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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:41 pm 
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The lens arrived at my doorsteps today and the first shots in dwindling daylight were already taken.
Expect the usual story (yes, including Siemens-stars :twisted: ) to unfold in this review thread and let's all hope that the story has a good ending and is not terminated after 14 days (the limit where you still can give gear back that you bought online in Germany)

So stay tuned...

-----
P.S.1: Whether the price difference between the old AF 50/1.4D and the new AF-S 50/1.4G is worth it can be further discussed there.

P.S.2: Die deutsch-sprachige Version dieses Reviews ist hier.

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Last edited by Thomas on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:48 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:33 pm 
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The store ordered my 50 1.4 has not received it, but will be here on wednesday. I look forward on your first insights on this lens!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:03 pm 
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Wanna see a comparison shot side-by-side with the Canon IXUS 870IS?
Head over here.
Well, it seem's to keep up with the p&s 4x zoom :P
~~~
More serious insights will come...

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:10 pm 
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Wanna see sharp images at f/1.4? Whoa!!
Yes, they are currently processing before uploading to flickr.
See you after a short break...

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:45 pm 
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Now here is the final load of Siemens-stars. All done with intitial AF at f/1.4 then switching off AF and taking the aperture sequence to f/8.0 from that setting. This is to prevent incomparabilities within the aperture-sequence from focus-shift.

We start with the sharpest of the sharpest: f/8 and then go down one stop each row to f/1.4!
To the left is the centre-crop, to the right the corner crop. Keep in mind though that I'm still testing with a lowly DX-format body, so there can be no implication whatsoever on how well the lens performs in the corners of the brand-spanking new D3x!

f/8.0: Image Image

f/5.6: Image Image

f/4.0: Image Image

f/2.8: Image Image

f/2.0: Image Image

f/1.4: Image Image


Following is the second try after some manual focus fine-tuning*.
f/2.0: Image Image

f/1.4: Image Image

Finishing this series is the old AF 50/1.4D.
f/1.4: Image Image


You can clearly see the sharpness of the lens deteriorate below f/2.8. But look at that 2nd and 3rd last row of crops: They are done at f/1.4! For this aperture the performance counts as "very good" in my book.
If you compare these crops to the crops of the Nikkor AF 50/1.4D (last row) you'll find though that the new lens is not necessarily sharper than the old one.
------
* This counts as "cheating" in my book as you normally don't have the time to rely on manual focus. And don't think you can do this through the viewfinder: never ever! You need to do live-view from a tripod and manually focus the lens :shock:

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Last edited by Thomas on Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:23 pm 
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And finally a real-life shot at f/1.4:

The Grid:
Image
Shot at ISO 200 1/180 sec, cropped to 3595x2542. If you click on the image you can get through to the full glory and peep at pixels until your eyes hurt...

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Last edited by Thomas on Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:40 pm 
I see some CA in the upper left corner of that photo. That's with pixel peeping, of course ;)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:51 pm 
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Yeah, CA there is. I'll also try the dreaded "dead tree against the glaring sky"-shot to compare to the performance of the Nikon Nikkor 85/1.8D here.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:27 am 
Thanks Thomas. That's quite a difference between f/2 and f/2.8! Any thoughts about how it compares against your older 50 f/1.4, images maybe?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:08 am 
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Yeah. I'll put up some comparable shots for the AF 50/1.4D soon.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:40 am 
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In the meantime...
Shooting around today (a lot at f/1.4) came up with some issues regarding auto-focus. One shot showed a clear focus on the foreground although all focus-indicators lit up on the tree in the background :?
So I went back to the lab testing for front-/back-focus. Found some back-focus which could be corrected for with some micro AF adjustment (around -5...-15) but that is not finally conclusive. There is the issue of the micro-focus test-chart being 1m away which might yield other results than some further away subject. Oh boy, this will keep me occupied for sometime.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:56 am 
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An hour later...
Yep front-/back-focus depends on the shooting distance :shock: :!:
Close-up to the test-chart at 60cm distance the optimum micro-AF-adjustment was -15, at 1m it was -5, and finally at 1.8m it was around 0. This also turned out to be the optimum (non-)adjustment for further-away subjects (20m). So next time you use a focus test chart try the results at different distances. :idea:

Don't ask me for reasons, perhaps the deteriorating close-up quality of this lens influences these results :?

Well, now you ask at what distance did I shoot the Siemens-stars? That was at 1.2m so you could expect a little better results when optimal focus is attained at f/1.4 (I've added this shot to the collection above) but as there are some slight focus variations anyway don't expect anything significantly better, not even with live-view (I tried).

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Last edited by Thomas on Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:09 pm 
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hey Thomas,
interesting results, hopefully there is no such thing as sample variation in this lens, because the pre-production model had some front focus issues on close focussing. I'm impatiently waiting for my lens to come! :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:26 pm 
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I've added f/1.4 shots from the "old" AF 50/1.4D to my Siemens-star post. So with respect to sharpness the old and the new design seem to be equal.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:47 pm 
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Btw. an interesting comparison of bokeh and dof at f/1.4, f/4.8, f/16 and a Canon IXUS 870IS at f/4.5 can be found here. With links to the large original photos.

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Last edited by Thomas on Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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