Zuiko 50 f1.4 or Zuiko 50 f1.4?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by peters8, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. peters8

    peters8 Member

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    Some people told me that the Zuiko 50 f 1.8 is better than the Zuiko 50 f1.4.
    What do you recommend?
    Do I buy the zuiko 1.4 or the zuiko 1.8?
    Regards
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Buy one of each and do your own side by side comparison. Not all 1.4's are any better or worse than a 1.8. You will have to choose for yourself which you prefer.
     
  3. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    Define "better".
     
  4. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    The earlier 50mm f/1.8 version OM lenses have higher scores in Modern Photography lens test, than the later 50mm f/1.8 version OM lenses...the older the better.
    Generally, optically the f/1.8 lenses have higher scores than the f/1.4 lenses, with no statistically signficant difference in the age of the design.
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Even the "worst" of the Zuiko 50mm lenses has a lot of quality.

    The 50mm f/1.8 is small and very cheap.

    Just make sure that the lens you choose is working well.
     
  6. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    The 1.8 are great lenses and very low priced.

    But the 1.4 is more beautiful.

    Buy the cleanest one you can find.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2013
  7. LaChou

    LaChou Member

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    The 1.4 is has horrible color rendition when it is single-coated and probably poor color rendition when MC. I used a single coated.
    But it is sharp. Very good for B&W.
    If you do no slides, go for it.
     
  8. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    That's interesting. I had a single coated 1.4 and while the color rendition was fine, it was unuseable wide open - every bright spot had a reddish halo around it. I now have a later 1.4, multicoated, and can't see any difference in the colors, but it is reasonably sharp wide open.

    My experience with 35mm standard lenses in general is that the slower ones are usually as good and often better - sometimes much better - than the fast options. I used a pre-AI f1.4 Nikkor until I discovered the 50/2 Nikkor-H; the 1.4 found a new home and I have an f2 on each of my Nikon bodies.
     
  9. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    In this case, most likely less flare, less distortion, better contrast, and higher (real or apparent) resolution.
     
  10. LaChou

    LaChou Member

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    Please! To buy an 1.4 lens for using it wide-open?
    I have always thought people buy them because of an extra element they have.
    What kinf of focus will you get? Thats what teenage photogs do: shoot a normal lens wide open. Adult people buy themselves 135/2.0 to achieve the sought-for effect.
     
  11. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    Actually, you'll find that plenty of "adults" will shoot at f1.4 or 1.8 when they need to. It's surely better to have a softer image with limited depth of field than no image at all, if for whatever reason you can't use flash or faster film.

    I shot most of a roll of Ilford Delta 3200 at f1.7 for a party last year, the results had a '60s concert look (very popular with the Mod-inspired DJs) and meant that I didn't have to keep hurting people's eyes by firing a flash in a relatively dark room. They were grainy and a little soft but captured the atmosphere and looked pretty classy.
     
  12. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Why would I buy a lens I cannot use wide open? The extra element is ostensibly so they work properly at maximum aperture. You have some funny ideas, I think.:pouty:
    135 is a focal length I've found is either too long or too short. A 105 is as long as I use in 35mm.
     
  13. LaChou

    LaChou Member

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    You see, the point of not using your lens wide open is deep. You must understand how the aperture works to see it. If you shoot wide open for whatever reason, you either don't undestand the meaning of the aperture, either you seek a "special look" you were talking about.
    The "special look" is OK with those, who like it. But I have a better method then shooting wide open.
    When I want to give my slides a certain old and a bit "washed out" look, I underexpose them and then overdevelop them a bit. They get pulled and acquire this particular uncontrasty look. Depending on the subject you shoot, It can be really great sometimes. It's a pity I do not have a scanner to show my work.
     
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  15. LaChou

    LaChou Member

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    There are lenses that "mean" to be shot wide open, like 300/2.8 for example. If you think a little, you will see that there is no point in having a 300/1.2 lens. So, when manufacturers construct a 1.2 lens for you, they actually "please" you at these apertures, but nothing more. When they make a 300/2.8, they are being seriuos.
     
  16. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    The OM Zuiko 50/1.4 is beautiful when shot at 1.4
     
  17. LaChou

    LaChou Member

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    Would you care to buy an aperture-free one? :smile:))))
    I have a friend who likes disassembling lenses in his free time. The ones he manages to assemble can be sold relly cheap. :smile:)).
     
  18. peters8

    peters8 Member

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    Thanks but nobody answeered me really.There's no doubt that they did a comparison between these zuiko.which of these two glasses is technically better(contrast,sharpness,acutance,,,,)do someone help me?...i would to know only this thing...not the personal opinion.I know that all zuiko glasses are good/magnificent in some cases...but which zuiko 50 mm is better technically and objectively?I know that a magazine(i don't remeber the name) long time ago made a comparaison of these two lenses and won the 50 1.8. for its best performance,Did you rember this article?thank you very much
    regards
     
  19. LaChou

    LaChou Member

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    The sooner you try both of them, the sooner you will start thinking about something else.
    You actually got all nessessary information. THEY ARE BOTH JUST ZUIKOS.
     
  20. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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    For example, if the answer was the 1.8, you would buy a 1.8 but there is always sample to sample variation. Magazines compare two specific lenses and one comes out on top; the next two samples may reverse the comparison. Buy one each, test them, then keep the better of the two. Tha way you know for sure you own the one that satisfies you.

    Years ago I recall reading the pros would borrow a number of samples, test them, and only keep the best, or, they would request the factory to measure and select for them. Decentered elements during assembly can make a huge difference!

    My own story: I once had two Contax Zeiss Planars, a 1.4 and a 1.7. Everyone raves about the 1.4. I tested both and the 1.7 was 10% better in lines resolved across the range, aperture to aperture.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2013
  21. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    You can often find the f1.8 lens for relatively little attached to an OM-10 or similar. My advice therefore:

    Buy both, try them, sell the one you don't want. Assuming you pay reasonable amounts for them then you shouldn't lose any money.
     
  22. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    That's the best advice yet.:smile:
     
  23. gliderbee

    gliderbee Member

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    And when you follow this excellent advice, enjoy the OM-10 too. Although I have the complete single-digit series, I like that little camera :smile:

    Stefan

    Verstuurd van mijn GT-P7510 met Tapatalk
     
  24. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    OK. I'll bite on this. I am an Olympus fanboy. I have been using OM system cameras and lenses for about 30 years. My most used focal length is 50/55mm. I seldom have a truly critical use for 35mm. I do not test lenses but I can give you some general impressions. Other photographers may have differing ideas. You have given only a little information about your intended use so it may not be possible to give you a useful answer. Personally, it drives me crazy when someone asks, "I have A or B and I want to know which is best." The term 'best' can mean different things to different people. Also there are variations among samples and you could buy the recommendation of an 'expert' but still end up with a dud. Also, Olympus introduced these cameras in the early 1970's, and discontinued them in 2002. That is a production run of almost 30 years. During the production run, most of the lenses went through a series of revisions and changes to improve performance. It can be argued that sometimes an earlier version was 'better' but then we are getting back to that term of 'better'.

    Back in the 1980's, when dinosaurs walked the face of the earth, Popular Photography used to do camera and lens testing on 35mm equipment. If I remember their results correctly, the 50mm f1.8 was given a better score than the 50mm f1.4. These tests were generally based on sharpness, distortion and contrast. I certainly cannot argue with the general reputation of the 50mm f1.8 being a fine performer, but for my uses, the 50mm f1.4 is also a fine performer. I will try and give you some of my personal observations.

    Zuiko 50mm f1.8 Auto-S
    Olympus made a lot of these. They were cheap to produce. Optical construction is six elements in four groups. This lens went through a series of revisions and there are probably five different versions. On their earliest lenses, Olympus used a thin silver accent at the front of the aperture ring and at the front of the filter threads. These are called Silvernose. Earlier versions were single coated and later versions are multi-coated. The single coated versions were labeled F.Zuiko (there are six elements and 'F' is the sixth letter of the alphabet). The last revision has the following markings on the front of the lens: "OLYMPUS OM-SYSTEM ZUIKO AUTO-S 50mm 1:1,8 made in Japan". Filter size is 49mm.
    The 50mm f 1.8 Zuiko has the reputation of sharpness and very low distortion. I have four of these at present ranging from a silvernose F.Zuiko to a "made in Japan" with serial #3632896. I don't use the 50mm f1.8 Zuiko all that much, but when I do, it always makes a sharp and contrasty image, if I do my part. At f1.8, these are quite sharp.

    Zuiko 50mm f1.4 Auto-S
    The 50mm f1.4 Zuiko went through at least four revisions. Optical construction is seven elements in six groups. Filter size is 49mm.
    This lens is the red haired step-child of the Zuikos. The camera magazines that you mentioned earlier found a distortion and contrast problem with their test lens, and the 50mm f1.4 has never shaken the reputation of being a dud. I own three 50mm f1.4 Zuikos. I have a Silvernose G.Zuiko and and two of the last revision. I have two bodies that always have a 50mm f1.4 mounted. These can be a little soft wide open but I have no problems with distortion or contrast. I cannot help but think that the lens testers got a miss-alligned lens to test. The highest serial number that I have seen is 1153xxx. If you can judge by serial numbers, Olympus sold well over one million copies of this lens and sales of this lens was roughly one copy for every three or four of the 50mm f1.8. This lens originally sold for roughly 175% of the price of the 50mm f1.8, so my take on this lens is that buyers did not shun the 50mm f 1.4.

    G.Zuiko 55mm f1.2 Auto-S
    I have two copies of the 55mm f1.2, one is a silvernose and the other is all black. Both are single coated. As far as I can tell, this lens was discontinued around 1981 when Olympus went to multi-coating on all lenses and it was replaced by the 50mm f1.2 Zuiko. These can be soft wide open and the depth of field is quite shallow. It can be difficult to accurately focus wide open in low light especially when the subject is close to the camera. The up-side is that you get a full stop more light than the 50mm f1.8. I don't own nor have I ever handled a 50mm f1.2 Zuiko. These take 55mm filters.

    Zuiko 50mm f2.0 Auto-Macro
    This lens replaced the 50mm f 3.5 Macro and it employs a complex optical formula of nine elements in seven groups and it has floating element design to focus down to 1/2 life size. Filter size is 55mm. If you are into pure distortion free performance, buy one of these. You will have to pay a premium for the performance.


    I have a couple of comments to make before I am done. I always use a lens hood. The benefits are better contrast and reduced lens flair. The best money that you can spend is to get and use a lens hood. I would also suggest that if the 50mm focal length is for you, get several different copies of lenses that interest you and keep the 'best' ones.
     
  25. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Zuiko 50/1.8, six elements in four groups; Zuiko 50/1.4 seven elements in six groups. So, from the standpoint of contrast and flare control the 1.8 will perform better than the 1.4 because it has fewer internal surfaces and smaller diameter elements - 1.8 has six internal surfaces, the 1.4 has ten.
    All other things being equal, the slower lens will have greater apparent sharpness-"crispness" if you will.
     
  26. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    From that I'm wondering if Olympus were following similar logic to Pentax at the time.

    Pentax made a 55mm f1.8 and then a 50mm f1.7 as the "standard" lens with a 50mm f1.4 as the more expensive model. The slightly slower lenses were designed for ultimate sharpness and an ability to tolerate optical abuse - cheap teleconverters, filters, extension tubes, etc.

    The f1.4 was designed for speed. It's slightly softer wide open but sharpens when stopped down. The suggestion is that it was intended for photojournalists rather than the serious amateur market. My experience is that at f1.4 the DOF is a knife-edge and yes, it's not particularly sharp. But as I said earlier, in the real world a soft image is better than no image if you can't use a slower shutter speed or faster film.

    I have examples of all three and use them more-or-less interchangeably, my only consideration is how much risk there is of damage. If it's likely to get covered in spray or might get stolen I'll use the "disposable" one of the 50/1.7s (so called as I've already had it apart once to clean fungus out and I'm not worried about taking it apart again if it got, say, a drink spilled over it). Other than that it depends on the camera. The 55mm tends to stay on the KX it came with, the 50/1.4 migrates. One of my MXs and one of my MEs tend to hang onto the 50/1.7s they came with.