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02-19-2011, 02:58 AM   #16
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How about the Leica Summilux 35/1.4? Sharp at 1.4 across the field. In case you have $2000-$2500 lying around...

But Super-Tak 50/1.4 is plenty sharp, maybe stopped down a bit (~$100). I found A50/1.2 pretty sharp at 1.2 on the rare occasion I got the focus right (~$500). The FA 50/1.7 is quite sharp at f1.7 (~$220). Out of the Pentax lenses that I've used, I found the A*85/1.4, A*200/4 and A*300/2.8 all to outresolve the sensor on my K20D when I got the photo right (zooming in to 100% you still see extra detail). Other lenses did too at their sweet spots.

But how sharp a lens is, is only one factor in a photo and often not very important unless you ar blowing it up huge.

02-19-2011, 04:34 AM   #17
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Fa43 is probably the sharpest lens still made by pentax.

But even that is no match for a leica 35/1.4, let's be realistic
02-19-2011, 04:46 AM   #18
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I think I've found out what I'm looking for. Thanks for the help.
02-19-2011, 06:54 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by adrianpglover Quote
I think I've found out what I'm looking for. Thanks for the help.
Thats good, at the end of the day they are all excellent lenses

02-22-2011, 06:14 AM - 1 Like   #20
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Limiteds, Contax/Yashica Zeiss

Get an old Contax Zeiss and convert it to K mount - conversions are very easy using the Leitax mount. I've used Sonnar 85/2.8 and Planar 50/1.7. Sonnar was easily on par with 77 ltd (in trems of sharpness) and Planar 50 was even slightly better than Pentax 43 ltd. Distagon 28mm 2.8 has also very good reputation and all these lenses are cheap.
02-22-2011, 11:51 AM   #21
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Vivitar 28/2 WA-CF
Macro-Takumar 50/4
Apo-EL-Nikkor 105/5.6
Ilex Anastigmat 140/4.5
Schneider Betavaron (enlarger zoom, sharper than most primes)
02-22-2011, 01:40 PM   #22
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Ultron 40mm f2

The Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f2 is the one to beat.

Critirea:
Price ☑
Natural*focal length ☑
Speed*☑
Sharpness*☑
Color reproduction*☑
Micro-contrast ☑
3d pop*☑
Portability ☑
Final*result*☑

Last edited by mika.; 02-22-2011 at 02:55 PM.
02-22-2011, 02:02 PM - 1 Like   #23
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Even my 'cheap' Smc-M 50mm f1.7 or f1.4 are very sharp at f/2... and apparently many decent prime lenses are.

And just two personal concerns (what do you think?):

1) Could it be that sharpness is extremely overrated?
As long as a lens is decently sharp, the minor differences between the lens' sharpness should play no role for 99.9% of your shots!
(Except test-images )

2) Numbers are not engraved in stone!
One reason why sharpness is so important to most of us might be the simple fact that you can produce these nice scientific-looking bar graphs out of it...
But in 'real science' you need to know how to interpret the numbers in order to learn something, and here the problem starts.
The numbers will strongly vary form copy to copy and they will even vary a little from measurement to measurement.
So saying that a lens with LW/PH 2300 is sharper (or even better) than LW/PH 2250 risks to be absurd.
This is like saying a guy with IQ 127 is smarter than one with IQ 123

btw: I am not arguing that the test measurements make no sens, but I just want to remind that we should look at them a bit more laid back.
The only thing you will see from two lens measurement, one with 2300, one with 2250 is that both are playing in the same league and that both are perfectly fine.


Last edited by FH_le; 02-22-2011 at 03:53 PM.
02-22-2011, 02:44 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by FH_le Quote
Even my 'cheap' Smc-M 50mm f1.7 or f1.4 are very sharp at f/2... and apparently many decent prime lenses are.

And just two personal concerns (what do you think?):

1) Could it be that sharpness is extremely overrated?
As long as a lens is decently sharp, the minor differences between the lens' sharpness should play no role for 99.9% of your shots!
(Except test-images )

2) Numbers are not engraved in stone!
One reason why sharpness is so important to most of us might be the simple fact that you can produce these nice scientific-looking bar graphs out of it...
But in 'real science' you need to know how to interpret the numbers in order to learn something, and here the problem starts.
The numbers will strongly vary form copy to copy and they will even vary a little from measurement to measurement.
So saying that a lens with LW/PH 2300 is sharper (or even better) than LW/PH 2250 risks to be absurd.
This is like saying a guy with IQ 127 is smarter than one with IQ 123

btw: I am arguing that the test measurements make no sens, but I just want to remind that we should look at them a bit more laid back.
The only thing you will see from two lens measurement, one with 2300, one with 2250 is that both are playing in the same league and that both are perfectly fine.
Words of wisdom. Sharpness can vary from one lens copy to another and also from one tester to another. Furthermore, there is much more to image rendering than sharpness alone, e.g. color, bokeh and microcontrast. Some of the most beautiful and prized lenses (at least by real photographers, not technogeeks) are not the sharpest. It is wisest to judge a lens by overall rendering, not resolution tests.

That said, the 43 Limited is undoubtedly a great lens, one that I would surely get, if its focal length were not so close to my 31 Limited's.

Rob
02-24-2011, 12:28 PM   #25
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Pentax 40 & 70 Ltd's...Scary sharp!
02-24-2011, 01:48 PM   #26
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The Top 3 Lenses Ever ?

sm-02-05-02
02-24-2011, 03:19 PM   #27
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I don't think any lens available in K-mount is sharper than the 43mm Ltd in any practical sense.Very few applications would need anything sharper

There is also the FA 50mm Macro which is supposed to be at that limit as well.

Edit: the Kiron 105mm is pretty stunningly sharp as well.

Original (K-7; 1/180 - so not beyond camera shake):



crop of the above:

02-24-2011, 03:22 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wormtographer Quote
The SMCP-FA 50mm f/2.8 Macro.

I start bleeding even before I mount it on a body.
That would be my vote from my lens collection as well, followed by the DA40 and DA70 Ltds. (If we are including Pentax only) If I include all lenses, then the Voigtländer Ultron 40 might be second to the FA 50 Macro. The FA 35/2 also holds its own pretty well.

Last edited by GeneV; 02-24-2011 at 03:27 PM.
02-24-2011, 09:33 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wormtographer Quote
The SMCP-FA 50mm f/2.8 Macro.

I start bleeding even before I mount it on a body.
FA 50 2.8 macro and the A 50 2.8 macro are the sharpest Pentax lenses I've shot, and the Sigma 70 macro possibly the sharpest overall.

The little M/A 50 1.7 is incredible for the money, also.

Stopped sown to f/2.8, the FA 43ltd can cut a hole in spacetime, and the DA 40 is right there also.

Lots of lenses are very, very sharp... past a certain point, sharpness doesn't matter, and you start to notice things like distortion and bokeh (and size) as the differentiators.

.
02-25-2011, 10:57 AM   #30
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Stopped down to f8, the A50 f2 is sharper than the A50 f1.4. The 50 f2.8's are sharper than either.
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