Home
SearchSearch MemberlistMemberlist RegisterRegister ProfileProfile Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages Log inLog in

Created a New MF Lens Reference Site - Looking for Feedback
View previous topic :: View next topic  


PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:20 pm    Post subject: Created a New MF Lens Reference Site - Looking for Feedback Reply with quote

Hey all,

I'm a web engineer who was laid off for a bit due to COVID, and used that time to create www.aperturepedia.com, a new lens reference site which I wanted to share with you all.
I've been following this forum for a while, ever since I inherited my grandmother's Minolta XE-7 and discovered I could also adapt her Rokkor lenses on my Sony A72. I found Dennis Lohmann's lens reference table on (minolta.eazypix.de/lenses) extremely useful while I was investigating how to expand my Minolta lens collection, but felt that it was harder to similarly compare lens specs for other systems at a glance.

My goal here was to create a free resource with long-term support for referencing and comparing specs for most vintage first-party camera lenses. As the site's still in it's infancy, I wanted to reach out to you all to see if you had any thoughts about new features, information, or corrections which would make it more useful, or are interested in collaborating.

Right now the site features tables with first-party lens data for the following systems:
    - Minolta SR
    - Canon FD
    - Pentax K
    - Pentax M42
    - Pentax M37
    - Olympus OM
    (still a work in progress: I'm currently having difficulties finding consistent info on different generations of the same lens)

Each lens table features clickable, expandable rows with more information and helpful links. The site itself is open source, anyone interested in checking out the source code can do so here: https://github.com/nklein1/aperturepedia

Definite future improvements include:

    - Adding support for Nikon F-mount lenses (I'm currently working on collecting this data)
    - Adding additional data and links to expandable rows
    - Adding a "Resources" page for each Manufacturer mount which users can use as a guide to other helpful websites.

Other possible upcoming features include:

    - Splitting Zoom & Specialty lenses out into separate tables from Primes (I'm on the fence about this)
    - In the far, far future, scraping the average of recent ebay sold prices for individual lenses
    - I'm also taking suggestions on additional systems to support



Also, I want to give a shoutout to Stevemark (artaphot.ch) and Tony F. (lensqaworks.com), I've spent hours reading your Minolta writeups over the past few years.

Cheers!
Nick


PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome nklein

How's about adding mflenses.com to your list of references? Smile

After a quick look I'd suggest add photos of lenses, how to discern differences between variations, either or both sample photos & links to lens groups such as on Flickr, DPReview, etc..


PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

visualopsins wrote:
Welcome nklein

How's about adding mflenses.com to your list of references? Smile

After a quick look I'd suggest add photos of lenses, how to discern differences between variations, either or both sample photos & links to lens groups such as on Flickr, DPReview, etc..


I also think mflenses is a good source of material. I would like to see a drill down (similar to pentaxfourms.com) into all threads related to that lens. I know there is search and there would be overlap but maybe it could just drive search from the drill down, or at least display threads that have been marked as valid or recognized by an op.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/


PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys!

Good call, I've just updated the site to include mflenses.com in the credits.

I like the idea of linking to lens groups on Flickr and other sites. One of the next improvements will be to distinguish different kinds of source links for each lens ("Reference pages", "Sample Galleries", "Reviews", "Repair Guides", etc). I've begun collecting links to disassembly/repair guides for individual lenses, starting with Minolta, and will also collect links to Flickr galleries as well. If anyone has any helpful links to repair guides (or any other kinds of info) online, I'd definitely appreciate them.

In terms of helping users identify lenses by discerning different variations, I was thinking of providing global "How to identify my MInolta (/Pentax/Canon) Lens" sections with links to an existing well-written article for each lens system. (https://lensqaworks.com/minolta-lenses-classification-guide/ is an excellent example, and I'd prefer to link to Tony's site so that he gets credit for the work he did).

I've been thinking about how to incorporate image assets. So far I've been linking to other sites primarily out of copyright concerns, as well as server load concerns. My hosting provider charges a variable rate based on bandwidth usage, so once the page transfer size starts going up with on-page images, I'll be paying significantly more if the site is even moderately successful. I'm hoping to keep things at a scale where I can continue to afford to pay for the hosting costs myself without relying on ads or donations.

Quote:
I also think mflenses is a good source of material. I would like to see a drill down (similar to pentaxfourms.com) into all threads related to that lens. I know there is search and there would be overlap but maybe it could just drive search from the drill down, or at least display threads that have been marked as valid or recognized by an op.


Blazer0ne, when you say drill-down into threads, do you mean including a list of links to mflenses threads related to an individual lens?


Last edited by nklein on Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:42 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it's first-party lens data that's being referenced, don't forget the Fujinon lenses from the Fujica 35mm film slr's. A good range of top-quality lenses!

I might also mention some of the European manufacturers, Zeiss (east and west), Enna, Meyer and the conglomerate derivatives from Pentacon Wink


PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is going to be a labour of love.
Are you going to restrict your site to 35mm specifically, or will there be other OEMs in say medium format eg Mamiya, Bronica, Rollei, Hasselblad etc?
Thank you for what you are doing
Tom


PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will struggle with Olympus OM zuikos, they have some decent information on the front rings, but they tweeked things without changing the ring as well.

Sometimes there is a weight change, or dropping the silvernose as well.


PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have any hard and fast restrictions in mind, other that the lenses systems are "vintage" (no longer in production) and the lenses themselves are manual focus. I'm open to adding support for medium format and rangefinder systems, the chief barrier is my ability to find data that I can scrape together. I know this will be extremely time-consuming, which is why I've narrowed the scope to 35mm SLR for now. Once I feel satisfied with the 35mm SLR system coverage, then I'll expand to other formats. That is unless someone wants to jump on the bandwagon and help with collecting data Wink

If you guys have any lens systems you'd like supported, any useful reference sites, blogs, scanned manuals, etc you can share would be appreciated. So far I've been taking a low-hanging fruit approach to which systems I've been adding. The Minolta system was the easiest to collect data for because Dennis L. had already created a comprehensive table which allowed me to retrieve all specs from one page (outside of # of aperture blades, which he omitted)

And you're very right Slalom, when I started diving into Olympus lens data, I immediately realized how much I appreciated the relatively clear versioning standards used by Minolta.


PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mflenses.com has dozens to hundreds of lenses without focusing, without aperture, and both.

Chances are good any lens on any of your lists has already been discussed here. The Search function, links at bottom of page, and Google by including "site:mflenses.com" as a key. For example, there is a relatively new topic with a collection of member bookmarked sites with comprehensive information about MFlenses.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a post here not long ago (abouth a month ago i think?) by someone asking for links to lists similar to the Minolta one that got you started. There where many replies, check that one, as for dissasembly guides, my personal contribution:

http://www.verybiglobo.com/restoring-helios-40-85mm-f-1-5-cla-tutorial-by-tomas-glavina/

http://www.verybiglobo.com/restoring-helios-44-2-cla-tutorial-by-tomas-glavina/

http://www.verybiglobo.com/legacy-lenses-restoration-cla-tutorials-by-tomas-glavina/

Some links:

https://richardhaw.com/lens-repair-articles/

https://diediemustdive.wordpress.com/

If Youtube links are ok:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgANrFnm3Sdai8zvA2iJGQg

There are more good disassembly links, but i have the links on a different PC, i ll post them later.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah...here s that thread:

http://forum.mflenses.com/detailed-manual-focus-lens-list-per-brand-question-t81579.html

More links:
Olympus:

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/olympusom1n2/shared/zuiko/htmls/index.htm

Nikon:

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/nikkoresources/index.htm

Canon:

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/canon/fdresources/fdlenses/index.htm

https://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/

Another good disassembly collection for Kiev mount lenses:

http://www3.telus.net/public/rpnchbck/lens%20and%20optics.html


Last edited by tomasg on Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:34 am; edited 2 times in total


PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:23 am    Post subject: Re: Created a New MF Lens Reference Site - Looking for Feedb Reply with quote

nklein wrote:
...
- Pentax M37


What mount is this?


PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:04 am    Post subject: Re: Created a New MF Lens Reference Site - Looking for Feedb Reply with quote

philslizzy wrote:
nklein wrote:
...
- Pentax M37


What mount is this?


https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/Pentax-Takumar-M37-Screwmount-Primes-c63.html


PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

visualopsins wrote:
Mflenses.com has dozens to hundreds of lenses without focusing, without aperture, and both.

Chances are good any lens on any of your lists has already been discussed here. The Search function, links at bottom of page, and Google by including "site:mflenses.com" as a key. For example, there is a relatively new topic with a collection of member bookmarked sites with comprehensive information about MFlenses.


It is only recently that I discovered vintage lenses; for me it was a cheap way to discover all kind of manual prime lenses. And I started to like these lenses a lot!! But it is quite a journey to discover good information about these lenses. Google is of course your best friend, but is also very time consuming. And yes, MFlenses has tons of info.

But for me it would be very convenient to have a curated site with links to all kind of relevant info about a certain lens. Would have saved me a lot of time. It would help me if I could see quickly if a link is a review, examples of images taken with this lens and images of the lens itself.

I think it is really a labor of love to not only start such a venture, but to continue doing so. And to maintain a certain level of quality. So thumbs up to nklein!!


PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:36 am    Post subject: Notes? Reply with quote

Excellent initiative, but where can one find the notes announced in the end column?

I presume that matters like plastic construction or "liable to have stiffened focus lubrication", oily apertures or dead focus rollers (like Canon) would be interesting in the notes.Richard Haw and Marcus Keinaths sites points out such matters and also notes options for cleaning the innards.(which I regard as futile unless you have patience, proper tools, experience and equipment to adjust the result)

p.


PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For Nikon lens data, pretty much the ultimate reference is here:

http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/lenses.html

Canon has its camera and lens museum. Mir has all sorts of stuff, but mostly camera related. I recommend you also think about including Tamron's adaptall-2,com site. Actually I think Atilla owns the adaptall-2.com domain. Pentaxforums.com/forums has an entire section if its site dedicated to lens reviews -- including aftermarket lenses that were made with a Pentax mount.


PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also considered a price scraping tool. I tried to convince the only 2 skilled computer coders I know that it could be useful. but they were not camera guys. SIGN ME UP!


PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:20 pm    Post subject: collectiblend does prices Reply with quote

the interesting bit is actual transactions combined with condition. Fantasy wishes with faked or copied pictures on ebay may not be so enlightening. The netsite collectiblend has a large and continuosly maintained list of cameras and lenses well sorted, but without details that will enable novices to distinguish stuff apart from name focal length, speed & year of manufacture

p.


PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Atilla wrote a script for price scraping. It's around here somplace.


PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much for the links and feedback everyone! I've just deployed an update with some changes:

    1. Added initial support for Konica AR lenses (which can be found here: http://www.aperturepedia.com/konica-ar)

    2. A new "Links" column in the lens table so users can see the number of links available for a given lens without having to expand each row.

    3. Added ability to distinguish different kinds of links ("Sources", "Reviews", "Sample Photos", and "Repair Guides") in the expandable lens "detail panel". So far I've only rolled this out to the Minolta SR table, but will continue to roll it out for other lens mounts. Not all Minolta lenses have links of all types yet, link coverage will grow over time as I discover and add more links to the database I'm using.

Note: If you previously visited the site you may need to clear your browser cache to see the new changes.

@tomasg: Thank you for those links! I've been diving into that mflenses.com thread in particular, which helped me find resources I needed to get Konica support on board.

@paulhofseth The notes (and additional links for that lens) can be found by clicking the row to expand it. Thanks for asking this, I'm trying to make the UX (user experience) as easy as possible. If anyone has any feedback on parts of the site that seem more difficult to use, I definitely want to hear about it.

Also: random but if anyone here is colorblind, I'd greatly appreciate your feedback on the color palettes I used to differentiate lens versions (i.e. for Minolta MC-I, MC-X, MD-III, etc) on each lens table.

@cooltouch: I've been using that Nikon site as my primary source so far, been "cleaning" the data by hand in Excel so that it supports the standardized table I've been using. Nikon made so many lenses, I'm just moving more slowly because I don't want to accidentally introduce any errors in the data.

As for Ebay price scraping, I've realized that geolocation plays a role there. I'm in North America, so the results I get are different to a degree than what some of you may see in parts of Europe and Asia. For example I'd imagine site visitors from Russia will likely have cheaper ebay prices (factoring in shipping) when searching for Helios & Jupiter lenses than visitors from North America. It may be possible that similar geographical paradigms are relevant for other lens brands. I'm not sure how it would be best to handle that for site visitors from different parts of the world, but in any respect I don't plan on tackling ebay scraping until much later in the project pipeline.


PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:04 pm    Post subject: "No-script" blocking Reply with quote

I looked more closely and found that my routine "no-script" settings blocked the notes. Now it works perfectly and the references on the 3 Minolta lenses i have, (16,500 and 800 in leitz mount)are good ones.

p.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for your information, which is very helpful to me


PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nklein wrote:

As for Ebay price scraping, I've realized that geolocation plays a role there. I'm in North America, so the results I get are different to a degree than what some of you may see in parts of Europe and Asia. For example I'd imagine site visitors from Russia will likely have cheaper ebay prices (factoring in shipping) when searching for Helios & Jupiter lenses than visitors from North America. It may be possible that similar geographical paradigms are relevant for other lens brands. I'm not sure how it would be best to handle that for site visitors from different parts of the world, but in any respect I don't plan on tackling ebay scraping until much later in the project pipeline.


I have found that eBay actually has acted as a great equalizer, discounting shipping charges, of course. There are many eBay sellers who live in Russia and other parts of the former USSR, who are selling their wares at prices you'd expect to see them sell for in Russia (and elsewhere), near as I can determine. The Helios and Jupiter lenses, and even many of their cameras, susre seem priced at bargain levels when I see them for sale on eBay.

I've found that, if there are prices affected by geolocation, it appears that Germany and environs seems to command prices higher than elsewhere. But near as I can tell, this is about the only area where I see this sort of uneven price level. The UK's prices tend to be in line with the US's. I've bought many items from UK sellers over the years, and lenses from Italian and French sellers off eBay also, who were offering their items at very good prices. And yes, I've bought one camera from a Russian seller. So, yeah, I'd have to say that eBay tends to be a leveler when it comes to international values of items. And I suspect this isn't just cameras and lenses where this sort of thing is happening.