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5D or 1DmkIIN - What shall it be?

John_Nevill

New member
I've posed this question in a few forums with mixed opinions, even emailed MT to get his view.

After spending yesterday at Kew Gardens on the Canon Pro Expo, I managed to get my paws on both dSLRs for about 1.5 hours each.

I tried my preferred array of lenses on each, Sigma 12-24mm, 17-40L, 28- 105L, 70-200 f2.8L IS and 300 f2.8L IS. I was surprised how balanced and responsive the 1DMkIIN felt, but how quiet and discrete the 5D was.

I looked at ~400 images last night and the sheer pixel gain of the 5D was very impressive, however on most wide angleshots, there was significant softness at all edges of the frame. I tried two bodies of each model and my findings were similar.

So given my preferred lenses, i'm now wondering whether I should indeed stick with a cropped sensor camera.
 

John_Luke

New member
Canon wide angles for full frame DSLRs are a bit lacking in edge sharpness. Many people use Contax, Olys, LeicaR lenses for wide angle on the FF Canon DSLRs ia an adapter.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
John_Nevill said:
I've posed this question in a few forums with mixed opinions, even emailed MT to get his view.

After spending yesterday at Kew Gardens on the Canon Pro Expo, I managed to get my paws on both dSLRs for about 1.5 hours each.

I tried my preferred array of lenses on each, Sigma 12-24mm, 17-40L, 28- 105L, 70-200 f2.8L IS and 300 f2.8L IS. I was surprised how balanced and responsive the 1DMkIIN felt, but how quiet and discrete the 5D was.

I looked at ~400 images last night and the sheer pixel gain of the 5D was very impressive, however on most wide angleshots, there was significant softness at all edges of the frame. I tried two bodies of each model and my findings were similar.

So given my preferred lenses, i'm now wondering whether I should indeed stick with a cropped sensor camera.
It all depends on the final vision and use!

John, this is how I see it. If one is taking a picture of a textile or building to their specifications, having fall off or some color difference at the edge might be unacceptable.

However, for artisitc purposes, the dulling, blurring and color degradation that might occur where you are not aiming the focus, may not be damaging.

In fact, such degradation can be required to move the eye to the center to your cheetah coming straight toward us, for example.

It is unnatural for detail to be at the edges in such a dramatic image.

The cat has to explode from nowhere not be another perfectly resolved object in a large field of exactittude.

Just my POV,

Asher
 

John_Nevill

New member
Some extremely valid POVs, maybe my expectations are too high for one particular model. Indeed I use gaussian blur surrounding such an impact image matter, but I do have the choice to do it PP.
BTW, I tend to use hyperfocal distance for most wide angle shots rather than AF. Old school.
 

Michael Tapes

OPF Administrator/Moderator
All of the above is why I own both cameras. I use them both as the need and usage suggest. The 5D cannot do what I demand of the 1DMkIIN, and the 1DMkIIN cannot do what I demand of the 5D. I realize that not all have the "permission" or money to get both, but since I get my cameras free from canon I can be extravagant (kidding :>). I am just grateful that my wife cannot recognize the differences between the cameras. The only issue is I cannot use both bodies together when she is around (also kidding :>).

If I had to choose 1, I believe that it would be the 5D because my street photography is more important to me than my birding. But if I were shooting more event work, then I would go for the 1DMkIIN.

If I could not afford both, then I would also get a 30D to go along with the 5D to have 2 bodies and give me increased resolution for my birding. But while I have done the resolution tests, and the 30D wins for tele work where you cannot move closer. But I still have to do tests on the focus and buffer capabilities for the 30D to see if it will hold up for birding (knowing that it would be a compromise from the 1 but better than the 5 (maybe).

When I get my hands on a 30D again, I will shoot some real life bird tests, and report.
 

Søren Andersen

New member
John_Luke said:
Canon wide angles for full frame DSLRs are a bit lacking in edge sharpness.
Yes unfortunately. My 14/2.8 was useles. My 16-35/2.8 however did perform a lot better than I expected. No edge softness at any aperture/focal length. It suffers from soft corners at the wide end, but really nothing serious, and stopping down a bit helps.
 

Daniel Harrison

pro member
This is my Honest opinion. If I had the choice - it would be a no brainer.

The 5D is a great camera, amazing resloutin- but is still a prosumer bodyt with a prosumer AF system. I have a 1D 4mp mk1 and chose it over a 20D (so that should give you an idea of how highly I value the 1D body). I find the 1D great -big enough viewfinder, larger sensor - fast AF controlls with AF points in useful places(with a few Custom function cahnges - I HATE 10D 20D 5D AF placement) I love being able to shoot in rain. I love the responsive feel. I love the rugged body. The 5D is great and as a second camera - sure! but my first pick will always be a 1 series camera! I am however really wanting more high ISO performance out of my 1D, so a 1D mkII it will be when I get the cash :) I envy you having the choice! LOL
Hope all that helps
 

Brian Ripley

New member
John_Luke said:
Canon wide angles for full frame DSLRs are a bit lacking in edge sharpness. Many people use Contax, Olys, LeicaR lenses for wide angle on the FF Canon DSLRs ia an adapter.
That's true of some ultrawides, but not of my 24mm wides, the 24-70L and 24L TS/E. I use a 17-40L for wider than 24mm, and my copy is acceptable at the edges at f/4, and good at f/8. But 24mm is wide, and was regarded as very wide in my early 35mm film days: I use wider less than 1% of the time in my landscape photography (and never in nature photography).

Other people have reported worse (and noticeable vignetting), and I do wonder if there is a camera effect: I use a 1Ds. It seems generally accepted that the 17-40 is at least as sharp as the 16-35 in the ranges landscape photographers use (and where one would even contemplate a totally manual prime).

I doubt that a significant number of people (not 'many') use these manual primes: some gearheads are just vocal about them. None of the professional landscape photographers I know using Canon 1Ds(II) do, allthough some still use 5x4 for certain demanding applications.
 

Gary C-G

New member
The only professional landscape photographer I know (personally) would never use any 35mm sized equipment digital or film. He uses 8"x10" view cameras and achieves exquisite detail in his enlargements. I don't think that even the 1Ds2 is a great choice for no-compromise landscape.
 

Alan T. Price

New member
There are two possible causes:
1. the lens optics just don't give sharp edges
2. the microlenses on the camera sensor can't capture all of the light coming in "sideways" as it spreads out to cover the larger sensor.

The 2nd cause can vary with the lenses because some - most likely telephotos and those with large apertures - will be able to feed light more perpendicular to the sensor.

A rather radical option to determine whether the problem is with your lenses or with the camera is to borrow a film camera and shoot a roll of high quality slide film. Then study the slides for sharpness at the edges and compare results with the digital camera.
 

Tom Yi

New member
I think many, even professional grade, lenses will show some softness at the edges while using a FF camera. I think we got spoiled for a while using cropped sensors that only used the good center part of the image circle.

This isn't due to the sensor or the camera but due to the design limits of the lens. I remember reading an interview with Chuck saying that Canon is now focusing (sorry for the pun) it's attention more towards the lens aspect of the camera/lens setup. In the meantimel, stopping down a few stops should sharpen the edges up.

Photozone.de has tested resolution of center and corners on many lenses, so they would be a good source.

Happy shooting.
 

John_Nevill

New member
Well I bought the 1DMarkII N.

....and i'm pleased as punch, in a word "responsive"

BTW, I checked the firmware and its v1.1, yet canon are only showing v1.04 on their website.
 

Tom Yi

New member
Hey Congrats.
As for the firmware, I guess I'll have to check what version is on mine when I recharge it for this weekend.
 
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