50mm f/1.4 lens performance test AVAILABLE

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hi folks--- i just put up the 50/1.4 performance test. note: this one is different from the rest in that there is a "range of readings for all lenses of this type tested to date." the question is: does this mean all "konica hexanon 50/1.4's" or does this mean "all 50/1.4's from all manufacturers"?

either way the results are not as great as what mike put up from the "50mm lens shootout". anyone have any clues?


-- Anonymous, March 29, 2001


I figured it out. :)

Hi Paul,

The "range of readings for all lenses of this type tested to date." question is:

40-60 (51)

40-60 is the range of readings for all Normal (50-58mm) f1.4 lenses of this type tested to date reguardless of manfacturer.

(51) is the rating for just this particual konica hexanon 50/1.4 lens.

Does it make sense now? :)

Your newer 50mm f1.4 test is very interesting. The lens they tested in that year was serial #: 7770619

The 50mm f1.4 lens tested in the 50mm lens shootout is serial #: 7664648

Might need some help from the Konica users here who have 50mm f1.4 lenses, look at your serial numbers and see if it starts with #777 or #766 and let us know what the lens looks like. It appears the #766xxxx lenses are "better" somehow.. maybe it is the all metal foucs ring version vs. the rubber ringed version?



-- Anonymous, March 29, 2001

Differences in 50/1.4 lens tests

Hi Mike,

It so happens I've got representatives of both these lenses:

Ser. #777xxx are the most recent model, rubber ringed, f1.4-22 model.

Ser. #766xxx is a little earlier, appears identical except for the aperure range of f1.4-16.

As to the differneces, I bet you could pick two identical lenses right off any assembly line and test them both and find significant variation between them... Or you could perform the test on one lens, but change any variable: a different body, tripod, target, film, processing, loupe, etc. and also get similar variations!

That's the problem with lens tests!

IMHO, the best test is to take it out & use it on your favorite subject with your favorite film and see how you like the results!

Of course, in practice, I too look at the lens tests all the time to try to wade through the wide variety of lenses available and all the hype, to narrow down to ones I want to try.

Congrats on finally getting a bellows, too, Mike. Is that the model with two round silver rails? If that's the one, it's nice and compact, light to carry. Sounds like you got a good deal! (Hope you've received the CD with the bellows manual I mailed your way for the Konica user manual file, it has a lot of info that applies to any bellows)


Alan Myers

-- Anonymous, March 30, 2001


so, what you're saying (and this seems to be borne out by the results) means that these tests aren't worth as much as one would think. so, then, why do they do such tests? i mean, if the results can be so variable from lens to lens, why bother in the first place?

-- Anonymous, March 30, 2001

lens tests... why do em?

Good question, Paul...

I think the answer is simple, though.... we photographers love to dig through all that data looking for a little guiding light in our quest for the perfect lens! The photo mags are only too happy to provide the info, it helps sell magazines!

They do a pretty good job, but I am always a little skeptical... the Hexanon 40/1.8 was panned in it's first test, turned out to be a faulty loose element or something in a very early one. The next test called another example the sharpest lens tested to date! (Note to manufacturers, test the equipment yourself before submitting for consumer magazine review!)

It's like reading golf equipment reviews... we need some form of reference. I'm just saying use your own judgement and keep in mind your intended use for the equipment, as well.

I recently looked over several really gorgeous 16 x20 B&W prints of a friend's, all made with an ancient Kodak Ektar lens (50-60 years old? probably not coated & a breeding ground for fungi). He used it on an 8x10 view camera (using a 4x5 back, since his 8x10 enlarger won't fit in his house!).

Oh, I also know someone who is a scratch golfer and consistently makes the most amazing putts with a truly ugly $3 putter (beat up head, bent shaft, ratty grip) he bought at Goodwill as a joke! He now swears by it!!

Yes, I'll keep reading lens tests, in hopes of avoiding expensive disasters. But I put equal weight on the subjective opinions of people like those on this B.B. and on my own feelings about a lens in actual use.


Alan Myers

-- Anonymous, March 30, 2001

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