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Fast 135mm lenses (and two zooms at f=135mm)
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:48 pm    Post subject: Fast 135mm lenses (and two zooms at f=135mm) Reply with quote

As promised in another thread, I've compared a few fast vintage 135mm lenses and a few well respected zooms @ f=135mm.
The images below are 100% crops from the extreme corner of JPGs out of the 24 MP Sony A7II.

FOR FULL RESOLUTION CLICK TWICE ON THE IMAGE BELOW!

Part 1
Canon FL 2.5/135mm
Canon FD 2.5/135mm
Konica Hexanon AR 2.5/135mm
Asahi Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 2.5/135mm, 2nd version [6/6]
Zeiss CY Sonnar 2.8/135mm



It's obvious that the two older lenses (FL 2.5/135mm and Asahi S-M-C 2.5/135mm) have problems with the 24 MP full frame sensor.
The later lenses, especially the Hexanon AR and the Zeiss CY, are quite useful even wide open, especially when CAs are corrected.

Part 2 with the following lenses will follow tomorrow:
Canon nFD 2/135mm
Nikkor AiS 2/135mm

Part 3 with the following lenses will follow later:
Leica Vario-Elmar-R 4/70-210mm
Minolta MD 4/70-210mm
Minolta AF 4/70-210mm
Nikkor AiS 4/80-200mm
Zeiss Vario-Sonnar CY 4/80-200mm

Minolta (Sony) AF 2.8/70-200mm G SSM
Nikkor AF 2.8/80-200mm (classic first version)

Expect some surprises here as well ...

S


PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like 1 everybody needs a sonnar. Smile I think you meant the 24mp sensor has problems with those older lenses. Smile Here's a wish for a 42mp FF sensor for you, the one without the edge problems.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Fast 135mm lenses (and two zooms at f=135mm) Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
As promised in another thread, I've compared a few fast vintage 135mm lenses and a few well respected zooms @ f=135mm.
. . .

Thanks for the images, Stephan.



visualopsins wrote:
Like 1 everybody needs a sonnar. Smile
. . .

Simply for the image quality? Are there other reasons?


PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the comparison shots. I heard Pentax K mount 135mm f/2.5 is no better than previous versions. Do you happen to have that lens for comparison as well?


PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This explains a lot. My corners are always blurry so I could care less how good corner resolution is.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there a way to depict the corner crop size relative to the full frame. I assume it is less than 25 percent, but I cannot visualize with the idea of "Extreme" crop.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

visualopsins wrote:
Like 1 everybody needs a sonnar. Smile

Wait until you see the zoom results ... Wink


visualopsins wrote:
I think you meant the 24mp sensor has problems with those older lenses. Smile

Maybe a misunderstanding? Generally I think that good vintage lenses (often late 1970s / early 1980s) are quite useful on 24 MP full frame cameras. Of course you have to use the optimal aperture for landscape images (not for portraits, though), and maybe to correct lateral CAs.

I always felt that most vintage lenses have problems on 50 MP FF sensors, unless you work very carefully.
I remember clearly testing an early Sony A77 (pre-release) with its 24MP APS-C (=54 MP FF). Even the best Minolta AF lenses such as the AF 2.8/200 APO had to be used at f5.6 or f8, otherwise the images were not really sharp. And that's on a crop sensor which omits the "bad parts" of the image circle ...

visualopsins wrote:
Here's a wish for a 42mp FF sensor for you, the one without the edge problems.

I only know of one 42 MP FF sensor - or am I wrong?? Doesn't have the A7RII / A7RIII /A99 the same sensor??

vivaldibow wrote:
Thanks for the comparison shots. I heard Pentax K mount 135mm f/2.5 is no better than previous versions. Do you happen to have that lens for comparison as well?

No, as I said before I only have very few Pentax lenses. But it seems they both share the same optical construction (see pentaxforums).

D1N0 wrote:
This explains a lot. My corners are always blurry so I could care less how good corner resolution is.

Yes, of course - for many applications you don't need corner resolution at all, but bokeh and maybe center resolution are important. I know this perfectly well, and I may add some comparisons of center resolution (at portrait distance) & bokeh later. But at the moment I'm quite busy with work ...

Blazer0ne wrote:
Is there a way to depict the corner crop size relative to the full frame. I assume it is less than 25 percent, but I cannot visualize with the idea of "Extreme" crop.

Here you are:


Stephan

PS f/2 lenses and selected zooms @ f=135mm will follow tomorrow.


PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like 1 small


PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Fast 135mm lenses (and two zooms at f=135mm) Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:

Canon FL 2.5/135mm
Canon FD 2.5/135mm
Konica Hexanon AR 2.5/135mm
Asahi Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 2.5/135mm, 2nd version [6/6]
Zeiss CY Sonnar 2.8/135mm

Do you happen to have full sized shots wide-open?

This test made me wonder about comparing my Hexanon AR vs Canon S.C. 135/2.5. I tested both lenses on A7 at a tripod with self-timer.

* Hexanon AR 135/2.5@f/2.5
* Hexanon AR 135/2.5@f/8.0
* Canon S.C. 135/2.5@f/2.5
* Canon S.C. 135/2.5@f/8.0

My wide-open results are in favor of Canon mainly due Hexanon's rather strong spherical aberration/glow. However, closed-down Canon's CA remains visible unlike Hexanon's.

Notes: Both lenses are big and heavy. Canon features 8 aperture blades, Hexaon 6. Hexanon can focus down to 1.2m compared to restrictive 1.5m for Canon.


PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can get sharp corners with my smc tak 135/2.5 on a 42+ mp sensor, but the corners seem to be in another focal plane than the center. That's probably the case here as well.


PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

caspert79 wrote:
I can get sharp corners with my smc tak 135/2.5 on a 42+ mp sensor, but the corners seem to be in another focal plane than the center. That's probably the case here as well.


there are different versions of the 135 2.5 smc takumar. one version is very soft.


PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have v2.


PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoy seeing test results like this. I don't know anything about Konica or Hexanon lenses, other than the Hexanons tend to be well respected. But I guess this little test proves at least the Hexanon 135/2.5's mettle.

Obviously the Hexanon and Zeiss came out on top, with the nod going to the Zeiss because of its impressive contrast. But apart from those two, I think the Canon FL showed the most improvement from wide open to f/8, such that it was just about as good at f/8 as the better optics. The Asahi was the most disappointing, clearly. In fact, it was so poor that I question whether or not that lens is representative of your typical Takumar 135. Most of my experience with Taks is with 35mm cameras, shooting slide film and my impressions have always been that Taks provide excellent sharpness. I own a few Taks now -- most M42, a couple of K-mount -- and I've shot them some on my crop-sensor 24.3mp Sony, so I can't compare edges, but those lenses all performed very well with the crop sensor format.

Caspert, that different focal plane thing you're seeing may be due to the lens's curvature of field.

You know what I'd like to see? A comparison of 35mm focal length lenses, which specifically include a Canon FL 35mm f/2.5. Of the few 35mm lenses I've owned, the FL 35/2.5 has provided the sharpest corners and edges by far -- again, shooting with slide film, mostly Kodachrome.

I look forward to seeing your next rounds of test results.


PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

caspert79 wrote:
I have v2.

nice.
I didnt mean your copy, Just judging the samples I saw here.
That other distortion you spoke about Is a known occurrence


PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
I enjoy seeing test results like this.

I always have a lot of fun testing new interesting combinations of different lenses ...

cooltouch wrote:

The Asahi was the most disappointing, clearly. In fact, it was so poor that I question whether or not that lens is representative of your typical Takumar 135. Most of my experience with Taks is with 35mm cameras, shooting slide film and my impressions have always been that Taks provide excellent sharpness.


I only have a few of the older M42 Takumars / Super Takumars / S-M-C Takumars, all in pristine condition. Most of them were quite disappointing, especially concerning all the buzz that surrounds them. Some years ago, after being criticized that my previously tested S-M-C Tak 1.4/50mm was faulty, i acquired two more - and they had the same awful problems. Not an excellent lens, for sure, compared to other vintage f1.4 normal lenses.

The same counts for my S-M-C Takumars 2.8/105mm and (as shown above) 2.5/135mm (6 lens, 2nd version). It's not impossible that all these lenses are outliers, but it's quite unlikely.

Similarly, the Pentax M* 4/300mm - a lens with three ED elements and one "Noctilux" glass - has a really mediocre performance, similar to the contemporary Minolta MD 4.5/300mm, or the Canon nFD 4/300mm (non-L).

cooltouch wrote:

You know what I'd like to see? A comparison of 35mm focal length lenses, which specifically include a Canon FL 35mm f/2.5. Of the few 35mm lenses I've owned, the FL 35/2.5 has provided the sharpest corners and edges by far -- again, shooting with slide film, mostly Kodachrome.

I look forward to seeing your next rounds of test results.


Sadly, I do own only very few Canon FL lenses (two copies of the FL 2.5/135mm, a FL 1.2/58mm and a FL 1.4/50mm, and a FL 3.5/28mm). These FL lenses are fairly uncommon in Switzerland; during the early 1960s German cameras (and lenses) still were dominating the market here.

S


PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
visualopsins wrote:
Like 1 everybody needs a sonnar. Smile

Wait until you see the zoom results ... Wink


Sonar Zoom?

stevemark wrote:
visualopsins wrote:
I think you meant the 24mp sensor has problems with those older lenses. Smile

Maybe a misunderstanding? Generally I think that good vintage lenses (often late 1970s / early 1980s) are quite useful on 24 MP full frame cameras. Of course you have to use the optimal aperture for landscape images (not for portraits, though), and maybe to correct lateral CAs.

I always felt that most vintage lenses have problems on 50 MP FF sensors, unless you work very carefully.
I remember clearly testing an early Sony A77 (pre-release) with its 24MP APS-C (=54 MP FF). Even the best Minolta AF lenses such as the AF 2.8/200 APO had to be used at f5.6 or f8, otherwise the images were not really sharp. And that's on a crop sensor which omits the "bad parts" of the image circle ...


I don't think APS-C sensor with same density as FF sensor are comparable.

stevemark wrote:
visualopsins wrote:
Here's a wish for a 42mp FF sensor for you, the one without the edge problems.

I only know of one 42 MP FF sensor - or am I wrong?? Doesn't have the A7RII / A7RIII /A99 the same sensor??


That remark was made because the test was on A7II with 24mp sensor covered by thick filter. A7RII / A7RIII have the 42.6mp sensor covered by minimal filter which seems to play nicer with mf lenses, including short-register Rangefinder lenses.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find it a bit strange to benchmark lenses by looking at a very small part of the image in the top left corner at infinity focus and then say what a bad lens this is. It is like testing cars by trying to fit your largest suitcase in the booth.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

D1N0 wrote:
I find it a bit strange to benchmark lenses by looking at a very small part of the image in the top left corner at infinity focus and then say what a bad lens this is. It is like testing cars by trying to fit your largest suitcase in the booth.

From all the non-scientific (non-MTF) tests around, I find wide open infinity shot to be the best predictor of lens sharpness in pretty much all scenarios except macro.
I see your point on the extreme corner: could be a bit misleading at times for some (otherwise good) lenses that ran out of good glass coverage there. But other than that, I'd say it's a gold standard of bum-tests.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And how is infinity focus achieved? By turning the focus ring against the stop? Many lenses focus beyond infinity. By live view? Well, that is prone to error -- where in the frame is the "infinity" getting focused? Field curvature as was mentioned can make for focus errors. Iirc in another thread said something about trying corner focus, which makes sense to me when evaluating corner performance, but I don't recall the reasons that didn't work. When corner is in-focus, is center? If not there's a clear case of field curvature. There is also the effects of focus plane placement on CA.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aidaho wrote:

I see your point on the extreme corner: could be a bit misleading at times for some (otherwise good) lenses that ran out of good glass coverage there. But other than that, I'd say it's a gold standard of bum-tests.


I agree. I've tested a lot of lenses and one test I always perform is with the lens's aperture wide open. Some shots at infinity (or close to it) and some at closest focusing distance. To me, this is the most difficult situation for a lens, whether wide angle or telephoto (or a zoom), and is where it will show a lens's true mettle.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
aidaho wrote:

I see your point on the extreme corner: could be a bit misleading at times for some (otherwise good) lenses that ran out of good glass coverage there. But other than that, I'd say it's a gold standard of bum-tests.


I agree. I've tested a lot of lenses and one test I always perform is with the lens's aperture wide open. Some shots at infinity (or close to it) and some at closest focusing distance. To me, this is the most difficult situation for a lens, whether wide angle or telephoto (or a zoom), and is where it will show a lens's true mettle.


Like 1 small Like 1 small Like 1 small indeed, best way to do it!


PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kds315* wrote:
cooltouch wrote:
aidaho wrote:

I see your point on the extreme corner: could be a bit misleading at times for some (otherwise good) lenses that ran out of good glass coverage there. But other than that, I'd say it's a gold standard of bum-tests.


I agree. I've tested a lot of lenses and one test I always perform is with the lens's aperture wide open. Some shots at infinity (or close to it) and some at closest focusing distance. To me, this is the most difficult situation for a lens, whether wide angle or telephoto (or a zoom), and is where it will show a lens's true mettle.


Like 1 small Like 1 small Like 1 small indeed, best way to do it!


An open quetsion for everybody, How do you determine when lens is indeed focused at infinity? Some lenses I'm certain you already know are calibrated at the factory with focus ring at infinity stop, while others focus "beyond" infinity there. Or is focusing at say 10x the maximum distance on the ring good enough?


PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

visualopsins wrote:
Like 1 everybody needs a sonnar. Smile

55 wrote:
Simply for the image quality? Are there other reasons?


Wink I'll answer my own question:
Having recently bought a Zeiss C/Y Sonnar 135, I'll say yes, there are other reasons.
One of them is gravitas. My 135 has impressive heft and build quality.

In time, perhaps all will be revealed..?


PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really don't see the point in looking at the extreme corners, especially with a 135mm lens. Unless they are really bad, no-one will ever notice. A centre crop would be much more informative.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
I really don't see the point in looking at the extreme corners, especially with a 135mm lens. Unless they are really bad, no-one will ever notice. A centre crop would be much more informative.

There are no bad 135mm.....Unless you watch the corners and check the CA.