Hard to believe - but 28mm f2.8 and 28mm f3.5 Nikon primes beaten by A7 kit lens

Started Mar 19, 2014 | Discussions thread
Mel Snyder
OP Mel Snyder Veteran Member • Posts: 4,088
Re: Hard to believe - but 28mm f2.8 and 28mm f3.5 Nikon primes beaten by A7 kit lens

Ynos wrote:

Mel Snyder wrote:

When I had difficulty focusing my 35mm Summilux closer than 3 feet this morning, I decided to try two Nikon MF primes - a 28mm f2.8 Ai and a 28mm f3.5 Ai - both inherited from my late father, a photographer for Bethlehem Steel. Both old primes focus very close - and a few years back, I'd shot the f2.8 on a Nikon FM, and it worked really well.

But when I tested both today on my A7, both were soft on the sides and corners - even at f5.6 and 8. They were very distortion free.But useless for landscapes

And so, for comparison, I shot the same scene with my kit zoom at 28mm f3.5. No comparison - the kit was sharp side to side, a tiny bit of corner softness. Even with LR 5.3, there was a quite a bit of vertical distortion beyond the lens correction profile. But the kit was sharper, more contrasty, more colorful. And a simple slider fixed it. The distortion would not likely be even noticed except for architecture and cityscapes.

Anyone interested I can upload examples. But the first time some revered old primes tested so badly compared to a lowly kit zoom.

I think it was PCMag who tested 28-70 kit lens and it was surprisingly sharp. Almost as sharp as FE35 and FE55 primes! And I would say that those primes are very very sharp. So IMHO kit lens is very good. It is much better than APS-C kit zooms. I'm not sure if that is due to capable and forgiving FF sensor of A7 or due to 28-70 itself, but whatever people say, I think 28-70 has no problem in terms of sharpness whatsoever.

I think you're right. I think the challenge of making a variable-aperture zoom is easier than making a constant-aperture one like the 28-70, or the 16-50, or the 55-210.

The late David Brenner had a great joke - "Did you ever notice when you lose something, and search for it, you ALWAYS find it in 'the last place I thought to look for it'? OF COURSE YOU FIND IT THERE - WHO WOULD KEEP SEARCHING IF YOU FOUND WHAT YOU WERE LOOKING FOR?"

I'll tell you who - people who have found a sharp lens and keep looking for a sharper one!

 Mel Snyder's gear list:Mel Snyder's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony Alpha a7 Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2 Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS +12 more
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