The 17-55 on a 7D is sharper than the 24-70 on the 5D MKII

Started May 24, 2012 | Discussions
zalle
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The 17-55 on a 7D is sharper than the 24-70 on the 5D MKII
May 24, 2012

In a couple of threads I was told that the 17-55 is only sharper than the 24-70 because the 24-70 is made for a full frame and with an APS-C sensor you cannot see it's full potential bla bla bla.

Well, I had the the 7D+17-55 and the 5DMKII+24-70 and took a couple of shots, wide open (2.8) ISO200 and got this result. I took 3 shots with the 5D to see if it could get better, but it didn't.

This is the image (this is the one taken with the 5D by the way) I took with both lenses.

This is the crop

7D

5DMKII

Not only the 17-55 is sharper, it also has less CA.

Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 7D
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007peter
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yes...but the 7D POOR NOISE (in the blue sky) is terrible
In reply to zalle, May 24, 2012

Yes, I would agree it is sharper based on your image. What I cannot stand is the NOISE on that blue sky. I never understand why hear people complaining about 7D's noise until now . Wow, seeing is believing... That noise pattern is terrible, and this is a shot on a bright daylight.

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Timbukto
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Re: The 17-55 on a 7D is sharper than the 24-70 on the 5D MKII
In reply to zalle, May 24, 2012

The 17-55 2.8 is absolutely amazing in IQ and based on samples and online lab results I've seen as well as my own shots I know I will not shoot FF because of having better zooms. I'm going to shoot FF because of better primes...or more correctly the same primes but they truly get unleashed as they are stopped down on a FF sensor at f2.8 (which is still absolutely thin DOF or f4). What most tests and samples show...is that its the EF primes that get amazing on FF but don't reach their upper limit on APS-C. For example even the nifty fifty is going to outperform the 17-55 2.8 at its equivalent focal length as will the 85mm 1.8. The Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC looks like it might compete if you score a perfect copy, but again I'm not going to play that game anymore...it'll be FF EF primes for me + portable smaller sensor deep DOF zoom.

But as far as getting an all in one fast zoom, the 17-55 is wonderful. Only reason I will move away from it however is that its a dust sucker, expensive, and if shot at slow apertures to have completely deep DOF, many of its advantages go away completely! I am considering a FF EF Prime setup + a quality portable and good slow kit-zoom setup with high FPS (ala Nikon 1). As much as you find the 17-55 2.8 to be tack sharp, the reality is even the lens of the G1X is comparable in some ways (check lensrental results on this).

I'm not shooting weddings, events, or traveling at the moment but that is obviously where the 17-55 2.8 will do pretty well actually...just depends on what you want to shoot.

Also keep in mind that f2.8 on a FF sensor is still significantly thinner DOF which means focusing error can easily override anything in this test.

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zalle
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You're right, in a way...
In reply to 007peter, May 24, 2012

When you print, the noise you see here does not show up. This is 100% crop. Nevertheless, when you want clean images I agree you should go full frame.

I have the 7D and am buying the 5DMKII + 24-70 or 24-105, but I will keep both, they are both good for what they are.

I was also thinking of selling my 10-22 and getting the 17-40, but it's probably the same, the 10-22 is probably sharper (and wider).

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Timbukto
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Re: You're right, in a way...
In reply to zalle, May 24, 2012

Buy each system for their strengths IMO...the FF zooms I think are 'ok'...but I still favor the quality of the primes...on all test sites the quality of the EF primes just explode beyond what was possible on APS-C sensor. The zooms on FF are good but IMO just 'ok' (I'm not talking about the 70-200's which are amazing but more standard zoom lengths). In fact if you are adamant on a FF zoom a perfect copy Tamron would probably be the best.

Likewise on APS-C IMO its the EF-S zooms that clearly outclass using EF primes.

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zalle
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MTF values favour 24-70 a lot.
In reply to Timbukto, May 24, 2012

Check these:

17-55

24-70

The 24-70 is supposed to be sharper at the corners wide open than the 17-55 in the center at f8...

Timbukto wrote:

The 17-55 2.8 is absolutely amazing in IQ and based on samples and online lab results I've seen as well as my own shots I know I will not shoot FF because of having better zooms.

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Timbukto
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Re: MTF values favour 24-70 a lot.
In reply to zalle, May 24, 2012

Did you shoot tripod + liveview focus + RAW?

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photonius
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Re: MTF values favour 24-70 a lot.
In reply to zalle, May 24, 2012

zalle wrote:

Check these:

17-55

The 24-70 is supposed to be sharper at the corners wide open than the 17-55 in the center at f8...

quite right, but the OP said he actually shot with a 5D, which is only a 12 MP camera. IF you look at the improvement from a 8mp to the 15 mp (with these figures), you can see that it does impact the numbers quite a bit.

So, given that in this case there is also a sensor limitation, the comparison was not quite fair.

When you look at all tests at photozone, you clearly see that FF will deliver a higher resolution. If the 24-70 can deliver is another question, there seem to be also lot of complaints about this lens being soft due to bad calibration.

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Life is short, time to zoom in ©

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Pultzar
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Shoot the 24-70 at F4+
In reply to zalle, May 24, 2012

If you want the same depth of field, you should be shooting the 24-70 at 1.6X the f-stop. Then bump up the ISO to compensate or adjust the shutter speed if you are on a tripod without moving subjects.

The 17-55 might still be better, but it will likely be closer.

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zalle
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It was a 5D MKII not the original 5D
In reply to photonius, May 24, 2012

I took the photos on a 5D MKII and a 7D

quite right, but the OP said he actually shot with a 5D, which is only a 12 MP camera. IF you look at the improvement from a 8mp to the 15 mp (with these figures), you can see that it does impact the numbers quite a bit.

So, given that in this case there is also a sensor limitation, the comparison was not quite fair.

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zalle
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No I didn't
In reply to Timbukto, May 24, 2012

I shot as I do in every work I do. Look through the viewfinder, point, shoot.

I do events, take 1500pics in a day, I cannot use tripod + viewfinder at 10X. But I did the same with both, and I took 3 pictures with the 24-70 at 1/5000, so I guess there is no camera shake.

One thing may be happening though, the lens may need calibration or microadjustment. I had a 300mm f4 that neede microadjustment and even the CA would go away.

OR my 17-55 could be special...

The 5DMKII may also have a smoother output and may need extra sharpening.

These were just everyday shots, because that is what most of us do.

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ptl-2010
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Re: Shoot the 24-70 at F4+
In reply to Pultzar, May 24, 2012

I honestly thought my Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 was messed up, but after looking at the 24-70mm f2.8 on that 5d it's the same amount of softness, which is dissapointing as far as optics go.

I'm sticking with prime lenses, much better IQ at a much lower price

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Marc de Vries
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Re: It was a 5D MKII not the original 5D
In reply to zalle, May 24, 2012

That menas that the 5DII had a considerable advantage over de 7D

But I think those graphs are from photozone and their tests are flawed. That could explain part of it.

If you look at the MTF charts from Canon you can see that the 17-55 should be sharper than the 24-70.

The question is then how much that advantage is offset by the higher resolution and larger sensor of the 5DII.

In this case it's aparantly not enough. (although I can't say that it is a great scene to check image quality)

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zalle
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I'm just sad, really
In reply to Pultzar, May 24, 2012

I am buying a 5dMKII and the 7D will be my second camera, but I was expecting stellar performance from the 5D + 24-70 kit.

Maybe I'll just buy the 24-105, which is probably not much different and an "easier" lens (IS, more zoom and lighter). My wife can use it too...

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zalle
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I can tell you I focused on the chimney
In reply to Marc de Vries, May 24, 2012

For what it's worth...

I like to shoot buildings to test lens sharpness, I find it pretty accurate.

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Pultzar
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Or wait for the 24-70 II
In reply to zalle, May 24, 2012

I'm sure it will be amazing, at a price.

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Timbukto
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Re: No I didn't
In reply to zalle, May 24, 2012

I agree that we shouldn't make mountains out of molehills and focus more on what gets you usable shots in real use vs a tripod + brick wall, that is why I said the 17-55 2.8 is truly a great lens for events and travel, etc...heck its just a great lens for anything and you are coupling it with a 7D which gives you super deep buffer, super fast FPS, and good AF as well.

Look at slrgear for better samples and tests as well as thedigitalphoto, etc (unfortunately for slrgear, they've only gotten truly comprehensive with sample shots with recent tests which have wonderful VFA test samples, the older tests are both less reliable and comprehensive). The 17-55 2.8 is wonderfully sharp and gets close to APS-C limits off the bat at wide-open edge to edge, focal length to focal length. I don't think there is a FF equivalent...they tend to vignette heavily, have some softer corners even wide-open on the 24-105 at f4. The 24-70 is potentially sharper in the lab and on a tripod but IMO I think if handheld the IS and lower weight easily makes up for the difference in that in real use you will shoot sharper handheld without flash to freeze motion, etc. Not to mention its not exactly equivalent being such a heavy beast with no IS.

Tamron 24-70 VC 2.8 is a big contender if you score a good copy (IMO Tamron lenses should go down in prices in due time)....and I'm sure the 24-70 II will blow anything away in sharpness (on a tripod) but it should for the cost.

Will be getting a 5D MK II soon in the mail as well as a 50mm 1.8 and use my existing 85mm 1.8 to play with, and if it doesn't give me that extra pop in pictures I take of my daughter (or find that it is harder without IS, etc), I will have to reconsider going back to my t3i + 17-55 2.8! On paper, with good enough light and fast enough shutter speed I should find the primes perfectly usable and much sharper with thin DOF, but I'll find this out for myself when I start taking pictures handheld.

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Majoren
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FOV and/or IS lens vs non-IS lens?
In reply to zalle, May 24, 2012

To my vision I see two problems

1. FOV doesnt look Identical, looks like the 5DII was shot with wider FOV = less detail on small objects - Can you verify this?

2. To me the "halo" around the chimney doesnt look like CA, more like camera shake.

Majoren

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Peter 13
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Re: It was a 5D MKII not the original 5D
In reply to Marc de Vries, May 24, 2012

Marc de Vries wrote:

The question is then how much that advantage is offset by the higher resolution and larger sensor of the 5DII.

In this case it's aparantly not enough. (although I can't say that it is a great scene to check image quality)

It is.

24-70, 35mm, f/2.8, FF

17-55, 50mm, f/2.8, 7D

And those are not even equivalent apertures. This is f/4 on FF, almost equivalent:

BTW, the OP frontfocused with the 5DII. The focus is on the edge of the roof.

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zalle
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Front focus? Nope
In reply to Peter 13, May 24, 2012

I focused center point on the red tiles. Took 3 pictures, all 3 are the same. Maybe the 24-70 is front focusing... Not me.

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