EOS EF L - Lenses vs. Nikon lenses

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by lf, May 10, 2005.

  1. lf

    lf

    I use a Canon EOS 10-D with the 17-40 f/4 L and a 70-200 f/4 L. Some
    people I know often say that the top of the range Nikon- lenses
    produce sharper results then there Canon- L counterparts when used at
    medium and wide open apertures. I also learned that National
    Geographic Magazine mainly uses Nikon glass. Is there a reason for
    that? Are the top of the range Nikon zooms and fixed lenses actually
    better in terms of resolution and sharpness then their Canon L-
    counterparts,especially when used on a digital body?
     
  2. Name some specific lenses and you might get some useful responses, but otherwise it will just be a N vs C debate which is pointless. Each lens model will perform differently than another model in the same line so you can't make a generalization for the whole line. Both canon and nikon have lenses that out perform the equivalent from the other brand, but there's no universal rule of which brand is better, compare specific lenses to each other and you'll see that some are better than others, and the better ones will come from both camps depending on the focal length and aperture.
     
  3. photodo will let you know the objective data, subjective look is something else entirely
     
  4. If you can't produce top notch, commercially viable work with either if those lenses, it's not the lenses that are at fault. Ditto for any of Canon or Nikon's top lenses. They are both excellent.
    "Comparisons are odious" - Sir John Fortescue
     
  5. Billy i have a lens testes , Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2,8 L USM vs Tokina AT-X 80-200 mm f/2,8 PRO vs Minolta AF 80-200 f/2,8 Apo G vs AF-S Nikkor 80-200 mm f/2,8 D IF-ED Tamron SP AF 70-210 mm f/2,8 LD vs Pentax SMC FA* 80-200 mm f/2,8 ED. i have attached it as jpg ,
    This test was in polish photo-magazine.
     
  6. In tabele left side 70mm 135mm 200mm right side
     
  7. The majority of Sports Pro photographers use Canon. If Nikon were so much better you'd think that might tip the other way? Nikon and Canon both make excellent glass. Nikon has profoundly better DSLRs, especially for sports shooting (*all* of the 1D and 1Ds Canons).
     
  8. "Nikon has profoundly better DSLRs, especially for sports shooting (*all* of the 1D and 1Ds Canons)."

    Did you mean to write, "Canon has profoundly better DSLRs..."?
     
  9. Argh.. Yikes! Not trying to diss Nikon or anything but the Canon 1D* cameras are best of class (8MP to 16MP). Nice error on my part reversing the two.
     
  10. unfortunately it is impossible to generalize, both Nikon and Canon produce some top glass, each with their own advantages.

    in a perfect world the mount would be the same and you could pick and choose the glass that you prefer, but that is as you know impossible.

    from what i know, NG photographers using Nikkor glass are primarely shooting 35mm film. Most/may pros are using Canon these days due to full frame sensors, but many pros will find the new D2X (albeith encryption issues) will produce more the adequate output for pro use.

    "Legendary" glass modern glass from Nikon include 17-35/2.8, 28/1.4, 135 DC, 70-200/2.8 VR and a few others. "Legendary" Canon glass examples are 24-70/2.8 L, 85/1.2 L, 135/2 L, 70-200/2.8 L IS etc.

    Interestinly enough, neither Nikon or Canon seem to want to produce a true superlative 50/1.4 these days, e.g. matching a stellar manual lens like the modern Leica-R 50/1.4 or Contax/Zeiss 50/1.4.

    I even know pros that keep both systems because the like/need the look of a particular lens. Who am I to argue with that - the make a nice living...

    Regarless, this is all nit-picking because if someone is chiefly concerned with highest quallity output they would use a larger format system anyhow.
     
  11. By the way photodo won't let you know anything useful.
     
  12. Patrick:

    I'd have to peg Canon's 200/1.8 as the most legendary. Wide open, it's within five percent sharpness of any other aperture. I want one.

    DI
     
  13. As long as you have a top notch lens you will not notice a differnce. The only real difference is the person pushing the button. I ll will bet you a million dollars if you put the nikon and canon 28-70 2.8 lens on a film camera and shoot the same photos and had to guess which was which you would be right about 50% of the time.
     
  14. You're not going to notice much difference in lens quality. Both Canon and Nikon produce great lenses. And both produce some not-so-great lenses. As for who uses what, most pros these days use Canon EOS. Kodak reported that at the 2004 Athens Olympics, 70% of professional photographers were using Canon EOS. Look at all these Canon lenses in these Athens photos:
    http://www.pbase.com/vthian/athens_olympics_2004&page=all
    In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find many Nikon lenses at all. As for National Geographic, probably the reason why a lot of NG photographers use Nikon is because most of Nikon photography is still film-based, and Nikon has been around for a while. But every day, more and more of them are switching to digital, and switching to Canon. It would be interesting to see what the statistics are today, as opposed to statistics starting from a decade (or decades) or so ago. Remember, National Geographic has been around for a long, long time. The Canon EOS system wasn't introduced until 1986. You you can safely say that no NG photographers where using Canon EOS lenses before 1986! But that was then, and this is now.
    These days, many of the top names in photography use Canon. Just take a look at the many, many talented and respected names here: http://www.photoworkshop.com/canon/explorers/ . Names like Jim Brandenburg, James Nachtwey, Arthur Morris, etc. And many of these esteemed names used to use Nikon. But now they use Canon. And they probably would not be doing so if Canon lenses were not of sufficient quality.
     
  15. I looked this link http://www.pbase.com/vthian/athens_olympics_2004&page=all
    and i like the post"where in Nikons" ;-)
    This show us ,which mark rules.;-)
     
  16. Some people I know often say that the top of the range Nikon- lenses produce sharper results then there Canon- L counterparts when used at medium and wide open apertures. I also learned that National Geographic Magazine mainly uses Nikon glass.

    No, both make some great lenses.
    No, National Geographic photographers can shoot what they want, most of them are freelancers. Camera type is not important to NG, they just want the best images they can get...I have yet to hire a carpenter based on whose hammer he uses..It what he does with it..
     
  17. ky2

    ky2

    The 17-40L and 18-35Afd Nikkor are very close in optical performance. Nikon does not have a modern f/4 tele zoom equivalent to the 70-200/4L, but it's older f/2.8 AFD (non-USM driven) 80-200 lens is definitely better at f/4 than the Canon, and costs only a bit more.

    "The majority of Sports Pro photographers use Canon" -- Ken, the same can be said about Hondas and Toyotas, that does make them better cars than Beamers and Ferraris.

    That said, Uncle Bob is right. If you can't shoot a decent photo with these lenses on a Nikon, don't bother with a Canon (and vice versa).
     
  18. Why don't we see it in a more conservative way?

    If you're comfortable shooting with your prefered brand you have more confident
    shooting, more control, and more predictability with your results, regardless of Nikon/
    Canon or many other brands out there, lens is one part of that process to help you
    visualize--where most of the time technical specs are just no longer that relevant.

    I know someone who uses all top Nikon lens/body and still ended up nowhere in his
    shooting career, and one guy who uses a standard sigma zoom lens on an amateur canon
    camera body shooting commercially virtually everywhere.

    I believe there are more to this story somewhere in the world, this just one which coincides
    with our topic of discussion.

    Cheers,
     
  19. "Are the top of the range Nikon zooms and fixed lenses actually better in terms of resolution and sharpness then their Canon L- counterparts,especially when used on a digital body?"

    Of course they are, everybody knows that.
     
  20. I think it's generally recognised that the relative strength in Canon's lens line up is among the telephotos - hence why they dominate sports photography and are prominent among wildlife photographers. On the other hand, Nikon wide angles tend to outclass Canon's - those with Canon bodies who are looking for top quality optics at wide angles are prepared to put up with manual focus and stop down metering to use the even better Zeiss lenses. I think this also accounts for more Nikon users among National Geographic photographers, who also tend to shoot film to get the benefit of no crop, since they lack a digital alternative to give them that (at least without using their Nikon glass on 1Ds series bodies). Incidentally, I think it's usually quite easy to spot the difference between Nikon and Canon glass shooting the same subject. It's not obvious from optical quality, but rather from colour rendition. Canon images are typically a bit cooler.
     
  21. IMHO, if you really reach limits of the native lenses for your camera system (regardless whether it's Canon or Nikon), then perhaps it's time for you to move on to bigger format (medium or large, or while you're with 10D, perhaps even moving to 35mm will make difference for you).
    Alternative solution: stop shooting hand-held, use mirror lock-up, think what DOF at choosen apperture on given lens will render acceptible sharp, reconsider your acceptible CoC size, remember about difraction when you want everything in focus and be really sure where you focus(especially with moving subjects or when you want everything in focus), remember about wind, remember about heavy trucks or trains passing nearby.
    Bottomline - I really doubt that between various major brand lenses there is a difference worth bothering with adapters.
     
  22. "The majority of Sports Pro photographers use Canon" -- Ken, the same can be said about Hondas and Toyotas, that does make them better cars than Beamers and Ferraris.
    I think it works perfectly. A pro is not going to use substandard or even average equipment. Hondas and Toyotas are average, another reason why I drive a 325i. Canon has the most to offer for pro sports photographers, and quality as good as, if not better than Nikon. We're talking 99.5% digital here too. Film is not used in this sports arena, unless you want to be the last guy in submitting images. I dare you to match up the Canon 1D system unfavorably with Nikon, even the 20D for that matter, for which Nikon really has no answer. Nikon does not even make their own sensors.
    More NG photogs are going digital too as NG is largely digital now anyway. Nikon makes great stuff but they are losing out to Canon.
     
  23. Quick note on NG shooters: most use whatever equipment they own, NG doesn't typically
    supply them, exceptions being camera traps and custom mod's and the like. Bill Allard, Nick
    Nichols, Randy Olson, Mark Moffet, Reza, and Alexandra Boulat all shoot Canon.

    Leica and Nikon dominated the pro market in the 80's and early 90's, but that's changed now
    that the EOS line has matured.
    -b
     
  24. Ken, as far as the honda and toyotas are concerned they make different cars as well as BMW. The Acura NSX is made by the Honda Motor Corp and I would think that most would agree that it is a superior automobile. Lenses, like cars have variety and are usually very expensive.
     
  25. Derrald, Ken, as far as the honda and toyotas are concerned they make different cars as well as BMW. The Acura NSX is made by the Honda Motor Corp and I would think that most would agree that it is a superior automobile. Lenses, like cars have variety and are usually very expensive.
    Yes I think we all know that or are aware of it. Usually better things cost more than average things. "Expensive" however is subjective. To some, paying $400 for a lens is foolhardy and dear, and something only for the rich to own; while for others spending $1200 on a lens can be a spur-of-the-moment choice.
    Nikon vs. Canon debates always degrade; but at least this EOS forum isn't in to bashing Nikon, since obviously Nikon makes great stuff! I would also guess that a good half of the people who frequent this forum have owned or own a Nikon.
     
  26. ky2

    ky2

    "A pro is not going to use substandard or even average equipment. Hondas and Toyotas are average, another reason why I drive a 325i." -- a Pro would use whatever does the job. Average, or otherwise. I know several pros who consider DSLRs inadequate and sub-average. 2 of which shoot sports. If you're driving a 325i-- then good for you, but it doesn't make you a pro driver, does it?

    "I dare you to match up the Canon 1D system unfavorably with Nikon, even the 20D for that matter, for which Nikon really has no answer. Nikon does not even make their own sensors." -- actually, the D2x is a pretty good machine, definitely up and beyond the 1DsMk2 in the telephotoshoot department. But does it really matter? I haven't seen the latest and greatest cameras producing something that is superior to film cameras of 20 years ago, AF and all.
     
  27. I started with Canon, years ago. In the early '90's I switched to Nikon when I went to autofocus, as the EOS line was still in it's early stages. But it wasn't long before I switched back. In the FD line, the Canon lenses could be hit or miss, testing two identical lenses could give different results (in the standard line, as I was young and couldn't afford L lenses at that time). But when Canon went to their AF system, the optics and consistancy on all lenses improved. As far as sharpness, Nikon and Canon both make great optics, and I wouldn't say one is better than the other. What brought me back to Canon was the bodies, the way they operated, and their ergonomics. I just like the Canon bodies better. I shoot my Canon lenses wide open all the time, and get great results. And as far as I'm concerned, the Canon DSLR's provide superior results over Nikon. My staff is split 50/50, Nikon and Canon. One photog (who shoots Nikon) consistantly turns in photos that are on the red side, including flesh tones. Would you want to see a friend or relative in the newspaper who looked like they were badly sunburned? Or wearing a pink shirt instead of a white one? One poster said the Canon optics are cooler, I think its the Nikon bodies are too warm. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, some like it one way, some like it the other. But I can tell you this. Most who shoot Nikon in the newspaper business do so because that's what the paper supplies them with, and a lot of papers are switching to Canon. Most freelancers, newspaper, magazine and AP, shoot Canon. And they are buying thier equipment. Sports Illustrated stopped using photos from Nikon DSLR's, except the D1x, some time ago, because "the Nikon bodies didn't have the resolution they needed". Yakim says the D2x will be better than the 1Ds MKII, because it will shoot faster. The D2x still has the 1.5 field of view crop, compared to the 1Ds full frame, and will only shoot faster when it's at 6 mp, using even less of the sensor. Good glass is good glass, and is usually more important than the body it's attached to. But what's better? Attaching high dollar glass to a camera with 3200 ISO film, or a slightly less dollar lens attached to a body with 100 ISO film? There are some variables, but in the end it works out to what you have, how well you know how it works, to give the best results.
     
  28. Sorry, its Yaron instead of Yakim who said the optics were cooler.
     
  29. I've been reading that while photojournalists and sports photographers have been switching to Canon, that for a lot of other uses, Nikon is more than holding its own. Specifically, stock, wedding, fine art, etc. I've used both systesm, mostly do stock photo stuff, low light things that take time. Anyways, if you have specific uses in mind, than you need to go with the most optimal system for your purposes, particularly if it impacts your livelihood. At this point in time, it looks like canon has a slightly better approach for shooting action stuff, who knows how long this will be the case. Nikon just released some very fast and very large resolution cameras, so, even this could change rapidly. Otherwise, it really is a waste of breath to worry the details on the differences.
     

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