Beercan 70-210mm versus Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS

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Beercan 70-210mm versus Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:16 am

I finally got a chance to put the two lenses, both in 'used' condition, up against each other. I've concealed some of the results through the subscriber payment system (only accessible by subscribers) as I don't want them spread around or linked to, certainly not the full size files - Canon might be upset. Basically the beercan turns out to be not 'nearly as good' but actually better in many respects; the L 70-200mm has more CA, and for whatever reason, produces more slightly unsharp results (I suspect the IS is responsible).

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2012/03/2 ... m-f4-l-is/

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Re: Beercan 70-210mm versus Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS

Unread postby InTheSky » Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:28 am

Interesting review David. Thanks .

I never really found information about the history of this lens ? There was story about it was made by Leica or in assistance with them ?

The real only negative point I have been able to find on the 70-210 over the years is the stupid small focus ring in the front (like most of the other AF lens of this generation), but has the AF usually goes find on new alpha body this is not that much a problem.

Regards,

Frank
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Re: Beercan 70-210mm versus Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:01 am

I think part of the quality of the original 70-210mm f/4 comes from its history - the last of a line of zooms which started with the 80-200mm f/4.5 MD, designed in conjunction with Leitz. Some people put a spin on this to imply it was a Leica lens, but it's really the other way round. Leitz were not good with zooms, and they bought in a zoom from Minolta, and then three revisions of this over a ten year period. It was always a Minolta design, just made with Leica demands in mind.

The rotating/small focus front rim also may contribute to the way the lens performs. I don't want to be too critical of the Canon lens as it seems to get very high ratings, but it's nothing like as comfortable to use and I don't see anything better from it by way of performance at the extremes. On Dyxum it has been pointed out that the Canon at 135mm compares with their 135mm f/2 L, but so what? We don't actually know if the 135m f/2 is a benchmark, nor has anyway checked to see whether the Minolta at 135mm matches, for example, a comparable 135mm prime. Not the Zeiss 135mm f1.8 - that's way above either and no doubt also way above the Canon 135mm.

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Re: Beercan 70-210mm versus Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS

Unread postby bossel » Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:58 pm

I have now sold all my A-mount stuff as I plan to invest more into my NEX system - the A57 gives me some hope there might be a scaled down NEX-7 with the 16mp sensor, I'll give it a few more months, maybe till Photokina, otherwise NEX-7 be it, as I had planned initially.

Ok, something of what I've said is not true :shock: I still have my 70-210/4! It's a lens I've always liked a lot, the operation is smooth and I think it's a good copy, though my feelings are not a scientific test :? Couldn't convince myself yet to sell it. Maybe I just keep it in case I ever get another SLR/SLT in future, one never knows!

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Re: Beercan 70-210mm versus Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS

Unread postby pakodominguez » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:18 pm

bossel wrote:I have now sold all my A-mount stuff as I plan to invest more into my NEX system...


Nice move! I'm tempted to do the same, but Even NEX7 is not good/fast enough AF-wise for my work... Lets see how the next NEX generation improves AF...
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Re: Beercan 70-210mm versus Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS

Unread postby agorabasta » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:49 pm

Pako,

I've just run a totally counter-scientific test of Nex AF under dim tungsten conditions. I compared Sigma 17-50 HSM and SAL 35/1.8 SAM using LA-EA2 (means a55/65) against SEL 18-55 in AF-S focusing on both 7/5N.

Well the SEL was about twice faster than Sigma HSM and about 3-4 times faster than SAL SAM. And I checked both zooms across their full FL ranges.

I think it's about time you do some informal testing for yourself, using your preferred shooting conditions. You may be up to some revelations :)

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Re: Beercan 70-210mm versus Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS

Unread postby pakodominguez » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:38 pm

agorabasta wrote:Pako,

I've just run a totally counter-scientific test of Nex AF under dim tungsten conditions. I compared Sigma 17-50 HSM and SAL 35/1.8 SAM using LA-EA2 (means a55/65) against SEL 18-55 in AF-S focusing on both 7/5N.

Well the SEL was about twice faster than Sigma HSM and about 3-4 times faster than SAL SAM. And I checked both zooms across their full FL ranges.

But: with the LA-EA2 you can use the IR assistant of your external flash (you can not do that with any SEL) and focus faster and more accurate. If I use the LA-EA2, I'll miss the advantage of the lens' size/weight (plus the size of the adapter) of the NEX system... in the actual situation, the NEX7 is only good for daytime gigs, or as second camera -for available light shoots (noise control is amazing: 3+ stops better than the A900)
agorabasta wrote:I think it's about time you do some informal testing for yourself, using your preferred shooting conditions. You may be up to some revelations :)

I think that day will come, but I don't think the NEX7 will be that camera (I hope I'm totally wrong)
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Re: Beercan 70-210mm versus Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS

Unread postby agorabasta » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:05 pm

pakodominguez wrote:I think that day will come, but I don't think the NEX7 will be that camera (I hope I'm totally wrong)

The problem is that there are no pro-grade lenses in the whole Nex system. Still the fact is that all the current Nex lenses focus about as fast as their a-mount equivalents. That's if the 5N/7 are concerned and also under sufficient light conditions.

But to me, the Nex7+LA-EA2 is simply the best body available for the alpha lenses. It means the absolutely minimum PF and best sharpness/acuity, also means the best contrast, both local and global.

I think it would be very interesting to compare some old beercan's performance on Nex7 against an a77 under the most difficult conditions.

P.S. BTW, the 7 simply doesn't work well with SEL 16mm and with 18-55 at 18mm - the 'colour shift' in the corners is simply unacceptable. So that body is definitely not intended for the current Nex native lenses...

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Re: Beercan 70-210mm versus Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS

Unread postby bossel » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:25 pm

pakodominguez wrote:
bossel wrote:I have now sold all my A-mount stuff as I plan to invest more into my NEX system...


Nice move! I'm tempted to do the same, but Even NEX7 is not good/fast enough AF-wise for my work... Lets see how the next NEX generation improves AF...

Yes AF speed is a concern. I only have the NEX-5 and AF is far from the A700, but the NEX-5N with latest firmware should be better than the 5.

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Re: Beercan 70-210mm versus Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS

Unread postby InTheSky » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:19 am

With the test of David, and some of my own experience I can highly recommend that you keep good old Minolta Lenses for you NEXs ... or even future SLT. They are too much good optic quality there.

I will sell most of my copy, but I will keep example of the top one for sure. The result from the Macro 100 2.8 and the 200mm 4.0 on the 24MP are stunning ! for macro lover, I highly recommend that you try the 100mm 2.8 if you have time before to sell them for switching 100% in E-Mount (gaining more depth of field and magnification has no cost in Macro world).

AF speed of the NEX is a problem if AF is important. So far I`m questioning myself why I have wait so long for the kit lens, when I have took about few picture only with the 18-55mm (probably this will be the lens to do some video outside on good light day with the Optical stabilization). Old canon LTM are impressive in quality with the 50mm 1.2 and the Leica 40mm 2.0 (I`m still not able to choose which one will remain on the camera).

Sport photography with the NEX 7 ... I will say no outside the use of the Translucent adaptor or experiment manual focus user. I have been able to track bird in fly with the old Tamron Adaptall 300mm 2.8 on the A900 when I did not have the Mate screen.


David, for the 135mm 2.0 L Canon ... If I`m able to get time again ... I can do the challenge with the Metabones adapter ... and probably it will be interesting to challenge the 135mm 2.0 with the old MD Minolta version (I haven`t really finished to convert the lens properly to A mount, and with the NEX 7 I will probably convert it back to MD mount).

Frank
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Re: Beercan 70-210mm versus Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS

Unread postby jcoffin » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:52 pm

A friend of mine shoots Canon, and I got a chance to look at some shots from his 135/2 and 70-200/4L. At least based on his pictures, though, the 70-200/4L did not seem comparable to the 135/2 at the same aperture. I'd say at f/4, the 70-200 was (at best) about as good as the 135 @f/2.8, but with both at f/4, the 135 was pretty clearly better.

Though I don't have one of my own to do a side-by-side comparison, we did compare a few raw files taken with the Sony/Zeiss 135/1.8. They didn't have the same subject matter, so it's a bit hard to compare directly, but to the extent we could compare, I'd say the Sony/Zeiss had about one more stop of advantage -- e.g., at f/2.8, it seemed pretty similar to the Canon 135 at f/4.

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Re: Beercan 70-210mm versus Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS

Unread postby bakubo » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:48 pm

I still have my old beercan, still looks almost new, that I bought in 1997 so maybe I'll hold on to it. :) I have to wonder though if mine is as good as yours? I recall that you have mentioned several times about how you have owned various lenses, sold ones that were not as good, kept the best ones, sometimes found another copy that was better than your best and kept it, etc. So, I would guess that your beercan is the best of the best you have found over the years so there is a good chance mine is not as good as yours. I recall that the last time I used it in 2008 with my A700 I was getting quite a lot of CA in some situations. I wonder how the Canon lens would perform if the same was done, i.e., get several copies and then choose the best one? Anyway, I saw someone post on another forum saying that beercan prices on ebay were "going through the roof" so it's another reason to just leave mine back in Austin and not sell it. Who knows, someday I might use it again. It is part of the old Minolta. :)

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Re: Beercan 70-210mm versus Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS

Unread postby pakodominguez » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:51 pm

pakodominguez wrote:But: with the LA-EA2 you can use the IR assistant of your external flash (you can not do that with any SEL) and focus faster and more accurate.

Correction: the IR assistant of the Flash gun does NOT work when using the LA-EA2.

I got the LA-EA2 adapter just in time for the Passover holidays, I took NEX7 + 16; 24 and 55-210 SEL lenses, and Minolta 50 f2.8 Macro with the adapter to San Francisco. I used the 24mm almost all the time. I took some pics with the 50 macro, AF was OK in general situations (AF behavior is quite different, "seams" slower than AF on the A900, but I haven't use both side by side)

BTW, I enjoyed taking pictures with my phone and using those trendy filters that make your pictures look "interesting" ;-) (http://twitpic.com/photos/pakodominguez)

Regards
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Re: Beercan 70-210mm versus Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS

Unread postby pakodominguez » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:07 pm

We will soon have the chance to try this two lenses (the Beercan or the Canon) against the newly announced Sony 70-200 f4
I think it is not fair to do so, since we are talking about lenses designed 25 years apart -but hey, the Beercan stand pretty well against the Canon counterpart.
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Re: Beercan 70-210mm versus Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS

Unread postby Birma » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:23 pm

That's sounds interesting Pako. Is it FF? A mount ?

Will it be called Beercan II ? :)
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.


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