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View Full Version : Bokeh and sharpness. 5x50mm compared


snaarman
23rd July 2010, 07:18 PM
How about this for a way of avoiding doing the gardening on a nice evening :)

I find I have 5 lenses that are or can be made into 50mm focal length. These range from the cheap and desperate to the sharp and wonderful. I set up a scene with a tripod and took each shot using live view to get manual focus as accurately as possible. The aim is to test the sharpness and coma performance of each lens (thats the 100% crop at the top - unsharpened). I also wanted to show the OOF or bokeh performance of each lens as well (that's the rest of the shot: These are 800x240 slices of the original scene concentrating on the part of greatest interest to us). They were all shot wide open or as close to f3.5 as appropriate.

These were taken from raw files and colour corrected to look identical. In fact each lens has a slightly different view of the world, colour wise.

The contenders are:
Meyer Domiplan f2.8. A Cooke Triplet with coating. An 1890 design sold by Praktica in the 70s! 3.75 on ebay.
Industar 50 f3.5. A Tessar - front two elements uncoated. A 1907 design...14 on ebay
The Zuiko Digital 14-54 Mk1 at f3.4
The newer Zuiko Digital 40-150 kit lens at f4.2
The remarkable Zuiko Digital 50mm macro at f3.5


Here you are.. :)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/622/50_bokeh_test.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/25795)


The images slices are from the left edge of the frame so it is a harsh test.
The Domiplan manages to be soft where it should be sharp and have (to my eyes) nasty bokeh. Note the light blue coma on the edge of that white petal.
I think the Industar (Tessar) manages rather well considering. Its not too soft, there's not a lot of coma and the oof areas are quite pleasing. It does suffer in strong light with no coating however.

The 14-54 shows itself to be good and sharp with very little coma. I am not fully happy with its bokeh but it is a very nice lens.
The 40-150 lens is just a little bit off the pace, with some sign of coma, but very good for a kit lens..
As for the 50mm macro, well if you have used one.. you will know ;-)

Pete

theMusicMan
23rd July 2010, 07:30 PM
Cracking test shots Pete, really cracking stuff - it's great that you have done this, thank you.

After using the immense Oly 35-100mm recently I am in love with f2 and shallow DoF and as such, because I can't afford to buy one, I am now looking for the Oly 50mm f2.

These shots illustrate exactly why I want one.

snaarman
23rd July 2010, 07:36 PM
Cracking test shots Pete, really cracking stuff - it's great that you have done this, thank you.

After using the immense Oly 35-100mm recently I am in love with f2 and shallow DoF and as such, because I can't afford to buy one, I am now looking for the Oly 50mm f2.

These shots illustrate exactly why I want one.

Yep. I find mine to be consistently astonishing. It is quite simply the sharpest lens I've ever had. Even DPreview said nice things about it. Plus there is that razor thin dof if you want it. Not fast at focussing however...

P

steverh
23rd July 2010, 07:40 PM
I think the Domiplan was worth every penny it cost you. Did that include postage? :D It always regarded as pants (or the 1970's equivalent!)

Seriously, an interesting set of shots. The 40-150 is impressive for a kit lens.

crimbo
24th July 2010, 07:46 AM
Pete, do you have the 40mm Hexanon?...ok differnt fl. but how does the ZD50 IQ compare?

snaarman
24th July 2010, 08:02 AM
Pete, do you have the 40mm Hexanon?...ok differnt fl. but how does the ZD50 IQ compare?

Yes, I used to have the 40mm Hexanon. Wide open it produced light coma round highlights - imagine the coma from the Domiplan with the sharpness of the 40-150 in the shots above. If you stopped it down to f4 or f5.6 is was a great little lens, almost as sharp as the ZD. The Bokeh has that 'hollowed out' look that made it a bit too busy for my tastes, though some may disagree.

If you want to compare the Hexanon to the ZD50 on sharpness, flare resistance and bokeh wide open, well the Hex is certainly a good lens, but the ZD is from a completely different planet (as they say) :)

Pete

crimbo
24th July 2010, 03:40 PM
thanks Pete...thought that might be the case...I am just going to have to try and up my next lens 'pot' for when one comes up s/h...