Your F/1.4 lens this sharp as my nFD '50? At 50% size?

Started Apr 22, 2012 | Discussions
RussellInCincinnati
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Your F/1.4 lens this sharp as my nFD '50? At 50% size?
Apr 22, 2012

Exceptionally nice combination, a Nex C3 or 5n and the (for example early 1980's) Canon nFD 50mm F/1.4 lens.

This lens was $51 dollars, with light fungus on the back of the front lens group. Luckily, turns out you can pop that lens group out and clean it in about 3 minutes, with both flat blade (to pry out the lens' front "vanity plate") and good old crosspoint jeweler's screwdrivers. Also fortunate for me was dropping the lens the other day, while mounted on camera and tripod, onto a hard floor. This probably improved the system's internal optical alignment in ways that the factory never achieved.

In fact, can you produce a from-raw photo taken on some Nex at F/1.4 , that looks sharper, from extreme corner to corner, than this one? After resizing your image to 2456x1632 pixels (i.e. 50% of Nex C3/5n full image size)? No, you probably can't. And if you can, that would be fun to discover.

Please feel free to cheat in the many ways I have.

  1. Picture taken on cloudy bright day, so was able to use 1/2500th of a second shutter speed to freeze the movement of the leaves in the trees.

  2. Used LR4 Adobe Lightroom 4 on the raw files, with automatic chromatic aberration correction. Definitely helps with the nFD '50, which is not without sin in the extreme corners. LR4 exporting to 48-bit-per-pixel TIFFs.

  3. The photo is underexposed somewhat, a key to suppressing much of the spherical aberration "glow", around overexposed areas, of this lens wide open.

  4. Use of ISO 200 on a Nex C3, plus the fact that the sun was not shining. Kept the scene dim enough that the photo could indeed be underexposed, without needing a neutral density filter or 1/10000th of a second shutter speed.

  5. Used PWPro Picture Window Pro 5's color correction tool to make the purple fringes around the overexposed sky patches become neutral-colored fringes.

  6. Used PWPro's light falloff tool to modestly brighten the extreme corners of the photo.

  7. After resizing the image, put it through PWPro's standard Radius 1 unsharp mask sharpening, applied at 72% strength.

  8. 4 of the leaves in the upper left corner are actually artificial, made of painted steel so that they don't move. OK just kidding.

But none of those measures are "extraordinary" or impractical. And a 2500 pixel wide image is not a silly size, it's enough pixels to give you a 10-inch or 25cm wide print that has 250 dots per inch (10 dots per millimeter) resolution.

Can you show us a Nex's clearer-looking-at-this-size image, all across the frame, at F/1.4 from some other (for example price is no object) lens? Ideally (for purposes of comparison) it would be a photo like mine of distant leaves on a cloudy day, but what's the odds of everyone having an image of that particular scene lying around. It turns out to be annoyingly hard to come up with a scene where just about everything reasonably could be in focus at F/1.4. So you end up either looking at an artificial flat surface, and/or something distant.

Of course you must click on the "(Original)" link in this image below, to see it at full quality.

My earlier 1971 vintage pre-SSC-coating Canon breechlock FD 50/1.4 would be pointless to show. That lens has so little resistance to backlighting flare as to be often impractical, and the corners aren't quite as crisp wide open either.

This exercise has helped me see how the nFD '50 is useful in your kit as a sort of the ultimate inexpensive dim scene lens. Is an F/1.2 lens significantly brighter, and still acceptable quality like this wide open? The '50's useful if you don't mind a 230 gram non-autofocusing lens with a 90 gram or so low cost "Pixoo" adapter. Adapter's nice because it gives you a ring to temporarily open up the lens to wide aperture for focusing, and then fairly quickly take you back to taking aperture.

The nFD is actually usable at F/1.4, almost like the new 10 times more expensive Fuji 35mm F/1.4 lens for the X-Pro 1. Hmm, surely there's a more expensive, heavier Zeiss/Sigma 50 or 85/1.4 or whatever that can beat this?

viking79
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Re: Your F/1.4 lens this sharp as my nFD '50? At 50% size?
In reply to RussellInCincinnati, Apr 22, 2012

RussellInCincinnati wrote:

In fact, can you produce a from-raw photo taken on some Nex at F/1.4 , that looks sharper, from extreme corner to corner, than this one? After resizing your image to 2456x1632 pixels (i.e. 50% of Nex C3/5n full image size)? No, you probably can't. And if you can, that would be fun to discover.

Okay, so you are looking at 1632 LW/PH to resolve well enough for that image size, this is not particularly great and the Sony SEL 50mm f/1.8 OSS will have no problem out resolving that across the entire frame, including the extreme corners. You are talking only 4 MP here, you cut the vertical by 2, that is reducing the overall pixel count by a factor of 4.

What you are saying is that these lenses performed great on film cameras that are generally about like a 12 MP 135 format camera or maybe a 5 MP APS film camera. Some of them start to be strained at full resolution APS-C camera (5n 16 MP is equivalent to 36 MP on a 135 format camera).

This exercise has helped me see how the nFD '50 is useful in your kit as a sort of the ultimate inexpensive dim scene lens. Is an F/1.2 lens significantly brighter, and still acceptable quality like this wide open?

The 50mm f/1.2 lenses almost always excel over the 1.4 lenses in the 2 to 2.8 range, but not always. In my testing of the Olympus PEN F lenses 38mm f/1.8, 40mm f/1.4, and 42mm f/1.2, the 1.2 is the best at f/2 to 2.8 by a good margin, but pretty comparable above that.

The nFD is actually usable at F/1.4, almost like the new 10 times more expensive Fuji 35mm F/1.4 lens for the X-Pro 1. Hmm, surely there's a more expensive, heavier Zeiss/Sigma 50 or 85/1.4 or whatever that can beat this?

I think most of the 50mm f/1.4 lenses from any brand are pretty decent from wide open with a bit of post processing to increase contrast. I do think the Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 is one of the better ones, but Nikon, Pentax, and Olympus are probably right up there with it. They each might have slightly different characteristics but are all similar lens designs.

The issue with smaller sensors is you need shorter focal lengths to achieve the same field of view. A 35mm lens is a bit harder to build well corrected than a 50mm lens regardless of APS-C vs 135 format.

Eric
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viking79
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Example from Sony SEL 50mm f/1.8 OSS
In reply to viking79, Apr 22, 2012

I know you want f/1.4, I will find a few later when I get a chance.

But here is an f/1.8 shot, which isn't all that different. There is some vignetting apparent, but the resolution is there.

Eric

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RussellInCincinnati
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2456 pixel wide samples should accompany any discussion
In reply to viking79, Apr 22, 2012

RussellInCincinnati wrote:

In fact, can you produce a from-raw photo taken on some Nex at F/1.4, that looks sharper, from extreme corner to corner, than this one? After resizing your image to 2456x1632 pixels

Viking79:...not particularly great and the Sony SEL 50mm f/1.8 OSS will have no problem out resolving that across the entire frame, including the extreme corners.

(a) Have no doubt an F/1.8 lens can outresolve an F/1.4 lens used at F/1.4

(b) samples should accompany any discussion. If a good-looking 4 megapixel F/1.4 image is so easy, without contrast correction beyond what is inherent in Lightroom 4's default 2012 profile contrast, let's see it.

Viking79: The 50mm f/1.2 lenses almost always excel over the 1.4 lenses in the 2 to 2.8 range, but not always.

Hoping to see the superior lens output. Recalling but not limited to the fact that the most fun comparison would be with a lens costing $50 dollars or so.

Viking79: In my testing of the Olympus PEN F lenses 38mm f/1.8, 40mm f/1.4, and 42mm f/1.2, the 1.2 is the best at f/2 to 2.8 by a good margin, but pretty comparable above that.

Not sure how the Pen F F/2 performance relates to this test.

Viking79: I think most of the 50mm f/1.4 lenses from any brand are pretty decent from wide open with a bit of post processing to increase contrast.

Sure, so let's see them. By the way, for all the manipulations I did, increasing contrast was not one of them. Default Lightroom 4 processing to begin with, using automatic chromatic aberration correction. Followed by vignetting correction, desaturation of purple fringing, sharpening, but no brightness or contrast corrections.

Viking79: I do think the Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 is one of the better ones, but Nikon, Pentax, and Olympus are probably right up there with it. They each might have slightly different characteristics but are all similar lens designs.

Maybe the nFD Canon trades off a bit of peak performance to pick up some edge performance wide open?

The issue with smaller sensors is you need shorter focal lengths to achieve the same field of view. A 35mm lens is a bit harder to build well corrected than a 50mm lens regardless of APS-C vs 135 format.

Agreed that the Fuji 35mm F/1.4 is a bit harder to build. It also costs more $600 so there is no clear "budget difficulty" handicap here that the Fuji merits. I will say that the Fuji '35 is wonderfully small and light, though the smallness partly comes for free with shorter focal length.

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Erational
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Re: 2456 pixel wide samples should accompany any discussion
In reply to RussellInCincinnati, Apr 22, 2012

Gosh Russell, spending the weekend slaving over the post-processing of shrubbery is no way to spend your weekend. Please don't take offence. I'm willing to tell you your lens beats any other lens handily, if it will help you go outside and get some fresh air.

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RussellInCincinnati
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point is the cheap fast lens + watching for overexposure
In reply to Erational, Apr 22, 2012

Erational: Gosh Russell, spending the weekend

Or at least the 3 minutes.

Erational: slaving over the post-processing of shrubbery is no way to spend your weekend.

Hadn't thought of the things am doing every day to be slavery. Every photo goes through Lightroom 4, with auto chromatic aberration correction anyway. They all get resized and sharpened, and anything with darkened corners gets the 30 seconds of vignetting correction treatment. The only thing special I did with the test image was take 1 minute to globally "color correct" or neutralize the purple highlight fringing that showed up around the sky areas at F/1.4.

All of which took less time than the 4 minutes I spent grabbing tripod and camera, walking out my front door, walking 30 meters. And then pointing the camera at a nearby row of trees to take a single manually-focused F/1.4 test image. After setting the Nex C3 white balance to "cloudy day".

And of course writing the post carefully took tons longer. My payoff for the writing is forcing myself to get to the essence of the matter...which is new capabilities for dim scene and stop-action exploration, with equipment cheap enough buy spares of, and drop or lose without shedding a tear. Thanks to the convergence of (a) giveaways of the best of old legacy lenses, (b) with the great C3 sensor that tolerates a bit of underexposure (unlike my Nex 5), (c) plus new convenience tools like Lightroom 4 and vignetting correctors.

Erational: Please don't take offence.

Not to worry, found your post humorous.

Erational: I'm willing to tell you your lens beats any other lens handily,

That idea would mean more to me if I ever made use of the Canon '50. In fact it's a "just in case" rare part of my kit. Because just like in my old 35mm film days, am doing portraits, even group portraits, with something longer than 50mm. Portraits, you don't want big noses. Group portraits, you don't want folks at the edge of the frame looking widened (unless they're anorexic). And doing other more distant scenes with a tiny 28mm lens (really just a wide-ish normal on APS-C, that also serves as a macro lens since so narrow), the Alpha kit zoom used from 18-24mm, and the Sony 16mm. Darn just one eMount lens. Oh well, kit will be augmented with the eMount Samyang 8mm/F2.8 when it ever surfaces.

Will also keep an eye out on the new Alpha 18-135 coming out. But am 99% pessimistic about its image quality unless Sony's made some kind of miracle aspherical breakthrough, along the lines of the surprise they pulled off with the great 18-24mm image quality of the 18-55.

Did use an earlier version of Canon's nFD '50/1.4 seriously for really low light theatrical photography. Hmm so have used that type of lens in earnest maybe twice in the past year so far. Have never really used the exact test lens of this thread for anything but test/practice images.

Erational: if it will help you go outside and get some fresh air.

No shortage of fresh air around here since closing down the chemical darkroom. Am now horrified at the chemicals we used to wash into public rivers.

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RussellInCincinnati
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nice example, appears less highlight fringing than Canon '50
In reply to viking79, Apr 22, 2012

Eric could you link us to the original 50mm image somehow? Would like to be able to load it into a photo editor for further inspection.

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Erational
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Re: nice example, appears less highlight fringing than Canon '50
In reply to RussellInCincinnati, Apr 22, 2012

Going off what you said about a good portraiture lens, have you thought about the Sony Easy Choice 85mm F/2.8 ? The Sony is a Sonnar arrangement of optical elements. I know a lot of people say "Oh on APS-C 50mm becomes 75mm", but still most 50mm lenses are not corrected enough, in my book. The only 50mm I know of that is corrected enough to give the proper proportions to the face would be the Leica 50mm F/2. The Leica R 60mm F2.8 would be a better choice, though.

Hope I'm not hijacking your tread here, but I see a lot of folks say that there are no lenses for the Sony E-Mount NEX's. If one uses the electronic adapters the A-mount Easy Choice line gives us super primes such as the 35mm F/1.8 and the aforementioned 85mm (which has FF coverage BTW). The are light, short, cheap, sharp and have AF !

Don't know that you would be happy with the upcoming 18-135 fitted to your E-mount camera. Your right to be suspect about that lens. I too would be shocked if it was superlative. The Sony lens roadmap says we are to get a "G" zoom. But the chance of any zoom besting primes is pretty low. If you already have seen what a good prime can do, it may be hard to go back to a zoom.

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viking79
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Re: 2456 pixel wide samples should accompany any discussion
In reply to RussellInCincinnati, Apr 23, 2012

RussellInCincinnati wrote:

RussellInCincinnati wrote:

In fact, can you produce a from-raw photo taken on some Nex at F/1.4, that looks sharper, from extreme corner to corner, than this one? After resizing your image to 2456x1632 pixels

Viking79:...not particularly great and the Sony SEL 50mm f/1.8 OSS will have no problem out resolving that across the entire frame, including the extreme corners.

(a) Have no doubt an F/1.8 lens can outresolve an F/1.4 lens used at F/1.4

I would expect this too.

(b) samples should accompany any discussion. If a good-looking 4 megapixel F/1.4 image is so easy, without contrast correction beyond what is inherent in Lightroom 4's default 2012 profile contrast, let's see it.

Not saying it is easy at the edges, they should at the center though.

Viking79: The 50mm f/1.2 lenses almost always excel over the 1.4 lenses in the 2 to 2.8 range, but not always.

Hoping to see the superior lens output. Recalling but not limited to the fact that the most fun comparison would be with a lens costing $50 dollars or so.

You know as well as I that you won't find a 50mm f/1.2 lens for $50 unless you are extremely lucky. And I am referring to good lenses, name brand or quality aftermarket.

Viking79: In my testing of the Olympus PEN F lenses 38mm f/1.8, 40mm f/1.4, and 42mm f/1.2, the 1.2 is the best at f/2 to 2.8 by a good margin, but pretty comparable above that.

Not sure how the Pen F F/2 performance relates to this test.

The are close to 50mm focal length lenses and they offer them in 1.2, 1.4, and 1.8 versions. Not sure how a 35mm f/1.4 would tie into the discussion either.

Viking79: I think most of the 50mm f/1.4 lenses from any brand are pretty decent from wide open with a bit of post processing to increase contrast.

Sure, so let's see them. By the way, for all the manipulations I did, increasing contrast was not one of them. Default Lightroom 4 processing to begin with, using automatic chromatic aberration correction. Followed by vignetting correction, desaturation of purple fringing, sharpening, but no brightness or contrast corrections.

That is a lot of adjustments The sony shot has no adjustments besides my default Lightroom import (which adds a bit of sharpening, and of course I sharpen on export for screen).

Viking79: I do think the Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 is one of the better ones, but Nikon, Pentax, and Olympus are probably right up there with it. They each might have slightly different characteristics but are all similar lens designs.

Maybe the nFD Canon trades off a bit of peak performance to pick up some edge performance wide open?

It is possible, but still a very good lens (never saying it wasn't), just saying the test conditions aren't particularly difficult when resized that much.
http://erphotoreview.com/wordpress/?p=1527

Canon looks good at f/1.4, MTF20 is around 2000 across the frame, plenty good for 4 MP crop.

Looking at MTF20 (resolving power) to be around 1600 LW/PH:

The 50mm f/1.8 isn't quite as good but still acceptable:
http://erphotoreview.com/wordpress/?p=1546

Same as the Chinon 55mm f/1.4:
http://erphotoreview.com/wordpress/?p=1264

Minolta 58mm f/1.4 would be fine:
http://erphotoreview.com/wordpress/?p=1371

The other thing that can impact corner performance on a landscape shot wide open is field curvature, many f/1.4 lenses have field curvature and will have soft corners unless you focus for the corner. This is because people usually don't use this type of lens at f/1.4 other than for maybe an extremely shallow depth of field shot in available light.

http://erphotoreview.com/wordpress/?p=1527

The issue with smaller sensors is you need shorter focal lengths to achieve the same field of view. A 35mm lens is a bit harder to build well corrected than a 50mm lens regardless of APS-C vs 135 format.

Agreed that the Fuji 35mm F/1.4 is a bit harder to build. It also costs more $600 so there is no clear "budget difficulty" handicap here that the Fuji merits. I will say that the Fuji '35 is wonderfully small and light, though the smallness partly comes for free with shorter focal length.

A new 50mm f/1.4 lens like Nikon 50mm f/1.4G or Pentax 55mm f/1.4 or Sigma 50mm f/1.4 are also very expensive.

I don't disagree that up to $100 spent on the Canon 50mm f/1.4 is a great deal. The Pentax 50mm lenses (at least the A version) sell for way more because the Pentax users buy them up. Honestly, price for performance I don't think you will find better buys than the Canon 50mm f/1.4, and a few other brands which also make very good 50mm f/1.4 lenses, like the ones I mentioned. The Canon isn't the only good one, but it does seem to have pretty consistant performance wide open across the frame.

Will see if I can go get some sample shots with 1.4 lenses.

Eric
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be what it may - light, shade, and perspective will always make it
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viking79
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Re: nice example, appears less highlight fringing than Canon '50
In reply to RussellInCincinnati, Apr 23, 2012

RussellInCincinnati wrote:

Eric could you link us to the original 50mm image somehow? Would like to be able to load it into a photo editor for further inspection.

Yeah, can see if I can get a full size, I noticed I had that one set for the LR3 presets still, so it probably wasn't doing any of the default CA correction or anything. There is some sharpening applied to it and it is definitely a bit softer at the pixel level. Otherwise it is pretty much from camera (I had nice lighting, which is very important for perceived sharpness anyway).

Eric
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be what it may - light, shade, and perspective will always make it
beautiful. - John Constable (quote)

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RAW File
In reply to viking79, Apr 23, 2012

viking79 wrote:

RussellInCincinnati wrote:

Eric could you link us to the original 50mm image somehow? Would like to be able to load it into a photo editor for further inspection.

Yeah, can see if I can get a full size, I noticed I had that one set for the LR3 presets still, so it probably wasn't doing any of the default CA correction or anything. There is some sharpening applied to it and it is definitely a bit softer at the pixel level. Otherwise it is pretty much from camera (I had nice lighting, which is very important for perceived sharpness anyway).

Here is the RAW file (about 15 MB, only download if you need) from the church shot with the 50mm f/1.8:

http://erphotoreview.com/RawFiles/DSC05368.dng

Eric

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Erational
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Re: Fast 50's
In reply to viking79, Apr 23, 2012

Your Canon may be the best price to quality ratio. Prices for used MF lenses have risen steadily in recent years. Here is a nice list, originally derived from a German photo magazine from years ago. The lower the number the better the lens:

f/1.2 lenses

Lenses tested -------------f/1.2 -----f/2.8 -----f/5.6 -----Average

Pentax SMC 50mm f/1.2 --------101 -------77 ---------50 --------228
Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 ------116 -------73 ---------49 --------238
Canon FD 55mm f/1.2 ----------117 -------82 ---------45 --------244
Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm f/1.2 -117 -------75 ---------54 --------246
Canon FD 55mm AL f/1.2 -------117 -------84 ---------51 --------252
Yashica ML 55mm f/1.2 --------124 -------90 ---------51 --------265
Olympus Zuiko 55mm f/1.2 -----125 -------90 ---------60 --------275
Nicon Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 -158 ------107 ---------52 --------317
Leitz Noctilux 50mm f/1.0 ----152 -------97 ---------67 --------316
Konica Hexar 57mm f/1.2 ------166 ------129 ---------58 --------353

A more rangefinder-centric test of more recent vintage is here:

http://www.pbase.com/nickdemarco/gf1__50s

(The Canon 50mm f1.2 LTM beats Leica)

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RussellInCincinnati
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thanks as usual for all your help, to all of us
In reply to viking79, Apr 23, 2012

Would like to directly support your site somehow, having for example benefited directly from your calling attention to Canon FD '50's, Hexanon 40mm, Pentax 35/2.4 etc.

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Re: thanks as usual for all your help, to all of us
In reply to RussellInCincinnati, Apr 23, 2012

RussellInCincinnati wrote:

Would like to directly support your site somehow, having for example benefited directly from your calling attention to Canon FD '50's, Hexanon 40mm, Pentax 35/2.4 etc.

Thanks! And just to be clear too, the Canon FD 50mm is probably one of the best 50mm lenses I have tested and given the price of the lens, and if doing something more like an 8 MP crop I think the FD might stand out a bit more from most of the other 50mm than at 4 MP. I think the Pentax emphasizes center performance more than across the field performance like the Canon, and the Canon does seem to have less haziness/lack of contrast than the others.

Eric
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I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object
be what it may - light, shade, and perspective will always make it
beautiful. - John Constable (quote)

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Re: thanks as usual for all your help, to all of us
In reply to RussellInCincinnati, Apr 23, 2012
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RussellInCincinnati
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Sony SEL 50mm f/1.8 OSS tests out super well
In reply to viking79, Apr 23, 2012

Eric, here's your Sony 'e50 image taken at F/1.8, resized to 4 megapixels, vignetting corrected, contrast/brightness "corrected", and sharpened.

Having seen this image, am guessing that on the average, considering handling factors/size/weight and the entire frame, and its obviously greatly superior wide-open highlight fringing resistance, and am guessing greater flare/ghosting/backlight resistance, the wide-open Sony eMount 50mm F/1.8 will more often deliver nicer images at ordinary display sizes for the same user effort, than my Canon nFD 50/1.4 also at F/1.8.

But that's ignoring price. Would still buy an inexpensive nFD (if it can be easily found) instead, underexpose and coddle it and save money for other parts of my system. Because of my special case of not using wider-than-F/2.4-apertures at 50mm focal length on APS-C very often.

Noting here that the nFD is pretty super at F/2.4-F/2.8 on down, as first brought to my attention by your ERphotoReview website.

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RussellInCincinnati
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didn't understand comments, i.e. Oly 1.4 looked better
In reply to kev777zero, Apr 23, 2012

Kev777zero: I did a comparison between nFD 50mm 1.4 with OM 50mm 1.4 & 1.8 a while back:

http://forums.dpreview.com/...ms/readflat.asp?forum=1042&message=41143569

Kev: It seems like a close match between the OM & nFD 1.4s to me wide open, perhaps a slight edge to the nFD for a bit less ghosting/flare.

Never understood your comments in that post, because it looked like the nFD 50/1.4 lens was significantly less sharp than the Oly 1.4 in the center, and the Canon had significantly more obtrusive purple fringing as well. Yet you gave a slight edge to the Canon nFD. Could you clarify that conclusion a bit further?

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RussellInCincinnati
Senior MemberPosts: 3,186
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great minds think alike about Alpha 85/2.8
In reply to Erational, Apr 23, 2012

Erational: Going off what you said about a good portraiture lens, have you thought about the Sony Easy Choice 85mm F/2.8?

Started using that excellent lens this week, and even reviewed it on this forum a few days ago.

Erational: ...still most 50mm lenses are not corrected enough, in my book.

Agreed that 50mm on APS-C is still a tad short both for close portraits with nose prominent, and short for finest group portraits with people near the edge of frame.

Erational: Hope I'm not hijacking your thread here,

Well an occasional note of sanity is never a problem.

Erational: but I see a lot of folks say that there are no lenses for the Sony E-Mount NEX's. If one uses the electronic adapters the A-mount Easy Choice line gives us super primes such as the 35mm F/1.8 and the aforementioned 85mm (which has FF coverage BTW). The are light, short, cheap, sharp and have AF !

Yes, the plastic Alpha lenses with inexpensive SAM motors really do eventually AF on the Nex C3. It's a tad humorous, their lassitude on the sturdy, light, inexpensive LAEA1 adapter. Am sure they autofocus competitively on the LAEA2.

Erational: Don't know that you would be happy with the upcoming 18-135 fitted to your E-mount camera. Your right to be suspect about that lens. I too would be shocked if it was superlative. The Sony lens roadmap says we are to get a "G" zoom. But the chance of any zoom besting primes is pretty low. If you already have seen what a good prime can do, it may be hard to go back to a zoom.

It's perhaps a mild sickness in some of us, but we are always hoping for a breakthrough in zoom quality that does not involve an enormously heavy optic.

Have found the Alpha 18-55 plastic zoom a nice value and light weight lens, for Nex C3 work at 18 through 24mm. Particularly nice handling for flash work, where there are sometimes hot spots in an image that could cause flare and ghosting.

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kev777zero
Senior MemberPosts: 1,476Gear list
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Re: didn't understand comments, i.e. Oly 1.4 looked better
In reply to RussellInCincinnati, Apr 23, 2012

RussellInCincinnati wrote:

Kev777zero: I did a comparison between nFD 50mm 1.4 with OM 50mm 1.4 & 1.8 a while back:

http://forums.dpreview.com/...ms/readflat.asp?forum=1042&message=41143569

Kev: It seems like a close match between the OM & nFD 1.4s to me wide open, perhaps a slight edge to the nFD for a bit less ghosting/flare.

Never understood your comments in that post, because it looked like the nFD 50/1.4 lens was significantly less sharp than the Oly 1.4 in the center, and the Canon had significantly more obtrusive purple fringing as well. Yet you gave a slight edge to the Canon nFD. Could you clarify that conclusion a bit further?

I gave the nFD the upper hand because there seemed to be less flare/purple fringes looking at the bottom right part of the crop (the OM seemed to have more of that purple light coming off that cabinet). but yes, upon further inspection I do agree that the OM is sharper in the center (as I can clearly read the tiniest letters from the crop, while not from the nFD). There can be a margin for error in mis-focusing though.

I posted it for others to judge, as I am not usually the pixel peeper. All three lenses are quite good performers btw.
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John Bean (UK)
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Re: Fast 50's
In reply to Erational, Apr 23, 2012

Erational wrote:

(The Canon 50mm f1.2 LTM beats Leica)

Apples and oranges. What would the result have been if a Leica 50/1.4 had been used instead? Or perhaps a comparison with a Canon 50/0.95?

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John Bean [BST (GMT+1)]

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