Canon digital bodies and Nikon lenses

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Joseph Chamberlain, DDS, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. Dear group members:

    I wanted to post some questions and first reviews on my new equipment to
    obtain some feedback from you as well as have you share your own

    This past weekend I took my new Canon 1Ds Mark II out for the first real
    serious shooting session and did some tests with two lenses I purchased
    along with the camera. The lenses are the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM zoom and the
    EF 24mm f/1.4L USM.

    I am surprised with the low quality of the images I got from both lenses. I
    am coming from film cameras and used two very similar lenses with my Nikon
    Pro film body. My expectations for both Canon lenses were that they would
    meet Nikon's quality since they are both "L" lenses and the price is about
    the same but they don't even come close. My Nikon lenses are the 17-35mm
    f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S Zoom-Nikkor and the 28mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor. The performance
    on these lenses is just outstanding. The zoom is an all-around great lens
    that I like to take with me to places where I may want to capture a large
    area and may not have the room to stand back and embrace my landscape. The
    28mm is a great lens for low light situations where I don't like to use
    tripod and/or flash. They are both very sharp and even with the zoom opened
    to 17mm coverage, there is the natural distortion found at this type of
    focal length but the image is extremely sharp.

    I thought it might be just my impression and decided to check a few sites. I
    couldn't really find one that had objective tests with a specific technical
    protocol for testing lenses, but found several sites with reviews from other
    users and photographers such as Fred Miranda's site. It seems all reviews
    corroborate my initial impressions about flaws with Canon lenses. The
    16-35mm is claimed to be a disappointment but many who reviewed it and the
    24 f/1.4 also has its flaws including lack of sharpness.

    What is the deal with Canon lenses ? I can't believe I've just purchased a $
    10,000 + digital set up with what should be the best high end digital SLR
    system in the market and this is the type of photos I'm getting from these
    lenses. My opinion about the camera couldn't be any better. It is indeed
    very well built and a work of art in terms of engineering. The lenses, on
    the other hand, don't seem to even come from the same manufacturer or to
    have been designed with serious photographers in mind.

    One of Fred Miranda's review compares the sharp quality of Nikkor's 28mm
    lens to a Leica Vario-Elmar 21-35mm zoom lens. This is how good Nikon lenses

    The other option of lens I had in mind for my camera was the new EF 24-105mm
    f/4L IS USM lens because of its versatility and the ability to use it as the
    preferred lens for those photo shooting situations where you can only take
    one lens with you. After searching for this lens I found out that it has
    been pulled from the market because of some serious design flaws that caused
    flaring and other problems.

    Canon could follow Sony's approach. Since they realize they don't have the
    expertise required to design and build truly professional grade lenses, they
    went to Carl Zeiss. Now that Kyocera decided to discontinue its Contax line
    of cameras and is only keeping the Yashica line, Canon could very easily
    approach Carl Zeiss to produce its lenses as Kyocera did in the past.

    It is hard to accept that after a $ 10,000+ purchase the results I'm
    obtaining are not matching those I was able to obtain from my Nikon $ 2,000
    film setup. Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe I was under the wrong
    impression when I presumed that Canon's lenses were of similar quality to
    those made by Nikon.

    The bottom line is that one company gives you great lenses but still can't
    seem to develop a decent body with full frame sensor that doesn't change the
    characteristics of all the lenses you invested your money on. The other
    produces great bodies with outstanding resolution, full frame sensor and
    great overall performance but the lenses are of average rather than
    professional grade image quality.

    It seems that digital photography is not ready for prime time yet. Close -
    but no cigar !

    I am sorry for the long post - just needed to share my frustrations.

    Best regards,

    Joseph Chamberlain, DDS, Nov 9, 2005
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  2. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    G.T. Guest

    More money than brains, I see. Spend thousands of dollars on something and
    then read the reviews. Bravo!

    G.T., Nov 9, 2005
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  3. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    Sheldon Guest

    Just curious: Why buy the Canon when you already had some excellent Nikon
    lenses? I don't want to get into the Canon vs. Nikon debate, but many of us
    chose a digital body based on what we already had in the way of equipment.
    Sheldon, Nov 9, 2005
  4. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    Douglas... Guest

    How much do you want for this load of rubbish you bought?
    I'm no fan of Canon but I might be convinced to help you out by taking
    it off your hands so you can buy a piece of Nikon crap and discover the
    same thing... That you shouldn't be playing with Professional
    Photographers equipment and expect to get the same results they do.

    For Christ sake man, half the world's magazine cover shooters use this
    gear. If you can't get a decent picture, just remember the old saying...
    "A poor tradesman always blames his tools".

    Posting negative remarks about brands here will get you nothing but
    ridicule. Why? Because the photographers here all know that Canon is
    absolutely the best quality, most reliable load of useless digital crap
    anyone could ever own. You telling them that is preaching to the converted.

    Despite this knowledge, some still manage to run their business with
    Canon gear a lot less advanced than your outfit. The manage to take
    award winning photographs with them and generally make do with cameras
    and lenses you'd probably pass up because they weren't the "best"...
    Whatever that means .

    Before you continue on with your trolling posts, either learn how to
    take a photo or take the camera back and buy a Polaroid.
    Douglas..., Nov 9, 2005
  5. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    C Wright Guest

    I can't comment on the lenses that you bought since I have not tried them.
    However, I do have a question. You don't say anything about how you
    processed/handled your test images. Is it possible that you are using the
    default in-camera processing parameters of your 1DsII? The default for
    sharpness is a parameter of 0 which is the softest of four choices. Also,
    most digital images benefit from some software sharpening, specially those
    with little or no in-camera sharpening. Canon, rightly or wrongly, believes
    that the buyers of of this camera prefer to default to a soft image. Most
    users of the 1DsII that I have read about have reset their in-camera
    sharpness to a 1 or a 2 setting.
    C Wright, Nov 9, 2005
  6. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    223rem Guest

    Joseph Chamberlain, DDS wrote:
    [bs snipped]

    Please dont feed the trolls!
    223rem, Nov 9, 2005
  7. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    Skip M Guest

    Douglas, you've given me "newsgroup whiplash." I've never had the
    experience of being insulted and pleased by the same post... <grin>
    Skip M, Nov 9, 2005
  8. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    Skip M Guest

    Oh, yeah, and laughing, too! <g>
    Skip M, Nov 9, 2005

  9. Sheldon:

    I really like the camera body and think it is a superbly engineered piece of
    equipment. I don't think the lenses match the camera. I had a lot of money
    invested on Nikkor lenses but decided to switch to Canon when I realized I
    wasn't being able to get a good setup for close-up medical photography using
    Nikon equipment. I have used Canon for medical photography and been happy
    with their equipment compared to what Nikon offers for the same type of
    application. This should show how open minded I am about new equipment and
    how unbiased my opinion is in regards to either company. My switch to Canon
    was motivated by the fact that while Canon offered two macro flashes
    (MR-14EX and MT-24EX) that sync with its digital SLR bodies in auto TTL
    mode, Nikon doesn't even offer one (it is about to introduce its first one
    now along with the new D200). Also whenever I needed to obtain magnification
    superior to 1:1 (as is sometimes necessary when photographing biopsy
    samples, for instance) with Nikon equipment I was forced to use a bellows, a
    bellows extension, double cable release, an adapter ring, a lens mounted in
    reverse at the end of the bellows, compensate for light loss with the
    bellows and many other technical issues. It was a mess. All this done
    without the benefit of immediate feedback one usually gets from using a
    digital camera. Canon solved this problem and simplified this whole process
    by introducing one single lens that takes care of all these issues: the MP-E
    65mm f/2.8 1x-5x macro lens. This lens achieves the same level of
    magnification achieved on the first stage of a clinical laboratory
    microscope (5x). This is truly amazing.

    I now found myself using a Canon EOS 10D setup mostly for professional
    close-up medical photography and using Nikon for my personal shooting.
    However, the time came when I needed to move on to something with more
    resolution. The advantage of a camera such as the EOS 1Ds Mark II is that
    the image displayed on a computer screen can be magnified until it reaches
    100% the original number of pixels and the image provides the type of
    enlargement that is similar to performing surgery with the aid of a surgical
    microscope. This is fantastic for documentation as well as for reviewing
    post-operative results. Cropping also allows you to display smaller details
    when you wish to prepare material for a lecture, for instance.

    Since I invested on a new Canon body and already had the macro flashes and
    lenses for my professional photography, I thought I could also purchase a
    few lenses and move from my decent but lower resolution Nikon D70 to using
    the 1Ds Mk II as an all around camera. The lenses I used the most with my
    film cameras were the ones that the D70 rendered useless because of the
    typical 1.5x magnification factor - the 17-35mm and the 28mm f/1.4 for night
    flash-less photos. This is the reason I chose these two Canon lenses - they
    represent the lenses I use the most outside of the macro lenses which I use
    everyday for work.

    Best regards,

    Joseph Chamberlain, DDS, Nov 9, 2005
  10. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    bmoag Guest

    I operate nearly evey day with a microscope and what I do is far more
    critical than anything a maxillofacial surgeon will encounter.
    Who has the time to worry about taking pictures?
    If the lawyers hear you are taking pictures they will just use them to hang
    you with, whether they are taken with a Canon or a Nikon.
    bmoag, Nov 9, 2005

  11. Chuck:

    I haven't done any post processing at all. I took general photos without any
    specific test in mind.

    No post processing was done. The photos were taken as RAW (CR2), opened with
    Bridge (Adobe's latest CS2) and viewed with Camera Raw 3.2 hosted by Bridge
    (3.2 is the latest version and I just downloaded it from Adobe's web site a
    few days ago).

    Thank you for the suggestion about the in-camera processing parameters. Mine
    remain as the factory defaults and I didn't feel the need to change them. I
    am going to look into this and try a few different options to see how much
    improvement I can obtain from it.

    To be very honest with you what I see is basically the type of edge
    distortion that is noticeable by the naked eye and one does not need to be a
    specialist to see it. Distortion and lack of sharpness that are simply
    absent with the Nikkor equivalent to these lenses. The difference between
    Canon and Nikon is more pronounced on the zoom lenses (Nikkor's 17-35mm is
    way superior to Canon's 16-35mm), but Nikkor's 28mm f/1.4 lens is also a lot
    sharper than Canon's 24mm f/1.4 lens.

    The camera is superb but the lenses (at least the ones I've chosen so far)
    do not match it. Another lens I had chosen which is the new 24-105mm zoom
    f/4L has been recalled. The next one I am going to purchase is the 135mm I
    am planning to purchase for my in-office portraits of my patients. I have
    read reviews that this lens fairs favorably when compared to the 85mm f/1.2
    in terms of overall sharpness. I will post my initial impressions as soon as
    I try it.

    My only wish was to get the same image quality I had become accustomed to
    with my Nikkor lenses.

    Thank you again for your feedback and I will definitely check the camera
    settings and to what degree they impact this issue.

    Best regards,

    Joseph Chamberlain, DDS, Nov 9, 2005
  12. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    Peter Guest

    Canon should install rootkits on our computers which cannot be removed
    and generally try to make us unable to use the stuff we bought legally?

    Peter, Nov 9, 2005
  13. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    G.T. Guest

    Can you post a photo of your medical or dental license? I'm having trouble
    believing you're nothing but a brainless troll or a fraud of a Douglas

    G.T., Nov 9, 2005
  14. There is nothing wrong with Canon's telephoto lenses. On the wide
    end, however, Canon's performance does not shine.

    With a cheap adapter, both Nikkors and Carl Zeiss lenses can be fitted
    to an EF-mount Canon. You'll lose AF and need to use stop down
    metering - but at least you have glass that match the camera.

    The Carl Zeiss Distagon 21mm f/2.8 (originally made for Contax) is
    very much sought after by owners of Canon 1DsMk2 and 5D owners.
    As a result, the price for it has sky-rocketed on the second-hand
    market. I am sure that if Carl Zeiss started to produce it again with
    the EF-mount, they would do very good business with frustrated Canon
    Gisle Hannemyr, Nov 9, 2005
  15. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    Douglas... Guest

    Laugh this one Skip...
    The Canon hater in me absolutely hates *me* today. I just ordered a 5D!
    God help this poor sole who is once again corrupted by the demon EOS. Is
    there no help for me?

    Shock, Horror... I just dusted off my sole remaining Canon camera. an
    old EOS 1N and behold... It still works just like the day I threw it in
    the box. This incredibly durable piece of hardware will from this day
    forth keep me company everywhere I go, such is it's reliability. Ability
    to work in obscene temperatures and still take impeccable pictures. Not
    to mention survive the odd dropping!

    Ahrrr Nikon lied to me. It worked so well all during winter and then
    when the first really hot day arrives and I had to use it in the sun, it
    heated up it's sensor, started capturing colours that weren't there.

    I put it in the fridge with all the beer and champers for half an hour
    while I shot some of the Wedding with a E300 (is there no sin?) and then
    got the thing from the fridge and shot the formals before it sobered up.

    Just as well this Wedding was in the grounds of a Pub! Prey for me Skip,
    my sole is corrupted again. :)
    Douglas..., Nov 9, 2005
  16. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    Tony Polson Guest

    And therein lies the problem. You just don't understand digital.

    Any DSLR will produce images that appear soft when compared with film.
    It has nothing to do with the lenses, because the same lenses will
    produce sharp images on film but soft digital images.

    Digital images straight from the camera need to be post-processed -
    suitable applications for doing this include Photoshop Elements v4.0
    and Corel Paint Shop Pro X. You can spend megabucks on Photoshop CS
    but everything you will need - and more- is in Photoshop Elements
    v4.0. The best quality is generally obtained by shooting in RAW

    What you need to do now is learn how to post-process digital images to
    get the results you want. Whether your extreme arrogance will allow
    you to accept this is of course another matter.
    Tony Polson, Nov 9, 2005
  17. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    Andrew Haley Guest

    Lens tests do not reveal the Canon lenses to have worse performance
    than their Nikon equivalents.

    Do you see this effect in the centre of the image, or just around the

    I suspect that what you're really seeing is the effect of the
    full-frame sensor: the extremes of the frame are far less sharp, both
    on the Nikon and the Canon lenses. But the Nikon, not a full-frame
    sensor, doesn't use the edge of the image.

    Andrew Haley, Nov 9, 2005
  18. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    DD Guest

    Have you totally lost it?

    Really Doug, it's no wonder you get flamed so often. Posts like these
    only serve to show that its not photography you are interested in, but
    playing with us!

    How did you discover this Nikon colour capturing problem during the
    shoot? Do you carry around a laptop with you and examine every shot in
    RSE during the wedding? You can't possibly assess colour using the LCD
    on a DSLR.

    BTW, if colour accuracy is so vitally important to you, why not just
    stick to the technology that has been keeping photographers happy since
    midway through last century: colour film. Pick one, shoot it, stick with
    DD, Nov 9, 2005
  19. Joseph Chamberlain, DDS

    JimKramer Guest

    I have a novel suggestion: Try the lenses out on a Canon film body and
    compare the results to the images you took with the Nikon? Better? I
    wonder why?

    JimKramer, Nov 9, 2005
  20. Mate. I think you asked some reasonable questions. Unfortunately I don't
    have the answers for you but I would like to apologise for the comments of
    some of the people here.

    Probably a mixture of jealousy both intellectual and financial with copious
    helpings of Scheudenfraude.

    Pretty pathetic really.
    Steve Franklin, Nov 9, 2005
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