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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 7:38 am    Post subject: Today Reply with quote

according to the Italian Post website, I should receive the Zenitar and the MIR-1 aluminium. Unfortunately it's an ugly day for lens testing. Yet I'm very curious about the Zenny...


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I not expect much from MIR-1 , but really curious about your Zenitar opinion.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
I not expect much from MIR-1 , but really curious about your Zenitar opinion.


You know what? It turned out to be all the opposite.

The MIR-1 is not only in collectors condition (it is even shiny, and glass is immacolate), but it is much sharper than the black version (MIR-1V). Even inspecting the images at 100% reveals a very good image quality for the time - of course it isn't no Leica but still quite impressive for such an old and inexpensive lens.

On the contrary, the Zenitar has been a big letdown. Sad
The image quality is soft at all apertures, I need to apply a lot of sharpening to make it acceptable. There are a few positive things compared to what I was expecting though:

- the infinite focus is reached also with Canon mount - it's soft, but it's there

- there is practically no vignetting, I expected plenty, there is only very small one wide open, and it's gone at f/4

- the image is fully filled also on the 5D - no black corners

- the lens picks up no nasty flare. The coating works very well. The flaring wide open is mostly dependent on the uncorrected astigmatism of the edges, not on parassite light rays.

- the image quality is not really dependent on the aperture as I read from other comments. Wide open the lens is soft and flaring, but already at f/4 flare is gone and the lens is working normally in the centre. By f/5.6 the lens reaches it's best performance in the centre, and keeps it until f/11. The corners, however, are acceptable only from f/8 onwards.

These are the good things, the bad thing is that the lens is soft, even at the best apertures. Sad
Another bad thing is that you need so much correction to make it look like a rectilinear, that a) the amount of necessary software interpolation makes the edges blurry and b) you lose all the advantage of the 16mm FOV.
In other words, this lens is no replacement for a good Flektogon 20. In my opinion, of course, and based on the copy that I have (which may not be a good copy). I think that one should buy this lens only if interested in the special effect that the fisheye provides; for rectilinear wideangle shots, it is much better to invest in a Flektogon 20mm, which is sharper, with no distortion, and not requiring software interpolation.
For fisheye effects, this lens can be very dramatic and spectacular, provided that you accept to live with the inherent softness - I repeat, I speak of the copy that I have, maybe other copies can be sharper.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that your Zenitar is shooting at 2.8 all the time. You need to remove the pin (easy) to shoot at f2.8->.
http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=6375

Or maybe you just bout a bad copy.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lahnet wrote:
I think that your Zenitar is shooting at 2.8 all the time.


With all due respect, lahnet, I'm not such idiot.

Have you read what I wrote? I make a clear description of the behaviour of my lens at the different apertures.
I am taking photographs it's more than 20 years.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
lahnet wrote:
I think that your Zenitar is shooting at 2.8 all the time.


With all due respect, lahnet, I'm not such idiot.

Have you read what I wrote? I make a clear description of the behaviour of my lens at the different apertures.
I am taking photographs it's more than 20 years.


WOW, excuse me..!

Still Zenitar is a tricky lens, a lot of people have had a lot of trouble using it. Check the link and take it easy Sad


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty sad, I expect really good result from your Zenitar. I am pretty sure you get a lemon copy. I have black and silver Mi-1 both I not like them, reason why I keep? Black has no price well used lens, silver is beautiful good display lens to me.Silver is not bad at all you have right, just I like lot better Flektogon and Nikkors.

Last edited by Attila on Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:00 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
Pretty sad, I expect really good resut from your Zenitar. I am pretty sure you get a lemon copy.


Yes, I think it's a lemon copy.

There's another possibility though - maybe it's the full frame that kills it.
Because as far as I remember, I only have seen samples taken with crop factor cameras. And people with crop cameras often commented that the lens gets sharp after f/11. Now, you know how much smaller the used portion is in a crop factor camera. Stop down to f/11 from there, and you use a portion of glass that is much smaller than the smallest setting on a 5D (f/22). So perhaps, only the very center of the lens is sharp, and to use that part, you need a crop factor camera. It's just a possibility, but I'll make some tests with the 400D this time. If it gets sharp, then we know this is the cause. If it stays soft, then my copy is a lemon.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good idea!


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
Very good idea!


But it proved to not be true.
I have shot my balcony scene with the 400D at f/11, that is, a setting that most Zenitar users find excellent.

This is the non-sharpened result:
www.orio.ws/temp/400D_f11_normal.htm

And this is the same image after two sharpening stages, the first for large edge contrast, the second optimized for small edge contrast. This is the best sharpening that I can apply to this image before making the sharpening to cause annoying artifacts:
www.orio.ws/temp/400D_f11_sharpened.htm

So either the other people are able to apply sharpening much better than me, or I have a bad copy. I think I have a bad copy.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear about the Zenitar, Orio. It's on my list, too, but I'll
probably get the Helios 40, first.

Lahnet, place a tourniquet around what's left of your arm, you're losing
a lot of blood! Just kiddin' Wink When it comes to disappointments, I'm
sure all of us are guilty of being testy at times, no biggie, 'kay?

Bill


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Katastrofo wrote:

Lahnet, place a tourniquet around what's left of your arm, you're losing
a lot of blood! Just kiddin' Wink When it comes to disappointments, I'm
sure all of us are guilty of being testy at times, no biggie, 'kay?
Bill


Why this comment?
If I write a text of 30 lines describing how my lens behaves at the different focal lenghts, how it flares wide open and how it gets better at f/5.6 and how corners get better at f/11 etc. etc. etc., ignoring it and supposing that I am shooting the lens always wide open, it means to imply that I am an idiot who can not tell a lens wide open from a lens stopped down to f/11.

Guys I have enough of your comments for today, I'll let you enjoy this forum alone for a while, enjoy your day.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio,
Your skill, talent, expertise, is at such a level that validation is silly!
Lahnet, yes, obviously didn't read your post all the way through, but
was trying to be helpful.

I'm outa here.

Bill


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, guys! What is going on here?

There is no need for mutual reproach!

I don't think that anybody here wants to imply that somebody else is an idiot. Sometimes misunderstandings meet bad mood and then "bang"!

Guys, that's not worth it. Please, do not blight the pleasant atmosphere of this forum.

Back to the lenses: Orio, nice that you like your MIR-1 and sorry that you don't like your Zenitar, but I think you must have got a lemon.

My lens is pretty sharp from f4, at least from f5.6 on (no need to stop down to f11!) - at my EOS 350D.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LucisPictor wrote:

I don't think that anybody here wants to imply that somebody else is an idiot. Sometimes misunderstandings meet bad mood and then "bang"!


Agree.

No way, I was implying something about someone.

Just trying to help, because I have seen lots of people having problems using Zenitar on the Minolta/Sony site.

In the link there is other links showing pictures and descriptions just as this one.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lahnet, no offense taken. For me the thing was already closed. I know that you did not mean a negative judgement on me.

On the other hand, your message as such, after my message, really sounded like if I spent half an hour testing a lens without understanding a heck of what I was doing.

I know that sometimes we're in a hurry and we post hurried replies. However, it would have helped to read well my original message, because I described my results at the different apertures, so it was obvious that I tested the lens with the iris stopped down. Not just that, I also stated that the lens has a Canon mount, so there just couldn't be any pin issue to start with.

Anyway, incident closed for me. I only would like that others do not depict me as the lunatic who is possessed by his bad mood. I think there is some reason in expecting that a reply to a message is informed of the content of the original message.

I however appreciate your wish to help, and I thank you for that.

It is obvious that I have got a bad copy. I'd be curious to see how a good copy performs at 100% size and no sharpening applied, but since not even with a ton of sharpening I can reach the good results that you and other people have obtained with this lens, it is obvious that my copy is faulty.

Well, I have some food for Ebay now.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey no problem.

No apertures problem, fair enough.

Still you sample picture looks like many others I have seen. Try to look here: http://etischer.com/zenitar/zenitar16mm.html

I have myself dismantled one into parts, just to mount it correct. My pictures looked exactly like yours. And one thing is sure, the assembly quality is very poor.

EDIT: One more using Canon mont http://spaceship.ca/article/27/mc-zenitar-16mm-fisheye-review


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the link.

Like I wrote in my first message, I have no problem with infinity focus. The lens easily reaches infinity. it's just soft.
I can tell for sure because my EE-S focusing screen on the 5D makes a moire effect on the roof of a faraway house when I reach it with the focus. The house is about 700-800 mt away from here and is placed before a hill (distant more than 1 km), which represent the horizon in my back view. My zenitar's focus not only gets the moire on the house roof, is also gets easily beyond that, something that not all of my other lenses can do.
Besides, I also made closeup focusing tests. The lens is soft within the whole focusing range.
I don't know what causes the softness, but surely it's not the focusing mechanism.
I think it's just a bad copy - bad glass quality, bad glass alignment, whatever. I got a lemon. I should have suspected it by the very low selling price of 90 Euros. From now on I'll stay away from those Ebay "offers". Better to pay 180 Euros and buy from a shop where you can ask for a lens change, than to pay 90 Euros and get a used dog and be stuck with it.

Oh by the way: my f/22 result is not even half as good as the one that is published on that link. It's more similar to the f/2.8 result.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear its that bad.

Mine came "brand new" and I payed 100 euro (russian seller). Still it had to be taken apart and fixed to get the sharpness expected.

As you write you must have a bad copy Sad I just love this lens myself, that's why I keep on posting.

Over and out.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lahnet wrote:
I just love this lens myself, that's why I keep on posting.


I can understand why, you have obtained great photographs with it.
And the same goes for other people on this list.
Unfortunately, quality control on Russian lenses is far from ideal. Which is a pity, because when a Russian lens is good, it's hard to beat.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember a quote from a Soviet worker under the old regime:

"They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work"


QC becomes a moot point with that attitude. Sorry about your Zenit, I would have finished up in tears with those results


Crying or Very sad

patrickh


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

patrickh wrote:
I remember a quote from a Soviet worker under the old regime:
"They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work"
patrickh


Yeah, problem is, my Zenitar is build August, 2006.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are kept their tradition Very Happy or even worst they relabeled old unsellable stock what is not passed quality control.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lahnet wrote:
You need to remove the pin (easy) to shoot at f2.8->.
http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=6375


Now things are back to normal I can correct this. There is no need to damage the lens by removing the pin. Just use a M42/EOS adapter with the flange that keeps the pin depressed. I think the idea of removing the pin (or jamming it) started because the flange-type adapter hadn't yet been thought of. BTW, the Helios 44-M4 works this way too.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also the Zenitar is widely available with Canon, Nikon,Pentax K, Olympus, Minolta, and even Contax-Yashica mount, so it's not necessary to buy M42 and deal with the pin - unless one wants to use the lens with a M42 film camera primarily, the most logical choice is to buy the Zenitar with the native mount of your digital camera: no pins, no adaptors needed.