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TOPIC: four 50mm lenses same subject

four 50mm lenses same subject 6 years 11 months ago #1

  • Kelowna Artist
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I just picked up a Helios 44 lens (it's actually a 58mm f2.0) along with a Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm f2.8 lens today. So I thought that I would do a quick comparison with my other 2 50mm screwmount lenses, a Super Takumar 50mm f1.4, and the oddball... a Vivitar Series 1, 50mm f1.7.


Since I just wanted a quick comparison I thought that I'd just shoot with the same flash, manual settings fired remotely on the left side of the camera. Same shutter speed (1/60) and only at f4.0 I always used the teleconverter, with the glass removed on the Right side of the lens photo as a closeup extension tube, and always focused on the same droplet on the top of the Tulip.
Here's the lens lineup.


In a way the results were interesting.
Here is the Helios photo.

I found it to be nice colouring, and as sharp as you really need. I can really see why it is so highly rated, and am ecstatic that I finally own one.

Then came the Zeiss.

Again, nice true colouring, and I personally like the bokeh better.
It is my second Zeiss, and will not be my last.

Then came the Pentax

By far the warmest colouring out there. Also the furthest from real life, although still very pleasant. I know that it will be some peoples favorite photo, as it should be.

The wildcard, the Vivitar is the lens that amazed me the most.

The main reason why, is compare it to the Zeiss. If I hadn't taken the photo's I would never dream they were from 2 different lenses. Although I imagine I would see a difference on a large print.
This was a kit lens on an inexpensive camera, and it's able to compete against one of the best 50mm lenses ever made :wth:
I am greatful that I bought that screwmount camera with 3 lenses for $15.00 2 years ago. What a great investment.

Oh yes, the Helios was $75.00, the Zeiss was $50.00 and I bought another Pentax Spotmatic in nice working shape for $40.00. Plus he told me how to fix the mirror problem on my existing Spotmatic (it would occasionally stick, but only at longer exposures) It is fixed now, and will be taken out more often.
A photograph can be a Beautiful thing.
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Re: four 50mm lenses same subject 6 years 11 months ago #2

  • Mr Pink
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Holy smokes... the Helios is $75 now? I love my helios, but most of you know that!

Love the CzJ and the Helios the best in this group... as much as I slam Pentax on occasion, the most fun I had in my brief stint as a wanna be photog, was during my hunting for cheap glass days with Pentax... still some of my fave pics came from those cheap lenses...

Glad so see you also got the 44M... I found the auto/man switch really helpful for the focus/metering...

Keep em coming...
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Re: four 50mm lenses same subject 6 years 11 months ago #3

  • DamnRedneck
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Stu , thanks for posting this. Great timing I haven't bought a lens in almost a year but was considering a CZ Tessar just the other day now that I have seen it's images next to other lenses I'm familliar with I'll probably buy it.

BTW you've inspired another shoot out!
Last Edit: 6 years 11 months ago by DamnRedneck.
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Re: four 50mm lenses same subject 6 years 11 months ago #4

  • Leighgion
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i take away something a bit different from this lineup.

They're all looking pretty good and honestly, at least from these samples, I wouldn't really single out any of them as really standout from the rest. A fast lens stopped down to f/4 is getting to put its best face forward.

I'd personally have found it more illuminating to see how these lenses performed wide open.
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Re: four 50mm lenses same subject 6 years 11 months ago #5

  • Pablo
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those are lovely photos regardless of the lens used. I'm sure you'd get great results with any similar prime lens with good technique, which you obviously have.
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Re: four 50mm lenses same subject 6 years 10 months ago #6

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I thought that $75.00 for the 44M was a reasonable price Gus, however I never shopped around so I may be wrong.
The A/M switch really impressed me too.

Thanks DamnRedneck,
I had the Zeiss almost exclusively today, and took some real life photos. Most of them wide open. If I have more energy after work tomorrow I will post a couple of them
Leighgion wrote:
i take away something a bit different from this lineup.

They're all looking pretty good and honestly, at least from these samples, I wouldn't really single out any of them as really standout from the rest. A fast lens stopped down to f/4 is getting to put its best face forward.

I'd personally have found it more illuminating to see how these lenses performed wide open.
Thanks Leighgion,
I completely agree with you, however I didn't have the time or energy to play around much longer.

My plans are real world tests with each lens now, however it will be one lens for one day. So it won't be a perfect comparison there either.
This time just the lens, without any extensions added.
I'll probably also include a Pentax M-series f2.0, K-series 55mm f1.8, and I am even thinking of modifying my 5(M-series?) 50mm f1.7 to fit my Sigma.


Thanks Pablo,
Now I just have to somehow find the time to get out more often, and prove you right.
A photograph can be a Beautiful thing.
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Re: four 50mm lenses same subject 6 years 10 months ago #7

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These are for you, DamnRedneck,
All from the Zeiss, and mostly taken wide open. They are all LARGE images, so you should be able to view them closely by right clicking them or something along those lines.

I don't know why people like Brick Wall tests, but I thought that I'd do my own version.








If Alfred Hitchcock had been to this farm, the movie would have been about Cats instead of Birds :wth: (however some of them are lovable)





In my opinion, it is sharp enough for most people.

Take into account, I took these pic's while at work yesterday. I started at 8:00am, the sun sets around 9:30pm, and I am still working here.

No wonder I am too tired to go on-line most evenings.
A photograph can be a Beautiful thing.
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Re: four 50mm lenses same subject 6 years 10 months ago #8

  • tiffpix
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Nice shots Stu. That gives me some ideas of what to try for the contest. :-)
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