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Rethinking Canon 28-135 to 24-70 f2.8L

 
 
Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)
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      06-05-2004
Bill wrote:
> I'm transitioning from film (Olympus SLR) to a Canon 10d. Currently I have
> 28, 50, 75-150 for my Olympus and haven't been happy with the softness.
>
> I've was thinking of initially getting the 28-135 IS USM because of
> the range and it's relatively inexpensive. Now I'm concerned about
> the softness after reading more about it. Though I'm cringing at
> the price of the 24-70mm, I'm hoping I would get over it with the
> sharpness.
>
> I take photos on my travels, hikes and "snapshots".
>
> Any opinions?


Bill,

Here are some tests that show the sharpness of the 28-135 IS
versus other lenses.

http://clarkvision.com/imagedetail/r...lens-sharpness

It is very sharp, especially when stopped down. It is soft
wide open at 28mm. Overall a very good lens.
I do not have the 24-70 L (which is not IS, correct?).
Just because it is an "L" doesn't mean sharp (see the
100-400 L on the above page). Zooms will in general not
be as good as primes.
If the lens is not IS I would recommend skip[ping it.
There have been many times when the IS was
critical to getting a good image,
from inside old churches (e.g. the stained glass windows) in
Europe, to imaging from boats, horseback, or other
moving platforms/places where you can't use a tripod.

I value sharpness in my images a lot, drum scan many
images and make very large prints from 35mm and 4x5.

Photos, other digital and image detail info at:
http://clarkvision.com

Roger Clark

 
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Bill
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Posts: n/a
 
      06-05-2004
"Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" wrote:
> Here are some tests that show the sharpness of the 28-135 IS
> versus other lenses.
>
> http://clarkvision.com/imagedetail/r...lens-sharpness
>
> It is very sharp, especially when stopped down. It is soft
> wide open at 28mm. Overall a very good lens.
> I do not have the 24-70 L (which is not IS, correct?).
> Just because it is an "L" doesn't mean sharp (see the
> 100-400 L on the above page). Zooms will in general not
> be as good as primes.
> If the lens is not IS I would recommend skip[ping it.
> There have been many times when the IS was
> critical to getting a good image,
> from inside old churches (e.g. the stained glass windows) in
> Europe, to imaging from boats, horseback, or other
> moving platforms/places where you can't use a tripod.
>
> I value sharpness in my images a lot, drum scan many
> images and make very large prints from 35mm and 4x5.
>
> Photos, other digital and image detail info at:
> http://clarkvision.com


Thanks for the feedback Roger. The 24-70L isn't IS but
because it's short, I don't think it's something Canon
would put on.

I've been doing quite a bit of research, trying to find
as much as I can to compare lenses. The one site I found
very useful is:
http://www.photozone.de/2Equipment/easytxt.htm

My wish list has 16-35mm f2.8L USM and 70-200mm f4L USM
(or 70-200 f2.8L USM IS... 3 pounder).


I figure the 24-70L will get me started and allows coverage
of a normal 50mm lens plus much more. The other two lenses
will cover the wide angle and a decent telephoto range.

Have you ever used a monopod? I'm thinking of getting one
because I don't want to carry a tripod on my overseas
trip later this year.

Well, I transferred money into my checking account so I'm about
ready to make the plunge!
 
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Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-05-2004
Bill wrote:
> "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" wrote:
>
>>If the lens is not IS I would recommend skip[ping it.
>>There have been many times when the IS was
>>critical to getting a good image,
>>from inside old churches (e.g. the stained glass windows) in
>>Europe, to imaging from boats, horseback, or other
>>moving platforms/places where you can't use a tripod.


> Thanks for the feedback Roger. The 24-70L isn't IS but
> because it's short, I don't think it's something Canon
> would put on.


> Have you ever used a monopod? I'm thinking of getting one
> because I don't want to carry a tripod on my overseas
> trip later this year.


No, I don't use a monopod. Like I note above, there are
places where you can't use a tripod (or a monopod).
For example, museums and many churches. But, if you want to
take night shots, e.g. a city at night, you need a tripod.
A small tripod is great for that if you want to travel
light. If you are going overseas and want some different
pictures, take a tripod and do night scenes. Most people
don't have a tripod so don't get these images. My favorite
images in Florence, Italy are the night images along
the river. Then I got pictures of stained glass in a church
in Ireland on Fuji Velvia (iso 50) handheld at 1/8 sec
(no tripods allowed) and the IS helped keep the image
tack sharp. That's right after I got the 28-135 IS, and
I've been sold on IS, even on a short lens, ever since.

Do you have any IS lenses? If not, I strongly suggest
getting one and trying it before buying expensive
lenses that are not IS. I have IS from 28 to 500mm, and
would not want another lens without IS, unless it
is a very special lens. There are simply too many
situations where the IS helps get the image, and get it
sharp. Without IS the sharpest lens in the world
would not help because the image sharpness is limited
by movement, not the lens sharpness.

I am currently in a dilemma. I retired my 100-400L IS
because it is not sharp enough and have replaced it
with a 300 mm f/4 L IS (very sharp). But my next lens
down is the 28-135 IS, so I have a gap in the 200mm range.
What to choose: the 200mm f/2.8 fixed or the 70-200 mm
f/2.8 L IS? If the 200 is sharper, I want it, but it
doesn't have IS, so I'll probably go with the IS.
The sharpness difference is negligible in comparison to
what IS give you.

I hope this helps,

Roger

 
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Bill
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-05-2004
"Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" wrote:
>
> Bill wrote:
> > "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" wrote:
> >
> >>If the lens is not IS I would recommend skip[ping it.
> >>There have been many times when the IS was
> >>critical to getting a good image,
> >>from inside old churches (e.g. the stained glass windows) in
> >>Europe, to imaging from boats, horseback, or other
> >>moving platforms/places where you can't use a tripod.

>
> > Thanks for the feedback Roger. The 24-70L isn't IS but
> > because it's short, I don't think it's something Canon
> > would put on.

>
> > Have you ever used a monopod? I'm thinking of getting one
> > because I don't want to carry a tripod on my overseas
> > trip later this year.

>
> No, I don't use a monopod. Like I note above, there are
> places where you can't use a tripod (or a monopod).
> For example, museums and many churches. But, if you want to
> take night shots, e.g. a city at night, you need a tripod.
> A small tripod is great for that if you want to travel
> light. If you are going overseas and want some different
> pictures, take a tripod and do night scenes. Most people
> don't have a tripod so don't get these images. My favorite
> images in Florence, Italy are the night images along
> the river. Then I got pictures of stained glass in a church
> in Ireland on Fuji Velvia (iso 50) handheld at 1/8 sec
> (no tripods allowed) and the IS helped keep the image
> tack sharp. That's right after I got the 28-135 IS, and
> I've been sold on IS, even on a short lens, ever since.


I'm new to Canon so one of reasons I selected the 28-135 IS
as my initial lens is because of the IS. But after reading
how soft it was compared to the 24-70L and the 70-200L I
decided I should bite the bullet now.

The 28-135 and 28-300L are the only lenses that have IS
that cover an equivalent 50mm lens, which is my primary
objective for my first lens. Since the former isn't as
sharp and the latter is beyond my price range I think
the 24-70L is the lens I need. Though a soft IS lens
may be better than a hand-held non-IS lens in certain
circumstances, that situation is resolved by a tripod
as you indicated.

> Do you have any IS lenses? If not, I strongly suggest
> getting one and trying it before buying expensive
> lenses that are not IS. I have IS from 28 to 500mm, and
> would not want another lens without IS, unless it
> is a very special lens. There are simply too many
> situations where the IS helps get the image, and get it
> sharp. Without IS the sharpest lens in the world
> would not help because the image sharpness is limited
> by movement, not the lens sharpness.


I agree that IS would be ideal. However my budget
is constrained so I have to be picky with what lenses
I purchase.

> I am currently in a dilemma. I retired my 100-400L IS
> because it is not sharp enough and have replaced it
> with a 300 mm f/4 L IS (very sharp). But my next lens
> down is the 28-135 IS, so I have a gap in the 200mm range.
> What to choose: the 200mm f/2.8 fixed or the 70-200 mm
> f/2.8 L IS? If the 200 is sharper, I want it, but it
> doesn't have IS, so I'll probably go with the IS.
> The sharpness difference is negligible in comparison to
> what IS give you.
>
> I hope this helps,


Thanks for your assistance Roger!
 
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Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-05-2004
Bill wrote:

> I'm new to Canon so one of reasons I selected the 28-135 IS
> as my initial lens is because of the IS. But after reading
> how soft it was compared to the 24-70L and the 70-200L I
> decided I should bite the bullet now.


I guess I don't understand your impression that the
28-135 IS is soft. It only has one weak spot:
wide open at its shortest focal length. At f/ll,
which is where you would want to use most short lenses
for maximizing depth of field and sharpness on a tripod,
the lens is very sharp, and comparable to most
lenses. See:

http://clarkvision.com/imagedetail/r...lens-sharpness

At f/11 most lenses, L-series or not, are quite sharp.

I carry a 24mm f/2.8 fixed and the 28-135; they meet most
all my needs. If I think I might need 28 wide open, I'll
add the 28mm f/2.8 too. The 24 and 28 fixed are low cost but
sharp lenses. If you are really concerned
about sharpness use only primes and don't even look
at a zoom. If you really want
large prints, move to medium or large format. The
jump in image quality is astounding and far beyond the
meager differences in soft versus sharp 35mm lenses.

You also didn't mention what kind of film you use.
If you use 100 and higher speed film, the sharpness of ALL
the lenses on the above web page will NOT be an issue.
Only if you use slow speed high resolution film like fuji velvia
(ISO 50) will such issues be evident. Then you will hit
other limits to image sharpness: e.g. tripod. To take
advantage of the sharpest lenses, using fine grained
film, you need a sturdy tripod (= weight and/or many $$$$).

I use the 28-135 for landscape (when I don't have time for
the 4x5) and make 20x30 inch enlargements that are very sharp.
I use a tripod, and stop down to f/11 and use fine grained film.
If I'm doing snapshots handheld, the IS make the difference,
and I carry the 28-135 IS. I now use a carbon fiber tripod
(gitzo 132.

Roger




 
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Skip M
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-05-2004
"Bill" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" wrote:
> >
> > Bill wrote:
> > > "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" wrote:
> > >
> > >>If the lens is not IS I would recommend skip[ping it.
> > >>There have been many times when the IS was
> > >>critical to getting a good image,
> > >>from inside old churches (e.g. the stained glass windows) in
> > >>Europe, to imaging from boats, horseback, or other
> > >>moving platforms/places where you can't use a tripod.

> >
> > > Thanks for the feedback Roger. The 24-70L isn't IS but
> > > because it's short, I don't think it's something Canon
> > > would put on.

> >
> > > Have you ever used a monopod? I'm thinking of getting one
> > > because I don't want to carry a tripod on my overseas
> > > trip later this year.

> >
> > No, I don't use a monopod. Like I note above, there are
> > places where you can't use a tripod (or a monopod).
> > For example, museums and many churches. But, if you want to
> > take night shots, e.g. a city at night, you need a tripod.
> > A small tripod is great for that if you want to travel
> > light. If you are going overseas and want some different
> > pictures, take a tripod and do night scenes. Most people
> > don't have a tripod so don't get these images. My favorite
> > images in Florence, Italy are the night images along
> > the river. Then I got pictures of stained glass in a church
> > in Ireland on Fuji Velvia (iso 50) handheld at 1/8 sec
> > (no tripods allowed) and the IS helped keep the image
> > tack sharp. That's right after I got the 28-135 IS, and
> > I've been sold on IS, even on a short lens, ever since.

>
> I'm new to Canon so one of reasons I selected the 28-135 IS
> as my initial lens is because of the IS. But after reading
> how soft it was compared to the 24-70L and the 70-200L I
> decided I should bite the bullet now.
>
> The 28-135 and 28-300L are the only lenses that have IS
> that cover an equivalent 50mm lens, which is my primary
> objective for my first lens. Since the former isn't as
> sharp and the latter is beyond my price range I think
> the 24-70L is the lens I need. Though a soft IS lens
> may be better than a hand-held non-IS lens in certain
> circumstances, that situation is resolved by a tripod
> as you indicated.
>
> > Do you have any IS lenses? If not, I strongly suggest
> > getting one and trying it before buying expensive
> > lenses that are not IS. I have IS from 28 to 500mm, and
> > would not want another lens without IS, unless it
> > is a very special lens. There are simply too many
> > situations where the IS helps get the image, and get it
> > sharp. Without IS the sharpest lens in the world
> > would not help because the image sharpness is limited
> > by movement, not the lens sharpness.

>
> I agree that IS would be ideal. However my budget
> is constrained so I have to be picky with what lenses
> I purchase.
>



>
> Thanks for your assistance Roger!


How sharp do you need? I've looked at Roger's tests, and, frankly, I
haven't had them confirmed in real life shooting. These images were shot
with the 28-135IS:
http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com/jeff.htm

http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com/Alexia.html

http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com/Suspended.html (D30)

http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com/age.htm

This last one was shot at 50mm f4 at 1/4 sec, hand held. IS will save the
shot when you need it to.

--
Skip Middleton
http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com


 
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Bill
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-05-2004
I guess I should have written that I'm reading that
the 28-135 IS is "softer" than the 24-70L. I read
that people love the 28-135 IS so that's why I'm
in a quandary.

Trying to decide between the two lenses is difficult.
I have looked at the MTF charts of the two and overall
the L lens seems to be better. Hearing differing
opinions help but it's still subjective.

I haven't decided exactly what I want for wide angle.
I have thought about both prime and zoom but that
decision will be after my initial purchase.

I generally used 100 and higher. I haven't been
been happy with the sharpness but never investigated
the reason, whether mechanical problems or
photographer problems. So I'm starting from
scratch with all new Canon equipment.

BTW, I pulled my father's old Zeis-Ikon 120 film
camera (circa 1952) and only shot a couple of rolls.
I still need to play around with it.

Well, maybe I'll go back to the idea of renting
the two lenses and play before I buy.

Thanks again.

Bill



"Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" wrote:
>
> Bill wrote:
>
> > I'm new to Canon so one of reasons I selected the 28-135 IS
> > as my initial lens is because of the IS. But after reading
> > how soft it was compared to the 24-70L and the 70-200L I
> > decided I should bite the bullet now.

>
> I guess I don't understand your impression that the
> 28-135 IS is soft. It only has one weak spot:
> wide open at its shortest focal length. At f/ll,
> which is where you would want to use most short lenses
> for maximizing depth of field and sharpness on a tripod,
> the lens is very sharp, and comparable to most
> lenses. See:
>
> http://clarkvision.com/imagedetail/r...lens-sharpness
>
> At f/11 most lenses, L-series or not, are quite sharp.
>
> I carry a 24mm f/2.8 fixed and the 28-135; they meet most
> all my needs. If I think I might need 28 wide open, I'll
> add the 28mm f/2.8 too. The 24 and 28 fixed are low cost but
> sharp lenses. If you are really concerned
> about sharpness use only primes and don't even look
> at a zoom. If you really want
> large prints, move to medium or large format. The
> jump in image quality is astounding and far beyond the
> meager differences in soft versus sharp 35mm lenses.
>
> You also didn't mention what kind of film you use.
> If you use 100 and higher speed film, the sharpness of ALL
> the lenses on the above web page will NOT be an issue.
> Only if you use slow speed high resolution film like fuji velvia
> (ISO 50) will such issues be evident. Then you will hit
> other limits to image sharpness: e.g. tripod. To take
> advantage of the sharpest lenses, using fine grained
> film, you need a sturdy tripod (= weight and/or many $$$$).
>
> I use the 28-135 for landscape (when I don't have time for
> the 4x5) and make 20x30 inch enlargements that are very sharp.
> I use a tripod, and stop down to f/11 and use fine grained film.
> If I'm doing snapshots handheld, the IS make the difference,
> and I carry the 28-135 IS. I now use a carbon fiber tripod
> (gitzo 132.
>
> Roger


--
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Bruce Hatakeyama
(E-Mail Removed)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
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Bill
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-05-2004
Hi Skip,

I didn't mean to malign the 128-135IS. I know that it is an
excellent lens and it can produce excellent results.

How sharp do I need? I don't know. Perhaps the 128-135IS
is sharp enough. I'm thinking that perhaps I need to go
with the idea of renting both lenses before I buy.

Thanks for your feedback.

bill

> How sharp do you need? I've looked at Roger's tests, and, frankly, I
> haven't had them confirmed in real life shooting. These images were shot
> with the 28-135IS:
> http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com/jeff.htm
>
> http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com/Alexia.html
>
> http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com/Suspended.html (D30)
>
> http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com/age.htm

 
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Brian C. Baird
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Posts: n/a
 
      06-06-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) says...
> Well, maybe I'll go back to the idea of renting
> the two lenses and play before I buy.
>
> Thanks again.
>
> Bill


That's probably the best bet. No doubt the 24-70L is a fine lens (that
I would love to add to my collection), but I can't see giving up my 28-
135 at any point. It's too flexible for me to rule out altogether
unless they come out with a fixed maximum aperture model. Please Canon?
 
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Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)
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Posts: n/a
 
      06-06-2004
Skip M wrote:


> How sharp do you need? I've looked at Roger's tests, and, frankly, I
> haven't had them confirmed in real life shooting.


Skip,
What do you mean by my tests not confirmed by your real
life shooting? Do you mean you don't see the
sharpness, or you don't see softness and 28mm wide open,
or ....?

Your images below are very nice, but unless we see
full resolution enlargements, they tell us nothing
about ultimate sharpness, only that the small
image is sharp.

Roger

> These images were shot
> with the 28-135IS:
> http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com/jeff.htm
>
> http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com/Alexia.html
>
> http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com/Suspended.html (D30)
>
> http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com/age.htm
>
> This last one was shot at 50mm f4 at 1/4 sec, hand held. IS will save the
> shot when you need it to.
>


 
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