New Scanner Nikkor ED Lens Information

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RobertOToole
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New Scanner Nikkor ED Lens Information

Post by RobertOToole »

Scanner Nikkor ED Lens Versions

Surprise, there are 3 different versions of the Scanner Nikkor ED lens!

Image

The 7 element lens is on the left, no surprise here. The center lens is from the 8000 ED scanner and the lens on the right is from the 9000 ED scanner! BTW the markings on the lens are from the factory.

The most obvious differences are front element diameter, overall length, number of lens sections, thickness and position of sections are all different. You have to wonder how or why Nikon updated the lens design? The 9000 replaced the 8000 scanner around 2003. The 8000 retailed at $2900, the 9000 sold for only $1900 new. So is the newer version just a lens update since the 9000 scanner was much cheaper. Was it a change in glass types, to ECO, lead-free type glass?

To check the difference between the two 14 element designs I plan to run some tests, but I doubt there will be much difference if any since the 8000 and 9000 enlarger specs and performance were identical.

Scanner Nikkor ED Focal Length and Aperture

Using a simple formula, I measured the 14 element lens (the 8000 version) as a 100mm f/2.6 and the 7 element as a 38mm f/2.

New Scanner Nikkor Mount

Next week I will receive a new 2 inch long threaded sleeve that will cover the rear portion of the lens with 52mm threads.

I will update this post once I finish the installation.

There is an easier, cheaper way to mount these lenses than the sleeve. You can find images and links on my current Scanner Nikkor mount here (my Scanner Nikkor website page): https://www.closeuphotography.com/scann ... or-ed-lens

Comments and questions welcome.

Robert
CloseupPhotography.com
RobertOToolePhotography.com

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

That's quite interesting. I've recently made careful tests of the Coolscan 8000 lens versus the PN105A and will post them as soon as I get home from Peru....

Bottom line- both lenses have essentially zero CA of any kind, both outresolve a Nikon 24Mp APS sensor, but the PN is slightly sharper and has much more contrast.

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

Lou Jost wrote:That's quite interesting. I've recently made careful tests of the Coolscan 8000 lens versus the PN105A and will post them as soon as I get home from Peru....
I am sure lots of people, myself included, would be interested in seeing the test results. People email me asking me how the scanner Nikkor compared to the PNs so it would be nice to see some comparison images.

With that kind image quality you are talking about I don't think an average photographer could see any difference in image quality, in prints or on the screen even at 100%, in a blind comparison. The images are just too clean.
Lou Jost wrote:Bottom line- both lenses have essentially zero CA of any kind, both outresolve a Nikon 24Mp APS sensor, but the PN is slightly sharper and has much more contrast.
You are lucky to have two lenses that perform on that high a level.

I don't think people think about sample variation when they buy a used lens.

On the LensRentals blog a few years ago, the guys from the optical testing company dropped a bombshell when he said that when they test a lens, sometimes 50 or 60 samples of one lens, they find that only about 15% of a certain lens will meet the nominal performance level. 70% have small aberrations mostly due to element misalignment. 15% have huge levels of aberrations compared to the best lens.

So what would the % variation figures for used lenses? Lenses off of Ebay that have changed hands a dozen times, lenses off Ebay that are 10, 20 , 30 + years old?

Not to say your PN or SN isn't sharp, but the opposite, I am not sure how much chance people have to snag a PN off Ebay with the same level of sharpness as yours. Especially when you see the PNs from China with all the dings, there is no way these are in the 15% of the top performing PNs!

You would think that SN lenses on the other hand have had an easier life sitting in the owners closet for 8 years buried deep inside the scanner.

Robert

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Post by Pau »

Robert, this is a very nice article, thanks for posting it.
I have a Super Coolscan 4000ED working well* and I don't plan to butcher it in the near future, although I will be most interested in its lens tests results if you perform them.

Also would be nice to see the performance of these lenses outside the intended 1:1 magnification

*I blame Nikon for not supporting these nice machines. When I upgraded from WinXP/32 to Win7/64 it didn't work. I contacted Nikon Europe with no response, later I wrote to Nikon USA and they answered something like: "buy SliverFast (third part software, $499), maybe it could work". Fortunately someone at an internet forum wrote a free solution: just changing few parameters in two lines of a .dll file and it works nicely...too hard work for Nikon engineers?
Lou Jost wrote:... but the PN is slightly sharper and has much more contrast.
If you think at the intended purpose of both lenses this makes sense: film slides have much contrast and you often need to lower it while for printing you want the maximum sharpness and microcontrast.
Pau

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

I strongly agree, Robert, about the need to consider sample variation in lenses. I've often ended up with dogs. In the case of my PN, I looked for an example with a known history and proven sharpness. Ray Parkhurst was kind enough to sell me the copy that was tested by Goodman on Coinimaging.com, so I was sure it was perfect (in fact it was the best lens at 1:1 that had been tested up to that time by coinimaging.com). Not only was I sure of its sharpness at 1:1, but I also know all of its limitations and abilities, thanks to the coinimaging tests. Those results helped me find the best way to push it to higher and lower magnifications, which I posted here:
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... highlight=

In another case, I bought three Olympus 50mm f/2.0 lenses, two on eBay and one new. One of the eBay copies turned out to be much worse than the other two copies, while the new one was ever so slightly better than the other eBay copy.

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

Pau wrote:Robert, this is a very nice article, thanks for posting it.
I have a Super Coolscan 4000ED working well* and I don't plan to butcher it in the near future, although I will be most interested in its lens tests results if you perform them.

Also would be nice to see the performance of these lenses outside the intended 1:1 magnification.
Once I mounted a 4000 ED lens inside a 42mm>25mm flat adapter but the adapter was too thin so the installation was slightly off, it was easy to see the misalignment in the viewfinder since the DOF was so narrow. So I will switch to a threaded collar that will slip over the barrel and re-test.

So far the 14 element works very very nicely at least at 1.1x but I will test it at higher mags for sure.

Finally I found the perfect subject for testing lenses. Its perfectly flat with a ton of super-fine detail that you can easily get in one shot without having to shoot a stack (a least at lower mags) and it was only $7 on Ebay. The part is a silicon wafer. I will start a new thread on that next week with lots of examples.

Have a good weekend.

Robert

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

"Its perfectly flat with a ton of super-fine detail that you can easily get in one shot without having to shoot a stack (a least at lower mags)"
Robert, I think it is important to shoot a stack even for a flat subject, because corner unsharpness that is due to field curvature is of little concern to stackers, while corner unsharpness due to other lens problems are of great concern, and these two cases cannot be distinguished from a single test image.

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Post by RobertOToole »

Lou Jost wrote:
"Its perfectly flat with a ton of super-fine detail that you can easily get in one shot without having to shoot a stack (a least at lower mags)"
Robert, I think it is important to shoot a stack even for a flat subject, because corner unsharpness that is due to field curvature is of little concern to stackers, while corner unsharpness due to other lens problems are of great concern, and these two cases cannot be distinguished from a single test image.
Right you are Lou, thats a good idea in general for sure.

For a lens like the PN and SN, the IQ is so good, the corners are as sharp as the center and the field is 100% flat so you can get the entire thing sharp, corner to corner, in a single shot.

That is only...if...you can get the subject aligned to the sensor. Thats another subject. :D

Robert

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

Robert, yes, the field flatness and corner-to-corner sharpness of these two lenses is just about perfect at 1:1. However that is not the case at significantly higher or lower magnifications, as the coinimaging.com tests show. So for tests away from 1:1 I think it would be important to stack, even for these lenses.

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Post by RobertOToole »

Lou Jost wrote:
"Its perfectly flat with a ton of super-fine detail that you can easily get in one shot without having to shoot a stack (a least at lower mags)"
Robert, I think it is important to shoot a stack even for a flat subject, because corner unsharpness that is due to field curvature is of little concern to stackers, while corner unsharpness due to other lens problems are of great concern, and these two cases cannot be distinguished from a single test image.
I read your post over again and I agree but for a different reason. I think that its best to do both for a normal lens, shoot single frames for sharpness and finally to run a stack.

A single photo is better in some ways since it will show bad corners but also so it will show LoCAs that are normally covered up in a stack.

But I do agree, a stacked image with one soft corner, for example, would be way to catch something you might not see with a single frame.

Robert

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

Good point, a single shot is valuable for revealing LoCA. When stacking, most LoCA goes away and is of little concern, but for some subjects they don't go away.

A good example of a lens that probably gets an unfair rap from standard tests is the 55mm f/1.2 Nikon CRT lens. It is made to photograph curved oscilloscope screens so the field is purposely not flat. Based on a single shot of a flat target, the corners will be awful. But in a deep enough stack, there would be some frames that would be sharp in those corners, though not in the center. A perfect stack could be made by this lens.

ray_parkhurst
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Post by ray_parkhurst »

A wafer, which is precisely flat at least over the sensor field, is a good subject to test field flatness. In the past I've used glass with opaque tape, but a wafer will be even flatter. By shooting a stack, any small non-flatness is compensated. If you then 3-D render the image, the shape and magnitude of the field curvature show up as a bending or curving of the rendered image. I found this very instructive for microscope objectives, as it told me which ones were best for accurate 3D renderings. It was this work that solidified my use of the Nikon MM series for my coin die variety imaging.

Regarding the sample variation in the 105mm Printing-Nikkors, I have tested all the ones I've owned, and over the APS-C field I can see virtually no difference between them. I imagine over a FF field the differences may become more apparent, but until my D850 arrives, I will not be able to test. I still have 7 of them left so that in itself might be an interesting shootout.

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Post by Lou Jost »

It would be interesting to test those PNs on a higher-resolution sensor like the 80 Mp 4/3" (when used in hi-res mode). I find this to be very useful when trying to detect fine differences between optics.

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Post by austrokiwi1 »

Lou Jost wrote:It would be interesting to test those PNs on a higher-resolution sensor like the 80 Mp 4/3" (when used in hi-res mode). I find this to be very useful when trying to detect fine differences between optics.
In this case the sensor is not High resolution! There is no 80mp mft sensor on the market at the moment. The camera produces 80MP images by combining several single shots taken from a smaller resolution sensor.
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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Post by Lou Jost »

Of course. But it does produce an 80Mp file, with about 50Mp real resolution. It can show many object details not visible at the nominal 20Mp resolution. See my post here:
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... highlight=

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