1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

Canon FDn 50mm 1.4 vs Sony E 50mm f/1.8?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Marshland, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. Marshland

    Marshland TalkEmount Regular

    28
    Aug 3, 2014
    I've obviously already done searching on this and the general consensus seems to be that the Canon is sharper than the Sony. But I've yet to find any direct image comparisons to see if it's really that discernable in general use.
    I'm using the Sony NEX-6 and prefer manual focusing, I use the Canon lens for the majority of my photos which tend to be at dimly-lit venues. However, there have been occasions when the SEL50F18's AF and OSS would've been useful, so am wondering if it's worth my while buying one or not. While sharpness isn't the only factor to consider here, it's important to me and I don't want to waste my money on a lens that's going to ultimately leave me dissatisfied with the results.
     
  2. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    No, I've owned both and the Sony E wins hands down at f/1.8, and that was noticeable on my 16MP NEX. Canon might be better in the corners, but that's not saying much as the 50/1.8 is not bad there at all.
     
  3. Marshland

    Marshland TalkEmount Regular

    28
    Aug 3, 2014
    Thanks. Obviously lens copy variance can make it hard to get a definitive answer on these things and the MTF graphs on erphotoreview don't inspire confidence, so I was hoping to find some direct comparison photos.
     
  4. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    I've never had a sharpness issue with the Sony 50mm.

    Sent from my SM-N920P using TalkEmount mobile app
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Sorry I don't have either lens anymore, but rest assured, the SEL50 is bleeding sharp in the centre, that the 50/1.4 cannot match until about f/2.8. I only predict the 50/1.4 is better at the edges being a FF lens, but I have never bothered comparing them there.

    This review suggests the Zeiss 55/1.8 "is a lot sharper in the corners and a little sharper in the center at f/1.8, it has nicer bokeh, is more flare resistant" - in my experience, the SEL50 matches or possibly exceeds the Zeiss 55 in the center, has more circular bokeh circles (Sonnar designs give cats eyes), and has decent flare resistance you expect from a modern lens.
     
  6. nidza

    nidza TalkEmount Regular

    120
    Nov 1, 2013
    Serbia
    Go for Sony, it is great lens.

    I miss something like this on A7ii.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Marshland

    Marshland TalkEmount Regular

    28
    Aug 3, 2014
    Thanks once again, in particular to quezra.

    I had been pondering upgrading to FF this year which would also have been a factor and was also looking at the Zeiss 55/1.8 too, although considerably more expensive.

    I have just now bought a used SEL50F18 and am awaiting delivery, so it'll be interesting to see how it fares.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    You won't be disappointed with your purchase! It's a superb lens. I have a lot of nifty-fifties. Nearly all vintage f/1.4 lenses are soft wide open. Even at f/1.8 won't match the Sony. Only a few manual-focused 50mm f/1.7 and f/1.8 came close wide open. There will always be a time when the AF and OSS are needed. And you'll be glad to have this lens as an option.
     
  9. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Congrats on your purchase.... trust me that lens is real hard to let go of!
     
  10. Marshland

    Marshland TalkEmount Regular

    28
    Aug 3, 2014
    The lens arrived today, so I did a quick comparison. In RAW with no post-processing whatsoever, at f/1.7 the Canon FDn seemed very slightly better than the Sony at f/1.8, at f/2.8 the same, while at f/5.6 the Sony seems sharper. I was concentrating on the centre and mid-frame areas when evaluating. A worthwhile purchase I feel.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    You should post some comparison pics!
     
  12. Marshland

    Marshland TalkEmount Regular

    28
    Aug 3, 2014
    I originally planned to, but annoyingly I accidentally knocked over my reference image after shooting with the Sony, so the lighting angle wasn't quite the same when I shot with the Canon lens. It's only a minor thing but it's a bit misleading on the contrast for the unprocessed images.

    FWIW here are the processed versions with some usual tweaks in Lightroom (contrast, clarifying, CA removal). No noise reduction and only a small sharpness tweak.

    Sony:
    Sony SELF50F18 - f/1.8 unprocessed

    Canon:
    Canon FDn 50mm - f/1.7 unprocessed
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
  13. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Thanks. I don't know but the 50/1.8 seems a tiny bit front focused (compare the lens caps).
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. nidza

    nidza TalkEmount Regular

    120
    Nov 1, 2013
    Serbia
    Agreed, not only little bit, for entire lens cap, 2-3cm. Even DoF looks a lot more shallow with Canon.

    Shouldn't be if both were wide open.

    Needs retest.
     
  15. Marshland

    Marshland TalkEmount Regular

    28
    Aug 3, 2014
    Will do a retest at some point. I used focus peaking with both, on the Bridget Riley image. I'll take care not to knock the props over between lenses next time...
     
  16. nidza

    nidza TalkEmount Regular

    120
    Nov 1, 2013
    Serbia
    Focus peaking is error prone. Use focus zoom, 100 or 200%, to see each pixel.

    Can use AF with central as well, Sony shouldn't miss AF or have front-back focus, as possible with DSLR.
     
  17. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Focus Zoom is fine if the subject is stationery, not so much on a moving target

    Sent from my SM-N920P using TalkEmount mobile app
     
  18. Marshland

    Marshland TalkEmount Regular

    28
    Aug 3, 2014
    Sorry it's taken so long to do a retest. I've updated my original photos linked to in my post above. I moved the camera closer to the test image so it fills more of the frame than the original versions.

    I've also done a cropped zoomed-in close-up comparison of a few areas, you can see the results here:
    Sony SEL50F18 vs Canon FDn 50mm lens comparison

    Unlike the previous tests, there was no post-processing whatsoever, beyond a slight increase in exposure for the Sony photos to better match those of the Canon photos.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1