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12-20-2015, 03:19 AM   #16

Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,857
QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
I have the DA 50 and the m50/1.4. Of course, the m50 is about 30 years older (bought new).

The m50 is significantly sharper across the frame at f/2.8, but they are probably close at the center of frame (again center isn't too important, IMHO). The DA 50 is sharp in the center at the middle apertures, has higher micro-contrast, less CA. They just look different. By the way, almost no difference in flare control (both very good), and the coatings really aren't all that different overall. In other words, the test bears out my experience. You must have had a bad sample. At the same time, people often perceive greater sharpness as a result of high micro-contrast. On the DA 50, that added contrast can actually produce a bit of harshness at the transition away from totally sharp (not bokeh which is completely OOF rendering).

Bottom line, they provide different looks, and the debate about sharpness is quite complex.

SMC coating technology did not progress much at all from the late 1970s to the introduction of HD. And even then, the HD change isn't dramatic in the majority of lenses (the DA 21 appears to be the exception, but the aperture also changed on that lens which contributed to smoother bokeh).
I don't really really agree on the coating thing. Even if it had a single marketing name, there was lot of coating iterations and I clearly see the difference in performance for flare, colors and rendering.

The recent SMC and the HD are very constrasty, very resistant to flare and the colors are also colder. This is for a reason you find the DA50 more constrasty. If you also read the FA50 review it is said to flare at large apperture while the DA50 is said to be very resistant to flare.

I agree that sharpness is a complex thing that include contrast/micro contrast and the way things are rendered overall. It is a different concept than resolution that most review mesures with MTF.

Resolution measure the very fine detail one going to see in a huge print or on a 100% crop. Contrast/Micro contrast does the same to me but at lower frequencies and is more about the overall photo look that you can see on a small/medium sized print or at full screen.

You need resolution for cropping or printing huge. You need contrast/micro contrast in all pictures.

12-21-2015, 05:05 PM   #17
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It looks like I'll be holding off on the 35mm for now. I was mostly just curious how it held up against my 50's so I could have a point of reference. When the time comes, I think I'll go with the DA 35.

Thanks OSV, Malinku, Nicolas, and Jim for the extensive information.

Once again, I'm impressed by the quality and volume of responses I've received. Thanks everyone.

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