Bokeh comparison between Sigma, Otus and Nikkor 58mm

Started Apr 19, 2014 | Discussions thread
ImageAmateur Senior Member • Posts: 4,538
Re: Bokeh comparison between Sigma, Otus and Nikkor 58mm

David Whysong wrote:

p m h wrote:

I have never used a 58mm/1.4. But i own a 50mm f/1.8G which i use often along with my 85mm/1.4G. Over the years, i've started to recognise that sharpness is not everything, especially, when it comes to portraits (i.e., when shallow dof is used).

I used to subscribe to and I remember Lloyd expressing his frustration with the sharpness of the 58mm. However, the irony is, when he posted sample shots taken with the lens, e.g, this one , it turned out to be one of my most favorite photographs taken by Mr. Lloyd available on his website. So, while the lens didn't produce otus like sharp photos for him, it actually produced a beautiful portrait that a lot of his sharper lens did not produce (or at least I haven't noticed them posted on his site).

If sharpness were everything, nobody would use fast lenses. The entire point of shallow DoF is to select part of the image to make sharp, and blur the rest. From a lens design perspective with all else equal, I think it is always better for the focal plane to be sharp. If that's not desired, Gaussian blur is easy. Or go old-school; put a nylon sock over the lens, or smear Vaseline on a UV filter.

That linked picture is nice, but it's not the only nice photography I've seen done with a 50mm. It's not enough to say "this unsharp lens is super special because it takes nice low-resolution pictures with good bokeh." Lots of cheap lenses do that.

An A/B comparison between the 58mm and the Sigma 50mm EX HSM (that's the old version, not the Art) would be interesting. Though I think some in this forum only see the lens manufacturer's name.

Exactly, nobody has claimed that 'sharpness is everything' that is not it at all.

But a sharp focal plane enhances the image with lovely bokeh, not only in the overall image rendition giving the 'set-off' to the bokeh, but that actually also lends to 3D ness and impression of depth / dimension.

So, there is validity is requiring 'at least' the focal plane to be sharp.

If one wants to see fabulous bokeh AND sharp focal plane, I suggest, if they have not already, some of the commenters spend some time on MF Lenses dot com (I am sure that some have) and see what some of the older MF Lenses can be used for. Fabulous, gorgeous bokeh (and to be blunt, the 58mm mentioned here cannot match much of what I have seen there for bokeh), yet sharpness on the focal plane.

This from old Zenit, Pentacon etc etc lenses.... and many more.

Yes, there is also validity that the test charts may not do the lens justice at MFD, and yes, I have seen lovely images with the 58mm, the most memorable being a photographer on the FF forum, Bmclad, lovely wedding albums. But, THAT is Bmclad      one rather thinks that photographer will shoot with anything and get memorable stuff.

And yes, we all have our desires and preferences, nothing wrong with that, as it should be.

Seems this will be a round and round discussion.

Nothing wrong with the lens for what it is intended, but there are much alternatives and all opinions are valid, in the eyes of the users /non users.

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Wishing You Good Light.

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