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Tube Lens Shootout Any Advice or Assistance?
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RobertOToole



Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 1045
Location: United States

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:22 pm    Post subject: Tube Lens Shootout Any Advice or Assistance? Reply with quote

Picked up a Zuiko 200/5 to try out as a tube lens, and it arrived last night so I threw it on the stand and ran a test with a Mitutoyo 5X. After seeing the results I had to try the Sigma LSA just to see, since it was on the stand already.

Here is the Zuiko 200/5 + Mitutoyo 5x, on a Sony A6300, at 100% view, cropped embedded JPEG, no sharpening.






After the new year, I can run a more formal test and would like to share the crops if people here are interested.

My goal would be see if anything can give me better IQ with the Mitutoyo 5X on the Sigma LSA, so far the answer is no.

Any ideas, anyone has anything they want to see, or want to loan?

I will be using a Sony so I can throw almost any lens on it.

I have these for a 200mm tube test:

Sigma LSA
Raynox DCR-150
Nikkor 200/4 AiS
Zuiko 200/5
Contax 200/3.5 (sharp but lots of CAs)
Takumar 200/5.6

Could also include these to pull or push:
Nikkor 135/3.5
Nikkor 135/2.8
Nikkor 105/2.5
Sigma 180/5.6 (old lens with UD glass)
Raynox 170mm
and a pile of Minolta, Canon, Leica, and Nikon diopters.

Going shorter or longer than 200mm would change the original goal of the test but I would be willing to do it if people are interested. It will be on the stand anyway so whats a little extra time?


Let me know what you think.

Robert
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mawyatt



Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 1665
Location: Clearwater

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert,

Would be interesting to see how the old Nikon 200mm F4 "Q" lens holds up against these others. Is your Nikon 200mm AiS optically the same as the "Q" version? I only have the old "Q" versions that had to be modded to fit the modern Nikon F mount.

Best,

Mike
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Chris S.
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 3070
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert,

Assuming I can locate them, I can lend you two official tube lenses, each of 200mm focal length: Mitutoyo MT-1 and Thorlabs ITL200.

At the risk of significantly complicating your test by mentioning it, one potentially important aspect of converging lenses is how well they accommodate separation between converging lens and objective. This can be important for those of us who sometimes add an analyzer behind the objective for cross-polarization, or for axial lighting attachments, reflected DIC, etc. I know that the Mitutoyo MT-1 is very tolerant of such separation, seem to recall that the Thorlabs ITL200 is as well, and suspect that other official tube lenses probably are. Other lenses pressed into service as converging optics may or may not be so tolerant.

Wondering--is the Mitutoyo 5x objective the most illuminating choice for this test? I have no idea, but suspect whichever Mitty objective has the largest exit cone might be the most demanding. If so, which one would that be?

--Chris S.

--edited typo


Last edited by Chris S. on Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
Posts: 2859
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert, this will be an interesting test. I'd suggest doing a separate test for the high and low focal lengths; say going from 170-210mm in one test, and 100-150 in a later test.

I agree with Mike that the two 200mm Nikon lenses should be tested.

Recently I got an old manual-focus non-IF Nikon 180mm ED lens which is very good; I would suggest adding this to your list. I would gladly lend it but it is in Ecuador, but maybe someone else has one. They are not expensive though. Probably the best value in Nikon ED glass.

Edit after seeing Chris S's note: the objective-to-tube-lens distance is also a variable that may have an optimum value that depends on the tube lens.....
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Pau
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

- The Nikon official ones also are tolerant and on paper do require long distance from the objective (70 to 170mm for the MXA22018 tube lens called "second objective lens unit" at Nikon brochures)

- I tested the Oly 200mm F4 and the results were no better (maybe CA a bit worse) than with the Canon EF 70-200 F4 L IS, but it was an informal poorly performed test with the Nikon CFI Plan 10X 0.25 done long time ago. When I receive the proper adapters I could test them against the Sigma Life Size, although I don't have better infinite objectives
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RobertOToole



Joined: 17 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mawyatt wrote:
Robert,

Would be interesting to see how the old Nikon 200mm F4 "Q" lens holds up against these others. Is your Nikon 200mm AiS optically the same as the "Q" version? I only have the old "Q" versions that had to be modded to fit the modern Nikon F mount.

Best,

Mike


Hi Mike, I think the Q is different, not sure, I can check and let you know.

Robert
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RobertOToole



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris S. wrote:


Assuming I can locate them, I can lend you two official tube lenses, each of 200mm focal length: Mitutoyo MT-1 and Thorlabs ITL200.


Thanks Chris! I will take you up on that.


Chris S. wrote:
At the risk of significantly complicating your test by mentioning it, one potentially important aspect of converging lenses is how well they accommodate separation between converging lens and objective. This can be important for those of us who sometimes add an analyzer behind the objective for cross-polarization, or for axial lighting attachments, reflected DIC, etc. I know that the Mitutoyo MT-1 is very tolerant of such separation, seen to recall that the Thorlabs ITL200 is as well, and suspect that other official tube lenses probably are. Other lenses pressed into service as converging optics may or may not be so tolerant.


I thought of that. I seem to remember I like to add separation with the Raynox and the Sigma from previous testing, I don't remember the figures.

That might be a do-able variable to add. Minimum. 25mm and 50mm?

Chris S. wrote:

Wondering--is the Mitutoyo 5x objective the most illuminating choice for this test? I have no idea, but suspect whichever Mitty objective has the largest exit cone might be the most demanding. If so, which one would that be?

--Chris S.


I thought of Mitytoyo since it seems to be is the most popular here I think, and its one of my favorites :-)
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They changed from 4(Q) to five elements:

http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/specs.html#200

from lens Number 670000

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

[typo edited]
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Last edited by ChrisR on Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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RobertOToole



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lou Jost wrote:
Robert, this will be an interesting test. I'd suggest doing a separate test for the high and low focal lengths; say going from 170-210mm in one test, and 100-150 in a later test.

I agree with Mike that the two 200mm Nikon lenses should be tested.

Recently I got an old manual-focus non-IF Nikon 180mm ED lens which is very good; I would suggest adding this to your list. I would gladly lend it but it is in Ecuador, but maybe someone else has one. They are not expensive though. Probably the best value in Nikon ED glass.

Edit after seeing Chris S's note: the objective-to-tube-lens distance is also a variable that may have an optimum value that depends on the tube lens.....


It would be interesting to see what is better, large aperture with ED glass or slower lens with plain glass. I think the slower plain glass might be better over the frame. Not sure but thanks for the idea.

Whats the filter size on the 180?? 72mm?
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RobertOToole



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pau wrote:
- The Nikon official ones also are tolerant and on paper do require long distance from the objective (70 to 170mm for the MXA22018 tube lens called "second objective lens unit" at Nikon brochures)

- I tested the Oly 200mm F4 and the results were no better (maybe CA a bit worse) than with the Canon EF 70-200 F4 L IS, but it was an informal poorly performed test with the Nikon CFI Plan 10X 0.25 done long time ago. When I receive the proper adapters I could test them against the Sigma Life Size, although I don't have better infinite objectives


Thanks for the info Pau!
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RobertOToole



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChrisR wrote:
They changed fro 4(Q) to five elements:

http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/specs.html#200

from lens Number 670000

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


So quick Chris, you just finished your morning Coffee?

Thanks!
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Lou Jost



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert, yes, the diameter is 72mm. Maybe faster is not better here, but still, the microscope objective is only using the center of the front element, so maybe the large max aperture doesn't matter much. It is a much better lens than the 200mm non-ED lenses when used in ordinary photography. Still, we've seen over and over that a tube lens' performance as an ordinary lens is a bad predictor of how well it will do as a tube lens on an objective. That's why your tests will be so useful.
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Saul



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert, would you like to test Reichert tube lens ( for me it showed very close results comparing with Sigma LSA) ?
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sweedlepipe



Joined: 14 Sep 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not test the Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4 AF-D? It's the more modern of the Nikon options and likely to be the best performer, at least from what I've heard.
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Lou Jost



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a good suggestion, many use the 200 Micro-Nikkor as a tube lens and prefer it, though I haven't used one.
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