Hard to believe - but 28mm f2.8 and 28mm f3.5 Nikon primes beaten by A7 kit lens

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Mel Snyder
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Hard to believe - but 28mm f2.8 and 28mm f3.5 Nikon primes beaten by A7 kit lens
5 months ago

When I had difficulty focusing my 35mm Summilux closer than 3 feet this morning, I decided to try two Nikon MF primes - a 28mm f2.8 Ai and a 28mm f3.5 Ai - both inherited from my late father, a photographer for Bethlehem Steel. Both old primes focus very close - and a few years back, I'd shot the f2.8 on a Nikon FM, and it worked really well.

But when I tested both today on my A7, both were soft on the sides and corners - even at f5.6 and 8. They were very distortion free.But useless for landscapes

And so, for comparison, I shot the same scene with my kit zoom at 28mm f3.5. No comparison - the kit was sharp side to side, a tiny bit of corner softness. Even with LR 5.3, there was a quite a bit of vertical distortion beyond the lens correction profile. But the kit was sharper, more contrasty, more colorful. And a simple slider fixed it. The distortion would not likely be even noticed except for architecture and cityscapes.

Anyone interested I can upload examples. But the first time some revered old primes tested so badly compared to a lowly kit zoom.

 Mel Snyder's gear list:Mel Snyder's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony Alpha 7 Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2 +13 more
Sony Alpha 7
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