Ultra-fast 50mm Lenses

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by pensacolaphoto, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. I am quite thrilled to have the chance to try out several ultra-fast 50mm
    lenses. In particular, I am comparing the Canon 50mm/0.95 to the Canon
    50mm/1.2, and then compare those two lenses to the Nikkor 50mm/1.1 and the
    Noctilux 50mm/1.0.

    The Canon 50mm/0.95 is amazingly good wide open, with rather weird but
    pleasing bokeh effects for the highlights. The Canon 50mm/1.2 is widely used
    and is known for its sharpness after 1.4.

    I am now trying out the rare Nikkor 50mm/1.1. It is smaller than the Canon
    50mm/0.95. I am using a Nikon S2 with the Nikkor lens and a Canon 7s with the
    Canon lens. I find focusing very easy with the S2. Focusing the 0.95 lens wide
    open requires good eye sight and/or some light present on the subject of focus.

    Today, I learned that I will soon receive a Noctilux to try out.
    What a great try-out of fast lenses!

    I will keep you posted once I have some results.

    Raid
     
  2. I just can not wait until your results arrive!
     
  3. Raid

    Any possibility of using the Leica 50 / 1.2 Noct in the test ?
     
  4. I love my Canon 50 f/1.2. People like the way it makes them look.
     
  5. Hello Raid

    It is very nice of you to carry out these investigative comparisons of various fast lenses, but these are very subjective tests and the results could mislead people. To carry out very objective and scientific test you will need to work under lab conditions with control over all variables. We must not loose the sight of the fact that your tests are going to be one man's opinion and the reliability would be far from perfect. However, as I said it good of you to do this and please keep us posted.I look forward to seeing results. Thank you.
     
  6. Afzal

    Raid is only saying he's got the chance to try out these lenses and is sharing his excitement for the opportunity to do so. He's not claiming to be doing scientific tests. Your comment about misleading people is an insult to people's intelligence. It's like when you buy a packet of peanuts which has the warning on the pack saying "May contain Nuts"!! I think people can work that out for themselves.
     
  7. Hello Raid!

    I am missing in your collection of ultra-fast lenses, the very rare and expensive "jubilee edition" of the ZEISS/CONTAX PLANAR 1,2/55mm.

    I had chance, a couple years ago, at the ZEISS factory at Oberkochen/Germany, to shot with this super lens, from the balcony of the ZEISS headquaters building, with full f/stop 1.2. The combination, the heavy lens, with the heavy CONTAX RTS III body, and the excellent results, where very impressive. Unfortunately, I cannot afford the lens. It's now an very rare collector's item. Only 1,000 pieces have left the ZEISS plant in Oberkochen.

    Regards
     
  8. Imran: I am receiving several lenses as loaners by some kind people on RFF. I have no way for getting any other fast lenses other than people reading the threads on the comparisons and then sending me an emailor pm with an offer to try out their lenses.

    <br><br>

    "Any possibility of using the Leica 50 / 1.2 Noct in the test ?" <br><br>

    Afzal: I started my thread with a disclaimer, and I am now more carefully using the words "lens comparisons" and not "scientifc tests". I am an amateur photographer who is interested in comparing 50mm lenses for portrait use or similar applications. This is not a controlled lab test for a few lenses. The feedback from most viewers of the results were encouraging. I am not a lens salesman nor do I try to state my own conclusions on my comparisons. I always say that I want the viewers to reach their own conclusions. Comments are always welcome. <br><br>

    "It is very nice of you to carry out these investigative comparisons of various fast lenses, but these are very subjective tests and the results could mislead people. To carry out very objective and scientific test you will need to work under lab conditions with control over all variables. We must not loose the sight of the fact that your tests are going to be one man's opinion and the reliability would be far from perfect. However, as I said it good of you to do this and please keep us posted.I look forward to seeing results. Thank you." <br><br>



    Wolf Rainer: As I said above, I depend on my own lenses and on lenses donated by some people for the lens comparisons. These people not only send me their lenses and cameras, they also include payment for insured return shipping. I do not have this particular Zeiss lens,and I wish I had it. <br> <br>


    "I am missing in your collection of ultra-fast lenses, the very rare and expensive "jubilee edition" of the ZEISS/CONTAX PLANAR 1,2/55mm. I had chance, a couple years ago, at the ZEISS factory at Oberkochen/Germany, to shot with this super lens, from the balcony of the ZEISS headquaters building, with full f/stop 1.2. The combination, the heavy lens, with the heavy CONTAX RTS III body, and the excellent results, where very impressive. Unfortunately, I cannot afford the lens. It's now an very rare collector's item. Only 1,000 pieces have left the ZEISS plant in Oberkochen. "

    <br> <br>


    I see it this way; I am trying out 50mm lenses that usually are very clean optically and that are being "tested" repeatedly to see how each lens renders a human face. How would you handle a comparison over 20 lenses in your own free time? <br><br>


    Raid
     
  9. Anybody have a Zunow f/1.1 to lend Raid? I always wondered how that lens's images looked.
     
  10. Ed: Who knows;maybe someone hears your voice.:)


    I now have posted another roll of Ilford XP2 Super taken with the
    Canon 50mm/0.95. Almost all photos were taken at 0.95. The exceptions were the target photos where the aperture is marked, plus three shots taken from the front porch. One of the brick wall in the shade was taken at f 2.8 while the other two shots taken in sunshine were taken at f 16.

    I did not leave out any image from the roll. It is a good practice roll to see which percentage of shots I could get acceptably sharp at 0.95.
    The photos of my wife were staged at candle light plus a small oil lamp plus a torch light pointed at the display cabinet in the background to get some bokeh testing done.

    As for my first experience with the Nikkor 50/1.1 resulted in a situation that requires another roll of film to double check the results.



    Please feel free to comment.

    Raid

    Link: http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=674636
     
  11. I used three candles and one small oil lamp set a foot behind the candles. The I placed a torch light on a chair outside the view, and I directed its beam only at one part of the cabinet to get some shimmering effects. I also tried turning on a small light source [hidden from view] to slightly enhance the light on my wife's face. I then turned it off to see the effect. Both ways, the effect was nice. When her face was clearly side lit, then this means that light source was turned off. I did not use a lens hood in any of the photos. As you can see for yourselves, the Canon 50mm/0.95 lens did very well under such difficult light situations.

    Raid
     
  12. You have to remember that these lenses are typically 1.2 to 1 stop better than the "more normal" normal lenses. So it might be useful to compare them to the Canon 50/1.8, the Nikon 50/1.4, the Leica 50/2, etc to see what you lose to get that extra little bit of light sensitivity.
     
  13. David: Some fast lenses can surprise you. I took photos with a Canon 50/1.2 at 2.0,and compared it to ten other 50mm lenses at 2.0. Among those lenses was a Canon 50/1.8 and two Summicrons and a Nikkor. The Canon 50/1.2 was among the highly rated lenses @ 2.0. Similarly, at 2.0 you will find the Canon 50/0.95 do very well. This is not something that I expected before doing the lens comparisons.
    There is no optical price to pay here, but there is a money cost.


    Raid
     
  14. Owned an f1 noctilux for a while. It was quite a thrill at first. Able to get pictures
    on a subway car without flash. The image at f1 is a little soft but very beautiful.
    The lens is heavy though and not as good at f2 as my f2 lens. So I sold it.
     
  15. Bruce: How did your lens compare with the Canon 50/0.95 based on what I have posted so far? Is itmuch sharper wide open?

    Raid
     
  16. IME, the Noct' was only slightly faster (1/2 stop at most, and yes, I know about the dispayed shutter speeds vs. continuous speeds), based on the readings from my M7, which reads from the center of the frame, than my Summilux. So, the size and weight (lesser so) made me get rid of the Noct' at no loss of $$$.
     
  17. you dream <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/moaan/sets/876047/"> many beautiful
    dreams with this lens.
     
  18. I received yesterday a Leitz Noctilux 50mm/1.1 from a RFF member as a loaner for my lens comparisons. I am planning to try it out today, if time permits. The ultra fast lenses seem to be extremely well made. The Nikkor 50mm/1.1 looks wonderful and so does the Noctilux 50mm/1.1. The Canon 50mm/0.95 is simply amazing.

    Once I will be done with my lens comparisons, it will be a sad goodbye to all these great lenses.

    Raid
     
  19. RE: Afzal's comment.

    While informal comparisons do have their limitations, so do scientific tests. The latter may tell us little about real world performance. Take Erwin's tests. When I read his Compendium, I begin to get the feeling that some lenses, like the early f/3.5 Elmar and the Summarit, are just useless wide open. Yet my dad did just fine with his uncoated Elmar on his Leica D. Some of the characteristics of a lens are subjective, anyhow.

    Actually I've taken enough courses in psychological measurement that I would know how to measure people's impressions of various lenses, if such a study were to be undertaken. But note that the observations would be made on the people, after viewing pictures taken by the lenses; and not directly on the lenses themselves.

    We can only test lenses in a laboratory for the abberations we know how to test. We don't know how to test a lens scientifically for how well you or I will like it, unless we ourselves are part of the test.
     
  20. Here are some new images taken with the Noctilux:

    http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=683401

    Raid
     
  21. It would be interesting if you got ahold of enough Nocts or Luxes to make a wider sample and look at variation from lens to lens. I havent seen this done anywhere yet...
     
  22. Russell:I already have sent back the ultra-fast lenses to their owners. I know what you mean by your suggestion; next time I do a test,I will request multiples of a few good lenses.

    Raid
     

Share This Page

1111