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Longitudinal Chromatic Aberration 1X Macro Lens Test
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RobertOToole



Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 916
Location: United States

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:15 pm    Post subject: Longitudinal Chromatic Aberration 1X Macro Lens Test Reply with quote

LoCA 1X Test

With a big pile of macro lenses at my disposal this weekend was my last chance to run a LoCA test before the 105 and 200 have to go back to Nikon. To keep things simple I did not include any Canon or Sony lenses this time but I plan on adding the Sony 90mm and a few Canon macro lenses at a later date.



Lenses tested:

Sigma 50mm F2.8 EX DG Macro
Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro
Rodenstock 75mm f/4 APO-Rodagon D
Schneider Macro Varon 85mm f/4.5
Nikon Scanner Nikkor ED 100mm
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX OS Macro
Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO-Lanthar
Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX OS APO Macro
Sigma 180mm f/2.8 APO EX OS Macro
Sigma 180mm f/3.5 APO EX Macro
Nikon AF Micro-NIKKOR 200mm f/4D IF-ED Lens

Test procedure:

Nikon D810 clamped on to a PRC-3 carrier on a PRL-12 rail with the target at 30 degrees on a tilt head lit by a single SB-R200 wireless flash. Camera and lens were moved on the rail to focus and to accommodate the changes in focal length. The flash and target never moved during the test. All files shot in RAW and converted in ACR with all lens correction off.



Laser printed target shot at 1X as above and cropped down to 800 x 900 px for each. The images shown in this post are 1000px but you really need to see these at full size to appreciate the differences.

For larger full size 2400px comparison images you can see the test on my site:

https://www.closeuphotography.com/loca-test/

And click on each image to open in a lightbox viewer full size. If you have any trouble seeing the full size images just PM me and I can send you a link. My website sometimes sends smaller size images depending on what resolution you are browsing on at the time.



Sigma 50mm F2.8 EX DG Macro vs Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro



Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED vs Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX OS Macro



Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO-Lanthar top row vs Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX OS APO Macro at the bottom



Sigma 180mm f/2.8 APO EX OS Macro vs Sigma 180mm f/3.5 APO EX Macro vs
Nikon AF Micro-NIKKOR 200mm f/4D IF-ED Lens





Rodenstock 75mm f/4 APO-Rodagon D vs Schneider Macro Varon 85mm f/4.5 vs Nikon Scanner Nikkor ED 100mm

Any questions or comments just reply to the thread.

BTW anyone with any good ideas for a nice and easy Bokeh test, let me know!

Robert
RobertOToole.com
Closeuphotography.com


Last edited by RobertOToole on Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
Posts: 2713
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderful test! It is very rare to see such a nicely standardized set testing LoCA over such a wide range of lenses.

Looks like there was a mislabeling in the Voigtlander vs 150 Sigma though; the panels say "105 Sigma".

The Macro-Varon is amazingly clean. The Scanner Nikkor is even more amazing since it is more than one stop more open than the M-V and still looks clean. This accords with my experience of the Scanner Nikkor. No LoCA at all. Same with the PN105A.
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RobertOToole



Joined: 17 Jan 2013
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Location: United States

PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lou Jost wrote:
Wonderful test! It is very rare to see such a nicely standardized set testing LoCA over such a wide range of lenses.

Looks like there was a mislabeling in the Voigtlander vs 150 Sigma though; the panels say "105 Sigma".

The Macro-Varon is amazingly clean. The Scanner Nikkor is even more amazing since it is more than one stop more open than the M-V and still looks clean. This accords with my experience of the Scanner Nikkor. No LoCA at all. Same with the PN105A.


Thanks lou.

There was so much information to show it took me some time to figure how to organize and display the results. Glad you like it.

Fixed the labels.

Robert
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billjanes1



Joined: 30 Dec 2016
Posts: 80
Location: Lake Forest, IL, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Longitudinal Chromatic Aberration 1X Macro Lens Test Reply with quote

RobertOToole wrote:
LoCA 1X Test
Any questions or comments just reply to the thread.

BTW anyone with any good ideas for a nice and easy Bokeh test, let me know!

Robert
RobertOToole.com
Closeuphotography.com


Robert,

Thank you very much for this excellent and exhaustive set of tests.The main criterion for LoCA was out of focus color bokeh at 1:1 magnification, but LoCA also affects MTF for in focus areas and may vary with magnification. Personally, most of my "macro" work is actually close up at m = 1:2 or less and it would be interesting to test at lower magnification.

Jim Kasson measured LoCA using a different method for a variety of 100 mm macro lenses at 1:2 magnification. Briefly, he used MTF with a slanted edge method after separating out the RGB channels and plotting MTF vs focus distance for each channel, varying focus distance with an automated rail (Stackshot). The Nikon 105 AFS came in last in your testing, but Jim gave it good marks for LoCA in his testing.

Regards,

Bill
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RobertOToole



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Longitudinal Chromatic Aberration 1X Macro Lens Test Reply with quote

billjanes1 wrote:
RobertOToole wrote:
LoCA 1X Test
Any questions or comments just reply to the thread.

BTW anyone with any good ideas for a nice and easy Bokeh test, let me know!

Robert
RobertOToole.com
Closeuphotography.com


Robert,

Thank you very much for this excellent and exhaustive set of tests.The main criterion for LoCA was out of focus color bokeh at 1:1 magnification, but LoCA also affects MTF for in focus areas and may vary with magnification. Personally, most of my "macro" work is actually close up at m = 1:2 or less and it would be interesting to test at lower magnification.

Jim Kasson measured LoCA using a different method for a variety of 100 mm macro lenses at 1:2 magnification. Briefly, he used MTF with a slanted edge method after separating out the RGB channels and plotting MTF vs focus distance for each channel, varying focus distance with an automated rail (Stackshot). The Nikon 105 AFS came in last in your testing, but Jim gave it good marks for LoCA in his testing.

Regards,

Bill


Hi Bill

Thanks for your comments.

When I am out in-the-field searching for my favorites, usually insects on flowers or some other interesting perches, 90% of the time you will find me also in the 1:2 to 1:3 range!

For this test I chose 1X as I thought it be more of a challenge for the lenses, sort of a torture test. In my experience image quality with most macro lenses peaks at around at about 0.5X and drops off as it approaches 1X.

Also to be honest, I don't know if my horizontal rig would even fit a 180mm or 200mm at 1:2, forget about my vertical rig with only 6 inches of Z movement.

Thanks for the link to Jim Kasson's post on the 105, I always find his work interesting.

Now I enjoy reading MTF tests as much as the next person but I think the results only mean something against the other lenses using the same protocol since there is no way for the reader to visualize what the 10% difference at 100 lp/mm at 31mm from the center actually looks like in an image, or even if that difference is even possible to see with the naked eye?

In some of my recent tests I could see fringing in the far corner through the viewfinder! So for my own equipment testing I prefer the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) approach.

Robert
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RobertOToole



Joined: 17 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot to mention again that if anyone wants to see a full size 100% crop of any of the posted images, be sure to visit my site and click on any of the images there for a full size file or PM me and I can send you a direct link.

The results are much easier to see full size.

Thanks.

Robert
Closeuphotography.com
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mawyatt



Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 1595
Location: Clearwater

PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,

All the macro lenses over at Mark's site show monotonic degradation in maximum sharpness from about 0.3 to 1X and most a loss of corner sharpness. The Sigma 50mm F2.8 DG Macro gets slightly better corner sharpness with increasing magnification though, and remains very good to outstanding over this magnification range.

The Nikon 105mm f4 micro-Nikkor shows minimal CA over the range and the Nikon 55 f3.5 increases from mild to moderate, other macro lenses were not evaluated for CA.

The better overall macro lenses in Mark's evaluation is the Sigma 50mm.

Of course including the Macro-Varon 85/4.5 or Nikon PN 105mm 2.8A trumps everything around 1X

Best,

Mike
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RobertOToole



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mawyatt wrote:
John,

All the macro lenses over at Mark's site show monotonic degradation in maximum sharpness from about 0.3 to 1X and most a loss of corner sharpness. The Sigma 50mm F2.8 DG Macro gets slightly better corner sharpness with increasing magnification though, and remains very good to outstanding over this magnification range.

The Nikon 105mm f4 micro-Nikkor shows minimal CA over the range and the Nikon 55 f3.5 increases from mild to moderate, other macro lenses were not evaluated for CA.

The better overall macro lenses in Mark's evaluation is the Sigma 50mm.

Best,

Mike


Hi Mike,

True on the Sigma 50mm, which is a great lens.

Also from coinimaging.com about the 105VR:

http://coinimaging.com/nikon_105vr.html

Chromatic Aberration:


This lens (105VR) show minimal color fringing in the center of the field and moderate fringing (1-2 pixels) on the periphery - worsens with increasing magnification. This fringing will be visible on the edges of images in certain high-contrast situations. .....


Also from coinimaging, the performance decline towards 1X.


[/i]
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent test sequence!

I was most surprised by the two Sigma 180's. From tests I saw on other threads and forums, I expected it/them to do better.

Also a little surprising is the 200AF being nearly as good as the Sigma 180's. Good to see.
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RobertOToole



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ray_parkhurst wrote:
Excellent test sequence!

I was most surprised by the two Sigma 180's. From tests I saw on other threads and forums, I expected it/them to do better.

Also a little surprising is the 200AF being nearly as good as the Sigma 180's. Good to see.


Same here Ray, I knew about the older 180 f/3.5 but the newer f/2.8 version did surprise me a little.

I don't use the 180/2.8 lens that often and someone on the forum the other day asked me about the performance and you know what? I forgot the reasons why I don't like it as much as the 150. Now I know.

I just posted an update to my 1X lateral CA thread with the Sigma 180 and Nikon 200 ED:

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=219441#219441

The results will surprise you. Both the Sigma 180 and Nikon 200 lateral CAs get worse stopped down!

Here is a sample, Sigma 180 @ f/5.6 on the left, Nikon on the right, at f/8.

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ray_parkhurst



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, both are disappointing.

I have never done such a test with my 200AF. Perhaps I will give it a shot. Also would be interesting to see how the 70-180 does, though it doesn't quite make it to 1:1.
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RobertOToole



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ray_parkhurst wrote:
Hmm, both are disappointing.

I have never done such a test with my 200AF. Perhaps I will give it a shot. Also would be interesting to see how the 70-180 does, though it doesn't quite make it to 1:1.


To be honest, this test is hard on the lens, its all the way in the far corner with a high contrast target, I don't think someone would see this with a normal macro image of a butterfly.

Also most of the newer cameras have a JPEG engine that removes CAs from the JPEGs automatically. In my experience only a small percentage of photographers are even aware of this, even professionals. There was a thread here on PM.net about this, I think it was a post from Rik.

This is how the Nikon 200 ED f/8 NEF raw file looks when viewed at 200%, you are looking at the processed cleaned up embedded JPEG out of the camera and not the RAW data or course so almost zero CAs. (this is the same file used in the test results)



When you open the same file in Adobe RAW processor and turn off all of the lens correction then you see what you are actually getting, in this case lots of CAs.

Robert
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RobertOToole



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ray,

Found Rik's thread that I was referring to:

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=147938#147938


rjlittlefield wrote:
papilio wrote:
I believe that I've read in at least two articles that the potential sharpness of the D800E can be realized in the RAW/converted images but not so much in the .jpgs -- have you found this to be the case?

The question is simple, the answer is not.

As part of familiarizing myself with the camera, I took some test shots of a shingled roof across the street, so I could compare in-camera JPEG against PS CS5 & Lightroom 4 development of the corresponding NEFs. The CS5 and Lightroom results were visually identical, but obviously different from the in-camera JPEGs, with the converted NEFs giving to me an impression of finer detail. But the case was not ironclad; when I ran the images past a friend who has looked at a lot of Nikon images, he pointed out that every place he looked, the same details were visible in both images although they definitely looked different. It's like they had been sharpened with different filters. So I took a harder look at that question, shooting instead some USAF resolution targets. That nailed down that yes indeed there was significant difference in the sharpening (for example some pretty serious halos around the bars), and in addition the converted-from-raw image shows about 1 finer set of bars.

Based on those results, I would definitely choose to work from the NEF if I wanted the very highest quality results and I was willing to pay the additional cost in storage and conversion.

That said, I nonetheless decided to use JPEG for the tube lens tests because a) the images weren't going to challenge the D800E's resolution even in JPEG mode, b) I did care about the additional cost in storage and conversion, and c) I figured that what really mattered was just to get uniform treatment for all the lenses. That worked fine -- I think.

But here's where things get a little confusing.

After I realized that lateral CA had been removed from the JPEGs, I went back and shot one more stack as NEF + JPEG to get a comparison for the tube lens tests. I ran the JPEG's straight through ZS and ran the NEFs through ZS using the Lightroom plugin, making no attempt to remove CA during the raw conversion. As expected, there was quite a lot more CA in the second case. But not as expected, the result from JPEG also showed a lot better detail, especially in the corners. This result persisted after I used Photoshop to remove CA in the result, and it further persisted even when I had Lightroom remove the CA during its raw conversion, and re-stacked from there.

Bottom line is that as I write this, I don't know exactly what's going on. Clearly I am suffering from NTCID (New Technology Cognitive Insufficiency Disorder). I think the next step is to install Capture NX2 and see if I can use that to reproduce the same nice result that I got from the D800E's internal JPEG processing, then try tuning it to do even better.

--Rik
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was from Jun 15, 2014, over 3 years ago.

Sadly, my current understanding is not much improved. I never found time to run the Capture NX2 test. Since then, Capture NX2 has become unsupported, replaced by Capture NX-D, and I've been hearing good reports about Phase One's "Capture One", and the NTCID has only gotten worse.

--Rik
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RobertOToole



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjlittlefield wrote:
That was from Jun 15, 2014, over 3 years ago.

Sadly, my current understanding is not much improved. I never found time to run the Capture NX2 test. Since then, Capture NX2 has become unsupported, replaced by Capture NX-D, and I've been hearing good reports about Phase One's "Capture One", and the NTCID has only gotten worse.

--Rik


Hi Rik,

I am worse, I downloaded Capture two different times after hearing so many nice things about it and I never took the time to learn or even us it so I am still 'stuck' with Photoshop and ACR.
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