Best affordable 50mm f1.4 Double gauss manual focus primer?

Started Jun 23, 2011 | Discussions thread
JNR
JNR
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Re: Best affordable 50mm f1.4 Double gauss manual focus primer?
In reply to fcheh, Jun 27, 2011

I'm not sure I would expect the old Zeiss lenses to be what I call affordable, but they are good.

I sold cameras and lenses back in the MF days (Nikon, Pentax, Canon, Minolta) - lots of 50 f/1.4s. I ended up in the Pentax system, and have used a m50 f/1.4 for more than 30 years. It is sufficiently sharp (and superb in coatings and bokeh) at the 6 mp level, but wide open shows some deterioration at greater pixel densities.

The Takumar and m50 are optically the same, but the SMC coatings improved somewhat on the latter. The "A" version is redesigned, and is optically better wide open. However, these lenses are in high demand not only for the optics, but because they allow nearly full metering and program capabilities on the Pentax mount cameras.

If I was in your position, I would go with the Pentax f/1.7 (they are all optically the same). Not only cheaper and smaller, they are optically better, and there is technical research evidence that digital sensors accept very little additional light beyond f/1.7. I believe that evidence was provided in a Luminous Landscape article about a year ago - a trustworthy source. It apparently has something to do with angle of acceptance.

By the way, I have a Samyang 85mm f/1.4 that is quite amazing for the price. Sharp, good bokeh, best in the range f/2-4 where I like to use it most.

JNR

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