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06-29-2009, 03:59 AM   #1
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Popular Photography Tests 32 Normal Lenses - 1977

Scans of the article and test results are here:

Manual Focus Lenses :: View topic - 1977 Pop Photo Normal Lens tests (32 of them)

Pentax lenses tested: SMC Pentax 50mm f/1.2, SMC Pentax 50mm f/1.4, SMC Pentax 55mm f/1.8, SMC Pentax Macro 50mm f/4.

These would be the K lenses as they have the 52mm filter size. This makes the tests even more interesting to me.

I'll include a reduced size copy of the Pentax page here.

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06-29-2009, 06:51 AM   #2
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Too small to actually read...
06-29-2009, 06:54 AM   #3
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Yes, I'm leery of doing my usual thing of loading these onto flicr -- if you follow the link to mflenses, you can download large size files of these - unfortunately they were compressed into a .rar file which I was able to decompress at home, but not at work using winzip.
06-29-2009, 07:56 AM   #4
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Some patterns to note -

the 1.2 is low to middling relative to its peers in %contrast at 50mm pair lines... all the non-macros wide open are at the soft end of their peer groups. The 55/1.8 shows very even resolution across the frame, especially at f/4 and 5.6, and leads the pack at the edge. The macro has surprising fall off at the edges - bottom of the peer group in fact, but leads the group in center. But all the lenses are class leaders in flare resistance thanks to the SMC.

The other brands in this test: Canon, Konica, Leica range finder, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus, Vivitar.

Note - often lenses at the top of the pile e.g. in the center are not anywhere near as good towards the edges. And vice versa. I don't think there was a single lens that was at the top of the bar in every respect. This is one of the variables in lens performance.

The other info - coma, astigmatism etc - are also important to the character of a lens... the f/stops mentioned are the 'critical' stops - where the effect reaches imperceptable limits.

If the current arrangement doesn't work I'll have to figure out a better way to present the info.

06-29-2009, 08:37 AM   #5
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Thanks for posting this. I have often been tempted to go to the library and find the old lens and camera reviews. There is so much information out there that has not yet made it into the digital realm.

Steve
07-02-2009, 07:40 AM   #6
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I cut and pasted the lenses in the same category together - and did post these on flicr. Click on the image for a large (readable) size.

50mm f/1.8 lenses, and 50mm macros


07-03-2009, 03:17 AM   #7
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Thanks for doing this Nester.

Popular and Modern Photography did hundreds of such tests on various lenses in the 70-s, 80s and 90s. Much of it has yet to make it's way onto the net and is hopefully archived somewhere. Good to see some of it is getting out there again.

Tom G
07-04-2009, 06:08 AM   #8
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07-04-2009, 06:33 AM   #9
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Very interesting. Thanks Nesster for doing this.

NaCl( thinking about a 55 f1.8 )H2O
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