Help to choose between two Mitutoyo 20x lens

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Eric Aujouannet
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Location: Geneva , Switzerland

Help to choose between two Mitutoyo 20x lens

Post by Eric Aujouannet »

Hello to all of you,

Here is my first post on this forum that I regularly consult without ever having dared to participate so much what I can see there is of great quality compared to my small level (however you can see here some photos that I committed... do not laugh...I learn. https://www.instagram.com/y3ll0www/ ) and the fact that my English is not good enough..

The reason I'm speaking today is that I have the unique opportunity to buy one of the following 2 Mitutoyo lenses at an incredible price:

378-834-7 BD Plan Apo 20x Objective ( sorry I made a mstake with the first reference number )


or

378-804-3 M Plan Apo 20X

I have to make up my mind quickly because someone else is interested. I hadn't planned to buy this type of lens for a long time but the opportunity is too good to pass up knowing that the 2 lenses are new and sold at the same price.

I need to know for sure which of these 2 lenses is better as I am using a D850 mounted on a bellows.

I would like to thank you in advance and ask you to forgive this unconventional entry on a forum..and my bad english

Eric
Last edited by Eric Aujouannet on Tue May 04, 2021 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

Scarodactyl
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Re: Help to choose between two Mitutoyo 20x lens

Post by Scarodactyl »

Skip the SL, the resolution is much lower. You only want the normal M plan apo.
The 20x m plan apo is a great objective, you will have fun with it as long as your focusing setup can handle it.

rjlittlefield
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Re: Help to choose between two Mitutoyo 20x lens

Post by rjlittlefield »

Eric, welcome aboard!

Your pictures look excellent.

I agree with Scarodactyl, the 20X M Plan Apo is a great objective.

But even though the objective is "new", be sure to test it immediately when you receive it.

All the Mitutoyo M Plan Apos are easily knocked out of alignment internally by being dropped or banged, with the result that they look fine on the outside but do not make a good image.

For example see my own story at https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/ ... hp?t=20594 .

--Rik

Eric Aujouannet
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Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 8:04 am
Location: Geneva , Switzerland

Re: Help to choose between two Mitutoyo 20x lens

Post by Eric Aujouannet »

Thank you very much for your answers...

I have no doubt that these lenses are absolutely new... they are still in the Mitutoyo mail box as spares in a newly closed factory

I will follow your advice and buy the "simple" M Plan Apo...
I was right to ask because on paper I was under the impression that the BD Plan Apo was the best...

thanks again and have good day

Eric

Scarodactyl
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Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:26 am

Re: Help to choose between two Mitutoyo 20x lens

Post by Scarodactyl »

The BD is the same as the m plan optically, but if you remove the shell it is a little slimmer whixh is good for lighting. In practice I have nwver had much trouble with the normal 20x, as the working distance is plenty long.

Lou Jost
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Re: Help to choose between two Mitutoyo 20x lens

Post by Lou Jost »

One other thing beyond the good advice given. You mentioned bellows. If you have been following the forum you probbaly already know this, but these objectives need a tube lens. Your bellows might be quite helpful as a mount for a Raynox close-up lens, which works well as a tube lens. But the objectives will not work on bellows alone.

Eric Aujouannet
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Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 8:04 am
Location: Geneva , Switzerland

Re: Help to choose between two Mitutoyo 20x lens

Post by Eric Aujouannet »

I have noted this and the purchase of a tube lens is on my list although I already have an equivalent that I use for my nikon 10x.

Thank you all for your help and I look forward to seeing you on this great forum :D

RobertOToole
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Re: Help to choose between two Mitutoyo 20x lens

Post by RobertOToole »

Eric Aujouannet wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 9:14 am
Hello to all of you,

......The reason I'm speaking today is that I have the unique opportunity to buy one of the following 2 Mitutoyo lenses at an incredible price:

378-834-7 BD Plan Apo 20x Objective ( sorry I made a mstake with the first reference number )


or

378-804-3 M Plan Apo 20X

I have to make up my mind quickly because someone else is interested. I hadn't planned to buy this type of lens for a long time but the opportunity is too good to pass up knowing that the 2 lenses are new and sold at the same price. .......
Make sure you can return the lens if there is an issue. I've had to return every 20x Mitutoyo I've purchased due to haze damage to the inner elements. The last unit I bought was from a lab and they promised it was brand new, never used, just stored for an amount of time. The issue looks like haze but at magnification, the haze is really tiny pricks or bubbles, maybe its a element cement issue. Anyway, I've never found a completely clean 20x on the used market, so be careful and test the lens, as Rik has suggested, as soon as you receive it. Hope it works out fine, best of luck!

I've posted images of the 20x issue on the forum but I don't have a link but you might be able to search for the post.

Best,

Robert

seta666
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Re: Help to choose between two Mitutoyo 20x lens

Post by seta666 »

RobertOToole wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 6:53 pm
I've had to return every 20x Mitutoyo I've purchased due to haze damage to the inner elements. The last unit I bought was from a lab and they promised it was brand new, never used, just stored for an amount of time.
I have never seen a hazy Mitutoyo, and I had a few of them. Maybe that problem you describe could be due from using very intense/hot light sources for long periods of time?

All Mitutoyos I bought performed well, some better than others but more due to old vs new versions (eg. xxx-2 vs xxx-3) than to defects; the newer the mitutoyo design is the better it will perform.

When a Mitutoyo performs bad due to something like misalignment (I damaged one accidentally, turning front element just a bit) is easy to see because it performs really really bad. You can test them against a nikon BD/M plan counterpart for example; if it performs better is OK , if performs worst it is damaged.

I would like to find a reasonably priced 50/0.55, I should have bought one when they still were affordable.

RobertOToole
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Re: Help to choose between two Mitutoyo 20x lens

Post by RobertOToole »

seta666 wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 11:37 pm
I have never seen a hazy Mitutoyo, and I had a few of them. Maybe that problem you describe could be due from using very intense/hot light sources for long periods of time?
I've found and returned probably 5-10 different magnification M Plans at least. Maybe 4 of those were 20x Mitutoyos. I posted the experience with the 20x here on the forum. Its a known issue with users, not unique at all.

After owning all the Mitutoyos from 1x to 100x in both BD Plan and M Plan, all bought used, I realizing there were issues with some of the lenses so I sold them all.

Now slowly I will buy replacements directly from Mitutoyo in Japan. So far I have the 5x and 10x. Next year when travel to Japan is opened I will buy the 7.5x again but only new in the box and from the manufacturer so I am sure the unit has not been mis-handled.
All Mitutoyos I bought performed well, some better than others but more due to old vs new versions (eg. xxx-2 vs xxx-3) than to defects; the newer the mitutoyo design is the better it will perform.
The thing that is important for people here to know is that unless you test a new optic and compare the results to a known lens you will never know you have an issue with a lens. This is true with a 2.8/300 telephoto or a 5x M Plan.

I owned a Mitutoyo 50/0.55 M Plan and photographed with it and was happy with it for a year or two. One day I found a 50x/0.55 M Plan unit on eBay with a big chip out of the front glass for only $100. I thought it would be a nice lens to feature on my site, I offered less, $80 or so and they accepted. So I received the 50x and I test it against my cosmetically perfect 50x and can you guess the outcome? The chipped lens was much sharper.

I would have never known I had a slightly under performing objective! Same with damaged elements. If you don't check the lens, you might never know.

( I later sold my original Mitutoyo 50/0.55 to someone on the forum for $200, with images showing the softness and not fit for photography terms and the guy bought it and then returned it due to softness! )

Best,

Robert

seta666
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Re: Help to choose between two Mitutoyo 20x lens

Post by seta666 »

I had several mitutoyos myself, and some performed better than others. I had 3 mitutoyo 20x and I sold a BD plan that maybe did perform slightly better than the M plan I kept but if it did was not by that much.

In my opinion different performance can happen because of different versions of the same lens, the newer versions should perform better than older ones. The older xxx-2 lenses perform worst than the xxx-3 ones (tested a 5X, 10X and 20X) but does not mean they were defective, is just the design gets improved with time. The older versions showed some astigmatism towards the corners and less contrast which did not mean they were damaged, just were older versions.

All the mitus I have now (5, 7.5, 10 and 20) are excellent performers, newer versions may perform better but I do not really mind nor can afford new ones. I made 90x60cm prints out of them and they look good down to the corners. I always had the impression the image circle was slightly smaller on the 20X compared to the others but not that much.

Checking the S/N can be a good starting point before buying, my 5X and 10X start with a K, 7.5X with an R and 20X with a U

Like a said before if you compare a mitutoyo against a nikon counterpart and it performs better then it is working good, which does not mean is the best copy around. Even a slightly damaged or missaligned mitutoyo will perform worst than a nikon for sure; like in that link Rik has provided a few posts up.

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