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old vs new

ebiggs1
Legend

There has been a lot of interest in using old film camera lenses on new DSLR or mirrorless cameras. Although this isn't a comparison of that it is an old vs new example. Neither is right or wrong just the way it is. I won't say which is which so the guess or decision is in the eye of the beholder. One side is a newer DSLR with a ef 50mm f1.4 lens and the other side is a film F1n with a FD 50mm f1.4 lens. One caveat, the film photo was scanned on a Canon 9000f photo scanner to create a digital image.

 

gas pumps.jpg

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
10 REPLIES 10

ebiggs1
Legend

Here is another example. This time a newer DSLR with the ef 300mm f4L lens and a F1n with a FD 300mm f4 lens.

 

playground set film vs dslr 2.jpg

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

johnrmoyer
Enthusiast

This is a comparison of a new Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM with adaptor and an approximately 45 year old Minolta MC ROKKOR-X PG 1:1.4 f=50mm with adaptor. I attempted to keep as much the same as I could. F number set to 2.8 for both. Manual focus with assist from EOS R5 for both. The Minolta lens is much larger and heavier than the Canon lens.

 

I put them on a tripod and the tripod moved slightly when I changed lenses. F2.8, manual focus, auto ISO. One crop is from near the center and the other crop is from near the upper left corner.  The crop was done in DPP. Lens ID was added to exif data for photos made with the Minolta lens using exiftool.

 

My impressions are

  • the Minolta lens has more detail than the Canon lens.
  • DPP digital lens optimization increases the detail for the Canon lens
  • the Minolta lens has more artifacts where there is high contrast
  • DPP fixes the artifacts that the Canon lens produces
  • I like the way that the Minolta lens renders out of focus areas better than the Canon
  • manual focus seems easier to me with the Minolta lens than with the Canon lens
  • The modern lens has autofocus, can electronically set F number, and records those values in exif data while the old lens does not

photos were made with EOS R5 and "clarity" set to 1. Unsharp mask disabled. Electronic first curtain.

 

First image is Canon lens with digital lens optimization and all corrections turned off.

IMG_4747a.JPG

 

Second image is Minolta lens:

IMG_4748a.JPG

 

Next is Canon lens, upper left corner:

IMG_4747b.JPG

 

Next is Minolta lens, upper left corner:

IMG_4748b.JPG

 

Next is Canon lens with digital lens optimization enabled in DPP:

IMG_4747d.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

---
https://www.rsok.com/~jrm/

Man you lost me. Just what exactly are you trying to show here? Perhaps I am missing something.

Personally I would not use either of the lenses you tested if that is what they produce. I could not sell, nor would I try, any photo from either of those choices.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

I am sorry that I did not express my intent clearly.

 

I was attempting to show the difference between an old lens and a new lens with as many other variables as possible kept constant. These are not photos to sell, but to demonstrate a difference. A quick experiment when there is nothing interesting to photograph. There have been comments by others that there is no point in using an old lens on a new camera. It seems to me that some old lenses are better than some new lenses on a new camera body.

Here is an image made with the 45 year old Minolta MC ROKKOR-X PG 1:1.4 f=50mm lens (reduced in size so not too large to upload). I cannot make the same image with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

 

 

IMG_1702cvs.JPG

 

https://www.rsok.com/~jrm/2021Jun06_birds_and_cats/2021jun05_storm_IMG_1702cv.html

 

---
https://www.rsok.com/~jrm/

"There have been comments by others that there is no point in using an old lens on a new camera."

 

I tend to agree with that. Depending on the choice of lenses. There usually is no benefit to gain and a great deal to lose using old film lenses.

 

"It seems to me that some old lenses are better than some new lenses on a new camera body."

 

Again choice of lenses. " I cannot make the same image with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM"

Perhaps not but what if the choice was the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens and the old Rokkor. You see you made a comparison between an entry level lens and a top tier lens.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Many of the old lenses are available at low prices because of demand (lack thereof).

 

The top tier Minolta lens is listed on eBay for $100 or less. Less expensive then the entry level 50mm 1.8 STM.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

My Minolta lens is likely in better condition than one available on Ebay for less than $100.00. I understand that not everyone has an old high quality lens in their closet.

Mirrorless cameras have made adaptors for the old lenses more practical than they were before.

 

It seems to me that design tradeoff choices on some of the older lenses were weighted more toward resolution at the expense of contrast. A modern sensor and software can take advantage of that, especially for black and white.

 

---
https://www.rsok.com/~jrm/

"...especially for black and white."

 

That may be the bet for use of old out dated film lenses because most, all, suffer form lots of chromatic aberration.  A spec that is far better controlled by a top of the mark lens like the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens.

Always keep in mind the total ability of any lens. Most of the time people get caught up on a single spec. Usually it is IQ but not always. If any lens old or new serves your purpose it is a great lens! Right?

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

The Seven Laws of Lenses

  1. Never sell a good lens.
  2. When evaluating lenses, look at the pictures, not at the lens.
    The Leica Lens Designer's Precept (apocryphal) The only way to test a lens is to use it for a year. Everything else is a shortcut.
  3. You can make successful photographs with any lens, no matter how bad.
    ...And The corollary to the Third Law You can make terrible photographs with any lens, no matter how good.
  4. You get no extra credit for using a technically excellent lens.
    Ctein's Axiom If you can't see it, it doesn't count.
  5. You can never spend too much money on a lens.
    Corollary to the Fifth Law If a lens works for you, it doesn't matter how little you spent for it or how little it might be esteemed by others, it's still the right lens.
  6. The proper number of lenses to own is the intersection between the sets "all the lenses you need" and "the lowest possible number." (Another way to say this is "enough but no more.") 
  7. All lenses give their gifts.
cheers Trevor

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri

Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me
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