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Macro lens sharpness and frame cover comparison

Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
5 Feb 2010 10:10PM
A comparison between the Canon MPE65mm macro, the Sigma 70mm macro and the Sigma 150mm macro.

Images from the test can be found here: Test images

An early assessment of this test shows that whilst there is a little difference betwen the frames covered at 1:1 (as marked onthe lenses) the frame area covered is basically the same and for a field shot the difference would not be noticable.
Further whilst an above view gives a good idea of frame area it does appear to suffer the limitation that a focus error during shooting can cause possible erroring results - a repeat test might be performed with the setup at an angle so as to reduce the chances of a focus error giving incorrect results.

Preliminary results from this test though I would say:

At f8 65mm clearly the sharpest, followed by the 150mm. The 70mm is showing considerable softness and this might be a missfocus.

At f10 65mm is clearly the sharpest again, followed by the 150mm and 70mm which show very similar levels of performance (further suggesting that the f8 results for the 70mm might be flawed.

At f13 the 65mm and 70mm give very similar performance whilst the 150mm appears to be more noticably softer.

As in previous tests these results are unedited save for white balance setting in the RAW editing process (all other settings were kept as standard). Further even though results from the 70mm and 150mm might be in question the obvious evidence is that the 65mm performs to a fantastic level of sharpness at each of the tested apertures

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Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
8 Feb 2010 2:43PM
IF anyone is interested John Hallmen has now completed a comparison test between the MPE65mm and a selection of his other highmagnification setups.


A very interesting read which shows that there are other options out there for the macro shooter and that several of them can infact beat the MPE65mm macro, especailly when starting to work at the much higher magnifications

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