Battle of the Fifties
/forum/topic/996387/2

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carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15352
Country: Germany

denoir wrote:
The two shots above were shot using Philippe's (philber) 50 Planar and after trying it a bit myself made me seriously consider getting one (I have a 50 MP). It's really a great lens - the colors are top notch, and I really like the shape of the sharpness-to-blur transition wide open.


Hmm, I am on the verge of ordering the 50MP, but I have also seen some great 50/1.4 results from philber and Makten, and I am wondering if the two of them could co-exist peacefully?



denoir
Registered: Feb 11, 2010
Total Posts: 4209
Country: Sweden

alundeb wrote:
I thought that you would think that I read things carefully. We are talking about aberrations reducing micro contrast, not resolving power, that was always a given to me.



We were talking about 'softness', not micro contrast. And at medium distances, as you should see from one glance at the images above, micro contrast is definitely not lacking.



denoir
Registered: Feb 11, 2010
Total Posts: 4209
Country: Sweden

carstenw wrote:
denoir wrote:
The two shots above were shot using Philippe's (philber) 50 Planar and after trying it a bit myself made me seriously consider getting one (I have a 50 MP). It's really a great lens - the colors are top notch, and I really like the shape of the sharpness-to-blur transition wide open.


Hmm, I am on the verge of ordering the 50MP, but I have also seen some great 50/1.4 results from philber and Makten, and I am wondering if the two of them could co-exist peacefully?


Had I known what I know know I would have probably bought the 50 Planar instead of the MP. The reason is that the 50 MP is similar in drawing style to the 100 MP while the 50 Planar is unique in its ways.

Had I not been using the M9 as my primary camera then I would have definitely have gotten the Planar by now (in addition to the 50 MP that I have) and I'm not ruling it out completely anyway



alundeb
Registered: Nov 06, 2005
Total Posts: 4243
Country: Norway

denoir wrote:
alundeb wrote:
I thought that you would think that I read things carefully. We are talking about aberrations reducing micro contrast, not resolving power, that was always a given to me.



We were talking about 'softness', not micro contrast. And at medium distances, as you should see from one glance at the images above, micro contrast is definitely not lacking.


Yes it is lacking, easy to see in #2, but some the subject is very high contrast to start with in #1.
Lets stick to where we have comparison shots for different lenses, the brick wall and the church, and it is clear that the "distance" card not be played to nullify those results as for the application in environmental portraits.



denoir
Registered: Feb 11, 2010
Total Posts: 4209
Country: Sweden

alundeb wrote:
Yes it is lacking, easy to see in #2, but some the subject is very high contrast to start with in #1.
Lets stick to where we have comparison shots for different lenses, the brick wall and the church, and it is clear that the "distance" card not be played to nullify those results as for the application in environmental portraits.


If you can't see that it's especially #2 that shows very high micro contrast then well, we then we can't be using the same definition of micro contrast.

But I agree, end of discussion - although not really for the reason you mention. I usually recommend people NOT to buy the Planar (especially as a first lens) because they are likely to be disappointed as they are unlikely to know how to use it and recognize where its strengths are. Your responses here have proven that my approach is quite correct in not giving out a general recommendation.



helimat
Registered: Apr 06, 2008
Total Posts: 3728
Country: Canada

sebboh wrote:
quicksilver33 wrote:
Very awesome lens comparison!!

I love my rokkor 58/1.2 but it's half-impossible to hit focus without using live view. Is that just me? Need to invest in a focus confirmation chip...


i wouldn't count on the focus confirm chip being much better, they tend not to be super accurate on f/1.2 lenses either. do you have a precision focus screen?


+1, A precision focus screen is mandatory for manually focusing ultra-fast lenses IMO.



wickerprints
Registered: Nov 04, 2009
Total Posts: 4736
Country: United States

quicksilver33 wrote:
Very awesome lens comparison!!

I love my rokkor 58/1.2 but it's half-impossible to hit focus without using live view. Is that just me? Need to invest in a focus confirmation chip...

sebboh wrote:
i wouldn't count on the focus confirm chip being much better, they tend not to be super accurate on f/1.2 lenses either. do you have a precision focus screen?

helimat wrote:
+1, A precision focus screen is mandatory for manually focusing ultra-fast lenses IMO.

I'd go a step further and actually suggest a split prism screen. Which gets me to thinking...I would love to see a split prism screen with five points--one in the center, and four in the 1/3 corners. One could adjust the size of the outer circle so that they all fit.



ManWearPants
Registered: Oct 13, 2009
Total Posts: 757
Country: Qatar

sebboh wrote:
only two? that's crazy


Totally agreed. I think most of the folks here owned a number of 50s. I have in my possession during the past 2 years - Cron 50, Rokkor MD 58/1.2 and MC 50/1.4, OM 50/1.4 and 50/3.5, CY 50/1.7, Contax N 50, Sigma 50. I think it is getting a bit out of hand. So what's left now are the last 2 on the list. Still trying to decide which to keep. The interesting thing is that there isn't one 50 that win hands down. They are all wonderful in their own way.



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15352
Country: Germany

denoir wrote:
carstenw wrote:
Hmm, I am on the verge of ordering the 50MP, but I have also seen some great 50/1.4 results from philber and Makten, and I am wondering if the two of them could co-exist peacefully?


Had I known what I know know I would have probably bought the 50 Planar instead of the MP. The reason is that the 50 MP is similar in drawing style to the 100 MP while the 50 Planar is unique in its ways.

Had I not been using the M9 as my primary camera then I would have definitely have gotten the Planar by now (in addition to the 50 MP that I have) and I'm not ruling it out completely anyway


Hmm... so, another Gedankenexperiment: if you had both 50/1.4 and 50MP, does that mean that you would use the 50/1.4 the most, and the 50MP only in specific situations (wide open, close up, where sharpness is needed, and sharp portraits)?



helimat
Registered: Apr 06, 2008
Total Posts: 3728
Country: Canada

wickerprints wrote:
quicksilver33 wrote:
Very awesome lens comparison!!

I love my rokkor 58/1.2 but it's half-impossible to hit focus without using live view. Is that just me? Need to invest in a focus confirmation chip...

sebboh wrote:
i wouldn't count on the focus confirm chip being much better, they tend not to be super accurate on f/1.2 lenses either. do you have a precision focus screen?

helimat wrote:
+1, A precision focus screen is mandatory for manually focusing ultra-fast lenses IMO.

I'd go a step further and actually suggest a split prism screen. Which gets me to thinking...I would love to see a split prism screen with five points--one in the center, and four in the 1/3 corners. One could adjust the size of the outer circle so that they all fit.


Uh, no. I have yet to see a split prism screen that is meant for lenses faster than f/2.8, and then you are locked into center composition or focus and recompose. For my cameras I use E*-S screens. They are fantastic for focusing fast lenses.



alundeb
Registered: Nov 06, 2005
Total Posts: 4243
Country: Norway

denoir wrote:
But I agree, end of discussion - although not really for the reason you mention. I usually recommend people NOT to buy the Planar because they are likely to be disappointed as they are unlikely to know how to use it and recognize where its strengths are. Your responses here have proven that my approach is quite correct in not giving out a general recommendation.


Good. I usually do not recommend people to buy the Canon 50 1.0 L for the same reason.



denoir
Registered: Feb 11, 2010
Total Posts: 4209
Country: Sweden

Yep. I think it's a mistake of Zeiss to make the Planars their cheapest lenses. People buy them for budget reasons without realizing that they are quirky specialized lenses not suitable in all situations. In the Zeiss ZE/ZF world, if you want a 50mm lens that is excellent at any aperture and distance then the 50 MP should be the primary choice. Having said that, a 50 Planar in the right hands can be really magic.



wickerprints
Registered: Nov 04, 2009
Total Posts: 4736
Country: United States

wickerprints wrote:
I'd go a step further and actually suggest a split prism screen. Which gets me to thinking...I would love to see a split prism screen with five points--one in the center, and four in the 1/3 corners. One could adjust the size of the outer circle so that they all fit.

helimat wrote:
Uh, no. I have yet to see a split prism screen that is meant for lenses faster than f/2.8, and then you are locked into center composition or focus and recompose. For my cameras I use E*-S screens. They are fantastic for focusing fast lenses.

That's odd, because my experience with my old AE-1 with a split prism and a 50/1.8 shows that I can get much more accurate focus with the split prism than with a super-precision matte. Most film SLR bodies had split prism screens that permit focus at very fast apertures, certainly faster than f/2.8. If that weren't the case, people would have found it next to impossible to get sharp focus with fast primes on 35mm film.

As for the super-precision screens, I have one, and I still cannot achieve critical focus with it. You simply can't see the focus well enough at, say, f/1.2 or f/1.4; certainly not as well as Live View. As theSuede posted some time ago in another thread, the super-precision screens show more of the marginal rays faster than f/2.8, but actually not that much more.



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 10295
Country: United States

wickerprints wrote:
As for the super-precision screens, I have one, and I still cannot achieve critical focus with it. You simply can't see the focus well enough at, say, f/1.2 or f/1.4; certainly not as well as Live View. As theSuede posted some time ago in another thread, the super-precision screens show more of the marginal rays faster than f/2.8, but actually not that much more.


thesuede also mentioned that the split screens won't see more than f/2.8 later on in that discussion. the split screen will always give you the center of focus though, so if the lens doesn't have much focus shift it should work at all apertures. if it does have noticeable focus shift the split screen should be off at certain apertures.



helimat
Registered: Apr 06, 2008
Total Posts: 3728
Country: Canada

wickerprints wrote:
That's odd, because my experience with my old AE-1 with a split prism and a 50/1.8 shows that I can get much more accurate focus with the split prism than with a super-precision matte. Most film SLR bodies had split prism screens that permit focus at very fast apertures, certainly faster than f/2.8. If that weren't the case, people would have found it next to impossible to get sharp focus with fast primes on 35mm film.

As for the super-precision screens, I have one, and I still cannot achieve critical focus with it. You simply can't see the focus well enough at, say, f/1.2 or f/1.4; certainly not as well as Live View. As theSuede posted some time ago in another thread, the super-precision screens show more of the marginal rays faster than f/2.8, but actually not that much more.


Not for me. In my opinion live view is a valuable tool, but I find a precision focus screen works best for me when shooting, unless it is a stationary subject/tripod mounted type of situation. Live view is fantastic for getting the focus spot on, however holding the camera at arm's length does not work for me, and with practice my keeper rate has steadily grown shooting at wide apertures through the viewfinder. Shooting a fast boy certainly helps! As for split prism focus screens, I have used them, and they are great up to f/2.8, maybe even up to f/2, but when focusing at f/1.2, good luck... Plus you are again stuck with the center composition or focus & recompose.

Sorry for the side track on an excellent 50mm tryout thread!



surf monkey
Registered: May 24, 2005
Total Posts: 2649
Country: United States

helimat wrote:
wickerprints wrote:
As for the super-precision screens, I have one, and I still cannot achieve critical focus with it. You simply can't see the focus well enough at, say, f/1.2 or f/1.4; certainly not as well as Live View.


Not for me. In my opinion live view is a valuable tool, but I find a precision focus screen works best for me when shooting, unless it is a stationary subject/tripod mounted type of situation. Live view is fantastic for getting the focus spot on, however holding the camera at arm's length does not work for me...


Yes, liveview didn't really work for me as well, until I started using a Zacuto Z-finder. Just like using liveview, except much more magnified, and it has the feel of a viewfinder, except much better (large soft eyecup that eliminates extraneous light).



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 4964
Country: Germany

wickerprints wrote:
Most film SLR bodies had split prism screens that permit focus at very fast apertures, certainly faster than f/2.8. If that weren't the case, people would have found it next to impossible to get sharp focus with fast primes on 35mm film.


If they really were accurate for fast apertures such as f/1.2, the split prism would black out too much when used with slower lenses (f/3.5-4 or slower, often seen on telezooms), making it less suitable for general use.



helimat
Registered: Apr 06, 2008
Total Posts: 3728
Country: Canada

AhamB wrote:
wickerprints wrote:
Most film SLR bodies had split prism screens that permit focus at very fast apertures, certainly faster than f/2.8. If that weren't the case, people would have found it next to impossible to get sharp focus with fast primes on 35mm film.


If they really were accurate for fast apertures such as f/1.2, the split prism would black out too much when used with slower lenses (f/3.5-4 or slower, often seen on telezooms), making it less suitable for general use.


Thanks Benjamin.



quicksilver33
Registered: Jul 14, 2010
Total Posts: 206
Country: Japan

sebboh wrote:
quicksilver33 wrote:
Very awesome lens comparison!!

I love my rokkor 58/1.2 but it's half-impossible to hit focus without using live view. Is that just me? Need to invest in a focus confirmation chip...


i wouldn't count on the focus confirm chip being much better, they tend not to be super accurate on f/1.2 lenses either. do you have a precision focus screen?


I'm using a 7D which I hear has a low contrast screen so it's not that useful for manually focusing fast lenses (sorry don't remember where I saw that..). Was considering getting a Katzeye split prism screen but a little wary of the install procedure and wondering if there are better options...



melcat
Registered: Jun 13, 2008
Total Posts: 697
Country: Australia

AhamB wrote:
If they really were accurate for fast apertures such as f/1.2, the split prism would black out too much when used with slower lenses (f/3.5-4 or slower, often seen on telezooms), making it less suitable for general use.


Butthey did black out with f/4 lenses in my film cameras, and at f/3.5 if you looked at them funny. I used to keep one body with the split screen in it and one with the plain; typically the fast lenses needed slow film and the slow lenses needed fast film anyway.



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