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05-31-2016, 12:06 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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"Thirteen" 50mm lenses comparatively tested on my new Pentax K1 camera

Tomorrow my new K1 camera will arrive.

I have multiple 50mm, 85mm, and 135mm lenses that I intend to do comparative tests on with this new Pentax K1 camera. My first testing series with be with my 50mm lenses.

I have ten 50mm K mount and M42 mount lenses (Pentax, Zeiss, third party, East German, Russian, etc.). Also, I will test my two 55mm f/1.2 lenses. Further, I may decide to test my Pentax 60-250mm lens at 60mm against this group.

The testing I was thinking of doing would be done on a tripod, manual exposure determined with light meter, manual focusing using live-view and a loupe, no filter on lenses, 2-second delayed shutter actuation, all done in rapid succession at the same time to minimize the effects of changing sunlight. All tests will be done outside using my regular landscape testing locations.

I plan to shoot all of the lenses on three different subjects (close as possible, medium distance, and far). I thought I'd shoot each lens with the aperture: wide open, one full stop closed down from wide open, f/ 4, f/8, completely closed, and two full stops opened up from totally closed.

All that I'm planning to do in post is: resizing and making the 100% crop. I could apply a slight amount of sharpening to each image if you think it's a good idea. I will not be shooting in the pixel shift mode during these tests. Should I do jpg or RAW format?

After the shooting has been completed, I will post both full frame photos and 100% crops to this blog article for your review (what are the maximum image dimensions and file size that I can upload here?). Also, I will include my comments as to my favorite lenses and which one are "dogs" in terms of: color rendering, sharpness, contrast, bokeh, and "3D like subject isolation".

I'm not a professional lens reviewer and am doing this primarily for my own information, but thought that you all here might also be interested in seeing my results.

I welcome any suggestions that you might have for me before I begin my tests. I would hope that with some input from the "lens testing experts" here I might do a better job at my testing and realize better results.

05-31-2016, 12:17 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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Take multiple shots (say 5 or so) of each variation of lens/aperture, refocusing between each take and picking the best of each variation. That allows you to control for inconsistent focus between changes. Even if stuff is in focus, you could be closer to further from the front of the in-focus DOF. I'd post everything with zero sharpening. Shoot RAW with the same developing settings for each lens. For modern lenses, make sure any lens correction profiles are disabled.

The image compression algorithms on this site are not great. I'd post to a dedicated image sharing site like flickr and link to full size samples there.

Another interesting test might be to use the same lenses to shoot a chart under controlled lighting conditions and compare controlled-performance vs. in the field.
05-31-2016, 12:29 PM   #3
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That's a good methodical plan IMO Fenwoodian - look forward to seeing some results. Suggest you post thumbnails's here linked to images on eg flickr or a server.
05-31-2016, 12:51 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
Tomorrow my new K1 camera will arrive.

I have multiple 50mm, 85mm, and 135mm lenses that I intend to do comparative tests on with this new Pentax K1 camera. My first testing series with be with my 50mm lenses.

I have ten 50mm K mount and M42 mount lenses (Pentax, Zeiss, third party, East German, Russian, etc.). Also, I will test my two 55mm f/1.2 lenses. Further, I may decide to test my Pentax 60-250mm lens at 60mm against this group.

The testing I was thinking of doing would be done on a tripod, manual exposure determined with light meter, manual focusing using live-view and a loupe, no filter on lenses, 2-second delayed shutter actuation, all done in rapid succession at the same time to minimize the effects of changing sunlight. All tests will be done outside using my regular landscape testing locations.

I plan to shoot all of the lenses on three different subjects (close as possible, medium distance, and far). I thought I'd shoot each lens with the aperture: wide open, one full stop closed down from wide open, f/ 4, f/8, completely closed, and two full stops opened up from totally closed.

All that I'm planning to do in post is: resizing and making the 100% crop. I could apply a slight amount of sharpening to each image if you think it's a good idea. I will not be shooting in the pixel shift mode during these tests. Should I do jpg or RAW format?

After the shooting has been completed, I will post both full frame photos and 100% crops to this blog article for your review (what are the maximum image dimensions and file size that I can upload here?). Also, I will include my comments as to my favorite lenses and which one are "dogs" in terms of: color rendering, sharpness, contrast, bokeh, and "3D like subject isolation".

I'm not a professional lens reviewer and am doing this primarily for my own information, but thought that you all here might also be interested in seeing my results.

I welcome any suggestions that you might have for me before I begin my tests. I would hope that with some input from the "lens testing experts" here I might do a better job at my testing and realize better results.
Thank you for your efforts. I'm looking forward to seeing your findings.

05-31-2016, 01:28 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
That's a good methodical plan IMO Fenwoodian - look forward to seeing some results. Suggest you post thumbnails's here linked to images on eg flickr or a server.
Sorry, can only post here as I don't do Flickr.
05-31-2016, 02:36 PM   #6
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Shoot a lot of sky, like the Pentax lens test site does, so people can see vignetting levels.

Plus I see no mention of you using a hood on your lenses during tests. I recommend you use on on each lens for best optical results, especially those fast lenses wide open.

Another suggestion: shoot in FF mode, then crop. That could be interesting. Not that I expect many people would bother shooting crop mode for 50/55mm lenses, but it will test centre sharpness.
05-31-2016, 02:51 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I just went ahead and set up a Flickr account.

Here's the first image that I posted - https://www.flickr.com/photos/72309835@N02/26775821113/in/album-72157668731999162/

As I progress with this little 50mm on K1 test I'll make appropriate albums in my Flickr acct, and I'll post the test photos in these albums. I'll update this blog article as new photos are posted to my Flickr
05-31-2016, 03:26 PM   #8
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if you do, apply sharpening please make it minimal and exactly samely identical across the board.

05-31-2016, 04:18 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
...

As I progress with this little 50mm on K1 test I'll make appropriate albums in my Flickr acct, and I'll post the test photos in these albums. I'll update this blog article as new photos are posted to my Flickr
Thank you! I look forward to your image results.

05-31-2016, 04:41 PM   #10
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Thanks, for the great effort.
05-31-2016, 05:47 PM - 1 Like   #11
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I've now created seven "albums" in my Flickr for each of the various tests that I will be undertaking.

I've decided to add another category called "Bokeh" to post test results aimed at evaluating the 50mm lenses' bokeh.

Can't wait to begin my testing. The camera arrives tomorrow, while I've previously owned Pentax K-01, K3 and K3ii cameras I expect that it will take me a couple of days to review the K1 manual, get to know it, and set it up. I expect testing should commence this weekend.

I heard from "dcshooter". It sounds like he's going to be sending me a bunch of his 50mm lens for inclusion in this 50mm K1 test. Should be fun, don't have a clue who'll come out on top!
05-31-2016, 06:03 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
I've now created seven "albums" in my Flickr for each of the various tests that I will be undertaking.

I've decided to add another category called "Bokeh" to post test results aimed at evaluating the 50mm lenses' bokeh.

Can't wait to begin my testing. The camera arrives tomorrow, while I've previously owned Pentax K-01, K3 and K3ii cameras I expect that it will take me a couple of days to review the K1 manual, get to know it, and set it up. I expect testing should commence this weekend.

I heard from "dcshooter". It sounds like he's going to be sending me a bunch of his 50mm lens for inclusion in this 50mm K1 test. Should be fun, don't have a clue who'll come out on top!
Expanding the tests to include bokeh is a great idea, and thank you to dcshooter for the additional lenses.

Sounds like this is going to be good!
05-31-2016, 06:06 PM   #13
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Here's a list of the lenses that I own and will be testing:
Helios 44-2 58/2; Helios 50/1.7; Voigtlander Color-Ultron 50/1.8; SMC Pentax-D FA 50/2.8 Macro; SMC Pentax-A 50/1.4; Zeiss ZF 50/1.4; Zeiss 50/1.4 Pancolar; Auto Chinon MC 50/1.7; Steinheil Munchen Cassar S 50/2.8; MC Zenitar M2S 50/2 Zenit; Revuenon 55/1.2; Cosina 55/1.2; and Pentax 60-250 at 60mm
05-31-2016, 06:13 PM   #14
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Pity no SMC M 50 f1.7 is available to you. Probably the largest selling Pentax 50 ever made, and an excellent performer.
05-31-2016, 07:55 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Pity no SMC M 50 f1.7 is available to you. Probably the largest selling Pentax 50 ever made, and an excellent performer.
I can only test those lenses that I have. Obviously there will be many 50mm ish lenses that I will not be able to test because I don't own them.

If you own this lens and feel strongly about wanting it tested, feel free to do it yourself and post the results here - or mail it to me for inclusion in my test...

Last edited by Fenwoodian; 05-31-2016 at 08:07 PM.
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