DP Review's 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II review is up

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by MrLogic, May 6, 2010.

  1. MrLogic

    MrLogic New Member

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  2. MrLogic

    MrLogic New Member

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    What I find "interesting" is that DP Review still uses only one test sample per test. Note the 5th paragraph of the overall conclusion, for example:

    "Perhaps the one blot on the landscape is relatively unimpressive image quality at close focus distances, making the shorter minimum focus, and improved maximum magnification, a little less useful than it looks on paper. However it must be noted that our test sample clearly displayed some asymmetry in the optics at close focus distances, with the right side of the frame becoming visibly softer than the left - something which may not be representative of the design as a whole."


    :confused:

    How about... testing some additional samples then? I mean... it may be a fairly expensive lens, but certainly not an "exotic." Surely they -- DP Review -- could borrow / lend some other samples to make sure(?)
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX New Member

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    ^^agreed, but on a good sample, I think we'd all know what it would look like.

    It looks amazing for sure. I just wish they did more to it cosmetically.

    ((here's waiting for the 24mm f/1.4 review))
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    So, you're confused a bit, MrLogic? Well, it's interesting, because SLRgrear.com did a multi-sample evaluation of the Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM lens, and found a systematic problem with five samples of the lens, of quite varied serial numbers. The problem is that all five Canon 50's showed TERRIBLE, absolutely terrible, edge performance on one side of the frame.

    The Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM: a multi-sample evaluation - SLRgear.com!

    So, the problem actually is/was found to be "representative of the design as a whole". In their multi-sample testing, the SLR gear authors postulated that since all five Canon 50's had horrible edge performance, that perhaps the mis-alignment resulted from the way the lens assembly is conducted. In other words, that the actual lens assembly process has a mechanical step that is causing this defect to be repeated, lens after lens,a cross the wide range of serial numbers tested.

    An excerpt from the multi-sample Canon test:
    "We were a little surprised to see that all five samples were noticeably soft on the same side: we'd somewhat expected that if there were asymmetry, we'd see variations in that asymmetry, with some samples being sharper on the right, some on the left, etc. Our setup and test body were the same as we've been using for our tests for some time, and we haven't seen any consistent softness on the right side of the frame before, but just to make sure nothing was amiss in the setup, we attached a 50mm ƒ/1.8 lens onto the camera and checked its performance at ƒ/1.8 and ƒ/2. Fortunately, the results matched our expectations: the 50mm ƒ/1.8 lens itself had asymmetric blur at wide apertures, but rather than being soft on the right side, it was softest at the bottom, and relatively balanced left to right."


    They also tested five Nikkor 50mm 1.4 lenses and found no such systemic one-side-softer-than-the-others type of problem.
    The Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S: a multi-sample evaluation - SLRgear.com!

    An excerpt: "The samples of the Nikon 50mm ƒ/1.4G we tested showed very different characteristics overall than did the samples of the Canon 50mm ƒ/1.4 USM, the subject of our first sample-variation test. The Canon versions were moderately sharp at the center of the frame when shooting wide open, but the corners were incredibly soft. The Nikons were softer at the center, but sharpness was much more uniform as you moved to the center."

    I really think that dPreview finding their copy of the new Canon 70-200 2.8 USM-II soft on one side is not that surprising...the lens could suffer from decentered elements, or ever-so-slight manufacturing or assembly defects. Modern, mass-produced lenses from all mass market models have a reasonable chance of not being perfect,and it would seem from the above tests of two simple lenses (50mm 1.4 models from Canon and Nikon) that if the manufacturing and assembly procedures are not perfect that it's possible that five out of five 50mm lenses can ALL BE HORRIBLE on one side of the frame if even a small amount of assembly or manufacturing quality assurance is not maintained.

    There really are not that many rigorous 5 sample versus 5 sample, 2-brand tests to draw conclusions from. Why a web site with dPreview's vast resources did not procure another Canon 70-200 sample to cross-reference is beyond me. They raised an important question, but seem to have taken no steps to answer the question.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit Well-Known Member

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    What does the 50mm f/1.4 review have to do with the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II review?
     
  6. cfusionpm

    cfusionpm New Member

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    It's Darrel. He finds any possible tangential reason to wedge in some pre-disposed anti-Canon essay, regardless of its relevance to the topic at hand. :thumbup:

    That being said, I've noticed no uneven softness in mine (or my 50 1.4 for that matter). My copy has been nothing but absolutely wonderful, and I hope to finally unleash it at a large group model shoot here in San Diego on Saturday. :)
     
  7. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX New Member

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    It was just reiteration on how multiple samples should be used for a truly conclusive review.
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Sounds like you and cfcontusion might wish to re-read the original poster's question/commentary. The relevance of the 50mm 1.4 review is that it directly addressed the OP's comments, and it provided empirical,factual information showing that, yes, it is possible for a lens design and manufacturing process to produce multiple lenses, of the same model, that ALL exhibit strong softness and image quality faults on one side of the field of view. All five 50mm f/ 1.4 EF USM lenses had horrible edge performance on one edge; the serial numbers spanned quite a range.

    I provided the URL to a March, 2010 slrgear.com review that demonstrated,conclusively, that it is possible for 5 individual lenses, spaced across a production run, to all suffer from strong, obvious optical flaws on the same side of the lens.

    Modern mass-production of lenses involves compromises and cost/benefit analysis and QC issues, and that in today's market, lens quality is not assured. The sad truth is that today,more so than ever, a person needs to TEST a new lens to make sure that it delivers the kind of performance that it should deliver. Usayit's penchant for $3,495 Leica 50mm lenses might make him unaware that Canon's 50/1.4 USM has nowhere near the same optical and mechanical quality leica can lavish on its lenses, and 5 Canon 1.4 lenses in a row delivered horrible performance, all on the same side, and yet when the same camera body was cross-referenced with a Canon 50mm 1.8, the optical problem was not on the same side...ergo--lens problem!!!

    dPfreview is a huge site, with a big budget and loads of corporate money. The OP wrote, "What I find "interesting" is that DP Review still uses only one test sample per test." And sooooooooo, I provided a URL linking to a 5-sample test showing that YES, it is possible to see bad lens performance in 5 individual samples of one lens model.

    Sorry to burst your bubble cfcontusion, but I own about $10,000 worth of Canon bodies and Canon lenses...my comments are not those of an anti-Canon person; I am a Canon owner and user, but I am a smart lens buyer, and I test my lenses to make sure they are not crap. Today's lens designs are very complex, with huge numbers of elements, and cost-cutting pressures and parts supplies coming from outside the lens makers' companies (ie 3rd party parts supply is the norm today) and the lens assembly volumes mean that today,more so than in the past, there seem to be a LOT of bad lenses delivered. Look at poor Kami, who last week got a brand new Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX HSM from Adorama...and right out of the box, the lens would not autofocus. A DOA product...
     
  9. cfusionpm

    cfusionpm New Member

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    Just curious, but other than your 10+ year old 70-200, what canon lenses do you have? Your profile also lists three half-decade-old bodies (and some six-year old Nikons as well) You MUST be picky having not picked up anything newer, especially sine (according to DxO mark) all but one are significantly out-performed by those awful new high MP apsc sensors :/ .
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Here's a fawning review of the new 70-200 f/2.8 Mark II lens. The reviewer bought three samples, and one of them he is absolutely enamored with. He now lists this lens as his favorite lens. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens Review

    My 70-200 is a rather new example, only four years old. Unlike newbies, I don't need to list my equipment in my profile as bona fides. I'm not impressed by a youngster who owns a single crop-body body and four lenses. I own Canon's 70-200 2.8 L IS, EF 135/2 L, EF 50/1.4,EF 85/1.8, EF 135/2.8 Soft Focus, EF 24-105-L IS, 580 EX-II flash, Sigma 80-400 OS, Sigma 18-125 DC, Canon EF 100 USM Macro, Kenko extension tubes,Canon 500D 77mm + Diopter Lens Plus, three Canon bodies. I also own 18 or so lens adapters to adapt specialty lenses to Canon, and I have a collection of lenses that goes back 27 years, probably to before you were born. I often reach for a Nikkor lens when I need something in the macro or long telephoto realm, since Nikon lenses work quite well on Canon bodies. I am a dual system owner. I have excellent Nikon lenses, as well as a couple Sigma and Vivitar macro lenses, plus some lenses from other makers like Asahai, Tokina, and Tamron.

    I am not picky really, so much as somebody who has already built up a collection of good lenses. I have a superb 105mm f/2.5 that is probably older than you are. Most of my newer lenses are Nikkors. I've been buying a Nikkor lens, or two, or three, every year since 1982. I don't need to go out and buy new stuff...I've been involved in photography since 1973, so I don't need any new camera bodies to try and impress others. After a couple of decades, you'll learn that glass is what lasts...not bodies...bodies become nearly worthless after a very short while. I don't need any new bodies--I have all of 'em I can use.

    That's why I never wasted money on EF-S lenses for Canon...they're only mountable on crop bodies.
     
  11. MrLogic

    MrLogic New Member

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    Thanks, Derrel. :thumbup:

    How do you like the "bokeh"? It's relatively harsh, according to DP Review.

    From what I've read so far:

    - Shooting far distances, the Canon produces much better IQ than the Nikon. (is much sharper)
    - Up close, the Nikon excels; is very sharp, but "suffers" from "focus breathing"
    - The Nikon gives much(?) better bokeh. "The bokeh is exceptionally smooth for a zoom lens," according to Photozone.de


    Granted... I have no idea if most of this is true, as I don't own the Canon 70-200. A direct comparison (IQ only) would be very interesting, however.
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    I too, was intrigued by their comment about harsher bokeh. I looked through the sample photos and I guess I can see what they are saying...but I don't think it's a big problem, just something to get used to. Unless, of course, you are a hardcore bokeh honk...then it might be an issue.
     
  13. cfusionpm

    cfusionpm New Member

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    Well here's a wide open shot taken at pretty close distance that I'm pleased with. I suppose it's a bit harsh, but being on a crop sensor, smooth buttery bokeh is never going to be a strong point. If I had to choose, I'd be more concerned with subject clarity and sharpness anyway.

    Edit: Disregard that shot; it was taken with a different lens from the same shoot (17-55 2.8). I'll try to find another example, or take a quick shot right now.

    Edit: This one was taken with the 70-200 II, but there's not a lot to look at in terms of bokeh besides the rocks below (which look great, IMO). The shoot tomorrow is actually going to be horrible for comparing bokeh because it's model shoot on a giant white background. Outside urban areas will be available, so I'll see what I can do though.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2010
  14. MrLogic

    MrLogic New Member

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    ^ Thanks, 'preciate it!
     
  15. cfusionpm

    cfusionpm New Member

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    Here's what I could muster from my patio with a small toy and a leafy background (click for the full images) :

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I think JPG compression has taken its toll more than anything else, but I am perfectly satisfied with these results. :)
     

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