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The biGGest Test of prime normal lens
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 1:08 pm    Post subject: The biGGest Test of prime normal lens Reply with quote

Hi everyone I have plans to make one of the biggest test of prime normal manual lens. I have big collection I will have time to make test and then to sell them. Unfortunately I have Canon 60d with crop sensor so test will not give information on the corners of picture. So I not sure how to test lenses so everyone can give me some suggestions to test them as much as I can, because I will not have them for long, summer is near and I ned money for vacation Smile
My collection is:
Carl Zeiss Tessar 2.8 50 , M42 silver version,
---------------------2.8 50 , M42 silver version, written made in German
---------------------2.8 50, M42 later version, 2 semples
Carl Zeiss Biotar 2.8 58 T, M42 silver version
Carl Zeiss Pancolar 1.8 50, M42 zebra 8 blades yellow glass version
--------------------------------------zebra 6 blades normal glass version
--------------------------------------MC red
--------------------------------------MC red electric
-------------------------------------MC white
--------------------------------------MC white electric
Carl Zeiss Planar 1.8 50 Planar HFT, Rollei/Voitlander, made in Singapour
Voitlander color-ultron 1.8 50, Rollei/Voitlander , made in Singapour
Voitlander color-ultron 1.8 50, Rollei/Voitlander, made in Rollei Singapour
Yashica ML 50 1.7, Yashica /Contax
and probably
Carl Zeiss Planar 1.4 50 T*, Yashica /Contax
and if I find somehow money
Carl Zeiss Flektogon 4 50, Pentacon Six, MC version

maybe I forgot something, but thats all i think


PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Srdjan, good luck with your plans!
I, personally, am not interested in head-to-head comparisons of these particular lenses. They are all well known, I think, and they each have a different set of characteristics which distinguish them apart from one another. If your intent is to sell them, then I am more interested, primarily, in the condition of the lens. So, photos of the lens is important.
Of course, the samples are nice also. The tessars stopped down shine. I would like to see the Ultrons and the f1.8 Rollei Planar shot open all the way; would be interesting to see a comparison there Wink


PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that's a lot of 50's.


PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ghost2501 wrote:
Wow, that's a lot of 50's.


The 50s stage is a stage we have all been through, you start with them because they're cheap and then before you can even notice it,
you're sucked into the black hole. Rolling Eyes Laughing
50s are the sirens that lure everyone in Wink


PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ghost2501 wrote:
Wow, that's a lot of 50's.


Not that many. I think I have 13 50s, 19 if I include 52-58mm.


PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
Ghost2501 wrote:
Wow, that's a lot of 50's.


The 50s stage is a stage we have all been through, you start with them because they're cheap and then before you can even notice it,
you're sucked into the black hole. Rolling Eyes Laughing
50s are the sirens that lure everyone in Wink


Hmmm, I thought 135mm was the sucker lens. It was with me.


PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't have a lot of 50s until you have too many to keep count of, I have no idea how many I have but it's a lot Wink


PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 6:50 pm    Post subject: Re: The biGGest Test of prime normal lens Reply with quote

Srdjan wrote:
Hi everyone I have plans to make one of the biggest test of prime normal manual lens. I have big collection I will have time to make test and then to sell them. Unfortunately I have Canon 60d with crop sensor so test will not give information on the corners of picture. So I not sure how to test lenses so everyone can give me some suggestions to test them as much as I can, because I will not have them for long, summer is near and I ned money for vacation Smile
My collection is:
Carl Zeiss Tessar 2.8 50 , M42 silver version,
---------------------2.8 50 , M42 silver version, written made in German
---------------------2.8 50, M42 later version, 2 semples
Carl Zeiss Biotar 2.8 58 T, M42 silver version
Carl Zeiss Pancolar 1.8 50, M42 zebra 8 blades yellow glass version
--------------------------------------zebra 6 blades normal glass version
--------------------------------------MC red
--------------------------------------MC red electric
-------------------------------------MC white
--------------------------------------MC white electric
Carl Zeiss Planar 1.8 50 Planar HFT, Rollei/Voitlander, made in Singapour
Voitlander color-ultron 1.8 50, Rollei/Voitlander , made in Singapour
Voitlander color-ultron 1.8 50, Rollei/Voitlander, made in Rollei Singapour
Yashica ML 50 1.7, Yashica /Contax
and probably
Carl Zeiss Planar 1.4 50 T*, Yashica /Contax
and if I find somehow money
Carl Zeiss Flektogon 4 50, Pentacon Six, MC version

maybe I forgot something, but thats all i think


Promising big tests in advance isn't good idea. One just builds pressure upon himself instead of doing it when it feels so that is for fun and curiosity. Well at least in my case.


PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 7:56 pm    Post subject: Re: The biGGest Test of prime normal lens Reply with quote

Pancolart wrote:
Srdjan wrote:
Hi everyone I have plans to make one of the biggest test of prime normal manual lens. I have big
maybe I forgot something, but thats all i think


Promising big tests in advance isn't good idea. One just builds pressure upon himself instead of doing it when it feels so that is for fun and curiosity. Well at least in my case.


+1 enjoy your photo walk and take great shoots, keep those what you like and sell rest of it. Simple and joy unlike silly tests.. I have count less 50mm lenses I buy try them and let them go if I need money to cover next purchases.


PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A really useful comparison test involves use of laboratory-grade MTF measurements; rather expensive equipment is required for that.

Photo examples of the lens used in regular photo-making can also be useful for distinguishing lens qualities in differing situations, with different types of subjects, etc.. These can be positive additions to the collection of example images from the same lens as used by others.

Direct comparisons are imho extremely difficult; I don't remember ever seeing a comparison where the focus point is accurately maintained over images from only 2 different lenses, in an attempt to compare "sharpness", for example. Lens comparisons take a lot of hard work and much time to do properly, if that's even possible.


PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 8:57 pm    Post subject: Re: The biGGest Test of prime normal lens Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
Pancolart wrote:
Srdjan wrote:
Hi everyone I have plans to make one of the biggest test of prime normal manual lens. I have big
maybe I forgot something, but thats all i think


Promising big tests in advance isn't good idea. One just builds pressure upon himself instead of doing it when it feels so that is for fun and curiosity. Well at least in my case.


+1 enjoy your photo walk and take great shoots, keep those what you like and sell rest of it. Simple and joy unlike silly tests.. I have count less 50mm lenses I buy try them and let them go if I need money to cover next purchases.


+10 my favourite 50mm lenses are not ones that have the best technical specifications but those that touched my heart. For instance, I really love the 1959 Industar-50 3.5/50 collapsible and the Meyer Primotar 3.5/50 and those are lenses overlooked by many due to being of lesser technical specs but I love the images they produce, for me it's more about the character than the tech specs.


PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you everyone for advices. My idea is somehow to contribute to this forum, instead just to use it to sell lenses (that I will have to do at the end). At this time really I don't have too much time but I wanted to compare this lenses and give somehow guide to people who is new with manual lenses (more or less like me) with yours help. I didn't have intentions to make the best of, and I understand that I have just small collection of 50mm lenses. I m not collector, my collection is result of trying to find best lens for me, and I was thinking to someone else help not to spent a lot of money like me Smile I m child of digital photography and I m learning about advances and joy of manual lenses. I don't wont to make silly test, but probably it is true I m not the expert in this field of testing lenses. My second job is photographer, and my hobby is to fix manual lenses (probably like most of people here). For some kind of test I really need support what is the best way to do it, but if there is no interest in that udea I m fine with it. Idea is was to compare lenses, most of them Carl Zeiss during of history. I m perfectionist and all of them are in very good and mint condition, and carefully picked. One photo of lenses



PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be interested in a comparison. Pick a nice subject, put the camera on a tripod and shoot away with all the lenses. Everyone understands that the lighting will change during the shoot but it would be fun to see the different characters of the lenses.


PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From my own experiences on 5DmkII:
Rollei Planars/Ultrons 1.8/50 are equal in performance. Very slight differences in color and contrast rendering - newer lenses have better contrast.

C/Y Planars 1.4/50 and 1.7/50 vs. Rollei Planar/Ultron 1.8/50 vs. CZ Planar 1.4/50 ZE
All these lenses are very close in performance. Rollei Planar/Ultron is sharpest wide-open in center area. C/Y Planar 1.7/50 is best in field uniformity sharpness at wider apertures. C/Y Planar 1.4/50 and new ZE version are equal in sharpness, C/Y version is slightly colder in colors and very slightly lower contrast. Corner sharpness at same aperture slightly lags behind 1.7/50 and is about equal to 1.8/50. I have no problem use any of this lenses.

Yashica 1.4/50 ML is overall slightly behind it's Planar equivalent in all areas. Especially contrast is lower.

CZJ Pancolar 1.8/50 has more copy variability, than variability between versions. Overall at wide apertures it can't match Planars contrast and sharpness. Stopped down to f8 the corner sharpness still lags even behind Planar 1.4/50 at same aperture.

CZJ Tessar 2.8/50 is soft up to f5.6 even on crop cameras. It never reaches the crispness of Pancolar at smaller apertures. I've not tested it on FF yet.

CZJ Biotar 2/58 is comparable to Pancolar, but corners lack at comparable apertures. Again only crop observations.


PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 11:15 pm    Post subject: big lens cap test Reply with quote

Suppose no'one's interested in my project " The Worlds Biggest Plastic Lens Cap Test" ? after spending 5 years testing plastic quality and spring clip tension Rolling Eyes Wink
Oh well i might aswell continue sorting my vast collection of used Bic Biro Pens and my imitation tortoise shell plastic combs Wink once complete i intend opening a Pen and Comb Museum................
ps does anyone have a blue plastic cap for a 1984 Biro? (the one with orange plastic body and multi faceted sides to stop it rolling off ones desk) Twisted Evil Wink


PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

****CZJ Tessar 2.8/50 is soft up to f5.6 even on crop cameras. It never reaches the crispness of Pancolar at smaller apertures. I've not tested it on FF yet.***

Well I have on a film camera and there are better nifty fifty's lenses.....cheaper or a few s more so why would anyone buy one I'll never understand (erm probably because of the magic word "Tessar" so it must be good Rolling Eyes ).


PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excalibur wrote:
****CZJ Tessar 2.8/50 is soft up to f5.6 even on crop cameras. It never reaches the crispness of Pancolar at smaller apertures. I've not tested it on FF yet.***

Well I have on a film camera and there are better nifty fifty's lenses.....cheaper or a few s more so why would anyone buy one I'll never understand (erm probably because of the magic word "Tessar" so it must be good Rolling Eyes ).


Well, I'm sorry, but that's just not true, the Tessar 2.8/50 is a great lens and no way is it soft at any aperture, I have owned at least 10 copies in all flavours and they were all sharp from 2.8 onwards.

'Better' is subjective, the Tessar has all the sharpness anyone could need and makes great pictures, there are faster lenses and lenses with smoother bokeh, but honestly, if you can't take great pictures with a Tessar you need to keep practising.


PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a Canon FL Macro 50mm/3.5 lens, which is a Tessar by another name, and it's outstanding in all respects.

http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/camera/lens/fl/data/19-85/fl_m50_35.html

Auction prices for these are very reasonable.


PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are many great Tessar based lenses. CZJ Tessar 3.5/50, CZJ Tessar 4.5/40, Macro Takumar and Pentax-M 4/50... Unfortunately, the 2.8/50 version seems slightly overstretched to me. They just tried to do it too fast.


PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I repeat, I have had at least 10 copies of the 2.8/50 and all of them were sharp at all apertures, inc 2.8. I still have a few copies, if you have a Tessar that wasn't sharp it was faulty, no doubt about it.

Zebra version in Exakta, at 2.8:




Zebra version in M42, at 2.8:




Silver 1950s version in M42, at 2.8:




All black 1980s version in M42, at 5.6:



All black 1980s export version marked aus Jena T, at f4:



PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
Excalibur wrote:
****CZJ Tessar 2.8/50 is soft up to f5.6 even on crop cameras. It never reaches the crispness of Pancolar at smaller apertures. I've not tested it on FF yet.***

Well I have on a film camera and there are better nifty fifty's lenses.....cheaper or a few s more so why would anyone buy one I'll never understand (erm probably because of the magic word "Tessar" so it must be good Rolling Eyes ).


Well, I'm sorry, but that's just not true, the Tessar 2.8/50 is a great lens and no way is it soft at any aperture, I have owned at least 10 copies in all flavours and they were all sharp from 2.8 onwards.

'Better' is subjective, the Tessar has all the sharpness anyone could need and makes great pictures, there are faster lenses and lenses with smoother bokeh, but honestly, if you can't take great pictures with a Tessar you need to keep practising.


erm you missed my point and that is, re-phrased :- If you want to spend under 30 for any make of nifty fifty (because you have a nex or any film camera) what would you choose? For starters:- on the bay for completed listing Konica tc-x and tc both with 50mm f1.8 lens each for under 18... same good prices for Olympus, Canon, Minolta, Fuji etc etc etc I'd know which lens I would choose and it wouldn't be a CZJ 50mm f2.8 Tessar,


PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All those Tessars Ian counted reach 50 EUR on Ebay if trustworthy seller and lens in mint state. They were all made in series of millions so not rare at all. That says something. My experience of sharpness wide open is also positive.


PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BRunner wrote:

CZJ Tessar 2.8/50 is soft up to f5.6 even on crop cameras. It never reaches the crispness of Pancolar at smaller apertures. I've not tested it on FF yet.


I think your copy had an issue.


PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excalibur wrote:
iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
Excalibur wrote:
****CZJ Tessar 2.8/50 is soft up to f5.6 even on crop cameras. It never reaches the crispness of Pancolar at smaller apertures. I've not tested it on FF yet.***

Well I have on a film camera and there are better nifty fifty's lenses.....cheaper or a few s more so why would anyone buy one I'll never understand (erm probably because of the magic word "Tessar" so it must be good Rolling Eyes ).


Well, I'm sorry, but that's just not true, the Tessar 2.8/50 is a great lens and no way is it soft at any aperture, I have owned at least 10 copies in all flavours and they were all sharp from 2.8 onwards.

'Better' is subjective, the Tessar has all the sharpness anyone could need and makes great pictures, there are faster lenses and lenses with smoother bokeh, but honestly, if you can't take great pictures with a Tessar you need to keep practising.


erm you missed my point and that is, re-phrased :- If you want to spend under 30 for any make of nifty fifty (because you have a nex or any film camera) what would you choose? For starters:- on the bay for completed listing Konica tc-x and tc both with 50mm f1.8 lens each for under 18... same good prices for Olympus, Canon, Minolta, Fuji etc etc etc I'd know which lens I would choose and it wouldn't be a CZJ 50mm f2.8 Tessar,


I wasn't being derogatory at all, and what you say is true, but I've never bought a Tessar, they always came with a camera, and I really like the Tessar, it can be relied on to produce good results, always sharp, always good contrast, it's just very reliable, I also like how it renders. I also love the Pancolar and Biotar and don't feel the Tessar is any less good, just different.


PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
BRunner wrote:

CZJ Tessar 2.8/50 is soft up to f5.6 even on crop cameras. It never reaches the crispness of Pancolar at smaller apertures. I've not tested it on FF yet.


I think your copy had an issue.

I don't think so, I have/had about 6 different silver versions, one zebra and one last black version. They are not unsharp as bad copies, they just render the smallest details not as crisp as older Tessar 3.5/50 or other/newer CZJ 50mm lenses. The 2.8 Tessar needs to be stopped down more than other versions to get usable corners.