LensWars: Canon FDn 50mm f/1.2 vs. Canon FDn 50mm f/1.4

I hope that comparison with such level of precision and details will be enough to full answer for the question about advantages of these two lenses.

This comparison is correct only for conditions and equipment used for tests. Test results can be differ if any element is changed.

Tested lenses reviews:

FDN5012_Avatar.png

FDN5014_avatar

Long distance – sharpness:

Test description: Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) was fixed on the tripod and managed remotely with computer display as a viewfinder. Targets (buildings) were fixed by gravity power on the distances in more than 200 meters. All shots were made with apertures from fully opened and up to F16. ISO-100. Shutter Speed – depends on light (camera A-mode). SteadyShot – OFF. Focus was manually corrected for each shot to exclude focus-shift.

Finally, pictures were converted from ARW-files in Capture One with default settings (some single files have a slight light correction, for better visual convenience in comparison), then cut into 300×200 px elements (100% crops), combined into diagrams and exported into JPEG-files.

Notes:
  • I am just a man, I do not pretend that in all cases my focus settings were absolutely accurate. But I aspired to it.
  • Bad weather is better for this test – low-light is required for wide-opened apertures to slow down shutter speed.

Scene preview:

FDN5012_FDN5014_MD5012_e_far_preview

Test results:

FDN5012_FDN5014_long_battle.jpg


Short distance – sharpness:

Test description: target is a 10×15 cm picture (printed, glossy photo paper), fixed on the wall by scotch. Distance – 1.7m. Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) was fixed on the tripod and managed remotely with computer display as a viewfinder. All groups of shots were repeated 3 times for every target position on all apertures from fully opened up to F16, ISO-100, WB – same for all shots. SteadyShot – OFF. Focus was manually corrected for each shot. After all needed shots have been taken for one target position – I moved the target to the next place. Main idea – to exclude the field curvature affect on so close distance. Of course, I can’t be absolutely accurate, but test results looks correct.

Finally, pictures were converted from ARW-files in Capture One with default settings (Some single files have a slight light correction, for better visual convenience in comparison), then cropped for 300×200 px elements, combined into diagrams and exported into JPEG-files.

Original target image (printed in horizontal orientation on 10cm X 15cm glossy photo paper) – Rinko Ogasawara portrait

Rinko Ogasawara 8 print

Scene preview:

FDN5012_b_res_close_previewNEW

Test results:

FDN5012_FDN5014_close_battle.jpg

‘What does it mean?’ – my conclusion:

It’s easy to select the winner between these two lenses from the sharpness point of view.

Long distance:

  • Center – 50/1.2 not so good as 50/1.4 if wide opened, and became the same at F2.8
  • Middle – 50/1.2 not so good as 50/1.4 if wide opened, but (!) became better after F4
  • Corner – 50/1.2 not so good as 50/1.4 if wide opened, and became the same at F5.6

Close distance:

  • Center – 50/1.2 not so good as 50/1.4 if wide opened, and became the same at F2.8
  • Middle – 50/1.2 not so good as 50/1.4 if wide opened, but (!) became better after F4
  • Corner – 50/1.2 not so good as 50/1.4 if wide opened, and became the same at F5.6

As result: behavior of these both lenses doesn’t depend on distances. Canon New FD 50mm F1.4 is much better up to F2.8-F4. On closed apertures Canon New FD 50mm F1.2 has a very slight advantage in the middle, but it can’t compensate the loosing on wide opened apertures. Canon FDn 50/1.4 – won.

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