Just decided to check out the sharpness of some of my older and newer lenses. I had a couple surprises in this test.
All these shots are a the widest aperture for the lens and are natural light, straight out of camera. Focus was on piping on the corner of the cushion.
Nikon 50mm f1.4D – Least sharp fully expected
Nikon 85mm F1.4G – Next least sharp – bit of a surprise, I expected it to be number 1 or 2 in the list, but it is still very sharp in my estimation, just no longer the top of the heap in my collection and is a very versatile portrait lens. I thought the fact that it was so easily bested by the Sigma and the Zeiss was a result of focus issues so I switched to manual focus. The sharpness improve a bit, but not significantly. Unlike the Nikon 50mm 1.4D, In day to day use I never had an issue with sharpness wide open on the 85mm.
Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art – Crazy sharp and great Bokeh, better CA control than the old Nikon 50 F1.4D. I never traded up to the newer Nikon 50, so I cant really compare. I expected this to blow away the nikon 50mm 1.4D ina pixel peep test. But the Nikon is still very good, I found that I did not like the Bokeh and as a result did not use it as much as my other lenses and stayed away from shooting the 50. Having the Sigma Art has renewed my interest in that focal range.
Zeiss 135 F2 APO – No comparison: Bokeh, sharpness unmatched. Definitely the king of this heap. This lens is manual focus and so I don’t use this for events, it is mainly for product, still life, or portrait so far.