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Best optical quality ever ?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Skox, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. Skox

    Skox New to TalkEmount

    Sep 17, 2017
    Wich is the best lens you have tried ?
    Why ?
    Can you explain it with a sample ?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    Welcome to the forum, Skox!

    But I doubt you're going to get a serious answer to your question. There are so many factors that go into what makes a lens "best" to someone, and a lot of them have little to do with anything measurable. Just look at all the great photos people have posted here with lenses that may be considered downright "crappy" by any objective standard. And yet the peculiar qualities of that lens can help make an image exceptional.

    Yes, you can measure absolute resolving power, but some may consider that kind of lens too "clinical." Or someone may find a lens's rendering absolutely gorgeous, while someone else may deride it as too soft and low contrast. Or too yellow or too blue. You name it, someone will find some shortcoming in a lens that you may adore.

    Of all the lenses that I currently own, the last one I'd part with is my 35mm f/2.8. Is it the "best" lens that I've ever used? Hm... probably not. But I don't care. :D 
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  3. AlwaysOnAuto

    AlwaysOnAuto TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Feb 17, 2015
    So far, in my limited experience of using different lenses, the best one that I've been able to use is my Nikon Micro Nikkor 55 2.8.
    It is extremely sharp, when focused correctly, and, being a macro lens, is able to focus on small objects quite well too. It works well as an everyday lens too. A good number of my posts contain pictures taken with it and are so noted usually.
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  4. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    "Best" might also depend on what you are capturing. A great 15mm lens is unlikely to be wonderful for portraits.
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  5. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Feb 14, 2016
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    I don't think there is any such thing as a "best" lens.
    I have a lot of lenses that I'm very impressed with but they all serve a different purpose so I couldn't say any one lens stands out.
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  6. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    The term best is a human emotional response to ego. There is no such thing as best in anything, as it's subjective. It's the equivalent of being a perfectionist, trying to obtain the best. As one endeavoring in the art of photography, keep in mind these are merely tools, your creative vision is the prime focus. With that, I'd say the best lens is the one I happen to have with me. Besides the pair residing in my eyes.

    Some of my most satisfying lenses have been older manual focus legacy lenses. Some dismiss the unique character of certain lenses, but they render in ways that are uniquely their own in comparison to modern lenses. I have both modern native glass and vintage glass, and enjoy both.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
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  7. Mus Aziz

    Mus Aziz TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 3, 2015
    Absolutely agree on this Will. Well said.
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  8. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Sep 25, 2015
    Bert Cheney
    I think Skox was asking about optical quality, the stuff that gets measured, and what our experiences have been with lenses of high optical quality. This becomes complicated for us partly because we are not optical bench technicians and do not make or publish measurements. So we are left with chatting about lenses we have used that have high reputations, which feels a lot like boasting -- something we generally do not do here.

    So, Skox, I recommend that you look through some of the Showcase Forum threads to get a sense of our experiences with lenses. Your question is a legitimate question. But for most of us, the lenses we own are the best we can afford. Look at the images we share and draw your conclusions. I look forward to hearing about your experiences too.
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  9. johnson4096

    johnson4096 TalkEmount Veteran

    Dec 23, 2016
    Dan Johnson
    4 decades ago I owned a Pentax Spotmatic F with several Takumar lenses, all of which were excellent. The best of the bunch, and my favorite, was the 35mm f2.8, which was a fantastic piece of glass. It was tack sharp with excellent handling and an absolute joy to use. Most of the shots of Italy and France that I've posted on this forum were taken with that lens.

    Years later I owned a wonderful Nikkormat. My favorite lens with that one was a 55mm f2.8 Micro Nikor, a lens famous for its sharpness but a heavy beast compared to the Pentax.

    Another favorite lens was that on a late 50s Petri rangefinder, a Petri Color Super f1.8. It was very Leica-like in its renditions and colors and a thoroughly wonderful lens and camera. I foolishly traded it for a much more modern Minolta rangefinder, which unfortunately wasn't as good as the old Petri lens-wise.

    In the digital realm, much of what I've owned has been good to very good but the best so far has been the humble Sigma 30mm f2.8 ART, which is far better than a $200 lens should be. When I owned Canon I had a cheap Tamron zoom (55-210) that was cheaper yet far better than the equivalent Canon in terms of sharpness and lack of

    The standard Sony kit lenses are better than the Canons (I haven't tried their newer STM models) and with Sony I'll stick with Zeiss and Sigma ART models.
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  10. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    The best lens I've had is the one I miss the most since moving to full-frame.

    Sony Zeiss 24mm 1.8
    • Winner Winner x 1
  11. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Ad Dieleman
    The FE 2.8/35 is the almost perfect equivalence for full-frame, same field-of-view and blur capability. Coming from the E 1.8/24 you will be one of very few who won't be complaining about its high price ;) . And it's a really good lens too.
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  12. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    The best or lenses for me would be the 70mm f/1.8 and 70mm f/2.8 macro Apsc E-mount or even just a 60mm f/1,8 sigma.
    Sadly they don't exist. Which of the 3 I have is the best is a tuff question since they are all great. The one given me the most grief is the 60mm f/2,8 sigma. The image quality is among the best ive seen and generally it works great too but in low light :(  I like my 12mm f/2 samyang the most, it's such a fun lens I use alot but if it's the given the best image quality.............? I really do t know.
  13. Don Whitesett

    Don Whitesett New to TalkEmount

    Sep 20, 2017
    As others have stated, "best" is a vague and loaded word that can mean an nearly infinite number of things. Sharpest? Most character? Most accurate color? Most expensive cost that I feel the need to justify to myself? Cheapest gem I got for a steal? Subjectivity, the thread really morphs into "what's your favorite lens?" The answer for me is, I like all the good ones.

    ...An answer as ambiguous as the question! ;) 
    • Like Like x 1
  14. GabrielPhoto

    GabrielPhoto TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Jul 3, 2013
    As others said this will depend but for my the best ADAPTED lens I ever tried (and still own) are Sigma 135mm 1.8 Art and Canon 35mm 1.4L ii.
  15. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    hmmm...probably the Nikkor HC 50/2. I don't know if it's the BEST but it's the one where I am most impressed with the images it gives me.

    EDIT: After I think about this a bit, I would have to give the nod to the Nikkor-O 35/2. It's decently fast, sharp, has nice OOF rendering and a really classic look. It's single coated so it certain situations I'd recommend a hood.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
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