timbo, the EF 50/1.4 is considered to be one of the best 50s out there but my recollection of Popular Photography's tests was that it was not that great at f/1.4, even though it was possibly one of the best ever made at the middle apertures.
At f/22 you start to get diffraction issues and lose sharpness. This is due to the nature of optics and has nothing to do with your lens in particular. (The smaller the format, the worse the diffraction, so if you shoot with a 4x5" camera, f/22 is ok ).
AF usually has a bit of focus error - it's too bad that you can't mount the lens on a manual focus body for some testing. (I have a bit of a Nikon bias and here is one point where you could more easily answer this question if this were a Nikon problem.)
I don't know which is the absolute "best" 50mm standard lens Tony, I'm very happy with with my Canon FDn 50mm f1.4, most of the major marque manufacturers make excellent flagship lenses of this focal length, the lens I have is the best because it fits my cameras.
Originally Posted by tony lockerbie
Yeah, yeah, yeah, those years were a time of considerable blur. And quite possibly there are people here who weren't around back then. They can't be expected to know that the question's been buried, with stake through its little heart for safety, for decades.
Originally Posted by Satinsnow
But what really gets me is replies of the form "I have x and its pretty good." I mean, the question was about which one stood out. Those of us with just the one aren't qualified to answer.
Originally Posted by Ted Harris
I put in a vote for the Dual Range. I think it's a great lens, very sharp, not too contrasty, and just has a nice, nice look to it. That and a 35mm Summicron 4th version are about all I use in 35mm.
Tony, if you had meant to ask which is best wide open you should have. IIRC, there aren't differences big enough to worry about among modern (NOT triplets or tessars) f/1.7 - f/2 normal lenses for 35 mm SLRs.
Originally Posted by tony lockerbie
I don't mean to insult you, but if you see differences in use between your 50/2 Septon and other good 50/2s for 35 mm SLRs, you suffer from wishful thinking or you're hallucinating. Might you be stuck back in the early '70s? Dave wasn't entirely joking about the blurred decades.
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I just bought an EOS 3, which has split circle focusing screens available- but I don't know if it still maintains the AF boxes, which I also like... but I'm getting off topic.
Originally Posted by PhotoJim
I have a Dual Range 50mm Summicron - great lens, but I like my 65mm Leitz Canada Elmar better.
I will have to do a shoot-out between these 2 Leitz lenses and my new M mount Zeiss ZF 2.0/50mm Planar.
Everything is analog - even digital :D
To be honest, I've never found focusing manually on my EOS 650 -- which has a plain ground glass screen -- particularly difficult. It's harder with some lenses than others but I don't particularly miss the split-image spot in the middle.
Some lenses the focus just seems to 'snap' into place when you get it right -- I have a Chinon 55mm f1.7 lens which is incredibly easy to focus and a Rikenon 50 f1.7 which takes fantastic pictures (on other screwmount cameras) but which seems harder to focus manually on the plain ground-glass.
My own favourite 'normal' lens is probably the Industar 61 L/D in LSM mount. Not as fast as my SLR (M42) lenses but there's something about the look of the images that I really like.
Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
I surely agree,
Over the years I have shot:
With a samttering of others for a short amount of time in there, but I like the Minolta's best of all, Until such time as I started shooting wildlife several years ago, most of the shooting I did, was with 50mm lenses....
Sure has been fun, now at times it seems like work!
I have a Contax RTSIII with a 50mm 1.4 Planar, This is one area, wide open performance, that the vacuum back earns its keep. Wide open the lens camera combo is capable of really nice results which only gets better with stopping down.
Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)