Prime-lens res chart images available from Canon 1D Mark II|
(Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 17:16 EST)
After no small furor over "softness" in images from the Canon EOS-1D Mark II that I and others have posted, I borrowed a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens and shot a few res charts, showing the effect of different in-camera sharpness settings.
After I posted the initial gallery of sample images, there was a lot of foment about image sharpness, the gist of it being that the Mark II is a "soft" camera. The default settings apparently do set the in-camera sharpening to "low", consistent with Canon's overall (wisely) conservative approach to in-camera sharpening. Despite the fact that the images took unsharp masking *very* well, the perception persisted that the camera itself was inherently soft. (The waters were further roiled by some individuals who apparently didn't understand that depth of field means that objects close to the camera will be blurred.)
In an attempt to lay some of the issues to bed, reader "TurboTed" Savas kindly loaned me his 50mm f/1.8 (a lens with a reputation for sharpness) as a stopgap until the 100mm f/2.8 I ordered from Canon arrived. (Many thanks, Ted!)
So... I've posted a series of shots captured with th 50mm f/1.8 lens, stopped down to f/8 to get best sharpness. The camera was mounted on a very sturdy tripod, and both mirror lockup and the self-timer delay were used to reduce the possibility of any vibration.
The series of shots shows the effect of different sharpening settings on the images, with results for sharpening settings of 0, 3, 5, and "Standard" shown.
I think it's pretty clear from this series that the Mark II can indeed produce very crisp images straight from the camera...
See the the latest images in the gallery to judge for yourself.