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Tue, Feb. 5th, 2019, 02:07 pm
Differences of detail level

Originally published at VolkStudio Blog. You can comment here or there.

I just tried comparing a full-frame 43MP Sony A7R3 and 135/1.8 Sigma lens bought for $1200 to a 16MP micro 4/3 Panasonic GM5 with an adapted FED 50/2.8 lens (E26m) obtained at a used book store for $4. Sony wins considerably on all counts other than size, which is to be expected. GM5 was obtained for the pocket camera role with a 20/1.7 lens.

5.6, ISO around 250. Click to expand to see the difference in detail.

135mm can be used almost directly into light sources. The 52mm, especially since it has wider coverage than needed, cannot — but its contrast improves greatly with a lens shade or a hand used as a gobo. Edge sharpness on the 52 falls off rapidly, even though only the center quarter of the lens area is used by micro 4/3 camera.

Conclusion: expensive modern lenses are better than cheap obsolete lenses. A real discovery, right? The purpose of my quest was to see if I could use the 52mm for stylizing 1930-1950s look in camera. The answer is “yes”, but focusing has to be done with great care. Even zoomed in, focus was difficult to obtain. The reason I was curious about the 52mm is that I started my photo learning on a FED camera with this or a very similar lens.

Compositions where detail isn’t critical look reasonably good.
Regular 20/1.7 in use. The detail is sharper, more even out to the corners, but the difference isn’t as much as I expected. The 20mm is half the size of the 52mm, supports AF and has much better contrast…at $270 and 60 years newer, that’s not surprising.