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Author Topic: Schneider LS Lens MTF Charts  (Read 19790 times)
Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #60 on: January 17, 2013, 08:25:52 AM »
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Chris as I said before (to the "surprise" of some people) the 55mm was designed predominantly as a fast portrait lens for relative close distances. This is the manufacturer's description (the same one I happen to work for...): Minimal distortion wide angle design, provides a normal look, great for editorial portraits and on location lifestyle photography

The 50mm F4 FLE is a general purpose lens that has the floating element which flattens the field for closer distances. It is slower than the 55mm and when challenged with a high MP back it won't be as sharp in the centre of the frame. In my experience it is also a bit more prone to flaring.

I hope this makes sense

Yair

Yair


What is often not realized is that lenses are designed and manufactured with very directed and specific usage in mind. Some may provide better edge to edge results, some may be optimized for better stopped down (or wide open) performance, some for better near focus (or long focus) performance.

What I have found is that with many products, there is a depth of intent that occurs in the design and manufacturing process that often escapes (or is not known to) the perspective of users (or appraisers).

Also, I forgot to mention, these captures were with a Phase One P65+ in both cases (V and M mount).


Steve Hendrix
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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #61 on: January 17, 2013, 08:45:52 AM »
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Chris as I said before (to the "surprise" of some people) the 55mm was designed predominantly as a fast portrait lens for relative close distances. This is the manufacturer's description (the same one I happen to work for...): Minimal distortion wide angle design, provides a normal look, great for editorial portraits and on location lifestyle photography


Good to know about the 55mm. Can you comment on the other lenses where they perform best?
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chrismuc
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« Reply #62 on: January 17, 2013, 11:31:15 PM »
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:: Yaha and Steve

Hmm, I can't really follow your idea that a lens with lower out-of-center resolution would be designed or especially suitable for portrait shooting because this assumes that the object (esp. the head of the person) is quite exactly in the center of the image.

Enclosed two samples by Contax N 50f1.4 at open aperture with object out of center and good sharpness.
How should such images in sufficient sharpness be possible with the Schneider 55 lens?
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #63 on: January 17, 2013, 11:50:14 PM »
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Hi Yair and Doug,

So if what you are saying about the new Schneider 55mm LS lens is correct is that if I want to take high quality landscape images I would better off buying the Mamiya 645 AF 55mm lens on EBay for $395.00?

Cheers

Simon
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Simon Harper
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #64 on: January 18, 2013, 12:16:23 AM »
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Hi,

I think you miss out a bit.

The "problem" the Schneider has is that the field is wavy. So the plane of best focus move back and forth when you move across the film plane. So the area where the lens looses MTF the loss is mostly (read entirely) attributable to small amount of defocus. If you place you main subject in the zone having the lowest MTF and focus on your subject MTF will be better than in the charts. Background will be out of focus anyway.

If you shoot at two-three meters with a 55 mm lens the zone with the best sharpness will be quite thin, unless you stop down hard, stopping down will improve MTF in the weak part reduce MTF elsewhere.

Also I would add that the LS 55 reaches something like 40-50% at 40 lp/mm, even at minimum, that is quite decent by any means.

On the other hand, I would also guess that modern designs are better. Using aspherics, SD glass and floating elements.

Hasselblad has a broschure comparing the old Zeiss lenses with the new Hasselblad designed Fujifilm built lenses. The new lenses are said to be better corrected for close distances while the older Zeiss lenses are corrected for infinity.

Looking at the MTF plots of the Zeiss Macro Planar 120/4 is quite instructive: http://lenses.zeiss.com/content/dam/Photography/new/pdf/en/downloadcenter/hasselblad_cf/makro-planar4_120_cf_107836_e.pdf

The enclosed images show MTF at infinity (not impressive at all) and close (quite good). The Zeiss Macro Planar 120/4 is regarded a good lens, in spite of the curves.

Best regards
Erik





:: Yaha and Steve

Hmm, I can't really follow your idea that a lens with lower out-of-center resolution would be designed or especially suitable for portrait shooting because this assumes that the object (esp. the head of the person) is quite exactly in the center of the image.

Enclosed two samples by Contax N 50f1.4 at open aperture with object out of center and good sharpness.
How should such images in sufficient sharpness be possible with the Schneider 55 lens?
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #65 on: January 18, 2013, 12:28:42 AM »
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Hi,

Buying a lens on EBay is a risk. There is a lot of sample variation on lenses.

On the other hand, Mamiya lenses can be very good.

Joseph Holmes has two great articles on the issue. He went from 4x5" film to MFD and tried to optimize quality all the way. I got the impression that he ended up with Mamiya lenses, sometimes choosing the best of five samples.

http://www.josephholmes.com/news-sharpmediumformat.html

He also found a lot of problems:

http://www.josephholmes.com/news-medformatprecision.html

I would suggest that the above articles indicate that it is advantegous to work with a good dealer who stands behind their products. Steve Hendrix indicated in another posting that all problems with alignment can be solved. Out of spec lenses can be a bit difficult, but I guess that you can work out a reasonable return deal with a dealer.

Working with a dealer is of course not free. They need earn living, too.

Best regards
Erik


Hi Yair and Doug,

So if what you are saying about the new Schneider 55mm LS lens is correct is that if I want to take high quality landscape images I would better off buying the Mamiya 645 AF 55mm lens on EBay for $395.00?

Cheers

Simon
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yaya
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« Reply #66 on: January 18, 2013, 01:25:06 AM »
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Hi Yair and Doug,

So if what you are saying about the new Schneider 55mm LS lens is correct is that if I want to take high quality landscape images I would better off buying the Mamiya 645 AF 55mm lens on EBay for $395.00?

Cheers

Simon

Hi Simon,

Neither will work on your Nikon nor on your RZ so why are you asking???
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Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Mamiya Leaf |
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #67 on: January 18, 2013, 01:49:38 AM »
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Hi Yair,

I still have my Mamiya 645 AFDII camera that's why.

So what is your answer concerning my question. Would a old Mamiya 645 AF 55mm lens produce a higher resolution image over the entire frame for landscape photography compared to the Schneider 55mm LS lens due to your comment that the Schneider 55mm LS lens is designed for portraiture.

Its a simple question.

Cheers

Simon
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Simon Harper
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yaya
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« Reply #68 on: January 18, 2013, 02:18:40 AM »
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Hi Yair,

I still have my Mamiya 645 AFDII camera that's why.

So what is your answer concerning my question. Would a old Mamiya 645 AF 55mm lens produce a higher resolution image over the entire frame for landscape photography compared to the Schneider 55mm LS lens due to your comment that the Schneider 55mm LS lens is designed for portraiture.

Its a simple question.

Cheers

Simon

Well the simple answer is no, but your AFDII won't work with the LS so you'll have to stick with the Bay option;-)
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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #69 on: January 18, 2013, 06:56:25 AM »
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:: Yaha and Steve

Hmm, I can't really follow your idea that a lens with lower out-of-center resolution would be designed or especially suitable for portrait shooting because this assumes that the object (esp. the head of the person) is quite exactly in the center of the image.

Enclosed two samples by Contax N 50f1.4 at open aperture with object out of center and good sharpness.
How should such images in sufficient sharpness be possible with the Schneider 55 lens?


I have not commented in reference to the 55mm being "intended" for portraiture. I am in agreement - in general - that lenses are often produced with (subtly) specific intents that users are unaware of. However, irrespective of the MTF Charts, the image samples I provided don't really correspond with your image samples, as in my examples the distance to subject was much closer than in yours, which would produce a greater impact from lens curvature.

If you filled the frame with someone's face, then yes, the edges of that person's face would be significantly less sharp than the center with the Hasselblad 60 and to a lesser, but similar degree with the Schneider 55. But in the examples you provide, the sharpness at the edges would be improved from my examples if shot with the same Hasselblad and Schneider lenses.


Steve Hendrix
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Steve Hendrix
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Guy Mancuso
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« Reply #70 on: January 18, 2013, 08:40:27 AM »
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I shot both the 55LS  , 55mm Mamiya and the Schneider 60 XL on a tech cam as well , which I consider maybe the sharpest tech lens I have shot to date. The differences are there as the Schneider 60 is extremely sharp but the 55LS is very close to it but more important has a much nicer look to the images as well as the 80 and 110 LS lenses. Irrespective of the leaf shutter in the LS lenses I found the color tonality and smoothness of these lenses to be extremely nice and I really have some great images from them in landscape, fashion and other work that I really like the look of that glass over even the Schneider 60 XL ( little clinical looking) and much nicer than the Mamiya 55 although sharp but boring look to it. Frankly if I was purchasing again I would only buy the LS glass regardless of price, they look to those lenses is something I really like irrespective of MTF charts which lets face it is only a small part of the lens story. Personally I'll take a look lens anyday over anything else. Not saying I did not love the Schneider 60 XL tech lens which I loved but I feel the 55LS has a nicer smoother look to it.

Now I will admit I had a very good copy of the 55ls and the best of three that I tested but its a really nice focal length on a FF sensor. I tested it with both the IQ 180 and IQ 160
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FredBGG
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« Reply #71 on: January 18, 2013, 03:20:36 PM »
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Hi,

I think you miss out a bit.

The "problem" the Schneider has is that the field is wavy. So the plane of best focus move back and forth when you move across the film plane. So the area where the lens looses MTF the loss is mostly (read entirely) attributable to small amount of defocus. If you place you main subject in the zone having the lowest MTF and focus on your subject MTF will be better than in the charts. Background will be out of focus anyway.

Best regards
Erik


IF this is the case focus and recompose is going to be even more of an issue. Center focus point limitation combined with a focus plane that you say is not flat.
That would make the lens less appropriate for fashion.
Less of an issue stopped down, but would add to the focus and recompose issue of shorter focal lengths.
Hasselbad for example uses true focus to help deal with this issue and true focus II takes into account focus plane curvature
if it is present in the lens.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 10:01:21 PM by FredBGG » Logged
FredBGG
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« Reply #72 on: January 18, 2013, 04:01:20 PM »
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Hi Henrik -

I agree - there is no reason to cast older lenses in a negative light, there are many strong performers and good glass is good glass. The one area where newer lenses usually outperform is with respect to chromatic aberration, and of course high sync speeds with certain leaf shutters, etc.

But back to the Schneider 55mm and its wavy charts. We compared this lens against the Hasselblad 60mm/3.5 CB Lens. While they appear equally sharp (and equally focused) in the center, the edges are a different story. All 4 edges look equally similar wit each lens. Draw your own conclusions. Raws are available upon request.

This isn't to make any point about old vs new (I'm in favor of both - if they are both good), other than a response to the hand wringing over the charts.


Steve Hendrix
Capture Integration




Chris as I said before (to the "surprise" of some people) the 55mm was designed predominantly as a fast portrait lens for relative close distances. This is the manufacturer's description (the same one I happen to work for...): Minimal distortion wide angle design, provides a normal look, great for editorial portraits and on location lifestyle photography

....
Yair


From the Phase One website:
Quote
55mm LS f/2.8
A preferred choice for on location fashion photographers using fill-in flash.
With its extreme fast flash sync capabilities this lens makes it easy to balance flash and daylight and let's you create stunning images.

Regarding the wavy MTF chart with a really deep dip and then recovery at the edges.. well edge resolution is OK, it's more of an issue in the ring that the deep dip in the MTF graph
corresponds too.

Here is pretty much where the ring falls. This is an approximation based on the graphs. Not intended to be an definative argument, but to illustrate the issue
of a "roller coaster" MTF curve. Something to look for when test the lens and comparing to the far less expensive alternatives.


Full frame sensor such as iq180 or p65+

There are plenty of compositions where important features will fall into this lower sharpness ring.

Also regarding the editorial and lifestyle (fashion) photography attribution lets see where this falls in a magazine double page:


Full frame with a two 5:4 magazine pages side by side crop.

Here one can see that there is a significant area that falls into the deep dip of the MTF chart.

It's actually even more of a composition issue if you take into account the gutter in between the two
pages in the magazine.


Brown area indicated the gutter in the center of the opened up magazine.
Taking into account the gutter ones compositions tend to move more to the left for the left page and more to the right for the right page.
This increases the likely hood of important features being in the "deep dip"

With a crop sensor 33x44 it's less of an issue.


Full frame with 33x44 crop.

Fall off at the very corners is quite different from falloff nearer the center and then contrasted with sharper corners.
Lower sharpness areas are more apparent when they have higher sharpness areas on both sides.

This is hardly what one should expect from a $ 4,290 lens with a Schneider logo on the barrel.

Now that said images can be quite pleasing even with quite strong sharpness falloff, even dramatic falloff can be quite stylish
however I think one would prefer to blur in post rather than be stuck with it.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 05:24:07 PM by FredBGG » Logged
Paul Ozzello
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« Reply #73 on: January 18, 2013, 10:50:23 PM »
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ROFFLMFAO !!!!!!!!!!!!!

From the Phase One website:
Regarding the wavy MTF chart with a really deep dip and then recovery at the edges.. well edge resolution is OK, it's more of an issue in the ring that the deep dip in the MTF graph
corresponds too.

Here is pretty much where the ring falls. This is an approximation based on the graphs. Not intended to be an definative argument, but to illustrate the issue
of a "roller coaster" MTF curve. Something to look for when test the lens and comparing to the far less expensive alternatives.


Full frame sensor such as iq180 or p65+

There are plenty of compositions where important features will fall into this lower sharpness ring.

Also regarding the editorial and lifestyle (fashion) photography attribution lets see where this falls in a magazine double page:


Full frame with a two 5:4 magazine pages side by side crop.

Here one can see that there is a significant area that falls into the deep dip of the MTF chart.

It's actually even more of a composition issue if you take into account the gutter in between the two
pages in the magazine.


Brown area indicated the gutter in the center of the opened up magazine.
Taking into account the gutter ones compositions tend to move more to the left for the left page and more to the right for the right page.
This increases the likely hood of important features being in the "deep dip"

With a crop sensor 33x44 it's less of an issue.


Full frame with 33x44 crop.

Fall off at the very corners is quite different from falloff nearer the center and then contrasted with sharper corners.
Lower sharpness areas are more apparent when they have higher sharpness areas on both sides.

This is hardly what one should expect from a $ 4,290 lens with a Schneider logo on the barrel.

Now that said images can be quite pleasing even with quite strong sharpness falloff, even dramatic falloff can be quite stylish
however I think one would prefer to blur in post rather than be stuck with it.
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Paul Ozzello
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« Reply #74 on: January 18, 2013, 11:01:01 PM »
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(...wiping blown snot from iPhone...)

Could Steve Doug or anyone with a LS55 please post a sample file image taken with the lens so we can
 finally put this issue to rest ?!

That last post was gold ! Time to start a 'Best Of Fred' thread ;-)


From the Phase One website:
Regarding the wavy MTF chart with a really deep dip and then recovery at the edges.. well edge resolution is OK, it's more of an issue in the ring that the deep dip in the MTF graph
corresponds too.

Here is pretty much where the ring falls. This is an approximation based on the graphs. Not intended to be an definative argument, but to illustrate the issue
of a "roller coaster" MTF curve. Something to look for when test the lens and comparing to the far less expensive alternatives.


Full frame sensor such as iq180 or p65+

There are plenty of compositions where important features will fall into this lower sharpness ring.

Also regarding the editorial and lifestyle (fashion) photography attribution lets see where this falls in a magazine double page:


Full frame with a two 5:4 magazine pages side by side crop.

Here one can see that there is a significant area that falls into the deep dip of the MTF chart.

It's actually even more of a composition issue if you take into account the gutter in between the two
pages in the magazine.


Brown area indicated the gutter in the center of the opened up magazine.
Taking into account the gutter ones compositions tend to move more to the left for the left page and more to the right for the right page.
This increases the likely hood of important features being in the "deep dip"

With a crop sensor 33x44 it's less of an issue.


Full frame with 33x44 crop.

Fall off at the very corners is quite different from falloff nearer the center and then contrasted with sharper corners.
Lower sharpness areas are more apparent when they have higher sharpness areas on both sides.

This is hardly what one should expect from a $ 4,290 lens with a Schneider logo on the barrel.

Now that said images can be quite pleasing even with quite strong sharpness falloff, even dramatic falloff can be quite stylish
however I think one would prefer to blur in post rather than be stuck with it.
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Paul Ozzello
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« Reply #75 on: January 18, 2013, 11:05:44 PM »
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How did I let this one slip by ?!?!

ROTMFFLMMFAO !!!!

 Grin  Grin  Grin  Grin

IF this is the case focus and recompose is going to be even more of an issue. Center focus point limitation combined with a focus plane that you say is not flat.
That would make the lens less appropriate for fashion
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FredBGG
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« Reply #76 on: January 19, 2013, 10:17:21 PM »
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Glad you found this entertaining, but I can understand why you would not find it relevant as your portfolio
is made up of landscape, cityscape and giant heavy machinery (rather nice by the way).... none shot with very shallow depth of field.
Keeping a models eyelashes in focus with razor shallow depth is something rather important to those that need it.
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FredBGG
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« Reply #77 on: January 20, 2013, 01:15:04 PM »
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Now I will admit I had a very good copy of the 55ls and the best of three that I tested but its a really nice focal length on a FF sensor. I tested it with both the IQ 180 and IQ 160

Well that doesn't say much for the Schneider logo being a guarantee of quality control if there are discernible quality differences.
One would expect $ 4,290 lenses to not have differences apparent enough to be visable in simple user testing.

I'm sure the MTF graph was made with a good copy... I wonder what the other two lenses MTF would look like if the photographer could see the difference by eye.
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FredBGG
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« Reply #78 on: January 20, 2013, 02:10:45 PM »
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Chris as I said before (to the "surprise" of some people) the 55mm was designed predominantly as a fast portrait lens for relative close distances. This is the manufacturer's description (the same one I happen to work for...): Minimal distortion wide angle design, provides a normal look, great for editorial portraits and on location lifestyle photography

Yair

So a Phase One photographer who needs to shoot with a 33x44 sensor and wants a normal lens angle of view has to shoot with a lens designed for portrait and lifestyle.
How silly is that?
Same thing goes for the owner of a full frame MF back that want's to shoot architecture with a slightly wide angle lens.

Why in the hell would Phase One / Mamiya / Schneider develop a normal lens for 33x44 backs that is not designed as a general purpose lens?

I think it's more about the 55LS being a bit of a dog and giving it the lifestyle and "editorial portrait" attribution because that stuff is predominantly published smaller,
unlike landscape and architecture.

Regarding descriptions the old non LS Mamiya 55 2.8 is described as a general purpose lens.

Quote
provides sharp images up to infinity and with minimal perspective change, produces the most natural image of all wide angle lenses.
Adapts to a wide range of situations from general photography to scenics.



The original Mamiya is a 2.8 so still has shallow depth of field and really apart from the leaf shutter there is nothing wrong about it
for shooting "editorial portraits" or "lifestyle".

However I think that especially for file style a fast 24-70mm 2.8 on a 6 to 10 fps dslr would be a far better choice even if overpowering the sun or fill in flash is needed.

The Canon 24-70 II is quite a step forward.





Here is a good example of it wide open and showing nice bokeh.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bims2008/8351883090/sizes/l/in/pool-2121875@N22/

The 55mm 2.8 does not look to good when compared:


In the Canon graph the thin continuous lines corresponds to 30 cycles. Blue is wide open and black is at f8
In the Phase One/Schneider graph the middle line corresponds to 30 cycles.

Also keep in mind that when comparing a 36mm sensor width with a 44mm sensor witch you will need to enlarge the 36mm image a bit more.



Even with that in mind the modern Canon zoom hold up well against the older 55mm 2.8 LS.

Canon 24-70mm 2.8 II $2,299
Phase Schneider 55 2.8 LS $ 4,290

Even the cheap ass Canon 50mm 1.8 holds up quite well for a $ 150 lens.



Actually at f8 the 30 cycle line is quite remarkable. Sharp dropoff in the very corners, but no big dip roller coaster graph.

And before a riot starts ... I'm not suggesting anyone go out and buy the 50mm 1.8 II....



 
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 04:30:41 PM by FredBGG » Logged
FredBGG
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« Reply #79 on: January 20, 2013, 02:21:18 PM »
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Actually the corner sharpness of the Schneider 55 of Steves pic also does not look convincing to me.

For comparison a stiched image by 5D2 + Mirex + the Zeiss Hasselblad CF 50f4 FLE 16mm shifted upwards plus 12mm downwards and two crops at 2/3 image radius (where the MTF drop of the Schneider would be) and at the corner of 16mm shift.

The corner of the 16mm shift refers to an image circle of 72 mm which is already beyond the 645 image circle of 67mm (sensor 54x40mm).

Steve's test is hardly representative of that a wide angle is used for. I don't think map repro and close focus is a main stay of
moderate wide angle lenses. Corner resolution can change quite significantly when focusing very close...

An more representative test would be at larger distance and using several ISO resolution test charts. Center/midframe/corner.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 04:12:30 PM by FredBGG » Logged
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