85mm f1.4 AIS vs. 28-70mm f2.8 test (for Calvin Nguyen)

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by vic_., Apr 16, 2009.

  1. Hi Calvin, Finally I made some time early this morning to do a home test of the lenses we discussed. Since I was delayed, I decided to add a few lenses to the lineup, so here they are:
    - 28-70mm f2.8
    - 85mm f1.4 AIS
    - 50mm f1.2 AIS
    - 90mm f2.0 APO Asph
    - 50mm f1.4 pre-Asph
    - 50mm f1.0 Noctilux
    So here are the samples, 19 pics to follow.
    I didn't have any models available, so I picked random objects that looked ok and had color.
  2. 28-70 at f2.8
  3. Nikon 50mm f1.2 at f1.2
  4. Nikon 50mm f1.2 at f1.2. From afar.
  5. Nikon 50mm f1.2 at f2.8
  6. 85mm f1.4 at 1.4. Close.
  7. 85mm f1.4 at 1.4. Far.
  8. 85mm f1.4 at 2.8. Close.
  9. 85mm f1.4 at 2.8. Far.
  10. Leica 90mm f2.0 at f2.0. Close.
  11. Leica 90mm f2.0 at f2.0. Far.
  12. Leica 50mm f1.4 at f1.4. Close.
  13. Leica 50mm f1.4 at f1.4. Far.
  14. Leica 50mm f1.4 at f2.8. Close.
  15. Leica 50mm f1.4 at f2.8. Far.
  16. Leica 50mm f1.0 Noctilux at f1.0. Close.
  17. Leica 50mm f1.0 Noctilux at f1.0. Far.
  18. Leica 50mm f1.0 Noctilux at f2.8. Close.
  19. Leica 50mm f1.0 Noctilux at f2.8. Far.
  20. That's it Calvin. All the lenses look fine to me. I guess it depends on individual choice. I hope you choose one that you like. Best wishes, Vic
  21. PS. I forgot to add that I used a D200 Nikon body (crop = 1.50) and Leica M8 body (crop = 1.33).
  22. Impressive collection of lenses!
    I don't want to rain on your parade, but IF the test is supposed to be a general lens performance test then it would make the test a bit better if WB would be fixed, exposure would be equal, subject magnification and framing would be equal and there would be detail on the edge of the frame. Now this is a test of bokeh and a rather general contrast comparison (but maybe that was the intention?)
  23. They all look good to me....the comparison is only valid for lenses at the same price points.
  24. That's an insane collection of elite glass, Vic! Thanks so much for this comprehensive shootout. I'll be looking closely at your collection of images for a while.
    How much do I owe you for your time, trouble and expertise?
  25. Any opinions on the quality of the Bokeh?
    The Nikon 50f1.2 @ f1.2 far seems too coherent for 1.2 (comparing the Nikon 50f1.2 @ f1.2 and f2.8 far, the Goya can, lower left of egg, seems about the same readability for both)
    The Leica 50's (1.4 and 1.0) at 2.8 near and far shows much more blur than the Nikon 50f1.2.
    How is Nikon Bokeh versus Leica? They seem about the same to me, maybe Leica has the edge based on the blur of the green palm tree leaves, for any of the Nikon or Leica samples.
  26. Carey, you need to clarify. There's no Nikon f1.2. That's an f1 Noctilux. Also there are no shots taken at f1.2.
    But I'd agree re bokeh.
  27. Calvin, It's not all mine. The truly insane collection is with this gentleman (the link has many pages, with terrific pictures of all kinds of lens tests):
    Now that I've figured out what to do, I should redo the test using a tripod, as I'm not completely steady.
    I have access to a bunch of gear (preparing them for sale for someone else), so let me know what else you want to see in a head-to-head comparison (and at which f-stops):
    Nikon: 45/2.8P (the recent one), 50/1.8, 50/1.2 AIS, 85/1.4 AIS, 105/2.5 AIS (most recent), 80-200/4.5, 400/5.6 (manual non-IF), 17-35/2.8, 28-70/2.8, 18-70/Kit.
    Leica: 21/2.8 Asph, 24/2.8 Asph, 35/1.4 Asph, 35/2.0 Asph, 50/2.8, 50/1.4, 50/1.0, 90/2.8 (2 versions), 90/2.0 APO Asph, 135/4.0 (3 versions).
    Voigtlander: 15/4.5, 21/4.0, 25/4.0, 35/2.8.
  28. Oskar, I agree with you. I just this did quickly as Calvin only wanted a comparison of two lenses (85 vs. 28-70).
    Stephen, you're right. Price is key.
    Carey, the bokeh looks fine to me with most of the lenses, so it's just a question of personal preference.
    Alastair, there is a Nikon 50mm f1.2 AIS. It's back-ordered at B&H.
  29. I miss my Noctilux. I had to sell it for college tuition. What amazes me is how consistent the bokeh is between all the Leica lenses.
  30. Photos taken with the Leica lenses appear sharper and clearer, at least to me.
  31. Vic,
    This is very informative. Thank you for taking the time doing this. This confirms with my own experience with the Nikon 50/1,2 and 85/1,4, that both lenses become very sharp after f2.8. The 50/1,2 has lower resolution, at least, at the Nikon D200 sensor.
    Could you comment on the sensor comparison between D200 and M8? White I will be using film on Leica M body for a long while, I am debating if I should consider upgrading to D700, or getting a used M8. Thanks,
    Kind regards,
  32. Sorry, posting out of my hat. Apologies to all.
  33. I really like these "real world" lens tests, but wouldn't mind seeing some other scenes or portraits as comparisons, too. A lot of work -- and a shame you have to post each pic separately instead of as one thread or review. I think the first shot shows how compact Leica lenses are, even the Noctilux. The Nikon 28-70 looks like a good performer and very versatile. For me, faster speeds would be mostly useful because I could hand hold the camera in lower light -- rather than purely because of the effects of bokeh.
  34. Excellent. Thank you.
  35. CD K, The M8 sensor is better than the D200. There is no contest. However, the D700 is better than the M8. At the end of the day it's about what you wish to do, what makes you happy, and stays within the budget.
    The M8 is a small package compared to a DSLR, something to consider, and IMO Leica-M glass is as good or better than Nikon and Canon-L glass. At the moment, prices for new ones are low because Leica is trying to sell all their inventory, so that people start buying the M8.2. Once the new M8's are all sold, the price of used ones should increase. The sensor for the M8 and M8.2 is exactly the same, so you're not making any compromises in terms of picture quality in getting the M8.
    Best of luck with your choices!
  36. Alastair, I regret almost 50% of what I post, and unfortunately, there is no delete or edit function on this website, so I have to live with my nonsense of the past.
    David, I too look upon fast glass as primarily something that enables hand-held low light usage, rather than for the bokeh effects.
    Paul, You're welcome!
  37. PS. I only have one DX lens, and prefer lenses with aperture rings, as then I can use them on older film cameras. I'm not a pro, so can make such a choice. I got the 17-35 and the 28-70 from someone who was upgrading to the 14-24 and 24-70, and frankly, haven't used the lenses much, as they're rather heavy to carry around all day. They should be on sale shortly for a good price, once I get my act together.
  38. I decided on Nikkor's king of bokeh - the 85mm F1.4 - a few days ago and will post early results in my portfolio soon.
    Thanks again, Vic. You da man!
  39. The Leica's don't seem any sharper to me than the Nikons. I base this on the dimpled textures of the egg (bottom left in stand), in close shots. They all seemed about the same in sharpness.

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