Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Canon FD 50 mm f1.4 vs Sony 18-55 kit lens

This test compares the Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 against the Sony 18-55 kit lens, both stopped at f/5.6, using the above reference points for center and corners. The FD lens was focused manually with the help of Sony's Nex-7 focus peaking and magnification features, the Sony lens was set in default Autofocus mode.

This test was very unfair for the humble Sony 18-55 kit lens: there's no way a cheap kit lens like this one could compete with the classic FD 50 prime. If anything, it demonstrates how inadequate the kit lens is for the very high resolution Nex-7 sensor. There's no need to spend lots of money to get an expensive "german glass": even an affordable Canon FD it's enough to improve a lot over the Sony 18-55 kit lens. It's very interesting to note how an almost 40-years design like the Canon FD 50, can still offer very good quality today.


  1. I own a FD 50mm 1.4 and i'm thinking of buying a nex 7. What results do you get with it wide open, say, 1.4? Is it dreamy? Is it ok?

  2. The FD 50mm 1.4 is a bit soft wide open, and there's a bit of purple fringing. But it gets very good from F2.8 onward and really sharp from F4 to F8. But it's good to have a 1.4 aperture lens on the Nex-7.

    Have a look at the Nex-6, for some things it might be a bit better than the Nex-7, since it has a bit less pixel density, it should be better at high ISO than the Nex-7.