Canon Lens "sweet spots"

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by AverageJoe, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I've read from numerous sources that some lens perform better at specific F stops than others. I'd like to see if people could provide some insight based on their experience.
     
  2. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe TPF Noob!

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    For me:

    Canon 50mm f/1.4 best F stop is at 2.0 without a doubt.

    Canon 17-40mm L best F stops have been at 8 and 11

    Canon 10-22mm EF-S best F stops have been at 5.6
     
  3. CxThree

    CxThree TPF Noob!

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    For the most part, stick to F8 and F11 on most lenses. Thats a fairly safe range across most glass.
     
  4. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Lens review sites such as photozone.de has information like that. i.e. EF 85mm F/1.8 lens has the highest MTF at F/5.6
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    One rule of thumb is to avoid the extremes for optimum quality. In other words, most lenses are better when stopped down a stop or two from wide open...or open from the minimum aperture.

    I did have one photography instructor who said that it was proven that F8 was the best aperture to use for highest quality...on any lens. I'm not sure I believe that, but F8 to F11 is usually a pretty safe range to stay in.
     
  6. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe TPF Noob!

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    I'm more interested in personal experiences as opposed to reviews, what have You found works best?
     
  7. ErectedGryphon

    ErectedGryphon TPF Noob!

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    This topic is very diverse, I have experienced different results based on gear configurations. On my 5D with my 28-135mm I get good results with all stops, but my "sweet spot" as you coined it, is at around f/6.3. The same lens on my father's 30D and the "sweet spot" is every thing below f/18, I would guess because of the smaller sensor size. So as you can see from my experience, it depends on both the camera and the lens combo.
     
  8. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe TPF Noob!

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    Thanks ErectedGryphon, that's helpfull.
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My 'personal experience' is that I rarely worry about which specific aperture to shoot at for quality. Instead I choose the aperture based on the DOF that I want, and use good technique to optimize the quality of the image.

    For example; a photo that is shot at F22 using a tripod, remote release, mirror lock up and careful focusing, will probably be sharper than a photo shot hand held at F8.

    However, if I know that a lens has a specific weakness, I might avoid that. For example, I rarely use my 50mm F1.8 at F1.8.
     
  10. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    300mmF2.8L sweet at any F stop
     
  11. mtfd635

    mtfd635 TPF Noob!

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    Personal experience - I agree with Big Mike. I set the f stop for the shot, and a tripod is most useful n effective 'accessory' for ensuring IQ.
    I have not found particular apertures to be problematic.
    Shooting 40d & 30D with a mix of Canon L & EF-S, Tamron & Sigma.
    I do not deny sweet spots exist, perhaps my technique just effectively works around it.
     

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