Re: Performance Issue: Canon Lenses or Camera Body Causing Softer Focus

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by David J Taylor, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. "SneakyP" <> wrote in message
    news:Xns9DB51DD82567448umofa02sneakemailc@127.0.0.1...
    > Looking for recomendations on stepping up from that horrid 18-55mm zoom
    > kit
    > lens in a Canon to a decent zoom lens for a sharper picture. Problem
    > is,
    > what is the better option? Get the Lens that has a quality of
    > acceptable
    > sharpness in that particular camera body, or get the camera with better
    > sensor capabilities?
    >
    > My strategy was to always go with investing in lenses first, before even
    > having a looksee at what else is there to buy in a camera body.
    >
    > I use the Canon Rebel XS, so my range may be limited, but I still want
    > to
    > have upwards mobility for the lenses. IOW - is that sharpness the best
    > I
    > can expect from this camera body, or does it get ridiculously steeper in
    > price as a better zoom lens is found?
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > SneakyP
    > To email me, you know what to do.


    Some people feel that Nikon offers better value in medium priced lenses
    than Canon - Nikon don't have a two-tier quality system as Canon does with
    its "L" lenses.

    Having said that, I had thought that Canon's current "kit" lens was
    supposed to be much improved on its earlier version.

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Jul 14, 2010
    #1
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  2. David J Taylor

    Bruce Guest

    On Wed, 14 Jul 2010 10:05:49 +0100, "David J Taylor"
    <> wrote:
    >
    >Some people feel that Nikon offers better value in medium priced lenses
    >than Canon - Nikon don't have a two-tier quality system as Canon does with
    >its "L" lenses.



    Nothing could be further from the truth. Nikon has a range of
    consumer-grade lenses and a range of professional lenses, just like
    Canon.

    The pro lenses are perhaps not as clearly designated as Canon's "L"
    series. However, anyone who can afford to buy them knows *exactly*
    which ones they are.
     
    Bruce, Jul 14, 2010
    #2
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  3. David J Taylor

    Ofnuts Guest

    Re: Performance Issue: Canon Lenses or Camera Body Causing SofterFocus

    On 14/07/2010 11:05, David J Taylor wrote:
    > "SneakyP" <> wrote in message
    > news:Xns9DB51DD82567448umofa02sneakemailc@127.0.0.1...
    >> Looking for recomendations on stepping up from that horrid 18-55mm
    >> zoom kit
    >> lens in a Canon to a decent zoom lens for a sharper picture. Problem is,
    >> what is the better option? Get the Lens that has a quality of acceptable
    >> sharpness in that particular camera body, or get the camera with better
    >> sensor capabilities?
    >>
    >> My strategy was to always go with investing in lenses first, before even
    >> having a looksee at what else is there to buy in a camera body.
    >>
    >> I use the Canon Rebel XS, so my range may be limited, but I still want to
    >> have upwards mobility for the lenses. IOW - is that sharpness the best I
    >> can expect from this camera body, or does it get ridiculously steeper in
    >> price as a better zoom lens is found?
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> --
    >> SneakyP
    >> To email me, you know what to do.

    >
    > Some people feel that Nikon offers better value in medium priced lenses
    > than Canon - Nikon don't have a two-tier quality system as Canon does
    > with its "L" lenses.
    >
    > Having said that, I had thought that Canon's current "kit" lens was
    > supposed to be much improved on its earlier version.


    The XS (aka 1000D) comes with the previous generation kit lens, that has
    no IS, and is optically not so good.

    But even good kit lenses such as the 18-55 IS are kit lenses, and I've
    added some decent lenses to my XSi (including the Canon 100mm macro)
    that clearly improved the results.

    --
    Bertrand
     
    Ofnuts, Jul 14, 2010
    #3
  4. David J Taylor

    krishnananda Guest

    In article <i1julf$m14$-september.org>,
    "David J Taylor" <> wrote:

    > "SneakyP" <> wrote in message
    > news:Xns9DB51DD82567448umofa02sneakemailc@127.0.0.1...
    > > Looking for recomendations on stepping up from that horrid 18-55mm zoom
    > > kit
    > > lens in a Canon to a decent zoom lens for a sharper picture. Problem
    > > is,
    > > what is the better option? Get the Lens that has a quality of
    > > acceptable
    > > sharpness in that particular camera body, or get the camera with better
    > > sensor capabilities?
    > >
    > > My strategy was to always go with investing in lenses first, before even
    > > having a looksee at what else is there to buy in a camera body.
    > >
    > > I use the Canon Rebel XS, so my range may be limited, but I still want
    > > to
    > > have upwards mobility for the lenses. IOW - is that sharpness the best
    > > I
    > > can expect from this camera body, or does it get ridiculously steeper in
    > > price as a better zoom lens is found?
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > --
    > > SneakyP
    > > To email me, you know what to do.

    >
    > Some people feel that Nikon offers better value in medium priced lenses
    > than Canon - Nikon don't have a two-tier quality system as Canon does with
    > its "L" lenses.
    >
    > Having said that, I had thought that Canon's current "kit" lens was
    > supposed to be much improved on its earlier version.
    >
    > David


    A quick peek at Nikon's website shows they still differentiate between
    lower-priced "G" lenses and higher-priced "D" lenses. I have no personal
    experience with either so I don't know what the quality difference is.
    The "D" zooms are mostly constant-aperture f/2.8 and the "G" zooms are
    variable-aperture f/3.5-4.5 or f/3.5-5.6

    As far as lens vs. body, as long as the flange-to-sensor distance is
    correct the lens _should_ bear most of the sharpness burden. However
    it's worth trying the same lens on your camera and on a different body
    at the camera shop to be sure.
     
    krishnananda, Jul 14, 2010
    #4
  5. David J Taylor

    Peter Guest

    "krishnananda" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In article <i1julf$m14$-september.org>,
    > "David J Taylor" <> wrote:
    >
    >> "SneakyP" <> wrote in message
    >> news:Xns9DB51DD82567448umofa02sneakemailc@127.0.0.1...
    >> > Looking for recomendations on stepping up from that horrid 18-55mm zoom
    >> > kit
    >> > lens in a Canon to a decent zoom lens for a sharper picture. Problem
    >> > is,
    >> > what is the better option? Get the Lens that has a quality of
    >> > acceptable
    >> > sharpness in that particular camera body, or get the camera with better
    >> > sensor capabilities?
    >> >
    >> > My strategy was to always go with investing in lenses first, before
    >> > even
    >> > having a looksee at what else is there to buy in a camera body.
    >> >
    >> > I use the Canon Rebel XS, so my range may be limited, but I still want
    >> > to
    >> > have upwards mobility for the lenses. IOW - is that sharpness the best
    >> > I
    >> > can expect from this camera body, or does it get ridiculously steeper
    >> > in
    >> > price as a better zoom lens is found?
    >> >
    >> >
    >> >
    >> > --
    >> > SneakyP
    >> > To email me, you know what to do.

    >>
    >> Some people feel that Nikon offers better value in medium priced lenses
    >> than Canon - Nikon don't have a two-tier quality system as Canon does
    >> with
    >> its "L" lenses.
    >>
    >> Having said that, I had thought that Canon's current "kit" lens was
    >> supposed to be much improved on its earlier version.
    >>
    >> David

    >
    > A quick peek at Nikon's website shows they still differentiate between
    > lower-priced "G" lenses and higher-priced "D" lenses. I have no personal
    > experience with either so I don't know what the quality difference is.
    > The "D" zooms are mostly constant-aperture f/2.8 and the "G" zooms are
    > variable-aperture f/3.5-4.5 or f/3.5-5.6
    >
    > As far as lens vs. body, as long as the flange-to-sensor distance is
    > correct the lens _should_ bear most of the sharpness burden. However
    > it's worth trying the same lens on your camera and on a different body
    > at the camera shop to be sure.




    Almost, but not quite right.
    Some of the G lenses, such as the 70-200 f2.8 and the 200-400 f4, are pro
    quality with fixed aperture. For more complete information:

    http://www.nikonusa.com/Find-Your-Nikon/Camera-Lenses/index.page


    G simply means there is no aperture control ring on the lens. I know it can
    get confusing.

    --
    Peter
     
    Peter, Jul 14, 2010
    #5
  6. David J Taylor

    Bruce Guest

    On Wed, 14 Jul 2010 09:04:08 -0400, krishnananda
    <> wrote:

    >A quick peek at Nikon's website shows they still differentiate between
    >lower-priced "G" lenses and higher-priced "D" lenses. I have no personal
    >experience with either so I don't know what the quality difference is.
    >The "D" zooms are mostly constant-aperture f/2.8 and the "G" zooms are
    >variable-aperture f/3.5-4.5 or f/3.5-5.6



    Nonsense! G and D designations have absolutely nothing to do with
    pricing, nor do they give any indication of optical quality.

    For example, the AF Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6G is inexpensive junk zoom
    lens costing a mere $120.00 and delivering mediocre results.
    Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale, the AF-S VR Nikkor 600mm
    f/4G is a $10,300.00 lens offering the very highest optical quality.

    Both are G lenses.

    All the G tells you is that the lens is one of the newer models
    without an aperture ring. D lenses have aperture rings.

    A G lens is also a D lens because it offers the lens-to-camera
    communication of focusing distance that is used by Nikon's 3D Matrix
    metering to compute exposures for ambient light and flash.

    Nikon is gradually replacing its D lenses with G lenses, but some of
    the remaining D lenses are still among Nikon's very best performers.
     
    Bruce, Jul 14, 2010
    #6
  7. "Bruce" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Wed, 14 Jul 2010 10:05:49 +0100, "David J Taylor"
    > <> wrote:
    >>
    >>Some people feel that Nikon offers better value in medium priced lenses
    >>than Canon - Nikon don't have a two-tier quality system as Canon does
    >>with
    >>its "L" lenses.

    >
    >
    > Nothing could be further from the truth. Nikon has a range of
    > consumer-grade lenses and a range of professional lenses, just like
    > Canon.
    >
    > The pro lenses are perhaps not as clearly designated as Canon's "L"
    > series. However, anyone who can afford to buy them knows *exactly*
    > which ones they are.


    I don't think that Nikon have a two-tier system, but obviously, some of
    their lenses are better than others and I feel they offer a range of
    quality, not simply "L" and "non-L". Do you feel that Nikon offers better
    value than Canon in medium priced lenses?

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Jul 14, 2010
    #7
  8. David J Taylor

    Peter Guest

    "David J Taylor" <> wrote in message
    news:i1kv18$uhh$-september.org...

    >
    > I don't think that Nikon have a two-tier system, but obviously, some of
    > their lenses are better than others and I feel they offer a range of
    > quality, not simply "L" and "non-L". Do you feel that Nikon offers better
    > value than Canon in medium priced lenses?
    >


    The dollar value is about equal. If you are willing to give up VR you will
    get even better value. Both make some very fine optics.

    --
    Peter
     
    Peter, Jul 14, 2010
    #8
  9. David J Taylor

    Bruce Guest

    On Wed, 14 Jul 2010 19:18:15 +0100, "David J Taylor"
    <> wrote:
    >"Bruce" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> On Wed, 14 Jul 2010 10:05:49 +0100, "David J Taylor"
    >> <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>Some people feel that Nikon offers better value in medium priced lenses
    >>>than Canon - Nikon don't have a two-tier quality system as Canon does
    >>>with
    >>>its "L" lenses.

    >>
    >>
    >> Nothing could be further from the truth. Nikon has a range of
    >> consumer-grade lenses and a range of professional lenses, just like
    >> Canon.
    >>
    >> The pro lenses are perhaps not as clearly designated as Canon's "L"
    >> series. However, anyone who can afford to buy them knows *exactly*
    >> which ones they are.

    >
    >I don't think that Nikon have a two-tier system



    Then we disagree. And L doesn't mean "professional". All it means
    the lens has at least one exotic glass element. Almost all Canon
    professional lenses are L lenses, but not all L lenses are
    professional lenses. In exactly the same way, you will find the
    letters "ED" on some very ordinary Nikkors.


    >, but obviously, some of
    >their lenses are better than others and I feel they offer a range of
    >quality, not simply "L" and "non-L".



    Neither Canon nor Nikon has a range of lenses that is polarised into
    "good" and "bad". But they both have a consumer range and a
    professional range. Obviously, there is something of a grey area in
    the middle with some consumer-grade lenses producing better results
    than their prices might suggest, but with both brands, the build
    quality makes for a pretty clear divide between the two ranges.


    >Do you feel that Nikon offers better
    >value than Canon in medium priced lenses?



    No, they are probably about the same. Nikon definitely has the edge
    in wide angle zoom lenses, but in standard, medium telephoto and long
    telephoto lenses (fixed focal length and zoom) there is not much to
    choose between them, and I would suggest that Canon still has the edge
    in some areas.

    For example, the Canon EF 24-105mm L IS and 70-200mm f/4 L IS are
    outstanding mid-priced lenses. Nikon has nothing to compete with
    either of them; the AF-S VR Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G IFED and AF
    Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8-4D are particularly weak performers, to the point
    of being embarrassing because of high distortion and CA and poor edge
    performance unless stopped way down. The comparatively inexpensive
    Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 performs better than either of them!

    So, to sum up, both companies have consumer and professional lens
    ranges. If you think they overlap, look at the build quality. That
    will tell you far more about which range they are in than "L" or "ED"
    badges.
     
    Bruce, Jul 14, 2010
    #9
  10. "Bruce" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > For example, the Canon EF 24-105mm L IS and 70-200mm f/4 L IS are
    > outstanding mid-priced lenses. Nikon has nothing to compete with
    > either of them; the AF-S VR Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G IFED and AF
    > Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8-4D are particularly weak performers, to the point
    > of being embarrassing because of high distortion and CA and poor edge
    > performance unless stopped way down. The comparatively inexpensive
    > Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 performs better than either of them!


    If one is willing to "step back in time" a bit, the 24-120mm non-VR
    was a decent performer from f5.6, and the 24-85mm f3.5-4.5G was
    very good to the corners even wide open (although linear distortion
    was high), and it was reasonably compact and inexpensive. I think
    Nikon should have kept that FF lens and dumped the other two...
    'Course, as you noted, when it comes to the fast Nikkor wide and
    super-wide zooms, Nikon pretty much stands alone in image quality
    (but moderately-priced they aren't!). BTW, the 28mm-105mm
    f3.5-4.5 was a very decent inexpensive Nikkor, with unusually low
    linear distortion for a zoom...
    --DR
     
    David Ruether, Jul 15, 2010
    #10
  11. "Bruce" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    []
    > So, to sum up, both companies have consumer and professional lens
    > ranges. If you think they overlap, look at the build quality. That
    > will tell you far more about which range they are in than "L" or "ED"
    > badges.


    Thanks for that, Bruce. That's a better summary than I had, and I
    appreciate your examples. Not being a Canon owner, I tend to hear more of
    Canon users praising a particular "L" lens. I certainly wouldn't consider
    Nikon "ED" as indicating especially good quality - it just indicates the
    glass type. Your point about build quality is an interesting one - I've
    never need to use my lenses "hard enough" or in extremely challenging
    environmental conditions that build quality has been a major issue for me.

    Cheers,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, Jul 15, 2010
    #11
  12. David J Taylor

    Bruce Guest

    On Wed, 14 Jul 2010 19:11:36 -0400, "David Ruether"
    <> wrote:

    >
    >"Bruce" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >
    >> For example, the Canon EF 24-105mm L IS and 70-200mm f/4 L IS are
    >> outstanding mid-priced lenses. Nikon has nothing to compete with
    >> either of them; the AF-S VR Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G IFED and AF
    >> Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8-4D are particularly weak performers, to the point
    >> of being embarrassing because of high distortion and CA and poor edge
    >> performance unless stopped way down. The comparatively inexpensive
    >> Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 performs better than either of them!

    >
    >If one is willing to "step back in time" a bit, the 24-120mm non-VR
    >was a decent performer from f5.6




    Perhaps they should have sold it as an f/5.6 lens - it might have been
    more honest. Wide open, it was atrocious.



    >and the 24-85mm f3.5-4.5G was
    >very good to the corners even wide open (although linear distortion
    >was high), and it was reasonably compact and inexpensive.



    That lens is something of an enigma. The AF f/2.8-4 version was, and
    still is a lemon. Many Nikon users were delighted when the much
    improved AF-S f/3.5-4.5 version was announced. But what happened next
    defied belief - Nikon discontinued the new lens and continued to make
    the old one! Bizarre ...


    >I think Nikon should have kept that FF lens and dumped the other two...



    But people wanted the extra reach of the 24-120mm. ;-)


    >'Course, as you noted, when it comes to the fast Nikkor wide and
    >super-wide zooms, Nikon pretty much stands alone in image quality
    >(but moderately-priced they aren't!). BTW, the 28mm-105mm
    >f3.5-4.5 was a very decent inexpensive Nikkor, with unusually low
    >linear distortion for a zoom...



    Optically, it was a nice lens, although there is some CA when used on
    digital. But the build quality wasn't particularly good, and it
    didn't stand up well to professional use. Very much a consumer-grade
    lens, it was bettered optically by the Canon EF 28-105mm I mentioned
    earlier which was also better made.
     
    Bruce, Jul 15, 2010
    #12
  13. David J Taylor

    Bruce Guest

    On Thu, 15 Jul 2010 07:49:56 +0100, "David J Taylor"
    <> wrote:

    >"Bruce" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >[]
    >> So, to sum up, both companies have consumer and professional lens
    >> ranges. If you think they overlap, look at the build quality. That
    >> will tell you far more about which range they are in than "L" or "ED"
    >> badges.

    >
    >Thanks for that, Bruce. That's a better summary than I had, and I
    >appreciate your examples. Not being a Canon owner, I tend to hear more of
    >Canon users praising a particular "L" lens. I certainly wouldn't consider
    >Nikon "ED" as indicating especially good quality - it just indicates the
    >glass type. Your point about build quality is an interesting one - I've
    >never need to use my lenses "hard enough" or in extremely challenging
    >environmental conditions that build quality has been a major issue for me.



    Build quality issues don't only affect people who give their lenses a
    lot of use. They also affect optical alignment and can introduce
    inconsistencies between individual lenses - sample variation.

    Some Nikon lenses have been particularly affected by sample variation.
    The first I was aware of was the AF Nikkor 70-200mm f/4-5.6 (also in a
    D version) which had a couple of rave reviews and became highly sought
    after. But people's faith was often misplaced , because significant
    sample variation meant only very few of those lenses performed as well
    as the ones in the reviews. Most were thoroughly mediocre lenses.

    The same was true of the AF-S DX 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G which was sold
    with the Nikon D70. I tested one for a magazine review and its
    performance blew me away. The published review was very positive. Yet
    sample variation meant that many of these lenses failed to live up to
    expectations. One I tested more recently was dire.

    The problem isn't entirely limited to consumer-grade Nikkors. The AF
    Nikkor 20-35mm f/2.8D, one of my all-time favourite lenses, had a hand
    polished aspherical surface that caused no end of problems. Get a
    good sample, and the lens surpassed the performance of any f/2.8 fixed
    focal length Nikkor within its 20-35mm range - it was really that
    good. But get a poor sample, and CA was very bad, even on film.

    Its successor in the Nikon range, the AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8D, was a
    spectacular lens if you got a good one, but in the early days, sample
    variation was extreme. This was due to a manufacturing problem with
    the compound glass/moulded plastic aspherical elements - a new
    technology. When it was finally cured, the production lenses were
    consistently very good. So buy a new one (it is still available), or
    thoroughly test an used early example. (Mine has a broken focusing
    motor and a small chunk out of the front element, but is still a fine
    performer - Indian ink to the rescue!).

    In the pro lens range, Nikon now seems to have learned from these
    problems. The AF-S Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8D was pretty faultless and its
    24-70mm f/2.8G successor is even better. The AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm
    f/2.8G is an amazing lens, and its production quality is also
    amazingly consistent.

    Anyway, to sum up, build quality means much more than just a robust
    design that is suitable for professional use. It means consistency in
    manufacture, and that applies equally to consumer-grade lenses. Alas.
    it is not something that Nikon has been spectacularly good at.
     
    Bruce, Jul 15, 2010
    #13
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