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Test of different 35mm lenses on APS-C sensor
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

notko wrote:
Some strange colors on the Monolta MD hair crop. First I thought it was CA fringing but on closer inspection it shows too many different colors. There is magenta, blue, a bit of green, some red. Besides, if it was CA fringing, it'd shown on the car wheels.
Could that be moire?

I've forgotten to mention that the used camera, the Ricoh GXR-M is like some few special cameras (like Sony A7R, etc.) NOT equipped with a special low pass filter to suppress moire (also known as anti-aliasing or "blur" filter). This should result in better pictures especially for landscape photography where moire doesn't happen anyway to preserve the highest possible details of the pictures. Some higher end cameras (like all middle format cameras) are therefore available without such filter, such as the Ricoh GXR-M too. Moire (if it occurs at all) could easily be removed during PP anyway but I prefer the more detailed picture without blurring effects, why I've chosen the Ricoh over the NEX or others. Since I do not PP any of my photos for "real" presentation of the lens performances, moire could under special circumstances happen, like with the Minolta MD lens. Maybe it has a higher resolution than the other lenses.
So with most of the cameras used this would not happen anyway but could also result in slightly different pictures.
Any lens test should therefore always be seen as a unique combination of lens AND camera (sensor) used.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since I've made this comparison I gave my Nikkor to a friend and got a "new" lens, the Voigtlaender Color-Skoparex 35mm/F2.8 in M42 mount made in Singapore which is 100% identical to the Rollei Carl Zeiss Distagon HFT 35mm/F2.8 QBM-mount lens besides of the markings and the mount. According the Rolleiclub there was no lens made in Singapore without HFT coating any longer, irrespective of marking. The red glowing color of the coating proves that as well. Reference: http://www.rolleiclub.com/thedarkroom/?p=2814
According to some other sources only early series made in Germany by Voigtlaender/Braunschweig have been available with the older non-HFT multi coating as well.

As in another forum some members have been very excited about the Rollei/Zeiss/Voigtländer lens I thought it may be a good idea to compare it to some of my other 35mm lenses which are already known to be very good.

This time I've selected an infinity landscape scenario for comparison but I again used my Ricoh GXR-M camera.

I took 3 different SLR lenses and 1 RF one:

The clear winner in every respect as expected as it's the newest of all, is the Voigtländer Ultron 35mm/F1.7 RF lens in LTM. That's not really interesting for most of the readers here, as it requires either a Ricoh or Leica digital camera to perform that good. Nevertheless, it's really an excellent lens both on film and on compatible digital cameras.

2nd the Minolta MD W.Rokkor 35mm/F2.8 (version II, introduced 1978),

3rd Rollei/Voigtländer HFT 35mm/F2.8 (Singapore version, 1974-77),

4th Super-Takumar 35mm/F2 (apprx. 1965).

The Minolta lens beats the Rollei one without any doubt, in sharpness and resolution across the frame, even in the center.

Only in terms of CA correction the Rollei seems to be a little bit better though it's not free of purple fringing as well. As from F4 the Rollei is free whereas the Minolta still shows very minor signs. As from F5.6 it's totally gone.

Contrast- and color wise they are absolutely equal; i.e. no advantage because of the so much vaunted HFT coating vs. the never discussed Minolta coating whatsoever. That underlines my guess, that the story of the HFT coatings is more a marketing issue than anything else. Minolta never stated anything about the magic of their coatings, it's never marked on their lenses and obviously their coatings are likewise excellently.

However, as from F8 both lenses are no more distinguishable, by no means.

Same is true for the Takumar but at wider apertures it's clearly the worst of the bunch, very soft and rather useless for landscapes wide open. As usual the Takumar shows slightly different (warmer) colors like all old Takumars do more or less.

It's also interesting that the Minolta lens has a slightly wider angle of view compared to the Rollei lens. Obviously their real focal length is slightly different.

Bottom line: The Minolta MD lens is certainly one of the best 35mm SLR lenses of it's time. At least I haven't seen any better one yet.
Also my Nikkor that I gave to a friend was inferior, what I already showed here: http://forum.mflenses.com/35mm-2-8-rokkor-vs-nikkor-vs-mir-37-t72410.html

Maybe I will prepare something together with my test shots some time later in order to illustrate my findings. At least I will think about. Wink

However, in the meantime I recommend to read this very nice test report about the Minolta MD lens in version III (plain MD without "Rokkor" markings more or less identical to my version II one, maybe even slightly improved coatings, introduced 1981) on a FF Sony A7 which confirms my findings:



BTW, the ISCO Westron Paxette 35mm lens I've already shown here with a proper adapter: http://forum.mflenses.com/isco-gttingen-westron-35mm-f3-5-m39-paxette-t72840.html