Thanks for commenting.
It’s always nice to see tests, even if different apertures. From the pictures, all lenses are great enough I’d not know which to bring. Maybe the fastest just in case? I took some of my most neglected lenses this Thanksgiving, a d mounted my Rollei Zeiss 50/1.4. It was painful to use. Has too much bleeding white open, very strong color shift with depth of the kind is not my favorite. I don’t like the resolution or how it renders details. In favor of it, the objects seem to stand out in 3D like it was stereo pairs. In the end, I didn’t like it much. I took the mobile out to shoot in low light, and I found myself trying to avoid the FF.
Most comparisons I have seen are at the same aperture, which makes sense. If you think about these as each lens shot wide open I think the comparison also makes sense.
I did also shoot each lens at f/4 to make the comparison more apples to apples but on the faster lenses it suppressed the rendering character and made them all look even more similar. I wanted this evaluation to be about subject isolation and the quality of the in focus to out of focus transition in a portrait scenario. No doubt that each lens will have a completely different character in a different photo scenario.
I feel comparisons help, but there some chemistry or physics in lenses that makes the ultimately a lot different than see at first impression. I did not like the Zeiss this time, but for example, from the lenses above, I’d have little idea which one would work best for me.
Your thoughts echo exactly what I was hoping to get out of this. For me the biggest take away is that I should be able work with any one of these. From these results I think I would be more likely to chose the lens based on working distance and ease of use (the Ennit 127 mounted on a bellows is not the easiest.) But both the Vivitar 135mm and the Nikkor 85mm have the most pleasing rendering for this specific photographic situation.
Ever since I started reading this forum I have been longing to find the lens that has that perfect rendering. Your thread on "Most beautiful rendering" was very timely. Each post in this forum of some special lens and its' unique rendering left me feeling as though I was missing out on something. I thought I would never get over lusting for the Sony 100mm STF after ProfHankD first mentioned it to me. Over time I've come to recognize that the character that some lenses are prized for is something I really don't like. For example, swirly bokeh looked very interesting and cool to me at first but now I see it as a one trick pony and find it more of a distraction. It just leaves me feeling anxious. But the Sony 100mm STF... I probably will never get over wanting one. Everything else seems like it is simply on the spectrum between these two renderings.
This forum will continue to be my favorite on DPR because I love seeing the examples and I love the depth of knowledge that the members here have and are so willing to share. I hope no one minds me posting about my less than exotic lenses.