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Sharp or not

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by dixeyk, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    First, let me state for the record sharpness isn't the be all and end all when it comes to lenses. I was however curious how some of the various lenses I have collected recently stacked up against one another in the hand to hand combat. I gathered some lenses (all coming into the arena with a bit of a reputation for sharpness). The gladiators are...

    Super Takumar 50/1.4
    Hexanon 35/2.8
    Hexanon 40/1.8
    Olympus OM50/1.4 (serial number over 1 million)
    Olympus OM 50/1.8 MIJ version


    The battle was fought in my front yard in a rare sunny moment. It was entirely unscientific and my controls were shoddy but the results are interesting none the less.Apologies for the fact thatI didn't get exactly the same angle on the azalea bush. I used an E-PM1 with VF2 and all the shots are at f5.6 with IS on (set to IS1).

    HERE is the set on Flickr and below are crops of the item I was shooting at.My conclusion? They're all terrific lenses. If I had to pick one or two favorites? That would be tough as they all have great qualities but, I like the Super Takumar and...the OM 50/1.4 maybe a bit more.. Biggest surprise? The Hexanon 35/2.8 and the OM 50/1.4 (both better than I expected). Any disappointments? No...not really.

    Super Takumar 50/1.4
    [​IMG]

    Hexanon 35/2.8
    [​IMG]

    Hexanon 40/1.8
    [​IMG]

    Olympus OM 50/1.4
    [​IMG]

    Olympus OM 50/1.8 MIJ
    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    Interesting color difference between the OM 50 f1.4 1nd the OM 50 f1.8.
     
  3. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    I think your sharpness battle would had been better fought with a flat, 2D target. For moi, generally, the single most overwhelming consideration of a lens is sharpness. Albeit not the only consideration, but clearly the first and most important.

    Gary
     
  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Yes well, it was more of an impromptu bar fight but point well taken. I'll do that next. The thing that struck me most was the way the OM 50/1.4 seems to create real separation between the subject and the background.
     
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    That's because out of all those lenses the f/1.4 Zuiko has the creamiest, smoothest bokeh. The others are more specular. Even if the DOF is the same, the creamier bokeh is less distracting.
     
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I I found the OM 50/1.4 to be the most pleasing followed VERY closely by the Super Takumar 50/1.4. I like the handling and build quality a bit more on the Super Tak but it's pretty much a toss up in overall usability. Of course II already knew how great the OM 50/1.4 was...it's one of my favorite lenses. I also found that despite the smallness of the E-PM1 body the legacy glass is overall pretty easy to use. I find the EVF a little less enjoyable than the one on my G2 was (and still can't put my finger on why exactly) but in the end the E-PM1 is a pretty terrific camera to use legacy glass with.

    Now, after thinking about it some more the biggest surprise was that I liked the Konica 35 a bit more than the 40. They're both sharp but the 35 is much MUCH nicer to handle. it also has better close focus which I am finding to be a significant feature in whether or not I like a lens. Right now I am really wishing I had never sold my OM 24/2.8 or Konica 24/2.8...they give you a nice normal lens experience and I suspect they would really be nice on the E-PM1.
     
  7. LVL8hacker

    LVL8hacker Mu-43 Veteran

    322
    Jan 4, 2012
    Pinehurst, North Carolina
    Larry Anderson
    Great...Thanks for doing this. I'm always wanting to know how lenses stack up. Ill have to do one of these with my 50mm collection.

    IMG-0394.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Thanks for taking the time to run the tests dixeyk.

    Any chance of another quick round with the same aperture for all lenses (ie f8 or f11) ?

    I love the way adapted lenses 'draw' - sharpness aside the rendering is really nice. A certain warmth to the pictures.
     
  9. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Next sunny day we have I can do another one
     
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I'd rather see them all at a wider aperture they can all reach, like say f/2. There won't be much difference to see at f/8. And a flatter object as Gary suggests, to avoid difference in focus point. I thought this was an excellent test though...

    I agree with you dixeyk, in liking the OM Zuiko f/1.4 best and the Super-Tak f/1.4 a very close second... both look excellent!

    I'd love to see a test with your collection too, LVL8hacker!
     
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I have the same set of shots at 2.8. I shot it that way because of the Hexanon 35/2.8 but as the close focus distance is about a hundred feet I decided to leave it out. I have Helios 44M on the way so I'll likely do it again when it arrives.

    I agree with Ned, you're up LVL8Hacker
     
  12. LVL8hacker

    LVL8hacker Mu-43 Veteran

    322
    Jan 4, 2012
    Pinehurst, North Carolina
    Larry Anderson
    :) ..I'll take you guys up on that. I will do a quick non scientific with all my 50's....I have a few more than whats in the picture. I'll take a shot @ 2.8 ( one of the 50's is a f/2.8....just to make it fair) and a shot @ 8.0 with each of them and post them in a new thread.
     
  13. LVL8hacker

    LVL8hacker Mu-43 Veteran

    322
    Jan 4, 2012
    Pinehurst, North Carolina
    Larry Anderson
    Well I tried :)....but people just seem to want to focus on the Super Tak...radioactive) glass....Im wondering why it wasnt brought up here?....lol