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Thread: Comparative sharpness of fast wide angle primes

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    Comparative sharpness of fast wide angle primes

    So there are four lenses that I am highly interested in. 24 F2, 28 F2, 35 F1.4, 35 F2. Obviously this list encompasses lenses that differ greatly in age, cost, focal length, manufacturer and reputation. For this discussion I am interested in one aspect of the lenses, sharpness at f2. The one exception would be the sharpness at f1.4 and f1.8 of the 35mm f1.4 lens. For example, if the f1.8 (or even better, f1.4) image is sharper than the F2 image of the other 35mm lens that would represent an advantage. My use of these lenses would include both landscape applications (where wide open apertures would obviously not be a big advantage) and low light applications (where it would). Anyone who has experience directly comparing the qualities of these lenses would be greatly sought for this kind of info.

    Thanks in advance
    John

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Comparative sharpness of fast wide angle primes

    I happen to own the 24/2 and 35/1.4. IMHO there is difference between sharpness and resolving power. The 24 is probably the king of resolution among all 4 mentioned lenses. It also has high micro contrast that enhances the edge sharpness in smaller prints. At landscape distances the 24 has a slight weakness in the corners, while the 35G has perfect corners. But the 35G has noticeably lower resolution overall, as well as lower contrast. It requires more sharpening when downsizing for prints. It also has above average CA, while this is very well controlled with the Zeiss. As for close distance low light shooting, I find the Zeiss to be sharp on most of the frame at f/2, while the 35G is probably sharp on a noticeably smaller area.

    Anyhow, I use both the Zeiss and the G equally, the decision of using one over the other depends on the subject matter more than anything else.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: Comparative sharpness of fast wide angle primes

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    As for close distance low light shooting, I find the Zeiss to be sharp on most of the frame at f/2, while the 35G is probably sharp on a noticeably smaller area.

    Anyhow, I use both the Zeiss and the G equally, the decision of using one over the other depends on the subject matter more than anything else.
    Edward, thanks for your thoughts. Sounds like the 24 f2 might be the correct choice.

    On a side note, do you find that the 35mm focal length is more appropriate for indoor candid shots? Does the 24mm focal length produce too much stretching of human proportions to be appropriate?

    Regards
    John

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Comparative sharpness of fast wide angle primes

    It all depends on your personal style. For me, I prefer the 35 for candids. The 24 produces interesting perspectives but forces you to get uncomfortably close to the subject. The stretching is inevitable with this FL but only in non centered subjects. Curiously I do have many photos without any of this effect.

    Here are a few with the ZA 24 at f/2 (not very well processed though):

    http://www.pbase.com/edwardkaraa/image/130294467

    http://www.pbase.com/edwardkaraa/image/130294468

    http://www.pbase.com/edwardkaraa/image/130294469

    http://www.pbase.com/edwardkaraa/image/130294750
    Last edited by edwardkaraa; 29th July 2011 at 09:10.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: Comparative sharpness of fast wide angle primes

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    It all depends on your personal style. For me, I prefer the 35 for candids. The 24 produces interesting perspectives but forces you to get uncomfortably close to the subject. The stretching is inevitable with this FL but only in non centered subjects. Curiously I do have many photos without any of this effect.

    Here are a few with the ZA 24 at f/2 (not very well processed though):
    Thanks for the links. I'll have to try them when I get home (the work computer is very picky about linked sites). You're right about the non-centered shots. That happens to me a lot when I'm trying to get a quick shot in a crowded room.

    Regards
    John

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Comparative sharpness of fast wide angle primes

    Quote Originally Posted by jfirneno View Post
    Thanks for the links. I'll have to try them when I get home (the work computer is very picky about linked sites). You're right about the non-centered shots. That happens to me a lot when I'm trying to get a quick shot in a crowded room.

    Regards
    John
    Just changed the links as I was not able to see them either

    Something is definitely weird with Pbase recently, they don't seem to like me linking my photos to other sites.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: Comparative sharpness of fast wide angle primes

    Those shots at f2 were exactly what I wanted to see. That looks like an excellent lens (or rather, those are excellent photos taken with that lens).

    Thanks again
    John

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Comparative sharpness of fast wide angle primes

    Thanks John. Hope to see your ZA 24 photos soon!
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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