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03-09-2009, 12:24 PM   #16
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Lets get really picky then; the funny thing about light, even Sun light, it is not consistant. Get all 3 lenses on different cameras and on tripods. Then fire at the same time so the light capture is more accurate. Now you can check shadows, contrast, sharpness, etc.

Of course, I'm kidding (not about the Sun's light, just the 3 cameras) so how accurate do we need to be? Personally, like I said, the $700 difference in IQ is not there. As for build quality, sure the DA* and Voigtlander is better but how rugged do you need a lens to be? I'm sure there are many FA 50s that are working since 91, thats 18 years ago!

03-09-2009, 11:56 PM   #17
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The three DSLRs do not solve the problem completely. They will not catch exactly the same scene, making a comparison also difficult...

I finally decided to keep the DA*55. It performs better than the FA50 between f/1.4 and f/2.8, and the weathersealing is quite important for me.
03-10-2009, 12:12 AM   #18
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DA* 55 looks sharpest compared to the other two, especially at wider aperture.
03-10-2009, 12:17 AM   #19
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Yes, from f/1.4 to 2.8, this DA*55 is the sharpest, above f4, all three lenses are about the same, except for the bokeh where the Voigtlander produces the smoothest ones.

03-10-2009, 12:21 AM   #20
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sadly im a junky for sharp pictures (damn you da 35 for beeing so sharp)
03-10-2009, 01:58 AM   #21
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I remember a canon photographer testing the Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II on full frame 1DMKII against a Cannon 50mm f/1.4. Apetures f/1.4 to f/4 the nokton was a good 20L/PPM ahead of the canon in the corners in every frame they were both similar (with the nokton being more contrasty) from f/5.6 to f/8 and beyond.
03-10-2009, 02:31 AM   #22
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After reading this and other posts on the DA 55 I'm coming to the conclusion that it is a specialized niche glass.

If you are dedicated available light shooter and really think you "need" that marginal improvement at the widest apertures go for it.

Otherwise I think most folks won't really see that much real world difference between it and many other good quality lens' of comparable FL.

For low light work I use my FA 35 and I doubt the DA 55 would make all that much difference, ignoring the difference in FL, to me at least. At f/2 I wouldn't be surprised to find the difference between the FA 35 and the DA 55 would be only academic and that for this kind of shooting I would prefer the shorter FL in any case.

Last edited by wildman; 03-10-2009 at 02:44 AM.
03-10-2009, 02:41 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by ajuett Quote
As for build quality, sure the DA* and Voigtlander is better but how rugged do you need a lens to be? I'm sure there are many FA 50s that are working since 91, thats 18 years ago!
I've been into photography since the mid 1950s and I'm not easy on my gear and I have never had a lens fail on me.

03-10-2009, 02:47 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
For low light work I use my FA 35 and I doubt the DA 55 would make all that much difference, ignoring the difference in FL, to me at least. At f/2 I wouldn't be surprised to find the difference between the FA 35 and the DA 55 would be only academic and that for this kind of shooting I would prefer the shorter FL in any case.
You might ignore the FL, but the bokeh will be quite difference between 55 and 35. You will be much better able to isolate the subject from the background with the 55.
03-10-2009, 03:04 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
After reading this and other posts on the DA 55 I'm coming to the conclusion that it is a specialized niche glass.
Yes, that niche is portraiture, not of birds however. And portraiture in the rain, perhaps. ...with the intent to produce large high quality prints. Being closer to "normal" on a cropped sensor, DA* 30--scrapped for now--would've been more versatile.
03-10-2009, 03:17 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by tcom Quote
I asked in my usual shop if I could have a DA*55 for testing for a few days, and I was able to pick it up on friday. I tried to compare this lens to the FA50 and Nokton 58/1.4 SLII.
Thanks a lot. Great series.

AFAIC, the DA 55 is the sharpness champ and the Nokton is the bokeh champ. But the FA 50 sits in there very comfortably and is the "bang for buck"-champ.

As to whether the price difference is justified by the IQ difference, that is a very personal decision. It is the law of diminishing returns that you have to pay a lot to get very little towards top end performance but for some people the small difference is worth it (and may even pay off professionally).

Also, I'd say the IQ difference between the DA 55 and the FA 50 is not small at all when it comes to small f-ratios and corner performance.
03-10-2009, 03:31 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by tcom Quote
You might ignore the FL, but the bokeh will be quite difference between 55 and 35. You will be much better able to isolate the subject from the background with the 55.
I agree - if that's what you want to do ( isolate the subject from the background).

For certain kinds of shots a 55mm would be an advantage and for certain kinds of shots a 35mm would be an advantage. But it's not a matter of better or worse just different. The comparatively narrower DOF between a 55m and a 35mm can be as much an advantage as a disadvantage it just depends on what you are trying to do.

Speaking only for myself I find a 35mm a more "natural" and "normal" view than the so-called "normal" 50-60mm glass which often has too extreme a narrow DOF at wide apertures even when I do want some background out of focus. After all first you have to get all of the main subject into focus before you can start worrying about what the background is doing. But this is a topic for another thread.
03-11-2009, 07:39 AM   #28
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good work dominique! you're so lucky to live in switzerland!
03-11-2009, 07:58 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
I've been into photography since the mid 1950s and I'm not easy on my gear and I have never had a lens fail on me.
For $200 (FA50) I won't worry as much about knocking it around as a $900 (DA*55) lens. 4 could go on me and I'd still be ahead of the game. I'm not like that however, I'm pretty careful about what conditions I bring my camera into.
03-11-2009, 11:01 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
Yes, that niche is portraiture, .... portraiture in the rain, perhaps. ...

Voila!

DA*55@f2


Today in munich, it was very rainy.

Rainer

Last edited by TKH; 03-11-2009 at 11:30 AM.
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