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55 1.8 FE or Canon 55 1.2

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Deadbear77, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    So I'm wondering how much of a difference the output of these lenses have.

    I love my 55 1.2 and I also love my 24 1.8 zeiss.

    I don't know if I should spend the money for the zeiss if the only real difference will be the autofocus.

    Anyone know how much of an IQ difference there would be?
     
  2. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    It really does depend on if you want the AF.
     
  3. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Are you on FF now? And are you talking about the FL 55/1.2? I can shoot a side-by-side comparison if you like.
     
  4. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    Yes that would be great. I am shooting the A7R


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    My prediction would be that sharpness & absence of wide-open "haze" should be roughly comparable around f/2 (modern Zeiss stopped down 1/3 vs old-school Canon stopped down 1 1/3). The FE55 will certainly be a lot smaller & lighter. I would also expect more snappy modern color & contrast and better flare resistance. (Your SEL24 should be a decent reference for all of these things.)

    Two very different animals to be sure. I'd sure love to take that FE55 out for a spin but it won't be in my budget for a good long while. :(
     
  6. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Ok I will try to get to it this week. I've been ill since Sunday :(
     
  7. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    Ok thanks! Feel better


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. mattia

    mattia TalkEmount Regular

    143
    Dec 13, 2013
    Can't comment on the FL, but I will say the FE Zeiss is my new favorite lens. And you can never have too many 50s ;) besides, one is a 1.2

    For perspective: my fave AF lens was Sigmas 50/1.4 (EOS mount), and my two other fave 50s are the C/Y Zeiss Planar 1.4 and Leica Summicron R 2.0.
     
  9. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Well, thanks for giving me something to do while convalescing! Here's the TLDR version:

    • By sharpness, FE 55/1.8 wins till about f8 when I think even the FL starts to seriously challenge the 24 megapixels of my A7
    • By contrast, FE wins throughout at all apertures
    • Bokeh is notoriously subjective, scroll to the bottom to see
    • Incidental, but interesting because you might not expect it: A7 AWB is dead on accurate with the FL55/1.2 but a bit on the blue-greenish side with the FE 55/1.8

    First some lens porn!
    010.
    Canon FL 55mm f/1.2 and Zeiss FE 55mm f/1.8

    Both are extremely handsome lenses with their own appeal when mounted on the A7. The A7 aesthetics sure are nice with legacy lenses!
    019.

    Note that with a Gariz half case, the body is just about able to balance the FE lens - this is not even close to possible with the FL!
    018.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Now the shootout:

    F1.8
    55_18Cn1.
    Canon FL 55/1.2 at roughly f1.8

    55_18FE1.
    Zeiss FE 55/1.8 at f1.8

    The Canon is well-known to be hazy and glowy wide open, particularly where it is just a tiny bit off-focus. Needless to say, the f1.2 and 1.4 shots look worse. FE 55/1.8 shoots straight out of the blocks with usable edges, though the thin focal plane can make things look soft even though they are not (see the lower part of the globe which I think is just barely out of focus, compared with the area around France)

    F2.0
    55_20Cn1.
    Canon FL 55/1.2 at f2.0

    55_20FE1.
    Zeiss FE 55/1.8 at f2.0

    The FL is close to eliminating the haze by this point, but the FE is starting to look pixel-perfect. Note the much stronger contrast already evident in the Zeiss.

    F2.8
    55_28Cn1.
    Canon FL 55/1.2 at f2.8

    55_28FE1.
    Zeiss FE 55/1.8 at f2.8

    The FL is still getting better ever so slightly, but the Zeiss is practically flawless at this point

    F4.0
    55_40Cn1.
    Canon FL 55/1.2 at f4.0

    55_40FE1.
    Zeiss FE 55/1.8 at f4.0

    The FL is finally to show edge-to-edge sharpness, while the Zeiss has already reached the point of diminishing returns

    F5.6
    55_56Cn1.
    Canon FL 55/1.2 at f5.6

    55_56FE1.
    Zeiss FE 55/1.8 at f5.6

    Nearly the same by this point, but the Zeiss still has a tiny edge
     
    • Like Like x 4
  11. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    F8.0
    55_80Cn1.
    Canon FL 55/1.2 at f8.0

    55_80FE1.
    Zeiss FE 55/1.8 at f8.0

    Rough parity here. But Zeiss has better contrast

    F11.0
    55_110Cn1.
    Canon FL 55/1.2 at f11.0

    55_110FE1.
    Zeiss FE 55/1.8 at f11.0
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Bokeh

    Well here the Canon has a 1-stop advantage and I let it count. Here are the bokeh comparison shots:

    FL first:
    55bokeh12Cn1.
    At f1.2 (don't mind the blown highlights)

    55bokeh14Cn1.
    f1.4

    55bokeh18Cn1.
    f1.8 (approx)

    55bokeh20Cn1.
    f2.0

    Then Zeiss:
    55bokeh18FE1.
    f1.8

    55bokeh20FE1.
    f2.0

    Both are excellent bokeh machines with different characters in my opinion. Which you like better is probably down to taste.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  13. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    Wow, thanks for doing that! :D

    I sure do love my old FL 55/1.2. I mostly use it for nightclub shots where the extra speed really does come in handy. The BOKEH might not be the smoothest out of all possible fast 50s (seemed pretty nervous in my first trials) but I have come to like it quite a bit.

    I may eventually wind up with the FE55 - hopefully by that time the AF & face recognition will be screaming fast & rock solid.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    Very nice. I really appreciate your time.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Thanks! One thing I just noticed when looking at the bokeh shots - there is visible barrel distortion on the FL 55 - FE's distortion is autocorrected in camera and I hadn't turned autocorrect off. Nor did I turn off the vignetting removal - quite possibly the FL 55 vignetting is a lot less than the FE's without correction.

    Overall, if you're largely using just the central third of the frame, both will do fantastically well on the A7, and of course the FL is 1/4 or less of the price! (It does pay to make sure you have a good one though - I consider my copy very good).
     
  16. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    Always another setting to overlook… ;)

    Of course, if you're inclined to use the automatic stuff, then the inclusion is relevant. I myself actually like some natural vignetting.
     
  17. Snowy

    Snowy TalkEmount Veteran

    218
    Nov 18, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Barry
    Thanks for going to that effort.
     
  18. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    My FE 55 1.8 shooting 3 of my favorite canon legacy

    ImageUploadedByTalkEmount1400764136.367518.


    Sent from my iPhone using TalkNEX mobile app
     
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