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Twelve 2.8/135mm lenses compared on 5DmkII
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BRunner wrote:
nixland wrote:
I finally found the answer of Contax Zeiss 135/2.8 vs Elmarit 135/2.8 in this post. Thanks for your efforts.

And the answer is? Wink Bear in mind, that later Elmarit from '90s can perform better in terms of color and contrast rendering.



Oh. Oke, I see. Smile
The story is, I had a Contax one and my friend offer me the Leica. I searched the review of elmarit and it says that Contax is sharper. I want to know more about CA & bokeh.
In your comparison shots (car shots), the Leica has more CA and the bokeh is busier, and the color is a little bit un-neutral.
I hope you could find and test the later version of the elmarit Smile


PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nixland wrote:
In your comparison shots (car shots), the Leica has more CA and the bokeh is busier, and the color is a little bit un-neutral.
I hope you could find and test the later version of the elmarit Smile

Stopped down to f4 Elmarit has lower CA, but I agree with bokeh and the green cast. I'd add that Sonnar has better field and corner sharpness.

Yesterday, thanks to Keysersoze27, I discovered that I have version 1 and not v2. So late v2 Elmarit from '90s is back on my wish list. For more details see this thread.


PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic review! TFS


PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting review, but I still love Tair 11A, Pentacon Preset & CZJ MC 135.


PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

very interesting test. thank you for spending the time and effort to do this and provide such excellent information.


PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post. I can certainly vouch for the Contax135 for its quality and value. It can be found for under $200 often enough.

Thanks for sharing!


PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The other day I did a brief* test of my three 135mm lenses:
*(disclaimer: it's a casual test, nothing scientific or to be taken very seriously, but it gives an aprox. relation of the sharpness performance and it should be an ok addition to this brilliant thread)

Contax Sonnar 135mm f2.8 AEJ version
CZJ Sonnar MC 135mm f3.5
Tair 11A 135mm f2.8

I hope no one object me adding the results in this thread instead of opening a new one. I didn't test so thoroughly as BRunner did, but the results are in my opinion in complete accordance with BRunner's conclusions.

I tested it on APS-C sensor (450D), this is an infinity sharpness test. I also did a close focus test, the sharpness results are similar, so I won't include that one.

Center crops:

Center f2.8, Contax left, Tair right


Center f4, Contax, CZJ, Tair


Center f5.6, Contax, CZJ, Tair



Corner crops:

Corner f2.8, Contax left, Tair right


Corner f4, Contax, CZJ, Tair


Corner f5.6, Contax, CZJ, Tair


These 100% crops were too wide when I uploaded them to photobucket, so they were automatically slightly resized. It shouldn't matter too much for the comparison, but anyone wanting to see the individual 100% crops here are two albums where you can see them:
center: http://s642.photobucket.com/albums/uu146/forhiller/135test/
corner: http://s642.photobucket.com/albums/uu146/forhiller/135testcorner/

In short, I think the Contax is clearly the best out of three. At least sharpness wide, but from the short time I'm using it I think it also has the best bokeh. Of course, the contrast is very high, which in this test proved not entirely great (the white bark of the tree was a bit burned/overexposed, so maybe the CZJ gaves a more natural look, but I'm fine with Contax still).
The difference is very visible in corners, where the Tair is obviously worst, while the CZJ holds not badly against the Contax. For landscape use (my primary use for this focal length), the Contax should be most fitting.

The thing I'm interested most right now is the sharpness difference between AE and MM versions, which according to some is pretty big (I remember reading Orio's comment in other thread about the MM being very much sharper and AE with more 3D effect). The valid question for me is also whether my 450D sensor would even benefit from a sharper lens, probably not.

Comments and critics welcomed.


PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

symphonic wrote:
In short, I think the Contax is clearly the best out of three. At least sharpness wide...


While I definitely agree with edge performance, I'm really not so sure about the initial wide open sample from the TAIR.

And what I mean by that is that I think the results may be muddled by the lack of contrast with the TAIR. However... looking at the samples(wide open), the Contax is seems to suffer from blow-outs and/or blooming. And so I'd be curious to see how the TAIR would look with contrast & BP corrections in this setting.

Quote:
The difference is very visible in corners, where the Tair is obviously worst, while the CZJ holds not badly against the Contax. For landscape use (my primary use for this focal length), the Contax should be most fitting.

I would definitely agree!

PS. To help illustrate what I meant with regards to equal footing, here are the two 2.8 samples after correction;

TAIR @ 2.8

CONTAX @ 2.8


PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the comment. You raise valid points. I'm certainly not much skilled to interpret these kind of tests in the best way as I normally tend to take the contrastier image to be sharper. Which of course, is not what sharpness is all about... (I'm aware of the resolution and acutance components of sharpness, but I guess I should read some more on it).

Perhaps in the case of Contax, I should have took slightly underexposed images to compensate for the high contrast (in order not to have blow-outs with subjects like that white tree bark).

Directly related to this (but perhaps a discussion for a new topic), I often thought about the effect that original lens contrast has in PP, that is - whether it's better to have very contrasty original image (like all T* lenses have) or a lower contrast (some Zuiko's come to mind) with the digital negative thus having more maneuverable space in PP. I've read contradictory statements elsewhere...

EDIT: I just saw your edited post with the samples. Great work! That mostly answers my questions on lower contrast vs. higher contrast in PP. Smile


PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just read this excellent thread again and it shows how good a DSLR has become........esp when enlarging an image as it would be very difficult to get near (or even try to equal) the resolution with a 35mm colour neg using the same lens/lenses without lab assistance.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an excellent review, well done. These types of reviews are in my eyes more meaningful than looking at charts because these are real world situations in which we are more likely to take pictures in, again many thanks for your time and effort. Very Happy


PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

noddywithoutbigears wrote:
This is an excellent review, well done. These types of reviews are in my eyes more meaningful than looking at charts because these are real world situations in which we are more likely to take pictures in, again many thanks for your time and effort. Very Happy


Indeed it is excellent but the DSLR was the weak link in that Brunner could not compare with Canon, Hexanon, Yashica etc 135mm lenses because of mounting problems, maybe a super duper Nex-X will be the answer Wink


PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

symphonic wrote:

The thing I'm interested most right now is the sharpness difference between AE and MM versions, which according to some is pretty big (I remember reading Orio's comment in other thread about the MM being very much sharper and AE with more 3D effect). The valid question for me is also whether my 450D sensor would even benefit from a sharper lens, probably not.
Comments and critics welcomed.


I don't remember if I really said "very much sharper" - I doubt, but if I did, it was an exaggeration. I would rather say now that corners are "visibly" better resolved in the MM version wide open.
By visibly, I mean that you don't need an optical instrument to measure the difference, but you can do it with your own eyes.
But the difference is not so huge that it could lead to AE having bad corners such as Tair's, for instance.


Last edited by Orio on Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:27 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your effort and sharing.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm beginning to repeat myself, so if you've heard this point from me before, please excuse. While I do see purpose in these comparisons and do have interest in looking, I'm not as influenced as I have been in the past. I now give more consideration to overall IQ than test results. The tests I have done, comparing sharpness and even bokeh, have been very fruitless for me because I typically see so little difference. However, when I go about using a lens, that's when I get the best sense of its character and how well it performs to my liking.

This 12 lens comparison contains only three or four, depending on how you consider my Meyer Orestegor (which I haven't used yet anyway), so I cannot comment on the others. However, I do have some that perform well technically, like the Jupiter and Series 1 Vivitar, which is my sharpest. But when I consider the focal length, I realize that I do not use it for landscape and rarely use it at infinity, so the edge to edge, or corner sharpness is of much less concern to me. The Vivitar Series 1, with all of its faults, has been my number one lens at this focal length until I got a Tair-11 133mm. I should point out that the OP did mention this lens' ability in producing interesting results, so I'm more in agreement than am I taking exception with the test results. For me, the Tair has trumped the sharpness of the Vivitar with its overall IQ, and especially the unique bokeh. I find no issue with the sharpness until I compare side by side with the Vivitar, but that doesn't happen in practical use. I do look forward to seeing the results of the Meyer, but for now the Tair is my bokeh monster (Godzilla). I will post three recent examples to illustrate my point (forgive that they are posted elsewhere):







PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woodrim,
what fine fine photographs. Thanks for sharing!


PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodrim wrote:
I now give more consideration to overall IQ than test results. The tests I have done, comparing sharpness and even bokeh, have been very fruitless for me because I typically see so little difference. However, when I go about using a lens, that's when I get the best sense of its character and how well it performs to my liking.


But these tests allow you to eliminate the lenses that you don't like at all and as a result you end up with the lenses you might like eventually. From this point on you choose the lenses according to your live experience. It can be pure IQ, specific rendering or even lens handling itself.

BTW I would be very interesting to see live images comparison between Tair and other well known and respected lenses.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dimitrygo wrote:
woodrim wrote:
I now give more consideration to overall IQ than test results. The tests I have done, comparing sharpness and even bokeh, have been very fruitless for me because I typically see so little difference. However, when I go about using a lens, that's when I get the best sense of its character and how well it performs to my liking.


But these tests allow you to eliminate the lenses that you don't like at all and as a result you end up with the lenses you might like eventually. From this point on you choose the lenses according to your live experience. It can be pure IQ, specific rendering or even lens handling itself.

BTW I would be very interesting to see live images comparison between Tair and other well known and respected lenses.


dimitrygo: To be clear, I am not discounting the value of these tests, just pointing out what I have discovered about lenses that make the test results less important to me personally, although I suspect if the Vivitar Series 1 had been part of the test, it would have done well on sharpness, but bombed on CA, thus discouraging people from considering it. However, with that particular lens (not with others) I see the CA as an easy fix and well worth the trouble in order to get the otherwise outstanding results. Perhaps this is the test I should do, comparing these two wonderful lenses in the way you suggested. I am however, inclined to make the comparisons after pp because otherwise would be a comparison of faults, not attributes. If I were to do such a comparison, should that be a separate post or a continuation of this one?


PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodrim wrote:
Perhaps this is the test I should do, comparing these two wonderful lenses in the way you suggested. I am however, inclined to make the comparisons after pp because otherwise would be a comparison of faults, not attributes. If I were to do such a comparison, should that be a separate post or a continuation of this one?


I think it should be in a separate thread because your pictures won't be directly comparable with those in this thread.
Regarding a comparison off PP pictures - I personally believe this is a wrong approach because this doesn't allow a valid evaluation and comparison. I think the best way to compare lenses is by shooting RAW and processing the images in the same way in LR or other RAW processor.


PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best ive ever tried was the Steinheil Munchen auto quinaron 135/2.8 ....its a masterpiece!


PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have very good experiences with the M42 SMC Takumar 135/2.5 (Japan made version).
IMO it has great contrast, sharpness and colors. And it's very usefull wide open.


PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

***The best ive ever tried was the Steinheil Munchen auto quinaron 135/2.8 ....its a masterpiece!***

*****I have very good experiences with the M42 SMC Takumar 135/2.5.
IMO it has great contrast, sharpness and colors. And it's very usefull wide open.****

Well the above could be true, so how do you prove it without comparing with other lenses like the OP Wink and then there could be copy variations Sad


PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excalibur wrote:
***The best ive ever tried was the Steinheil Munchen auto quinaron 135/2.8 ....its a masterpiece!***

*****I have very good experiences with the M42 SMC Takumar 135/2.5.
IMO it has great contrast, sharpness and colors. And it's very usefull wide open.****

Well the above could be true, so how do you prove it without comparing with other lenses like the OP Wink and then there could be copy variations Sad


Why have they prove anything?

They told us their own experience.

I think the same about that lenses.. only the CA in the smc.


PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excalibur wrote:
***The best ive ever tried was the Steinheil Munchen auto quinaron 135/2.8 ....its a masterpiece!***

*****I have very good experiences with the M42 SMC Takumar 135/2.5.
IMO it has great contrast, sharpness and colors. And it's very usefull wide open.****

Well the above could be true, so how do you prove it without comparing with other lenses like the OP Wink and then there could be copy variations Sad


Well, maybe I actually did that Wink



PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well the Pentacon and Vivitar put up a good show compared to the Pentax when stopped down, but thought it was a bit unfair comparing to a Tak, as I too have the Meyer 135 f2.8 and Vivitar one touch 70-150mm and while they are good lenses would not consider them to be in the same class as a very good 135mm prime for sharpness. Mind you with no cropping on a A4 print it might be difficult to see the difference....Thanks for posting.
In my tests of 135mm lenses (all stopped down at f5.6 as I'm not a WO man) my favourite zoom couldn't match my best lenses (with very large crops) and I ended up with two lenses that I couldn't separate as they were better than my V750 scanner Sad and were the Canon 135mm f3.5 breechlock and CZJ Sonnar f2.8...I chose the Sonnar for general 135mm lens use because I think it would give me more chance of achieving pop in my shots....h'mm which leads onto my latest 135mm lens:- the Hoya 135mm f2.8 which seems to be good at pop, maybe one day I'll test it against the Sonnar. Wink