Upgrading normal lens

Started Oct 3, 2012 | Discussions thread
JNR Veteran Member • Posts: 3,219
Re: No need to spend big money for resolution

Dan Beaty wrote:

SRT201 wrote:

Admittedly I have not studied comparisons for contrast but... the Rikenon's are sharp corner to corner where the M50 1.7 has trouble getting there and the M50 1.7 wide open is really pretty bad contrast IMO where the Rikenon 1.7 is much better.

Since you guys have called my attention to the Rikenon/Sears lens, I looked up my previous comparison shots between it and my 16-45 @ 45mm. The reason that the contrast appears lower is I think due to the cooler rendering of the colors. When i reduced some of the blue in Photoshop, the contrast was very similar. The greens became more lively. I knew about this cooler cast when shooting film with it before. I had to change the filtering in the darkroom on shots when I changed lenses.

For overall convenience and color rendition, the DA16-45 is a fine lens. I would hate to part with it unless I replaced it with a better zoom. Amazing that I can get about what I paid for it years later!

But even the center sharpness on the Sears lens was better at f4, edge difference was even greater. It is like comparing 645 film with 6x7, subtle, but noticeable.


I recall the color difference when shooting film. It is entirely possible that people sensed color rendering even more in the days of high quality film printing (we were a high end consumer/some pro processing outfit - eventually bought out by Black's of Canada, then Ritz after that). Not sure that we appreciate the differences as much now - as we can always "correct" it. It is entirely possible that Pentax lenses of that era don't look quite as good now because of the way sensors saturate the warmth of reds that come through especially in those older lenses. In other words, it was quite hard to bring out reds in most film formulations (remember the Kodachrome/Ektachrome debate?) - and the problem is the opposite in the digital era.

Bottom line, these 50mm lenses were all pretty high grade, even competitive when compared to today's optics. Even an off brand like Chinon (which produced our house brand Revuenon lenses) were very good at least in proper light (against the light was often an issue). My impression was the Canon 50mm f/1.8 was the weakest - a tad soft, marginal coatings, lower contrast, and poor saturation that some claimed was just a matter of accuracy. I still get a bit of that impression from Canon - even my modern 50mm f/1.4 which is nonetheless universally viewed as much better than the AF f/1.8.

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