135mm Tube Lens recommendation

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Cornel
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Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:33 pm

135mm Tube Lens recommendation

Post by Cornel »

Hello everybody,

I'm currently using Nikon Micro 200mm as a tube lens with microscope objectives ranging from 4x to 40x on a crop camera. I would like to obtain more in between magnifications and also use a higher magnification/NA objective for lower magnification work for better performance (I hope).
So I was looking for a 135mm tube lens and I'm not quite sure if a cheaper old manual lens would do the job ( as ok as the my 200mm lens) or a newer and sharper lens like the samyang 135mm f/2 would be better. Also would a wide aperture lens that has field curvature or is less sharp towards the edges (like many portrait lenses have) would degrade the image in that area? Does the lens quality matter that much, considering that all the system will work at an effective aperture of more than f/20, should I prioritize chromatic aberrations correction before lens sharpness? Also what aperture would be too small regarding vignetting on a crop sensor, would f/4 be enough or should I aim for f/2.8 or smaller?
I've searched the forum to see some 135mm lenses that people use and I understand that there's no way of knowing if a 20$ ebay lens or a 1000$ + lens will work ok for this without testing it so, since I'm on a budget, I was hoping I can get some info on tested lenses that proved to work fine for this kind of work, or at least what to avoid.

Thank you!

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

You'll find good reports from
Zeiss Jena
Nikon (f/2.8 and f/3.5 both fine)
Raynox DCR-250 (125mm focal length) reversed, good for large sensor coverage
Vivitar - serial numbers starting 28
Pentax.

If you avoid very cheap /unknown and anything exotic, I expect you'll be fine.
Chris R

Beatsy
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Post by Beatsy »

The Samyang 135 F/2 is rubbish as a tube lens - I tried it. It's very long, very heavy, and it vignettes a lot. Thankfully, it's a stellar portrait lens, dead sharp with nice bokeh, so I can use it for my "real world" photography and didn't waste my money :)

Best results I got with old lenses (both M42 fit) were with the Vivitar/Komine 135/2.8 and a Carl Zeiss Jena 135/3.5 (with red "MC" lettering). Both give a very small "nick" of vignetting in the extreme corners, and I think the Zeiss has a marginal edge on image sharpness/quality - but they're practically the same performance-wise.

I've recently been using a Raynox DCR-250 (125mm focal length). That gives a good image with no vignetting at all, but I have spotted the odd touch of chromatic aberration on very high contrast bright edges, though it very rarely occurs in real-world use and is easily corrected in post. Similar experience with the DCR-150 (200mm). These are initial impressions though as I've not done a lot of stacks with them yet.

All the above impressions gained using various Mitutoyo M Plan APOs.

In my (current) opinion, the old M42 lenses make a better overall solution as they work well and require a lot fewer adapters and tubes to get them working. And generally work out cheaper.
Last edited by Beatsy on Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

mawyatt
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Post by mawyatt »

The Rokinon (also called Samyang) 135 F2 is a stunningly sharp lens across a full frame sensor, but does not work well as a "tube" lens for 5X Mitutoyo objectives I have. The inexpensive Raynox 250 (125mm) works very well, I use it reversed.

As Chris mentioned, you have some other options as well. I'm not sure what is the "best" 135mm as a tube lens though, Chris, Lou, (edit and Beatsy) and others may provide their thoughts here. I haven't tried anything except the Rokinon 135 and Raynox 250, and still looking for anything significantly better than the Raynox.

Best,

Mike

Cornel
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Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:33 pm

Post by Cornel »

Thank you for your replies, I have and tried the Raynox 250mm as a tube lens but the whole setup was kinda flimsy (I had to improvise a lot regarding the adapters and extension tubes) so the results wasn't that good. That's why I was looking for a sturdier plug and play solution :D.
About the DCR 250, is the general consensus that it's better to use it reversed? (I think I used it reversed too, but that's because I only had adaptors for that position), and also how important is to get the right distance from it to the sensor, would 5mm more or less matter regarding image quality? (not magnification of vignetting). I'll probably do another test if I can find the right adapters.

mawyatt
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Post by mawyatt »

From what I've found either way seems to be good. I just started out reversed because the original tests (can't remember where though) showed a slight improvement in sharpness when reversed, thus my starting position.

I haven't found that having the Raynox at exactly the proper distance from the sensor matters much, others may have a different view.

Best,

Mike

mawyatt
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Post by mawyatt »

BTW Hejnar Photo makes a ARCA rail that has a "Y" on the end. It's designed to support long telephoto lens and works nicely as a support for the long lenses created with the Raynox tubes and microscope objective.

WeMacro has a lens support for their focus rail, that could be used with other rails.

Best,

Mike

Santraginus
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Post by Santraginus »

I am using the old Zeiss MC Sonnar 135mm telephoto lens (M42 mount) and really love it - you can find cheap used ones in very good condition on the 'bay. I like this setup because of its small size.

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

I agree with the recommendations above. The Raynoxes are great but need some extra support; I prefer the Vivitar Komine-made 135 lens (serial number starts with 28 as ChrisR said) since it is sturdier physically, with excellent optical quality. They are also very cheap. I've posted a bit on this elsewhere-- search on "Komine".

ConstantinCornel
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Post by ConstantinCornel »

Thank you for the help, I already purchased the Carl Zeiss Jena MC 135/3.5. It will be some time before I'll get to test it, thank you all.

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

I have that one too but it had reddish color fringing. Still pretty good.

mawyatt
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Post by mawyatt »

ConstantinCornel wrote:Thank you for the help, I already purchased the Carl Zeiss Jena MC 135/3.5. It will be some time before I'll get to test it, thank you all.
How is the Zeiss 135 working? I see a number of them on ebay, were you able to get a good price?

Best,

Mike
Last edited by mawyatt on Sat May 13, 2017 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mawyatt
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Post by mawyatt »

Lou Jost wrote:I have that one too but it had reddish color fringing. Still pretty good.
Lou,

I was able to find a Vivitar 135mm (Komine) for a reasonale price and just ordered it. How would you compare your Zeiss 135 with the Vivitar 135 as a tube with your Mittys? You mention a reddish color?

Best,

Mike

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

It showed slight reddish fringing around some high-contrast white spots, but it was very minor. May have just been my copy, since Beatsy had good luck with his.

Even the Komine sometimes shows minor fringing near the edges of the frame in very high contrast subjects, but the fringing is purple. It is very faint and restricted to the edges, not much of a problem.

ConstantinCornel
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Location: Romania

Post by ConstantinCornel »

mawyatt wrote:
ConstantinCornel wrote:Thank you for the help, I already purchased the Carl Zeiss Jena MC 135/3.5. It will be some time before I'll get to test it, thank you all.
How is the Zeiss 135 working? I see a number of them on ebay, were you able to get a good price?

Best,

Mike
Still haven't got it, will be 2 more weeks :)), I will post my impressions.

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