Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
verybiglebowski Veteran Member • Posts: 4,257
Re: 50's

Ivan983 wrote:

Mostly looking into vintage budget primes.(i am ok with manual for stills). Will be using it mostly for street, travel everyday shooting i guess. Aware that 35mm would be better for that but as for now, determined to get my first prime 50mm.

I compared the lenses bellow (except Canon FD 50/1.8, I have only FL 50/1.8) on the Sony A6000 (APS-C) and ISO 12233 DCR4 chart without laser alignment and 100% proper lighting. Most of these lenses I have or had in multiple copies, and for this test, the best copies were selected.

Due to the alignment and lighting inconsistency and general rule, that the lens condition is way more important for the resulting IQ than brand and model written on the barrel (speaking about old, legacy lenses), please treat these results just as my findings. Others might have different experiences.

I have to give 2 rankings for each lens - center sharpness and edge sharpness.

Nikkor-S Auto 1.4/50 6-3

MC Rokkor PF 1.4/50 7-6

S-M-C Takumar 1.4/50 (Tested was SMC Takumar not S-M-C) 1-2

Pentax M 1.7/50 2-4

Olympus OM 1.8/50 (version 5 and 6) 2-1

Pentacon 50mm f1.8 9-9

Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 FL 50/1.8 8-8

Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7 4-5

Yashica ML 50mm f/2.0 4-7

These are results at f/1.7-2.0 (depending on the lens). My Takumar is very yellow, but when WB is adjusted, stopped down to f/2.0 it is the sharpest in the center with the highest contrast too.

Olympus (Made in Japan - 5th and 6th version) is slightly less sharp in the center (it's wide open at f/1.8) and very similar to Pentax M 50/1.7 in the center, but slightly better toward the edges. Any of these three lenses show nice and fully usable results on Sony A6000 in terms of sharpness and contrast. If the budget allows, and the lens is in good condition, Takumar SMC 50/1.4 is probably the winner in terms of sharpness.

Olympus, on the other hand, is smaller, cheaper, and has very well corrected color aberrations. (3 samples were tested).

I tested more lenses. Speaking about sharpness, Canon FDn 50/1.4 is probably the sharpest (at f/2.0) from around 20 lenses including Zeiss Planar 50/1.7, Zeiss Planar Rollei 50/1.4 and 50/1.8, Zeiss Ultron 50/1.8, Oly 50/1.4 (with serial over 1.1M) and many others.

Nice surprise in terms of the bang for the buck were Minolta MC Rokkor 50/2 and Cosinon-S 50/2. the later being a little sharper in the center.

All this tells nothing about lens character, flare resistance, and some other important things, but it gives you a slightly better approximation of the sharpness in direct comparison.

Adapter - very good ones are more expensive than lenses, my favorite is Novoflex. But this one looks solid enough IMHO - https://www.ebay.com/itm/Adapter-for-Olympus-OM-Lens-to-Olympus-Panasonic-MFT-M4-3-M43-Mount-Camera/323862717583?hash=item4b67b8e48f:g:5ZAAAOSwcGhenKJz

Don't forget that you can also use the focal reducer adapter.

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