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  1. #1

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    Nikkor 50mm F1.2 vs. Konica 57mm F1.2 vs. ???

    I have a son due next month and I plan (for a while) to move more away from my passion for collecting (mostly) 35mm rangefinder cameras and lenses and back to taking photos (where I started!). I've found in the past that a 35mm SLR + 50mm F1.2 + fast film + natural light makes an excellent combination for photographing children at home. I own the Canon 50mm F1.2 in LTM and while it's a fantastic lens and I love it, I would be the first to admit it's not up to par with modern SLR super-speed lenses for critical work when used at its fastest settings. My budget would allow me to purchase a used Nikon 50mm F1.2 AIS or a Konica Hexanon 57mm F1.2. I once borrowed Nikkor 50/1.2 AIS on an F body and was deeply impressed by its quality wide-open (amazed in fact), but I don't have any experience with the Konica 57/1.2, although I do own some slower Konica lenses and have always admired the quality of the results they produce.

    The Konica 57/1.2 seems to come in black or chrome ringed versions and I was wondering what the differences were optically if any. There is a gentleman named Weber who is hawking restored versions of these lenses, at steeper prices than usual, but perhaps they are worth it since he claims to refurbish them well. The other super-speed I might consider would be a Pentax for K mount, based on the awesome results I've had from Pentax SLR lenses in the past. Any thoughts or experiences to relate are welcome!

  2. #2

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    I use Pentax SMC K 50mm f1.2 and like it a lot. Wide open it's supposedly the sharpest of all the f1.2 lenses (but who really knows). It looks sharp to me with ISO 400 film when it's wide open.

  3. #3
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    I have a Nikon 50mm f/1.2 and it is, as you say, an impressive lens. I have always heard good things about the f/1.2 lens from Konica. If the "Weber" you are referring to is Greg Weber, he's probably the top repairman in the U.S. for Konica equipment. He's worked on my Konica IIIa rangefinder, and I imagine many others here on APUG have asked Greg to repair their Konica gear, too. So if he says he has restored a lens, I'd believe him, and expect that you'd be getting a lens in the best possible condition from him.

  4. #4

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    I have the Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AIS lens and I really wonder what benefit the f/1.2 offers over the f/1.4. The f/1.2 lens is pretty heavy and I think a smaller lens would be of better use. I often leave behind the f/1.2 lens as it just weights too much. Really, can f/1.2 make the difference over f/1.4? I've never seen a bad 50mm lens optics wise so it's really up to the low light ability of each lens, where the difference is not that much.

  5. #5

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    I have the Minolta MC and Pentax K mount f1.2 and they are exceptional. Given the extremely narrow depth of field, you should consider the viewfinder system as it will likely influence your results.




    Since all my lenses are used - previous owner(s) unknown, I make sure I test them all. Here are results from my Pentax 50mm.
    Pentax 50mm test results

  6. #6
    PDH
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    I had the Konica 1.2 with a T3, the only lens I regreat selling. I used the Konica 1.7 for most work and the 1.2 for really low light, the Konica 1.2 like most 1.2 work best wide, the 1.7 was overall the workhorse very very sharp. I traded the T3 with lens set for Nikon F, never used the Nikon 1.2, but the Nikon 1.4 was not as sharp wide open as the Konica 1.2. Needed the Nikon as I needed a motor drive.

  7. #7

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    First let me say that Greg Weber doesn't just sell you a lens he got from someone else. He makes all of the necessary adjustments and even replaces damaged elements. If you want a 57/1.2 Hexanon and Greg has one, it's worth the price. Having a fast lens can help when shooting in low light but it's more helpful at longer distances than closer ones. Why? Because shooting three dimensional subjects at close range and at f/1.2 is going to result in images which are mostly not in focus. If you don't want to use flash then an entry level DSLR with adjustable ISO and image stabilization will give you better results that what you could expect from the Hexanon or the Nikkor with film cameras. Both of my 57/1.2 Hexanons are good performers. I would say that my 55/1.2 Canon FL is not as good at or near wide open.



 

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