Comparing Nifty Fifty's - Part II

November 20, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Lenses tested for this articleA selection of portrait lenses

 

In Part I, I discussed the reasons for doing this test and showed tight crops from the images. In this part, I'll show the complete images so you can evaluate the shape and appearance of the bokah at F/2.8.  Remember, since some of the lenses have apertures faster then F/2.8, we are stopping them down for equivalency (to check sharpness), that may not be optimum for best bokah.

Methodology. I used my Fujifilm XT-2 camera.  At the time of writing, the XT-2 is the highest resolution (24MP) APS-C camera made by Fujifilm. In no way, shape, or form is this super accurate testing.  There are no lens resolution test charts, no brick walls, nothing like that.  Just my spouse (semi tolerant), some lights behind her to create bokah, and a flash in front of her. Images were imported into Lightroom for cropping and exported. No other correction was done.

The slowest lenses tested have an aperture of F/2.8, and since no lens is at it's best wide open, I also tested at F/4.0. Lenses that were faster were also test at lower F stops so the shape of the bokah was viewed. Some tested lenses have as few as seven aperture blades, nine was typical, one has 12 blades. The 12 bladed aperture provided beautiful round bokah at all settings.

Tested Lenses

Description Aperture Blades No. Elements
Fujifilm XF16-55mm F/2.8 R LM WR at 55mm  9 (rounded) 17
Fujifilm XF50-140mm F/2.8 R LM OIS WR at 50mm 7 (rounded) 23 
Fujifilm XF56mm F/1.2 R 7 (rounded) 11
Fujifilm XF60mm F/2.5 R Macro 9 (rounded) 10
Helios 44-2 58mm F/2 8 (rounded) 6
Nikkor 50mm F/1.4 (pre AI) 7 7
Nikkor 50mm F/1.4 (pre AI) Turbo II - Effective F/1.0 7 7+4
Nikkor 55mm F/2.8 Micro (pre AI) 7 6
Nikkor 85mm F/1.8D 9 6
Nikkor 85mm F/1.8D Turbo II - Effective F/1.3 9 6+4
Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm F/2.8 12 (rounded) 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first group of images are all shown at F/2.8 to make it easy to compare them directly. 

Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR 55mm at 2.8 close

Fujifilm XF16-55mm F/2.8 R LM WR 55mm at F/2.8

Fujifilm XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR 50mm at 2.8 close

Fujifilm XF50-140mm F/2.8 R LM OIS WR 50mm at F/2.8

Fujifilm XF56mmF1.2 R at 2.8 close

Fujifilm XF56mm F/1.2 R at f/2.8

Fujifilm XF60mmF2.5 R Macro at 2.8

Fujifilm XF60mm F/2.5 R Macro at f/2.8 

Helios 44-2 58mmf2 at 2.8

Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 at f/2.8

 

Nikkor 50/1.4 @2.8

Nikkor 50mm F/1.4 (pre AI) at F/2.8

Nikkor 50mmF1.4 (pre AI) Turbo II at 2.1

Nikkor 50mm F/1.4 (pre AI) Turbo II at F/2.8 - effective F/2.0

Nikkor 55mmF2.8 Micro (pre AI) at 2.8

Nikkor 55mm F/2.8 Micro (pre AI) at F/2.8

Nikkor 85mmF1.8D at 2.8 (FF equiv. field of view - 127mm)

Nikkor 85mm F/1.8D at F/2.8 (FF equiv. field of view - 127mm)

Nikkor 85mmF1.8D Turbo II at 2.1

Nikkor 85mm F/1.8D Turbo II at F/2.8 - effective F/2.0

Zeiss Jena Tessar 50-2.8 at 2.8

Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm F/2.8 at F/2.8

 

Full frame conclusions:  The aperture blades on the older Nikkor lenses makes for strongly shaped polygonal bokah.  The Jena bokah has a hot spot in it's center, giving a slight 3D appearance to it.  The Jena also shows some oblong shaped bokah.

The Fujifilm 50-140mm shows oblong shaped bokah towards the edges, that's not unusual for a zoom lens.

The Fujifilm 16-55mm zoom shows some onion ring bokah.

The Fujifilm 56mm bokah is clean but has an oblong appearance around the edges.

The Fujifilm 60mm bokah is oddly shaped, neither round nor oblong.

The Helios bokah looks good in the center and shifts to oblong towards the edges.

The Nikkor 50/1.4 bokah looks clean everywhere, but you can clearly see a polgonal shape because it's stopped down..

The Nikkor 55/2.8 bokah also looks clean in the center and moves to oblong towards the edges of the frame.

The Nikkor 85/1.8 bokah is very even throughout the frame, but is showing the polygonal shape of the aperture.

 

Part III


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