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Old Oct 2, 2007, 3:36 PM   #11
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JohnG,

I concede all of your points, but I remind you that I wrote:
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... Telephoto lenses don't do this as much as wide angle lenses ...
Also, Canon's webpage for the the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM states "It has been specifically designed for improved edge-to-edge image quality that will meet the strict requirements of professional and high-end amateur photographers." So while it may not have been designed with digital image sensors in mind, it certainly addresses the issue of vignetting such that digital image sensors will benifit.

And the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is a relatively new lens and so was almost certainly designed with digital image sensors in mind.
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Old Oct 2, 2007, 3:54 PM   #12
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TCav,

How does the 18-200 Tamron compare against the lens it replaced in their line-up? Against the older 28-200 or 28-300 superzooms? As I recall it was signficantly better, even though it's not a particularly good lens. Comparing it against a prime of any vintage is unfair.

John,

I repeat - for anything over about 75mm it is utterly pointless to make a crop (short-back-focus) "digital lens".

As to the wide angles - the new Canon L lenses ARE made for digital, it just so happens they are full-frame digital, because that's where Canon's top-of-the-range is. They have new coatings to prevent flare and reflections (which reduce contrast) they are also much higher resolution (particularly at the edges of the frame). Why did Canon release a new 16-35L? The old one never got any criticism in the days of film - it is only when the lens was put on the high resolution 1DsMkII that people started finding it lacking.

Canon also have released the 24-105L, the 50f1.2, the 85 f1.2 L MkII, the new 70-200 f4 L - all of those are also digital full-frame lenses. Of course they work just fine on film cameras too. And they are the best lenses Canon make, surpassing their predecessors in every instance.

All of the Sigma DG series lenses are digital (full-frame) lenses, also all surpassing their predecessors, if not in resolution then in resistance to flare and improved contrast.

Compare the Nikon 17-55 f2.8 against its film counterpart 28-70 f2.8 and it gives similar performance at half the price.

The Canon EF-S 17-55 f2.8 is the just about the sharpest lens Canon make, including their fixed focal length lenses, probably surpassed only by their EF-S 60mm macro, and now their new 70-200 f4.

Heck even large-format lens makers like Schneider and Rodenstock are releasing higher resolution lenses with different coatings for their medium and large format digital users.

Of course it's possible that the lens makers and early complainers about lens quality when using film lenses on digital cameras are all in cahoots and I've just bought into the hype - it wouldn't be the first time I have been hoodwinked. Perhaps the old lenses really are the best and you guys have blown this thing wide open.
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Old Oct 2, 2007, 4:09 PM   #13
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Peripatetic - I don't disagree with most of what you've said. No argument that there isn't room for improvement.

I think I was more stuck on the notion that the 'designed for aps-c' lenses were better.

I'll buy into redesigning the optics too.

BUT, I'm not sold on the digital coatings. Sigma pulled that nonsense - replaced their lenses with new versions where the ONLY change was the coatings. I haven't heard from ANYONE that has seen an improvement in IQ (i.e. reduction in flare) just because of that coating. This of course was an excuse for Sigma to jack up their prices by 30% or so.

Bottom line - I agree that improving a lens to work with a digital sensor pays dividends. But I don't agree that designed for aps-c lenses are always better than older lenses designed for full frame. They would be if you're comparing similar categories of lenses (i.e. consumer vs. consumer). But there still aren't many pro grade designed-for-APSC sized lenses. So in those instances I think you could still get better quality from an older pro grade full-frame lens.



Take canon's 35mm 1.4, 50mm 1.4 lenses. Even the 14mm 2.8 (which now has a version II ) - is their a designed for aps-c lens that is the same quality as the above? Including build quality?

Hopefully I'm making some sense here.:?
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Old Oct 2, 2007, 5:01 PM   #14
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peripatetic wrote:
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TCav,

How does the 18-200 Tamron compare against the lens it replaced in their line-up? Against the older 28-200 or 28-300 superzooms? As I recall it was signficantly better, even though it's not a particularly good lens. Comparing it against a prime of any vintage is unfair.
I'm not comparing the 18-200 against a prime. I'm comparing it to my other zooms: 28-105 f/3.5-4.5, 35-70 f/3.5-4.5, 70-210 f/4, & 75-300 4.5-5.6. It's dimmer, softer and has more chromatic aberration and geometric distortion than any of them, by far (so being a superzoom is not an excuse.)

Minolta only ever made one lens that can be called comparable, and that was the 35-200 f/4.5-5.6 that dates back to 1991. There aren't a lot of them around, but in a user review on Dyxum.com (a website devoted to Minolta products) one user did say that he discarded his 18-200 after using his 35-200. (See http://www.dyxum.com/reviews/lenses/...asp?IDLens=338.)

As to other Tamron lenses, the Dyxum user ratings give the Di superzooms better scores than the non-Di superzooms , but among the Di superzooms , the 18-200 is the worst, and the 18-250 is the best. PhotoZone.de Lens Performance Survey Results rate all Tamron superzooms from poor to very poor (though the 18-250 has yet to appear in the survey.)
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Old Oct 2, 2007, 7:16 PM   #15
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drgrafix wrote:
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One other question. What about the 1.5 factor? Does anyone feel its a negative or positive in any way (using a 35mm film camera lens on their DSLR)?
This is an interesting discussion you've started.

As far as the 1.5 factor - the negative is that your field of view is less with wide angle lenses. There can be a plus side, too - I have a lens that was part of the kit back in 1980. It has a horrible reputation for softness at the edges and lack of Pentax coatings. On thedSLR cameras it takes advantage of the sharp center and I've gotten some very nice pictures from it - much better than you would expect from its lousy reputation. That same lens doesn't have any of Pentax's coatings (they've put coatings of one sort or another for many years) and it does suffer from flare far more than any of my other lenses, including the SMC M 50mm 1.7 that I got at the same time.

I don't think you can make a blanket statement that full frame/film lenses are better/worse than the digital only lenses.

I have 3 digital only lenses, two consumer ones and one better quality. I also have one top quality film lens (well, maybe two if you want to include my Viv Series 1 macro lens, which some consider a cult lens), along with something like 6 or 7 consumer grade film lenses. Some of the film lenses are excellent while others aren't even good paperweights. One of my DA lenses has a problem and also suffers from vignetting far more than my particular kit lens. My camera bag is currently filled with two DA lenses and two film lenses (bothare auto exposure-manual focus lenses) which are what I use for most things, with my manual fast primes filling in when I'm shooting low-light. I'm rather pleased with my collection.
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