Softness test at 1.4: Fujinon 35mm

Started Apr 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
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dark goob Contributing Member • Posts: 980
Softness test at 1.4: Fujinon 35mm

Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 on X-PRO1


Panasonic Lumix Leica Summilux-D 25mm f/1.4 (standard Four Thirds) on G3 via Olympus MMF-1 Four Thirds to Micro Four Thirds adapter.

Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 tripod + 410 Junior Geared Head


Physical Software iOS app "Angle of View" for computation of distance-to-subject equivalencies and size ratios. (The angle-of-view is different between these two lenses, so to keep the reproduction ratio the same I used a slightly different distance-to-subject.)

DISCLAIMER OF METHODS: this not a perfectly scientific test. I realize that these are not perfectly "equivalent" lenses. In fact, there are no perfect equivalents available, although a Voigtlander 25mm 0.95 might at least provide the ability to achieve more equivalency in terms of bokeh for the test. I'd personally prefer to have used the Micro Four Thirds 25mm, however I do not have it.

The obvious framing offset is caused by the placement of the tripod mounting hole on the bottom of the cameras being in different places on each camera relative to the lens.

PURPOSE OF TEST: This test is only an f/1.4 test, so it may only be useful to people who intend to shoot this lens wide open. Having shot with it, I noticed that the Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 seems soft in the edges. I wanted to test it against a lens I've used extensively to see how much softer it really is.

REASON FOR POSTING THIS HERE: I wanted to post these results, hopefully to find out if any of you who own this lens have experienced the same kind of softness, or if perhaps I have a "bad copy." The store has several in stock so presumably I could try another one if people think it's just my copy. Or, perhaps you will say "it's supposed to be like that: a dreamy look" and I will say, "OK that's fine, now I know!"

DISCLAIMER OF INTENT: My intent is not to denigrate Fujifilm's products here or promote another manufacturer over them. I am purely interested in knowing if the lens is really supposed to be this soft and dreamy when shot wide open. I'm OK with it, if that's the case, since I think it provides a particular kind of "look" for certain shots, which cannot be obtained in software quite so easily. (Using a Lomography Diana box as a test subject was purely coincidental; I picked it because it has lots of lines.)

RATIONALE FOR COMPARISON: I used the Summilux-D lens as a reference, since it's one of the few other f/1.4 lens that is just full-frame relative to the sensor of a mirror-less body. I chose the G3 body only because its sensor has a very similar resolution to the X-PRO1.

TEST IMAGES: In this post I will post the 100% crops comparison grid. In the following post I will post the full-resolution JPEGs each was derived from.

CONCLUSION: based on these test results, I feel that the Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 I tested, when shot wide open, is impossible to fully focus in the periphery areas -- however it's quite sharp in the center, despite some ghosting. However it shows very high levels of detail in the areas in which it is sharp, possesses very pleasing bokeh, and exhibits minimal C.A. (at least in the JPEGs). The Summilux-D seems to greatly outperform it in terms of edge-to-edge sharpness and clarity at f/1.4, however it exhibits very noticeable C.A. in the JPEGs with the G3 (note: ACR RAW conversion nearly eliminates the appearance of C.A. from such an image). Also the Summilux-D's bokeh is not as creamy due to its significantly shorter focal length.


 dark goob's gear list:dark goob's gear list
Olympus E-M1
Fujifilm X-Pro1
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