Canon EOS 5D review – long term test

Landscape: 5.60MB, Program, 1/160, f9.0, ISO 200, 17-40mm L at 17mm (equivalent to 17mm)

Canon EOS 5D with 17-40mm lens at 17mm   For many people, this type of landscape shot is exactly what the EOS-5D is all about. It’s taken from Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park, Utah, using the 17-40mm L at its widest angle.

The combination of the full frame sensor and 17mm focal length have allowed an enormous field of view to be captured, while the L optics have delivered sharp results with only slight softening in the extreme corners.

Canon EOS 5D with 17-40mm lens at 17mm lower left crop

Some vignetting is visible in the corners. Note a polarising filter was used in this shot.

  Canon EOS 5D with 17-40mm lens at 17mm lower middle crop   Canon EOS 5D with 17-40mm lens at 17mm lower right crop  

Landscape: 6.74MB, Program, 1/100, f7.1, ISO 200, 17-40mm L at 17mm (equivalent to 17mm)

Canon EOS 5D with 17-40mm lens at 17mm   Canon EOS 5D with 17-40mm lens at 17mm upper left crop   This shot of a tree in Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park again demonstrates the 5D’s wide angle potential with the 17-40mm L lens.

While the 24-105mm L is a great general purpose lens for the 5D, it’s the 17-40 L which really shows off the potential of the full-frame sensor.

Canon EOS 5D with 17-40mm lens at 17mm mddle crop

Once again, the crops are detailed and softening only apparent at the extreme corners. A polariser was also used for this shot.

     
   
     
  Canon EOS 5D with 17-40mm lens at 17mm lower right crop  

Landscape: 5.70MB, Aperture Priority, 4 secs, f20, ISO 100, 24-105mm L at 24mm (equivalent to 24mm)

Canon EOS 5D with 24-105mm lens at 24mm   Canon EOS 5D with 24-105mm lens at 24mm upper left crop  

This shot was taken at Oldervik, a short drive from Tromsø in Northern Norway.

We used the 24-105mm f4.0L lens at 24mm and closed the aperture to f20 to ensure a very large depth-of-field.

The light levels were already very low, so with an ISO of 100 the exposure was 4 seconds.

The crops show a high level of detail with little distortion or softening.

     
  Canon EOS 5D with 24-105mm lens at 24mm middle crop  
     
  Canon EOS 5D with 24-105mm lens at 24mm lower right crop  

Portrait: 3.76MB, Aperture Priority, 1/2000, f4.5, ISO 200, 70-300mm USM IS at 100mm (equivalent to 100mm)

Canon EOS 5D with 70-300mm lens at 100mm   Canon EOS 5D with 70-300mm lens at 100mm lower left crop   This portrait shot proves the 5D isn’t just about wide angle landscape shots.

It was taken in Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park using the 70-300 IS USM lens at 100mm. The aperture was set wide open to minimise the depth-of-field.

Canon EOS 5D with 70-300mm lens at 100mm middle crop

This lens may not feature the ultimate build and optical quality of an L model, but the crops are sharp and there’s a pleasing bokeh. Look out for a full test of this lens soon.

     
   
     
  Canon EOS 5D with 70-300mm lens at 100mm lower right crop  

Aurora: 3.46MB, Manual, 15 secs, f2.0, ISO 400, 35mm L (equivalent to 35mm)

Canon EOS 5D with 35mm lens   Canon EOS 5D with 35mm lens left crop  

This image of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) was taken from Ersfjord on Kvaløya, again a short drive from Tromsø in Northern Norway.

We used the 35mm f1.4L lens at f2.0. The 15 second exposure was sufficient to capture the Aurora at 400 ISO.The crops show very low noise levels, although the exposure has resulted in slight star trails. Note the Andromeda galaxy M31 is visible in the lowest crop.

Many thanks to our good friend Kjetil Skogli for his invaluable advice on photographing the Aurora.

     
  Canon EOS 5D with 35mm lens lower middle crop  
     
  Canon EOS 5D with 35mm lens upper right crop  

Night: 6.70MB, Manual, 30 secs, f4.0, ISO 3200, 17-40mm L at 17mm (equivalent to 17mm)

Canon EOS 5D with 17-40mm lens at 17mm   Canon EOS 5D with 17-40mm lens at 17mm upper left crop   This shot of the night sky was taken from Utah’s Zion National Park using the 17-40mm f4.0L lens at its widest focal length and aperture.

There’s inevitably some noise, but considering the high setting of 3200 ISO, it’s an impressive performance from the 5D.

Canon EOS 5D with 17-40mm lens at 17mm middle crop

Once again, the exposure time has resulted in some star trails, and again, the M31 galaxy is visible in the middle crop.

     
   
     
  Canon EOS 5D with 17-40mm lens at 17mm lower right crop  

Canon EOS 5D gallery

The following images were taken with the Canon EOS 5D using a selection of Canon EF lenses; note the full frame sensor allows each lens to deliver exactly the same field of view as it would on a 35mm body. Each image was recorded using the Large Fine JPEG mode and Standard Picture Style. The individual file size, exposure mode, shutter speed, aperture, ISO and lens details are listed for each image.

The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe Photoshop CS2 as JPEGs with the default Very High quality preset, while the resized full images were made in Photoshop CS2 and saved with the default High quality preset. The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions of each image.

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