Leica 180 APO vs Canon 200L 2.8ii
on A7riii for landscape.

During my last photographic trip in Sicily I had the chance to test on my Sony A7riii, both Leica R 180 APO Telyt 3.4 and Canon 200L 2.8ii for the landscape use.

Why I did that test?
This two long primes are the only top lenses if you are looking for the LSL combination: LIGHT, SHARP, LONG.
We can find other choices in the market around 180mm , 200mm : the 200 f2 from Nikon and Canon, huge and expensive, the Leica R f4, not sharp enough to stay close, or various 70 200 from Canon, Sony, Sigma, Tamron, all chunky and not sharp enough.

looking around online I found many reviews of both lenses; from the Leica side, the word APO and the history of the brand makes a legendary combiantion respected by all the reviewers community. In the other side I found different point of views; the Canon prime is not well know and some reviewers considered that glass not sharp enough compared to the Canon zooms.
From my test with the 5ds , 50mpx, I found this lens INCREDIBLE and following Roger Cicala on Lens Rental , one of the most credited voice in the industry about the optical quality of the lenses, I found that incredible MTF.

This is the MTF of the Canon 200L 2.8ii

This is the MTF of the best competitors considered the best quality 200mm in the market (after the MONSTER 200 f2)
Canon 70 200 2.8ii (the iii is the same)

Sony 70-200 2.8 GM

The performance of the prime is impressive starting from wide open across the frame and even the green, teal and violet lines (the microdetails rendition levels for the big megapixel cameras like a7r3/4 or 5dsr cameras) are horizontal from the 2.8 setting.
Just in the extreme central area, I see the new Canon zoom , bit better and this is good to know for event, wedding or photojournalist; but the purpose of this test is to find the best LSL lens for landscape and that menss also sharp side by side on f5.6 to f9 area, the golden area for landscapers looking for both details reproduction in infinity distance and the minimum level of diffraction with very dense sensors.

Before the test is important to remember another competitor in the LSL area, the Minolta 200 2.8 APO; I think would be even better for Sony but is quite rare expensive and also bigger than the two lenses tested here.

The test was just a fun moment after hours of jeep in the Nebrodi mountains; windy peak , under the summer Sicilian sun, with a sturdy tripod, the Sony A7r3 with mc11 for Canon and Techart and R to M adapter for Leica, both in manual focus.
The R to M adapter was defective and I found that after the upload on my laptop as you will see by the images ; there are some light leaks and the sensor of my a7 wasn’t the cleanest of the world as well!

Not an easy test, not the perfect, just a test on the field, at f8!

The first target was 100 meters away, Canon always on top, Leica in the bottom.

central crop 100%


Left side crop

The second target was 400 meters away and we can see the heat haze starting his job.

Detail from the center

Detail from the right corner

From my point of view the APO glass is the winner for this purpose, just a bit sharper on small details; is also important to say that the Canon glass cost less than half of the price, works very well for his autofocus and his minimum focus distance and… I was impressed by his quality compared to the APO KING of the hill.

EDIT:

TWO FULLREZ SAMPLES , CANON FIRST: