So how fast does you lens need to be ?

kevinparis

Cantankerous Scotsman
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Messages
3,912
Location
Gent, Belgium
Posted this originally on the Noktor thread - but think it might get a bit more discussion here

Premise is that everyone gets all excited by wide apertures and are all chasing the widest possible. Noktor have very cleverly used this to market what is effectively a CCTV lens as something for photographers.

Problems is many people haven't seen what the difference is between f1 and f1.4

I am lucky to own 3 fast 50mm and have access to one very expensive 50mm lens. So I thought i would try an experiment.

I shot a scene with each of the lenses from 1m at wide open - Aperture priority, not really taking too much care with actual exposure and doing no PP at all

so here are the shots. One was taken with a very expensive lens, one lens cost e 200 euros, another 100 eur and another cost me 75 euro complete with an film SLR Body

which is which ?... I will give clues and answers as we go on

I am not saying which lens is 'better' - that is down to your own tastes - but hopefully this will let you see how much or how little that extra stop brings you

Enjoy

Kevin
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

OzRay

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Jan 29, 2010
Messages
4,991
Location
South Gippsland, Australia
Real Name
Ray, not Oz
I'm not quite sure what the objective is with this comparison. Is it depth of field, bokeh, or ability to shoot effectively in low light or poorly lit conditions? The speed of the lens can make a substantial difference in capturing hand held shots or movement in difficult conditions. The difference between an f1.1 lens and a 1.4 lens can be decisive.

Cheers

Ray
 

hcarlen

New to Mu-43
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Messages
4
I lika A, soft out of focus area and nice rendering of materials...but I guess its a matter of taste
 

mauve

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
1,453
Location
Paris, France
To my eye, C leads the pack, A & D are correct, and B is outright unpleasing (and flares like mad). This said, I don't really care which is the fastest or the more expensive. I just like the way the C one draws your eye to the focus plane and how it's sharp without having an out of focus unpleasing rendering.
 

kevinparis

Cantankerous Scotsman
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Messages
3,912
Location
Gent, Belgium
OZ

No real objective other than a bit of fun, and to show people who may be agonising on getting that extra stop or half stop of speed just what it actually looks like. I think thinks like IBIS and higher ISO's have taken away a little of the need for that extra stop just to get the shutter speed up.

Mauve

Interesting observation... that is actually the oldest lens i think

hcarlen - hope you have an understanding partner - you have expensive tastes :)

K
 

BillN

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Messages
1,264
Location
SW France
Hi Kevin

It is good to see stuff like this - I find it (really) interesting

- I prefer C - although I can see that maybe A is doing what they are supposed to do wide open, (have No DOF) - if I knew what that was

but i thought the point of fast glass was not image quality wide open but more usability in low light - (if you can focus the bloody things), and maybe OOF areas - (I don't speak Japanese)
 

kevinparis

Cantankerous Scotsman
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Messages
3,912
Location
Gent, Belgium
Bill

Thanks

it is an interesting point... what is the point of fast glass. I think it was originally to get more of the available light on the film/sensor in the days when 400 ISO was regarded as high ISO. I think the shallow DOF was a byproduct. However I think today maybe the shallow DOF is what draw most people to these lenses

Just my opinion

Its interesting that lens C is appealing to a few people - its probably the oldest and may even be slightly radioactive.

I will also add I don't think any of the shots represent the best that can be got from each of the lenses - the Flare in B could have been controlled better with a lens hood. It was a very quick and dirty experiment

cheers

K
 

Ulfric M Douglas

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Messages
3,709
Location
Northumberland
Before I read all the comments and get a clue as to what I might write I'll just give my quick first impressions ;
A is sharpest on the card writing and has the most blurry blur.
C has the deepest DOF, i.e. probably the narrowest aperture.
I have a potential problem with this : "Aperture priority, not really taking too much care with actual exposure" : while they all look similar exposures did you fix white balance and ISO for all the shots? : C has a warmer tone altogether.
I'd have preferred shots in a dimly lit bar of some poet bloke drinking absynthe ... or are these his jeans?

Kevin I've just read your explanations. so A (my blurryest) is the expensive (and so 'fastest'?) lens and C (my 'slowest' and warmest) appeals to people at 1m focussing on Jeans with a speaker in the background.
Perhaps different lenses suit different subjects?
 

kevinparis

Cantankerous Scotsman
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Messages
3,912
Location
Gent, Belgium
Ulfric

thanks for the comments - Just rechecked - I had meant to post the images without white balance -but I did apply some - but the same value to all 4 images. All were shot at ISO 200 and the shutter speeds, while in the ball park don't quite map to the difference in aperture - was using averageing metering and its my experience that that tends not to be as accurate as it should be at sub f1.4 apertures

Lens C is definitely the warmest of them all even in the untouched state

Absolutely agree that different lenses suit different subjects - and this was never meant to be an absolute empirical test - just a bit of fun and a discussion point

Would be happy to run further tests if people would find it usefull - but I am not wanting to get into pixel peeping contest.

The real purpose of the exercise was to show people who are maybe lusting after the very fastest of lenses that there are alternatives

cheers

K
 

Djarum

Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
3,352
Location
Huntsville, AL, USA
Real Name
Jason
What is the focus point? I kinda feel that when making comparisons like these, especially with narrow DOF, the focus point is critical.

If we hypothetically say that the "air france" card or whatever it is is the focus point, this is how I'd rate them:

A and C are a tie.
D
B

I personally am tired of all the complaints about the lack of fast glass. Everyone it seems over on various forums even say that the Panny 20mm at f1.7 isn't even that fast. There are those who want it for the light and others who want it for the shallow DOF. I have no problem with what people want, but it just gets tiring after a while.
 

kevinparis

Cantankerous Scotsman
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Messages
3,912
Location
Gent, Belgium
the focus point i used was the "Elite Plus" logo

I am with you about the incessant and unrealistic demands on some forums for faster glass. I suppose i posted these pictures just to highlight that the difference between f1 and f1.4 is not that great in real life ie if you ignore the number in front of the lens and just look at the picture.

The fastest lens here - a noctilux does have a particular quality that shines through even in a 4/3 sensor, but the cheaper alternatives still offer an interesting look at a price even lower than the much hyped Noktor - you could buy three of the lenses here for less than the Noktor

K
 

SFA

New to Mu-43
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
9
Location
UK
There is some really nice, inexpensive old glass out there - so long as one knows and works with its limitations.

Here's a question though.

Why would manufacturers seek to produce ultrafast lenses these days unless they are for Pro's and very expensive?

The light issue is becomeing a non-issue, lost somewhere between Image Stabilisation systems and low noise/high ISO sensors. If you don't agree with this today wait 2 years, global financial events permitting.


If DoF then becomes the main point of desire one has to start looking at formats and sensor size engineering being a more cost effective solution than lenses. Back that approach with some form of digital processing to auto simulate the effects of very narrow DoF and the appearance of the result bokeh and to all intents and purposes the overall performance of the lens, in many many cases, may not matter that much.

Indeed with Adobe now starting to offer DiY lens correction software and the 'Context' related spot repair and cloning tools in CS5 one might argue that we hardly need a camera at all ... :wink:

Right, now I have written that I'm off to get my flameproof overalls ...


Grant
 

BillN

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Messages
1,264
Location
SW France
I hope so

If you look at the price of fast-ish MF glass you could buy a lot for the price of the Leica Noctilux 50mm f0.95 = £3,000 used to £7,000 new

Canon FD 50mm f1.2 = £250 = used
Nikkor 55mm f1.2 = £300 = used
Nikkon 50mm f1.2 = £800 = new
Nikkor 50mm 1.4 and Canon 50mm f 1.4 = under £100 each = used and about £240 new

etc.,

Not sure what the Canon 0.95 RF lens costs used

I suppose the Noctilux is worth it!!!!! - nice name anyway - but can you value anything Leica is £ terms


but see
https://www.mu-43.com/f57/beautiful-eyes-2828/

for Noctilux -
 

Ulfric M Douglas

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Messages
3,709
Location
Northumberland
...Would be happy to run further tests if people would find it usefull -
Yes please!
This is the first really useful test I've seen of these f1-ish lenses.
I'd like to see the same lenses in a 3m distance setting including a human face, dim lighting and light points in the far distance. (On one WB setting) Sounds a bit strict ... hmm. Maybe you get my idea.
And can you include a f1.7/f1.8 good prime too?

Good point Grant
...If DoF then becomes the main point of desire one has to start looking at formats ...
Always a cost/performance balance though.
Personally I was looking for a CHEAP e-bay DSLR or a zoomy bridge to take 'better' photos of my work and accidentally ended up with an Oly e-410 ... which led me to understand I could buy old lenses and stick 'em on it to achieve shallow-DOF shots ... which led me to buy a G1 to use the EVF for focussing ... which led me to buy a couple of LTM-39mm Russki lenses for the same job.
I still didn't spend a great load, I guess the £250 for G1+kit lens was the biggest chunk : all from trying NOT to spend much on the job!
 

acmatos

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Mar 24, 2010
Messages
62
Location
Ponte de Lima, Portugal
Great thread, thanks for the test, Kevin!

And I think the pictures illustrate your point very well.

To my taste (even knowing now that the A was taken with the most expensive lens), I would rate these photos C-A-D-B.

I know this is only one photo, maybe in less than ideal circumstances for the wider lens to shine, but I wouldn't pay hundreds (thousands?) of euros to choose one in favour of the others.

Regards,

António Carlos
 

kevinparis

Cantankerous Scotsman
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Messages
3,912
Location
Gent, Belgium
Ulfric

Understand your spec for the next shoot - but you may need to wait a week or 2 ... I am in the middle of moving from Paris to Belgium :)... let me have a think on what I could do

K
 

kevinparis

Cantankerous Scotsman
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Messages
3,912
Location
Gent, Belgium
Ulfric - just for you here is another quick and dirty wide open test

All shot wide open with WB for incandescent lighting at 200 ISO. Focus was on the wall edge to my right.

wont make you guess the lenses this time


Enjoy

K

Olympus 50/1.4

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Pentax Takumar 50/1.4 (M42)

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Nikon 50/1.2

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Leica R 50/2

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Contax 50/1.7

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Leica Noctilux 50/1.0

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Zeiss 50/1.5

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2009-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom