Sharper lens: Nikon or Canon!?


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tomshen

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I know this will definitely raise up a flame, but I simply couldnt resist asking the question.

I cant remember how many times heard people (like some friends) tell me 'Nikon is SHARPER than Canon'. Of course it would be silly to compare a Nikon consumer class lens with a Canon L lens. The comparison should be fair, right? But what on earth makes people think Nikon is sharper than Canon, or is this the truth?
 

Lennier

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Originally posted by tomshen
I know this will definitely raise up a flame, but I simply couldnt resist asking the question.

I cant remember how many times heard people (like some friends) tell me 'Nikon is SHARPER than Canon'. Of course it would be silly to compare a Nikon consumer class lens with a Canon L lens. The comparison should be fair, right? But what on earth makes people think Nikon is sharper than Canon, or is this the truth?
You gotta be more specific when you give such statements ie. compare between 2 lenses.

But as a generalisation, the statement obviously holds no water. Nikon less sharp? Then everyone would change to Canon.
 

tomshen

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This is certainly not a lens comparison topic, otherwise I would have already had the answer somewhere.

Yes, what I mean is a generalization. Dont tell me you never encounter such question, even if you heard the other story. The point is: why I haven't heard about 'Sigma is sharper than Canon'? You get it? There must be something on the ground for such impression, not necessarily only for the Nikon users.
 

Wai

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Originally posted by tomshen
This is certainly not a lens comparison topic, otherwise I would have already had the answer somewhere.

Yes, what I mean is a generalization. Dont tell me you never encounter such question, even if you heard the other story. The point is: why I haven't heard about 'Sigma is sharper than Canon'? You get it? There must be something on the ground for such impression, not necessarily only for the Nikon users.
probably most pple using canon or nikon lens...so u will hear more good/bad comments on these two brands?
 

tomshen

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I know there are many other aspects to complete a good pic but here I only want to explore the sharpness issue. Sometimes I DO find Canon pix are quite soft (I have four Canon cameras now, 2 P&S, 1 SLR, 1DSLR), but I have never owned a Nikon up till now so really no idea.
 

kraterz

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Originally posted by tomshen
I know there are many other aspects to complete a good pic but here I only want to explore the sharpness issue. Sometimes I DO find Canon pix are quite soft (I have four Canon cameras now, 2 P&S, 1 SLR, 1DSLR), but I have never owned a Nikon up till now so really no idea.
Yah but you dont say what lens youre shooting with and what film, what lab youre processing at, whether slide or print film etc. These affect final image quality much more than you think.
 

kraterz

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C and N are almost the same. I prefer Nikon's wide angle zooms over Canon. The 17-35 AF-S is one of the best wide zoom I have ever used. Its definately better than the Canon 17-35. BUT it is even out by other great lenses in the Canon lineup. The Canon lineup is superb and the 70-200/2.8L zoom is THE best long zoom I have used.

How did U guys forget Minolta? Some of their lenses are better than even C or N. I know for a fact that the 28-70/2.8G is THE BEST midrange zoom Ive used...... beats the Canon and Nikon in sharpness and colour.
 

Ian

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It really doesn't make much difference which is 'sharper' anyway as there's a nasty little beast in the woodpile known as Rayleigh's Law a.k.a the diffration limit.

Any good lens is quite capable of exceeding the best emulsions available and one point not considered is that when comparing prints (as in enlarger prints) the main limitations are the paper and enlarger lens. It should be noted that most mini lab lenses are optimiesed not for the sharpest print but are a trade off between resolution, speed and colour fidelity.

To answer the question though, it depends on the lenses being compared. Each system has its good and bad lenses in various lengths and apertures and in many cases AF accuracy, camera shake and other factors such as film plane flatness, miror bounce etc come in to play.
 

Jed

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I took one look at the title of this thread and went... oh dear.

Anyway, even if Nikon lenses are sharper, what's the use since only USM lenses on Canon bodies can autofocus fast enough to get good pictures?

Seriously, as other people have mentioned both make good lenses, both make lemons, Minolta make some very good stuff too. Surprisingly enough, so do Zeiss and Schneider.

Ian's already gone into this topic before, as I believe I myself have as well. Film is the main limiting factor these days, not your lenses. Well not the good lenses anyway.
 

ckiang

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Oh no. Not again. Why is it always Canon vs Nikon? Why not vs Minolta, Pentax, etc? ;p

Like Jed said, each has their good and bad lenses. No point comparing which is sharper. So what if Canon is sharper if you are on a Nikon system? Or so what if Nikon is sharper if you own a Canon?

And what do you do if you find that the Leica and Zeiss lenses are sharper? Buy an adaptor? And lose AF/USM/IS ?

The question is pointless. Might as well ask "Which is a better camera? [Insert brand A] or [Insert brand B]"

Agree? :)

Regards
CK
 

tomshen

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Okay got it. So next anyone tells me the story again I will treat him as NUTS:bsmilie:
 

ninelives

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conclusion :

Ian and Jed were were trying to say film is the main limiting factor these days, not your lenses.

So everyone, let's buy Minolta~~~~~~:rbounce:
:rbounce: :rbounce:

why buy nikon for thier label?? :rbounce:

:D


ps:I am just fooling around.
 

rueyloon

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I would say user technique and shooting situation would be one of the limitating factors.

if you can set up the equipment in a studio and shoot a piece of news paper, there will probably be a winner/loser.

but in true shooting condition, most of the time, the "best edge" of their performance will not come into play.
 

ckiang

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And throw away all those MTF readings. Don't even find out how many lpm your lenses etc are. Unless you shoot resolution charts everyday, they don't make sense. Real world performance is much more important.

Still, whatever you do, stay away from superzooms like 28-200, 28-300, 24-200, etc. Exception is probably the Sigma 50-500.

Regards
CK
 

megaweb

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I heard from 1 old fruit seller that nikon lens is sharper than canon one ... and he uses it to cut his fruits .. :bsmilie: kekeke


joking .... !!!
 

tomshen

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haha, my Canon lens can only SHOOT, not CUT :bsmilie:
 

cyanbloodbane

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Originally posted by ckiang
And throw away all those MTF readings. Don't even find out how many lpm your lenses etc are. Unless you shoot resolution charts everyday, they don't make sense. Real world performance is much more important.

Still, whatever you do, stay away from superzooms like 28-200, 28-300, 24-200, etc. Exception is probably the Sigma 50-500.

Regards
CK
Is it true that the above taboo is no longer true for DSLR, as the CCD doesnt cover true 35mm and the above superzooms perform ok at the center?
 

ckiang

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Originally posted by cyanbloodbane


Is it true that the above taboo is no longer true for DSLR, as the CCD doesnt cover true 35mm and the above superzooms perform ok at the center?
For DSLRs, even though only the centre portion is used, lens quality is still very important. I know a colleague who used a 28-300 on his D30 and eventually got fedup and sold the whole kit.

Regards
CK
 

Jed

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No, the better lenses still have a notable edge... the wide-ranging zoom lenses have particularly poor edges, but their centres, while not as bad, aren't as good either.
 

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