This is the first time I’ve gotten a chance to compare two similar focal lengths on two different lenses so pardon the informal and amateur nature of this post however feel free to give feedback and suggestions for future ones and what you would like to see.
Before we start, I’d like you to just look at the image comparison below and decide for yourself what lens you think is better. For the purpose of this post, the left image and right image will remain respective to the same lens.
So…Left or Right?
At first, I would have said the same. Most people in a normal web image file setting would probably say that too. However, upon magnification of the spire area, we can see there is a slight difference in sharpness.
To me, it looks like the left is a bit more sharper than the right. Both images were shot in RAW as a .CR2 file and processed with the same settings in Lightroom 5.
I purposely didn’t say which lenses I was comparing because there would have been bias almost immediately. The left image was taken using a Canon 70-200 f/4L while the right on a Canon 75-300 f/4-5.6. Neither lens has Image Stabilization.
ISO 400, 1/4000 sec, f/4 at 200mm and f/5.6 at 300mm respectively.
I did a few more tests across different images and concluded that the 100+% magnification of the 200 f/4L is still sharper than the 300 at 100%. Both lenses were taken at their maximum focal lengths but the glass in the 200 f/4L allowed me to crop and magnify to compensate for the extra 100mm while still remaining sharpness.
The real interesting question though and the reason why I did this test is, is the slight sharpness difference worth the $500 difference between the two lenses? You can’t go wrong with L glass but for a non-full-time or amateur photographer, I am tempted to say no. What do you all think?