Best standard (50mm FF equiv.) lens
The end of 2018 is coming. A great time to take stock. Over the past weeks, I have studied the test overviews for the different focal lengths at which we have tested. Actually, the fields of view ("what is in the picture"): if you use a 25 mm on an Olympus or Panasonic camera, then there is as much in the picture as when you use a 35-mm lens on a camera with an APS-C sensor, or a 50-mm standard lens on a camera with a full-frame sensor.
BEST STANDARD LENS WITH A FIXED FOCAL LENGTH
Standard lenses have a fixed focal length (we make a separate overview for the best standard zooms) whose field of view corresponds to that of a 50-mm lens on a camera with a full-frame sensor. A standard lens is one of the most commonly sold lenses with a fixed focal length. And in 2018, there will be a few more pearls on the market. The lenses with the highest image quality without the use of lens corrections (!) Scores for the standard lenses that we have reviewed are at the top. If you use in-camera lens corrections, or you use Lightroom or Photoshop where automatic lens corrections are applied (without being able to control that), then sort by the first column with test results by clicking on In-camera lens corr.
WITH OR WITHOUT LENS CORRECTIONS?
Lens manufacturers design lenses in which distortion, color separation and vignetting are not optimally corrected. They assume that lens errors will be automatically corrected in the camera (for jpg files) or afterwards in Lightroom or Photoshop (for RAW files). The advantage of this choice, for manufacturer and consumer, is that you can achieve high image quality at relatively low costs, because you do not have to use expensive types of glass to prevent all lens errors. But there are also, usually the more expensive, lenses where a manufacturer has gone to extremes to prevent lens errors in the lens design. CameraStuffReview shows tables and graphs of Imatest results with lens corrections ("in-camera jpg") and without lens corrections ("RAW" outside of Photoshop or Lightroom). You can thus use the scores that are closest to your workflow.
Bokeh & IMAGE QUALITY
With older, bright lenses, you could choose: bokeh or sharpness. At full aperture, the bokeh was nice, but the sharpness left something to be desired. After stopping down a few stops, the sharpness of older f/1.4 lenses becomes much better. But then that beautiful, woolly bokeh has disappeared. You can't have everything. Today, there are f/1.4 lenses that, in addition to a beautiful background blur at full aperture, have high sharpness. Note the Panasonic 25 mm f/1.4 ASPH Leica DG (for Olympus and Panasonic cameras) that, with the Olympus 25 mm f/1.2 breathing down their necks, might be even more attractively priced next year. The Sigma 50 mm f/1.4 Art is the leader in our test overview at the moment. The Sigma beats out the Nikon 58 mm f/1.4 G with sharpness at full aperture at short distances, but the Nikon has a unique character when it comes to bokeh. If you want a real steal, photograph with the Nikon 50 mm f/1.8G. If you prefer a zoom for your SLR, then the Tokina 24-70 mm f/2.8 is a bargain for the full-frame fans. And the Sigma 18-35 mm f/1.8 Art for owners of an APS-C SLR camera.
MORE THAN 50 STANDARD LENSES REVIEWED PER CAMERA BRAND/SENSOR SIZe
Sony FE: Standard lenses (full frame)
Nikon FX: Standard lenses (full frame)
Canon EF: Standard lenses (full-frame)
Micro-43: Standard lenses
Canon EF-S: Standard lenses (APS-C)
Nikon DX: Standard lenses (APS-C)
Sony E: Standard lenses (APS-C)
The optical performance of the bright Olympus M.Zuiko 25 mm f/1.2 PRO standard lens is exemplary.