45mm vs Legacy 50mm

Started Sep 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
captura Forum Pro • Posts: 24,105
Re: I have both lenses

fermy wrote:

azazel1024 wrote:

To generalize, I'd say if I used my legacy film lenses, I'd be okay making a print up to maybe 11x14 with the best of the best if it had been stopped down to f/5.6 or so (generally where all of them are the sharpest/least optical abberations). A print made with one of my m4/3 lenses though would likely still look better, probably even at 8x10 (and in some cases even at 5x7), but the better lenses could still produce an acceptable 11x14 print. No way I'd print larger than that ever from any of my legacy film lenses.

Most of my m4/3 lenses I'd be willing to do 20x30 prints, especially from the sharper ones.

This is just ridiculous, there is simply no other word for it. Every decent legacy 50mm prime at f2.8 is already better than 14-42 Zuiko on the long end at any aperture. So you want to tell us that 45mm Zuiko has twice the resolution of the kit lens? Get real. For exampe, photozone shows peak resolution 2317 lwph for M.Zuiko 45 v 2174 for M.Zuiko 14-42 @ 42mm. People that claim such a ridiculous difference between M.Zuiko and their legacies either have a faulty legacy or simply haven't mastered manual focus (most likely).

Just keep in mind, those old lenses were designed to produce good images on 135 format (35mm film). With m4/3, you are taking a 25% crop of the image circle, which is going to magnify optical defects by 4x, and then with something like an OM-D E-M5, you are further throwing in a high resolution sensor, which probably resolves twice as well as the better 35mm films could in general. End result, things just don't look so good. If you were to adapt the lenses to something like a full frame camera, especially one that wasn't super high resolution like a Canon 5D, which is only 12MP, the images would probably still look pretty good.

Just keep in mind, this is a load of rubbish. First of all, the magnification factor is 2x, not 4x. Second, stopped down good legacies by far outresolve 16MP m4/3 sensor. This is very well seen on 24MP NEX-7, which has about the same density as 16MP m4/3. There in many cases old primes are actually still ahead of modern E-mount optics with modern coatings and modern technology.

In a summary, 1.8/45 is wonderful and wide open will have a slight advantage over inexpensive legacies at the expense of somewhat clinical look. However, the key word is slight . The key issue here is that precise MF requires skills and training. Many people don't want to (re-)learn this skill, which is fine. What is not fine is rubbishing good legacy glass on the basis of own shortcomings.

I agree with you. The best legacies can often outperform modern optics and are faster. I have a Minolta MC f1.4 50  which is outstanding; my best lens. My second best lenses are a Pana. 14 2.5 and an Ollie 40-150 zoom, and I use them on an Olympus m43 body, of course. But the manual Minolta lens works best with my NEX-3 for a number of reasons, and especially because of Focus Peaking.

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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
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