View Full Version : Legacy Lenses Nikon E Series vs Hexanon 40mm

10-24-2007, 02:05 AM
I have had the opportunity to do a direct comparison between a Nikon E Series 50mm f1.8 and a Hexanon 40mm f1.8 recently. The Hexanon seems to get a good press as a very sharp and compact lens that can be bought at a low price and converted to four thirds bayonet with a small amount of effort.

I would like to register my vote for the humble Nikon E Series (*) 50mm f1.8 pancake lens. Both these lenses can be purchased cheap on ebay these days. (Hint - look out for a Nikon EM which was originally supplied with the 50mm lens. You can buy lens and camera for a lower price than lens alone if you look carefully:smile: The same applied to my Hexanon with its attached Konica SLR)

The attached high contrast comparison shot (Hexanon at the top, Nikon below, apertures f1.8 2.8 4 5.6 across) is intended to show focus and flare problems. You can see that both lenses have problems wide open but they recover a great deal at f2.8 and just get better beyond that.

In my opinion the Nikon produces less flare at f1.8 and f2.8 than the Hexanon however if you look very closely the Hexanon is slightly sharper at f5.6.

You need to buy a Nik-4/3 mount for the Nikon, but you need to strip and convert the Hexanon. The Nikon is physically larger and my Hexanon is stiffer to focus. I would suggest a Katzeye split image screen for use with manual focus lenses.

Overall: They are both well made metal body lenses that produce excellent results at f4 and beyond: For indoor work I would probably accept the optical limitations and try the Nikon at f1.8 or f2.8 as I feel it might produce better images than the Hexanon. Where there is plenty of light, the Hexanon is probably the better lens.

There is more on the subject of legacy lenses + E400 on my page


Hope this helps :smile:

Pete H

(*) Not all the E Series lenses are so sharp. I owned the 28mm and the 135mm and would not recommend them, however my 75-150mm f3.5 was one very sharp zoom, and they say the 100mm f2.8 is surprisingly good.