Vintage lenses have their quirks, but they also have a certain charm. Many of them are well-built and tack sharp, yet very affordable. Photographer Mathieu Stern is a great fan of vintage glass, so he decided to do a little test. He compared a vintage manual 50mm f/1.2 lens he paid $80 with a modern AF 50mm f/1.2 lens that costs almost $1,500. Are they comparable at all? Let’s take a look.
For the video, Mathieu compared a Porst Color 50mm f/1.2 UMC and a Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM. Obviously, the advantage of the Canon glass is that it has autofocus. But does it produce better images? Here are a couple of examples of photos taken at the same locations with both lenses, so you can see for yourself.
Personally, I think that you can take great photos with both lenses and I don’t pick a clear winner here. Although, I do like the bokeh better in some of the photos with the Porst, but it’s a matter of personal preference. So the point is that you can still get a decent lens and take smashing shots even without buying pricey gear. And if your budget is tight and you want a fast 50mm lens, I hope this video has inspired you to browse through eBay or your local flea market. Who knows, you might stumble upon a real gem!
[$80 F1.2 Lens ?? $1500 Lens | Mathieu Stern]