Why insist on FF format?

Started Sep 22, 2012 | Discussions thread
Anders W
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Re: Surprised you would question common knowledge
In reply to forpetessake, Sep 24, 2012

forpetessake wrote:

I give you a few names I remember, because those are my most used lenses: Canon FD 28mm/2.0, Canon FD 100mm/2.8, Panagor 90mm/2.8, Canon FD 35-105mm/3.5, Nikon 180mm/2.8, Konica 135mm/2.5. I did a lot of testing, so I can find a dozen more. I don't mention Pen FT 40mm/1.4 because it's half frame, but interestingly enough it easily beats 45mm/1.8 m4/3 lens. Out of m4/3 I remember testing the popular 14-45mm, it managed around 50 l/mm fully open on the long end (i.e. at a dismal F5.6), which pretty much corresponds to the other reports. I must say that practically every manual lens I tested could pass 60 l/mm at F5.6, even zooms. I haven't yet tested the medium format lenses, but I know a number of Mamiyas measured 100-120 l/mm. The m4/3 can't even match those resolution numbers, while it needs many time more.

Anders W wrote:

forpetessake wrote:

iv) Lenses: I have plenty of FF primes that resolve at least 60 l/mm fully open, where are m4/3 lenses with 120 l/mm wide open?

Which of your FF primes resolve at least 60 l/mm fully open and on the basis of what evidence do you know that they do so?

Measures like those you cite tell me and others absolutely nothing without a contrast criterion and a description of your test procedures. And sorry, but based on what I have seen in other threads, I have no confidence at all in your ability to do tests like those we are talking about here.

In reality, good MFT glass wipes the floor with older FF lenses like those you mention, especially wide open and thereabout. Moreover, they tend to stand up very well against modern FF glass as well, including very high-caliber FF glass. Here are some examples from LensRentals (Roger Cicala). The figures are line pairs per image height at MTF 50%, center/average, based on unsharpened output from raw files:

Panasonic 20/1.7 on E-M5 (16 MP)
1.7 870/735
2.8 1050/875
4.0 1075/880

Leica Summilux 50/1.4 on M9 (18 MP, no AA filter)
1.4 600/530
2.0 950/740
2.8 1025/860
4.0 1110/980

Nikon 50/1.4G on D3X (24 MP)
1.4 560/500
2.0 690/620
2.8 830/750
4.0 900/830

Canon 50/1.4 on 5DII (21 MP)
1.4 650/530
2.0 790/660
2.8 920/690
4.0 960/890

Sources:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/05/wide-angle-micro-43-imatest-results

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/01/the-great-50mm-shootout

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