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Isco-Gottingen 180mm f2.8 Comparison
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:20 pm    Post subject: Isco-Gottingen 180mm f2.8 Comparison Reply with quote

I have really been enjoying reading the forum for a long time, discovering new lenses and seeing the awesome shots you guys get. I figured I should contribute a little, recently I was able to get a Isco-Gottingen 180mm f 2.8 and had high hopes for it since the 135 2.8 Isco is my current favorite 135mm lens. Yesterday I did a quick comparison shoot comparing my Zeiss Jena 180 2.8 and Isco-Gottingen 180 2.8. I have disassembled and cleaned both lenses, the Isco has some dust and specs in the front group which seemed to be cemented so I left it alone. Both lenses have spots in the coating.They both have a large number of aperture blades so the bokeh does not become weird shaped which is nice. Ergonomically the Isco is extremely annoying to use, the whole front lens group and aperture ring rotate when focusing. It also required me to get a junk Exakta camera to make an external Exakta mount adapter since all the available ones are for the normal internal Exakta mount. I don't have a hood for the Isco so I left the hood off the Jena for a good comparison. I also took a shot with my Minolta 200mm 2.8 APO at the same distance at 2.8 to see how these lenses compare to a truly great semi modern medium telephoto lens. I have shots at the other apertures but I didn't want to make this post too long. Non of the comparison shots are edited in any way, just converted from RAW without any adjustments.

First here is the Isco Lens mounted on my Sony A7ii.



2.8





Zeiss Jena 180 2.8



2.8





Minolta 200 2.8 APO





Comparing the shots it is pretty obvious that the Gottingen has fewer aberrations and less glow than the Jena but still pretty far behind the modern APO Minolta which was not surprising. I was actually impressed how well the older lenses performed in harsh conditions and the IQ wide open is good enough unless you are really zooming into the image. I did not test them at infinity although they both perform well, the Isco especially. I have not had much of a chance to use the Gottigen yet but even just around the yard it seems like it may have something special to offer to make up for the ergonomics, but I don't think it is as good as the 135 2.8. Ill try to post a couple more shots as I get a chance to use it more.

One shot just from the porch from the Gottingen 180 at MFD in softer light. Seems to show potential



PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting! Thank you.

Until you get a lens hood you could try a thin piece of black foam rubber and some tape. I bought three 10.5x14 sheets from the crafts section at Wal-Mart for $1 a long time ago and I haven't used them up yet.

I've always wanted to see these two lenses compared to the 180mm Nikkor 2.8.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good idea for a makeshift hood! I’ll have to give it a shot since I have been using my hand and this lens is so difficult to use I really need both hands to focus and support.. I would like to get a Nikkor 180 2.8 at some point as well, love the old fast lenses even if they are not as technically good as the new ones, the engineering and craftsmanship is incredible. The front lens group on the Göttingen is larger than my Minolt 58 1.2 lens, really impressive. The Olympus 180 2.8 is also intriguing.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum and thank you for this test.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I walked around the back yard last night and took some shots to give an idea of what this lens is capable of. The rendering does seem to be pretty close to the Gottingen 135 2.8 which I am happy about. All the shots were wide open at 2.8 handheld and slightly edited in lightroom. I think any shortcomings are more due to my lack of skill and technique and not the lens, the terrible handling doesn't help. What do you guys think? am I right to be really impressed by this lens?

Wide open, infinity shot at 2.8, the resolution and sharpness wide open really shocked me.





Rest are just walk around shots near MFD















PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great shots. Very informative. The ISCO lenses I've used all had exceptional blue color, and yours looks like it might be the same.

Mr.Bittacy wrote:
I would like to get a Nikkor 180 2.8 at some point as well


I have the Ai-S 180 Nikkor*ED 2.8, and it's fantastic. It's very sharp wide open as well. The main thing though is the way it feels, which is impossible to convey on a forum. Not only is the build quality excellent (with a built-in lens hood, too), but the weight and balance are just perfect.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KEO wrote:
I have the Ai-S 180 Nikkor*ED 2.8, and it's fantastic. It's very sharp wide open as well. The main thing though is the way it feels, which is impossible to convey on a forum. Not only is the build quality excellent (with a built-in lens hood, too), but the weight and balance are just perfect.


I may have to get serious about getting one of the Nikkor 180 2.8 ED lenses, they seem to be a really good value for the price and would be a lot more realistic to carry around in a bag. Once I get one I will have to do some new comparison shots, I would expect it to be very close to the Minolta 200 2.8 APO and far ahead of the Isco and Jena Lenses.

I had thought about the Zeiss Contax 180 2.8, however I had the Zeiss Contax 200 3.5 and 135 2.8 and I was very underwhelmed by their performance, my cheap Minolta MC 200 3.5 and Takumar SMC 135 2.5 were sharper with a little more CA and much better to handle.

I was doing some digging around online and found an ad for the Isco-Gottingen 180 2.8 that shows the lens elements, illustrates what a big chuck of glass it is, and you have to rotate it to focus.