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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Portrait Lens Supertest - 50mm shootout...Lenses included in the test were :- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 MkII Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Carl Zeiss Planar ...
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Old 12-02-2007, 18:51   #1 (permalink)
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Portrait Lens Supertest - 50mm shootout

Lenses included in the test were :-

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 MkII
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f/1.4ZF
Nikon 50mm f/1.8D
Olympus ED 50mm f/2.0 Macro
Pentax FA 50mm f/2.8 Macro
Sigma 50mm f/2.8 DG Macro
Sony 50mm f/1.4

in this months Digital Photo Mag, with the following results :-

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Old 12-02-2007, 18:55   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait Lens Supertest - 50mm shootout

Nikon came 1st, due to amazing price.

What really schocked me was such a difference between the Canon & Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens....... I always thought they were same optics

That Canon f/1.2L produced amazing images....but what a price !!!!
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Old 12-02-2007, 19:06   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait Lens Supertest - 50mm shootout

Very interesting. I bet that for most Canon owners the f1.8 nifty fifty will serve them very well, and they would not be able to notice the difference the f1.2 would give in the majority of their shooting situations.

They could also buy a car or go on holiday with the difference!

I must get a nifty for my camera.
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Old 12-02-2007, 19:17   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait Lens Supertest - 50mm shootout

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Originally Posted by Dabhand16 View Post
I must get a nifty for my camera.
Compulsory
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Old 12-02-2007, 19:22   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait Lens Supertest - 50mm shootout

Interesting

Very rarely use my nifty.
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Old 12-02-2007, 20:11   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait Lens Supertest - 50mm shootout

did they not test the nikon 50 1.4?

Sil
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Old 12-02-2007, 20:22   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait Lens Supertest - 50mm shootout

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Originally Posted by P-E View Post
Interesting

Very rarely use my nifty.
Is it the lens you don't like, or is it that you rarely shoot at 50mm?
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Old 12-02-2007, 20:34   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait Lens Supertest - 50mm shootout

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Originally Posted by Sonsey View Post
Is it the lens you don't like, or is it that you rarely shoot at 50mm?
Probably rarely shoot at 50mm.
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Old 13-02-2007, 15:01   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait Lens Supertest - 50mm shootout

What's the point in a review where the image quality is ranked at either 4 or 5?!

That gives me no useful comparison of which lens actually has the best image quality and what order they are in. I understand they're saying they all have good image quality, but I'd prefer at least a ranking.

Plus I'm not entirely sure how the nifty fifty didn't get 5 stars in the value for money category - heck, even if it took shocking pictures it's still astonishingly cheap.
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Old 13-02-2007, 15:55   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait Lens Supertest - 50mm shootout

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Originally Posted by silver View Post
did they not test the nikon 50 1.4?

Sil
Nope, nor the Canon f/1.4 (which they did state one wasn't in stock for).
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Old 13-02-2007, 16:11   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait Lens Supertest - 50mm shootout

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Originally Posted by abirkill View Post
What's the point in a review where the image quality is ranked at either 4 or 5?!

That gives me no useful comparison of which lens actually has the best image quality and what order they are in. I understand they're saying they all have good image quality, but I'd prefer at least a ranking.

Plus I'm not entirely sure how the nifty fifty didn't get 5 stars in the value for money category - heck, even if it took shocking pictures it's still astonishingly cheap.
Quick summary of comments made against each re test shots:-
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 MkII - DOF falls off nicely but Chromatic Aberration is a problem at f/1.8
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM - Ultra shallow DOF, but minor CA fully open. Overall image quality is excellent
  • Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f/1.4ZF - Results are razor sharp at f/8, but a little soft at edges when fully open
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.8D - Sharpness is good throughout the range, only softening slightly at the extremes
  • Olympus ED 50mm f/2.0 Macro - Sharpness is excellent across the range
  • Pentax FA 50mm f/2.8 Macro - Sharpness is excellent acorss the range, with no signs of CA
  • Sigma 50mm f/2.8 DG Macro - Although sharpness was good, fringing was evident throughout the range
  • Sony 50mm f/1.4 - Slighty soft wide open, but sharp rest of way through

Looking at the images I would have to rank the top 5 re Image Quality in terms of sharpness & detail, as :-

1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM (by a noticeable amount)
2. Pentax FA 50mm f/2.8 Macro
3. Olympus ED 50mm f/2.0 Macro
4. Sigma 50mm f/2.8 DG Macro (although pics too small to show any CA problems)
5. Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f/1.4ZF

Note these are with small pics, so you have to take things with a pinch of salt..... but hope it helps in some way

Funny thing is the softer images look better for portraits sometimes. I've seen some cracking portraits taken with kit lens ....... just to make things harder for people to decide
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Old 13-02-2007, 19:49   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait Lens Supertest - 50mm shootout

Thanks Dave
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