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I think this is really sharp, am I right?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the churchyard for testing, the gravestones don't move and are spaced out all over the place, so I can focus on one in the middle and see what happens. The local churchyard , a minutes walk from my back door, is also on the high ground so there's plenty of infinity to try and capture, it gets sun all day long, and the residents don't care. Wink


PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ManualFocus-G wrote:
A couple of points:

1. The second Stan D photo is clearly back focused, I can't make my mind up about the first one!

2. DSLRs in general will only give an accurate representation of depth of field up to f2.8. Anything faster will need to be clever guesswork (it IS possible, but difficult). I changed my 5D's screen for an EE-S and it's now perfect. BUT...it's darker of course!


re #2: Canon's Chuck Westfall On Focus Screen DOF Issue


PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Tessar design is more than 100 years old (first patent in 1902)!
First it had F6,3 but already in 1924 it reached F2,7.
At that time the design was a real masterpiece and the big draft horse which made CZ famous, as it was one of the sharpest lenses (Tessar was also called "Eagle Eye") of the world then

Most of the tessars share the same abillities: Low distortion of any kind, sharp at close distance (but not as sharp as many modern designs) and a Tessar-typical bokeh (which I don't like Mad )

Over 100 million CZ Tessars were produced, after the 50's mostly for cheaper consumer class, as better designs were available and bokeh played no role there.

Not only CZ made Tessars, also many other big companies copied the design from CZ, for example:
Elmar (Leitz)
Primotar or "Ihagee Anast. Exaktar" (Meyer)
Minotar, Minoxar, Minar (Minox 35)
Complan (Minox)
Skopar (Voigtlnder)
Solinar or Solitar (Agfa)
Xenar (Schneider Kreuznach)
Ektar (Kodak)
Macro Takumar (Pentax)

I've never found any really good Tessar 50mm lens and I owned 4 so far.
But they are very cheap on ebay.de Smile I got them all for between 2,50 and 15


PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, weather permitting, tomorrow (or as soon as the weather allows)

I;m going to gather up all my 50mm lenses and do a side-by-side, I'll shoot the same scene I'll let you all guess which!) at f2.8, f8 and f16 then we can see (hopefully) where the weak link in my system is, I tend to think it might be the camera...

I really need to buy a better camera than my EOS 10D, I did buy a Olympus PEN but the seller cancelled the sale because I didn't pay the moment the auction finished. I found this rather ludicrous as the auction ended at 2am, I was in bed asleep and when I got up in the morning, saw I had won and went to pay, already he had cancelled the sale...

Off the top of my head I have these 50s:

Pentacon 1.8/50 M42
Pentacon 1.8/50 PB
Pentacon 2.4/50 PB
Meyer Oreston 1.8/50 M42
Meyer Domiplan 2.8/50 M42
Helios 44-2 2/58 M42
Helios 44-M4 2/58 M42
Petri CC Auto 1.8/55
Pentax-M 2/50
Yashica DSB 1.9/50
Olympus Zuiko 1.8/50
CZJ Tessar 2.8/50 M42

I think I've forgotten a couple, but that's 12 and that is ample to gain a proper comparison methinks. Apart from the Tessar, I've used em all a fair bit and could probably place them in order of IQ from that experience but we shall see after a proper test.

On the viewfinder thing, the vf on the 10D is f*cking useless, pardon my French, but I feel the expletive necessary to express my disgust at how bad it is. Sure it's a good size and bright, but what you see in the vf bears little or no relation to what the sensor records. In fact, I have found that often when things are in sharp focus in the vf they are out of focus to the sensor and vice-versa. Far as I'm concerned, it's for framing only and I might as well carry a tape measure! I wear glasses and find the diopter adjustment tricky, if I take my glasses off I can get it adjusted fine, but I find it hard to work without my glasses as I then can't see the subject clearly if it's more than 2 feet away!

I think the answer is going to be get a new camera.

I have just bought a secondhand Minolta 35mm scanner so I could just go back to shooting everything on film until I can afford a new DSLR or M4/3 camera. I've been using my Praktica BC1 a fair bit recently and the vf is a million times better than the one on the 10D, the split screen makes focussing a joy. After all the travails with focussinf with the 10d I've had I've come to the conclusion that with these modern AF SLRs the VF is more for framing than anything else and they expect their super-sophisticated AF systems to do all the focus work.

Oh how I long for someone to make a proper manual DSLR with a proper viewfinder, proper focus screen, no AF, no AE, no programme modes, nothing except a shutter release, a shutter speed dial, a decent TLR spot meter and an M42 mount. I don't need anything else. Basically, a 70s SLR with a SD card slot where the film would go normally. Couldn't be hard or expensive to make one, just take a classic SLR design like the Pentax Spotmatic, put a sensor and the bare minimum of electronics in it et voila...

I can but dream....


PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:

Oh how I long for someone to make a proper manual DSLR with a proper viewfinder, proper focus screen, no AF, no AE, no programme modes, nothing except a shutter release, a shutter speed dial, a decent TLR spot meter and an M42 mount. I don't need anything else. Basically, a 70s SLR with a SD card slot where the film would go normally. Couldn't be hard or expensive to make one, just take a classic SLR design like the Pentax Spotmatic, put a sensor and the bare minimum of electronics in it et voila...


Actually, that's a damn good idea, and you never can tell. Those who conduct consumer research to try and gauge what people really want, may find a pent-up desire just for this sort of thing. Canon at least gave it a brief go back in the early days of the EOS film cameras with the EF-M. But that camera was doomed from the get go for a few reasons I can think of right off.

Just a few comments about your suggestion.

I wouldn't recommend an M42 mount. I realize its highly universal nature, but to me both M39 and M42 lenses are a pain in the ass to deal with, having to spend all that time screwing and unscrewing them. I'd much rather it be a bayonet mount, and either Pentax-K or Nikon-F are about as close to universal as one is gonna get.

Actually now that I think about it, the smart move, IMO, would be to design the camera so its registration distance is so narrow that just about any 35mm lens can be mounted to it, including M39. So, still go with a bayonet mount, but introduce it with a few conversion mounts for all the popular mf lens mounts. Might even want to take a few pages out of Tamron's Adaptall-2 book and go ahead and take advantage of the rear-of-the-lens levers and protrusions and use them for reading exposure. All it would take would be a lever or two hooked up to a couple of rheostats that feed the info back to the CPU.

And did you mean TLR spot meter or TTL spot meter? Again, I'd recommend something a bit less tight like Canon's old 12% method or Nikon's tried and true 60/40 method. But definitely not any sort of averaging meter.

Further, to " . . . put a sensor and the bare minimum of electronics in it et voila..." is unfortunately not gonna be so simple. If you want a basic mechanical camera with some electronics added, be prepared for sticker shock. Mechanical cameras are highly complex devices and require either a skilled workforce or complex machinery to assemble them. It would be much easier (and cheaper) to install an electronic shutter mechanism and mirror box as a single functioning unit.

And chances are pretty likely that consumers would insist on a rear LCD screen as well. Might have to give in to that one.

One thing I'd pay extra for though would be to have a full-frame sensor.

Oh well, as you say, one can dream.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent post Michael.

I was thinking of TTL spot metering, but I agree, a 12% meter would be great.

In China they are still churning out clones of the Pentax P30 and the Chinon SLR, surely they could modify the P30 design to have a sensor and electronics in it instead of a film plane? They are PK mount.

I actually prefer M42 to most bayonet mounts, I find the EOS bayonet a pain often, I have some lenses that can be a right PITA to attach although some of this is partly due to the crappy adapters Big Is sent me, I had a superb thick chromed brass one from Big Is, I ordered 6 more but in black as they were cheaper, they are not the same design at all, cheap thin aluminium ones, oh how I wish I had 6 of the chrome brass one.

But I take your point about bayonet fittings. I love the bayonet on my PB prakticas, lenses go on and off really easy, as it's a copy of the PK mount the same is true of my Pentax MG so I'll agree with you and go for a PK mount, the register is the same as M42 so easy to adapt M42 lenses to it.

I has occurred to me before that one of the big reasons why we haven't seen a camera designed to be great with old lenses is because manufacturers would prefer us to buy their all-singing all-dancing plastic zoom lenses and I suspect they will change bayonets to smaller ones in the near future, largely to force people to buy new lenses. The current M4/3 bayonets are just copies of the OM and Konica mounts with shorter registers but Sony and Samsung seem to be leading the way to new bayonets. I doubt the camera/lens makers think too highly of all the adapter sales for their camera, I'm sure they'd prefer to see people buying their new lenses rather than adapting old ones.

I don't like the trend to smaller sensors, of course they are cheaper than full frame 35mm sensors but larger is always better, I wish digital medium format would take off, that they would make cheaper 6x6 digital backs, that would make all that old medium format kit wonderfully useable again (although 120 film is still easily available).

Sadly we're a niche part of the overall market and i doesn't look like they are going to make any cameras ideal for us in th near future, they even went and made the X100 fixed lens, a dumb move if ever I saw one.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
Oh well, as you say, one can dream.

Indeed. But a 'simple' dSLR just won't happen, not unless Paul Allen or some other tech zillionaire gets addicted and decides to fund its production. And the result would be more MILC than SLR. Yes, electronics are cheaper (and more reliable) than mechanicals. EVF; electronic shutter; LCD screen; and all those menu/mode options will NOT go away (but maybe many can be hidden).

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
In China they are still churning out clones of the Pentax P30 and the Chinon SLR, surely they could modify the P30 design to have a sensor and electronics in it instead of a film plane?

If fitting a sensor et al into a SLR body was easy (and economically viable) it would have been done. That *should* be a lot cheaper than designing new platforms, but apparently it isn't. Reality sucks sometimes.

I have a dream camera: a 6x9cm digital folder. Lenses on lensboards, solenoid-driven for complete viewcam movements. Yeah, that's for me...


PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aha, a camera that can take just about any lens? Sony need to make a Nex with a big viewfinder!!


PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
I doubt the camera/lens makers think too highly of all the adapter sales for their camera, I'm sure they'd prefer to see people buying their new lenses rather than adapting old ones.


Well, if that's the way they really think, then they're being short-sighted and stupid. Actually what's really happening is that people who would ordinarily not buy one of their cameras at all are buying them so they can use them with legacy lenses. And when they buy the camera, they buy it with a lens. Chances are the vast majority of people who buy these types of cameras are amateur consumers who are casual picture takers and who would never buy another lens for that camera anyway. So it's win-win for them the fact that legacy lenses can be used. Anybody within their companies who sees things differently should be taken out to the woodshed and be given 20 whacks.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to think you're right but I also think of the PS3/Nintendo type business model, HP, Epson and others also apply it to their printers - they sell the console or printer basically at cost, then they make the profits on the games or ink cartridges you buy to fit your machine.

If camera makers do something similar to this - i.e. sell an EOS body at minimal profit, aiming to make the profit on the lenses to fit that body, then don't hold your breath waiting for a camera aimed at legacy lens users.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, but there's no indication yet that that's what they're doing. And I doubt they will. Still the single biggest cost in the production of a digital camera is the sensor. Until they can get those costs down, I don't think you'll be seeing many loss-leader offers.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just hope the cost of sensors falls soon so we can see some bigger sensors than the tiny ones they are putting in consumer cams, when a sensor the same size as a 8mm film frame is cheap then we will hopefully see some really interesting cheap cameras suitable for using all those old D-mount cine lenses.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
On the viewfinder thing, the vf on the 10D is f*cking useless, pardon my French...


I think your French is most appropriate. The 10D is a useless piece of $hit for manual focusing, although the images from it are quite OK if they are focused. The sooner you replace it the sooner you'll start to see the value and performance in your lenses. I had a 10, 20 and 40D and the 40D was excellent for manual focusing, the 20D was not too bad and the 10D, well you already know.

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
...I think the answer is going to be get a new camera.....


I'm not a fan of crop bodies but the advantage of a camera like the 40 or 50D is that you can cram lenses into them that simply won't work (mirror clash) on FF bodies like a 5d, 5d2, 1ds2/3 etc. Getting sharp images is not a simple matter of buying a 'good' lens and taking a picture, hoping for the best.


Last edited by jjphoto on Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:37 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hia John

Typical bloody Aussie, eh, tell it like it is with no varnish!

Thanks mate, I really appreciated your post and it mirrored what I've been thinking myself.

Way I see it now, the 10D has proven useful in that it had been my re-intro to photography, but already I have outgrown it, I've placed an embargo on me buying any other lenses or goodies until I've saved up enough for a new camera.

I am tempted to get a secondhand EOS as I have invested in the EOS system in that all my adapters are for EOS.

I am leaning towards getting a NEX though, I have a feeling it will transform my photography!

As you say, it's all about what satisfies me, and if I was satisfied then I wouldn't be agonising over the sharpness I can achieve currently and seeking advice.

I don't want to waste my time and creative energies producing substandard images and I'm sure now I have a few lenses that anyone would be happy with, so I'm pretty sure the weakest link in the chain is the camera, after that it's the photographer (me) and I think I'm banging my head against a brick wall with my 10D, every shoot I take 50-100 pics and pick the 5-10 that are in focus, that is starting to p*ss me off to the point I've been enjoying using old 35mm film SLRs more!

If I do decide I want a secondhand EOS, which model(s) do people recommend? Something that has a decent VF with a focusising aid something like the split screen of a classic SLR.


PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to the good points already made, I would add that when focusing at infinity, one must be careful and focus with liveview, because often the infinity mark on lenses does not tell the absolute truth.
Also, some lenses might be not finely tuned - in general, or particularly for your digital camera + adapter combination. It is possible to make small adjustments to focusing (collimation), you can try it on your own if you are the DIY type, or give your camera+adapter+lens to a service bureau, where they will use the appropriate instrument (collimator).


PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not 100% sure about the 10D bashing going on here. While liveview is useful for some type of work, I still hardly use it other than for studio work (static objects at close distance).

I used to have a 300D, which is far worse than a 10D in every respect, on a stag do where I didn't want to wreck my main camera, and had no problem with focusing. And I was a bit shakey most of the time Laughing

One thing you could do is get an adapter with an EMF chip that can be programmed to ensure the AF confirm matches that of the camera and lens.

Here's some shots with that 300D I owned:











100% crop - looks sharp to me



The 10D still has a viewfinder larger than many modern entry level models, and quite a bit bigger than the 300D. The 30D viewfinder is much bigger, if you were looking for a cheapish upgrade...


PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ManualFocus-G wrote:
...
The 10D still has a viewfinder larger than many modern entry level models, and quite a bit bigger than the 300D. The 30D viewfinder is much bigger, if you were looking for a cheapish upgrade...


The problem is not the viewfinder per se, it's size or even it's focusing screen. The problem is the calibration, or lack there of, between it and the sensor itself. Sample variation may have blessed you with a decent camera.


Last edited by jjphoto on Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:35 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice photos Graham.

I do have an EMF confirm chip on my Hoya HMC 2.8/28 adapted to EOS, it's fairly useful for close subjects.

I'm seeing a level of sharpness in that last pic I've found it impossible to capture with my 10D and it can't be the lenses.

Wish I could upload pics to show you what I mean...


PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Ian, it could well be that your focusing screen / shim is out of alignment then. Does the AF work OK i.e. if you use an AF lens (booooo, hisssss!) does the picture come out sharp?


PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ManualFocus-G wrote:
Thanks Ian, it could well be that your focusing screen / shim is out of alignment then. Does the AF work OK i.e. if you use an AF lens (booooo, hisssss!) does the picture come out sharp?


The only AF lenses I have (Canon 18-55 kit lenses x 2) don't work, after owning those I'll never buy another plastic canon AF lens, they just fell apart with light use, came to take one off the camera one day and ripped the plastic mount ring off the back of it...

I definitely need to get someone else familiar with EOS bodies to try shooting with my 10D because I've got to the point where I'm ready to give up on the damn thing.

I'm off out now to shoot some pics and the EOS is staying at home, taking my Praktica BC1 instead, I can focus that in my sleep...


PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

download this chart and test if the 10D is calibrated
http://focustestchart.com/chart.html