Standard lens bokeh III: 50mm f1.8 and f2 lenses

Here's the bokeh of a few slower lenses in the 45mm to 58mm range, including several f1.8 and f2 planars as well as a f2.8 Tessar and a f3.5 zoom.


Bokeh Mamiya Sekor 50f2

Mamiya Auto Sekor 2/50mm, built from 1968 on for the Mamiya DTL series. The lens is very sharp, also according actual standards, and nearly free from CAs. Since it has the M42 mount, it can be adapted to the Canon EF and the Minolta/Sony A mount. The bokeh is quite busy with even bit of "donut" quality, and it has a distinctive touch of being "swirley". While the lens still is very usable for landscape, there may be better options when bokeh is important.


Bokeh Mamiya Sekor 55f18

Mamiya Auto Sekor 2/50mm, another standard lens for the Mamiya DTL line. Surprisingly sharp and contrasty even at f1.8, and even in the corners, the lens again has a "swirley" bokeh. It is however less "noisy" than the bokeh of the corresponding Sekor 50mm f2 lens.



Bokeh Minolta MD-II 45f2

Minolta MD 2/45mm, pancake lens introduced 1978. The lens very small and lightweight, but it is not built to the usual Minolta standards - lots of plastic and, on 24MP Full Frame, missing corner resolution (on APS-C cameras the lens is impeccable, though). The lens has a ordinary 6-lens Planar structure, obviously a bit over-stretched at f=45mm (the Konica Hexanon AR 1.8/40mm is a modified design with far better performance on Full Frame cameras). Bokeh is noisy, partly because of the smaller focal length, partly pecause of the f2 speed.


Bokeh Nikkor-H 50f2

Nikon Nikkor-H 2/50mm - the second computation from 1964, a nearly symmetrical Planar [6/4] construction which has a well balanced correction over the entire field. It's bokeh however is quite nervous, adding to the reputation of "noisy bokeh" for Nikkor lenses.


Bokeh Nikkor AiS 50f18 VarII

Nikon Series E 1.8/50mm  (optical construction is identical to the later AiS 1.8/50mm!). Unlike most other lenses, the "blur disks" of the Nikkor AiS 1.8/50mm Var II are opening outwards (shape like the waxing moon). This reduces the swirley bokeh, but adds to a noisy overall feeling.



Bokeh Topcor RE 58f18

Topcon RE Topcor 1.8/58mm: Quite rare lens from the early 1960s with excellent detail resolution even in the corners (better than the Zeiss Planar CY 1.4/50mm). Smoothest backgrund blur among the f1.8 and f2 lenses, probably simply because of the slightly longer focal length.


Bokeh Schneider Xenar 50f28

Schneider Kreuznach Xenar 2.8/50mm: A Tessar-like construction with four lenses. Quite good bokeh (nearly no donuts), but due to f2.8 not as three-dimasional results as with the f2 or f1.4 lenses. Quite swirley appearance. 


Bokeh Minolta MD-II 35-70f35 at 50mm

Minolta MD-II 3.5/35-70mm: Finally a zoom lens - with surprisingly smooth bokeh. No swirley bokeh, no donuts, but of course no shallow depth-of-field (f3.5 ...) as well.