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08-12-2011, 04:00 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Those Porsts are wonderful - I'm trying to make up my mind between a Cosina 1.2 and Porst 1.2 - both around $220 - they are both incredibly sharp (even wide open) and have gorgeous (but different) idiosyncratic bokehs.

Please tell me more about that Canon EE-S viewfinder modified to fit your K5 !!!
Check this thread about the EE-S screen. There are various guides on how to do this mod in the thread.
btw. i didnt meen EE-S "viewfinder" but EE-S Focus Screen.

The Porst is truly a sweet lens.
I couldnt really find anything about this particular 50/1.4 but a lot about the 55/1.2 and others and they all sounded great so I went for it and even though it had mold in it and the mount needed some work Im very pleased with it not to mention the silly price I paid

08-12-2011, 04:24 AM   #32
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The *55 is a very nice lens especially for Portraits but I would spend the money on the *50-135 which is a very good very useful lens and weather sealed too.
08-12-2011, 04:27 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by DanielT74 Quote
The *55 is a very nice lens especially for Portraits but I would spend the money on the *50-135 which is a very good very useful lens and weather sealed too.
Don't buy a 1.2 for portraits though Daniel
08-12-2011, 05:51 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I just don't see the radical improvement between a good 50 1.4
I have not tested nor used all the 50s out there. However, all repors say the new 50s designs used by sigma and Pentax (55 in that case) are amazingly better.

As otherrs have pointed out, new manufacturing techniques allow the use of surface designs impossible to economically use before. New types of glass are developped (like Canon's fuor doped glasses). New coatings appear. Lenses are designed with the sensor's reflectivity and angle of acceptance in mind. Ray tracing softwares allow a much better balancing of averrations and performances. Internal zooming and focusing is now possible. Lenses can be smaller, lighter, with the same performances. Vignetting is much lower (all things being equal). The list goes on and own. Without knowing your background in optics I won't discuss the details of the how and why, but you can trust my background that even 10 years ago, many things were impossible, but are commonplace now.

08-12-2011, 06:38 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Macario Quote
I think the biggest difference will be (if there is) purple fringing and CAs. As the old lenses were not corrected for this, you could have a little to a lot. But you won't know until you try
I would like to add another factor that makes newer lenses "better" - flare resistance. The old SMC coatings, as good as they were, do not do as good a job as the current ones.

I've also noticed that current wide and super-wide angle lenses (20mm-10mm) are vastly superior to the vintage variety (in terms of resolution, colour and flare) ... not so with the 24-200mm (-ish) range.

On the flip side, old lenses are infinitely easier to repair and maintain ... they hardly contain any plastic components (except some Carl Zeiss Jenas and some very cheap lenses).

Last edited by photocanadian; 08-12-2011 at 07:09 AM.
08-12-2011, 07:11 AM   #36
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WR on new lenses is more important because of the complex AF mechanical/electrical components inside, and more "breathing" in and out of the lens as they zoom. I've disassembled and cleaned many different old MF 50s, and wouldn't expect intrusion of more than the focus helical, where the grease could be affected, and that can be easily cleaned. A lot simpler than modern zooms.
08-12-2011, 08:56 AM - 1 Like   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I have not tested nor used all the 50s out there. However, all repors say the new 50s designs used by sigma and Pentax (55 in that case) are amazingly better.
I haven't run across any such reports, and if I had, I would be disinclined to believe them. Perhaps the new 50s score better on tests and have fewer imperfections, but do they make amazingly better images? I've seen no evidence of that.

I shoot with both old and new lenses. I haven't seen any major difference in IQ between the old and new glass. In fact, my very best lens is the K 50/1.2, first released in 1975. My DFA 100/2.8 macro is a heck of a lens; but the K 50/1.2 is in a league by itself -- and not just a f1.2, even at f8 it renders more beautifully than my other lenses.

Improvements in manufacturing techniques do not guarantee better images. They may lower costs, they may reduce imperfections, they may improve the technical performance of a lens; but all these advantages are not important with lenses that already are capable of taking stunning images: and many old lenses (particularly primes between 20mm and 200mm) can in fact produce stunning images. Technical improvements in a lens that is already great are not going to lead to substantially better images.

While improvements in lens making technique are certainly welcome (particularly with long telephotos, zoom lenses, and ultra-wides, where improvements were most needed), I do suspect that there has been an over-emphasis on technique at the expense of the art of making lenses. The better sort of new lenses, particulary of the canikon variety, are all quite excellent; but they are excellent in a generic sort of way. They don't have the character or soul of the best of the older lenses.
08-12-2011, 09:33 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
While improvements in lens making technique are certainly welcome (particularly with long telephotos, zoom lenses, and ultra-wides, where improvements were most needed), I do suspect that there has been an over-emphasis on technique at the expense of the art of making lenses. The better sort of new lenses, particulary of the canikon variety, are all quite excellent; but they are excellent in a generic sort of way. They don't have the character or soul of the best of the older lenses.
Amen. And even not-the-best older lenses have such distinction. Compared to newer zooms at 21mm f/8, my Tokina 21/3.8 at f/8 is different. Compared to newer glass at 50mm f/8, my Meyer Oreston 50/1.8 and CZJ Tessar 50/2.8 (12 iris blades) at f/8 are great (but not in the same class as my K50/1.2 nor planar Yashica ML 50/1.4). And I very much love the flavour of the tiny Enna Tele-Sandmar 100/4.5 -- not better, but distinct, compared to other Hundreds.

An explanation I've read is that too much modern glass is similarly over-corrected, for homogeneous results, specifically to avoid the character (flaws) of older lenses. So we have results that are reproducible across lens lines, with no great individuality. Thus we have tools for different tasks. For mass-produced images, use homogenized glass. For individual visions, use something else.

08-12-2011, 10:41 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Macario Quote
I think the biggest difference will be (if there is) purple fringing and CAs. As the old lenses were not corrected for this, you could have a little to a lot. But you won't know until you try
Right: that's been the most important downside in my experience. Note also that the standard hoods on 'full-frame' lenses are really too short when used on 'crop-sensor' digital cameras: replacing them with longer hoods can give IQ a little boost.
08-13-2011, 06:16 AM   #40
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I think lenses do improve in general (was reading Erwin Putts comparison of the Leica Summilux-R 50mm versions today) but when the older lens was good to start with, the improvement are more to do with corrections for CA, coma, corner performance wide-open, etc.

These often don't matter very much and an old lens can give an excellent image. Hell, I've seen kit zooms win competitions and produce very clean and crisp images. This was in the hands of someone who knows their limitations I guess, someone who surely has more than the kit zoom for the times they need them.

That said, legendary lenses do produce better images in general, everything else being equal. They just don't make one a better photographer.

QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Don't buy a 1.2 for portraits though Daniel
Hey, I've seen some pretty wicked portraits at f1.2 but it's a bit shallow for my taste really. This is as shallow as I would go (try to get this out of a kit zoom!)


Last edited by DanielT74; 08-13-2011 at 06:34 AM.
08-13-2011, 06:56 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
Note also that the standard hoods on 'full-frame' lenses are really too short when used on 'crop-sensor' digital cameras: replacing them with longer hoods can give IQ a little boost.
+1 Right now, (when shooting with my APS-C camera) I'm using a hood designed for an 85mm lens on my 50mm lens. The hood that I'm using on my 85mm is intended for use on a 135mm lens.
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