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50mm Lens Test 20th July edition

Discussion in 'AP Magazine Feedback & Suggestions' started by jander01, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. jander01

    jander01 Member

    Great idea to test twelve 50mm lenses in the 20th July issue of AP. The article threw up some interesting results, not the least of which were for the Zeiss Planar T*50mm f/1.4. Resolving little better than a beer bottle at f/1.4 and not much improved two stops down. Vignetting and distortion are comparatively poor also. Yippee!, at f/11 it is the sharpest on test in the centre. So a 50mm f/11 lens with dark corners and bendy straight lines gets 4 stars; would a pinhole get 5 stars? Come on, you have to make the grading system meaningful and use all grades from zero to five and relate each tested item to the actual results, otherwise the whole exercise is pointless.RegardsJohn Anderson--Image processing on an Elliott 803 with 16k bits of core store was the real deal in 1972.
  2. jander01

    jander01 Member

    Sorry about the garbled signature in the original post, but I can't edit it now.
  3. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    Haven't got my copy yet, but sounds as if the tester was influenced by the Zeiss name!
  4. miked

    miked Well-Known Member

    Ze iss no zeus-tiss ist zer?
  5. Damien_Demolder

    Damien_Demolder Well-Known Member

    The point is that not everyone buys for the same reason. Poor resolution wide open wouldn't suit me, because I like to shoot that way most of the time. For landscapes though I'll stop down, and at f/11 there isn't a better lens in the test.

    These tests are supposed to demonstrate the characteristics of the lens, and to a significant extent buyers need to match those characteristics to the way shoot and what they shoot. The scores also take into account build and handling, and again that lens does extremely well - it is lovely to use and will be for many, many years to come.

    Resolution wide open is only one quality of any lens - and it is not the most desirable quality for every photographer. If it is for you, we also point out the lenses that will suit you better.
  6. Damien_Demolder

    Damien_Demolder Well-Known Member

    Roy, really!
  7. Richard Sibley

    Richard Sibley AP Deputy Editor

    Taken from the test...

    ... I wont post any more for fear of spoiling the ending for those who haven't read it yet
  8. jander01

    jander01 Member

    Shouldn't it be marketed as the Zeiss Planar T*50mm f/11 and then you can give it 5stars?
  9. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    there was a trime not long ago when 50mm lens was thought to be the pinacle of quality in prime lenses.

    It would be interesting to see these results comparing them to standard zooms, of the fixed 2.8 variety.

    I certainly remember when the 2.8 and 3.5 planars, as used on a Rolleiflex, were as good as medium format got. especially if used with the special optical glass focal plane glass insert. Mind you even then they were best in the range 5.6 to 11 as were and are most lenses. but 2.8 and 3.5 were perfectly usable for most purposes. No one pixel peeped in those days. Quality was what you saw in a large print, and they provided superb tonal qualities.
  10. Damien_Demolder

    Damien_Demolder Well-Known Member

    These charts will be directly comparable to those we create for all lens types and focal lengths, Terry, so you will be able to hold one against the other in the future.

    The scores will be comparable too, as much as they can be. All of these 50mm lenses are pretty good, as you would expect, which is why they all scored well.
  11. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Yay .... the Pentax DA55/1.4 won :D

    Cheers and, Mr. Sibley, I'm still awaiting the results from your Canada Wide Camera Store assessment as mentioned by Mr. Jacobs :)

    Jack Simpson
  12. Richard Sibley

    Richard Sibley AP Deputy Editor

    One day Jack, One day...

    Coincidentally I think I purchased a ND Grad filter in your store the first time I was in Vancouver, about 6 years ago… I wasn't down with all the locals on here at the time, or i would have said hello!
  13. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Hi Richard,

    Ah, I was wondering who purchased that :D If you happen to be looking for a Circular Polariser of the same ilk, I know where you can get a screaming deal on one ;)


  14. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    Question for Damien:

    Will this lens review be available on-line?
    I'm struggling a bit to read the finer details (e.g. graph axis labelling) on my printed copy.

    From your results, I must assume that the modern Zeiss Planar tested by you is quite different to the 50 F/1.4 T* AE Zeiss Planar which I have for the old Contax SLR system. At full aperture, my Yashica/Zeiss Planar is easily crisper than my Canon EF 50 F/1.4 USM.
  15. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Agreed. And I've 4 copies of the Zeiss lens, 2 in C/Y, 2 in QBM.
  16. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    I wonder if they would test it for you on the same setup.
    may be some of our old favourites are not as good as we thought.
    I used to swear by my Olympus OM F 1.4 50mm.

    Such a test would make interesting reading for many of us.

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