 24-105L. That will hopefully tell me if there's an issue with my lens. Then I'll likely also rent the two 24-70s and see if either of them give me the qualities that I'm looking for. If that doesn't do it I might send in my camera to canon to make sure all is well with it, and if that still doesn't give me what I'm looking for I guess I'll have to upgrade to the 5d M3.

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Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?

Please don't take this wrong but I really see no use for the 6D except as a place filler in the Canon line.  I think Canon woke up one day and said we have no entry in the FF field before three grand.  Some people don't want to spend that kind of money.  We are missing a lot of camera sales, so let's make a 6D.

Don't get me wrong, it is a very nice camera but it is the entry level FF from Canon.  It has to be made less.

 

The 6D has a lesser AF system, it has two Creative modes, it has one memory card slot and a few other smaller differences. Other than that they have essentially the same shutter, sensor, color control, resolution plus ISO range. I am not trying to say there are no differences as there is some minor differences in the sensor and shutter.  Frame rate is a little faster on a 5D.  View finder shows 100%.  Plus the build is more robust on a 5D.  It is just a better camera.

 

In that same vein is where I see the EF 24-70mm f4 L.   Canon saw a hole in the price line and saw a need for something to fill that gap.  I tried one and was not really impressed as it reminded me of a 24-105mm that couldn't go past 70mm.  I don't buy a lens because it has IS.  It is good to have but not a requirement.

 

You have to keep in mind Canon does not produce any camera/lens that isn't pretty darn good.  You are just trying to get the best results possible in your photos and don't have the top of the line stuff. I bet had you not compared your photos to your friends photos, you would be completely satisified.

I have been borrowing a friend's G15 for a week or so.  It takes amazing pictures.  Are they 1D MkIV with my 24-70mm f2.8? Well you already know that answer.

 

As far as RAW goes, you must use RAW.  You simply must shoot RAW.  You have LR.  With LR the conversion is totally automatic whether it is 5 or 5000 photos.  With a jpg, you are throwing away about 50% of your photo info.  With LR you can add adjustments to one or all the photos with just a simple click.  RAW vs his jpg can level the playing field.  IMHO, I would prefer to use your camera/lens and shoot RAW than use his 5D Mk III and lens combo and shoot jpg.  LR makes RAW so easy, there is no reason not to use it.

This is my .02 and worth every penny.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?

Brad,

A quick check of DxOMark shows exactly what I have been trying to say.  They list the combination of your 6D with the 24-105mm f4 has the ability to put 14 precieved mega-pixels on the photo.  While your friends 5D Mk III and his 24-70mm f2.8 can put 18 P-Mpix on target.

Actually not a fan of DxOMark but in this instance it does show there is going to be a significant difference in this one spec. Just for kicks, I typed in the 24-70mm f4 IS and it also does 14 P-Mpix.  Verifying my own finding, it isn't really different than what you already have except for the IS.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,815
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?

I'm beyond being "not a fan of DxOMark".  I'll come right out and state directly that I don't believe they are competent.    My issue with them is that they reach conclusions contrary to other tests and they don't show any data... they show "scores".  Precisely how they come up with these "scores" seems to be a carefully guarded secret.  

 

I can't do anything with a "score", but I sure can analyze data if only the data were made available.  And that's when I compare them to practically everybody else... who will actually show representative sample issues and describe their testing methods... which often seem to get results rather contrary to what DxO gets.

 

Conclusion:  DxO is not a reputable source of test results.

 

I'm an extremely science-minded person.  As a genralization... if you're not willing to disclose your ACTUAL data... it usually means you have something to hide.

 

Meanwhile back to the camera and the issue of "sharpness".

 

Please read this:  http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2008/12/this-lens-is-soft-and-other-myths

Next read this:  http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2009/06/have-you-seen-my-acutance

 

And finally... whenever you're trying to make a judgement about how "sharp" a lens might me, you'll need to recognize that a LOT of factors (many of which can be blamed on us... the photographers) can impact the accuracy of a test.  So the goal is to isolate the common causes of error from the test scenario.   

 

I can carefully focus a camera in one-shot mode, lock focus, but then change the way I'm leaning as I'm trying to compose the shot... and just that little bit of movement will now have moved my focus accuracy off by an inch or two.  That's the sort of "blame the photographer, not the gear" issue that I'm describing when I say you need to isolate those possibilities from the test.

 

To that end, use a test target and put the camera on a tripod.  I happen to have a comercial test target but you can easily download a test target and print one out.  Here's a favorite that I like to link:  http://regex.info/blog/photo-tech/focus-chart

 

A bit of carefully performed testing can help you deterine if your camera really has an issue and/or could benefit from some adjustment.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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