The Great 50mm Shootout | Photography Gear News |

"Every so often the Universe realizes I’m getting a little cocky and sends someone to ask me a simple question I can’t answer. It happened again the other day. Michael Plumridge and Peter Lik asked Tyler what the sharpest 50mm lens was. They were shooting on Red Epics with adapters so neither brand, mount, nor price mattered. But they needed to know right away. Tyler told them he’d ask me and give them the answer in a few minutes.
But I didn’t have a clue. I have tons of data on 50mm lenses for Nikon and Canon cameras, but all of that was shot at widest aperture, which is great for finding lenses with problems, but not great for finding which is sharpest at f/4. And we had no factual data for Leica mount lenses because Rangefinder cameras are very difficult to test using programs like Imatest. But when someone like Peter Lik wants an answer and tells you Jim Jannard is curious, too, you get them an answer. So we tested every kind of 50mm lens we had available and got a pretty clear answer by the end of the day.
As always, my first thought when presented with a bunch of work to do is “what’s in it for me”? Turns out not much. Tyler got a beautiful signed picture that hangs in his office so I can see it every time I walk by. I got a nice thank you email. But, I figured if I did all that work, I’d at least make a blog post out of it so I didn’t have to do a bunch of research over the holiday weekend. Wait, I mean, I was certain other people would be interested in what I found, so I thought I’d share the results."