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APO-Telyt-R 180/3.4 vs. APO-Lanthar 180/4
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Which lens is the APO-Telyt-R 180/3.4?
Lens A) is APO-Telyt-R 180/3.4
38%
 38%  [ 5 ]
Lens B) is APO-Telyt-R 180/3.4
61%
 61%  [ 8 ]
Total Votes : 13



PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:11 pm    Post subject: APO-Telyt-R 180/3.4 vs. APO-Lanthar 180/4 Reply with quote



WHAT'S UP
Voigtländer SL 180mm f/4 APO Lanthar N/Ai-S sn 93400xx
Voigtländer SL 180mm f/4 APO Lanthar N/Ai-S sn 93306xx
Leica APO-Telyt-R 180mm f/3.4 Leitax N/Ai-S sn 27495xx

APO-Telyt is reversible mount modification, achieves perfect infinity focus on Nikon D3 without glass adapter. APO-Lanthars are original N/Ai-S mount. When I previously tested the APO-Lanthars against each other I could not find any sample variation between them.

GALLERY
http://www.mflenses.com/gallery/v/mfl_club_members/esoxlucius/TelytLanthar/

RESULTS
Guess which lens is which? EXIF data will not reveal the answer.

LENS A, FULL FRAME RESIZED


LENS B, FULL FRAME RESIZED


LENS A, CENTER CROP 100%


LENS B, CENTER CROP 100%


LENS A, UPPER EDGE 100%


LENS B, UPPER EDGE 100%


BACKGROUND
The APO-Lanthar is generally considered a close focus lens optimized for near to medium distance subjects, whereas the APO-Telyt as a marine surveillance lens is generally considered to be optimized for medium to infinity distances. While focal length is comparable, their max aperture differs slightly: f/4 vs. f/3.4

EXPOSURE
Theoretically, the faster lens should not be penalized for shooting both wide open, so I chose f/5.6 for both. On both lenses, center detail likely peaks at this aperture as well.

APERTURE
All test shots are exposed at f/5.6. Since the APO-Lanthars have click-stops half f-stops and the APO-Telyt stepless aperture (due to Leitax conversion I think) I calibrated the f-stop used first with APO-Lanthar and then I very very carefully matched an identical histogram distribution with the APO-Telyt. Incidentally, at that point the APO-Telyt f-stop scale indicated exactly f/5.6 so I could have just set the diaphragm size from the aperture ring as well, and still achieved comparable exposures.

SHOOTING CIRCUMSTANCES
All test shots are shot in light evenly dispersed overcast & light drizzle within minutes from each other. White balance was set to 5880K from the camera. Exposures are with no clipping of any color channel, thanks to an evenly soft light. Not even the sky is clipped.

FOCUSING
Focusing distance measured with laser rangefinder showed 56.2 meters. APO-Telyt has tightly spaced scale with 10-15-20-30-50-infinity whereas APO-Lanthar settles with 10-20-infinity. In other words, both lenses indicated near infinity on their range scales. Focus was set with Live View and both lenses had 5 test shots each, I shuffled and re-focused with Live View for every shot. During image evaluation, I compared shots with each other and ruled out some shots which where misfocused despite my careful effort to achieve optimum comparable focus. The ones I picked for the samples are thus as perfectly focused in the same identical spot in the center of the frame.

OTHER CAMERA SETTINGS
Tripod and sandbag. Exposure is f/5.6 1/50s ISO 200. I used self timer release (10s) as well as exposure delay mode to rule out mirror slap.

RAW to JPEG CONVERSION
All files are converted from RAW to JPEG using Nikon Capture NX 2.2. Color mode is the safe middle choice of Standard, sharpening was set to 5 on a scale of 0 to 9. No color correction, contrast or levels were applied. Saved as 100% quality, crops are 100% apart from the full-size stuff which I resized to fit into this thread.

Near focus and bokeh shots to follow.


Last edited by Esox lucius on Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:38 pm; edited 3 times in total


PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the great effort. however, is it my eyes or the lens, both center and edge crop from 'B' appears to be soft. According to the dof calculator, http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html, the dof should be 43.5m to 79.5m at the said test setting(ie. D3, 180mm, f5.6 at 56.2m). I do not think the distance between the center point in the center crop to the object shown in the edge crop is more than 23m. Would there be a miss focus between 'A' and 'B'?

OTOH, if there is no miss focus, then I want the 'A' lens(ops.. correction.. your copy of the 'A' lens).

Cheers,


PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is difficult to tell Vilhelm, because the two pictures are exposed differently and the difference in exposure may cause a colour shift.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*if* the colours are correct, I would say Apo-Telyt is lens B.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cheve wrote:
dof should be 43.5m to 79.5m at the said test setting(ie. D3, 180mm, f5.6 at 56.2m). I do not think the distance between the center point in the center crop to the object shown in the edge crop is more than 23m. Would there be a miss focus between 'A' and 'B'?


The rangefinder tells me that the upper edge roof ridge is about 9m behind the center point of focus.

Possibly uncomparable focus point though I did make a big effort to avoid it. Lens samples posted are best sharpness I got from several shots focused at same spot using Live View. This scene I shot 5 times with each lens, so I had 10 shots with Lanthars to choose from (discarded 2 as misfocused) and 5 shots with Telyt to choose from (discarded 1 as misfocused). I did my best to pick the best results and chose identical histogram distribution to have comparable exposures.

Possibly also detail towards edge deteriorates more with lens B than with lens A.

When I look at the whole series of test shots with different scenes and a variety of exposure values, I see an undisputable difference in the two lenses: Lens A renders colors differently from lens B. Lens B has what looks like a slight green cast over the whole image, and has lower contrast overall.

Orio wrote:
the two pictures are exposed differently and the difference in exposure may cause a colour shift.


It's now dark and I will have to wait for tomorrow to be able to do more test shooting. Histograms for those shots posted above do not support different exposure theory: 1/50s ISO 200 f/5.6. Because Telyt has stepless aperture control and Lanthar click-stops I set Lanthar to f/5.6, and then carefully tuned the diaphragm size on Telyt until I achieved identical histogram distribution = identical aperture.

Color channel differences in saturation are explained by how differently the lenses paint colors.

LENS A


LENS B


I will do more work tomorrow on this.


Last edited by Esox lucius on Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:02 pm; edited 6 times in total


PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Esox lucius wrote:

When I look at the whole series of test shots, I see an undisputable difference in the two lenses: Lens A renders colors differently from lens B. Lens B has what looks like a slight green cast over the whole image, and has lower contrast overall.


And these are exactly the reasons why I said the Telyt should be lens B Smile .
But as I know from experience, my DSLRs slightly shift colour hue with exposure, I could not be 100% completely sure.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While this may be due to the deficiencies of my monitor, the Center Crop detail seems sharper on A with better contrast compared to B. Also, the edges to the vertical metal sheeting seen in the Upper Edge crop has the slightest hint of color fringing on B whereas none is seen in A, suggesting to me that B is the Lanthar and A is the Leica; despite its label as 'APO', the CV 180 APO isn't perfectly apochromatic. Both look nonetheless very sharp. (I can always blame the Dell monitor I'm using today if I'm wrong). Just picked up the Leica 180/3.4 and await my Leitax mount so haven't shot with it yet and can't comment on it.

Vilhelm: the detents on the aperture ring with a Leitax conversion is unpredictable but when I converted one lens and it didn't click, I removed the mount, repositioned it and the clicks resumed, though not as precise as with the native R mount. You might want to try that.


Last edited by james on Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:17 am; edited 5 times in total


PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

james wrote:
Vilhelm: the detents on the aperture ring with a Leitax conversion is unpredictable but when I converted one lens and it didn't click, I removed the mount, repositioned it and the clicks resumed, though not as precise as with the native R mount. You might want to try that.


I want to keep the Leica aperture control as stepless, because that way I can lock ISO and shutter, and use the stepless aperture control to fine-tune the Leica to an identical histogram left/right distribution = identical aperture therefore identical exposure with the Lanthar exposure.

If the aperture step is even slightly off it's real value then I will have serious difficulty in achieving identical exposures with both lenses, 1/3 stop shutter speed changes are far less sensitive than stepless aperture control.


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a slight green cast on the pictures taken with lens B, which I have never seen on pictures taken with my Apo-Lanthar. I have never used the Apo-Telyt, so I don't have any direct knowledge of its imaging characteristics but what I know about the Apo-Lanthar and what I have read about the Apo-Telyt lead me to guess that the Voigtländer might be lens A and the Leitz lens B.

Cheers!

Abbazz


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weather conditions this morning became unfavorable after 1 hour of shooting, but I am now almost 100% sure it is the difference in how the lenses paint that prevents me from achieving identical exposures where only detail would separate them.

Lens set to infinity and confirmed accurate by live view. Distance to subject is about 1.3 kilometers which is outside the range of my laser rangefinder so I had to measure from a map. These are both 100% crops, white balance 4800K and sharpness set to 5 on a scale of 0 to 9. Identical RAW to JPEG conversion, all settings at neutral.

LENS A - 100% crop @ f/5.6



LENS B - 100% crop @ f/5.6


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the great effort. the detail/sharpness looks more or less the same to my eyes in the new set of shots. I think someone with good PS skill would make whatever the difference there are to go away. I guess the winner is CV180 in my book, since it has shorter MFD, and is reported to do better job with closeup:-D

Just a request. Where possible, would you put on an average/consumer grade lens and take a sample shot(say like the one above). This will show how good these lens are and would be very informative.

Cheers,


Last edited by cheve on Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:06 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I confirm my early opinion, Leitz is lens B.


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still see better resolution & contrast on the roof of "A" (may be my uncalibrated monitor speaking again). The Leica 180/3.4 was a "spyglass" designed for military applications so it ought to render better than the commercial CV 180 even though it's 20 years older in design. That's my guess. I will also reiterate that they both do a stellar job and that cheve's suggestion that a third shot featuring a more mundane lens @ 180mm may also help put things into perspective is a great idea.
(We're so demanding of poor Vilhelm's free time!).


Last edited by james on Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:14 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cheve wrote:
The detail/sharpness looks more or less the same to my eyes in the new set of shots. I think someone with good PS skill would make whatever the difference there are to go away.


I agree, but out of camera results is what I prefer as most clients do not want to pay for the "invisible hours" spent in the digital darkroom. It is however still too early for me to draw conclusions, I intend to do more test shots.

cheve wrote:
Where possible, would you put on an average/consumer grade lens and take a sample shot(say like the one above). This will show how good these lens are and would be very informative.


Average consumer telephoto lenses is one of the many things my camera equipment is lacking. Someone in Helsinki have a 70-300 or similar they want to borrow? Has to fit Nikon.

As a sidenote, these APO lenses likely outperform my sensor at infinity therefore I would need say a D3x to really show what they can do.


Last edited by Esox lucius on Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:48 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:42 pm    Post subject: Re: APO-Telyt-R 180/3.4 vs. APO-Lanthar 180/4 Reply with quote

Esox lucius wrote:

WHAT'S UP
Voigtländer SL 180mm f/4 APO Lanthar N/Ai-S sn 93400xx
Voigtländer SL 180mm f/4 APO Lanthar N/Ai-S sn 93306xx
Leica APO-Telyt-R 180mm f/3.4 Leitax N/Ai-S sn 27495xx

...


Hey, that's two against one! That's not fair! Wink Laughing


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

james wrote:
Orio's suggestion that a third shot featuring a more mundane lens @ 180mm may also help put things into perspective is a great idea.


It was not my suggestion.


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My apology, Orio. It was "cheve" who suggested it.


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, f/5.6 and same white balance, same settings, same post-processing, same sharpening etc. etc.

LENS A 20m center



LENS B 20m center



LENS A 4m bokeh uncropped



LENS B 4m bokeh uncropped



PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BACKGROUND
I already own the 180/4 APO-Lanthar and also have access to a 2nd copy of the same lens. In addition, I was offered the 180/3.4 APO-Telyt-R for purchase, and naturally I was interested as it has a reputation that is very high.

WHY ALL THIS TROUBLE?
Because I can. Because I have the lenses on my table.

WHICH LENS IS WHICH?
Lens A is APO-Lanthar. Lens B is APO-Telyt-R.

IN FAVOUR OF THE APO-Telyt-R
It has a slightly stiffer focusing feel which I find good. It is better geared for focusing near infinity, APO-Lanthar is more "touchy" to focus changes near the infinity mark. APO-Telyt extends slightly less than the APO-Lanthar when focusing towards MFD.

IN FAVOUR OF THE APO-Lanthar
APO-Lanthar is more contrasty throughout the aperture range. The light greenish overcast from the APO-Telyt-R is not appealing to me. Snow here has melted now but I imagine shooting snow with the APO-Telyt is a pain in the arse. The APO-Lanthar vignettes slightly less at f/5.6 and wide open. The aperture control is also more precise: even when not Leitax converted the aperture ring and click-stops of the APO-Telyt-R feel flimsy compared to the precise APO-Lanthar. The APO-Lanthar weighs slightly less and has a detachable lens hood, making it more compact in size. The diaphragm is also more rounded at smaller apertures, which affects only OoF highlight shape.

Detail?

At infinity it is a very close call, on my Eizo Coloredge CG222W I see a mathematical edge to the APO-Lanthar, which my eyes and brain probably interpret this way due to better contrast and more true colors.

At medium focusing distance (50m), APO-Lanthar pulls a slight lead. At 20m the APO-Lanthar is clearly better than the APO-Telyt-R.

At close focusing distance (<5m) I did not test detail, because given the different MFD (2.5m vs. 1.2m) and magnification ratio I did not find it meaningful to compare apples and oranges.

Bokeh is great on both lenses.

Both lenses are exceptional, but given what I see in the photos I've taken during two days I find it very hard to justify myself purchasing the more expensive Leica when it isn't better than the Voigtländer.

PURE SPECULATION
Since the APO-Telyt-R was designed for marine surveillance and in its time probably mostly used in conjunction with B/W film, the green cast is perhaps intentional? On B/W film it would make skies and grey warships slightly more contrasty, painting a better silhouette.

USER-INDUCED ERRORS
This is what I thought as well, once I started pixel-peeping the first shots. Which is why I yesterday changed methodology, to rule out focusing errors. I used Live View at 100% to confirm correct focus, then I shot 5-10 frames per setting and always shuffled and re-acquired focus again. Statistically, I saw about a 15-20% misfocus rate. It means that I could discard about 1 in 5 or 6 frames because another frame in the same sequence had better detail in the intended focus spot.

Most of the shots I did with tripod, sandbag & exposure delay mode (to rule out mirror slap), of the samples posted only the wooden cross is hand-held (at 1/500s).

SAMPLE VARIATION, DUD COPY
Anything is possible of course, but this is a Leica lens (not a Sigma). I am not going to go through all this nerdwork again to find out for that my two 180/4 APO-Lanthars are better than two 180/3.4 APO-Telyt-R's


Last edited by Esox lucius on Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:52 am; edited 4 times in total


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Esox lucius wrote:

WHICH LENS IS WHICH?
Lens A is APO-Lanthar. Lens B is APO-Telyt-R.


he-hee! Very Happy
I never guessed a lens blind test wrong on this site, and this means more than three years Smile


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
Esox lucius wrote:

WHICH LENS IS WHICH?
Lens A is APO-Lanthar. Lens B is APO-Telyt-R.


he-hee! Very Happy
I never guessed a lens blind test wrong on this site, and this means more than three years Smile


Hmmm... I could put up something really hard for you then Wink


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
Esox lucius wrote:

WHICH LENS IS WHICH?
Lens A is APO-Lanthar. Lens B is APO-Telyt-R.


he-hee! Very Happy
I never guessed a lens blind test wrong on this site, and this means more than three years Smile


Laughing Laughing Nice!

I never guessed well any Wink


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn, I wish you ran the series before I bought the Leica 180/3.4 a week ago.... I was also intrigued with the reputation of the optic. I guess i can shoot it B&W if the greenish cast is there purposefully to increase contrast as Vilhelm theorized or sell it with a Leitax conversion once it arrives.

Decision, decisions...


Last edited by james on Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:53 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A G Photography wrote:
Orio wrote:
Esox lucius wrote:

WHICH LENS IS WHICH?
Lens A is APO-Lanthar. Lens B is APO-Telyt-R.


he-hee! Very Happy
I never guessed a lens blind test wrong on this site, and this means more than three years Smile


Hmmm... I could put up something really hard for you then Wink


You would cheat, I know Razz


PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Esox lucius wrote:
Lens A is APO-Lanthar. Lens B is APO-Telyt-R.

Thanks Vilhelm for the interesting comparative review. It confirms that the Apo Lanthar is really an outstanding lens, as the Leica lens is certainly no slouch either!

Cheers!

Abbazz
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