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ferider
03-08-2014, 09:30
My one year 50mm "lens test" is coming to an end. Based on the photos that I took, I was wondering which lens and/or photos you prefer, and if possible explain why, please.

I used 16 lenses, but for this poll had to limit the choice to my 11 favorites. Here is a gallery with a first selection of "keepers":

PICTURES: http://ferider.smugmug.com/Portfolio/One-Year-with-50mm-Lenses-on-F

And here are more details on the project:

DISCUSSION: http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=130859

All pictures of the lens/camera combos were taken with the OM 50/1.8. Otherwise, the gallery shows first a camera/lens picture and then photos taken with that lens.

Also, if you think I'm missing an important (and affordable) lens, let us know. Anything with a tag beyond $1000 is out, so no Noctilux or Summilux ASPH, please :)

For myself, it is very hard to pick single favorite. If I had to, it would probably be the 50/1.5 M-Nokton.

Thanks,

Roland.

PS: if you cann't decide among several lenses, this is a multiple choice poll.

Vics
03-08-2014, 09:36
My favorite, the Nikkor-H 2/50 isn't listed.
EDIT: Just saw that it is in the running, but not among the listed group.

ferider
03-08-2014, 09:43
The pictures in the gallery were taken with the F-mount 50/2, Vic. I have an LTM Sonnar version, but to my eyes it was hard to distinguish from my 50/1.4 Nikkor LTM copies.

If anybody cares about lens diagrams and such, I tried to pick good representatives of classic designs:

http://ferider.smugmug.com/Portfolio/One-Year-with-50mm-Lenses-on-F/i-5fhLwJ8/4/X2/index-for-web-X2.jpg

Roland.

ampguy
03-08-2014, 09:45
My favorite right now, isn't listed, but it's on the long side, a 57/1.4.

slidesandthecity
03-08-2014, 09:49
I really like my Elmar 50 3.5 because of its compactness and low price.

pete hogan
03-08-2014, 09:53
Jupiter-8 2/50.

Vics
03-08-2014, 09:54
I also like my Zeiss Sonnar 1.5 (mine's in Contax mount), and I understand that the Jupiter-3 is the same lens and can be found in LTM. This Sonnar draws the same as the aforementioned Nikkor-H f2 to my eye.

ferider
03-08-2014, 10:12
For those of you who like the Summilux, consider this:

http://ferider.smugmug.com/Portfolio/One-Year-with-50mm-Lenses-on-F/i-SBfj7MM/2/O/SLuxDistortion-resized-tn.jpg

Top is a straight scan from negative, bottom is with PS distortion correction (not perfect due to perspective). Generally, I have not corrected for distortion after scanning, just some basic leveling, rotation, and minimal crop.

Some of the scans include the film boundary, so you believe me :) Like this one taken with the 50 Nokton:

http://ferider.smugmug.com/Portfolio/One-Year-with-50mm-Lenses-on-F/i-BZvbkbm/3/X2/M-Nokton-5015-A-X2.jpg

Cheers,

Roland.

redisburning
03-08-2014, 10:17
from your list it's 1a OM 50/1.2 and 1b Nikkor 5cm 1.4 LTM

My favorite 50 remains the Zuiko 50/2 Auto-Macro. It, the 60/2.8 Elmarit Macro and 50MP are constantly dueling for number 1 in my head. But, the small size compared to the 50MP, the speed and shorter length compared to the Elmarit, and having easily the best OoF of the three (excluding specular highlights, which are hexagonal [yuck]), does it for me.

hac
03-08-2014, 10:34
i love C/Y zeiss planar 50mm 1.7 and pentax-m 50mm 1.7 d,-)

maggieo
03-08-2014, 10:41
Jupiter-8 2/50.

Yeah! That's a great lens.

Jamie Pillers
03-08-2014, 11:05
D**n, Roland... you forgot the Fujinon Asph 35/1.4 on the X-Pro1!! :cool:
I guess we can save that for the 'heretics-go-digital, crop-factored' project. :p

ampguy
03-08-2014, 11:07
Roland, when you get a chance, put that 50 v2 lux on a digital back, you'll see that some of your initial corner distortion is film related.

ferider
03-08-2014, 11:10
D**n, Roland... you forgot the Fujinon Asph 35/1.4 on the X-Pro1!! :cool: I guess we can save that for the 'heretics-go-digital, crop-factored' project. :p

:)

This was a film-only project, Jamie. I guess I don't believe in instant gratification :p

ferider
03-08-2014, 11:16
Roland, when you get a chance, put that 50 v2 lux on a digital back, you'll see that some of your initial corner distortion is film related.

"Our" lux is gone, Ted. With the SMC 50/1.4 and the M-Nokton in my collection, I didn't feel I needed it anymore. If anyone is wondering, I'm not planning on keeping all these lenses ... Help me picking which to keep :)

Jamie Pillers
03-08-2014, 11:20
:)

This was a film-only project, Jamie. I guess I don't believe in instant gratification :p


THAT's what I'm feelin'... I knew there was something about it!! :p

ampguy
03-08-2014, 11:28
Now, perhaps the only known low distortion 50 v2 lux is out of our hands! ;)

I do have 5000 snaps from an M8 through the lens though, but the M8 is a crop sensor, so some skeptics will say it doesn't count.

When I had the 50/2 "H" F mount with Nikomat, and various F3s, it always had more distortion than most RF 50 lenses, part could have been film, as I never used it with digital, but perhaps my single sample was bad. I was always using old expired film as well.

"Our" lux is gone, Ted. With the SMC 50/1.4 and the M-Nokton in my collection, I didn't feel I needed it anymore. If anyone is wondering, I'm not planning on keeping all these lenses ... Help me picking which to keep :)

ampguy
03-08-2014, 11:32
Jason Biggs reportedly was writing a NY Times article on something about this, Edging I think. Google "Jodie Foster" and "Jason Biggs" to find more.

I simply let my SD card gel for the same time film developing would take, then take the SD card out. It gives me the same delayed effect ...

THAT's what I'm feelin'... I knew there was something about it!! :p

DNG
03-08-2014, 11:45
I have the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AIS (I have what is nicknamed "Long Nose".
For Export only according to the Nikon S# listings.
By far my favorite 50mm as far as how it draws and the nice in the bokeh it produces.

I also own an older Nikkor S 50mm f/1.4 in the Original Nikon F mount.
But, I haven't really used that much on my Nikon FE..(until I get it Ai converted, it is kinda funky to use other wise). It is used mainly on my Fuji X-E2 as short/fast portrait lens... in which it is stellar. the signature is different than the more modern 50m f/1.8 AIS.
But, also very nice in how it draws and in the bokeh it produces.

ferider
03-08-2014, 11:49
The Nikkor 50/1.8 totally surprised me, Peter. I'm quite new to the Nikon F system, and grabbed the lens for cheap when I saw it on ebay. My copy is the short 50/1.8 S version, which seems to be rare in the US. Looks similar to the modern E lens, but reputedly better built and shorter min. focus.

http://ferider.smugmug.com/Portfolio/One-Year-with-50mm-Lenses-on-F/i-gpFKB6t/2/L/n5018-L.jpg

I admit to being a bit of a snob when it comes to lens speed, so it seemed a little slow in the beginning, but the lens is a keeper for sure.

Roland.

DNG
03-08-2014, 12:17
The 50 ais's seem to be a similar formula in the 6/5 arrangement.
Not sure on the slight differences other then some had almost a pancake size to a standard lens size.

ferider:
When I want a Macro for my X-E2, I have an adapter that has around a 25mm extra extension.... And the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Ais now has a 75mm fov with about a 1:2 macro capability.
Very versatile

________________________________________________

The older Nikkor S 50m f/1.4 has a similar formula as the Nikkor f/1.2 listed in the diagram in post #3.

LINK TO Nikkor S 50mm f/1.4 development paper (http://imaging.nikon.com/history/nikkor/44/index.htm)

Nikkor S 50mm f/1.4 formula
http://imaging.nikon.com/history/nikkor/44/img/img_02.gif

Clark.EE
03-08-2014, 12:24
M39 Nokton Asph.

redisburning
03-08-2014, 14:49
so Roland, what is your short list for keepers?

Livesteamer
03-08-2014, 15:17
Long ago a car magazine said the best car in the world was.... a 1964 Chevrolet Impala because there had been so many that had served so long and so well. By that standard the ltm 50mm f3.5 Elmar should be the best. I have many other, technically better 50's but that old Elmar still makes many a good photo for me. Joe

Bingley
03-08-2014, 17:34
For me, of the photos you posted, Roland, it was a tie between the Canon 50/1.2 and the Nikkor 50/1.4 LTM. I love the rendering of both lenses, and the beautiful dissolve from sharpness to bokeh. Honorable mentions go to the CV40/1.4 and the CV50/1.5.

Roninman
03-08-2014, 19:10
Roland the serial number on your Summilux looked familiar and then I realized that it was the same as mine! Somehow your Summilux v2 has found its way into my Billingham. I'm glad to have it, only hope I can do it justice! At least you and ampguy will know where it is should you ever want to borrow it :)

ferider
03-08-2014, 19:54
Roland the serial number on your Summilux looked familiar and then I realized that it was the same as mine! Somehow your Summilux v2 has found its way into my Billingham. I'm glad to have it, only hope I can do it justice! At least you and ampguy will know where it is should you ever want to borrow it :)

Hey that is great to know, that lens loves Rodinal. It's a great lens, was made perfect by Sherry once.

You might wonder why I got rid of it: I was offered a trade I couldn't resist: a pair of Binoculars that in the meantime has been already all around the world with me. The things we do ...

Roland.

ferider
03-08-2014, 20:00
so Roland, what is your short list for keepers?

Good question. They certainly include the 50 Nokton, the OM 50/1.2, the Nikkor 50/1.8, and the Niikkor 50/1.4 ltm, Rib.

On the other hand, contrary to the popular opinion already visible in the poll, used classic Leica lenses are so expensive these days, that it's hard for me to justify keeping them. Remember that the cron and lux used for the project, are from the mid 50s and mid 60s, respectively. So no comments on modern Leica glass.

Roland.

Roninman
03-08-2014, 20:52
Hey that is great to know, that lens loves Rodinal. It's a great lens, was made perfect by Sherry once.

You might wonder why I got rid of it: I was offered a trade I couldn't resist: a pair of Binoculars that in the meantime has been already all around the world with me. The things we do ...

Roland.

Well, you might remember, it was your kind instruction about stand development with Rodinal over on Flickr, which got me started developing my own. What a cool connection and small world we live in!

This 50mm was a great project, thank you.

Cheers,

John

johannielscom
03-09-2014, 05:14
Chose the Nikkor AIs 1.8/50mm.

Mine is an AI specimen but it performs great.

I used to have the Hexanon 2.4/50mm but it looked misplaced on a Barnack, the mount flange is as wide as a Leica bayonet mount. Why did they ever create an LTM lens if it looks perfectly fine on M-mount cameras only....?

Also owned the Summicron but sold most of the Leica glass and went with a Tower 2.0/5mm LTM from the early 1950s (a complete Nikkor 2.0/50mm copy) and a Heliar 2.0/50mm nickel LTM, which I sadly miss in this list, since it is the best lens I ever owned.
All my other lens stuff is Nikkor F mount or Tamron Adaptall now. Digital Leica is too expensive and feeble for a working photographer, IMHO.

ferider
03-09-2014, 08:56
Thanks Johann.

BTW, if anyone has comments on the photos, like least vs. most favorites, etc., not just the lenses, please go ahead. I would like to reduce the number a bit further; critique is welcome.

Roland.

Mark C
03-09-2014, 09:58
Good question. They certainly include the 50 Nokton, the OM 50/1.2, the Nikkor 50/1.8, and the Niikkor 50/1.4 ltm, Rib.

On the other hand, contrary to the popular opinion already visible in the poll, used classic Leica lenses are so expensive these days, that it's hard for me to justify keeping them. Remember that the cron and lux used for the project, are from the mid 50s and mid 60s, respectively. So no comments on modern Leica glass.

Roland.

Of course the question was "favorite", not most affordable. Nikkor 50's in F mount are good lenses and amazing bargains. The pictures they make are fine, but they are not my favorite lenses.

I like 50's and end up with too many. My 5cm Summarit and 5cm Nikkor H f2 (LTM) were just delivered to a new home yesterday. They were fun lenses, but quirky and not what I want for all around use.

I really like my 50 1.2 Canon, especially at 1.4, but will probably sell it for the same reason. I can't imagine using it instead of a Summicron at f2 or smaller aperture. I never quit though, I'm thinking of trading the Canon toward a version 1 Summilux. Somehow I have in my mind that would be a nice all round lens. I'm sure I'll end up being wrong, but it will be fun finding out and maybe I'll get a few good pictures along the way.

ampguy
03-09-2014, 10:33
Roland, in your keeper set, the Canon 1.2, while having a lot of character, doesn't do much for me, but neither does the Nokton 1.5. In your set, the Zuikos, Hexanon 2.4, and Nokton 40 seem to do well. The Nikons are kind of meh, and I think I see distortion in them. Consider just trading them all back for a 50 v2 lux ;)

ferider
03-09-2014, 11:43
You trade it back yourself, Ted :)

Interesting how the viewing statistics of the project gallery show very different numbers when compared to the current poll result. Top ten pictures judged by nr of views:

http://ferider.smugmug.com/Portfolio/One-Year-with-50mm-Lenses-on-F/i-n5brxtx/0/O/Stats-030914.jpg

From the views, the 50 Nokton leads, followed by the 40 Nokton, the Nikkor 50/1.8 and the Summilux. Of course, ladies in the pictures seem to help :)

Keep the votes coming, please.

Thanks,

Roland.

Mark C
03-09-2014, 12:17
Not surprising to me. Pictures and lenses are very different things.

ferider
03-09-2014, 12:27
Not surprising to me. Pictures and lenses are very different things.

True. Technically lenses are better bench tested. Then again, how can a lens from 1951 (my oldest in the set, the Nikkor 50/1.4 LTM) technically compare to a double aspherical lens from 2012 (my newest, the M-Nokton 50) ?

"The truth is in the pudding": under the bottom line, the nr. of keepers matter, including how much I had fun using the camera and lens combos. Usually, I count around a handful of true keepers per year, so it was a challenge to take three representative pictures for each lens that passed my edits, and there are some compromises in the gallery. I'm not a pro, photography is my favorite hobby, I like rangefinders, I mostly photograph where I live, people that I meet, and on travels. As such, I'm hoping to be representative for many RFF members, well, at least the film users.

Since yesterday, many votes in the poll seem to have been cast due to a voter's personal lens favorite, ownership or other reasons ("Leitz" on the lens beauty ring obviously gets bonus points :) ). I asked however to give feedback based on pictures; over a year I tried to take photos showing the different practical aspects of each lens. "They all look the same to me" is a completely valid answer to the poll, too, you might well argue that the good pictures in the gallery (if there are any that you like) were taken completely independently of the lens that was used.

This thread should provide a different, practical twist when compared to the many other 50mm lens threads that we have.

Roland.

Bille
03-09-2014, 12:30
Where´s the Canon FD 50/1.2 L

Erik van Straten
03-09-2014, 12:33
I voted for the Summicron 50mm f/2 rigid. It is from this list the best choice for general photography.

Erik.

ferider
03-09-2014, 12:37
Where´s the Canon FD 50/1.2 L

My better half forbids the introduction of yet another lens mount in my cabinets, Bille :) Leica, OM and Nikon is all I have. With the Dynax being a camera that was neglected over the last 20 years. Not sure why.

I voted for the Summicron 50mm f/2 rigid. It is from this list the best choice for general photography.

Erik.

For general photography, better than the 50/1.5 M-Nokton, Erik ? I remember some great Nokton photos of yours .... Also, I have seen your superb work using a Nikkormat with Nikkor-H 50/2 (that lens is in my list). That combo would run maybe around US 250 today, vs. Leica + rigid running around US 1500. Is the "keeper difference" between the two combos only minor or major for you ?

Please explain. Thanks.

johannielscom
03-09-2014, 13:15
A Nokton 1.5/50mm V2 in LTM mount would be the only thing I might consider selling my Heliar for.

Alas, it will never come to be, I reckon. And when using the Heliar on a digital body, I do not miss the half stop extra. The Heliar is a fine lens, built very well and very versatile in LTM mount so I'm not regretting owning it at all.

I haven't viewed any photos to decide on lens quality Roland, since subject matter, lighting, focus distance and aperture vary over all shots it will not actually be feasible to ultimately judge any lens from your collection of fine shots. So I regret to say I cannot help you decide which ones to keep, but I am interested in the outcome of your shifting process and your motivations for selling or keeping.

Good luck deciding.

ferider
03-09-2014, 13:19
I haven't viewed any photos to decide on lens quality Roland, since subject matter, lighting, focus distance and aperture vary over all shots it will not actually be feasible to ultimately judge any lens from your collection of fine shots.

That does make complete sense to me, Johann. Thanks !

---

I feel, the Minolta lens doesn't get enough love in the poll. Any Dynax users out there ? Comparing to all other fast 50s that I used, this lens did very well wrt distortion:

http://ferider.smugmug.com/Portfolio/One-Year-with-50mm-Lenses-on-F/i-Mhbrg4P/1/O/MinoltaAF.jpg

Cheers,

Roland.

Ron (Netherlands)
03-09-2014, 14:22
Don't use it that much, but my favorite is the Jupiter 3

lxmike
03-09-2014, 15:05
Nikkor H 50mm f2 with scalloped focus ring

Mark C
03-09-2014, 15:36
I'm afraid I didn't even realize that we were supposed to pick based based only on your photos. The post said "Pick your favorite among these 50mm lenses"
and I'm afraid I just did that. It sure sounds like some others have done the same.

I can see that some of my earlier comments don't make much sense in light of the intention of you poll.

For myself, I can't imagine basing my opinion of a lens on a few of someone else's pictures. For one, it is often the unsuccessful shots that tell me what I need to know. I could post a picture I think is pretty nice shot with the Summarit at 1.5 and someone might conclude it is a pretty sharp lens wide open, but that was not my conclusion from using a number of them.

""Leitz" on the lens beauty ring obviously gets bonus points :) " is not really an accusation I expected. I thought it was widely agreed that the 50mm Summicron is one of the finest lenses ever made for 35mm photography. That certainly used to be the case, and it has always been my experience. I love trying different lenses; I just did a photo walk with three 50's to compare and a Rollei Automat for extra fun. When I go out just to make a picture, I grab the Summicron. Many of the others on your list would be just fine with me too, but that is my favorite all around, reliable, no unpleasant surprises lens.

ferider
03-09-2014, 19:58
Not "accusing" anybody Mark, please remember, I own a Summicron myself (actually three, 35, 50 and 90) :) Just surprised my 1956 Summicron and mid-60s Summilux get so many votes, when the list also includes a great Sonnar, a modern aspherical lens, etc.

Gary Sandhu
03-09-2014, 20:10
Ya, I didn't pick based on photos, either.

ferider
03-09-2014, 20:40
Thanks, Gary. I just changed to OP to be more clear, hopefully. The poll will run for a while, let's see if changes ...

Scrambler
03-10-2014, 02:27
I think the photos are consistently strong and the subjects probably differentiate more than the lenses (Mardi Gras versus dog portraits?)

What I took out was: The rigid Summicron showed swirly bokeh in the leaves which I wasn't expecting, and yes, my preconceived notion that the 50mm Nokton and LTM Nikkor render in comparable ways seemed borne out. I like it, but it's not necessarily about controlling distortion or absolute sharpness.

I don't think there are any "losers" from the project. The Canon 1.2 was stronger than I expected, the Summicron (to my eye) compromised with the swirling. And I just happen to like Sonnar/Ernostar rendering.

Brian Atherton
03-10-2014, 02:56
Elmar-M 50mm f2.8.

The lens isn't on the list, so I didn't vote.

jamin-b
03-10-2014, 04:08
collapsible summaron 50/2.8 - small and great rendition
+ planar 50mm - always amazes me!

Scrambler
03-10-2014, 04:12
Elmar-M 50mm f2.8.

The lens isn't on the list, so I didn't vote.

The choice is between the lenses in the linked project - which of those lenses did you like the photos (multiple choice)?

Don't worry, I didn't get it at first either.

mretina
03-10-2014, 04:27
I voted canon 50/1.2 as it is quite unique.
other lenses are arguably superior by most standard measurements

ferider
03-10-2014, 08:49
I think the photos are consistently strong and the subjects probably differentiate more than the lenses (Mardi Gras versus dog portraits?)

What I took out was: The rigid Summicron showed swirly bokeh in the leaves which I wasn't expecting, and yes, my preconceived notion that the 50mm Nokton and LTM Nikkor render in comparable ways seemed borne out. I like it, but it's not necessarily about controlling distortion or absolute sharpness.

I don't think there are any "losers" from the project. The Canon 1.2 was stronger than I expected, the Summicron (to my eye) compromised with the swirling. And I just happen to like Sonnar/Ernostar rendering.

Thank you much, Scrambler. The subject matter tells you more about me than about the subjects, obviously ...

Roland.

Ko.Fe.
03-10-2014, 12:08
Canon 50 1.2 L from what I used and have.

x-ray
03-10-2014, 12:33
I'm really loving my 50mm f1.2 Nikkor AI s. A bit dreamy at 1.2 but getting good at 1.4 and killer sharp at 2.8.

Brian Atherton
03-10-2014, 12:58
The choice is between the lenses in the linked project - which of those lenses did you like the photos (multiple choice)?

Don't worry, I didn't get it at first either.

Ahh... thank you.

I seem to have had a brain removal without my knowledge this morning. :D

Anthony Harvey
03-10-2014, 16:05
I voted for the 50/2 Summicron, having, like a few other, misunderstood the question to vote on. (I wondered why the Zeiss 50/2 ZM Planar wasn't listed but didn't put two and two together. Now I know).

If it had been on the list I would have voted for the the Zeiss Planar ZM since I've come to prefer it to the Summicron 50/2 rigid, just because of its treatment of tonal transitions as shown on prints made using a traditional enlarging lens, especially noticeable to my eyes with HP5+ at 400.

ferider
03-11-2014, 08:21
If anybody wonders, here are updated viewing statistics:

http://ferider.smugmug.com/Portfolio/One-Year-with-50mm-Lenses-on-F/i-4VS4Lvv/0/XL/Viewingstats-0311-XL.jpg

The top two pictures are linked to in this thread, which explains why the numbers are so much higher than the others.

The other pictures are led by 50 M-Nokton, v2 Summilux and 50/1.8 AIs Nikkor, with honorable mention of the 40 Nokton.

I personally feel that's a great pick of favorite lenses and pictures, matches what I feel about the outcome of this test myself.

Not saying these lenses are the best in absolute terms, just that I get along well with them :).

Cheers,

Roland.

De_Corday
03-11-2014, 08:34
My favorite, the Nikkor-H 2/50 isn't listed.
EDIT: Just saw that it is in the running, but not among the listed group.

Same here, except I shoot the HC version. A lens with real character.

ferider
03-11-2014, 10:34
Same here, except I shoot the HC version. A lens with real character.

Check the gallery.

You guys are talking about two very different lenses, I'm guessing ? Vics about the 50/2 Nikkor-H LTM Sonnar, and you about the Nikkor-H.C. F-mount Planar ?

I did use the Nikkor 50/1.4 LTM Sonnar and the Nikkor-H F-mount Planar in the test, both quite close to the above two lenses.

Roland.

JustPlainBill
04-06-2014, 23:12
Hi,
For what it's worth, my lifetime accumulation of lenses includes a Nikkor 50/14LTM, 2 Summicron 50/f2(one ridgid and one dual range) and 2 Olympus OM50/1.8. Usually carry the DR Summicron on my Leica M2 unless I expect to need the extra speed of the Nikkor. Haven't used the Olympus 50/1.8 lenses yet.
JustPlainBill

Rayt
04-07-2014, 05:33
I like the tabbed Summicron because it has the tab.

Dralowid
04-07-2014, 05:46
Recently sold the V4 Summicron if that is what the one with the hood is called. Not missing it.

At the risk of turning this into an Elmar love fest I would have voted for the 2.8 Elmar-M the last one, not the first M one.

Better even than the old Elmar 3.5.

I need no more.

Dirk
04-07-2014, 23:15
I voted OM 50/1.2, which may be the best SLR 1.2 out there (beautiful colors and smooth bokeh), and rigid Summicron, just because my favorite, the v.4 tabbed Summicron isn't listed.

uhoh7
04-07-2014, 23:19
I love the CV 50/1.1, but more often I'm shooting the cron v4.

I also like the zeiss contax and nikkor sonnars.

seakayaker1
04-09-2014, 22:59
I looked through the photos on the link. Not a careful study but a quick browse and the three I voted for, VC 50/1.5; Nikkor 50/1.4 LTM; & Pentax SMC 50/1.4.

Merumeni
04-10-2014, 00:20
I like some of the pictures but I cannot see any connection to a specific lens: not one of the pictures would have been better / worse had it been taken with a different 50. Primarily all 50s should work well. Sharpness, bokeh or character may underline pictorial aspects but they can hardly make or even only save a picture.
May be I do not understand your "evaluation" properly: are you saying that one specific 50 is the best 50 ever or are you showing how perfectly well even almost forgotten 50s still can be used?
Anyway, I liked some of the pics.

ferider
04-10-2014, 06:32
I like some of the pictures but I cannot see any connection to a specific lens: not one of the pictures would have been better / worse had it been taken with a different 50. Primarily all 50s should work well. Sharpness, bokeh or character may underline pictorial aspects but they can hardly make or even only save a picture.
May be I do not understand your "evaluation" properly: are you saying that one specific 50 is the best 50 ever or are you showing how perfectly well even almost forgotten 50s still can be used?
Anyway, I liked some of the pics.

Thanks a lot for looking through my pictures, Merumeni. My conclusion is pretty much what I highlighted above. I have some favorites, because of lens speed, handling and wide open behavior (like the 50 Nokton), but found the difference in results to the other lenses only very subtle. Note also that there is a huge difference in prices, from the adapted Pentax lens, that you can make yourself for less < US 200, to the Summilux that easily runs north of US 1600 these days. Is the Summilux really 8 times better than the Pentax ?

Best,

Roland.

ampguy
04-10-2014, 13:26
If not 8 times better, possibly 8 times heavier :p

Note that this blog post I did years ago:

http://tedmphoto.blogspot.com/2009/06/summilux-5014-overview.html

is second only to my GSN button battery hack post, and they probably have more views that my cat photos combined!

Thanks a lot for looking through my pictures, Merumeni. My conclusion is pretty much what I highlighted above. I have some favorites, because of lens speed, handling and wide open behavior (like the 50 Nokton), but found the difference in results to the other lenses only very subtle. Note also that there is a huge difference in prices, from the adapted Pentax lens, that you can make yourself for less < US 200, to the Summilux that easily runs north of US 1600 these days. Is the Summilux really 8 times better than the Pentax ?

Best,

Roland.

ampguy
04-10-2014, 13:34
Summilux 50/1.4 v2 (on M8) @ 1.4:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_3JNB9ik85M8/Sh9rmDbtFLI/AAAAAAAAEkA/nMudLbVqk2o/s1600/L1020304.JPG

Chris101
04-10-2014, 22:47
I like a lens not on the list - the 50mm f/3.5 Zuiko. It has a look I've not seen from any other lens. It really accentuates the look of IR and ultra high speed film.

helenhill
05-17-2014, 14:20
Loved them ALL... When I had the OM1 was the 50 1.8

at present hopelessly smitten with BuT Not on this list the 50 c Sonnar

ianstamatic
05-17-2014, 21:23
my two favorite 50's are not on the list either. i suppose i have oddball tastes.

Summarit 50/1.5
Nikkor 55/1.2

Wenge
05-17-2014, 21:31
close to 50's my favorites I can say
55 1.8 Mamiya on Sony A7
55/2.8 nikkor ai-s on anything

Addy101
05-18-2014, 01:57
Well, I don't have that much comparison but like my Sony/Minolta 50/1.4 very much. Recently got a Canon EF 50/1.4 and it is different. I prefer the rendering of the Sony/Minolta over the Canon - it seems the Canon is somehow less refined. Anyway, some comparable shots:

Minolta AF 50/1.4
http://addy101.smugmug.com/Dyxum/April-Foolishness-2010/i-RvF2sFc/0/L/DSC00577-L.jpg
Sony A900 | Minolta 50/1.4 | f/2 | 1/8000s | 320iso

Canon EF 50/1.4
http://addy101.smugmug.com/SmugPreview/Militair-Ereveld-Grebbeberg/i-GB9GQmK/1/L/1A7R9642-L.jpg
Canon 1Ds II | Canon 50/1.4 | f/2 | 1/1600s | 100iso

So, I voted Minolta AF 50/1.4 AND they look the same.

sanmich
05-18-2014, 08:10
Roland, I am curious about the Nokton 1.5 re. distortion. Did you compare it in that regard with other fast 50's like the pre-asph summilux or the canon 1.4?
The LTM version I once tried showed roughly about the same level of distortion as the canon (which was the reason I didn't buy it)

ferider
05-18-2014, 08:19
my two favorite 50's are not on the list either. i suppose i have oddball tastes.

Summarit 50/1.5
Nikkor 55/1.2

There are several pictures in the gallery taken with a Nikkor-S 55/1.2.

ferider
05-18-2014, 08:22
Roland, I am curious about the Nokton 1.5 re. distortion. Did you compare it in that regard with other fast 50's like the pre-asph summilux or the canon 1.4?
The LTM version I once tried showed roughly about the same level of distortion as the canon (which was the reason I didn't buy it)

It's OK, Michael, but not perfect. Pretty clean at infinity (see the lady in front of the building above), a little barrel distortion close up, as you can see here:

http://ferider.smugmug.com/Picture-a-Week/2013/0613-B/i-Lqd6PvL/0/XL/Scan-130701-0019-XL.jpg

Then again, not many classic lenses can go that close (0.7m min focus).

WRT distortion, the Nokton is better than Summilux, better than Canon 50/1.4 if I remember right, maybe a little worse than the Pentax SMC 50/1.4, or the Canon 50/1.2. The Canon 50/1.2 really surprised me as being nicely rectilinear. I read some old advertisement for the 50/1.2 LTM, and it was optimized for field flatness, apparently. Seems to benefit the lens in the distortion department, too.

Note that the SMC 50/1.4 is doing well, too:

http://ferider.smugmug.com/Portfolio/One-Year-with-50mm-Lenses-on-F/i-ZwzVZKv/1/XL/wm-XL.jpg

And the Minolta performs similarly; not surprising since the designs of Pentax SMC and Minolta AF 50/1.4 are very similar.

Roland.

semilog
05-18-2014, 08:23
That Minolta lens renders beautifully.

Minolta AF 50/1.4
http://addy101.smugmug.com/Dyxum/April-Foolishness-2010/i-RvF2sFc/0/L/DSC00577-L.jpg
Sony A900 | Minolta 50/1.4 | f/2 | 1/8000s | 320iso

I've had several F-mount Nikkor 50's (though not the 1.2). The 1.4's all rendered poorly, in my opinion. The 50/2 AI was sharp, but not especially pleasing. The only Nikkor I actually liked was the f/1.8 Series E. The 55 micro lenses were also very, very good. The Ricoh Rikenon 50/2 in K-mount feels like plastic crap, but it's a wonderful lens. I think I paid $8 for a clean copy.

If you want to try a couple of other really pleasing, really inexpensive 50's, Roland, I suggest the Nikkor Series E 1.8 and the 2.0 Rikenon. Perhaps the Series E is really the same as the S that you have in the set, as you suggest.

I tried to love my v. IV tabbed Summicron for over a decade. Failed to do so. I have a box of my dad's old B&W negatives made with the DR-Summicron, and they are uniformly beautiful.

The Pentax 50/1.4 Super-Takumar or the all-metal SMC-Tak probably get my nod as favorite 50, in principle.

Nearly as good as the Super-Tak: Pentax 50/1.4 SMC-M. And that one, I can use on my M6 with full RF-coupling, thanks to Roland's supremely elegant hack (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=113676). Because it works so well on the M6, the SMCP-M gets my vote as favorite 50 in practice.

Gorgeous OOF areas, lovely color rendition, really, really sharp and with superb contrast characteristics when stopped down to f/4 or even 2.8. It never looks brutal in the way that the F-mount Nikkor 50/1.4's so often do (or in the rather different way that the gen IV/V Summicrons do).

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5229/13841337154_555ffe12a1_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/n67tj3)
20140413-2014_23_019.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/n67tj3) by Semilog (https://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/), on Flickr

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3774/9380630493_41c8ae7a70_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/fhWbCv)
20130728-PentaxLensTest2_023.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/fhWbCv) by Semilog (https://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/), on Flickr

I would like to try the ZM Sonnar, but I don't really think it would offer much except compactness over the SMCP-M, and my bank accound would be $1000 lighter. The 50 Summilux ASPH on a Monochom produces astounding results that don't look like pictures from any other setup that I have seen. More like negatives from a Mamiya 6 loaded with ACROS than from a 35mm camera. But that's more money than I could possibly justify spending.

zuiko85
05-22-2014, 19:58
That was easy, I only have the Oly 50 1.8 so it has to be both my favorite and least favorite all in one.

CCCPcamera
05-22-2014, 20:04
Zeiss Planar 50/2.0 sharp as **** and that mysterious 3d effect.

kermaier
05-22-2014, 20:17
Canon FD 50/1.2 L -- I've never loved another 50 so well.
::Ari

JustPlainBill
05-22-2014, 22:13
Hi,
Among my lifetime accumulation of Leica-fit lenses are a 50/1.4 Nikon LTM, a 50/2.0 rigid Summicron, and a 50/f2.0 Dual Range Summicron. Usually have the DR Summicron mounted or at least in the bag because of its versatility. Use the Nikon when I expect to need the speed. Also own a 50/1.4 Nikon in F mount and two Olympus OM 50/1.8 lenses which I haven't used enough to become familiar with. I like using a 28 to 90 or 105 mm zoom with the SLRs.
JustPlainBill

charjohncarter
05-22-2014, 22:44
My favorite 50mm which I have used plenty, but have never done any scientific testing with are: Radioactive 50mm f1.4 Pentax Super Takumar for SLR, and 50mm Elmar f3.5 for RF. But the only lens I would not get rid (35mm camera lens) of is the Super Takumar 28mm f3.5, for 40 years it has been a beautiful lens. I sent it to Eric H. for a un-needed CLA, just because I wanted it in top shape.

28mm:

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3641/3563155527_7e2d7745ae.jpg

CCCPcamera
05-23-2014, 00:31
Really nice beach photo. Looks like an Alex Colville painting.

Wenge
05-23-2014, 00:44
That is a wonderful photo...wow..

k__43
05-23-2014, 05:01
C-Sonnar 50/1.5