Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: hasselbladfan on October 12, 2012, 06:45:35 am

Title: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: hasselbladfan on October 12, 2012, 06:45:35 am
Just out of fun, I made a hit parade of the sharpest lenses (till 200mm). On popular request, I added some zooms, but I remain convinced IMHO that besides one or two exceptions, primes remain king in sharpness :)

Here is my top league for center & corner sharpness (I have not included large telelenses, since they have a natural advantage due to their design).

NEW LIST (following suggestions)

ONCE IN A LIFETIME
(hopefully, you can own 1 of these in your life)
. Coastal Optics 60mm Macro f4 (the reference lens according to DigLloyd)
. Leica 50mm APO f2 (the new one - my hope he comes in 2nd place :))
. Zeiss UP 55mm f1.4 (as per photos seen at Photokina)
. Leica 180mm APO  f2.8

THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE (expensive, but so good, so irresistable)
. Leica M 90mm APO f2 / R 100mm Macro / R 60mm f 2.8
. Nikon 200mm f2 II / Canon 200mm f2 II
. Zeiss 100mm f2 Macro
. Zeiss 50mm f2 Macro
. Zeiss 21mm / 28mm f2.8
. Leica 28mm f2 Asph.
. Canon 135mm L f2 / Zeiss 135mm APO f2

A FRIEND FOREVER (loyal and never disappointing)
. Nikon 14-24mm f2.8
. Canon 24-70mm L f2.8 II
. Nikon 24mm f1.4 / Sigma 35mm HSM A f1.4 / Zeiss 35mm f1.4
. Nikon 60mm Macro / Canon 100mm L Macro
. Nikon 85mm f1.4 / Sigma 85mm f1.4
. Nikkor Micro 200mm f4
. Canon 24mm 3.5 L II / Canon 90mm L TS-E f2.8
. Fujinon 35mm f1.4 (X-Pro)
. Sony Alfa CZ 135mm f 1.8
. Voigtlander APO Lanthar 90mm f2.8

Let me know if I miss a hidden "gem" (or if you disagree).
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 12, 2012, 07:58:04 am
Hi,

Some excellent lenses I think of:

Canon 135/2L
Zeiss 21/2.8 ( on the other hand I am a bit sceptical about the 25/2 )
Canon 200/1.8 L USM tested best at old PhotoDo

Best regards
Erik
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: Hulyss on October 12, 2012, 08:37:38 am
Hi,

I do not own Canon gear but I seen what can do the Canon 135/2L  :o Awesome.

So for my experience, wide open:

NIKON 105mm AF-S VR f/2.8G IF-ED MC
NIKON 85mm f/1.8 AF-S G
NIKON 180mm AF f/2.8 D IF ED

CARL ZEISS Distagon T* 35mm f/2

SIGMA 150mm f/2.8 Macro DG OS EX HSM
SIGMA 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM EX
SIGMA 70mm f/2.8 DG MACRO (This one is awesome too).

And certainly the future SIGMA 35f1.4 DG HSM A, by judging MTF curves ...
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on October 12, 2012, 08:54:42 am
Hi,

Some excellent lenses I think of:

Canon 135/2L

Indeed, and very close compared to the TS-E 90mm f/2.8 ...

Of course sharpness is not the only characteristic that makes a lens worthwhile, bokeh is also very high on my list of criteria (which both of the above do well).

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: hasselbladfan on October 12, 2012, 08:55:33 am
Some excellent lenses I think of:

Canon 135/2L
Zeiss 21/2.8 ( on the other hand I am a bit sceptical about the 25/2 )
Canon 200/1.8 L USM tested best at old PhotoDo

Agree, Eric. I used the 135 f2 once and it was great (still with film). I have put the 25 f2, following comments of the zeis guys at the Photokina, but I agree the 21mm is also great.
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: Petrus on October 12, 2012, 08:58:44 am
Well, my Fujinon XF 35mm f:1.4 lens for X-Pro1 beats at least the Canon 50mm f:1.4 by a big margin. I remember reading on some review site that this Fujinon is the sharpest new lens to appear in two years. I am inclined to believe that.

oops, well, I interpret the subject with some extra freedom, after all that lens is a 35mm lens...  :-)
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: hasselbladfan on October 12, 2012, 09:14:29 am

NEW LIST (following suggestions)

1. Coastal Optics 60mm Macro f4 (the reference lens according to DigLloyd)
2. Leica 50mm APO f2 (the new one - my hope he comes in 2nd place :))
3. Zeiss UP 55mm f1.4 (as per photos seen at Photokina)
4. Leica 90mm APO f2
5. Nikon / Canon 200mm f2
6. Zeiss 100mm f2 Macro
7. Zeiss 50mm f2 Macro
8. Zeiss 21mm f2.8
9. Leica 28mm f2 Asph.
10. Canon 135mm f2
11. Nikon 24mm f1.4
12. Nikon 85mm f1.4
13. Canon 24mm 3.5 L II
14. Fujinon 35mm f1.4 (X-Pro)
15. .............


Keep sending me ideas, guys. Nobody knows them all.
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: hasselbladfan on October 12, 2012, 09:18:01 am
Hi,

I am not an expert in Sigma, so tell me which one of the list is really the top of the top.

The Nikon's you mention are very good, but not comparable to 24 f1.4 /85 f1.4 or 200 f2 (IMHO).
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: Hulyss on October 12, 2012, 09:57:06 am
Hi,

I am not an expert in Sigma, so tell me which one of the list is really the top of the top.

The Nikon's you mention are very good, but not comparable to 24 f1.4 /85 f1.4 or 200 f2 (IMHO).

For SIGMA there is a problem (and I think for most brands). There is more than one gems in this brand. The first of all is the 70 mm Macro (for sharpness every were). In the same league you have the other macros like 150/180 last generation.

For bokeh, the 85 f1.4 is exceptional, on par with the Nikon 1.4 (really) and also very fast (AF). The 120-300 f/2.8 OS HSM is also exceptional but suffered some little mechanical problems. This is why SIGMA rebuild them in first. The 50 f/1.4 is also a gem but it seems that some canon guys do not like him due to some kind of "incompatibility".

Well... I like SIGMA since a long time and this brand was never an outsider in my mind, but the new way they take ... seems to be very solid. At least I trust them and, like fox Mulder, want to believe. Can't wait for the first tests.

http://www.sigma-global.com/
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: BernardLanguillier on October 12, 2012, 10:19:08 am
The Leica 180mm f2.8 APO should be very close to the top.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: hasselbladfan on October 12, 2012, 10:24:31 am
Fully agree, Bernard. This one WAS fabulous.

But I limited this list to lenses that are currently in production or were announced to be launched in 2013.

Leica should have never stopped producing the R serie, just made them available in a Nikon / Canon bajonet. Missed opportunity :).
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: BernardLanguillier on October 12, 2012, 10:44:11 am
Fully agree, Bernard. This one WAS fabulous.

But I limited this list to lenses that are currently in production or were announced to be launched in 2013.

OK, sorry, I missed that.

You may have to include the new Zeiss 135mm but we still lack first hand data obviously.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: MatthewCromer on October 12, 2012, 11:00:34 am
CZ 135/1.8 Sony Alpha
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: NancyP on October 12, 2012, 11:14:09 am
Zeiss and Leica dominate here. Canon and Nikon are tied.
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: Rob C on October 12, 2012, 11:34:12 am
Fully agree, Bernard. This one WAS fabulous.

But I limited this list to lenses that are currently in production or were announced to be launched in 2013.

Leica should have never stopped producing the R serie, just made them available in a Nikon / Canon bajonet. Missed opportunity :).



I wrote about that very topic (Nikon-fitting) to them and they ignored the question, telling me the obvious instead, that they had excellent slr cameras of their own... that's almost insulting PR, in my view. Better to ignore a possible, hopeful customer-to-be than to insult his intelligence with such a response.

Anyway, I haven't tested every lens in the world, mostly none in recent years other than a very few Nikkors. Of those, I swear by my 1.8/50mm manual as well as the 2.8/180mm AF one, my only AF lens, and it still has to be used in AF mode. It won't be.

Nobody is forcing me to reply or contribute to this thread, but I honestly think such questions are madness. Almost every other guy here with a 24-70mm G Nilkkor swears by it, and I swore at it until I managed to get rid of the damned thing. It's ALL opinion, and even tests are based on nothing more than the individual lens on the rig. How do you know the rest are the same, better or even worse? You don't. Just buy what you can afford and that tuns you on, whether because you have read about it somewhere you respect, are a fanboy, a marque mark, or have simply borrowed a great example of something. It'll probably be better than you might be.

Rob C
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: hasselbladfan on October 12, 2012, 01:38:17 pm
Nobody is forcing me to reply or contribute to this thread, but I honestly think such questions are madness.

Rob,

As I mentioned, this is not exact science. This is just my personal hitparade (for fun).

The appealing thing is that (with everyone's contributions) we get a list of VERY VERY NICE lenses to own. Like a Christmas list for the next 15 years. :)
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: Petrus on October 12, 2012, 01:40:59 pm

 It's ALL opinion, and even tests are based on nothing more than the individual lens on the rig. How do you know the rest are the same, better or even worse? You don't.

Lens Rentals tests a bunch of lenses ( like ten or a dozen) and publishes a chart showing the spread of the results. Too bad this thread is restricted to primes, as they just recently found out that the new Canon 24-70 2.8 is sharper than any Canon Prime...
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 12, 2012, 03:01:18 pm
Here is a list from Swedish monthly "Foto", their list is based on MTF measurement at the Hasselblad factory.

Canon TS-E 24/3,5 L II
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 18/3,5 ZF
Nikkor AF-S 14-24/2,8 G ED
Canon EF 100/2,8 L IS USM Macro
Nikkor Micro AF 200/4 D ED
Sigma 70/2,8 EX DG Macro
Voigtlšnder APO Lanthar 90/2,8
Nikkor AF-S VR 400/2,8 G ED
Canon EF 200/2,0 L IS USM
Nikkor AF-S VR 200-400/4 G ED

MTF curves are here: http://tidningenfoto.se/de-skarpaste-objektiven-fotos-tio-i-topp-lista/

Foto displays 20 lp/mm which they regard most relevant. They claim to measure down to 60 lp/mm, but they don't show that data. I digress a bit. Most tests I read the Zeiss 21/2.8 is regarded to be better than the 18/3.5.

Reading the comments in the "Foto" article it is pointed out that some of the wide angles are better than the best standard lenses (including Leica) and top of the line Sigma lenses have no problem at all keeping up with any Leica lens.

One more observation, the guy who is making these MTF measurements is the same guy who made the optical design of all HC-lenses.

Best regards
Erik
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: Streetshooter on October 12, 2012, 03:28:06 pm


I wrote about that very topic (Nikon-fitting) to them and they ignored the question, telling me the obvious instead, that they had excellent slr cameras of their own... that's almost insulting PR, in my view. Better to ignore a possible, hopeful customer-to-be than to insult his intelligence with such a response.

Anyway, I haven't tested every lens in the world, mostly none in recent years other than a very few Nikkors. Of those, I swear by my 1.8/50mm manual as well as the 2.8/180mm AF one, my only AF lens, and it still has to be used in AF mode. It won't be.

Nobody is forcing me to reply or contribute to this thread, but I honestly think such questions are madness. Almost every other guy here with a 24-70mm G Nilkkor swears by it, and I swore at it until I managed to get rid of the damned thing. It's ALL opinion, and even tests are based on nothing more than the individual lens on the rig. How do you know the rest are the same, better or even worse? You don't. Just buy what you can afford and that tuns you on, whether because you have read about it somewhere you respect, are a fanboy, a marque mark, or have simply borrowed a great example of something. It'll probably be better than you might be.

Rob C


Funny thing is Rob I feel exactly the same about the 24-70mm Nikon !  I wanted to get one and borrowed a friends to test and was very underwhelmed by it. My 18-70mm lens was even sharper by a noticeable margin.....and yet everybody seems to rave about it and uses one. Some of my older AiS Nikkors outperform the latest exotic fast primes too. I always test before I buy despite what other people say.

Pete
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: TMARK on October 12, 2012, 03:59:29 pm
Nikon 50 1.8.  Yup, sharp, but other issues when shot wider than 2.8.

Zeiss 35 F2 ZE/ZF.  Wow.

The 135L, of course.

I know its not in production, but the Nikoin 28 AIS is sick.  It is a complex lens and it is easy to knock an element out of alignment.

Leica 28 Asph.

Zeiss 28 2.8 ZM.  This is probably the sharpest lens I've ever used in any format.  As sharp wide open as stopped down.  Stopping down doesn't oncrease sharpness, just changes the DOF.  Wow.

Nikon 85 1.4D, and 85 1.8G.  Oh yeah, Nikon 60mm AFd Macro, and the Canon 100 2.8 USM Macro

All that being said, the 35mm lenses I like the most are the Canon 50 and 85L lenses, the 35mm summicrom M (third version), the 28mm elmarit M (49mm), the Zeiss F2 ZE/ZF, and the Nikon 28 AIS. . I use the Zeiss Blad lenses on Canon and the D800, which I really like. 



Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: Glenn NK on October 12, 2012, 08:43:23 pm
I would also suggest the Canon 24TSEII.

Funny, when I first read the post title, I thought it was about 35 mm FL lenses only.   ;D

Glenn
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm prime lenses
Post by: DaveCurtis on October 13, 2012, 12:28:35 am
Zeiss 35mm f1.4 ZE.

Have you seen the MTF on that new Zeiss 135  APO  :)
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: hasselbladfan on October 13, 2012, 08:07:16 am

NEW LIST (following some excellent suggestions)

ONCE IN A LIFETIME
(hopefully, you can own 1 of these in your life)
. Coastal Optics 60mm Macro f4 (the reference lens according to DigLloyd)
. Leica 50mm APO f2 (the new one - my hope he comes in 2nd place :))
. Zeiss UP 55mm f1.4 (as per photos seen at Photokina)
. Leica 180mm APO  f2.8

THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE (expensive, but so good, so irresistable)
. Leica 90mm APO f2
. Nikon 200mm f2 II / Canon 200mm f2
. Zeiss 100mm f2 Macro
. Zeiss 50mm f2 Macro
. Zeiss 21mm / 28mm f2.8
. Leica 28mm f2 Asph.
. Canon 135mm L f2 / Zeiss 135mm APO f2

A FRIEND FOREVER (loyal and never disappointing)
. Nikon 14-24mm f2.8
. Canon 24-70mm L f2.8 II
. Nikon 24mm f1.4 / Sigma 35mm HSM A f1.4 / Zeiss 35mm f1.4
. Nikon 60mm Macro / Canon 100mm L Macro
. Nikon 85mm f1.4 / Sigma 85mm f1.4
. Nikkor Micro 200mm f4
. Canon 24mm 3.5 L II / Canon 90mm L TS-E f2.8
. Fujinon 35mm f1.4 (X-Pro)
. Sony Alfa CZ 135mm f 1.8
. Voigtlander APO Lanthar 90mm f2.8


This is really becoming a very nice Xmas list :).
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: rogan on October 13, 2012, 10:55:15 am
This is a really odd list. First of all any good lens list that has the Canon 24-70 on it is immediately disqualified. Terrible lens. The vII is suppose to be better. The Nikon 24-70 kills the canon. The Nikon 200f2vII is one of if not the sharpest nikon lens made and not on the list. The Nikon 24 1.4 is good, but the Nikon 35 1.4 is great.  The canon 35 1.4 is great as well.
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: Petrus on October 13, 2012, 11:26:44 am
Re new Canon 24-70mm: here is a quote from LensRentals blog after they tested it:

"This is short, sweet, and simple. The resolution absolutely, positively kicks butt and takes names. It is way better than the lens it replaces. Itís better at 70mm than the best Canon zoom I know of, the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II. Itís even better at 24mm than the sharpest 24mm prime we have, the Canon 24 TS-E. In the center, in the corners, it doesnít care. We only had 5 copies to test, but they were all very similar with little copy-to-copy variation."

Things are certainly getting mighty interesting if Nikon can make a 14-24mm fast zoom which beats most primes, and Canon can make a 24-70mm which also beats great primes and longer zooms. What is coming when somebody really puts all the modern design power behind a fast prime design effort? (well, Fujinon XF 35mm is a good example, but it is not FF).
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: hasselbladfan on October 13, 2012, 11:34:44 am
... the Canon 24-70 vII is suppose to be better. ... The Nikon 200f2vII is one of if not the sharpest nikon lens made and not on the list. .....

Sorry. I forgot to mention it was vII in both cases.
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: hugowolf on October 13, 2012, 12:07:02 pm
There are an awful lot of excellent macro lenses out there, and while the 70 mm Sigma offers very good resolution and general sharpness, the minimum working distance of just 6.5 cm makes it less than an ideal macro lens. Compare this with the Tamron 60 mm f/2 at 10 cm and the Canon 60 mm f/2.8 at 9 cm.

Brian A
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: hasselbladfan on October 13, 2012, 12:53:34 pm
Brian,

General sharpness is not what we are looking for. I will take the Sigma out then.
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: EricWHiss on October 13, 2012, 01:07:40 pm
Surprised to not see Leica 100mm apo and Leica 60mm elmarits in this list.  I had the latest 50mm summicron but would have put the macros ahead of it.

Also a rare lens but Leica 35-70 f/2.8 elmarit is amazing
And the 80mm summilux -

Olympus macros are quite good too.  50mm f/3.5 is really a great lens especially good value. 
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: hasselbladfan on October 13, 2012, 01:39:54 pm
Agree, Eric. This are 2 fantastic lenses, unfortunately not in production anymore.

I will add them.

Not so sure about the 80mm Lux. I was a great portrait lens in the 80's when they were launched, but the APO 90mm f2 surpassed the 80mm by far.
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: Dustbak on October 13, 2012, 01:49:25 pm
The sharpest 35mm lens I have ever used was a beaten up AI 55/3.5 Nikkor Macro. Sharper than any other Nikon Macro I have owned which is everyone of them with the exception of the 105vr.

2 of the nicest lenses are the Voigtlander Apo-Lanthars, the 125/2.5 and the 180/4 not sure if they are amongst the sharpest but they just render gorgeous.
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: Peter McLennan on October 13, 2012, 08:57:46 pm
The sharpest 35mm lens I have ever used was a beaten up AI 55/3.5 Nikkor Macro.

I'll second that.  I bought one off ebay on spec and was astounded at its resolving power. I immediately bought another as a backup.  On my D800 it's just amazing.  Unlike some macros, it's great at infinity.
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: Dustbak on October 14, 2012, 10:10:41 am
Did you also notice it seems to simply snap into focus? Very noticable. This is IMO the real forgotten gem, can often be bought for under 100USD (if you can find one).
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: JohnBrew on October 14, 2012, 11:01:10 am
Nikon 105 2.5 Ai
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: Peter McLennan on October 14, 2012, 12:49:01 pm
Did you also notice it seems to simply snap into focus?

I hate to take it off the camera.  ;D
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: langier on October 15, 2012, 10:12:34 am
When man invents a sharper lens, nature will always create a fuzzier subject.

That being said, no matter how sharp the lens, there are still lots of fuzzy concepts being created. Though great lenses and cameras help, it's still the photographer and mastery of the craft!
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: kers on October 15, 2012, 11:21:04 am
I think you can leave the sigma 1,4 85mm out- no corner sharpness...
Photozone.de     corners nikon 1,4-3100  Sigma-2200      at d4  nikon-3750  sigma-2540

I very much like the PCE-lenses of nikon the 45PCE renders very nice


Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: maxgruzen on October 15, 2012, 12:57:57 pm
Boy I must be totaly out of touch. I love my Canon 85 1.2. Tack sharp wide open. The only reason I still own a Canon Camera. My 200L prime is as good as the 135 I feel.
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: TMARK on October 16, 2012, 03:38:45 pm
Boy I must be totaly out of touch. I love my Canon 85 1.2. Tack sharp wide open. The only reason I still own a Canon Camera. My 200L prime is as good as the 135 I feel.

I like the 50 1.2 and 85 1.2 very much, which is why I also kept my 5d2 and made work buy a 5d3.  Very special lenses for lifestyle/fashion/catalogue.  Anything even remotely portrait like.

T
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: Hening Bettermann on October 16, 2012, 05:29:50 pm
Has anybody compared any of these lenses to digital lenses? In the book "Digitale Highend-Fotografie" (2005), the authors present a comparison between a Sinaron W 4,5/65, a Macro-Elmarit-R 2,8/60 and a Sinaron digital HR 4,0/60, with the latter as the clear winner, resolution-wise.
Edit: Oh well. Not quite so clear. The Elmarit and the HR are almost undistinguishable.
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 17, 2012, 12:09:14 am
Hi,

In 2006 there was a shootout between different systems arranged by the great friends Michael Reichmann, Charlie Cramer and Bill Atkinson assisted by Chris Sanderson. Jeff Schewe was unfortunately not taking part ;-)

In that test Michael had his Linhof, Charlie Mamiya and Bill a Hasselblad H system. I guess the finding was that everyone was happy with his own gear. The results have been published. http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/back-testing.shtml, so you can check yourself.

You can even reproduce the test if you happen to have a one dollar bill.

Best regards
Erik

I think I still have the files and Michael allows me or any one else who bought the DVD to post files.

Best regards
Erik

Has anybody compared any of these lenses to digital lenses? In the book "Digitale Highend-Fotografie" (2005), the authors present a comparison between a Sinaron W 4,5/65, a Macro-Elmarit-R 2,8/60 and a Sinaron digital HR 4,0/60, with the latter as the clear winner, resolution-wise.
Edit: Oh well. Not quite so clear. The Elmarit and the HR are almost undistinguishable.
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: Hening Bettermann on October 17, 2012, 04:56:13 pm
Hi Erik

thank you for the link. However, none of the four lenses compared is a "digital" lens (or is the Apo Sironar HM? I could not find it on the Rodenstock site). Also, they were compared on a Phase 45 back - something that unfortunately is out of my economical reach. What I wonder is how would a good 35 mm lens compare to a Digitar on a Nikon D800 or a 24 MP full frame DSLR? Obviously, there is no available mount for Digitars to 35 mm cameras. But for some of the longer focal lengths, somebody might have tried to put a 35 mm DSLR behind a view camera.

Good light - Hening.
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 17, 2012, 05:26:27 pm
Hi,

I may have missed out on the lenses...

Could be that Michael meant APO Sironar HR as he owns such a lens: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/digital-view.shtml.

You can send him a message and ask.

Best regards
Erik




Hi Erik

thank you for the link. However, none of the four lenses compared is a "digital" lens (or is the Apo Sironar HM? I could not find it on the Rodenstock site). Also, they were compared on a Phase 45 back - something that unfortunately is out of my economical reach. What I wonder is how would a good 35 mm lens compare to a Digitar on a Nikon D800 or a 24 MP full frame DSLR? Obviously, there is no available mount for Digitars to 35 mm cameras. But for some of the longer focal lengths, somebody might have tried to put a 35 mm DSLR behind a view camera.

Good light - Hening.
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: Hening Bettermann on October 17, 2012, 07:19:06 pm
I settle with the assumption that it is an HR lens, and the HM is just a typo, since there does not seem to be such a lens.

One sentence in the above link seems to show that I had turned the problem upside down:

"But the HR lens line's abilities go beyond even the extreme high definition of Rodenstock's other excellent optics, providing resolution comparable to that of the finest prime 35mm format lenses."

I thought digital lenses, also non-HR, were BETTER than even good 35 mm lenses.

Thanks for the link! This new enlightenment makes this thread on the sharpest 35 mm lenses even more interesting...
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 17, 2012, 11:13:58 pm
Hi,

Here are the MTF curves of a a HR Digaron-S 100/4 and a Zeiss 100/2.0 Macro Planar. The Zeiss is a lens widely considered to be one of the best on 135.

Please note the following:

1) Zeiss curves are for 10, 20 and 40 lp/mm
2) HR Digaron curves are for 10, 20, 40 and 80 lp/mm

So you should compare the top three curves.

135 format stretches to about 21.5 mm, so you can ignore anything beyond 21.5 mm on the Digaron curve.

So MTF at 40 lp/mm varies between 70% and 60% on the Zeiss, which are very good values.

On the Rodenstock lens the corresponding values are 85%-80%, so the Rodenstock is probably better if judged from these curves.

On the other hand, the Zeiss data are measured while the Rodenstock data is probably taken from lens design calculations, also I don't know if it is for white or monochrome light.

Keep in mind that lenses have other properties than sharpness, the way out of focus parts of the images are rendered is also important. The area of a picture in absolute focus may be very thin!


I also include MTF curves for the Coastal Optics 60/4 Macro that Lloyd Chambers (Diglloyd) considers to be the best lens MTF 40 LP/mm seems to be just below 0.8 at f/5.6. This lenses looses sharpness at f/8. I have a hunch that the Rodenstock data is a bit optimistic. I would expect a truly excellent lens to be diffraction limited at f/5.6 or f/4.

Best regards
Erik




I settle with the assumption that it is an HR lens, and the HM is just a typo, since there does not seem to be such a lens.

One sentence in the above link seems to show that I had turned the problem upside down:

"But the HR lens line's abilities go beyond even the extreme high definition of Rodenstock's other excellent optics, providing resolution comparable to that of the finest prime 35mm format lenses."

I thought digital lenses, also non-HR, were BETTER than even good 35 mm lenses.

Thanks for the link! This new enlightenment makes this thread on the sharpest 35 mm lenses even more interesting...
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: Hening Bettermann on October 18, 2012, 05:24:00 pm
Hi Erik,
thank you for this informative comparison. I conclude that the best digital (MF) and the best 35 mm lenses can be pretty much on the same level.
Good light!
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 18, 2012, 05:26:58 pm
Hi,

Just don't forget, curves are curves and images are images.

Best regards
Erik


Hi Erik,
thank you for this informative comparison. I conclude that the best digital (MF) and the best 35 mm lenses can be pretty much on the same level.
Good light!
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: BernardLanguillier on October 18, 2012, 05:42:45 pm
Sharpness, and in particular corner sharpness, is in fact not well correlated with the success of a lens and it being liked by its users.

According to Photozone, the corners of the Canon 85mm f1.2II are poor (much poorer than the competition at least) but yet, the lens is rightfully considered by most of its users as one of the main reason why they love the Canon system.

This is probably the result of low CA at all apertures and brilliant bokeh. Things that you cannot see on MTF curves.

Of course the application matters here, MTF will be more relevant to landscape shooters, but there is really a lot more to lens quality than sharpness.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: ARD on October 18, 2012, 05:51:26 pm
Sharpness, and in particular corner sharpness, is in fact not well correlated with the success of a lens and it being liked by its users.

According to Photozone, the corners of the Canon 85mm f1.2II are poor (much poorer than the competition at least) but yet, the lens is rightfully considered by most of its users as one of the main reason why they love the Canon system.

This is probably the result of low CA at all apertures and brilliant bokeh. Things that you cannot see on MTF curves.

Of course the application matters here, MTF will be more relevant to landscape shooters, but there is really a lot more to lens quality than sharpness.

Cheers,
Bernard


Totally agree, sometimes I feel people spend far to much time worrying about the slightest flaw of a lens, instead of considering the overall performance. Constantly trying to find the perfect copy, does in my opinion, detract somewhat from enjoying photography, and striving to get the best from what you have. Knowing the limitations of your equipment is a good thing as it will enable you, as the photographer, to adjust accordingly.
Title: Re: Hit parade of the sharpest 35mm lenses (NEW RANKING)
Post by: hugowolf on October 19, 2012, 01:23:13 pm
Sharpness, and in particular corner sharpness, is in fact not well correlated with the success of a lens and it being liked by its users.

Of course the application matters here, MTF will be more relevant to landscape shooters, but there is really a lot more to lens quality than sharpness.

Cheers,
Bernard
I could agree more. With a lenses like Canon's 85 mm f/1.2 II and 135 mm f/2 used for a subject near centre and at wide apertures where the background is rendered out of focus, in portraiture, for example. Then compare this with a macro lens used for copy work.

Brian A