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Thread: Using the Sony A7II as the test bed, testing out various lenses at 50mm.....

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    Using the Sony A7II as the test bed, testing out various lenses at 50mm.....

    For a while I have been trying to cut the weight and bulk of my M kit, at the same time, making travel photography less complicated.
    My preference is towards the least user intervention in the photographic process. Changing lenses is a big distraction.
    Getting a SL and lenses, is not in my budget, even after they dropped the price of the body by almost $1500.

    Museums and Churches are dark places. I want one fast lens to do Churches and museums. 50mm seems the right lens.
    To that end, I collected a bunch of lenses, and a Sony A7II body (24MP body).
    Using that body as my test device, I tested out my 50mm lenses for use in low light conditions…. Full open Aperture…. For zooms, they were only evaluated at 50mm.
    I used a tripod, self timer, manual focusing at max magnification, distance of about 12 feet, in bright light, ISO 50.
    My subject is the cedar fence ( now 45 years old) in my front yard. Lens Hoods were used in all cases.
    I took 3 images for each lens, keeping the best , and evaluated all the images through LRCC at 1:1.
    Only the center of each image is evaluated, at full aperture ( F1.4 or whatever) Because that is how I will use this lens. Full open aperture.

    For the results…… Best to worst…. This is all about central resolution, and ability to get fine detail…..
    1) Leica M 50mm F1.4 ASPH. Wins by a big margin optically. Fully manual operation, as are all M and R lenses.
    2) LeicaFLEX Vario Elmar R 28-70 F3.5-4.5 ( 1990 design, Rom version, with Novoflex adapter. Fully manual) ( Stick that in your .. “old lenses suck”… pipe and smoke it)
    3) Sony 55mm F1.8 ( very close to the Leicaflex lens. Lightest lens in the test and it is AF and auto-aperture)
    4) Leica M 50mm F2 ( early 1990’s vintage)
    The next bunch are pretty close, but if you leave out 1 lens, the differentials are greater… so the lenses do decrease in capability
    5) Leica M 28/35/50 Tri Elmar F4
    6) Sony 28-70 F4.5-5.6 Zoom (AF)
    7) Nikon 50mm F1.4 AF non D lens ( with Fotodiox adapter, no AF as it has a mechanical aperture connection to the body)
    8) Nikon 50mm F1.4 G lens ( which will AF on the Sony body with the Fotodiox adapter)
    Big gap in image quality, but that is not the prime purpose of these lenses
    9) 7 Artisans 50mm F1.1 Chinese (New, $369, 400grams, delivered in 1 week!)
    10) Noctilux 50mm F1.0

    Yes, the best lens of the bunch was the 21st century marvel. But you probably believed that before you started to read this.
    To me, the surprise was the Leicaflex lens doing so well….. FYI, I believe this lens is a Leica design produced by Sigma in Japan
    And to me, the most rewarding part of the test is how well the Sony 55 F1.8 lens did….since that lens is part of my proposed new kit. Optically, it IS good enough to do what I ask of it….

    Remember, these results are specific to MY lenses and MY needs (wants?). If you were to evaluate your kit, or, even using my images, or making up new images using my lenses, may result in a different order. (YMMV)

    Comments?

    I also tested the Sony 16-35 Zoom lens against the Leica 16/18/21mm Wide Angle Tri Elmar.
    Hands down, the Leica lens is superior at 16mm. At 18mm, they are much closer, but the Leica is still better. At 21mm, the Sony lens is superior.
    At these focal lengths, manual focusing errors are more prone to happen, AF was used and results were gathered from the AF Sony images.
    Frank

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Using the Sony A7II as the test bed, testing out various lenses at 50mm.....

    Interesting to read about your 16-35 vs WATE experience. I wonder if the Leica lens would have performed better with a thin UV/IR filter on the A7II?

    https://kolarivision.com/product/son...-lens-upgrade/
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Using the Sony A7II as the test bed, testing out various lenses at 50mm.....

    [QUOTE=GrahamWelland;734238]Interesting to read about your 16-35 vs WATE experience. I wonder if the Leica lens would have performed better with a thin UV/IR filter on the A7II?

    My understanding is that the WATE is one of the very few WA lenses that work well on the A7 series.....
    OTOH, if I stopped down a bit ( evaluated only at Wide Open), I might have gotten different results.....
    Frank
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    Re: Using the Sony A7II as the test bed, testing out various lenses at 50mm.....

    [QUOTE=Red735i;734242]
    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Interesting to read about your 16-35 vs WATE experience. I wonder if the Leica lens would have performed better with a thin UV/IR filter on the A7II?

    My understanding is that the WATE is one of the very few WA lenses that work well on the A7 series.....
    OTOH, if I stopped down a bit ( evaluated only at Wide Open), I might have gotten different results.....
    The CV 21/1.8 worked very well when I owned it. If one is commuted to the Sony system then there are fewer reasons to adapt M lenses than ever. The Loxia 21 is as good as any others. The 18 and 25 Batis are both great. The 16-35/4 is best on the wide end. The 12-24 looks to be good though it's early on. The Voigtlander 10, 12, and 15 are decent as well.

    That being said i had better better results from the Zeiss ZM 50 Sonnar and Planar in M mount than the 50 Summilux and IMO the 55 was better as well but rendering quality is subjective.
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
    http://www.iiinelsonimages.com

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    Re: Using the Sony A7II as the test bed, testing out various lenses at 50mm.....

    frank, if u are using the sony system and looking at manual lenses and small, do look at the loxia by ziess really nice lenses and the magnifier in sony is also engages as soon as u want to focus. i got the 35/21 and 50. the 35 is my fave.

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    Re: Using the Sony A7II as the test bed, testing out various lenses at 50mm.....

    The Loxia lenses are smaller than AF lenses. But then you lose the AF capability. Taking pictures of paintings in museums, without a tripod, is hard enough ( 1/20 of a second, etc.) without the additional hardship of focusing.... AF is pretty much a requirement in my opinion, for this specific purpose.

    I could also use my Nikkor 50 F1.4 G lens with the Fotodiox adapter.... But it is far inferior to what the Sony Zeiss 55mm F1.8 offers....

    But I do appreciate the input and experience you have had with these fine lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by msadat View Post
    frank, if u are using the sony system and looking at manual lenses and small, do look at the loxia by ziess really nice lenses and the magnifier in sony is also engages as soon as u want to focus. i got the 35/21 and 50. the 35 is my fave.
    Frank

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