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Which of these two lenses are sharper?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by digitalandfilm, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    I have 2 Oly OM 50mm's.. one a f1.8, the other an f1.4 and I just tested them side by side in the same conditions on the OM-D.

    This is the Oly 50mm f1.4:

    View attachment 234813

    This is the Oly 50mm f1.8:

    View attachment 234814

    In the spirit of the Election Season- it's your vote, use it well! :biggrin:
  2. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    Maybe if you took the same photo with both lenses we could make a meaningful comparison. Two different photos, from two different angles and shooting distances, tell you nothing.

    Given the different shooting angles, I assume these were handheld. That also makes the comparison fairly meaningless, since there's no way to know if camera movement might impact sharpness, even slightly.

    If you really want to compare, set up a still life, mount the camera on a tripod and turn off IS, use the self timer or anti-shock to ensure there's no camera induced blur, focus very carefully with a magnified view, and chance nothing but the lens in between shots. I'd suggest taking multiple shots with each lens, refocusing each time, and choose the sharpest.

    Also, make sure you take your shots at the distance you most frequently use the lens. Some lenses perform better at closer focus, some at longer distances. If you usually use your 50mm for portraits, say, at a distance of several feet, shooting your test shots at 1 foot might not be meaningful.
  3. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    I really didn't want to make it a *scientific* type comparison, just a sort of "taste-test" between the two.

    I like the low-light performance of the 1.4, but the 1.8 is still workable because I can go up in ISO with the EM-5.
  4. KBeezie

    KBeezie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 15, 2012
    Grand Rapids, Mi
    Karl Blessing
    Are they both wide open? And why the vastly different angles between the shots? Their appearance could dramatically change if you shot the opposite lens but with the swapped angles. And at the web size, I don't think I could honestly tell you which is sharper unless they have extreme softening wide open (like my SMC Pentax-M 50/1.4)

    That said I like the way you shot with the 50/1.8, but I feel it wouldn't seem much different if you shot the same angle with the 50/1.4
  5. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    Even as a taste-test, it's hard to tell anything when the compositions are so different. The second shot looks sharper to me, but that might just be because the main subject is much closer to the camera, and I can see more detail in the flower.

    Like I said, any comparison of these two images is pretty much meaningless. Scientific or otherwise, in order to compare two things they need to have enough similarities to be able to compare. You could do a "taste-test" between a rock and motor oil, but you won't learn much from the comparison.
  6. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    I own both, and the 1.8 is a great lens at a great value, but I haven't used it since I bought the 1.4 just because it can handle a wider range of lighting conditions without degrading the image quality.
  7. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    I agree with you.. it's good to have that extra speed with the f1.4

    I was just trying to get a feel which seemed sharper, the 1.4 or 1.8

    Despite the zillions of variable's- looking at these two supplied images, which appears the sharper of the two?
  8. KBeezie

    KBeezie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 15, 2012
    Grand Rapids, Mi
    Karl Blessing
    Wide open, the 1.8 is more times than not going to "seem" sharper simply on account of slightly wider DoF. But at a web-size and equally sufficient lighting conditions, would the two not seem almost identical, in fact I think you would see more variety between the two stopped down if either have a difference in glass or aperture quality.

    Anywho I don't think you're gona badger a vote out of anyone til you make the comparison less dissimilar.
  9. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    When the subject is closer to the focal plane and the viewer sees more detail, it will always be perceived to be sharper.
  10. Use a flat test chart....
  11. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    For what its worth, I'm in 100% agreement with Meyerweb...
  12. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    :thiagree: Me too!
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