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11-12-2010, 03:32 AM   #16
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Hmm, some sharp lenses there, and all sorts of colour renditions! I must say, I'm a little disappointed with the FA43 - a real surprise there, but there may be some explanation for its apparent slight lack of sharpness (at f4) compared to most of the others. I'm guessing that it has the most natural colours though.

The M 50/2 seems to be totally outclassed here - I don't own one, but I don't think it has the best reputation, and this test seems to back that up. Amazing, when the other Pentax 50/55s are so good.

Once again, thanks for a most interesting shootout. I shall examine the images more thoroughly when I have more time.

11-12-2010, 10:53 AM   #17
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rep to you Jeff.

first I would like to point out some very important notes.

DA*55 wasn't properly focused. I dunno which area you pointed the focus on, but assuming that you targeted the center of the frame, probably the barn or the electrical post, the AF doesn't seem dead on or might possibly be suffering from decentering. I looked at the top part of the tower which gets significantly sharper. eventhough the shots might be considered as inconclusive, basing from the top part of the image, I would rate it the sharpest of the bunch.

some of the test results are somehow difficult to judge due to poor exposure and possibility of motion blur. 2nd place would play along the 50/1.7, 50/1.2 and 58/1.4. personally, IMO, these 3 lenses are tied since the sharpness across the images seem to be sharper than the others and vice versa at certain aperture openings. although I would rank them with the following, A50/1.2, A50/1.7 and 58/1.4.

there is some exposure deficiency with the 55/1.8 results but I would put it lower than the 58/1.4.

I'm going to give the 43/1.9 some slack due to it having a shorter focal length which could had some effect on the results. also I'm not if you used MF or AF with this lens. for what it's worth, it does get significantly sharper. although quite surprised with the image I saw with it at F4 as somehow doesn't coincide with it's MTF numbers. I'm not dismissing the possibility that it struggles at infinity due to it's shorter FL. but it is still sharp.

the A50/1.4 would follow the 55/1.8.

I'm not surprised with the M50/2 to be last. personally having owned the lens, I did mention that it's resolution is not good as you focus farther away.

I find the color temp of both the M50/2 and FA43 to be more natural and pleasing. the DA*55, 55/1.8 and Voightlander 58 to be warm. surprised to see the A50/1.7 to be slightly warm as well. maybe the F/FA version render WB differently.

M42 lenses. the Mamiya is surprisingly sharp, in most areas (roof tiles and post). although it did have some difficulty illustrating the gridlines on the white horizontal strip. it could be that the focus point of the Mamiya is the roof tiles. I have some difficulty comparing it with the other K-mount lenses especially the A50/1.7 since it was underexposed and might not be focused at the same area. the K55/1.8 is underexposed as well. and comparing it with the M42 version, appears that the K55 is slightly better, although the M42 version is focused sharply on the roof tiles. it is possible that the M42 is better at some point but it may well be that they render the same. it is difficult to judge honestly since the focused areas are different. so it is might well be a stale between the two.

by this development, I would think that the Mamiya is categorized along more or less along the 50/1.7. at times and certain areas the Mamiya is better and at times the 50/1.7. again, this is very difficult to judge due to one image being underexposed and might have a different focus point. but having said, at infinity focus, the Mamiya is certainly sharp. the Sears is ok and better than the M50/2.

and the 8 element Super Tak 50 version at wide open doesn't look to be meant for infinity shots. this might change though if it is step the apertures down further. the lack of samples however, would keep us wondering.
11-12-2010, 12:29 PM   #18
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Pentaxor, m42man,

Thank you for your in depth comments.

I don't know what happened with the 43mm at f4, can't swear I didn't shake the camera in any of these photos. As you may know, you're looking at two different days. On the first day I set the meter trying to hit the post for the measurement and did so for each shot. On the Second say (two days later) set it for the wide open exposure. Then as I stopped the lens down one stop (accounted for where the wide open stop is not a full natural stop) the shutter speed was decreased to keep the same EV. In 95% of this second day, the exact same EVs were used for each step across lenses. It's (again) entirely possible that in some cases, I missed.

With respect to the focal point, I'll refer you to post #12 where I state that each lens was simply set to infinity and left there. The original set for the DA*55 was allowed to autofocus but I redid the set using the same focus method as the rest. SO, what each lens shows as sharp and in focus at infinity is entirely (my possible camera shake aside) a product of the lens design.

My original intent (personally) was to see how sharp each lens would show the steps on the tower. I can't see well enough to actually focus on them specifically so infinity seemed a reasonable compare test point. Yes, the Mamiya was surprising to me, especially when I looked at them on the computer screen. If I had trusted what I saw on the camera LCD, I would have tossed the lens into the river (yes, there's a river there).

I don't really know why but I had a bitch of a time with the SuperTak 50 f1.4. I made several shots and could probably pull a decent set but due to my lack of record keeping (f stop vs filename), I cannot swear by what I THINK I did so I'll re-shoot them at a later date and post it then.

As a side note to that, it would be fantastic if we could dial in an f number with these M/M42 lenses just to record it for information purposes (but I'd probably forget to do that too ).

Anyhow, I'm not arguing with anyone here, I just want to make that clear. I posted them, invited people to look and draw their own conclusions. I welcome all input with open mind.

11-12-2010, 02:53 PM   #19
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I think it would be best to redo some shots of certain lenses such as DA55, FA43, A50/1.7 and Super Tak. it would be better also to adjust/edit the exposure on images that seem to be underexposed for better comparison. concentrate on one focus point/area and subject rather than focus the lens at infinity. I think it would be enough to shoot the lens from wide open up to F4 or f5.6. I find it unnecessary to do other apertures beyond that and it would be much for you to do.


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