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02-01-2011, 10:01 PM   #1
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More A50/1.2 vs FA31/1.8 test shots

I took a few more test shots in an effort to continue the comparison between the A50/1.2 and FA31/1.8 (link my initial OOF comparison, link to Axl's 31 vs 50/1.2 comparison).

Below are test shots with the A50/1.2 at f/1.2, f/1.8 and f/2.8 and the FA31/1.8 at f/1.8 and f/2.8. For the FA31 shots, I took the shots at a distance that approximately framed the subject the same as the A50/1.2. Once again, I tried my best to nail the focus and I think I was more successful this time than in my previous attempt.













02-01-2011, 10:38 PM   #2
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Nice comparison. In these shots I'd say the 31 has the lead in contrast and sharpness.

Side note: Is high contrast really better for those of us who shoot raw and apply PP? Sure it may mean less time working on it, but the dynamic range is likely reduced in the 31 shot versus the 50, meaning in the end we have less to work with for PP...I'd certainly hate to use the 31 for a while only to find out the my highlights are blown on a regular basis (compared to the 50 for example).
02-01-2011, 11:11 PM   #3
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Nice comparison. I agree that the 31 wins on colour and contrast, but I actually also prefer the 31's oof rendering wide open, even compared to the 50mm at f1.2.
02-02-2011, 10:26 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Nice comparison. I agree that the 31 wins on colour and contrast, but I actually also prefer the 31's oof rendering wide open, even compared to the 50mm at f1.2.
no surprise here since both lenses were shot at compensated focusing distance. although at similar distance, the OOF rendering difference is night and day.

02-02-2011, 10:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
no surprise here since both lenses were shot at compensated focusing distance. although at similar distance, the OOF rendering difference is night and day.
I actually took those shots too (shots from the 31 and 50 at the same distance). The only reason I didn't post them (yet) was because I mislabeled them and didn't want it to get confusing. Tonight I will relabel them and post them as well.
02-02-2011, 10:47 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
I actually took those shots too (shots from the 31 and 50 at the same distance). The only reason I didn't post them (yet) was because I mislabeled them and didn't want it to get confusing. Tonight I will relabel them and post them as well.
they look pretty different compared to Peter's result. cite the comparison of his first set. the 50/1.2 should display a much nearer and bigger subject compared to the FA31. this kinda looks more of his 2nd set comparison. if not, had you taken these at what distance?
02-02-2011, 11:06 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
they look pretty different compared to Peter's result. cite the comparison of his first set. the 50/1.2 should display a much nearer and bigger subject compared to the FA31. this kinda looks more of his 2nd set comparison. if not, had you taken these at what distance?
From what I recall, the 50 shots was taken from about 4.0 ft away and the (posted) shots for the 31 were taken from about 2.5 feet away in order to get about the same framing. It's possible I mixed up the original files, so I can check them when I get home tonight and confirm.
02-02-2011, 11:42 AM   #8
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nice test Dan.
The 31 does seem to have bit more of a punch as a combination of higher saturation and bit more contrast... That doesn't take anything away from the qualities of A50/1.2 in my eyes. Far from it, just assures me that in terms of rendering of OOF areas the 50/1.2 is the best match for 31ltd...

thanks for sharing these

02-02-2011, 12:36 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
no surprise here since both lenses were shot at compensated focusing distance. although at similar distance, the OOF rendering difference is night and day.
It's not the degree of blur, but the subtlety of it. I find the 50 1.2 so "loud" with it's bokeh, I prefer the more subtle transition of the 31. The 50 is blurrier, but it's also quite in your face. Totally a personal preference thing.
02-02-2011, 01:12 PM   #10
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The bokeh is certainly smoother with the 31 ltd, but the two lenses are quite comparable in sharpness just from these samples. Thanks again for these comparison images - the two lenses are just brilliant.
02-03-2011, 08:49 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffshaddix Quote
Nice comparison. In these shots I'd say the 31 has the lead in contrast and sharpness.

Side note: Is high contrast really better for those of us who shoot raw and apply PP? Sure it may mean less time working on it, but the dynamic range is likely reduced in the 31 shot versus the 50, meaning in the end we have less to work with for PP...I'd certainly hate to use the 31 for a while only to find out the my highlights are blown on a regular basis (compared to the 50 for example).
That's an interesting point about contrast.

I remember reading about the Voigtlander 40/1.4 for M mount, a lens introduced in 2004, and how they had two versions--a Single Coated and a Multi Coated version. The Single Coated was preferred by B&W photographers, because it preserved more detail in the shadows. Multi-coated optics tend to have more punch.

I also used two versions of the Helios 40, and the newer one had multi-coated optics. For some cases, I preferred the older model. Which is too bad, because it was gone by the time I got the newer one!

The good news is that the DR is so good on these new cameras that we can regain those blown highlights and those crunched blacks.
02-03-2011, 03:24 PM   #12
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Interesting comparison, The FA 31 justifies it's price tag on it's superb rendering alone. It just brings to mind a lesson I once learned years ago. The production of smooth OOF blur is dependant on three things: the focus distance, how far stopped down the lens is, and how contrasty the background is. Producing smooth OOF blur is substantially harder to do as the focus distance gets closer and the lens is left at wider apertures.
05-13-2011, 09:52 AM   #13
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But why not same aperture comparo's?
Did I miss something?

Last edited by JohnBee; 05-13-2011 at 10:04 AM.
05-13-2011, 09:57 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
But why not same aperture comparo's?
Die I miss something?
I'm not sure what you mean...
05-13-2011, 10:04 AM   #15
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Sorry, I should have expanded on that.
What I meant was something like:

a) A50 @ 1.8 vs FA31 @ 1.8
b) A50 @ 2.0 vs FA31 @ 2.0
c) A50 @ 2.8 vs FA31 @ 2.8

Or was it not possible to match them?

PS. I've never owned the A50 1.2 but I've always been curious about it.


EDIT: Dammit! - Okay now I see a 1.8 vs 1.8 - clearly, haven't taken my pills yet.
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