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07-21-2021, 11:37 AM   #1
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My first lens comparison shots - 18-55 kit lens vs. 50mm m-50mm macro lens

Just playing around - a penny for your thoughts. My first lens comparison shots - smc Pentax DA L 18-55 kit lens vs. Asahi Pentax m-50mm macro f4 lens (on tripod)
Click the right/left arrow button to quickly compare the two (once you're at the site and looking at either image). Click twice in middle of either image to zoom in...


The kit smc Pentax DA L 18-55 lens set to f11 and as close to 50mm as I could get it, using aperture priority :
smc Pentax DA L 18-55mm (set to 50mm) set to f11 | smc Penta? | Flickr

The Asahi Pentax m-50mm macro f4 lens set to f11 and using the green button for exposure:
Asahi Pentax m-50mm macro f4 (manually set to f11) | Flickr


note: In the middle of image(s) is a distant flag with a cardinal on it.... Also, camera used is the k-s2. Also, you can use left/right arrow keys to flip between 2 images.


Last edited by Michael Piziak; 07-21-2021 at 03:28 PM.
07-21-2021, 01:05 PM   #2
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Both are good shots, in my opinion. But, since you pointed out the cardinal, it looks like the resolution of that part of the picture is better in the Asahi Pentax M-50.

I'd try some more test comparisons under less hazy conditions.

Mike
07-21-2021, 01:13 PM   #3
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It's a little difficult to tell since the exposures are so different. Looking at the light brown fence, the wood sticking out at an angle from behind the shed, and the bushes in front of the shed, IMO the Pentax-M 50mm Macro image is much sharper, as you would expect. On the 18-55mm image the flag looks like it has some sort of red blob on it. On the 50mm Macro image you can clearly make out that it is a cardinal. Sharpness isn't everything of course.

Last edited by Apet-Sure; 07-21-2021 at 01:19 PM.
07-21-2021, 03:13 PM   #4
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As I only browse on my mobile phone at the moment I can't watch your comparison in a reasonable quality, but as I own both lenses too I suspect the M 50mm f4 Macro lens blows the zoom out of the water.

The only comparison where the kit lens stands a chance are night shots with artificial lights in it (long exposures on a tripod), because of the improved lens coatings.

07-21-2021, 03:17 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by mlynch53 Quote
Both are good shots, in my opinion. But, since you pointed out the cardinal, it looks like the resolution of that part of the picture is better in the Asahi Pentax M-50.

I'd try some more test comparisons under less hazy conditions.

Mike
Thanks for your reply. Yes, it was hazy when I took the pics. I expected the Asahi lens to be better - I would have been surprised if it was not.

---------- Post added 07-21-21 at 03:20 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Apet-Sure Quote
It's a little difficult to tell since the exposures are so different. Looking at the light brown fence, the wood sticking out at an angle from behind the shed, and the bushes in front of the shed, IMO the Pentax-M 50mm Macro image is much sharper, as you would expect. On the 18-55mm image the flag looks like it has some sort of red blob on it. On the 50mm Macro image you can clearly make out that it is a cardinal. Sharpness isn't everything of course.
Thanks for your reply also. I will take a look at the wood and the bushes. And as I said previously, I would have been surprised if the Asahi didn't out perform the kit lens. I was more or less playing around. I have never compared lens before. I was also interested in knowing if there was something I could have done differently, to make the comparison between the two lens on the most equal playing ground as possible. And yes, sharpness isn't everything, but it does mean a lot (to me) and to a lot of other people I think.

---------- Post added 07-21-21 at 03:21 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by othar Quote
As I only browse on my mobile phone at the moment I can't watch your comparison in a reasonable quality, but as I own both lenses too I suspect the M 50mm f4 Macro lens blows the zoom out of the water.

The only comparison where the kit lens stands a chance are night shots with artificial lights in it (long exposures on a tripod), because of the improved lens coatings.
Yes, I agree with you and others, which is I'd be surprised if the Asahi didn't blow the kit lens out of the water. Also, good point about the kit lens having lens coatings. Does the Asahi lens have any coating(s) at all - ?
07-21-2021, 03:45 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
Yes, I agree with you and others, which is I'd be surprised if the Asahi didn't blow the kit lens out of the water. Also, good point about the kit lens having lens coatings. Does the Asahi lens have any coating(s) at all - ?
If I remember correctly the full name of the lens is SMC Pentax-M Macro 1:4 50mm, therefore it has SMC coating (like the DA-L 18-55mm lens) but I think the SMC formula evolved over the years.
Analog film is also not as reflective as the sensor, this also had some effects on lens design.
07-21-2021, 03:47 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
Just playing around - a penny for your thoughts. My first lens comparison shots - smc Pentax DA L 18-55 kit lens vs. Asahi Pentax m-50mm macro f4 lens (on tripod)

You are inspiring me to do some lenses comparison too.

07-21-2021, 03:53 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by othar Quote
If I remember correctly the full name of the lens is SMC Pentax-M Macro 1:4 50mm, therefore it has SMC coating (like the DA-L 18-55mm lens) but I think the SMC formula evolved over the years.
Analog film is also not as reflective as the sensor, this also had some effects on lens design.
Yes, you are correct, as I just looked at the front of the M-50mm lens....

Also, interesting what you say about film vs digital sensor!

---------- Post added 07-21-21 at 03:55 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by tokyoscape Quote
You are inspiring me to do some lenses comparison too.
Kewl!
Please do and post in this forum - it's kinda fun.

I think I'll test my SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm lens against my SMC Asahi Pentax m100mm macro f4 lens next, testing both at 100mm. Of course, we would expect the Asahi prime lens to be sharper here also....And of course, macro lens tend to be sharp....

---------- Post added 07-21-21 at 04:01 PM ----------

Back to these two lens, and of course, I know very little about testing lens against each other and putting them on a level playing field (to be compared).

Taking a look at the bell on the far right, and clicking the image twice for maximum zoom (via flickr), the bell certainly looks more realistic, in detail and such, with the Asahi lens....

---------- Post added 07-21-21 at 04:43 PM ----------


Last edited by Michael Piziak; 07-21-2021 at 05:56 PM.
07-21-2021, 05:07 PM   #9
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It's a bit closer than I expected. I did note that the highlights were more blown out on the kit lens though. Both are surprisingly sharp. Great idea though!
07-21-2021, 05:51 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by peggers Quote
It's a bit closer than I expected. I did note that the highlights were more blown out on the kit lens though. Both are surprisingly sharp. Great idea though!
Thanks for your observation. Do you contribute the highlights blown out contributed to the lens or certain selections in camera - ? Most likely because the kit lens can't resolve the image as well, right - ?


Before I do a comparison of the 55-300 to the macro 100, does anyone think I should do anything different to level the playing field for the comparison ?

---------- Post added 07-21-21 at 06:38 PM ----------

Not that this does anything for a proper comparison, but I did an "auto-levels" in Gimp on both images - maybe it clears up some of the haze:

18-55 kit lens:

kitlens18-55 | Michael Piziak | Flickr

&

Asahi Pentax macro lens:

asahipentaxmacrof4 | Michael Piziak | Flickr

Last edited by Michael Piziak; 07-21-2021 at 05:57 PM.
07-21-2021, 06:48 PM   #11
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Agree that the 50mm is better, but also what I would expect. Looking at the edges, it is more apparent. Also in keeping with what I'd expect. The zoom isn't bad though. Quite usable.
07-21-2021, 07:36 PM   #12
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The 18-55 kit (non-wr) lens is actually very good. I had 3 of them in different iterations. The WR version however is a different story. I had 2 of those and both are not sharp at all.
07-21-2021, 09:42 PM   #13
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The 18-55 is a good lens - in my opinion anyway. The 50/f4 macro appears better on these shots, but I would expect it to be. The 18-55 gets criticised because it is a kit lens and some people seem to assume it can't perform. f11 does level the playing field somewhat..
07-22-2021, 12:17 AM   #14
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If comparing lenses you normally want to compare multiple apertures. From wide open to f/11.
On APS-C cameras many lenses perform best on larger aperture than f/11, but which aperture that it performs best will vary from lens to lens.

Also using base iSO is preferred, so noise or noise reduction does not limit IQ.
It is also good to use a tripod to get the same framing and metering on all the shots and you do not risk getting camera shake.
07-22-2021, 03:13 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mlynch53 Quote
Both are good shots, in my opinion. But, since you pointed out the cardinal, it looks like the resolution of that part of the picture is better in the Asahi Pentax M-50.

I'd try some more test comparisons under less hazy conditions.

Mike
I'll agree with that. Less hazy conditions should provide more accurate and comparable results. Nevertheless I quite like the contrast of the 50mm
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