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

Comparison between NEX-6 with SEL-1018 and A7 with various legacy wide-angle lenses

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by addieleman, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    I had to wait for the plumber this afternoon so I decided to do some tests. One of the questions I asked myself: are legacy prime wide-angle lenses on an A7 better than the SEL-1018 on the NEX-6? And the short answer is: it depends :). The wide-angles on the A7 were the Minolta MD W.Rokkor 17mm 1:4, Olympus OM Zuiko 21mm 1:3.5 and Olympus OM H.Zuiko 24mm 1:2.8; these are my best options for these focal lenghts.

    When evaluating the test results I decided to go the route of making them as similar as possible while processing them in Lightroom, even if that means different sharpening, different WB etc. In particular, the A7 files are resized and the NEX-6 ones very slightly cropped to 3:2 aspect ratio so that the resulting jpegs have the same dimensions. I also did my best to get the same field of view for each comparison; the slight differences are also caused by the different height, tilt (inaccurate plate under A7 vs. RRS plate under NEX-6) and viewing without correction for distortion. The results have been corrected for distortion with profiles I made before and vignetting for the legacy glass is done manually. I also applied automatic CA correction and fringe correction where necessary (which is almost everywhere).

    I know there's another method which is to compare the results processed equally, resulting in different outputs. You can do so if you want to, I can publish the raw files if so desired.

    Click on a crop here to get its original in full-size in a separate window.

    First one, the A7 with Minolta MD W.Rokkor 17mm 1:4 vs. the NEX-6 with SEL-1018 at 11mm.
    Center
    <a href="http://addieleman.smugmug.com/Lenses/Lens-Tests/Comparison-SEL-1018-vs-legacy/i-3bGNC7c/0/O/20140226-001.jpg" target="_blank"> i-xFPjhrQ-L. </a>
    A7 + Minolta MD W.Rokkor 17mm 1:4 @ f/8
    <a href="http://addieleman.smugmug.com/Lenses/Lens-Tests/Comparison-SEL-1018-vs-legacy/i-4bqZZ8J/0/O/20140226-002.jpg" target="_blank"> i-ktSVHzF-XL. </a>
    NEX-6 + SEL-1018 @ 11mm and f/8

    Upper left corner
    <a href="http://addieleman.smugmug.com/Lenses/Lens-Tests/Comparison-SEL-1018-vs-legacy/i-3bGNC7c/0/O/20140226-001.jpg" target="_blank"> i-7sfGx9w-XL. </a>
    A7 + Minolta MD W.Rokkor 17mm 1:4 @ f/8
    <a href="http://addieleman.smugmug.com/Lenses/Lens-Tests/Comparison-SEL-1018-vs-legacy/i-4bqZZ8J/0/O/20140226-002.jpg" target="_blank"> i-3vnbxGN-XL. </a>
    NEX-6 + SEL-1018 @ 11mm and f/8

    Upper right corner
    <a href="http://addieleman.smugmug.com/Lenses/Lens-Tests/Comparison-SEL-1018-vs-legacy/i-3bGNC7c/0/O/20140226-001.jpg" target="_blank"> i-L6mVqxH-XL. </a>
    Center, A7 + Minolta MD W.Rokkor 17mm 1:4 @ f/8
    <a href="http://addieleman.smugmug.com/Lenses/Lens-Tests/Comparison-SEL-1018-vs-legacy/i-4bqZZ8J/0/O/20140226-002.jpg" target="_blank"> i-WxWMkFf-XL. </a>
    Center, NEX-6 + SEL-1018 @ 11mm and f/8

    In the center there's not much between the 2, maybe the SEL-1018 is a hair more detailed here. The Minolta 17mm is sharp, but not super-sharp. In the extreme corners the SEL-1018 is clearly better. However, in a large part of the image both are capable of delivering fine image quality. In the upper right corner noise is quite visible, probably because of the brightness compensation for the light fall-off of the SEL-1018. The A7 pics are less plagued by it.

    Rest will follow in later posts. :)
     
    • Like Like x 3
  2. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    The link to full res only works on the top pic
     
  3. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Fixed, will do the rest tonight, composing the post is more work than I thought :).
     
  4. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Olympus 21mm 1:3.5 vs. SEL-1018

    Center
    <a href="http://addieleman.smugmug.com/Lenses/Lens-Tests/Comparison-SEL-1018-vs-legacy/i-k98qDft/0/O/20140226-006.jpg" target="_blank"> i-79Q7bFd-XL. </a>
    A7 + Olympus 21/3.5 @ f/11
    <a href="http://addieleman.smugmug.com/Lenses/Lens-Tests/Comparison-SEL-1018-vs-legacy/i-PbWP2RL/0/O/20140226-007.jpg" target="_blank"> i-ffRGZtG-XL. </a>
    NEX-6 + SEL-1018 @ 13mm and f/8

    Upper left
    <a href="http://addieleman.smugmug.com/Lenses/Lens-Tests/Comparison-SEL-1018-vs-legacy/i-k98qDft/0/O/20140226-006.jpg" target="_blank"> i-Gh9JP4j-XL. </a>
    A7 + Olympus 21/3.5 @ f/11
    <a href="http://addieleman.smugmug.com/Lenses/Lens-Tests/Comparison-SEL-1018-vs-legacy/i-PbWP2RL/0/O/20140226-007.jpg" target="_blank"> i-Kf92B3K-XL. </a>
    NEX-6 + SEL-1018 @ 13mm and f/8

    Upper right
    <a href="http://addieleman.smugmug.com/Lenses/Lens-Tests/Comparison-SEL-1018-vs-legacy/i-k98qDft/0/O/20140226-006.jpg" target="_blank"> i-f2fJ4X9-XL. </a>
    A7 + Olympus 21/3.5 @ f/11
    <a href="http://addieleman.smugmug.com/Lenses/Lens-Tests/Comparison-SEL-1018-vs-legacy/i-PbWP2RL/0/O/20140226-007.jpg" target="_blank"> i-ntRF4XK-XL. </a>
    NEX-6 + SEL-1018 @ 13mm and f/8

    Again there's not much difference in the center, but in the corners the O21 (Olympus 21mm) set at f/11 is worse than the SEL-1018 set at f/8. I know from experience that the O21 fares a little better at f/11 near edges and corners than at f/8, so I chose f/11 for it. The SEL-1018 doesn't gain much from stopping down to f/11 with respect to corner performance and center sharpness drops off already by f/11. The O21 is plagued by fairly hefty purple fringing in the extreme corners, which Lightroom eliminated almost completely; some remnants are still visible.
     
  5. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Olympus 24mm 1:2.8 vs. SEL-1018

    Center
    <a href="http://addieleman.smugmug.com/Lenses/Lens-Tests/Comparison-SEL-1018-vs-legacy/i-XCDnqMB/0/O/20140226-003.jpg" target="_blank"> i-b7mRBMs-XL. </a>
    A7 + Olympus 24/2.8 @ f/8
    <a href="http://addieleman.smugmug.com/Lenses/Lens-Tests/Comparison-SEL-1018-vs-legacy/i-kMVLdd9/0/O/20140226-004.jpg" target="_blank"> i-MMvZhxW-XL. </a>
    NEX-6 + SEL-1018 @ 15mm and f/8

    Upper left
    <a href="http://addieleman.smugmug.com/Lenses/Lens-Tests/Comparison-SEL-1018-vs-legacy/i-XCDnqMB/0/O/20140226-003.jpg" target="_blank"> i-vBXnhzP-XL. </a>
    A7 + Olympus 24/2.8 @ f/8
    <a href="http://addieleman.smugmug.com/Lenses/Lens-Tests/Comparison-SEL-1018-vs-legacy/i-kMVLdd9/0/O/20140226-004.jpg" target="_blank"> i-sG3Cfm2-XL. </a>
    NEX-6 + SEL-1018 @ 15mm and f/8

    Upper right
    <a href="http://addieleman.smugmug.com/Lenses/Lens-Tests/Comparison-SEL-1018-vs-legacy/i-XCDnqMB/0/O/20140226-003.jpg" target="_blank"> i-VJC26qr-XL. </a>
    A7 + Olympus 24/2.8 @ f/8
    <a href="http://addieleman.smugmug.com/Lenses/Lens-Tests/Comparison-SEL-1018-vs-legacy/i-kMVLdd9/0/O/20140226-004.jpg" target="_blank"> i-rSG3Z8C-XL. </a>
    NEX-6 + SEL-1018 @ 15mm and f/8

    The O24 seems to have more detail here in the center. It also holds up pretty well in the corners too. This is the best wide-angle lens I have below 35mm and it is just a little bit sharper than the SEL-1018 which says a lot for the latter. However, in the last picture noise is clearly visible, e.g. in the part between the screens. Although the NEX-6 was used at ISO 100, it's a bit challenged here because of the underexposure in the corners due to the SEL-1018's light fall-off. The A7 file is visibly cleaner.

    This test came forth from a slight discomfort with some results I got with the Olympus 21mm: details weren't sharp enough outside the central area. And indeed this lens deteriorates visibly towards the corners, although not as bad as e.g. the Minolta 20/2.8. And according to some reviews, this is one of the best legacy 20/21mm lenses short of a Zeiss 21mm! In my experience, pixel-peeping is less relevant with the 24 MP of the A7. Even if a picture is slightly unsharp at 100 % viewing it isn't necessarily a failure, even not for a somewhat bigger print.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    All full-size jpegs can be found here. Download the original raw files here.
     
  7. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    Thanks for sharing! This comparison does seem to suggest that the good old days were not necessarily so good for ultra-wide optics.

    I notice in one set, you shot the full-frame at f/11. I often do this now for landscapes, as I have noticed that the diffraction penalty seems to be minimal (can still match or exceed a good APS-C capture at the optimal f/5.6) but it can tidy up corners quite a bit over f/8 and of course provide greater depth.
     
  8. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Indeed I prefer f/11 for the Olympus 21mm; this lens is often in my bag. The Minolta 17mm cleans up a little in the extreme corners at f/11. I've never used it for real photography so far, it's simply too much of a wide thing for me. The Olympus 24mm goes with me when a need a wide-angle for low-light, it's still useable at f/2.8 and very good at f/4.

    I agree, wide-angle old-timers aren't always that sharp. The best I have are the Olympus 24/2.8 shown above and a Minolta MD W.Rokkor 35/2.8 which is quite sharp across the frame at f/8 and f/11. Now, before everybody rushes out to eBay to click Buy-It-Now for a Minolta 35/2.8: there's quite some sample variation with this lens! I have three of this optical design. One is excellent, one is reasonable and one is mediocre at best. Things become rosier at 40mm or longer. My Konica 40/1.8 is excellent at f/8, as is my Voigtländer 40/1.4 and my longer lenses are almost always sharp across the frame at middle apertures.