Autofocus lenses that competes with classic vintage lenses in their rendering

Started Sep 11, 2022 | Discussions thread
verybiglebowski Veteran Member • Posts: 4,567
A few Minolta and Canon nominees

I don’t know what would be a classic vintage rendering, since there are many different performers, but I can mention a few lenses that I like for their “organic” and/or stylish  rendering.

Minolta AF 35/1.4 preferably first version (not G and not Sony). 
Minolta AF 85/1.4 first version

Later G/RS versions are great too (I only had them shortly) but have more modern coatings, which helps the contrast wide open and allow better flare resistance, but brings the rendering closer to the modern look.

Sony/Zeiss Planar AF 85/1.4 ZA

Sony/Zeiss Sonnar AF 135/1.8 ZA

This was more a marketing collaboration than a full Zeiss signature, coatings were Zeiss as was the original design proposal and real life mtf measuring, but due to the production optimization, no one really knows, how much original design was affected. Even the original “Zeiss” design wasn’t that much different (85/1.4), than Minolta predecessor.

I actually use both Sony/Zeiss A mount primes (mentioned above) with the Sony E mount FF cameras via adapter, and I don’t have their modern E mount alternatives.

Canon EF 50/1.2 L (I never had 50/1.0)

Belittled in most reviews, with a ton of aberrations, focus breathing and low contrast wide open, after 20 years it is still one of my most beloved 50ies, when I am after shallow DOF.

Canon EF 200 f/2 L IS (I never had 200/1.8)

I am sure there are better super tele lenses today in the mtf terms, but this is by far my favorite 200mm lens that goes well with Metabones adapter. When I can afford caddy to carry it, of course.

I don’t know much about Nikon, Pentax and 3rd party AF lenses, I am sure there are other interesting optics there (Nikon 105 and 135 2 DC e.g.), delivering technically good enough results, without going over the top, by attacking mtf records for the better sales.

 verybiglebowski's gear list:verybiglebowski's gear list
Sony a7R Sony a7R II Sony a7R III Sony a7R IV Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4 +3 more
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