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Two 105mm lenses: Radionar vs. Komura
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2007 5:27 pm    Post subject: Two 105mm lenses: Radionar vs. Komura Reply with quote

After my Radionar bokeh tests, I decided to compare it with my 2.5/105 Komura, which is a reasonably good, sharp and high contrast lens. First a pair of close range shots with a 65mm extension tube, black point and contrast not adjusted.

Radionar:


Komura:


The Komura has more contrast, and I had to shorten the exposure time in order to avoid clipping (Radionar 1/15s, Komura 1/25s).

Then the same photos after adjustment:

Radionar:


Komura:


There isn't very much difference between the photos after the adjustments, and the focus isn't perhaps exactly the same so most of the observable bokeh differences may be due to that.

However, when I went to the Botanical Garden and took some photos with the Komura, the differences became quite obvious. I don't have quite identical shots, but here is a pair which is reasonably close:

Radionar at f/4.5:


Komura at f/4:


The Komura bokeh isn't quite as soft, it is in a way "structured", the transitions from the lighter out-of-focus twigs to the darker background have a more distinct edge. The bokeh is almost OK here, but some other shots are quite bad, very, very busy compared with the Radionar shots. Here are links to the Komura page: http://galactinus.net/vilva/retro/eos5d_komura.html , and to the earlier Radionar page http://galactinus.net/vilva/retro/eos5d_radionar.html .

I think these two sets of photos illustrate quite well the difference between these two types of lenses. The Komura was slightly more open, and it is supposed to have a reasonably good bokeh. However, for these types of subjects it would have to be used very carefully compared with the Radionar which is almost failsafe.

Veijo


PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2007 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Radionar pictures keep leaving me speechless.

I can not take my eyes off the adjusted Radionar photograph. What a delightful vision! The only choice of words that comes to my mind to describe it is "light texture". I don't know how to describe it differently.
The light in the Radionar picture has a "texture" that is _completely_ different from the Komura lens.
The most amazing thing, for me, is how the bokeh in the Radionar picture is at the same time, more detailed, and softer. How could that happen??
But look, look at the buds in the lower part of the frame, and compare them with the buds in the adjusted Komura picture. The Komura ones are harsher, and less detailed at the same time.
This is sort of contradictory as one would assume that the more detail in a bokeh, the harsher the bokeh. But no. I can read in the blurred buds of the Radionar image, the structure of the flowers much more clearly, in spite of the fact that there is this soft creamy haze over them.

Your Radionar lens is a champion, Veijo. and your postwork here enhanced it at best.
Just a wonderful viewing experience, thanks very much for posting these beautiful results, and this very enlightening comparison!


PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
The Radionar pictures keep leaving me speechless.

I can not take my eyes off the adjusted Radionar photograph. What a delightful vision! The only choice of words that comes to my mind to describe it is "light texture". I don't know how to describe it differently.
The light in the Radionar picture has a "texture" that is _completely_ different from the Komura lens.
The most amazing thing, for me, is how the bokeh in the Radionar picture is at the same time, more detailed, and softer. How could that happen??
But look, look at the buds in the lower part of the frame, and compare them with the buds in the adjusted Komura picture. The Komura ones are harsher, and less detailed at the same time.
This is sort of contradictory as one would assume that the more detail in a bokeh, the harsher the bokeh. But no. I can read in the blurred buds of the Radionar image, the structure of the flowers much more clearly, in spite of the fact that there is this soft creamy haze over them.

Your Radionar lens is a champion, Veijo. and your postwork here enhanced it at best.
Just a wonderful viewing experience, thanks very much for posting these beautiful results, and this very enlightening comparison!


Thanks for your appreciation Smile

Well, jumping to conclusions on the basis of a single pair of close range photos would be dangerous. That is why I needed a set of photos. The focal lengths of the lenses aren't exactly the same despite the nominal equivalence, and I had to adjust the position of the camera relative to the flower, which made getting exactly the same focus well nigh impossible. The photos of the pair are focused differently, and at close range with a very shallow DOF this can have a profound effect - even on the shapes of objects in the bokeh region. However, the behaviour of the stems of the buds at the lower part of the photos is rather indicative: the stems in the Komura photo tend to a wide, flat appearance while the stems in the Radionar photo retain an amount of detail or at least a distinct nucleus. This difference is very obvious in the Botanical Garden shots. Here is an example, unfortunately not of the same subject:

Radionar:



Komura:


If you examine both series of photos, this difference is quite systematic. The in-focus sections of the Komura photos have more punch, but the photos can be spoiled by a very restless bokeh - unless one is lucky and gets some kind of an abstract art background. I think somebody might actually like some of the Komura shots, especially after looking at them for a while, just like some modern art which kind of grows on you, and with a dSLR it is cheap to take hundreds of shots and then seek for the one good shot among one hundred useless ones, or two hundred or three. However, the Radionar is much easier to use and gives in a way more natural, easy to look at photos without a distracting, restless bokeh. Having both types of lenses gives me more freedom of expression.

Veijo


PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vilva wrote:
The in-focus sections of the Komura photos have more punch, but the photos can be spoiled by a very restless bokeh...

You said all..
I was to write about this before I reach to this (your written text).
Radionar provides so smooth blurness...
And Komura is literally hitting you with the sticks in the background on your face.

One quick thing, have you tried large print out of Radionar results. How does those look (if you have taken). And if yes.. how the people/portrait like pics look (the prints)...
Like Orio.. I am amazed by the results... I am finding the the different looks of these lens in totally different leagues from current superb sharp lenses...
Thanks for views.. looking forward for more..


PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ballu wrote:

One quick thing, have you tried large print out of Radionar results. How does those look (if you have taken). And if yes.. how the people/portrait like pics look (the prints)...


I have had some 300 dpi prints made, i.e. about 9.5" x 14", and they are OK, especially on matte paper they retain the soft atmophere and look completely different than e.g. prints of photos taken with the 2.8/60 Macro-Elmarit. I don't have any Radionar portraits on paper, mainly because I haven't yet taken any - except the self-portrait. I have a couple of Meniscus portraits on paper, and they are soft but not in the same way as portraits taken with the 1.5/85 Helios as even the sharpest sections aren't as bitingly sharp. On the other hand, the softness isn't like anything I can produce by PP. I have put a full scale copy of the self-portrait at http://galactinus.net/vilva/retro/eos5d_radionar_files/r8312.jpg (NB. 3.7Mb) so you can make tests if you like. The photo is a bit noisy as I took it under rather dim conditions and had to push it to something like ISO6400 during PP. There is also another copy with two stage gaussian blur applied (overall and shadow regions only) http://galactinus.net/vilva/retro/eos5d_radionar_files/r8312gb.jpg (1.2Mb). In a portrait like this, the blurring hardly matters, even at large print sizes, as there is no expectation of clinical sharpness.

Veijo