Are ALL manual focus primes soft on XTrans cameras?

Started 6 months ago | Questions
mistermejia
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Are ALL manual focus primes soft on XTrans cameras?
6 months ago

Not too long ago i posted some photos asking why my Rokinon 85mm was so darn soft and unsharp on my XE1, what a disappointment!

Some folks have posted photos with a Voiglander 35 1.4, the Nikkor 50 Ais 1.2, and some other ones. Do all older wide aperture manual focus primes give you that very "soft" output, just as i have seen with my own Rokinon 85mm??

Is there a prime out there that gives you sharp photos at the wider aperture? I've just discovered that this is a "normal" behavior when using primes like this in a Xtrans camera, because i sure didn't experience this with my former D7000 when i was getting very very sharp images with my 85mm. Maybe the problem is the adapters on the fuji themselves?

Any help here? I guess i might as well just get the fuji 35 1.4.

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Al Valentino
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Re: Are MOST manual focus primes soft on XTrans cameras?
In reply to mistermejia, 6 months ago

mistermejia wrote:

Not too long ago i posted some photos asking why my Rokinon 85mm was so darn soft and unsharp on my XE1, what a disappointment!

Some folks have posted photos with a Voiglander 35 1.4, the Nikkor 50 Ais 1.2, and some other ones. Do all older wide aperture manual focus primes give you that very "soft" output, just as i have seen with my own Rokinon 85mm??

Is there a prime out there that gives you sharp photos at the wider aperture? I've just discovered that this is a "normal" behavior when using primes like this in a Xtrans camera, because i sure didn't experience this with my former D7000. Maybe the problem is the adapters themselves?

Any help here? I guess i might as well just get the fuji 35 1.4.

I do not know why you have problems with your Rokinon but I have seen many fast legacy lens shots wide open and sharp. Depends on the lens and how well the subject was captured. The only snag I have seen is some wide lenses for film do not do well on digital since they are not telecentric and therefore then to smear or have color vignettes at the corners. I did love my Voigtlander 15mm which seems pretty good for sharpness in the corners but at f/4.5 it is not a 'fast' lens.

I see no reason not to get the Fuji 35mm while on sale if you want that FL. I would certainly pass on a Voigtlander 35mm since there is no tangible benefit with price or performance.

Below are a few quick shots with my new Fuji 35mm wide open SOOC Astia jpeg. Resized and not sharpened. I was stunned how well these are straight from the camera and wide open. My little XE1 with my 14, 35 and Tamron 90mm was probably more fun to carry and play with than these guys

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nick_webster
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Old lens designs,
In reply to mistermejia, 6 months ago

Coatings less good, etc. I've got several old lenses and none of them are tack sharp wide open the way new lenses like the 35 or 23 are.

For most purposes I find them sharp enough wide open, and stopped down they just get better. Since there is no alternative to lenses such as my 100 f2 then I have no choice to use them if I want to use a Fuji camera

Old lenses can also have qualities that can't be replicated, I happen to like that for some shots, but of course YMMV.

It has nothing to do with adapters

Nick

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mistermejia
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I have to disagree with you.
In reply to nick_webster, 6 months ago

nick_webster wrote:

Coatings less good, etc. I've got several old lenses and none of them are tack sharp wide open the way new lenses like the 35 or 23 are.

For most purposes I find them sharp enough wide open, and stopped down they just get better. Since there is no alternative to lenses such as my 100 f2 then I have no choice to use them if I want to use a Fuji camera

Old lenses can also have qualities that can't be replicated, I happen to like that for some shots, but of course YMMV.

It has nothing to do with adapters

Nick

I'll have to completely disagree with you (only based on what i am seeing) because my rokinon is TACK sharp on the nikon body, so i am thinking that the problem is NOT in the coating, or because is an "old" lens.

I think it maybe has to do with the distance between the lens and the sensor, since we have to use adapters in between. I don't think and i will seriously doubt that the problem is the fuji sensor itself.

I'm no camera engineer, but i'm just saying, and the fact that the rokinon is even SHARP on my Fuji S5 that tells me something  

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Conrad567
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Re: Are ALL manual focus primes soft on XTrans cameras?
In reply to mistermejia, 6 months ago

mistermejia wrote:

Not too long ago i posted some photos asking why my Rokinon 85mm was so darn soft and unsharp on my XE1, what a disappointment!

Some folks have posted photos with a Voiglander 35 1.4, the Nikkor 50 Ais 1.2, and some other ones. Do all older wide aperture manual focus primes give you that very "soft" output, just as i have seen with my own Rokinon 85mm??

Is there a prime out there that gives you sharp photos at the wider aperture? I've just discovered that this is a "normal" behavior when using primes like this in a Xtrans camera, because i sure didn't experience this with my former D7000 when i was getting very very sharp images with my 85mm. Maybe the problem is the adapters on the fuji themselves?

Any help here? I guess i might as well just get the fuji 35 1.4.

I have shot with everything attached to my X-PRO1, from Contax, Leica, Nikon, Canon, Voightlander etc.  All of the pre-aspherical lenses are soft wide open.  ALL OF THEM WITH AN APERTURE LARGER THAN f2.8.  But once you start shooting with the aspherical lenses that disappears to a large extent.

Most of them are soft from CA's.  Most of them dramatically improve by f2-2.8.

Canon FD 50mm @ f2.0

Canon FD 50mm @ f1.2

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mistermejia
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I have to disagree with you.
In reply to Conrad567, 6 months ago

Conrad567 wrote:

mistermejia wrote:

Not too long ago i posted some photos asking why my Rokinon 85mm was so darn soft and unsharp on my XE1, what a disappointment!

Some folks have posted photos with a Voiglander 35 1.4, the Nikkor 50 Ais 1.2, and some other ones. Do all older wide aperture manual focus primes give you that very "soft" output, just as i have seen with my own Rokinon 85mm??

Is there a prime out there that gives you sharp photos at the wider aperture? I've just discovered that this is a "normal" behavior when using primes like this in a Xtrans camera, because i sure didn't experience this with my former D7000 when i was getting very very sharp images with my 85mm. Maybe the problem is the adapters on the fuji themselves?

Any help here? I guess i might as well just get the fuji 35 1.4.

I have shot with everything attached to my X-PRO1, from Contax, Leica, Nikon, Canon, Voightlander etc. All of the pre-aspherical lenses are soft wide open. ALL OF THEM WITH AN APERTURE LARGER THAN f2.8. But once you start shooting with the aspherical lenses that disappears to a large extent.

Most of them are soft from CA's. Most of them dramatically improve by f2-2.8.

Canon FD 50mm @ f2.0

Canon FD 50mm @ f1.2

Like i told Nick above, why is it that my manual focus rokinon is damn sharp at 1.4 on a nikon body AND on my S5 Pro? But on the XE1 is soft as hell. I don't think is the lenses themselves, so it has to be the distance of the adapters.

Am I crazy??

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nick_webster
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Never had a problem with my adapters
In reply to mistermejia, 6 months ago

I've got more than I care to count for m43s, NEX and now Fuji. I have about 4 for each system in Nikon, OM, Contax and Canon FD and none of them have given me cause for concern - and they were all just cheap Chinese ones.

Of course it may be that your adapter is wrong but even if it is a little wrong I would have thought that you could achieve proper focus somewhere from near to infinity.

Have you done a proper tripod test ? Used full 10x magnification ? I've tried the focus peaking and for me it gave me false positives - could that be a cause of the softness you're seeing ?

Nick

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Al Valentino
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Re: I have to disagree with you.
In reply to mistermejia, 6 months ago

mistermejia wrote:

I'm no camera engineer, but i'm just saying, and the fact that the rokinon is even SHARP on my Fuji S5 that tells me something

So your comparison is of a 6mp sensor with AA filter vs 16mm sensor without AA filter. there are more demands on glass for high density sensors than lower, especially with regards to CA.

perhaps another way to analysis this,instead of making a broad assumption about all lenses because of your limited success with the 85mm, is this. Are there any users of that lens that get better results on a Fuji. If so, then perhaps your adapter was slightly out of spec. Only controlled tripod tests should be trusted to test a test, especially with shallow DOF aperture.

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mistermejia
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Re: Never had a problem with my adapters
In reply to nick_webster, 6 months ago

nick_webster wrote:

I've got more than I care to count for m43s, NEX and now Fuji. I have about 4 for each system in Nikon, OM, Contax and Canon FD and none of them have given me cause for concern - and they were all just cheap Chinese ones.

Of course it may be that your adapter is wrong but even if it is a little wrong I would have thought that you could achieve proper focus somewhere from near to infinity.

Have you done a proper tripod test ? Used full 10x magnification ? I've tried the focus peaking and for me it gave me false positives - could that be a cause of the softness you're seeing ?

Nick

Get a tripod???  Why do i have to do all that if my lens works perfectly fine and is darn sharp even at 1.4 on a nikon body and my S5 Pro?

Is it logicalthat my Rokinon is sharp wide open on both those bodies because the lens just happens to be a Nikon mount lens??  

but i guess is folks are saying that all of lenses behave like that, then there is no point in getting a manual focus then,  makes no sense, so i will have to go with the fuji 35 1.4, although i don't even like that focal range.  I would definitely prefer the 23mm.

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mistermejia
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Re: I have to disagree with you.
In reply to Al Valentino, 6 months ago

Al Valentino wrote:

mistermejia wrote:

I'm no camera engineer, but i'm just saying, and the fact that the rokinon is even SHARP on my Fuji S5 that tells me something

So your comparison is of a 6mp sensor with AA filter vs 16mm sensor without AA filter. there are more demands on glass for high density sensors than lower, especially with regards to CA

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No way jose, it can't be that.   The D7000 is a 16MP and was tack sharp even at 1.4.

The D7000 has the AA filter but I'm sure that the XE1 with no AA filter is not the cause for my soft horrible looking photos.

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Al Valentino
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Re: Never had a problem with my adapters
In reply to mistermejia, 6 months ago

mistermejia wrote:

nick_webster wrote:

I've got more than I care to count for m43s, NEX and now Fuji. I have about 4 for each system in Nikon, OM, Contax and Canon FD and none of them have given me cause for concern - and they were all just cheap Chinese ones.

Of course it may be that your adapter is wrong but even if it is a little wrong I would have thought that you could achieve proper focus somewhere from near to infinity.

Have you done a proper tripod test ? Used full 10x magnification ? I've tried the focus peaking and for me it gave me false positives - could that be a cause of the softness you're seeing ?

Nick

Get a tripod??? Why do i have to do all that if my lens works perfectly fine and is darn sharp even at 1.4 on a nikon body and my S5 Pro?

Is it logicalthat my Rokinon is sharp wide open on both those bodies because the lens just happens to be a Nikon mount lens??

but i guess is folks are saying that all of lenses behave like that, then there is no point in getting a manual focus then, makes no sense, so i will have to go with the fuji 35 1.4, although i don't even like that focal range. I would definitely prefer the 23mm.

Why in the world are you considering a lens with a focal length you "don't even like"?

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mistermejia
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Re: Never had a problem with my adapters
In reply to Al Valentino, 6 months ago

Al Valentino wrote:

mistermejia wrote:

nick_webster wrote:

I've got more than I care to count for m43s, NEX and now Fuji. I have about 4 for each system in Nikon, OM, Contax and Canon FD and none of them have given me cause for concern - and they were all just cheap Chinese ones.

Of course it may be that your adapter is wrong but even if it is a little wrong I would have thought that you could achieve proper focus somewhere from near to infinity.

Have you done a proper tripod test ? Used full 10x magnification ? I've tried the focus peaking and for me it gave me false positives - could that be a cause of the softness you're seeing ?

Nick

Get a tripod??? Why do i have to do all that if my lens works perfectly fine and is darn sharp even at 1.4 on a nikon body and my S5 Pro?

Is it logicalthat my Rokinon is sharp wide open on both those bodies because the lens just happens to be a Nikon mount lens??

but i guess is folks are saying that all of lenses behave like that, then there is no point in getting a manual focus then, makes no sense, so i will have to go with the fuji 35 1.4, although i don't even like that focal range. I would definitely prefer the 23mm.

Why in the world are you considering a lens with a focal length you "don't even like"?

I know, is stupid, but i have no choice, i'll just have to move back more.  I don't have deep pockets like some here to get the 23mm.  Like i have said, fuji should provide lower priced 1.8 lenses for the poor  

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nick_webster
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I think you've misunderstood me
In reply to mistermejia, 6 months ago

What I meant was that have you checked the softness is due to the lens or adapter by eliminating any possible errors such as mis-focussing or camera shake ?

Cameras with higher MP sensors are more prone to showing up small camera shake than ones like the S5 with only 6MP.

Also I found using the focus peaking that it wasn't good enough for really critical focus, and with a lens with such a shallow DOF as the 85 wide open then you might want to check that by using the 10x magnification with peaking turned off.

Nick

EDIT the Rokinon is a modern lens and shouldn't have the same issues as the old lenses I was talking about

If you think it is the adapter why not try to get an exchange for another one ?

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mistermejia
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Re: I have to disagree with you.
In reply to Al Valentino, 6 months ago

Al Valentino wrote:

mistermejia wrote:

I'm no camera engineer, but i'm just saying, and the fact that the rokinon is even SHARP on my Fuji S5 that tells me something

So your comparison is of a 6mp sensor with AA filter vs 16mm sensor without AA filter. there are more demands on glass for high density sensors than lower, especially with regards to CA.

perhaps another way to analysis this,instead of making a broad assumption about all lenses because of your limited success with the 85mm, is this. Are there any users of that lens that get better results on a Fuji. If so, then perhaps your adapter was slightly out of spec. Only controlled tripod tests should be trusted to test a test, especially with shallow DOF aperture.

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I don't have many photos with the Rokinon 85 1.4 here in DP gallery, i have more in my PC, but here are a few shot at 1.4 and 1.8 baby. I could not get such shot with this lens on my XE1. Is not the camera nor the lens.

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Les Lammers
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Re: Are ALL manual focus primes soft on XTrans cameras?
In reply to mistermejia, 6 months ago

Perhaps you need to 'practice' a little more with MF lenses? Remember, there is no OIS and the DOF is very small/thin.

No, this was not meant as a wizeazz comment.

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mistermejia
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Re: I think you've misunderstood me
In reply to nick_webster, 6 months ago

nick_webster wrote:

What I meant was that have you checked the softness is due to the lens or adapter by eliminating any possible errors such as mis-focussing or camera shake ?

Cameras with higher MP sensors are more prone to showing up small camera shake than ones like the S5 with only 6MP.

Also I found using the focus peaking that it wasn't good enough for really critical focus, and with a lens with such a shallow DOF as the 85 wide open then you might want to check that by using the 10x magnification with peaking turned off.

Nick

EDIT the Rokinon is a modern lens and shouldn't have the same issues as the old lenses I was talking about

That's exactly my point, yet it looks like crap on the XE1 (thru an adapter)

If you think it is the adapter why not try to get an exchange for another one ?

I could, but based on what others here have said, they ALL look very very soft

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Les Lammers
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Re: I think you've misunderstood me
In reply to mistermejia, 6 months ago

Maybe the adapter is a clunker?

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mistermejia
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Re: Are ALL manual focus primes soft on XTrans cameras?
In reply to Les Lammers, 6 months ago

Les Lammers wrote:

Perhaps you need to 'practice' a little more with MF lenses? Remember, there is no OIS and the DOF is very small/thin.

No, this was not meant as a wizeazz comment.

Don't take it like that at all Les Lammers

But i do have lots of practice with MF. I know LOTS of cry babies that say they miss too many shots with MF lenses and rather get the nikon 85 1.8G, i am not one of them, i like MF lenses. But thanks for the advice.

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Les Lammers
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Re: Are ALL manual focus primes soft on XTrans cameras?
In reply to mistermejia, 6 months ago

Try a different adapter. If it is off a bit, poor machining etc, that will do it.

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nick_webster
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But you say your lens is sharp on your Nikon
In reply to mistermejia, 6 months ago

In which case it seems the sensible option - rather than buying a lens that doesn't suit you - is to send the adapter back and get an exchange one.

If I had a Rokinon adapter I'd send you it to save you some misery

Hope it all works out in the end,

Nick

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