My Canon glass isn't so hot on the 1Ds Mk. III...

Started Feb 2, 2013 | Discussions
CanonKen
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My Canon glass isn't so hot on the 1Ds Mk. III...
Feb 2, 2013

I have used a 30D for years (well, since it came out, so 6 years I guess).  I built up a few lenses since then:

35mm f/2, 85mm f/1.8, 17-40mm f/4L, 70-200mm f/4L (non-IS).  They all work great on this camera and I fully trust the camera and lenses under any use (wide open, hard lighting conditions, etc.)

Overall, not at all thrilled with what I see on a FF body.

-- hide signature --

The 35mm is pathetic and miserable wide open, but EXCELLENT at f/8-11.

--The 85mm is so-so wide open but EXCELLENT at f/8-11.

--The 17-40mm is decent, probably fine for landscapes and such (corners get soft/distorted).  Not good wide open, but for a landscape lens, not a concern.

--The 70-200 is great at 70mm, but not as good at 200mm (some slight softness on one side).  Not so hot wide open.

Overall, all 4 lenses can look great, but I have to really stop them down to get something that can make use of the camera.

My question is about expectations.  On a high-MP FF body, what should I expect from these lenses?  All 4 worked great on my APS-C body, but on FF, the outer areas quickly degrade to a point they look bad on even an modest sized print.  Do I have bad copies, or is this normal for lower-tier glass on a flagship FF camera?

Do I see a 24-70 & 70-200 f/2.8 in my future?

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rrccad
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Re: My Canon glass isn't so hot on the 1Ds Mk. III...
In reply to CanonKen, Feb 3, 2013

CanonKen wrote:

I have used a 30D for years (well, since it came out, so 6 years I guess). I built up a few lenses since then:

35mm f/2, 85mm f/1.8, 17-40mm f/4L, 70-200mm f/4L (non-IS). They all work great on this camera and I fully trust the camera and lenses under any use (wide open, hard lighting conditions, etc.)

Overall, not at all thrilled with what I see on a FF body.

-- hide signature --

The 35mm is pathetic and miserable wide open, but EXCELLENT at f/8-11.

--The 85mm is so-so wide open but EXCELLENT at f/8-11.

--The 17-40mm is decent, probably fine for landscapes and such (corners get soft/distorted). Not good wide open, but for a landscape lens, not a concern.

--The 70-200 is great at 70mm, but not as good at 200mm (some slight softness on one side). Not so hot wide open.

Overall, all 4 lenses can look great, but I have to really stop them down to get something that can make use of the camera.

My question is about expectations. On a high-MP FF body, what should I expect from these lenses? All 4 worked great on my APS-C body, but on FF, the outer areas quickly degrade to a point they look bad on even an modest sized print. Do I have bad copies, or is this normal for lower-tier glass on a flagship FF camera?

very normal.  with most lenses stopping down will improve performance.  wide open, the center may be sharp, but the rest will suffer.  very few lenses are good wide open and are not cheap - especially ones faster than 2.8

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CanonKen
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Re: My Canon glass isn't so hot on the 1Ds Mk. III...
In reply to rrccad, Feb 3, 2013

I guess what surprised me is how much the crop sensor hit the issues in the edges.  Yes, I expected the edges to get worse, but they were exponentially worse.  I can use any of my lenses wide open on my 30D and the results are 'good' at worst.

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Great Bustard
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The natural question, of course, is...
In reply to CanonKen, Feb 3, 2013

CanonKen wrote:

I have used a 30D for years (well, since it came out, so 6 years I guess). I built up a few lenses since then:

35mm f/2, 85mm f/1.8, 17-40mm f/4L, 70-200mm f/4L (non-IS). They all work great on this camera and I fully trust the camera and lenses under any use (wide open, hard lighting conditions, etc.)

Overall, not at all thrilled with what I see on a FF body.

-- hide signature --

The 35mm is pathetic and miserable wide open, but EXCELLENT at f/8-11.

--The 85mm is so-so wide open but EXCELLENT at f/8-11.

--The 17-40mm is decent, probably fine for landscapes and such (corners get soft/distorted). Not good wide open, but for a landscape lens, not a concern.

--The 70-200 is great at 70mm, but not as good at 200mm (some slight softness on one side). Not so hot wide open.

Overall, all 4 lenses can look great, but I have to really stop them down to get something that can make use of the camera.

My question is about expectations. On a high-MP FF body, what should I expect from these lenses? All 4 worked great on my APS-C body, but on FF, the outer areas quickly degrade to a point they look bad on even an modest sized print. Do I have bad copies, or is this normal for lower-tier glass on a flagship FF camera?

Do I see a 24-70 & 70-200 f/2.8 in my future?

...did you compare those lenses with what you'd get on crop for the same AOV and DOF?  For example, one wouldn't compare 35mm f/2 on crop to 35mm f/2 on FF, but to 56mm f/3.2 on FF, since elements of the scene outside the DOF, by definition, will not be sharp.

Of course, there are situations where you might get the whole scene within the DOF even at f/2, and stopping down FF to f/3.2 to get the corners up to snuff will take away the noise advantage it has over crop if there is motion in the scene and we cannot use a lower shutter speed at the more narrow aperture.  Then again, 50mm f/3.2 on FF is going to resolve rather more detail than 35mm f/2 on crop, so, if you like, that additional detail could be traded for less noise with NR (noise reduction).

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Sovern
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Re: My Canon glass isn't so hot on the 1Ds Mk. III...
In reply to CanonKen, Feb 3, 2013

CanonKen wrote:

I have used a 30D for years (well, since it came out, so 6 years I guess). I built up a few lenses since then:

35mm f/2, 85mm f/1.8, 17-40mm f/4L, 70-200mm f/4L (non-IS). They all work great on this camera and I fully trust the camera and lenses under any use (wide open, hard lighting conditions, etc.)

Overall, not at all thrilled with what I see on a FF body.

-- hide signature --

The 35mm is pathetic and miserable wide open, but EXCELLENT at f/8-11.

--The 85mm is so-so wide open but EXCELLENT at f/8-11.

--The 17-40mm is decent, probably fine for landscapes and such (corners get soft/distorted). Not good wide open, but for a landscape lens, not a concern.

--The 70-200 is great at 70mm, but not as good at 200mm (some slight softness on one side). Not so hot wide open.

Overall, all 4 lenses can look great, but I have to really stop them down to get something that can make use of the camera.

My question is about expectations. On a high-MP FF body, what should I expect from these lenses? All 4 worked great on my APS-C body, but on FF, the outer areas quickly degrade to a point they look bad on even an modest sized print. Do I have bad copies, or is this normal for lower-tier glass on a flagship FF camera?

Do I see a 24-70 & 70-200 f/2.8 in my future?

Personally I'd only go full frame if you can afford L primes or L zooms.

All of the mid range primes and zooms (such as 17-55 2.8 and 85 1.8) are all excellent on crop wide open and in general but once you use the mid range primes or zooms on FF they show their weaknesses.

So personally I'd get the two best zooms available which are the Canon 24-70L2.8 II and the Canon 70-200 2.8L IS II or L primes before going FF.

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CanonKen
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Re: My Canon glass isn't so hot on the 1Ds Mk. III...
In reply to Sovern, Feb 3, 2013

This camera fell into my possession, and of course I I am playing with the glass I have.  You are of course correct, need good lenses for a camera like this!

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CanonKen
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Re: The natural question, of course, is...
In reply to Great Bustard, Feb 3, 2013

I did factor in the DOF/focal length difference, but I was curious as to what the performance would be like wide open.  While I can get the same DOF (at 3.2 vs. 2.0), I do lose some shutter speed when shooting in the dark.  The corners are also unusable (though the central 50% of pixels are usable).

Again, this is all academic, I understand the 35mm f/2 came out 23 years ago.  Again, it is able to take advantage of the entire sensor at f/8-11, but it is awful wide open.  Just was expecting a bit better.

Hmmmm, 50mm f/1.2L would be nice...

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Timbukto
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Re: My Canon glass isn't so hot on the 1Ds Mk. III...
In reply to CanonKen, Feb 3, 2013

How do you know its not just significantly thinner DOF or plane curvature at play near the edges?  Another issue is you only hunted for good copies of lenses on APS-C and never got to see if they really had edge issues for FF (although usually if its really stellar on APS-C its pretty good on FF).

Unless you are absolutely sure about your plane of focus, you cannot simply pixel peep the edges of any arbitrary photo to judge focus.

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jckk
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Have you checked AF accuracy?
In reply to CanonKen, Feb 3, 2013

It could be that the focusing is off so you have to stop down to f8 to get the target within the dof and look sharp.  Like you said, the corners will be softer on full frame vs. crop, but it shouldn't be that drastic and the center should still be similar to your 30D.  The two cameras have similar pixel densities so the 1DsIII is not putting extra stress on a pixel basis.  See if MA helps.

I have the 100mm f/2, which has the same reviews and characteristics as the 85mm f/1.8, and also have the 17-40.  Neither lens requires stopping down to f8 to get acceptable results on my 5D.

Can you post some examples?

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Great Bustard
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Re: The natural question, of course, is...
In reply to CanonKen, Feb 3, 2013

CanonKen wrote:

I did factor in the DOF/focal length difference, but I was curious as to what the performance would be like wide open.

A lot different.  But that's why many choose the larger format.  In any case, how often are you shooting scenes where the corners would be within the DOF wide open?

While I can get the same DOF (at 3.2 vs. 2.0), I do lose some shutter speed when shooting in the dark.

You can use whatever shutter speed you like -- raise the ISO and/or set it directly.

The corners are also unusable (though the central 50% of pixels are usable).

Again, how often do you shoot scene where the outer 50% are matter and are within the DOF wide open?

Again, this is all academic, I understand the 35mm f/2 came out 23 years ago. Again, it is able to take advantage of the entire sensor at f/8-11, but it is awful wide open. Just was expecting a bit better.

Well, the PZ review of the 35 / 2 ain't half bad:

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/428-canon_35_2_5d?start=1

and the one photo they have with it wide open:

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/428-canon_35_2_5d?start=2

looks quite good to me.

Hmmmm, 50mm f/1.2L would be nice...

I happen to have that lens myself.  Corners will be worse still wide open, but here are a few fullsize pics wide open on a 5D that might give you an idea of what to expect:

http://www.pbase.com/joemama/50l_wide_open

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snapperZ
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Re: Have you checked AF accuracy?
In reply to jckk, Feb 3, 2013

I've never owned the 35 f2 but the others Id expect to perform perfectly acceptably on current FF cameras. They won't match the latest and greatest when pixel peeping but all should do OK.  The 70-200 f4 in particular is a very good lens IMO. The 17-40 is best stopped down a bit and the corners never get pin sharp but to get that in an ultrawide you need to spend about three times as much. The primes obviously wont be corner to corner sharp wide open but even the best fast L prime lenses struggle there.

You should be fine printing at A4 and acceptable with a little pp at A3+ for most purposes. IMO you buy FF for extra dof  and noise control it wont make your lenses sharp corner to corner.

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CanonKen
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Samples of what I see (apples-to-apples):
In reply to CanonKen, Feb 3, 2013

These are 1500x1500, 100% crops from the top-left corner of the frame.  Shot on a tripod, MLU, shutter cable.  The sensor was parallel with the subject (a large, detailed map).  Before you ask about focus on the f/2 shot, I even focused on the top corner, locked, and recomposed, same thing.  You can still clearly read 'SEATTLE' in the f/2 example, it is just distorted.

First, here is the f/11 shot.  I have to say it is AMAZING.  To have an old, cheap lens squeeze this sort of detail out of a 20MP FF sensor is a lot to ask for.  There is very little abrasion or vignetting.

Here is the same shot at f/2.  While you cannot see it, the center of the image is in focus, and the brightness is the same as the f/11 image (with is, the same brightness across the board).  My question is, for a lens like this, wide open on a FF body, is this what I should expect?  It is OK if the answer is yes.  I'm just surprised it is THAT severe.  I'm really not trying to pixel-peep, I just want to make sure my expectations are in line.

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CanonKen
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Re: Have you checked AF accuracy?
In reply to snapperZ, Feb 3, 2013

Good info, thank you.

Focus is in-line (I did apple some micro-adjustment), and it is quite good in general.

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CanonKen
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Re: The natural question, of course, is...
In reply to Great Bustard, Feb 3, 2013

Thanks, good points on everything.  My post below (35mm samples) is really framing up my concern.  The pictures you showed (the 35mm samples, your 50mm samples) have some distortion in the corners, but I do not see the severe vignetting (assuming they were not fixed).

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brightcolours
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Wide open map photo??
In reply to CanonKen, Feb 3, 2013

CanonKen wrote:

These are 1500x1500, 100% crops from the top-left corner of the frame. Shot on a tripod, MLU, shutter cable. The sensor was parallel with the subject (a large, detailed map). Before you ask about focus on the f/2 shot, I even focused on the top corner, locked, and recomposed, same thing. You can still clearly read 'SEATTLE' in the f/2 example, it is just distorted.

First, here is the f/11 shot. I have to say it is AMAZING. To have an old, cheap lens squeeze this sort of detail out of a 20MP FF sensor is a lot to ask for. There is very little abrasion or vignetting.

Here is the same shot at f/2. While you cannot see it, the center of the image is in focus, and the brightness is the same as the f/11 image (with is, the same brightness across the board). My question is, for a lens like this, wide open on a FF body, is this what I should expect? It is OK if the answer is yes. I'm just surprised it is THAT severe. I'm really not trying to pixel-peep, I just want to make sure my expectations are in line.

Your expectations may be a bit off. I can not imagine one wanting to photograph a framed map with a 35mm f2 lens at f2. Not something one would use a shallow DOF setting for!

Try it wide open on a subject that makes sense, (maybe a portrait?) and see if you get what one would be after with such settings (the focussed part in focus, reasonably sharp, and the things in front and/or back of the focal plane nicely OOF, separating the subject from the surrounding clutter.

Same with the 85mm f1.8... No sense in shooting a flat surface at f1.8...

And remember (great bustard has been trying to make this point clear already):

f2 on your 30D is equivalent to f2 x 1.6 = f3.2 on FF. So, compare on a 30D 35mm f2 to 50-55mm f3.2 on FF.

Similarly, compare 85mm f1.8 on 30D to 135mm f2.9 on FF.

That will get you a similar field of view and a similar DOF.

The vinetting on wider lenses (like you see with the 35mm f2) on FF gets stronger due to the nature of FF sensors... The micro lenses on borders and corners can't catch all the light. That is not a problem with the lens, not a problem with the camera, but just normal. you might see similar vignetting with a 30D with an equivalent lens:

35mm / 1.6 = 22mm, f2 / 1.6 = f1.25. But no such 22mm f1.25 lens exists.

Adjust your expectations accordingly (only shoot wide open when it is desired), and you will find that the lenses you have can give pretty nice results with your awesome new 1Ds mk III.

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rrccad
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Re: Samples of what I see (apples-to-apples):
In reply to CanonKen, Feb 3, 2013

CanonKen wrote:

Here is the same shot at f/2. While you cannot see it, the center of the image is in focus, and the brightness is the same as the f/11 image (with is, the same brightness across the board). My question is, for a lens like this, wide open on a FF body, is this what I should expect? It is OK if the answer is yes. I'm just surprised it is THAT severe. I'm really not trying to pixel-peep, I just want to make sure my expectations are in line.

using a fast lens wide open usually is because you are also center framing (think portrait) versus needing sharpness in the corners.

here's the MTF . you can see it falling off quickly after the APS-C zone in the corners.



MTF 35mm F2.0

So yes, it will .. use it to take advantage of that fact .. if you shoot with center framing and prority wide open to be at the center and need the corners, etc to be blurred because of DOF .. then this can work to your advantage.

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Timbukto
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Re: Samples of what I see (apples-to-apples):
In reply to CanonKen, Feb 3, 2013

Just the characteristics of your 35 f2 wide open.  Not a big deal since you don't shoot wide-open flat planes.  However I believe the newer 35 f2 IS would fare quite a bit better if you were to test as would the Sigma 35 1.4.  Not a nature of sensor size but just that *some* lenses make benefit of sweet-zone theory but the truth is only a minority of them truly do IMO.  And being able to use sweet-zone APS-C advantage in real live is meaningless at these focal lengths and apertures, they only really are useful for getting more detail in reach limited situations (i.e. telephotos).

So the 35 f2 and 50mm 1.8's are just about the only lenses that truly can get rid of poor corners.  On the otherhand that is made up for the fact that if you are shooting wide-open on these you wanted thin DOF anyways, which FF gives you a big advantage.  In addition for lenses that are a bit weaker wide-open I tend to think they look better on FF where 18mp on APS-C really just captures more CA and optical aberrations, but just my subjective opinion.

On the other hand when it comes to telephotos you definitely feel the weight and cost disadvantage of trying to obtain similar reach as 1.6x crop.

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Peter Galbavy
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Re: Have you checked AF accuracy?
In reply to CanonKen, Feb 7, 2013

I have found that micro adjustment is mandatory on my 1DsIII. I have the 85 f/1.8 too and it's a lovely lens but is completely blown away by the 100mm IS Macro - for only a minor change in focal length. Once adjusted I am happy with my 24-105mm as the walk around lens and I tend to then carry to 100mm and the 50mm f/1.4.

I threw my old 80-200mm f/2.8 in the bag when my colleagues went ice skating without doing any previous micro adjust and I *know* it's a good copy but the shots were far too soft (even when compared to the 24-105mm in the same conditions)... that'll teach me.

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Joachim Gerstl
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Re: My Canon glass isn't so hot on the 1Ds Mk. III...
In reply to CanonKen, Feb 10, 2013

CanonKen wrote:

I have used a 30D for years (well, since it came out, so 6 years I guess). I built up a few lenses since then:

35mm f/2, 85mm f/1.8, 17-40mm f/4L, 70-200mm f/4L (non-IS). They all work great on this camera and I fully trust the camera and lenses under any use (wide open, hard lighting conditions, etc.)

Overall, not at all thrilled with what I see on a FF body.

-- hide signature --

The 35mm is pathetic and miserable wide open, but EXCELLENT at f/8-11.

--The 85mm is so-so wide open but EXCELLENT at f/8-11.

--The 17-40mm is decent, probably fine for landscapes and such (corners get soft/distorted). Not good wide open, but for a landscape lens, not a concern.

--The 70-200 is great at 70mm, but not as good at 200mm (some slight softness on one side). Not so hot wide open.

Overall, all 4 lenses can look great, but I have to really stop them down to get something that can make use of the camera.

My question is about expectations. On a high-MP FF body, what should I expect from these lenses? All 4 worked great on my APS-C body, but on FF, the outer areas quickly degrade to a point they look bad on even an modest sized print. Do I have bad copies, or is this normal for lower-tier glass on a flagship FF camera?

Do I see a 24-70 & 70-200 f/2.8 in my future?

2/35 get the 35L instead, it is an excellent lens

1.8/85 get the Sigma 1.4/85, truly very very good

17-40L everybody knows that it is a landscape lens and needs to be stopped down

4/70-200L is not excellent: get the IS version or the new 2.8

In short I recommend to get better glass.

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brightcolours
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Re: My Canon glass isn't so hot on the 1Ds Mk. III...
In reply to Joachim Gerstl, Feb 10, 2013

Joachim Gerstl wrote:

CanonKen wrote:

I have used a 30D for years (well, since it came out, so 6 years I guess). I built up a few lenses since then:

35mm f/2, 85mm f/1.8, 17-40mm f/4L, 70-200mm f/4L (non-IS). They all work great on this camera and I fully trust the camera and lenses under any use (wide open, hard lighting conditions, etc.)

Overall, not at all thrilled with what I see on a FF body.

-- hide signature --

The 35mm is pathetic and miserable wide open, but EXCELLENT at f/8-11.

--The 85mm is so-so wide open but EXCELLENT at f/8-11.

--The 17-40mm is decent, probably fine for landscapes and such (corners get soft/distorted). Not good wide open, but for a landscape lens, not a concern.

--The 70-200 is great at 70mm, but not as good at 200mm (some slight softness on one side). Not so hot wide open.

Overall, all 4 lenses can look great, but I have to really stop them down to get something that can make use of the camera.

My question is about expectations. On a high-MP FF body, what should I expect from these lenses? All 4 worked great on my APS-C body, but on FF, the outer areas quickly degrade to a point they look bad on even an modest sized print. Do I have bad copies, or is this normal for lower-tier glass on a flagship FF camera?

Do I see a 24-70 & 70-200 f/2.8 in my future?

2/35 get the 35L instead, it is an excellent lens

Nonsense, only get a 35mm f1.4 L if one wants the extra stop, and does not care about its added weight. Photographing maps at f2 will still result in so-so sharpness across the frame and heavy vignetting.

1.8/85 get the Sigma 1.4/85, truly very very good

Nonsense, the 85mm f1.8 USM is truly very good too. No need to get a Sgma f1.4 instead (more expensive, heavier).

17-40L everybody knows that it is a landscape lens and needs to be stopped down

4/70-200L is not excellent: get the IS version or the new 2.8

The 70-200mm f4 L USM is excellent, and the IS version is not as good in 2 areas (besides the price): bokeh and close up work at MFD.

In short I recommend to get better glass.

His "glass" is not the problem, it is his expectations.

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