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Flektogon 4/20,= happy man :D
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:37 am    Post subject: Flektogon 4/20,= happy man :D Reply with quote

If you have read my past messages, you will remember that I was a bit unhappy with my copies of Flek 4/20, not because of the IQ which is excellent, but because of the sloppy and partly not working mechanical parts.

Well, a few days ago I have noticed a Flek 4/20 for sale at a German seller, on "buy it now" for only 115 Euros.
I could not believe my eyes. This is a lens that usually goes around 200 when sold with a "buy it now". And I could even less believe them when the description reported it as excellent condition.

I wasn't planning any purchase but I couldn't let this one go, it was just what I was expecting for months: a perfect 4/20 at a bargain price.
Remembering how I lost great bargains for hesitating too much, I immediately clicked the "buy it now" button.

The lens has arrived today and the description was perfect. Only a very few dust specks inside, as described. Mechanically perfect. Optically perfect.
For 115 Euros.
Wow.

I immediately made a test pic to verify the state of the lens. For me this means to verify possible damage problems with the distortion, which for me is more important than CA or sharpness for a superwide lens.
Happily there was no problem at all, and the lens is just like a Flek 4/20 should be: perfect.
Don't believe me? Look at the sample:



The camera was hand-held and I didn't have a bubble level with me, so take this into account.
Look at the right wall lines. They seem to be drawed on a drawing table with an instrument. Amazing isn't it?
Don't forget it's a 20mm lens!
On a full frame camera!
The control of distortion is just as perfect as a 20mm lens can get. Damn close to the result of a good 50mm lens.

And it's perfect almost all over the frame. Only the building at left shows a slight slant, which is in most part due to the fact that it's completely off-axis compared to the POV of the camera. And also, to the fact that the building was obviously build smaller on the top than on the bottom (which is something that you could verify with your eyes if you were here).

I swear there is NO Photoshop or whatever other line correction on this image!

And I have to remark, bokeh is not all that bad either for being a superwide (although you can not appreciate it from this resize)

So do you understand why I always recommend the Flek 4/20 to anyone who asks my advice on a superwide? Very Happy
Where else can you get such a quality 20mm lens for 115 Euros?


PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to add another comment about the quality of the Flek 4/20: it seems to be one of my very few lenses to suffer little or next to nothing from the negative effect of diffraction. I can stop it down to f/22 and it maintains a more than decent readability of the details even in the busy areas of the image.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

frankly.. just amazing...
Which camera is used for this picture...


PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ballu wrote:
frankly.. just amazing...
Which camera is used for this picture...


hi Ballu, the camera is the 5D, but the merit here goes all to the lens.
I'm so happy to have found this lens. Finally shooting architecture with a 20mm can make sense. I don't mind that it's slow compared to many other 20mms: I would never shoot an architectural picture with less than f/5.6 anyway.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats, Orio! I agreee, truly amazing lens! Can't wait to see some
"road tests" with this! Wink

Bill


PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Incredible! This low (almost zero) level of distortion from a 20mm lens at a FF cam? Incredible!

Congratulations, Orio, to your great find!


PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes guys, truly an amazing lens - but also my previous 4/20 have zero distortion. What makes this one different is that it has perfect mechanics, for once!
I have already tested it head to head with the black 4/20 which is the better of my previous 4/20 - it seems even sharper than the black one (which, being a later version, is supposed to be slightly better).
So really, a very lucky copy I have found. And the cheapest of all three, on top of that.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio, could you post a picture of the lens, please?


PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LucisPictor wrote:
Orio, could you post a picture of the lens, please?


Sure!
here it is, it's the zebra one on the left.
On the right, the black later version.



I then have a third one (the first I bought) which is zebra like this last one. This last zebra one is the oldest of the three (and the better one apparently)


PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think they have changed the coating on the black version. You can see a difference in the color, the black version has a slightly yellow-tinted coating, whereas the zebra version has a neutral color coating.

Somebody told me a while ago, that the black version of this lens is reported to have multicoating even if not written on the barrel. This because the black version was made in a very short period, just before the 4/20 was discontinued in favor of the 2.8/20, which is multicoated. My guess is that the already had the barrel parts printed without the MC writing, so this iis why it's not written. but I indeed notice a visible difference in the coatings.

I have tried to get another black version. Two of them passed on the Ebay lately. But one was sold by Gold Camera, which is a seller I avoid, and the other one was sold by a Polish guy who asks for the VAT to be paid on top of the auction price (which I think it's illegal by the way, as the Ebay prices are already considered VAT inclusive)


PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Orio!
These lenses do not only perform great, they also look great!


PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LucisPictor wrote:
Thanks, Orio!
These lenses do not only perform great, they also look great!


I agree!
It takes a bit to get used to the zebra look Wink but when you get used to it, it looks very cool - and very retro, which I like! Very Happy


PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

by the way, have you noticed how smooth the bokeh on the Prakticas? Wink


PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An impressive lens Orio, congratulations. A full-frame camera like your 5D is the best option to test it to its limits Smile


PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
Ballu wrote:
frankly.. just amazing...
Which camera is used for this picture...


hi Ballu, the camera is the 5D, but the merit here goes all to the lens.
I'm so happy to have found this lens. Finally shooting architecture with a 20mm can make sense. I don't mind that it's slow compared to many other 20mms: I would never shoot an architectural picture with less than f/5.6 anyway.

The camera makes the lens of top notch quality in terms area covered. Not seeing any distortion with 5D, can imagine, how good this lens be for street photography...


PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

naplam wrote:
An impressive lens Orio, congratulations. A full-frame camera like your 5D is the best option to test it to its limits Smile


Yes, to be sincere, the full frame is the only reason why I bought the 5D, because otherwise I could not justify the big expense, since for everything else, I was content with my 400D, which makes me very happy. But I really really missed the wide angles.

There is people like Attila who mostly shoots macro and portraits or tele work, and will never regret the crop format. But wide photography has always been my passion, and I missed it on the 400D from day one.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a comment on this page about the Flek 4/20 being substandard....

http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=001aaH

A comment I most certainly do not agree with.....


PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bob955i wrote:
There's a comment on this page about the Flek 4/20 being substandard....
http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=001aaH
A comment I most certainly do not agree with.....


yes, it's quite a rushed dismissing comment... although unfortunately there is a copy variance issues with the Carl Zeiss Jena lenses, so maybe the guy met a bad copy of the lens.

Luckily there are tests that proved that the 4/20 is the best 20mm lens _overall_ when it comes to distortion (or lack thereof). It beats the Distagon 21 (the world champion of super wide angle lenses), it beats the Leica 19mm, and of course it beats hands down all the various contemporary Canon wides.

Of course, there are other aspects where it is outperformed by the most expensive wides (sharpness notably, which is not the Flek's best quality).
But in my opinion, with a 20mm lens, the control of distortion is the #1 most important quality, and the other aspects come after.
Then, if you compare the money (around 150 Euros for an average Flek 4/20 compared to the 2000+ Euros needed for a used Distagon 21), you can see easily that there is nothing that even comes close for price/performance ratio.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
if you compare the money (around 150 Euros for an average Flek 4/20 compared to the 2000+ Euros needed for a used Distagon 21), you can see easily that there is nothing that even comes close for price/performance ratio.


Exactly - that's why I still think it's a "must have" IMO.

Along with the 4/25 and 2.4/35...... Wink


PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bob955i wrote:

Exactly - that's why I still think it's a "must have" IMO.

Along with the 4/25 and 2.4/35...... Wink


I was NEVER able to find a 4/25 in M42 mount. Mad And I am still looking for it! I love the focal lenght very much.
And I am VERY curious to see how the Flek 25 performs. But the M42 version of that lens seems extremely rare. I monitor Ebay each week for it but I only can find it with Exakta mount.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd hazard a guess that 24/25mm is probably the most useful WA focal length you could have in the bag.