Upload & Sell: On
Daan B wrote:
I had the 35/2 and 35L for some time. The 35/2 is a really nice lens. Very much on par with the 35L for IQ at comparable apertures. Not so much on par for built quality and MF ring.
Good summary. IQ was the thing for me, and the smaller size and weight are virtues in regards to the way I use the lens. The MF business, while it could matter a bit to some, is essentially a non issue to me. The build quality is not L, but it is fine.
For those of you that own this lens (35mm f/2), what are your thoughts on the bokeh? I am interested in a small compact lens at this focal length but bokeh seems to be very nervous from what I have seen. Aside from that, test results indicate that this lens is quite sharp in the center and very good on the edges when stopped down a little.
I'm not sure that I can offer much about the bokeh question, except to say that I haven't noticed it as a problem. (There are other lenses on which I do notice bokeh that is less than wonderful, but that hasn't happened here.)
Also, keep in mind that you can't judge bokeh just by looking at a shot from camera A (bokeh "busy") and another shot from camera B (bokeh good) - there are a bunch of things that go into producing what you might regard as good bokeh. People often think of it purely as a lens characteristic, but I find that things like the subject-to-camera and the subject-to-background distance and other factors actually have as much or more of an effect. As an example, I like my EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS a lot, but it does not produce lovely bokeh in most cases. However, if you use it with extension tubes for very close work it does produce beautiful bokeh - go figure!
Regarding "sharpness," my experience tells me that the lens can be very sharp. It is certainly no slouch in this area of performance at all. The resolution is generally great across the frame, but in some circumstances if you look very closely in the very furthest corners of a shot done on full frame, you can see the sharpness diminish just a bit. The drop off is a bit unusual - rather than declining gradually from a point closer to the center of the frame, the image is very good further out from the center, and the small decline starts further out. I mention this only since the topic came up, and not because I regard it as a problem. Overall, the lens is a great performer.
I own both L and non-L primes. When I cannot find what I need in a non-L version, I don't hesitate to purchase the L alternative, but I've also found that a number of the non-L lenses are truly excellent performers in optical terms. In addition to that, they have the virtues of lower cost and smaller size and weight. While I understand the macho appeal of attaching Really Big And Impressive Lenses to ones camera*, in practical photographic terms, a smaller and lighter lens that accomplishes the same thing is a Good Thing. The 35mm f/2 is in this category for me, along with other primes like the 85mm f/1.8, the 50mm f/1.4 and a few others I don't own but which have similar reputations. (I cannot offer an opinion on the 28mm lens.)
Just about any half decent full-frame lens is "sharp in the corners" on a crop camera. A crop camera crops the corners away; cuts them out; eliminates the corners that the full-frame sees. This basic stuff and important to know and apply.
With virtually any lens and virtually any camera, the corners will be weaker than the center of the frame. However, it is important to think this one out a bit more carefully. This would be easier to explain with a diagram or two, but I'll try to do it verbally, apologizing in advance for possible confusion.
Let's compare two configurations. Configuration A is a cropped sensor camera using some lens. Configuration B is a full frame sensor camera using the same lens. Both will produce the same lp/mm resolution in the center of the frame and the same lp/mm resolution at an absolute distance from the center equal to that where the corners of the APS-C sensor are found. Beyond that point the lp/mm resolution of the lens on the full frame camera will continue to decline. This is the source of the "common knowledge" about "poorer corner performance" from lenses on full frame.
But step back a bit. In the center of the frame configuration B produces a higher system resolution than configuration B since it resolves more line pairs per picture width than the smaller configuration A. This is also true at the second point I described - the distance from the center of both at which the corners of the APS-C sensor would be found. In fact, the system resolution will still be better on configuration B some distance beyond this, and with good lenses it can be so all the way to the corner of the frame.
So, while it may be correct in some cases to point out that the performance of some particular lens suffers more in the corners on full frame than on crop, it is an incorrect generalization to think that corner image resolution is necessarily going to be lower on the larger sensor system. In fact, many outcomes are possible:
- the FF system could be better in the center and still better in the corners
- the FF system could be better in the center and roughly equal in the corners
- the FF system could be better in the center and less good in the corners
And, as I'm sure you would understand, it can be even more complex. For example, it might play out one way at small apertures and another at the largest apertures - making a lens excellent for, say, a FF landscape shooter and possible less excellent for, say, a FF street photography shooter...
Don Clary wrote:
I was referring to the difference, as I transitioned from analog film printing to digital camera printing. This distinction is probably over the heads of digital only people, who never processed film, and never did analog printing (which is the projection of curved slide film down below to the paper in an analog (projection slide) enlarger.
Thank God that I, too, started in the film era and did my own developing and printing. And thank God even more that I no longer have to do that! :-)
Few lenses project a perfectly flat image field.
I have a functioning darkroom.
True about the lenses. And also true about the issues of film flatness and so forth. (Though for fun, sometime read about the efforts that a few perfectionists have made to "perfect" the plane alignment of their high MP MF digital back sensor. Sheesh!
Monito, do you still use that film darkroom?
*For those who might occasionally feel intimidated by the Really Big Lens crowd, I can assure you that there is a certain satisfaction to knowing that you are quite possibly making as good or better a photograph as that person who spent a lot of money on Big Impressive Stuff. :-)