Casual Bokeh Comparisons

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by frederick_muller, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. I thought I would see what kind of results might be had from the Canon FD 85mm f1.2L, compared to the 85mm f.14 Nikkor AIS and a couple of other lenses. Nothing scientific, just a bit of a magical mystery tour ...
  2. Portrait of a Woman, by Francesco Laurana, V&A. London, April 2007. Canon F-1N and 85mm f1.2 L on Superia 400. Ippolita Maria Sforza, Queen of Naples. 3 busts - Frick Collection, NY; Nat Gallery, Washington DC, a third in Berlin, destroyed in 1945.
  3. Here's the same subject, shot with the 85mm f1.4 AIS Nikkor ...
  4. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    Do you remember at what aperture these were shot at?
  5. Hi Mark. The Nikkors were wide open at f1.4. The Canon 85mm f1.2 L shots were stopped down to f1.4.
  6. Monument to Ernst, Duke of Saxony, Magdeburg Cathedral, V&A. London, May 2007. Canon F-1N and FD 85mm f1.2 L at f1.4 on Superia 400.
  7. Another of the bust by Laurana ...
  8. Twinning ....
  9. Detail of Altarpiece by Hans Brugemann, Schleswig Cathedral. V&A, London, April 2007. Nikon F2 and 85mm f1.4 Nikkor AIS on Superia 400.
  10. Without having highlights in the background there are not many differences in the bokeh that I can see here. In the V&S photos, more deatails in the background can be seen with the Nikkor. The bokeh is more muted with the Canon. Maybe there is a difference in light transmission between these two lenses or a difference in true exposure times.
  11. Raid, I agree. I find the two lenses both provide pleasing bokeh. The Canon seems sharper to me, however.
  12. Here's one shot with a Tessar design ...
  13. There was a post awhile back about Canon lens having a special softer look. I guess it's the contrast on lenses from other camera makers.

    I like the look of the Canon fd lens. The Nikon lens has more contrast. Canon fd just looks better.

    Nice job Federick.

  14. Madona, by Michelangelo, V&A. London, April 2007. Canon F-1N and 85mm f1.2 L on Superia 400. Original in the church of Notre Dame in Bruges, Belgium. This is not a bokeh shot, but it is one of the reasons I love the Canon 85mm f1.2 L on an F-1.
  15. Thanks Rick. Differences are subtle, but noticable. Here is a shot from another old Canon lens, not particularly known for its sharpness, but I like its up-close properties and out-of-focus rendition.
  16. Its kind of hard to tell. Nice shots, intersting subjects (colour me jelous - wish I was taking those!), but in the pictures with colour removed the background looks like typical underexposed 400 speed consumer C41 film. Judging from your skill as a photographer, I doubt that is the case - I am assuming that these are some kind of scanning artifacts or noise that are just that much more apparent in the colourless versions, and they make the bokeh really hard to judge. And that`s aside from the fact that "bokeh" is one of the most subjective things people tend to discuss in the context of photography.:)
    The only thing I can conclude based on this thread is that you are a lucky man who gets to spend time in beautiful and intersting places with some very enviable glass hanging from your cameras!
  17. Frederick,
    This thread made me take out my Canon 85mm/1.2L today. I don't have any other comparable lens except maybe the Zeiss 85mm/1.4 for the Rolleiflex, but it has a broken and unrepairable aperture mechanism and is set at 1.4 for all times. Instead, I shot also with a Canon 50mm/1.2l and a Canon 50mm/3.5 macro.
  18. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    Canon is said to have worked VERY hard to get the range of FD lenses to have very similar contrast. Which in my experience while there is some very slight variations in my lens collection from 17mm to 500mm I think they came very close to having a true system wide contrast level. Which for a Pro (not that I'm one) is an advantage.

    For instance if you were shooting for a magazine layout and having to switch between 3-4 different focal lengths if each had a different contrast level getting all the shots to appear as one homogeneous presentation would add to the work.

    For the advanced amateur not having to keep track of how a lens will look compared to another makes things a little simpler.
  19. Raid, the Canon 50mm f3.5 Breech-Lock Macro was for years my normal lens on the old F-1. Back in 1975 Modern Photography lens tested every piece of glass on the market and the Macro came up the sharpest right across the board. If one can live with f3.5, it's still an awesomely sharp lens. The Canon 85mm f1.2 L blows me away with its sharpness. I've seen some of your beach-scapes made with the Canon 85 ... they are very nice, and influenced me to go out and buy one. Prior to that, I had made heavy use of the older Canon 85mm f1.8 Breech Lock.
  20. Raid, it would be interesting to try out the 85mm f1.4 Zeiss ZF lens. I am wondering if that is closer to the Canon in performance. To my mind, the Canon 85mm f1.2 beats the Nikkor AIS on sharpness.
  21. Frederick,

    Having the same contrast level also excludes having a different contrast from different FD lenses. I guess, it depends what you are after. I have the Canon 100mm/4 macro since many years and I have just recently added the 50mm macro at a ridiculously low cost from KEH. The lens looks like new, and it was sold as UGLY.

    I only have the old Zeiss PLanar 85mm/1.4.Is this the one you refer to?


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