Peter is quite right and the answers to this thread would indicate that people have their own favourites. Lens testing is a difficult and time consuming exercise so I will go with Jim and dust off my 3.5 micro- nikkor!
Originally Posted by bobfowler
I would say that the Pentax SMC 50mm f/1.4 (the screw mount version) is the top of the heap of all the 50's I've used ...
This long forgotten chunk of coke bottle stands on the summit, pretty much alone in my mind. Yes, I mean the screwmount!
I'm always on the lookout for a cheap 1.4 minolta md, but my 1.7 is just about the cat's me . . .uh, never mind.
"Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti
Not Cheap, not Inexpensive - just very, very good! The Zeiss ZF 50/1.4 Planar.
Everything is analog - even digital :D
Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson
Still, given the optical excellence and high speed, any 50 is a bargain compared to anything that good or that fast from a comparible manufacturer!
Perhaps my mind will change - but for now, a 50 is on my SLR's probably 75% of the time: even if the length is not ideal, I have a 50mm f1.4 - anything else that says 1.4 on it is probably more expensive than my whole SLR kit put together!
Well, a bit off topic, but I love my 50's!
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55 2.8 micro nikkor does it for me. I bought it new, finally last week I had it serviced after about 20+ years of quite hard work. The iris blades were sticking after a shoot in the sun for a couple of hours when the temp was at 43ºC in the shade. Apparently these early versions were assembled with animal based lubricant, whatever that means. The later and current lenses are apparently lubricated with synthetic (?) modern stuff that doesn't wither in excess heat.
I once had to copy 5,000 odd slides in a short time frame, really what the lens was designed for. On top of that it was my lens for about 85% of all my picture taking for the first ten years of ownership, before I started to gather an array of nikon & sigma glass.
I also have a nikkor 1.8, which is faster, but doesn't cut the ice as far as edge to edge goes.
Last edited by Mick Fagan; 04-30-2006 at 03:12 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I'm voting for my Micro Nikkor f 2.8 60mm it blows my 50mm 1.4 away re sharpness and this is proven by 2 german mags MTFs and not only my dreaming eyes!
If I want the ultimate sharpness its the Micro if I need the speed its the 1.4 50mm wich I very seldom is in use since I have a fast 28mm f 1.8!
All is subjektive but not the MTFs.
Voigtlander 50/2 Ultron for me on the Vitessa L, but they also made it for the Prominent.
Did I miss something? I don't think I saw a single mention of the venerable Dual Range Summicron from the late 50's through '60's. I always found it to be far superior to any other 50 I worked with in the days when I was still shooting 35mm. The glass on the modern Contaxc G's also came close but I would gowith the Summicron.
Being new to the world of photography, I went with the Canon 50 f1.4 as I'm shooting EOS and this was the recommended normal lens. I have mixed experiences with it (having trouble with auto focus, and can't fine-tune because there is no split circle on my focusing screen), but it seems generally like a nice sharp lens. I've used it with most difficulty stopped to f/22, which apparently will cause a lens to soft-focus and at widest apperature in low light where it has trouble with autofocus. Does *anybody* out there consider this lens to be top 50, or is it simply the best I can do with my camera?