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Canon FD 4.5/400mm vs Novoflex 5.6/400mm T
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:

Thank you for this clarification! Please don't get me wrong - i always appreciate to read your postings, often containing interesting information i see for the first time. And usually very reliable information Wink.


Many thanks for the kind words. I strive to do my best.

Quote:

Did you ever use your FD 4.5/400 mm on 24MP full frame? I have checked it in the mean time, using the "APS-C crop mode" of my A7II. Lateral CAs seem much less pronounced on 12 MP APS-C.


No, I don't own any FF digitals. The only FF cameras I've used with it have been Canon FD, and, perhaps some of it was subject matter, but I don't recall CA being an issue with any of the shots I took with than lens and a film camera.

Quote:
I would recommend other lenses, such as the Canon EF 5.6/400mm L which is perfect even at f5.6.

I'll pass on that one, thanks. Its price is too rich for my pocketbook for now, and I haven't really been adding any EF gear to my collection since I bought my NEX. If I ever get a nice 5D Mk x one day that might change.

Quote:
EDIT: Today, I compared the the FD 4.5/400, the Novoflex 5.6/400, the Canon nFD 2.8/400 L, the Hexanon ARM 4.5/400 with both the Minolta 8/500 and Nikkor 8/500 (second version, released 1984) mirror lenses. Interesting results!! To be published soon Wink

While you're at it, you should toss the Tamron 55BB into that mix, see how it fares against those two mirrors especially.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are the four convetional 400mm tele lenses mentioned before. 100% crops from the 24MP Sony A7II, as usual. JPGs direct out of camera, focusing on the central part of the image. Sorry for the extremely dull weather - however the air was really calm which allowed unusually clear images (no "flares"/striae/ because of moving air!).

Note that crop from the nFD 2.8/400 L was shot wide open at f2.8, while the others were taken at f11!!

First the Canon FD 4.5/400mm @ f11:


Then the corner crop from the Hexanon AR 4.5/400mm a@ f11:


Then the Noflexar T 5.6/400mm @ f11:


And finally the Canon nFD 2.8/400mm L @ f2.8:


The differences are clearly visible.

Stephan


PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting results Steve, one again i am impressed by the novoflex.
Just to clarify, are these all corner crops?


PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that FD 400/2.8 L is a stunner. Makes me wonder what it was like at f/11.


PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

marcusBMG wrote:
Interesting results Steve, one again i am impressed by the novoflex.
Just to clarify, are these all corner crops?

Yes, all crops are 100% crops from the extreme corner. The entire frame is shown here:


Two important remarks, though:
1) Be aware that my Noflexar T is from the newest generation. I'm not sure if a Noflexar T from the 1960s behaves identically.
2) Even the newest Noflexar T has a pronounced field curvature. All other aberrations are very well corrected. This means when focusing on the center, the corners will be blurred (at f5.6 and to some extent at f8 ); and when focusing on the corners, the center will be blurred. Focusing on the mid-field and stopping down to f11 results in good resolution over the entire FF image.


cooltouch wrote:
Wow, that FD 400/2.8 L is a stunner. Makes me wonder what it was like at f/11.

Not that good. As I said before, most vintage manual focus IF lenses i know aren't getting better when stopping down - they are getting worse.

I grew up with Minolta AF APO tele lenses (also IF lenses), and these lenses do get better when stopping down: MinAF AF 2.8/135, 2.8/200 APO, 2.8/300 APO, 4/600 APO ... the (newer) MinAF 4/300 APO and the MinAF 4.5/400 APO are so good wide open than on the 24 MP A900 i could not see any improvement (apart from reduced vignetting) when stopping down. Therefore i'm a bit puzzled about the behaviour of my Canon (n)FD and Nikkor IF-ED lenses. And yes, the Minolta MD 4.5/300 IF-ED has similar problems.

Anyway, here's the Canon nFD 2.8/400mm L at f11:


Stephan


PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
stevemark wrote:
EDIT: Today, I compared the the FD 4.5/400, the Novoflex 5.6/400, the Canon nFD 2.8/400 L, the Hexanon ARM 4.5/400 with both the Minolta 8/500 and Nikkor 8/500 (second version, released 1984) mirror lenses. Interesting results!! To be published soon Wink

While you're at it, you should toss the Tamron 55BB into that mix, see how it fares against those two mirrors especially.


I'll try my best ... but the meteorological conditions here are usually not in favor of "real world" lens tests for anything >300mm. Even 300mm is difficult most of the time. Either there's haze and humidity, or - when the air is clear - there are turbulences, resulting in striae (is this the correct word ...?!?) and distorted details. In addition some 500mm/600mm mirror lenses are really difficult to focus, even with the live view (focus throw is too steep). Hopefully i can repeat this small test today, including also the Tamron SP 8/500mm and the Tokina 8/500mm mirror lenses.

Stephan


PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll try and post some results with my older novoflex, canon FD and also a sigma apo 400mm f5.6, but weather isn't conducive today....

How old do you think your novoflex is Steve? I have the "B" (see here) that's in my pic above, and also a "C". I think the B's were late 60's into the seventies, and the C's from ?mid seventies...


PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
cooltouch wrote:
Wow, that FD 400/2.8 L is a stunner. Makes me wonder what it was like at f/11.

Not that good. As I said before, most vintage manual focus IF lenses i know aren't getting better when stopping down - they are getting worse


Wow, not good. I went back and looked at the first two shots you posted with the 400/4.5. Very similar results, it appears. This makes me wonder -- given how pro shooters tend to prefer using their teles wide open, what is the likelihood that Canon optimized the CAs such that they were minimized when the lenses were wide open?


PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marcusBMG wrote:
I'll try and post some results with my older novoflex, canon FD and also a sigma apo 400mm f5.6, but weather isn't conducive today....

How old do you think your novoflex is Steve? I have the "B" (see here) that's in my pic above, and also a "C". I think the B's were late 60's into the seventies, and the C's from ?mid seventies...


Regarding atmospherics when shooting with long teles, one thing I've found to be generally true is, if it is hot enough where convection currents are degrading visibility, shooting over water helps, since usually larger bodies of water won't get hot enough to cause atmospheric convection.


PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
stevemark wrote:
cooltouch wrote:
Wow, that FD 400/2.8 L is a stunner. Makes me wonder what it was like at f/11.

Not that good. As I said before, most vintage manual focus IF lenses i know aren't getting better when stopping down - they are getting worse


Wow, not good. I went back and looked at the first two shots you posted with the 400/4.5. Very similar results, it appears. This makes me wonder -- given how pro shooters tend to prefer using their teles wide open, what is the likelihood that Canon optimized the CAs such that they were minimized when the lenses were wide open?


Great question!

Closing the aperture removes the light from perimeter portions of the lens elements from the image circle -- the perimeter portions play important role in reducing CA? Corrections from central portion are insufficient?


PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
marcusBMG wrote:
I'll try and post some results with my older novoflex, canon FD and also a sigma apo 400mm f5.6, but weather isn't conducive today....

How old do you think your novoflex is Steve? I have the "B" (see here) that's in my pic above, and also a "C". I think the B's were late 60's into the seventies, and the C's from ?mid seventies...


Regarding atmospherics when shooting with long teles, one thing I've found to be generally true is, if it is hot enough where convection currents are degrading visibility, shooting over water helps, since usually larger bodies of water won't get hot enough to cause atmospheric convection.


Reminded of temperature inversion mirage effects. From sailboat between Angel Is. & Alcatraz looking east cars travel on Nimitz freeway upside down in the sky! Seen many times.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I took some test shots of the Vardre from the back garden, ancient site of old Deganwy Castle (that's the stonework in the pics). At first glance my set didn't seem to show much so I waited for a cloudy day with flat light to see if that made a difference. In practice it is this first set that is more revealing. Test pics with FD 400mm f4.5, novoflex T-noflexar 400mm f5.6 on "B" stock with customised tripod mount, and a sigma apo 400mm f5.6. The latter is afflicted slightly with deterioration of an inner cemented group, a problem that has affected all half dozen+ of these sigmas I have seen, but it's mainly speckling that has little discernable effect on IQ. Necessarily I used my 20MPx apsc samsung NX20, for which I have a cfd adapter. Slik tripod, 2 secs timer etc. jpg's from RAW same pp.
The FD does show some green fringing, tending to increase with the f-stop. The fringing is far less at this position in the image circle than in your pics Steve, but nevertheless is evident, and absent from the novoflex and sigma apo. There is a distinct drop in resolution at f11 but it always possible that diffraction and/or vibration are factoring in.

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Last edited by marcusBMG on Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:08 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marcus: Thank you for your work! It's always encouraging to see others doing similar tests, trying to prove or disprove what was done before. Basically, your APS-C results look similar to my FF results. I even had included the Sigma 7.2/500mm APO in my tests (but chose not to publish it)...

Stephan