Continuing in the style of recent posts and asking a question about how old lenses compare with current day computer designed optics, I take a quick look this time at a Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AiS "pancake" lens and compare it against an APS-C format Sony 50mm f/1.8 SEL OSS.
- Sony A7 - ISO50, 2 second timer, in-camera levels used to square the whole plot up
- Manfrotto tripod - it's capable of securing an 8x10inch view camera, so it's sturdy enough for this
- Lenses -
- Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AiS - shot from f/1.8 through f/8
- Sony 50mm f/1.8 SEL OSS (APS-C) - shot from f/1.8 through f/8 shot Full Frame which shows the edge of the frame clipped due to the lack of FF coverage
- Rawtherapee RAW to jpg conversion - Auto-Match function
- "Capture Sharpen" used on the f/1.8 images to see how they compare with other apertures without "CS"
Here is the scene setup. It's just a pair of closed gaze scrims in our apartment. The details are interestingly small, so therefore useful for this kind of "wee look-see."
[As always, click on the image and look at it to 100percent file size to see whatever there is to be seen.]
At f/1.8 the Nikkor 50mm is slightly softer than the Sony. I figured this might be the case based on a webpage that has long disappeared that compared the Sony against Leica's latest 50mm and won. Though I see nothing wrong with the Nikkor, this Sony optic is very special.
From f/2.8 on down through f/8 I have a difficult time telling the difference between the Nikkor 50mm lens and the Sony 50mm.
This comparison includes "Capture Sharpen"'d f/1.8 images. It's interesting to see how much "crisper" these images become with a simple push of a button.
As I've suggested in the past, I suspect "Capture Sharpen" removes the character of a lens when shot wide open. It's at the widest apertures where I've seen the designed-in effects of spherical and chromatic aberrations of old Nikkor manual focus lenses.
After seeing a large show of Steve McCurry's glorious images at the Musee Maillol where I studied his images with an eye toward such things, I may have more to say about "Capture Sharpen" and optical effects in the future.
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