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The Flu and the Yashica ML Lineup
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:43 pm    Post subject: The Flu and the Yashica ML Lineup Reply with quote

Since I'm stuck in bed, I thought it was a good idea to post an extremely long and pedantic post for you all to enjoy!
Here you go:

I was surprised by the extremely mixed reviews Yashica ML lenses receive online. At first, I took for granted that copy variances were the cause, but now I'm wondering if we're actually talking about the same lens, when we talk about a Yashica ML lens. As far as I know, most Yashica ML lenses had been produced by different manufacturers over the years and this could mean that also different suppliers (and maybe different kind of glasses) were involved. Anyways, After deeply testing 4 to 6 copies of several Yashica ML primes (I didn't test any zoom nor any lens slower than 2.8 ) here are my findings. Please note that I tested these lenses on a 24MP APS-C sensor, so I can’t comment on their FF behavior. All of the copies I tested were in great shape, with crystal clear lenses, smooth focusing rings and minimal to no amount of dust inside of the barrel.

24/2.8 ML
The first 3 copies I put my hands on were pretty weak and similar: low contrast, washed out and bluish colors, blurry edges, noticeable CA. The 4th copy was quite a different lens. Contrast WO was just a bit lower than with the Nikon AI, but edge sharpness was surprisingly good (a bit better than the Nikon's) and colors were vivid and neutral, with minimal CA. The 5th and last copy was (is) finally very good. Contrasty and sharp corner to corner straight from wide open, it’s actually better than both the Nikon NC and AI and than a late, highly selected Zeiss Distagon C/Y 25. Vivid, clean colors, minimal CA, low vignetting and minimal distortion. Just like the other copies, these one absolutely can't handle a strong light source inside of the frame, if used wide open. It's a flares and veiling parade. Field curvature was pretty visible in all copies (not worse than with most old 24mm, anyway). All lenses suffered from a small play between the focusing helicoids that made the image wiggle when changing the focusing direction. Nothing obscene (except in the 4th copy) but definitely a no-go for serious video use. All copies were about 1/4 of a Stop darker than the Nikon and the Zeiss, at f/2.8. In all copies, as I found out is standard with Yashica ML lenses, OOF rendition was smooth at any setting and in any situation, although highlight discs showed a defined edge if lenses were used WO. In conclusion, the Yashica ML 24/2.8 is a very good lens, definitely one of the best 24mm of the manual era, if flare resistance in extreme situations and excellent build quality are not necessary. And, of course, if you can get a good copy…

28/2.8 ML
This lens was produced with an older 8 elements and a newer 7 elements design. I tested 2 copies of the 8 elements version and they were both pretty bad, showing strong SA at f/2.8 and poor edge performances up to f/8. Field curvature was also quite prominent. 3 copies of the 7 elements version were decent, but they were still quite soft WO and showed poor resistance in backlight situations, with a huge amount of veiling that brought contrast to very low levels. 1 copy of the 7 elements version was (is) very very good. This lens doesn't shine in any particular way (except for the negligible field curvature) but it's absolutely reliable in any circumstance. It's sharp and contrasty enough corner to corner straight from wide open (only at f/2.8 there’s a bit of SA that lowers the contrast, but not to the point to be a matter of concern) OOF rendition is always perfectly smooth, flare resistance is good, lateral CA is only visible at the extreme edges of the frame and never excessive. Distortion is average, vignetting WO is above average but not extreme. Color reproduction is clean ad accurate. Again, this lens is about 1/4 of a Stop slower than most 28/2.8. As a reference, the Nikon AI has a much higher contrast WO, but it’s not as sharp toward the edges, it suffers from a much higher lateral CA and field curvature and it renders the OOF areas in a much more nervous way. Taking into account the long focus throw, I consider this 50-80 € lens one of the very best options among manual 28/2.8, if you're into filmmaking.

35/2.8 ML
I tested 4 copies of this lens and they all performed pretty much the same. They all looked like new (not even a trace of dust in 2 of them) but they all had the "wiggle" issue. It's a good lens from f/4. Distortion, vignetting, CA, sharpness, contrast... nothing to complain. And as usual, smooth OOF rendition always. Unfortunately, at f/2.8 the lens suffers from strong SA and lateral CA; to the point that I would never use it WO. If you plan to use it from f/4 onward and you don’t care about the “wiggle”, it’s a good lens, especially for the edge to edge sharpness and the OOF rendition.

50/1.4 ML
As far as I’m concerned, that's the most interesting lens in the Yashica ML lineup; although I'm quite sure there are at least two versions of this lens, one being outstanding. The first copy I tested was surprisingly good and none of the other 5 copies came even close. I compared that first copy with the best 50mm in my arsenal (Leica and Zeiss included) and it was in the same league, despite its low street price. It's one of the very few 50/1.4 that are not unusable WO. It sports an excellent build quality, good flare resistance, neutral, clean and vivid colors with low CA already by f/2. No focus breathing at all, smooth OOF rendition at all settings, both in front and behind the focus plan. From a less technical point of view, I find this lens to deliver very tridimensional images, the separation of plans is what strikes me the most about this lens. As a reference, at f/2 the Leica R is just a bit sharper in the center and much sharper in the corners, but the lower CA and SA of the Yashica ML at this setting make the images look sharper overall. By f/2.8 the Leica R offers higher sharpness and contrast on the whole frame, but the difference is only evident at the edges. Compared to a highly selected Zeiss Planar 50/1.4 C/Y MMJ, the Yashica is generally a bit softer at the edges of the frame (mostly because of the higher astigmatism) but it’s better corrected against lateral and longitudinal CA and has a neutral color rendition, while the Zeiss shows warmer colors. The Yashica also sports a higher contrast on most of the frame, at f/2. The only reason why the Yashica is not my go-to 50mm is related to its diaphragm design: those hideous 8 straight blades painfully show up in the highlight discs already by f/2. The other 5 copies of this lens that I tested couldn’t handle backlight at all, they were much softer on the whole frame if used wide open and they were visibly softer at the edges of the frame at any setting. They also felt somehow cheaper form a build quality perspective and suffered the “wiggle” problem. They showed a higher lateral CA at f/2 and they all delivered much flatter images. They didn’t look like the same lens at all.

50/1.7 ML
I tested 4 copies of this lens and they all performed pretty much the same. They were good for a 50 € lens, but nothing more than that. I would probably never use them WO, but they all could deliver clean, sharp and contrasty images by f/2.8; just like most vintage 50mm. All copies showed the “wiggle” problem. What stood out to me about those lenses were the colorful, intricate flares. Compared to the 50/1.4 ML (best copy excluded) those lenses were a bit weaker at f/2 but performed more or less the same by f/2.8, while handling backlight much better. In short, this lens is in the same league of all of the vintage 50/1.7-2 from the major brands, Leica excluded.

135/2.8 ML
4 copies, all very similar: soft WO, decent by f/4, good by f/ 5.6. Totally uninteresting lens, considering how many good 135/2.8 you can find at a reasonable price.


PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Superb post.

Sorry about the flu

The 50mm ML 1.7 is one of my best 50mm primes . Apparently if it has "made in Japan " on the lens it is carl Zeiss glass . Mine does 😀

Thanks again


PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bwfcnottingham wrote:
Superb post.

Sorry about the flu

The 50mm ML 1.7 is one of my best 50mm primes . Apparently if it has "made in Japan " on the lens it is carl Zeiss glass . Mine does 😀

Thanks again


What's your definition of "Carl Zeiss glass"?

S


PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:06 am    Post subject: Re: The Flu and the Yashica ML Lineup Reply with quote

Interesting post, thank you Wink

I have quite a few ML sitting around here, and most of them are

1) well built
2) below average in image quality

So whatever Yashica afficiados say - these lenses generally do not compare well to the corresponding Zeiss (or Minolta) glass.
I can see two exceptions: The ML 2.8/35mm is a very good lens (like all other 2.8/35mm from the 1975-1985 time frame), and the ML 3.5/21mm is interesting as well. That said, the Carl Zeiss CY 2.8/21mm is much better, of course!

Since you were testing on 24 MP APS-C, i will add complementary comments on the 24MP FF performance during the next days. I may start with comparing the ML 1.4/50mm to the Carl Zeiss CY 1.4/50mm, and continue with the ML 2.8/28 vs Distagon 2.8/28, and ML 2.8/24mm vs Zeiss Distagon 2.8/25mm.

S


PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
bwfcnottingham wrote:
Superb post.

Sorry about the flu

The 50mm ML 1.7 is one of my best 50mm primes . Apparently if it has "made in Japan " on the lens it is carl Zeiss glass . Mine does 😀

Thanks again


What's your definition of "Carl Zeiss glass"?

S


Steve , it was something I read on another forum , I have no definition . I read it after I'd bought the lens . I have had some very good photos with the lens , which is all that matters I suppose . Do you have a definition ?

Cheers


PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bwfcnottingham wrote:
stevemark wrote:
bwfcnottingham wrote:
Superb post.

Sorry about the flu

The 50mm ML 1.7 is one of my best 50mm primes . Apparently if it has "made in Japan " on the lens it is carl Zeiss glass . Mine does 😀

Thanks again


What's your definition of "Carl Zeiss glass"?

S


Steve , it was something I read on another forum , I have no definition . I read it after I'd bought the lens . I have had some very good photos with the lens , which is all that matters I suppose . Do you have a definition ?

Cheers


I would say that "Carl Zeiss glass" is a lens
1) calculated by Carl Zeiss opticians / engineers
2) manufactured by Carl Zeiss (be it in Oberkochen or in Jena)

Of course Zeiss argues that lenses
1) calculated by Zeiss engineers and
2) manufactured elsewhere
are genuine "Carl Zeiss" as well.

These days at Zeiss Oberkochen they go even further, claiming that glass
1) calculated by others (Sony, Fuji or Tamron engineers)
2) manufactured at Sony (e. g. ZA 2.8/16-35 or 2.8/24-70), Fuji (Otus lenses) or Tamron (Batis 1.8/85)
3) and labelled "Carl Zeiss"
is "genuine Carl Zeiss glass". I doubt it.

Now you are claiming that glass
1) calculated by Yashica engineers
2) manufactured at Yashica and
3) saying "Yashica Lens ML 50mm 1:1.7"
is "Carl Zeiss glass".

I seriously doubt it.

S


PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My ML 50/1.7 is probably the overall best built lens I've seen. The aperture ring clicks, resistance and feeling are perfect. The same goes for the focusing ring.

However, sharpness is only OKish and it also has weirdly low-effective coatings.


PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So these lenses are mostly the same as the m42 predecessors but with lesser build quality? (because wobbly).

Allphotolenses says the 50 1.7 is analogous to the CZ Planar 50mm 1,7 (a copy?) Does the same go for the DS/DS-M m42 versions?

http://allphotolenses.com/lenses/item/c_371.html#prettyPhoto


PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

D1N0 wrote:
So these lenses are mostly the same as the m42 predecessors but with lesser build quality? (because wobbly).

Allphotolenses says the 50 1.7 is analogous to the CZ Planar 50mm 1,7 (a copy?) Does the same go for the DS/DS-M m42 versions?

http://allphotolenses.com/lenses/item/c_371.html#prettyPhoto


Allphotolenses does say :

Quote:
The aperture construction is analogous to the Carl Zeiss Planar 50 1.7 (their optical schemes are slightly different).


The Planar 1.7/50mm is the only f1.7/f1.8 normal lens which shares the typical seven lens scheme of most 1.4/50mm and 1.2/50mm from the 1975-1990 time. By far the most other 1.7/50mm or 1.8/50mm from that time are less sophisticated six lens constructions; very few have a seventh (negative) lens in front to increase back focus. In other words: The 1.7/50mm CY Planar is really different from all other 1.7/50mm lenses.

If you compare the lens sections of the Zeiss CY Planar 1.7/50mm and the Yashica 1.7/50mm you can see immediately that the Yashica is not a copy of the Zeiss:

http://allphotolenses.com/lenses/item/c_1592.html
http://allphotolenses.com/lenses/item/c_371.html

S


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would you be able to post pictures of the the very good Yashica lenses that you have from those focal ranges? I am curious if they are the older chrome nose lenses or the more modern versions.

I haven't looked at all the Yashica optical formulas. However, the ones I have looked at are not the same optical formula as the Zeiss Contax counterpart. Generally, they have one less element than the Contax. The exception is the ML 50mm f/1.4, which shares the optical formula with the Planar. I am not saying the coatings are as good or the manufacturing quality the same. The difference is the Yashica has 8 aperture blades and the Contax 6.


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:


The Planar 1.7/50mm is the only f1.7/f1.8 normal lens which shares the typical seven lens scheme of most 1.4/50mm and 1.2/50mm from the 1975-1990 time. By far the most other 1.7/50mm or 1.8/50mm from that time are less sophisticated six lens constructions; very few have a seventh (negative) lens in front to increase back focus. In other words: The 1.7/50mm CY Planar is really different from all other 1.7/50mm lenses.

If you compare the lens sections of the Zeiss CY Planar 1.7/50mm and the Yashica 1.7/50mm you can see immediately that the Yashica is not a copy of the Zeiss:

http://allphotolenses.com/lenses/item/c_1592.html
http://allphotolenses.com/lenses/item/c_371.html

S


Well said ! I would add the Rollei Planar/Color-Ultron 1.8/50 mm to the 7 element constructions. I'm always puzzled by the people claiming that their Yashica lenses are "hidden" Carl Zeiss lenses which is mainly wishful thinking since in the seventies and eighties the Yashinon lenses were rather not considered, with a few exceptions, to be top tier lenses.... Greetings Volker


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
D1N0 wrote:
So these lenses are mostly the same as the m42 predecessors but with lesser build quality? (because wobbly).

Allphotolenses says the 50 1.7 is analogous to the CZ Planar 50mm 1,7 (a copy?) Does the same go for the DS/DS-M m42 versions?

http://allphotolenses.com/lenses/item/c_371.html#prettyPhoto


Allphotolenses does say :

Quote:
The aperture construction is analogous to the Carl Zeiss Planar 50 1.7 (their optical schemes are slightly different).


The Planar 1.7/50mm is the only f1.7/f1.8 normal lens which shares the typical seven lens scheme of most 1.4/50mm and 1.2/50mm from the 1975-1990 time. By far the most other 1.7/50mm or 1.8/50mm from that time are less sophisticated six lens constructions; very few have a seventh (negative) lens in front to increase back focus. In other words: The 1.7/50mm CY Planar is really different from all other 1.7/50mm lenses.

If you compare the lens sections of the Zeiss CY Planar 1.7/50mm and the Yashica 1.7/50mm you can see immediately that the Yashica is not a copy of the Zeiss:

http://allphotolenses.com/lenses/item/c_1592.html
http://allphotolenses.com/lenses/item/c_371.html

S


I wouldn't call the optical scheme slightly different:


What do they even mean with aperture construction. Both were for Contax/Yashica mount. The optical scheme is quite different indeed. Both were probably made by Tomioka (Owned by Yashica), the Zeiss under license. The Yashinon their own design. The Zeiss was probably the standard lens for Contax as Yashica was their consumer brand and Contax more aimed at professionals.


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cbass wrote:
Would you be able to post pictures of the the very good Yashica lenses that you have from those focal ranges? I am curious if they are the older chrome nose lenses or the more modern versions.

I haven't looked at all the Yashica optical formulas. However, the ones I have looked at are not the same optical formula as the Zeiss Contax counterpart. Generally, they have one less element than the Contax. The exception is the ML 50mm f/1.4, which shares the optical formula with the Planar. I am not saying the coatings are as good or the manufacturing quality the same. The difference is the Yashica has 8 aperture blades and the Contax 6.


The Yashica ML 1.4/50mm and the Zeiss CY Planar 1.4/50mm do not share the same optical formula. The lens section may look similar at first, but looking at them more closely reveal the differences:

[/quote]



Lens sections taken from Zeiss and from allphotolenses.com:
https://www.zeiss.com/content/dam/consumer-products/downloads/historical-products/photography/contax-yashica/en/datasheet-zeiss-planar-1450-en.pdf
http://allphotolenses.com/lenses/item/c_436.html#prettyPhoto[pp_gal][lens]/5/

When you shoot with these two lenses in parallel, it is obvious that the Planar CY 1.4/50mm has a much better performance, especially wide open. The Yashica ML 1.4/50mm, however, mechanically is a very nice lens. It feels heavy, rugged and solid.



Alsatian2017 wrote:
stevemark wrote:


The Planar 1.7/50mm is the only f1.7/f1.8 normal lens which shares the typical seven lens scheme of most 1.4/50mm and 1.2/50mm from the 1975-1990 time. By far the most other 1.7/50mm or 1.8/50mm from that time are less sophisticated six lens constructions; very few have a seventh (negative) lens in front to increase back focus. In other words: The 1.7/50mm CY Planar is really different from all other 1.7/50mm lenses.

If you compare the lens sections of the Zeiss CY Planar 1.7/50mm and the Yashica 1.7/50mm you can see immediately that the Yashica is not a copy of the Zeiss:

http://allphotolenses.com/lenses/item/c_1592.html
http://allphotolenses.com/lenses/item/c_371.html

S


Well said ! I would add the Rollei Planar/Color-Ultron 1.8/50 mm to the 7 element constructions.


I'm aware of that one; however it doesn't share the typical layout of the common 1.4/50mm and 1.2/50mm lenses of that time (one positive first element [L1], two positive last elements [L6 and L7]. The typical layout with two positive last elements L6 & L7 (to my knowledge, but i may be wrong) first was used by Nikon on its 1.4/50mm design:

Splitting the last lens [L6] of the classical "double gauss" into two lenses [L6 & L7] drastically reduces coma and other aberrations. This principle soon was applied to nearly all retrofocus wideangles (first at the Nikkor-H 3.5/28mm), allowing them to be as good or better than previous rangefinder wideangles.

Alsatian2017 wrote:

I'm always puzzled by the people claiming that their Yashica lenses are "hidden" Carl Zeiss lenses which is mainly wishful thinking since in the seventies and eighties the Yashinon lenses were rather not considered, with a few exceptions, to be top tier lenses.... Greetings Volker

Well said as well! Compare the Yashica ML 4/80-200 and the Zeiss CY 4/80-200 ... a real eye-opener. The optical designs look rather similar (not identical, though), but their performance really differs ...

S


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:

Well said as well! Compare the Yashica ML 4/80-200 and the Zeiss CY 4/80-200 ... a real eye-opener. The optical designs look rather similar (not identical, though), but their performance really differs ...

S


In fact, the Yashica ML 80-200 f/4 as well as the earlier Rolleinar/Voigtländer 80-200 f/4 and the later Konica Hexanon 80-200 f/4 were clones of the then very successful Tokina RMC 80-200 mm f/4 lens, which was considered to be one of the best third party tele zooms of its time. Wink


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will admit that I am no expert at reading optical charts. However, why are these considered optically identical but not the Yashica and Contax?

http://forum.mflenses.com/distagon-c-y-28mm-f-2-vs-smc-pentax-k-28mm-f-2-t76482.html

Based on the charts there are differences in the thickness of certain elements. Some elements are very similar in shape but have slightly different notches and cuts.


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are some 100% crops from the corners of the 24 MP FF Sony A7II:
Two of the lenses are Minolta, one is Zeiss, and one is Yashica.

CLICK AT THE IMAGE AND VIEW IT AT 100% - OTHERWISE THE DIFFERENCES MAY NOT BE VISIBLE



Differences are clearly visible - can you find the Zeiss and the Yashica?

S


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cbass wrote:
I will admit that I am no expert at reading optical charts. However, why are these considered optically identical but not the Yashica and Contax?

http://forum.mflenses.com/distagon-c-y-28mm-f-2-vs-smc-pentax-k-28mm-f-2-t76482.html

Based on the charts there are differences in the thickness of certain elements. Some elements are very similar in shape but have slightly different notches and cuts.


If you look at the lens sections i linked above, the differences in curvature and thickness of the single lens elements between Yashica ML 1.4/50 and Zeiss Planar CY 1.4/50 are evident. Probably they also did use different glass.

If we look at the three 2/28mm lens sections linked by Klaus (from Marco Cavina), they show three very similar lens sections. At the time of the development of the Zeiss 2.8/25mm Distagon, Zeiss Oberkochen was officially cooperating with Asahi (Pentax).

From the Zeiss Distagon / Pentax Takumar 3.5/15mm history we know that both these lenses were based on the same Glatzel computation. However, later on, both Asahi and Zeiss did modify the basic design slightly before it went into production. Is it the same design? Certainly extremely similar, since both lenses are based on the same patent, and both lenses use the same glasses. Are they identical? No.

S


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cbass wrote:
Would you be able to post pictures of the the very good Yashica lenses that you have from those focal ranges? I am curious if they are the older chrome nose lenses or the more modern versions.


They're all modern looking ML lenses, no chrome nose. I can't post a picture right now, but SNs are A1500393 for the 24, 12051951 for the 28 and A10004697 for the 50.
Many Yashica ML have a 3 letters code on the bottom, maybe it refers to where they were produced and that's something to consider? I have no idea...


PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
Here are some 100% crops from the corners of the 24 MP FF Sony A7II:
Two of the lenses are Minolta, one is Zeiss, and one is Yashica.

CLICK AT THE IMAGE AND VIEW IT AT 100% - OTHERWISE THE DIFFERENCES MAY NOT BE VISIBLE



Differences are clearly visible - can you find the Zeiss and the Yashica?

S


I had the Zeiss c/y AEG, but sold it and now I've got the mc rokkor ,which is pretty nice and sharp lens. Never tested em for landscape , but I'm curious Wich lens is the third image, because it's very different indeed (might mmbe MD 1.4 or zeiss? No idea ,but both of them are sharp WO in the center. Coatings are much better in Zeiss ,of course


PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lens 1: Zeiss CY Planar 1.4/50mm
Lens 2: Yashica ML 1.4/50mm
Lens 3: Minolta MD-III 1.4/50mm
Lens 4: Minolta MC-X 1.2/58mm

Stephan


PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
Lens 1: Zeiss CY Planar 1.4/50mm
Lens 2: Yashica ML 1.4/50mm
Lens 3: Minolta MD-III 1.4/50mm
Lens 4: Minolta MC-X 1.2/58mm

Stephan


My own guess was completely wrong then. Smile That Minolta 58/1.2 is certainly exemplary. How's centre and mid-frame resolution among these?


PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
Lens 1: Zeiss CY Planar 1.4/50mm
Lens 2: Yashica ML 1.4/50mm
Lens 3: Minolta MD-III 1.4/50mm
Lens 4: Minolta MC-X 1.2/58mm

Stephan


Would you know how the MC version compare to MD Rokkor 1.4? Indeed , in your images, the third is so much different , I wonder what other 1.4 could stand that sharpness (maybe nFD?). I've read that there are big differences between the 50 mm 1.4 rokkor different versions, so I might be interested to look for another that the MC...PG one that I have (even though ,the later ones are more plastics)


PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kiddo wrote:

Would you know how the MC version compare to MD Rokkor 1.4? Indeed , in your images, the third is so much different , I wonder what other 1.4 could stand that sharpness (maybe nFD?). I've read that there are big differences between the 50 mm 1.4 rokkor different versions, so I might be interested to look for another that the MC...PG one that I have (even though ,the later ones are more plastics)

MD-III is almost at the very top for corner sharpness, FDn wont match it there, but will outperform MD-III in the centerframe.

MC PG 50/1.4 is a very sharp lens, just a touch below both FDn and MD-III, with less contrast and a bit more spherical aberration.
More SA didn't help it with bokeh though: it is a bit behind both competitors wide open and a bit nicer at F2-2.8 than MD-III.
I would say the biggest real-world advantage of MD-III over MC PG is its weight.

These are impressions from wide open and slightly stopped down shots.
If you want to shoot landscapes at F8, the best of the three is the one you already bought.
Among these I see very little reason to trade one for another for a wide open shooting, and even less so for stopped down shots.

I already sold MC PG, but only because it has nothing to show for its weight premium. No real issues with IQ.


PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kiddo wrote:
Indeed , in your images, the third is so much different , I wonder what other 1.4 could stand that sharpness (maybe nFD?). I've read that there are big differences between the 50 mm 1.4 rokkor different versions, so I might be interested to look for another that the MC...PG one that I have (even though ,the later ones are more plastics)
Strictly corner performance of Canon nFD vs Minolta MD III was covered by stevemark some time ago in this thread: Canon nFD 50/1,4 or Planar 50/1,4 (which version is better). Scroll down to the middle for the test shots.

As for MC PG vs MD, the MDs should be optically better. However, MC PG features a better build quality.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although not included so far in the conversation, the Yashica ML Reflex 8/500 has also been touted as a great mirror lens. I have even read that it was equal to or better than the Mirotar. Hogwash! It isn't bad, but it is not one of the better mirrors.