lens sharpness testing advice needed / dissapointed in SAL35F18 + LA-EA2

Started Sep 20, 2012 | Discussions thread
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lens sharpness testing advice needed / dissapointed in SAL35F18 + LA-EA2
Sep 20, 2012

Last night I got the LA-EA2 and my first A-mount lens, the SAL35F18.

Focus system on the LA-EA2 is really great, image quality I am getting with the combo I am really disappointed. How do I know if it's the lens or the adapter? At this point I feel like sending them both back, but I want to be sure first. Anyone else with a similar experience? Pictures at 200% or higher mag would be helpful.

I wish I had the pictures to post here, will definitely follow up with those later.

I noticed when I started to work on adjusting the AF micro-adjustment I was not getting very sharp pictures. I realize sharpness is subjective, but based on all the reviews, this lens is supposed to be very sharp. 4.71 on the Dyxum site:

Maybe it's just the sample of lens I got? Or are the dyxum people high?

In my short time testing last night, when I zoom in to 200%, I'm seeing mushy low contrast areas, it actually looks like the kit lens to me, even at f/4. I can even see the lack of sharpness on my camera LCD. Is this just what I should expect from a cheap lens?

I was hoping/expecting results not exactly, but close, to my FD 50mm 1.4 SSC. So maybe I am spoiled, but I'm so tired of MF at this point and don't want to spend a fortune. I need a "normal" lens now, need it bright, and I need fast AF.

Also, it has pretty bad CA in the OOF areas, actually you have to push LR around a good bit to get it to go away. Highlight Bokeh is pretty good shaped.

In any case, I plan to test it directly against my FD and kit lens tonight. Last night I was primarily setting the AF micro-adjust so I was shooting a measuring tape. I had all the lights in the kitchen turned on and was shooting ISO 100 and varying aperture and shutter speed to maintain a constant exposure as metered (+.3). M mode and tripod obviously. Using shutter delay of 2s. Shutter speeds were going over 1s. Focus was nailed obviously since I was shooting a measuring tape.

I am shooting RAW and using LR4.1. Importing pictures in and tweaking the first one (usually the largest aperture one first) to as good as I can get it. Then I copy those settings to all the subsequent pictures as well. I don't apply a lens profile as one isn't loaded in LR.

I plan to also test the kit lens at 35mm, and my FD 50 with the point of focus 1.5x further away than the 35mm point (to give the same relative size).

This is the first time I am "testing" a lens, I'm looking for any helpful advice on testing methods to reduce variation. Also, any advice on diagnosing less than expected sharpness would be helpful.


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