Good 50mm Lens For Sony Nex ... on a Budget?

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
kuuan Veteran Member • Posts: 3,663
Re: Good 50mm Lens For Sony Nex ... on a Budget?

Louno wrote:

KingCharles wrote:

I once made a sharpness shootout of over 30 'normal lenses' using my NEX5N including most of the above mentioned. There are sets by lenses, f stop, and of 100% center and corner crops:

So of those tested which did you like the best for sharpness? And which the best for color reproduction?

Yes, although this is really AWESOME work ( thank you ! )... its hard to judge quickly, i'll be sure to look at everything more closely but i'd love to know what you think? there might be a few lenses that are better overall even though they might have similar image quality, for exemple some might be better than other in terms of build quality / features / size etc...

there are reasons why I had not given any opinions at my test. Too easily they could become, if well presented absolute truth in the internet, not considering that there always is sample variation and test error at play. Most probably my test isn't done nor presented sufficiently well for that to happen, nevertheless I am very hesitant to put forward my own observations or opinions.

Instead I tried to organize the files in a way that it can be reviewed very easily to make it as simple as possibly for everyone to draw his conclusions. E.g. a good way to judge center sharpness could be to see the slide show of the center crops, here linked those taken @ f2: don't forget to click on 'show info' on the right top corner to see which lens was used. ( there also sets of wide open crops and of each other f stop, I chose to link the one @f2 since 'wide open' doesn't yet include all lenses tested )


nevertheless I do dare to forwards some observations. Many will be of Takumar and Pentax lenses, this is necessarily so because these are the lenses I have most experience with and also make for half of the lenses included in the test:

as expected, for sharpness there isn't all that much between most SLR lenses tested, specially if stopped down a bit. One also must consider that the test images have not been worked on at all, that is no sharpness, contrast had been added, doing that the differences will diminish even further

only the old CZJ and Jupiter 8 rangefinder lenses and the Takumar f2/58 fall  behind considerably, specially at wide apertures. Note that these have "Sonnar" lens schemes which make for very beautiful rendering nevertheless, the Takumar f2/58 is among my most loved lenses!

for center sharpness at open apertures Pentax A 1.7/50, M 1.7/50, M 1.4/50, S-M-C Takumar and first ( 8 element ) Super Takumar f1.4/50 seem to have the edge over most other tested, still visible @f2. Very well fare the 2 Yashinons, Rokkors and early f1.8 and f2/55 Takumars, possibly still having the edge over the OM 1.8/50, Nikkor f1.4/50, Topcor, Pancolar and Mamiya 1.8/50.

for corner sharpness the OM 1.8/50 is tops, almost stands out, very good the Mamiya, also Rokkors, Pentax and Takumars

for color reproduction I can't say from this test. Generally I like the colors of the Pentax/ Takumar and Rokkor lenses, natural and well saturated. Olympus, but my experience is more with the 'Pen-F' Zuikos then OM lenses, sometimes make for a 'lighter' appearance, personally I rather dislike the colors of the Pancolar.

Louno I am very happy you ask about build quality, size, features, I'd include handling:

Olympus made the smallest and lightest SLR lenses and therefore make a very good fit on a NEX! Pentax M and A lenses are also very compact. e.g. the Pentax M1.7/50 has pretty the same lengths as the OM 1.8/50 but weighs a tad ( 20 grms ) more. The earlier Pentax lenses, the Takumars are still rel. compact but heavier. The build quality of these full metal Takumars is absolute tops, also offer top handling, very smooth focus rings! Pentax M share the same great handling, later Pentax A have a more clunky aperture ring. Om lenses have the aperture ring in front, this feature is shared by the very early Takumars, I find that advantageous when used on a NEX with adapter. OM have great handling, their build is a bit more delicate and thus they are a bit more prone to mechanical failures. Compared with the above mentioned I find most of the early Nikkors, Rokkors, Canons asf. to be rather big, heavy, sometimes clunky in comparison, not the included Yashinons. If smallish size is if concern of these brands better looks for the later variants.

note: even though all 55mm Takumars tested have the same optical schemes, and all the 50mm Takumars respectively ( with the exception of the early 8 element Super Tak ), the Super Tak. f1.8/55 falls behind the earlier versions of 55mm Taks, and the SMC and second ver. Super Tak 1.4/50 fall behind the other 1.4/50 Taks tested. Partly this must be due to sample variation, and this must be considered for all the other lenses tested too, specially because there is only one copy of each. For this reason, as stated in the beginning, I am hesitant to forward thoughts on my test results. Since a variety of the 50 and 55mm Takumars and Pentax lenses included rather consistently proved to be top performers, offer top handling and build quality and what's not shown in the test, of course specially the later variants have very good coating, I'd say that it's safe to say that they actually are very good

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photos mostly taken with manual lenses on Sony NEX5N, Pentax K-x and *istDs:

 kuuan's gear list:kuuan's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix F31fd Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 Pentax *ist DS Ricoh GXR Mount A12 Sony Alpha NEX-5N +1 more
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