Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: 50L Soft Focus?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    246

    50L Soft Focus?

    Hi,

    seeing that my 35L is sometimes a bit wide, and the plastic fantastic doesn't have FTM (at least not without torturing the AF gears :-) I have recently been reading a bit about the 50L ... and I was wondering whether technically it isn't a bit (!) of a soft focus lens, after all, the bokeh optimisations seem to be partially based on uncorrected spherical aberrations, which is the same wording that explains a soft focus lens' effect.

    That wouldn't actually deter me, I also have a LensBaby Composer with SoftFocus optics, and sometimes wished for something a bit less extreme and with auto-focus. Sounds like the 50L could be the perfect upgrade for me, fixing everything that's wrong with the 35L (well, not wrong, just that it's too wide sometimes), the 50II (well, everything except for sharpness (and weight (and price))), and the LensBaby...

    Please don't flame me for this last comparison, I've never seen a 50L outside of pictures on the net or held one in my hand! But whoever owns one, am I exaggerating, or is "a 50mm version of the 35L with a pinch of soft focus" just the right idea about this lens?

    (Btw, I'm not taking the 85L2 into consideration although it would fit smack between 35L and 135L. In fact I just sold the 85 non-L because each time it was on the camera it took at most 5 minutes before I ended up with the 135L instead for reach and MM.)

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, FL
    Posts
    1,246
    I shoot with 50L about 75% of the time and love it. It isn't the sharpest lens I own but the images are awesome and it feels awesome.
    I wouldn't say it is a soft focus, as I have had some very sharp shots from it.

    AFMA is a must with this lens. But even that has to be dialed in to shooting style. I never use the center or inner AF points so I adjusted the AFMA to an outer point. I attribute this to my successes with this lens where others have been frustrated with it's inconsistencies.

    The place where I've noticed it's weakness is at further distances; for example, shooting full length shots. Even shooting at f/8 or higher the images don't look soft focused, they just look like the lens couldn't resolve enough detail. The outer portions and just too soft to keep faces tight on full length shots. The 85LII at further distance for same framing will BLOW the 50L out of the water.

    The 50L is NOT going to be as sharp as the 35L. I find the 50mm focal length more useable though.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Big Mouse Florida
    Posts
    1,055
    What about the 1.4?? vs. the 1.2
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    246
    Thanks for your real-world info.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith B View Post
    The 85LII at further distance for same framing will BLOW the 50L out of the water.
    Only regarding sharpness or also overall image impression?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, FL
    Posts
    1,246
    Well if by impression, you mean bokeh, color rendering and such. I think they are very similar. The 50 is pretty sharp for mid thigh up shots but as you pull back to get full length it starts to fall off. I think of the 50 as the more intimate version of the 85.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    246
    Thanks again, end of the week I'll see for myself ;-)

    It will be used mainly as a "people lens", so its character(istics) should be just great!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •