Lens review

SainSonic Kamlan 50 mm f/1.1

15 October 2018
Maciej Latałło

4. Image resolution

The resolution test of the Kamlan 50 mm f/1.1 was based on RAW files from the Fujifilm X-T2 camera. Those files were developed with the dcraw program (with the 3-pass X-trans filter) and analyzed by the Imatest package.

Let’s remind here that the best fixed-focal lenses of the Fujifilm X system tested in that way can reach resolution of 80 lpmm and the decency level is situated near 44-45 lpmm. The Fujinon XF 50 mm f/2 R WR, tested by us lately with the help of the X-T2, proved to be one of the sharpest lenses of this system, with maximum results of 83 lpmm.

Now let’s check how the Kamlan 1.1/50 compares – an appropriate graph you see below.

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SainSonic Kamlan 50 mm f/1.1 - Image resolution

In the frame centre and at the maximum relative aperture the image quality is just a tad below the decency level. In photos taken by that aperture you can spot slight ‘mist’ connected to bad correction of optical aberrations. With the stopping down the aperture the image quality improves but that process is quite slow. Still the great aperture fastness of the lens allows it to reach an excellent resolution level by f/4.0 -8.0. As you see cheap lenses can also be very sharp but they need to be stopped down quite a lot.

There is no f/11 marking on the smooth aperture ring so our graph doesn’t feature a result appropriate for that aperture value. However, glancing at incredibly high resolution the lens got by f/16 it seems that aperture ring position is in fact closer to f/11 than to declared f/16. Also results you see by f/8.0 indicate that in reality you deal with a value by 1/3 -2/3 EV lower at that setting.

The simple optical construction makes itself felt on the edge of the frame. In the wide area close to the maximum relative aperture the image quality should be called only weak; it becomes decent, and nothing more than that, near f/8.0 – 11.0.

As you see, there are no miracles. A simple, very fast construction can perform sensibly well in the frame centre because the joint forces of all five elements were optimized to do so but it was done at the expense of the edges which are nothing more than weak.

At the end of this part of our test traditionally we present crops taken from photos of our resolution testing chart, saved as JPEG files along RAWs used for the analysis presented above.

Fujifilm X-T2, JPEG, f/1.1
SainSonic Kamlan 50 mm f/1.1 - Image resolution
Fujifilm X-T2, JPEG, f/5.6
SainSonic Kamlan 50 mm f/1.1 - Image resolution