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06-07-2011, 04:20 PM   #91
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QuoteOriginally posted by LenWick Quote
Not my intention to slander the 50 in any way
Of course not . I was just a little surprised at the results.

You never mentioned whether you are using a hood for those shots. A good hood makes a world of difference with the FA 50.

06-07-2011, 04:24 PM   #92
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QuoteOriginally posted by LenWick Quote
Not my intention to slander the 50 in any way I moved the focal plane forward a little (manual) then also set a 2sec timer, still on tripod. Time of day has adjusted the lighting a little bit
Marginal, if any, improvement in sharpness, IMO. I don't think there is anything wrong with the lens. It is slightly soft at f2. No shame in that.

Rob
06-07-2011, 04:27 PM   #93
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
Marginal, if any, improvement in sharpness, IMO. I don't think there is anything wrong with the lens. It is slightly soft at f2. No shame in that.
The question is simply whether he used a hood. Critical sharpness does not look like my sample at the exact same aperture.

Make a huge difference for the FA 50. No one ever makes that mistake with the 43 since it's pretty much built right in .
06-07-2011, 04:38 PM   #94
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Slightly sharper looking than the previous shot, but still not as good as the 43 both in sharpness and in rendition. It's what I expected, but not what the MTF data indicates.

As the lens designer said, the FA ltds were not designed for lab testing, they were designed for real-world shooting.
I noticed today that the field curvature on the FA43 @f2 is massive. Shooting across a tiny cafe table, my daughter's glasses were in sharp focus, and in the lower right hand corner, the edge of a plastic cup in sharp focus - but it was fully 8" closer than her glasses. I can't help but think, from this, that the corner MTF scores would change if they used a curved target, or moved the corners closer to the camera.

06-07-2011, 04:47 PM   #95
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
but it was fully 8" closer than her glasses. I can't help but think, from this, that the corner MTF scores would change if they used a curved target, or moved the corners closer to the camera.
This is what they mean by "designing a lens for real life" instead of MTF charts. The DA 15 has a similar thing going on--- huge curvature. In real life, it's not very important (or sometimes help with isolation), on charts though, "soft corners".
06-08-2011, 07:10 AM   #96
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I still think there is a focusing problem with that 50. Cropped to show detail (f2, handheld).

Attachment 93891

Was the 50 used with a hood? Could explain the softness. That image from the 50 does not look how it should. The 43 would still be sharper but this difference would not be this great.
Sorry, no hood used on the 50, and the stock hood was used on the 43. As an asside, paperbag846, would you pm me with your thoughts on a hood for the 50? Cheers,
06-08-2011, 07:28 AM   #97
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
This is what they mean by "designing a lens for real life" instead of MTF charts. The DA 15 has a similar thing going on--- huge curvature. In real life, it's not very important (or sometimes help with isolation), on charts though, "soft corners".
I'm not certain I grok why curvature of field would be more "real life" oriented. In nearly every situation I can imagine where the corner and edge sharpness matter, I would prefer they be in the same plane as the center focus - I can't imagine trying to guess where I should place someone in a group picture where they're in focus on the edge of a curved field.

I don't do those sorts of images a lot, and I can certainly understand why it wouldn't be particularly field relevant for lots of people (myself included - I can always stop down or get out a more "traditional" lens), but it's the "made for real life" part I don't get.
06-08-2011, 08:07 AM   #98
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QuoteOriginally posted by LenWick Quote
Sorry, no hood used on the 50, and the stock hood was used on the 43. As an asside, paperbag846, would you pm me with your thoughts on a hood for the 50? Cheers,
I'm dubious that the lack of a hood explains the worse performance of the FA50, but you can test the theory by repeating the FA43 shot without a hood. That's the next best thing to testing both with a hood.

Rob

06-08-2011, 08:32 AM   #99
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
LOL - yeah. Once you get to this level of lenses, the distinction is almost wholly personal preference, I agree. I like 'em all, honestly. If your biggest choice is between the FA50 - a very, very sharp lens @f4, and an FA43 - a very, very sharp lens @f4 - then you're splitting hairs already, IMO.

I really, really like the Helios 44M. It's certainly... "traditional"? But it's pin-sharp from f2, and I'm a sucker for sharp. I didn't dislike the FA50, I just found I wasn't using it a lot.
Sharpness is not everything in lens performance and should not be the only criterion on which to base a choice. I think that most people would agree that these two lenses have different rendering characteristics. As to which renders better, that is largely a matter of personal preference. Personally, I have never used any lenses that produce more beautiful images than the FA Limiteds. Others may not be so enamored of the FA Limited look. I cannot argue with matters of personal taste.

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06-08-2011, 09:22 AM   #100
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
I'm dubious that the lack of a hood explains the worse performance of the FA50, but you can test the theory by repeating the FA43 shot without a hood. That's the next best thing to testing both with a hood.

Rob
This might not be the best solution. Also, try the 50 1.4 without a hood yourself. It even leads to "softness" INDOORS! Especially at wide apertures.

This comes up a lot in the 50 1.4 vs. 50 1.7 discussion, and rightfully so. Many find that the 50 1.7 is significantly sharper at f2 than the 50 1.4 at f2. While the 50 1.7 does have a small advantage, most of this perceived quality increase comes from the fact that *neither* were used with a hood, but the 50 1.7's front element is significantly recessed compared to the 50 1.4.

In comparisons with both lenses and hoods, the differences largely (but not completely) evaporate. That shot with the 50 at f2 looks like it has a decent amount of veiling flare going on, and would benefit greatly from a hood.

Almost no lens I have used needs a hood as much as the 50 1.4. The front element is huge, and stick out *almost* above the filter ring. I think the FA 43 1.9 would have a lot of advantages if hoods were forgotten.

Last edited by paperbag846; 06-08-2011 at 09:31 AM.
06-08-2011, 09:59 AM   #101
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
Sharpness is not everything in lens performance and should not be the only criterion on which to base a choice. I think that most people would agree that these two lenses have different rendering characteristics. As to which renders better, that is largely a matter of personal preference. Personally, I have never used any lenses that produce more beautiful images than the FA Limiteds. Others may not be so enamored of the FA Limited look. I cannot argue with matters of personal taste.

Rob
When we use the word "should", we're talking about personal preference. I can think of applications where sharpness is the primary criteria, period. Macro, for instance, and copywork, and often (but not always) landscapes. Certainly there are many applications where sharpness is not the primary criteria, but certainly is important; then many others where sharpness might be the bottom of the list. I certainly can't dictate reasonably to anyone what their priorities "should" be, though.

When we use the word 'beautiful', we're talking about personal preference. I love my new FA43, particularly at f4-5.6, where it's bitingly, ridiculously sharp. I think the bokeh from the 50mm f1.4 was superior, but not sufficiently so to convince me to keep the 50 and get rid of the 43. I like the contrast and saturation of the FA43, which is better, IMO, than the 50 - although I can imagine circumstances where someone might prefer the more muted colors and softer bokeh of the 50.

I certainly agree that they render things differently, for many definitions of 'render', but I don't think that there's an objective "better" here; it's all about what you like.
06-08-2011, 10:01 AM   #102
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
I'm not certain I grok why curvature of field would be more "real life" oriented. In nearly every situation I can imagine where the corner and edge sharpness matter, I would prefer they be in the same plane as the center focus - I can't imagine trying to guess where I should place someone in a group picture where they're in focus on the edge of a curved field.

I don't do those sorts of images a lot, and I can certainly understand why it wouldn't be particularly field relevant for lots of people (myself included - I can always stop down or get out a more "traditional" lens), but it's the "made for real life" part I don't get.
mtf charts are on a piece of paper and essentially 2-dimensional. In a "real life" situation, this isn't often the case and many times subjects aren't going to be lined up on a chalk line to get them in the same plane. Basically, they are 3-dimensional. There is a reason that in the film hay-days some lenses were made for flat-field copying of documents on a document table.
06-08-2011, 10:21 AM   #103
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
When we use the word "should", we're talking about personal preference. I can think of applications where sharpness is the primary criteria, period. Macro, for instance, and copywork, and often (but not always) landscapes. Certainly there are many applications where sharpness is not the primary criteria, but certainly is important; then many others where sharpness might be the bottom of the list. I certainly can't dictate reasonably to anyone what their priorities "should" be, though.

When we use the word 'beautiful', we're talking about personal preference. I love my new FA43, particularly at f4-5.6, where it's bitingly, ridiculously sharp. I think the bokeh from the 50mm f1.4 was superior, but not sufficiently so to convince me to keep the 50 and get rid of the 43. I like the contrast and saturation of the FA43, which is better, IMO, than the 50 - although I can imagine circumstances where someone might prefer the more muted colors and softer bokeh of the 50.

I certainly agree that they render things differently, for many definitions of 'render', but I don't think that there's an objective "better" here; it's all about what you like.
I don't think that we are in disagreement on anything. As I said, sharpness is not the only measure of lens performance and should not be considered in isolation from other factors. It may be the case that for some uses, sharpness is the top priority, but surely it should not the only one.

I was very clear that rendering preferences are a matter of personal taste. I happen to love the rendering of the FA Limiteds. I adore the combination of silky smoothness and extreme sharpness, which I believe is their signature. To me, that is beautiful. Other users may prefer different rendering qualities, and that is their privilege. If they want crisper, punchier images, then the DA Limiteds may be a better choice. Different strokes for different folks. I just got my first DA Limited, a DA15. I like it very much, but it is a different species than my FA Limiteds.

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06-08-2011, 10:23 AM   #104
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
I certainly agree that they render things differently, for many definitions of 'render', but I don't think that there's an objective "better" here; it's all about what you like.
Yes this is about it. Also depends on how you view photography. I would imagine, for instance, that I have a very different way of looking at what a lens should be, because I love processing RAW. It's half of the fun for me. For others, they might want something that would work well with JPEG. In that case, the FA ltd colours matter a lot more to them. Etc.

I don't find the colours of the 50 muted, but you do have to stop it down and be aware of flare. The 43 certainly has more colour pop (and the 40 has even more).

The colours I get from my DA 15 are AMAZING. The DA limited line has the colour thing going for it, for sure. At the same time, though, I do like the look of old glass - colour there isn't bad, just less *accurate*.

K55 1.8

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But that's the real fun of it all, isn't it? Choices choices choices.
06-08-2011, 12:43 PM   #105
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
mtf charts are on a piece of paper and essentially 2-dimensional.
Aha!
They need to develop a 3D test chart for the FA ltds to ascertain the 3D qualities of the lenses!
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