When the opportunity arose I got this lens for one reason and one reason only – it’s over the top bokeh.
If that’s a characteristic you’re looking for then I’d highly recommend it – if tack sharp is the consideration I’d suggest looking elsewhere.
That isn’t to say this lens isn’t sharp once you move beyond f1.8, only that it isn’t that sharp.
An oft suggested alternative is the Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 50mm 1.8 – noticeably sharper and good bokeh, but not as pronounced as the Meyer, so either way there is something of a trade off if you’re opting for one or the other.
Bokeh is a matter of personal taste, some prefer a sort of unobtrusive “dreamy” background, but I’m of the opinion that there are times when the kind of bokeh the Meyer is known for actually serves to make an image noteworthy.
I’m fortunate enough to have the Meyer – Optik Gorlitz Orestegor 200 mm f.4 that also produces an over the top kind of bokeh, if I had to relinquish a lens or two neither would be candidates.
A common meme is the essential nature of having a 50mm lens and I wouldn’t argue that, but a 50mm becomes a 75mm on an aps-c sensor and considerably more on a micro four thirds.
If a 75mm were produced for full frame I have little doubt people would say it’s an odd lens and stay away in droves, yet a lens that is effectively a 75mm on an aps c is sought after – could get a little confusing for a neophyte.
Granted film is still being produced and 50mm’s are the original and true companion of film cameras, but film isn’ t going to rise again anymore than the South will.
It will remain what it has become, a niche market.
I own a Pentax Spotmatic and enjoy both film and the mechanics of an slr for the lack of forgiveness.
Make a mistake and there’s no option to delete, a mistake you won’t be aware of until the film is developed and then it’s too late.
Photography is evolving, the next step in this evolutionary process is mirrorless cameras – the marketing strategy that lighter is better and plastic is as good as metal has and will facilitate this evolution.
So much so that like the Borg resistance may be futile depending in large part on what manufacturers produce and promote.
Additionally the effort to make cellphones an all in one will have an impact as well.
Ultimately the beauty of photography and associated gear is in the eye of the beholder, and that’s exactly as it should be.
If film is your thing, pronounced bokeh, enough gear to require bearers as if going on safari, cellphones, or a small mirrorless then that’s what it’s all about and we shouldn’t be dissuaded from our individual pursuits by memes or market strategies – it’s a big world and there’s room enough for all in the world of images.
As to the Meyers I’ll say what I always say, don’t take my word for it, opinions are subjective and you should arrive at you own conclusions – but if you get a chance to try one out I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.