Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
Andrew, thanks for the post.

With your background, I am curious about your thoughts on the 135's. 2.0 vs. 2.5 vs. 2.8 vs. 3.5.

Also curious what you think of the 55mm f/1.2 S.S.C. (not Aspheric model). It is one of my favorites regardless, but I would like to hear what you have got to say about it on a technical level, especially in comparison to the other f/1.2 offerings.

Thank you.
with the 135mm lenses - the f2 is the sharpest, but in my opinion there is not enough difference to warrant the extra weight over a f2.8. Plus with all the weight in the glass of the f2 lens they are not that quick to focus...

The f2.5 is an interesting lens - optically about the same as a f2.8. I like them because they are an odd aperture and feel very balanced....I haven't used a f3.5 version, mainly because the f2.8's were common and cheap enough....

With the 50/55 mm f1.2 lenses I totally agree with hpulley - the FL 55/1.2 has a lovely quality to it, especially when used wide open. Not soft, not sharp, and yes - a little dreamy. I took one of my favorite photos of my wife with one mounted on a pellix..

If I wanted a f1.2 lens to use I would buy a NFD 50mm/1.2L - it is the sharpest wide open of all the "standard" F1.2 lenses I got to use (which Is most of them - 55/1.2 FL and SSC (I never did get to use the 55/1.2 ASPH - I wish I had but they only made around 360 of them..), the 50 1.2L and 50/1.2 standard. Oh, I forgot I also had a S 50/1.2 on the VT Rangefinder..).

I kept my 55/1.2 because it is a very early example (it has a chrome filter ring), and is in very nice condition, and as I said, looks great on a camera. Optically I've found it is not that sharp wide open - a little less sharp than the FL 55/1.2 I have wide open, but because of the SSC coating it is higher in contrast. At f4 it becomes a brilliant lens - but thats not why you buy a high speed lens...

Personally I would buy a Old FD (chrome mount) 50/1.4 SSC lens - for the slight loss of light you get an amazing lens that is sharp wide open, and just that little bit sharper stopped down. I've owned 5 or 6 different ones, and all have been amazingly sharp..

Of all the 1.2 lenses I used the NFD 85/1.2L was the best. Sharp wide open (you got the eyes in focus, but the eye lashes were just out of focus on a big print...), exceptionally sharp at f2.8.

And I'll never forget the first time I looked through one mounted on a New F1. I was sitting in my bosses office, and when I looked through the camera the image in the viewfinder was brighter than daylight - that is - brighter than looking at the subject directly..

It's the only lens/camera combination that this ever happened to me with.....