Heated debate about 17mm/1.8

Started Sep 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
tt321 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,278
Re: Where is the heat.?

Sergey Borachev wrote:

tt321 wrote:

Let me make a hitherto unmade or under-made point: Have you noticed that the 35mm FoV is usually covered with competent but non-stellar primes if you look at almost any system? Even expensive items such as the 24/1.8 E-mount fail to really impress. Before the appearance of the recent Sigma 35mm/1.4 for FF, almost no truly 1st class testers have emerged at this FoV. The 17/1.8 is just very normal, competent but no MTF king.

Now that you mentioned it, it is interesting. No one I know of has made a truly 1st class 35mm equiv lens in recent times with the exception of the Sigma and some very niche expensive lenses that have various limitations like manual focusing, like the CV. Maybe the new Fuji 23mm f/1.4 will do something about that. I really doubt it is due to lack of technology, but even the Zeiss Distagon 35mm f/1.4 falls a little short. Strange. So, what do you think the reason for that is?

We could only speculate. By conventional wisdom, the fast 35 is used mainly for street photography where speed of operation is of paramount importance and a flat field and corner to corner MTF are not. The wide open fast aperture was mainly used for focusing, whilst shooting was done at stopped down apertures - this is different from the case for moderate and long telephoto lenses which are used wide open more often and require sharpness right from there. If you apply this philosophy then fast AF, convenient MF, decent centre behaviour wide open and decent behaviour stopped down should all override any desire for yet another MTF demon in the line, so to speak.

If/when Sigma gets to sell a huge number of their 35/1.4 and make bundles of money others might decide to follow suit.

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