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80mm lens shootout - for coin photography
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 1521
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it is 1 year later and I have not started the 80mm Shootout testing. So much has happened this last year that I'm simply pleased to still be above ground. Over the year I have kept thinking about the shootout, and watching for 80mm lenses to come up for good pricing. I've made good progress on the list I originally posted, plus a few new ones, though I still have a few left to find.

The 80mm lenses I have today for the shootout is as follows:

AGFA Magnolar f5.6
AGFA Repromaster f4
Beseler HD f4
Gaertner 80mm EFL objective
Kyocera/Tomioka E36C f4 fixed
Leitz Milar f4.5
Leitz Photar f4.5
Leitz Summar f4.5
Meopta Anaret f4.5
Minolta CE Rokkor-X f5.6
Nikon El-Nikkor f5.6
Olympus OM Zuiko f4
PZO Emitar f4.5
PZO Janpol f5.6
Rodenstock Eurygon f4
Rodenstock Rodagon f4
Schneider Colortrac Apo-Digitar f5.6 fixed
Schneider Colortrac Apo-Digitar f6.7 fixed
Schneider Componon f5.6
Schneider Componar-S f4.5
Schneider Componon-S f4
Schneider Componon-S f5.6
Schneider M-Componon f4
Schneider WA-Componon f5.6
Vega 30Y f4

I've done informal testing on all the above, and they are all worthy of the testing effort IMO.

An unexpected strong performer is the Schneider WA-Componon. It has stupendous coverage, and is sharp wide open. I was so impressed that it is now one of my main lenses for coins.

Some lenses I've considered buying but that are quite expensive, tough to find, or I am just not sure of their value are:

Meopta Meogon f2.8
Meopta Meogon-S f4
Rodenstock Apo-Rodagon f4
Lomo OKC1 f2
Rodenstock Rodagon WA f4

A lens I have questions about is the Beseler HD. It is a Rodenstock lens, but it is different from the standard Rodagon. Instead of having a fixed max aperture stop, the lens is frosted at the edges. I have never seen this on any other lens. Does anyone know if this lens is actually an Apo-Rodagon? I have yet to source an Apo-Rodagon for a decent price.

I'm hoping to have some time in next few weeks to start the shootout, but work has been too hectic for quite a long time to contemplate such a large project.
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19175
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ray_parkhurst wrote:
A lens I have questions about is the Beseler HD. It is a Rodenstock lens, but it is different from the standard Rodagon. Instead of having a fixed max aperture stop, the lens is frosted at the edges. I have never seen this on any other lens.

I don't know anything about this particular lens, but I am curious about "frosted". Normally I would interpret that word as meaning "translucent" like privacy glass, but in a lens that would create glare. So I'm thinking the treatment is actually some sort of coating that grades the edge of the aperture gradually from opaque to partially transparent to clear. That sort of "apodized aperture" would have the effect of improving bokeh by softening the edges of blur circles, so that for example even tiny reflections of the sun off water droplets will produce an attractive blur instead of a hard-edged image of the aperture. It could also prevent ringing in the periphery of the Airy disk, if done just right.

Can you describe in more detail what this frosted area looks like?

-Rik
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 1521
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking closely at the area, it appears to be a ground groove in the edge of both lens elements closest to the aperture. It may only be a ground edge but by viewing from different angles and lighting I believe it to be a a groove. Both aperture-facing elements have the groove...when closing the aperture, and viewing from one side, you can only see one of the grooves, yet when you close the aperture the groove becomes hidden by it. Look from the other side, and the same thing happens.

Here is a picture of one side, with aperture wide open:



It's hard to tell from the image, even though I am backlighting, but the sharp edge of the groove does show translucency, reducing farther from the edge.
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19175
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, thanks. That looks very different from what I was imagining.

From your description, I wonder if the blackened groove is just there to prevent reflections from the sides of the elements when the adjustable aperture is wide open.

--Rik
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 1521
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking more closely, it appears that many of the elements have been ground like this. Some are ground on their outer edges, but not inner edges nor in grooves. The metal clamp rings also have a sandblast finish.
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rockycarter



Joined: 27 Jan 2017
Posts: 70
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 6:43 pm    Post subject: Lucht Lens ~ Crop E fixed Aperture Reply with quote

Ray my Lucht lens is the same. It has a fixed frosted aperture
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 1521
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have sourced a few more 80mm lenses, and at this point I'm confident I have a pretty complete representation of what is available in this focal length. The new ones are:

Meopta Meogon 80/2.8
Rodenstock Apo Rodagon 80/4
Anaret-S 80/4.5
Vivitar VHE 80/5.6
Schneider Makro-Symmar 80/5.6

This makes a total of THIRTY 80mm lenses to include in the shootout.

In my first shootout (75mm, published on CCF forum), I removed lenses that obviously were inferior to the rest of the group, but in my 100mm shootout (published on my website at www.macrocoins.com) I included some marginal or even poor quality lenses. I plan to not remove any of the lenses from the list, so I expect a full range of quality to be seen.

Not sure when I will find the time to do the shootout. It may be later in the summer, or early fall. Maybe there will be more lenses to test by then. I still would like to hear from folks if there are other good candidates to include that I still have not procured. It has been fun searching for decent copies of the various lenses for good prices. Used lens buying is a waiting game.
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 1521
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started this thread 2 years ago with the intention of testing 80mm lenses for coin photography using some new techniques and equipment to improve on my previous shootouts.
The biggest change I intended to make was to use a FF camera, and I started my search. I wanted to get a better result than my HRT2i could produce. I had several candidates,
but none of them really met my criteria (no AA filter; good software tethering; EFSC/EFCS). The first camera that actually met all the criteria was the Sony A7Riii, but my
purchase of that camera ended in disappointment. The image was larger than what my T2i could produce, but quality was similar if not worse at pixel level, plus the high
resolution mode did not work well. I am still thinking of the 5DSR or the D850, but I realized that going back to my original premise of evaluating the 80mm lenses for coin
photography made use of APS-C more appropriate, since it's more likely coin photographers will be using APS-C than FF. So while I still may purchase a FF camera, I likely
won't use it for lens shootouts.

I had devised a new technique to measure lenses more effectively for IQ using a 2x teleconverter. This method seemed ideal, but unfortunately it failed due to the TC quality
at the corners falling below the lenses under test. I may still revisit this method in the future with improved TCs as I think it is still valid, and would eliminate some
of the variability due to the demosaicing and other camera issues.

So for now I'll stick with my tried and true HRT2i, looking at 100% crops of coins to determine image quality. To that end, I have completed the 80mm shootout of 30 lenses.
I chose 80mm since it is a sweet spot for coin photography on bellows. Canon and Nikon camera register distances, plus typical bellows minimum spacings, make it impossible
to frame larger coins using short lenses. My favorite focal length is 75mm, but some bellows are too long to work well at this length. Plus it's nice to have some flexibility
to frame even larger coins or other items. 80mm gives a bit more flexibility in extension and in working distance without making the overall setup much larger.

The list of lenses I was able to pull together is pretty broad. I actually don't know of any potential candidates that I missed, though a couple that I tried were not of high
enough IQ to include in the test. These were the Vivitar VHE (I can't find a copy without significant haze), and the Gaertner objective. I also ended up finding a couple more
lenses to include. The final list for this test is:

AGFA Magnolar f5.6
AGFA Repromaster f4
Beseler Color Pro f4.5
Beseler HD f4
Leica Milar f4.5
Leica Photar f4.5
Leica Summar f4.5
Meopta Anaret f4.5
Meopta Anaret-S f4.5
Meopta Meogon f2.8
Minolta CE Rokkor-X f5.6
Nikon El-Nikkor f5.6
Olympus OM Zuiko f4
PZO Emitar-S f4.5
PZO Janpol Color K f5.6
Rodenstock Eurygon f4
Rodenstock Rodagon f4
Rodenstock Rodagon WA f4
Rodenstock Apo Rodagon N f4
Schneider Colortrac Apo-Digitar f5.6 fixed
Schneider Colortrac Apo-Digitar f6.7 fixed
Schneider Componar f4.5
Schneider Componar-S f4.5
Schneider Componon f5.6
Schneider Componon-S f4
Schneider Componon-S f5.6
Schneider M-Componon f4
Schneider Makro-Symmar f5.6
Tomioka E36C f4 fixed
Vega 30Y f4

I have not yet taken pictures OF the lenses but will likely do this soon so folks know the version of lens tested and what they all look like.

Note that I also did not include the Schneider WA-Componon f5.6. I just forgot to include it as it was in my "use" rack. I will for sure add it to the list when I get a little
time to shoot with it. Good lens, though it likely wouldn't be the winner in this contest.

There were some surprises in this shootout, as one would expect from testing such a broad range of lenses:

- The Agfa Repromaster is superb in the center, but its narrow coverage keeps it from winning the shootout
- The Leica Milar and Summar, both older lenses, were disappointing, but the Photar was a contender
- The rare Meopta Meogon was very disappointing. It seems to have an undeserved reputation
- The rare Rodenstock Eurygon tested middle of the road, worse than expected based on reputation
- The expensive Rodenstock Apo Rodagon N was very disappointing
- A couple of fairly modest lenses ended up very high in the rankings. You'll need to read the report to see which ones
- The winner of the shootout was not terribly surprising

See here for the report, and let me know any comments: http://www.macrocoins.com/80mm-lens-shootout.html
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RobertOToole



Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 806
Location: United States

PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just starting reading the test Ray but I wanted to stop and say well done once again! That is a heck of a lot of work!

Thank you so much for your efforts, I very much appreciate and always look forward to your newest test!

Robert
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karlmera



Joined: 05 Feb 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ray_parkhurst wrote:

See here for the report, and let me know any comments: http://www.macrocoins.com/80mm-lens-shootout.html

Hello,
Your tests are at about 1:1, but most lenses are not computed for 1:1, except the Macro Symmar or the Olympus. Is this the reason why the macro Symmar is the best?

Martin

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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 1521
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

karlmera wrote:
ray_parkhurst wrote:

See here for the report, and let me know any comments: http://www.macrocoins.com/80mm-lens-shootout.html

Hello,
Your tests are at about 1:1, but most lenses are not computed for 1:1, except the Macro Symmar or the Olympus. Is this the reason why the macro Symmar is the best?

Martin


I expect so. A couple others are also optimized near 1:1. The shootout is intended to identify those lenses which give a good performance in this range. Most are optimized up to 0.5:1 so the question is how well they work just outside their optimum range.
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austrokiwi1



Joined: 14 Sep 2014
Posts: 338

PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ray_parkhurst wrote:
karlmera wrote:
ray_parkhurst wrote:

See here for the report, and let me know any comments: http://www.macrocoins.com/80mm-lens-shootout.html

Hello,
Your tests are at about 1:1, but most lenses are not computed for 1:1, except the Macro Symmar or the Olympus. Is this the reason why the macro Symmar is the best?

Martin


I expect so. A couple others are also optimized near 1:1. The shootout is intended to identify those lenses which give a good performance in this range. Most are optimized up to 0.5:1 so the question is how well they work just outside their optimum range.


Martins post resonated with one of the questions I had about the "test". I know some of enlarger lenses perform best when mounted in reverse. I am going from memory so i could be wrong (meaning that it may have been it was another lens) the Minolta CE Rokkor 80 mm performs well at 1-1 when reversed but is not so good when mounted normally.

As an aside if I think about it too hard I get confused: when an enlarger lens is reversed it is, more likely than not, being used in its normal light path orientation Razz

i
Edit: I did a quick check with my Minolta CE 80mm( which I find performs similarly to the AGFA Repromaster ( Old lens variability ?)

To my eye the Minolta does seem perform better reversed, but its a tight race and not much in it.


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Still learning,
Cameras' Sony A7rII, OLympus OMD-EM10II
Macro lenses: Printing nikkor 105mm, Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G, Schneider Kreuznach Makro Iris 50mm , 2.8, Schnieder Kreuznach APO Componon HM 40mm F2.8 , Mamiya 645 120mm F4 Macro ( used with mirex tilt shift adapter), Olympus 135mm 4.5 bellows lens, Oly 80mm bellows lens, Olympus 60mm F2.8
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 1521
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In general, enlarging lenses are designed for mag ranges from 2x to 20x print magnification when mounted normally. Shorter lenses are generally designed for smaller film formats and/or higher mags, while longer lenses are designed for larger film formats and/or lower mags. When used as taking lenses, this means magnifications from 1:20 up to 1:2 in normal orientation. From 1:2 up to 1:1 each lens is different in how it performs since this range is outside its optimum range. This shootout was shot in this non-optimum range, so forward orientation is appropriate.

For this lens type, it's advised to reverse the lens when shooting at higher than 1:1. I suppose each lens would be different in whether exactly 1:1 is better forward or reversed, but certainly at 2:1 they should all be better reversed to take advantage of conjugation.
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karlmera



Joined: 05 Feb 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ray_parkhurst wrote:
A couple others are also optimized near 1:1. .


Which 80mm lenses are also optimized for 1:1?
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austrokiwi1



Joined: 14 Sep 2014
Posts: 338

PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The OLy 80mm F4 bellows lens is optimised for 1-1 . Its not a great lens as it suffers badly from Lateral CA.

As far as Coins go 1-1 is applicable to only small diameter coins. For Thaler/Crown/Silver-Dollar sized coins on a full frame sensor about 0.6X is used.
_________________
Still learning,
Cameras' Sony A7rII, OLympus OMD-EM10II
Macro lenses: Printing nikkor 105mm, Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G, Schneider Kreuznach Makro Iris 50mm , 2.8, Schnieder Kreuznach APO Componon HM 40mm F2.8 , Mamiya 645 120mm F4 Macro ( used with mirex tilt shift adapter), Olympus 135mm 4.5 bellows lens, Oly 80mm bellows lens, Olympus 60mm F2.8
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