The Canon ef 100mm macro lens

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Eatmorepies, May 6, 2006.

  1. Eatmorepies

    Eatmorepies Guest

    I've bought a Canon EF100mm macro lens. Many review sites praised it for
    sharpness and colour. I have compared it with my 24-105mm f4L on extension
    tubes and it seems to be lacking colour saturation and sharpness. (On my
    350D)

    So what am I doing wrong? I used a very small apeture and a very firm
    tripod, shot in RAW and converted to TIFF. This would seem to offer the
    lenses their best chance of performing well.

    Is the 100mm macro less good than an L series zoom on extension tubes? I do
    admire the L series lens but would have thought that a dedicated macro lens
    may have matched it when it was used for its intended purpose and the L lens
    was pressed into use by adding tubes.

    John
     
    Eatmorepies, May 6, 2006
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Eatmorepies

    Mike Guest

    "Eatmorepies" <> a écrit dans le message de news:
    ...
    > I've bought a Canon EF100mm macro lens. Many review sites praised it for
    > sharpness and colour. I have compared it with my 24-105mm f4L on extension
    > tubes and it seems to be lacking colour saturation and sharpness. (On my
    > 350D)
    >
    > So what am I doing wrong?


    >
    > John
    >


    Maybe a too smal aperture degrades constrast, or induces some difraction, or
    is not the optimal aperture for the specific lens (it is not uncommon that
    f:5,6 or f:8 gives a lens its top efficiency in definition or contrast).
    Did you use both lenses with a similar aperture?
    (Just trying to guess...)

    Mike
     
    Mike, May 6, 2006
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Eatmorepies wrote:
    > I've bought a Canon EF100mm macro lens. Many review sites praised it
    > for sharpness and colour. I have compared it with my 24-105mm f4L on
    > extension tubes and it seems to be lacking colour saturation and
    > sharpness. (On my 350D)
    >
    > So what am I doing wrong? I used a very small apeture and a very firm
    > tripod, shot in RAW and converted to TIFF. This would seem to offer
    > the lenses their best chance of performing well.
    >
    > Is the 100mm macro less good than an L series zoom on extension
    > tubes? I do admire the L series lens but would have thought that a
    > dedicated macro lens may have matched it when it was used for its
    > intended purpose and the L lens was pressed into use by adding tubes.
    >
    > John


    most lens are sharpest at about the mid point of the aperture range.
    Smaller aperture does not sharpen an lens, but rather it increases the DOF
    so sometimes I may look sharper. Most Macros have smaller apertures
    available than similar general purpose lenses because DOF is sometimes a
    problem for close work.


    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
     
    Joseph Meehan, May 6, 2006
    #3
  4. "Eatmorepies" <> wrote in
    news::

    > I've bought a Canon EF100mm macro lens. Many review sites praised it
    > for sharpness and colour. I have compared it with my 24-105mm f4L on
    > extension tubes and it seems to be lacking colour saturation and
    > sharpness. (On my 350D)


    I've also noticed discrepancies between the real world performances of my
    lenses and the theoretical, reported performance...

    Here are the MTF curves for both lenses. In theory, for sharpness the 100mm
    should be a bit better, although the 24-105 is a very good lens.

    http://tinyurl.com/6gsm2

    http://tinyurl.com/8fqqv

    Somewhat surprisingly, the MTF curves given for the 100mm in Japan and in
    US are a bit different

    http://cweb.canon.jp/camera/ef/catalog/category/ef100_f28.html

    But then, both lenses have different purposes.


    --
    Pierre Vandevenne
    www.datarescue.com/photorescue
     
    Pierre Vandevennne, May 7, 2006
    #4
  5. Eatmorepies

    W (winhag) Guest

    What apertures did you use?

    Eatmorepies wrote:
    > I've bought a Canon EF100mm macro lens. Many review sites praised it for
    > sharpness and colour. I have compared it with my 24-105mm f4L on extension
    > tubes and it seems to be lacking colour saturation and sharpness. (On my
    > 350D)
    >
    > So what am I doing wrong? I used a very small apeture and a very firm
    > tripod, shot in RAW and converted to TIFF. This would seem to offer the
    > lenses their best chance of performing well.
    >
    > Is the 100mm macro less good than an L series zoom on extension tubes? I do
    > admire the L series lens but would have thought that a dedicated macro lens
    > may have matched it when it was used for its intended purpose and the L lens
    > was pressed into use by adding tubes.
    >
    > John
     
    W (winhag), May 7, 2006
    #5
  6. Eatmorepies

    Bill Hilton Guest

    > Eatmorepies writes ...
    >
    >I've bought a Canon EF100mm macro lens. Many review sites
    >praised it for sharpness and colour. I have compared it with my
    >24-105mm f4L on extension tubes and it seems to be lacking
    >colour saturation and sharpness


    I have both of these lenses and I'm surprised at what you just wrote
    .... the 100 f/2.8 macro is a very good lens. I haven't tested then
    side-by-side as competing close-up solutions, but I did use the 24-105
    f/4L as a 'macro' lens in early April while in Holland (couldn't bring
    the macro due to space issues) and I wasn't all that impressed by it.
    Can you post a couple of pics showing the differences you're seeing?

    > Is the 100mm macro less good than an L series zoom on
    > extension tubes?


    The fixed focal length L lenses are optically superb and the MTF curves
    of the best (300 f/2.8, 500 f/4, 400 f/2.8 IS lenses for example) are
    all better than the 100 f/2.8 ... but zooms are a different matter ...
    the Lens Work book I have doesn't show the 24-105 MTF curves but in
    that book the 100 f/2.8 curves are better than the 70-200 f/2.8 L IS
    and 100-400 L IS lenses at 70 and 100 mm, which is what I'd expect
    given the compromises in a 3:1 and 4:1 zoom ... I seriously doubt the
    24-105 f/4 L is as good as the 70-200 f/2.8 L IS optically.

    If I can find some time I'll maybe shoot a Gretag ColorChecker chart
    with my 100 macro and the 24-105 @ 100 and compare ...

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, May 8, 2006
    #6
  7. Eatmorepies

    Bill Hilton Guest

    > Pierre Vandevennne writes ...
    >
    >Here are the MTF curves for both lenses. In theory, for sharpness the
    >100mm should be a bit better, although the 24-105 is a very good lens.
    >http://tinyurl.com/6gsm2
    >http://tinyurl.com/8fqqv


    Jeez, the curves for the 24-105 at f/4 are awful! As an owner of the
    lens I wish I had never seen these :)

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, May 8, 2006
    #7
  8. Eatmorepies

    Eatmorepies Guest

    "W (winhag)" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > What apertures did you use?
    >


    The smalles available on each lens - trying for maximum depth of field.
     
    Eatmorepies, May 8, 2006
    #8
  9. Eatmorepies

    Eatmorepies Guest


    >
    > Jeez, the curves for the 24-105 at f/4 are awful! As an owner of the
    > lens I wish I had never seen these :)
    >
    > Bill
    >


    I was using very small apetures with both the 100mm f2.8 and the 24-105mm
    f4L.

    Interesting that you report that the L lens at f4 has poor curves. I find it
    to be excellent on my 350D - am I going to be disappointed when I summon up
    the courage to lash out for a full frame digital body?

    I still have my 24-70mm f2.8L: perhaps I shouldn't sell it yet.

    John
     
    Eatmorepies, May 8, 2006
    #9
  10. Eatmorepies

    W (winhag) Guest

    the 100 2.8 Macro stops down to f/32. You will clearly not get the best
    image quality sharpness at that opening. Best quality is probably f/5.6
    or f/8

    Eatmorepies wrote:
    > "W (winhag)" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > What apertures did you use?
    > >

    >
    > The smalles available on each lens - trying for maximum depth of field.
     
    W (winhag), May 8, 2006
    #10
  11. Eatmorepies

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >> I wrote ...
    >>
    >> Jeez, the curves for the 24-105 at f/4 are awful! As an owner of the
    >> lens I wish I had never seen these :)


    >Eatmorepies wrote ...
    >
    >Interesting that you report that the L lens at f4 has poor curves. I find it
    >to be excellent on my 350D - am I going to be disappointed when I summon
    >up the courage to lash out for a full frame digital body?


    On my 'digital for africa' web page I have a couple of MTF charts
    showing why a marginal lens like the 100-400 L IS is OK for cameras
    like the 350 D but disappointing wide open with full frame ...
    basically you are avoiding the worst of the contrast loss (which shows
    up as vignetting) by using a 1.6x sensor ...
    http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/tanzania_2006/digital_safari.htm#accessories
    and scroll UP four paragraphs to 'You may be wondering' for the text
    .... the gifs show a great lens, the 500 f/4 L IS (the best lens I own),
    compared to the 100-400, with a red mark showing where the 1.6x sensor
    edge-of-frame would be located ...

    In case you're wondering how an MTF chart translates into real-world
    images, with the 100-400 L IS at 400 mm I find the corner light
    fall-off is acceptable wide open (f/5.6) with a 10D (1.6x crop), but
    with a 1.3x crop like the Canon 1D Mark II I needed to stop down to f/8
    and for the full frame 1Ds I needed to stop down to f/11 to get
    acceptable (to me ... YMMV) lack of light fall-off in the corners, at
    least when viewing the RAW files. The conversions to tiff seem to tone
    this down a bit, especially if you use Photoshop CSRAW and apply the
    vignetting filter.

    As for the 24-105, when I got it I wanted to see what aperture I needed
    at 24, 50, 70 and 105 mm for acceptable vignetting with my 1Ds (full
    frame) so I ran a bunch of tests, which I had completely forgotten
    about until this thread :) I was in a hurry because I was leaving for
    Africa a couple of days after I got the lens (which performed well in
    Africa, btw ... the IS and 4:1 zoom range are very useful when shooting
    from a vehicle).

    Anyway, the MTF curves for wide open 24 mm are pretty crappy so I think
    my tests quickly showed me to use it at f/8 or smaller apertures with
    the 1Ds ... here is a screen dump of two RAW files at 24 mm, one at
    f/11 and one at f/4 showing how the RAW preview in Capture One displays
    the light-fall off (f/8 was pretty good too) ... so it's OK at 24 mm
    once you stop down a bit, but unacceptable to me wide open, as
    predicted by the MTF curve ... of course I can't imagine ever shooting
    wide open at 24 mm so to me it's not a hardship ...
    http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/tests/24mm_vignette.jpg

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, May 8, 2006
    #11
  12. "Bill Hilton" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >> Eatmorepies writes ...
    >>
    >>I've bought a Canon EF100mm macro lens. Many review sites
    >>praised it for sharpness and colour. I have compared it with my
    >>24-105mm f4L on extension tubes and it seems to be lacking
    >>colour saturation and sharpness

    >
    > I have both of these lenses and I'm surprised at what you just
    > wrote ... the 100 f/2.8 macro is a very good lens.


    That's right, but I suspect that the OP used too small an aperture
    hoping to preserve some DOF.

    This is an example of the shallow DOF at f/5.6 (handheld 1/400 sec at
    ISO 200, only daylight) of this fly as it was scoring some dove poop:
    <http://www.xs4all.nl/~bvdwolf/temp/2924_CommonHouseFly-T.jpg>

    The insets are at 100% zoom and the yellow bits on the poop (if you
    want to know) are clumps of spruce pollen. The total DOF was a very
    small fraction (!) of a millimetre, and since the focal plane ran
    almost exactly between the eyes, most of the facets are OOF.

    Bart
     
    Bart van der Wolf, May 8, 2006
    #12
  13. Bill Hilton wrote:
    >>> I wrote ...
    >>>
    >>> Jeez, the curves for the 24-105 at f/4 are awful! As an owner of the
    >>> lens I wish I had never seen these :)

    >
    >> Eatmorepies wrote ...
    >>
    >> Interesting that you report that the L lens at f4 has poor curves. I find it
    >> to be excellent on my 350D - am I going to be disappointed when I summon
    >> up the courage to lash out for a full frame digital body?

    >
    > Anyway, the MTF curves for wide open 24 mm are pretty crappy so I think
    > my tests quickly showed me to use it at f/8 or smaller apertures with
    > the 1Ds ... here is a screen dump of two RAW files at 24 mm, one at
    > f/11 and one at f/4 showing how the RAW preview in Capture One displays
    > the light-fall off (f/8 was pretty good too) ... so it's OK at 24 mm
    > once you stop down a bit, but unacceptable to me wide open, as
    > predicted by the MTF curve ... of course I can't imagine ever shooting
    > wide open at 24 mm so to me it's not a hardship ...
    > http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/tests/24mm_vignette.jpg
    >


    Thanks for 'splanations. I have the 24-105 [on 20D] and it's become my
    walkabout. Since I shoot lots of sports, and induhvidgil peeple, the
    vignetting hasn't been a problem for me.... although I am sure to think
    about it more! Actually, don't use it for sports except when I am
    carrying two cameras; the 70-200 is far more useful, with and without a
    1.4x.

    --
    John McWilliams
     
    John McWilliams, May 8, 2006
    #13
  14. "W (winhag)" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > the 100 2.8 Macro stops down to f/32. You will clearly not
    > get the best image quality sharpness at that opening. Best
    > quality is probably f/5.6 or f/8


    My EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro's resolution peaks at f/9, but one sometimes
    needs to strike a compromise between shutterspeed (in case of handheld
    camera shake and subject/wind motion), and DOF.

    IMO it is often better to go for shutterspeed/ISO and get a sharp
    shot, rather than having more DOF and spoiling the shot due to motion
    artifacts.

    Bart
     
    Bart van der Wolf, May 8, 2006
    #14
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Mark C

    Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro lens

    Mark C, Mar 3, 2004, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    375
    golden67
    Mar 4, 2004
  2. leo
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    357
  3. Conrad

    50mm, 100mm macro lens use(s)

    Conrad, Aug 5, 2006, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    14
    Views:
    758
    jeremy
    Aug 15, 2006
  4. DaveS7

    Question about the Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro lens

    DaveS7, Oct 7, 2007, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    26
    Views:
    759
    John McWilliams
    Oct 22, 2007
  5. Ofnuts
    Replies:
    7
    Views:
    850
    John McWilliams
    Jan 30, 2011
Loading...

Share This Page