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How Does an EF-S Lens Differ in Performance?

But what about actual shooting? How much of a difference does using an EF-S lens produce when compared to an EF lens shooting at the same focal length on the same camera body? Let’s take a look at some comparison shots.

Figure 3 is a reference shot, taken with the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens on the Canon 20D, mounted on a tripod.

Figure 3

Figure 3 Note the outer edges of the image to see how much of the scene was captured.

In Figure 4, you see the same scene, shot with the same camera, still on the tripod in the same location, but using the Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens at 85mm.

Compare Figure 4 with Figure 3 and you’ll see that using the same zoom factor, the EF-S lens captured somewhat more of the scene than did the EF lens.

Figure 4

Figure 4 When using the EF-S lens, more of the fireplace in the background and the tabletop in the foreground are visible.

For comparison, the same scene was shot with the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens at 85mm. Figure 5 shows that shot. When compared with Figure 3 (the shot taken with the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens), you see that slightly less of the scene is visible in the photo. That’s due in part to the four-inch difference in length between the EF 85mm and EF 70-200mm lenses. The difference between Figure 5 and Figure 4 is very noticeable.

Figure 5

Figure 5 Slightly less of the scene was captured using a longer zoom lens.

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